Syria

The United Kingdom has announced that it no longer has any intention of arming Syrian rebels after deciding that the Assad regime may survive for years and amid growing concerns that radical Islamist militants are growing increasingly powerful among anti-government rebel fighters. The outgoing head of the British armed forces, Sir David Richards, has also warned against any military action in Syria due to the lack of an international consensus and because Syrian rebel factions lack any political cohesion. Separately, Kurdish fighters battling Islamist militants in northern Syria announced the capture of a jihadist commander days after expelling jihadist groups from the town of Ras al-Ain. (July 18, 2013 Reuters; July 18, 2013 BBC News; July 21, 2013 Al Arabiya)