Tag Archives: United Kingdom

14 March 2013

France and UK ready to arm Syrian rebels

France and the United Kingdom made announcements that the two States were considering bypassing the European Union (EU) arms embargo in order to arm Syrian rebels. The EU is set to discuss its embargo again in May.

Source: BBC | France, UK 'may bust Syria arms ban'

12 March 2013

US, French and British troops train Syrian rebels in Jordan

According to news reports, United States (US), French and British troops train Syrian rebels in the east and south of Jordan. While the Pentagon had already confirmed in October 2012 that US special forces and military advisers had trained select Syrian rebels together with the Jordanian military in the summer of 2012, the British and French Defense Ministries have not yet commented on their involvement in the training activities. In a statement made on 6 March 2013, however, British Foreign Minister William Hague revealed a wide understanding of the EU arms embargo against Syria, explaining that ‘technical assistance can include assistance, advice and training on how to maintain security in areas no longer controlled by the regime, on co-ordination between civilian and military councils, on how to protect civilians and minimize the risks to them, and how to maintain security during a transition’.

Source: The Guardian | West training Syrian rebels in Jordan
Source: RT | US, UK and France training Syrian rebels in Jordan - reports
Source: Der Spiegel | US-Unterstützung im Bürgerkrieg: Heimliches Waffentraining für Syriens Rebellen (in German)

26 February 2013

Report on UK complicity in drone attacks by the US

Al Jazeera has published a report detailing involvement of the United Kingdom (UK) in drone attacks by the United States (US). The report states that the UK has been providing locational intelligence in order to assist US drone operators carrying out strikes in Pakistan, and that it has granted General Electric export licenses for products integral to the production of Predator drones.

Source: Al Jazeera | Foreign complicity in the drone war

10 September 2012

HRW publishes report on torture and rendition to Libya

On 6 September 2012, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report on torture and rendition to Libya during Gaddafi’s regime, entitled Delivered Into Enemy Hands: US-led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya.

The report is based on secret documents that were found after the fall of Tripoli, showing ‘a high level of cooperation between the Gaddafi government in Libya and US and the UK in the renditions discussed in the report.’

According to HRW, the documents and interviews ‘establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US, with aid from the United Kingdom and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, arrested and held without charge a number of LIFG [Libyan Islamic Fighting Group] members living outside Libya, and eventually rendered them to the Libyan government.’

Source: Human Rights Watch | US: Torture and Rendition to Gaddafi’s Libya

3 September 2012

Turkish Request for Refugee Camps in Syria divides UN Security Council

Turkey’s foreign minister has requested the UN Security Council (SC) to set up refugee camps in Syria, stating that Turkey will soon not be able to cope with the large number of refugees crossing its borders. Setting up safe zones in Syria would require military intervention and installing no-fly zones. Russia and China remain opposed to such measures, blocking SC action. During an emergency session of the SC, France and the United Kingdom nevertheless indicated that they would not rule out following up on Turkey’s request. This has caused media to speculate that they may intervene even without a SC mandate, already comparing the situation with the intervention in Kosovo in the 1990s.

Source: New York Times | Threat to Syrian Civilians Is Growing, Officials Say
Source: BBC | 'Difficult' demand for refugee camps in Syria vexes UN

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