Rebels Admit Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attack

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Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident.

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak. (back up version here).

Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition rebel, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.

According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.

“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.

If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.

The website on which the story originally appeared – Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.

Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.

The Obama administration is set to present its intelligence findings today in an effort prove that Assad’s forces were behind last week’s attack, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.

US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”

As we reported earlier this week, intercepted intelligence revealed that the Syrian Defense Ministry was making “panicked” phone calls to Syria’s chemical weapons department demanding answers in the hours after the attack, suggesting that it was not ordered by Assad’s forces.

Rebels Admit Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attack

image

Militants tell AP reporter they mishandled Saudi-supplied chemical weapons, causing accident.

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak. (back up version here).

Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.

His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition rebel, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.

According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.

“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.

If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.

The website on which the story originally appeared – Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.

Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.

The Obama administration is set to present its intelligence findings today in an effort prove that Assad’s forces were behind last week’s attack, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.

US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”

As we reported earlier this week, intercepted intelligence revealed that the Syrian Defense Ministry was making “panicked” phone calls to Syria’s chemical weapons department demanding answers in the hours after the attack, suggesting that it was not ordered by Assad’s forces.
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‎Syria – Aleppo : Media source: 123 martyrs in Khan al Assal massacre

Jul 27, 2013

Aleppo, (SANA) – A media source said that the death toll from the massacre that armed terrorist groups committed in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo countryside reached 123 martyrs, with many others still missing.

The majority of the victims are armless civilians, the source pointed out.

Medical tests helped identify 6 of the martyrs, the source said, vowing that the perpetrators will pay a heavy price for their barbarity and affirming that ”the Syrian people and army are on high alert.”

The armed terrorist groups committed a genocide against a number of civilians and military personnel in Khan al-Assal town in the countryside of Aleppo.

Gang of the so-called Ansar al-Khilafa Brigade admitted committing the terrorist massacre in Khan al-Assal, mutilating the bodies of the martyrs and throwing them in a big hole on the outskirts of the town, in addition to incinerating a number of the martyrs’ bodies.

Khan al-Assal area was last March the target of a chemical weapons attack when terrorists launched a rocket containing chemical materials, killing 25 citizens and injuring 110 others.

The new massacre, which came in light of the continued international silence and open Western support for the armed terrorist groups, stirred all the Syrians in resentment calling for quick and firm response towards the murderers who have been allowed access to enter Syria across the border.

Head of the Syrian Human Rights Network, Ahmad Khazem, stressed that the massacre, during which the terrorists set the martyrs’ bodies on fire, is “a blatant violation of the UN Convention against Torture and a crime against humanity”.

Khazem added that this crime also constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and Article 25 of Rome Statute, clarifying that both the resolution and the article stress on the prevention of providing material and logistic support to the armed terrorist groups.

This form of support, in addition to providing weapons, funds and shelter, has continued to be offered to the terrorist groups in Syria by the governments of Turkey and Gulf states, on top is Saudi Arabia.

For his part, Head of the Lawyers Syndicate, Nizar Skeif, demanded sending an urgent letter to the Security Council on this massacre so as to refer its perpetrators and their backers to the International Criminal Court.

Spokesman for the presidency of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, Adel Nei’seh, condemned the calls and efforts to supply the terrorists in Syria with qualitative weapons from the Gulf states.

Those efforts, Nei’she said, “have caused the Syrians to fall victim to criminals whose heads are filled with devilish fatwas.”

In turn, Head of the National Initiative for Syrian Kurds, Omar Aussi, highlighted that the new massacre in Khan al-Assal aims at escalation by the terrorists, a step they usually resort to “before any chance for political solution” as the coincides with the arrival of a UN team to investigate the crime of chemical weapons use in the town.

In the same context, the branch of the National Union of Syrian Students condemned in the strongest terms the massacre in Khan al-Assal, denouncing the “rude silence” on this crime of all the opposition parties that claim moderation.

The Union pointed out that the massacre reflects the barbarity and savageness of the takfiri terrorist groups that are implementing the agendas of Al Saud monarchy.

Iranian Diplomat Blasts Silence on Human Rights Violations by Rebels in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian diplomat lashed out at certain countries and international organizations for keeping mum on the severe violation of human rights in Syria by the rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Iran’s New Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Mohsen Naziri Asl made the remarks on Wednesday, addressing an emergency meeting on Syria which was held by the UN Human Rights Council.

The Iranian diplomat expressed deep concern over continued conflicts in Syria, and said unfortunately the violence in Syria has been mounting with no control during the past days leaving scores of civilian dead.

He further criticized advocates of holding the emergency meeting on Syria at the UN Human Rights Council for turning a blind eye to the blatant cases of human rights violation by opponent groups in Syria.

Naziri urged the international community to change its approach towards Syria, and stressed that continuation of such biased approach would further encourage Syrian opponent groups to increase their violent armed conflicts.

He said that providing arms to Syria’s opposition groups would be catastrophic for the Syrian people and the entire region as well.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs and terrorists against Syrian forces and civilians being reported across the country.

The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May 2012 that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said last May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.

Source: Fars News

“Global War on Terror” is officially permanent

Recently, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing regarding the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the extremely dubious and un-Constitutional legislation that gave the United States government “legal authority” to use military force against “those who planned, authorized, committed or aided” the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Rather than arresting and executing the dual Israeli-American citizens and other traitors who planned, facilitated, executed, and covered up 9/11, using military force against the criminal terrorist state of Israel, whose agents and assets perpetrated and benefitted from that dastardly act, the United States military launched what has turned out to be an endless war against a faceless, amorphous enemy.

The “Global War on Terror” – an Orwellian concept concocted by Zionist Jews and their neocon henchmen – was officially launched as a result of the false flag, PSYOP-style terrorist attack on 9/11. More aptly called the Jewish War of Terror, the genocidal campaign of destruction against the Muslim world, combined with the rise and institutionalization of the tyrannical, un-American police state/Homeland Security complex, represents a threat to liberty and freedom perhaps unprecedented in history.9/11, the event which officially kick started the “Global War on Terror,” accomplished two goals primarily.

First, it justified the various military Continue reading

Israeli Gaza Airstrikes Violated Laws of War

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drawing by Zeon

By Stephen LENDMAN

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said so. Rarely does HRW do the right thing. Exceptions prove the rule. Most often it’s a reliable imperial partner.

Connections in high places and corporate funding keep it that way. Services rendered in return are expected. Conflicts of interest are rife.

HRW and likeminded sources followers rely on operate like their scoundrel media counterparts. They do it deceptively. They produce one-sided or quasi-real reports on issues mattering most.

Exceptions occur. Even then they fall far short. On February 12, HRW headlined “Israel: Gaza Airstrikes Violated Laws of War.” More on its report below.

International laws of war are clear. They unambiguous. UN Charter provisions explain under what conditions attacking another nation is justified. No others apply.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.

Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

Justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 prohibit unilaterally threatening or using force not allowed under Article 51, authorized by the Security Council, or, in the case of America, constitutionally permitted.

Three General Assembly resolutions prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention. They include:

(1) The 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty.

(2) The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

(2) The 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Washington spurns international, constitutional, and US statute laws with impunity. So does Israel. Doing so constitutes “the supreme international crime against peace.” It exceeds all other high crimes and wrongdoing.

On November 14, Operation Pillar of Cloud began. Israel launched premeditated aggression on Gaza. It wasn’t the first time.

Aggressive wars reflect longstanding policy. Israel’s resume includes decades of crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

HRW stopped short of explaining. Data cited grossly understated Israeli terror bombing. It raged for eight days. Dozens of attacks occurred daily. Hamas and other resistance groups responded defensively. International law permits doing so.

Palestinian deaths exceeded 160. Numbers injured topped 1,000. Some harmed later died. Most victims were noncombatant men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm.

Israel considers them legitimate targets. Rogue states operate that way. Israel is one of the worst. It violates fundamental international law. It does so unaccountably.

It claims a divine right to kill, main, displace, and destroy. It takes full advantage.

It steals Palestinian land for Jews. It punishes them collectively. It does so for praying to the wrong God. It’s been that way for decades.

Continue reading

Dresden bombing, Britain’s forgotten war crime of WWII

While Britain claims to be an advocate of human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and many other countries around the world, British history itself is corroborating evidence that Britain, the greatest human rights preacher, has also been the most flagrant human rights breacher.

More Thank 500,000 German civilians and refugees, mostly women and children, were slaughtered by Britain’s saturation bombing in 1945, one of the worst massacres of all time.

Over 700,000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million defenseless inhabitants of German city Dresden under Britain’s then Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s order, which not only reduced one of the greatest centers of northern Europe to flaming ruins, but also led to one of the worst war crimes of the Second World War.

Dresden’s bombing in February, 13, 1945 was so relentless that some historians believe it was the height of Winston Churchill’s madness.

“I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau,” Churchill said once.

Toward the end of the war, Churchill’s desired firestorm was finally created. More than 260,000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted after British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) assaulted Dresden. However, those who perished in the centre of the city could not be traced, as the temperature in the area reached 1600 degree Centigrade.

Dresden’s citizens barely had time to reach their shelters and those who sought refuge underground often suffocated as oxygen was pulled from the air to feed the flames. Others perish in a blast of white heat, heat strong enough to melt human flesh.

When the bombing started, no one could imagine that in less than 24 hours all those innocent people could die screaming in Churchill’s firestorms.

If there was a war crime, certainly the Dresden tragedy would rank as one of the most sinister of all time. Sadly, however, Churchill, who ordered the slaughter of up to a half million innocent people in this horrifying tragedy, was knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

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Bloodlust in israel: ‘Flatten Gaza, send it back to Middle Ages, they need to die!’

Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai.(AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

A new wave of hatred towards Palestine is sweeping through Israel from public figures to the man on the street. This hostility is in sharp contrast to efforts in Cairo, where Arab leaders and Western diplomats are trying to hammer out a peace plan.

While Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Nabil Sheath expressed hope Sunday night that negotiations would continue, very different noises were coming out of Israel.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Operation Pillar of Defense would continue and likely be expanded, a reference to the possibility that a ground offensive has already been given the go-ahead.

The war in Gaza “must be so painful and difficult that the terror groups will not think twice but a hundred times before they fire missiles against Israel again,” it was reported in The Israel National News.

“Destroy and damage infrastructure, public buildings and government buildings. We must make sure that Hamas will be spending many years rebuilding Gaza, and not attacking Israel,” he continued.

A few days ago he said, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years.”

His words were relatively mild compared to some of the comments that have been coming out of Israel in recent days.

Journalist, Gilad Sharon, the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in an editorial in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday called for Gaza to be flattened like the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

“We need to flatten all of Gaza. The American’s didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough – so they hit Nagasaki too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” ranted Sharon.

 

Gilad Sharon, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.(AFP Photo / Brian Hendler)

 

As the former Prime Minister’s son publicly urged the military to wipe Gaza off the map, a member of the Knesset and the National Unity Party, Michael Ben-Ari, called for Israeli soldiers to kill Gazans without thought or mercy.

“There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives – mow them down!” it was reported on the Hakol HaYehudi website.

He also told soldiers to ignore Goldstone; in reference to the UN commissioned Goldstone report on Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza, which found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel Katz, the country’s transport minister, has called “for Gaza to be bombed so hard the population has to flee into Egypt.” While Avi Dichter, the minster of home front defense, has urged the IDF to “reformat” Gaza – to wipe it clean with bombs.

Even religious leaders joined the fray, with a prominent Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Yosef, the son of former chief rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, in a sermon at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron blessed IDF soldiers while urging them “to learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy.” Continue reading

“Israel” Retreats, Prefers Lull

 

The smoke of defeat and retreat emerged Tuesday from “Israel’s” security meeting.

According to “Israeli” media, the forum of top nine ministers has decided that the Zionist entity will attempt to reach a lull.

“A decision was taken that for the time being there is a temporary hold on the ground incursion to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” an “Israeli” official announced following a late-night session of “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner circle.

Meanwhile, another official told “Ynet” daily that “the goal is to reach a ceasefire and discontinue the operation.”

“While the massive firing of rockets at “Israel’s” south continues… it appears Operation Pillar of Clouds may be drawing to an end,” the daily commented.

Moreover, it mentioned that a heavy barrage of Gaza rockets was fired at the “Israel” Tuesday morning. Also Tuesday, al-Arabiya reported that “Israel” and the Palestinian factions are expected to sign a ceasefire agreement within a matter of hours. It was also reported that preparations for the signing are already underway in Cairo.

This comes as “Israel” asked Egypt to play the role of mediator during a 24-48- hour ceasefire before the final agreement is signed. Sources revealed that the agreement includes the Palestinian resistance conditions of lifting  the Gaza blockade and the opening of various crossings.
Another “Israeli” official said that the “Israeli” army will continue to act with force in the Gaza Strip.

In this context, “Israeli” airstrikes martyred two Palestinians on the seventh day of “Israel’s” bombardment of the coastal strip. Continue reading

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