Second Round of Sidon Clashes: Assir Partisans Attack Lebanese Army

Clashes re-erupted in the southern city of Sidon on Sunday, as Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir’s armed partisans attacked a checkpoint for the Lebanese Army in the eastern neighborhood of Abra.

Security source told al-Manar correspondent that at least two Army personnel were martyred during clashes, among them an officer.
The source added that two army personnel were injured; also among them  an officer.

Another source stressed to al-Manar that the clashes started when Assir’s partisans attacked a checkpoint for the Lebanese Army in Abra.

National news agency initially reported that at least two army soldiers were injured during the clashes.

Clashes spread to reach residential areas in Abra, where residents were appealing for a ceasefire in order to evacuate the civilians.

Media outlets reported that several mortar shells reached the neighboring area of Sidon’ Hara.

Earlier on Tuesday, Assir’s partisans opened fire in Abra, causing clashes to erupt with several youths in the area.
One civilian was killed as he was passing by during the clashes.

Several figures in Sidon, including the head of Nasserist Party Osama Saad and Sheikh Maher Hammoud, warned following the clashes that the city may change to be like the northern city of Tripoli where clashes repeatedly erupt between the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.

Source: Al Manar

Austria says UK push to arm Syrian rebels would violate international law & Putin warns against actions fueling crisis in Syria

Forceful Austrian position signals deep EU divisions on Syria ahead of this month’s embargo decision

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Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra take their positions on the front line during a clash with Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo. Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters/REUTERS

By Julian Borger, The Guardian

“Die Briten sind not amused,” is how Die Presse reported it today. “The Brits are not amused.” The Austrian foreign ministry circulated a discussion paper (known in Brussels jargon as a non-paper) among the EU member states yesterday forcefully rebutting British and French arguments for amending the European embargo on Syria to allow weapons shipments to the rebels.

Update: here is a link to an English version of the Austrian paper [click here]

The Austrian paper argues that lifting the embargo would “constitute a breach of international and EU law” and be contrary to the “principle of non-intervention and non-use of force” laid down in the UN Charter. If the weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Nusra Front, it would also violate UN Security Council resolutions on al-Qaida, given al-Nusra’s stated affiliation.

According to the Austrian press reports the UK asked the Austrians not to circulate the paper, but Vienna did it anyway – a sign of the declining clout of the UK in Brussels as the country sinks into an internecine quagmire on EU membership.

Austria has a particular reason for opposing the lifting of the arms embargo, as it has UN peacekeeping troops deployed in the line of fire on the Golan Heights, but sources in Brussels suggest the Austrians may also be expressing the views of a EU majority that has deep reservations over lifting the embargo, particularly at a time when there is at least the glimmer of diplomatic hope in the wake of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement to hold a new international conference on Syria.

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US sinking down into Syria quicksand

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Israeli president Shimon Perez, US president Barack Obama, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

PressTV

America sank down another foot this week into the Syrian quicksand. Israel is putting the next stage of the conflict’s tactics on display, not only to the world but to the Syrian military with its last two strikes.

As the rebel assault has ground to a halt, and the superior manpower of the Syrian army having shown it can conduct search and clear operations, the Free Syrian army is in a war of attrition it cannot win. It is much easier to recruit when you are winning and casualties not too bad than when the tide turns to stalemate and losing ground.

The al-Nusra Front has been bleeding fighters away from the FSA. They are paying better and the AN brigades now have access to weapons the FSA does not. The al-Nusras had strategically focused on key infrastructure acquisition including some of the oil revenue prizes. Win or lose, Assad or no Assad, or even with a negotiated settlement, they aren’t leaving.

The West has been birthing another training ground in Syria for seasoned extremist Jihadis who will soon be looking for the next fight when Syria calms down. And it is just a matter of time before someone begins slipping them more powerful weaponry. But who will they using it on, next month, a year, or two years from now?

I fear that the West may now feel that the FSA could collapse if a stalemate continues and leave the al-Nusras the primary opposition force controlled by whom? Sure, the Saudis and Qatar warlords are supplying the payrolls and the weapons now, but new suppliers could always emerge, like Assad’s stockpiles if there were a collapse.

Libyan weapons and fighters are already in Syria with more said to be on the way. Is the CIA helping them hoping to kill two birds with one stone with two groups they want to get rid of fighting each other? And if Assad did fall and the FSA and al-Nusras began a civil war right away with the horrible civilian casualties that would be expected, who would carry that historical blood on their hands?

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Syria’s army now controlling most parts of country: Iranian foreign minister

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

PressTV

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the situation in Syria is ‘very good,’ as the Syrian army now has control over most parts of the Arab country.

“We are hopeful about the future of Syria. Of course, this does not mean that everything will soon be over, [but] the Syrian army has resisted pretty well so far,” said the top Iranian diplomat in Tehran on Wednesday following his trip to Syria and Jordan.

“The region is currently witnessing momentous developments. Therefore, Iran must be in constant contact with the regional countries in order to prevent any incident the inevitable consequences of which could engulf the entire region,” Salehi added.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Tuesday, and held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the latest developments in the crisis-hit country.

Earlier in the day, Salehi met with top Jordanian officials including his Jordanian counterpart, Yasser Judeh, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and King Abdullah II.

Referring to his meeting with Assad, Salehi said the latest regional developments were discussed in the meeting where “good decisions” were also made.

“More important than anything else is the people’s support for the Syrian army and government… they have realized that the mercenaries massacring the people inside Syria do not want anyone’s good,” Salehi said.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed by foreign-backed militants, which Damascus says are trained and supported by the Western powers and their allies in the region.

Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.

MYA/NN/HJL

US-led Zio-Wahhabis wage war on Syria

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PressTV

This morning, the government of Israel contacted President Assad of Syria. They did so as the leader of a coalition now openly at war against Syria and Iran, with plans to broaden the conflict.

Assad was told he would be allowed to continue his rule, but on the “Jordanian model,” as a puppet of Israel and Turkey.

Israeli armor is now inside Syria, not just the occupied zone, but has closed the distance to Damascus and has that city under artillery fire.

The claimed air attacks are a ruse; Israel has been using 155 and 175 mm artillery, mobile howitzers of extreme range, enhanced by arms expert Gerald Bull, who was assassinated by Israeli agents in 1990 as his reward.

The artillery attacks on Syria, using time delay and cluster munitions, are in direct support of military actions with fire control and communications being supplied by Israeli UAV aircraft operating in Syrian air space in support of Al Qaeda led rebel group.

These terrorist groups, aided by extremists from Libya and the Persian Gulf States are being trained and supplied in Jordan and Turkey. It is hard to ignore the fact that US troops, on a secret mission to verify Israeli claims of chemical weapon use by the Syrian government, are fully complicit in aiding Al-Qaeda operations against the Syrian government.

As for chemical weapon use, a report from United Nations human rights investigators, according to Reuters, has verified that it is rebels who have been using these weapons, in particular, deadly Sarin Gas.

Former Swiss attorney general, Carla Del Ponte, representing the United Nations independent commission of inquiry, based in Geneva, is quoted in a televised interview:

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of Sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated. This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”

RED LINE

Last week, President Obama declared that use of chemical weapons by the Assad government would represent a “red line” for the United States, justifying military action against Syria. However, despite numerous unsubstantiated news reports, the first “actionable” reports of that mythic line being crossed place Israel, Turkey and even the United States on the wrong side, aligned with Al Qaeda in the use of deadly nerve agents against Syria.

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Struggle over “Free Army and “YPG” after the rejection of Kurds to withdraw in Aleppo.

 

Armed militias have threatened the Syrian Kurds in Aleppo city in each of al-Ashrafia and al-Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhoods to depart their houses immediately in a under a policy of ethnic cleansing comprehensive, which led to clashes and kidnappings reciprocal put insurgents in the corner of the accusation and condemnation of the persecution of minorities who refuse to cooperate with them and embrace like other components of society in Syria.

Al-Watan newspaper assures that the day before yesterday, the 24-hour deadline, in which the rebel leader of battalion’s union of Shuhadaa Bader Khalid Hayani has warned against the “YPG” that carries out some of the missions of the security guards in parts of al-Ashrafia neighborhood to withdraw from it and to hand over their weapons under the responsibility of killing two young men Kurds, who are accused by dealing with “Free Army”.

The newspaper quotes of special sources as saying that “the public guard forces has refused to comply to the armed men’s requests, as armed conflicts broke out yesterday killing three fighters of the militants and wounding numerous others.

Opposition sources have admitted that the dispute between the conflicting parties has fire out due to setting up an ambush by the Kurds’ public guard forces to the armed militants, which infiltrated al-Ashrafia from the side of Bani Zed

The newspaper has pointed out that «Battalion’s Union of Shuhadaa Badr» and «the brigad of Ahrar Syria» carry out systematic killing operations against the residents of Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood, which refused to display and opted to stay to defend his properties and his neighborhood Continue reading

Is Former U.S. Army Vet Who Fought Alongside Al-Qaeda in Syria Linked to CIA?

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Eric Harroun, credit: PressTV

By Brandon Turbeville, ACTIVIST POST

In the wake of the arrest of Eric Harroun, a former U.S. army veteran who has openly fought alongside the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front against the Assad government in Syria, evidence is mounting that Harroun was, in fact, working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the whole time.

In a recent report released by PressTV, upon Harroun’s arrest by the FBI after arriving at Dulles International Airport, Darryl Harroun (Eric’s father) has stated that his son was working for the CIA and reporting back to the intelligence agency from Syria. Darryl Harroun further stated that his son was truly patriotic and would never actually join such militants.

“I know he was doing some work for the CIA over there,” Darryl said. “I know for a fact that he was passing information onto the CIA.”

However, the FBI documents related to Harroun’s arrest do not contain any reference to Harroun’s employment with the CIA.

Harroun has already confessed to shooting 10 people, downing a Syrian chopper, and firing a rocket-propelled grenade during his tenure in the country with the death squads. He was also charged with “plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.”

Harroun has been openly been fighting alongside al-Nusra since January. However, he also spent some time inside Egypt where he took part in the overthrow of Mubarak and the installation of an even more heavy-handed regime made up of fascists, fanatics, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Although Darryl Harroun’s comments are not conclusive evidence with regard to his son’s employment with the CIA, such a situation would be entirely within the realm of possibility. Indeed, given the history of the CIA method of destabilization and control of terrorist networks, Harroun’s link with the agency is more likely than not.