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Archive for 'Syria'

Are Kurds turning the tide against IS in Kobane with US help?

If true, this is encouraging news:
The Islamic State militant group has been driven out of most of the northern Syrian town of Kobane, a Kurdish commander tells the BBC.
Baharin Kandal said Islamic State (IS) fighters had retreated from all areas of the border town, except for two pockets of resistance in the east.
US-led air strikes [...]

I didn’t know they cared

When an Iranian official expresses concern for the safety and security of Israel, it’s time to count the diplomatic and political silverware– or something.
[Deputy Foreign Minister] Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted by Iranian media, in what would be a rare confirmation of Iran-US discussions over Isis, as saying Iran had warned Washington that Israel would [...]

The Ghouta sarin massacre: one year on

Guest post by Sackcloth & Ashes
On 29 August 2013 the Coalition government reconvened the Commons to debate a motion calling for a third British military intervention in the Arab world. Ten days previously, the regime of Bashar al-Assad had gassed civilians with the nerve agent sarin in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, and the likelihood [...]

John “I’m with Assad” Wight on Israeli “barbarity”

In a “Letter to an Israeli Soldier” published at RT and Socialist Unity, John Wight presumes to lecture the IDF about their supposed “barbarity” and asks:
[W]hen will your thirst for Palestinian blood be sated?
Jews thirsting for Gentile blood? That sounds vaguely familiar.
This, recall, is the same John Wight who proudly stands with the Syrian dictator [...]

Ex-ambassador: Obama “behind the curve” on Syria

Robert Ford, the former US ambassador to Syria and a principled opponent of Bashar al-Assad, said he resigned his post because of frustration with the Obama administration’s failure to fully support the moderate opposition.

“Events on the ground were moving, and our policy wasn’t evolving very quickly. We were constantly behind the curve. And that’s why [...]

Virginia state senator’s nauseating letter to Assad

For reasons I won’t even try to guess, a Republican state senator from here in Virginia (in whose district I am fortunate not to reside) has written a gushing letter of appreciation to Syria’s murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The letter was posted on the Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency.
The most cringe-inducing paragraph of this disgusting [...]

Conflicting Signals: UN Picks Syrian for Top Post

By Mascha Kosky Sachs
With Syria’s impending ‘elections’, a farcical element has been added to the deepening crisis.  Yet, in what may be its worst decision of 2014, the United Nations recently rewarded Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by naming his representative to a top post on a 24-nation committee charged with overseeing the ‘decolonization’ of the [...]

In the shadow of his father

Guest post by DaveM
Lebanese journalist Hussein Abdul Hussein has written an excellent article in Asharq Alawsat. It’s about how most of us have misunderstood how totalitarian regimes work. The assumption has been that as they’re based on secure institutions and powerful security and intelligence networks, it doesn’t really matter who the leader is; the system [...]

Assad’s “Sham”* elections

Guest post by DaveM
With seven years having passed since Assad won his second term in office with 97% of the votes, it’s election time again in Syria. Balloting is scheduled for the 3rd of June.

Actor Wael Sharaf: “Elections are a right, a duty for every citizen. This is the true meaning of freedom. And [...]

Fisk’s and Hersh’s reporting ignores ordinary Syrians

Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a dissident Syrian journalist who spent 16 years in the regime’s prisons, challenges the reporting of Robert Fisk and Seymour Hersh, especially on the regime’s murderous use of chemical weapons.
A reader who relies exclusively on Fisk/Hersh for their understanding of Syria would never know that the Assad regime had used chemical [...]