The Syrian Uprising
In an attempt to keep your Syrian Uprising chocolate out of my Iran War peanut butter, here's a thread dedicated solely to Syria's rapid descent into hell on earth.
As if the country didn't have enough problems right now, yesterday's suicide bombings of Syria security headquarters in Aleppo that killed 28 and wounded hundreds turns out not to have been done by the opposition, but Al Qaeda. Specifically, the Iraqi branch of AQ.
The international terrorist network's presence in Syria also raises the possibility that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the uprising, which would seriously complicate efforts by the United States and its European and Arab partners to force Assad's regime from power. On Friday, President Barack Obama repeated his call for Assad to step down, accusing his forces of "outrageous bloodshed."
The U.S. intelligence reports indicate that the bombings came on the orders of Ayman al Zawahiri, the Egyptian extremist who assumed leadership of al Qaida's Pakistan-based central command after the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden. They suggest that Zawahiri still wields considerable influence over the network's affiliates despite the losses the Pakistan-based core group has suffered from missile-firing CIA drones and other intensified U.S. counterterrorism operations.