Author Topic: * Destabilizing Syria  (Read 175227 times)

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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1740 on: May 18, 2013, 05:31:19 PM »
Teargas v stones, bottles: Hundreds of protesters clash with Turkish police near Syrian border

Published time: May 18, 2013 14:23
Edited time: May 18, 2013 15:44
source: http://rt.com/news/turkey-tear-gas-reyhanli-473/

 

Large doses of teargas, paintballs, and water cannon were fired as protesters clashed with police in the Turkish town of Reyhanli near Syrian border. The mass demonstration comes a week after twin car bomb explosions a week ago, which killed 46 people.

The protest began with more than 1,000 participants. Local reports stated that the count could have even stood at over 10,000. However, it quickly fragmented, with the number of attendees dwindling to the hundreds.

Protesters waved red banners, and lobbed stones and bottles at the officers as the intensity of Saturday’s clashes escalated.

Riot police made attempts to disperse the crowds, marching in solidarity with the victims of last week’s attacks.

Police prevented the protesters from reaching the center of the town, where the bombs exploded by the city hall and post office. Barriers were broken down, with some detained, and others suffering injuries, according to a local tweet. The clashes calmed down after approximately an hour.


Riot police use gas bomb against on May 18, 2013, at Reyhanli in Hatay during the funerals of the victims of a car bomb
which went off on May 11 at Reyhanli in Hatay just a few kilometres from the main border crossing into Syria
(AFP Photo / STR)


Residents of the town harbored frustration at the government’s immediate response to last Saturday's fatal car bombs in Hatay province on the Turkey-Syria border which also injured over 100.

Angered by Turkish authorities’ policy towards Syria, protesters have been calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet to resign as people blame them for the decision to take in Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in their country, saying it has made Turkey a target for attacks.

Prime Minister Erdogan also came in for criticism for traveling to the United States this week, instead of visiting the town to display support in the wake of its tragedy.

The twin blast provoked mass rallies throughout the country.

Thursday also saw protesters in Istanbul with activists attempting to march to Erdogan's office, as they blame the PM for funding and support for the Syrian rebels against President Bashar Assad.

Riot police blocked the road and fired teargas canisters to disperse the crowd as protesters threw stones.

This followed a day of teargas and water cannons in Ankara, where 30 people were arrested and two injured in clashes with police.

Immediately following the blasts, approximately 100 of the city’s residents took to the streets outside Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.


Riot policemen face protestors on May 18, 2013, at Reyhanli in Hatay during the funerals of the victims of a car bomb
which went off on May 11 at Reyhanli in Hatay just a few kilometres from the main border crossing into Syria
(AFP Photo / STR)


So far, 17 people have been detained within the scope of the investigation carried out about the twin attacks. Those detained and another four still wanted are Turkish citizens, said Governor of Turkey's southern Hatay province Celalettin Lekesiz. Eight people have reportedly been charged and awaiting trial.

Turkey had been quick to blame Syria for the deadly attacks, with Ankara warning it would take “all retaliatory measures necessary,” raising the prospect of an escalation in the conflict.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler and other Turkish officials have accused a former Marxist terror group that they claim have links with Syria's intelligence services Al Muhabarat.

Syria dismisses Turkey's accusations, claiming “this is not the behavior of the Syrian government.”

"It is Erdogan who should be asked about this act... He and his party bear direct responsibility," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told a news conference on last Sunday. "As an assassin, he should resign."


People of Reyhanli chant slogans as riot police block them on May 18, 2013, at Reyhanli in Hatay, during the funerals of
the victims of a car bomb which went off on May 11 at Reyhanli in Hatay just a few kilometres from the main border
crossing into Syria (AFP Photo / STR)
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1741 on: May 18, 2013, 08:40:36 PM »
Eight killed, 10 injured in Damascus bombing

Sun May 19, 2013 1:46AM GMT
source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/19/304221/bomb-rocks-damascus-8-die-10-injured/


Syrians inspect the scene of a powerful car bomb blast in central Damascus. (file photo)

UPDATE

At least eight people have been killed and ten others injured in a bomb attack in a neighborhood of north Damascus.

Several cars were set ablaze when a bomb concealed in a vehicle was detonated in a parking lot near a school in the Rukn Eddin neighborhood of the Syrian capital on Saturday.

A bomb disposal team was sent in to defuse another explosive device afterwards.

The incident comes one day after the Syrian army dismantled several bombs on the main road leading to the northwestern city of Idlib, shortly after a bus travelling in the area was struck by an explosive device and some passengers were injured.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

In addition, several international human rights organizations say the foreign-sponsored militants have committed war crimes in Syria.
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Offline jacob gold

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« Reply #1742 on: May 18, 2013, 09:54:18 PM »


A nice False Flag coming to Des Moines
'

Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1743 on: May 19, 2013, 05:30:18 AM »
Syria army advances on Qusayr in Homs

Sun May 19, 2013 9:52AM GMT
source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/19/304272/syria-army-advances-on-qusayr-in-homs/


Syrian forces continue operations against militants in the central province of Homs. (File photo)

The Syrian army continues its operations in the central province of Homs to clear the town of al-Qusayr of the foreign-backed militant groups, Press TV reports.

Syrian forces on Sunday advanced toward the strategic town, which is located on the border with Lebanon.

The army says Syrian troops have started entering the town from every front, following weeks of battle.

Clashes have been reported between Syrian forces and militants in several districts across Qusayr. The army says it is making gains in its efforts to clear the area of terrorists.

The strategic town, which connects the capital city of Damascus to the Mediterranean coast, has been the focus of fierce clashes in recent weeks.

Heavy fighting has also been reported in an eastern suburb of the capital. A number of militants have been killed in the clashes.

Unrest erupted in Syria over two years ago. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

In addition, several international human rights organizations say the militants have committed war crimes in Syria.
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« Reply #1744 on: May 19, 2013, 05:35:51 AM »
'Few Western powers really want solution': Assad skeptical about proposed Geneva peace talks

Published time: May 19, 2013 05:45
Edited time: May 19, 2013 07:26
source: http://rt.com/news/assad-syria-interview-clarin-487/


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking during an interview with Argentine newspaper Clarin and Argentine state
news agency Telam, in Damascus. Assad said he welcomed a US-Russian peace initiative to end Syria's civil war but had
no plans to resign.(AFP Photo / SANA)


Syrian President Bashar Assad has welcomed the proposed peace talks for Syria agreed by Russia and the US, but voiced his skepticism about their prospects for success, saying that many forces don't really want to see a solution.

Speaking to Argentine newspaper Clarin and Telam news agency in Damascus, Assad said that “believing that a political conference will stop terrorism on the ground is unreal.”

Washington and Moscow have been at odds since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, but are now aiming to find common ground as they push for talks to take place between Assad’s regime and the opposition. If the efforts are successful, there are hopes that talks could take place at the end of this month and could lead to a multilateral summit.

“We welcome the Russian-US rapprochement and hope that an international meeting will take place to help the Syrians overcome the crisis ,” he said. “But we don’t think that a lot of Western nations really want to see a solution in Syria. And we don’t think that those many forces that help the terrorists want a solution to the crisis.”


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) speaking during an interview with Argentine newspaper Clarin and Argentine state
news agency Telam, in Damascus. Assad said he welcomed a US-Russian peace initiative to end Syria's civil war but
had no plans to resign.(AFP Photo / SANA)


As world powers lock horns over the Syrian conflict, Assad stressed that foreign states will not act as decision-makers in the crisis and any decision about reform in Syria will come from within.

He specifically addressed US Secretary of State John Kerry, who stated that Assad could play a major role in achieving peace by stepping down.

“I wonder how Kerry or anyone else has received a mandate from the Syrian people to decide whether someone should stay or go. Any decision about reforms in Syria will come from Syria, and neither the US nor any other state can intervene,” he stated.

Assad also reassured that he will not forsake his duty or his responsibilities. “

The captain does not flee his ship during a storm. The first thing he does is face the storm and guide the ship back to safety ," he said. "

I am not someone who flees from my responsibilities." The president stated once again that he was open to dialogue, maintaining that he wanted what was best for the Syrian people. However he underlined that there would be no dialogue with terrorists.

“Terrorism struck the United States and Europe – of course no government is willing to negotiate with terrorists. A dialogue with political force, but not with a terrorist who decapitates, murders and uses toxic gases which are chemical weapons,” he stated.

The Syrian civil war has been raging for more than two years now, with more than 80,000 people killed, according to UN estimates.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1745 on: May 19, 2013, 02:50:56 PM »
Militants from 29 countries fighting in Syria: Assad

Sun May 19, 2013 9:49PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says militants from 29 different countries are now fighting against the government in different parts of the country.

Assad made the remarks in a lengthy interview with Argentina’s Clarin newspaper and the Argentine state news agency Telam on Saturday in Damascus, the official SANA news agency reported on Sunday.

“Recent credible reports show that there are approximately 29 nationalities of foreign fighters engaged in terrorism activities within Syria’s borders,” he said.

Assad stated that foreign intervention is the most important factor aggravating the situation in Syria.

When he was asked that what has made the Syrian crisis so complex and protracted, Assad said, “Firstly, numerous factors have influenced the Syrian crisis both internally and externally, the most significant of which is foreign interference. Secondly, the calculations of confrontational states that intervened in Syria have now proven incorrect. These states perceived their plan would succeed within weeks or months; this has not materialized. What has transpired is that the Syrian people have resisted, and continue to resist and reject all forms of external intervention. For us, it is a matter of safeguarding Syria.”

Assad also accused the West and the US of interfering in his country’s internal affairs.

"We do not believe that many Western countries really want a solution in Syria. And we don't think that the forces that support the terrorists want a solution to the crisis," he noted.

The Syrian president said that any decision on the country’s future is up to the Syrian people and that the US has no right to decide for his nation.

"I don't know if [US Secretary of State John] Kerry or anyone else has received the power of the Syrian people to talk in their name about who should go and who should stay. That will be determined by the Syrian people in the 2014 presidential elections," Assad said. "To resign would be to flee."

“The Syrian people will decide whether I remain in office or not. As a president, it is not for me to decide whether I stay or go, this is the decision of the electorate. It is impossible to lead when you are not desired by the public; this is essentially common sense and doesn't need much debate. Through the constitution and the presidential elections in 2014, the people will decide,” he added.

The Syrian leader also played down an upcoming Western-sponsored conference on his country.

"We have received the Russian-US approach well and we hope that there will be an international conference to help Syrians overcome the crisis," Assad said.

"We must be clear… there is confusion in the world over a political solution and terrorism. They think that a political conference will stop terrorism on the ground. This is unrealistic," he stated.

“We reiterate our support for all steps that would entail stopping the violence in Syria and lead to a political solution. However, the cessation of violence is paramount to reaching a political settlement,” Assad emphasized.

He said that any decision on his political future must be made in elections, and not during such meetings.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

RW - Which begs the question - how can one call foreigners 'rebels'. Yet the media sings that song day in and day out.
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« Reply #1746 on: May 19, 2013, 02:53:59 PM »
Syria forces strike strategic town

Sun May 19, 2013 10:47PM GMT
source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/19/304378/syria-forces-strike-strategic-town/

UPDATE

Syrian soldiers backed by tanks and fighter aircraft have launched an offensive on the strategic town of Qusayr in the western governorate of Homs.

On Sunday, the Syrian military pounded the town, located near the Lebanese border, with airstrikes and artillery bombardment that killed dozens of foreign-backed militants.

"We struck from several fronts -- south, east and northeast," a soldier told the Syrian state television from Qusayr.

He added that the troops captured the southern part of Qusayr, the town hall and nearby buildings, and moving towards the outskirts of the western sector of the town.

"The armed men fled towards the northern sector but we are also advancing on that area to eradicate all armed presence," the soldier stated.

He went on to say that "100 armed men were killed" in the Qusayr assault.

According to a military source, the troops were in control of the town center, and that the Syrian national flag was now flying over the municipality premises.

The border town, which connects the capital city of Damascus to the Mediterranean coast, has been the focus of fierce clashes in recent weeks.

Heavy fighting has also been reported in an eastern suburb of the capital. A number of militants have been killed in the clashes.

Unrest erupted in Syria over two years ago. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

In addition, several international human rights organizations say the militants have committed war crimes in Syria.
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Offline laconas

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« Reply #1747 on: May 19, 2013, 03:46:27 PM »



Fears grow of clash between Israel and Syria




Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit during a weekly meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. (Ronen Zvulun / AP)

By Edmund Sanders

May 19, 2013, 9:48 a.m.

http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-israel-syria-tension-20130519,0,955488.story


JERUSALEM — Fears about a possible escalation of violence between Israel and Syria grew Sunday amid renewed Israeli threats to destroy Syrian weapons caches and Syria's warnings of retaliation.

After decades of relative calm along the two nations’ borders, some Israeli officials say tensions with Syria have reached one of the highest points since the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

During a Cabinet meeting Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would continue to act to prevent Syria’s advanced weapons from falling into the hands of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah or other organizations deemed to be terrorists.

“The Middle East is in one of its most sensitive periods in decades with the escalating upheaval in Syria,’’ Netanyahu said. “We are monitoring the changes there closely and are prepared for any scenario.”

Israel has been accused of launching three air strikes this year against Syrian weapons stockpiles and convoys, though officially the Israeli government has not acknowledged its responsibility.

But Israeli officials have said repeatedly they will not hesitate to attack if they fear weapons, including chemical stockpiles, are at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

In response, Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime did not retaliate for the previous three attacks, has signaled that he will not tolerate a fourth strike.

His government has reportedly trained advanced surface-to-surface missiles on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, with instructions to fire in the event of another Israeli attack, according to information from reconnaissance satellite imagery reported Sunday by the Times of London.


Israeli military officials have insisted that they do not wish to interfere in the Syrian civil war or topple Assad’s regime, and that they would limit military actions toward halting the arms pipeline from Iran to Hezbollah.

At the same time, Israelis have warned Assad that if he strikes back against Israel, he risks losing control of Syria because Israel would respond with less restraint.

So far, the Israeli calculation that Assad is too weak and distracted to respond has been proven correct. But some Israeli defense analysts warn that Israel might be pushing its luck if it attacks again.

“We might think Israel enjoys full freedom of action in Syria because the regime knows what’s good for it,’’ said Shlomo Brom, analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “But this is an illusion because it ignores the fact that when you push someone into a corner, they are ultimately forced to react. I am not sure Assad is so far from this mind-set. This could cause an escalation, and the question is whether such an escalation serves Israel’s interests.”

Assad, who has surprised many by holding on to power for more than two years, struck a defiant tone over the weekend, accusing Israel of helping the rebels.

Russia, which has maintained strong ties to the Assad regime, also made a strong statement of support last week, vowing to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 air-defense missiles to Syria despite a personal appeal from Netanyahu. Israel fears such weapons will hinder its ability to launch air strikes over Syria and Lebanon.

Many in Israel see the arms sale as a message to Israel and the West that Russia will not tolerate outside intervention in Syria.

“The Russians have shown determined support for Assad,” Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, head of policy and political affairs strategy for the Israel Defense Forces, told Israel Radio on Friday. He said Syria “has become a battleground in which the defense of Assad and his regime has become a central pillar of Russian policy. That hasn’t changed and it has been the case throughout the entire duration of the period. That is a very tenaciously held position.”

For Israel, Russian support for Assad raises the stakes in its evolving military strategy.

Initially Israelis believed Assad could not be toppled and that despite his support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, his survival was preferable because he had proved to be something of a paper tiger when it came to militarily confronting Israel. Even after Israel reportedly bombed a Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, Assad did not respond.

Over the past year, Israelis came to believe that Assad could not survive, though they have been reluctant to openly support the rebels. They fear such support might backfire because of the strong anti-Israel sentiments in Syria.

Now Israeli officials appear split on which outcome in Syria will be worse for them: a victorious Assad regime that continues to support Hezbollah with help from Iran, or a takeover by Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels who might be less reluctant to strike Israel.

“Israel really has no clear preference between Assad’s regime and that of the gangs who would succeed him and tear the country to pieces,” said Mordechai Ked
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Offline mallard

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« Reply #1748 on: May 19, 2013, 04:53:45 PM »
From article on Clarin interview:

'"I wonder how Kerry or anyone else has received a mandate from the Syrian people to decide whether someone should stay or go. Any decision about reforms in Syria will come from Syria, and neither the US nor any other state can intervene," he stated.'

Kerry's mandate has been delivered to him through the usual quasi-standard, backdoor channels.  His job is to present these processed and filtered Team Z demands as the committed 'will' of the US State Department in their superficial and grossly failed mission to make the world a better place for America to co-exist peacefully within, as if drawn up independently and for no other such purpose as would appear to be appeasing the 'special interest' ethnic supremacist parties who make deadly war instead, pretend they have every right to run the show and are gradually leading a nation toward economic, moral and political implosion.

He does this very well because he's been at it for so long.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1749 on: May 19, 2013, 05:04:00 PM »
During a Cabinet meeting Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would continue to act to prevent Syria’s advanced weapons from falling into the hands of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah or other organizations deemed to be terrorists.

In Israel's mind set nationalist like Hezbollah are terrorists while the 29 nation invasion force into Syria are 'rebels'. He need look no further than within his own borders and budget to stop terrorism.
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« Reply #1750 on: May 19, 2013, 05:33:42 PM »
In Israel's mind set nationalist like Hezbollah are terrorists while the 29 nation invasion force into Syria are 'rebels'. He need look no further than within his own borders and budget to stop terrorism.

Not that it has to be said, but disarming Hezbollah is also part of the Jew's plan.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1751 on: May 19, 2013, 05:41:47 PM »
Not that it has to be said, but disarming Hezbollah is also part of the Jew's plan.

They tried not too long ago and failed (miserably I might add). Now they need the US/NATO/UN to do it for them.
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« Reply #1752 on: May 19, 2013, 06:08:21 PM »
In Israel's mind set nationalist like Hezbollah are terrorists while the 29 nation invasion force into Syria are 'rebels'. He need look no further than within his own borders and budget to stop terrorism.

And there's a good chance there are even some Syrians fighting to liberate Syria from Assad.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1753 on: May 19, 2013, 06:31:02 PM »
And there's a good chance there even some Syrians fighting to liberate Syria from Assad.

Of course. But for them to join up with foreign elements rather than gain the sympathy and support of their own people is treason and as such they abrogate their status as Syrian nationals. It certainly doesn't sanction the foreign interventionists.

In the west we have plenty of citizens working hand in glove with dual citizens of the Israeli variety. Does that make them loyal to their nations? Does that sanction any rebellion in which they participate in word and deed at the behest of those dual citizens? I would say not.
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« Reply #1754 on: May 19, 2013, 07:02:21 PM »
Of course. But for them to join up with foreign elements rather than gain the sympathy and support of their own people is treason and as such they abrogate their status as Syrian nationals. It certainly doesn't sanction the foreign interventionists.

In the west we have plenty of citizens working hand in glove with dual citizens of the Israeli variety. Does that make them loyal to their nations? Does that sanction any rebellion in which they participate in word and deed at the behest of those dual citizens? I would say not.

I think we both agree on what's going on in Syria. but calling play by play and what it means isn't easy. The recent bombing by Israel, and Turks on the streets saying they don't want a war means things have to move quickly now.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1755 on: May 19, 2013, 08:05:00 PM »
I think we both agree on what's going on in Syria. but calling play by play and what it means isn't easy. The recent bombing by Israel, and Turks on the streets saying they don't want a war means things have to move quickly now.

There does appear to be an element of desperation amongst the protagonists. It is clear that the 'rebellion' has failed. That makes the situation in Syria all the more dangerous with the possibility of repercussions that will spill beyond the scope of merely toppling Assad in a repeat of the operation that was perpetrated on Qaddafi and the subjugation of Libya. Consider too that there are many more people watching the situation with a critical eye and a better understanding of the modus operandi of the PTBs, which may add a further element of immediacy before this awareness becomes universal.
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Offline mallard

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« Reply #1756 on: May 19, 2013, 08:41:58 PM »
"It is clear that the 'rebellion' has failed. That makes the situation in Syria all the more dangerous with the possibility of repercussions that will spill beyond the scope of merely toppling Assad ..."

Your thoughtful words are appreciated, RW.

The Israelis are now trying to dissociate themselves from the 'rebels', saying they don't know who they'd prefer to see win as the situation gets out of control.  Not so easy for Obama & Co, who can only seem to repeat their distaste for Assad.

UN peacekeepers might be acceptable to the Syrian government if it means reduced violence.
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« Reply #1757 on: May 19, 2013, 09:30:40 PM »
UN peacekeepers might be acceptable to the Syrian government if it means reduced violence.

I'm sure Assad has no problem with UN peacekeepers. Unfortunately they seem to get kidnapped by those who prefer to promulgate violence, and then claim they did so to protect them from that violence. Logic turned on its head.


UN peacekeepers kidnapped in Golan released

Last Modified: 12 May 2013 16:59
source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/05/20135126131439795.html


Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a Syrian rebel group, set free four Philippine peacekeepers captured earlier this week.

Four Filipino UN peacekeepers were handed over on Sunday at a border checkpoint called Beit Ara [File: AFP]

Syrian rebels on Sunday freed four Filipino UN peacekeepers whom they had captured on the ceasefire line between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights last week.

The rebels from the Yarmouk Martyrs' Brigade had said they were holding the soldiers for their own safety after clashes with Syrian government forces had put them in danger.

A rebel spokesperson said the four were handed over on Sunday morning at a border checkpoint called Beit Ara, in an area where the Jordanian and Israeli borders join with the Golan Heights.

"They have been handed over in a spot in the Yarmouk Valley," Abu Iyas al-Horani told the Reuters news agency.

Albert del Rosario, Philippine foreign minister, confirmed in Manila that the four had been released.

They were seized on Tuesday as they patrolled close to an area where the same rebel group held 21 Filipino observers for three days in March.

Horani said his information was they were probably handed over to the Jordanian authorities.

Qatar praised

Brigadier-General Domingo Tutaan, a spokesperson for the Philippine armed forces, said the four had already been taken back to their battalion in the UN peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights.

They would have medical checks and be debriefed, but appear to have suffered no harm, Tutaan said in a statement.

In New York, Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, said that Qatar - which has close ties to some of the rebel groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad - had helped in securing their safe release.

He said the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was there to keep the peace between Israel and Syria in the Golan.

He called on all parties to respect the freedom of movement, safety and security of its personnel.

The two-year-old uprising in Syria has increasingly crossed borders, threatening to draw other countries into a conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people.

The Philippines said it aimed to pull out 342 soldiers on peacekeeping duties in Golan after the latest abduction.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed them, a move not recognized internationally.
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Offline Rudi Jan

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« Reply #1758 on: May 20, 2013, 08:17:03 AM »
Syria seizes Israeli army vehicle used by insurgents in al-Qusayr

Mon May 20, 2013 12:24PM GMT
source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/20/304468/syria-captures-israeli-army-vehicle/


Syrian soldiers celebrate in the al-Midan area in Damascus on July 20, 2012 after clearing the zone of insurgents.

The Syrian army has confiscated an Israeli military vehicle used by foreign-backed militants in Syria’s strategic western city of al-Qusayr.

The Lebanese channel al-Mayadeen broadcast the video of the confiscated vehicle on Monday.

The report also said that military uniforms as well as wiretapping and jamming equipment were found in the vehicle, but it did not display the items.

The Syrian army has restored security in al-Qusayr in the central province of Homs, after taking back control of 50 percent of the city from foreign-backed militants.

The army said it has killed two militant commanders during the operation in the strategic city, which is located near the border with Lebanon.

Fierce battles are still going on in the city as the Syrian army continues its operations there, while large numbers of militants abandon their weapons and flee the city.

The Syrian army entered the strategic city from every front on Sunday following weeks of battle.

The Syrian army says it has also found Israeli-made rockets in a weapons cache seized from militants in Homs province.
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« Reply #1759 on: May 20, 2013, 08:38:34 AM »
Battle for strategic Qusair: Syrian army, Hezbollah fight rebels for supply corridor

Published time: May 20, 2013 14:55
Edited time: May 20, 2013 15:48
source: http://rt.com/news/syria-qusair-hezbollah-rebels-518/

 

Intense fighting is reported from the strategic Syrian town of Qusair, as rebels and government forces fight to control the area. Opposition activists say 30 members of Hezbollah were killed, while the government claims to have captured the area.

Earlier Monday, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the army had "restored security and stability to most Qusair neighborhoods" and was "chasing the remnants of the terrorists in the northern district.” The agency quoted a military source as saying that army units dismantled a number of explosive devices, planted by terrorists in al-Souk area in the middle of the city.

The source added that army units are continuing hunting the remnants of terrorists in some hideouts in the northern and southern areas of the city.

“The Syrian army managed to make a full circle around the city, fighting the opposition fighters. The main achievement is to stop the line of supply chain between Lebanon and Syria,” local journalist Abdallah Mawazini told RT.

“They started from the western side of the city, in the rural areas. They control this zone with some fighters from Lebanon. Some extremist groups were preparing to go into Syria to fight with the rebels, they were going to go make a bigger front in order to fight and expand the fighting line between the government and the opposition,” he said.

But opposition activists denied that Qusair had been captured, saying that they had pushed back most of the attacking forces to their original positions, destroying at least four Syrian army tanks and five light Hezbollah vehicles.


Qusair town near Homs. (An image grab taken from a video)

Troops backed by Hezbollah

“made incursions into Qusair, but they are now basically back to where they started at the security compounds in east Qusair and at a...roadblock to the south,” local activist Tareq Murei told Reuters.

Murei said that six people were killed by Hezbollah’s multiple rocket launches on Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 48 rebels had been killed, as well as four civilians. The Observatory's director, Rahim Abdurahman, put Hezbollah casualties at 23 dead and 70 wounded. Lebanese security sources said at least 12 Hezbollah fighters had been killed.

Qusair, which is about 18 miles (29km) southwest of Homs, is seen as a key city for both sides. It helps link the Syrian capital of Damascus with government strongholds on the Mediterranean coast and is a passageway for rebel supplies and fighters from Lebanon.

According to UN figures, more than 80,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

'No options off the table'

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a Monday statement that "no options are off the table" if the Syrian government refuses to negotiate the country's future at the upcoming Geneva conference.

The comment came just four days after he accused the Assad regime of being "determined to conceal the truth" about what was happening, due to its refusal to allow a UN team to investigate reports that chemical weapons had been used by the Syrian army.

But while Hague points the finger at the Assad government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged the Syrian opposition to take part in the peace conference, without setting any preconditions.

Lavrov also stressed that Iran must be among nations invited to the conference, which is being organized by Russia and the US, as a way to seek a resolution to the conflict.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu