Today's 'Friends of Syria' Group meeting, to be chaired by Turkey and France in Tunisia, is expected to result in a decision as to how to establish an air corridor to provide humanitarian aid to the areas that are besieged. The decision to recognize the 'Syrian National Council' is also expected to fruition today. Perhaps one of the main topics of today's agenda however will be ensuring that a ceasefire is implemented immediately.
Although Russia and China will not be attending the meeting, there will be representatives from over 80 countries and organizations, including the United States, the European Union, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which will discuss the issue of whether or not to provide official support to the Free Syrian Army.
According to U.S. sources, after this meeting, Syrian State Leader Bashar al-Assad will be given an ultimatum to declare an immediate ceasefire and to allow for humanitarian aid to reach those in areas that are besieged by Assad forces. Should Assad not heed to these demands within the following 72 hours, then additional sanctions and heavier consequences may be brought to the agenda.
IF ASSAD WOULD LISTEN...
While in London for the Somalia Conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu spoke with Tunisia's Minister of Foreign Affairs three times yesterday prior to the Friends of Syria Group meeting which is being held in Tunisia today with Turkey undertaking a leading role. Davutoğlu has also met with his U.S., German and Swedish counterparts, U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and the Prime Minister of Qatar in order to discuss Syria. In a press conference held prior to his departure from London, Davutoğlu announced that the second 'Friends of Syria' group meeting will be held in Istanbul. When asked why Assad was not invited, Davutoğlu responded by stating, "If they were going to listen to us, they would have heard us in Damascus. If they were going to listen to the Arab league, they would have listened in Cairo and if they were going to hear out the UN, then they would have done so in New York."
'Turkey and its allies to invade Syria'
According to the DEBKAfile website, which is known for its affiliation with Israeli intelligence, Turkey and its Western allies are allegedly preparing to stage a 'Libya-style' military operation in Syria. According to the news report released on the website, Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara have been in intensive deliberations for weeks in regards to staging an operation for which U.S. President Barack Obama will make the final call. The DEBKAfile site also referred to the reasoning behind intervention in Libya as being in order to protect the defenseless Libyan public and stated that a similar scenario was going to be realized in Syria.
Kurdish leaders falling prey to Assad and the PKK
A series of assassinations of Kurdish politicians in areas of Syria where the PKK and Kurdish concentration is high, such as Afrin, Kamışlı and the Derik region has become a source of high concern for the public. The latest victim in this series of violence was Nasireddin Berhik, a member of the executive board of the Democratic Kurdish Party. Known for his anti-Baath party activities, Berhik's death also means that the top fifth high level Kurdish politician that does not support the PKK has been killed off. Prior to Berhik's murder, Meşal Tamo and clan leader Abdullah Bedro's three sons were also killed in armed attacks.
Journalists were tracked by satellite then killed
Supposedly the two journalists, American national Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, that were killed from shelling in Homs, had been located via a satellite prior to the attack. Yesterday, an announcement was released by the Syrian Ministry of Information which stated that journalists in Homs will be evacuated as safely and as soon as possible.