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View Diary: Syrian Government to Propose Ceasefire (142 comments)

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  •  "Very murky" indeed... (1+ / 0-)
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    Here’s more evidence that the Syrian civil war may be mutating into something messier...

    Al Qaeda-linked fighters battled a rival Syrian rebel group near the Turkish frontier... for a second day on Thursday, after the militant Islamists stormed a nearby town and prompted Turkey to shut a border crossing.

    The fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday killed at least five members of the Northern Storm Brigade, a rebel group that controls the border, highlighting Syria's deep opposition divisions.

    The confrontation in the town of Azaz was one of the most serious clashes between the al Qaeda affiliate, made up largely of foreign fighters, and the more ideologically moderate home-grown rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad...

    also:  Chemical weapons: The desperate commander's escape from stalemate

    Question: Why use chemical weapons?

    Answer: Because you want to get the job done fast...

    ...From the waterlogged northern European plains of World War I to the arid mountains and marshes of the Iran-Iraq conflict, chemical weapons have been used when armies get bogged down and commanders get frustrated...

    ...rebels in the capital, loosely termed the "Damascus Brigade"...were becoming a serious irritant...

    By mid-August, better-trained and better-equipped rebels were threatening to throw the regime off its agenda and stall strikes on Aleppo. A quandary for Assad, what should he do? The heat was no doubt turned up on his Damascus commanders: get results to free assets for the north...

    With the US and Russia pressuring Syria into admitting to having chemical weapons and into signing the Chemical Weapons Convention, Assad seems to acknowledge that he probably can't continue to get away with using those weapons without suffering some sort of costly consequences.

    But now:  Putin say he's not certain Assad will give up chemical weapons.

    At this point, a negotiated cease fire might at least bring some relief to besieged civilians.

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