The first day of what is expected to be a protracted struggle at the UN Security Council for a resolution against Syria has passed, with hours of deliberations showing very little progress.
The Arab League is pushing a resolution demanding Syrian President Bashar Assad immediately step down. The resolution is eagerly backed by NATO member nations, but is almost certain to be vetoed by Russia.
Russia’s concern centers around fears that NATO or the Arab League would use the resolution as an excuse to invade Syria if Assad doesn’t step down. Most of the speeches from NATO and Arab League members consisted of mocking Russia and insisting this was a “conspiracy theory.”
And while everyone was insisting today that the threat of war was a myth, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have both been pushing for debate on putting Arab League troops on the ground in Syria, and NATO member Turkey is also seen to be considering an invasion to create a “humanitarian corridor” in the nation’s north.
Those pushing the UN resolution point to the growing civil war between the government and the defector forces loyal to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). There is significant doubt, however, that the resolution would settle anything between the two factions, even if it did convince Assad to transfer power to his deputy.
Russia, for its part, has sought to start negotiations between the Assad regime and opposition forces, but the interventionist elements in the international community seem to be averse to it, and the Syrian National Council (SNC) has ruled out any negotiations under any circumstances.