Putin And Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama (right), meets with Russian President Putin in Los Cabos, Mexico. Reuters

Seventeen months into the Syrian crisis, with numerous worsening instances of blood-chilling violence and massacre, everything still stays the same because the big players are waiting for the right moment to intervene.

Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't seem to care even about making sense of his rhetoric on Russia's non-interventionist policy while Moscow took double standards to a newer low when it expressed great concern about the situation in Saudi Arabia last week.

Russian Human Rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov voiced his apprehensions about the situation in east Saudi following what he described as clashes between law enforcement and peaceful demonstrators in which two people were killed and more than 20 were wounded last Sunday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

However, the Saudi Interior Ministry said there had been no clashes between police and protesters in Awamiya, a Shia Muslim area in the oil-rich eastern part of the country, and two people had been killed by unknown assailants. The ministry slammed the Russian envoy's comments and condemned Moscow's unjustified interference in the Kingdom's internal affairs.

The rare public spat between Russia, Syrian President Assad's strong supporter, and Saudi which supports Syrian opposition, appeared to reflect the tensions between the nations over the 17-month-old Syrian uprising which, according to the opposition, has resulted in the death of over 17,000 people.

Though both versions of the incident in east Saudi - from governments whose human rights records are not that great - need to be taken with a pinch of salt, it is hard to not notice the absurdity of avoiding the elephant in the room -Syria - to go ahead and be concerned about the situation in the Gulf Kingdom.

On the ground, Syrian rebels have hit right at the heart of the regime with a bomb blast that killed three top Syrian officials, including the Defense Minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law.

The attack indicates that the regime and the rebels are gearing up for further escalation of the crisis which could prove detrimental for Syria's neighboring nations, and can worsen the refugee and humanitarian crisis.

Though Jordan's King Abdullah II termed the attack Wednesday a tremendous blow to the regime, he added that he didn't think it meant the Syrian regime was about to crumble immediately.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking to reporters ahead of the U.N. Security Council vote Wednesday, which was later postponed to Thursday due to lack of consensus, said the adoption of a tough, new Western-backed U.N. resolution on Syria would amount to direct support for opponents of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

To adopt the resolution would be...direct support for the revolutionary movement, Lavrov said. To pressure just one side means drawing [Syria] into a civil war and interference in the internal affairs of the state.

Russia has said it would veto the Security Council resolution because it does not believe that it should be placed under Chapter VII.

Putin appeared his usual self when he accused the West of trying to regain its economic influence by waging missile-bomb diplomacy and unilateral moves in violation of international law in Syria and refused to support U.N. vote to sanction the regime during his meeting with international envoy Kofi Annan in Moscow this week.

As much as the Syrian crisis has been in the focus, the tug-of-war between Russia and the West also dominated the public discourse with media reports analyzing what Syrian crisis meant to the relationship between the West and Russia.

With Russia refusing to give in to the international pressure, U.S. President Barack Obama had called Putin and the two had acknowledged differences over the issue of sanctions against Damascus, the White House said.

U.S. officials in May described the inaction as a holding pattern, waiting for Russia to forego Syria and for Syrian opposition to draw up a plan for the nation after Assad steps down.

You have the politics part of this plan, and you have what is really happening on the ground, an unnamed U.S. official was quoted as saying by the CNN. We are going to be in a bit of a holding pattern for a while, debating on whether this has succeeded or failed, and whether it was designed to fail.

Earlier this month, Annan acknowledged that his mission to end the violence had failed.

Evidently, we haven't succeeded, he said.

Three hundred U.N. observers, sent to monitor the ceasefire after President Bashar al-Assad accepted the proposal, had to suspend their work in early June due to the escalating violence.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay earlier in July said the flow of weapons to Syrian forces as well as the rebels had intensified the crisis.

Pillay didn't mention the names of the arms suppliers although Russia and Iran largely supply weapons to the Syrian regime. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are believed to be delivering arms to the opposition groups while the U.S. maintains that it supplies only non-lethal aid to the rebels.

The most senior Syrian official to defect to the opposition, Nawaf Fares, who was a former Syrian ambassador to Iraq, this week said that the Syrian regime would not hesitate to use chemical weapons in a desperate effort to survive, closely following earlier reports that Syria had started moving some parts of its huge stockpile of chemical weapons out of the storage.

U.S. officials reported last week that the Syrian government had started moving parts of its chemical weapons supply but were uncertain whether the move was a precautionary measure against safeguarding the stock from falling into the hands of the opposition or whether it was for something that can assure a catastrophe in the region.

There is virtually no room left for waiting for the crisis to go away by itself while the world powers indulge in allegations and counter-allegations of hidden agendas and double standards.

If the U.N. vote fails Thursday, which seems very likely, it's just a matter of time before Syria turns into a ghost of its past, going down in history as the 21st century Rwanda.