The decision on the part of Damascus to lay landlines near its borders with Lebanon and Turkey also tantamount to a breach of international protocol, to which Syria is a signatory. According to estimates, people are teeming on the borders irrespective of the fact that a crackdown on them is in vogue, which goes on to reflect the seriousness of crisis in one of the most geo-strategically important Arab country. With casualties coming its way on account of landmines, apart from an unending manhunt at the hands of security forces, the refuges issue is one of immediate attention. That is why calls from the Syrian opposition stalwarts, in and out of the country, are likely to gain momentum for intervention — and that too for a military onslaught. This is where the dispensation in Damascus has to rethink its policy of brinkmanship.
It is quite unfortunate that President Bashar Al Assad kept on furthering the stunt of ‘external elements’, as he tried to make a point in response to UN envoy Kofi Annan’s persuasion to walk an extra mile to negotiate with stakeholders across the board. Such hype will not help the reigning Baath party that has been marginalised to the core, and is in a fix in finding a political solution of the dispute. The only way left for Assad is to return from the brink, and start listening to what the international community and his people want from him. It is, however, a positive sign that none at the United Nations forum or regional allies are demanding a military action against the regime. Calls for intervention from the opposition are muted and doesn’t seem to have a constituency — and this is where politics of reconciliation could come to work.
Assad should see as an opportunity that Annan and the world body still want a diplomatic way out of the crisis. Isolating Syria by laying landmines will hardly work. The human explosion, coupled with regional implosion, is too deadly to be thwarted by acts of gimmicks. Syria should spell out a plan of action, rather than cementing its frontiers with potassium. Landmines can’t undermine the will to go ahead.