International Crisis Group warns of civil war in Syria
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A Syrian soldier displays weapons seized from what officials say were gunmen. A top official in the ICG criticizes the Syrian opposition outside the country. REUTERS PhotoA Syrian soldier displays weapons seized from what officials say were gunmen. A top official in the ICG criticizes the Syrian opposition outside the country.
A Syrian soldier displays weapons seized from what officials say were gunmen. ‘The struggle could quickly mutate into an open-ended civil war,’ the ICG warns.
Civil war could ignite in Syria with despair taking hold of society as the regime has been collapsing in slow-motion for 10 months, a top nongovernment official has warned.
“If this impasse endures any longer, the struggle could quickly mutate into an open-ended civil war,” Peter Harling, International Crisis Group (ICG) director for Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, said in a recent report.
“The security services remain largely cohesive and ready to fight, but in many places they increasingly resemble at best an occupying force cut off from society; at worst, a collection of sectarian militias on a rampage. The military is fragmenting, slowly but surely,” he said in his report.
Harling said a Security Council resolution is the one available lever that could be brought to bear on a Syrian leadership, which feels sheltered by the prevailing divisions on the international scene. “Syrian leadership would rather take the country down the road to civil war than negotiate in order to obtain what still can be achieved at the cost of giving up on the hope that hunkering down and making reforms that satisfy only its supporters somehow will enable it to stay in power,” Harling said.
Criticism to the opposition in exile
Harling also drove attention to the broadness of the protest movement in Syria. “The protest movement, which to this day remains conspicuously absent from the official narrative, is remarkably broad-based, intuitively cohesive, and in many ways sophisticated,” Harling said. “If the chaos in Syria deepens further, criminals, foreign volunteers, and home-grown fundamentalists are bound to become more striking features of this crisis,” he added. Harling also criticized the Syrian opposition movement outside the country. “The members of opposition in exile, even as they repeatedly talk on satellite channels about the sufferings of their kin back home, have in fact spent the better part of their energy squabbling over personal rivalries, lobbying for international recognition and debating a foreign intervention that – whether it is desirable or not – simply will not happen in the foreseeable future,” Harling said