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GLOBAL: Alastair Thompson: 'Seismic shift' in US policy over Syria stuns

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President Assad vows to ‘retake the whole of Syria’. Video: AFP interview on France 24

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Item: 9575

Alastair Thompson
WELLINGTON (Scoop Media/Pacific Media Watch): OPINION: The news that the Russians (Sergei Lavrov) and Americans (John Kerry) have come to an understanding on the next steps in Syria is confounding the pundits today – and the instinct to cling to the previous narrative (Russians bombing civilians) is something the BBC is struggling with somewhat.

This BBC news report for example is being headlined as we speak on the televised news – at the top of bulletins – with the spoken headline “Pressure is mounting on the Russians over their bombing campaign in Syria”.

Whereas the real news is that the Americans appear to have turned against their Free Syrian Army allies and decided to throw in their towel with the Russians – which, if for real, is a seismic shift in the conflict. That said, it is also something the political voices in Washington have been hinting at for some time and that European voices have been calling for over months.

Alastair Thompson is editor and publisher of the leading independent New Zealand online news website Scoop

Read the full commentary at Asia Pacific Report - and see updates

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