Dozens killed in sixth day of Homs crackdown; Arab League to return to Syria, perhaps with UN observers; Analysis – so what should be done with Syria?; Greeks government parties reach austerity deal, EU ministers meeting to discuss; Israel and US disgree on Iran threat; Amensty claims Russia & China breaking arms embargo in Darfur; Further improvements in Burma?; and more

Top of the Agenda: Syrian Forces Bombard Homs for Sixth Day

The Syrian military killed dozens of people (al-Jazeera) during the sixth day of its crackdown on anti-government protesters and opposition forces in the central city of Homs, activists said. Clashes between Syrian troops and army defectors also broke out near the border with Turkey.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Arab League would send monitors back into Syria, and that the UN might also join the mission. The new diplomatic tract comes on the heels of Russia and China's veto of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this past weekend.

Analysis

"There's good reason why 55 percent of Syrians still support Assad. They prefer his (flawed) promise of security and stability to the (untested) opposition's offer of a democracy enveloped in blood. Assad's appeal is not that he offers freedom, but security. And by killing mercilessly he illustrates that he will use an iron fist to try to control Syria," writes CFR's Ed Husain at NYTimes.com.

"Even as Russia and China face growing criticism, there is no consensus among analysts on the question of intervention in Syria. The shadow of Libya looms; some observers note that NATO went beyond the letter of the UN resolution to lead the mission for Muammar al-Qaddafi's removal and arm the opposition," explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

"Instead of going quietly, the regime and its core constituents have opted to fight, presumably believing that even if they can't win they may at least come away with some kind of a draw, at least in the sense of being present at the table holding some decisive cards when a political solution is negotiated rather than shunted aside by a transition to democratic rule," writes TIME's Tony Karon.

 

PACIFIC RIM

United States, Japan Revise Plans for Military Base

The US and Japanese governments agreed to suspend a plan to build a new US Marine Corps base in Okinawa (WSJ) in the face of local opposition, but will move forward with transferring thousands of marines from the current Okinawa base to Guam.

BURMA: Authorities allowed the ethnic Mon community (al-Jazeera) to celebrate its national holiday on Wednesday for the first time in fifteen years. The decision followed a series of political reforms implemented by the country's military-backed government.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Greek politicians agree austerity deal – but EU not convinced

Israel and US at odds over Iran threat

China, Russia selling arms to Sudan in breach of embargo, Amnesty claims

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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