Islamist fighters move 12 abducted Syrian nuns from Maaloula to rebel-held town

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Maaloula town

Islamist fighters have moved the nuns abducted from a convent in the predominantly Christian town of Maaloula to a nearby town held by rebels. The leader of the Orthodox Church of Antioch has called on the international community to help save them.

Vatican envoy to Syria, Mario Zenari, said on Tuesday that 12 nuns including the convent’s mother superior had been taken from Maaloula to the rebel held town of Yabroud, some 20 km away. “They forced the sisters to evacuate and to follow them towards Yabroud,” Zenari told Reuters from Damascus by telephone, adding that he did not know for what purposes it had been done.

Zenari also said that the nuns were among the last residents remaining in Maaloula after most had fled south to Damascus.

On Monday, Syrian state television reported that several nuns had been abducted from the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Mar Thecla after Islamists captured the ancient part of the town and attacked the convent.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry sent letters to the head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General urging the international community to condemn the rebel attack on Maaloula and the convent, and to put pressure on the countries supporting the rebels.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, John X urged the international community on Tuesday to speak up in defense of Syria’s Christians.

“We urge the United Nations and all governments to speak out in support of Christians in Syria and to take the steps required to free these nuns from capture,” his statement says.

Febronia Nabhan, the mother superior of another convent in Maaloula, said that apart from the nuns, three “young maids” were taken from the convent on Monday.

Nabhan told the AFP that she talked with Mar Thecla’s mother superior, Pelagia Sayaf, on her phone Monday evening and was told they were in Yabrud, which is located some 80km north of Damascus, “comfortably installed in a house.”

Syrian state television reported that Christians had held a service in Damascus, Monday, to protest against the kidnapping of the nuns as well as for two bishops who were abducted near Aleppo in April.

A report by the pan Arabic satellite TV channel Al Mayadeen said that the Syrian soldiers along with local militias were launching an operation to liberate Maaloula.

The rebels who attacked the town reportedly came over from the nearby town of Nabak in which Syrian forces are carrying out anti-terrorist operations. 

The fighting in Maaloula is part of a wider struggle between Al-Qaeda linked fighters of the Nusra Front and the Syrian army for control of the strategic Damascus-Homs highway, which passes close by the town.

Maaloula was the scene of heavy fighting in September. It is considered to be one of the birthplaces of Christianity and is home to a number of shrines and monasteries, which are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites.

According to the Syrian Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic church, Gregory Laham, some 450,000 Syrian Christians have been forced from their homes by the civil war that began in March 2011. He added that “at least 57 Christian sites” have been damaged or destroyed since the beginning of hostilities, and blamed the United States and its Western allies for aggravating the situation by providing assistance to the rebels.

Christians, who comprise about 10 percent of Syria’s population, are viewed as supporters of President Bashar Assad, fearing the Islamist ideology of some rebels. This has made them the target of attacks.

“I believe it is all systematic and planned,” Sami Housni, a Christian priest in Damascus told RT. “Forcing Christians to leave… In Iraq, for instance, less than 200,000 Christians remain. We do have concerns, we do hope to stick to our land – Syria, which is the cradle of Christianity. We also hope that the Pope and heads of Christian denominations shall call for denouncing violence and adopting dialogue.”

source: Russia Today

US Military: Al-Qaeda produced sarin for chemical attacks in Syria

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The National Ground Intelligence Center report states that Al-Qaeda in Iraq produced the sarin gas and then shipped it to the al-Nusra Front for use in Syria

A leaked US military document reveals that Al-Qaeda possessed and produced “kitchen-grade” sarin gas for chemical attacks against the Syrian people, further adding to the evidence that the Al-Qaeda militants launched the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Damascus as a false flag in order to frame Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

In May, Turkish anti-terror police confiscated a two-kilogram cylinder of sarin gas from members of the Jabhat al-Nusra Front based in Southern Turkey near the Syrian border, according to a classified report obtained by WND.

The National Ground Intelligence Center report states that Al-Qaeda in Iraq produced the sarin gas and then shipped it to the al-Nusra Front for use in Syria, a report in the InfoWars said.

Two months prior to the confiscation, 26 people and Syrian government forces died from exposure to sarin gas delivered in a rocket attack on Aleppo, a city in the northwestern region of Syria near the Turkish border.

“The rocket came from a place controlled by the terrorists and which is located close to the Turkish territory,” according to a Syrian government statement in response to the attack. “One can assume that the weapon came from Turkey.”

The document also describes the sarin seized in Turkey as not being military grade but rather a “kitchen variety,” which corresponds to the sarin gas used in the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, according to Dr. Yossef Bodansky, a top terrorism expert.

Bodansky said that unlike military grade sarin, the sarin used in the Damascus attack did not accumulate around the victims’ hair and clothing.

If it did, said Bodansky, the sarin molecules would have detached from the victims and “killed or injured the first responders who touched the victims’ bodies without protective clothes … and masks.”

Yet there were no reported casualties among the first respondents to the attack, none of whom were wearing adequate protective gear.

High-level US intelligence officials reinforce Bodansky’s conclusion, stating that they are not convinced that the Aug. 21 chemical attack was carried out per Assad’s orders or that it was even carried out by syrian government.

They are not even sure that Assad even knew about the attack beforehand.

Intercepted Syrian military communications reveal that after the Aug. 21 attack, the Syrian general staff were in a complete panic thinking that their 155th Brigade launched an unauthorized chemical attack in defiance of prior orders not to do so.

This led to Syrian intelligence interrogating the major in charge of the brigade for three days, who adamantly denied firing any missiles and encouraged the general staff to count his weapons inventory.

All of the brigade’s missiles were accounted for.

Pierre Piccinin da Prata, a Belgium writer who was kidnapped by the al-Nursa Front, said that during his captivity he overheard his rebel captors admit that they carried out the Aug. 21 chemical attack as a false flag in order to lure the United States into the conflict to help Al-Qaeda topple Assad.

While the Obama administration continues to push our military into entering Syria as “al-Qaeda’s air force,” fighting alongside extremists recruited and armed by the CIA, the evidence strongly points to the al-Nusra Front, designated by the US as a terrorist organization, as responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attack.
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CIA Begins Delivering Weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria

By Kurt Nimmo, Infowars.com

The United States has officially announced it is now delivering “lethal aid” to the “rebels” engaged in attacks against the Syrian government. In addition to sophisticated communications equipment and advanced combat medical kits sent by the CIA, the State Department is sending vehicles and other munitions, according to the Washington Post.

Al-Nusra says it doesn’t want help from the CIA and the infidels.

The Post reports shipments were previously stalled due to “logistical challenges involved in delivering equipment in a war zone and officials’ fears that any assistance could wind up in the hands of jihadists.”

“We’ve come full circle from going after al-Qaeda to indirectly backing al-Qaeda,” Bill Gertz quoted a U.S. official as stating following a promise in June by the Obama administration to increase arm shipments.

In December, it was reported that al-Nusra, described as “the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force” that has affirmed its allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, is closely aligned with the so-called secular mercenaries supported by the United States.

Despite the fact the illegal war against the al-Assad regime is led by al-Qaeda and its al-Nusra affiliate with the direct support of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Obama administration took umbrage after Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said the U.S. doesn’t “have a dog in the fight” and “should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military — not to, as you know, serve as al-Qaeda’s air force.”

Despite the CIA’s long history of directly supporting fanatical Islamic mujahideen groups since the early 1980s and working with Pakistani intelligence to create both al-Qaeda and the Taliban, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday he is outraged by Cruz’s remarks.

“I am outraged for somebody to suggest that our people would be serving as allies to al-Qaida, one,”McDonough said.

“Two, on this question about what this is and what this isn’t. What this is, George, is very clear. Targeted, consequential, limited attack against Assad forces and Assad capabilities so that he is deterred from carrying out these actions again.

“Here is what it is not. It is not boots on the ground. It is not an extended air campaign. It is not Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. This is a very concerned, concentrated, limited effort that we can carry out and that can underscore and secure our interests.”

Iran warns of ‘harsh consequences’ if US acts on Syria

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Source: Yahoonews

A war of words erupted Sunday over Syria as Washington said it is ready to take action over chemical weapons attacks and Tehran warned US intervention would carry “harsh consequences”.

Pressure mounted on Damascus to allow a UN probe of chemical attacks, with French President Francois Hollande saying evidence indicated the regime in war-ravaged Syria was to blame and Israel demanding action against its neighbour.

The Al-Nusra Front, a fierce Al-Qaeda-linked group fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, vowed revenge against villages of the Syrian president’s minority Alawite community.

Doctors Without Borders said 355 people died this week of “neurotoxic” symptoms, after Syria’s opposition claimed regime forces unleashed chemicals east and southwest of Damascus on Wednesday causing more than 1,300 deaths. [EDITOR'S NOTE: NGO Doctors Without Borders ha been and is still being complicit of the 'Al-Qaeda Franchise Al-Nusra Front. We will demonstrate it in a future post.]

If confirmed, it would be the deadliest use of chemical agents since late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gassed Iranian troops and Kurdish rebels in the 1980s.

US President Barack Obama said a year ago that the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s forces was a “red line” that could trigger Western intervention.

On Sunday a strident warning came from Washington’s archfoe Iran.

“If the United States crosses this red line, there will be harsh consequences for the White House,” armed forces deputy chief of staff Massoud Jazayeri said.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Brzezinski: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, their western allies orchestrated Syria crisis

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PressTV

The former US national security adviser says the ongoing crisis in Syria has been orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their western allies.

“In late 2011 there are outbreaks in Syria produced by a drought and abetted by two well-known autocracies in the Middle East: Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview with The National Interest on June 24.

He added that US President Barack Obama also supported the unrest in Syria and suddenly announced that President Bashar al-Assad “has to go — without, apparently, any real preparation for making that happen.”

“Then in the spring of 2012, the election year here, the CIA under General Petraeus, according to The New York Times of March 24th of this year, a very revealing article, mounts a large-scale effort to assist the Qataris and the Saudis and link them somehow with the Turks in that effort,” said Brzezinski, who was former White House national security adviser under Jimmy Carter and now a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a senior research professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Criticizing the Obama administration’s policies regarding Syria, he questioned, “Was this a strategic position? Why did we all of a sudden decide that Syria had to be destabilized and its government overthrown? Had it ever been explained to the American people? Then in the latter part of 2012, especially after the elections, the tide of conflict turns somewhat against the rebels. And it becomes clear that not all of those rebels are all that ‘democratic.’ And so the whole policy begins to be reconsidered.”

“I think these things need to be clarified so that one can have a more insightful understanding of what exactly US policy was aiming at,” Brzezinski added.

He also called on US officials to push much more urgently to draw in China, Russia and other regional powers to reach some kind of peaceful end to the Syrian crisis.

“I think if we tackle the issue alone with the Russians, which I think has to be done because they’re involved partially, and if we do it relying primarily on the former colonial powers in the region-France and Great Britain, who are really hated in the region-the chances of success are not as high as if we do engage in it, somehow, with China, India and Japan, which have a stake in a more stable Middle East,” Brzezinski said.

Brzezinski also warned again any US-led military intervention in Syria or arming the militants fighting government forces there.

“I’m afraid that we’re headed toward an ineffective American intervention, which is even worse. There are circumstances in which intervention is not the best but also not the worst of all outcomes. But what you are talking about means increasing our aid to the least effective of the forces opposing Assad. So at best, it’s simply damaging to our credibility. At worst, it hastens the victory of groups that are much more hostile to us than Assad ever was. I still do not understand why — and that refers to my first answer — why we concluded somewhere back in 2011 or 2012 — an election year, incidentally that Assad should go.”

Foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.

the New York Times said in a recent report the CIA was cooperating with Turkey and a number of other regional governments to supply arms to militants fighting the government in Syria.

The report comes as the US has repeatedly voiced concern over weapons falling into the hands of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups.

Al-Nusra Front was named a terrorist organization by Washington last December, even though it has been fighting with the US-backed so-called Free Syrian Army in its battle against Damascus.

DB / HN

Syrian Arab Army At Full Speed All Over Syria

SAA brave soldier

While the US and its stooges, it doesn’t have allies, rush to push for a peace solution [sic] to the Syrian crisis through showing more support to the terrorists from Nusra Front fighting the Syrian Arab Army under the umbrella of FSA or moderate terrorist groups, the Syrian Arab Army is beating them to achieve internal peace on the ground. Al-Qussayr battle might be taking most of the news coverage but who follows the movement of the SAA, the NDF National Defense Forces, the Syrian Resistance and the Baath Militia will notice the terrorists do not have any safe heaven except where the area they infested is of less strategical importance and was received by some of the locals like the case of Raqqa city and left for a later stage, especially the locals who received the terrorists are more than regretting.

The Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad will address the nation and of course the world in one of his hundreds of ‘rare’ appearances in an interview with the Lebanese Al Manar TV station, banned in most of the countries of the western ‘free world’, and in which he confirms Syria has received the first shipment of the Russian state of the art S300 air-defense missiles, but we will not concentrate much, as usual, on the political movements or on the type of weapons received, it’s these men of the Syrian Arab Army and the amazing Syrian people who are winning the world’s biggest terror war imposed on them by world’s most evil organization NATO.

Even in the deep jungles of the Amazon they know by now that Al-Qussayr battle in the military sense is over, the terrorists are squeezed in pockets in the northern part of the city where they’ve taken large number of civilians as human shields and yet the SAA is advancing and circling them further. Dhabha airport was totally cleansed from the terrorists yesterday thus cutting any supply or fleeing route left for the remnants of the terrorists in the city. It might take a few more days to announce the city totally free of terror. Arjoun & Al-Barak towns were restored today.

Based on a Lebanese newspaper which made the headlines the Syrian Arab Army eyeing Aleppo, all the attention moved from Qussayr battle to Aleppo, but the Aleppo front was never quiet, the entire southern Aleppo countryside was cleansed in the past 10 days, and SAA moved into selected towns and villages in the north cutting terrorists supply routes like the case of Dhahret Abd Rabbo cleared 3 days ago, and NDF men managed to cleanse Dhahret Qaraa leaving tens of Nusra Front terrorists taken by surprise, and Anadan on the way to the besieged Nobol & Zahra towns.

The killing of 3 spies in western Idleb by security forces, 1 from the USA, another from the UK and a third unknown was enough yesterday to prove the situation in Idleb and its countryside might not sound like what the western mainstream media tries to imply the city and its countryside is out of the state’s control, actually, the governor of the province practices his work from his office in the center of the city and all state departments are working as normal, only towns infested by terrorists make the headlines in NATO propaganda outlets.

The killing of 3 spies in western Idleb by security forces, 1 from the USA, another from the UK and a third unknown was enough yesterday to prove the situation in Idleb and its countryside might not sound like what the western mainstream media tries to imply the city and its countryside is out of the state’s control, actually, the governor of the province practices his work from his office in the center of the city and all state departments are working as normal, only towns infested by terrorists make the headlines in NATO propaganda outlets.

Damascus countryside witnessed a number of operations by the SAA and security forces especially in the surprise move into Beit Sehem & Sidi Miqdad towns located between Sayyedeh Zaynab town holding the shrine of the prophet’s granddaughter which was under the radar of the prehistoric apes destroying all shrines and graves, their latest was in Raqqa city destroying the grave of prophet Ibrahim (Abram), and between the Damascus International Airport road.

Der Attiyeh & Yabroud in northern Damascus countryside

 

Exclusive to Syrianews: In the northern Damascus countryside and in between Der Attiyeh and Yabroud towns a unit of the SAA lured a convoy of Nusra Front terrorists into a trap. Our local sources confirmed the Nusra Front terrorists wanted to attack a large radar station in the area which monitors the air passage through the borders with Lebanon on their way heading to aid their failing friends in Qussayr, in an apparently coordinated move with the Israelis, but met a very very bad fate when their 14 flatbed cars mounted with machine-guns and packed with terrorists were trapped in the valley below the radar hill and exterminated in full. The locals confirm the death of at least 65 terrorists whose bodies are left in the open in the valley with their destroyed vehicles as this minute.

The following video report by ANNA News from Darayya town in southern Damascus countryside is self-explanatory:

The world will be grateful to the amazing withstanding of the Syrian people and their amazing brave Syrian Arab Army in defeating NATO’s best assets from Al-Qaeda terrorists and exposing their links with the Israelis, some US senators like John McCain and the international Muslim Brotherhood organization. Continue reading

Main al-Nusra Front commander killed in Qusayr clashes

Syrian troops celebrate as they take control of the village of Haydariyah, some 7 km outside al-Qusayr on May 20, 2013.

The main commander of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front has been reportedly killed in clashes with the Syrian army in the western city of al-Qusayr.

According to Syria’s national television, top al-Nusra Front commander identified as Abu Omar was killed in al-Qusayr on Tuesday as clashes between Syrian troops and foreign-backed militants in the border town entered their third day.

The Syrian army says it is now in control of more than 70 percent of the strategic city, which connects the capital city of Damascus to the Mediterranean port of Tartous.

Intense fighting is reported to be still under way in some parts of al-Qusayr, about 30 km southwest of Homs, with the Syrian army making advances on terrorist groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Syria’s official news agency, SANA, scores of militants were killed in clashes with government forces on Tuesday. Syrian troops also defused several explosive devices in the city.

Syrian troops entered al-Qusayr from several directions on May 19 after weeks of clashes with militants. Syrian sources say over 100 militants have been killed in the military operation to clear al-Qusayr of militants.

On Monday, Syrian army confiscated an Israeli military vehicle used by foreign-backed militants in al-Qusayr. A number of military uniforms as well as wiretapping and jamming equipment were found in the vehicle.

Source: Press TV

Is Former U.S. Army Vet Who Fought Alongside Al-Qaeda in Syria Linked to CIA?

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Eric Harroun, credit: PressTV

By Brandon Turbeville, ACTIVIST POST

In the wake of the arrest of Eric Harroun, a former U.S. army veteran who has openly fought alongside the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front against the Assad government in Syria, evidence is mounting that Harroun was, in fact, working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the whole time.

In a recent report released by PressTV, upon Harroun’s arrest by the FBI after arriving at Dulles International Airport, Darryl Harroun (Eric’s father) has stated that his son was working for the CIA and reporting back to the intelligence agency from Syria. Darryl Harroun further stated that his son was truly patriotic and would never actually join such militants.

“I know he was doing some work for the CIA over there,” Darryl said. “I know for a fact that he was passing information onto the CIA.”

However, the FBI documents related to Harroun’s arrest do not contain any reference to Harroun’s employment with the CIA.

Harroun has already confessed to shooting 10 people, downing a Syrian chopper, and firing a rocket-propelled grenade during his tenure in the country with the death squads. He was also charged with “plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.”

Harroun has been openly been fighting alongside al-Nusra since January. However, he also spent some time inside Egypt where he took part in the overthrow of Mubarak and the installation of an even more heavy-handed regime made up of fascists, fanatics, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Although Darryl Harroun’s comments are not conclusive evidence with regard to his son’s employment with the CIA, such a situation would be entirely within the realm of possibility. Indeed, given the history of the CIA method of destabilization and control of terrorist networks, Harroun’s link with the agency is more likely than not.

Bataille de Damas: le coup de maître du renseignement irano-russe! / Damascus battle: Iranian-Russian intelligence success

FRENCH

Le coup de maitre du renseignement irano-russe, en Syrie, qui a fini par mettre en échec la bataille de Damas, n’est pas prêt de s’oublier de sitôt. L’armée loyaliste a mené une opération tenaille contre plus de 50.000 miliciens, qui ont attaqué, voici une semaine, l’aéroport de Damas.

Ce plan conconcté par les officiers du renseignement américains et leurs intermédiares arabes, turcs, et français aurait dû, en effet, se solder par la chute de quatre aéroports, dans la banlieue de Damas, la prise de la route de l’aéroport international, la défaite des forces d’élites de l’armée. Mais le renseignement iranien et russe a découvert ce plan, avant qu’il ne soit appliqué, et en a informé l’armée syrienne, qui, tendant un piège, a laissé les miliciens s’approcher de Damas, avant de les décimer. L’armée syrienne poursuit, actuellement, son opération, qui vise à faire reculer les terroristes, dans les déserts des alentours de Damas, (localité Ghouteh Charghiya) et c’est dans ces déserts que les terroristes sont combattus. Le bilan de leurs pertes s’élève à plus de 5.000 morts, des milliers de blessés et prisonniers. Ainsi, le plan américano arabo-franco-turc a, lamentablement, échoué. La milice Al-Nusra (Que les Américains viennent de bannir, à titre d’organisation terroriste!!) a été, extrêmement active, dans cette opération, et c’est justement son incapacité à mener à bien cette opération, qui lui a valu les foudres de Washington. L’armée syrienne a eu l’ingéniosité de détruire tous les voies d’acheminement d’armes et de moyens logistiques de ces miliciens. Cette opération se déroulait, alors que Poutine visitait la Turquie et qu’on entendait Erdogan dire que “l’Iran n’a plus aucun rôle, en Syrie, et c’est la Russie qui détient la clé de la crise”!!!!

ENGLISH (translated with google translate)

The master stroke Intelligence Iranian-Russian, Syria, which eventually defeat the battle of Damascus, is not ready to forget anytime soon. The loyalist army conducted a pincer operation against more than 50,000 militiamen who attacked a week ago, the Damascus airport.
This plan conconcté by U.S. intelligence officers and their intermediates Arabs, Turks, French and should, in fact, lead to the fall of four airports in the suburbs of Damascus, taking the road to the international airport, the defeat of the elite of the army. But the Russian and Iranian intelligence discovered the plan before it is implemented, and informed the Syrian army, which a trap, let the militia approaching Damascus, before decimating. The Syrian army continues today, its operation, which aims to reduce the terrorists in the deserts around Damascus (town Ghouteh Charghiya) and it is in these deserts that terrorists are fought. Stock of their losses amounted to more than 5,000 dead, thousands wounded and prisoners. Thus, the Arab-American Plan Franco-Turkish, miserably failed. The militia Al-Nusra (What Americans are to banish, as a terrorist organization!) Has been extremely active in this operation, and it is precisely its inability to carry out this operation, which earned him the wrath of Washington. The Syrian army had the ingenuity to destroy all routes of weapons and logistics of these militiamen. This operation took place, while Putin visited Turkey and Erdogan was heard saying that “Iran has no role in Syria, and it is Russia that holds the key to the crisis”! !

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