The long-promised peace conference aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis has been given a start date of January 22. The conference will be held in Geneva and will be the first talks to include representatives of the regime and the opposition.
The main Syrian opposition group to the presently ruling Baathist regime of Bashar al-Assad has declared that it plans to start talks on Monday in Istanbul in order to establish a new cabinet and appoint a new Prime Minister.
Mideast crisis continues as Russia admits to Bashar al-Assad 'losing control' of Syria. Syria's chemical weapons could be ready for usage as Assad's forces fire scud missiles at rebels. Assad could be removed from power before or during March 2013.
As European nations consider lifting the arms embargo to the Syrian opposition, Iran, a traditional ally of Syria, warns that arming the rebels could further destabilize the region and increase the risks of terrorism.
The United States on Sunday declared its support for the Syrian National Coalition against the regime of President Assad. The move follows British Prime Minister David Cameron's suggestion that the west should provide arms to the Syrian rebels.
As the raging violence in Syria continues to take its toll on civilians -- with the recent mass-murder at Houla bearing particular salience -- one feels the need to re-examine the perceived necessity for military intervention.
A Free Syrian Army soldier preparing to fire a rocket launcher.
Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Syrian Opposition Coalition Chairman Ahmed Assi al-Jarba during the United Nations General Assembly at the Waldorf Astoria in New York September 24, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Joshua Lott
Ahmed Jarba, head of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Bayan Palace in Kuwait December 8, 2013