End of Arab League observer mission to Syria opens door to renewed clashes
The Arab League's observer mission in Syria was suspended yesterday, and violence seems to be climbing once again as the United Nations attempts to take further action.
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After two days of fighting that came within a couple miles of the heart of Damascus, government forces reportedly regained control of the city's restive eastern suburbs, but the violence and fighting has spread to other areas of the country.
“Activists say it is the fiercest violence they have witnessed in months,” said Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught. “There are fires burning all over Syria, some say almost too many for the army to deploy all over the place.”
The state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency reported that an “armed terrorist group” attacked a gas pipeline in Homs, one of the focal points of the violence since the uprising began in March. Syrian government officials often attribute violence to foreign terrorists.
The ongoing violence led to renewed calls for international action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Many observers say it is unlikely his regime can endure the current uprising, but if no international action is taken, it will be a long and violent battle before Assad's government is removed from power.
“The Syrian regime headed by Bashar Assad is doomed in the long run, but is likely to last longer than most believe,” writes Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies in a blog for Bitterlemons. “So long as the Syrian military leadership remains united, the opposition remains fragmented, and foreign powers remain on the sidelines, the Assad regime is likely to survive, but all three of these elements are changing, even if gradually, in the favor of the opposition.”
This week the international community will take one of its most aggressive steps against Syria so far. The United Nations Security Council will consider a draft resolution calling for Assad's resignation, reports CNN.