Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Britain (47)


Syria Today: US and Britain Play for Time

2110 GMT: Islamist Faction Executes Pro-Regime Militia in Raqqa

Graphic video posted on YouTube today shows the execution of three men, claimed to be pro-regime militia, in the main square of the city of Raqqa.

Before the execution, a man reads out a statement declaring the execution to be in response to the mass killing of residents of the coastal town of al-Bayada, near Baniyas, earlier this month.

The man signs off the statement with a reference to the "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham".

The identity of the faction is unclear as is any affiliation with large Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been prominent in the takeover of Raqqa.

Residents of Raqqa have rallied tonight in protest against the executions.

Click to read more ...


Syria Today: Russia Holds Off US and British Political Approach

The moment one of two car bombs went off in Reyhanli in Turkey, near the Syrian border, killing more than 40

See also Friday's Syria Today: Turkey "Backs US-Enforced No-Fly Zone"
Friday's Syria Today: Turkey "Backs US-Enforced No-Fly Zone"

1610 GMT: Deadly Bombing Inside Turkey on the Border

Leading Turkish officials have been issuing statements as the death toll from the two car bombs in Reyhanli, just inside Turkey on the Syrian border, passed 40 with more than 100 injured.

President Abdullah Gul said, "We should be careful against provocations," while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared:

These actions could have been taken to raise sensitivity in Hatay Province. Twenty to twenty-five thousand refugees live in camps and others are our guests.

The culprits could be those who could not digest this. Or it could be those who want to provoke this fact.

I think we need to be very careful and patient.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Journalist Ahmed Hassan, Killed March 2012I suspect George Orwell would be impressed.

The headline on the British Government's website appears straight-forward: "British Embassy Bahrain Marks World Press Freedom Day". The introduction sounds promising: "The British Embassy asked Bahraini journalists and commentators to write a brief article outlining their views on the freedom of expression in Bahrain."

So who would the British government select to address this important issue and what would the answers be?

Would the British government open a discussion of how Bahrain's mainstream press and broadcasting is almost exclusively pro-regime outlets?

Would it allow comment from or pay tribute to those reporters who have tried to bring alternative views?

Would there be recognition of those journalists who have been refused entry to Bahrain, or asked to leave the country, or those who have been detained, sentenced to prison< terms, or even killed by security forces?

Well, no.

Click to read more ...


Syria Analysis: Chemical Weapons, the US, and the Insurgency

The use of chemical weapons or their possession by the "wrong" forces, while genuinely considered a threat by US and European governments, has been used to date to justify the build-up of a multi-national base in Jordan, with training and the supply of weapons to insurgents.

The US Secretary of State, though indirectly and carefully, opens up the prospect: will the chemical weapons argument now be used to escalate that support, possibly moving it into the open?

Click to read more ...


Syria Live Coverage: Britain and France to Lift Arms Embargo on Insurgents?

1832 GMT: Massacre in Daraa. The Daraa Coordination Committee reports that at least 20 people have been found dead near a checkpoint in Daraa after they were arrested:

20 People from Daraa Mahata were martyred under torture at Hamida Taher checkpoint. Their bodies were moved to the national hospital; of which the following martyrs were identified: Sheik Walid al-Sari Abazeed, Mujahed Abazeed, Sheik Musleh Ayyash, Sheik Rabea al-Kakouni, Waseem Ali al-Falouji, Nassar Abu-Nabbout, Youssef al-Mefalani, Abu-Moayad Labash al-Abazeed.

At this point, 5 graphic videos posted to the Daraa Committee's Youtube channel show bodies of men that have some of the hallmark's of torture. Beatings, bruises, what may be burn marks or puncture wounds, black eyes, broken noses, gunshots to the head... the videos are ugly.

The Hamida Tahrir district is just north of Daraa Albalad, the southern half of Daraa that is still in rebel control (map). The checkpoint here, however, is under government control. It has reportedly been used to ensure that rebel spies, sympathizers, and defectors do not reach rebel territory or ferry information back and forth.

Click to read more ...


Syria Audio Analysis: Stories Beyond European Arms Embargo on the Insurgents --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about the possibility that the European Union, with a high-level meeting today in Brussels, might lift the embargo on arms to the insurgents.

Listen to interview, from the 5:46 mark, on The Daily's homepage or in a pop-out window.

The conversation quickly moved beyond that headline to the important realities and questions, including: 1) European countries such as Britain and France are already involved --- if not publicly --- in provision of weaponis to the insurgency; 2) the foreign special forces who may be inside Syria already; 3) the complications of the arms supply to the insurgency, with incidents such as the kidnapping of United Nations peacekeepers last week --- "this is not a clean operation; there is not one single opposition army here".


Syria Feature: US, Britain, and France Train Insurgents in Jordan (Borger/Hopkins)

EA Video Analysis, 21 February: "How and Why the US is Arming the Insurgents"

Western training of Syrian rebels is under way in Jordan in an effort to strengthen secular elements in the opposition as a bulwark against Islamic extremism, and to begin building security forces to maintain order in the event of Bashar al-Assad's fall.

Jordanian security sources say the training effort is led by the US, but involves British and French instructors.

Click to read more ...


Syria Audio Feature: Britain Is "Economical with the Truth" About Aid to Insurgents --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

British Foreign Secretary William HagueI spoke with BBC WM last night about the statement by British Foreign William Hague, given in Parliament, about aid to the Syrian insurgency.

Listen to the interview from the 1:54.01 mark

The discussion noted Hague's declaration, following the US, of "non-lethal" assistance; however, it gets interesting when Paul Franks and I chatted about Hague's denial that Britain is providing any weapons.

I noted that Britain and the US have been co-operating and co-ordinating with those, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who have been provided advanced weapons in the last two months.

Pushed by Franks, I said, "Of course I am not saying that William Hague is lying."

I was just saying that, for political reasons, he is being "economical with the truth".


Britain & Europe Analysis: A "Dad's Army" Guide to Prime Minister Cameron's Important Speech

(Cartoon: Andy Davey/The Sun)

In British television legend, there is an iconic situation comedy, Dad’s Army, in which the actor Clive Dunn --- who passed away a few months ago --- had a series of memorable catchphrases.

In an unexpected tribute, the phrases of Dunn and his colleagues are a fitting context for British Prime Minister David Cameron, as he gives one of the most important speeches of his Premiership.

As he speaks about British’s relationship with the European Union, Cameron may keep these words in mind.

Click to read more ...


EA Audio Analysis: Britain, Europe, & the US Warning --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

Listen to the Audio (from 23:20)

On Wednesday, the Obama Administration created front-page news in Britain when Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said, "We want to see a strong British voice in that European Union," and warned against any referendum on the issue.

The ensuing flutter was predictable, with radio phone-ins filled with Britons denouncing the US intervention and sometimes often taking shots at "Europe".

I spoke yesterday with BBC WM about the episode, with the discussion beginning at 23:20.

Two take-away points, the second of which surprised presenter Adrian Goldberg:

1. Why did the US issue the warning? "It's the Economy, Stupid."

2. The Obama Administration probably spoke with Her Majesty's Government before Gordon made his remarks.

GOLDBERG: "So Britain colluded with the White House over this statement?"

LUCAS: "Colluded is such a harsh word. I prefer consulted."

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 5 Older Posts »