The Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Maqdad, in an interview Wednesday, said the battle is going very well for the regime. This comes at an interesting time as both sides are regularly claiming advances and the United Nations reported Tuesday that the death toll is close to 70,000, many of whom are presumably innocent civilians. It’s hard to tell what is actually happening most of the time because both sides claim different sides of the same story. For example, the rebel forces claimed they have launched attacks on the capitol, whereas the regime flatly denies any claims of being under siege.
The United States’ position on the subject remains clear, as Vice President Biden met with the Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, de facto head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, in Germany a couple weeks ago to reaffirm the Obama administration’s recognition of the rebel forces as Syria’s legitimate government.
The party line is that al-Assad’s regime remains committed to the goal of a cease-fire, and is also receptive to the idea of a peaceful and democratic solution. However, al-Maqdad was quick to point out that the President enjoys majority support.
This brings up an interesting point — to what extent does the U.S. government’s commitment to the Syrian revolution manifest itself? Is the government secretly supplying weapons to the rebels, much as they did during the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict in the ’80s? What would be the backlash of any supposed human rights violations, like the muhaddejen (sp?) committing supposedly unethical practices? Or is the CIA practicing “nation building” and using their clandestine division to effect destabilization of a current regime? Only time will tell.