Until now, Israel has been getting away with anything it likes. A series of revolutions and counter-revolutions in the Arabic world has driven it into chaos, and seems to have pushed the Palestinian issue off the international agenda for good.
Islamist fighters have moved the nuns abducted from a convent in the predominantly Christian town of Maaloula to a nearby town held by rebels. The leader of the Orthodox Church of Antioch has called on the international community to help save them.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has joined the US in urging Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a security agreement with Washington by year’s end. Karzai has so far been reluctant to sign the deal, which would grant US troops legal immunity.
Islamist fighters have captured the ancient quarter of Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in Syria, and are holding captive several nuns and their mother superior from the St. Thecla Convent, SANA reported.
The US has officially volunteered to eliminate Syria’s most dangerous chemical arms substances, the international chemical weapons watchdog announced on Saturday. The rest will be destroyed by certified private companies, the OPCW said.
The UNSC has strongly condemned an attack on Russia’s Damascus embassy, describing it an “act of terrorism.” A mortar shell hit Russia’s diplomatic mission compound on Thursday while another landed nearby, killing one local person and injuring nine.
January 22, 2014 has been named as the date for the new Geneva peace conference on Syria, but the agenda, make-up of the opposition delegation and list of countries to be invited still remain tentative.
President Barack Obama wants a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan signed by the end of the year – and the decision on US troops pulling out will be made after that. This comes after Afghan president Hamid Karzai hinted at a delay until April.
A new report by one of the world’s most authoritative think tanks shows the foolhardiness and indecision that plagued UK civilian and military leaders, as they plunged the country into the Afghanistan conflict, and most disastrously entered Iraq.