Blog archive: Syria

  • 15th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is due to brief the Security Council tomorrow on the findings of the weapons inspectors in Syria. Now that the immediate crisis has blown over as a result of yesterday's Russian-American agreement and Syria's formal acceptance of the Chemical Weapons...
  • 15th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When I first began advocating a diplomatic solution to the Syrian chemical weapons crisis (here, here, here, and here), it seemed like rather a hopeless quest. But now, nine days after my first blog post on the subject, there's an agreement in place. Syria has swiftly accepted the Chemical Weapons...
  • 11th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Arguments about Syria's chemical weapons have now shifted to the UN Security Council, with predictable results. Russia is resisting American and French attempts to issue a binding resolution – i.e. one that could be backed up with the use of force if Syria failed to comply. "We need a full...
  • 9th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As regular readers of this blog will know, I have recently been advocating two things in connection with Syria: First, to address the issue of chemical weapons separately from the wider conflict.  That's because it IS a separate issue. Although the chemical crisis has arisen out of the...
  • 8th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It now appears that a final vote on American airstrikes in Syria will not take place in Congress until after the UN weapons inspectors have issued their report. Although the US Senate is still expected to vote this week, a vote in the House of Representatives will come later, according to...
  • 7th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Returning from the G20 in St Petersburg, President Obama – in  the words of the Associated Press – faces a "frenetic, high-stakes week" selling his plan for airstrikes in Syria to a sceptical Congress. Obama and his aides will engage in "a flurry of speeches, phone calls, briefings and...
  • 6th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    France will not decide on action against Syria until the findings of UN weapons inspectors are known, President Hollande told a news conference today.  Hollande seems to be backtracking on his earlier support for US military action and his statement has far-reaching implications...
  • 5th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In an interview on Tuesday night, President Putin said he did not rule out supporting a UN Security Council resolution backing military action in Syria it it were proved that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons. This has led to speculation about a softening of Russia's position. Putin was...
  • 4th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One consequence of President Obama's decision to refer the Syrian chemical weapons issue to Congress is that any action the US eventually decides upon risks being shaped more by the need for congressional votes than an objective assessment of what would be most effective. As Wells Bennett points...
  • 2nd September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The International Crisis Group is a widely respected thinktank based in Brussels. Yesterday it posted a statement about Syria on its website and various people started tweeting in its praise. The comments sounded like those "reviews" you find on theatre billboards or on the back cover of...
  • 1st September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    President Obama's decision to seek approval from Congress for airstrikes in Syria looks like a smart move, at least in terms of American politics. Following the parliamentary vote in Britain last week which left him without a key ally, and in the face of a discordant clamour from...
  • 1st September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Immediately after the chemical attacks near Damascus on August 21, the first reaction of many people – apart from horror at the mass slaughter – was to ask what the Assad regime could have hoped to gain from it.  Some asked the question out of sheer puzzlement, others because they doubted...

Pages