It is encouraging that the UN Security Council seems to be edging towards a resolution on Syria. It is even possible that a diplomatic breakthrough there, could lead to wider Russian/US co-operation on a peace process for Syria.
But while the diplomatic picture is improving outside Syria, the situation on the ground gets ever more complicated — in ways that will make it even harder to find a political solution that outside powers can endorse, and that has a chance of sticking.
Here’s today’s menu for you:
The Olympics are on our doorstep, but we’re still picking up interesting articles from around the world:
Fighters loyal to the Free Syrian Army prepare their weapons (Lo/AFP/GettyImages)
Activists close to the Free Syrian Army say that recent defections from the regime include a general who was associated with non-conventional weapons, adding that he is the most senior military official to join the opposition thus far.
Syria has an arsenal of chemical weapons, allegedly including significant stocks of nerve gas, that has been high on the list of concerns of western governments and Israel.
The activists say they expect the general will now help them restructure the leadership of the rebels. “He has a lot of information about the deployment of security forces and the regime’s assets,” one activist says. The general, whose name is likely to be made public in the next few days, is thought to have left his post a month ago and gone into hiding before being smuggled to Turkey.