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Entries in Anders Fogh Rasmussen (13)


Syria Analysis: Why Assad's Use of SCUD Missiles is Really Important

Cluster bomb and bomblets in Deir al-Asafir on November 27th. This air raid reportedly killed 11 children and wounded others.

See also Friday's Syria Live Coverage: Russia Gives Up on Assad

Assad is using SCUD missiles. The evidence is overwhelming. However, the use of SCUDs, a Cold-War era ballistic missile, is both more important, and less important, than the media and the world leaders are making it out to be.

It is the cumulative use of ballistic missiles, Grad rockets, naval mines, and other strange munitions are important. They signal that Assad has used every weapon left in his arsenal (almost), and is running out of resources almost as fast as he is running out of ideas. The use of these weapons proves that the regime is ready to use inefficient weapons against both insurgents and civilians instead of negotiating an escape and ending this bloody war.

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The Latest from Iran (17 December): Seeking Influence on Syria

Iran Special Analysis: Breaking the Deadlock in the Nuclear Negotiations
The Latest from Iran (16 December): Is Tehran Ready for Concessions on Nuclear Programme?

1551 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Turkish Front). NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has rejected the declaration by the head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, that the placement of NATO's Patriot anti-missiles sysems on Turkey's border with Syria risks a world war.

"I completely denounce these (Iranian) allegations. We have made clear right from the outset that the deployment of Patriots is a purely defensive measure," Rasmussen told a news conference after talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. "We are there to defend and protect our ally Turkey. We have no offensive intentions whatsoever."

On Saturday, Firouzabadi said, "Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war. They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself."

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Syria Special: 16 Months Later, A History of the Insurgency --- And What It Foreshadows for the Regime

Free Syrian Army fighters celebrate their overrunning of regime soldiers and destruction of armoured vehicles

Nothing in Syria is certain but Death and Protests. The debate about whether the Free Syrian Army is good for Syria, or whether they can be trusted, or whether they will harbor extremists, will likely continue. However, as the conflict drags on, this debate is becoming increasingly academic, as are the efforts by Kofi Annan and others to negotiate a peace. No fighters, and no commanders, in the Free Syrian Army are in a position to agree this: why should they, as they ride a series of military victories?

Peace is not in Syria's immediate future, nor is the dissolution of its insurgency. The only questions that remain are how long the Assad regime can last, who will fill the void when he is gone, and what will be left of Syria when all that transpires.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: NATO Meets Over Downing of Turkish Jet

Stuart Ramsay of Britain's Sky News meets members of Syrian security forces held by the Free Syrian Army

See also Syria Audio Feature: "How Significant Are Sanctions?" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Bahrain Analysis: Are the Sunni Movements Still Awake?
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Away from the Headlines, "Only" 126 Dead on Sunday
Monday's Egypt Live Coverage: A President is Elected --- Now What?

2024 GMT: Syria. Assad's military may have suffered many losses today, but they inflicted incredible damage in the process, mostly to civilian areas. This video, for instance, shows shells falling around an important mosque in Talbiseh, north of Homs (map):

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: So It's Now a "Civil War"

LiveStream of Wednesday's shelling of Homs in Syria

See also Syria Document: UN Report on Regime's Abuses of Children
Iraq Latest: At Least 44 Killed as Bombs Target Pilgrims and Police
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 109 Killed Amid Reports of "Children as Human Shields" and a "Plainclothes Army"

2105 GMT: Bahrain. Not only was a 5-year-old boy shot by police tonight, but his father was also injured, according to activists:

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Libya Feature: NATO's Secrecy Over Civilian Deaths From Its Bombs (Chivers)

Sometime late last Aug. 8, NATO warplanes flying from Europe arrived over the Libyan farming village of Majer, where forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were withdrawing and anti-Qaddafi forces were claiming ground. Civilians were in motion, too — seeking pockets of safety away from the roaming sides, neither of which fought with precision or clear rules. This is the type of situation in which air support can be especially risky and in which, even with a careful calculus of modern target planning, mistakes are likely.

The aircraft that night have never been publicly identified by NATO, which has treated their origins and nationalities as strict military secrets.

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Iraq Feature: How Torture Revelations May Touch the Highest Levels of NATO (Kaye)

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh RasmussenA scandal unfolding in Denmark over the transfer of Iraqi prisoners by Danish forces to Iraq authorities, even as they knew they would be tortured, threatens to implicate the current Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly prime minister of Denmark from 2001-2009.

The defense ministry in the government of former Prime Minister Rasmussen is charged with withholding its knowledge of Iraqi torture from legislators when a copy of a 2004 inspection at Al Makil prison in Basra was sent to Parliament.

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Serbia Breaking: General Ratko Mladic Arrested for War Crimes (Al Jazeera English)

Al Jazeera English reports:

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general wanted for alleged war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict, has been arrested, Serbia has announced.

"On behalf of the Republic of Serbia we announce that Ratko Mladic has been arrested," Boris Tadic, the country's president, said.

"Today we closed one chapter of our difficult history that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region.

"All criminals must face justice," he said.

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Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Qaddafi Son, 3 Grandsons Reportedly Killed in Airstrike

2150 GMT: Back to the start of our busy Sunday --- Libyan State TV has shown footage of what it claims is the body of leader Muammar Qaddafi's son Seif al-Arab, reportedly killed by a NATO airstrike:

2140 GMT: Activists, residents, and a prominent lawyer have said that Syrian authorities are rounding up busloads of young men in the occupied city of Daraa.

"They are arresting all males above 15 years. They only have old security tactics and they are acting on revenge," said the lawyer. "Bullets are their response to the people's revolt. The security forces who came to Deraa told us 'Go buy bread from a bakery called Freedom. Let's see if it feeds you.'"

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Persistence

Benghazi Residents Celebrate Claimed Death of Qaddafi Son (Photo: Reuters)Because of the developing news of the NATO airstrike that reportedly killed Seif al-Arab Qaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader, and three of Muammar Qaddafi's grandson, we have moved the LiveBlog to an entry at the top of the page.