Nytt

Tilfellet Syria er blitt mye vanskeligere etter det massive selvmordsangrepet i Damaskus torsdag, som man er tilbøyelig til å mene kom fra regimemotstandere.

Det øker sannsynligheten for at jihadister er aktive på bakken, og tilsvarende svekkes sannsynligheten for en amerikansk-ledet inngripen:

CIA-sjef Leo Panetta sa de er forberedt på alle muligheter. Det har vært snakk om humanitære korridorer, beskyttet av amerikanske styrker, noe som vil være defensivt, men likevel oppfattes om en uttilatelig innblanding av Assad-regimet. Man er også forberedt på bombing, noe som virker enda mindre sannsynlig.

Det har lenge vært snakk om at jihadister infiltrer fra Irak. Hvilket er et stort paradoks. Under amerikansk okkupasjon fasiliterte Assad-regimet at jihadister dro den andre veien. Nå er det selv mål.

Men det betyr at utsikten til internasjonal innblanding er minimal. Russlands utenriksminister Sergej Lavrov satt igår i Beijing med sin kinesiske kollega og sa at de som støtter opposisjonen påtar seg et stort ansvar. Han gjorde det klart at slike metoder styrket Russlands motstand mot intervensjon.

 

“Some of our foreign partners are taking steps to ensure, both literally and figuratively, that the situation explodes,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, making clear that he was “referring to the bombings.”

Eksperter bekreftet at opposjonens bruk av terror vil svekke dens sak internasjonalt.

Bombings like the Damascus suicide attack, which the Syrian government blamed on terrorists, “bolster the Russian case” against aiding the opposition, said Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank.

But suspicions that the bombings were carried out by jihadists who have infiltrated the opposition, he said, “also bolster the internal American case that this conflict is simply too complicated and too inflammable to actually put U.S. forces at risk in any meaningful way.”

The most likely partners in any U.S. military operation, including those who took part in last year’s Libya intervention, are even more reluctant. “This time last year, Joshi said, the British government “was in a much stronger position” both politically and economically. “We just entered a double-dip recession last week.”

France, in the midst of installing a new government whose policies have not been fully articulated, sees the two situations as vastly different.

“It’s not a small difference with Libya, it’s a huge difference,” one French official said. “The opposition has no territory” in Syria, and little unity. Syria’s air defenses dwarf those of Libya’s, and its vast stores of chemical and biological weapons, currently under Assad’s control, could be up for grabs if the government falls.

“But it’s also a political question,” the French official said. “For many, particularly the Europeans, the only legitimate body to call for military action is the United Nations.”

 

Suicide attack in Syria makes international action less likely