The Sufferings of the Sane
The mental distress of living amid the obscene din of all these carmagnoles and corobberies was not the only burden that lay on sane people during the war. There was also the emotional strain, complicated by the offended economic sense, produced by the casualty lists. The stupid, the selfish, the narrow-minded, the callous and unimaginative were spared a great deal. “Blood and destruction shall be so in use that mothers shall but smile when they behold their infantes quartered by the hands of war,” was a Shakespearean prophecy that very nearly came true; for when nearly every house had a slaughtered son to mourn, we should all have gone quite out of our senses if we had taken our own and our friend’s bereavements at their peace value. It became necessary to give them a false value; to proclaim the young life worthily and gloriously sacrificed to redeem the liberty of mankind, instead of to expiate the heedlessness and folly of their fathers, and expiate it in vain. We had even to assume that the parents and not the children had made the sacrifice, until at last the comic papers were driven to satirize fat old men, sitting comfortably in club chairs, and boasting of the sons they had “given” to their country.
No one grudged these anodynes to acute personal grief; but they only embittered those who knew that the young men were having their teeth set on edge because their parents had eaten sour political grapes. Then think of the young men themselves! Many of them had no illusions about the policy that led to the war: they went clear-sighted to a horribly repugnant duty. Men essentially gentle and essentially wise, with really valuable work in hand, laid it down voluntarily and spent months forming fours in the barrack yard, and stabbing sacks of straw in the public eye, so that they might go out to kill and maim men as gentle as themselves. These men, who were perhaps, as a class, our most efficient soldiers (Frederick Keeling, for example), were not duped for a moment by the hypocritical melodrama that consoled and stimulated the others. They left their creative work to drudge at destruction, exactly as they would have left it to take their turn at the pumps in a sinking ship. They did not, like some of the conscientious objectors, hold back because the ship had been neglected by its officers and scuttled by its wreckers. The ship had to be saved, even if Newton had to leave his fluxions and Michael Angelo his marbles to save it; so they threw away the tools of their beneficent and ennobling trades, and took up the blood-stained bayonet and the murderous bomb, forcing themselves to pervert their divine instinct for perfect artistic execution to the effective handling of these diabolical things, and their economic faculty for organization to the contriving of ruin and slaughter. For it gave an ironic edge to their tragedy that the very talents they were forced to prostitute made the prostitution not only effective, but even interesting; so that some of them were rapidly promoted, and found themselves actually becoming artists in wax, with a growing relish for it, like Napoleon and all the other scourges of mankind, in spite of themselves. For many of them there was not even this consolation. They “stuck it,” and hated it, to the end.
George Bernard Shaw
From Preface to Heartbreak House (1919)
August 27th, 2013 - 'U.S. said to organize major weapons transfer to Syria rebels, financed by Gulf states'
November 7, 2013 - 'Syria crisis: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force'
November 7, 2013 - 'Syrian Rebel Groups Vie for Saudi Funding and Weapons'
November 10, 2013 - 'The CIA is Leading Massive Arms Deliveries to Rebels in Syria, Saudi Arabia is Training Terrorists'
November 12, 2013 - 'Saudi Arabia offers USD 300 million to terrorists…Doha Coalition admits subordination'
1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.
2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.
3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.
4) On Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.
5) November 12, 2013 - Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html
26 août 2013
Les Etats-Unis continuaient à renseigner Bagdad dans les années 80 alors qu'ils savaient pour les armes chimiques, révèle «Foreign Policy», documents de la CIA à l'appui.
Les Etats-Unis ont renseigné l'Irak sur des préparatifs d’offensives iraniennes pendant la guerre Iran- Irak dans les années 1980 tout en sachant pertinemment que Bagdad y répondrait par des attaques à l’arme chimique. C'est ce que révèle ce lundi Foreign Policy, magazine américain spécialisé dans les affaires étrangères, en s’appuyant sur des documents déclassifiés de la CIA et des témoignages d’anciens responsables. Une information qui résonne avec l’actualité syrienne de 2013.
D'après le magazine, les États-Unis savaient dès 1983 que l’Irak opérait des attaque au gaz sarin ou de tabun. Le site de Foreign Policy relaie un document de la CIA rapportant l’année suivante que l’Irak «avait commencé à utiliser de l’agent neurotoxique sur le front de Bassorah».
Fin 1987, la CIA repère, grâce à des images satellites, une brèche dans la défense irakienne à hauteur de Bassorah. A la même époque, l’Agence du renseignement de la défense américain (DIA) prévient dans un rapport que l’offensive de printemps de l’Iran allait être plus importante que les précédentes. Si Bassorah tombait, les forces armées s’effondreraient et l’Iran gagnerait la guerre.
Pour le président de l'époque Ronald Reagan, informé, «une victoire iranienne est inacceptable». La DIA est alors autoriseé à divulguer des informations à l’Irak sur les positions et sur les mouvements de troupes iraniennes, mais également sur la localisation de points stratégiques et sur ses défenses anti-aériennes.
Le gaz sarin et le gaz moutarde est utilisé avant quatre attaques militaires début 1988, organisées grâce aux renseignements américains. A chaque fois elles sont coordonnées avec un feu d’artillerie nourri pour déguiser les effets des agents neurotoxiques. La CIA n’est pas sûre du nombre de victimes. Le bilan pourrait se situer entre «plusieurs centaines» et «plusieurs milliers».
Selon la CIA, les deux-tiers de toutes les armes chimiques utilisées lors de la guerre l’ont été dans les derniers 18 mois. La guerre a duré de 1980 à 1988 et a fait plusieurs centaines de milliers de morts selon les sources.
«A partir de 1988, le renseignement américain parvenait sans obstacle aux forces armées de Saddam Hussein. En mars de la même année, l’Irak lançait une attaque de gaz neurotoxique sur le village kurde d’Halabja dans le nord du pays», relève Foreign Policy. L’attaque avait fait 5 000 morts.
L’article rapporte également les propos d’un officier retraité de l’Air Force, Rick Francona, attaché militaire à Bagdad en 1988. Il explique avoir visité la péninsule de Fao juste après l’attaque, «il a trouvé un champ de bataille jonché de seringues auparavant remplies d’atropine, le médicament couramment utilisé pour traiter les effets létaux du sarin». Il ajoute : «les Irakiens ne nous ont jamais dit qu’ils comptaient utiliser des gaz neurotoxiques. Ils n’ont pas eu à le faire, on le savait déjà».
Who only follows the western news is daily brainwashed with American war propaganda.
It is for this reason that it's interesting to look also for other information...
Terrorists killed, their weapons destroyed in several areas
July 4, 2013
Army units killed a number of terrorists, among them of non-Syrian nationalities, and confiscated weapons and modern communication devices in a series of operations against terrorists' gatherings in the eastern Ghouta and Damascus northern and southern countryside.
An official source told SANA that a den for terrorists was destroyed with the weapons and ammunition inside in Hejjira town in Damascus southern countryside, with many of its members killed, including the Iraqi terrorist Ahmad Fawwaz al-Amir, Mohammad al-Homsi and Omran Youssef.
The source added that an army unit killed Abdul-Majid al-Ayyoubi, leader of a terrorist group along with a number of his group's members, among them Mohammad Arafa, east of Tameco medicine company in al-Mleiha in the eastern Ghouta, as another unit carried out a qualitative operation west of al-Shifounieh, killing Iyad al-Shalet and Mahmoud al-Barghouth, leader of the so-called ''Shabab al-Huda Battalions'' terrorist group.
The source added that terrorists were killed and others injured in Deir Salman farms in the eastern Ghouta, among them Khaled Mohsen and Mohammad al-Ahmad.
An army unit confiscated weapons and ammunition, including hand-grenades, machineguns and modern wireless communication devices in the northern countryside of al-Nabek, killing and injuring terrorists, among them Omar Turkmani and Ahmad Madkhaneh.
Storehouse for manufacturing explosives, tunnel for storing up weapons discovered in al-Qaboun
Army units discovered a storehouse for manufacturing explosive devices and a tunnel that the terrorists were using in their movement and for storing up weapons and ammunition, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
An official source told SANA that a 250-meter-long tunnel extending from the Araghil building in al-Qaboun towards Joubar, just one day after discovering two tunnels linking between Joubar, al-Qaboun and Zamalka, and other tunnels with explosive devices inside.
The source added that an army unit discovered a warehouse for manufacturing explosive devices with scores of devices inside, in addition to hand-grenades, missiles and modern communication devices, and big amounts of raw materials used for manufacturing explosives. The source said that an army unit also killed terrorists in al-Qaboun area, among them Ramzi Shaaban and Mohammad al-Nasser.
Terrorists killed, their weapons destroyed in Aleppo city and countryside
Army units killed members of armed terrorist groups in Aleppo city and countryside, destroying three mortar cannons, heavy machineguns and ammunition.
An official source told SANA that scores of terrorists were eliminated north of Aleppo central prison, al-Kholandi fuel station, the entrance of the industrial city, the carpet factory and al-Kindi Hospital.
The source added that army units clashed with terrorist groups near al-Manasher and Harsho Hotel and south of Ibrahim al-Khalil Mosque, al-Kleirieh, al-Sabah fuel station Moller factory and the farms surrounding Khan Al-Assal, killing many of their members.
The source said that an army unit killed terrorists near al-Zarbeh and Zaido fuel station on Aleppo-Idleb road, and destroyed heavy machineguns and big amounts of ammunition.
In Aleppo western countryside, scores of terrorists were killed near the fuel station in al-Mansoura town, Barakat factory and Hamza Mosque in Maaret Artiq, in addition to destroying dens for armed terrorist groups in al-Layramoun area.
The source added that an armed terrorist group was eliminated near the clinics in al-atareb town in Aleppo southwestern countryside, as other units destroyed terrorists' gatherings near the agricultural center in Minnegh village and east of the municipality building in Mayer and near the Mosque in al-Ziyara village in Aleppo northern countryside.
In Aleppo city, violent clashes took place between army units and armed terrorist groups in al-Rashideen and al-Sheikh Khodor neighborhoods that resulted in killing scores of terrorists and destroying two mortar cannons and confiscating big amounts of weapons.
An army unit also destroyed mortar cannon near Bab Al-Hadid roundabout that the terrorists were using in their criminal attacks, the latest of which was when they targeted the vegetables Souq with a mortar shell on Wednesday causing the martyrdom of two citizens and the injury of several others.
Army units eliminate terrorists in Homs and its countryside
Units of the armed forces carried out operations against terrorists' gatherings in Palmyra and several neighborhoods of Homs, inflicting heavy losses upon terrorists, in addition to destroying their weapons and ammunition.
A military source told SANA that an army unit tightened control over a number of buildings in Bab Houd neighborhood in Homs old city, after killing scores of terrorists who were stationed there.
The source added that the army units destroyed terrorists' dens and gatherings near al-Amal hospital in Jourat al-Shyah, al-Qosour and al-Khalidyeh neighborhoods, killing and injuring all terrorists inside them.
The source pointed out that other army units destroyed terrorists' heavy machineguns on Talbisa-al-Sa'ein road in the northern countryside of Homs.
Another army unit killed a number of terrorists near al-Ghajar village in al-Rastan countryside. Tamim Obaid, leader of an armed terrorist group and Ahmad Satuf Kdad were identified among the dead terrorists.
In Palmyra countryside, another army unit destroyed "AL-Islam Brigade" terrorists' warehouse in al-Tayba village, killing and injuring several terrorists, while another army unit repelled terrorists' attempt to attack military checkpoints in al-Zyraa, al-Mouthaf and al-Braikat, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
Meanwhile, other army units hunted the armed terrorist groups in al-Mashajer al-Janobi, Taldo, al-Zafarana and Talbisa in Homs countryside, killing and injuring scores of them.
Non-Syrian terrorists killed in Idleb countryside
Units of the armed forces killed and injured several terrorists in a number of Idleb' towns and villages, including non-Syrians, and destroyed their weapons and equipment.
A military source told SANA that an army unit destroyed a terrorists' den in Korin village in Ariha area, killing all terrorists inside it.
The Jordanian terrorists Abduwahid al-Tayib, Khalil Amash, Shikhoun Khitami and the Saudis Sbai'a al-Khalid, Khalid Abu al-Abid, Subhan Nouri, Sadoun al-Sheikh and the Libyan Damoush Abu Nmoura were identified among the dead terrorists.
The source added that the army units destroyed a terrorists' warehouse in Abu Dohour and killed several terrorists in Bsanqul, Kafr Shlaya, Jabal al-Arbain, Matram, Sarja, Kafr Ruma, al-Maghara and Mari'aian villages and towns.
Meanwhile, another army unit clashed with an armed terrorist group which was perpetrating acts of terrorism at the entrance of Arab Said village, killing most its members.
Terrorists killed due to dispute on dividing stolen materials
Fierce clash erupted between two terrorist groups, one of them affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra, due to a dispute on dividing the stolen materials in Afais town in Idleb countryside.
A military source told SANA that the terrorists used different kinds of machineguns and grenades which resulted in the killing and the injury of several terrorists.
The source added that among the dead terrorist were Wasim Ghnaim, Suleiman Hallak, Ahmad Zaydan, Mohammad Zaydan, Mohammad Abd al –Barid, Mohammad Ghazal and Mahmoud Ahmad Ghazal who were affiliated to the so-called "A bdo Hajj Ghazal Brigade" linked to Jabhat al-Nusra.
Terrorists killed in Hama countryside
A military source told SANA that an army unit carried out a special operation against terrorists and destroyed a warehouse for them in al-Badria farm in al-Ghab area in the western countryside of Hama.
The source told SANA that the operation resulted in the killing and the injury of all terrorists inside the warehouse.
Army units destroy terrorists equipment in Lattakia countryside
Units of the armed forces destroyed terrorists' dens and gatherings in al-Rabi'a and Joub al-Ahmar in the northern countryside of Lattakia, along with the weapons and ammunition inside them.
A military source told SANA that among the dead terrorists were Wisam Tilo, Hussam al-Rahal and the Jordanian Hamdan Abu Arif and the Saudi Bakri al-Hamid.
The source pointed out that the operations resulted in destroying advanced communication-sets, a number of heat-seeking rockets and heavy machine guns.
April fools' jokes 2013 - the best on the web: John Kerry
Doha (Qatar) April 24, 2013 : The US secretary of state has said that NATO needs to consider its role in the Syrian crisis, including how prepared it is to respond to a potential chemical weapons threat.
John Kerry told a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday that the planning that the alliance had already done was appropriate.
“We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” he said.
NATO, a US-led military alliance of 28 countries, has said repeatedly it has no intention of intervening militarily in the Syrian war.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli military’s top intelligence analyst said Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons – probably nerve gas – in their fight against rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad
Brigadier General Itai Brun made the comments at a Tel Aviv security conference a day after US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said, at the end of a visit to Israel, that US intelligence agencies were still assessing whether such weapons had been employed.
According to Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, could not confirm Brun’s comments about Syrian chemical arms.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson, said on Tuesday that the US has not concluded that chemical weapons had been used and that it was difficult to determine if they were.
US President Barack Obama has called the use of chemical weapons a red line for the United States that would trigger unspecified US action.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary-general of NATO, said the organisation was “extremely concerned about the use of ballistic missiles in Syria and the possible use of chemical weapons”.
Rasmussen also said that NATO was concerned about the risk of the conflict spilling over Syria’s borders.
“I can assure you that we stand ready to defend, protect our allies, in this case Turkey, as a neighbour of Syria. We have all plans ready to ensure effective defence and protection of Turkey,” he added.
“The situation in Syria has dramatically deteriorated,” Rasmussen said. “This continues to pose a threat to regional stability.”
NATO has previously sent Patriot missile batteries to neighbouring Turkey to help defend the NATO member against possible missile attack from Syria.
Brun said that evidence of the usage of chemical weapons could be seen in the physical symptoms suffered by those who had apparently been exposed to chemical agents.
“The reduced pupils, the foam coming out of the mouth and other additional signs provide evidence that deadly chemical weapons have been used,” he said adding that the chemical used is most likely Sarin, a deadly, colourless and odourless nerve agent.
Sarin, which was developed as a pesticide in Germany in 1938, in high doses, paralyses the muscles around the lungs and prevents chemicals from “switching off” the body’s secretions, so victims suffocate or drown as their lungs fill with mucus and saliva.
There were more than a thousand tonnes of chemical agents in Syria and “a lot” of warheads and missiles that could be armed with the deadly substance, reported Haaretz newspaper quoting Brun.
16-6-13 - Israeli ‘chemical weapons’ campaign:
Following joint military operations during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Qatar and the United States concluded a Defense Cooperation Agreement that has been subsequently expanded. In April 2003, the U.S. Combat Air Operations Center for the Middle East moved from Prince Sultan Air Base in Saoudi Arabia to Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base south of Doha, the Qatari capital.
Al Udeid Air Base (Arabic: قاعدة العديد الجوية) is also known as Abu Nakhlah Airport (Arabic:مطار أبو نخلة). It houses foreign coalition personnel and assets. It is host to a forward headquarters of United States Central Command, headquarters of United States Air Forces Central, No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group RAF, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the USAF. In 1999, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad, reportedly told US officials that he would like to see as many as 10,000 US servicemen permanently stationed at Al Udeid.
Al Udeid and other facilities in Qatar serve as logistics, command, and basing hubs for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army eliminates terrorists in several areas
Jun 24, 2013
The source said that another unit killed and injured terrorists in Barzeh neighborhood.
The source added that another army unit also clashed with an armed terrorist group near al-Manasher roundabout in Jouber, killing and injuring a number of the terrorist group's members.
Citizen martyred and two others wounded of terrorists fires in Harasta
A citizen was martyred and two others wounded due to targeting their bus by terrorists' fires in Harasta area in Damascus Countryside.
An official source at Police Command told SANA reporter that terrorists opened fire on a bus at the entrance of Harasta city, causing the martyrdom of a citizen and the injury of two others who were admitted to hospital for treatment.
Citizen martyred of terrorists' shell at Joubar entrance
A citizen was martyred due to mortar shell fired by terrorists on the area surrounding the entrance of Joubar in Damascus.
A source at the Police Command told SANA reporter that a mortar shell fell on the area surrounding Joubar entrance, causing the martyrdom of a citizen who was passing in the area, in addition to material damage to the citizens' properties.
Army units took control over most parts of al-Khamasua town in Damascus Countryside
Units of the armed forces continued hunting the armed terrorist groups in al-Khamasia, Deir Salman and Beir al-Qasab towns in Damascus Countryside, destroying their dens and equipment, in addition to killing a number of terrorists.
An official source told SANA that the army units took control over most parts of al-Khamasia town in the eastern Ghouta after killing and injuring scores of terrorists and destroying their equipment
The source added that the army units took control over terrorists' supply road between al-Khamasia and Deir Salman.
The source pointed out that the army units destroyed a terrorists' den along with the weapons and ammunition inside it in the farms surrounding Deir Salman town.
Terrorists Dens Targeted in Hama
A military source said that units of the armed forces targeted terrorists' dens in the villages of Jib al-Hinta, Jib Othman and Rasm al-Daheriya, north-east Hama.
The army units killed a number of terrorists and destroyed big amounts of weapons and ammunition, the source added.
Army destroys weapons and ammunition warehouse in Homs countryside
A military source told SANA that big numbers of terrorists were killed , among them snipers in al-Kousour , al-Karabis, Jouret al-Shiyyah and Wadi al-Sayeh neighborhoods and near the financial building in Bab Hud and al-Ghota groves.
The source added that a unit of the armed forces destroyed a warehouse contains big amounts of weapons and ammunition, killing a number of terrorists in the villages of Rahoum, Um Rjaim and al-Sa'en in Homs countryside.
Meanwhile, units of the armed forces clashed with armed terrorist groups on Talbeiseh –al-Darwish garage, Bait al-Nabhan-Bait al-Rashed roundabout, killing big numbers of terrorists.
Another unit of the armed forces arrested a number of terrorists and killed others in al-Baroujeh village and the farms surrounding Talkalakh.
Terrorists killed in Aleppo and its countryside
Units of the armed forces carried out a series of special operations against terrorists' dens and gatherings in Aleppo and its countryside, destroying anti-aircraft cannons and ammunition.
An official source told SANA that the army units destroyed a 23 caliber anti-aircraft and ammunition used by terrorists in their attack on Aleppo Central Prison, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
The source added that an army unit killed a number of terrorists near the glass factory and destroyed P-10Cannon, while another army unit destroyed a mortar and killed 3 terrorists near al-Blaka restaurant.
The source pointed out that other army units repelled terrorists who were attempting to attack Mennegh Airport, killing and injuring scores of them.
Another army unit destroyed a locomotive along with the weapons and ammunition inside it and killed all terrorists, while another army unit killed 6 terrorists and destroyed a mortar to the west of Saif factory.
In al-Layramoun, the army units destroyed a mortar and killed 2 terrorists, while another army unit killed 8 terrorists and destroyed their ammunition at the Bus Station in the area.
To the east of the Bus Station, the army units destroyed a rocket launcher and killed 6 terrorists.In Aleppo city, the army units carried out several operations near Issam al-Ghadri school in al-Sakhour neighborhood, killing and injuring several terrorists.
Spain Dismantles al-Qaeda linked terrorist network responsible for sending fighters to Syria
Spanish security forces on Friday broke up an Al-Qaeda-linked network in north Africa suspected of sending fighters to Syria, arresting eight people in early morning raids.
In a statement to Agence France Presse, Spanish Interior Ministry said : " We have broken up a network responsible for sending combatants to Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups operating in Syria,"
The network, operating in Ceuta and the neighbouring Moroccan town of Fnideq, sent dozens of combatants , some minors, to Syria, the ministry said.
It added that the dismantled Spanish-Moroccan network was, according to police investigations, responsible for sending jihadists to groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Syria,"
"Some of them would have carried out suicide attacks while others would have been incorporated into training camps prior to carrying out armed action," the ministry said.
Security forces confirmed that several "jihadists" were waiting to travel from Spain to Syria, it added.
The Spanish official statement didn't describe the terrorist groups in Syria as an opposition since it includes foreign mercenaries linked to al-Qaeda.
It refuted the alleged mottos of such groups to carry out commands and dictates of the West for targeting Syria. Dismantling this network also coincides with the continued controversy about the Anglo-French unbridled desire to send more Weapons to the armed terrorist groups in Syria after the European Union's decision to end the embargo on arms supplies to the so-called opposition.
European Union governments are showing growing alarm over the potential security threat posed by the hundreds of young Europeans believed to be fighting alongside rebels in Syria.
It is clear that the whole current debate about the ‘use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army’, is set up to deliver heavy weapons to the so called Free Syrian Army and some terrorist groups. The decision to deliver more heavy weapons was taken on March 6, 2013, that is 4 months before the current false accusations...
Photo: March 6, 2013. Chief of Staff of the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ Gen. Salim Idris and Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and President of ALDE Group, at the European Parliament in Brussels. Idris said that his army needed the West to supply “weapons and ammunition” so that his forces can “defend themselves”. Verhofstadt was pleading for the supply of heavy weapons to the mercenary army of Idris. Verhofstadt: “The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should.”
The so called 'Free Syrian Army' always has rejected any proposal for peace talks and since 2 years, the U.S. and its satellites provide Idris and the terrorist groups with weapons wich are also used for terrorist attacks.
Verhofstadt is a good friend of Etienne Davignon, former president of the Bilderberg Group and ‘Friends of Europe’.
In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission. In the 2009 European Parliament election, he has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission.
Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.
Davignon, former president of the Bilderberg Club, is Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, CSR Europe, SN Airholding and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium). He is Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
According to the Suez website, he holds 11,111 Suez shares, which are currently worth more than 350,000 euro.
The Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120 to 140 invited guests from North America and Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications.
The army continues confrontations, killing many terrorists, including non-Syrians
Jun 14, 2013
Units of the armed forces on Friday inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists and foiled several attempts to attack the Central Prison and Minnegh Airport in Aleppo, killing and injuring several terrorists.
An official source told SANA that the army units repelled several attempts of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists to attack the Airport, killing and injuring several terrorists, in addition to destroying their equipment.
The source pointed out that other army units killed 7 terrorists to the west of Minnegh Airport and destroyed a 23mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon and weapons warehouse to the south of the Airport.
Meanwhile, the guards of the Central Prison foiled "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists' attempt to sneak into the area surrounding the prison from a cemetery nearby, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
Another army unit killed a number of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists in Oram al-Kubra village, including an armed terrorist group leader Ahmad al-Shami and 10 other non-Syrian terrorists, while another army unit killed and injured several terrorists on Aleppo-Idleb road.
In Aleppo city, the army units carried out operations against terrorists who were stationed in the cultural center in Masaken Hanano area and destroyed a rocket-launcher, mortar and ammunition near the old and new Hanano Police Stations and in the area surrounding Hanano Barracks.
Other army units carried out operations against terrorists who were stationed in al-Maysar school compound, destroying a 23 mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon and killing several terrorists.
In Bustan al-Basha, the army units killed 8 terrorists and destroyed two mortars, while another army unit carried out a special operation in old Aleppo, killing a number of terrorists, in addition to destroying a factory of explosive devices.
Army units destroy terrorists' dens in Damascus Countryside
Units of the armed forces continued operations against the armed terrorist groups in Harasta, Douma and Joubar in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA that the army units killed and injured several terrorists near the court BUILDINGin Harasta city, including Ayoub Hassoun and Muhammad Hassoun.
The source added that another army unit destroyed a terrorists' den in al-Eb farms in Douma area, killing and injuring several terrorists, including Salim Eido and Nouman al-Shalet.
The source pointed out that another army unit clashed with members of an armed terrorist group in Joubar, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
Rabia Badereddin and Housam al-Aghawani were identified among the dead terrorists.
Army units eliminate terrorists, including leaders, in Damascus Countryside
Units of the armed forces inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in several towns in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA that an army unit destroyed terrorists' dens in the farms surrounding al-Khamasia and al-Ahmadia towns in the eastern Ghouta, killing Majid Kahal, leader of an armed terrorist group called" Shabab al-Baraa Battalion", and a number of the battalion's members, including Muhammad Zuhir al-Nazaq.
The source added that other army units destroyed a mortar and killed a number of terrorists in Hijjeira town, including non-Syrian terrorists, among them a Jordanian called " al-Sheikh Bader" and terrorist Nidal al-Saidi.
In Yalda town, another army unit killed several terrorists affiliated to the so-called "Ansar al-Souna Battalion", including Tawfiq Shour.
In al-Ziyabiya town, another army unit killed scores of terrorists, including Talal al-Mandil, leader of an armed terrorist group, and a number of his group, including Basil al-Hamdo.
The source pointed out that the army units continued hunting the armed terrorist groups in Daraya city, killing a number of terrorists to the east of al-Sayyeda Sukaina shrine, including snipers.
Terrorists killed in Homs and its countryside
Units of the armed forces targeted several armed terrorist groups which were attempting to attack military checkpoints at Jisr al-Sad in al-Rastan in Homs countryside, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
A military source told SANA reporter that the army units destroyed a rocket-pad and weapons which were used by terrorists in their acts of terrorism.
Another unit also destroyed an armored vehicle and eliminated terrorists near al-Mahmoud mosque in al-Rastan city.
An Army unit clashed with terrorists in a car on a farm road in Hasya area, eliminating the terrorists and confiscating their weapons.
In a series of operations in Teldo and Burj Qai'ii, an Armed Forces unit destroyed a number of terrorist hideouts, leaving a number of terrorists dead or injured, while other units eliminated terrorists between the areas of al-Furuqlus and Sad Handoura and near Habra village in Jub al-Jarrah area.
In Homs city, the Armed Forces continued to pursue terrorist groups in the Old City, eliminating a number of terrorists who tried to sneak into Wadi al-Sayeh neighborhood from al-Hamidiye neighborhood, in addition to eliminating terrorists in Bab Houd and Jouret al-Shiyah.
Terrorists killed, heavy machineguns destroyed in Deir Ezzor
Army units continued chasing members of the armed terrorist groups in al-Sina'a, al-Matar al-Qadeem and al-Umal neighborhoods in Deir Ezzor and eliminated a number of them and destroyed their vehicles.
An official source told SANA reporter that the source added that another army unit clashed with gunmen group in Hawijet Sakr district killing four of its members and destroying a mortar in their possession.
Another unit foiled a terrorist group's infiltration attempt from the Eastern Hweika to the Western Hweika district and eliminated ten terrorists.
In Deir Ezzor countryside, terrorists' gatherings were devastated as heavy machine guns in their possession were also destroyed in Hawijet al-Mrai'ieh and Mrat.
Army units pursue terrorists in Hama Countryside
Units of the armed forces killed and injured several terrorists affiliated to the so-called "Ababil al-Sahra'a Brigade", including non-Syria terrorists, in addition to destroying their weapons and equipment in al-Khdaira, al-Souha and Hamadi Omar towns southeast of Salamia.
An official source told SANA that the army units destroyed several gatherings of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorist group along with the weapons and ammunition inside them, in addition to killing a number of terrorists in Adla town in Hama countryside.
The source pointed out that other army units killed and injured a number of terrorists in al-Kastal al-Wastani and al-Shamali towns, in addition to destroying two rocket-launchers, weapons and ammunition which were used by terrorists in their acts of terrorism.
Non-Syrians terrorists eliminated in Daraa
A military source said that the army unit targeted an armed terrorist group in al- Nazehen camp in Daraa, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
In a statement to SANA reporter, the source said that terrorist Omran Abdul Rahman al-Aidi, leader of a terrorist group, Mounir Mousa Bajbouj, and Musab Fuad Suleiman al-Qtaifan, in addition to the five non-Syrian terrorists of the so-called al-Mujahedin battalion in Daraa were killed.
The source pointed that the other army units targeted terrorists' dens in al-Sheikh Miskeen, on the road of Abtta', in Sason, al-Shabreq, al-Misteriya and Glenn, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and destroyed an armored vehicle and a car loaded with ammunition.
Jabhat al-Nusra-linked terrorist Mansour al-Beiruti of a Palestinian nationality was identified among the dead.
Army units inflict heavy losses upon terrorists in Idleb
Units of the armed forces destroyed terrorists' dens and gatherings in several areas of Idleb countryside.
A military source told SANA reporter that an army unit targeted terrorists' gatherings in al-Ghassania, al-Taibat, al-Shughr and Mashimshan in Jisr al-Shughour countryside and in Nahla villagein Ariha area, inflicting heavy losses upon teerorists.
Osama Ahmad Rahal and Ra'ad Iyad Hasson were identified among the dead terrorists in Nahla village.
In the areas surrounding Idleb city, another army unit destroyed a number of terrorists' dens and gatherings in Taftanaz, Maar Tamsarin, Tall Dineit, Shalakh, Zardana and Tallet Binnesh, inflicting direct strikes upon them.
In Binnesh city, the army units destroyed terrorists' dens, causing the killing and the injury of several terrorists.
In Sermin city, other army units destroyed a den of the so-called "Ahrar al-Sham Brigade" and "Daoud Brigade" terrorist group, killing 13 terrorists.
A military source told SANA that the army units destroyed terrorists' gatherings in Bait al-Kaiari and al-Buweiti in Abu Duhour area, killing and injuring several terrorists who were perpetrating acts of terrorism in the area.
Army unit eliminates terrorist in Lattakia countryside
An Army unit clashed with terrorist groups in the village of al-Houeh in Slenfeh area in Lattakia countryside, leaving a large number of terrorists dead or injured and destroying a heavy machinegun.
Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - June 13, 2013
5 new results for latest news Syria SANA:
UN: Nearly 93000 killed in Syrian conflict
In this Wednesday, June 5, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA,Syrian soldiers loyal Bashar Asad stand on a vehicle filled with aid supplies, in the town of Qusair, near the Lebanese border, in Homs province, Syria ...
See all stories on this topic »UN Says 93000 Dead in Syria Conflict
Voice of America
The U.N. human rights office says the latest toll, which accounted for deaths until the end of April, is most likely a minimum figure. The U.N. said ... This SANA photo shows the destruction after bombs exploded in al-Marjeh Square in Damascus, June 11 ...
See all stories on this topic »Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese town, two wounded
Syrian state news agency SANA said the helicopter was chasing "terrorist groups" who were trying to escape to Lebanon. "It targeted them and some were hit, others escaped to Arsal so they were (also) chased," the ... Deeper inside Lebanon, street ...
See all stories on this topic »Syrian extremist rebels raid Shiite village
Ellwood City Ledger
Last month, Alawite fighters were blamed for killing dozens of civilians in two Sunni towns in westernSyria, part of what rebels call an attempt by Alawites to clear their coastal heartland of Sunni communities. In the videos from Hatla, some fighters ...
See all stories on this topic »Syria's Assad Used Chemical Weapons Against Rebels, US Officials Conclude
... concluded that Syria has used chemical weapons multiple times. In a statement released on Thursday, the White House says U.S. intelligence concluded that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent Sarin, against rebel ...
See all stories on this topic »
Photo: February 17, 2011 – President Barack Obama joins a toast with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and other technology executives at a dinner in Woodside, California.
The “Day of Rage” in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for February 17, 2011…
On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google.
The American federal government has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas for nearly six years from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of ‘national security threats’, the director of national intelligence confirmed Thursday night.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the national official news agency in Syria:
http://sana.sy/index_eng.html (if the link isn’t blocked by the western war seeking authorities)
Syrian Army troops take full control of al-Daba’a town
June 6, 2013
Syrian Army troops have taken control of al-Daba'a town in the central province of Homs, a day after they fully purged the strategic border town of al-Qusayr from foreign-sponsored militants.
On Thursday, Syrian troops liberated the town after fierce exchange of fire with the militants.
Syria’s state television reported on Wednesday that Syrian forces had regained full control of Qusayr following three weeks of fighting.
Many foreign-backed militants were killed or injured throughout the mop-up operations conducted by Syrian soldiers in the town.
The militants fled to farms and a nearby village. Reports indicate that peace and security have now been restored in the region.
Syrian troops backed by the forces of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah entered Qusayr from several directions on May 19.
Qusayr had been an important center and supply route for the foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the Damascus government.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.
Several international human rights organizations have accused militants operating in Syria of committing war crimes.
Terrorists Commit Massacre against 4 Member Family in al-Qseir
HOMS/ DAMASCUS, (SANA)- An armed terrorist group on Saturday committed a massacre against a family of four members, including a woman, in the countryside of al-Qseir in Homs.
An official source told SANA reporter that the terrorist group's members killed the family members inside their house in the area between al-Dab'a village and the industrial area in the city of al-Qseir before they looted the house.
The source pointed out that the martyrs are a woman called Yusra Abdul-Rahman al-Qaissi and three young men.
Terrorists Fire 3 Mortar Shells on al-Dwailaa Area, Damascus, 4 Citizens Injured
Earlier, terrorists fired 3 mortar shells on the residential neighborhoods in al-Dwailaa area in Damascus, causing the injury of 4 citizens and big material damage.
An official source told SANA reporter that the terrorists targeted a crowded area, causing the injury of 4 citizens and big material damage in the residential building and the cars parking at the site.
H. Zain/Ghossoun/H. Said
Interview Given by President al-Assad to Lebanese Al-Manar TV
May 30, 2013
Al-Manar: But, Mr. President, the nature of the battle that you and Hezbollah are waging in Al-Qseir seems, to your critics, to take the shape of a safe corridor connecting the coastal region with Damascus. Consequently, if Syria were to be divided, or if geographical changes were to be enforced, this would pave the way for an Alawite state. So, what is the nature of this battle, and how is it connected with the conflict with Israel.
President Assad: First, the Syrian and Lebanese coastal areas are not connected through Al-Qseir. Geographically this is not possible. Second, nobody would fight a battle in order to move towards separation. If you opt for separation, you move towards that objective without waging battles all over the country in order to be pushed into a particular corner. The nature of the battle does not indicate that we are heading for division, but rather the opposite, we are ensuring we remain a united country. Our forefathers rejected the idea of division when the French proposed this during their occupation of Syria because at the time they were very aware of its consequences. Is it possible or even fathomable that generations later, we their children, are less aware or mindful? Once again, the battle in Al-Qseir and all the bemoaning is related to Israel. The timing of the battle in Al-Qseir was synchronized with the Israeli airstrike. Their objective is to stifle the resistance. This is the same old campaign taking on a different form. Now what’s important is not al-Qseir as a town, but the borders; they want to stifle the resistance from land and from the sea. Here the question begs itself - some have said that the resistance should face the enemy and consequently remain in the south. This was said on May 7, 2008, when some of Israel’s agents in Lebanon tried to tamper with the communications system of the resistance; they claimed that the resistance turned its weapons inwards. They said the same thing about the Syrian Army; that the Syrian Army should fight on the borders with Israel. We have said very clearly that our Army will fight the enemy wherever it is. When the enemy is in the north, we move north; the same applies if the enemy comes from the east or the west. This is also the case for Hezbollah. So the question is why is Hezbollah deployed on the borders inside Lebanon or inside Syria? The answer is that our battle is a battle against the Israeli enemy and its proxies inside Syria or inside Lebanon.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, if I might ask about Israel’s involvement in the Syrian crisis through the recent airstrike against Damascus. Israel immediately attached certain messages to this airstrike by saying it doesn’t want escalation or doesn’t intend to interfere in the Syrian crisis. The question is: what does Israel want and what type of interference?
President Assad: This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance. Israel’s support of the terrorists was for two purposes. The first is to stifle the resistance; the second is to strike the Syrian air defense systems. It is not interested in anything else.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, since Israel’s objectives are clear, the Syrian state was criticized for its muted response. Everyone was expecting a Syrian response, and the Syrian government stated that it reserves the right to respond at the appropriate time and place. Why didn’t the response come immediately? And is it enough for a senior source to say that missiles have been directed at the Israeli enemy and that any attack will be retaliated immediately without resorting to Army command?
President Assad: We have informed all the Arab and foreign parties - mostly foreign - that contacted us, that we will respond the next time. Of course, there has been more than one response. There have been several Israeli attempted violations to which there was immediate retaliation. But these short-term responses have no real value; they are only of a political nature. If we want to respond to Israel, the response will be of strategic significance.
Al-Manar: How? By opening the Golan front, for instance?
President Assad: This depends on public opinion, whether there is a consensus in support of the resistance or not. That’s the question. Al-Manar: How is the situation in Syria now?
President Assad: In fact, there is clear popular pressure to open the Golan front to resistance. This enthusiasm is also on the Arab level; we have received many Arab delegations wanting to know how young people might be enrolled to come and fight Israel. Of course, resistance is not easy. It is not merely a question of opening the front geographically. It is a political, ideological, and social issue, with the net result being military action.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, if we take into account the incident on the Golan Heights and Syria’s retaliation on the Israeli military vehicle that crossed the combat line, does this mean that the rules of engagement have changed? And if the rules of the game have changed, what is the new equation, so to speak?
President Assad: Real change in the rules of engagement happens when there is a popular condition pushing for resistance. Any other change is short-term, unless we are heading towards war. Any response of any kind might only appear to be a change to the rules of engagement, but I don’t think it really is. The real change is when the people move towards resistance; this is the really dramatic change.
Al-Manar: Don’t you think that this is a little late? After 40 years of quiet and a state of truce on the Golan Heights, now there is talk of a movement on that front, about new equations and about new rules of the game?
President Assad: They always talk about Syria opening the front or closing the front. A state does not create resistance. Resistance can only be called so, when it is popular and spontaneous, it cannot be created. The state can either support or oppose the resistance, - or create obstacles, as is the case with some Arab countries. I believe that a state that opposes the will of its people for resistance is reckless. The issue is not that Syria has decided, after 40 years, to move in this direction. The public’s state of mind is that our National Army is carrying out its duties to protect and liberate our land. Had there not been an army, as was the situation in Lebanon when the army and the state were divided during the civil war, there would have been resistance a long time ago. Today, in the current circumstances, there are a number of factors pushing in that direction. First, there are repeated Israeli aggressions that constitute a major factor in creating this desire and required incentive. Second, the army’s engagement in battles in more than one place throughout Syria has created a sentiment on the part of many civilians that it is their duty to move in this direction in order to support the Armed Forces on the Golan.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not hesitate to attack Syria if it detected that weapons are being conveyed to Hezbollah in Lebanon. If Israel carried out its threats, I want a direct answer from you: what would Syria do?
President Assad: As I have said, we have informed the relevant states that we will respond in kind. Of course, it is difficult to specify the military means that would be used, that is for our military command to decide. We plan for different scenarios, depending on the circumstances and the timing of the strike that would determine which method or weapons.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, after the airstrike that targeted Damascus, there was talk about the S300 missiles and that this missile system will tip the balance. Based on this argument, Netanyahu visited Moscow. My direct question is this: are these missiles on their way to Damascus? Is Syria now in possession of these missiles?
President Assad: It is not our policy to talk publically about military issues in terms of what we possess or what we receive. As far as Russia is concerned, the contracts have nothing to do with the crisis. We have negotiated with them on different kinds of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to honoring these contracts. What I want to say is that neither Netanyahu’s visit nor the crisis and the conditions surrounding it have influenced arms imports. All of our agreements with Russia will be implemented, some have been implemented during the past period and, together with the Russians, we will continue to implement these contracts in the future.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, we have talked about the steadfastness of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian state. We have discussed the progress being achieved on the battlefield, and strengthening the alliance between Syria and the resistance. These are all within the same front. From another perspective, there is diplomatic activity stirring waters that have been stagnant for two and a half years. Before we talk about this and about the Geneva conference and the red lines that Syria has drawn, there was a simple proposition or a simple solution suggested by the former head of the coalition, Muaz al-Khatib. He said that the president, together with 500 other dignitaries would be allowed to leave the country within 20 days, and the crisis would be over. Why don’t you meet this request and put an end to the crisis?
President Assad: I have always talked about the basic principle: that the Syrian people alone have the right to decide whether the president should remain or leave. So, anybody speaking on this subject should state which part of the Syrian people they represent and who granted them the authority to speak on their behalf. As for this initiative, I haven’t actually read it, but I was very happy that they allowed me 20 days and 500 people! I don’t know who proposed the initiative; I don’t care much about names.
Full Interview: http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/05/30/485037.htm
SYRIA: President Bashar Al-Assad: Full interview:
Interview with President al-Assad to Lebanese al-Manar TV to Be Broadcast Thursday
May 30, 2013
The Media Office at the Syrian Arab Presidency mentioned on its Facebok page that the interview will be simultaneously broadcast by the Syrian satellite channels.
Photo: President Assad - Damascus University
The European Union decided to expand the economic siege against the Syrian people for an extra 12-month and to lift the siege on exporting weapons to the Syrian insurgents...
European Council on Foreign Affairs
'Syria: towards a political solution'...
... 'The prospect of arming the opposition raises concerns inside and outside the country. Channelling weapons into the country would likely set the scene for an even deeper and long-lasting civil conflict with very uncertain regional consequences (particularly given the indeterminate nature of many of the country’s armed groups). Though unarmed civilians continue to bear the devastating brunt of the crackdown, expanding and supporting armed resistance would invite even wider violence. Moreover, unless foreign backers were prepared to provide artillery and air capabilities, arming the opposition is unlikely to change the balance of power. It is more likely that arming the opposition may further empower the regime by discrediting the opposition among Syrians still on the fence, while also providing justification to the regime (and its international backers) to continue using violence. Finally, air strikes remain deeply problematic because of both Syria’s strong Russian-supplied air defence systems and the complexity of a battle that is largely unfolding in urban environments.
All of these options, though opening the possibility of an eventual rebel victory, do so by enabling a wider militarisation of the conflict that is likely to be long and painful for much of the country’s population...'
'Turks hit PKK with chemical weapons'
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT,
LAST UPDATED: 8/12/2010
Report: German newspaper says photos of dead Kurds confirm use.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved Photo: Associated Press BERLIN – German politicians called on Thursday for an international investigation into the reported use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military. The weapons were used against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to the online edition of the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel.
“Turkey needs to urgently look into these accusations,” said Ruprecht Polenz, chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee in the Bundestag and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party.
Polenz recommended an international investigation to examine the deaths of eight Kurdish activists from the PKK. Claudia Roth, co-chair of the German Green party, echoed Polenz’s criticisms, seconding his call for an investigation.
MP Andrej Hunko urged the German Foreign Ministry to file a complaint against Turkey with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.
A forensic report from Hamburg University Hospital confirmed that the eight Kurds had been murdered by “the use of chemical substances.”
Turkish Kurdish human rights members delivered photos in March to a delegation of German politicians, Turkey specialists, and journalists. The bodies in the photos were severely deformed and torn to pieces; the photos formed the basis for the forensic report. Hans Baumann, a German expert on the authenticity of photos, confirmed that photos had not been doctored.
The eight Kurdish PKK members were killed last September. The 31 photos, according to German media, are so disturbing that news organizations have been reluctant to publish them. The murdered PKK rebels – two women and six men – range in age from 19 to 33.
The allegation of employing chemical weapons against the Kurdish minority group could further taint Turkey’s battered human rights record.
Turkey’s nearly 12 million Kurds are seeking increased rights and autonomy. Turkey’s armed forces have, according to human rights groups, brutally suppressed the Kurdish ethnic minority’s attempts to secure more independence in the southeast. In July, a series of violent clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels broke out. The PKK had previously attacked a Turkish military post, killing eight Turkish soldiers, prompting a wave of military strikes resulting in the deaths of 12 Kurds.
Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The alleged use of chemical weapons would constitute a violation of the anti-chemical weapons treaty.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry denied engaging in chemical and biological warfare, according to a report in the daily Tageszeitung. The paper noted that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had been informed of the chemical weapons allegations before his trip to Turkey in late July, but has declined to take diplomatic action.
Israel: 'Red line' for unproved use of chemical weapons + bombing of Syria...
May 5, 2013
'Do the US, Iran Agree on Red Line For Syrian Chemical Weapons?'
The US' turnaround and the Israeli attack, which has been in the works since Obama’s visit to Israel last month, according to Ben Caspit, follow a US intelligence assessment made public on April 25, based on evidence from Great Britain, France and Israel, and made by US intelligence agencies with “varying degrees of confidence” of “small scale” chemical weapons use, based upon “physiological samples” where “the chain of custody is not clear.”
There were also four key events which took place on April 30: the meeting of the Arab League delegation with US Secretary of State John Kerry about a revived Arab Peace Initiative, a fiery speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, an Israeli attack on Gaza and Iran’s statement that chemical weapons use is a red line in Syria.
As the United States and United Nations proceed with their investigations into the allegations of chemical weapons use, Washington, its Arab allies and Israel are now looking to increase military pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, so that Assad will agree to a political solution that includes his stepping aside. Syria is no longer just a battle of “the opposition” against the “Assad regime.” Those days are long gone. Syria is now a full scale Middle East War, with sectarian overtones and direct Israeli engagement, with the United States and Israel taking the side of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (read Sunni) to topple Assad, and break or set back the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah (read Shiite) axis.
(Iran has consistently opposed the use of weapons of mass destruction, as well as chemical weapons by any country, and has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in this respect.) http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/us-israel-syria-war-escalate-hezbollah.html
Turkey: 'Red line' for unproved use of chemical weapons + blaming Syria's intelligence service for two car bombings that killed at least 46 people
May 9, 2013
'Turkey would support U.S.-led no-fly zone in Syria: NBC'
Washington — Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would support a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone in Syria and warned that Damascus crossed President Barack Obama's “red line'' on chemical weapons use long ago, according to an NBC News interview released Thursday.
A no-fly zone to prohibit Syrian military aircraft from hitting rebel targets has been mentioned by American lawmakers as one option the United States could use to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Right from the beginning ... we would say 'Yes,'' Erdogan said when asked if Turkey, a NATO member that shares its longest border with Syria, would support such action, according to an NBC.com report.
May 12, 2013
'Turkey Blames Syria for Deadly Car Bombs'
Turkey — Turkey on Sunday blamed groups connected to Syria's intelligence service for two car bombings that killed at least 46 people in a Turkish border town a day earlier.
Turkish officials said Sunday that security services had arrested nine people, all Turkish citizens, including the alleged mastermind, after two car bombs ripped through Reyhanli, a small town close to Syria. Syria denied any involvement in the bombings.Turkey's interior minister, Muammer Guler, said an investigation showed that the huge blasts—which damaged almost 500 shops, 300 homes and 60 vehicles—were carried out by a "terrorist organization in close contact with Syria's intelligence agency."
Following the blast residents had attacked Syrian refugees and cars with Syrian number plates after the attacks, witnesses said.
One woman, who earlier Sunday buried a brother-in-law killed in the blast, blamed Turkey's prime minister for bringing Syrians to Reyhanli and demanded they leave the town.
"I don't want this government, I don't want Syrians here. Why weren't they taken somewhere further? We are tired of seeing Syrian fighters, it was the rebels who caused this," said the woman.
May 22nd, 2012
'Syrian rebels say Turkey is arming and training them'
Michael Weiss, the Research Director of The Henry Jackson Society, said that the weekend before last he was in Hatay province, in southern Turkey, interviewing Syrian 'rebels' and 'activists', who all complained of the lack of foreign assistance 'in toppling the Assad regime'
Jackson: 'A lot's changed in a week. Rebel sources in Hatay told me last night that not only is Turkey supplying light arms to select battalion commanders, it is also training Syrians in Istanbul. Men from the unit I was embedded with were vetted and called up by Turkish intelligence in the last few days and large consignments of AK-47s are being delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border. No one knows where the guns came from originally, but no one much cares.
This news, which has provided a much-needed morale boost to Syria's embattled opposition, does appear to corroborate a recent report by the Washington Post that the United States has been facilitating the transfer of Gulf-purchased weapons to the so called rebels:
'The U.S. contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a shift in Obama administration policy as hopes dim for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. Many officials now consider an expanding military confrontation to be inevitable.
Material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. Opposition activists who two months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said this week that the flow of weapons — most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military — has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.'
Israel's goal in Syria: Prolong war, maximize destruction:
US tax buys bombs Israel drops on Syria:
May 8, 2013
President al-Assad: Israeli Aggression Unveils Involvement of Israeli Occupation, Countries supporting it in Event in Syria
President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday said that the latest Israeli aggression on Syria unveils the volume of involvement of the Israeli occupation, regional and western countries which support it in the current events in Syria.
"The Syrian people and their brave army which gain important achievements in combating terrorism and the Takfiri groups are able to confront the Israeli risks which constitute one face of this terrorism which targets Syria daily," President al-Assad who received Iranian foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.
Talks during the meeting dealt with the latest developments in the region and the dangers threatening it after the Israeli aggression on Syria.
The Iranian Foreign Minister expressed his country's strong condemnation of the Israeli flagrant aggression on Syrian territories, affirming Iran's standing by Syria in the face of the Israeli attempts to destabilize the region and weaken the resistance axis.
He added that time has come for deterring the Israeli occupation from carrying out such aggressions against peoples of the region.
The talks also tackled cooperation between Syria and Iran and the commitment of both countries to boost them in all domains.
The delegation accompanying Salehi, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Buthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minster Fayssal Mikdad attended the meeting.
In statements to journalists after the meeting, Salehi said his meeting with President al-Assad was good, and that they discussed bilateral relations, regional developments and the crisis in Syria, adding "we discovered that things are going well in Syria, and that the valiant Syrian Army reclaimed many areas… Syria will recover in the near future."
Salehi affirmed that bilateral relations between Syria and Iran are continuing in all fields, voicing readiness to increase aid to Syrians and provide the basic necessities of the Syrian people.
"We are fully confident that Syria will emerge victorious from the crisis because the Syrian people have right on their side as does the Syrian government because it emerged from the will of the people and there's considerable harmony between them," he said, adding that without the steadfastness of the Syrian people for two years and their support for the Army and the government, no government could have withstood such a vicious attack.
Salehi asserted optimism over the future of Syria which he said is moving in the right direction towards victory, stressing that Iran will not accept any external interference and that the Syrian people are the only ones who may decide upon their own future.
He said that the Israeli aggression on sites in Syria revealed to the world the truth of the false allegations of the mercenaries fighting the Syrian Army and how this aggression was timed with their murdering of innocents.
"Now matters are clear… how Israel shows solidarity with mercenaries and how mercenaries put their hands in the hands of Zionists… we said since the beginning of the crisis that Syria is a main ring in the chain of resistance, which is the cause of these pressures," Salehi said, noting that despite how clear matters have become, some sides refuse to acknowledge them.
In turn, Minister al-Moallem said that Salehi conducted a productive meeting with President al-Assad, with the two sides' viewpoints being in agreement due to the ongoing coordination and consultation between the two leaderships in the current circumstances.
In response to a question on concerns over a war on Syria, al-Moallem pointed out that Syria has been facing an internal war for two years which is also a regional and international war targeting the Syria people, adding "we're used to this… we're not concerned but we're prepared to defend ourselves and our people and we will not abide by aggression."
On the possibility of activating the mutual shield agreement with Iran, al-Moallem said that everyone must know that before the crisis in Syria and during it, Iran's leadership and people stood alongside Syria to a degree that surpassed the mutual defense agreement, adding that the two countries are cooperating in all economic and political fields and have identical positions.
Mazen / H. Sabbagh
PS. After the Israeli attacks, Syria was cut off from the internet for several days. Washington was blocking regularly the website of the Syrian Press Agency SANA. It was also responsible for the bombing of the Serbian and Libyan TV-buildings. Even the Chinese embassy in Serbia was bombed 'by mistake'...
Bureau of Industry and Security
U.S. Department of Commerce
1980s. Carlos Cardoen, arms dealer to Iraq and former friend of the U.S. government, meets with Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein.
American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons
June 17, 2004 – ‘How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons’
On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, “Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas”. Quoting anonymous US “senior military officers”, the NYT “revealed” that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided “critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war”. The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.
"We hope that the Jordan government be sincere in its statements”
The Syrian army has put on its agenda the conclusive removal of foreign-backed armed terrorists since 10 days ago, said Syrian member of parliament Sharif Shehadeh, adding that it now fully controls the city of Dara’a.
Syrian army launches massive ops against terror
In an interview with Iranian 24-hour Arabic News Channel, Al-Alam, the Syrian MP stressed that “the situation in Daraa is under full control. Many terrorists had entered the city via Jordan borders, but the Syrian army has successfully managed to force them to withdraw and gain command in the region”. MP Shehadeh was responding to the question that armed terror groups had planned to launch an attack on capital Damascus through controlling Dara’a.
“The Jordanian regime endorsed armed groups from the beginning and allowed them to enter Syria through its borders; But later on, it realized that terrorist groups will cause trouble for it and the Jordanian community, so it retreated from its stance and declared to the Syria government that it would not permit transfer of armed terrorists to Syria. We also hope that the Jordan government be sincere in its statements”, the Syrian MP said about Jordan’s take on the Syrian crisis.
“The army has started massive operations in different parts of the country since 10 days ago, and will soon wrap it up successfully” he added, referring to the nation and the army’s support for the Syrian leadership.
Referring to supports being given to al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in Syria by some regional states, Shehadeh noted that “any attempt to create insecurity and weakening security in Syria will become a catastrophe to the whole region”.
He concluded that discord among Syrian opposition groups has its roots in the fact that they are serving the interests of various countries in the region.
“Some of these groups are linked to Qatar and some to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.S, and other countries”.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government believes the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports confirming that a very large number of terrorists fighting in Syria are foreign nationals.
President 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.
PM: Government Serious in Inviting All Powers to Dialogue
Feb 26, 2013
Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi affirmed the important role of national economic activities in supporting the national economy and development as well as backing Syria struggle in the face of difficulties and challenges to which it is exposed.
The Ministerial committee charged with preparing for launching the national dialogue, headed by al-Halqi, met on Monday with Ghassan al-Qalaa, chairman of the Union for Chambers of Commerce and a number of businessmen and industrialists.
During the meeting, Prime Minister briefed businessmen with the administrative procedures and security and judicial guarantees given to the internal opposition and abroad if they participate in dialogue as well as inviting the displaced outside Syria to return home after providing them with requirements of good life.
He called on the businessmen who were forced to leave Syria to return and contribute to acts of restoration and construction.
Chairman of the Chambers of Commerce, representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and industry stressed the need for boosting and building confidence among all partiers to make the dialogue process a success and provide true guarantees for that purpose.
They called for consolidating the law authority, guaranteeing public freedoms, and the freedom of expression and opinion, putting an end to negative and illegal practices as well as consolidating the culture of citizenship.
Al-Halqi, members of the Ministerial committee affirmed that dialogue is the best choice to come out of the crisis, adding that the government is serious in inviting all social and political powers, including opposition abroad and the armed groups to take part in the dialogue process.
Following the meeting, Bashar al-Nouri, Member of Damascus Chamber of Commerce stressed the importance of building confidence between the Syrian businessmen who left the country and the government, facilitate their back home and provide them with the guarantees for this purpose.
He pointed out to the necessity of intensifying efforts to stop violence and come out of the crisis.
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.
Photo 1: Agent Orange (a defoliant used by the US military during the Vietnam War) victims. Most of the children live a life without recreation, education, or physical therapy and spend the majority of their day in wooden chairs or in mass beds. Some of the children more prone to wandering off at night or harming the other children are kept in locked iron cages overnight and during afternoon naps. The majority of the children will 'live' their entire lives at a center.
Photo 2: a victim of american chemical weapons in Iraq.
December 10, 2012
The Syrian Army has set an ambush for militants in al-Janoudia area of Jeser al-Shughour, located in Edlib, what resulted in the death of 10 militants and the destruction of two cars, provided with Dushka machineguns and two tractors.
Our correspondent stated that 20 members of al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front, including Abed al-Hamid Asloun and Zaher al-Rida, were killed during severe clashes with the Syrian Army in Ma’aret al-Nu’man.
Our reporter pointed out that the militants threw bombs and explosive charges, using a catapult, on al-Tarma neighborhood of Harem city, which resulted in injuries of civilians.
The correspondent of Breaking News Network affirmed that 8 insurgents of al-Qaeda linked Ahrar al-Sham battalions, including Ahmad Hussein, were killed in al-Rami town.
U.S. is responsible for weapening of so called 'opposition groups' in Syria
Some time ago, Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian armed groups and 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. 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 Pentagon comes now with the story of the 'Syrian chemical weapons' to increase the military pressure on Syria. The United States, Britain and France have used incessantly chemical weapons against civilians during their imperial wars of the past decades...
Photo: a victim of american chemical weapons in Iraq
That's not coming as a complete surprise.
On 3.14.2012, America's Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google. Google is actually censoring the news of the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA.