Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is running for re-election Tuesday, June 3, can be thankful his neighbors do not get to vote. Strong majorities of the publics in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Turkey and half the public in Lebanon voice a very unfavorable view of the embattled Syrian leader, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.
The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.
She’s known for taking selfies, being snapped on holiday and for being one half of the “world’s most talked about couple,” but in recent days, Kim Kardashian has diverted her fans’ attention to something far more serious.
When Noura al-Ameer exchanged looks with the Syrian government representatives in Switzerland, she felt as though she was looking into the eyes of her interrogators in prison. The 26-year-old anti-government activist was detained for six months in some of Syria's most notorious prisons in Damascus and Homs before her release in late 2012.
The United States has received messages from members of the Syrian regime who "want a way out" of the current brutal fighting, a senior US official said Monday. "There are elements inside the regime itself, among its supporters, that are anxious to find a peaceful solution, and we've gotten plenty of messages from people inside, they want a way out," the State Department official told reporters on a conference call.
The United Nations says Iran has been invited to attend a meeting of foreign ministers In Switzerland on Wednesday ahead of internationally brokered peace talks between Syria's warring factions. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Sunday afternoon that Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has pledged that his country "would play a positive and constructive role" in the meeting to be held in the Swiss city of Montreux.
The Geneva II Middle East peace conference, to be held on January 22, will take place against a backdrop of singularly appalling numbers: Syria’s brutal civil has left an estimated 130,000 dead, 2.3 million refugees registered in neighboring countries, and some four million more internally displaced.