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Entries in David Cameron (26)


Syria Today: US and Russia Manoeuvre Over Support for Assad

1930 GMT: Even Government Sources Admit Baniyas is Different.

The Baniyas massacre on Syria's coast may be a singular event that stands out as being dramatically different than all the other massacres. For starters, the scale of the massacre is at least among the worst of all of Syria's massacres, though some reports suggest that it may be magnitudes worse than any event that has taken place since the start of this crisis. Also, this incident had a clearly sectarian nature to it that is not disputed - Alawite militias loyal to President Assad targeted Sunnis, many of them children, and killed them en masse. In a thorough, nuanced, and eloquent description of the massacre, the New York Times' Anne Barnard and Hania Mourtada point out that the Assad government typically blames civilian deaths on "terrorists" even when their own forces and loyalists are implicated. This time, however, even the government admitted that its people were responsible for a mass killing, though they tell a different tale than Baniyas's residents:

Multiple video images that residents said they had recorded in Bayda and Ras al-Nabeh — of small children lying where they died, some embracing one another or their parents — were so searing that even some government supporters rejected Syrian television’s official version of events, that the army had “crushed a number of terrorists.”

One prominent pro-government writer, Bassam al-Qadi, took the unusual, risky step of publicly blaming loyalist gunmen for the killings and accusing the government of “turning a blind eye to criminals and murderers in the name of ‘defending the homeland.’ “

The article chronicles some of the evidence and eyewitness reports. It also argues that there were those who were trying to break with the sectarian nature of the killings even while the violence was ongoing. In the end, however, it's a must-read article on a story that has been under-reported.

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Syria Audio Analysis: Have US & Britain Changed Their Lines?

EA's Scott Lucas spoke with Monocle 24's The Briefing this afternoon about the latest US and British rhetoric on Syria.

Listen from 17:26 on The Briefing homepage or in a separate pop-out window

In a week when British Prime Minister David Cameron met Russian leader Vladimir Putin and then US President Barack Obama, have Washington and London moved from support of the insurgency to a political accommodation with the regime?

And what of others involved in the conflict --- for example, why is Iran talking so tough this week?


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.

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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.

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Syria Audio Analysis: Britain's Big Push with Russia on The Conflict --- Scott Lucas with Monocle.

EA's Scott Lucas talked to Monocle 24 on Friday morning ahead of a working meeting between UK prime minister David Cameron and Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sochi, to discuss the Syria conflict.

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EA Video Analysis: North Africa, "Generational Struggle", and War on Terror 2.0

A few words of concern --- with a  request for knowledge and understanding, rather than caricature and polemic --- to British Prime Minister David Cameron about his declaration of "generational struggle" against "terrorists", "jihadists", Al Qa'eda, and anyone else with a "poisonous ideology":


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.

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Europe Analysis: Russia and Britain --- Becoming Best Friends?

Given all the tensions between Russia and Britain, how can there be a thaw in the frozen diplomatic relations?

The answer is simple.

Gas --- and the company BP.

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Syria Feature: After Insurgent Victories, US Again Considers "Deeper Intervention" (Sanger/Schmitt)

David Sanger and Eric Schmitt write for The New York Times:

The Obama administration, hoping that the conflict in Syria has reached a turning point, is considering deeper intervention to help push President Bashar al-Assad from power, according to government officials involved in the discussions.

While no decisions have been made, the administration is considering several alternatives, including directly providing arms to some opposition fighters.

The most urgent decision, likely to come next week, is whether NATO should deploy surface-to-air missiles in Turkey, ostensibly to protect that country from Syrian missiles that could carry chemical weapons. The State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said Wednesday that the Patriot missile system would not be “for use beyond the Turkish border.”

But some strategists and administration officials believe that Syrian Air Force pilots might fear how else the missile batteries could be used. If so, they could be intimidated from bombing the northern Syrian border towns where the rebels control considerable territory. A NATO survey team is in Turkey, examining possible sites for the batteries.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: What Next for the Opposition?

President Assad, in an interview with Russia Today, warns against foreign military intervention

Wednesday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Stripping Opponents of Citizenship

1807 GMT: Bahrain. A source shares with us a video reportedly taken yesterday in Bilad Al-Qadeem. It appears to show men in plainclothes armed with tear gas launchers, firing them in the direction of what we are told was a march by protesters.

The men arrive in two vehicles, fire several shots, then drive off. It is unclear if they are civilians or members of the security forces.

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