The dramatic developments in Libya are raising comparisons with the uprising in Syria. In particular, some are asking what the role of the international community should be. Inside Syria itself, though, there has been no call for external military intervention – the people are opposed to any foreign meddling. This position is tenable because several interlinked factors – “objective” and “subjective” – make the fall of Bashar al-Assad’s regime inevitable.
First, the objective factors. The uprising has entered a new phase, with the opposition and protest movement widening to include professional groups such as lawyers and doctors. This adds a new dynamic to confrontations with the regime.… Seguir leyendo »
The role of sectarianism in Syrian politics and the position in the power structure of the Alawi community – a minority sect in Islam thought to comprise approximately 12% of the population – have been off limits as a subject in public discourse until the recent crisis. This prohibition has been abandoned by the regime which is now raising the threat of sectarianism in official media narratives about armed gangs, Salafi militants and foreign conspiracies against Syrian national unity.
In response the opposition, human rights activists and local observers accuse the security forces of themselves sowing the seeds of sectarianism. According to independent reports, in coastal cities and villages where members of both Alawi and Sunni communities live, patrols of unidentified men have visited residents belonging to either group to warn them of impending sectarian attacks and to mobilise them against the other group.… Seguir leyendo »