In contrast to Libya, Syria became the scene of a revolt that almost immediately went off script: the majority of Syria’s population remain the government’s loyalists, and the Syrian army never disintegrated into warring factions. According to Western estimates, the rebel forces in Syria combined with the relatively small bunch of army defectors are outnumbered by at least a factor of four by the regular army which is also much better armed. The attacks launched by guerrillas on the regions where most of the residents are traditionally hostile to B. Assad and the attempts to cause the people to rebel are at the moment being successfully suppressed, while the opposition’s street marches typically run into response rallies staged by the supporters of the legitimate authority. Importantly, Russia and China strongly hold their own in the UN and block whatever Security Council resolutions that might be read as authorizing an intervention against Syria. As a result, the key objective behind the revolt in the country — to unleash a full-blown civil war in Syria — at the moment stays out of reach for those who orchestrated the unrest.