To give you an overview of the latest news, we’ve organized the latest Syrian developments in a bullet-point summary.
Russian Deal in the Works to Stave Off Strike. What’s being called accidental diplomacy is now looking like a real deal. Secretary of State John Kerry made an offhand remark at a press conference, saying Syria could stave off a strike by handing over all of its chemical weapons. Russia ran with it, the Syrians have embraced it, the Iranians and Chinese have endorsed it. Even “President Obama called it ‘a potentially positive development.’” The French are moving it to action by seeking a U.N. resolution that makes the deal concrete.
In parallel, the U.S. Senate delayed its vote on a Syria strike on Monday. Both events have slowed down the momentum towards a military confrontation—what looked like an imminent strike is now just one possible outcome of a protracted process of diplomatic call-and-response.
Monday’s twist is being called a “face-saving” solution—if it works, Russia and Syria can avoid a strike, and the Obama administration can avoid having to sell it to the U.S. public. But not everyone is happy. Israel is unconvinced by Russia’s plan, while the haphazard moves towards a diplomatic solution are drawing criticism of the Obama administration. Politico ran a piece entitled the United States of Weakness (the kind of headline one usually sees in the Iranian press).
In Syria, Children Go Hungry. While agreat global game unfolds around the prospects of a strike, the people at the heart of the conflict are going hungry.
“Millions are short of food, water and electricity … people can’t afford to feed their families and are faced with impossible decisions about whether to stay or go,” wrote Baroness Valerie Amos in the Guardian. It matches our own reporting that Syrians are so hungry they are eating the leaves off trees. Yesterday one of our contributors from Aleppo said only five bakeries are still functioning in the city, with a prewar population of 3 million people.
The Atlantic is running a series of photos around the 6 million displaced by war in Syria. The Red Cross is pleading for access to the suffering, as they are sometimes blocked by fighting and other times by Syrian government restrictions.
“We are not simply getting the permission the way we want it from the authorities to go in,” said Magne Barth, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Syria. “We are unfortunately not able to do as much as we should.”
Suggested Reads from Our Editorial Team:
Los Angeles Times: Obama Weighs Russia Proposal on Syria Chemical Arsenal
Al Monitor: Kuwaitis Take Up Jihad in Syria
The Guardian/Opinion: How Gaffe Could Stop a War
Human Rights Watch: Syrian Government “Likely Culprit” in Chemical Attack
This article was originally published on SyriaDeeply.com. To sign-up for SyriaDeeply's daily newsletter, visit SyriaDeeply.com