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WHITE HOUSE: Syria Has Been Using Chemical Weapons On Rebels

The US and European allies have concluded that Syria has used chemical weapons against rebels "multiple times," and the White House said it would provide additional assistance to Syrian opposition that "includes military support."

Russian Lawmaker Accuses US Of Fabricating Chemical Weapons Evidence To Justify Intervention In Syria

A senior Russian lawmaker and Syria's government are accusing the US of fabricating evidence of chemical weapons use by the regime of Bashar al-Assad to justify intervention in the 27 month-old civil war.

Syria violence: The ceasefire that wasn't

It was supposed to be a truce—but that's not how it happened. A UN-backed ceasefire, coinciding with the Eid al-Adha holiday, theoretically would have brought about at least a lull in the fighting between Syrian government forces and anti-government rebels.

A British Arabist's Advice for Syrian rebels

Get your political act together and negotiate the end of the Assad regime
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Devastation in Homs is proof that Syrian rebels don't have the firepower to beat Syrian army, but they have other ways of removing the Assad regime. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Chris Doyle runs an outfit called  CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, and he knows the Syrian situation as thoroughly as anyone outside official channels in Britain does.

You can listen to a very interesting interview Doyle gave to Guardian blogger Haroon Siddique here (scroll down to 2:21 p.m.).


Syria: British ambassador speaks out

Moving eyewitness testimony from the British ambassador in Syria

Sometimes this blog will be just about direct sharing. 

With a minority here in London and elsewhere questioning whether the Syrian uprising is some kind of Western plot to get at Iran and with Russia encouraging doubters by its strong opposition to UN action, Simon Collis is Britain's Ambassador to Syria (recalled to London recently as I reported the other day) has posted this blog. It gives as impartial an eyewitness account of what has been going on as anything I have read. Beyond that I have dealt with British diplomats for a long time - they are never this frank in public.  The post has tremendous moral force and I urge you to read it in its entirety.

Here are a few extracts:

"Over the long period of time that I have known Syria, I have seen the regime of Hafez Assad and his son Bashar in action. The Assad dynasty was never a pleasant one to its people. I have seen the wounds of people released from prison. I have spoken to the families whose relatives have simply disappeared. I have heard from those who got a knock at 2am from the Mukhabarat (intelligence services) and were taken away for a still unknown affront to the Syrian authorities.

But even having witnessed Syria’s dark side, the violence and brutality I have witnessed over the last ten months shocks me.


Syria and Britain

War of words on British left over how to deal with Syrian uprising against Assad regime
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A demonstration against the regime of Bashar al Assad over the weekend in Homs, Syria. Are these people dupes of an American plot, as some on the British left claim? (-/AFP/Getty Images)

The Guardian is well-known as a newspaper on the left of the political spectrum. As a sideline, and wholly unrelated to his work for the paper, The Guardian's Middle East editor Brian Whitaker runs the website al-Bab, to "introduce non-Arabs to the Arabs and their culture. Western explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries portrayed the Arab world as a strange, exotic and sometimes terrifying place. Al-Bab seeks to portray the Arab world neither as an object of fear nor as a cultural curiosity - fascinating though it may be."

It is worth checking out al-Bab from time to time but today especially so. Whitaker introduced me to a new term "Zio-American plot." That's what Syria's official news agency calls the uprising against the Assad regime.

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