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Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Friday, August 23, 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: "It would be so easy, twenty minutes by car from the centre of Damascus. Just a few kilometres to examine whether the government really used chemical weapons as the rebels claim. ... But even such a short journey can be impossible when two powers with veto rights are against it. Beijing and Moscow. ... No country seems to have any real intention of wading into the Syrian swamp, not even France. ... For the Western powers that are against Assad, 100,000 victims, the alarming emergence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, the visible Balkanisation of the conflict and the disapproval of Russia and China are reason enough not to get involved in any rash actions."

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