Al-Qaeda tells Syria fighters to shun secularists in sign of deeper rebel rift

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has told the Islamist militants to avoid alliances with other rebel fighters
Morning Brief: U.S. and Russia Strike Deal on Syria Chemical Weapons

U.S. and Russia Strike Deal on Syria Chemical Weapons

Top News: The United States and Russiareached an agreement Saturday under which Syria would declare and give up its stocks of chemical weapons, an accord that appears to have prevented the short-term prospect of a Western military intervention in Syria.

Under that agreement — announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva — Syria will have to declare its chemical weapons stocks this week and have them destroyed by mid-2014. While the Syrian government has already submitted the paperwork to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, the timeline presented by the U.S.-Russian agreement is enormously ambitious. Judging by previous efforts to eliminate chemical weapons stocks in Libya and Iraq, the Syria agreement aims to achieve in a year what took upwards of a decade in previous efforts.

10 Reasons U.S. Influence Has Fallen in the Middle East

By most assessments, U.S. influence in the Middle East has dramatically declined since the Arab uprisings began in January 2011. Critics have blamed this on inept diplomacy by the current administration, but this is only a partial explanation for America?s loss of authority in the region.

The end of the rebel alliance

Tensions escalate in Syria, as self-declared jihadists say Western-backed moderates may be used against them.

Journalism in Syria is fast becoming a one-way ticket to death

Journalists report the news- but who reports on their safety?

When an area becomes lined with conflict, internal strife and resonates with constant fire fights and bombings, the citizens flee, shops close and the area gets deserted. Even when the situations are so intense that the Red Cross or volunteers from similar organizations leave, there will still be journalists on the scene. They will still be covering the news for readers worldwide, including the hazard of interviewing various political or military leaders in conflict zones. We have seen great journalists like Robert Fisk, John Wiener, Peter Arnett etc who were able to do their jobs exceedingly well because of an unwritten gentleman?s agreement that during a conflict or a war, unarmed personnel not involved in the conflict shall not be harmed, least of all a deputed volunteer from organizations like theUN or a journalist. But lately, we have seen atrocities committed and injustice meted out at journalists in such areas. Syria has reigned top of the list since the crisis began.

Call for ‘strong’ UN text on Syria

France, Britain and the US will seek a UN resolution with “serious consequences” for Syria if it fails to comply with a chemical weapons handover.

Pity the people of Syria- and the principle of R2P

Though postponed, the US still threatens to attack Syria to punish the Assad government for the use of chemical weapons. But it would be illegal, and ineffective – helping neither the people of Syria, nor the principles of Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

U.S. Allies Give a Frosty Reception to Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal

BEIRUT, Lebanon ? At the end of the press conference unveiling their deal over Syria’s chemical weapons program, a smiling Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared to exchange a joke before walking off stage. Some of America’s allies in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad, however, weren’t laughing.

You cannot ignore religion in social policy-making in the Middle East

Governments and global development agencies will do well in the formulation of new social protection and social welfare policies, only if they take serious account of the experience of religious organisations in their provision.

The Paris chance for Turkey?s Syria policy revision

U.S .Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to brief his allies in the Syria conflict

A Strategic Shift: Russia over US in Syria Debate

Siding Russia?

In his international bestseller ?The Post-American World and the Rise of the Rest?, the host of CNN?s flagship foreign affairs show ?GPS? Mr. Fareed Zakaria had pointed out a preliminary study over the world after the fall of American imperialism. The author had made clear that even if other world powers, like Russia or China, were to increase their geopolitical leverage worldwide, the United States would still remain ?the? global power that would define international developments, whether these could arise in politics, economics, trade, or warfare. Until the break-up of the Syrian civil war, his insights were still remaining plausible. But what about the new shift in global balances with the proposition of Russia to put Syria?s chemical weaponry under international surveillance?

Helicopter crashes near Turkey’s border with Syria: Report

A helicopter crashed today around 400 meters from Turkey’s border with Syria

Turkey warns against Syrian stalling tactics

Turkey on Sunday welcomed a US-Russian deal aimed at disarming Syria of its chemical weapons but warned that Damascus could be seeking to buy more time for its deadly military campaign.

Damascus to comply with UN on arms plan: Syrian minister

Damascus will commit to a U.S.-Russian plan to eradicate its chemical weapons once it has United Nations approval, Syria’s information minister said

France, Britain, US want ‘strong’ UN Syria resolution

France, Britain and the United States want a “strong and binding” UN resolution on the handover of Syria’s chemical weapons
Threat of US force against Syria ‘remains real,’ Kerry says

The threat of U.S. military action against Syria remains ‘real,’ Washington’s top diplomat said a day after striking a deal with Russia to destroy Damascus’s chemical weapons stockpile
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