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Can Arming the Opposition Overthrow Assad?

Arming with the right weapons may shift the balance or power, or just trigger an arms race
Can Arming the Opposition Overthrow Assad?

By Radwan Ziadeh

 

Is the arming decision enough to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad, or will it simply prolong the conflict and motivate Iran and Russia to send more weapons, triggering an arms race in the region at the expense of Syrian people?

 

Obviously, the number of light weapons in Syria proliferated, but the shortage is in ammunition and qualitative weapons which can confront those of Assad.

 

No matter how advanced the weapons may be, they will not stop the arbitrary shelling by the regime forces, which still enjoy air supremacy and can only be stopped via air strikes.

 

Thus, arming the revolutionists may enable them to achieve partial and very important tactical successes, but it cannot achieve the final goal, which is to get rid of Assad's regime as soon as possible in order to decrease the number of victims and to preserve what remains of Syria and its institutions.

 

Hence, the United States and the European Union should immediately start providing the revolutionaries on the ground with qualitative weapons, but they should also review the outcome of this decision after one month in order to make crucial determinations, such as applying a no-fly zone which would overthrow the Assad regime within a month. Then, the true political process may begin to build the future of Syria.

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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