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US May Begin Broader Push for Syria Resolution

  • Meredith Buel

With U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election, some world leaders and Syrian opposition groups are hoping the U.S. will help lead a bolder approach to end Syria's deadlocked conflict.

The devastating violence in Syria was a campaign issue in the U.S. presidential election that some analysts say delayed American efforts in forging an international solution to the Syria crisis.

But with the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, international efforts are mounting for deeper U.S leadership on Syria policies.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, while visiting a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, said the U.S. must help the international community to do more.

“Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories of what has happened inside Syria and one of the first things I want to talk to Barack ((Obama)) about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis,” Cameron said.
The United States and other Western countries have been reluctant to supply arms to the Syrian rebels, and most military assistance has come from Persian Gulf countries.

But analysts say following the U.S. election, Syrian opposition fighters are more optimistic that could change.

“There is a tremendous amount of hope on the ground in Syria that there will be a massive change. Personally, I am a little bit skeptical. I think the inclination of the Obama administration not to get deeply involved in another military adventure wasn’t just an election strategy. I think it is really deep in their whole approach to the Middle East,” said Michael Doran of the Brookings Institution.

There is evidence that extremist Islamist elements are increasingly joining the opposition. That has U.S. officials concerned and analysts say that makes American action on Syria more urgent.

“The balance of forces in the Syrian opposition is such, that as time goes by and the radical Islamists are the ones who always seem to have the money and always seem to have the weapons, they will become much more dominant in terms of that opposition. That does not serve American interests and it certainly doesn’t serve the interests of stability in the region,” said Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad warns against U.S and international intervention, vowing to fight to the end.

“I’m Syrian, I was made in Syria and I have to live in Syria and die in Syria.”

The U.S. and its allies are pushing for a solidified front among Syria's opposition groups, hoping that will drive Mr. Assad from power.

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