"The Syrians initially assumed that the international community would intervene at some point. They assumed that, in the end, it would not leave them to fend for themselves. In the event, too many signals came from the international community that encouraged armed opposition groups to escalate the situation. There were numerous indications of international support. But words were not followed by deeds. All that followed were sanctions. But these hit civilians harder than the regime."
Peter Harling, Crisis Group’s Project Director for Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, speaks to Deutsche Well about the transformation of the Syrian opposition