Category Archives: Bashar al-Assad

Rex Tillerson reaping whirlwind of Trump's disruptive Middle East policies

Trump’s divisive Middle East policies in the past year are not advancing Tillerson’s goals to stabilize the region and finish off Isis

Like Jeeves clearing up broken crockery after a night of riotous partying by Bertie Wooster and his chums, Rex Tillerson is trying to soothe tempers and repair damage across the Middle East after a year of Donald Trump shenanigans.

As a former high-flying Exxon-Mobil chief executive, the US secretary of state is unaccustomed to groveling.

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Source: gad

The epic failure of our age: how the west let down Syria

The seven-year conflict has marked a tipping point in the balance of power between the US and Russia, and has triggered a strategic disaster whose ramifications are still playing out

It was a sunny morning on Saturday 31 August 2013 – Labor Day weekend in the US – when Barack Obama strolled into the Rose Garden of the White House. The last thing most Americans were thinking about was war in a far-off Middle Eastern country.

But Obama faced a dilemma. The decision he was about to announce would come to be seen as a defining moment for his presidency. It also marked a tipping point for the international strategic balance of power. It was a moment that would transform the civil war in Syria into the epic failure of our age.

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Source: gad

UN outrage at Syrian suffering: ‘We can no longer stay silent’

Humanitarian coordinator Panos Moumtzis calls for ceasefire to ease ‘dramatic deterioration’

The scale of suffering across Syria has reached unprecedented levels, with access to aid blocked in three major population centres, growing displacement and more than 13 million people in need across the country, the UN has said.

The organisation called on Tuesday for a one-month ceasefire to ease what it described as an “extreme situation” that “we haven’t seen before” at any point during the war, which is soon to enter its eighth year. The conflict has been marked by a mass exodus of Syrian citizens, sieges, starvation and a death toll that surpassed 500,000 people in 2016.

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Source: gad

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's risky gamble could quickly turn sour | Simon Tisdall

Turkish president defies Russia, the US and Bashar al-Assad with assault on Kurds in Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Kurdish vendetta has taken a dramatic new twist with the cross-border ground assault on the Afrin enclave in north-west Syria.

Defying Russia, the US, and Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Turkey’s headstrong president is betting on a decisive victory over Syrian Kurd forces. But his risky gamble could quickly turn sour.

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Source: gad

The next phase in this unending tragedy could prove even more dangerous | Observer editorial

The next phase in this intractable and bloody tragedy could prove the most dangerous yet

The conflict in Syria, triggered by a grassroots uprising in 2011 against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad, is usually referred to as a civil war. But this description bears scant relation to what is happening there now. Syria has become an international battleground pitting the great powers, regional neighbours and supranational ethnic and religious forces against each other in a fight for strategic influence, territory and power. After last week’s unveiling of plans for deeper US engagement, this struggle may be about to enter a new, even more dangerous phase. The battle for Syria has produced no clear winners as yet. But there is no doubt who are the losers. Up to half a million Syrians have died, more than 5.4 million are refugees, and 6.1 million are internally displaced. Every day, more death and destruction rains down. In the past week, tens of thousands of civilians in the north-western Idlib province have been uprooted, many of them for a second or third time, by Russian and Syrian airstrikes and shelling. In total, more than 200,000 people have fled. Aid organisations and activists say hospitals and schools have been repeatedly targeted and supply routes blocked.

The Observer is the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, founded in 1791. It is published by Guardian News & Media and is editorially independent.

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Source: gad

US military to maintain open-ended presence in Syria, Tillerson says

US secretary of state says forces will remain in country in push against Isis, Bashar al-Assad and Iranian influence

The US intends to maintain an open-ended military presence in Syria, not only to fight Isis and al-Qaida but also to provide a bulwark against Iranian influence, ensure the departure of the Assad regime and create conditions for the return of refugees, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said on Wednesday.

The new Syria policy, outlined by Tillerson in a speech at Stanford University, represents a significant expansion of US aims in the country, which the Trump administration had previously restricted to counter-terrorism throughout its first year in office.

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Source: gad

US must do more to force Assad to negotiate, says Syrian opposition leader

Nasr al-Hariri, chief negotiator for Syria’s umbrella opposition group, said that without pressure there will be no settlement

The US is showing a new commitment to forcing the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to make concessions to end the country’s seven-year civil war, but must still do more to persuade Russia to put pressure on Assad to negotiate, the Syrian opposition leader has said.

Nasr al-Hariri, chief negotiator for the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Syria’s umbrella opposition group, said he welcomed the US keeping 2,000 troops inside Syria, so long as it helped bring a political settlement.

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Source: gad