As the fraught Syria peace talks inch forward in Geneva, the United States finds itself with little leverage to help negotiate an end to a conflict that has left almost a quarter of a million people dead and helped fuel the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
But there’s an efficient way for Washington to put pressure on Damascus: Offer money and asylum to officers and officials who defect from the criminal regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Discontent among Alawites — the minority sect that forms the regime’s core constituency — as well as Druse and other religious minorities is at its highest since 2012, when dozens of Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
Last week, warplanes from the United States and its partners began strikes against Islamic State positions in Syria. President Obama justified the attacks by saying that the United States would “not tolerate safe havens for terrorists,” an objective that is both correct and long overdue. However, the airstrikes are falling short in ways that could soon jeopardize this objective.
Airstrikes alone will not defeat the Islamic State. Despite nearly two months of strikes in Iraq, Islamic State fighters attacked Iraqi army checkpoints close to Baghdad last weekend, and reports this week indicate a strong Islamic State presence just a mile west of the city.… Seguir leyendo »
Recently, schoolchildren in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo prepared an art presentation that provided a creative outlet and a respite from their war-torn surroundings. Some children drew cheerful scenes of birds carrying the Syrian flag on a sunny day. Others depicted traumatic scenes of war they had witnessed. One drew Aleppo’s iconic citadel.
On April 30, a barrel bombing demolished the school just hours before the exhibit was set to open. A number of children were killed before they could present their work. Others who were “luckier” spent a day they had eagerly anticipated in agonizing pain, under intensive medical care.… Seguir leyendo »