On June 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad declared that Syria is now officially at war. “We live in a real state of war from all angles,” he announced during a speech broadcast on state television. “When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.”
In one sense, Assad was just stating the obvious. Much of the country is locked in war, and has been for many months. But in another sense, his announcement marks an escalation in the conflict. Even more than that, it may also indicate a sense of growing desperation within the ruling regime.