U.S. designates Syria rebel group a terrorist organization

A Syrian rebel prepares to advance against government troops in Azaz.Manu Brabo / AP

By Paul RICHTER, LA Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has formally designated a rebel group fighting in Syria as a terrorist organization in an effort to marginalize the Al Qaeda affiliate and reduce its chances of gaining power should the Syrian government fall.

Blacklisting Al Nusra Front is one of several diplomatic moves planned by the administration to try to maneuver moderate opposition groups into position to shape a pro-Western government if President Bashar Assad is ousted.

U.S diplomats are to take another step toward that end Wednesday at a meeting in Morocco, where the U.S. is expected to formally recognize a recently formed coalition of rebel groups — the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces — as Syria’s legitimate government-in-waiting.

“We’ve made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime,” President Obama told ABC News on Tuesday in advance of the Morocco meeting.

U.S. officials acknowledge, however, that the umbrella group has limited influence with the dozens of insurgent groups that have emerged in Syria’s nearly 21-month-old civil war.

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Syrian Army annihilates 40 gunmen in Bab Hood of Homs

Soldiers of Syrian Arab Army

The clashes between the Syrian Arab Army and gunmen continue in Aryha city and the groves surrounding the area of Jabal al-Zawya.

Breaking News Network reporter indicated that the most severe armed conflicts took place in Muhambel town, in which resulted in killing large numbers of the militants and destroying their vehicles mounted by machineguns.

Our correspondent added that insurgents had attacked a military convoy that was heading from Jeser al-Shughour, passing by the border villages of Khourbet al-Joz and Kafar Hamra.

The reporter said that the attack was followed by armed confrontations with the Syrian Army members, which resulted in huge losses among the armed men ranks, in addition to some martyrs from the Army side.

Furthermore, a local source in Sulqien confirmed to Breaking News Network that the Syrian Army had launched qualified operations in the town, targeting dens for the armed rebels, leaving losses upon them.

In Homs province, our reporter said that more than 40 militants were killed during clashes with the Syrian Army in Bab Hood neighborhood, as more than 20 terrorists got injured.

Our reporter concluded that mortar shells were fired from within the Lebanese territories on the Syrian border guards in Edleen village, what resulted in 2 injuries of the border patrols.

Source: Breaking News




Gunmen kidnap 48 Iranian pilgrims in Damascus

Forty-eight Iranian pilgrims visiting a holy mosque have been abducted by gunmen in a suburb of the Syrian capital.

The pilgrims were on a bus heading to the mosque when they were seized by a group of armed men, an official at the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Terrorists were behind the kidnapping, officials confirmed.

Source: Breaking News

Policy of targeted killings in Damascus

Sheikh Mohammed Ahmad Sadeq, Imam of the Anas Bin Malek mosque in the al-Midane neighborhood of Damascus, was shot dead by an armed terrorist group on Thursday, February 16.

In a recent sermon, the Sunni cleric condemned calls by the opposition to sabotage Syria.

He had urged the Ulama of Damascus to sit around the same table to issue a statement appealing for an end violence, regardless of the source.

Sheikh Sadeq, who held a doctorate in Islamic law, was married and had four children, one girl and three boys.

On Saturday, February 11, unidentified gunmen had assassinated brigadier general and doctor Issa al-Khawli, director of Hamich hospital, outside his home in the northeast of the capital. The general was the father of three girls and a boy.

A report, published 3 March 2009, by the U.S. State Department’s human rights section gave a small glimpse of the practice of targeted killings in Muslim countries.

According to the document, Israeli and foreign agents sent by Mossad, in cooperation with the United States, have killed at least 350 Iraqi scientists and more than 200 academic figures and university professors, in addition to hundreds of pilots, officers and engineers.

The principal mission of these “death squads”, which have operated in Iraq since 2003, was to bribe Iraqi specialists and, in case of refusal, to eliminate them.

As we had anticipated in December, while it had originally applied the humanitarian military intervention scenario that had worked in Libya and Yugoslavia, NATO must review its script for Syria in the face of the double veto. Now, it’s a question of applying the same strategy which used in Iraq, i.e. weakening the country until the next opportunity to attack crops up.

Source: Voltaire Network