Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Members of the Free Syrian Army take up position with their weapons during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the old city of Aleppo March 2, 2013. Picture taken March 2, 2013.

Reuters

After meeting Qatar's Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a news conference he was convinced weapons being sent by Qatar to Syrian rebels were being transferred to "moderates" among the disparate groups of fighters.

Astonishing.

This new rhetoric represents a definitive, if perhaps subtle turnaround in Washington's stance on the Syrian conflict.

Story continues below advertisement

Spencer Ackerman on Wired points out a top US commander told a Senate panel this week that options are being readied to secure Syria's chemical weapons.

"That's a marked shift in attitude, at the very least, from previous U.S. military assessments," he says, referring to past statements from U.S. military brass saying 75,000 troops would be required to secure the Syrian regime's chemical weapons.

All of a sudden things are moving very fast indeed. Syria's disparate political opposition is to meet in Istanbul next Tuesday to appoint an inaugural prime minister, something it has been attempting to do for months. One of the international community's longstanding demands of the opposition has been to get organized – organize and elect leaders Washington and Europe can sit down with and talk to before Western states makes any commitments to the Syrian opposition.

Britain's foreign minister has also been upping the rhetoric this week. Regarding the arming of moderate rebels, William Hague said Sunday: "You can reach consensus [on arming fighters] eventually when humanitarian need is so great and the loss of life is so great that you have to do something new to save lives. That's why I don't rule it out in the future."

The Syrian regime in Damascus continues to believe – publicly at least – that it will win the war. President Bashar al-Assad made this clear in an interview with the London Sunday Times newspaper last week.

For the first time, Washington is talking to Syrian rebels. Fred Hof, until last year the State Department's point man on Syria, wrote this week how President Obama "seems to have overcome his understandable, if regrettable reluctance to enter this key arena."

This will embolden France and Britain – long-time supporters of arming the right rebels, particularly with a European Union arms embargo on Syria up for review again in May. With hundreds dying every day on the ground, a refugee crisis that risks destabilizing neighboring countries and with Washington leaning ever closer to the idea of arming some rebels, the drums of war in Syria beat louder.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies