News / Middle East

Syria Weapons Deal Could Change Dynamic of War

Syria Weapons Deal Could Change Dynamic of Wari
X
September 18, 2013 10:02 PM
Middle East analysts say the agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons is a potential game-changer in the bloody civil war. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.
Meredith Buel
Middle East analysts say the agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons is a potential game-changer in the bloody civil war.

The chemical weapons deal has not lessened the furious fighting in Syria’s civil war. Analysts say it will have long-term consequences, though, bolstering President Bashar al-Assad, while infuriating rebels trying to oust him.

Steven Bucci, who directs foreign policy studies at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said, “On the ground, the resistance forces are probably the losers in this, and Bashar al-Assad is clearly the winner. He has now gotten some cover and credibility both from Russia and now from the rest of the international community.”

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, President Barack Obama disagreed. “It is hard to envision how Mr. Assad regains any kind of legitimacy after he has gassed or his military has gassed innocent civilians and children.”

The agreement removes the immediate possibility of an American military strike because Assad said he now will give up his chemical weapons.

Rebels who hoped to regain momentum believe they now are facing the likelihood of a government escalation.

The biggest group of rebel fighters is led by General Salim Idris, who said, “We think that the Russians and the Syrian regime are playing games to waste time and to win time for the criminal regime in Damascus.”

Analysts say the deal elevates Russian President Vladimir Putin's standing internationally, while Moscow continues to provide Damascus with weapons.

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, said, “Russia has raised its strategic profile. It is on a level with the United States in terms of importance in determining the affairs of the Middle East.”

Shaikh said that could affect America's influence in the region. “President Obama himself may well be projecting a more weaker presidency for having not taken the action he said he would take.”

So while Assad holds court in his palace, human rights groups say his forces kill at an alarming rate.  

“I would say he is good for at least a year, year-and-a-half, which is sad because he is a horrific dictator and he has been doing terrible things to the Syrian people and they deserve better than that,” said Bucci.

So while chemical weapons may be taken off the battlefield, conventional weapons will continue to claim a deadly toll as the war in Syria grinds on.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 19, 2013 11:05 PM
It is clear those who appeal to the use of weapons are always losers in disputes and conflicts after all, even when they aim at retaliation.

by: Regula from: USA
September 18, 2013 8:39 PM
The commentators are all very ready to accuse Russia of supporting Assad. But the fact that the US supports al Qaida and linked groups which make up about 50% of the fighters on the battlefield and that the US continues to arm them, that the commentators don't think is outrageous - even more so as the entire civil war was instigated by the US/KSA/Israel/Turkey/Qatar. Yes, Russia looks good now because Putin and Lavrov stood by Assad who is the legitimate government of Syria and rightfully classify the jihadis including rebels as invading terrorists. Assad isn't half as brutal as the jihadis and the US/Israel are. But the western press likes to mix up the facts with a brutal hit-down of separatists under his father. The US didn't think Assad was too brutal to rendition innocent people which the CIA picked up while they were vacationing in another country.

As to the chemical weapons, it doesn't make a difference with how many supposed rockets stuck in the dirt they want to prove it was Assad who gassed his people - why would he gas civilians who aren't his enemy rather than the rebels who are? The evidence may well have been falsified before the UN investigators arrived. US intelligence has no images of any rockets fired from that position. And all the more after the US and KSA deliver the weapons to the rebels. It is pretty clear that the CIA staged this stuff. There are too many testimonies by people in Syria who point to the rebels and too much sarin found in the hands of al Qaida.

by: LieutenantCharlie from: USA
September 18, 2013 8:33 PM
The U.S. President Bozo Bungles makes America look bad every time he opens his mouth.
It is easy to see how he flunked out of three (3) Colleges when he talks. He appears to be almost an Idiot.
In Response

by: Greg deGiere from: Sacramento, CA
September 19, 2013 11:35 PM
It's fine that VOA allows wide open comment, even to the point of calling the president names.

But VOA is to some extend responsible for the factual accuracy of comments it allows to be posted here. To say that Obama "flunked out of three colleges" is simply and provably inaccurate and should be omitted here.

by: Az Boomer from: Scottsdale Az
September 18, 2013 8:13 PM
So Assad gassed innocent people..The rebels took over a Christian villkage and shot those that didn't convert to Islam. It's called a civil war because Americans can't understand a religious hate war. Unlike a civil war, which ever side wins they will still try to eliminate the other side and that is a religious war. Neither side will embrace democracy because Islam doesn't.
In Response

by: Nguyễn from: US
September 19, 2013 1:59 PM
Let Saudi Arabia and Arab nations help rebels in Syria.
US and other white boys stay out. Period.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs