Samia's Feed
Nov 15, 2013

Insight: As powers push for talks, Syria balance tilts towards Assad

BEIRUT (Reuters) – More than two and a half years into the civil war devastating Syria, the United States and Russia are pushing the combatants to the negotiating table in Geneva, but on terms that mark a shift in favor of Bashar al-Assad against the increasingly fragmented rebels seeking to oust him.

Since the August 21 nerve gas attacks on rebel suburbs ringing Damascus, which brought the U.S. to the brink of a missile assault on Assad’s forces, the diplomatic tide has turned against the opposition, which briefly believed external intervention would enable its forces to launch a final offensive.

Nov 15, 2013

As powers push for talks, Syria balance tilts towards Assad

BEIRUT, Nov 15 (Reuters) – More than two and a half years
into the civil war devastating Syria, the United States and
Russia are pushing the combatants to the negotiating table in
Geneva, but on terms that mark a shift in favour of Bashar
al-Assad against the increasingly fragmented rebels seeking to
oust him.

Since the Aug. 21 nerve gas attacks on rebel suburbs ringing
Damascus, which brought the U.S. to the brink of a missile
assault on Assad’s forces, the diplomatic tide has turned
against the opposition, which briefly believed external
intervention would enable its forces to launch a final
offensive.

Nov 3, 2013

Egypt to look beyond U.S. for arms: foreign minister

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Saturday that Egypt would look beyond the United States to meet its security needs and warned Washington that it could no longer ignore popular demands in a changed Arab world.

Speaking ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Fahmy said the United States must take a long-term view of its relations with Egypt and understand that in the wake of the Arab Spring, “it would have to deal now with the Arab peoples, not only with Arab governments”.

Sep 26, 2013

Special Report: Hezbollah gambles all in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In the photograph the two robed men stand shoulder-to-shoulder, one tall and erect, the other more heavyset. Both smile for the camera. The picture from Tehran is a rare record of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meeting Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite paramilitary group.

Taken in April during a discreet visit by the Hezbollah chief to his financial and ideological masters, the photograph captured a turning point in Syria’s civil war and the broader struggle between Sunnis and Shi’ites, the two main branches of Islam. It was the moment when Iran made public its desire for Hezbollah to join the battle to help save Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said. At the time, Assad and his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, were losing ground to an advancing Sunni insurgency.

Sep 26, 2013

Hezbollah gambles all in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In the photograph the two robed men stand shoulder-to-shoulder, one tall and erect, the other more heavyset. Both smile for the camera. The picture from Tehran is a rare record of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meeting Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite paramilitary group.

Taken in April during a discreet visit by the Hezbollah chief to his financial and ideological masters, the photograph captured a turning point in Syria’s civil war and the broader struggle between Sunnis and Shi’ites, the two main branches of Islam. It was the moment when Iran made public its desire for Hezbollah to join the battle to help save Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said. At the time, Assad and his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, were losing ground to an advancing Sunni insurgency.

Sep 24, 2013

Insight: Syria’s Assad is fortunate in his enemies

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Bashar al-Assad, who only a month ago faced the likelihood of U.S. missile strikes that could have tipped the balance of Syria’s war against him, has won a reprieve.

His supporters, political sources in Damascus say, are jubilant, convinced the threat of regime change has lifted and that the Assads can face down opponents they consider weak – U.S. President Barack Obama and France’s President Francois Hollande among them – just as they saw off their predecessors.

Aug 18, 2013
via FaithWorld

Egypt seen as graveyard of Arab Spring and Islamist ambitions for power

Photo

(Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi flee from shooting in front of Azbkya police station during clashes at Ramses Square in Cairo August 16, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

As the army ruthlessly crushes the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets of Cairo, having swept away its elected president, Egypt is being painted as the graveyard of the Arab Spring and of Islamist hopes of shaping the region’s future.

Aug 18, 2013

Insight: Egypt seen as graveyard of Islamist ambitions for power

BEIRUT (Reuters) – As the army ruthlessly crushes the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets of Cairo, having swept away its elected president, Egypt is being painted as the graveyard of the Arab Spring and of Islamist hopes of shaping the region’s future.

This week’s bloody drama has sent shockwaves out of Egypt, the political weathervane and cultural heart of the Arab world. The effect on the region of the army’s power grab will not be uniform, because while countries such as Egypt are locked in a battle over identity, other states, from Syria to Yemen, and Libya to Iraq, are in an existential struggle for survival.

Aug 18, 2013

Egypt seen as graveyard of Islamist ambitions for power

BEIRUT, Aug 18 (Reuters) – As the army ruthlessly crushes
the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets of Cairo, having swept
away its elected president, Egypt is being painted as the
graveyard of the Arab Spring and of Islamist hopes of shaping
the region’s future.

This week’s bloody drama has sent shockwaves out of Egypt,
the political weathervane and cultural heart of the Arab world.
The effect on the region of the army’s power grab will not be
uniform, because while countries such as Egypt are locked in a
battle over identity, other states, from Syria to Yemen, and
Libya to Iraq, are in an existential struggle for survival.

Jul 10, 2013

Insight: Events in Egypt may influence, won’t define Syria war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has put a new spring in the step of Bashar al-Assad, who sees it as a sign that Islamists – including those spearheading the Sunni-dominated rebellion against him – are in decline.

Exuding confidence after a recent successful army counter-offensive, and speaking as the Egyptian army was deposing Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, Assad said “what is happening in Egypt is the fall of what is known as political Islam.”