Vice President of the Brookings Institute and former Middle East policy advisor under Bill Clinton said President Barack Obama must arm the rebels in Syria or they will face defeat.
Indyk said the Syrian regime is now in a position to “strategically defeat” the rebels, adding that this would be a blow to Washington, especially given the intervention by Hezbollah and Iran in fighting on the ground.
He said in the longer term, what is needed is to impose a kind of no-fly zone.
Indyk, who was speaking to Al-Hayat on the sidelines of the American-Islamic Conference in Doha on Tuesday, said Obama "has to arm the rebels."
"We should have done so a long time ago. Now with the huge intervention of Iran and Hezbollah in altering the balance of power in favor of the regime of (President Bashar) Assad," he said.
"The consequences of non-armament are much greater than they were, because the imposition of any political solution depends on the conditions on the ground.”
"If you do not change the balance of power, Assad will be able to impose a string of strategic defeats on the rebels, although he will not be able to extend its influence over all parts of the country," Indyk continued.
Indyk said Hezbollah's interference in Syria, would "open the door to new, unprecedented risks, including the party's takeover of sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons that could alter the equation in Lebanon, also in relation to Israel.”
He also pointed out that Russia would not agree to a transition unless the reality on the ground is changed.
"Moscow is convinced that the lack of support for the transitional period means chaos in Syria,” Indyk said.
Obama, Indyk pointed out, "chose for himself the legitimacy to end wars in the Middle East, rather than peacemaking, which may complicate Kerry's task and present challenged and obstacles to Abbas that may be created by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer