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Archive for the tag “Damascus”

Bashar al-Assad And The Devil’s Endgame

ISIS is murdering and enslaving across Syria and Iraq. Russia is deploying dozens of aircraft to support the regime in Damascus. Huddled masses have been tempest-tossed into Europe. At the eye of the storm, Bashar al-Assad is pursuing a cynical, brutal, and risky strategy to cling to power.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Through The Realist Prism

What is most interesting to consider, however, is whether we are witnessing the first stages of a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Riyadh and Moscow, of course, have some apparently irreconcilable geostrategic imperatives. Russia’s close ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran and its unstinting support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria puts Moscow at odds with Saudi preferences for a weakened Iran and for Assad’s deposition in favor of a Sunni-majoritarian government in Damascus.

Read Here – World Politics Review

The Saudi World View

Saudi Arabia appears resolute: It wants Bashar al-Assad out of Damascus. The Saudis view the fighting in Syria with the same intensity that they did the civil war in Yemen that raged in the 1960s — as a conflict with wide and serious repercussions that will shape the political trajectory of the Middle East for years to come.

Read Here – New York TImes

A Tale Of Four Cities

Thursday of this week was a bad day in modern Arab history. The four leading Arab cities of recent eras – Baghdad, DamascusBeirut and Cairo – were simultaneously engulfed in bombings or urban warfare, mostly carried out with brutal savagery and cruelty against civilians in urban settings. Even more problematic is that the carnage was predominantly the work of Arabs, not foreign invaders.

Read Here – The Daily Star

Believe Me, Assad’s Not Going Anywhere

With bitter fighting continuing to afflict large tracts of Syria, where more than 7,000 people have lost their lives in just over a month, predicting the outcome of the country’s brutal civil war may appear somewhat premature. And yet, for all the sacrifices made by rebel fighters during the past two years, the likelihood that the conflict will end with President Bashar Al Assad still clinging to power in Damascus grows stronger by the day.

Read Here – Gulf News

Israel Steps Into Syria

Last week, after two years of watching the Syria crisis unfold with quiet unease, Israel departed from its policy of restraint and staged an aerial raid near Damascus. The facts are still murky. Israel issued no statement and took no responsibility for the strike, although Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, speaking at a major security conference in Munich, came close to conceding involvement. The Syrian government, however, was swift to announce and condemn an Israeli raid on a “research center” in the vicinity of Damascus, as did the regime’s allies, Iran and Hezbollah. The international and Israeli press speculated that Israel had attacked a convoy of game-changing ground-to-air missiles that were about to be transferred by Syria to Hezbollah and that may have been stationed in that “research center” on their way to Lebanon.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Challenges of the Arab World Face U.S. Election Winner

With the latest public opinion polls showing the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney a dead heat, the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States is anyone’s guess.

What is certain, however, is that main foreign policy challenges facing the next US administration are located within a brief flying time from Abu Dhabi and are of critical concern to the UAE and the other nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Some 2,000 kilometres to the north-west is Damascus, where Syrian president Bashar Al Assad fights to hold on to power against a formidable rebel challenge backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and to a lesser extent, the United States.

Read Here – The National

Why Bashar al-Assad Will Never Defeat The Rebels

Bashar al-Assad has failed to quell a stubborn rebellion despite his regime’s massive edge in military manpower and weaponry — but also because of these material advantages. His forces, replete with heavy armor, attack aircraft, and big guns, have tried to use something akin to our Powell Doctrine of “overwhelming force.” Yet the insurgents’ nimble, loose-jointed networks of small cells have slipped most of the heavy punches thrown at them, and they have launched increasingly stinging counter-blows of their own.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

All Talk, No Action Will Not Save Syria

On Wednesday, Syria experienced its worst day of violence yet in the increasingly vicious civil war. More than 300 people were killed in a series of bombings and attacks all over the country, with two massive bomb blasts near army headquarters in Damascus.

The violence is spiralling out of control, and Syria faces increasing division and misery as the opposition and government are caught in a brutal battle. The situation has led a few Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to call for military intervention. Qatari Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani told the UN General Assembly that the Security Council’s failure to end the conflict meant it would be better for Arab countries to “interfere” in Syria.

Read Here – Gulf News

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad On Israeli Threats, Nuclear Program And Syria

Iran may be on the firing line, but President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was as calmly combative as ever Sunday, dismissing Israel’s military threats and predicting that nothing will happen in the nuclear talks until after the U.S. presidential elections. In an interview on the eve of his visit to the United Nations, Ahmadinejad seemed unfazed by recent months of speculation about bombing strikes or by the precarious state of Tehran’s allies in Damascus. Instead, he talked often about politics — including a reference to what he saw as the war-weariness of the American public.

Read Here – Washington Post

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