None of the scenarios adequately takes account of the complexity of the Syrian situation. While all actors should continue to pursue the most favourable scenario that has been endorsed by the UN, a political solution based on the Geneva Communique, other factors, especially the possible collapse of the regime, Iran’s intervention to keep it afloat and the rise of radical Islamic powers all complicate such efforts. The pressing factor I think that is missing from the arguments is how the US and Europe are failing to keep a unified consistent position in support of a transition in Syria. I fear diplomacy at the moment is only buying time in prolonging the conflict, which by itself is feeding anger and leaving the vacuum for radicalism. We keep going into a vicious circle where inaction by the West leads to more violence which leads into radicalism and extremism and the latter imposes action by the West (as we can see now with coalition against ISIS), which is only making things worse for the moderate Syrians who are turning radical, undermining the centrist forces; today for example, members from Al Nusra have arrested FSA fighters who are trained by the USA. This is adding to the fragmentation of the opposition and is leaving the political arena to Islamic influences coming with Gulf money that are imposing their agenda on the ground. I fear unless a solution deals with the main source of destruction and brutality in Syria, i.e the regime, the scenario of protracted conflict is the more likely one.
Lina Sinjab is a Syrian journalist who works for the BBC & is a recipient of several awards for her coverage of Syria.