Rebels again accused the Syrians of using chemical weapons last Thursday at a target in western Syrian. The rebels are losing, are lying about it and do not understand they have lost on this issue.
The Syrian army and Hizballah have no weapons that fire only two chemical rounds. The rebels do. Poorly trained militias and disorganized rebel groups perpetrate attacks of this kind.
Today the head of the Free Syrian Army suggested that his force might fight the jihadists and salafists in Syria in coordination with the Syrian government forces because of the threat the jihadists pose to moderate Syrians.
The Taliban have urged President Hamid Karzai to turn a delay in signing a long-term security deal with the United States into outright rejection, in an unusually polite statement directed at a leader the insurgents have repeatedly denounced as a US puppet.
Basic contract law stipulates no agreement exists when there is no meeting of the minds of the contracting parties, regardless of the words of the agreement. That is what appears to have taken place in Geneva - two sides used the same words in English, but meant different things. In short, there was no agreement at Geneva.
The military leader of the Free Syrian Army said it will not attend the Geneva talks in January 2014 because conditions are not appropriate for talks, which means the Free Syrian Army is getting beaten and has no political leverage.
This is one of the most destabilizing developments in East Asia in more than ten years. This converted the war of words potentially into a war.
After years of opposing any uranium enrichment program, the US has decided Iran can do limited enrichment, which is arguably all that Iran has done to date. US sanctions and policy look arbitrary and capricious.
Negotiations resumed in Geneva as scheduled on 20 November. The Iranians have developed a work around formulation concerning its "right to enrich" uranium that might enable a tentative deal to be reached.
The Syrian government now controls the road linking the coast to the capital via Homs. This means that the pro-government forces have broken the back of the opposition fight in the west because the opposition supply line from Lebanon has been severed.
The blast occurred shortly after Afghan President Karzai "announced a draft agreement with the US allowing American troops to remain in Afghanistan" following the planned withdrawal of combat forces next year. Any leader who votes for the agreement is a target for assassination.
Government security forces recently intercepted one of the largest truck bombs ever built, a massive "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device," or VBIED, packed with some 61,500 pounds of explosives. The Hino heavy cargo truck was stopped as it crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan south of Peshawar.
The Chinese Communist Leadership are employing some free-market phrases to help push more government-directed control over the region's economic system.
Two western news services reported this week that Saudi Arabia is preparing to finance the training and arming of a new Syrian non-jihadi rebel force.
The six powers have relaxed their position significantly. The previous, longstanding position - as recently as last summer -- was that Iran must halt its nuclear program in return for sanctions to be lifted.
The focus of recent press reports is the cost associated with the destruction or removal of Syria's chemical weapons, agents and precursors. More than a month ago President Asad said that the cost would be more than Syria could pay.
This announcement coincided with a Russian accusation that the US could not deliver a unified opposition counter-party that could speak authoritatively for the opposition.
On Sunday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated his support for Iran's nuclear talks, but also said he was not optimistic. "No one should see our negotiating team as compromisers….I am not optimistic about the negotiations."
The Leader of the Syrian opposition has proposed conditions for peace talks. His conditions are the conditions of a party that is losing on the battlefield. Self-righteous indignation is one of the few substitutes for tactical success.
The reason for the training, which runs from the 29th to the 31st, is unclear, but it may be a precaution against social unrest while senior officers are in Pyongyang.