Envoy to Syria offers grim prospects as report is released on torture of children

U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, briefed the United Nations Security Council on Monday offering a grim outlook for the war torn country. Brahimi said "There is a stalemate; there is no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward," and said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not committed to reform, ...

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, briefed the United Nations Security Council on Monday offering a grim outlook for the war torn country. Brahimi said "There is a stalemate; there is no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward," and said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not committed to reform, but said that resolving the conflict is not impossible. Additionally, he appealed to what has been a divided U.N. Security Council for united support on his efforts. The conflict in Syria is expected to dominate discussion at the U.N. General Assembly, lead by U.S. President Barack Obama, on Tuesday morning. The British charity Save the Children released a report citing "appalling" torture, imprisonment, and abduction of children in Syria and called for a greater U.N. presence on the ground. Meanwhile violence continued across the country on Monday. In southern Damascus, several improvised devices exploded at a school that activists claim has been used as a security headquarters, by Syrian security officers and shabbiha militia forces for meetings. There has been no report at this point on casualties. Additionally, Damascus residents reported heavy fighting on Baghdad Street, just north of the Old City and clashes continued in the northern city of Aleppo. Shelling on the Syrian border city of Jubta al-Hashab has crossed over the Israeli border, heightening concerns for nearby village residents and the Israeli Defense Forces.

Headlines  

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad spoke to CNN in New York defending Iran's nuclear program and explaining comments on Israel as Iran censors Google and Gmail.   Jordanian police clashed with dozens of Syrian refugees over conditions in a camp, which houses around 30,000 people. Kuwait's top civilian court has rejected a government request to rewrite election laws in a victory for opposition parties. After last year's statehood bid at the United Nations, which has remained stalled, the Palestinians will ask for U.N. non-member state status.

U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, briefed the United Nations Security Council on Monday offering a grim outlook for the war torn country. Brahimi said "There is a stalemate; there is no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward," and said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not committed to reform, but said that resolving the conflict is not impossible. Additionally, he appealed to what has been a divided U.N. Security Council for united support on his efforts. The conflict in Syria is expected to dominate discussion at the U.N. General Assembly, lead by U.S. President Barack Obama, on Tuesday morning. The British charity Save the Children released a report citing "appalling" torture, imprisonment, and abduction of children in Syria and called for a greater U.N. presence on the ground. Meanwhile violence continued across the country on Monday. In southern Damascus, several improvised devices exploded at a school that activists claim has been used as a security headquarters, by Syrian security officers and shabbiha militia forces for meetings. There has been no report at this point on casualties. Additionally, Damascus residents reported heavy fighting on Baghdad Street, just north of the Old City and clashes continued in the northern city of Aleppo. Shelling on the Syrian border city of Jubta al-Hashab has crossed over the Israeli border, heightening concerns for nearby village residents and the Israeli Defense Forces.

Headlines  

Arguments and Analysis

Morsi opens a door on way to the UN‘ (The National)

"In the past three months, Mr Morsi has worked hard to legitimise his leadership among his Islamist supporters and among other Egyptians understandably wary of his links to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has shown himself to be a fearless champion of his nation’s interests. In Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement summit, he was bold enough to criticise the regime in Syria, a staunch Iranian ally. And he has been welcomed in China, where he secured important trade deals.

But this week’s visit to the UN is not just another chance to present the "new Egypt" to the international community. It is, first and foremost, another important opportunity to cement his legitimacy and authority back home."

Defusing Israel’s ‘detonator’ strategy‘ (Patrick Tyler, The Los Angeles Times)

"The West must face the prospect that Israel may not be able to rebuild a strategic consensus for peace like the one that the late Yitzhak Rabin imposed on the military establishment in 1992, an act of courage for which he paid with his life.

As the Jewish state and its military establishment become more hard line, more religious and more prone to propagate a vision of constant threat and peril, America will have to lead the world with an act of courage as great as Rabin’s in rebuilding the strategic consensus for peace – in Israel, in Congress and among the Jewish and fundamentalist Christian communities that so assiduously, and often blindly, advocate Israeli militarism.

That will require presidents, and presidential candidates, to put the security of Israel into a new category of bipartisanship, and to resist the "detonator" theory by building a broad and engaging peace strategy.

The Muslim world and Israel are pulling away from each other. Imagine a region where they were pulling together."

Turkey’s Military Politics‘ (Andrew Finkel, Latitude Blog, The New York Times)

"A Turkish court’s conviction on Friday of 325 senior military officers for plotting to overthrow the state has left me with mixed feelings. Like many Turks, I’ve been pondering a host of questions: Was this justice or revenge? Is this the final curtain on a military that for decades believed it knew better than the elected politicians? Or was the 21-month courtroom drama the latest show trial, manipulated by a government that itself entertains delusions of grandeur?"

–By Jennifer Parker and Mary Casey 

<p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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