Le Monde flashes back to the disappearance in Beirut of Shibli al-Ayssami, an elderly political figure and member of the Syrian Baath Party, who had joined the ranks of Saddam Hussein in 1968. Both his family and the French daily are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was kidnapped in Lebanon by the Syrian secret services, who have a very long memory.

Le Monde also publishes a call by Syrian artists "for Syria’s deliverance and retrieve the right to live and create." The article contains several factual errors to blacken the Assad administration and denies the existence of any artistic activity in the country. Above all, it seems unaware that the Takfirists, who are vying for political power, are opposed to all forms of art, except religious.

• Ahmad Hijjazi, second in command of the Free Syrian Army, voiced his concern in Le Temps (Switzerland) that Assad may soon unleash chemical weapons against his own people. The question of weapons of mass destruction has already been brought up by the Washington Times, in whose opinion the war against the al-Assad administration would finish the job that started in Iraq, leading to the weapons of mass destruction hidden by Saddam Hussein in Syria before the U.S. invasion. This has also been a recurring theme in the Israeli press, which is anxious about the shortage of gas masks in case of attack Syria. It can also be found in the latest issue of Jane’s Defence Weekly.

• In the columns of Il Giornale (Italy), Olan Micalessin denounces Hillary Clinton for wanting to apply the Libyan plan to Syria. Given the outcome of the first operation, she would do well to remember the Latin saying: to err is human, to persist is diabolical.

• The Kleine Zeitung (Austria) bemoans the fate of poor Asma al-Assad, formerly a market analyst in the City of London (Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan), and now a prisoner of the "regime".

• The Libero is concerned about what may await the Italian UNIFIL contingent in case there is a war in Syria. It would probably become the target of Hezbollah.

ABC (Spain) comments on the media war. If traffic on the road to the airport was halted for a half hour, it was because of the authorities and not to the fighting. In the same newspaper, Florentino Portero notes that the situation cannot really be called a civil war since it involves many foreigners and attracts jihadists from all over the world.

• In the Financial Times Europe, Michael Peel reports that the inhabitants of Damascus are buying gold to hedge against the fall of the Syrian pound.

• The neo-conservative Amir Taheri, with a notorious reputation as a disinformation agent, revealed in the New York Post that Russia and Iran could accept the removal of Assad if he was replaced by Najah al-Attar, the first Arab woman vice president of Syria, rather than the second vice-president. Nothing in the article supports this allegation. For good measure, he invented that she is under investigation by the International Criminal Court. The aim is to sow discord within the Syrian government by advertising job offers.

The Saudi Gazette reports that the Gulf Cooperation Council has asked local entrepreneurs to reduce their trade relations with Russia in retaliation for its arrogance and closer links with India and China.

The Australian reports that Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister and current chairman of the George Soros think tank, International Crisis Group, is disgruntled that the consensus on the "responsibility to protect" is over. The BRICS States did not appreciate NATO’s tactic to resort to it in order to obtain the approval of the Security Council, and then switch to regime change in Libya. Brazil has recommended that this concept be amended by specifying that the major powers must also act responsibly when claiming to protect civilians. There will be no diplomatic agreement on Syria until a consensus on this concept can be restored.

Attached documents


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