The diplomatic stalemate in Syria has been highlighted by three recent developments. First was last weekend’s defiant speech by President Bashar al-Assad. Then there came the decision by armed Syrian opposition groups to disÂregard the nominal ceasefire brokered by Kofi Annan. Third was the formation of yet another group opposing the Syrian regime, thus fracÂturÂing the already split opposition still more.
This stalemate and the attendant confusion are nudging Syria into civil war. Syrian Christians, for their part, are left as helpless observers, unÂcertain whether to commit themselves to a besieged regime or to opposition groups, often indistinguishable from radical Islamists, which present differing and sometimes worrying visions of the future.