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How Long Will Ceasefire in Syria Hold?

By May 3, 2012

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So here we are. First Friday protests since the Syrian government agreed to implement the six-point peace plan of the joint UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan. It's the second day of a fragile ceasefire, which appears to be holding, just about. The tension is razor sharp, but it has been the calmest 48 hours Syria has seen for more than 9 months, since anti-government protests escalated into ever deadlier clashes between Syrian government forces and groups affiliated with the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Putting your money on what's going to happen over the next week is an extremely risky bet. Agreeing to withdraw troops from population centers and cease military operations was a major gamble for President Bashar al-Assad, and I am certain he would never have done it without pressure from Russia and China. The regime fears, quite rightly, that any let up in the crackdown will be used by the protesters to reclaim the streets, while fighters from the Free Syrian Army continue to stock weapons.

The impending "political process" mentioned by the peace plan exists only on paper. My guess is that we'll see a lull in the fighting before any potential negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition inevitably break down.

Read my new piece on Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest enemy of the Assad regime.


May 29, 2012 at 10:32 am
(1) Charlotte says:

Anonymous,I fear you’ll have a hard time challenging yniahntg by calling yourself anonymous. If I may encourage you to use your first name so I could keep track of who’s who, that would be most helpful. I have no way of knowing which anonymous commentator you are otherwise.I wonder why you feel the need to psychoanalyze me. I’m quite sure there are many wonderful Arabs. I’ve never suggested that Arabs are all the same. In fact, I have several dear friends who are Arabs, Middle Eastern, Druze, etc. As for Jews being pro-Israel the bulk are, especially in Israel. That’s merely a reality largely ingrained in a quest for human survival. Would you expect an Israeli to want to see the destruction of their nation-state that they built from swamp and dirt?I find it questionable that you’re so offended I’m pointing to the inhumane treatment Jews suffered under Syria’s regime. Should I ignore that to appease anonymous commentators such as yourself? Should I deny my heritage to appease your distaste for Israel?Peace is mirage if you expect the bulk of Israeli Jewry to hide what they went through under Arab nationalist regimes. I haven’t an ounce of European blood. So when anti-Zionists and/or anti-Semities tell me to go back to Europe, I can only conclude that they don’t know the realities of what Mizrahi Jewry faced in their native lands or that they are hateful. I hope it’s the former as ignorance, through education, can be corrected. With best regards,Reut R. Cohen

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