POMED / THE WEEKLY WIRE 24.12.2012 – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah proclaimed earlier this week, “Anyone who thinks that the armed opposition is capable of [winning] the military battle is very mistaken,’” referring to the conflict in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on the other hand, suggested that Assad is losing power and re-iterated Russia’s position that “only a negotiated agreement could ‘prevent a breakup of the country and an endless civil war.’” Putin drew parallels to Libya where he asserted that “intervention by…Western nations had caused more harm than good” given Libya’s continuing instability. Putin expressed concern that the Assad government and the Syrian opposition would just trade places, “with the rebels in power but with the fighting unabated.”

The U.N.’s special commission on Syria released a new report that stated the conflict between government forces and the opposition had “become overtly sectarian in nature.” Accounts of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law are also addressed in the report.

Colum Lynch spoke of “mounting concern” that Assad’s overthrow would “trigger the dissolution of the Syrian state…generating the kind of sectarian violence and chaos” that was seen in Iraq in 2003, and that a U.N. force would not be able to address such a crisis. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated, “We do not see any prospect of any end of violence or any prospect of political dialogue to start.”

Chatham House released a briefing paper outlining the effects of Syrian conflict on Turkey, and how Turkey has changed its foreign policy in support of Assad’s overthrow.