Rebels vs Dictator Assad
Finally, the European Union’s arms embargo has lifted – allowing European nations to supply arms to the rebels – while hopes for peace talks organized by US & Russia increase as both sides grow weary of the stalemate that has been on for 2 years. But is it too little too late? 70,000 lives have already gone, and the war still continues. 2 million refugees have left the country, but not welcomed anywhere. The rebels too have become more and more Islamist as the war has gone on, as moderate rebel groups have reduced in size and number. Although the arms should ideally go to modernist, non-extremist, pro-Western rebels, the Islamists are better organized, more powerful and more in number.
Meanwhile, Assad shows no signs of weakening, supported by the Lebanese Hezbollah soldiers, Syrian businessmen and Shia populations in Iran & Iraq. It seems to have become a choice between 2 evils – a tyrannical dictator or Islamist (Taliban like Islamic extremists) rule. However, some hope, however faint, may still exist – the mid-July peace talks seem to have a better chance of succeeding after there has been no significant progress by either side. The arms are to only go to the Syrian National Coalition, which will strengthen the moderate rebel factions, and perhaps allow a victory for the good guys. In any case, we can only hope that this horrific civil war ends soon, and the destruction of this peaceful nation of moderate, nice people at the hands of extremists on both sides ends.
References: The Economist, The Wall Street Journal