The U.S. has allowed an extension of the Annan plan for 30 days, but now openly seeks to cobble together a coalition of the willing to work in tandem with the Friends of Syria. Assad has for the first time openly confirmed the existence of Syrian chemical warfare agents. Among the defections from the Syrian regime is the former head of the Syrian chemical weapons program. Assad has called back units from the border with Israel in order to fight insurgents in Damascus and Aleppo. The borders with Turkey and Iraq have rapidly become matters of concern for the respective governments, with Syrian rebels taking and sometimes holding border crossings. Assad admitted the existence of chemical weapons to make clear that all options are on the table with respect to tactics used to repel outside military intervention in the Syrian conflict. Russia's admonition is that, in effect, as soon as the existence of these weapons stockpiles are admitted Syria is party to international law forbidding their use. Assad has been offered safe escape, but only by those who have not stopped or may be party to the funding and supply of the revolutionary forces. The impending showdown means the inevitable flood of outside agents including reporters and journalists, etc. The prisoner-exchange scenario might emerge, but also if a Yemen-style transfer of power is effected one might wonder weather drone strikes are on the horizon for Syria.
The U.N has functioned as a deliberative mechanism used by those who cannot resolve together to form the logical consequence of implied by the mutual assumptions defining the context of discussion. The form of international law is such that the prohibitions on use of the type of weapons which most nations involved manufacture and keep themselves are of type which serve as a warning to those who use them that there will be a price. This price is exacted as a function of the international system of mutual reinforcement of functional norms. The specifics of the case here are that Syria is threatening to use these weapons in self-defence in the type of event which the U.N. is supposed to prevent. The Assad regime will understand that the stakes have been set such that only conventional means may be used in the event of a crisis or emergency situation involving military intervention or response by outside forces.
The role of the U.S. in this astonishing and unprecedented sequence of events is not to be underestimated but nor is it to be overemphasised. The tactical and logistical finesse of the rebel campaign can only exist on a web of diffuse relations between parties of various types (individuals, businesses, government agencies, etc.). The accession of Russia to the WTO can be interpreted as a shift of global capital to a globalized hegemony which relegates the U.S. to the role of "key player" rather than sole determinant. The regime of Assad is facing the stark truth that their national capabilities are not sufficient to withstand a siege of any duration. The rebels acknowledge that their expansive presence across the country is a tactical victory, but admit that they have not attempted to place themselves in a position to strike a decisive blow against the regime. Instead, they will not wait as unilateral sanctions are imposed and the refugee situation worsens. In Turkey, eight people were injured during a protest by Syrian refugees in their Turkish camp. The penetration of the Free Syrian Army will allay the plight of the people and win confidence to their cause if their network is able to maintain a communications and distribution network sufficient to enable a continued isolation of the regime and its supporters.