World View: Syrian Regime Bombs Civilians with Russian Jets

World View: Syrian Regime Bombs Civilians with Russian Jets

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria’s envoy to Cyprus defects as regime continues assault on civilians
  • In dramatic escalation, Syrian regime bombs civilians with Russian jets
  • China establishes Sansha City in the South China Sea
  • Taiwan ready for military deployment in South China Sea
  • Bond panic continues in Europe as Spanish yields surge

Syria’s envoy to Cyprus defects as regime continues assault on civilians

Syrian envoy Lamia Al Hariri speaks to Cyprus foreign minister in February, 2012 (mfa.gov.cy)
Syrian envoy Lamia Al Hariri speaks to Cyprus foreign minister in February, 2012 (mfa.gov.cy)

The regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad suffered its thirddefection of a senior diplomat on Tuesday when the Syrian chargéd’affaires to Cyprus Lamia al-Hariri defected and arrived in Qatar.Syria’s ambassador to Sweden defected in December, and the ambassadorto Iraq defected two weeks ago. It’s believed that other Syrianambassadors, including the envoys to Germany, the Czech Republic, andBelarussia, have defected, but have not announced it publicly due tofears over government reprisals. Al-Jazeera

In dramatic escalation, Syrian regime bombs civilians with Russian jets

Syrian warplanes, believed to be Russian MiG bombers, bombedresidential neighborhoods in Aleppo on Tuesday. This attack, thefirst of its kind since the protests began early last year, was adramatic escalation of the attack on Syrian civilians, and was part ofa coordinated assault by government forces that included heavyartillery shelling and rockets launched from military helicopters.The assault destroyed entire neighborhoods. The BBC World Serviceinterviewed on resident who said, “Why doesn’t Assad just use hischemical weapons and finish us off once and for all?” Washington Post

Bond panic continues in Europe as Spanish yields surge

Spain’s 10-year bond yields (interest rates) continued to surge into ahigher crisis level on Tuesday, as an apparent bond panic gatherssteam in Europe. Spain’s 10-year bond yields spiked up to 7.5% onMonday, and surged higher to a record 7.64% on Tuesday. Germany’sFinance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, meeting with Spain’s economyminister, blamed the markets for the bond panic:

“The current levels of interest rates on sovereigndebt markets don’t correspond to the fundamentals of the Spanisheconomy.”

Pressure is building on the European Central Bank (ECB) to “printmoney” and use it to purchase Spanish bonds, in order to bring downyields. Germany opposes such a move because it make Germany anindirect guarantor of the bonds. German officials are alreadybristling because Moody’s put Germany’s AAA rated debt on “negativewatch” yesterday, indicated that Germany may be downgraded because ofexposure to the euro crisis. Bloomberg

China establishes Sansha City in the South China Sea

South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory
South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory

In order to pursue its claims that the entire South China Sea isChina’s sovereign territory, to be controlled entirely by China, agala ceremony marked the establishment of the city of Sansha in themiddle of the South China Sea. The Chinese flag was hoisted, thenational anthem was played, and there were military displays. WangChunyan, who works for the supermarket, says she likes living there.Huang Liangshan, a local fisherman, plans to open a small sea foodrestaurant. “It will make my fishing hauls sell better,” he said.China has pretty much made it clear that any non-Chinese who insistson fishing in the South China Sea will be killed. Xinhua

Taiwan ready for military deployment in South China Sea

Taiwan’s military is poised to deploy 120 mm mortars and 40 mm guns onTaiping Island, part of the Spratly Island group. Taiwan claimssovereignty over Taiping Island, as well as all the Spratly Islands,challenging the sovereignty of China, the Philippines, Malaysia,Vietnam and Brunei. A recent visit to Taiping Island by a governmentofficial found that there was insufficient military weaponry on theisland to provide for a sufficient defense. Focus Taiwan

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