Russia Makes A Fool of Kerry (Again) — Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary The report this morning on the front page of the New York Times that Russia is sending a new batch of advanced arms to Syria is very bad news for those who hoped international isolation would lead to the fall of Bashar Assad’s regime. Despite constant predictions over the past two years from President Obama and others in the West that it was only a matter of time before this evil dictator would be forced out, Assad is holding his own. The rebels have not only failed to push him out of Damascus but, if recent accounts of the fighting there are true, they have lost ground as the regime has rolled back the tide of unrest all across the country. Though the rebellion may have fractured the country, as a separate front-page story in the Times testifies, with Iran and its Hezbollah auxiliaries doubling down on their backing for Assad on the ground and emboldened by Russia’s diplomatic support as well as its efforts to resupply the regime’s military, it’s hard to see why anyone would think the dictator is going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Read more …. My Comment: As this blog predicted …. today’s announcement of more Russian weapons to the Syrian regime puts a nail to any hope that Russia will pressure the Assad regime to search for a compromise. On the contrary …. Assad and his followers are now embolden , and the war continues. So much for U.S. hopes and diplomacy that they and the Russians were on the same page on Syria contrary to what critics (like yours truly) were saying. My message to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry is now simple …. fool me once …. shame on you. Fool me twice …. shame on me. The Russians have just fooled you twice. Update: Why Russia won’t cut Syria loose — Peter Fragiskatos, Special to CNN
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Has Russia Made A Fool Of U.S. Secretary Of State Kerry (Again)?
Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad Is Winning — Mike Giglio, Daily Beast Obama isn’t jumping in, and neither is anyone else. Combine that with a string of military victories, and Assad is looking stronger than he has in months. Mike Giglio on the dictator’s next act. Despite President Obama’s assertion on Thursday that he reserves “the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military,” foreign intervention in Syria seems a distant prospect, and that, along with a string of military successes, has fueled the perception that president Bashar al-Assad now has the upper hand in his country’s bloody civil war. As Republican Sen. John McCain bluntly put it this week: “Right now, Bashar al-Assad is winning.” During the last few months, the Syrian military have retaken strategic areas across the country, reopening supply lines in the north and south while ramping up its offensive in the western city of Homs, a critical gateway between Damascus and the coast. Assad’s forces have also reinforced their strongholds in Damascus and elsewhere while weathering what rebels had billed as a major offensive in the capital. Read more …. My Comment : Even if he wins …. which is hard to see from my vantage point …. it will be a fools victory with a devastated country splintered along sectarian lines. Think Somalia …. but in a far darker place.
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Is Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad Winning?
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters Syria Begins to Break Apart Under Pressure From War — New York Times CAIRO — The black flag of jihad flies over much of northern Syria. In the center of the country, pro-government militias and Hezbollah fighters battle those who threaten their communities. In the northeast, the Kurds have effectively carved out an autonomous zone. After more than two years of conflict, Syria is breaking up. A constellation of armed groups battling to advance their own agendas are effectively creating the outlines of separate armed fiefs. As the war expands in scope and brutality, its biggest casualty appears to be the integrity of the Syrian state. On Thursday, President Obama met in Washington with the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and once again pressed the idea of a top-down diplomatic solution. That approach depends on the rebels and the government agreeing to meet at a peace conference that was announced last week by the United States and Russia. Read more …. My Comment: This is an excellent analysis from The New York Times. Key paragraph is the following …. …. Three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis. Indeed.
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The Strain Of Civil War Is Breaking Syria Apart
Photo: YouTube screen shot Rebel Video Showing Atrocities Renews Questions About Post-Assad Syria — Washington Times WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, May 16, 2013 – The video released today showing Syrian rebel fighters executing soldiers they claim took part in massacres of civilians is the latest proof that the Syrian war is not a cleanly-defined case of good against evil, and suggests the conflict will continue even if the Assad regime falls. On the video, which the Syrian Observatory for Human rights dates from 2012, a Nusra Front commander wearing a black balaclava walks behind a row of blindfolded prisoners kneeling in a row and shoots them in the head one at a time. Other Nusra fighters shouted “God is great” as the commander shot each prisoner. Read more …. More News On Syria’s Civil War Syria Live Blog — Al Jazeera Syria: Obama pins hopes on peace talks — The Guardian Syrian regime’s position strengthens as world pushes for diplomatic solution — CBC As global powers squirm in indecision over Syria, Assad’s hand improves — Haaretz Syrian rebels call off Aleppo prison siege after troops throw inmates out window — The Telegraph Report: Torture Evidence Found in Syrian Prisons — ABC News/AP Rights Groups: Syria Holds Thousands Incommunicado — ABC News/AP Refugees fleeing besieged Qusayr say Syrian rebels dug in, preparing for government onslaught. — McClatchy News Iraqis in southern city mourn 2 Shiite fighters killed in Syria — FOX News/AP Syria rebel ‘heart eater’ says ready to face trial if Assad does — Reuters Syria’s lung-eating rebel explains himself — Passport/Foreign Policy Syria’s cannibal rebel defends himself — The Independent Factbox: Rising Syrian death toll, refugee wave — Reuters U.N. says more than 1.5 million refugees have fled Syria — CNN Syria crisis: number of refugees tops 1.5 million, says UN — The Guardian Number of Syrian refugees tops 1.5 million: UNHCR — Reuters UN says Syrian refugees top 1.5M mark as conditions deteriorate quickly — Washington Post/AP Welsh aid worker tells of the horrors and everyday heartache facing Syria conflict refugees — Wales Online US sets sanctions on 4 ministers in Assad’s government, leader of al-Qaida-linked rebel group — Washington Post/AP U.S. widens sanctions to four Syrian officials, TV station, airline — Reuters President Obama under pressure to intervene in Syria — BBC U.N. ‘strongly’ condemns Syrian government attacks on civilians — Washington Post U.N. chief Ban says must not lose momentum on Syria conference — Reuters UN pushes for swift action in Syrian conflict — Deustche Welle UN Chief In Russia For Syria Talks With Lavrov, Putin — Radio Free Europe Russia discusses Syria crisis with UN’s Ban Ki-moon — BBC Ban Ki-moon in Russia for talks about Syria sanctions — UPI Syrian ex-minister leads team planning for reconstruction of war-ravaged country — Washington Post/AP Syria’s war: Nobody is really winning, there are only losers — Bill Neely, ITV Al-Qaeda barbarism Syria’s real story — John Curtis, Examiner Growing fears of chemical Armageddon in Syria — Jonathan miller, Channel 4 News
Civil War In Syria — News Updates May 17, 2013
Interpreters gathered in Kunduz to demand better protection from the Taliban. Alone Among Enemies In Afghanistan — Deutsche Welle The Bundeswehr is packing up and withdrawing from Afghanistan. Threatened by Taliban and unemployment, local Afghan employees feel abandoned and fear for their safety. “What is going to happen to us once the Bundeswehr withdraws?” This is the question that looms uneasily in the minds of most Afghan translators engaged by the Bundeswehr in Kunduz. Around 30-40 men recently gathered in front of the German Armed Forces camp to draw attention to their plight. This is their second protest in the last two weeks. They fear for their future, even their lives, due to unemployment, on the one hand, and the wrath of Taliban insurgents on the other. The translators are considered traitors and infidels by the Taliban because they have been working for years with German troops. Read more …. My Comment: These Afghans know that their time is up in Afghanistan.
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The U.S. Is Not The Only Country Abandoning It’s Allies In Afghanistan