China and Russia on Wednesday reiterated their stance against military intervention in Syria despite soaring international condemnation in the wake of a massacre that killed more than 100, including children.
"One cannot take decisions on military operations in Syria by being guided by only emotions," Russian first deputy foreign minister, Andrei Denisov, was quoted as saying by the nation's state-run Itar-Tass news agency.Denisov was responding to a statement by French President Francois Hollande, who accused Beijing and Moscow of blocking efforts to impose tough measures against the Syrian regime.China urged the warring sides in Syria to resume diplomatic dialogue and support a peace plan by international envoy Kofi Annan."China opposes military intervention and does not support forced regime change," said Liu Weimin, a foreign ministry spokesman. "The fundamental route to resolving the Syrian issue is still for all sides to fully support Annan's mediation efforts and push all the relevant parties to carry out diplomatic dialogue."China and Russia have vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning President Bashar al-Assad's regime for attacks on protesters."We believe that considering any new measures to affect the situation would be premature for the Security Council," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Russia's Interfax news agency.
One has to wonder at this point what al-Assad would have to do in order for new measures to become necessary, but there is room enough for caution here. Syria would not be Libya and the dynamics of intervention would be significantly different in a number of key ways, most notably with Syria's proximity to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey...and oh yeah, Israel along the Golan Heights.
Any action in Syria would put Western allies in a serious bind, not to mention Syria is a majority Sunni Muslim nation (75% or so) with pretty much zero Shi'ites, and that's not going to go over well with Iraq or Saudi Arabia (unless both nations decide to look the other way if we go after al-Asaad's Alawite sect to put the Sunnis in power, which would piss off all the Shi'ites.)
The thing is Syria actually has an Army and Air Force, even a Navy (and it's not old Soviet era surplus, either.) There's a reason why China and Russia are so quick to block intervention, al-Assad has been a good customer. It wouldn't be a cakewalk, and who knows what would happen with the long borders with Iraq and Turkey.
The great Muddle-Through continues, I guess.