DAMASCUS, March 15 (Xinhua) -- As the Syrian crisis literally enters its third year on Friday, the salient feature of the current situation on ground is a combination of political and military stalemate, economic squeeze and social problems with no concrete solutions in sight.
For many Syrians, the crisis is getting deeper and may move toward fragmentation. While some draw an even dimmer picture, saying Syria is more likely descending into the abyss akin to what had happened in Lebanon during its 15-year-old civil war in the 1980s.
Politically, neither side of the conflict is willing to show leniency. Instead, they stick to their respective conditions for any political solution.
The Syrian government has called for an unconditional national dialogue, and refused the opposition's demand that dialogue would start only after the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.
Over the past two years, dozens of meetings have been held in regional and European countries under the sponsorship of big powers to work out a palatable formula to end the crisis. But practically, none of them has achieved any breakthrough.
Most recently, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the European Union (EU) had lately worked on the idea to prepare a list with the names of Syrian officials who are acceptable by the National Syrian Coalition to start dialogue with.
However, the spokesman of the coalition, Walid al-Bunni, disdained the idea of talking with Damascus representatives "so long as the dialogue would start after Assad's departure."
As their efforts stalled on finding a solution to protect civilians caught in the crossfire of the Syrian conflict, some Western countries are getting to be afraid of extremism that is believed to be on the rise in Syria.
Al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for dozens of suicide attacks inside Syria that had claimed the lives of numerous innocent civilians, while the infiltration of Jihadists, reportedly hailing from many countries to fight alongside the Syrian rebels, only put people's nerves on edge.
France and the United States have intensified efforts to cooperate with Russia to achieve a political solution to the Syrian crisis on the basis of the Geneva Conference that calls for a transitional government and an immediate cessation of violence.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that what America and the world want is a cessation of killing in Syria, calling on Damascus and the opposition to sit around a negotiation table to "establish a transitional government."
Yet, amid the call for peaceful solutions, a stark sign of the West's division can be observed as some keep tarring on arming the rebels to tilt the balance in the fight against Assad's troops. On Thursday, Britain and France said that they would push the EU to lift the arms embargo on Syria so as to be able to provide the rebels with arms.