• In Le Monde, Christophe Ayad, Jacques Barthe and Benjamon Folliorou corroborate the attempt to release the French journalists stranded in Baba Amr, that Thierry Meyssan reported to the readers of Voltaire Network already a week ago. The newspaper states that the operation was conducted on the French side by the DCRI. It points out that the Élysée Palace had given the green light, but fails to mention the conflict that flared up between Claude Gueant and Alain Juppé. After which, the question is left dangling since Le Monde doesn’t elucidate the circumstances of their exit from Baba Amr which it persists in attributing to the Free "Syrian" Army.

• In Le Figaro, Georges Malbrunot asserts that, for fear of a coup, "the regime did not hesitate to disarm most of the Sunni battalions" (sic). This is obviously ridiculous: if it had feared a coup, the regime would not have humiliated some battalions, inciting the others to overthrow it. Besides, it can not disarm all the Sunnis without exposing itself, 65% of the military belonging to that faith.

De Morgen wonders about the validity of the information given by Voltaire Network concerning the 19 French prisoners of war and of Thierry Meyssan’s assertion that the drama of Baba Amr is the biggest political fiction since September 11. In a separate column, the paper stresses that this would not be the first time that a distorted use of shocking images is made to justify a war.

• Melkite Greek Patriarch S. B. Gregory III defends the Syrian army in an interview with Tagesspiegel. The prelate is concerned that the Europeans systematically tag President al-Assad as the "bad guy," when he never lets up protecting his people from the armed gangs that kill and extort money from them. The "Arab Spring" has spurred Sunni extremists to try to seize power at the expense of the minorities."

Die Presse weighs the pros and cons in terms of military intervention. In the absence of a convincing argument, the paper examines the concept of "responsibility to protect".

Le Temps eruditely explains the Assad family’s descent into the mafia. According to Swiss newspaper, General Assef Shawkat was relieved of his responsibilities while Rami Makhlouf appropriated the country. Actually, General Shawkat was the commander of the last military operations and Rami Makhlouf is the manager and not the owner of mixed-economy companies.

• The Wall Street Journal reverts to the protection of Syria’s chemical arsenals. The United States and Jordan are ready to deploy forces to prevent them from falling in the hands of rebels. Our readers will remember that the Pentagon has already set up a space and air monitoring system to this effect. Overall, this device is an indication that Washington and Tel Aviv, who have tried everything to weaken Syria, have no intention of pushing the envelope any further.

• The New York Times and the Washington Post had pinned high hopes on this Friday’s event dedicated to the mobilization of the Kurds against Damascus. But they remained stony-faced.

• In Gulf News, the former official biographer of Hafez al-Assad, Patrick Seale, redeems himself by comparing the suppression of Hama (1982) and the taking of Baba Amr (2012), both fruits of the dynasty’s paranoia.

• Based on emails that Wikileaks claims to have hacked from Statfor, Hassan Barari sustains in Arab News that Iran has approached Washington to discuss a joint operation to overthrow Assad.

Photo of the Day

The despair of a child whose father has just been shot by a sniper. Associated Press released the photo stating that the victim was shot by a sniper from the Syrian national army. But according to the photographer, Rodrigo Abd, Mohamed Munir Zidani was killed by an unidentified gunman near a military post in Idlib, which is not at all the same thing.

In the Charlotte Observer, Bashar al-Assad is displaying the new Syrian constitution. It does not start with "We the People", but "Kill People."
Now, the Constitution has indeed been approved by referendum. Moreover, it proclaims the indivisibility of Syria and recalls the responsibility of the President to ensure territorial integrity. His fellow citizens have therefore given him a mandate to recover the breakaway territory of the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr (and also the Israeli-occupied Golan).

In The National, Kofi Annan attempts to extinguish the Syrian blaze, but the fire hose is crushed by a tank. The UAE daily did not wait for the arrival in Damascus on Saturday of the former UN Secretary General in order to denigrate his mission.

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