“Sweeping sanctions or military intervention against Syria unlikely”

The Syrian opposition dismissed a decree from President Bashar Assad allowing for a multiparty government system. Meanwhile, international players do not seem to be in a hurry to intervene in yet another conflict in the Middle East.

­It comes as the UN Security Council condemned the escalating violence in Syria, demanded an end to bloodshed and called for internal political dialogue. It is reported that the Syrian opposition stronghold of Hama has been overrun by government forces, with witnesses saying there have been many casualties.

France says it may seek further action from the Security Council if the killing continues.

James Lobe, Washington bureau chief for the Inter Press Service news agency, noted that there is no consensus among international experts on the future of the Assad regime. He believes, however, that foreign military intervention is highly unlikely regardless of what scenario unfolds.

“There is a consensus that direct foreign intervention, at least at this point, is not going to lead to a stable and satisfactory result,” he told RT. “I think people have Iraq very much on their minds. And I think also that failure to reach any kind of decisive end to the situation in Libya has also served to take the option of direct military intervention – at this time, anyway – off the table.”

In Lobe’s opinion, the foreign powers are currently trying to figure out what sanctions can be used against the Assad regime and what kind of support can be provided to the diffused opposition.

“There are many on Capitol Hill who are calling now for so-called sweeping sanctions, which is to say sanctions that are designed to cripple the economy, particularly against petroleum exports, in the belief that that will somehow bring the collapse of the regime on its own without a civil war,” he explained. “There’s also talk about what kinds of support to provide the opposition, whether it’s simply the kind of technical support for better communication, as well as moral support.”

At the same time, the journalist added that the Obama administration does not seem to be particularly enthusiastic about sweeping sanctions either.

“It has so many other things on its mind,” he concluded.