A Syrian activist living in Aleppo reports from the besieged city: “The people of Aleppo remain stuck in this most deadly of paradoxes, caught between the hammer and the anvil, with both sides more than willing to see them starve to death.”
Zoltan Barany writes that the Syrian army, and especially its Alawite-dominated officer corp, are not likely to abandon Assad, and the Obama administration’s decision to arm the rebels will likely strengthen the military’s support for the regime.
Daniel Byman sees the US as an increasingly marginal player in the Mideast, unable to coordinate its allies.
A Tibetan musician releases a music video honoring self-immolations.
In Mexico, Los Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Treviño was arrested last week. Nathan Jones warns that Treviño’s arrest could create a power vacuum and spur further inter-cartel violence, and the Los Angeles Times reports from Mexico city.
While on the subject of international narcotics trafficking, Reid Standish profiles the “three evils” of narco-policy in central Asia.