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Escalation in the Syrian civil war

Following reports of a poison gas attack near Damascus, the US is considering a military strike against Bashar al-Assad's regime. What can an international intervention achieve in the Syrian conflict?

Svenska Dagbladet - Sweden | Wednesday, 18. September 2013

Make room for Syrian refugees in Sweden

Sweden announced at the start of September that it would grant Syrian refugees an unlimited right of residence, becoming the first European country to do so. But the conditions under which the asylum seekers will be taken in have not yet been settled, the liberal daily Svenska Dagbladet criticises: » more

Main focus of Tuesday, 17. September 2013

UN confirms use of poison gas in Syria

UN inspectors have found "clear and convincing evidence" of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, according to their report on Monday. The US and ... » more

NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Tuesday, 17. September 2013

The "red line" paved the way for compromise

The agreement between Russia and the US on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons would never have come about without US President Barack Obama's "red line", the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad points out: » more

Le Temps - Switzerland | Tuesday, 17. September 2013

Chemical weapons agreement won't bring peace

The agreement on the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons will not guarantee peace, the liberal daily Le Temps writes: » more

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Tuesday, 17. September 2013

Finally certainty on use of poison gas

The UN report on the use of poison gas provides sufficient ammunition to raise the pressure on Syria, the liberal business paper Il Sole 24 ore concludes: » more

Die Presse - Austria | Tuesday, 17. September 2013

Assad goes unpunished

Despite the evidence turned up by the UN inspectors the Syrian regime will be protected from sanctions for now, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse complains: » more

Sme - Slovakia | Monday, 16. September 2013

Russia must put Syria under pressure

The US and Russia negotiated an agreement for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in Geneva on the weekend. The plan is as good as ... » more

Financial Times - United Kingdom | Sunday, 15. September 2013

Chemical weapons agreement strengthens Assad

The agreement on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons won't help stop the civil war, the conservative daily The Financial Times writes: » more

Main focus of Friday, 13. September 2013

Give-and-take over Syria's chemical weapons

Syria has applied to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, a UN spokesperson confirmed on Thursday in New York. The US is currently engaged in talks ... » more

La Stampa - Italy | Friday, 13. September 2013

No way out for Obama

The US's threats of military action are ineffective, the liberal daily La Stampa concludes: » more

De Morgen - Belgium | Friday, 13. September 2013

Win-win situation for Washington and Moscow

Both Obama and Putin stand to gain from the diplomatic turn in the Syria conflict, the left-liberal daily De Morgen notes: » more

Večernji list - Croatia | Friday, 13. September 2013

Putin scores victory as diplomat

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin urgently warned against military intervention in Syria on Wednesday. The Kremlin boss has scored a diplomatic victory here, Moscow author Maria Lipman comments in the conservative daily Večernji List: » more

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Friday, 13. September 2013

No to intervention in Syria

Europe and the US have supported the Assad regime for decades, writes the Syrian-German author Rafik Schami accusingly in the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung, arguing that intervening now is the wrong way to go: » more

Main focus of Thursday, 12. September 2013

Kerry and Lavrov meet to discuss Syria

The struggle for a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis continues. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet ... » more

Hürriyet - Turkey | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Only Turkey still wants war

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Tuesday spoke out against a peaceful solution to the Syria conflict and warned that Assad is just trying to buy more time. The conservative daily Hürriyet has no patience with Ankara's belligerent stance: » more

Kathimerini - Greece | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Putin wins out against West

Russian President Putin is setting the tone in the Syria crisis, the conservative daily Kathimerini writes: » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Diplomacy won't stop bloodshed

The diplomatic wrangling over Syria is not actually concerned with the fate of the people there, columnist Bert Wagendorp complains in the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Hitler in the Middle East and no Churchill in sight

The Syria crisis can only be resolved by an external force outside the country, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman explains in an article published in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: » more

Jyllands-Posten - Denmark | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Obama's zigzag course a disaster

The right-wing liberal daily Jyllands-Posten criticises the course taken by US President Obama: » more

Main focus of Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Obama postpones attack on Assad

The US will not intervene militarily in Syria for the time being, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday in his address to the nation. First ... » more

Le Point - France | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Pollsters dictate Syria policy

The West must not let pollsters determine its policy on Syria, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy writes in the liberal-conservative magazine Le Point: » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Keep up pressure on Syria

Syria's consent to place its weapons under international control must be followed by further steps, comments the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant: » more

Yeni Şafak - Turkey | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Don't make plans, stop the bloodshed

Merely destroying Syria's chemical weapons won't provide a solution to the conflict, the Islamic-conservative daily Yeni Şafak admonishes: » more

Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

A chance for diplomacy

There are growing signs that diplomacy will win out, the liberal daily Tagesspiegel writes in delight: » more

Die Presse - Austria | Wednesday, 11. September 2013

Assad will play his jokers

The real winner in the diplomatic tug of war over Syria is Bashar al-Assad, writes the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse: » more

The Independent - United Kingdom | Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Andreas Whittam Smith on the end of Western imperialism

According to several surveys, a majority of the population in both the US and Europe is against a military strike in Syria. This reluctance marks the end of Western colonialism and imperialism, comments columnist Andreas Whittam Smith in the left-liberal daily The Independent: » more

Main focus of Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Syria urged to destroy chemical weapons

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday called on Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and destroy them. In doing so he ... » more

El Mundo - Spain | Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Moscow shows Washington a solution

Russia's proposal comes in very handy for US President Barack Obama, the conservative daily El Mundo comments: » more

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Turnaround in the Syria conflict possible

The Russian initiative has definite advantages and could bring movement into the deadlocked situation in Syria, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: » more

La Stampa - Italy | Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Military strike less likely

Speaking in a television interview on Monday, Obama has voiced his approval of the Russian proposal to place the chemical weapons in Syria under international control. But this turnaround in developments is not just down to the Russian offer, the liberal daily La Stampa explains: » more

Delo - Slovenia | Tuesday, 10. September 2013

Russia comes to US's rescue

Russia's proposal on Syria could help the US out of its diplomatic impasse, the left-liberal daily Delo comments: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Monday, 9. September 2013

Francis's diplomacy of charity

Addressing tens of thousands of Catholics in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis demanded an end to the violence in Syria and called instead for dialogue. In doing so he has spoken out against the idea of a just war and taken sides with the victims, the left-liberal daily La Repubblica applauds: » more

The Economist - United Kingdom | Saturday, 7. September 2013

Obama submits to vagaries of Congress

US President Barack Obama will start a major media offensive today in a bid to convince popular opinion and Congress of the need for intervention in Syria. It was a mistake on Obama's part to get Congress involved at all, the liberal business magazine The Economist admonishes: » more

Main focus of Friday, 6. September 2013

Hardened fronts in St. Petersburg

So far there is no sign of the different sides reaching an agreement on the Syria crisis at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. The ... » more

Polska - Poland | Friday, 6. September 2013

Sikorski hits Russia's sore spot

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected accusations that Syria used Soviet technology in the 1970s and 80s to build up its chemical weapons arsenal, as Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski alleged in an interview with Le Monde last week. The conservative daily Polska doesn't believe the Russian version: » more

La Croix - France | Thursday, 5. September 2013

Pope won't capitulate to violence

Pope Francis has written an open letter to Vladimir Putin, urging the G20 summit to reach a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis. The Catholic daily La Croix praises the initiative: » more

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Friday, 6. September 2013

Obama turns clock back to Cold War

After Putin reaffirmed that Russia rejects the idea of a military strike against Syria, Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN, announced on Thursday evening that Washington would no longer seek a Syria resolution from the UN Security Council. A fatal conclusion, writes the liberal business paper Il Sole 24 Ore: » more

Sme - Slovakia | Friday, 6. September 2013

Putin can't be convinced

Although the topic of Syria is dominating the G20 summit, the decision on an intervention will be taken in the US, the liberal daily Sme writes: » more

Delo - Slovenia | Friday, 6. September 2013

Tailwind for Russia

As well as Russia a number of other G20 countries are critical of military intervention against Syria, as the summit in St. Petersburg has demonstrated. The left-liberal daily Delo sees this as a minor victory for Vladimir Putin: » more

Main focus of Thursday, 5. September 2013

Syria crisis overshadows G20 summit

The G20 leaders convene in St. Petersburg today, Thursday. Commentators expect the topic of Syria to dominate the talks. While some hope Obama will break ... » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 5. September 2013

For poet Adonis a military strike against Syria would be utter madness

The Syrian poet Adonis, who has lived in exile in Paris for the past 30 years, harshly condemns the plans for a military attack against Syria in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: » more

Le Figaro - France | Thursday, 5. September 2013

Russia needs Syria for its poker game

For Russia the Syrian conflict is above all a trump card in international relations, the conservative daily Le Figaro concludes: » more

Die Zeit - Germany | Thursday, 5. September 2013

Bernd Ulrich on the historic US vote on a Syria strike

US President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress to approve military intervention against Syria next week. A historic moment, writes Bernd Ulrich, deputy editor of the liberal weekly Die Zeit, adding that we must hope he secures a solid majority: » more

Politis - Cyprus | Wednesday, 4. September 2013

Nicosia could not ward off Assad's missiles

Military intervention against the Syrian regime would not pose major problems for Cyprus, the Cypriot Justice Minister Ionas Nikolaou stressed at the beginning of the week. The liberal daily Politis takes issue with this statement, pointing out that Nicosia would be unprepared should Syrian armed forces decide to attack the British military bases on Cyprus: » more

Politiken - Denmark | Thursday, 5. September 2013

Putin must draw same conclusion as Obama

Barack Obama has made it clear that the West must react to the use of poison gas, the left-liberal daily Politiken writes, hoping that Vladimir Putin will reach the same conclusion: » more

The Times - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 4. September 2013

Moscow's chance to end the war

Only Vladimir Putin is in a position to stave off a military attack against the Syrian regime at the G20 summit, the conservative daily The Times writes: » more

Main focus of Wednesday, 4. September 2013

More than six million Syrians have fled

The UN Refugee Agency estimates that more than two million people have fled Syria to escape the civil war so far, and that more than ... » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Wednesday, 4. September 2013

West must help Syrian refugees

The Western countries must react to the flood of refugees from Syria, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant urges: » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Wednesday, 4. September 2013

Fear of military action escalates crisis

A military strike against the Syrian regime would only bump up the number of refugees and exacerbate the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the country, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias warns: » more

Milliyet - Turkey | Wednesday, 4. September 2013

Syria intervention could destabilise Turkey

Turkey has been demanding a change of regime in Syria for months and therefore backs military intervention against its neighbour to the south. However such a move carries a number of risks, the conservative daily Milliyet warns: » more

Handelsblatt - Germany | Tuesday, 3. September 2013

French parliament wants a say on Syria

France's Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls announced on Sunday that his country will await the vote of the US Congress regarding military action in Syria and not attempt a unilateral deployment. At the same time several members of the National Assembly called for a vote in the French parliament. The liberal business paper Handelsblatt finds this remarkable: » more

Le Figaro - France | Monday, 2. September 2013

Assad interview justified

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Monday granted the French newspaper Le Figaro an exclusive interview on the use of chemical weapons and the conflict in Syria. In a leading article the conservative daily justifies publishing the interview in today's issue: » more

Večernji list - Croatia | Tuesday, 3. September 2013

Obama no longer willing to be world policeman

The fact that US President Barack Obama wants Congressional approval for a military attack shows that he intends to honour an election promise, the conservative daily Vecernji List writes: » more

Main focus of Monday, 2. September 2013

US Congress to vote on Syria intervention

US President Barack Obama on Saturday made the unexpected announcement that he would wait for Congress's approval before launching a military strike against Syria. This ... » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Monday, 2. September 2013

The world has a leadership problem

By allowing Congress to vote on the intervention in Syria US President Barack Obama is taking a huge risk, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant warns: » more

Corriere della Sera - Italy | Monday, 2. September 2013

The parliaments' revenge

Obama's decision to let Congress decide on the Syrian issue and the vote in the British House of Commons constitute a victory for the parliaments that nonetheless carries certain risks, points out the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera: » more

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Monday, 2. September 2013

Obama needs backing

US President Barack Obama's decision is a wise move, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung notes approvingly: » more

Lapin Kansa - Finland | Monday, 2. September 2013

On the anachronism of the UN

The Syrian crisis has once again highlighted the powerlessness of the United Nations, writes the liberal daily Lapin Kansa and demands a far-reaching reform of the organisation: » more

Libération - France | Monday, 2. September 2013

Dubious arguments for war

The French parliament is due to debate intervention in Syria on Wednesday. In France, too, more and more politicians are calling for the legislative assembly to vote on the issue. Many points indeed remain to be clarified, the left-liberal daily Libération comments: » more

Main focus of Friday, 30. August 2013

British parliament against Syria strike

Britain's House of Commons on Thursday voted against the country's participation in a strike against Syria. This was an historic defeat for Prime Minister David ... » more

Die Presse - Austria | Friday, 30. August 2013

Minor victory for the UN

The British have learned their lesson from the Iraq war, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse writes, pegging it as a success for the UN that the US and its partners are refraining from launching a military strike against Syria for now: » more

Tvxs - Greece | Thursday, 29. August 2013

Disarm both sides in Syria

If the international community really does intend to take action in Syria, the goal of the intervention must be to disarm both sides, demands journalist Eleanna Ioannidou on web portal Tvxs: » more

The Guardian - United Kingdom | Friday, 30. August 2013

Historical humiliation for Cameron

After three days of heated debate the British House of Commons has voted against the government's planned air strike in Syria. A moment of glory for British parliamentarianism, the left-liberal The Guardian rejoices: » more

Main focus of Thursday, 29. August 2013

US still hesitates on Syria intervention

US President Barack Obama says he hasn't yet reached a decision on intervention in Syria. Meanwhile the UN Security Council was unable on Wednesday to ... » more

Politis - Cyprus | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

Şener Levent on the angels of death on Cyprus

According to news reports, additional fighter jets have arrived at the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekeia on Cyprus in recent days for possible deployment in a military strike against Syria. The Turkish Cypriot columnist Şener Levent writes in the liberal daily Politis about Cyprus's participation in a crazy war: » more

Eesti Päevaleht - Estonia | Thursday, 29. August 2013

Prevent fragmentation of the Middle East

Former British prime minister Tony Blair argues for military intervention in the Syria conflict in an article published in the liberal daily Eesti Päevaleht, saying that not to act would mean "Syria, disintegrated, divided in blood, the nations around it destabilised, waves of terrorism rolling over the population of the region; Assad in power in the richest part of the country; Iran, with Russia's support, ascendant; a bitter sectarian fury running the Syrian eastern hinterland - and us, apparently impotent. I hear people talking as if there was nothing we could do: » more

Die Zeit - Germany | Thursday, 29. August 2013

The terrible power of war photos

After the presumed poison gas attack in Syria, images of murdered children and youths were seen all over the world. The left-liberal weekly Die Zeit points out that war photos have always been instrumentalised: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 29. August 2013

United Nations useless

The UN Security Council did not engage in official discussions on Wednesday over a resolution presented by the UK which would allow for military intervention in the Syria conflict. This testifies to its complete ineffectiveness, Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun admonishes in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: » more

Expressen - Sweden | Thursday, 29. August 2013

Help Syrian refugees

The escalation of the Syrian civil war will increase the number of refugees, and the rich countries also have a duty to help in this regard, the liberal tabloid Expressen writes: » more

The Times - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

Intervention must aim at toppling Assad

A military intervention of the West that seeks only to punish President Assad for the use of chemical weapons will send the wrong signal to the dictator, columnist Roger Boyes writes in the conservative daily The Times: » more

Main focus of Wednesday, 28. August 2013

US gets ready for Syria intervention

A week after the alleged toxic gas attack in Syria, the US and its allies are pushing ahead with preparations for a military intervention against ... » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

A little like during the Cold War

The justification for launching an attack against Syria is flimsy, writes the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias, fearing that old lines of conflict between the East and West could re-emerge: » more

De Morgen - Belgium | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

No plan for after the missiles

The US and its allies are getting ready for military intervention in Syria without any idea about what comes afterwards, the left-liberal daily De Morgen warns: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

The West just appeasing its own conscience

The West just wants to soothe its own conscience with a military strike against Syria, the left-liberal daily La Repubblica writes: » more

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Wednesday, 28. August 2013

Only an international protectorate can help

The international community is muddling its way through the Syria conflict with pseudo-solutions because it's not willing to make a serious commitment, the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung admonishes: » more

The Independent - United Kingdom | Tuesday, 27. August 2013

US fighting side by side with al-Qaeda

A military intervention in Syria would make the West an ally of the terrorist network al-Qaeda, columnist Robert Fisk writes in the left-liberal daily The Independent: » more

Le Soir - Belgium | Monday, 26. August 2013

Don't compare Syria with Iraq

The situation in Syria is entirely different than that in Iraq ten years ago and demands an intervention, the liberal daily Le Soir writes: » more

Wiener Zeitung - Austria | Tuesday, 27. August 2013

Obama follows in Bush's footsteps

US President Obama is involuntarily becoming the direct successor of George W. Bush, the state-run liberal daily Wiener Zeitung writes: » more

Spiegel Online - Germany | Monday, 26. August 2013

Talk to Iran instead of intervening in Syria

The US should stop threatening war and finally improve relations with Iran, columnist Jakob Augstein demands on news portal Spiegel Online: » more

Pravda - Slovakia | Tuesday, 27. August 2013

Restraint is called for

It's doubtful that a military strike against Syria would do any good, the left-leaning daily Pravda comments: » more

The Irish Times - Ireland | Monday, 26. August 2013

Military strike undermines peace efforts

There are more arguments against military intervention in Syria than for it, the left-liberal daily The Irish Times writes: » more

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Monday, 26. August 2013

Obama morally obliged to step in

By using internationally outlawed chemical weapons, Syria has transgressed a moral boundary, making it necessary for the global community with the US at its head to intervene, the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza writes: » more

The Economist - United Kingdom | Saturday, 24. August 2013

US's credibility at stake

A year ago US President Barack Obama warned that the US would intervene in Syria if chemical weapons were used there. He must keep his word, the liberal business magazine The Economist demands: » more

Tvxs - Greece | Sunday, 25. August 2013

Peace process, not military strike

Military intervention by the West won't help Syria, the web portal Tvxs warns, arguing in favour of a peace process and elections instead: » more

Novi list - Croatia | Monday, 26. August 2013

The real target is Iran

A US invasion of Syria is likely, the left-liberal daily Novi List believes, warning that humanitarian motives are just a pretext: » more

Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia | Monday, 26. August 2013

Intervention in Syria would support terror

US President Obama is in a tight spot over Syria, the liberal business paper Hospodárske noviny comments: » more

Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | Friday, 23. August 2013

Humanitarian aid possible despite "red line"

The US has reacted cautiously to the presumed chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime. With his "red line" Obama has restricted his country's room to manoeuvre, the left-leaning daily taz comments: » more

Večer - Slovenia | Friday, 23. August 2013

Mass murder for all to see

There are frightening parallels between the presumed poison gas attack in Syria and the Srebrenica massacre, the conservative daily Večer writes: » more

Der Standard - Austria | Friday, 23. August 2013

Careful with hasty judgements

Even though many things point to Assad's regime being responsible for the attacks, commentators and the international community should be careful not to be too hasty in their judgements, the left-liberal daily Der Standard warns: » more

Aamulehti - Finland | Friday, 23. August 2013

UN Security Council must overcome its paralysis

The UN Security Council is powerless in the Syrian conflict, the liberal daily Aamulehti complains: » more

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Friday, 23. August 2013

No one wants to intervene

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced "serious consequences" if the reports of chemical weapons attacks turn out to be true. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has also called for a forceful reaction if the accusations are verified. Nothing but empty phrases, the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore criticises: » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Thursday, 22. August 2013

The decisive battle over the truth

If the rebels' accusations against Assad prove correct, the civil war in Syria will have escalated to a new level, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias points out: » more

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Thursday, 22. August 2013

Use of toxic gas faces Obama with a dilemma

The possibility that nerve gas was used in Syria forces Obama to act, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant writes: » more

De Morgen - Belgium | Thursday, 22. August 2013

As in Rwanda, the world looks away

The international community must not remain indifferent to the possibility that a toxic gas attack was carried out in Syria, the left-liberal daily De Morgen writes: » more

Dagens Nyheter - Sweden | Thursday, 22. August 2013

Only a US military deployment can help

Whether or not the many dead in Syria are victims of a toxic gas attack by the Assad regime, the US must finally intervene, the liberal daily Dagens Nyheter urges: » more


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