Last Update: 24 July 2012 16:11 GMT
The latest escalation in the Syrian crisis can be described as the most serious in the 17-month long conflict. The terrorist groups have expanded the scope of their operations, all the way to Damascus. This has resulted in new challenges for the government, which has done its utmost to curb unrest and prevent it from spreading. However terrorist groups unprecedentedly reached the capital and major governmental building were targeted.
The escalation of violence clearly makes the prospect of a political solution all the more grim and demonstrates that opposition groups are fundamentally opposed to a peaceful settlement. Unverified reports indicate that more than 3000 armed men have arrived in Damascus to wage war on the government. This group of mercenaries is supported by foreign governments, which wish to weaken the position of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The recent incidents in Damascus gave some momentum to the opposition and encouraged rebels to mobilize their efforts against the government. The incidents, especially the explosion which hit the Syrian National Security HQ, also proved the fact that security system can be infiltrated.
However, the opposition cannot claim to be in a stronger position than in previous months and Assad has still many trump cards; it is totally ridiculous to say that his days are numbered. All in all, there is still many options left for Assad to control the situation.
Mohammad Irani formerly served as Iran’s ambassador to Jordan and Lebanon and is an expert in Middle Eastern studies based in Tehran.
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