The Syrian people continue to suffer – the number of civilians who have fled the fighting in Syria has now reached 2 million, according to the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. That’s 5,000 Syrians crossing the border into neighbouring nations every single day, while a further 4 million people have been displaced from their homes within Syria’s borders.
“Syria’s civil war has driven almost a third of the country’s population from their homes, causing the ‘humanitarian calamity’ of the century, the United Nations says today,” reports the Telegraph on its front page.
The paper summarises: “The milestone of two million refugees was reached as Bashar al–Assad, the Syrian president, challenged the West to provide ‘the slightest proof’ he had used chemical weapons against his people, warning that military intervention could spark a ‘regional war’; ŠPhilip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, raised the possibility of the Commons voting again on joining any US strike on the Syrian regime, saying this might happen if ‘circumstances change very significantly’; ŠA French intelligence dossier concluded that forces loyal to Assad carried out the ‘massive and coordinated’ chemical attack on Aug 21, one of ‘at least three’ this year; ŠAt least 20 rebels were killed in an ambush outside Damascus as Mr Assad’s forces continued their advance, killing 90 insurgents in the space of two days, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London–based group.”
Meanwhile, a disappointed Times splashes on news that “British military chiefs are being ejected from US meetings about Syria in the first direct consequence of David Cameron’s refusal to Join military action. The role of senior British officers based at US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, has been downgraded because they cannot be trusted with high-level intelligence about a conflict with which they are no longer involved, military sources say.. Britain is now ‘non-reliable as far as this operation is concerned’, according to one former officer..”