Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain say they were recalling their ambassadors from Syria to discuss the situation.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah condemned violence in Syria in a rare show of public anger at a fellow Arab leader.
“There is no justification for the bloodshed in Syria, and what is happening has nothing to do with religion or ethics,” he said in remarks broadcast on state television early Monday. “The Syrian leadership could activate comprehensive reforms quickly.”
Things are getting rather dire when countries who are not shy about violently crushing any internal dissent, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are condemning Syiria as going too far.
Hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed since the offensive against protesters began last week. Using tanks against civilians is really the last chance saloon for the Assad government.
Tanks have a degree of impersonality. There is a degree of detachment and anonymity between those pulling the trigger and their targets. Already the fot soldiers of the Syrian army have shown signs in isolated cases of refusing to fire directly on civilians.
If the tanks squadrons waver then it is all over for President Assad.
Increased violence from the government has been met by increased protests. It has been like a game of poker for months with each side changing the stakes. Who will blink first? Probably the govenrnment. The protesters have gone past the point where they can go back.
Once significant amounts of blood have been spilt then they will feel that if they give up, they will be dishonouring the sacrifice that others have already made.
Syria is too culturally fragmented and the terrain too insurgent freindly for the government to put the lid back on the bottle, and restore totalitarian calm to the nation.
Assad’s only hope is for external intervention to back his cause. History shows us that in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and even this year in Bahrain, that when a government has lost control, the people can still be subdued with overwhelming external help.
For President Assad, it is unlikely that there is any cavalry coming over the hill to save him. It is just a question of how many more of his people will die before he falls.