Suicide Attack Kills Syrian Defense Minister, Other Top Officials

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 8:55 am

A suicide bomb killed the Syrian defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law today, among other top officials, in the most direct and effective attack on the Syrian regime since the beginning of the uprising and civil war. Reports said the officials had been killed by a bodyguard in a suicide bombing in the capital [...]

Member of Assad’s Inner Circle Defects from Syria

By: Friday July 6, 2012 8:55 am

Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, a commander of the Republican Guard in Syria and a close confidant of President Bashar al-Assad, has defected to Turkey, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius confirmed today. The number of high-ranking officers quitting Mr. Assad’s forces has increased markedly in recent days as violence has mounted. But the departure of General [...]

Syria’s Assad Declares “State of War”

By: Wednesday June 27, 2012 7:35 am

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has essentially declared a civil war in a meeting with his new cabinet, which was broadcast on state-run TV. He did this as fighting raged just outside of the capital of Damascus, and as gunmen stormed a pro-government TV channel, killing seven. It’s hard not to agree with Assad that we [...]

Britain, US May Offer Assad Clemency for Power Transition

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 8:17 am

The world has been generally deadlocked over Syria. The UN Security Council cannot muster any kind of veto-proof majority for any action, nobody wants to engage in an intervention, and meanwhile the situation in the country has devolved into civil war. So we can view this as a potential step forward, albeit with one excruciating [...]

Syria Moves Into Civil War Phase

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 7:35 am

For months, protesters have peacefully registered their discontent in Syria, and tens of thousands of them have been mowed down in the streets for their trouble. Now, while the peaceful protests continue, we’re finally seeing the end of that phase of the uprising, and the beginning of the civil war. After Bashar al-Assad preposterously denied [...]

More Execution-Style Killings Found in Syria

By: Wednesday May 30, 2012 12:56 pm

Days after the massacre in Houla, the Syrian government has committed a new round of killings. The United Nations discovered an additional 13 bodies near Deir al-Zour, killed execution-style, with their hands tied behind their backs. UN mission chief Maj Gen Robert Mood said he was “deeply disturbed” by the “appalling and inexcusable act” [...] [...]

Western Nations Expel Syrian Envoys

By: Tuesday May 29, 2012 8:56 am

The US has expelled Syria’s top diplomat in Washington, just one of many Western countries to throw out Syrian envoys after the Houla massacre. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. holds “the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives.” Earlier Tuesday, numerous other western countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, [...]

Houla Massacre Renews Attention on Syrian Tragedy

By: Sunday May 27, 2012 1:04 pm

The United Nations has returned to the issue of Syria today, after a massacre in villages near the flashpoint city of Homs that killed at least 116 people, including 32 children. Syria is currently under a UN-managed ceasefire between its military and anti-government rebels, but the massacre in Houla after Friday evening prayers shows the [...]

UN Mission in Syria Showing Signs of Faltering

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 1:33 pm

Syria has helpfully asked the UN for more monitors – but no more than 250 in a country of over 20 million – to observe the cease-fire taking place in the embattled country. They even offered their own air support, so no need for independent aircraft to aid mobility for the observers! I think today’s [...]

Syria Cease-Fire Features Marginally Less Death Than Before

By: Friday April 13, 2012 7:40 am

Thursday was the first operative day of the cease-fire in Syria. On that day, more than a dozen people were reported killed in fighting, and Syrian forces had not pulled back their tanks from the major cities, as per the agreement. So it’s the kind of cease-fire where 12 people die. Today was a bigger [...]

Syrian Cease-Fire Tenuous, Fragile

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 8:15 am

I think it would be a mistake to look at the tenuous success from the first day of a cease-fire in Syria and pronounce the cease-fire solved. In fact, the government isn’t honoring the cease-fire. It included a provision to have the regime pull back their security forces from the major cities. They have not [...]

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