Prescribed time for al-Assad now up to two years
You all must be asking the same question… Well, Bashar al-Assad was to be toppled in a few months. What happened? Why has this taken so long?
Quite right, I had heard it from the prime minister. Last year, he had said, “He won’t last more than a few months.” But it didn’t work out as thought.
The main reason for this is the fact that the Syrian opponents have been fractioned into very small groups because they do not have proper communication with each other. They continued on their way with the mentality, “It may be small but let it be mine.”
Political opponents are another world apart. Each one of them has a different Syria in mind. Of course, this situation scares some large domestic groups. For example, the Kurds and, especially, the Christians do not know what kind of a regime will be formed after al-Assad. In this case, they do not want to fully support the opposition. What will happen if a radical religionist Syria is formed? What will happen if they lose the advantages they have had with the present secular system?
When you look at the military opposition, they do not differ from the political one. They are constantly complaining about Turkey, the United States and Europe. They are grumbling that they are not receiving enough arms and aid. The Ankara-Washington-Paris triangle, justifiably, responds, “As long as this segmentation of yours continues, we don’t know who to deliver arms to…”
The “Syrian Opponents Meeting” in Istanbul’s Pendik district nowadays is trying to solve this essential problem.
Almost all opponent groups’ representatives of 200 people are trying to reach a decision to unite under one umbrella. More importantly, they are negotiating what kind of a Syria they will form after this.
If they can achieve this, then they will be able to obtain more concrete support on April 1 at the Istanbul meeting of the Friends of Syria from representatives of 60 to 70 countries.
Well, how long will this take?
Experts say exactly this: There is no option of al-Assad staying in power. “Our estimate is if the opposition unites and organizes well, then he will have to leave power in one to two years…”
I guess we have started talking over a more realistic platform for the first time.
Number of refugees
Turkey is acting very carefully beyond expectations.
It is not as enthusiastic as it was at the beginning of the crisis. Moreover, it has not been left alone. However, despite that, each day al-Assad stays in power causes more losses for Turkey. But there is nothing to do on this.
The only matter that Ankara would consider the most and would annoy it the most is, in the event of a massacre, the flow of more than 100,000 refugees over the Turkish border from Syria. In that case, there is only one scenario – the forming of the renowned “buffer zone.”
Plans are being made. They know where to enter and how far to advance into Syrian territory. They see no inconvenience from the point of international law either.
The only expectation in Ankara is that the Syrian opponents will finally agree and find a joint stance. Unless this happens, it has no intention of providing aid.
The arms the opponents could buy up to now, even though they were in small quantities, were coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Gulf countries via Jordan. But they were extremely insufficient. If the outcome of the Istanbul meeting is satisfactory, then contributions will increase.
The Istanbul meeting is extremely important for this reason as well.