World News Brief, Tuesday August 28

Syrians hold mass burials in Damascus; Syrian opposition forces claim to have shot down military helicopter; South Korea to compensate relatives of alleged communist sympathisers massacred during Korean War; Singapore's PM calls on citizens to be more tolerant of immigrants; US weapons sales triple, worth $66 billion; Nigeria in talks with Boko Haram

Top of the Agenda: Syrians Hold Mass Burials in Damascus

Syrians in the Damascus suburb of Daraya yesterday held mass burials for scores of victims (NYT) of a violent crackdown by the Syrian army. Hundreds of people, including women and children, have been killed in Daraya--a stronghold of the opposition movement--in the past week, according to the activist Local Coordination Committees and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Meanwhile, opposition forces claimed to have shot down a Syrian military helicopter (Reuters) in Damascus today, as Syrian security forces kept up their assault on rebel-held areas of the capital.


"Some help from Western governments, including intelligence, is still reaching the rebels. In the country's east and north-west, fighters hope to push the army out of smaller cities by making it too dangerous for them to use the roads to resupply bases. But without a no-fly zone or plenty of surface-to-air missiles to bring down regime jets, many rebels think they will struggle," says the Economist.

"More important is the role the United States may play in training and organizing the rebel military. That is the kind of thing the United States Army's Special Forces (the Green Berets) were created to do, and have done for half a century. And that sort of action seems to be well within the scope of the intelligence 'finding' recently signed by President Barack Obama authorizing 'non-lethal' support for the rebels," writes Newsweek's Christopher Dickey.



South Korea to Compensate Families of Suspected Communists

The South Korean Supreme Court today upheld a ruling requiring the government to compensate close to five hundred relatives of alleged Communist sympathizers who were massacred during the Korean War (KoreaTimes) in the summer of 1950.

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday called on Singaporean citizens to be more tolerant of foreigners (WSJ) who have immigrated to the city-state, in order to safeguard Singapore's "international reputation."



US weapons sales triple in 2011

Nigeria in talks with Boko Haram



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