Fletcher in the News

What Next on Syria After UNSC Disunity: Prof. Ibrahim Warde Weighs In

After Syria Resolution Fails, U.S. to Consider Sanctions, Arming Rebels

The United States has begun exploring alternate options to stem the bloodshed in Syria after China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on President Bashar al-Assad to cede power.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called for an international coalition of countries that ""support the Syrian people's right to have a better future" and said the U.S. would tighten sanctions intended to block the flow of weapons to the Syrian regime. Russia and China, both of whom condemned the U.N. resolution as a violation of Syria's sovereignty, are among Syria's leading arms suppliers.

"We will work to seek regional and national sanctions against Syria and strenghten the ones we have," Clinton told reporters in Sofia, Bulgaria, according to al-Jazeera. "They will be implemented to the fullest to dry up the sources of funding and the arms shipments that are keeping the regime's war machine going."

While it is unclear whether such sanctions would significantly undermine the Assad regime, they will at least buy some time for behind the scenes negotiations aimed at getting Assad to step down or agree to a national unity government, according to Ibrahim Warde, a professor at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

"Politically, in terms of public opinion and the expectations of the international community, I think the most likely thing to happen is further sanctions as a way of showing discontent with Assad's policies," Warde said.

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