RFI, April 19
Four French journalists are safe and in good health, after being held hostage in Syria since June 2013. The hostages were found overnight Friday by Turkish soldiers on the border between Turkey and Syria, where they had been tied-up and blindfolded.
French President François Hollande declared his huge relief on Saturday, in [...]
Jordan took the rare step of using airstrikes to stop a convoy of vehicles entering Jordan from Syria.
UPI, By Ed Adamczyk, April 17
Amman – In defending its border with Syria, Jordan took the unusual move of firing upon vehicles from the air that were crossing the border, destroying a convoy of three trucks.
Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels h/t Michael Collins
LRB – …Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya?
The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and [...]
More than 60 people killed, including 29 rebels as they primed a car bomb in Damascus, monitoring group reports.
Al Jazeera, April 6
At least 29 people were killed, most or all of them believed to be rebels, in the besieged Old City of Homs when a car bomb exploded, the Syrian Observatory for Human [...]
The Lebanon Daily Star, April 4
Ankara – Turkey on Friday fired artillery into Syria to retaliate after cross-border shelling hit its territory without causing injuries or damage, the army said.
“Six shells hit in Yayladadi in Hatay province and caused no damage,” said the Turkish armed forces in a statement.
“In accordance with the [...]
A week after turning off Twitter access, Turkey has now blocked Youtube following the release of a foreign policy crisis meeting earlier this month, discussing war with Syria. It’s espionage. Is it internal destabilization prior to the elections, or a continuance of the Israeli / Iranian game? Erdogan sees enemies everywhere. He is following some [...]
Kuwait is hosting the Heads of Arab states for their annual summit for the first time since joining Arab League.
Qatar is being pressured to stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical movements through the region. Along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Mirates, Egypt is trying to isolate Qatar. Yet it [...]
AFP, March 8
Baghdad – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia of supporting global “terrorism,” both inside the Arab world and in other countries, in an interview broadcast on Saturday. Maliki, in an interview with France 24, slammed “the dangerous Saudi stance” of supporting “terrorism in the world – it supports it in [...]
NPR, By Michelle Keleman, February 28
Masses of refugees wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk camp on Jan. 31 in Damascus, Syria. (United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images)
A photo from Syria is grabbing the world’s attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of [...]
Al Jazeera, February 25
The head of Al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria has given rival Islamist militants five days to accept mediation to end their infighting or face a war that “will terminate them,” according to an audio recording posted on Tuesday.
Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of Al-Nusra Front, called on the Islamic State in Iraq [...]
McClatchy, By Roy Gutman & Hannah Allam, February 17
Reyhanli, Turkey — Caught off guard by the abrupt dismissal of the U.S. point man for moderate Syrian rebels, the Obama administration is now searching for new clients to aid in an insurgency that’s dominated by Islamist factions, including groups with connections to al Qaida.
This is wishful thinking. As I noted on twitter a few days back: The Turkish Left is a disorganized, heterogenous rabble, incapable of tying their own boots. Erdogan has given them ample opportunity to define themselves against him, at the bare minimum. They have declined to do so. And will continue to do so.
France24, February 6
Turkish lawmakers approved legislation late on Wednesday that will tighten government controls over the Internet, in a move roundly criticised as a fresh assault on freedom of expression, access to information and investigative journalism.
The text notably permits a government agency, the Telecommunications Communications Presidency (TIB), to block access to websites without [...]
Al Qaeda Franchises of al Qaeda, chiefly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), seek to foment Shia-Sunni warfare in the region and, amid the ruins, establish control over western Iraq and parts of Syria. It then seeks to coalesce a Syrian-Iraqi region with other regions in the Islamic world stretching from Mali [...]
The Sunni of Anbar
The grim strategic situation facing Iraqi Sunnis today parallels that of ten years ago when they were beset by powerful enemies in al Qaeda but also US troops and Shia militias. The solution, albeit a short-lived one, came by allying with US troops in the Anbar Awakening. Of course, this option [...]