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Showing posts from July 2, 2013

CrisisWatch N°119

The Syrian conflict continued to morph into a full-blown regional sectarian struggle (see our new report). President Bashar Assad’s forces recaptured the town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border with the backing of Hizbollah fighters, whose open support for the regime is mobilising Sunnis across the region. An unprecedented conference in Cairo brought together some of the most prominent, and usually divided, Sunni religious opinion leaders in a joint appeal for jihad against the regime. Their call was endorsed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile Iraqi Shiite militia are reportedly streaming into Syria in ever greater numbers. As both regime and opposition forces take on increasingly overt confessional stances, the massacre of Shiites in the eastern village of Hatla, reportedly carried out by opposition armed groups, further inflamed the atmosphere. UN/Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi reported that a planned peace conference in Geneva is unlikely to take place before August…