• The German press reported the expulsion of four Syrian diplomats from the Federal Republic, suspected of spying on Syrian opposition groups in Germany.

• The Tagesspiegel derides the diplomatic initiatives to circumvent the double veto. The action, it observes, has shifted from the battlefield to the phone.

• Under Guido Olimpio’s signature, the Corriere della Sera from Washington confirms everything that Voltaire Network readers have known for two months: The Free Syrian Army is mainly composed of foreign fighters, especially from Libya. They are backed by the "Special Forces of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the West" (this list does not include Turkey, which has just withdrawn from the device after signing a secret protocol with Syria and Iran during the visit of Sergey Lavrov).

• Writing in El Mundo, Javier Espinosa notes that the religious conflict is not between the Sunni majority and the Alawite minority. Indeed, most Sunni support President Al-Assad. The religious rift is actually occurring within the Sunni community itself. The Great Mufti Ahmad Hassoun supports the government in the name of national unity, while, from Saudi Arabia, Adnan al-shaykh Arur calls for jihad. Hence, the Grand Mufti’s son was murdered by the rebels.

ABC’s José de Areilza deplores the attitude of Baroness Ashton. The High-Representative of the European Union has been incapable of crafting a common European position on Syria. Once again, the EU has proved useless.
Though well-founded, this criticism is excessive, since Ashton has played a key role in obtaining the support of Brazil, India and South Africa for the Moroccan draft resolution at the Security Council.
In addition, Baroness Ashton is hampered by the competition between Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron. Each claims ownership of the idea to hold a conference bringing together a contact group on Syria, while the suggestion actually came from Hillary Clinton.

• The Daily Telegraph pitches a possible counter-attack against revelations concerning the presence of foreign instructors in the Free Syrian Army: Iranians would do the same with regard to the Syrian National Army.
In fact, following the lifting of the state of emergency and the recognition of the right to protest, Syria has adopted a police force capable of securing public demonstrations. In this context, it had to purchase suitable equipment. Subjected to embargo, it could only obtain it from Iran, but it has nothing to do with military instructors.

The Globe and Mail examines four options: (1) sit back and wait, (2) create humanitarian enclaves and exert diplomatic pressure, (3) recognize and arm the opposition, (4) go to war without a UN mandate. He concludes that it is better to do nothing, hoping that the regime does not engage in mass murder.

• Jackson Diehl in the Washington Times supports the proposal by Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman to massively arm the Syrian opposition. Instead, the editor of the Los Angeles Times considers that this option will ultimately lead to disaster and calls for a diplomatic solution.

• Professor Marwan Kabalan notes in the Gulf News that the shift in the global balance of power has led to a regional realignment. Everything hinges on the improvement of relations between Iraq and Syria.

• The Moscow Times foresees only bad consequences for Russia if Bashar Al-Assad were to leave power.

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