Jonathan Spyer explains how Syrian president Bashar al-Assad may have the upper hand right now in Syria’s two-year-old conflict. “Regime forces have clawed back areas of recent rebel advance,” Spyer writes in the Jerusalem Post. “The government side, evidently under Iranian tutelage, has showed an impressive and unexpected ability to adapt itself to the changing demands of the war.”
The Obama administration now believes that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons. Today the White House released a letter explaining that the American “intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specially the chemical agent sarin.”
The directors of the Foreign Policy Initiative, Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor, released the following statement on Syria crossing a "red line" in regards to the use of the chemical weapons:
"It is increasingly clear that Basher al-Assad has used chemical weapons in his war against the Syrian people – crossing what President Obama has previously described as a 'red line' for the United States.
Yesterday Syrian president Bashar al-Assad commemorated Syria’s independence day with a television interview where he described the Syrian civil war as a colonial plot. Western powers, said Assad, “never accepted the idea of other nations having their independence. They want those nations to submit to them.”
Today NOW Lebanon publishes an article, with charts and graphics, explaining how the war in Syria pitting Sunni-majority rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s minority Alawite regime has spread to Lebanon, affecting the delicate sectarian balance there. The fighting in Lebanon so far has been contained mostly to Tripoli, a city in the northern part of the country that has long reflected Lebanon’s own internal divides as well as those of neighboring Syria.
Al Qaeda’s presence inside Syria is now so significant that the terrorist organization has decided it is no longer worthwhile to pretend otherwise. Previously, al Qaeda operated under a thinly veiled alternative identity – the Al Nusrah Front.