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November 10, 2013
11:00 // 5 months ago
September 17, 2013
9:07 // 7 months ago
September 1, 2013
Assuming the U.S. Congress authorises them, Washington (together with some allies) soon will launch military strikes against Syrian regime targets. If so, it will have taken such action for reasons largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people. The administration has cited the need to punish, deter and prevent use of chemical weapons - a defensible goal, though Syrians have suffered from far deadlier mass atrocities during the course of the conflict without this prompting much collective action in their defence. The administration also refers to the need, given President Obama’s asserted “redline” against use of chemical weapons, to protect Washington’s credibility - again an understandable objective though unlikely to resonate much with Syrians. Quite apart from talk of outrage, deterrence and restoring U.S. credibility, the priority must be the welfare of the Syrian people. Whether or not military strikes are ordered, this only can be achieved through imposition of a sustained ceasefire and widely accepted political transition.
International Crisis Group (via soupsoup)

Maybe the “red line” should have been somewhere else.
12:28 // 7 months ago
August 31, 2013
14:26 // 7 months ago
August 28, 2013

Well, here we are. It’s been two years of fighting, over 100,000 people are dead, there are no signs of this war ending, and a week ago I used chemical weapons on my own people. If you don’t do anything about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. If you do something about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. Morally speaking, you’re on the hook for those deaths no matter how you look at it.

So, it’s your move, America. What’s it going to be?

"Bashar al-Assad," writing for The Onion, in an article titled "So, What’s It Going To Be?

After you’re done reading that, read this.
20:54 // 7 months ago
August 27, 2013
10:37 // 7 months ago
August 26, 2013
The above image was released via Twitter on Sunday morning, by an established Egypt blogger known as The Big Pharaoh, and seeks to drive home just how fractured relations between various Middle Eastern nations (along with a few non-regional parties) really are.  (Photo via @thebigpharaoh) source

The above image was released via Twitter on Sunday morning, by an established Egypt blogger known as The Big Pharaoh, and seeks to drive home just how fractured relations between various Middle Eastern nations (along with a few non-regional parties) really are.  (Photo via @thebigpharaoh) source

15:19 // 8 months ago
June 22, 2013

latimes:

Exclusive: U.S. has secretly provided training to Syrian rebels

Since late last year, CIA and U.S. operatives have been providing support to Syrian rebels, particularly for anti-tank and anti-aircraft armaments. 

The two-week courses include training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, as well as 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a rebel commander in the Syrian province of Dara who helps oversee weapons acquisitions and who asked his name not be used because the program is secret.

The training marks another step in U.S. involvement in the grisly, ongoing civil war within Syria, preceding President Obama’s recent pledge to provide arms to rebel forces.

Read the full story over at World Now.

Photos: Ahmad Aboud, Daniel Leal-Olivas, Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images, Manu Brabo, Edlib News Network  / Associated Press

In its nascent stages the Syrian uprising was relatively easy to qualify in moral terms — Bashar al-Assad’s government has, after all, been one of intense repression, undemocratic intimidation, and showed through its violent response to free protest a deeply brutal ethos. However, as the uprising has descended into an all-out civil war, the distinction in brutality between the two sides has blurred somewhat, as international watchdogs have also condemned the rebellion forces (which include many al-Qaeda militants) for alleged war crimes.

15:02 // 10 months ago
June 13, 2013
From a NY Times story on the matter:

According to an internal memorandum circulating inside the government on Thursday, the “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.” President Obama said in April that the United States had physiological evidence that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Syria, but lacked proof of who used it and under what circumstances. He now believes that the proof is definitive, according to American officials.

This represents a quote-unquote “red line” situation for the U.S. (as in, Syria’s crossed a line), which means that we could see military action as a result.

From a NY Times story on the matter:

According to an internal memorandum circulating inside the government on Thursday, the “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.” President Obama said in April that the United States had physiological evidence that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Syria, but lacked proof of who used it and under what circumstances. He now believes that the proof is definitive, according to American officials.

This represents a quote-unquote “red line” situation for the U.S. (as in, Syria’s crossed a line), which means that we could see military action as a result.

17:08 // 10 months ago
June 1, 2013

Rockets from Syria strike into Lebanon, Hezbollah

  • 18rockets struck Lebanon from Syria today, the largest such volley of arms since the Syrian rebellion, locked in a bloody civil war with the government of Bashar al-Assad (a conflict in which both sides have now been accused of brutal war crimes), vowed revenge against Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for their combatant support of the leader’s regime. source
18:22 // 10 months ago