Rebel hopes rise that reelected Obama will act on Syria as blasts hit Damascus
Three explosions in the capital, including an attack on the presidential palace, could mark a new phase in the rebels' campaign against the Assad regime.
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"In order to have revolutionary-scale change, you need an opposition movement that is strongly disciplined, that is organized hierarchically," Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian analyst at the National Defense University in Washington, told the Monitor. Mr. Jouejati resigned from the SNC recently because of how its growth could intensify Syria's existing challenges, he says. "But the nature of this is that the SNC – or any opposition coalition – is going to [have] different people, different views, and different ideologies."Skip to next paragraph
Latin America Editor
Whitney Eulich is the Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog.
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Many hope that a more organized and inclusive opposition, combined with yesterday’s reelection of Obama in the United States, will result in a stronger stance in Syria.
“We hope that Barack Obama can help us just finish this situation and stop [the] killing and losing more lives and more civilians,” Ahmad, from the Revolutionary Council in Damascus, told the Guardian.
Other regional steps on Syria were made soon after Obama’s reelection. The AP reports that Turkey spoke up to say, along with its allies, it was considering setting up a protected safe zone inside Syrian borders.
The [Turkish] foreign ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of ministry prohibitions on contacts with the news media, said planning for the safe zone had been put on hold pending the U.S. election. He said any missile deployment might happen under a "NATO umbrella," though NATO has insisted it will not intervene without a clear United Nations mandate.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Jordan when Obama’s victory was announced. Soon after congratulating the president, Mr. Cameron said:
Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis.
"With the reelection of Obama, what you have is a strong confidence on the British side that the U.S. administration will be engaged more on Syria from the get-go," Shashank Joshi, an analyst at London's Royal United Services Institute, a military and security think tank, told the AP.
Many in the US, too, are waiting to see how the election will impact US decisions on Syria, where it’s estimated that more than 36,000 people have died in the protracted 21-month-long conflict. The Boston Herald noted in an editorial that even as Americans paused to concentrate on the national election yesterday, the bloodshed in Syria continued.
We need look no further than Syria to know that life there has not stood still, not waited for this president and this administration to lead. There people continue to die in the streets.
Nowhere is the absence of American leadership felt more keenly than in Syria today. It cries out for post-election attention.