Syrian Army troops take full control of al-Daba’a town

Syrian Army soldiers jubilate. (file photo)

 

Syrian Army troops have taken control of al-Daba’a town in the central province of Homs, a day after they fully purged the strategic border town of al-Qusayr from foreign-sponsored militants.

On Thursday, Syrian troops liberated the town after fierce exchange of fire with the militants.

Syria’s state television reported on Wednesday that Syrian forces had regained full control of Qusayr following three weeks of fighting.

Many foreign-backed militants were killed or injured throughout the mop-up operations conducted by Syrian soldiers in the town.

The militants fled to farms and a nearby village. Reports indicate that peace and security have now been restored in the region.

Syrian troops backed by the forces of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah entered Qusayr from several directions on May 19.

Qusayr had been an important center and supply route for the foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the Damascus government.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.

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

The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.

Several international human rights organizations have accused militants operating in Syria of committing war crimes.

Source: Press TV

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1st British Extremist Killed in Syria, 80 More Joined Rebels

The first British-born rebel killed in Syria has been revealed as Ibrahim al-Mazwagi, a 21-year-old extremist who graduated from Hertfordshire University last year.

To his friends, he was a sociable member of the university’s American football team, but to rebels in Syria, he was one of about 80 British men who are believed to have joined the fight against Bashar al-Assad in the last two years.

According to the Facebook page set up in his honor, the north Londoner had fought in Libya in 2011 before heading to fight alongside his so-called “brothers” in Syria last August.

Announcing his death, a message on the page read: “He took part of [sic] a major operation against the [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad regime forces yesterday and passed in the ensuing battles.”
This comes as the British Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that London is ready to arm Syrian militants in case the conflict continues to escalate.  Continue reading

US, allies in no hurry to end Syria violence: Nasrallah

 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has said that certain countries are benefiting from the crisis in Syria and are trying to prolong the violence in the country.

Addressing a university graduation ceremony in Beirut, Nasrallah said on Sunday that the US and its allies are in no hurry to end violence in Syria and instead they are fueling the unrest because they want the country to be destroyed over its anti-Israeli stance.

Hezbollah secretary-general also warned al-Qaeda that the US has laid a trap for the group in Syria and by allowing al-Qaeda militants to easily enter the country, it is planning for them to kill each other in clashes there.

He further called national dialogue as the only way to end the Syrian crisis, stressing that those who oppose a political settlement to the country’s unrest are criminals.

Hezbollah chief said those who are fighting against the Syrian government are foreign militants and not Syrians because they are killing innocent civilians in car bombings and other acts of violence.

“They are not Syrians, they are killing Syrians,” Nasrallah said, adding that those who think foreign-backed militants will win are mistaken.

He also accused Western and Arab media outlets of launching a psychological war against the Syrian government by spreading false news about militants’ achievements.

“However, anyone who looks at Syria’s map and the regions controlled by the Syrian government can know that the regime is more powerful,” Nasrallah stated. Continue reading

US Defense Contractors Training Syrian Rebels to Handle Chemical Weapons

The US-funded training supposedly aimed at teaching rebels to secure chemical weapons stockpiles

The US and some of its European allies “are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria,” according to “a senior US official and several senior diplomats,” CNN reports.

The US-funded training is going on inside Syria, as well as in neighboring Turkey and Jordan and “involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials,” according to CNN.

Last week, Washington began warning about the possibility that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might use his chemical weapons stockpiles against the armed rebellion trying to overthrow his regime.

But top Syrian officials vehemently denied this would ever happen, and it appeared obvious that US officials were less concerned with Assad’s unleashing the chemical weapons, and more concerned with the possibility that Islamic jihadists fighting on behalf of the Syrian opposition might get their hands on them.

Islamic extremists make up the great bulk of Syria’s rebel fighters, and this is widely acknowledged by official Washington. Indeed, the State Department recently designated Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the most prominent Syrian rebel factions, as a Global Terrorist organization.

The US decision to hire unaccountable defense contractors to train Syrian rebels to handle stockpiles of chemical weapons seems dangerously irresponsible in the extreme, especially considering how inept Washington has so far been at making sure only trustworthy, secular rebels – to the extent they exist – receive their aid and the weapons that allies in the Gulf Arab states have been providing.

It also feeds accusations that the Syrian Foreign Ministry recently made that the US is working to frame the Syrian regime as having used or prepared for chemical warfare.

“The U.S. administration has consistently worked over the past year to launch a campaign of allegations on the possibility that Syria could use chemical weapons during the current crisis,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote in letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“What raises concerns about this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of the countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government that used the weapons,” the letters said. Continue reading

No Eid ceasefire for Syria: Car bombing rocks Damascus, fighting reported at army base

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on October 24, 2012, allegedly shows a Syrian rebel fighter firing a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) during clashes with government forces in the Salaheddin neighbourhood of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo / SANA)

 

A car bombing rocked Damascus causing ‘multiple’ injuries after rebel fighters reportedly tried to storm a military base near the Syrian capital. The violence came despite an official ceasefire honoring the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Activists say dozens have been killed or wounded after a car bomb exploded in a southern district of Damascus. State media also reported “human and material losses,” in the attack.

The bomb reportedly detonated near a children’s playground in Daf al-Shok, a Sunni residential neighborhood. Extensive damage to nearby buildings was reported, and numerous casualties are feared.

State news agency SANA reported that “terrorists” were responsible for the blast.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that rebels had laid siege to a military base one kilometer from the highway, and that government forces had opened fire in a nearby village.

“Violent clashes started around 10:30 am (9:30 am Paris time) around the Wadi Deif base. The army responded by bombing the neighbouring village of Deir Sharqi. It is the first violation of the ceasefire,” Rami Abdul Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

tenuous truce was called into effect hours earlier on Friday morning following an agreement between the Assad government and the rebels to observe a four-day ceasefire in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi proposed the truce after visiting Syria earlier this week in the hopes of creating what he called “a political environment where political talks are possible.”

The ceasefire seemed doomed to fail from the start, as both the government and the rebels began setting numerous conditions shortly after the truce was announced.

The Free Syrian Army said that its fighters would not commit to a ceasefire unless detained rebels were released from custody on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Assad government said it reserved the right to retaliate against any violence by opposition forces during the truce. Damascus also said it would respond to any attempts to smuggle weapons across Syria’s borders, and would take measures to prevent ‘terrorists’ from entering the country.

Source: Russia today

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped and Executed by US-NATO Sponsored Rebels

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) – The body of the greek orthodox priest Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of the church of St. Elias in Qatana, was found today in the Jaramana neighborhood (north of Damascus) not far from the place where he was kidnapped, on October 19, by unidentified armed group (see Fides 24/10/2012). This was confirmed to Fides by Fr. Haddad’s greek-orthodox confrere, who asked for anonymity. “His body was horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out,” he told Fides. “It is a purely terrorist act. Fr. Haddad is a martyr of our church. ”

With regards to the responsibilities of the terrible act there is an ongoing rebound of responsibilities between the opposition forces and government authorities, that accuse the armed gangs of armed rebellion in the army. According to Fides sources, the kidnappers had asked the priest’s family and his church a ransom of 50 million Syrian pounds (over 550 thousand euro). It was, however, impossible to find the money and meet this exorbitant demand. A source of Fides condemns “the terrible practice, present for months in this dirty war, of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians.”

Among the various Christian communities in Syria, the greek orthodox is the largest (with about 500 thousand faithful) and is concentrated mainly in the western part of the country and in Damascus.

US assists, funnels arms to Syrian insurgents: Russia

Insurgent fires towards an army position in Karm al-Jabal district of the northern city of Aleppo on October 22, 2012. (File photo)

Russia says the United States assists and coordinates arms deliveries to foreign-sponsored insurgents battling the Syrian government forces.

“Washington is aware of the deliveries of various weapons to illegal armed groups active in Syria. Moreover, judging by the declarations of US officials published in US media, the US coordinates and provides logistical assistance in such deliveries,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Russia’s chief military officer said that Syrian armed groups have acquired US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

General Nikolai Makarov said it was not clear who had delivered the arms.

“We have information that the rebels fighting the Syrian army have shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles of several states, including Stingers made in the United States,” he said.

“We need to still find out who has delivered them,” General Makarov noted.  Continue reading

Syrian Opposition: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey behind Terrorists’ Infiltration into Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- Haitham Manna, a Paris-based veteran Syrian opposition figure, slammed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for infiltrating terrorists into Syria.

Speaking at London School of Economics, Manna said the Syrian crisis would deteriorate if the status quo continues, adding that the world powers are responsible for the lack of a proper solution to the Syrian crisis.

Major powers have refused to take any measure for the settlement of the Syrian crisis so far and only resorted to theatrical conferences dubbed “Syrian friends”, he said, adding they have presented no democratic reform plan for the crisis-hit country.

The Syrian opposition figure supported the plan offered by the UN and Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, for truce in Syria during the Eid Al-Adha holiday (starting on October 26), and expressed the hope that the measure could serve as a prelude to ceasefire in Syria.

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

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

Brahimi had proposed in his recent visit to Tehran that a truce be put into effect between the Syrian government forces and the rebel groups fighting the Damascus government during the Eid al-Adha which has been announced a four-day holiday in Syria. Continue reading

Syria demands UNSC, UN General Secretariat and UNHRC to condemn crimes of Terrorists

Syria demanded the UN Security Council (UNSC), UN General Secretariat and UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to expose the crimes of the armed groups, condemn them and punish these groups.

The demand came in identical letters sent by the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry to the Head of UNSC, UNSG, UNHRC Chairperson and High Commissioner of Human Rights.

The Syrian foreign ministry stressed in its letters that the armed groups and their supporters are continuing shedding the Syrian blood in contradiction with all human values and at a timing which became known being repeated before sessions held by the UNSC to discuss the situation in Syria.

The Ministry highlighted that the massacre committed by an armed terrorist group in Duma city in Damascus Countryside took place in an area where there is no presence of the Syrian Army or and where the armed terrorist groups are active. Continue reading