Standort: / Meldung: "Syria's downward spiral"

Kate Farmer

Cutting to the chase

31. 1. 2013 - 14:40

Syria's downward spiral

Reality Check: Syria - Israeli attacks and civilian crisis, rumours of an agreement between Turkey and the Kurds, renewable energy vs. coal and nuclear, Hillary's legacy

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Just when it looked as though things in Syria couldn't get any worse, the situation took a dangerous turn which was not entirely unexpected.

Israeli fighter jets attacked targets in Syria yesterday and, while there are differing reports over exactly what the targets were, it seems clear that one was a convoy of arms close to the border with Lebanon.

From Syria's point of view, it is just another irritation. Both the Assad regime and the rebels have bigger problems on their minds right now. The importance is in the bigger picture of another country getting mixed up in the existing mess.

From Israel's point of view, they are concerned that Syrian weaponry, some of it very modern and sophisticated, will find its way over the border into Lebanon and into the hands of Hezbollah or any of the radical Islamist groups in the region. They have voiced this concern before, and the fact that they have now taken action was no great surprise.

Israel gas masks


Israelis have been renewing their gas masks amid reports of an Israeli air strike on an arms convoy in Syria

Their worries may well be justified, and it is interesting that there has been very little reaction to the strikes among the International Community. Russia says it is concerned that this attack constitutes an unprovoked attack on the territory of a sovereign country. This is probably true, but it can't be denied that the vast majority of countries are very keen to avoid heavy weaponry getting into the hands of radical Islamists, and if Israel takes action on this, they are happy to look the other way.

International security analyst, Paul Rogers, says he believes Israel is testing the water, and seeing how far it can go. It's almost certain that they had informed the United States of their intention to launch the attacks and it would seem the US did not try to stop them. If this is the case, we can expect to see many more such incidents in the coming weeks.

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Aid for Syrian civilians

Just as the military situation in Syria becomes more and more confused and complicated, the situation for civilians becomes more and more desperate.

A donor conference has pledged over one and a half billion dollars in aid for Syrian refugees and civilians. Melissa Fleming of the UNHCR explains how such aid can be distributed in the midst of the civil war.

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Can Turkey strike a deal with Kurdish rebels?

Kurdish rebels are reported to have agreed to leave Turkey by the end of March following negotiations between the government and PKK leaders, but the PKK deny any agreement has been reached. Cengis Gunay looks at the factors that will have to be considered in any eventual agreement.

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Renewable vs. coal and nuclear power

Niklas Schinerl of Greenpeace Germany explains why we have to choose renewable energy sources or coal and nuclear power - both is not an option.

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Farewell to Hillary

Hillary Clinton


Riem Higazi looks at Hillary Clinton's legacy as she leaves the post of US Secretary of State.

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Zum Eingabeformular Kommentieren

  • makronaut | vor 1720 Tagen, 14 Stunden, 30 Minuten

    my 2 cents: ;-)

    1) it should be mentioned, that, according to ben segenreich in the ö1 mittagsjournal, syrian rebel groups ar taking responsibility for the attack oin the "research"-facility.

    2) the problem for israel is in this regard, that they are not really "testing the waters" but are rather drawn into this conflict by the arming of hezbollah with sophisticated weapons.
    israel can't have that for good reasons, legitimately as well as legally.
    i think the "testing" occurs on the iran-syria-hezbollah-axis. the window of a unobstructed weapons transfer wmight be closing soon.
    note, that initially the lebanon officially denied any knowledge of sorties, as the lebanon isn't interested in a hezbollah with strong weapons.

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