More clashes and street fighting are being reported in Syria’s capital. RT’s Oksana Boyko reports of “new intense clashes being heard” in Damascus “just outside the steps of the hotel UN observers are staying at.”
Qatar’s ambassador in Mauritania allegedly offered his Syrian counterpart an advance payment of US$1 million and a monthly salary of $20,000 over 20 years, trying to convince the diplomat to defect and voice support for the opposition.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague offered nearly $8 million to Syrian rebels in non-military support while the US prepares new sanctions to target Damascus and its allies. But will taking sides in a civil war only lead to more bloodshed?
Former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to replace Kofi Annan as the new UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, diplomats say. Annan announced last week that he would step down as the mediator in the crisis.
The escalating militarization of the Syrian conflict only favors foreign players’ interests, claims Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute of Policy Studies, and an activist on the Middle East.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the spearhead of last year’s campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi, has called for rapid international action on Syria, comparing the current crisis with the situation in Libya.
The civil conflict in Syria has brought Islamists from all over the world to the Arab country to help their brothers topple the “apostate regime”. But will the foreign allies lay down arms if Assad goes? Syrian rebels are starting to fear they won’t.
The American private military company Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, has just agreed to pay between $5 and $7.5 million in a settlement for illegal arms trading and operating in countries where sanctions prohibited it.
The ongoing conflict in Syria is becoming increasingly sectarian amid reports that rebel fighters have attacked a housing compound for employees of a power company, killing 16 civilians, mostly Alawites and Christians.
When it comes to Turkey’s policy towards Syria, Ankara might be cutting off its nose to spite its face. As Turkey pushes for Assad’s ouster, chaos on its southern border has seen the possibility of a Kurdish-controlled region grow by the day.