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    Syrian Elections

    Syrian Elections

    Last August it seemed like the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was terminally wounded. After using the nerve gas sarin to kill hundreds of civilians it seemed his days were very definitely numbered. However this week Assad won a presidential election with 89% of the vote. There was never any doubt that he would win. So why organise an election in the midst of a civil war at all? Dr Vincent Durac of the School of Politics and International Relations in UCD, and by phone from London by Shashank Joshi, a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) ...

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/programmes/2014/0608/622349-marian-finucane-sunday-8-june-2014/?clipid=1595526
    Syria

    Syria

    Tens of thousands of people are on the brink of starvation in Syria, twenty thousand of them in the disputed Damascus suburb of Yarmouk. Food has been scarce in Yarmouk since the beginning of the year but conditions have dramatically worsened recently after the regime blocked food supplies in an attempt to force rebel groups inside to surrender. The Guardian’s Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov spoke to Sean from Beirut.

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2014/0422/610241-today-with-sean-o-rourke-tuesday-22-april-2014/?clipid=1538995
    Lebanon

    Lebanon

    As the third anniversary of the Syrian conflict passes without any sign of a resolution, the humanitarian difficulties for those Syrian refugees who have fled the country deepen.  All this week, our reporter Brian O’Connell has been based in Lebanon examining the issues many refugees face in unofficial camps along the Syrian border, and looking at the work aid agency UNICEF are doing to help alleviate the crisis. Last night Brian sent us this report from the Bekka Valley in eastern Lebanon.

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2014/0319/603192-today-with-sean-o-rourke-wednesday-19-march-2014/?clipid=1513037
    Lebanon/Syria

    Lebanon/Syria

    Three years after the start of the Syrian conflict and the crisis, and as the humanitarian crisis worsens, the conflict is now threatening to further destabilise neighbouring countries. Our reporter Brian O’Connell has been based in Lebanon since Saturday, visiting the work UNICEF are doing in the region to help alleviate the crisis. And Brian joined Keeloin from a refugee camp in Kab Elias.

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2014/0318/602936-today-with-sean-o-rourke-tuesday-18-march-2014/?clipid=1512056
    Syria

    Syria

    For the first time since fighting began in Syria, almost three years ago, the government and opposition have met for talks. Few expect the peace talks, which have just begun in Geneva, to result in a breakthrough to end the war. Islamist fighters who disdain the Western and Arab-backed opposition are not present at the talks. Nor is Iran, Assad's main regional backer. The Reuters news agency is quoting a Western diplomat as saying that expectations for the talks are very low. The aim he says is "to give some momentum to the process and avoid either side walking out". ...

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2014/0124/499868-today-with-sean-o-rourke-friday-24-january-2014/?clipid=1401748

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