Syria's victory in dodging a U.N. resolution it deemed a license for regime change may only escalate its internal conflict into a full-fledged civil war that many analysts believe President Bashar al-Assad cannot ultimately win.
With the collapse of the sole diplomatic effort recognized by Assad's foes - both armed and in a split civilian opposition, the stage is set for deeper diplomatic isolation of Syria and perhaps a new flows of arms and money to Syria's insurgents.
"The worst effect of the veto is that it inflames, the civil war, intensifies it. We're no longer talking about a hypothetical civil war. We're now in the middle of a civil war. It's started," said Nabil Boumonsef, a columnist with Lebanon's an-Nahar daily.