Annan: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey supplied Syrian opposition with money and arms

Vienna, (SANA) Former UN Secretary General and former international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have supplied the “Syrian opposition” with money and arms.

In an interview with the Austrian Die Presse newspaper, Annan noted that some regional and Western countries rejected the six-point plan which he presented for solving the crisis in Syria because they had differences with the Syrian leadership or with Iran, Russia and China, adding that those countries then formed the so-called “Friends of Syria” group.

He reiterated the need to solve the crisis in Syria by peaceful and political means, expressing his opposition to any form of military intervention.

Annan, who was appointed as UN Special Envoy to Syria in February 2012, highlighted that the Syrian government showed positive reaction to his efforts early in his mission with regard to declaring a limited ceasefire while the other parties rejected that step.

The former international envoy stressed that Iran must be part of the solution in Syria given its great capabilities that allow it to exert an influence in the region and play an objective role to end the crisis, pointing out that Saudi Arabia opposed any Iranian role as it views Tehran as a rival in the regional and international arena.

Annan underscored that what made the US President Barack Obama hesitant to launch any military action against Syria despite pressure by the Pentagon and the US’s Western and Gulf allies was because of the fact that the situation in Syria is totally different from Libya or any other country given its sensitive geopolitical position.

He said that belief matched his visions to end the crisis in Syria peacefully when he told everybody that there could not be a military solution to the “conflict” in Syria, adding that no full agreement on his proposals was reached at the UN Security Council, “and that was why I had to quit my mission as an international envoy to Syria”.

Annan quit his position as an envoy and informed the UN of his intention not to renew his mission, which lasted until August 31 of 2012.

Annan expressed regret that Austria withdrew its forces from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the occupied Syrian Golan, considering that the withdrawal of some Western states’ forces from Golan reflects these countries’ lack of desire and indifference to solve the crisis in Syria.

Source: Sana

Tunisian girls return home pregnant after ‘Jihad al-Nikah’ (sexual Jihad) in Syria

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Nora Husari, a female fighter in the Free Syrian Army, rests with other women undergoing military training in Aleppo on February 17, 2013.

A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria to perform “Jihad al-Nikah” or “sexual Jihad” there have returned back home pregnant, Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Bin Jeddo says.

The Tunisian girls “are (sexually) swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual Jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle,” the non-partisan minister said during an address to the National Constituent Assembly on Thursday.

Bin Jeddo said the Interior Ministry has banned 6,000 Tunisians from travelling to Syria since March 2013 and arrested 86 individuals suspected of forming “networks” that send Tunisian youth for “Jihad” to Syria.

The minister hit back at human rights groups criticizing the government’s decision to ban suspected “Jihadists” from travel. Most of those slapped with travel bans were less than 35 years old, he said.

“Our youths are positioned in the frontlines and are taught how to steal and raid (Syrian) villages,” Bin Jeddo said.

Former Mufti of Tunisia Sheikh Othman Battikh said in April that 13 Tunisian girls “were fooled” into travelling to Syria to offer their sexual services to militants fighting to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The mufti, who was dismissed from his post days afterwards, described the so-called “sexual Jihad” as a form of “prostitution.”

“For Jihad in Syria, they are now pushing girls to go there. 13 young girls have been sent for sexual Jihad. What is this? This is called prostitution. It is moral educational corruption,” the mufti told reporters.

In August, general director of the public security service Mostafa Bin Omar said a “sexual Jihad cell” was broken up in an area west of the country where al-Qaead militants holed up.

Bin Omar told reporters that al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Shariah was using minor girls, dressed in the full face cover to offer sexual services for male terrorists.
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Al-Qaeda, FSA militants clash near Turkish border

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Terrorists linked to al-Qaeda have overrun a Syrian town near the border with Turkey after fierce clashes broke out with units of the so-called Free Syrian Army militant group.

Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday stormed the town of Azaz, 5km from the Syrian-Turkish border, and killed at least five FSA militants, the Syrian opposition said, adding that 100 people were taken captive.

Reports in the late evening said that fighting was continuing and getting closer to a border crossing at Bab al-Salama, which is controlled by the FSA.

The fighting is the most severe since tensions mounted earlier this year between the foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government.

The fighting could pose a dilemma for the Turkish government, which has been allowing militants to cross into Syria from its territory, but may not be keen to see al-Qaeda so close to its border.

Abu Ahmad, a militant in Azaz, claimed: “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has seized complete control of Azaz. They are in control of the town’s entrances.” 

Abu Louay al-Halabi, another militant, said the fighting broke out after the Storm of the North Brigade, an FSA unit, resisted attempts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant to abduct a German doctor working as a volunteer at a private hospital in Azaz.

“By taking Azaz, the Islamic State is a step closer to controlling the crossing. Its objective seems to be taking over the whole countryside north of Aleppo,” he said.

The Syria-Turkey border areas have been rocked by insurgency and bomb attacks in recent days.

A bomb attack struck the Bab al-Hawa crossing on Tuesday, and Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian regime helicopter when it strayed into Turkish airspace on Monday.

Crisis in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
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Footage of chemical attack in Syria is fraud

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An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by the Arbeen unified press office on August 21, 2013 shows a man comforting a Syrian girl in shock as she screams in Arabic “I am alive” following an attack in which Syrian opposition claim the regime used chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus (AFP Photo)

There is proof the footage of the alleged chemical attack in Syria was fabricated, Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria, told RT. She says she is about to submit her findings to the UN.

Mother Agnes, a catholic nun, who has been living in Syria for 20 years and has been reporting actively on what has been going on in the war-ravaged country, says she carefully studied the video featuring allegedly victims of the chemical weapons attack in the Syrian village of Guta in August and now questions its authenticity. 

In her interview with RT, Mother Agnes doubts so much footage could have been taken in so little time, and asks where parents of the supposedly dead children are. She promises to send her report to the UN. 

The nun is indignant with the world media for apparently turning a blind eye to the Latakia massacre by rebel extremists, which left 500 civilians including women and children dead.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to pay attention to revelations made by Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib. 

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Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib

Mother Agnes: I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator. 

The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.

The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don’t see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children? 

I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.

RT: Recently you’ve visited Latakia and the adjacent areas, you’ve talked to the eyewitnesses to the massacre of civilians carried out in Latakia by Jabhat al-Nusra. What can you tell us about it?  

MA: What I want to ask first of all is how the international community can ignore the brutal killing spree in Latakia on Laylat al-Qadr early in the morning of August 5, an attack that affected more than 500 people, including children, women and the elderly. They were all slaughtered. The atrocities committed exceed any scale. But there was close to nothing about it in the international mass media. There was only one small article in “The Independent”, I believe. 

We sent our delegation to these villages, and our people had a look at the situation on-site, talked to the locals, and most importantly – talked to the survivors of the massacre. 

I don’t understand why the Western media apply double standards in this case – they talk about mass murder that the use of chemical weapons resulted in non-stop, but they keep quiet about the Latakia massacre.

RT: Do you know anything about the fate of hostages captured in Latakia?

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A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 20, 2013 shows soldiers loyal to the regime forces wrapping a decomposed body that was allegedly discovered in a mass grave in northern Latakia, a province on the Mediterranean coast (AFP Photo)

MA: In the village of Estreba they massacred all the residents and burnt down their houses. In the village of al-Khratta almost all the 37 locals were killed. Only ten people were able to escape. 

A total of twelve Alawite villages were subjected to this horrendous attack. That was a true slaughterhouse. People were mutilated and beheaded. There is even a video that shows a girl being dismembered alive – alive! – by a frame saw. The final death toll exceeded 400, with 150 to 200 people taken hostage. Later some of the hostages were killed, their deaths filmed. 

At the moment we are looking for the hostages and negotiating their release with the militants, but so far we haven’t managed to achieve that.

RT: We often hear reports of Christians being persecuted by the militants. Just the day before yesterday there was an attack in the village of Maaloula, where the majority of population is Christian. Are Christians in Syria facing grave danger?

MA: Everyone in Syria is facing grave danger. There was a case of Muslim religious leaders being kidnapped and beheaded. They were humiliated and tortured. Ismailis, the druze, Christians – people from all parts of Syrian society – are being mass murdered. I would like to say that if these butchers didn’t have international support, no one would have dared to cross the line. But today, unfortunately, the violation of human rights and genocide in Syria is covered up on the international level. I demand the international community stops assessing the situation in Syria in accordance with the interests of a certain group of great powers. The Syrian people are being killed. They fall victim to contractors, who are provided with weapons and sent to Syria to kill as many people as possible. The truth is, everywhere in Syria people are being kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed. These crimes remain unpunished, because the key powers chose international terrorism as a way to destroy sovereign states. They’ve done it to other countries. And they will just keep doing it if the international community doesn’t say “Enough!”

RT: You’ve managed to get hold of some sensitive information. Does this make you fear for your life as someone who keeps documents that may compromise the militants? Has anyone threatened you?
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Syria army launches Deir ez-Zor operation

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Syrian soldiers have launched an operation against foreign-backed militants in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor to retake areas occupied by terrorist groups.

The army hit militant forces in Hawiqa district on Tuesday with tanks and multiple rocket launchers, and also battled them in territory separating Hawiqa from the district of Joura, opposition sources in the city said.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said two militants were killed in the battles on Tuesday. There were no immediate reports about casualties among Syrian forces.

The provincial capital on the banks of the Euphrates, 430 km (270 miles) northeast of Damascus, anchors a vast, arid oil-producing region bordering Iraq.

Half of it was occupied by anti-Syria militants a year ago but army soldiers have been able to keep secure several districts in the west of the city and areas between the local airport to the east.

Syrian army has been struggling with al-Nusra terrorists in south and east of the country, moving steadily forward to free occupied towns and villages.

The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
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Syrian conflict in stalemate, but Assad is stronger, Cameron says

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron

The Syrian government may have got “stronger” in recent months, but more can be done to help Syria’s opposition forces, David Cameron has said.

The UK Prime Minister told the BBC there was a “stalemate” on the ground, but work must continue internationally to try to find a solution.

“I think he [Assad] may be stronger than he was a few months ago but I’d still describe the situation as a stalemate.”

UK military chiefs have warned of the risks of arming rebel groups.

“UK should have nothing to do” with elements of the opposition also reported to have committed atrocities.

Mr Cameron said there was “too much extremism” among the opposition, but moderate groups still deserved support.

“There is too much extremism among the rebels. There is also still appalling behavior from this dreadful regime using chemical weapons. There is an enormous overspill of problems into neighboring countries.”

Syrian government forces have taken the initiative in recent months, and have been bolstered by the capture of the strategically important town of Qusair in the west of the country in June.

Most of the much bigger city of Homs has been recaptured by government troops.

Source: Breaking News Sy

Syrian rebels’ Damascus chemical cache found by Assad army – State TV

The Syrian army has discovered a storehouse belonging to rebels in the Damascus area of Jobar, where toxic chemical substances – including chlorine – have been produced and kept, State TV reported.

Military sources reported that the militants “were preparing to fire mortars in the suburbs of the capital and were going to pack missiles with chemical warheads.”

A video shot by RT’s sister channel Russia Al Youm shows an old, partly ruined building which was set up as a laboratory. After entering the building, Syrian Army officers found scores of canisters and bags laid on the floor and tables. According to a warning sign on the bags, the “corrosive” substance was made in Saudi Arabia.

On July 7, the Syrian army confiscated “281 barrels filled with dangerous, hazardous chemical materials” that they found at a cache belonging to rebels in the city of Banias. The chemicals included monoethylene glycol and polyethylene glycol.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said that the chemicals were “capable of destroying a whole city, if not the whole country.”

Chief UN chemical weapons investigator Ake Sellstrom and UN disarmament chief Angela Kane are expected in Damascus for talks on Monday, following an invitation from the Syrian government.

Storage bags containing “corrosive” substances were found by the Syrian Army in the Damascus area of Jobar.

It is now crucial to find out where the rebels are getting the chemicals from, defense consultant Moeen Raouff told RT.

“The Syrian military has been doing an extremely good job of protecting the nation,” he said. “And if they found this alleged factory than we need to know what the origins of the chemicals are, if they came through the Turkish, Jordanian, Iraqi or Lebanese borders.”

Raouff added that the discovery is unlikely to change the West’s attitude toward the Syrian rebels.

“The Western allies are intent on toppling Assad,”
 he stressed. “Again, they’re going for a case like Iraq and Libya. They’re going after one man and destroying the whole nation. So, I doubt that there’ll be a major reaction. And the Security Council hasn’t reacted to this situation prior to this.”

Earlier this week, Russia submitted to the UN its analysis of samples taken in Aleppo, where chemical weapons were allegedly used in March.  Continue reading

Officials: CIA ships weapons to Jordan to arm Syria militants

Washington stationed some one thousand troops in Jordan in early June to operate a training camp for the militants.

The United States has begun shipping weapons to Jordan to arm the militants fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to U.S. media reports.

The Wall Street Journal quoted American officials and diplomats as saying that the Central Intelligence Agency is planning to provide the insurgents with U.S. weapons within a month.

The weapons are being moved to Jordan from a network of warehouses, the report added without giving any explanation about their locations.

The officials who have been briefed by the CIA said that Saudi Arabia and other U.S. regional allies are also contributing to the plan by sending weapons to the militants.

The weaponry includes different types of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, small arms and ammunition. It would take up to three weeks to send all the weapon consignment to Jordan.

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The report also added that the U.S. and its European and Arab allies have plans to train different groups of militants in Jordan on how to use the weapons.

The first groups of U.S.-trained insurgents are expected to arrive in Syria in late July or early August.

According to earlier U.S. media reports, the American military has been secretly training the militants since November last year.

The White House’s open announcement to arm and train the militants comes as the Syrian army has managed to inflict heavy defeats on the foreign–backed insurgents in recent weeks.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly insurgency for more than two years now. Damascus has long been accusing the West of fueling the flames of unrest in the country.

Many of the militants engaged in fighting against Damascus are foreign nationals including a large numbers of Takfiris.

Source: Press TV

Report: 500 Terrorist Groups Fighting Syrian Gov’t

TEHRAN (FNA)- Over 500 terrorist cells and groups are now fighting against Bashar al-Assad’s government in different parts of Syria, media reports disclosed on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Almanar weekly quoted informed sources as saying that the size of these networks and the number of their members varies depending on who is sponsoring them.

The sources, who asked to remain anonymous in fear of their life, added that over 85% of these criminals are non-Syrians who have come from different continents and have been recruited by Saudi and Qatari spies and later trained in special training camps in Turkey.

The weekly added that these networks are receiving Israeli made weapon cargos paid by Persian Gulf Arab Sheikhs.

The sources also said that these terrorist cells and groups are paid salaries for operations in Syria.

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

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

In an interview broadcast on Turkish television in April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria they could destabilize the entire Middle Eastern region for decades.

“If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control… the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he added.

Source: Fars news

Syria: Public Execution Victims Identified as Civilians

Two weeks ago, Syria Report posted an article detailing the public execution of three men in Ar-Raqqah city. On March 4, 2013 the city fell in the hands of three Jihadist organisations; the infamous Jabhat al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar as-Sham and the brigade of Huthaya bin al-Yaman.

In the following video, three men can be seen kneeling, bound and blindfolded as armed and masked men guard them. Noticeable is the black standard of the Islamic State of Iraq. A speech is then read out to the gathered crowd, stating the executions are in retaliation for the massacres of Sunnis and singles out Alawites in particular. Sectarian rhetoric such as this appears to be growing in regularity in recent weeks.

Warning: Video is Graphic

Source: Syria Report