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Turning a blind eye.

Cardboard man On the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, one can sympathize with Khaled Khoja, the president of the Syrian National Coalition. Describing how Russia and Iran had forged a "pact of steel" with President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Khoja noted that the 114 countries making up the Friends of Syria group had responded with "a pact of cardboard."

Khoja reserved his most bitter criticism for the United States. He described the American plan to arm 15,000 "moderate" Syrian rebels as a "joke", and told The Guardian: "The Americans don't want to coordinate with the [Free Syrian Army]. There is no will from our allies. We have a lot of allies and a lot of promises compared with what the regime has received."

Iran's sprawling influence drums up sectarian fears in oil-rich Arab neighbors In the wake of Israel's raid on Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981, president Saddam Hussein gathered together his top scientists and generals.

"You think the mullahs are weak? You think those bearded fanatics will give up? No, they are not weak, they will never give up."

Impact of refugee crisis on Lebanon's public health sector The 1.5 million refugee influx into Lebanon has resulted in heavy strain on the Lebanese health care infrastructure and has excluded massive numbers of refugees from access to basic health services.

Unlike other host countries, Lebanon has forbidden official camps. Consequently, refugees are spread throughout the country, at times with restrictions on movement, and in substandard living conditions that predispose them to illness. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of unregistered refugees are excluded from assistance for health services.

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Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Mar 14, 2015
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