[This is a collection of news updates on Syria compiled from multiple sources by the editors.]
Cameron Forced to Rule Out British Attack on Syria After MPs Reject Motion
U.S. Had Intel on Strike Before it Was Launched A Foreign Policy article reveals that “American intelligence agencies had indications three days beforehand that the Syrian regime was poised to launch a lethal chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people and has set the stage for a possible US military strike on Syria.”
Syrian Regime Moves Prisoners to Likely Targets of Western Military Strikes Phil Sands reports on this latest development, which complicate the United States’ promise of launching a “surgical” strike.
Jordan Says it Will Not be Launching Pad for Attacks on Syria, Urges Diplomacy to Solve Crisis Jordan is dealing with its own set of concerns as a result of the crisis, including the refugee influx (Za’atari refugee camp is now considered Jordan’s fourth biggest city.)
On the Signs of Intervention in Syria Middle East Report published four pertinent interventions by Jim Paul, Sarah Birke, Darryl Li and Rochelle Davis.
Eight Things to Consider Before Intervening in Syria Juan Cole writes about 1) the goals of the intervention; 2) the chemical weapons dilemma; 3) the problem with evidence; 4) the legality challenge; 5) the military dynamic of Western intervention; 6) impact on the trajectory of the Syria conflict; 7) impact on the region; 8) a diplomatic alternative?
What Awaits the United States in Syria Fred H. Lawson provides a brief context on the crisis, mentioning the fragmentation of the opposition and the Kurdish developments in the north. He argues that “if outside intervention actually does manage to destabilize the Ba`thi regime, who knows what additional horrors might be inflicted upon vulnerable communities all across Syria?”
An Open Letter on Syria to Western Narcissists An expat in Beirut with strong ties to Syria writes: “I have so little patience for some of the rhetoric I’ve been seeing from Western leftist circles, where this conflict seems like nothing more than a rhetorical bludgeon for scoring ideological points.”
Syrian Novelist Khaled al-Khalifa on a Possible US Strike An interview where he says “I am against the US military intervention and I have my reasons, I , the son of this revolution, whether you like it or not.”
The Roar of Pain From my Syria Mohja Kahf writes : “Yes, there is a part of me which responds to news of possible strikes with, “Smash the Butcher of Syria.” But the US is not proposing strikes because it’s crying its eyes out over Syrian suffering, or out of goodwill toward the legitimate uprising for which millions of Syrians have been risking their lives and suffering agonies.”
The Ghosts of Iraq Haunts Obama on Syria as British Parliament Defects Juan Cole’s reaction to the news that the U.K. would not be involved in a United States-led Syria operation.
Another Green Light For Assad Brian Whitaker says “yesterday`s parliamentary debate ended in a dramatic defeat for the government which means that Britain will not be taking part in any American-led military action. The vote also raises questions about what position Britain will adopt in future discussions of Syria at the Security Council.”
Obama, Syria and the Constitution David Cole on the concept of “red lines” outlined by the US President, and how this concept justifying the imminent strike goes against international law.
The Kosovo Fallacy and Syria (Axworthy-Cole Debate) Juan Cole contrasts the Kosovo campaign in the 1990s to the current imminent intervention in Syria.
The US Does Have Nonmilitary Options in Syria. Here Are Four of Them. Max Fisher emphasizes the need for humanitarian aid, intelligence sharing with the rebels, covert anti-aircraft action and “make up with Russia (or even Iran!)”.
Incendiary Bomb Victims ‘Like Walking Dead’ BBC’s Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway “witnessed the aftermath of a fresh horrific incident - an incendiary bomb dropped on to a school playground in the north of the country - which has left scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.”
Syria’s Alawite Stronghold Tartous Flourished Despite Raging War Yasmin Saker reports from Tartous, and notes that “with looming punitive military action by Western countries against Assad`s regime, residents of Tartous seem unfazed. Some have fled to neighboring countries for a few days to wait out the strikes, but there are no signs of widespread panic – though many are convinced military installations in the city would be targeted.”
A Civil War Within Syria’s Civil War Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa report from Ras al-Ayn, where female Kurdish fighters have been fighting al-Qaeda groups over territorial control.
Syria’s Largest City Just Dropped Out of the Internet The latest development in Aleppo.
The Witnesses David Kenner writes about the media activist networks in Syria, following the death of many of them after they inhaled toxic gases as they covered the chemical weapons attack on 21 August.
Policy, Reports, Statements
Donald Rumsfeld, Iraq War Architect, Is Skeptical of Intervening in Syria
Italian FM Bonino Warns of ‘Selective Intelligence on Syria’ “I strongly believe that chemical weapons are a crime against humanity and what happened is really unacceptable, and the responsible have to be brought to be accountable,” she said, but added that it is not “wise” to intervene without United Nations Security Council approval.”
A Breakdown of What Congress Wants on Syria
The Center for Constitutional Rights releases a statement opposing an American intervention in Syria
The Center on International Security releases a roundup of editorials and opinions following the announcement that the United States was considering an attack on Syria despite the UK backing out of the plan.
A No-Fly Zone for Syria An idea put forward by Charles Tannock, foreign Affairs Coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament.