The Bashar al-Assad regime has become increasingly isolated. After the Arab League confirmed the suspension of Syria, Thursday the traditional allies of Damascus, Russia and China expressed concern about the ongoing crisis and called for the immediate opening of a dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition.
“All this is very much like a civil war,” said Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, referring to an attack Wednesday by the Syrian army, made up of deserters from the army determined to bring down the regime. These deserters fired rockets at a military base near Damascus, operation showing that the crisis could turn into armed conflict.
Stating that “violence does not come as authorities,” Sergei Lavrov urged the Syrian regime and the opposition to stop fighting and negotiate, suggesting talks in Cairo, the headquarters of the Arab League. Officials at the Syrian opposition, which met Lavrov Tuesday, however, assured that he would not talk with President Bashar al-Assad.
“More and more weapons are smuggled from foreign states,” Lavrov also considered.
Earlier this week, he suggested that Western countries aggravated the problems in Syria. “When people hear the statements of inflexible Washington and Brussels saying that it should not be any dialogue (with Assad) and he should resign, it obviously does not move towards constructive discussions”.
In Paris, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday that “it is not the democratic aspirations of the Syrian population that threaten the stability of Syria and the region”, but “the refusal of the regime in Damascus of any developments and any real dialogue and the brutal repression that leads into a headlong dead end. ”
In October, Moscow and Beijing had vetoed a resolution of the Security Council of the UN that threatened new sanctions to Syria.
But Thursday, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Liu Weimin suggested the possibility that Beijing supports a resolution of its kind in the future. “It depends on whether these actions will help ease tensions in Syria and facilitate the resolution of disputes through political dialogue,” he said, calling on both warring parties to work together.
Also Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, and the local coordination committee said that five civilians, including a nine year old girl, were killed in raids by security forces in central, eastern and northern Syria.