War and Peace in Syria


Where are the good guys?

December 21st 2013  | BEIRUT AND CAIRO

WHAT to do when the party you have been backing loses sway?

That is the question facing Western supporters of the Syrian National Coalition. The rise of jihadists and the worsening sectarian strife in Syria is now putting Western backers of the rebel opposition in some kind of a quandary. As the jihadists are gaining in strength, some Western officials are now starting to advocate some form of political re-engagement with Bashar Assad, while others think the only course left is to work with devout Islamists who reject the extremists but who nonetheless refuse to be part of the coalition previously backed by the West. With negotiations forecasted to start on January 22nd, Western governments are still puzzling over which military factions to back on the ground.

The direct cause of this political mess is the actual growth of al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Greater Syria), known as ISIS, the most ruthless of the groups, has spread across northern and eastern Syria, while another al-Qaeda group, Jabhat al-Nusra, still thrives. This has caused and still is causing alarm in Western capitals and among Syrians who mutter that the extremists may be even worse than a regime that has used fighter jets, barrel-bombs and chemical warfare against civilians. With Russia and Iran doggedly behind him, al-Assad has stood and still is holding firm.

Without any form of structured opposition, with all factions fighting one against the other, al-Assad will maintain power as long as he wants and there is nothing the western world can do about it.

To learn more about the situation:


To be continued…



Syria and North Korea dominating G8 meeting

G8 UK 2013

Kerry did not make any promises

As the G8 foreign ministers are holding a second day of talks in London focusing on Syria and North Korea, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, as predicted and expected, especially since some of the Syrian opposition leaders recently pledged their allegiance to Al-Qaeda, did not make any promises as the same Syrian opposition leaders renewed their appeals for lethal aid.

Western and Middle Eastern nations supporting the opposition will meet in Turkey on April 20, where US Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria “core group” in Istanbul. My personal belief, considering that the G8 consist of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia, is that the Syrians are going to have to fight their own war.

North Korean threats of war are also high on the agenda of the G8 talks.