By William Tucker
It’s not really a surprise that the ceasefire was violated, that is, if one could claim it was ever implemented in the first place. The regime played the blame game, as expected here on IHS, that it was the opposition forces that broke the agreement forcing Assad to respond in kind. Coming to Assad’s aid in record time was Russia, who simply echoed the line out of Damascus. The UN observers in Syria made statements to the press substantiating opposition claims that the Syrian military has resumed the use of heavy artillery against opposition positions in several cities. In response to these events, western nations have asked the UN Security council to take up the issue once again, but with Moscow coming to Assad’s aid so quickly it is unlikely that anything could be accomplished. The GCC nations, which are the most vocal in calling for Assad’s removal, are likely to increase support of Sunni opposition forces as diplomacy is not having the desired effect. Turkey, on the other hand, will find its tenuous position challenged as it has tried to avoid using any direct military intervention in the situation. Turkey has a lot to lose and as refugees continue to poor in, it may be forced to take a more active role in stabilizing the situation.