New offensive escalates Syrian civil war [asiatimes]

A fresh rebel offensive in the northern Syrian commercial hub of Aleppo has produced few tangible results except perhaps the burning of the medieval Aleppo souk (market), the largest of its type in the world and a UNESCO heritage site. However, the forces opposing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – and their foreign backers – are clearly on a desperate offensive, signaled by the Emir of Qatar’s “Arab intervention” speech at the United Nations last week. The latest developments include record numbers of refugees from the conflict and violence between the opposition and Kurdish forces which threatens to ignite the sectarian civil war even further.

Though the Egyptian “quartet” initiative – which included Iran as a key member – was duly scuttled by Turkey and Saudi Arabia (the two other members), none of these countries have reduced their


involvement in the Syrian civil war. On Sunday, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed their pledges of support for the Syrian people and called on Russia, China and Iran to stop backing Assad’s regime.


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