Insurgents kill 30 Syrian civilians in Idlib

Members of the terrorist Free Syrian Army (File Photo)

Insurgents fighting against the Syrian government have killed at least 30 civilians in the northwest city of Idlib, as they continue their deadly attacks across the country.

The violence took place in the Idlib countryside Harem on Sunday. The accident comes days after a video posted online showed insurgents beating and executing a group of soldiers in Idlib province. The UN and Amnesty International have said that the killings could be the evidence of a “war crime.”

According to Syria’s official news agency SANA, government forces have also clashed with foreign-backed insurgents in Idlib countryside of Maarat al-Noman, killing dozens of terrorists and seizing a large amount of weapons, including RPG rocket launchers.

There are also reposts of clashes between the Syrian army and armed groups in Dayr al-Zawr and Damascus suburbs of Hasrata and Hijera.

Meanwhile, at least 11 people were injured after a car bomb exploded near a government-run labor union and a hotel in the heart of the Syrian capital of Damascus.

“An explosion caused by terrorists went off near to the Dama Rose hotel and the union federation, which left a number of people wounded and causing damage to the area,” Syrian TV said.

The area is close to several security centers and Syrian military headquarters. The Dama Rose hotel in the past was used by UN observers visiting Syria.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence.

Syria accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey as well as some Western countries of fanning the flames violence in the country.

Source: Press TV

Analysts: Syrian army in no danger of collapsing from rebel assaults

A destroyed tank overlooks the main highway on June 17, 2012, running through Rastan, Syria from Damascus to Aleppo

By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Though degraded by a war of attrition against increasingly capable guerrilla militias, the Syrian military remains a cohesive force capable of continuing its operations for the foreseeable future, according to independent military analysts.

The assessment that the Syrian military remains a potent force contradicts months of suggestions by Obama administration officials that defections and the pace of the increasingly violent conflict is overstretching the military, a theme that’s been voiced repeatedly for months in official State Department briefings.

“We think that the army is increasingly overstretched. We think that the economy is under increasing strain. And we think the rebels are getting stronger,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Aug. 9 in one typical comment.

Yet despite a bombing in July that killed four of President Bashar Assad’s closest advisers – including his minister of defense – Syrian military strategy has changed little from six months ago: using the highly mechanized army – built to fight the Israeli army – to surround rebel-held areas and pound them with artillery and airstrikes before making incursions with infantry and paramilitary forces. Continue reading

‘US defeat in Syria would be end of US hegemony in Middle East’

The United States is doing everything possible to salvage ‘operation Syria’ and in doing so hedging all their bets on its success, says Eric Draitser, geopolitical analyst from But that strategy, Draitser believes, will fail.

Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US no longer sees Syria’s foreign-based National Council as a leading opposition force, due to its lack of support on the ground.

The Syrian opposition consists of various rebel militias, many of which have been infiltrated by radical Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda.

A new 51 member “National Initiative Council” is due to be unveiled in Doha next week, and will include only 15 seats for the SNC.

Meanwhile, the SNC is planning to base itself inside Syria, in an attempt to prove its relevance to skeptical international backers. But as Eric Draitser told RT, these efforts may be too little too late to fit into US plans for the region.

RT:Washington’s already suggesting names to represent a new opposition leadership, with the Syrian National Council to have just a few seats – why this shift now? Continue reading