The situation in Syria continues to get ever more complicated. Today an attempt to kill the current Prime Minister failed when a large bomb did not kill him has he was passing in Damascus. The current Prime Minister is the fourth since the Civil War broke out. The bombing however underscores the fact that while Damascus remains under Assad’s rule the opposition has no problem smuggling in bombs into the very heart of the city. Meanwhile in Lebanon Hezbollah has tacitly admitted that the number of its fighters killed has exceeded 200. Hezbollah has been actively fighting on the side of the Assad regime and against the rebels, while recently a Sunni religious leader in Lebanon issued a Fatwa calling on all young Sunni’s to go to Syria and fight the Assad regime. In what I think is a related matter, sectarian violence seems to be on rapid increase. There is fear of a renewed Civil War. That concern is no doubt to some extent a product of the Civil War in Syria, which has turned into a sectarian fight. Thus the war in Syria if it continues much longer may undermine whatever achievements the US obtained in its costly war in Iraq.
Meanwhile in Washington the debate continues on what should be done with the fact that by all accounts the Syrian government has violated the clear red line that President Obama has stated would be crossed with the use of Chemical weapons. President Obama while admitting that it would seem that the Syrians have in fact used said weapons, has prevaricated as to whether that indeed means that they have crossed the Red Line. I do not believe the US has any choice but to take action, if a red line such as this can be crossed with impunity than all of America’s deterrent capability will be fatally undermined. I keep on hearing that imposing a no fly zone would be costly and difficult; I have been at a lost to understand why. Israel was able to win a totally one sided victory against the Syrian Airforce in 1981 and there today 30 year later the gap between the Syrian aiforce that still flies Soviet aircraft from that era and the US air capabilities are much larger. Any actions will more likely had the same one-sided outcome as the US intervention in the Balkans.