No power vacuum lasts forever. So in the absence of significant American intervention in Syria, regional powers have jumped in – above all Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran. We look at three perspectives on that, before we go to the UK where we read about three things that drive the Brits crazy: immigration, Europe and social assistance. And they’re all wrapped up in one story!
The Washington Post blames the US government for failing to act on any of its “red lines” and leaving a power vacuum in the region. The London-based Asharq Al-Awsat says the vacuum will not only allow Iran to increase its presence in Syria, it will lead to Iranian hegemony across the region. And Haaretz wonders whether this will lead to a power struggle with Israel as new arms shipments from Russia could provide the Syrian regime with the means to challenge Israeli air superiority.
Back in Europe, the European Union has taken Britain to court over concerns that non-British EU immigrants are being treated unequally, because some are denied social assistance. The Daily Mail says that if the UK loses the case, it will be forced to “throw open its doors to benefit tourists.” And “jobless migrants who never paid” into the benefits system “will pocket millions in state handouts.”
The Guardian says, on the other hand, that the EU is within its legal rights to take Britain to court, as unequal treatment - granting social aid to some and not to others - is a violation of human rights. But the problem, it says, is that even if the EU is legally right, the British people were never convinced of the need to even join the EU - much less subscribe to its rules.