Speaking on BBC News, Carnegie's Marwan Muasher explained that with the crisis in Syria at an impasse and the violent massacre that left over 100 dead in the town of Houla, it appears that the international community does not plan to take military action. Given the Obama administration's focus on the election campaign, the war-weary mood of the country, and Russian and Chinese objections to military maneuvers, it is likely that the situation in Syria will remain unchanged. Moreover, noted Muasher, “the Syrian opposition is divided and weak and has not come up with a clear plan for the day after.” Kofi Annan’s six point plan has not been implemented and the Assad regime does not want to engage in a political process that will lead to a transition and the opposition is not ready for one.

The Houla massacre has resulted in the first indications of Russian and American cooperation with the Security Council statement signed by the Chinese and Russian condemning the violence, Muasher added. Nonetheless there remains a vacuum of consensus. Even the Arab league is unable to present a unified opinion, as the Gulf States support arming the rebels and most of the Arab states oppose this option. Commenting on the increasing complexity of the situation, Muasher noted, “this is all going to take some time, I’m afraid.”