Independent: Attempt to Topple Al-Assad Failed

Under the title, “The Attempt to Topple President Assad has Failed”, the analyst Patrick Cockburn concluded that “the year-long effort to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and his government has failed.”

In his Sunday’s opinion, the writer listed all foreign titles of political, economic, and military pressure before coming into an obvious reality: “It has not happened. Syria will not be like Libya.”
“The latest international action has been an EU ban on Assad’s wife, Asma, and his mother travelling to EU countries (though, as a UK citizen, Asma can still travel to Britain). As damp squibs go, this is of the dampest,”
Cockburn added.

He also stressed that “curtailing Asma’s shopping trips to Paris or Rome, supposing she ever intended to go there, shows the extent to which the US, EU and their allies in the Middle East are running out of options when it comes to dealing with Damascus.”

The Irish journalist recalled UN Secretary-General’s, Ban Ki-moon, last week statement in which he confirmed that “nobody is discussing military operations,” reiterating that “the “Free Syrian Army” has been driven out of strongholds in the central city of Homs, Idlib province in the north and, most recently, Deir el-Zour, in the east.”

“Their retreat may make it more difficult to bring guns across the Iraq border from the overwhelmingly Sunni Anbar province,” he added.
In an answer to the raised question on wrong al-Assad opponent’s bets, “what went wrong for the advocates of regime change?” Cockburn answered “in general, they overplayed their hand and believed too much of their own propaganda.”

“The experience of the US, EU, Nato and the Arab Gulf states in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi turned out to be misleading when it came to Syria,” he confirmed.
The “Independent’s” report also mentioned that “conditions are very different in Syria…The regime has a radicalized core based on the Alawite community, a powerful army and security forces.”

“The Syrian regime will not fall without a radical change in the balance of forces,” Cockburn highlighted pointing out that “the appointment of the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan as an UN-Arab League peace envoy is a face-saver to mask the failure so far of the regime’s opponents.”

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