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Assad’s departure still non-starter for Putin

Assad’s departure still non-starter for Putin

( Al-Monitor )- Maxim Suchkov writes that following the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow this week, “the departure of President Bashar al-Assad was and remains a non-starter for Russia. What neither Lavrov nor Putin would probably say to Tillerson, but do expect him to...

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Iran Is Still Using Pseudo-Civilian Airlines to Resupply Assad

Iran Is Still Using Pseudo-Civilian Airlines to Resupply Assad

( Washington Institute fro Near East Policy )- As the aviation community and international media fixate on recent Boeing and Airbus orders by Iranian airlines, Tehran continues to quietly purchase secondhand aircraft and parts through smaller companies, actively circumventing...

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The organisation ridding the world of chemical weapons

The organisation ridding the world of chemical weapons

( The New Arab )- Russia criticised the world's chemical weapons watchdog for not sending experts to the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria, saying it was "unacceptable to analyse events from a distance". But the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is in a...

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The Islamic State has tunnels everywhere. It’s making ISIS much harder to defeat

The Islamic State has tunnels everywhere. It’s making ISIS much harder to defeat

( Washington Post )- Yesterday, the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” on a network of Islamic State caves and tunnels in Afghanistan. The military said its spectacular use of force was necessary to destroy the underground terror hideout (though it's not clear that the MOAB was...

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Regime change in Syria? That would be a mistake

Regime change in Syria? That would be a mistake

( The Guardian )- The US military strike against the Shayrat military base, in response to a brutal chemical weapons attack on civilians in the rebel-held area of Khan Sheikhoun, has the Twitterverse and media fulminating over the idea of US-led regime change in Syria. Now to be fair, no one...

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Trump’s unpredictability demands European steadiness

Trump’s unpredictability demands European steadiness

( The Guardian )- Rex Tillerson’s plane touched down in Moscow on Tuesday amid a smoky haze caused by a fire at a nearby rubbish dump. More than one observer found the metaphor irresistible. The US approach to Syria – the term “policy” would dignify it with a coherence it does not...

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Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front

Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front

( The Guardian )- Many reasons were advanced for Donald Trump’s decision to order last week’s strike on a Syrian airfield. In addition to the justifications he gave – the US national interest, the need to demonstrate that the use of chemical weapons had a cost, the emotional response to...

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Susan Rice’s claim that Obama got Syria to ‘verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile’

Susan Rice’s claim that Obama got Syria to ‘verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile’

( The Washington Post )- “We were able to find a solution that didn’t necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. Our aim in contemplating the use of force following the use...

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Is Iraq poised for large-scale military involvement in Syria?

Is Iraq poised for large-scale military involvement in Syria?

( Al-Monitor )- With the Islamic State (IS) nearly defeated in Iraq, Baghdad and Damascus have remarkably stepped up security and military cooperation. On March 29, the Iraqi Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency announced that, through coordination between the two countries, the Syrian...

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Here’s how German courts are planning to prosecute Syrian war crimes

Here’s how German courts are planning to prosecute Syrian war crimes

( The Washington Post )- Today’s news from Syria, where an apparent chemical weapons attack has taken the lives of dozens of civilians (including children), reminds us once again of the desperate need for justice for those who have suffered atrocities in that country’s civil war. Yet there...

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Russia, US and military intervention in Syria: what next after missile strikes?

Russia, US and military intervention in Syria: what next after missile strikes?

( The Guardian )- Is regime change in Syria back on the US agenda? For most of Syria’s six-year civil war the US has been pushing for the departure of Bashar al-Assad, even if former president Barack Obama was unwilling to use military options to remove him. Donald Trump had conspicuously...

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Was Trump’s Syria strike a moral impulse or a policy change?

Was Trump’s Syria strike a moral impulse or a policy change?

( Washington Post )- It is either a turning point or a welcome aberration that President Trump found the cruelly extinguished lives of Syrian children to be compelling (or at least contributory) in his decision to use force in Syria. The nerve gas attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime, he said,...

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Are US strikes on Syria good or bad?

Are US strikes on Syria good or bad?

( Middle East Eye )- Analysts in the United States reacted cautiously to President Donald Trump’s decision to order a massive military strike on a Syrian airbase on Thursday in retaliation for a “barbaric” chemical attack he blamed on President Bashar al-Assad. Responses were...

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What We Know and Don’t Know About the Missile Attack on Syria

What We Know and Don’t Know About the Missile Attack on Syria

( New York Times )- President Trump ordered a barrage of missiles to strike an airfield in Syria on Thursday evening in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. Here are some things we know — and don’t know — about the president’s actions....

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Will Assad's renewed atrocities galvanise Trump, where Obama failed?

Will Assad's renewed atrocities galvanise Trump, where Obama failed?

( The New Arab )- President Donald Trump is not known for his ideological and political constancy, but he came into office having actually been relatively consistent in his rhetoric on Syria.  For Trump, the major focus was on eliminating the Islamic State (IS); the Kurdish PKK was...

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Should I Run for My Life or Stay With My Patients?

Should I Run for My Life or Stay With My Patients?

( New York Times )- On March 25, an orthopedic surgeon named Ali Darwish was operating on a patient in a suburb of Hama, Syria, when two barrel bombs were dropped at the entrance of the underground hospital where he was working. Soon, a strong smell of chlorine spread throughout the hospital....

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A chemical weapons attack in Syria exposes Trump’s Assad problem

A chemical weapons attack in Syria exposes Trump’s Assad problem

(The Washington Post)- Yet again, the world is watching gut-wrenching images emerge from the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. Activists claim the Syrian government launched an airstrike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the country's northwestern Idlib province. Scores of...

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Did the US, Turkey reach understanding on Assad?

Did the US, Turkey reach understanding on Assad?

(Al-Monitor)- Is it a coincidence that the Trump administration’s flurry of statements that it no longer actively seeks the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came during US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Turkey last week? In a press availability with Turkish...

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