News and Analysis (9/18/13)

“Moscow agrees that poison gas was used in a Damascus suburb last month, as detailed in a United Nations inspectors’ report, but Russia’s top diplomat said Tuesday that he’s more convinced than ever that Syrian rebels were behind it, trying to frame Bashar al-Assad” …

… and Jane’s reports that “forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands. The new study … estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters … [and a]nother 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle” …

… and as the violence spill over the border with Turkey …

… Israel’s Major-General Yair Golan no prospect of Assad removal in the near-term, even as Israel’s Washington ambassador says that Israel “always wanted Bashar Assad to go” in order to break up Syria’s alliance with Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas”:

Now we are told that Americans’ right to privacy has been taken away for the benefit of a country …

… that will neither “confirm or deny the existence of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons”:

With so many other Muslim Brotherhood leaders murdered or detained, Gehad el-Haddad used Skye to tell hhis story to NewsHour’s Margaret Warner just nine days before his own arrest:

Iran has clearly signaled it is willing it is willing to compromise in nuclear talks as long as its rights to nuclear power under the nonprolifieration treaty are respected. Cam Obama respond in kind?

The one-day strike was called “after journalist Zied El Heni was detained last week for questioning a case against a TV cameraman”:

“The Des Plaines Plan Commission unanimously recommended a zoning amendment to accommodate the center. But in July, the City Council voted down the proposed amendment. The lawsuit alleges that Des Plaines violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by imposing a substantial burden on the center’s religious freedom and by discriminating against the religious institution based on its Muslim affiliation”:

“Home secretary argues it is not up to the government to tell women what they should wear”:

“We’re just trying to show the world that Islam is beautiful, We are free and the hijab …is our pride,” says one of the contestants who “have undergone three days of ‘spiritual training’ in the run-up to the final in Jakarta, waking up before dawn to pray together and sharpen their Koranic reading skills” in the beauty pageant intended “to show Muslim women there is an alternative to the idea of beauty put forward by the British-run Miss World pageant”:

As a wave of targeted killings hits Libya …

… the state’s rejection of ICC calls to transfer the accused  to the Hague, its inability to convince Gaddafi’s captors to turn him over for trial, and the kidnapping of Senussi’s daughter by gendarmes, increases skepticism that any trial will be fair is extremely high:







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