Syria: more international repercussions

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Turkish intervention in Afrin bogged down. Israel loses an F-16 and retaliates against Syrian and Iranian positions. Outlook stormy. In our posting of 29 January we quoted Charles Glass on the war in Syria: “The latest phase has little to do with Syria, apart from the fact that it’s taking place there.” Since then the bloodshed has continued in what the UN describes as “Even by Syria’s atrocious standards.. exceptionally deplorable developments”, with at least 277 civilians killed between 4 and 9 February, most of them in “airstrikes by the …

Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum: a Pyrrhic victory for Barzani?

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The Iraqi Kurds appear determined to go ahead with their referendum on independence on 25 September, despite almost universal international opposition. (Israel is a notable exception.) The result will undoubtedly be in favour but a unilateral declaration of independence the day after seems unlikely.