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Time to Think About Helping Syrian Rebels

Support appears to be building, at least among Syrians, for some of the steps I suggested in this Weekly Standard editorial about how to topple Bashar Assad. In today’s New York Times I note the following:

A senior defector from the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in an interview that if outside countries armed the opposition rebels, it could inflict serious damage on the Assad government. The official, a former ambassador who fled to Istanbul from Syria last week, said Mr. Assad’s state security apparatus was operating in up to 50 locations in Syria. He argued that surgical strikes, in conjunction with a buffer zone inside Syria put into effect by Turkey, would prove fatal to the government.

Opposition officials said the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian National Council and the Turkish government had been engaged in talks in recent days over the formation of a buffer zone in the event of a huge number of refugees.

Buffer zones and air strikes could indeed help to end the regime–and with it Syria’s growing suffering. These options should be seriously considered, and the Obama administration should lend its weight to them.



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