This Reuters dispatch does a decent job in communicating the essentials of the Syrian question, as we near the end of 2013:
Western concerns have moved on from toppling Assad to how to stop jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda;
The U.S. position is that the opposition must negotiate with the regime and agree on a roadmap;
The West is switching from an Arab Spring narrative to a counter-terrorism narrative;
The international consensus in support of the opposition and militarization of the conflict is no longer there;
U.S. and Russian officials are privately discussing what organs of the Syrian state would remain and at what level – who would have to go and who would have to stay
Militarily, the regular army is surrounding rebels and jihadist mercenaries in Damascus and Aleppo.
It does indeed look like both Aleppo and Damascus are being turned into a Stalingrad for jihadists: no supplies, no air support, a generally hostile population, while Syrian air raids kill rebel commanders
Are we allowed to suggest that one faction of the oligarchic transnational clique has concluded that the infighting in Syria is a smart way to get rid of Islamist sociopaths? That would greatly displease Netanyahu who, like most if not all Israeli leaders, is working towards a scenario in which all their neighbours (and Iran) are destabilised and weakened. An agenda which, apparently, finds few, if any, advocates at the present time, in Washington and Moscow. Only Paris and London appear to be prepared to go along with this suicidal plan.
This tug of war explains why the Syrian National Coalition has first agreed to peace talks with the regime:
But, almost instantly, has changed its mind forcing the Guardian to retract: “This was an editorial decision that didn’t reflect the Syrian National Coalition’s stance and has since been corrected. Thanks”
Meanwhile, Israel is eager to play extra-time before conceding defeat: “The Jerusalem Post reported in October that 15 North Korean helicopter pilots were operating in Syria “on behalf of President Bashar Assad’s regime” and said the report had been confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Other reports have identified North Korean artillery officers as being in Syria, although they were said not to be directing fire. North Korea has longstanding ties with Syria and constructed a plutonium reactor there that was destroyed by an Israeli strike in 2007. It also has links with Syria’s chemical weapons programme”.