Syria crisis: 'progress' on chemical weapons inspections
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Here's a roundup of the latest developments and analysis:
• In a joint statement they said: "Documents handed over yesterday by the Syrian government look promising, according to team members, but further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered."
• The government proposed the extension, saying the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons poses an "imminent and serious" threat to Turkey.
• "It would be rather logical to meet (Obama) in Bali, taking into account the work on the n issue," Putin's top foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters, according to Reuters.
The NDF has given the Syrian government new manpower but the steady increase in the number of Syrian rebels as well as foreign jihadist fighters has resulted in a stalemate on the Damascus battlefield. Neither side has made significant gains for at least a year. A major government offensive on Ghouta in August, which coincided with the sarin gas attacks, has not won it any ground.
But is gaining ground on the diplomatic front, Steele argue:
The battlefield is deadlocked and will remain so as long as the rebels continue getting arms. But thanks to [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov and Putin and the growing international fear of the jihadists, Assad is winning the political war.
• In the wake of a Guardian investigation that showed dozens of Nepalese had been killed in recent weeks alone, the chief executive of the Qatar 2022 supreme committee said the issue was their "top priority".
• A statement from the foreign ministry in Moscow said the evacuation of its staff to Tunisia was a precaution after the embassy came under attack from guns and rockets on Wednesday night and again the next morning.
• The vast network of overlapping US sanctions, which have built up over three decades, cannot be easily unpicked by the Obama administration without the support of both houses of Congress.
• The four were charged with "dancing on a vehicle in public" and "violating public morals".