Patrick Cockburn’s (one of the most knowledgeable Western correspondents covering the region) bleak conclusion on the present state of the conflict in Syria. His report also gives details indications of the foreign powers’ influence in the military operations of the FSA and references the latter group’s hooliganism. It is a bloody ending to what was once a popular uprising.
Crucial to making peace is bringing an end to the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran which is intertwined with the vicious conflict between Shia and Sunni. Russia and the US need to be at one in ending the war, as they briefly seemed to be at the end of last year. Syrians gloomily say the outcome of their civil war is no longer in Syrian hands, but in those of the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and their various allies.
Peace, if it ever comes, will come in stages and with many false starts such as the failure of the Geneva II peace talks.