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Saturday 10 December 2016

The vista of a third world war becomes appallingly real

As Britain and the US stood off a crumbling Syria, Russia stepped in and added yet more volatility to the international powderkeg

Anthony Cronin

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

Allies: Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Allies: Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

The Syrian conflict, and the flood of refugees resulting from it, is beginning to affect European and indeed world politics. Donald Trump, candidate for the American presidency, said that his solution is to send the refugees back immediately to where they came from - blithely ignoring the fact that you cannot, by international law, send refugees from a conflict back home. Though you can send migrants back, that is, if you can determine where they came from.

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The British Home Secretary has taken the opportunity to make the kind of remarks about immigration and the cohesion of society which she had cannily refrained from making in the general election campaign.

In Germany, parties opposed to Angela Merkel have expressed surprise and dismay at the number of migrants which the EU proposed should be settled there - 800,000 when something like 150,000 was the original figure. It looks certain now to far exceed even the new figure.

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