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Rajeh Khoury, a political analyst with the opposition newspaper AN NAHAR, said President Bashar al-Assad's speech this week signaled that the 10-month-old crisis in Syria will drag on for long. "After 10 months of blood, it seems that the crushing Syrian crisis will last for long despite a pledge by President Bashar al-Assad to achieve a victory soon against what he called 'terrorists and killers' by threatening to strike with an iron fist as if he was striking with velvet gloves," Khoury said in his column on Jan. 11. "Assad's speech came at a time when the horizon is closed to political solutions as well as to security solutions, which Assad has been applying since the crisis began, without crushing the opposition, ending demonstrations or restoring calm," he said. "This [security] solution will not succeed now after the fear complex among the Syrians has been shattered and the number of dead and wounded has increased."

"With regard to political solutions, matters appear to be at a dead-end given the regional and international balances [of power] which prevent reaching an initiative or a mediation that can open the door to a solution that could be fair to the opposition and relieves the regime," Khoury said. "This matter was confirmed by a Syrian official yesterday when he denied reports about Russian-Iranian coordination in search of a roadmap or a scenario to find a solution that can satisfy the regime and the opposition," he added. Khoury said Syria counted on Russia and Iran to prevent international intervention that could reflect positively on the opposition's status. "Russia, which has sent its ships to the [Syrian] port of Tartous to maintain its last foothold in the 'warm waters,' is blocking the Security Council's doors to any American and European attempts to internationalize the Syrian crisis," he said.
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Title Annotation:ARAB OPINIONS
Publication:The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Jan 13, 2012
Previous Article:Syria-Assad.
Next Article:HRW wants Lebanon to give fleeing Syrians asylum; army hands over bodies.

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