As fighting inside Syria intensifies and the opposition there renews its plea to the world for help, the Obama administration’s hands-off approach is increasingly at odds with both America’s values and its interests.
Some have suggested that recent gains by the rebels — including offensives in Damascus and Aleppo, the assassination of key regime officials and several high-profile defections — prove that the Syrian opposition is on the path to victory and does not need our assistance.
Unfortunately, while opposition fighters inside the country have grown more capable in recent months, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is far from finished and is now unleashing even more indiscriminate violence against civilians, using tanks and artillery, helicopter gunships, militias, snipers and, for the first time, fighter aircraft.
Iran and Hezbollah are bolstering this assault with far-reaching material support because its leaders recognize that Assad’s fall would inflict a critical blow on them. Russia and China, meanwhile, continue to provide diplomatic cover for Assad’s brutality.