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Syria’s peace deals, made under threat of starvation, coming undone

Syria’s government has negotiated numerous ceasefires with rebel groups, but they seem to be short-lived. Freelance journalist Lauren Williams reports from Beirut.

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Blood brothers: the Sydney jihadists who took on Assad

A number of Australian Muslims have gone to Syria to fight against the Assad regime. Freelance Chris Ray, who recently returned from Syria, looks at the tale of two Sydney brothers.

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Inside the WikiLeaks meeting with Assad: Syrian morale rising, he insists

A delegation including Australians from the WikiLeaks Party met with the Syrian President last week. Journalist Chris Ray was in the room and reports what Bashar al-Assad thinks about his country’s future.

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Crikey Awards: your pick for the best (and worst) person of the year

Crikey readers have spoken. We have your Person of the Year and Arsehat of the Year. Plus which silver fox got your nod for sexiest male pollie?

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The besieged leader a long way from falling: Assad’s Syrian stand

Syria’s use of sarin gas last month was not a diplomatic mistake — it the culmination of six months of very clever strategising, writes Dara Conduit, a PhD student on Syria.

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Media briefs: Phillip Adams stays … Gina talks … gays on TV …

Are Cam and Mitchell really trailblazers, showing the normality of a gay couple on network TV? Or are they really more like roommates?

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Russia the real winner of Syrian negotiations

Russia has returned from being a struggling second-rate international power to again strutting the international stage as, more or less, the equal of the United States.

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Russia may yet offer US a Syrian lifeline

The United States may have been given an opportunity to avoid military intervention in Syria while saving face. But will Bashar Al-Assad really play ball?

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Supposed superiority, or stop being such a smart-arse

Crikey readers have their say on Guy Rundle’s language, Obama’s supposed moral authority and why Crikey should stop being such a smartarse.

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How Australia should use the UN to lead on Syria

With the US poised to launch military action against Syria, can Australia’s UN Security Council presidency make a difference? Retired diplomat Bruce Haigh assesses the options.

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Support for Syrian missile strike could test Labor unity

The Labor Party takes a far more nuanced view of Syria than recent bellicose statements from the Foreign Minister would suggest.

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Pause for thought on Syrian chemical attacks — and reprisals

There’s still no clear evidence on which group was responsible for a chemical attack in Syria. This lack of information makes Western intervention risky, argues Crikey’s foreign affairs writer.

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Media briefs: Sorry-not-sorry … Fairfax maps out its business merger …

Journalists at The Age have issued an apology for accessing private data, but they say it was in the public interest.

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Hope for peace in Syria fades as Russia backs away

Fighting has escalated in Syria, and Russia has started to arm pro-Assad forces. A peaceful end to the civil war is looking less and less likely.

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‘Damn your international policies!’: tensions rise in Turkey

A reporting ban imposed after a bombing in Turkey has led to accusations PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is orchestrating a cover-up, and the country will be dragged into war with Syria. Turkish journalism lecturer Erdem KoƧ reports.

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Weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East: here we go again

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is alleged to have used chemical weapons. If this is true, writes Charles Richardson, what can the US and other countries actually do about it?

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Chemical warfare could force US to intervene in Syria

The US has so far tried to stay out of the Syrian conflict. But with reports of the use of chemical weapons, it might have no choice but to intervene — and further destabilise the region.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: Assad remains a sure bet

Backing dictators to survive has proved a profitable thing for me over the years and a few dollars were added to the betting bank when Assad survived until the start of this year.

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Like Cambodia, Syria is increasingly turning into a proxy war

Syria is now starting to look like such a multi-faceted contest, but perhaps with even greater potential for complication. Cambodia might provide some clues.

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Kurds continue steady march to being serious Mid-East player

There is widespread opposition in Turkey to involvement in conflict beyond its borders, writes Andrew Penny, a long-time Kurdish rights activist and translator.

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A window of opportunity for a Kurdish Spring

Recent developments in the increasingly fragile Iraqi and Syrian states have ignited hopes for a Kurdish homeland, writes Jack Davies, an Australian freelance journalist based in Turkey.

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Syria solution needed to prevent regional war

The threat of a war with Israel coincides with a failure by Syrian rebels to make serious gains on the ground. Australian journalist Antoun Issa reports from Beirut.

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Nothing black and white about Syria

Crikey readers have their say.

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From Russia with blood

The efforts by Russia to protect Bashar al-Assad and block efforts to encourage compliance with the peace plan will only prolong and extend the escalating bloodshed in Syria.

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No end in sight for Syria’s agony

The bloodshed in Syria continues and things need to change sooner rather than later, writes Charles Richardson.

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