03/04/2013

Syrian army: foreign backed terrorists killed

 

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Terrorists Target Residential Areas with Mortars, Army Pursues Them in Several Areas

Apr 3, 2013

Terrorists on Tuesday fired two mortars on Jaramana city in Damascus Countryside, martyring four people and injuring eleven others.

An official source told SANA reporter that a terrorist attack by mortars targeted al-Qraiyat neighborhood in the city, killing four people and injuring eleven others among them children and women.

The source added that the terrorist attack caused huge material damage in the place.

Citizen Martyrs By Terrorists Mortar in Damascus Countryside

A citizen was martyred after terrorists launched a Mortar shell on a residential area in al-Assad neighborhood in Damascus Countryside on Wednesday.

An official source told SANA that the shell fell on a roundabout and caused the martyrdom of a citizen and the injury of two passers.

Army Pursues Jabhat al-Nusra Terrorists in Hama

A unit of the armed forces pursued an armed terrorist group from Jabhat al-Nusra in Tal al-Dabbagha neighborhood in the city, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.

An official source told SANA reporter that the terrorists' weapons were seized including automatic rifles, RPG rounds and grenades.

Armed forces destroyed three armored vehicles and killed a number of terrorists near al-Hajj bridge in Aleppo city.

Armed forces destroyed a 120 mm mortar and a car with all the terrorists inside it in al-Shaar neighborhood in Aleppo.

Terrorists Open Fire on Trucks in Lebanon, Syrian Injured

A Syrian lorry driver was seriously wounded after an armed terrorist group opened fire on a number of trucks heading to Syria in the area of Mahalat al-Tabbanah in Tripoli, Lebanon.

Lebanese security sources said on Wednesday that tens of gunmen opened fire and launched a hand grenade on the trucks, causing the injury of driver Saleh Fares.

Army Cleans Sukayna Shrine in Daraya from Terrorists

The Armed Forces secured the area of Sukayna Shrine in Daraya after eliminating all the terrorists in the area.

A military source told SANA reporter that the army carried out several operations in the area and eliminated all the terrorists in and near the shrine.

The source added that large numbers of explosive devices were dismantled and huge amounts of weapon and ammunition were seized.

SANA reporter said that the shrine was severely damaged after the terrorists opened holes in its walls as to opened fire from their snipers and machineguns.

Army Eliminates Terrorists' Leaders in Damascus Countryside

The army continued operations against the terrorists in Jubar neighborhood in Damascus Countryside and eliminated scores of terrorists'' leaders in the area.

An official source told SANA reporter that terrorists Abu Mahmoud and Abu Fahd, leaders of terrorist groups, were identified among the dead.

The source added that an army unit targeted a terrorists' hideouts for the so-called "Liwaa al-Islam" terrorist group in Douma city and killed most of terrorists in the den, among them was their leader, Bilal Younes Ja'rash.

In the town of al-Utaibeh, an Armed Forces unit destroyed two cars equipped with heavy machineguns and a weapons and munitions warehouse in the western part of the town, while another unit injured and killed members of a terrorist group near the schools area.

Another Armed Forces unit clashed with a terrorist group near the town of Qara, injuring a number of terrorists and killing others, including Noureddin Abu Hilal, in addition to destroying a car along with the weapons and munitions in it.

Army Kills terrorists in Homs and Idleb

The army continued operations against the armed terrorist groups in Homs and Idleb, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

A military source told SANA reporter that a number of terrorists' hideouts and gatherings were destroyed in the areas of al-Janoudyeh, Nadda, Mir'and, Dana al-Saghira, Ein al-Qasab and Dweir al-Akrad in Idleb countryside.

The source added that scores of terrorists were also eliminated in al-Sarmanyeh, Taftanaz, Maaratmasaren, MaarShamsheh, Jidar Bakfaloun and al-Neirab.

In Homs countryside, the Armed Forces destroyed two terrorists'' hideouts near al-Rastan city and al-Dar al-Qabera and killed and injured all the terrorists in them.

Armed Forces Eliminate Terrorists from Jabhet al-Nusra in Deir Ezzor

An Armed Forces unit carried out a special operation in al-Takaya street in Deir Ezzor city, eliminating a terrorist gathering and destroying their weapons and munitions.

Among the terrorists killed in this operation were Laurence Shihadeh al-Okla and Mahmoud Hasan al-Khodr from Jabhet al-Nusra.

The locals of al-Masrab village in Deir Ezzor's western countryside repelled an attempt by terrorist group to attack their village, injuring a number of terrorists and killing others including Abdullah Hussein from Jabhet al-Nusra.

Armed Forces Eliminate Terrorists, Destroy their Vehicles in Aleppo

The Armed Forces continued their qualitative operations in Aleppo city and countryside and eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their criminal tools.

An official source told SANA reporter that the Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses upon the armed terrorist groups in al-Atareb, Deir Jamal, Minnigh and Anadan areas.

The source added that the Armed Forces carried out operations in Heritan as they targeted terrorists' dens and killed several terrorists from foreign nationalities.

In Aleppo city, the source noted, the Armed Forces destroyed terrorists' dens in al-Sheikh Said, destroyed a mortar and killed a large number of terrorists.

The source said that the Armed Forces destroyed three cars loaded with weapons and ammunitions and a car equipped with an anti-aircraft cannon, in addition to a car equipped with DShK machinegun in Aleppo city.

English Bulletin

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/04/03/475622.htm

02/04/2013

Syria: Baath University in Homs Remember Damascus University Martyrs

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April 2, 2013

On March 28, 2013 Al Qaeda FSA terrorists shelled the College of Architecture in Damascus University killing 15 students and injuring tens more. Today at Baath University in Homs, the students and the teaching staff and University administration held a memorial for the martyrs of knowledge.

Watch report with English subtitles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8VKM2NaSvIA

http://youtu.be/8VKM2NaSvIA

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis imposed on the country by foreign elements mainly from countries of colonial past and imperialist projects, hundreds of scientists, researchers and students have been targeted systematically either by direct assassination or by collective bombing keeping Syrian wonder how much ‘revolutionary’ the so called Syrian Revolution is?

http://www.syrianews.cc/homs-baath-university-remember-damascus-university-martyrs/

German NATO propagandist injured in Syria

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April 2, 2013

The German ARD correspondent Jörg Armbruster (media bias), known as one of the biggest war promoter from the war in Libya and Syria, was injured in Syria while he tried to produce another biased documentation for the German television.

The correspondent of the German state television media channels, Jörg Armbruster, became famous for his promotion of the war in Libya and his biased stories about the situation and events in Syria. Some also call him a direct mouthpiece of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other NATO countries – in order to sell the typical NATO propaganda to the German television viewer.
But the German correspondent Armbruster has not only used these channels to sell the false propaganda about Libya and Syria to the German television viewers, he also wrote a book and used all other ways to promote the NATO propaganda and to boost his own career. He is known as a careerist and twaddler for money in the German circle of journalists.
This goes so far that even some colleagues of the same German channel call him a propagandist and, as said, careerist. Both belongs probably together – promote the NATO propaganda and you won`t have problems in your career in Germany.
It is really unfortunate that Jörg Armbruster was injured in Syria but this happens when you stay with armed Jihadists and mercenaries. Of course, the Department of Psychological Warfare of the German state television and the attached corporate and state media are hypocritical whining about the wounded and great German correspondent Armbruster. The whining, mixed with propaganda, on the websites of several German media agencies like ARD and ZDF is unbearable.
The German correspondent and war promoter Jörg Armbruster was and is always one of the leading “embedded” war propagandists. Not only in Syria and Libya, but also in Egypt. Armbruster was always on the side of the aggressors. One good example of his lies is the moment when Armbruster blamed the troops of the former Libyan leader Gaddafi (Qaddafi) for a massacre, although the armed terrorists and Islamists of NATO were guilty for this massacre in Libya. But that´s the way Armbruster worked and works – as long as he was and is able to serve the NATO propaganda.

This correspondent from Germany is also one of these so-called journalists who is a huge fan of the Muslim Brotherhood. When he stayed in the Egyptian capital Cairo, he was sometimes seen with some figures of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood having dinner.
The Muslim Brotherhood, corrupt to the bones and always trying to misuse Islam for political goals, are currently considered as an organisation which probably should be forbidden by the Egyptian Supreme Judge. In the Emirates, the Muslim Brotherhood is on trial for conspiracy. In Syria? The Muslim Brotherhood is guilty for many crimes already. And so on. There are no “moderate Islamists”. This new name for the heads of the rotten Muslim Brotherhood is just an invention by such biased correspondents like the German Jörg Armbruster.
He was treated in Turkey and then flown back to Germany after he was injured in crossfire while he tried to make another propaganda-documentary about the “Arab Spring” – including Syria, of course.
Some might wonder who has actually issued him the visa for Syria and how great must the indoctrination be when a pensioner still risks his life for NATO propaganda? But the second question might be easy to answer; as said, he has always been a careerist who stops at nothing. The first question? The usual problems in and about Syria.

http://www.syrianews.cc/german-correspondent-armbruster-wounded-syria/

01/04/2013

Syrian People's Assembly: 'Stop funding and arming terrorists !'

Syria.Peoples Assembly Mohammad Jihad al-Lahham.jpgAl-Lahham Calls Upon World Parliaments to Exert Pressure on Terrorism-Supporting Governments

Apr 1, 2013

HAVANA, (SANA) - Speaker of the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Lahham, called upon the world's parliaments to pressurize the governments which are supporting terrorism to stop these acts.

The remarks came in an interview with Cuban "The Workers" Newspaper (Trabajadores) after his participation in the 128th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Quito, Ecuador.

Al-Lahham called upon the international community to exert all efforts to stop violence and massacres committed by the armed terrorist groups in Syria and support the political program to solve the crisis as to preserve Syria's sovereignty and the international security and peace.

He denounced the role of some regional and international countries which are funding and arming the terrorists, adding that the regionally and internationally backed terrorism targets the Syrian lands and people through destroying the infrastructure and the public and private properties.

Al-Lahham warned against the role of the misleading media outlets and their involvement in misguiding the Arab and international public opinion, condemning the Turkish government that made the Turkish territories a safe haven for the terrorists and a platform to launch terrorist attacks against Syria.

Speaker al-Laham expressed gratitude for the stances of Cuba in support of Syria, voicing appreciation for the stances of the (BRICS) countries in support of the struggle of the Syrian people.

He stressed that Syria is firm in its fight against terrorism and it will prevail thanks to the awareness of the Syrians and their support to their leadership.

M. Nassr/F.L

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/22/2013/04/01/475421.htm

25/03/2013

Syria: Iraqi support

Iraq.jpgIraq.. Giving Syria seat at AL to Doha Coalition violation of Charter

Mar 25, 2013

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari underlined that giving Syria seat at the Arab League to Doha coalition is a precedent and violation of the AL convention, saying "Iraq had reservation about the AL decision."

"The name of the League is the Arab League.. representatives of the member states are the elected governments which have legitimacy, express and represent their people," Zebari said in a TV interview on Monday.

He added "Iraq would not recognize any side other than what the Syrian people decide, we will keep our stance and the reservation we have adopted.

Zebari said that the attempts by some Arab countries to reach outcomes, put an entity instead of a state or raising an alternative flag without the Syrian people's opinion were to " close the door in front of any political settlements and complicate issues in future," reiterating his country's rejection of arming any side in the opposition.

Mazen

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/03/25/474481.htm

21:52 Écrit par Jacques dans Iraq, Iraqi support, Latest News, Syria | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

Syria: 'Use of Chemical Weapons'

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, under the influence of western members of the Security Council, expanded the jurisdiction of the investigation committee in a letter directed to the Council without justification, attempting to make its mission extend to investigating all alleged cased of chemical weapons use in Syria.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that the suggestion made by Ban Ki-moon to expand investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria to cover all alleged cases rather than just investigate the March 19th incident in Aleppo is unconstructive.

The western colonial powers used almost in all their wars chemical weapons against innocent civilians.  This proves their hypocrisy again.

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/03/25/474376.htm

 

Photo: victims Agent Orange

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Agent Orange victims still need support

March 9, 2013

Nguyen Minh Y, director of external affairs for VAVA  (Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin):

Chemical warfare by the US in Vietnam from 1961-71 imposed huge damage on the country. The herbicide Agent Orange was sprayed over 30,000 villages, destroying forest and food supplies, and causing enormous environmental and economic destruction.

"Around 25% of South Vietnam was sprayed, with 2 million hectares of forest destroyed. Currently, there are 28 to 30 hotspots for dioxin contamination in Vietnam.

"There have also been devastating effects on the health of the Vietnamese people. The total number of victims is estimated to be at least 3 million.

"Agent Orange not only affected the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but also soldiers from the US, and its allies, including Australia. But those most affected were the people of Vietnam."

Nguyen said the victims of AO have a range of immediate and long-term needs, including healing, housing, jobs, caring, treatment and rehabilitation, education and integration into the community. They need regular medication for deformities and mental problems.

"Chemical warfare, including the spraying of Agent Orange, is a serious violation of international law. The US, Australian and New Zealand governments have so far provided some limited compensation to their own veterans.

"Up to 2013, the US has reported to have spent some $40 million to clean-up of affected sites in Vietnam, but no one knows how the money is being spent.

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/53564

Latest News Syrian army

Syria.Army Targets Terrorists' Gatherings.jpgTargeting Terrorists' Dens, Eliminating A Number of Them in Several Areas

March 25, 2013

An army unit on Monday destroyed a number of terrorist groups' hideouts and gatherings in Billa Village in Lattakia Countryside.

 

A military source told SANA reporter that two stores of weapons and ammunition were destroyed completely and all the terrorists inside them were either killed or injured.

The source added that another army unit destroyed a rocket launch pad in al-Rahmalieh Village used by the terrorists in their attacks against the citizens of the area as a number of the terrorists were killed including snipers of non-Syrian nationalities.

Another unit targeted a weapons and munitions warehouse in a special operation against terrorist gatherings in the village of Beit Awan, destroying a machinegun-equipped vehicle, injuring a number of terrorists and killing others.

Army Destroys Explosive Devices Store, Eliminates Terrorists in Joubar and Daraya

Units of the armed forces have carried out a series of the qualitative operations against the armed terrorist groups in Joubar Neighborhood in Damascus Countryside during which a store of explosive devices was demolished.

An official source told SANA reporter that during the operations a number of the terrorists were killed including Hisham Zynati, Samir Ameen and a terrorist nicknamed "Abu Mahmud Sadiq".

 In Daraya, army units continued to pursuit the terrorists near the train station and at the surrounding area of al-Sayyeda Sukaina Shrine, in addition to al-Jamait Neighborhood as a number of the terrorists were killed.

Armed Forces Prevent Terrorists' Attempt to Detonate IEDs in Aleppo

Armed Forces unit prevented an attempt by terrorists to detonate explosive devices planted in an apartment complex under construction in al-Hamadaniye area in Aleppo.

Heavy Losses Inflicted upon terrorists in Homs

An army unit on Sunday confronted terrorists who attempted to attack the second oil pump station to the east of Palmyra in Homs countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists.

A military source told SANA that most of the terrorists were killed and injured, as their weapons and ammunition were destroyed.

The source added that other army units targeted terrorists' gatherings in al-Ganto, Kissin, al-Dar al-Kabira, Ebel, al-Bouyda, al-Daba'a and al-Hamidyeh , killing a big number of them, injuring others and destroying their criminal tools.

Army Direct Strong Blows to Terrorists in Idleb

Army units destroyed terrorist groups' gatherings with all weapons and ammunition inside in Idleb countryside, killing many of the terrorists.

A military source told SANA that several terrorists were killed and many others were injured in al-Nayrab, Maqran, Sarmin, Binnish, Kfaroujin, Majdalya, Touom, Taftanaz, Helles and Sahl al-Rouj towns, as their weapons were also destroyed.

Army units also foiled terrorists' attempt to detonate five explosives, whose weights range from 40 to 50 kg, planted in Orom al-Joz and Kfar Shalaya villages in the Province.

Terrorists Killed and Injured during Military Operation in Hama

An army unit carried out an operation to the south of Teibat al-Emam town in Hama, destroying a number of vehicles, some of which equipped with machineguns, that were used by terrorists in their attacks.

A source in the province told SANA that a leader of a terrorist group from the Jabhat al-Nusra called Abi al-Bara'a al-Jazrawi was killed during the operation in addition to the terrorists Abi al-Nasr, Abi Hassan, Abi Bahaa from his group. Other terrorists were injured including a terrorist group leader called Abi Alleith.

Armed Forces Eliminate Terrorists, Destroy their Vehicles in Adra

Units of the Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses upon the armed terrorist groups through a series of operations in Adra and al-Maliha areas in Damascus countryside.

An official source told SANA reporter that units of the Armed Forces clashed with armed terrorist groups in Adra al-Jadida and destroyed a car driven by terrorists.

The source added that the clashes resulted in killing scores of terrorists, including Khaled Kakeh, from so-called "Islam Brigade", Ahmad al-Midawer and Ihsan Darwish.

The source pointed out that dens of terrorist groups and a number of cars were destroyed in al-Maliha area.

Army Restores Security and Stability in Baba Amro Neighborhood in Homs

A military source said that the Syrian Army restored security and stability to Baba Amro neighborhood in Homs after eliminating all members of the armed terrorist groups who infiltrated to the neighborhood few days ago.

The source added that the Syrian Army pursued terrorists in the surroundings of Baba Armo and killed and injured scores of them.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces foiled a terrorists' attempt to detonate 7 explosive devices in al-Qseir in Homs countryside.

In Idleb province, an army unit destroyed a car equipped with a machinegun and eliminated all terrorists in the car.

English Bulletin

http://sana.sy/eng/337/2013/03/25/474348.htm

President al-Assad Naming New Governor of Hasaka

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Mar 25, 2013

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad on Monday issued decree no. 119, naming Mohammad Za'al al-Ali as Governor of Hasaka province.

http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

Belgian jihadist circles, paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, spread the rumor that President al-Assad has been 'murdered'...

Jihadists in Syria: paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar

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Saudi Arabia May Be Tied to 9/11, 2 Ex-Senators Say


February 29, 2012

WASHINGTON — For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.

Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit that has wound its way through federal courts since 2002. An appellate court, reversing an earlier decision, said in November that foreign nations were not immune to lawsuits under certain terrorism claims, clearing the way for parts of the Saudi case to be reheard in United States District Court in Manhattan.

Lawyers for the Saudis, who have already moved to have the affidavits thrown out of court, declined to comment on the assertions by Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey. “The case is in active litigation, and I can’t say anything,” said Michael K. Kellogg, a Washington lawyer for the Saudis.

Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, who have emphatically denied any connection to the attacks in the past, did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

The Saudis are seeking to have the case dismissed in part because they say American inquiries — including those in which Mr. Graham and Mr. Kerrey took part — have essentially exonerated them. A recent court filing by the Saudis prominently cited the 9/11 Commission’s “exhaustive” final report, which “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi individuals funded” Al Qaeda.

But Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham said that the findings should not be seen as an exoneration and that many important questions about the Saudis’ role had never been fully examined, partly because their panels simply did not have the time or resources given their wider scope.

Terry Strada of New Vernon, N.J., whose husband died in the World Trade Center, said it was “so absurd that it’s laughable” for the Saudis to claim that the federal inquiries had exonerated them.

Unanswered questions include the work of a number of Saudi-sponsored charities with financial links to Al Qaeda, as well as the role of a Saudi citizen living in San Diego at the time of the attacks, Omar al-Bayoumi, who had ties to two of the hijackers and to Saudi officials, Mr. Graham said in his affidavit.

Still, Washington has continued to stand behind Saudi Arabia publicly, with the Justice Department joining the kingdom in trying to have the lawsuits thrown out of court on the grounds that the Saudis are protected by international immunity.

State Department officials did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday on the impact of the court declarations.

The senators’ assertions “might inject some temporary strain or awkwardness at a diplomatic level,” said Kenneth L. Wainstein, a senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration. Even so, he said, “the United States and the Saudis have developed strong counterterrorism cooperation over the last decade, and that relationship will not be undermined.”

ERIC LICHTBLAU

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/us/graham-and-kerrey-se...

Photo: Belgian jihadists of the Sharia4Belgium Group are figthing in Syria. They are well paid...

History: NATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria

Syria.houla.jpgNATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria

29 May 2012

It was only a matter of time before NATO's hired killers were tasked with carrying out a massacre in Syria that NATO stooges at the UN could then attempt to blame on the Syrian government. This time however, the con job isn't going quite according to plan. 

On Monday 28th May 2012 ('Memorial Day' in the US, for those who enjoy irony) the world's public received a full frontal propaganda attack by the Western and other duplicitous media outlets parroting NATO and UN Security Council condemnations of a "massacre by Syrian troops" in the Syrian village of Houla on Friday 25th May. 

Although the Houla victims were Assad supporters, the media has been primed to unleash a torrent of abuse against the Syrian government in the hope that it will carry enough weight to justify precision-strike democratization in the very near future. 

UN Security Council 'ambassadors' from the UK, Germany, France and Azerbaijan (no less!) wasted no time in pointing the finger at the Syrian government and making false claims that there was "clear evidence of artillery fire and tank shelling by the Syrian regime". In fact, it has since been revealed that the vast majority of the victims were killed at close range, many of them with limbs hacked off by axes.

...It has already been well and officially documented that there are hundreds of US, Israeli and British-backed mercenaries operating in Syria and armed to the teeth with American weapons. Their job is to create chaos and fear through the indiscriminate murder of Syrian civilians and thereby provide Western war mongers with the justification to intervene militarily or, they hope, force the removal of President Assad. Even the nutty UN Secretary General Ba Ki Moon acknowledged 10 days ago that 'al-Qaeda' were behind the many car bombings that killed so many innocent Syrians...

Joe Quinn

Sott.net

http://www.sott.net/article/246047-NATOs-Civil-War-Machine-Rolls-Into-Syria

24/03/2013

Minister Milquet: Belgian jihadists fighting in Syria

Sharia4Belgium.jpg

'Task Force to investigate Belgian participation in Syrian war'

Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet has launched a Task Force to look into the problem of Belgian youngsters going to Syria to join the civil war there. The Task Force will meet a first time on Monday and includes members of the counter-terrorism unit OCAD, intelligence services, the judicial authorities, the crisis centre and the police.

Over the past weeks, Belgian press reports told about Belgian Muslim converts travelling to Syria to take part in the war under the influence of the extremist organisation Sharia4Belgium. Although Sharia4Belgium was officially dismantled, it still has a big influence behind the scenes, it turns out. It is believed that 50 to 80 young Belgians left their homeland to fight in Syria.

The Task Force will try to find out how it can be avoided that even more youngsters join the Syrian war. Experts will monitor the present situation and examine how the youths can be brought back to Belgium.

Ms Milquet is not a supporter of new legislation to punish those joining the fights in Syria. However, last month anti-terror laws were given more scope. This implies that youngsters joining terrorist organisations to fight, will be subject to prosecution.

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/news/130324_Task_Force_Syria

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'Milquet wil halt toe roepen aan Belgische jongeren die in Syrië strijden'

23 maart, 2013

Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Joëlle Milquet heeft een task force opgericht rond de problematiek van Belgische jongeren die in Syrië gaan strijden. De task force komt maandagvoormiddag bijeen en bestaat onder meer uit vertegenwoordigers van het OCAD, de staatsveiligheid, het federaal parket, het crisiscentrum en de politie, zo werd vernomen.

De beslissing dateert van vrijdag. De afgelopen dagen verschenen in de pers verschillende verhalen van bekeerde jongeren die onder meer onder invloed van het ontbonden Sharia4Belgium als moslimstrijders naar Syrië trekken. In totaal zou het gaan om vijftig tot tachtig jongeren.

De task force moet onder meer nagaan hoe kan worden vermeden dat nog meer jongeren naar Syrië vertrekken, de toestand opvolgen en onderzoeken hoe de jongeren terug naar België gehaald kunnen worden, zo verklaarde minister Milquet op de VRT.

Foto: Belgian jihadists, Sharia4Belgium

http://www.vandaag.be/binnenland/120830_milquet-wil-halt-toe-roepen-aan-belgische-jongeren-die-in-syrie-strijden.html

09/03/2013

US effort to pull Syria out of Iran’s orbit…

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January 20th, 2012

Spain’s Syrian efforts received US backing

Wikileaks cables show that Spain’s Socialist government made substantial diplomatic attempts to calm tensions in the Middle East. Spain's foreign minister said Syria had promised to exert its influence on Hizballah to help resolve the Lebanon crisis.

In 2006, the United States was optimistic about the Spanish government’s initiative to act as a mediator between the Syrian government of Bashar Assad and Hizballah over the latter’s disarmament. Then-Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos made a series of trips to Damascus, which the United States saw as a positive sign to try to defuse the volatile situation in the Middle East. In a series of cables sent by the US Embassy in Madrid and released by the Wikileaks website, American diplomats advised Washington that Spain could play a constructive role in the region.

On August 3, 2006, the US Ambassador in Madrid at the time, Eduardo Aguirre, reported Moratinos as saying that Syria had promised to exert its influence with Hizballah to help resolve the conflict in Lebanon.

“Asked whether his visit was an effort to ease Syria’s diplomatic isolation, Moratinos responded that ‘it would be good to reestablish dialogue with Syria,’” Aguirre wrote.

Earlier that year, Moratinos, telling the ambassador about his trip to Syria, said it was worth “making one last effort to pull Syria out of Iran’s orbit.”

Describing the situation in Syria as “very complex,” Moratinos said that a high-ranking member of the Syrian leadership, whom he did not name, “had raised with him the possibility of Damascus recognizing Israel as a sign of responsible intentions.”

Spain had sent about 1,200 troops as part of an international brigade to patrol Lebanon following the tensions in the region ignited by the attacks by Hizballah and Syrian-backed forces.

In October 2006, Moratinos gave the US Embassy a written briefing about his renewed meetings with Assad. The foreign minister said that he got the impression that Assad was open to dialogue.

“My perception is that Assad has changed, not only in his general attitude or even body language, but also in the way he reacted to my questions and proposals,” Moratinos told the ambassador. “He confirmed his willingness to work efficiently and constructively towards regaining the trust of the international community. Without using the traditional Syrian rhetoric, he was clear and to-the-point. I saw him focused and aware of the need to seize the opportunity. He believes that it would be possible to reopen the Syria track where it was left before his father passed away.”

The Spanish minister said he also requested Assad’s help in helping win the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been captured during a cross-border raid by Gaza militants in June 2006.

“I insisted that a positive Syrian role in the Palestinian issues (kidnapped Israeli soldier and negotiations for a new Government) would be the best way to prove that Syria is part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. I think my point was well taken.”

Shalit wasn’t released until October 2011 in a prisoner swap.

The United States viewed Moratinos’ efforts in a positive light. “Moratinos has long sought to make Spain a more relevant player in the Middle East Peace Process, due in large part to his long-standing engagement in the region – as well as his desire to normalize relations with Syria,” the ambassador said in an October 18, 2006 cable.

“Moratinos’ visit is likely intended to send a signal to other EU governments that they should not shy away from direct contact with Syrian leaders, nor from travel to Damascus. At the same time, Moratinos’ approach on the Israeli prisoner may be a way for him to demonstrate his value to both sides.”

http://iberosphere.com/2012/01/spain-news-5240/5240

Photo: White House - President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama pose for a photo with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero (c.), his wife Sonsoles Espinosa and daughters Laura and Alba.

03/03/2013

Syria: President Al-Assad's Interview with The Sunday Times

Syria.Al-Assad's Interview with The Sunday Times.jpgPresident Al-Assad's Interview with The Sunday Times

Mar 3, 2013

Sunday Times: Mr. President your recent offer of political dialogue was qualified with a firm rejection of the very groups you would have to pacify to stop the violence: the armed rebels and the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition alliance.

So in effect you are only extending an olive branch to the loyal opposition, mostly internal, that renounce the armed struggle, and who effectively recognizes the legitimacy of your leadership, who are you willing to talk to, really?

President Assad: First of all, let me correct some of the misconceptions that have been circulating and that are found in your question in order to make my answer accurate.

Sunday Times: Okay.

President Assad: Firstly, when I announced the plan, I said that it was for those who interested in dialogue, because you cannot make a plan that is based on dialogue with somebody who does not believe in dialogue. So, I was very clear regarding this.

Secondly, this open dialogue should not be between exclusive groups but between all Syrians of every level. The dialogue is about the future of Syria. We are twenty three million Syrians and all of us have the right to participate in shaping the country’s future. Some may look at it as a dialogue between the government and certain groups in the opposition - whether inside or outside, external or internal -actually this is a very shallow way of looking at the dialogue. It is much more comprehensive. It is about every Syrian and about every aspect of Syrian life. Syria’s future cannot be determined simply by who leads it but by the ambitions and aspirations of all its people.

The other aspect of the dialogue is that it opens the door for militants to surrender their weapons and we have granted many amnesties to facilitate this. This is the only way to make a dialogue with those groups. This has already started, even before the plan, and some have surrendered their weapons and they live now their normal life. But this plan makes the whole process more methodical, announced and clear.

If you want to talk about the opposition, there is another misconception in the West. They put all the entities even if they are not homogeneous in one basket – as if everything against the government is opposition. We have to be clear about this. We have opposition that are political entities and we have armed terrorists. We can engage in dialogue with the opposition but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists; we fight terrorism. Another phrase that is often mentioned is the ‘internal opposition inside Syria’ or ‘internal opposition as loyal to the government.’ Opposition groups should be loyal and patriotic to Syria – internal and external opposition is not about the geographic position; it is about their roots, resources and representation. Have these roots been planted in Syria and represent Syrian people and Syrian interests or the interests of foreign government? So, this is how we look at the dialogue, this is how we started and how we are going to continue.

Sunday Times: Most have rejected it, at least if we talk about the opposition externally who are now the body that is being hailed as the opposition and where the entire world is basically behind them. So, most of them have rejected it with the opposition describing your offer as a “waste of time,” and some have said that it is “empty rhetoric” based on lack of trust and which British Secretary William Hague described it as “beyond hypocritical” and the Americans said you were “detached from reality.”

President Assad: I will not comment on what so-called Syrian bodies outside Syria have said. These bodies are not independent. As Syrians, we are independent and we need to respond to independent bodies and this is not the case. So let’s look at the other claims.

Firstly, detached from reality: Syria has been fighting adversaries and foes for two years; you cannot do that if you do not have public support. People will not support you if you are detached from their reality. A recent survey in the UK shows that a good proportion British people want “to keep out of Syria” and they do not believe that the British government should send military supplies to the rebels in Syria.

In spite of this, the British government continues to push the EU to lift its arms embargo on Syria to start arming militants with heavy weapons. That is what I call detached from reality–when you are detached from your own public opinion! And they go further in saying that they want to send “military aid” that they describe as “non-lethal.” The intelligence, communication and financial assistance being provided is very lethal. The events of 11th of September were not committed by lethal aids. It was the application of non-lethal technology and training which caused the atrocities.

The British government wants to send military aid to moderate groups in Syria, knowing all too well that such moderate groups do not exist in Syria; we all know that we are now fighting Al-Qaeda or Jabhat al-Nusra which is an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, and other groups of people indoctrinated with extreme ideologies. This is beyond hypocritical! What is beyond hypocrisy is when you talk about freedom of expression and ban Syrian TV channels from the European broadcasting satellites; when you shed tears for somebody killed in Syria by terrorist acts while preventing the Security Council from issuing a statement denouncing the suicide bombing that happened last week in Damascus, and you were here, where three hundred Syrians were either killed or injured, including women and children - all of them were civilians. Beyond hypocrisy when you preach about human rights and you go into Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and kill hundreds of thousands in illegal wars. Beyond hypocrisy is when you talk about democracy and your closest allies are the worst autocratic regimes in the world that belong to the medieval centuries. This is hypocrisy!

Sunday Times: But you always refer to the people fighting here as terrorists, do you accept that while some are from the Jabhat al-Nusra and those affiliated to Al-Qaeda but there are others such as the FSA or under the umbrella of the FSA? That some of them are the defectors and some of them are just ordinary people who started some of the uprising. These are not terrorists; these are people fighting for what they believe to be the right way at the moment.

President Assad: When we say that we are fighting Al-Qaeda, we mean that the main terrorist group and the most dangerous is Al-Qaeda. I have stated in many interviews and speeches that this is not the only group in Syria. The spectrum ranges from petty criminals, drugs dealers, groups that are killing and kidnapping just for money to mercenaries and militants; these clearly do not have any political agenda or any ideological motivations. The so-called “Free Army” is not an entity as the West would like your readers to believe. It is hundreds of small groups – as defined by international bodies working with Annan and Al-Ibrahimi - there is no entity, there is no leadership, there is no hierarchy; it is a group of different gangs working for different reasons. The Free Syrian Army is just the headline, the umbrella that is used to legitimize these groups.

This does not mean that at the beginning of the conflict there was no spontaneous movement; there were people who wanted to make change in Syria and I have acknowledged that publically many times. That’s why I have said the dialogue is not for the conflict itself; the dialogue is for the future of Syria because many of the groups still wanting change are now against the terrorists. They still oppose the government but they do not carry weapons. Having legitimate needs does not make your weapons legitimate.

Sunday Times: Your 3-staged plan: the first one you speak of is the cessation of violence. Obviously there is the army and the fighters on the other side. Now, within the army you have a hierarchy, so if you want to say cease-fire, there is a commander that can control that, but when you offer cessation of violence or fire how can you assume the same for the rebels when you talk about them being so many groups, fragmented and not under one leadership. So, that’s one of the points of your plan. So, this suggests that this basically an impossible request. You speak of referendum but with so many displaced externally and internally, many of whom are the backbone of the opposition; those displaced at least. So, a referendum without them would not be fair, and the third part is that parliamentary elections and all this hopefully before 2014; it is a very tall list to be achieved before 2014. So, what are really the conditions that you are attaching to the dialogue and to make it happen, and aren’t some of the conditions that you are really suggesting or offering impossible to achieve?

President Assad: That depends on how we look at the situation. First of all, let’s say that the main article in the whole plan is the dialogue; this dialogue will put a timetable for everything and the procedures or details of this plan. The first article in my plan was the cessation of violence. If we cannot stop this violence, how can we achieve the other articles like the referendum and elections and so on? But saying that you cannot stop the violence is not a reason to do nothing. Yes there are many groups as I have said with no leadership, but we know that their real leadership are those countries that are funding and supplying their weapons and armaments - mainly Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

If outside parties genuinely want to help the process they should be pressuring those countries to stop supplying the terrorists. As with any other sovereign state, we will not negotiate with terrorists.

Sunday Times: Critics say real and genuine negotiations may be the cause of your downfall and that of your government or regime, and that you know this, hence you offer practically impossible scenarios for dialogue and negotiations?

President Assad: Actually, I don’t know this, I know the opposite. To be logical and realistic, if this is the case, then these foes, adversaries or opponents should push for the dialogue because in their view it will bring my downfall. But actually they are doing the opposite. They are preventing the so-called ‘opposition bodies outside Syria’ to participate in the dialogue because I think they believe in the opposite; they know that this dialogue will not bring my downfall, but will actually make Syria stronger. This is the first aspect.

The second aspect is that the whole dialogue is about Syria, about terrorism, and about the future of Syria. This is not about positions and personalities. So, they shouldn’t distract people by talking about the dialogue and what it will or will not bring to the President. I did not do it for myself. At the end, this is contradictory; what they say is contradicting what they do.

Sunday Times: You said that if they push for dialogue, it could bring your downfall?

President Assad: No, I said according to what they say if it brings my downfall, why don’t they come to the dialogue? They say that the dialogue will bring the downfall of the President and I am inviting them to the dialogue. Why don’t they then come to the dialogue to bring my downfall? This is self-evident. That’s why I said they are contradicting themselves.

Sunday Times: Mr. President, John Kerry, a man you know well, has started a tour that will take him this week end to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, where he will be talking to them about ways to ‘ease you out.’ In London and Berlin earlier this week, he said that President Assad must go and he also said that one of his first moves is to draft diplomatic proposals to persuade you to give up power. Would you invite him to Damascus for talks? What would you say to him? What is your message to him now given what he said this week and what he plans to say to his allies when he visits them over the weekend? And if possible from your knowledge of him how would you describe Kerry from your knowledge of him in the past?

President Assad: I would rather describe policies rather than describing people. So, it is still early to judge him. It is only a few weeks since he became Secretary of State. First of all, the point that you have mentioned is related to internal Syrian matters or Syrian issue. Any Syrian subject would not be raised with any foreigners. We only discuss it with Syrians within Syria. So, I am not going to discuss it with anyone who is coming from abroad. We have friends and we discuss our issues with friends, we listen to their advice but at the end it is our decision as Syrians to think or to make what’s good for our country.

If anyone wants to ‘genuinely’ – I stress the word genuinely – help Syria and help the cessation of violence in our country, he can do only one thing; he can go to Turkey and sit with Erdogan and tell to him stop smuggling terrorists into Syria, stop sending armaments, stop providing logistical support to those terrorists. He can go to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and tell them stop financing the terrorists in Syria. This is the only thing anyone can do dealing with the external part of our problem, but no one from outside Syria can deal with the internal part of this problem.

Sunday Times: So, what is your message to Kerry?

President Assad: It is very clear: to understand what I said now. I mean, not a message to Kerry but to anyone who is talking about the Syrian issue: only Syrian people can tell the President: stay or leave, come or go. I am just saying this clearly in order not to waste the time of others to know where to focus.

Sunday Times: What role if any do you see for Britain in any peace process for Syria? Have there been any informal contacts with the British? What is your reaction to Cameron’s support for the opposition? What would you say if you were sitting with him now, especially that Britain is calling for the arming of the rebels?

President Assad: There is no contact between Syria and Britain for a long time. If we want to talk about the role, you cannot separate the role from the credibility. And we cannot separate the credibility from the history of that country. To be frank, now I am talking to a British journalist and a British audience, to be frank, Britain has played a famously (in our region) an unconstructive role in different issues for decades, some say for centuries. I am telling you now the perception in our region.

The problem with this government is that their shallow and immature rhetoric only highlight this tradition of bullying and hegemony. I am being frank. How can we expect to ask Britain to play a role while it is determined to militarize the problem? How can you ask them to play a role in making the situation better and more stable, how can we expect them to make the violence less while they want to send military supplies to the terrorists and don’t try to ease the dialogue between the Syrians. This is not logical. I think that they are working against us and working against the interest of the UK itself. This government is acting in a naïve, confused and unrealistic manner. If they want to play a role, they have to change this; they have to act in a more reasonable and responsible way, till then we do not expect from an arsonist to be a firefighter!

Sunday Times: In 2011 you said you wouldn’t waste your time talking about the body leading opposition, now we are talking about the external body, in fact you hardly recognized there was such a thing, what changed your mind or views recently? What talks, if any are already going on with the rebels who are a major component and factor in this crisis? Especially given that your Foreign Minister Muallem said earlier this week when he was in Russia that the government is open to talks with the armed opposition can you clarify?

President Assad: Actually, I did not change my mind. Again, this plan is not for them; it is for every Syrian who accepts the dialogue. So, making this initiative is not a change of mind. Secondly, since day one in this crisis nearly two years ago, we have said we are ready for dialogue; nothing has changed. We have a very consistent position towards the dialogue. Some may understand that I changed my mind because I did not recognize the first entity, but then I recognized the second. I recognized neither, more importantly the Syrian people do not recognize them or take them seriously. When you have a product that fails in the market, they withdraw the product, change the name, change the packing and they rerelease it again – but it is still faulty. The first and second bodies are the same products with different packaging. Regarding what our minister said, it is very clear.

Part of the initiative is that we are ready to negotiate with anyone including militants who surrender their arms. We are not going to deal with terrorists who are determined to carry weapons, to terrorize people, to kill civilians, to attack public places or private enterprises and destroy the country.

Sunday Times: Mr. President, the world looks at Syria and sees a country being destroyed, with at least 70,000 killed, more than 3 million displaced and sectarian divisions being deepened. Many people around the world blame you. What do you say to them? Are you to blame for what’s happened in the country you are leading?

President Assad: You have noted those figures as though they were numbers from a spreadsheet. To some players they are being used to push forward their political agenda; unfortunately that is a reality. Regardless of their accuracy, for us Syrians, each one of those numbers represents a Syrian man, woman or child. When you talk about thousands of victims, we see thousands of families who have lost loved ones and who unfortunately will grieve for many years to come. Nobody can feel this pain more than us.

Looking at the issue of political agendas, we have to ask better questions. How were these numbers verified? How many represent foreign fighters? How many were combatants aged between 20 and 30? How many were civilians – innocent women and children? The situation on the ground makes it almost impossible to get accurate answers to these important questions. We all know how death tolls and human casualties have been manipulated in the past to pave the way for humanitarian intervention. The Libyan government recently announced that the death toll before the invasion of Libya was exaggerated; they said five thousand victims from each side while the number was talking at that time of tens of thousands.

The British and the Americans who were physically inside Iraq during the war were unable to provide precise numbers about the victims that have been killed from their invasion. Suddenly, the same sources have very precise numbers about what is happening in Syria! This is ironic; I will tell you very simply that these numbers do not exist in reality; it is part of their virtual reality that they want to create to push forward their agenda for military intervention under the title of humanitarian intervention.

Sunday Times: If I may just on this note a little bit. Even if the number is exaggerated and not definitely precise, these are numbers corroborated by Syrian groups, however they are still thousands that were killed. Some are militants but some are civilians. Some are being killed through the military offensive, for example artillery or plane attacks in certain areas. So even if we do not argue the actual number, the same applies, they still blame yourself for those civilians, if you want, that are being killed through the military offensive, do you accept that?

President Assad: Firstly, we cannot talk about the numbers without their names. People who are killed have names. Secondly, why did they die? Where and how were they killed? Who killed them? Armed gangs, terrorist groups, criminals, kidnappers, the army, who?

Sunday Times: It is a mix.

President Assad: It is a mix, but it seems that you are implying that one person is responsible for the current situation and all the human casualties. From day one the situation in Syria has been influenced by military and political dynamics, which are both very fast moving. In such situations you have catalysts and barriers. To assume any one party is responsible for all barriers and another party responsible for all the catalysts is absurd. Too many innocent civilians have died, too many Syrians are suffering. As I have already said nobody is more pained by this than us Syrians, which is why we are pushing for a national dialogue. I’m not in the blame business, but if you are talking of responsibility, then clearly I have a constitutional responsibility to keep Syria and her people safe from terrorists and radical groups.

Sunday Times: What is the role of Al-Qaeda and other jihadists and what threats do they pose to the region and Europe? Are you worried Syria turning into something similar to Chechnya in the past? Are you concerned about the fate of minorities if you were loose this war or of a sectarian war akin to that of Iraq?

President Assad: The role of Al-Qaeda in Syria is like the role of Al-Qaeda anywhere else in this world; killing, beheading, torturing and preventing children from going to school because as you know Al-Qaeda’s ideologies flourish where there is ignorance. Ideologically, they try to infiltrate the society with their dark, extremist ideologies and they are succeeding. If you want to worry about anything in Syria, it is not the ‘minorities.’ This is a very shallow description because Syria is a melting pot of religions, sects, ethnicities and ideologies that collectively make up a homogeneous mixture, irrelevant of the portions or percentages. We should be worrying about the majority of moderate Syrians who, if we do not fight this extremism, could become the minority – at which point Syria will cease to exist.

If you worry about Syria in that sense, you have to worry about the Middle East because we are the last bastion of secularism in the region. If you worry about the Middle East, the whole world should be worried about its stability. This is the reality as we see it.

Sunday Times: How threatening is Al-Qaeda now?

President Assad: Threatening by ideology more than the killing. The killing is dangerous, of course, but what is irreversible is the ideology; that is dangerous and we have been warning of this for many years even before the conflict; we have been dealing with these ideologies since the late seventies. We were the first in the region to deal with such terrorists who have been assuming the mantle of Islam. We have consistently been warning of this, especially in the last decade during the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The West is only reacting to the situation, not acting. We need to act by dealing with the ideology first. A war on terror without dealing with the ideology will lead you nowhere and will only make things worse. So, it is threatening and it is dangerous, not just to Syria but to the whole region.

Sunday Times: US officials recently, in particular yesterday, are quoted as saying that US decision not to arm rebels could be revised. If this was to happen what in your view will the consequences in Syria and in the region? What is your warning against this? Now, they are talking about directly equipping the rebels with armament vehicles, training and body armaments.

President Assad: You know the crime is not only about the victim and the criminal, but also the accomplice providing support, whether it is moral or logistical support. I have said many times that Syria lies at the fault line geographically, politically, socially and ideologically. So, playing with this fault line will have serious repercussions all over the Middle East. Is the situation better in Libya today? In Mali? In Tunisia? In Egypt? Any intervention will not make things better; it will only make them worse. Europe and the United States and others are going to pay the price sooner or later with the instability in this region; they do not foresee it.

Sunday Times: What is your message to Israel following its air strikes on Syria? Will you retaliate? How will you respond to any future attacks by Israel especially that Israel has said that we will do it again if it has to?

President Assad: Every time Syria did retaliate, but in its own way, not tit for tat. We retaliated in our own way and only the Israelis know what we mean.

Sunday Times: Can you expand?

President Assad: Yes. Retaliation does not mean missile for missile or bullet for bullet. Our own way does not have to be announced; only the Israelis will know what I mean.

Sunday Times: Can you tell us how?

President Assad: We do not announce that.

Sunday Times: I met a seven year old boy in Jordan.

President Assad: A Syrian boy?

Sunday Times: A Syrian boy who had lost an arm and a leg to a missile strike in Herak. Five children in his family had been killed in that explosion. As a father, what can you say to that little boy? Why have so many innocent civilians died in air strikes, army shelling and sometimes, I quote, ‘Shabiha shootings?’

President Assad: What is his name?

Sunday Times: I have his name…I will bring it to you later.

President Assad: As I said every victim in this crisis has a name, every casualty has a family. Like 5 year-old Saber who whilst having breakfast with his family at home lost his leg, his mother and other members of his family. Like 4 year-old Rayan who watched his two brothers slaughtered for taking him to a rally. None of these families have any political affiliations. Children are the most fragile link in any society and unfortunately they often pay the heaviest price in any conflict. As a father of young children, I know the meaning of having a child harmed by something very simple; so what if they are harmed badly or if we lose a child, it is the worst thing any family can face. Whenever you have conflicts, you have these painful stories that affect any society. This is the most important and the strongest incentive for us to fight terrorism. Genuine humanitarians who feel the pain that we feel about our children and our losses should encourage their governments to prevent smuggling armaments and terrorists and to prevent the terrorists from acquiring any military supplies from any country.

Sunday Times: Mr. President, when you lie in bed at night, do you hear the explosions in Damascus? Do you, in common with many other Syrians, worry about the safety of your family? Do you worry that there may come a point where your own safety is in jeopardy?

President Assad: I see it completely differently. Can anybody be safe, or their family be safe, if the country is in danger? In reality NO! If your country is not safe, you cannot be safe. So instead of worrying about yourself and your family, you should be worried about every citizen and every family in your country. So it’s a mutual relationship.

Sunday Times: You’ll know of the international concerns about Syria’s chemical weapons. Would your army ever use them as a last resort against your opponents? Reports suggest they have been moved several times, if so why? Do you share the international concern that they may fall into the hands of Islamist rebels? What is the worst that could happen?

President Assad: Everything that has been referred to in the media or by official rhetoric regarding Syrian chemical weapons is speculation. We have never, and will never, discuss our armaments with anyone. What the world should worry about is chemical materials reaching the hands of terrorists. Video material has already been broadcast showing toxic material being tried on animals with threats to the Syrian people that they will die in the same way. We have shared this material with other countries. This is what the world should be focusing on rather than wasting efforts to create elusive headlines on Syrian chemical weapons to justify any intervention in Syria.

Sunday Times: I know you are not saying whether they are safe or not. There is concern if they are safe or no one can get to them.

President Assad: This is constructive ambiguity. No country will talk about their capabilities. 

Sunday Times: A lot has been talked about this as well: what are the roles of Hezbollah, Iran and Russia in the war on the ground? Are you aware of Hezbollah fighters in Syria and what are they doing? What weapons are your allies Iran and Russia supplying? What other support are they providing?

President Assad: The Russian position is very clear regarding armaments - they supply Syria with defensive armaments in line with international law. Hezbollah, Iran and Russia support Syria in her fight against terrorism. Russia has been very constructive, Iran has been very supportive and Hezbollah’s role is to defend Lebanon not Syria. We are a country of 23 million people with a strong National Army and Police Force. We are in no need of foreign fighters to defend our country. What we should be asking is, what about the role of other countries, - Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, the US, - that support terrorism in Syria directly or indirectly, militarily or politically.

Sunday Times: Mr. President, may I ask you about your own position? Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov recently said that Lakhdar Ibrahimi complained of wanting to see more flexibility from your regime and that while you never seem to say ‘no’ you never seem to say ‘yes’. Do you think that there can be a negotiated settlement while you remain President, which is a lot of people are asking?

President Assad: Do not expect a politician to only say yes or no in the absolute meaning; it is not multiple choice questions to check the correct answer. You can expect from any politician a vision and our vision is very clear. We have a plan and whoever wants to deal with us, can deal with us through our plan. This is very clear in order not to waste time. This question reflects what has been circulating in the Western media about personalizing the problem in Syria and suggesting that the entire conflict is about the president and his future. If this argument is correct, then my departure will stop the fighting. Clearly this is absurd and recent precedents in Libya, Yemen and Egypt bear witness to this. Their motive is to try to evade the crux of the issue, which is dialogue, reform and combating terrorism. The legacy of their interventions in our region have been chaos, destruction and disaster. So, how can they justify any future intervention? They cannot. So, they focus on blaming the president and pushing for his departure; questioning his credibility; is he living in a bubble or not? is he detached from reality or not? So, the focus of the conflict becomes about the president.

Sunday Times: Some foreign officials have called for you to stand for war crimes at the International Criminal Court as the person ultimately responsible for the army’s actions? Do you fear prosecution by the ICC? Or the possibility of future prosecution and trial in Syria?

President Assad: Whenever an issue that is related to the UN is raised, you are raising the question of credibility. We all know especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union – for the last twenty years - that the UN and all its organizations are the victims of hegemony instead of being the bastions of justice. They became politicized tools in order to create instability and to attack sovereign countries, which is against the UN’s charter. So, the question that we have to raise now is: are they going to take the American and the British leaders who attacked Iraq in 2003 and claimed more than half a million lives in Iraq, let alone orphans, handicapped and deformed people? Are they going to take the American, British French and others who went to Libya without a UN resolution last year and claimed again hundreds of lives? They are not going to do it. The answer is very clear. You know that sending mercenaries to any country is a war crime according Nuremberg principles and according to the London Charter of 1945. Are they going to put Erdogan in front of this court because he sent mercenaries? Are they going to do the same with the Saudis and the Qataris? If we have answers to these questions, then we can talk about peace organizations and about credibility.

My answer is very brief: when people defend their country, they do not take into consideration anything else.

Sunday Times: Hindsight is a wonderful thing Mr. President. If you could wind the clock back two years would you have handled anything differently? Do you believe that there are things that could or should have been done in another way? What mistakes do you believe have been made by your followers that you would change?

President Assad: You can ask this question to a President if he is the only one responsible for all the context of the event. In our case in Syria, we know there are many external players. So you have to apply hindsight to every player. You have to ask Erdogan, with hindsight would you send terrorists to kill Syrians, would you afford logistical support to them? You should ask the Qatari and Saudis whether in hindsight, would you send money to terrorists and to Al-Qaeda offshoots or any other terrorist organization to kill Syrians? We should ask the same question to the European and American officials, in hindsight would you offer a political umbrella to those terrorists killing innocent civilians in Syria?

In Syria, we took two decisions. The first is to make dialogue; the second is to fight terrorism. If you ask any Syrian, in hindsight would you say no to dialogue and yes to terrorism? I do not think any sane person will agree with you. So I think in hindsight, we started with dialogue and we are going to continue with dialogue. In hindsight, we said we are going to fight terrorism and we are going to continue to fight terrorism.

Sunday Times: Do you ever think about living in exile if it came to that? And would you go abroad if it increases the chances of peace in Syria?

President Assad: Again, it is not about the president. I don’t think any patriotic person or citizen would think of living outside his country.

Sunday Times: You will never leave?

President Assad: No patriotic person will think about living outside his country. I am like any other patriotic Syrian.

Sunday Times: How shaken you were you by the bomb that killed some of your most senior generals last summer, including your brother-in-law?

President Assad: You mentioned my brother-in-law but it is not a family affair. When high-ranking officials are being assassinated it is a national affair. Such a crime will make you more determined to fight terrorism. It is not about how you feel, but more about what you do. We are more determined in fighting terrorism.

Sunday Times: Finally, Mr. President, may I ask about my colleague, Marie Colvin, who was killed in the shelling of an opposition media center at Baba Amr on February 22 last year. Was she targeted, as some have suggested, because she condemned the destruction on American and British televisions? Or was she just unlucky? Did you hear about her death at the time and if so what was your reaction?

President Assad: Of course, I heard about the story through the media. When a journalist goes into conflict zones, as you are doing now, to cover a story and convey it to the world, I think this is very courageous work. Every decent person, official or government should support journalists in these efforts because that will help shed light on events on the ground and expose propaganda where it exists. Unfortunately in most conflicts a journalist has paid the ultimate price. It is always sad when a journalist is killed because they are not with either side or even part of the problem, they only want to cover the story. There is a media war on Syria preventing the truth from being told to the outside world.

14 Syrian journalists who have also been killed since the beginning of the crisis and not all of them on the ground. Some have been targeted at home after hours, kidnapped, tortured and then murdered. Others are still missing. More than one Syrian television station has been attacked by terrorists and their bombs. There is currently a ban on the broadcast of Syrian TV channels on European satellite systems. It is also well known how rebels have used journalists for their own interests. There was the case of the British journalist who managed to escape.

Sunday Times: Alex Thompson?

President Assad: Yes. He was lead into a death trap by the terrorists in order to accuse the Syrian Army of his death. That’s why it is important to enter countries legally, to have a visa. This was not the case for Marie Colvin. We don’t know why and it’s not clear. If you enter illegally, you cannot expect the state to be responsible. Contrary to popular belief, since the beginning of the crisis, hundreds of journalists from all over the world, including you, have gained visas to enter Syria and have been reporting freely from inside Syria with no interferences in their work and no barriers to fulfill their missions.

Sunday Times: Thank you.

President Assad: Thank you.

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/03/03/470326.htm

01/03/2013

Latest News Syria: UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

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Amos: Only USD 200 Million Were Received out of 1.5 Billion in Pledges to Help Syrians

March 1, 2013

NEW YORK, (SANA) – UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said on Thursday that pledges to help Syrians reached USD 1.5 billion, however, only USD 200 million were received.

At a press conference, Amos added, "We are cooperating with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and we are communicating with the Syrian government and -the Syrian Opposition Coalition-… we are working not only in Damascus, but also in Homs."

F.L/M.Ismael

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/22/2013/03/01/469994.htm

American weapon industry: streetgangs and terrorists

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MS-13, is an international violent criminal organization with approximately 10,000 members in various nations in North America, through a pattern of racketeering activity, which included multiple crimes of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and robbery in metropolitan Atlanta. It further alleges that the defendants conspired to preserve and enhance the power and reputation of the organization through acts of violence, to keep victims and community members in fear of the organization through acts and threats of violence, and to obstruct and prevent law enforcement officials from identifying, apprehending, and successfully prosecuting members of the gang for their violent criminal conduct.

The gang members seized every chance they had to kill, shoot and rob. They were not only devoted to wiping out rival gangs, but they showed no hesitation in robbing and shooting innocent victims.

Chicago’s murder numbers have hit the magic 500. Baltimore’s murder toll has passed 200. In Philly, it’s up to 324, the highest since 2007. In Detroit, it’s approaching 400, another record. In New Orleans, it’s almost at 200. New York City is down to 414 from 508. In Los Angeles, it’s over 500. In St. Louis it’s 113 and 130 in Oakland. It’s 121 in Memphis and 76 in Birmingham.

Washington, D.C., home of the boys and girls who can solve it all, is nearing its own big 100.

Those 12 cities alone account for nearly 3,200 dead and nearly a quarter of all murders in the United States.

These cities are the heartland of America’s real gun culture. It isn’t the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; it’s Obama’s own voting base.

Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.

Chicago’s murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, the Midwestern 4.5 or the Illinois’ 5.6 rates, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago’s murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war or decades of tyranny.

But Chicago isn’t even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be New Orleans which at an incredible 72.8 murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. If New Orleans were a country, it would have the 2nd highest murder rate in the world, beating out El Salvador.

http://www.streetgangs.com/news/030510_ms_13_indicted

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/america-doesnt-h...

http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-...

http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/production/Top100

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Photos: 1) Members of the MS-13 gang  2) American backed terrorist-attack in Syria on 21.2.2013

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Photo: Barack Obama meeting with executives in January 2009, at the outset of his administration. From left, Greg Brown of Motorola, Sam Palmisano of IBM, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox, and Eric Schmidt of Google.

26/02/2013

Syria: Export Development

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Director General of Export Development and Promotion Agency Affirms Continuing Support for Exporters

Feb 26, 2013

Director General of the Export Development and Promotion Agency Ihab Esmandar affirmed that the Agency will continue to provide direct and indirect support for Syrian exports, and that the Agency's work hasn't changed radically although its strategies have been amended to suit the current situation and the sanctions imposed on Syria.

In a statement to SANA on Tuesday, Esmandar said that the Agency is currently focusing on organizing expos abroad and participating in international expos in order to promote Syrian exports, in addition to organizing meetings between Syrian businessmen and their counterparts abroad.

He said that the Agency studied many products and markets in 2012 in order to develop Syrian exports, in addition to holding training courses on exports and focusing on bosoting cooperation with relevant authorities.

Esmandar said that the Agency plans to support Syria's participation in 58 different expos according to available resources.

He reviewed steps taken to implement a system for exports in Syria, which include establishing new agencies and establishments, implementing legal frameworks, and opening Agency offices in various areas.

Esmandar pointed out that so far, the Agency has provided SYP 600 million in direct export aid since it was established, apart from the indirect support such as courses, studies and organizing fairs.

H. Sabbagh

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/24/2013/02/26/469559.htm

Latest News of Syrian Cabinet

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Cabinet Amends Decrees on Industrial Cities

Feb 26, 2013

In a session chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi on Tuesday, the Cabinet denounces the terrorist attacks which targeted al-Mazra'a and al-Qaboun areas in Damascus and other areas in Syria, resulting in the death of innocent civilians.

The Cabinet said that the escalation of the terrorists' attacks shows their fruistration over the success of the Armed Forces in repelling them and affirms the terrorists' responsibility for continuing violence and hindering efforts to resolve the crisis through peaceful and political means.

Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs, Minister of Local Administration Omar Ghalwanji briefed the Cabinet on the state of health, water, electricity, transport and communications services.

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Dr. Qadri Jamil reviewed the current economic situation and the availability of essential goods, while Health Minister Dr. Saad al-Nayef reviewed the state of health services and the damage caused to the health sector by terrorism.

State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Dr. Ali Haidar briefed the Cabinet on the State Ministry's activities and meetings during the past week.

The Cabinet discussed the mechanisms of transporting petroleum products and decided to form a committee to study the costs of transporting fuel and amending its fees.

Afterwards, the Cabinet approved a bill on amending decrees no. 57 for 2004 and no. 26 for 2003 on industrial cities.

The Cabinet also approved a decision on forming committees to waive some dues for income taxpayers for facilities, shops and offices damaged due the current events, in addition to a decision on reforming the Higher Committee for Relief.

H. Sabbagh

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/02/26/469496.htm

Latest News Syria: terrorists eliminated by Armed Forces

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Feb 26, 2013

Units of the Armed Forces destroyed on Tuesday several terrorist dens and gatherings during a series of qualitative operations in Homs countryside.

An official source told SANA reporter that the Armed Forces razed terrorist sites in Eastern al-Bweida, Aqrab, Taldaw, al-Saen and Talbiseh towns in Homs countryside and eliminated a number of terrorists and injured others.

Army Units Pursue Terrorist Groups in Damascus Countryside

Army units continued pursuing armed terrorist groups in Daraya and al-Nabek areas in Damascus countryside and killed and injured scores of terrorists and destroyed their weapons.

An official source told SANA reporter that a car loaded with weapons and ammunition was destroyed in Daraya city, in addition to eliminating a number of sniper terrorists, including Mohammad Ahmad al-Sayyed, Ahmad al-Khatib, Aghyad Aloush and Mohammad al-Zain.

The source added that an army unit clashed with an armed terrorist group and eliminated all its members, including the group leader in Darayya city.

Meanwhile, an army unit pursued an armed terrorist group in al-Nabek town and eliminated a number of its members, including Abdul-Razzaq al-Houri, Mohammad al-Durra and another terrorist called Yacoub, in addition to destroying a number of cars used by terrorists to transfer weapons and ammunition.

Units of the Armed Forces killed and wounded scores of terrorists who were riding a number of cars in al-Nabek and destroyed three tank trucks the terrorists were using to smuggle fuel outside the country.

Terrorists Target the Building of Educational TV with Mortar Shells

Terrorists targeted the building of educational TV, in Barzza neighborhood, with mortal shells, causing material damages to the building with no casualties.

A source at Damascus police command told SANA that 5 mortar shells launched by the terrorists fell onto the building of the educational TV, adding that the damages were limited to materials.

Terrorist Attack Truck Loaded with Hundreds of Gas Cylinders on Damascus-Homs Highway

An armed terrorist group attacked a truck loaded with hundreds of gas cylinders near al-Rahma Gas Station on Damascus-Homs highway.

an official source told SANA reporter that the terrorists fired at the truck and set it on fire, but no casualties were reported.

Armed Forces Eliminate Terrorists in Idleb Countryside

Units of the Armed Forces carried out a series of qualitative operations in Idleb countryside and eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their weapons.

an official source told SANA reporter that the Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists in Ariha countryside and Jisr al-Shughour as tens of terrorists were killed and wounded.

in al-Nairab area, a number of terrorists were eliminated by the Armed Forces, including terrorist Ahmad al-Asad.

Earlier, the Armed Forces destroyed a weapons cache in Ihsem town in Idleb countryside.

Terrorists Killed While Planting Explosive Device in Deir Ezzor

A number of terrorists were killed and others were injured while they were planting an explosive device in a residential area in al-Keber area in Deir Ezzor countryside.

Among the dead terrorists are the leader of a terrorist group Jassem Mohammad al-Sultan, Abdelsattar Hilal, Fares al-Saleh and Hussein al-Sultan.

Army Units Repel Terrorist Attack in Dael

A military source said that Army units repelled attacks by armed terrorist who targeted military points in the town of Dael in Daraa countryside, killing or injuring most of the terrorists and destroying their equipment.


F.L / H.Said / H. Sabbagh

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/02/26/469449.htm

War on Syria: arms industry

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From 1959 to 1967 West-Germany was a significant supplier of military equipment and arms to Israel.

In 2003 already, Germany was considered one of Israel’s closest defense allies and it sold  - for a symbolic fee – three advanced “Dolphin” nuclear-capable submarines to Israel. Germany utilized the Israeli-designed Spike Anti-Tank Missile. In the same year, Israel’s air force has held exercises with the United States and Turkey.

On November 8th, 2005, Germany confirmed that it had agreed to sell nearly 300 Leopard 2 tanks battle tanks to Turkey.

In 2008, it was revealed that Germany and Israel had been jointly developing a nuclear warning system, dubbed Operation Bluebird, in secret.

In early July 2011, Der Spiegel revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet approved the delivery of more than 200 of Leopard 2A7+ model tanks to Saudi Arabia.

On November 25, 2012, Turkey’s tank fleet was made up of American M-48s and M-60s, some of which have been modernized with Israeli cooperation into M-60 Sabra tanks, plus a large contingent of  German Leopard 1s and Leopard 2s. That was hardy surprising. America and Germany are Turkey’s 2 most important geopolitical relationships.

On December 4th 2012, NATO agreed to send Patriot missiles to Turkey.

On December 14th, 2012, German MPs of the lower house of parliament voted to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey along the Syrian border, Reuters reported.

Israeli drones (“Herons”) are repainted for several years in the colors of Germany and used by NATO for its war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some German pilots that are part of NATO operations in Afghanistan are in Israel for training on special reconnaissance drones. The drones are so ‘accurately’ adjusted that numerous citizens in Afghanistan and Pakistan are killed or  seriously injured.

Germany is Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe and Israel’s second most important trading partner after the United States. Israeli imports from Germany amount to some USD 2.3 billion annually, while Israel is Germany’s fourth largest trading partner in the North Africa/Middle East region.

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Germany is once again a leader in the world arms industry
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/03/germ-m31.html

Israel’s arms industry is completely dependent on the co-operation of the EU and NATO
http://disarmtheconflict.wordpress.com/israeli-arms/israe...

By buying Israeli weapons, Europe supports the Israeli military industry
http://disarmtheconflict.wordpress.com/israeli-arms/israe...

Israel’s now one of top arms exporters
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2012/0...

Israel Weapon Industries
http://www.israel-weapon.com/

Arms industry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry

Photo Gallery: Germany’s Booming Arms Industry
http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-germany-s...

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23/02/2013

Latest News Syria: meetings with political parties and forces

Syria.Dialogue Subcommittees .jpg

Dialogue Subcommittees Continue Meetings in Several Provinces

Feb 23, 2013

Sweida subcommittee, which is tasked with setting the required mechanisms for inviting the national opposition and various political forces to dialogue, held on Saturday a consultative meeting with the educational sector workers in the province to discuss the form and content of the national dialogue conference in implementation of the political program to solve the crisis in Syria.

Governor of al-Sweida Province, Head of the subcommittee, Dr. Atef al-Naddaf, stressed that the committee will not rule out anyone from the consultative meetings.

He pointed out that the subcommittee held meetings with political parties and forces and religious activities and it received proposals that could contribute to enriching the national dialogue which will draw the future of renewed Syria.

The participants in the meeting stressed the necessity of experts and specialists' participation in the dialogue to serve the interests of Syria and preserve its sovereignty.

Idleb Subcommittee Continues Meetings

In Idleb, the sub-committee tasked with setting the required mechanisms for inviting the national opposition and various political forces to dialogue continued its meetings with youth and partisan sides as to discuss ways to overcome the crisis.

Idleb Governor, Safwan Abu Saadi, said that the dialogue gives opportunity for communication and interaction among the different sides, adding that the dialogue is aimed at building the modern Syria through pluralism and enhancing the national unity.

The participants stressed the need to communicate with all sides and pave the way for a successful dialogue, calling for boycotting the Turkish goods which were sent to Syria and were proved to be unfit for human use, particularly children food.

Homs Dialogue Subcommittee Meets Political, Social and Cultural Figures

In Homs Province, the subcommittee held a consultative meeting with a number of political parties and forces and social and cultural figures.

The meeting discussed means of reaching joint views on the form and content of the national dialogue to get out of the crisis in Syria.

Homs Governor, Head of Homs Subcommittee, Ahmad Munir Mohammad, stressed the importance of consultations with all activities to reach joint views on the national dialogue.

The Governor pointed out to the importance of economic activities and movements which are active on the ground in presenting proposals and solutions to overcome the current difficulties.

Participants in the meeting pointed out to the necessity of delivering aid to the people who deserve and speeding up rebuilding infrastructure and bringing home the displaced people.

Damascus Dialogue Subcommittee Holds Consultative Meeting with Teachers' Association and Women's Union

Damascus dialogue subcommittee discussed with the Teachers' Association and Women's Union in Damascus the role of popular organizations and professional syndicates in presenting the views of official and popular bodies to launch comprehensive national dialogue.

Governor of Damascus, Head of the Subcommittee, Bishr al-Sabban, stressed that there is no limit to proposals as long as they adhere to the national principles and sovereignty, pointing out that the submitted work papers are considered the basis for the comprehensive national dialogue.

Damascus dialogue subcommittee is meeting official and popular bodies for two months to present proposals for comprehensive national solution to the crisis through dialogue.

M. Nassr/ F.L/H.Said

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/02/23/468905.htm

Syria: Common offensive of NATO, US, Israel and ‘Free Syrian Army’

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NATO, US, Israel and the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army called as the “sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people” by the French neo-colonial leaders:

29.1.2013 – NATO crisis management center opens in Bulgaria
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/xinhua/2013-01-29/content_81...
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30.1.2013 – Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targets Arms Convoy, U.S. Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/middleeast/syria-...
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18.2.13 – Thomas E. Donilon, U.S. National Security Adviser: ‘EU must include Hezbollah in terrorist list. Europe can no longer ignore the threat that this group poses to the Continent and to the world.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-nationa...
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19.2.2013 – Bulgaria Presses Europeans to Toughen Stance on Hezbollah
http://www.newsmaxworld.com/Europe/bulgaria-hezbollah-eu-...
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21.2.2013 – Peres urges EU to put Hezbollah on terror list
http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/israel-lebanon-iran.mic/
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21.2.2013 – William Hague discusses Hezbollah with Lebanese president
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/feb/21/will...
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21.2.2013 – Syrian rebels to Hezbollah: ‘Stop fighting for Assad or be eliminated from Lebanon’
The Free Syrian Army gives Hezbollah 48-hour deadline to stop shelling ‘Syrian lands, villages and civilians from inside the Lebanese territories’, according to statement posted on Facebook and carried by various media outlets.
Hezbollah was on high alert Thursday after Syrian rebels warned that they would “eliminate it from inside the Lebanese lands” unless it stops fighting for President Bashar Assad’s forces, giving the militant group a 48-hour deadline to accede to this demand.
By Haaretz and Reuters
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/syrian-rebels-to-...
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21.2.2013 – Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured so far in Terrorist Bombing in al-Thawra Street in Damascus
http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/21/468516.htm
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22.2.2013 – Syria militants attack Hezbollah positions in Lebanon: FSA
The armed militant groups in Syria say they have started to attack the positions of Hezbollah resistance movement in neighboring Lebanon since February 21…
The self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army said its militants launched the attack less than a day after they accused Hezbollah of shelling militant bases in Syria’s Homs province on February 20.
“We have bombed the territories of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. The Free Syrian Army will continue bombing these positions,” Hisam al-Avvak, a commander of the armed group, told Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency on Thursday.
The assaults took place while the militants had given Hezbollah 48 hours to halt the alleged shelling, threatening to attack after two days.
However, the Lebanese movement has rejected the accusations.
He also reiterated threats that the militants would target Hezbollah strongholds located south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
On February 18, Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali said Hezbollah was not assisting the Syrian army in the fight against foreign-backed militants.
A recent UN report revealed that militants from nearly 30 countries have infiltrated into Syria to fight against the Syrian government.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/02/22/290214/syria-mili...

Colonial war Syria: Army Continues Special Operations against Terrorists

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The Army Continues Special Operations against Terrorists

Feb 23, 2013

Units of the Armed Forces on Saturday inflicted heavy losses upon terrorist groups in a series of operations targeting their dens in Douma FARMS, Harasta, Zamalka and Erbin in Damascus Countryside.

SANA reporter quoted an official source in the province as saying that a terrorists' den was destroyed in the farms between Douma and Harasta with all the ammunition and weapons inside.

A number of terrorists were killed in the operation, while others were injured, added the source, noting that among the dead were terrorists Bilal Ghbeis, Mohammad al-Talla, Mohamad Arafeh and Mohammad al-Habboul, leader of an armed terrorist group.

Army units also targeted gatherings of terrorists in Zamalka and Erbin, destroying their vehicles which they used in their movement and transfer of weapons.

The operations resulted in killing a number of terrorists among whom Ahmad Hjeiko, Qarhaman Mashel and Omar Abdul-Rahman were identified.

Terrorists Targeted in Special Operations in Idleb

A unit of the armed forces carried out several accurate, special operations, destroying dens and hideouts of terrorists in Idleb countryside.

SANA reporter quoted a source in the province as saying that the army unit confronted the armed terrorist groups in the surroundings of Wadi al-Daif and other towns, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists and destroying their vehicles.

The source added that another army unit targeted gatherings of terrorists who were blocking roads, attacking citizens and looting private and public properties on Sarakeb-Idleb highway and Sarmin, killing a number of them and wounding many others.

A second army unit targeted hideouts of terrorists in al-Nairab, Khan al-Subul and Banesh, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

Army units Kill Terrorists in Homs Countryside

Units of the armed forces today carried out several qualitative operations against armed terrorist groups in al-Rastan, al-Zaafaran, Akrab, Tal Dahab and al-Houleh in Homs countryside.

A military source in Homs told SANA reporter that the operations led to the killing of many terrorists, among them Abdullah al-Hussein, Shamel al-Ahmad, Shuaib al-Qasem, Ridwan Snu, Naser Azouz in addition to destroying a mortar and two vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns.

Other army units destroyed seven missiles, a mortar, two missiles' launching-pads in Akrab, killing a number of terrorists. Malik al-Kurdi, Rashid Kokag, Abdul-Kareem Saad al-Din, Obeida al-Qatebi who was expert in bombing cars, were identified among the killed terrorists.

Mazen /H. Said

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/23/468805.htm

===

As a reminder: Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

21/02/2013

Obama's secret order: 53 Syrian citizens killed

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http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/21/468516.htm

Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

Latest News Syria: Israel enters the war on Syria

terrorist.bombing.Damascus1Car bomb explosion rocks Syrian capital

20.12.2004 - Hezbollah: Not Just Israel's Problem http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2004/12/hezbolla...

13.6.2006 - Sherman: Israeli Reaction a Justified Response to Repeated Hezbollah Provocations
http://bradsherman.house.gov/2006/07/pr-060713.html.shtml

26.7.2006 - Hezbollah, Israel, and the lessons of 1982
http://www.angus-reid.com/analysis/39668/hezbollah_israel...

26.9.2006 - US Says Hezbollah Still Strong After War With Israel
http://www.wwenglish.com/en/voa/stan/2006/09/200609291436...

21.4.2011 - Secretary Clinton Meets With Dutch Foreign Minister Rosenthal
http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/clinton_nethe...
Secretary Clinton Meets With Dutch Foreign Minister Rosenthal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDNWuBAkv2M
http://youtu.be/gDNWuBAkv2M

8.10.2012 - Dutch Foreign Minister Rosenthal, a Dutchman’s Vendetta Against Hezbollah
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/dutchman%E2%80%99s-v...

14.10.2012 - Report in 'Sunday Times' says UAV struck down over Negev beamed images of IDF preparation for joint US exercise.
http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=287724

18.12.2012 - Bulgaria asks for permanent US troops presence
http://rt.com/news/bulgaria-nato-us-troops-257/

29.1.2013 - NATO crisis management center opens in Bulgaria
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/xinhua/2013-01-29/content_81...

30.1.2013 - Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targets Arms Convoy, U.S. Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/middleeast/syria-...

16.2.2013 - Hezbollah warns Israel not to count on weaker Syria
http://en.arabstoday.net/20130216255329/hezbollah-warns-i...

18.2.13 - Thomas E. Donilon, U.S. National Security Adviser: 'EU must include Hezbollah in terrorist list. Europe can no longer ignore the threat that this group poses to the Continent and to the world.'
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-nationa...

18.2.2013 - Israel and Syria: Behind the Bombs
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Israel-and-Syria-Behind-...

18.2.2013 - Israel enters the 'civil war' in Syria
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-ente...

19.2.2013 - Bulgaria Presses Europeans to Toughen Stance on Hezbollah
http://www.newsmaxworld.com/Europe/bulgaria-hezbollah-eu-...

19.2.2013 - Hezbollah, Syria and the Golan Heights, Jerusalem Post
http://www.sierraleonenews.net/index.php/sid/212682426/sc...

21.2.2013 - Dichter Slams EU Delay in Blacklisting Hezbollah
http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=83209&...

21.2.2013 - Peres urges EU to put Hezbollah on terror list
http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/israel-lebanon-iran.mic/

21.2.2013 - Latest News Syria: US backed terrorists threaten Hezbollah
http://diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be/

21.2.2013 - Israel Presses EU to Place Hezbollah on Terror List
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-presses-eu-pl...

21.2.2013 - 2 hours ago - William Hague discusses Hezbollah with Lebanese president
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/feb/21/will...

(The first 4O pages of the search results for 'United States Israel Hezbollah' on Google always repeat that Hezbollah should be seen as a 'terrorist organization'. It is on this way that the news about the war on Syria is manipulated by the western media)

Photo: US-backed terrorist-attack in Syria (21.2.2013)

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American 'Peace Process'

Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

Obama's secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists

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Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured so far in Terrorist Bombing in al-Thawra Street in Damascus  

Feb 21, 2013

Fifty-three civilians were martyred and 235 others were injured so far in a terrorist bombing which took place on Thursday morning in al-Thawra Street in the surrounding of al-Mazraa neighborhood in Damascus.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health pointed out that 53 martyrs and 235 wounded people were admitted to the public and private hospitals, noting that these numbers may increase due to the critical conditions of some injured people.

Health Minister, Dr. Saad al-Nayef, told reporters during a tour in Damascus Hospital that the terrorist bombing reflects the criminal nature of its perpetrators, adding that the Ministry is exerting all efforts to offer medical services to the injured people.

The injured people roundly denounced this terrorist bombing, noting that the perpetrators aim to destabilize Syria through killing innocent women, children and old men.

SANA reporter said that the bombing, which took place in a densely populated area near a crossroad of main streets, killed and injured a large number of civilians, including children.

He added that huge material damage was caused to the houses of citizens in the area surrounding the bombing in addition to a huge fire in a large number of cars, noting that the victims are mostly passersby, school students and people driving their cars.

SANA reporter pointed out that the blast also caused huge damage to al-Hayat Hospital and Abdullah Bin al-Zubir school in the area as well as to the minibuses in a bus station nearby.

Sources at the Red Crescent and Damascus Hospitals said the bodies of tens of martyrs and injured people were admitted to the hospitals.

Car Loaded with Explosives Seized in the Bombing Site

In the same context, SANA reporter mentioned that the authorities seized a car loaded with cylinder-shaped bath water heaters filled with explosives in the site of the bombing in al-Thawra Street.

The suicide terrorist who was driving the car was arrested, the reporter noted.

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/21/468516.htm

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Who's reponsible for the terrorist bombings in Syria ?

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1) Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.  Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

2) British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain would step up its support for the armed groups in Syria, providing them with an additional £5 million (US$7.8 million). The money is used for terrorist bomb attacks and the undermining ofSyria's government.

3) An official source told a SANA reporter that the seized arms included Nato sniper rifles, machineguns, hunting rifles, explosive devices of various weights, devices for remote control detonation and an amount of batteries and electrical wires.

4) The Belgian State Security "has not confirmed" the rumor that Belgian jihadists are fighting in Syria. The newspapers 'Het Belang van Limburg' and 'Gazet van Antwerpen' argued the opposite: "The State Security confirmed the presence of Belgian terrorists in Syria".  Originally the Flemish newspapers relied on a report by Reuters, dated July 31th 2012, citing statements from "several rebel commanders in the north-west Syria," according to which "Muslims in Great Britain, Belgium and the United States had joined the Free Syrian Army (SLA)". On July 13th, Reuters pointed out a flood "of thousands of assault rifles Belgian FN FAL was in the hands of the rebels".  In its annual reports, the Belgian State Security explains how and why she follows people attracted by fighting abroad: there was attention for Iraq, then, from 2010, to the movement towards Pakistan-Afghanistan border area; Finally, most recently, to new locations: "If the Afghan-Pakistan area, more than Iraq, was still popular in 2010 with the majority of volunteers for jihad", the Belgian State Security wrote in his latest report, "some of them began to plot their way to Yemen, Somalia and the Caucasus". And Syria now? "Obviously. Where they are beaten, those who return and who actually participated in the fighting have gained knowledge on how to handle weapons, strategy and tactics of war," noted the Belgian State Security yesterday. "This is the central reason for the Belgian concern".  Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium.

5) The Swiss Authorities announced that they are investigating into information published by Sonntags Zeitung newspaper about hand grenades used by armed terrorist groups in Syria.

6) The weapons and military equipment recently discovered and seized by the Syrian Army in Idlib province proves NATO's arms and logistic support for terrorists in Syria.

7) The seized weapons in Salqain district in Idlib included 7.26 guns along with other weapons as well as boxes of gunshots with the words "NATO BALL" carved on them.

8) The Lebanese army intelligence has seized a large quantity of wea Lutfallah II container pons hidden inside cars aboard an Italian ship at Tripoli port, north of Lebanon, Lebanese security sources told Al-Manar TV.

9) This comes just days after the Lebanese Army Marines confiscated Lutfallah II arms shipment off the Lebanese port of Batoun while it was carrying 300,000 pounds of weapons within three containers. Reports said the cargo ship, which was flying the flag of Sierra-Leone, had left Libya and was bound to Syria.

10) Lebanese terrorist Mohammad Hussein Fares confessed to participating in smuggling weapons, militants and journalists into Syria and committing terrorists acts against Syrians. Fares said that they smuggled assault rifles, RPG rounds, sniper rifles, LAW missiles, machineguns and cases of ammo, delivering them to Amoun, with al-Jarban coming later to distribute them among terrorists.

11) US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are arming AL-QAEDA Terrorists to commitTerrorism in Syria

12) Over 30,000 various weapons have been channelled to Syria since unrest flared up there in April last year, Amin Khteit says. The overall amount of explosives makes up 300 tons. The deliveries were made by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They depend on the United States, which is making every effort to overpower Syria.

13) The authorities seized weapons smuggled from Turkey in Tal Abyad area on the Syrian-Turkish borders in Raqqa countryside.

14) A Turkish parliamentarian has stressed that Turkish ambulances are transporting weapons to terrorist groups in Syria, expressing their opposition to Ankara's policies on the Syrian case.

15) News item - August 9, 2012: Sarkozy urges Libyan scenario in Syria. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the spearhead of last year’s campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi, has called for rapid international action on Syria, comparing the current crisis with the situation in Libya. Sarkozy has spoken with the Syrian opposition leader, Abdulbaset Sieda, and both agreed there is a need for foreign intervention in Syria in order to stop the ongoing crisis, Reuters reports.
(Syria was a French Colony from 1918 to 1944)

16) News item - August 11, 2012: US and Turkey to consider no-fly zones forSyria - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu are considering implementing no-fly zones for Syria after holding Saturday talks in Istanbul. According to Reuters, Clinton said that Ankara and Washington need to plan ways to assist the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad – including possibly implementing a no-fly zone.
(Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 20th centuries)

17) News item - September 6, 2012: France has embarked on providing direct financial and arms aid to insurgent-held areas of Syria and is even supplying anti-aircraft weapons to terrorists fighting Syrian Army forces.  France has vowed an extra 5 million euros ($6.25 million) to help Syrian armed groups. France is considering supplying heavy artillery to the Syrian rebels. ( On November 15, 2012, France said 'it would float giving rebels defensive weapons' but in September 2012 it was already weapening anti-Syria-government groups. It is thus clear that the French government misleads the French people. Syria was a French Colony from 1918 to 1944...)

18) News item - November 13, 2012: France became the first European power to recognize Syria's new opposition coalition as the sole representative of its people and said it would look into arming rebels against President Bashar al-Assad once they form a government.
(Syria was a French Colony from 1918 to 1944)

19) News item - November 21, 2012: UK joins France in supporting Syrian rebel coalition - British Foreign Secretary William Hague told members of parliament Tuesday that the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, calling it a "credible" alternative to al-Assad.

20) News item - November 28, 2012: NATO General-Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO allies will respond positively to Turkey’s demand for Patriot missiles within “days” and that command of the system will be under NATO control.
“Russia has no right to intervene in this process. This is a NATO decision; third parties have nothing to say,” Rasmussen said about Russian objections to the deployment.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli echoed Kılıçdaroğlu and calling on the government to inform Parliament on the missiles. “We wonder why Prime Minister Erdoğan abruptly requested Patriot missiles from NATO. Have Syrian missiles been directed to Turkey?
(Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 20th centuries. After the division of Rome into the Eastern and Western empires in the 4th century, Syria came under Byzantine rule. By the late 11th century, the Seljuk Turks had captured most of Syria)

19/02/2013

Latest News Syria: Opposition Peaceful Change Forces

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Opposition Peaceful Change Forces: Crisis Requires Special Political Solutions

Feb 19, 2013

The coalition of the opposition Peaceful Change Forces stressed that the crisis in Syria requires special political solutions.

In a statement released on Monday, the Coalition indicated to a roadmap it has set up that "serves as a subject of dialogue for a safe exit from the crisis and achieving the peaceful democratic change."

Fateh Jamous, Head of the Peaceful Change Path Movement, which is part of the coalition, said that the roadmap aims at "reaching legal and political agreement to change the structure, form and approach of the regime peacefully and gradually to a modern democratic regime through dialogue."

The roadmap suggests several steps that "could contribute to making the dialogue more rational" through ending violence, providing a TV channel for the opposition, allowing peaceful demonstrations, holding corrupted figures to account , and allowing the political and popular opposition forces to take part in these files.

The coalition called upon the "armed opposition" to unblock the roads to be put at the disposal of the Syrian army, help provide relief aid and services, stop any provocative speech regarding foreign interference and accept dialogue as the way to end the crisis.

The coalition also called for a unified opposition conference and another one for dialogue with the regime without preconditions.

The statement highlighted the coalition's stress on enhancing the role of the state and the army and confronting all forms of foreign interference, specially the stances of the Turkish government.

The Coalition includes, besides the Peaceful Change Path Movement, the Public Will Party, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Third Movement for Syria, the Democratic Marxist Assembly and the National Work Movement.

M. Nassr/H. Said

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/02/19/468062.htm

18/02/2013

Latest News Syria: terrorists killed or injured

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The Army Targets Terrorists' Gatherings and Hideouts in Several Provinces

Feb 18, 2013

Units of the Armed Forces on Monday targeted terrorists' gatherings in Ebl, Taldao, Kafer Laha and the north of al-Bouaida al-Sharqiyah in Homs Countryside.

The operations resulted in killing and injuring many terrorists, in addition to destroying a number of machinegun-equipped vehicles.

A military source told SANA reporter that the army destroyed several terrorist hideouts along with different types of weapons, including launchers, sniper rifles and missiles.

The source noted that all terrorists inside the hideouts were killed or injured, adding that terrorists Ismael al-Khaled, Mwafaq al-Ali, Hassib al-Sagheir, Huzaifa al-Khateib and Hussam Abu al-Ezam, leader of an armed terrorist group, affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra, were identified among the dead.

Army Units Eliminate Terrorists, Destroy Rockets Manufacturing Plant in Homs Countryside

Units of the Armed Forces carried out qualitative operations and inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists, destroying their dens, weapons, ammunition and rockets manufacturing factory which they were used to target the citizens and their properties in al-Rastan, Talbisa, al-Kouser in Homs countryside.

An official source told SANA reporter that Army units killed scores of terrorists in al-Rastan and Talbisa countryside, Among the killed terrorists were Bakri Abdul Wahab Barrok, Yosef Ayoub, Mahmoud al-Ashtar, Ma'an Kutai'a and Osama al-sheik Ali.

The source added that other Army unit destroyed completely an armed terrorist group's den in al-Shoumaria town in al-Kouser countryside, meanwhile other Army unit pursued an armed terrorist group were perpetrating acts of terrorism in al-Khalidia village.

The source pointed out that an Army unit destroyed rockets manufacturing plant in Kafralla town along with weapons and ammunition.

Terrorists Target French Hospital and al-Ma'ouna School with Mortar Shells in Damascus

Terrorists targeted French hospital and al-Ma'ouna school in al-Kassa'a in Damascus with two mortar shells, causing material damages in the site with no casualties.

SANA reporter said that the first mortar shell fell on the French hospital and led to material damages in the hospital building, while the other shell fell on the private school of al-Ma'ouna, causing damages in the building and a number of private cars.

Army Units Inflict Heavy Losses upon Terrorists in Daryaa and al-Dyabia

Units of the Armed Forces continued their operations in Daryaa city and killed a number of snipers.

An official source told SANA reporter that among the killed terrorists were Omar who is known as "Abo Thabit" and Hassan who is known as "Abo Majid."

Meanwhile, an engineering unit dismantled 3 explosive devices which were planted around al-Saida Sakina shrine to explode them from remote.

In the same context, another Army unit killed and injured members of an armed terrorist group, destroying its den along with weapons and ammunition inside it.

Abdul Karim who is known as "Abo Lyas" and affiliated to Hitin brigade were identified among the killed terrorists.

Army Units Eliminate Terrorists in Idleb Countryside
A unit of the Armed Forces carried out a qualitative operation and targeted the terrorists' gatherings and dens on Binish- Maa'r Tomsaren road and the farms around them, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

A source in the province told SANA reporter that the operation resulted in killing and injuring several terrorists, in addition to destroying their vehicles.

R. Raslan/ R. al-Jazaeri / B.Mousa

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/18/467869.htm

War on Syria: Turkey's Middle East policy

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The war on Syria and the Turkish dream of a neo-Ottoman Empire.

In 2012, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu declared that Turkey would be the 'owner, pioneer and servant of the post-Arab Spring Middle East'.

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Short History

Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 20th centuries. After the division of Rome into the Eastern and Western empires in the 4th century, Syria came under Byzantine rule. By the late 11th century, the Seljuk Turks had captured most of Syria.

In 1798–99, Napoleon I of France invaded Egypt and also briefly held parts of the Syrian coast. In 1832–33, Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, annexed Syria to Egypt. Egypt held Syria until 1840, when the European powers (particularly Great Britain) forced its return to the Ottomans.

During World War I the British encouraged Syrian nationalists to fight against the Ottoman Empire. The ambitions of the nationalists were thwarted in the peace settlement, which gave (1920) France a League of Nations mandate over the Levant States (roughly present-day Syria and Lebanon). From this time the term Syria referred approximately to its present territorial extent. France divided Syria into three administrative districts on the pretext that political decentralization would safeguard the rights of minorities. The Arab nationalists angrily asserted that decentralization was also a means of maintaining French control by a divide-and-rule policy.

The French made some concessions after serious disturbances in 1925, which included a rebellion by the Druze and the French bombardment of Damascus. Lebanon was made a completely separate state in 1926, and after long negotiations a treaty was signed (1936) giving Syria a large measure of autonomy. Anti-French feeling continued as a result of the cession of the sanjak of Alexandretta (see Hatay) to Turkey, completed in 1939. In the same year the French suspended the Syrian constitution, and in World War II they garrisoned Syria with a large number of troops, most of whom, after the fall of France in June, 1940, declared loyalty to the Vichy government. Relations with Great Britain deteriorated, and when it was discovered that Syrian airfields had been used by German planes en route to Iraq, British and Free French forces invaded and occupied Syria in June, 1941.

The French proclaimed the creation of an independent Syrian republic in Sept., 1941, and an independent Lebanese republic in Nov., 1941. In 1943, Shukri al-Kuwatli was elected president of Syria, and on Jan. 1, 1944, the country achieved complete independence. However, the continued presence of French troops in Syria caused increasing friction and bloodshed and strained Anglo-French relations. It was not until Apr., 1946, that all foreign troops were withdrawn from the country. In 1945, Syria had become a charter member of the United Nations.

http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/world/syria-history.html

Turkey's Middle East Policy: Too Ambitious?

http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/185833

NATO's war against Syria: missile batteries in Turkey

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All NATO Patriot batteries in Turkey operational

The final of six Patriot missile batteries deployed to Turkey was declared operational under NATO command and control on Friday, 15 February 2013.

The battery, provided by the United States, is located outside the city of Gaziantep.

Germany, the Netherlands and the United States provide two batteries each to augment Turkey’s air defences. The systems are deployed in Kahramanmaras, Adana, and Gaziantep. The first battery came online on 26 January.

In response to Turkey’s request, NATO Foreign Ministers decided on 4 December 2012 that NATO would “augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities…along the Alliance’s border.”

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/turkey-all-six...