The rebels in Syria seem newly emboldened, as they just attacked the ruling Baath Party building in Damascus.
One estimate of the death toll since mid-March of 4,500 Syrains killed, which strikes me as much too low.
Barry Rubin says that Syria is no longer a revolution, it’s a civil war. He also says that the newly formed Syrian National Council is dominated by Islamists. Lovely. Guess who the U.S. is backing?
It is hard to overestimate how disastrous Obama Administration policy has been. Not only has it promoted an Islamist-dominated leadership (which might be pushed into power by monopolizing Western aid) but this mistake has fractured the opposition, ensuring there would be several anti-SNC groups. This strategy has also angered the Kurds and Turkmen minorities who view the SNC as antagonistic to their hopes for some autonomy. As a result, these two groups have reduced their revolutionary activities.
How bad has it gotten for Assad? A pro-Syrian demonstration in Beruit only drew dozens of supporters, where previously Assad count count on his (and Iran’s) puppets in Hezbollah to throng the streets with tens of thousands. Of course, Hezbollah and Amal are still in Assad’s corner. I do wonder if Assad could start importing Hezbollah fighters wholesale, since his own army seems unable to contain the rebellion. I also wouldn’t put it past Iran to send combat troops on to prop him up, though that seems less likely.
In the Weekly Standard, Lee Smith goes so far as to state: “Bashar al-Assad is finished.”