The Wall Street Journal reports: With a U.S. attack on Syria on hold, Western-backed rebels said they feared they had lost their best chance of promptly ousting President Bashar al-Assad and sidelining Islamist extremists.
Rebels in Syria, already frustrated with delays in promised U.S. military aid, said on Wednesday that they gave up on the prospect of decisive foreign help after President Barack Obama asked Congress to delay a vote on striking Syria.
Mr. Obama put U.S. military momentum on pause on Tuesday night to give time for diplomacy to run its course, after a Russian proposal that Damascus hand over its chemical weapons, an effort to avert an attack.
The Obama administration moved on Wednesday to follow up on the Russian proposal, with Secretary of State John Kerry heading to Geneva to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Britain, France and the U.S. presented proposals for a Security Council resolution to Russia in New York on Wednesday, though a Western diplomat said negotiations on a text wouldn’t begin until after the outcome of the Kerry-Lavrov meetings.
“The revolution is dead. It was sold,” said Mohammad al-Daher, a commander in the rebels’ Western-backed Free Syrian Army. “People used to assume that Assad will be gone, no question. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that he remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country.” [Continue reading…]