Middle East

One year on, press sees little hope for Syria

Children with a Syrian independence flag during a demonstration against President Bashar al-Assad in Hazzano, Idlib province
Image caption Protests against the government are continuing in Syria

Newspapers in the region greet the first anniversary of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with little optimism for a solution to the crisis. In Lebanon, one commentator urges the warring sides to back down with "great honour" to end the bloodshed.

The anniversary comes on the eve of United Nations-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan's address to the UN Security Council on his recent peace mission to Syria - which some papers brand a "failure". In Syria itself, "unity" rallies are being staged by both government and the opposition groups at various locations across the country.

Syrian state TV devotes considerable coverage to the pro-Assad rallies, broadcasting split screen footage of large crowds in up to eight locations at a time. Newspaper commentators cite the international response to clashes in Gaza as an indication of an innate bias in global politics.

The tone of Russian and Chinese commentators echoes that of their governments in calling for a political solution to the crisis.


Ahmad Fa'iz al-Fawaz in Lebanon's Al-Safir

The national crisis in Syria has been escalating for a year. There is no sign of hope of a solution appearing in the foreseeable future... the ongoing security-military situation, the armed action, the internationalisation of the case and the entry of many parties makes an internal political solution or a political settlement very difficult and almost impossible.

Sati Nur-al-Din in Lebanon's Al-Safir

Image caption Footage of pro-government rallies has been aired on Syrian state TV

It was not originally a revolution. It was civil disobedience that turned into an armed rebellion and then to a civil war that will only end with a winner and a loser... Withdrawing from a civil war is a great honour for anyone who takes this step, regardless of his identity and no matter how close he is to victory, because victory without blood is bigger, stronger and more enduring.

Jihad al-Mumni in Jordan's Al-Ra'y

Everything that is going on now in the Syrian cities and villages as a result of victories for the regime's army is nothing but the fruit of the global fear of Syria's fall into the jaws of extremism and, above all, the hatred of the West.

Editorial in Saudi Al-Riyadh

The attempt to settle the situation via delegates like former UN Secretary-General Annan and others is a waste of time for the Syrian people, who are being slaughtered through Western-Eastern collusion.


Isam Dari in Tishrin

We did not hear a voice for the League of Arab 'States' when the Israeli warplanes were raiding the Gaza Strip and precisely the innocent civilians, as if this aggression is taking place in a remote area.

Hasan Hasan in Al-Thawrah

The Zionist entity has been acting recklessly, killing and destroying and victims have been falling for days while the world is covering its ears and eyes and maintaining a suspicious silence. The world is always with Israel regardless of the massacres and the hideous things it does, the laws and rights it violates, the international resolutions it ignores and the relations, customs and ethics it disrupts.


Konstantin Volkov in Russia's Izvestiya

The Syrian government has set the parliamentary election for 7 May. Thus Damascus is showing that it is continuing the democratic reforms demanded by the opposition. However, not all of the opponents of the incumbent president are ready to move to the constitutional field and take part in the voting. Moreover, the Syrians should expect calls for a boycott, threats and terrorist attacks in the near future.

Li Yida in China's Renmin Ribao

After going through a year-long crisis, what the Syrian people feel the most is physical and mental fatigue... The world is worried about re-entering a Cold War and that various forces will jockey for a favourable position in the new structure after the major changes in the Arab world in order to grab oil, money and resources.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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