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Fox News alert on our top story of the day and the spiraling bloodshed in Syria.
New reports -- -- -- regime is using helicopter gunships and tanks as rebel forces battle for control of the city of -- -- well.
This as activists warn of another massacre in the works.
A -- was Syria's largest city by population.
At a major commercial hub just north of the capital city of Damascus so are we seeing a pivotal moment in the eighteen month old uprising.
Joining me now to discuss -- former US ambassador to the UN for special political affairs Stuart Holliday.
He's also the president of the meridian international center.
And ambassadors good of you to join us today thank you so much I've -- related to the point of it what does this mean.
And in terms of what we're seeing is this a pivotal moment in the bloodshed in Syria.
Absolutely well first of all there's a great potential for -- -- -- massacre is these fixed wing.
Aircraft and helicopters -- a lot -- -- looks like the rebels.
Are making a a concerted efforts it to repel the regime but.
When you see here is -- the rebels were able to hold on and pushed back and look like I think you're really spells the end of the Assad regime.
On the other hand the Syrian military has a lot of resources to put it -- and I think the next hours -- tell a lot about where how long the Asad regime last.
Ambassador this has been -- for -- several months now let's remind people what's at the root of this civil war in Syria.
And with sir what is it and how will this escalation of violence impact the Middle East.
-- the really two issues here one is internal to -- you've got this -- whiteman my minority government the Asad regime.
Offense Al -- the -- father -- -- with an iron fist.
And this is really part of the whole sort of Arab Spring.
Movement to get more popular.
A participation government that said it's also proxy conflict between Iran.
And the Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the region they're really see Syria as the pivotal pivotal pivotal battle ground.
In this overarching struggle between Iran and the other countries.
-- and so this is a critically important issue.
That has -- be a potential of spilling over into the region.
Which is another reason why it is so -- -- the -- it's been going on there today and as you've mentioned it now appears there is no end in sight.
To the bloodshed in -- in fact some observers believe Syrian forces will carry out a massacre.
In the city of a level what they do not receive some help in someone's going in there to stop.
And quell the violence.
How do you see an end to this violence.
What they -- in the -- -- term you've seen some very powerful blows inflicted on the regime these defections by -- high level diplomats and government officials.
The that the loss of the force senior national security officials and in Damascus.
But what you have here is the Syrian government withdrawing from most the secondary cities and making a stand in a lot -- in Damascus.
And really it's -- it's a war of attrition.
With the rebels being supplied and having the sort of fight it out and strike blows until the the people turn on on the regime.
But it's going to be touch and go over the next I think couple of days.
An ambassador as you know the world can't just sit idly by and watch what takes place United States and other western nations for example went to impose tougher sanctions.
What Syria to stop the violence and now Russia is now joining others in the course sounding the alarm that a tragedy is looming and -- left well.
But here's the -- Russia's foreign minister -- rob Roth says it's unrealistic to expect the Syrian army to allow rebel forces to have their way.
So is Russia taking with Russia taking this approach it appears that they are still on the side of Syria.
Well I think the Russians are changing their tune while they're still opposing any sanctions at the UN they started sending signals about potentially.
Looking at evacuating their forces there at the naval stuff -- sold -- they have so I think that what they're doing is creating a little bit more space in the event that there is this.
Civilian -- -- -- takes place so that they don't have.
The blood of the lamb on their hands which -- course yes it is something that they that that they are appear to be in a position absolutely.
Absolutely ambassador -- -- -- up a series aside has been through a tough two week period.
But the factions and -- military -- rubble bomb blasts that took place in Damascus killing four of his top security officials.
But he's seems to be locked in and he's launching -- vicious counteroffensive that were witnessing right now.
Is it too late for rush is it too late for the United States or western countries to get these people to the table to at least.
Work through this civil war through diplomacy.
I'm afraid -- the the UN plan appears to be dead in the water column I do think that you could get a a regional group together but -- -- gonna have to go.
And I think anything short of that is not going to be acceptable to the people so it's really not a matter of of if but a matter of when.
And the only diplomacy I think they can take places to jets the Turks the Russians.
You know beat the countries that have an influence on this to create a context for -- -- to step down and one can only.
Over there listening to you sir and perhaps creating something and atmosphere to its cause a break in the violence there and find some way to -- resolve this.
But as you mention it doesn't appear in case investors -- -- joining us this afternoon thank you sir.
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