The efforts of United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to negotiate a ceasefire between the Syrian military and rebels for the Arab holiday Eid al-Adha are likely to be fruitless.
Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) begins this year on October 26. While this holiday focuses on the prophet Abraham being spared from sacrificing one of his sons, many innocent Syrians are being slaughtered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is desperately attempting to hang on to power.
Assad does not stand alone in his battle to preserve his presidency, as he has allies in China, Iran, and Russia. Even with his ally Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for a ceasefire throughout Eid al-Adha, it is improbable that such a temporary “détente” is possible, given that there has been no pause in blows that have been exchanged between the Syrian military and the rebels since the Syrian revolution began in March 2011.
In reality, the Syrian issue becomes ever more complex as more and more Syrians flee the country to escape Assad’s repression. The refugees are not the only part of the Syrian conflict that has gone beyond its borders. The fighting between the Syrian military and rebels has spilled over into Turkey.
Flows of Syrian refuges continue to increase as Assad is increasingly using more potent weapons against unarmed civilians, such as cluster bombs, in his attempts to attack areas that are believed to be inhabited by the rebel forces. If Assad becomes more desperate, he may even consider using some of Syria’s chemical weapons.
It is possible that both sides perceive a ceasefire as an inhibitor to their momentum. As this is likely the case, it is highly inconceivable that any sort of delay in the fighting is achievable until Assad’s ouster through force.
Adam Gianella is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.