April 14, 2013 |
ALEPPO, Syria — In the heart of rebel-held territory in Syria's northern province of Aleppo, a small group of intrepid Westerners is undertaking a mission of great stealth. Living anonymously in a small rural community, they travel daily in unmarked cars, braving airstrikes, shelling and the threat of kidnapping to deliver food and other aid to needy Syrians — all of it paid for by the U.S. government. So secretive is the operation, however, that almost none of the Syrians who receive the help are aware of its American origins.
March 31, 2013 |
The 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has prompted plenty of analysis of the mistakes made there, along with a few tendentious claims that "the same people" who supported war in Iraq are now pressing for U.S. intervention in Syria. I'm one of those people. So, to paraphrase the polemicists : Did I learn nothing from the last decade? Do I want to repeat the Iraq "fiasco"? Let's start with the second question. Iraq was unquestionably costly and painful to the United States — in dollars, in political comity and,...
February 26, 2013 |
The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide rebels there with equipment such as body armor and armored vehicles, and possibly military training, and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria's opposition political coalition, according to U.S. and European officials. The administration has not provided direct aid to the military or political side of the opposition throughout the two-year-old conflict, and U.S. officials remain opposed to...
January 28, 2013 |
IT MIGHT seem as though the horrors of Syria, where more than 60,000 people have died violently in the last 22 months, could not grow worse. Yet steadily, week by week, they do. One measure is the refugee flows : In the past month more than 30,000 people have fled to neighboring Jordan alone, threatening to overwhelm an already unstable monarchy. More than 200,000 Syrians are now in Lebanon , 150,000 in Turkey and 75,000 in Iraq , according to the United Nations.
December 24, 2012 |
Planning for the day after the anticipated fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become a race against time that many proponents of a pluralistic, democratic Syria fear they are losing. In Washington, Istanbul and elsewhere, opposition activists and their supporters are establishing databases and drafting the outlines of an interim structure to govern Syria until something more permanent can take its place. But even those who have been working on the plans doubt they will...
December 8, 2012 |
BEIRUT — For months, the Lebanese government has tried to remain neutral on the conflict in neighboring Syria. But the passions unleashed by what is happening next door are proving harder and harder for Lebanon to contain, adding to concerns that it, too, could become enmeshed in the bloodshed. In the latest turn, a Lebanese parliamentarian, Oqab Sakr, has been implicated in a plan to arm Syrian opposition fighters in their battle against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.