Middle East

Syria’s neighbors braced for chemical threat. Assad warns Turkey on Stingers

Syria’s neighbors braced for chemical threat. Assad warns Turkey on Stingers

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

August 17, 2012

The US and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require up to 60,000 ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of the Assad government, an unnamed American source said Thursday night, Aug.16.

Militants attack major Pakistan air base; nine killed

Militants attack major Pakistan air base; nine killed

By Qasim Nauman

KAMRA, Pakistan

Fri Aug 17, 2012

(Reuters) - Islamist militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons fought their way into one of Pakistan's largest air bases on Thursday, the air force said, in a brazen challenge to the nuclear-armed country's powerful military.

Climate change and the Syrian uprising

Climate change and the Syrian uprising

By Shahrzad Mohtadi

16 August 2012

A drought unparalleled in recent Syrian history lasted from 2006 to 2010 and led to an unprecedented mass migration of 1.5 million people from farms to urban centers.
Because the Assad regime's economic policies had largely ignored water issues and sustainable agriculture, the drought destroyed many farming communities and placed great strain on urban populations.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspends Syria

Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspends Syria

16 August 2012

Asma Alsharif

MECCA (Reuters) - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria on Thursday, citing President Bashar al-Assad's suppression of the Syrian revolt, but there was little support for direct military involvement in Syria at a summit of Muslim leaders in Mecca.

Summit host Saudi Arabia has led Arab efforts to isolate Syria diplomatically and has also backed calls for the Syrian rebel opposition to be armed, which Foreign Minister Saud al-Fasial described in February as "an excellent idea".

But speaking to reporters after the summit, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said he "did not see much support for external military intervention" in Syria during the summit.

Diplomacy is the best tool for Iran

Diplomacy is the best tool for Iran

 

 By Nicholas Burns

August 16, 2012

 Are we are on a collision course to war with Iran? With negotiations flagging, sanctions inconclusive, and an intransigent Iran speeding boldly ahead with its nuclear enrichment program, the US government appears determined to stop Iran one way or another.

My Harvard colleague, Graham Allison, calls it “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” Iran and the United States are like two trains hurtling toward each other on the same track in a breakneck game of diplomatic chicken.

This arresting scenario was the major take-away from the meeting of the nonpartisan Aspen Strategy Group (of which I am the director) last week. Few of the former senior government officials, journalists, and academics present were clamoring for a fight with Iran, especially after the bitter wars we have fought in Muslim countries since 9/11. But many believe an attack by the United States is likely in the next year or two unless something alters our calculus.

 

Syrian Rebels Put Captured Iranian Drones on YouTube‏

Syrian Rebels Put Captured Iranian Drones on YouTube‏

 

 

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