Sīrija

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 01 Jūn 2012 12:46

Šķelšanās Sīrijas nemiernieku rindās
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2012. gada 1.jūnijs
ANO piedāvātais pamiera plāns izraisījis šķelšanos Brīvās Sīrijas armijas (BSA) locekļu vidū. Pulkvedis Kasims Saadedins (Qassim Saadeddine) uzsver, ka, ja valdība nesniegs atbildi līdz piektdienas 1.jūnija pēcpusdienai, armija uzskatīs, ka tai miera plāns vairs nav saistošs.
Tikmēr BSA vadītājs ģenerālis Rijads Asads ( Riyad Asaad) noliedz šāda strikta termiņa pastāvēšanu, raksta BBC.
Ģenerālis aicinājis ANO speciālo sūtni Sīrijā Kofi Annanu (Kofi Annan) paziņot, ka piedāvātais miera plāns ir «izgāzies».
Jau ziņots, ka 31.maijā Brīvās Sīrijas armija devusi prezidentam Bašaram al Asadam (Bashar al-Assad) 48 stundas laika apsvērt ANO piedāvāto uguns pārtraukšanas plānu. Šāds ultimāts sekojis pēc tam, kad pagājušajā nedēļā Hulas pilsētā nogalināti 108 cilvēki, tostarp 49 bērni un 34 sievietes. Kopš pagājušā gada marta, kad sākušies nemieri un sacelšanās pret Bašara al Asada režīmu, Sīrijā nogalināti vismaz 15 000 cilvēku.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 13 Jūn 2012 13:33

Syria in full-scale civil war, says UN peacekeeping chief
REUTERS - Syria’s 15-month uprising has grown into a full-scale civil war where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are trying to recapture swathes of urban territory lost to rebels, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Tuesday.
“Yes, I think we can say that,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said when asked if the Syrian crisis could now be characterized as a civil war.
“Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory in several cities to the opposition and wants to retake control of these areas,” he said.
His remarks, the first time a senior U.N. official has declared Syria’s conflict is a civil war, came as the United States said Russia could be sending attack helicopters to Syria.
The International Red Cross said the situation was deteriorating in several parts of Syria simultaneously as fighting intensifies.
Many hundreds of people, including civilians, rebels and members of Assad’s army and security forces, have been killed since a ceasefire deal brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan two months ago was supposed to halt the bloodshed.
“Now we have confirmed reports of not only of the use of tanks and artillery but also attack helicopters,” Ladsous said in an interview with Reuters and one other reporter. “This is really becoming large scale.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was worried Russia may be sending Syria attack helicopters and dismissed Moscow’s argument that its arms transfers to Syria are unrelated to the conflict there.
“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria. They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry - everything they are shipping is unrelated to their (the Syrian government’s) actions internally,” Clinton said, addressing a forum in Washington.

“That’s patently untrue.”

United Nations observers overseeing Annan’s ceasefire deal were turned back from the town of Haffeh on Tuesday by angry crowds throwing stones and metal rods. As they left, three of their vehicles were fired on, although the monitors were unhurt.
The monitors have been trying since Thursday to visit Haffeh where activists say the army had been battling rebels and the United States has warned of another potential massacre.
The rebel Syrian Free Army said it withdrew from the Sunni Muslim town later on Tuesday under pressure from bombardment by Assad’s forces, leaving thousands of civilians without protection.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 27 Jūn 2012 12:26

"We live in a real state of war from all angles" - Syria’s President Bashar Assad

Syrian President says his country in a state of war. The UN peacekeeping chief says the UN observer mission in the country will not resume, as it is too dangerous for the monitors to restart their operations at this point.

More clashes broke out in Syria on Wednesday.
The state media reported gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early in the day, demolishing the building and killing three employees. Officials denounced what they called a rebel "massacre against the freedom of the press."
More violence was reported on the outskirts of Damascus Tuesday morning, between Syria’s elite Republican Guard forces – a 10,000-man bodyguard unit of the Syrian Army – and rebels. At least six people are reported killed.
Syria’s President Bashar Assad himself acknowledged that his country is now in a state of war. He was speaking on Tuesday at the first cabinet meeting of the newly sworn-in government. President Assad ordered the cabinet to direct all their efforts to beating the armed opposition.

"We live in a real state of war from all angles," he said. "When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."

UN forces in Syria repeatedly came under fire before the organization suspended its 300-member mission on June 16. Back then, the mission's head, Major-General Robert Mood, told the UN Security Council that the observers had suffered direct fire at least 10 times and had been in several indirect fire incidents. Also, nine UN vehicles had been damaged or had come under fire, AP reports.
Nevertheless, the mission could yet potentially resume its activity. A diplomat, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, said that Herve Ladsous, the UN peacekeeping chief, had told a closed council meeting that the mission could restart at some point, but that for the time being it is too dangerous.
In an effort to quell the violence and resume the six-point peace plan, UN envoy Kofi Annan put forward an initiative to hold an international conference in Geneva on Saturday. It will include all permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as representatives of the European Union and other countries who have influence on either side of the Syrian conflict, such as Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Kofi Annan has made it clear that Iran should be part of the solution process as Tehran has close ties with Syria. Western countries have been critical of this move, but Russia supports it. Addressing the media, its UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, also said that apart from attending the conference it is also important to refrain from any provocation in Syria, such as arming its opposition.
“All those selfish national agendas in the context of Syria have not worked. The only thing they helped generate is further aggravation of the situation and growing violence,” he said. “It’s time to get serious and to make sure that we all exercise our leverage on whoever we can exercise leverage on in Syria in order to revert to the implementation of the Kofi Annan plan.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has officially accepted the invitation to come to the conference. Washington, however, has yet to make it clear whether it will be sending its representatives. However, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, confirmed an invitation had been received.

http://www.rt.com/news/un-monitors-syria-mission-828/

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 27 Jūn 2012 12:28

As tensions between Ankara and Damascus rise over the downed fighter jet, Turkey has sent tanks and other armored vehicles to the Syrian border, amid belligerent threats of retaliation.
The heavily guarded convoy that departed from the city of Diyarbakir reportedly included 15 armored tanks, long-distance guns and other military vehicles, Dogan news agency reports.
This comes as Turkey’s Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that any Syrian forces approaching the Turkish border would be treated as a direct threat. Addressing the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan lashed out at Syria, saying it poses a threat to Turkey’s national security and calling the Syrian government tyrants.
Tensions between the neighboring countries escalated after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane on Friday. Syria insists the plane was still in its territory when its air defense forces engaged it, citing the fact that it was shot down by an artillery gun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers rather than a longer-range surface-to-air missile.
The Turkish prime minister has reiterated an earlier assessment that the plane was downed after leaving Syrian airspace, saying Turkey has proof of this.
War orchestration?
Author and radio talk-show host Dr. Kevin Barrett believes that the excitement over the fighter jet downing incident has all the marks of a typical war orchestration event.
“The people who want war try to use every sort of immediate inflammation of people’s emotions around in this case of the shooting down of the plane to rally public opinion for war,” he told RT.
However, Barrett remains optimistic saying that “now we are several days past that point” and things may move back on track towards negotiations.
“The Turkish people never wanted war,” he insists, citing opinion polls that indicate that Turks oppose intervention in Syria by more than a two-thirds majority and want their government to play a more balanced role.
There is no chance that violence can bring about any solution to the crisis due to Syria’s internal political complexity, Barrett says, stressing that there is no alternative to Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. “Everybody has to back down from the tension around this fighter jet shooting down incident and get serious about peace.”
http://www.rt.com/news/turkey-deploys-tanks-syria-831/

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 01 Jūl 2012 01:39

Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:25PM GMT
UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan says diplomats meeting in Geneva have reached an agreement on a Syrian-led transitional governing body that could include members of the current Syrian government and the opposition.

The foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby, and the secretary of state of the United States attended a meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations office in Geneva on Saturday.
The participants of the Geneva meeting agreed that the transitional governing body in Syria “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent,” Annan said at a press conference after the meeting.
The plan “makes it clear that we have provided guidelines and principles to assist the Syrian parties as they move ahead with the transition,” Annan stated.
However, Moscow and Beijing opposed the wording of the proposal that called for an interim government that excludes those “whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation.”
Annan also called on armed opposition groups and government forces to stop the violence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 28 that the future of the Syrian government should be decided by a “Syrian dialogue by the Syrian people themselves,” adding that Moscow could not support solutions for Syria “dictated from abroad.”
“We support changes which work towards national agreement on all questions of overdue reform,” he stated.
The anti-Syria Western governments have been calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but Russia and China remain strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
HSN/PKH/HGL
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/30 ... -on-syria/

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 03 Jūl 2012 18:44

Geneva decisions on Syria already being distorted - Lavrov
Published: 03 July, 2012, 13:23
Edited: 03 July, 2012, 20:18
Russia regrets the Syrian opposition’s position on the Geneva conference, as well as that of some Western countries who wish to distort the agreements, FM Sergey Lavrov said.
"It seemed to us that the consensus reached in the final communique is an important step to consolidate the positions of all members of the international community, the participants in the conference and Syrian sides, on the positions of a peaceful settlement and the refusal to solve the problem in the military way," Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, some representatives of the Syrian opposition began to state that the Geneva decisions are unacceptable for them," the minister said.
Meanwhile, Lavrov pointed out that “some Western participants in the meeting began to distort the agreements…in their public statements."
The Russian minister stressed that the agreements that have been hammered out in the agreement should not be altered from their original context.
"The Geneva agreements should not be distorted in any way,” he said. “They mean just what has been written in the communique, and we will try not to rewrite anything afterwards."
Lavrov praised the agreements of the communiqué, saying they represent the best hope for achieving peace in the Arab nation.
"Geneva gives good chances and they should be used,” the minister stressed. “It is important that all players are pressing actively on all Syrian parties in order to make them stop violence and get down to the table of negotiations."
In separate comments, the Chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov said Moscow and Washington interpret the Geneva agreements on Syria differently.
"A war of interpretation broke out after the agreement on political transformation in Syria was signed in Geneva," he told reporters on Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convinced the agreement makes it clear to the current Syrian leadership that it must go, he said.
"Moscow, by contrast, said the agreement does not say a word about Assad's resignation and that he is not mentioned at all in it," the Russian lawmaker said.
Pushkov warned that disagreement over the document’s meaning puts the US and Russia on a “collision” course.
"We are again witnessing a collision,” he said. “On the one hand we can see the United States and the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ who want Assad to resign. On the other Russia and China are seeking an immediate end to the violence and the earliest possible beginning of talks between the Syrian government and opposition.”
The only common ground between the sides is the belief that the situation in Syria must be settled politically, he said, adding that the US is making Assad’s resignation a precondition of the talks.
"We advocate talks between the government and opposition, and the U.S. and others – talks with Assad's simultaneous resignation. In fact, they are advancing a precondition for the talks," he said.
Furthermore, the United States and its supporters actively dictate what the Syrian opposition's position should be, Pushkov said.
"The rebels have announced already that they will not start talks before Assad's resignation, which indicates that they obey the logic dictated from abroad," the Duma official added, while also mentioning that a similar type of confrontation ensued over various interpretations of the UN Security Council's resolution 1973 on Libya, which led to NATO forces resorting to military action in that country.
An international conference on ways to resolve the deteriorating situation in Syria was held in Geneva on June 29.
http://rt.com/politics/russia-us-syria- ... talks-282/

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Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 20 Jūl 2012 22:32

Latest update: 20/07/2012
http://www.france24.com/en/20120720-syr ... telligence
Syrian forces launch offensive on rebel targets

Syrian forces launched an offensive on rebel targets in Damascus and border areas Friday as state media said the country’s intelligence chief had become the fourth member of President Bashar al-Assad’s entourage to die from a bomb attack this week.
REUTERS - A fourth member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle died on Friday from a bomb attack this week and his forces fought to recapture border posts and parts of Damascus from rebels who have converged on the capital.
As refugees flooded across Syria’s borders and U.N. officials said they had heard banks in Damascus had run out of cash, Russia’s envoy to Paris added to a sense Assad’s days were numbered by saying he had accepted he would have to leave power.
Syrian state television flashed a government statement soon afterwards saying the comments were “completely devoid of truth”.
Assad not spoken since Wednesday’s attack on a meeting of his high command and only appeared on Thursday to appoint a new defence minister to replace one of the assassinated men.
Syrian state television said a funeral ceremony for the defence minister, his deputy - Assad’s brother-in-law - and a senior general was being held on Friday in Damascus.
It said later Syria’s intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar had died on Friday morning of wounds sustained in the same attack.
Clashes continued in Damascus for a sixth day and at least three people were killed when Syrian army helicopters fired rockets at the southeastern neighbourhood of Saida Zeinab, opposition activists said.
Rebels from elsewhere in Syria have poured into the capital for what they say is the final battle for Damascus.
“The regime is going through its last days,” Abdelbasset Seida, the leader of the main Syrian opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council, said in Rome, predicting a possible dramatic escalation in violence.
Clashes were fiercest overnight in the sprawling Mezzeh district, where rebels appear to be sustaining attacks on many security compounds located there, residents said.
State television said Syrian forces had cleared the central district of Midan of “mercenaries and terrorists”. Opposition activists and rebels sources confirmed on Friday that they had withdrawn after coming under heavy bombardment.
“It is a tactical withdrawal. We are still in Damascus,” Abu Omar, a rebel commander, said by telephone.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 20 Jūl 2012 22:34

Major cleric: Resistannce against satanic powers only way in Syria
Tehran, July 20, IRNA – Tehran Substitute Friday Prayers Leader, by condemning recent terrorist act in Syria, said that resistance is the only way for Syrian nation against international devils and blackmailers.
1391/04/30 - 09:45

Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami said the recent terrorist act in Syria, which caused death of a number of high ranking officials of the Syrian government, indicated the depth of spitefulness of hegemonic powers toward Syrian government and nation.
He underlined that Iran has repeatedly said Syria is paying the price for supporting oppressed people, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially during the imposed eight-year war.
The major cleric said that US, Britain, European Union, reactionary Arabs, Al-Qaida and a number of Syrian neighbors, who are dreaming past empires, are committing crimes against Syria.

http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=80238871

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 30 Jūl 2012 15:10

Syrian regime claims gains in Aleppo, rebels deny
By PAUL SCHEMM
— Jul. 30 5:55 AM EDT
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/syrian-r ... ebels-deny
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces mounted new ground attacks against rebel-controlled neighborhoods in Syria's commercial hub of Aleppo, the state media said Monday, but failed to dislodge the opposition from their strongholds, according to activists.
The Syrian army has massed its forces around Aleppo, where rebels hold several neighborhoods after a 10-day offensive, and has been pounding it with tanks and helicopter gunships. There have also been periodic incursions of government tanks but the rebels have held on to their gains.
This use of heavy weapons, particularly helicopters, is just another nail in President Bashar Assad's coffin, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said late Sunday during a stopover in Tunisia as he kicked off a Mideast tour expected to focus heavily on the unfolding crisis in Syria.
Already an estimated 200,000 civilians — almost 10 percent of the population — have fled the fighting in Aleppo, according to the U.N. official for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, citing the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent. Aleppo is Syria's largest city with around 3 million inhabitants.
Syrian state media reported late Sunday that the army had "purged" the southwestern neighborhood Salaheddine in Aleppo and inflicted "great losses" upon the rebels in one of the first neighborhoods they took control of in their bid to seize the city.
There was also a successful operation in Sukhour neighborhood, in the northeast of the city and another rebel stronghold, it reported.
Activists, however, disputed these claims and just describe another day of fierce shelling of certain areas, backed up by the occasional foray on the ground.
"They have tanks in nearby Hamdaniya and there is fighting, and there have been random bombardments of Salaheddine," said Mohammed Saeed, who is based in the embattled city.
While giving no indication that the Obama administration is contemplating military intervention, Panetta said it is increasingly clear that the Syrian crisis is deepening and that Assad is hastening his own demise.
"If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people ... I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's coffin," Panetta told reporters traveling with him from Washington. "His regime is coming to an end."
Syria's army, however, remains intact and still vastly outguns the rag-tag rebel army, which is armed for the most part with assault rifles, machine guns and doesn't have the heavy weapons necessary to effectively oppose tanks and helicopter gunships.
The government boosted its forces outside Aleppo and began an assault over the weekend to retake the commercial hub, bombarding rebel neighborhoods and leaving streets littered with rubble and empty apartment blocks with gaping smashed windows, according to videos of the city posted online in recent days.
Fleeing residents described to The Associated Press incessant shelling, shortages of food and gasoline and soaring black market prices for everyday staples.
"I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo," Amos said in a statement from New York late Sunday. "Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water."
She added that while the fighting made getting to the needy very difficult, the U.N. agencies and the Red Crescent were continuing their efforts to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 31 Jūl 2012 04:07

Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Deir el-Zour
guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 July 2012 20.00 BST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ju ... ttle-syria
In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad
As they stood outside the commandeered government building in the town of Mohassen, it was hard to distinguish Abu Khuder's men from any other brigade in the Syrian civil war, in their combat fatigues, T-shirts and beards.
But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba'a, or "strangers", after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden's time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.
They try to hide their presence. "Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags," said Abu Khuder. "They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?" But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.
According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. "We meet almost every day," he said. "We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations." Abu Khuder's men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.
Abu Khuder spoke later at length. He reclined on a pile of cushions in a house in Mohassen, resting his left arm which had been hit by a sniper's bullet and was wrapped in plaster and bandages. Four teenage boys kneeled in a tight crescent in front of him, craning their necks and listening with awe. Other villagers in the room looked uneasy.
Abu Khuder had been an officer in a mechanised Syrian border force called the Camel Corps when he took up arms against the regime. He fought the security forces with a pistol and a light hunting rifle, gaining a reputation as one of the bravest and most ruthless men in Deir el-Zour province and helped to form one of the first FSA battalions.
He soon became disillusioned with what he saw as the rebel army's disorganisation and inability to strike at the regime, however. He illustrated this by describing an attempt to attack the government garrison in Mohassen. Fortified in a former textile factory behind concrete walls, sand bags, machine-gun turrets and armoured vehicles, the garrison was immune to the rebels' puny attempt at assault.
"When we attacked the base with the FSA we tried everything and failed," said Abu Khuder. "Even with around 200 men attacking from multiple fronts they couldn't injure a single government soldier and instead wasted 1.5m Syrian pounds [£14,500] on firing ammunition at the walls."
Then a group of devout and disciplined Islamist fighters in the nearby village offered to help. They summoned an expert from Damascus and after two days of work handed Abu Khuder their token of friendship: a truck rigged with two tonnes of explosives.
Two men drove the truck close to the gate of the base and detonated it remotely. The explosion was so large, Abu Khuder said, that windows and metal shutters were blown hundreds of metres, trees were ripped up by their roots and a huge crater was left in the middle of the road.
The next day the army left and the town of Mohassen was free.
"The car bomb cost us 100,000 Syrian pounds and fewer than 10 people were involved [in the operation]," he said. "Within two days of the bomb expert arriving we had it ready. We didn't waste a single bullet.
"Al-Qaida has experience in these military activities and it knows how to deal with it."
After the bombing, Abu Khuder split with the FSA and pledged allegiance to al-Qaida's organisation in Syria, the Jabhat al Nusra or Solidarity Front. He let his beard grow and adopted the religious rhetoric of a jihadi, becoming a commander of one their battalions.
"The Free Syrian Army has no rules and no military or religious order. Everything happens chaotically," he said. "Al-Qaida has a law that no one, not even the emir, can break.
"The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have acknowledged.
"In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience," he told the gathered people. "Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan. Yemenis are the best in their religion and discipline and the Iraqis are the worst in everything – even in religion."
At this, one man in the room – an activist in his mid-30s who did not want to be named – said: "So what are you trying to do, Abu Khuder? Are you going to start cutting off hands and make us like Saudi? Is this why we are fighting a revolution?"
"[Al-Qaida's] goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state," he replied. "Those who fear the organisation fear the implementation of Allah's jurisdiction. If you don't commit sins there is nothing to fear."

Religious rhetoric

Religious and sectarian rhetoric has taken a leading role in the Syrian revolution from the early days. This is partly because of the need for outside funding and weapons, which are coming through well-established Muslim networks, and partly because religion provides a useful rallying cry for fighters, with promises of martyrdom and redemption.
Almost every rebel brigade has adopted a Sunni religious name with rhetoric exalting jihad and martyrdom, even when the brigades are run by secular commanders and manned by fighters who barely pray.
"Religion is a major rallying force in this revolution – look at Ara'our [a rabid sectarian preacher], he is hysterical and we don't like him but he offers unquestionable support to the fighters and they need it," the activist said later.
Another FSA commander in Deir el-Zour city explained the role of religion in the uprising: "Religion is the best way to impose discipline. Even if the fighter is not religious he can't disobey a religious order in battle."
Al-Qaida has existed in this parched region of eastern Syria, where the desert and the tribes straddle the border with Iraq, for almost a decade.
During the years of American occupation of Iraq, Deir el-Zour became the gateway through which thousands of foreign jihadis flooded to fight the holy war. Many senior insurgents took refuge from American and Iraqi government raids in the villages and deserts of Deir el-Zourx.
Osama, a young jihadi from Abu Khuder's unit with a kind smile, was 17 in 2003 when the Americans invaded Iraq, he said. He ran away from home and joined the thousands of other Syrians who crossed the porous border and went to fight. Like most of those volunteers, at first he was inspired by a mixture of nationalistic and tribal allegiances, but later religion became his sole motivation.
After returning to Syria he drifted closer to the jihadi ideology. It was dangerous then, and some of his friends were imprisoned by the regime, which for years played a double game, allowing jihadis to filter across the borders to fight the Americans while at the same time keeping them tightly under control at home.
In the first months of the Syrian uprising, he joined the protesters in the street, and when some of his relatives were killed he defected and joined the Free Syrian Army.
"I decided to join the others," he said. "But then I became very disappointed with the FSA. When they fought they were great, but then most of the time they sat in their rooms doing nothing but smoke and gossip and chat on Skype."
Fed up with his commanders' bickering and fighting over money, he turned to another fighting group based in the village of Shahail, 50 miles west of Mohassen, which has become the de facto capital of al-Qaida in Deir el-Zour. More than 20 of its young men were killed in Iraq. In Shahail the al-Qaida fighters drive around in white SUVs with al-Qaida flags fluttering.
The group there was led by a pious man. He knew a couple of them from his time in Iraq. One day, the group's leader – a Saudi who covered his hair with a red scarf and carried a small Kalashnikov, in the style of Bin Laden – visited Mohassen. He gave a long sermon during the funeral of a local commander, telling the audience how jihad was the only way to lead a revolution against the infidel regime of Bashar al-Assad, and how they, the Syrians, were not only victims of the regime but also of the hypocrisy of the west, which refused to help them.
"They were committed," said Osama. "They obeyed their leader and never argued. In the FSA, if you have 10 people they usually split and form three groups." The jihadis, by contrast, used their time "in useful things, even the chores are divided equally".
Osama joined the group. "He [the Saudi] is a very good man, he spends his days teaching us. You ask him anything and he will answer you with verses from the Qur'an, you want to read the Qur'an you can read. You want to study bomb-making he will teach you."
In the pre-revolutionary days when the regime was strong it would take a year to recruit someone to the secret cause of jihad. "Now, thanks to God, we are working in the open and many people are joining in," said Osama.
In Shahail we interviewed Saleem Abu Yassir, a village elder and the commander of the local FSA brigade. He sat in a room filled with tribal fighters and machine-guns. The relationship with al-Qaida had been very difficult, he said, with the jihadis being secretive and despising the FSA and even calling them infidel secularists. But now they had opened up, co-operating with other rebel groups.
"Are they good fighters?" he threw the question rhetorically into the room. "Yes, they are, but they have a problem with executions. They capture a soldier and they put a pistol to his head and shoot him. We have religious courts and we have to try people before executing them. This abundance of killing is what we fear. We fear they are trying to bring us back to the days of Iraq and we have seen what that achieved."
Osama had told me that his group was very cautious about not repeating the Iraq experience – "they admit they made a lot of mistakes in Iraq and they are keen to avoid it", he said – but others, including a young doctor working for the revolution, were not convinced. The opposition needed to admit Al-Qaida were among them, and be on their guard.
"Who kidnapped the foreign engineers who worked in the nearby oilfield?" he asked. "They have better financing than the FSA and we have to admit they are here.
"They are stealing the revolution from us and they are working for the day that comes after."

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 01 Aug 2012 18:25


youtu.be/OkvNgQkKCMM

Syria - In Tunisia, streams of young men are leaving to fight in Syria's civil war. What are their motives and what do their families think of them? Next, with Islamist politics burgeoning in the wake of the Tunisian revolution, the bikini is becoming a rarer sight on the nation's tourist beaches. We report on the rise of the veil by the seaside. Finally, we head to Morocco to profile the group that is risking jail by publicly breaking the Ramadan fast.

It's hard to evaluate exactly how many young Tunisians leave home each week. Their destination is Syria. They're on a crusade to fight Bashar Al Assad. Many are killed in combat or taken prisoner. Some have been gone weeks, others havent been in contact with their familes for months. Our correspondants met some of the family memebers and friends of young Tunisian Jihadists who have left home to fight in Syria.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 10 Aug 2012 14:23

Latest update: 10/08/2012
Syrian rebels defiant despite retreat from key districts
http://www.france24.com/en/20120810-syr ... salaheddin
AFP - Syrian rebels vowed to fight on in Aleppo a day after being driven out of a key district under heavy shellfire, which was targeting other parts of the strategic city on Friday.
That came as world powers were set to name veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as their new envoy to seek a peaceful and politically workable end to a 17-month uprising that has cost more than 21,000 lives.
A rebel commander, Hossam Abu Mohammed, said his men were still fighting in parts of Aleppo's southwestern district of Salaheddin after most fled on Thursday under heavy bombing and advancing troops.
"We will not let Salaheddin go," the Free Syrian Army's Abu Mohammed told AFP by telephone as the third day of a government offensive to take the city raged.
The army again bombed parts of Salaheddin on Friday, as well as the Sakhur and Hanano districts of the east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the violence killed two civilians.
Just before dawn, a MiG 21 fighter jet dropped four bombs on rebel positions in Hanano, an AFP correspondent reported.
One struck the courtyard of the FSA headquarters in the neighbourhood and another nearby house, wounding a number of people.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 04 Okt 2012 09:23

Report: Turkey renews artillery strikes on Syria
Oct. 4 2:55 AM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's state-media says Turkish artillery has fired on Syrian targets for a second day in retaliation for shelling from Syria that struck a border village, killing five civilians.
State-run TRT television says a military unit based on the border town of Akcakale resumed strikes at Syrian targets overnight and that shelling continued Thursday morning.
A woman, her three daughters and another woman were killed in when a shell from Syria hit a home in Akcakale.
Turkish Foreign Ministry officials were not immediately able to confirm the reports, while Defense Ministry officials refused comment.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 25 Okt 2012 13:56

Syria accepts Eid ceasefire plan, UN envoy says
http://www.france24.com/en/20121024-dam ... himi-assad
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted a proposed ceasefire to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha that
begins Friday, UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi announced on Wednesday.
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday the Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and that Damascus would announce the decision shortly.
The holiday starts on Thursday and lasts three or four days. Brahimi, a mediator appointed by the United Nations and Arab League, said some Syrian opposition groups he had been in contact with had also agreed to a truce in principle.
“After the visit I made to Damascus, there is agreement from the Syrian government for a ceasefire during the Eid,” Brahimi told a news conference at the Cairo-based League.
He did not give a precise time period for the ceasefire but said Damascus would announce its agreement on Wednesday or Thursday. “Other factions in Syria that we were able to contact, heads of fighting groups, most of them also agree on the principle of the ceasefire,” he added.
President Bashar al-Assad is fighting an insurgency that grew out of street protests 19 months ago and has escalated into a civil war in which 30,000 people have been killed.
His overstretched army has lost swathes of territory and relies on air power to keep rebels at bay.
“If this humble initiative succeeds, we hope that we can build on it in order to discuss a longer and more effective ceasefire and this has to be part of a comprehensive political process,” Brahimi said.
(REUTERS)

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 27 Okt 2012 23:27

Syrian rebels and Kurdish militiamen clash in Aleppo
Eid truce broken again with at least 22 thought dead after alleged incursion by Syrian rebels into neutral Kurdish districts
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 27 October 2012 13.43 BST
A Syrian rebel takes cover in Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo.
At least 22 people were killed in clashes between Syrian rebels and Kurdish militia men in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.
The fighting broke out despite a truce brokered in honour of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha, which was also broken in other areas of Syria with sporadic bombings and clashes.
The clashes occurred after rebels pushed into largely Kurdish and Christian areas that have remained relatively quiet during the three-month battle for the city.
Kurds say the rebels had pledged to stay out of their districts. Kurdish groups have for the most part tried to steer a middle course in the conflict between the rebels and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Some figures have allied with the rebels, others with Assad, while others have remained neutral.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 rebels and three Kurdish gunmen were killed in the clash that lasted several hours, the group said. A Kurdish official put the death toll at 10 Kurds, but had no figures for the rebels.
Mohieddine Sheik Ali, head of the Kurdish Yekiti party, told the Associated Press that the clashes broke out after rebels entered Ashrafieh, violating "a gentlemen's agreement" not to go into Kurdish areas in Aleppo.
He said there are 100,000 Kurds in Ashrafieh and many in the nearby Sheik Maksoud area. Sheik Ali said tens of thousands of Arabs have also fled to these districts from the violence across Aleppo.
"Disagreements between our brothers in the [rebel] Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish Popular Defence Units" led to the clashes, he said.
In other violence, the Observatory and the Local Co-ordination Committees reported shelling and shooting on Saturday, mostly in Aleppo, the eastern region of Deir el-Zour, Daraa to the south and suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy, mediated a four-day ceasefire that began on Friday to mark the Eid festival.
"The ceasefire collapsed nearly three hours after it went into effect," said Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the observatory. "The only difference is that the fighting is less widespread and the regime has not been using its air force since the ceasefire began."
State-run Syrian TV also reported on Saturday that rebels violated the ceasefire by detonating a car bomb outside an Assyrian Christian church in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, near the border with Iraq.
The violence came a day after car bombs and clashes left more than 100 dead.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 03 Nov 2012 22:59

Latest update: 03/11/2012
- Golan Heights - Israel - Syria

Syrian tanks in Golan Heights buffer zone, says Israel

Israel’s military lodged a complaint with the United Nations on Saturday after three Syrian tanks allegedly entered the demilitarised zone in the Golan Heights which separates the two countries, just a few kilometres from an Israeli military post.
Three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights on Saturday, prompting Israel to complain to U.N. peacekeepers, a military spokesman said. The foray would be the first such violation in 40 years and hikes concerns that violence from Syria’s civil war could heat up a long-quiet frontier.
Israel’s relatively low-key response of turning to the U.N. suggested it did not see the Syrian armor as an immediate threat.
But the entry marks the most serious spillover of Syria’s turmoil at the frontier to date. Misfired Syrian shells have exploded inside Israel on several occasions and a tourist site was temporary shut after armed Syrians were spotted nearby recently.
The three tanks entered the DMZ on Saturday and Israel lodged a complaint with the peacekeepers, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with military protocol. She did not elaborate on what the tanks were doing.
The Israeli news site Ynet said the tanks and two armored personnel carriers drove a few kilometers (miles) away from Israeli military positions.

http://www.france24.com/en/20121103-isr ... -complaint

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 13 Dec 2012 16:55

Syrian rebels are gaining ground and might win, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, in the starkest such admission from a major ally of President Bashar al-Assad.
“One must look the facts in the face,” Russia’s state-run RIA quoted Mikhail Bogdanov as saying. “Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out.”
Bogdanov, who is Kremlin’s special envoy for Middle East affairs, said the Syrian government was “losing control of more and more territory” and that Moscow was preparing plans to evacuate Russian citizens if necessary.
Advancing rebels now hold an almost continuous arc of territory from the east to the southeast of Damascus, despite fierce army bombardments designed to drive them back.
A car bomb killed at least 16 men, women and children in Qatana, a town about 25 km (15 miles) southwest of Damascus where many soldiers live, activists and state media said.
The explosion occurred in a residential area for soldiers in Qatana, which is near several army bases, said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
He put the death toll as 17, including seven children and two women. State news agency SANA said 16 people had died.
State television blamed the blast on “terrorists” - its term for rebels - and showed footage of soldiers walking by a partly collapsed building, with rubble and twisted metal on the road.
The attack follows three bombs at the Interior Ministry on Wednesday evening, in which state news agency SANA said five people were killed, including Abdullah Kayrouz, a member of parliament from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
Apart from gaining territory in the outskirts of Damascus in recent weeks, rebels have also made hit-and-run attacks or set off bombs within the capital, often targeting state security buildings or areas seen as loyal to Assad, such as Jaramana, where twin bombs killed 34 people in November.
http://www.france24.com/en/20121213-syr ... a-bogdanov

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 18 Dec 2012 18:46

Russia sends navy squadron to Mediterranean
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
— Dec. 18 9:35 AM EST
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/official ... ized-syria
MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian navy squadron has set off for the Mediterranean amid official talk about a possible evacuation of Russians from Syria.
The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the ships will rotate with those that have been in the area since November. Russian diplomats said last week that Moscow is preparing plans to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria if necessary. The ministry did not say whether the navy ships are intended for an evacuation.
The Interfax news agency, citing unidentified naval sources, reported that the navy command wants the ships to be on hand for the task if needed. It said the mission's duration will depend on the situation in Syria.
Last week, a senior Russian diplomat said for the first time that Syrian President Bashar Assad is losing control and the rebels might win the civil war, a statement that appeared to signal that Moscow has started positioning itself for an endgame in Syria. But the Foreign Ministry disavowed Mikhail Bogdanov's statement the next day, saying his words were misinterpreted and that Moscow's position on the crisis hasn't shifted.
Russia's base in the Syrian port of Tartus is its only naval outpost outside the former Soviet Union. Moscow has been Assad's main ally, shielding him from international sanctions over a brutal crackdown on an uprising that began in March 2011 and turned into the civil war, killing more than 40,000 people.
The squadron of five ships that sailed from the Baltic Sea base of Baltiysk includes a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels that could evacuate hundreds of people.
Another group of three navy ships departed Tuesday from Severomorsk, the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula. While their official mission is anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, the ships will sail past the Syrian shores and may linger there if need be.
Earlier this year, Russia sent several ships to Tartus on a mission to evacuate its personnel and equipment, but authorities decided then that the situation in Syria didn't require such a move yet.
The latest naval deployment comes as the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that two Russians were kidnapped alongside an Italian in Syria and that their captors have asked for a ransom for their release. The three, who worked at a Syrian steel plant, were kidnapped late Monday on the road between Tartus and Homs.
The ministry identified those kidnapped as V. V. Gorelov, Abdesattar Hassun and Mario Belluomo and said the kidnappers have contacted the Hmisho steel plant by telephone and demanded a ransom for their release. It did not specify the amount.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, said "all necessary steps are being taken in Syria and other countries that may influence the situation," according to Interfax.
The kidnapping of foreigners has been rare, but as Syria descends further into chaos the abduction of Syrians has become increasingly common across many parts of the country.
Most of those kidnappings appear to have sectarian motives, part of tit-for-tat attacks between rebels and pro-regime gunmen. But there have been many cases of gunmen capturing wealthy people for ransom or settling personal scores.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 28 Dec 2012 11:54

Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention
Advisers deployed with surface-to-air systems bolster President Assad's defences and complicate outcome of any future strikes
Julian Borger
The Guardian, Sunday 23 December 2012 21.30 GMT
Russian military advisers are manning some of Syria's more sophisticated air defences – something that would complicate any future US-led intervention, the Guardian has learned.
The advisers have been deployed with new surface-to-air systems and upgrades of old systems, which Moscow has supplied to the Assad regime since the Syrian revolution broke out 21 months ago.
The depth and complexity of Syria's anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky. The possibility of Russian military casualties in such a campaign could have unpredictable geopolitical consequences.
Meanwhile, near-daily atrocities have kept western governments under pressure to act. A Syrian government air strike on a town near the central city of Hama on Sunday killed dozens of civilians queueing for bread, according to human rights activists.
Amateur footage from Halfaya showed mangled human remains strewn along a street where people had been blown off scooters and out of cars. One video showed a boy with his feet blown off. Piles of corpses could be seen beneath rubble outside a two-storey building the cameraman described as a bakery. It was unclear how many bodies were in the smoking ruins.
Human Rights Watch has previously accused the regime of targeting bakeries. The group warned the Assad regime that such targeted bombing of civilians represented war crimes. However, in the face of a Russian veto at the UN security council, the international criminal court has not had a mandate to investigate the atrocities committed by either side. The UN has put the death toll at more than 40,000 as the war continues to escalate.
Turkish officials, who accurately predicted the Syrian regime would use Scud missiles after several warplanes were shot down by rebels, also believe President Bashar al-Assad has twice come close to using chemical weapons including sarin, the nerve gas. First, after the bombing of the regime's Damascus security headquarters in July, which killed the president's brother in law, Assef Shawkat, and then last month, after opposition forces made significant gains.
The Turks and western officials say there are signs Assad sees chemical weapons as another step in the escalation of force, rather than a Rubicon-crossing gamble that could end his regime. The US, UK, France and Turkey have warned Syria that its use of such weapons would trigger military retribution. But any such a response would be fraught with difficulties.
Air strikes against chemical weapon depots would potentially disperse lethal gases over a vast area, triggering a humanitarian disaster. US and allied special forces have been trained to seize the air bases where the warheads are kept, but it is unclear what the next step would be. It would be physically impossible to fly the hundreds of warheads out of the country, while it would take thousands of troops to guard the arsenal for what could be many months. In the interim, those western troops could easily become the target of Islamist groups fighting the government in Damascus.
Any air strikes against regime targets, in response to chemical weapon use, or any attempt to create a no-fly zone to stop further bombing of refugee camps, would require the suppression of Syria's formidable defences. Those have been bolstered significantly since Israeli strikes on an alleged nuclear reactor site at al-Kibar in 2007 exposed holes, and again since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising in March 2011.
The upgrades were supplied by Moscow, which sees them as a bulwark against western-imposed regime change and protection of a longstanding investment in Syria. The country includes Russia's biggest electronic eavesdropping post outside its territory, in Latakia, and its toehold on the Mediterranean, a small naval base at Tartus.
Russian security and defence officials, who are notoriously loth to publicly comment on their operations abroad, have repeatedly denied providing explicit support for the Assad regime.
Over the weekend, the head of Russia's ground forces air defence, Major General Alexander Leonov, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station: "Syria's air-defence system is a no-nonsense force. As a result, no one has ever used serious air combat power against it."
That "no-nonsense" force, the air defence command, comprises two divisions and an estimated 50,000 troops – twice the size of Muammar Gaddafi's force – with thousands of anti-aircraft guns and more than 130 anti-aircraft missile batteries.
According to Jeremy Binnie, the editor of Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, recent Russian deliveries include Buk-M2 and Pantsyr-S1 (known to Nato as SA-22) mobile missile launch and radar systems. Reports of the shipment of the modern long-range S-300 have not been confirmed, and the Syrian armed forces did not show off any S-300 missiles in a military display this year. It is possible they have been delivered but are not yet operational.
Guy Ben-Ari, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said: "They don't just sell the equipment. They also help man the crews and train the crews. Sometimes there is just no domestic capacity to run these systems, and that is the case in Syria where Syrian crews are not capable of using the equipment to its full capacity."
Sources familiar with the Moscow-Damascus defence relationship confirmed the presence of Russian air-defence crews inside Syria. Their deployment would be a consideration when western contingency plans for Syria were being considered, they said.
Such a dense, layered and overlapping air-defence system would require a huge air campaign, heavily reliant on thousands of precision-guided missiles. The UK, France and other American allies in Europe used up their stocks of such weapons in Libya and although details are classified there have been reports that they have not yet returned to pre-Libya levels.
"We know they pretty much ran out of them at the end of Libya. Given the budgetary constraints the Europeans are operating with, and in an era where every euro spent on defence is very heavily scrutinised, it is a hard sell to restock on this stuff," Ben-Ari said. "And it would not be enough to be at Libya levels. You would need far more for Syria."
A Syrian air campaign would also require stealth aircraft and a great amount of signals intelligence, satellite imagery and aerial reconnaissance, all of which are US specialities. For all those reasons, Washington would not be able to "lead from behind" as it did in Libya.
The Obama administration has so far been extremely wary of getting enmeshed in another Middle East war, particularly with the knowledge that the long-running Iranian nuclear crisis could trigger a conflict in the Gulf at any time. With the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus last month, the administration arguably lost its most powerful advocate of Syrian intervention.
John Kerry, the nominee for secretary of state, has advocated greater support for the rebels, but stopped short of calling for direct US or Nato involvement. With no new secretary of defence yet nominated, it could take several months for the new team to recalibrate its approach.
The robust Syrian defences, combined with Damascus's hand-in-glove relationship with Moscow, and the fragmented nature of the opposition, help explain why a US-led intervention – predicted as imminent for more than a year by advocates and opponents alike – has so far failed to materialise, and why there is little appetite for such a move in Washington and most other western capitals, barring a major, verifiable use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 25 Feb 2013 16:40

Syria says ready for talks with armed opposition
By NATALIYA VASILYEVA and RYAN LUCAS
— Feb. 25 7:36 AM EST
MOSCOW (AP) — The Syria government is ready to hold talks with the armed opposition seeking to topple President Bashar Assad's regime, the country's foreign minister said Monday.
Walid al-Moallem, who was in Moscow to discuss Syria's civil war with Russian officials, did not say whether the rebels would first have to lay down their arms before Damascus would agree to sit with them at the negotiating table.
Still, the offer marked the first time that a high-ranking Syrian official has stated publicly that the government would meet with opposition fighters.
"We're ready for a dialogue with anyone who's willing for it," al-Moallem said. "Even with those who carry arms. We are confident that reforms will come about not with the help of bloodshed but through dialogue."
Syria's 23-month-old conflict, which has killed more than 70,000 people and destroyed many of the country's cities, has repeatedly confounded international efforts to bring the parties together to end the bloodshed. Russia, a close Assad ally and his regime's chief advocate on the international stage, offered last Wednesday to broker talks in concert with the Arab League between the rebels and the government.
The proposal — which the Kremlin would be unlikely to float publicly without first securing Damascus' word that it would indeed take part — suggested the regime could be warming to the idea of a settlement as it struggles to hold territory and claw back ground it has lost to the rebels.
Ahead of the meeting with al-Moallem on Monday, Lavrov reiterated his call for Damascus to negotiate with the opposition, saying that "the situation in Syria is at a crossroads now." He also warned that further fighting could lead to "the break-up of the Syrian state."
Past government offers for talks with the opposition have included a host of conditions, such as for the rebels to first lay down their weapons. Those proposals have been swiftly rejected by both activists outside the country as well as rebels on the ground.
The prospect of negotiating with the armed opposition is made all the more difficult by the fractured state of those fighting to topple the regime — there are dozens of brigades and groups across the country and no unified command.
The head of one group, Free Syrian Army chief Gen. Salim Idriss, said he is "ready to take part in dialogue within specific frameworks," but then rattled off several conditions that the regime has flatly rejected in the past.
"There needs to be a clear decision on the resignation of the head of the criminal gang Bashar Assad and for those who participated in the killing of the Syrian people to be put on trial," Idriss told pan-Arab Al-Arabiya TV.
He said the government must agree to stop all kinds of violence and to hand over power, saying that "as rebels, this is our bottom line."
Both sides in the conflict in recent weeks have floated offers and counter offers to hold talks aimed at resolving the crisis.
In a speech in January, Assad offered to lead a national dialogue to end the bloodshed, but also said he would not talk with the armed opposition and vowed to keep on fighting. The opposition rejected the proposal.
This month, the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, the umbrella group for opposition parties, said he would be open to discussions with the regime that could pave the way for Assad's departure, but that they government must first release tens of thousands of detainees. The government refused.
Speaking to reporters Monday in Cairo, Mouaz al-Khatib accused the regime of procrastinating and said it had derailed the opposition's dialogue offer by not responding to its conditions.
"We are always open to initiatives that stop the killing and destruction but the regime rejected the simplest of humanitarian conditions. We have asked that the regime start by releasing women prisoners and there was no response," he said. "This regime must understand that the Syrian people do not want it anymore."

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 14 Mar 2013 15:35

At least 50 French citizens ‘waging jihad in Syria’
A leading French anti-terror judge has told French media he is worried about the implication of large numbers of French Muslims heading to Syria to fight a holy war against the Damascus regime.
http://www.france24.com/en/20130313-syr ... ihad-assad
As many as 80 French citizens are fighting with rebel groups in Syria, according to a report in French daily Le Figaro published Wednesday.
The number is far higher than the “handful” said by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls to be operating alongside Islamists in Mali, or the estimated number of Frenchmen who went to Bosnia, Iraq or Afghanistan to wage “jihad”, or Muslim holy war.
Le Figaro quoted two such fighters. One, named only as Djamel, said he was fighting the “infamy” of the Bashar al Assad regime in a conflict that the United Nations estimates has claimed more than 70,000 lives in two years.
The second, Abdel Rahman Ayachi, had “returned to the land of his ancestors to spread Islam ahead of the anticipated collapse of the [Assad] regime,” the newspaper said.
Leading French anti-terrorism Judge Marc Trévidic told Le Figaro that the presence of so many French jihadists in Syria presents an uncomfortable paradox for the authorities in France, which was the first western country to recognise Syria’s rebel council as the country’s legitimate interlocutors.

‘Authorised jihad'

While French Islamists caught fighting in Mali against their own countrymen provoked outrage and condemnation, those waging battle in a war officially supported by France are doing so in a particularly grey area.
Syria, Trévidic explained, was a straightforward destination for French jihadists. There are no visa requirements to enter neighbouring Turkey, where it is easy to find Syrian contacts and then cross a porous border.
“No one is trying to stop them going into Syria,” Trévidic said, referring to their fight as an “authorised jihad”, a term borrowed from France’s chief diplomat Laurent Fabius. “Things are not at all clear."
“It’s particularly complicated to qualify their adventures in Syria as acts of terrorism,” Trévidic added, hinting that trained and experienced jihadists could become a dangerous problem for the authorities once back in France.
“Let’s not be fooled. A good proportion of them are going there in the hope of helping establish a radical Islamic state. The actual terrorism will begin just as soon as the Assad regime is defeated.”
French-Belgian jihadist Abdel Rahman Ayachi told Le Figaro: “I am fighting to see the Assad regime destroyed, and also to help found an Islamic state. But don’t worry; once this is done I have no intention of coming back to France or Belgium.”

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 21 Apr 2013 17:03

21/04/2013
US doubles non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the United States would double its non-lethal aid to opposition forces in Syria to $250 million and that foreign backers had agreed to channel all future assistance through the rebels’ Supreme Military Council.
Kerry stopped short of a U.S. pledge to supply weapons to insurgents fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the rebels have sought.
But he said that the rebels’ foreign backers were committed to continuing support to them and “there would have to be further announcements about the kind of support that that might be in the days ahead” if Syrian government forces failed to pursue a peaceful solution to the crisis.
http://www.france24.com/en/20130421-usa ... opposition

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 22 Apr 2013 12:51

22 April 2013
Iran 'wants Assad to contest 2014 poll'
AFP - Iran wants Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad to stay on and contest the presidential election scheduled for next year, a visiting senior Iranian envoy said on Monday.
"We think the best scenario is for Mr Assad to remain president of the republic until the summer of 2014," said Aladin Borujerdi, head of parliament's national security and foreign affairs commission.
"After that, free elections will be held and the Syrian people can express themselves and decide on their future," he told a Damascus press conference after a meeting with Iran's ally Assad.
He criticised neighbouring countries which support rebels fighting to oust Assad, charging they were "seeking to deepen dissent and the crisis" in Syria.
Such countries, which he did not name, "must know that this crisis will end sooner or later and then only the bad policies of these states will stay behind in the memory of the Syrian people," said Borujerdi.

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 23 Apr 2013 14:58


youtu.be/cfco9fBo1gg
Amazing work. God bless Syria and the real Syrian people. His excellency Mr Bashar Al Assad is always protected by the almighty, may he live to rule Syria for years to come. Amen

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Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 29 Apr 2013 11:48

Draudot pilsoņu karam, Irāka vēršas pret televīziju
Jānis Rancāns, 2013. gada 29. aprīlis 12:05
Irākas valdības uz laiku slēgusi desmit sunītu televīzijas kanālus, tostarp pazīstamo Al Jazeera, apsūdzot tos reliģiskas vardarbības veicināšanā, kas valsti plosījusi pēdējo nedēļu, vēsta ārvalstu plašsaziņas līdzekļi.
Bagdādes spertie soļi raisījuši bažas, ka sasprindzinājums valstī draud pāraugt pilsoņu karā, līdzīgā tam, kāds plosījās no 2005. līdz 2008. gadam starp šiītiem un sunītiem. Aizvadītajā nedēļā sadursmēs starp valdības spēkiem un sunītu protestētājiem jau gājuši bojā aptuveni 200 cilvēki.
Paziņojums par telekanālu darbības apturēšanu tika nolasīts valsts centrālajā televīzijā un izsūtīts apturēto mediju redakcijām. Pārtraukta arī tādu pazīstamu kanālu darbība, kā Al Jazeera un Al Sharqiya.
Irākas valdība norāda, ka telekanāli slēgti, jo «notikusī vardarbība piedzīvota tāpēc, ka televīzija to iedrošinājusi un veicinājusi». Irāka noliedz, ka lēmumam uz laiku apturēt televīzijas kanālu darbību, būtu bijis arī kāds politisks pamats. Bagdādes lēmumu kritizējušas žurnālistu organizācijas, norādot, ka telekanāli tikai atspoguļojuši noteiktus viedokļus.
Telekanāls Al Sharqiya jau pavēstījis, ka nepakļausies valdības pavēlei un jau iepriekš ir sagatavojis veidus, kas atļaus tam strādāt no ārvalstīm.
Pēdējo dienu nemieri Irākā raisījuši bažas par sunītu sacelšanos. Aizvadītajā nedēļā Irākas valdības drošības spēki iebruka sunītu protestētāju nometnē valsts ziemeļos. Iebrukumu izraisīja centrālās valdības apsūdzības, ka nometnē atrodas divi vīrieši, kuri iepriekš nogalinājuši policistu. Vardarbīgā operācija izsauca sadursmes visā valstī, kuru laikā bojā gājuši vairāki desmiti cilvēku.
Eksperti norāda, ka, ja Bagdādei tuvākajā laikā neizdosies panākt situācijas nostabilizēšanos, valsts ziemeļos un centrā varētu sākties sunītu sacelšanās, un uz Irāku varētu pārsviesties Sīrijas pilsoņkarš. Šāda situācija neatstātu vienaldzīgas arī Irākas kaimiņvalstis – Turciju un Irānu.
http://www.db.lv/pasaule/draudot-pilson ... iju-392769

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