Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Struggling for Survival

2011 was entitled as the year of change. Wide ranges of demonstrations across the Arab world and the world socio-political developments marked great changes this year. In Syria, as in some other Arab countries, the spreading waves of public uprising are uprooting the longtime regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Feeling isolated by the ever-spreading public protests, he said on Monday June 20, 2011 that dialogue could lead to a new constitution and even the end of his Baath party's monopoly on power but refused to reform Syria under "chaos." He said dialogue was underway that could lead to a new constitution and raised the possibility of elections and an end to the ruling Baath party's dominance, a key opposition demand. However, opposition says it is too late to hold back change in Syria. Following Assad's speech on Monday, pro-democracy activists said the three-month-old "revolt" in Syria must go on. They said his speech only deepened the crisis. The Coordination Committee, an umbrella group of activists calling for street protests, called for "the revolution to carry on until all its aims have been achieved."

According to many politicians and analysts in Syria, the government of long time President Assad is enjoying its last moments in power. Having announced a series of reforms following the riot was given a kick start in wider parts of the country, Assad has failed to talk into the angry protestors. The opposition, political activists and human rights organizations say, Bashar Al-Assad didn't like but was forced to concede some of the reforms that Syrians were denied from since his Father, Hafiz Assad, came to power following 1963 coup d'état.

In addition to the long standing opposition, International pressure on Syria has increased recently. According to a statement on the website of Erdogan's office on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "underlined the necessity to speed up the reform process in Syria in order to meet the demands of the Syrian people". Reiterating his country's stance against Syria's recent developments, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Monday that Assad should have been more "clear-cut" in promises of reform during a speech Monday, Anatolia news agency reported. "One must read between the lines in his speech. He should say loud and strong in a clear-cut manner: ... 'We are passing to a pluralist system, we will organize democratic elections that conform to international standards,'" Anatolia quoted Gul as telling journalists.

European officials have also expressed deep concerns on current events in Syria and the country's forces brutal crackdown against public protests. However, Syria's neighboring foe has predicted collapse of Assad's government in a near future. In an interview with the Associated Press, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Assad might be forced out within six months.

With the expanding international support for pro-democracy protestors, indications say that Syria will also join countries that faced regime change or, at least, recognized remarkable democratic reforms. Syrian protestors have learnt great lessons from Arab world revolutions and would prefer not to concede so easily. In consequence, Syria will surely continue seeing further stages of public demonstrations and international pressures on Assad's government to abide by the public demands to quit power. Not much time has remained for his decade-long government to keep monopoly on power. The Syrian protestors have had enough chances to express wrath against the government and demand democratic reforms. Their voices are now heard globally. The regional and international countries have enhanced pressures against Assad's government. However, he still enjoys full support and crackdown assistance from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah.