• Next Year’s Wars


    Sihnalé par Hugo Billard je remercie

    Before we dive into next year’s list of conflicts to watch, some thoughts on the year we are about to conclude are in order. In short, 2013 was not a good year for our collective ability to prevent or end conflict. For sure, there were bright moments. Colombia appears closer than ever to ending a civil war which next year will mark its 60th birthday. Myanmar, too, could bring down the curtain on its decades-long internal ethnic conflicts, though many hurdles remain. The deal struck over Iran’s nuclear program was a welcome fillip for diplomacy, even dynamism. The U.N. Security Council finally broke its deadlock over Syria, at least with regards to the regime’s chemical weapons, and committed to more robust interventions in Eastern Congo and the Central African Republic. Turkey’s talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) continue in fits and starts, but the ceasefire looks reasonably durable. Pakistan enjoyed its first-ever democratic handover of power.

    #guerre #conflits

  • Spycrash

    On March 8, 1985, a car bomb packed with over 400 pounds of explosives detonated outside Fadlallah’s house in the Beirut suburbs. The blast killed over 80 people and injured 200 more — but it did not kill Fadlallah, who escaped uninjured. -


    The angry crowds beneath Fadlallah’s house that day in March 1985, however, did not need Woodward’s reporting to blame the United States for the bloody attack. Immediately following the attack, residents strung up a banner reading “Made in USA” over the building destroyed by the bomb. -

  • The Real Nuclear Option

    In August 2012, then-Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton wrote a revealing piece that asked why U.S. reporters track every development in Iran’s nuclear program but never mention Israel’s nuclear arsenal: “Going back 10 years into Post archives, I could not find any in-depth reporting on Israeli nuclear capabilities.” To be fair to the Post, if you look for such featured pieces in other major media outlets, you also will not find them. For example, according to LexisNexis, since Jan. 1, 2000, “Iran” and “nuclear” appear in New York Times headlines 603 times; “Israel” and “nuclear” appear 21 times. (Over that same time period, New York Times headlines also mention “nuclear” with Russia 86 times, with China 52 times, and with Pakistan 48 times.) One reason for this was offered by nuclear scholar George Perkovich: “It’s like all things having to do with Israel and the United States. If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel; you protect Israel.”

    Having written critically about Israel’s nuclear weapons policies, I have never experienced any distinct career retaliation or condemnation. My impression is that refraining from discussing Israel’s bombs is more a self-imposed constraint than a socially constructed taboo in the D.C.-centered foreign-policy world. Moreover, I have found Israeli policymakers and analysts much more willing than their American counterparts to talk about (if not explicitly name) the impact that Israel’s nuclear arsenal has on its regional relations and to explore under what conditions that policy of amimut may no longer make strategic or political sense.

  • Kerry’s pro-army remarks stir controversy in US, Egypt | Mada Masr


    The Egyptian Armed Forces are bringing democracy back to their country, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared on Wednesday.

    “And those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology,” Kerry said in statements published on the US Department of State website.

    “They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future.”

    According to the American official, the Egyptian people created the revolution through Facebook and twitter because they were through with the corrupt government, but “then it [revolution] got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood.”

    Some analysts say Kerry’s statements mark a rift within the White House as President Barack Obama’s administration continues to struggle to find a cohesive stance on Egypt. According to an article in the Daily Beast, Kerry was told by the National Security Adviser Susan Rice to take a firm position on deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s trial, which he seems to have ignored in these remarks.

    “[Kerry] made a deliberate and conscious decision not to mention Morsi in his Cairo meetings,” a US government official told the Daily Beast.

    The statement angered certain parties in Egypt. Amr Darrag, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, said on Thursday that Kerry’s remarks were proof that the US government supported the “coup” that ousted Morsi, and is trying to abort the revolutionary movements sweeping the region since the 2011 Arab Spring, reported the Turkish Anadol news agency.

    Darrag added that Kerry has no right to meddle in Egypt’s internal affairs, and by no means could he tell who started the January 25 revolution, and who stole it.

    “The role of the MB is evident in all phase of the revolution," Darrag added.

  • Stuxnet’s Secret Twin - By Ralph Langner | Foreign Policy

    What I’ve found is that the full picture, which includes the first and lesser-known Stuxnet variant, invites a re-evaluation of the attack. It turns out that it was far more dangerous than the cyberweapon that is now lodged in the public’s imagination.


    Once multiple centrifuges are shut off within the same stage, operating pressure — the most sensitive parameter in uranium enrichment using centrifuges — will increase, which can and will lead to all kinds of problems.

    The Iranians found a creative solution for this problem.


    The system might have keep Natanz’s centrifuges spinning, but it also opened them up to a cyberattack that is so far-out, it leads one to wonder whether its creators might have been on drugs.


    One of the first things this Stuxnet variant does is take steps to hide its tracks, using a trick straight out of Hollywood. Stuxnet records the cascade protection system’s sensor values for a period of 21 seconds. Then it replays those 21 seconds in a constant loop during the execution of the attack. In the control room, all appears to be normal, both to human operators and any software-implemented alarm routines.

    Then Stuxnet begins its malicious work.


    Nevertheless, the attackers faced the risk that the attack would not work at all because the attack code is so overengineered that even the slightest oversight or any configuration change would have resulted in zero impact or, worse, in a program crash that would have been detected by Iranian engineers quickly.

    The results of the overpressure attack are unknown. Whatever they were, the attackers decided to try something different in 2009.


    The new version self-replicated, spreading within trusted networks and via USB drive to all sorts of computers, not just to those that had the Siemens configuration software for controllers installed.


    If Stuxnet is American-built — and, according to published reports, it most certainly is — then there is only one logical location for this center of gravity: Fort Meade, Maryland, the home of the National Security Agency.


    Stuxnet is a low-yield weapon with the overall intention of reducing the lifetime of Iran’s centrifuges and making the Iranians’ fancy control systems appear beyond their understanding.

    Reasons for such tactics are not difficult to identify. When Stuxnet was first deployed, Iran had already mastered the production of IR-1 centrifuges at industrial scale. During the summer of 2010, when the Stuxnet attack was in full swing, Iran operated about 4,000 centrifuges, but kept another 5,000 in stock, ready to be commissioned. A one-time destruction of the Iranians’ operational equipment would not have jeopardized that strategy, just like the catastrophic destruction of 4,000 centrifuges by an earthquake back in 1981 did not stop Pakistan on its way to getting the bomb. By my estimates, Stuxnet set back the Iranian nuclear program by two years; a simultaneous catastrophic destruction of all operating centrifuges wouldn’t have caused nearly as big a delay.


    Pakistan basically managed to go from zero to successful low-enriched uranium production within just two years during shaky economic times, without the latest in digital control technology. The same effort took Iran over 10 years, despite the jump-start from Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan network and abundant money from sales of crude oil. If Iran’s engineers didn’t look incompetent before, they certainly did during the time when Stuxnet was infiltrating their systems.


    Legend has it that in the summer of 2010, while inflicting its damage on Natanz, Stuxnet “escaped” from the nuclear facility due to a software bug that came with a version update. While that is a good story, it cannot be true. Stuxnet propagated only between computers that were attached to the same local network or that exchanged files though USB drives.


    Given that Stuxnet reported Internet protocol addresses and hostnames of infected systems back to its command-and-control servers, it appears that the attackers were clearly anticipating (and accepting) a spread to noncombatant systems and were quite eager to monitor that spread closely. This monitoring would eventually deliver information on contractors working at Natanz, their other clients, and maybe even clandestine nuclear facilities in Iran.


    Stuxnet-inspired attackers will not necessarily place the same emphasis on disguise; they may want victims to know that they are under cyberattack and perhaps even want to publicly claim credit for it.

    And unlike the Stuxnet attackers, these adversaries are also much more likely to go after civilian critical infrastructure.


    In fact, all modern plants operate with standard industrial control system architectures and products from just a handful of vendors per industry, using similar or even identical configurations. In other words, if you get control of one industrial control system, you can infiltrate dozens or even hundreds of the same breed more.


    Along the road, one result became clear: Digital weapons work. And different from their analog counterparts, they don’t put military forces in harm’s way, they produce less collateral damage, they can be deployed stealthily, and they are dirt cheap. The contents of this Pandora’s box have implications much beyond Iran; they have made analog warfare look low-tech, brutal, and so 20th century.

  • Red in the Face - By Kalev Leetaru | Foreign Policy

    Yet, what we are able to see in the crisp mathematical precision of the computerized graphs and maps above is just how vast and intense the negative coverage really is. As a result, we can move beyond anecdotes like “It’s getting a lot of coverage” to precise statements like “More than 80 percent of all television news shows are talking about it.”

    We can also gaze through the eyes of the news media and literally map the deep pessimism towards the law as it spreads across the nation. This by itself is a key finding: just how much the media has been covering Obamacare and, in particular, how key the GOP’s tying of Obamacare to the government shutdown was in bringing it to the forefront. Indeed, while Republicans may have lost in their attempt to defund Obamacare through their shutdown showdown, they succeeded in making it a national news item, and thus setting the stage for the media to eagerly pounce on the first hints of a problem with the new website.

    A month after the government shutdown, more than 60 percent of American television news programming still discusses Obamacare, while a vast array of critical foreign policy issues struggle for coverage amongst this deluge. Of course, this is simply what the news media does — across the world, it reports on the freshest stories that are likely to win the most readers. Even with the potentially infinite virtual space of the online world, there is still a fixed amount of real estate on the front page, fixed number of reporters, and a fixed amount of time in the day to cover all the stories competing for attention. Still, the sheer magnitude of the shift inwards caused by the Obamacare debacle and the attendant loss of political capital and public approval have real implications for the administration’s flexibility in tackling future foreign policy issues.

    Long et passionnant article sur le traitement médiatique de la politique d’Obama, avec le constat, étayé sur des analyses quantitative détaillées et géolocalisées des différents médias (presse, télé, internet). Avec un constat accablant : concentration sur l’échec de l’Obamacare et un impact désastreux, à la fois sur la popularité d’Obama et la place des affaires internationales et donc la capacité à agir sur celles ci.

    Parmi les nombreux graphiques.

    Traitement par les infos télévisées

    Localisation de la « tonalité » des médias vis-à-vis d’Obama (une carte pour chaque mois de juin à octobre)

  • Le bitcoin, la nouvelle icône barbare ? - 13/11/2013

    RFI - Aujourd’hui l’économie // Le bitcoin, la monnaie numérique créée en 2009, a de nouveau bluffé les places financières du monde entier en atteignant un sommet inédit. Samedi, son cours a grimpé jusqu’à 395 dollars, et depuis, il reste tout proche de la barre des 400 (...)

  • Syria crisis: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force

    The force excludes al-Qaida affiliates such as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, but embraces more non-jihadi Islamist and Salafi units.


    “There are two wars in Syria,” said Mustafa Alani, an analyst for the Saudi-backed Gulf Research Centre. “One against the Syrian regime and one against al-Qaida. Saudi Arabia is fighting both.”

    • Nos nouveaux meilleurs amis en Syrie :

      Saudi Arabia is preparing to spend millions of dollars to arm and train thousands of Syrian fighters in a new national rebel force to help defeat Bashar al-Assad and act as a counterweight to increasingly powerful jihadi organisations.

      Syrian, Arab and western sources say the intensifying Saudi effort is focused on Jaysh al-Islam (the Army of Islam or JAI), created in late September by a union of 43 Syrian groups. It is being billed as a significant new player on the fragmented rebel scene.


      The JAI is led by Zahran Alloush, a Salafi and formerly head of Liwa al-Islam, one of the most effective rebel fighting forces in the Damascus area. Alloush recently held talks with Bandar along with Saudi businessmen who are financing individual rebel brigades under the JAI’s banner. Other discreet coordinating meetings in Turkey have involved the Qatari foreign minister, Khaled al-Attiyeh, and the US envoy to Syria, Robert Ford.

      In one indication of its growing confidence – and resources – the JAI this week advertised online for experienced media professionals to promote its cause.

      Oui, si tu maîtrises la Creative Suite® d’Adobe™, tu peux postuler auprès de « jobs@islam-army.com » :

      L’effort médiatique est visible : le champ lexical livré aux médias internationaux est très visible : il s’agirait, de la part de l’Arabie séoudite et des bailleurs privés, de « lutter contre l’extrémisme ».

      Saudi Arabia’s Shadow War - David Kenner

      Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, along with the CIA, also supported the Afghan rebels against the Soviet-backed government during the 1980s. That collaboration contains a cautionary note for the current day: The fractured Afghan rebels were unable to govern after the old regime fell, paving the way for chaos and the rise of the Taliban. Some of the insurgents, meanwhile, transformed into al Qaeda and eventually turned their weapons against their former patrons.

      While the risk of blowback has been discussed in Riyadh, Saudis with knowledge of the training program describe it as an antidote to extremism, not a potential cause of it. They have described the kingdom’s effort as having two goals — toppling the Assad regime, and weakening al Qaeda-linked groups in the country. Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence chief and envoy to Washington, said in a recent interview that the mainstream opposition must be strengthened so that it could protect itself “these extremists who are coming from all over the place” to impose their own ideologies on Syria.

    • Syria: Ahrar Al-Sham leader threatens to form Islamist rebel command

      The Islamist factions are led by four rebel commanders in charge of operations in Damascus, Aleppo, Idlib, and Raqqa. They are: Zahran Alloush, commander of Islam Brigade in Rif Dimashq, Haj Mara’a (Abdelkader Saleh), commander of Al-Tawhid Brigade, Isa Al-Sheikh, commander of Suqour Al-Sham, and Abu Talha, commander of Ahrar Al-Sham.

      Asharq Al-Awsat spoke with Abu Talha, commander of Ahar Al-Sham, the largest armed Islamist faction in Syria. It includes military, rescue, and engineering units and is responsible for delivering the salaries of workers in the town of Raqqa, according to its leaders.

      Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Abu Talha said: “The FSA leadership was established under circumstances which were neither natural, nor healthy, resulting in a body which does not meet our aspirations.”

      Although differences have always existed between the Islamist factions and the FSA leadership, the Islamist factions have lately announced their intention to completely withdraw from both the FSA and the Syrian National Coalition.

  • Threat of Failure
    Does coercive diplomacy actually work? Don’t let the popular narrative on Syria fool you.

    It is also revealing to contrast how U.S. officials embrace the use of coercion for their own objectives, while condemning its use by others. In the East China Sea and South China Sea territorial disputes, Washington consistently tells Beijing that it must solely rely upon a rules-based diplomatic approach. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel declared at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this year, “The United States stands firmly against any coercive attempts to alter the status quo.” Similarly, Hagel’s deputy, Ashton Carter, noted in reference to the Asia-Pacific, “We oppose provocation. We oppose coercion. We oppose the use of force,” adding a U.S. preference for “peaceful resolution of disputes in a manner consistent with international law.” Of course, resorting to coercion and the use of force to change the status quo are defining characteristics of U.S. foreign policy, and — as the reactions to Syria demonstrate — they are widely embraced among pundits and officials.

  • Syrie : d’importants groupes rebelles prônent la charia et rejettent la Coalition nationale

    D’importants groupes rebelles islamistes combattant en Syrie ont affirmé mardi 24 septembre au soir qu’aucune organisation basée à l’étranger, y compris la Coalition nationale, ne saurait les représenter.


    Le groupe radical mais non djihadiste Ahrar Al-Sham a également signé le texte, tout comme la 19e Division, une formation importante mais relativement récente du courant principal Armée syrienne libre. Ces groupes affirment que la loi islamique doit être la seule source de la législation.

    • Pour élaborer une « narrative » cohérente bons salafistes versus mauvais salafistes (AQ) en Syrie il suffit de faire comme Reuters : ne parler que de « Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), » autrement dit faire comme si al Nosra n’existait plus.

      Insight : Saudi Arabia boosts Salafist rivals to al Qaeda in Syria

      Rebel and diplomatic sources said it was Saudi Arabia which nudged rebel brigades operating in and around Damascus to announce this week that they have united under a single command comprising 50 groups and numbering some thousands of fighters.

      The formation of the Army of Islam in the capital’s eastern fringe under Zahran Alloush, leader of the group Liwa al-Islam, strengthens Salafist jihadis owing allegiance to Riyadh against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda branch which has in recent weeks taken control of territory from other Islamist forces in parts of northern and eastern Syria.

      The establishment of the Army of Islam follows last week’s joint declaration by groups, mainly in the northeast but also including Liwa al-Islam, who agreed to fight for Islamic rule and also rejected the authority of the Western- and Saudi-backed opposition in exile, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

      That accord was notably not signed by ISIL.

      D’après Hassan Hassan (partisan des Saoud) al-Nusra aurait été éliminé du nouveau groupe,

      Saudi Arabia appears to be central to the merger of rebel groups
      around Damascus. Liwa al-Islam chief Zahran Alloush is backed by Riyadh, while both Ahrar al-Sham, which is supported by Qatar, and Jabhat al-Nusra have been excluded from the new grouping. Although Liwa al-Islam had been part of the Saudi-backed FSA, the spokesman of the new grouping told an Arabic television channel that the Army of Islam is not part of the FSA. This is likely because the FSA has lost the trust of many rebel groups, and adopting a religious language will be more effective in countering the appeal of radical groups — which is what happened after the announcement of the merger, as various Islamists and moderate groups welcomed the move.

  • Le patron de la NSA défend la « mission noble » de son agence

    Le général Keith Alexander, patron de l’Agence américaine de sécurité nationale (NSA) a estimé, mercredi 25 septembre lors d’une conférence à Washington sur la sécurité informatique, le Billington Cybersecurity Summit, que les révélations sur ses programmes de surveillance par l’ancien consultant Edward Snowden, avaient été « dramatisées et exacerbées dans la plupart des médias ».

    « Ce qui a été mis en avant dans la plupart des médias, c’est que nous écoutons vos conversations, que nous lisons vos e-mails. Ce n’est pas vrai. Nous savons que notre travail est de défendre ce pays. C’est une mission noble.

    L’avenir de ce pays dépend de notre capacité à nous défendre contre les attaques informatiques et les menaces terroristes, et nous avons besoin d’outils pour le faire ».

    Le général Alexander a assuré qu’il y avait eu très peu d’attentats aux Etats-Unis depuis ceux du 11 septembre 2001, au regard de la croissance des menaces dans le monde. « Ce n’est pas un hasard, c’est dû à un gros travail », a-t-il souligné, en rappelant que plus de 50 menaces terroristes dans le monde avaient été contrecarrées grâce aux renseignements recueillis à l’aide des programmes de surveillance, qui ont été très critiqués par l’Allemagne et le Brésil.

  • Meet the Microsoft Billionaire Who’s Trying to Reboot U.S. Counterterrorism - By Shane Harris | Foreign Policy

    Add to Nathan Myhrvold’s already eclectic résumé — which includes ex-chief technology officer of Microsoft, co-founder of one of the world’s largest patent-holding firms, and author of a $625 cookbook — a new credit: terrorism expert.

    Myhrvold, a famous autodidact, recently published a 33-page paper that he rousingly calls, “Strategic Terrorism: A Call to Action.” The core of his argument is easy enough to understand, and probably true: The United States is more focused on stopping a guy who blows up an airplane and kills 300 people than on a guy who intentionally spreads smallpox and kills 300,000.

    “In my estimation, the U.S. government, although well-meaning, is unable to protect us from the greatest threats we face,” Myhrvold writes. “[M]odern technology can provide small groups of people with much greater lethality than ever before. We now have to worry that private parties might gain access to weapons that are as destructive as — or possibly even more destructive than — those held by any nation-state.”

    #anti-terrorisme #silicon_army #peur

  • Exclusive: Does Israel Have Chemical Weapons Too? - By Matthew M. Aid | Foreign Policy

    A newly discovered CIA document indicates that Israel likely built up a chemical arsenal of its own.


    Reports have circulated in arms control circles for almost 20 years that Israel secretly manufactured a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons to complement its nuclear arsenal. Much of the attention has been focused on the research and development work being conducted at the Israeli government’s secretive Israel Institute for Biological Research at Ness Ziona, located 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv.

    But little, if any, hard evidence has ever been published to indicate that Israel possesses a stockpile of chemical or biological weapons. This secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate may be the strongest indication yet.

    • But what makes the single page found at the Reagan Library so explosive is that it contains the complete and unredacted portion of the intelligence estimate that details what the CIA thought it knew back in 1983 about Israel’s work on chemical weapons, which the CIA’s censors had carefully excised from the version released to the National Archives in 2009.
      The estimate shows that in 1983 the CIA had hard evidence that Israel possessed a chemical weapons stockpile of indeterminate size, including, according to the report, “persistent and non-persistent nerve agents.” The persistent nerve agent referred to in the document is not known, but the non-persistent nerve agent in question was almost certainly sarin.
      But the CIA assessment suggests that the Israelis accelerated their research and development work on chemical weapons following the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. According to the report, U.S. intelligence detected “possible tests” of Israeli chemical weapons in January 1976, which, again, almost certainly took place somewhere in the Negev Desert. A former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer whom I interviewed recalled that at about this time, the National Security Agency captured communications showing that Israeli air force fighter-bombers operating from Hatzerim Air Base outside the city of Beersheba in southern Israel had been detected conducting simulated low-level chemical weapons delivery missions at a bombing range in the Negev Desert.
      (…)To complicate things further, in January 1976 the long-simmering civil war in Lebanon was beginning to heat up. And the CIA was increasingly concerned about the growing volume of evidence, much of it coming from human intelligence sources inside Israel, indicating that the Israeli nuclear weapons stockpile was growing both in size and raw megatonnage. At the same time that all this was happening, the Israeli “chemical weapons” test mentioned in CIA document occurred. It increased the already-heightened level of concern within the U.S. intelligence community about what the Israelis were up to.
      At some point in late 1982, as the Reagan administration strove with minimal success to get the Israeli government to withdraw its forces from Lebanon, American spy satellites discovered what the 1983 CIA intelligence described as “a probable CW nerve agent production facility and a storage facility ... at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert.”

      The CIA report, however, provides no further elucidation about the size or production capacity of the newly discovered Israeli nerve agent production facility near Dimona, or even where the so-called “Dimona Sensitive Storage Area” was located.

      At my request, a friend of mine who retired years ago from the U.S. intelligence community began systematically scanning the available cache of commercial satellite imagery found on the Google Maps website, looking for the mysterious and elusive Israeli nerve agent production facility and weapons storage bunker complex near the city of Dimona where Israel stores its stockpile of chemical weapons.

      It took a little while, but the imagery search found what I believe is the location of the Israeli nerve agent production facility and its associated chemical weapons storage area in a desolate and virtually uninhabited area of the Negev Desert just east of the village of al-Kilab, which is only 10 miles west of the outskirts of the city of Dimona. The satellite imagery shows that the heavily protected weapons storage area at al-Kilab currently consists of almost 50 buried bunkers surrounded by a double barbed-wire-topped fence and facilities for a large permanent security force. I believe this extensive bunker complex is the location of what the 1983 CIA intelligence estimate referred to as the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area.

      If you drive two miles to the northeast past the weapons storage area, the satellite imagery shows that you run into another heavily guarded complex of about 40 or 50 acres. Surrounded again by a double chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, the complex appears to consist of an administrative and support area on the western side of facility. The eastern side of the base, which is surrounded by its own security fence, appears to consist of three large storage bunkers and a buried production and/or maintenance facility. Although not confirmed, the author believes that this may, in fact, be the location of the Israeli nerve agent production facility mentioned in the 1983 CIA report.

  • Questioning Credibility - By Shibley Telhami | Foreign Policy

    What the Middle East really thinks about chemical weapons and U.S. intervention in Syria.

    The common denominators of regional perceptions of CW use and U.S. intervention are the mistrust of American policy and the ranking of the U.S. and Israel as the two “biggest threats” facing the Middle East. (...)

    Similarly, most Arabs have opposed U.S. action in Syria in large part because they see every American move as intended to serve suspicious interests. (Indeed, Arab public attitudes toward the U.S. role in Syria have not coincided nicely with the region’s strong anti-Assad mood.) Even if the U.S. intervenes in Syria under humanitarian auspices, it will be seen as nefarious.

  • The Civil War Within Syria’s Civil War - By Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa | Foreign Policy

    Armies of Kurdish women are taking on Syria’s Islamists — and winning.

    Syrie : ces combattantes kurdes qui gagnent la guerre contre les djihadistes- http://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_syrie-ces-combattantes-kurdes-qui-gagnent-la-guerre-contre-les-djihadist