Update November 12, 2011: Arab League votes to suspend Syria from meetings in 4 days unless it ends bloodshed
The "Arab Spring" in Syria has turned into more of a "nuclear winter" for the unarmed civilians in Homs as Bashar al-Assad prepares for his endgame there!
"STRATFOR received word Thursday that senior Syrian army officers are advising their subordinates to evacuate their relatives from the Sunni-concentrated city of Homs. The army is preparing to intensify its ongoing crackdown in Syria’s most restive city. According to a source, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has instructed the Republican Guard to take necessary measures to “finish off” the uprising in Homs by the end of next week. Republican Guard commanders have also been instructed to spare the Al Nuzha and al Zahra sections of Homs from shelling, as these areas are populated predominantly by Alawites..."
... Al Assad does not want to create a situation in which its external rivals, from the United States to Turkey and France, reach the limits of their rhetoric. The regime can tolerate, and is even well-accustomed to, verbose diplomatic rebukes, but needs its rivals to keep the military option off the table. Several factors work in al Assad’s favor toward this end.
Syria is receiving a fair amount of press attention, but not in overwhelming measure. In fact, the global audience may even be growing accustomed to the daily reports of killings. A major escalation in Homs would certainly heighten interest in the happenings in Syria, but discussions on how to pressure the regime to reverse its course remain abstract exercises in thought.
Turkey, which neighbors Syria and has been the most vocal in issuing ultimatums against the al Assad regime, is the first country to look at in searching for a response. Plans to create a Turkish military buffer zone along the border — to serve as a haven for Syrian dissidents — are leaked regularly in the Turkish and Arab press and are meant to give al Assad pause. But Turkey is not prepared to take such action, especially lacking any clear indication that the al Assad regime is on its last legs, or that the threat of Kurdish separatism in the Syrian-Turkish borderland has reached a critical level..."