Middle East

World press surprise at how Syrian conflict plays out

Image caption Syrians rally in support of the regime on the first anniversary of the anti-regime revolt

Many newspapers across the world are taking stock of the first year of the uprising in Syria, and judging that President Bashar al-Assad's regime has so far come out on top.

In the Middle East, some papers applaud the opposition fighters for withstanding government attempts to suppress them for so long. Others are surprised at how the conflict is developing into a long-term struggle that diplomacy cannot influence.

One Russian paper editorial sees an end in sight with the eventual departure of Mr Assad, while a Chinese newspaper's staunch opposition to outside pressure on Damascus remains undimmed.


One of the elements that has boosted Assad's courage is that the West is not willing to intervene militarily in Syria, in contrast to Libya. Assad still has nothing to fear in this respect... If we summarize the tragic balance-sheet of Syria's last year, Assad and his supporters are in profit and those who revolted against him are in loss. However the real bill is being paid by the people.

Pan-ArabAl-Quds Al-Arabi

For the opponents of the regime to stay steadfast for more than 12 months in different cities in the face of fierce military and security forces is amazing in every sense of the word. However, the question that remains is: How long will this steadfastness continue with the significant decline of Arab and international support that is being witnessed?


When the uprising started in Syria exactly a year ago, everyone knew it was going to be tough and harsh but no-one expected it to be so bloody... Now, a year after the start of the revolution, the solution still seems to be far away, as neither the regime has crushed the revolution nor the revolution overthrown the regime.

Qatar's Al-Rayah

The events of a whole year have proved that the Syrian people have taken an irrevocable decision to seize their freedom and dignity regardless of the sacrifices.

Lebanon's Al-Nahar

The Syrian crisis has entered the stage of attrition at all levels. It is not clear how and when this could end.

Jordan's Al-Dustur

I will not feel sorry for the regime's departure or feel happy if the opposition wins... The exit from the Syrian crisis comes from inside Syria and not from other capitals or satellite TV channels. The legitimacy of the opposition comes not from the support of Washington and its allies, but from the free will of Syrians.

Pan-ArabAl-Sharq al-Awsat

No diplomat, even if they have Annan's intellect, can reach a solution with Assad and other tyrants like him. Diplomacy cannot convince the Assad regime to act contrary to its political trend since a regime that arose from violence, and continued to power through massacres, mass arrests and corruption, cannot act contrary to its nature.

Russia's Moskovsky Komsomolets

The Guardian has obtained hundreds of letters from the hacked mailbox of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad... It gives rise to suspicions that this is a case of misinformation generated by sources close to the government - especially since the letters allegedly came straight from the president's personal mailbox, which supposedly lacked proper security. And that is hard to believe. Such regimes take security and confidentiality very seriously indeed.

Russia'sMoskovskiye Novosti

Assad showed himself as a strong figure who has the support of around half of the country's population. However he was unable to carry out the requisite reforms in time... In my view, ahead of the anniversary of the Syrian conflict, Russia, which unequivocally supported Assad for a long period of time, has adopted a course for his gradual removal from power. The idea is for the Syrian president to retain power so that he can later give it up voluntarily. It seems that the West is leaning towards the same idea.

China's Huanqiu Shibao (Global Times)

What Western countries want are naked interests. Why else would they turn a blind eye to democratic reform in Syria and insist on overthrowing it? The scenes that occurred last year in Iraq and Libya are being repeated in Syria. The Bashar regime is after all the legitimate government of a sovereign state, irrespective of whether it is good or bad. A country's affairs can only be handled by that country itself and a country's path can only be chosen by the people of that country. This is a basic principle of modern international relations.

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