• Writing in Le Figaro, Georges Malbrunot asserts that officers of the Syrian Republican Guard are training in Tehran. In doing so, the author contradicts his previous allegations according to which it is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who came to Syria to repress the demonstrations.

• The Financial Times Deutschland believes that the events in Syria in 2011 caused a recession of 2%. The Wall Street Journal surveys how Russia and Iran allow Syria to circumvent the unilateral oil and arms embargo enacted by the European Union and the United States. At all events, according to the Beirut Daily Star, the Syrian pound has devalued considerably. Currently, 60 are needed to buy a dollar in Syrian banks and 71 in foreign banks, up from 47 before the events.

L’Orient-Le Jour reported that the events in Syria stymied Lebanon’s growth. It was at a yearly average of 8.3% over four years, before falling to 1.6% in 2011.

Le Temps (Switzerland) publishes an interview with Anwar Malek, a former Arab League observer, who claims to be an eyewitness to the crimes committed by the Assad administration. This publication is astonishing, since, after having benefited from a surprise effect, Mr. Malek is regarded as a dubious character by the Western press itself.

• In The National (UAE) Michael Young highlights the three existing precedents for Arab military action against or within another Arab state: the end of the Lebanese civil war, Desert Storm, and the recent war in Libya. He concludes that in the absence of a large consensus, this type of operation can only exacerbate regional tensions rather than resolve them.

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