The major threat in the Middle East to international peace is Syria's civil war, not the rhetorical battles between Iran and an Israel that claims to be straining against its American leash.
Among the latest developments in the Syrian humanitarian crisis, China and Russia have reaffirmed their opposition to a forced regime change; Turkey and Japan joined 11 other countries in expelling Syrian diplomats, and the U.N.’s Human Rights Council is due to meet to discuss the massacre in the city of Houla.
Despite news of the Syrian government's acceptance of a peace plan brought in by special envoy Kofi Annan a day before, by Wednesday it was clear that those headlines didn't mean much in the way of actual progress in Syria.
Former United Nations secretary-general and current U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said Tuesday that his bid to get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (above) and his administration to accept a peace plan Annan proposed has been successful. Enacting it, however, is another matter.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov signaled a shift in his country's position vis-à-vis the ongoing crisis in Syria, indicating that Russia may be willing to cooperate more with the U.N. Security Council's proposed plan, but with some stipulations.