This week there was meant to be a peace conference to try and solve the syrian situation. There has been much wrangling over who will attend. First the rebels said they wouldn't attend. then they said they would.
Then it transpired that Iran wasnt invited. Then it was. Then it confirmed that it will attend. Then the rebels said that they won't attend. Then the invitation to Iran was withdrawn. Now Assad may decide to withdraw.
Unconnected countries like Mexico are allowed to attend but not Iran...
While this was going on, Qatar, a major backer of regime change in Syria had commissioned a UK agency to prepare a report on attrocities commited by the regime. It decided that today was the right day to release the report (pdf).
The report is horrific. It is based on the testimony of a police photographer who defected with a large collection of images, which added to other sources created acollection of 55,000 images of around 11,000 victims. Some of these images are currently doing the rounds in social media and they are horrific.
The only conclusion I can come to is Assad must be removed, the faster the better. 6 months or last year would have been better.
An issue is that the major backer of regime change in the world is often the US and it cannot be trusted. When there was a chance a few months ago that it may get involved, the majority of people were against this, mostly for other reasons than wanting Assad to survive.
(In all of this the role of George Galloway is most peculiar - he often stands up for the oppressed but in this case he inexplicable supports Assad's regime)
I don't think the rebel groups can be used to overthrow Assad as proxies - simply because not only are there are varying groups that are infighting, the chaos is leading to takfiri groups gaining power. While there is a plan to change this, it is long term.
For those interested, one plan is for the Saudi Arabia to unite and train some groups not afiliated with Alqaeda under the name of Jaish Islam. Anther internal plan by local Syrian scholars is to train a new army of sunni rebels comprising up to 100,000 over a period of two years. (I cannot recall the name for this alternative army. It is different from the Saudi supported one.)
But that is two years of suffering.
It is very dangerous for any other state - especially one bordering Syria - to get involved but there is no other way.
The hopes for the quickest cleanest resolution is with Turkey. However while the Prime Minister and the government does side with the rebels has much sympathy for its causes and has been arming the, I am not sure it has the internal unity to actually commit to a direct assault which would be required to not only defeat Assad's forces but also provide a chance for a peaceful and secure future.