Syria, America's Unwinnable Game
By Arash Zahedi
Published: October 27, 2011
In its latest foreign diplomacy move, the US State Department has recalled its ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, citing safety reasons.
Tensions were running high as the ambassador had recently been touring different Syrian cities and been involved in talks with the heads of the country's opposition.
The ups and downs in the Syria-US relations in the past few months definitely represent a gesture of anything but good will as they now host no envoys in one another's lands.
The situation has been aggravating even more with the death of Libya's once long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. America, having been more or less disengaged from the Libya game, is now building up pressure against Syria by escalating accusations against it.
The once US presidential hopeful, Republican Senator John McCain, best known for his “Bomb, Bomb” rhetoric, is now describing Syria as the focal point of the US attention. He has also talked of the use of military force against Damascus. A choice always on the US's famous “table of options”, that can be considered when it unilaterally deems it necessary or when it fails to meaningfully engage in talks.
There are growing fears among political circles now that Damascus might, to some extent, play the next Tripoli given the recent US rhetoric that comes along with sanctions and intimidations.
Given the UK and France's recently emboldened anti-Damascus views as well as the role the allegedly foreign-backed armed gangs play in today's Syria, one has to watch the events of the next few weeks or months with caution.
Syria Protesters Call for No-Fly Zone
Published: October 28, 2011
At least 37 people have been killed in crackdowns during protests calling for the downfall of the government held across Syria after Friday prayers. The deaths took place mostly in Homs and Hama as protesters called for a no-fly-zone to be imposed, activists said.
Despite the threat of violence, at least 170 protests took place on Friday, the traditional day of protest. More than 3,000 people have died in the unrest since protests broke out in March. Protesters said those killed on Friday included an 80-year-old man shot near Homs, as well as a young boy near Deraa, in the south.
Protesters called for international protection from Nato whose war planes played a vital role in the overthrow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.