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INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: Syria: the departure of UN inspectors, a window of opportunity opens

August 31st, 2013 · Comments Off · 175 views


With the departure of Damascus on Saturday, experts from the UN, which should make their findings within two weeks of the alleged attack with chemical weapons on 21 August in the suburbs the Syrian capital, a window of opportunity has opened. Starting today, the United States and France have the opportunity to carry out air strikes on Syrian soil, and probably to the top of pre G20 seen Wednesday, Sept. 4 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Franco-American operation should certainly not go on forever.

"A few dozen long-range missiles, a day or two bombing will probably be enough to dissuade the Assad regime to use new weapons of mass destruction. And also, hopefully, to countries such as Iran and North Korea that include the red lines on nuclear President Obama is serious … " said Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, in an interview on FRANCE 24.

A device measured and targeted

Experts agree, for the moment, the likely methods of intervention: no ground troops and a few targeted strikes, presumably on government buildings and army bases.

After the withdrawal from Britain, the United States would find in Paris their only ally in this war. Christopher Harmer, the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, decrypts, micro FRANCE 24, the procedure which should be based on the intervention: "I think France and the United States will share operations. I think the French fleet attack the Syrian fleet, and the U.S. fleet will target ground targets with long-range missiles. "

The Franco-American green light could come in the next few hours. The purpose of the operation, as regularly remind the two countries, is to punish the Syrian government, but by no means to overthrow the regime, or even President Bashar al Assad.

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INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: Syria to military action inspired by the Kosovo scenario?

August 28th, 2013 · Comments Off · 213 views


If Washington does not officially mentioned any project strike against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad accused hint by Westerners to have used chemical weapons, the imminence of such an approach does not seem to be any doubt. Especially in the eyes of the American media, according to which the Obama administration is serious about the Kosovo precedent to circumvent the legal framework embodied in the Security Council, remains paralyzed by the Russian and Chinese veto. A senior U.S. official, quoted by the newspaper "The New York Times" recently told that "Kosovo, for sure, is a precedent that has many similarities "with the situation in Syria.

After Milosevic, Assad? A precedent of March 1999, when the West via NATO had conducted airstrikes without a UN mandate for 78 days against Serbian targets in Kosovo and buildings government in Belgrade. At the time, as is the case today for the crisis in Syria, Russia vetoed any action in the Security Council against the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, too accused of committing atrocities in the predominantly Albanian province. Failing to be "legal", Washington and its allies then defended the "legitimate" of the intervention, in the name of "law & rsquo ; interference. "related to the protection of civilian populations" The United Nations Charter allows some regional organizations to intervene to tackle some conflicts without going through the Security Council, as we have already seen in the past in Kosovo, "said FRANCE 24 William Jordan, a former representative of the State Department im ; Rican. Indeed, Article 51 of the Charter refers to as "the inherent right of self-defense, individual or collective, in the case where a member of the United Nations is subject to armed attack e, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. " According to the former U.S. diplomat, the former Kosovo was a good example where the West has erected against the Russians to say 'well, we will take another path' ". From a military point of view, it seems unlikely that Westerners apply to the letter the Kosovo scheme Syria. Thus, if the NATO framework was chosen to conduct military operations in Kosovo, experts estimate that limited Syria mission may be entrusted to this organization Due to the complexity quickly get consensus among its member countries. The operation could be carried out by a coalition of the willing, which could also include the United States, France and Britain, the States of the region, like Turkey, which says it is ready to go green light from the UN, and the Gulf countries, the main supporters of the Syrian rebellion. A coalition of the willing? In addition, the long air campaign in Kosovo was followed by deployment of Western troops on the ground in the former Serbian province. What seems impossible for Syria. Jean-Vincent Brisset, general aviation brigade, believes that "the preferred scenario, already used in 2003 against Iraq and against Libya more recently, is the decapitation, which destroys by surgical strikes a number of command centers and hotspots of power. " Especially, he says FRANCE 24 that this type of operation against fixed targets just does not require the presence of troops on the ground. "A priori, if the decision is made, the rumor spread to Washington that it should be that of military strikes on Syria, and for a few days a list of potential targets of military and government installations, established by the Pentagon, the White House travels, "says Stanislas its near Saint-Hippolyte, FRANCE 24's correspondent in the United States. These so-called surgical strikes would also be highly symbolic order according to several experts. "If the chosen option is a punitive operation, that is to say, to pay the plan's use of chemical weapons, rather than chemical military targets, the choice will be on political targets, perhaps symbolic, to show Damascus he can act with impunity, "said Arnaud Danjean MEP, Chairman of the Sub-Committee Security and Defence (Sede) in the European Parliament. Intervention, perhaps. But when? There remains the question of the timing of such intervention, knowing that Western powers have said, the Syrian opposition on Tuesday that strikes against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad would a matter of days, according to sources present at a meeting in Istanbul. However, a U.S. official quoted by AFP felt his side no intervention would occur before the start of Syria UN inspectors to examine the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. "We must first see blocking the Security Council of the UN, before they can claim a legitimacy out of the UN framework, decrypts Cyril Vanier, special cialist international issues FRANCE 24. In addition, you must allow time for the UN inspectors to complete their investigation. Then we have that Westerners échafaudent their coalition, because whatever happens, Americans will have at heart to show that they do not act alone. "

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LEBANON: National mourning in Lebanon following the double bombing of Tripoli

August 24th, 2013 · Comments Off · 233 views


Lebanon is about Saturday, August 24 to observe a day of national mourning. The day before, a double suicide car bombing in Tripoli, the capital of the north of the country killed at least 42 people and injured 500 others, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. Of violence revived painful memories of car bombings during the civil war (1975-1990).

The attack was the deadliest since the end of the 1990 civil war in this country that suffers from the conflict in neighboring Syria.

In the great port city of Tripoli Sunni majority, the blasts were aimed at prayer in a mosque in the center and another near the port, the faithful surprising when preaches, damaging these places of worship and devastating the area.

The explosion occurred a week after the attack that killed 27 people in a Shiite stronghold of Hezbollah in Beirut on August 15, occurred a few minutes

interval before two Sunni mosques in Tripoli distance of about 2 km. 

They are likely to exacerbate sectarian tensions in Lebanon, already high because of the conflict in Syria that deeply divided the country, supervised by the Syrian neighbor for thirty years, until 2005 .

Expression of anger

As of Wednesday, the Lebanese army announced to be "total war" against "terrorism", saying continue for months a cell "preparing car bombs" , including that of 15 August and will "cause sectarian strife."

Hundreds of angry people gathered near the al-Taqwa mosque chanting slogans against the powerful Shiite Hezbollah and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

A day of national mourning was declared Saturday in the country that has no new government five months because of divisions related to the war in Syria.

Hezbollah has been engaged for months in the war on the side of the Assad regime against the rebels. He is accused by his rivals in Lebanon have led the country in the wave of violence.

Condemnation from the international community

"The authors of the dissent do not want the Lebanese live in peace one minute, they want the killing machine mowing the lives of innocent people throughout Lebanon," responded Saad Hariri, former Prime Sunni minister and rival of Hezbollah.

The Syrian authorities for their part, denounced a "cowardly terrorist act against our brothers in Tripoli".

Western side, the United States strongly condemned the twin bombings. "The United States urges all parties to exercise calm and restraint and avoid any actions that would fuel the cycle of violence and retaliation," according to a statement of the dice Department of State.

The European Union, meanwhile, said she was "horrified." In a unanimous statement, the Security Council of the United Nations "strongly condemned the terrorist attacks" and stressed "the importance for all Lebanese parties […] s' refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis ". The UN chief Ban Ki-moon also "condemned" the "cowardly" attack.

The United States Embassy in Beirut issued a notice calling its citizens to exercise caution, reminding them to avoid all travel to Lebanon and asking those who work to "consider carefully risks they take. "

"It is clear that there is a desire to trigger a sectarian war in Lebanon to divert attention from what is happening in Syria," according to Hilal Khachane, Head of Department of Political Science , the American University of Beirut. But "I do not think the plunge Lebanon into a sectarian war because it will not benefit anyone."

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Manning trial: the government requires at least 60 years in prison

August 21st, 2013 · Comments Off · 195 views


"No less than 60 years in prison," this is what required the U.S. government Monday, August 19 against Bradley Manning, accused of being the cause disclosure of confidential information in the context of WikiLeaks.

A sentence that serves as an example. The military prosecutor Joe Morrow asked the judge Denise Lind "to send a message to all the soldiers who would consider stealing classified information", sending the young American six decades derriè , re bars and imposing a penalty of $ 100 000 fine.

"Rot in jail"

"We must ensure that we do not ever see such a circus," said the prosecutor, convinced that the "betrayal" of the soldier, "initiated determined to exploit the loopholes of imperfect system "had permanently damaged the diplomatic relations of the United States.

Private First Class U.S. Army admitted transmitted some 700,000 confidential documents to the website WikiLeaks, which published them in 2010. Manning pleaded guilty to a dozen charges that brought him to incur a minimum of 20 years in prison, but Judge Denise Lind was also found guilty of acts of espionage and deceit. He himself late last week "doing harm to people and the United States."

"The government wants him to rot in prison," blasted his side's lawyer David Coombs, noting that the accusation "was only interested in the punishment" and not , the "very smart" reintegration of the accused "young", "humanist", "naive certainly, but well-intentioned."

His lawyer pleads innocence

"At this point, it really and truly believed that this information would make a difference, and he did not think it would harm the United States," pleaded the civil lawyer . "He deeply believed that this could put an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as naive as can be its position, it was sincere."

Considering its "youth", his "emotional health" and "the purity of his intentions," the lawyer asked the judge to punish Lind client, of course, but to a sentence that gives him the "opportunity to live […] maybe find love, get married, have children and watch their children grow." 

While the lawyer tried to convince him that "the long-term impact" of the leak was limited and that "many countries had already forgotten" the military prosecutor insisted on the "destructive" side of the behavior of the soldier, who chose "knowingly" to be an intelligence analyst in Iraq and had "abused his position of trust" .

"No excuses," the prosecutor

"When you betray your country, you do not deserve the mercy of the court," he said in this final indictment, "there is no excuse." The prosecutor has swept all the mitigating circumstances of mental fragility, difficult childhood and sexual identity disorders Manning.

After two and a half months of trial by court martial, the judge Denise Lind will begin its deliberations late Tuesday morning.

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EGYPT: Report from Cairo: how pro-and anti-Morsi radicalized

August 17th, 2013 · Comments Off · 182 views


Egypt is a step on the path to bloody civil war in the night from Friday 16 to Saturday, August 17, after another deadly day marked e by the attempt to install a camp of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Ramses Square in Cairo, and the emergence of "neighborhood committees" made big arms ready to battle with the Muslim Brotherhood who would venture into their territory. 

The carnage instead Rabaa al-Adawiya, where more than 600 protesters pro-Morsi came under fire from Egyptian security forces Thursday, August 15, has clearly not deterred Supporters of former Egyptian president democratically elected down heavily in the streets. Nearly 20,000 people have converged and Friday afternoon to Ramses Square despite the massive presence of security forces in the streets of the Egyptian capital.

"We will try to make sit-in in all places in Egypt where you feel safe, it is out of the question to respect the curfew," S & rsquo , exclaims Abdel, an Islamist protester holding a newspaper with the horrifying pictures of the massacre victims of al-Rabaa Adawiya.

Reply to bullets with bullets

Yet it is a feeling of insecurity that creeps stealthily as and as the wind blew the smell of tear gas to Al-Fath Mosque, the nerve center of the gathering pro-Morsi. Clashes between police and protesters erupted near a police station located near Ramses Square.

Some palm trees and other debris were immediately sacrificed to reach a supposed counter the harmful effects of tear gas smoke. A pungent odor gradually envelops the Al-Fath, whose silhouette of the huge minaret dominates few tents in a hurry. The distant sound of the first shot does not prevent Mohamed Salah, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, to buttress on a peaceful occupation of seats in the Egyptian capital strategy.

"We're trying to contain the violence of the youngest and this is obviously not easy. If violence broke out, it is because we are not necessarily able to control the whole world, "says Salah while injured protesters dead are transferred to the & rsquo , inside the Al-Fath Mosque. The fleeting appearance of a hooded and equipped with a Kalashnikov Islamist militia, a little further down the Ramses Square, reflects the desire of some radicalized youth meet bullet by bullet.

"A veritable slaughter"

Inside the mosque, the prayer room quickly turns into a field hospital. The increasing number of deaths by gunshot demonstrated once again the murderous response of the security forces. Many volunteer nurses are reliving the bloodshed of the previous days. Within hours, more than a dozen dead bodies are aligned in a corner of the Al-Fath Mosque.

"What happens here has nothing to do with politics, it is a veritable slaughter" exclaimed Ahmed Hussein, a worker in textiles came to give a helping hand to nurses. "The local media are primarily responsible for this situation by encouraging the Egyptians to hate the Muslim Brotherhood," said the 40 year old man.

Egyptian state television broadcast images of the events of Ramses Square under a banner "Egypt fight terrorism," immutable mantra of the new re regime since the military coup of July 3.  

"Dressed like Al Qaeda"

The anti-Muslim hysteria Brothers now reached record highs in several districts of Cairo, where "popular committees" were formed spontaneously to support power in his hunt for Islamists.

"If the Muslim Brotherhood are one in a neighborhood, they immediately annexed," said Ahmed Abu el-Enein Nass at a checkpoint in the area of ​​improvised Beaulac. The seller of auto parts, built like a wardrobe, claims to have seen this Friday afternoon Islamists "masked and dressed like Al-Qaeda" pull mania random re toward his neighborhood from the deck of 15-May If El-Enein and his cronies have only iron bars, a group of young motorcycle rotates ostentatious with a Kalashnikov slung to "protect the shops in the area."

These first radicalized and armed civilians in each camp are similar to many dangerously close matches the powder keg that is polarized Egypt today.

Warning, the images in this slideshow may offend the sensibilities:

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TUNISIA: Thousands of anti-Ennahda demonstrators for the Women's Day in Tunisia

August 14th, 2013 · Comments Off · 298 views


The anti-Ennahda in Tunisia continuous contestation. On this Women's Day in the country, thousands of opponents marched Tuesday, August 13 evening in Tunis. Demonstrators gathered , s the call of opposition parties, associations and trade unions, marched to a gate of the Medina instead Bardo, facing the Constituent Assembly and the center of the dispute since July 25, when the assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi.

Opponents of the Islamist Ennahda party, which heads the government, hoping to boost their mobilization in the street has declined sharply with the holiday of Ramadan last week. They hope a mass demonstration on August 13 is a symbolic date marking the adoption in 1956 of the Personal Status Code - legislation granting women rights unparalleled in the Arab world. But the Islamist Ennahda are accused of wanting to return to these achievements.

Ennahda supporters march on their side

On August 6, the opposition had collected tens of thousands of people. Opposition from the center-right to the far left coalition called for the establishment of a government of independent technocrats and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

"Several miles away, in the center of Tunis, the Ennahda party has also called for demonstrations, with a lot of flags," noted Camille Lafrance, FRANCE 24 correspondent Tunis. She has seen "a lot of slogans against the former regime and for the union of Tunisian and freedom." According to her, "most of the participants are members or supporters of Ennahda and they ensure that their party stands for freedom of women and their achievements. "

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Cyber: France, Germany and Japan, priority targets of the NSA

August 11th, 2013 · Comments Off · 286 views


The European Union was one of the priority targets for monitoring the U.S. intelligence agency NSA says "Der Spiegel" in its edition of Saturday, August 11. The German weekly relies on documents of former U.S. refugee consultant in Russia, Edward Snowden.

In a passage dated April review, NSA ensures that issues of foreign policy of the European Union, international trade and economic stability among the priority objectives of monitoring, according weekly.

The U.S. department has established a scale of 1 ("high interest") to 5 ("low interest") in which these themes are with the priority 3 continues the magazine that he had consulted the documents Snowden. Issues related to new technologies, energy security and food issues, do not, however, come in the priorities of Americans, who attribute their note 5, according to the ME , my source.

Among the countries targeted by the surveillance program of the NSA, Germany finds the same level as France and Japan, but ahead of Italy and Spain. Priority is given to issues of foreign policy of Germany, economic stability and hazards finance, which are classified Priority 3.

Der Spiegel had said in late June, based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, the NSA, accused of spying global electronic communications through the Prism program had targeted the offices of the European Union in Brussels and the EU diplomatic mission in Washington. The EU delegation to the United Nations has been a similar monitoring, according to "Der Spiegel". These revelations have caused a stir in Brussels.

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Fort Hood shootings: The trial of Nidal Hasan, the alleged killer

August 7th, 2013 · Comments Off · 192 views


The trial of Nidal Hasan commander, "Al-Qaeda lone wolf" accused of killing 13 people and wounded 32 others in November 2009 at the U.S. military base at Fort Hood (Texas ), opens Tuesday, August 6 and could last several months. Born in Virginia to Palestinian parents, Nidal Hasan, 42, a paraplegic as a result of the shooting, incurs the death penalty if convicted.

Having dismissed his lawyers, the former U.S. Army psychiatrist has obtained the right to conduct his own defense throughout his court martial . He said he had to call two witnesses to testify. More than 250 people are expected to testify against her hand.

"There will be convicted"

Shawn Manning, a specialist in mental health in the same unit that Hasan told he dreaded face-to-face with the accused who shot six times on him. "Having to deal with a guy who tried to kill you and your friends, and have to be cordial and friendly at the same time … it will be difficult, "he predicted. "I hope he will not ask me questions, but I'm prepared."

At the prospect of being questioned by the accused himself, Kimberley Munley, a former police officer from the military base also injured in the shooting, she recognized " and do not have a good feeling about this ":" I think he did this to continue to make fun of us and persecute us "


For Richard Rosen, a retired colonel now a law professor at Texas Tech University, "the evidence (against Hasan) are so obvious that there's no doubt there will be condemnation."

This might involve jihad

The shooting in November 2009 was the worst ever occurred on a U.S. military base in the country's history. The high command of the army had been subjected to intense criticism for ignoring warning signs in the behavior of Hasan, according to the FBI, corresponded by email with radical imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in September 2011.

The accused, who was preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan before the attack, said he committed the act to defend their Muslim brothers against a "war illegally , scabies "in this country. Considered a "lone wolf" al-Qaeda, it has been recognized by numerous witnesses.

The word "terrorism" prohibited by the judge

The military judge Tara Osborn said that the trial could last between one and four months, and insisted that focuses on facts rather than on the broader implications. It has prohibited the prosecution to mention "terrorism" as a motive for the shooting, Hasan and trying to prove to the jury of 13 army officers he thought save life of Muslims in Afghanistan by doing so.

Some legal experts predict that, despite the ban on the judge, the accused will attempt to use this strategy. From his opening statement Tuesday, "he could talk of jihad and told the jury that his actions were justified," noted Jeff Addicott, a specialist in terrorism laws at St. Mary's University.

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MOROCCO: A demonstration against the "rapist Kenitra" violently repressed in Rabat

August 3rd, 2013 · Comments Off · 342 views


The event held Friday night in the Moroccan capital to protest the pardon granted by King Mohamed VI Vivo Daniel Galvan, a Spanish national convicted pedophile to 30 years in prison, was dispersed so muscled by riot police. Dozens of people, including gathered outside the Parliament in Rabat journalists were injured by police equipped with batons.

On social networks, many protesters have posted photos to witness the clashes with the hashtag # DanielGate. "Many heads bleeding here," says @ Selabadi on his twitter account. "In Morocco we prefer free pedophiles and beat journalists" to die for his part journalist Kerima Mendes. "Where is Morocco? Now we torture of protesters trying to defend an indignant people? It's anything ", is also unworthy Oumaima Labiad.

The rally was in response to the July 30 decision by King Mohamed VI to release 48 Spanish nationals imprisoned in Morocco in response to a request by King Juan Carlos of Spain during his visit in July.

Among those detained, the Moroccan monarch has pardoned Vivo Daniel Galvan, a 60 year old man sentenced in 2011 to 30 years in prison for raping 11 children 4 to 15 years for filming his actions. This announcement shocked the Moroccan population demand since the Spaniard returned to prison.

"A huge mistake"

"We are here to determine who is responsible for forgiveness. It's a shame they are selling our children, "and said Nadjia Adib, president of the association" Do not touch my children, "during the event.

"This is a huge mistake. We demand the cancellation of the royal decision for the families of victims and the Moroccan people ", also commented Abdelali Hamieddine, a member of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), the main organization of the coalition government. He said that the government had nothing to reproach himself for the simple reason that forgiveness came from the royal palace.

Contacted by AFP, the justice minister Mustapha Ramid confirmed the royal pardon, but did not want to comment. According to him, Daniel Galvan Vivo will be subject to extradition and will be refused entry to Morocco. The Ministry of Justice stated that pardon was granted because of the friendship between Morocco and Spain national interests.

The Kingdom of Morocco has faced several cases of pedophilia in recent months. A Briton was arrested in June in the north of the country, Tetouan, while in May 1st French was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Casablanca for pedophiles.

Despite the repression of the police, other events are planned Saturday in several Moroccan cities. A sit-in will include organized before the new parliament in Rabat to 22h (local time). A rally will also take place at 18h at the Embassy of Morocco in Paris.

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SYRIA: Damascus allowed the UN to investigate the chemical weapons

August 1st, 2013 · Comments Off · 227 views


Officials from the United Nations will go to Syria to investigate three sites where the use of chemical weapons has been reported, the UN announced Wednesday.

"The mission will visit Syria as soon as possible to investigate simultaneously at three sites where the use of chemical weapons has been reported," said the door voice of the UN, Martin Nesirky.

The announcement comes after an agreement was ripped last week by two envoys to Damascus. Syria has so far blocked all requests UN investigation.

According to a diplomat, investigators are coming together in Europe and they could go to Syria next week.

The UN has said that Syria, France, Britain and the United States had reported him 13 attacks with chemical weapons since the beginning of the conflict, which has lasted for 28 months.

The investigation will focus initially on three sites, but says Nesirky UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "is aware that other incidents have been reported and the mission will also continue to seek clarification from the United members concerned. "

According to the spokesman, the UN investigators will visit Khan al-Assal, near the city of Aleppo, Damascus says that the rebels have used chemical weapons on March 19 killing at least 26 people including 16 Syrian soldiers. According to the opposition, the government in Damascus who staged the attack.

The other two sites visited by UN investigators will Ataybah, near Damascus, where an attack with chemical weapons was reported in March, Homs, for suspicious attack on December 23.

The Syrian government had requested an investigation by the United Nations as early as March, but he simultaneously blocked any investigation and insisted that the UN focuses on the site of Khan al-Assal. Ban Ki-moon wished him a wider access and inquiries on other sites.

Ake Sellstrom, head of the UN mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Business dice disarmament have finally reached an agreement last week after meeting for two days several dignitaries of the regime in Damascus.


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