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SYRIA * WW3 will begin in Syria
WW3 will begin in Syria
Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. Isaiah 17:1
Syrian Scuds Prompt GOP to Block Nomination of Envoy to Damascus
Republican senators, responding to reports that Syria is arming Hizbullah with lethal long-range Scud missiles, are trying to block the Obama-Clinton team from naming an envoy to Damascus.
8 senators fired off a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, charging that the Obama administration’s desire to win the nomination of career diplomat Robert Ford as ambassador is a concession to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
U.S. President Barack Obama quietly upgraded diplomatic relations with Syria several months ago, despite the United States' definition of the country as a state that supports terror. Then-President George W. Bush had recalled the American ambassador from Syria in 2005 following the assassination of Lebanon’s anti-Syrian leader Rafiq Hariri. Syria has been fingered as responsible for the murder.
The GOP senators wrote to Secretary Clinton, “Engagement for engagement's sake is not productive. However well-justified that engagement is, the U.S. pays a price for lending even a modicum of international legitimacy to a regime like Syria's….
“American appointment of an official ambassador to Damascus would likely be a partial concession to that ambition -- a concession that other countries with similar policies have not received. If the U.S. takes this step, it must be aimed at achieving tangible Syrian concessions in response.”
Arming Hizbullah with Scud missiles, which would easily place Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in their range, would give Hizbullah a lethal arsenal far superior to its current stockpile of Katyusha missiles, whose range is 90 percent less and which pounded northern Israel in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Hizbullah and Syria have denied reports, first published by a Kuwaiti newspaper, that they are involved with Scud missiles.
The Obama administration has reversed the policy of the Bush government and claims that the sanctions the Bush government slapped on Syria have driven it closer to Iran.
"It's increasingly hard to argue that the engagement track has worked," Andrew Tabler told the French news agency AFP.
"Sending an ambassador to Syria who can press the Syrian government in a firm and coordinated fashion...is part of our strategy to achieve comprehensive peace in the region," a White House statement said, contradicting that view.
Also in WAR DRUMS
Posted <*))))>< by
ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis
Scud missiles Not yet across Syrian-Lebanese borderScud missiles Not yet across Syrian-Lebanese border
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2010
Syria has not actually delivered Scud missiles, A or SS-1B, to the Hizballah in Lebanon - only positioned them on the border ready for transit at a moment's notice -
and taught two Hizballah brigades how to use them, debkafile's military sources report in the wake of a flurry of press reports,
according to which these ground missiles have already been smuggled into Lebanon in violation of UN resolutions.
Israel has warned Damascus via Washington that their crossover into Lebanon would bring forth
Israeli military action to destroy the missiles and their bases on both sides of the border.
Our sources add that Syria engineered the reports originating in the Kuwait Al Rai al Yaam in order to show Israel up to the
American and Middle East public as unable to follow through on its warnings and just a paper tiger.
Israel is especially sensitive to the prospect of Scud missiles in the hands of Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, for two reasons:
1. Their range is 700 km, more than double the 300 km-range generally reported. What they lack in precision,
they more than make up for in the distance of their reach; they would enable Hizballah for the first time to hit the big Israeli air bases in the southern Negev,
twice as far from the Lebanese border as Tel Aviv.
2. The Scud A or SS-1B are self-propelled, and therefore highly mobile and maneuverable and requiring relatively small teams and few vehicles for their operation.
This would render their Hizballah operators less susceptible to Israel air attack.
When in the second half of March, the Obama learned of Syria's preparations to arm Hizballah with these Scuds,
the White House sent John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to intercede with President Bashar Assad.
At their meeting in Damascus on April 1, Assad denied the missiles had been smuggled into Lebanon,
but he kept to himself the information that they were poised on the border for transfer and that two Hizballah brigades had been trained to fire them.
In consequence, Robert Ford, named as first US ambassador to Damascus in five years, was told to wait before taking up his post and the Senate procedure for his confirmation delayed.
On Tuesday, April 13, Sen. Kerry's spokesman said: "These weapons transfers must stop in order to promote regional stability and security."
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak said the Scuds, if they were delivered, "would alter the balance of strength in the region and threaten its stability and calm."
He said the military build-up in Lebanon "is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions."
Barak made it clear that Israel has "no belligerent intentions" towards Lebanon, adding: "We recommend that everyone maintain the calm."
Israel will wait until the first launch, then retaliate against Syria -
maybe nuke Damascus Isaiah 17:1
April 15, 2010
Hizbullah admits receiving Syrian scuds, accuses Israel of blowing incident out of proportion.
New Danger from North: Scud Missiles
The Syrian government claimed Israel is using the Scud ballistic missile transfer to try to create an excuse for launching a war.
The U.S., however, is not happy with the Syrian transfer of missiles to Lebanon - and an expert says Israel will have to take action.
Unclear if Syria sent Scuds to LebanonUnclear if Syria sent Scuds to Lebanon
My guess is either the scuds are in Lebanon or on the border,
being discovered either stopped this, or perhaps the scuds were quickly moved back just inside Syria border.
April 17 Israel News
Following reports that Damascus transferred long-range missiles to Hezbollah, American official says,
'Transfer of some kind occurred, but it is unclear if rockets have changed hands.'
Another source says, 'US has no indications that rockets have moved across the border'
The United States does not believe Syria transferred long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah, but has no doubt that Damascus had the intention to deliver missiles to the terror organization, US officials told the Reuters news agency on Saturday.
"We think the intent is there," a senior US official said. But the official and two others briefed on the case said it was unclear whether the missiles, which could hit deep inside Israel, were actually handed over in full to the group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Hellzballah always arming itself, Scuds not Israel's business
"We believe a transfer of some kind occurred but it is unclear if the rockets themselves have changed hands," the senior official said.
A partial transfer could involve weapons parts, documents or funding, other officials said.
Another official said doubts were growing that Syria had delivered the Scuds in full and allowed them to transit to Lebanese territory:
"We don't believe it happened."
"It's unclear at this point that a transfer has occurred ... and the United States has no indications that the rockets have moved across the border," a third US official said.
Such comments come in contrast with remarks made by White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs on Wednesday, who said the US administration was "deeply concerned" with the alleged weapons transfer, which he said could undermine stability in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said such a move could put Lebanon at risk.
Israel has relayed its protest over the alleged arms transfer to the US, and emphasized that these are "tie-breaking" missiles. It seems these transfer attempts were responsible for recent tensions on the northern border, as revealed by Ynet last month, when Israeli jets circled the Lebanese skies.
Recent events have awoken a concern in Washington that Israel may launch a pre-emptive strike following the reports of an arms transfer, and the administration summoned Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha for a meeting with the State Department, which relayed through him a message to Damascus not to deliver the missiles to their destination.
The ambassador in response conveyed, on behalf of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Syria's sweeping denial of the reports. In addition, at a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East, the Syrian envoy to the UN adamantly denied the reports.
Following the reports, Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a warning to the Syrians, and President Shimon Peres expressed his concerns to French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, and said, "Syria is playing a double game. On the one hand, it is talking peace, and on the other hand, it is transferring precision Scud missiles to Hezbollah in order to threaten Israel."
According to Lebanon's official response, "This is an internal Lebanese matter".
The New Hizballah weapons from SyriaThe New Hizballah weapons from Syria
April 18, 2010 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Syria has expanded the flow of smuggled Syrian and Iranian weaponry across the Lebanese border to Hizballah in line with a master-plan charted in Tehran and Damascus for transforming the 25,000-strong Hizballah terrorist militia into an organized, mobile army with a whole range of sophisticated missiles and other weapons. The new Hizballah is being trained to carry out such offensive operations as capturing parts of Israel's Galilee and equipped with the hardware for knocking out warplanes, warships and armored strength.
One of their missions will be to defend the Syrian capital, Damascus. Tehran and Damascus calculate that the next time a war erupts on Israel's borders, its army will try and outflank Syrian forces on the Golan and drive past the units defending Damascus. That is where Hizballah is expected to come in.
Even after the Kuwaiti Al Rai claim that Syria had smuggled Scud ground missiles into Lebanon proved inaccurate and was denied in Washington, regional war tensions remained high - although not for the reason ascribed by Jordan's King Abdullah during his current visit to Washington.
The king forecast an outbreak of Middle East hostilities in the coming summer because of the Israel-Palestinian diplomatic stalemate. What's the connection? Our sources ask. Rather than admit he is nervously watching his aggressive Arab neighbor to the north, the Jordanian ruler is pinning the region's troubles on Israel because it is the right tune to sing in Barack Obama's Washington.
In actual fact, a Middle East war this summer depends on two actions which have nothing to do with the Palestinians: a decision by the US and/or Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities together or separately, and a decision in Tehran to unleash its allies against Israel - spearheaded by Hizballah - to preempt such an attack.
Ready to step into its new shoes, Hizballah is being armed with five major military capabilities, debkafile reports:
1. Surface-to-surface missiles able to reach as far as the Dimona reactor in southern Israel: They include Fajr-5, which has a range of 33 km, and the M-600, developed by Syria from the Fateh-110, whose range is 250 km. Both are precise, propelled by solid fuel and carry 500-kilo warheads of conventional explosives, as well as being able to deliver chemical, biological and radioactive materials.
This dangerous new arsenal which tops up the 40,000 rockets Hizballah was allowed to pile up since the 2006 Lebanon war.
Saturday, April 17, Israel's deputy defense minister Mattan Vilnai, warned that Syria and Hizballah between them had ballistic missiles that could reach every millimeter of Israeli territory.
But he did not explain how the national defense leadership, of which he is a senior member, allowed this to happen.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said nothing to account for his 14-month old government's failure to make good on its pledges for change, and first of all to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. Instead, he follows his predecessors' same old passive routines on Iran, Syria and Hizballah, an open invitation to aggression and a recipe for armed conflict. Of late, he is hardly to be seen or heard except for the irrelevant comments he makes at state ceremonies.
2. Iran has built for Hizballah five expanded commando brigades whose mission in a future conflict will be to capture and hold key northern Israeli towns and villages, including the town of Nahariya or parts thereof. This tactic would force Israeli forces marching into Lebanon to turn back and recover lost land.
On March 28, debkafile revealed this Iranian-Syrian master plan in detail.
3. Syrian instructors are training Hizballah militiamen at top speed in the operation of ground-to-air weapons, including self-propelled missiles, against warplanes and incoming missiles and cruise missiles. Israel has threatened to destroy these batteries if they cross the border into Lebanon. They are therefore being held back in Syrian bases up against the border until such time as fighting flares. They will then be transferred into the hands of Hizballah units standing by on the Lebanese side of the border.
4. Syria has set up a Hizballah special unit for attacking warships and fighting off Israeli coastal landings. It is equipped with advanced Chinese SS-26 Yakhont marine cruise missiles, which combine assault features with the ability to intercept attacking missiles or cruise missiles.
5. Iranian and Syrian military engineers have constructed fortified anti-tank lines in many parts of Lebanon. They are linked by fast highways, to be closed to all traffic barring Hizballah units in an emergency, and by a military-grade communications network.
Egypt calls scud transfer to Hezbollah laughable lies
April 24, 2010
EGYPT IS ON THE SIDE OF THE TERRORISTS - AGAINST ISRAEL
For more, see WAR DRUMS thread in this section
Israel planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots in Syria?
August 29, 2010 Arab source, do not trust. May be their excuse to attack Israel.
Kuwaiti news reports that Israel is preparing to strike Hezbollah targets in Syria.
Israel is planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots and weapons manufacturing plants in Syria, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported on Saturday.
The report is based on Western sources who asserted that Israel has increased its military force level along the northern border in the Golan Heights and Mount Dov areas.
The report cited European sources who claimed that recent Israeli unmanned aerial drone flights over Lebanon and Syria signal Israel's intentions to carry out operations in the area.
NK yellowcake headed to Syria in 2007
SYRIA - Mysterious death of Russian
August 30, 2010 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Gen. Yuri Ivanov,deputy head of Russian military, was found dead in mysterious circumstances described as a tragic swimming accident.
No further details were provided such as where he died.
Ivanov appears to have drowned in early August at the Syrian Mediterranean port town of Latakia. After he had been missing for ten days, his body was washed up on the shore of southern Turkey on August 12.
His remains were recovered by Turkish fishermen. His body was finally identified by the cross around its neck, but there was no word on the cause of his death.
Debka believes he was murdered and his body thrown into the sea.
Ivanov went missing from a private, secretive engagement from which his aides and guards were banished to wait outside.
His former position was head of the North Caucasus branch of Russian military intelligence, he played a leading role in clandestine operations against al Qaeda and the Chechen revolt. Among the many terrorist groups present in Syria are al Qaeda cells from the Caucasian.
SYRIA ACCOUNTABLE, US warns
September 5, 2010 debka
Obama sent Syrian president Bashar Assad a stern warning that he will be held personally accountable and face consequences
if Israel and the Palestinian Authority are subjected to a terror campaign, whether by Hizballah or Damascus Palestinians.
Assad is deepening his military partnership with Hizballah, storing sophisticated rockets for Hizballah at Syrian bases close to the border.
Since when has Obama ever made good on a warning to anybody? Was it Iran or North Korea? I'm trying to remember or is my memory starting to fail me?
Syria droughts devastate crops, livestock
A black horse rider had a pair of scales in his hand.
The Death pale, ashen (green) horse had Hell following him. Together they killed 1/4 of the population of Earth
with sword and with famine and with pestilence, plague, diseases and by the wild beasts of the earth.
4 horses of the Apocalypse, Revelation 6
I would call this GOD's justice against a land who plots evil for GOD's chosen people Israel.
Its yet another sign of global famine - the black horse is riding.
September 09, 2010 DAMASCUS
4 consecutive droughts since 2006 have triggered significant losses of crops and livestock in Syria, mostly in the northeast of the country, said a UN official.
The droughts have left Syrians reeling and are having serious effects beyond purely economic ones.
Many Syrians are now living in extreme poverty.
4 consecutive droughts since 2006 have affected Syria.
It is the worst in northeast Syria.
Most are small-scale farmers, further worsened as a result of the yellow rust disease affecting the soft wheat production.
Some herders have lost 85 percent of their livestock since 2005.
Decreased water table levels in Syria are also a serious source of concern.
AND MUCH of ISRAEL's WATER COMES FROM SYRIA.
Wheat production is believed to have fallen this year.
FAMINE FREQUENTLY BRINGS WAR AND/OR DISEASE (PESTILENCE)
Israel to withdraw from Golan
September 16, 2010 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
George Mitchell visits Damascus, SYRIA to revive Syrian-Israeli peace talks.
He carries with him a detailed map drawn up by Netanyahu to represent Israeli proposed withdrawal from much of the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu showed Obama detailed maps 3 months ago, showing how far he was willing to pull Israel back from Golan.
Israel demands Syria cut ties with Iran, Hellzballah, and Hamas, and a host of Palestinian terrorists enjoying Syrian sanctuary and hospitality.
Israel and the IDF would pull back 'the Ridge Line' thereby ceding to Syria the entire Golan plateau together with most of the communities living there.
In military terms, Israel would be able to quickly regain control of the territory if the peace accords break down.
Netanyahu's proposed withdrawal line is located 2.5 kilometers from the Jordan River.
It is the last high-altitude area before the land on the western face of Golan drops steeply down to the Jordan River, the Hula Valley and Sea of Galilee.
Even after the bulk of the territory is restored to Syria, the Ridge Line offers Israel two major advantages compared with a total withdrawal up to the Jordan River.
1. Israel would retain control of the western and eastern banks of the Jordan River, a major source of its water supply.
A troop presence on the two banks would make it easier to transfer military forces back to Golan in the event of war.
2. The Ridge Line is a natural barrier to passage in and out of the Golan. It would give the population centers of the
Hula and Sea of Galilee valleys below with an Israeli military firewall against the Syrian shooting attacks plaguing them before the 1967 war
and place an obstacle in the path of Syrian tanks trying to break from Golan to the lowlands of northeastern Israel.
For 3 months Netanyahu has been trying to convince Obama to place the Syrian peace track ahead of the hopeless Palestinian mess.
More info and MAP here
Russia to supply Syria with P-800 missiles
September 17, 2010 | Tishrei 9, 5771
Moscow's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov says arms sale of Yakhont cruise missiles to Damascus to go on as planed.
Concerns by Washington DC and Jerusalem are 'unjustified.' Yeah, right.
Russia will supply Syria with P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles.
Russian nuclear cooperation with Syria is unnerving for the United States and Israel, who know they will reach HELLzballah.
The issue is expected to be discussed at NATO summit in Lisbon in November.
Russia to sell Syria anti-ship cruise missiles
Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. Isaiah 17:1
Israel releases 1973 war papers to warn SYRIA
October 6, 2010 [/b] Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to release the minutes of the deliberations on an air blitz against Damascus
held in Jerusalem in October 1973, before and during the Yom Kippur War 37 years ago, as a strong warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The decision to take out Damascus to halt the Syrian offensive was overruled - THEN.
This time could be different. SYRIAN centers of power could be at risk if Syria and Hizballah go through with their coup plot on Beirut government.
That is the message relayed by the October 1973 unusually wide-ranging war papers released this week.
October 6, 1973 Egypt and Syria combined forces caught Israel by surprise, attacking as Jews honored Yom Kippur, their holiest day of the year.
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, 'we can wipe out the entire Syrian air force by 12:00 noon today.'
I have heard some WONDERFUL Jewish testimonies of HUGE MIRACLES GOD did for the Jews that day!
Israel nearly lost. Jews took thousands of casualties in Sinai, the Golan had fallen,
and there was nothing in the way of the Syrian army going all the way to the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias, the HEART of GOD's land of ISRAEL.
Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan sought permission from Golda Meir to bomb Damascus.
I equate this with the USA bombing Japan after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Golda said no
My heart loves this woman! I heard she died knowing the Messiah Yeshua. When I went to Israel, I sat on her grave as the tour group moved on.
This was a great woman, a modern Deborah such as the book of Judges.
Israel was just hours away from an air blitz against Damascus in 1973.
This time their war planes may not be prevented.
Bible Prophecy, Dreams, Visions
Israeli govt had a shakeup overnite
January 17, 2011 Monday
LEBANON * SYRIA foolishly backs HELLZballah
January 16, 2011 debka
Leadership changes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia as their kings are dying,
and Lebanon coup this month, and now Israel has a change.
Following I have tried to make early sense of what has occurred in Israel overnite, and the mideast this month.
EGYPT VIOLENCE - January 2011
Syria Internet Down as Egypt Blackout Catches On In Middle East
(Friday, January 28th, 2011)
On the same day that Egypt has suspended online activity, Syria has also blocked internet service.
Syria is known for a tight control of the internet, which was tightened further after the unrest in TUnisia, reports Reuters. Now, Al Arabiya is reporting that internet services have gone down completely in the country.
Egypt’s online services have reportedly been down since last night as the country’s deadly protests geared up for what was planned as the largest day of protests so far.
Is Syria next?
January 31, 2011 Is Syria the next Arab domino to go?
Syrian activists have been using Facebook to call for a 'day of rage' against the Assad regime on Saturday, February 5.
In the past week, Syrian activists have been using Facebook to call for mass protests in Syria on Saturday, February 5, 2011, dubbing it the "Day of Rage." In Facebook pages created specifically for this purpose, members have called on the Syrian public to take to the streets on that date and stage peaceful demonstrations and rallies in all parts of the country, as well as in front of Syrian embassies in Arab and European capitals, in protest of the oppressive Syrian regime. These Facebook pages also feature images and videos slamming Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and supporting protest against his rule.
The organizers of the Syrian protests have expressed support for the demonstrators in Tunisia and Egypt, and have adopted their methods: opening special Facebook pages on which information is posted regarding the place and time of the planned protests, and creating a special profile picture, associated with the protests, to be used by all Facebook members sympathizing with the cause. However, it seems that the scope of their activity is limited compared to that of the Tunisian and Egyptian activists. So far, the number of people who have registered as members on these Facebook pages is relatively small, and some of the members reside outside the country.
Among those promoting the "Day of Rage" protests is the Independent Islamic Bloc – part of the "Damascus Declaration" opposition movement – which has called upon Syrians to attend a "sweeping protest and mass rally" in front of the Parliament house in Damascus on February 5. In its announcement, the organization praised the protests in Tunisia and Egypt and warned the Syrian regime against continuing its oppression, corruption and political arrests. Websites have also published a message by "the Popular Committees in Aleppo Province" announcing a February 5 protest rally in the center of Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria.
The organizers of the planned demonstrations in Damascus and Aleppo have listed their demands: an improvement in living standards, respect for human rights, freedom of speech for all Syrian citizens, and greater influence for Syrian youth. They requested that the protesters come equipped with nothing more than Syrian flags and signs expressing their demands.
Syria is on the alert for the possible spread of protests to its territory. On January 29, 2011, the Syrian authorities prevented the holding of a demonstration in solidarity with the Egyptian protesters in front of the Egyptian embassy in Damascus, fearing a conflagration. It was also reported that Syrian security chief 'Ali Mamlouk has met with province governors and police commanders in order to prepare for possible protests in the country.
There are conflicting reports regarding the accessibility of Facebook, which has played a crucial role in mobilizing the public for the current wave of protests in the Arab world. According to a January 25, 2011 report on Alarabiya.net, the Syrian authorities have restricted access to Facebook in a bid to keep the protests from spreading to Syria, but some users are managing to access the site through proxies.  The Syrian news agency SANA has denied this, saying that access to the Internet is unrestricted throughout the country.
Russia cruise missiles to Syria
YES I have seen this on several news links
The Israeli Defense Ministry issued a statement Saturday regarding publications that Russia intends to complete a deal to transfer cruise missiles to Syria. “This deal was signed two years ago and has been in the process of implementation for some time, despite Israel’s appeals to Russia regarding the matter.” Security officials warned that the Russian cruise missiles “are potentially dangerous weapons and they may come fall into the hands of Hezbollah, just as other weapons systems came from Syria.”
The announcement came after Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that Russia would fulfill its contractual obligation and complete the transfer of cruise missiles to Syria, according to AFP. According to the report, news agencies in Moscow said the Kremlin did not intend to withdraw from the deal signed between the two countries in 2007, despite the objections of Israel and the United States.
Also on Saturday, Iran and Syria agreed to cooperate on naval training, Iran’s official news agency said on Saturday, Reuters reported. ”The two parties will cooperate with each other in training issues and the exchange of personnel,” IRNA quoted the agreement, signed by the commanders of both navies, as saying, according to the report. The agreement came days after two Iranian warships – the Khark, which has 250 crew members and can carry three helicopters, and the Alvand, which is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles – arrived at Syria’s Latakia seaport on Thursday, sailing through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean.
Iran to build permanent naval base in Syria
This is no surprise. Syria and Lebanon no longer exist - its all Iran.
March 2, 2011
Just two days after two Iranian warships reached the Syrian port of Latakia via the Suez Canal, Friday, Feb. 25, an Iranian-Syrian naval cooperation accord was signed providing for Iran to build its first Mediterranean naval base at the Syrian port, debkafile's military and Iranian sources reveal.
The base will include a large Iranian Revolutionary Guards weapons depot stocked with hardware chosen by the IRGC subject to prior notification to Damascus. Latakia harbor will be deepened, widened and provided with new "coastal installations" to accommodate the large warships and submarines destined to use these facilities.
Iran has much to celebrate, debkafile's military sources report. It has acquired its first military foothold on a Mediterranean shore and its first permanent military presence on Syrian soil. Tehran will be setting in place the logistical infrastructure for accommodating incoming Iranian troops to fight in a potential Middle East war.
According to our sources, the "cadets" the Kharg cruiser, one of the two Iranian warships allowed to transit the Suez Canal, was said to be carrying were in fact the first construction crews for building the new port facilities.
Two more events were carefully synchronized to take place in the same week.
On Feb. 24, as the Iranian warships headed from the Suez Canal to Syria, Hamas fired long-range made-in-Iran Grade missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel, one hitting the main Negev city of Beersheba for the first time since Israel's Gaza campaign two years ago - as debkafile reported on that day. Tehran was using its Palestinian surrogate to flaunt its success in getting its first warships through the Suez Canal in the face of Israeli protests. The Iranians were also parading their offensive agenda in deploying warships on the Mediterranean just 287 kilometers north of Israel's northernmost coastal town of Nahariya.
The second occurrence was a contract announced by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov for the sale of advanced Russian shore-to-sea cruise missiles to Syria. The Yakhont missile system has a range of 300 kilometers and skims the waves low enough to be undetected by radar. debkafile's military sources take this sale as representing Moscow's nod in favor of the new Iranian base at Latakia, 72 kilometers from the permanent naval base Russia is building at the Syrian port of Tartous.
The Russians are willing to contribute towards the Iranian port's defenses and looking forward to cooperation between the Russian, Iranian and Syrian fleets in the eastern Mediterranean opposite the US Sixth Fleet's regular beat.
This unfolding proximity presents the United States with a serious strategic challenge and Israel with a new peril, which was nonetheless dismissed out of hand by Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak. In a radio interview Monday, Feb. 28, he brushed aside the Iranian warships' passage through the Suez as "an outing for cadets" which did not require an Israeli response. He added, "For now, there is no operational threat to Israel."
According to Barak, the Suez Canal is open to all of the world's warships and the two Iranian vessels' transit could not have been prevented. He omitted to explain how Egypt did prevent it for 30 years and why it was permitted now. The defense minister went on to speak of "fresh signs that President Bashar Assad is willing to resume peace talks with Israel."
Both Barak's assessments were knocked down by Damascus on the same day.
Syrian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Ali Mohammad Habib soon put him right on the "cadets' outing." At a ceremony in honor of the Iranian Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Habib said: "Iranian warships' presence in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time after 32 years is a great move that is going to cripple Israel."
SYRIA Protesters tell Assad to GO
March 21, 2011 Monday
Syrian President Bashar Assad sent troops to suppress the uprising in Darra (Deraa), southern Syria.
Sunday the United States condemned the violence in Syria as they bombed Libya and support Palestinian violence in Israel.
Demonstrations spread to Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan abutting the part held by Israel.
Syrian troops cut southern Syria off from the rest of the country, and laid to siege border regions on the Syrian Golan adjoining the Lebanese and Israeli borders and the Yarmuk River crossing into Jordan.
My friend Ed has had a vision of Syrian troops entering Israel thru tunnels from Jordan.
Syria kills 12 in attack on mosque
March 23, 2011 Wednesday
Syrian forces killed 12 people in an attack on a mosque in the southern city of Daraa, site of unprecedented protests challenging President Bashar Assad's Baathist rule.
Those killed included a doctor who went to the Omari mosque to help victims of the attack, which occurred just after midnight, said the residents, declining to be named.
The west tends to think of a mosque as a church. However, Muslims store weapons in their mosques so they are legitimate targets.
Syria kills protesters, U.S. disapproves
March 26, 2011 Saturday
37 killed in Deraa, locals say 150 killed, Amnesty Intl claims 55 killed. Cant trust or believe Amnesty or the locals or Jazeera.
Muslims have Friday prayers then go riot. Normal Islam - murderous and crazed.
Syrian protestors demand govt 'liberate Golan' interpret as ATTACK ISRAEL. The Golan Heights belongs to Israel.
That is the GOAL of all these Muslim nations uprisings - to wipe out ISRAEL.
NEWS out of mideast is SO untrustworthy, SO biased (read LIES), that I include links in my forum for you, but dont swallow them.
Syrian troops killed people in Deraa, Damascus and Sanamein. Deraa has been in revolt for a week, gunfire and tear gas scattered a crowd
of thousands after people lit a fire under a statue of late president Hafez al-Assad, whose son Bashar has ruled since his death in 2000.
Syria regime supporters surround, threaten to burn Al Jazeera bureau in Damascus. News from Al Jazeera which is Islamic propaganda.
What riots? video here
Syria minority Allawites challenged by Sunni majority
March 26, 2011 DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis
To survive, Assad must contain majority Sunni unrest before it infects army.
The protests grow against Bashar Assad regime, and have quickly attained the scale unforeseen by the Assad regime.
The Sunni are 74% and are rising up against Assad's Allawites rule.
Syrian troops massacred scores of protesters, raising calls for international intervention. HUH?!
Syrian and Egyptian mosques are calling on their Muslim mobs to drive the Assads from power.
The Syrian secret service missed the Muslim Brotherhood organizing this uprising.
Assad's power centers in Damascus are threatened.
Maher Assad heads the only unit manned by Allawites, they are suppressing riots in Deraa.
Most of the other troop units are Sunnis, so Assad is short of trusted defense for his regime.
The tipping point for the Assad regime is not far off without outside help. Hello USA, and 0bama wants to be pals with Syria. Can you spell another Libya disaster?
Will Assad decide to buttress his rule over all of Syria, or concentrate on saving Damascus?
Hello Isaiah 17:1
Syria could fall, Assad *could* nuke his own land before fleeing.
I have always considred this verse might be fulfilled at Syria's own hand.
Much of the Syrian army is unreliable so Assad needs HELP.
Debka names Syia allies as Iran, Hellzballah, Palestinians but I think he will ask 0bama. Time will tell.
An Iranian command structure is already in Damascus, and Mooki's army too, remember him? Moqtada Sadr.
Iran just opened the port of Latakia for an Iranian base.
Once Hellzballah gains a foothold in Syria, it would be hard to dislodge.
Assad may even stage an attack on Israel as a desperate diversionary tactic from his troubles.
Syrian Revolution 2011 * Turkey Enters the Picture
Isaiah 17:1,3 An oracle concerning Damascus:
Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.
The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus.
March 28, 2011 Monday
Assad Regime Could Fall, Armed Gangs roam Latakia
This is important! Syria could fall, Assad *could* nuke his own land before fleeing.
I have always considered Isaiah 17:1 might be fulfilled at Syria's own hand.
0bama said U.S. wont intervene in Syria. Famous last words. What will he say next week?
Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan told Assad to adopt reforms in Syria.
Turkey claiming reforms is a very bad joke, considering that nation has gone hardcore terrorism recently, drawing a warning from NATO.
Assad is working on lifting emergency rule. Yeah right. Syrian activists continued protests Monday.
Syria has been rocked by demonstrations for over a week.
Latakia, once a tourist draw, hit by anarchy as Syrian unrest continues.
Gangs of young men, some with swords and rifles, roamed the streets of Latakia, a Syrian seaside port city, closing alleys with barricades and roughly questioning passersby in streets.
Iran claimed Latakia in March 2011.
March 29 on Fox, Charles Krauthammer said Syria is the most brutal of the mideast nations.
The protesters are VERY brave, as they could be killed as in the past. He cant understand why 0bama protects such brutality.
32 killed in Daraa
April 8, 2011 Friday
Dozens of protesters killed by Assad troops in Syria
At least 27 people are dead, most in Daraa, after Syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters across several cities Friday.
Hundreds of others were wounded and residents mosques became hospitals.
50 + killed as protests spread to 25 Syrian towns April 9, 2011
Syrian security forces use live ammunition to disperse protesters in Sunni area of Latakia port city
Muslim Brotherhood heads Syrian Revolution 2011 as they did in Egypt and elsewhere.
50 killed as protests spread to 25 Syrian towns
4 Damascus suburbs were the scene of demonstrations. Kurdish cities were aflame with protest.
The ANTI-Assad days of rage spread dramatically across Syria Friday, April 8, flaring in 25 cities and seriously shaking Bashar Assad's 11-year old grip on power.
At least 50 people were killed and hundreds injured.
29 years ago Bashar Assad father slaughtered 25,000 Sunni.
The important port-town of Latakia split down the middle between two opposing camps.
Syria's government declared Saturday its intentions to crack down hard on what it describes as violent unrest stirred by outside instigators.
"There's no more room for leniency and tolerance in enforcing law," the Interior Ministry said.
The tough statement comes amid a report of clashes in the western coastal city of Latakia on Saturday. A human rights activist said Saturday that hospital officials told him live ammunition was being used to disperse protesters.
Syria issued the statement after widespread protests on Friday, in and near Daraa and in Latakia, Banias, Qamishli, Homs, Douma, Moathamia, Daraya, Tal, and Hama.
Protesters have been saying that their peaceful outpourings have been met with force by Syrian security.
The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, an activist group, has identified 37 people killed across the country on Friday. It said security forces used tear gas and live fire against unarmed civilians, made dozens of arrests, and raided homes. One witness said at least 22 unarmed civilians were dead in Daraa.
Wissam Tarif, a human rights activist, cited hospital officials as saying protesters in Latakia were being treated early Saturday for live bullet wounds. He also said funerals were scheduled in Daraa on Saturday for protesters who died Friday and said witnesses told him about arrests in Damascus and Aleppo.
But Syria blames instigators and saboteurs for infiltrating peaceful demonstrations and feeding violent confrontations. For example, the government said 19 security forces were killed in Daraa on Friday and dozens of others were injured in violence caused by "armed groups" firing at citizens and "unarmed security forces."
The government is aware of the widespread and international condemnation toward Syria, and its foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, is explaining the government's position to foreign ambassadors in Damascus, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency, or SANA.
Syrian forces fire at mourners after mass funeral
Syrian security forces opened fire on mourners near a mosque in the flashpoint city of Deraa after a mass funeral for pro-democracy protesters, two witnesses said on Saturday.
Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse thousands of people who were chanting freedom slogans after assembling near the old Omari mosque in the old quarter of the city, near the border with Jordan, the witnesses said.
Dozens of people have been killed in a wave of protests across Syria against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
A Syrian rights group said at least 37 people had been killed in protests across the country on Friday.
"Syrian security committed (in Deraa) what could be called a crime against humanity," the National Organization for Human Rights said in a statement. "It fired indiscriminately on protesters and killed and wounded tens of them."
State television for its part said armed groups had killed 19 policemen and wounded 75 in the city. The Interior Ministry warned it would not tolerate breaches of the law and would deal with "armed groups," state news agency SANA said.
Gunfire erupts as army seals Syrian city
Apr 10, 2011 Sunday
More than 170 people have been killed since protests erupted in Syria 3 weeks ago.
Gunfire erupted across a key port city in northeastern Syria on Sunday after the army sealed the area off, deploying tanks and cutting communications.
Details were sketchy because telephone lines, internet access and electricity apparently were cut in Banias.
Tanks were deployed in the city, apparently to protect the oil refinery.
The government has placed severe restrictions on news coverage and many journalists have been ordered to leave the country.
I bet they let al jazeera stay, who is the lying propaganda voice of Islam.
SYRIA * Panic in Assad regime
April 14, 2011 DEBKA
Damascus rumors that President Bashar Assad and his family and High Syrian officials are preparing to flee with their families to Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
Iran secretly helped Assad crack down on his own people, blocking internet and cell phones. The Druze and the Kurds are upset now.
Assad is desparately relying on drug smuggling gangs trained by Hizballah and Iran.
The troops open fire at protesters as soon as a few people gather in the street.
Assad military have orders to shoot to kill and not permit ambulances to collect the wounded. Tanks seal Teraa, Bania, Latakia and Hama. Damascus University has been under siege for 4 days.
The wounded are denied medical care and allowed to die in the streets as a deterrent to protesters.
April 15-18, 2011
Damascus Syria troops fire tear gas near square
Syrian security forces used batons and tear gas on Friday to prevent thousands of protesters
marching from several suburbs of Damascus from reaching the main Abbasside Square.
April 17, 2011 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Long lines of trucks for Syria wait at Lebanese border
Syrian troops along the borders with Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to choke off the smuggled arms.
Syrian business and economy slowed because supply trucks are backed up on the borders
Assad organized a Middle East smuggling ring which has now turned around to bite him.
Assad decided that Damascus is the smuggling hub to hold onto power because Saudi Arabia is helping the Syrian opposition.
Syrian military lie in wait along the Yarmouk River which flows into Jordan.
Saudis may be helping the Sunnis in Syria.
Syria most stringent security on its border with Lebanon.
The Syrian border is hidden by the dense wooded vegetation of the Euphrates and Tigris riverbanks between Iraq Syria.
Biblical sound .. hmmmmm .. the hidden Garden of Eden? Genesis 2
April 20, 2011 debka
Syria is in a final act of despair.
Whether Iran is fomenting Syria unrest - or helping Assad - is a serious question.
Syrian President Bashar Assad bans any kind of public protests.
Assad has persuaded Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to seal their borders, which prevents thousands of refugees from fleeing Syria.
Syrian troops secretly arrested Sunni clerics and took them to out-of-town prisons.
The fate of 5,000 detainees remains unknown.
Bloodbath would follow overthrow of Assad in Syria
April 21, 2011
Syrian diverse sects could turn on each other once the regime is gone.
The overthrow of Syrian dictator Basher Assad is not yet imminent, but should it occur, a bloodbath between Syrian sects would likely follow.
As in neighboring Iraq, Syria’s diverse population – made up of Sunni Muslims, Druse, Kurds and other groups, who are ruled by the minority Alawites – could, upon the collapse of the Assad regime, turn on each other in a bloody civil conflict.
90 deaths Friday in Syria
April 23, 2011 Saturday
Assad may flee, will Isaiah 17:1 occur?
Assad's last fight for survival.
Bashar Assad faces the final showdown for his survival after Friday saw the bloodiest day in the month-long protests.
Debka - At least 90 civilians were killed and hundreds wounded, scores missing.
Obama condemned Assad's use of violence. The same 0bama who bombed Libya for NO reason, sent US troops to Afganistan with ROE which favored our enemies and got US troops killed.
Saturday funerals expected to explode with greater fury.
Syria Crackdown - 350 deaths
April 24, 2011 Sunday
Syria plunged in bloodbath, deaths rise to 350.
Syrian army sighted heading towards the cities,
Saturday, April 23 the mounting uprisings reached Damascus where 300,000 shouted, Bashar Assad you are a traitor!
Syria unleashed his forces and 350 were dead.
Early Sunday, secret service thugs hauled thousands of protesters out of their homes.
They broke down doors in Damascus, dragged their victims out and dumped them on covered trucks which drove off to unknown destinations.
Hospital wards are raided by security agents who eitheir kill the wounded or arrest them.
Syrians prefer Israel to Assad
Turkey went hardcore jihad 2 years ago, did they avoid all the uprisings?
April 26, 2011 Tuesday
US urges Americans to leave Syria
Syrians cry - let the Jews come! Do you realize the humor here?
Syria must end violence said Turkey and 0bama, both of whom initiated needless wars in the last 10 months.
Barack Obama continues to avoid action against Bashar Assad by partnering with Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan.
This is a deal with the devil. Both are terrorists.
TURKEY is part of the Gog-Magog Ezekiel 37 war.
US told American citizens to leave Syria, some at U.S. Embassy in Damascus left.
Embassy would remain open for limited services.
Thousands of soldiers backed by tanks causing panic in the streets when they opened fire indiscriminately on civilians and went house-to-house.
Electricity, water and mobile phone services were cut.
Iran plots coup against Assad
April 30, 2011 DEBKAfile
Barack Obama signed an executive order Friday April 29 imposing sanctions on the Assad family for brutality against civilians after learning that pro-Iranian officers within the ruling family and top military command were conspiring to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
They accuse him of being too slow and too soft (sic) in suppressing the popular uprising and are pushing for more direct Iranian intervention before it develops into a full-blown armed rebellion.
The opposition is already receiving a constant flow of weapons from Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon in quantities beyond control of Syrian forces.
More direct help from Iran is essential.
Syria in revolt, Assad wont last
May 1, 2011 DEBKA update
President Bashar Assad's ability to hold his regime unlikely, uprising already encompassing 7 million Syrians.
The outlying towns of Damascus and coastal towns are in rebel hands. Supposedly 800 dead in six weeks, but cant be verified.
Turkey pessimistic about Assad's chances of survival.
Syria protests continue across country
UN condemns Syria crackdown
April 29, 2011 Friday
Tens of thousands poured into Syria streets after Friday Muslim prayers in a day of rage against President Bashar al-Assad.
Mass anti-regime gatherings in Damascus, Homs, Baniyas on the Mediterranean coast and elsewhere.
Human Rights Council Resolution S-16/1 calls on the Syrian government to halt the killing of protesters.
Syrian protesters gain anti-tank guns
April 27, 2011
For the first time in the anti-Assad uprising, protesters carrying anti-tank weapons.
Mahar Asasad troops have Daraa under virtual lockdown, having cut off supplies of food and water, electricity and external communications.
Rats leaving a sinking ship!
Egypt Warms to Iran and Hamas
April 30, 2011
Chief Hamas terrorists leaving Damascus
Qatar agreed to host Khaled Mashaal and Hamas will open an office in Egypt.
This is no surprise. They will all coordinate an attack on Israel. Typical of Muslim lies, Hamas denies this.
Egypt violating Gaza, Hamas agreements
Cairo decision to open Rafah border has Jerusalem worried over new security threats.
Egypt shifting policy, including the decision to open the Egypt-Gaza border, embrace Hamas and upgrade relations with Iran, has Israel concerned that these recent moves are new security threats. DUH!
Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to open the blockaded border with Gaza and normalizing relations with Hamas and Iran.
Syria intervention inevitable
May 1, 2011 Sunday
We are presented with what we are told are isolated crises.
In reality, from Desert Storm to the Eastern European color revolutions, to the War on Terror to the current Arab Spring, we are witnessing one linear campaign for world domination, the creation of what George Bush Sr. and many others have called the New World Order.
The entire Arab Spring was a preplanned, meticulously engineered foreign-funded operation.
Syria Protest Crackdown
May 5, 2011 Thursday
300 people have been arrested in the town of Saqba, just outside Damascus, as part of a government crackdown on weeks of protests, a
Syrian Troops storm Damascus suburb
Syrian troops start withdrawal from Daraa
Israel defends against fleeing refugees
May 6, 2011
Israel keeps close watch on Syrian turbulence
Israel augmented the units deployed on its border with Syria May 5 against the thousands of Syrian refugees.
There are large concentrations of Syrian forces with tanks around Damascus.
As they move on the Syrian sector of Golan they would be easily visible from the villages and towns of the Israeli sector.
Syrian violence is about to occur very close to the Israeli border. The IDF is making preparations to keep it sealed.
Other large groups were turned away by Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are now heading for the Israel border in search of temporary shelter.
500 Syrians are thought to have been killed in 7 weeks of protests.
Thousands preparing to take to the streets on Friday for a "day of defiance".
Tanks are reported to have withdrawn from Deraa, where a human rights groups says the government has carried out a 10-day "massacre".
But security forces are reported to have gathered in other urban areas, including the coastal town of Baniyas.
Syrian army storms Sunni districts of Banias
7 May 2011
Troops and tanks swept into Baniyas, a centre of anti-government protests, in 3 places, and headed toward the Sunni districts of the coastal city.
The US has warned Damascus to end its brutal crackdown on protesters.
May 18, 2011
Syria is planning another border attack on Israel June 5[/color], the 44th anniversary of the 1967 War, when Syria lost part of the Golan after attacking Israel.
Syrian President Bashar Assad for the Syrian massacre of protesters.
Damascus refuses to allow inspection.
Mass graves discovered in southern Syria. They claim the civilian death toll is over 1,000 from Assad's 3-month crackdown.
Obama is preparing to impose sanctions on Assad May 19 in his speech with Middle East Muslim nations
He will recall the US Ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford.
Syria is building a plutonium reactor at Deir A-Zour, which was bombed by Israel in September 2007.
ISRAEL Raid on Syrian Nuclear Plant September 2007
Syrian Forces Fire into Crowds
May 21, 2011 At least 21 people are dead after Syrian forces fired live rounds into crowds of protesters as thousands took to the streets.
The attacks took place in Hama and Deraa, part of Damascus.
One of the attacks took place after Syria's secret police drove cars into the demonstrators trying to break up a protest. After one of the cars crashed, police jumped out and opened fire on the protesters with machine guns.
Syria has launched a bloody crackdown over the past two months on an unprecedented uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, unleashing the army and security forces to crush dissent.
Syria, Bashar Assad may survive the revolts against him
May 30, 2011 Most Syrian cities have calmed.
The Druze community obeyed leader Walid Jumblatt to stay out of it
Syria Christians supported Assad
Iran and Hellzballah helped Assad
While the protest movement has not been completely extinguished, President Assad has undeniably regained control.
Barak Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came to an understanding at the G8 summit about the fate of the Syrian and Libyan rulers, trading Qaddafi for Assad.
July 02, 2011
There has been continuing unrest in Syria, I just got tired of reporting.
Protesters call on Syrian President Assad to step down
Syrian Forces Conduct Deadly Operation Near Turkey
Syria attacks US Embassy
This just shows once again that 0bama cant do ANYTHING right.
July 12, 2011
USA wants Assad OUT after embassy in Damascus mobbed.
Monday, July 11, after a pro-Assad mob invaded the US embassy in Damascus, Secretary of State Hellary Clinton said
Syrian President Bashar Assad is not indispensible and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power.
US embassy staff sheltered in a fortified wing of the mission as Assad troops wrecked the missions equipment raised the Syrian flag.
It may be just the first step; Assad friends - Iran, Hizballah and Hamas – may pitch in later with violent acts against the US and its allies.
US forces in neighboring Iraq and the rest of eastern Mediterranean are again on high alert, as are Syria's neighbors – Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.
Syrian army attacks Syrians
July 22, 2011 Isaiah 17:1 ?
Syrian army deploys 1,500 tanks around protest cities, storms Homs
Syrian army surrounds anti-Assad protest cities out of control including Damascus area.
Tanks entered Homs, causing many casualties and burning buildings.
Sunni soldiers are deserting in increasing numbers, especially those fom the most embattled cities.
150 Corpses Litter Syria Streets
August 1, 2011
On the eve of Ramadan Syria President Bashar Assad moved bloody tank assault on all of northern Syria. He is waging war on his own people, as his predecessors have done.
One Syrian division broke up when most of its officers and men deserted.
0bama asked Turkey to send troops into northern Syria to establish a protected zone.
UN Security Council session urgently called by Germany.
Syria - At least 2,000 killed
5 August 2011
The Syrian government is responsible for more than 2,000 deaths in its crackdown against protests, says US Secretary of State Hellary Clinton.
She spoke as an army assault against protest hub Hama was reported to have killed dozens of people in recent days.
Residents of the city say snipers and tanks are firing on civilians and food and medicine are running low.
Activists have dismissed a government decree to allow opposition parties after decades of Baath party rule.
Multi-party rule was a key demand of protesters who have been taking to the streets in large numbers across Syria since mid-March to call for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
Mrs Clinton repeated an earlier statement that the United States believed Mr Assad had lost legitimacy in Syria.
"We've seen the Assad regime continue and intensify its assault against its own people this week," she said on Thursday.
We think to date the government is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 people of all ages."
Mass executions in Hama's main square
NATO use Syria for beachhead to attack Iran
12 hours after Russian President Medvedev warned Assad he faced a sad fate if he failed to introduce reforms, Moscow envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin accused the Western alliance of planning a military campaign against Syria to overthrow the Assad regime with the long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran.
City totally paralysed, Syrian tanks attack eastern city of Deir al-Zour
7 August 2011
The Syrian army has launched a pre-dawn assault on Deir al-Zour, the largest city in the east and scene of frequent protests, human rights activists say.
Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said scores of tanks and armoured vehicles had entered several areas of the city.
Other activists said there had been shelling and very strong explosions.
Earlier, the UN secretary general told President Bashar al-Assad to stop using troops against civilian protesters.
In a telephone call on Saturday, Ban Ki-moon "expressed his strong concern and that of the international community at the mounting violence and death toll in Syria over the past days", a UN spokesman said.
It was the first such communication in several months; the UN says Mr Assad had been refusing to accept calls from the secretary general.
Activists say at least 1,650 civilians have been killed and ten of thousands arrested since the uprising began in mid-March.
Activists said the bombardment of Deir al-Zour, about 450km (280 miles) east of Damascus, began at dawn on Sunday, with scores of tanks and armoured personnel carriers moving into many parts of the city, to the sound of loud explosions and machine-gun fire
NATO use Syria for beachhead to attack Iran
Syria attacks Latakia port
Aug 14, 2011 THIS IS a BIG DEAL!
Syrian warships join a military assault targeting protesters in the port of Latakia.
Warships shelled districts on Sunday, killing at least 6 people.
1,700 have reportedly died in the 6 month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
Tank, navy attack on Syria's Latakia kills 26: witnesses
August 14, 2011 AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters)
Syrian tanks and navy ships shelled the main Mediterranean port city of Latakia on Sunday, residents and rights groups said, killing 26 people as President Bashar al-Assad's forces launched an offensive by land and sea to crush protests against his rule.
Since the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan on August 1, Assad's forces have mounted operations across the country to
try to suppress protests demanding political freedom and an end to 41 years of Assad family rule.
"I can see the silhouettes of two grey vessels. They are firing their guns and the impact is landing on al-Raml al-Filistini and al-Shaab neighborhoods,"
one witness told Reuters by phone from Latakia, where tanks and armored vehicles were deployed three months ago to crush dissent against Assad in mainly Sunni neighborhoods of the mixed city.
This is the most intense attack on Latakia since the uprising. Anyone who sticks his head out of the window risks being shot. They want to finish off the demonstrations for good," he said.
Around 20,000 people have been rallying daily to demand Assad's removal in different areas of the city after Ramadan evening prayers, said the witness, a university student who did not want to be further identified.
The Syrian National Organization for Human Rights, headed by dissident Ammar al-Qurabi, said it had the names of 26 civilians killed in Latakia, including a two-year-old girl, Ola al-Jablawi. The deaths came after security forces shot dead 20 people during nationwide marches on Friday.
Assad comes from Qerdaha, a village in the Alawite Mountains 28 km (17 miles) southeast of Latakia, where his father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, is buried.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the casualties were shot by machineguns.
"After heavy firing, troops and shabbiha (militiamen loyal to Assad) have reached the main square in al-Raml al-Filistini, where the crowds have been demonstrating peacefully for freedom and the downfall of the regime," said a statement by the opposition group.
The Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union said four more civilians were killed elsewhere in Syria on Sunday.
The official state news agency denied that Latakia was shelled from the sea and said two police and four unidentified armed men were killed when "order preservation forces pursued armed men who were terrorizing residents.. and using machineguns and explosives from rooftops and from behind barricades."
The assaults by Syrian security forces are being met with increasing international condemnation. United Nations deputy political affairs chief Oscar Fernandez-Taranco was quoted by diplomats in New York on Wednesday as saying Assad's forces had killed nearly 2,000 Syrian civilians since March -- 188 since July 31 and 87 on August 8 alone.
The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on Saturday for an immediate halt to the military campaign against protesters. U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah repeated their calls for the military assaults to stop.
Obama spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron and the leaders called for an immediate end to attacks by Assad's forces, the White House said.
It said Obama and Cameron would "consult on further steps in the days ahead." Washington wants Europe and China to consider sanctions on Syria's oil industry, a key source of hard currency for the government.
Syrian authorities have expelled most independent media since the beginning of the uprising, making verifying reports from inside the country difficult.
Residents and rights campaigners said security forces and shabbiha continued house-to-house raids on Sunday in the northwestern Idlib province on the border with Turkey, the southern Hauran Plain, the Damascus suburbs and around the city of Hama, which remains besieged by the military.
Hundreds were arrested, adding to at least 12,000 who have been detained since the uprising and thousands of people already held as political prisoners before it, they added.
Assad, from Syria's Alawite minority, has repeatedly said Syria is facing a foreign conspiracy to divide the country of 20 million. The authorities blame "armed terrorist groups" for the bloodshed, and say 500 police and troops have been killed.
Assad's statements find little support among the majority Sunni population of Latakia, where, as in other towns and cities, the ruling minority has encouraged Alawites to move from their traditional mountain regions, offering them cheap land and jobs in the public sector and security apparatus.
Latakia port figures highly in the Assad family domination of the economy, with Bashar al-Assad's late uncle Jamil having been in virtual control of the facility, and a new generation of family members and their friends taking over.
Demonstrations against Assad during the five-month uprising have been biggest in Sunni neighborhoods of Latakia, including Salibiya in the center of the city and Raml al-Filistini and al-Shaab on the southern shore.
Troops have been besieging the neighborhoods for months, residents say, with garbage going uncollected and electricity often cut.
US, allies declare that Syria's Assad must leave
August 18, 2011 WASHINGTON (AP)
Executing a global squeeze play, the United States and its European allies on Thursday demanded an end to four decades of brutal family dictatorship in Syria and underscored the tough talk with new sanctions on President Bashar Assad's government.
The unified stance isolates Assad further as he presses a military campaign against major demonstrations.
But the diplomacy left many questions unanswered, including how the demand for Assad's ouster can be backed up in the absence of any appetite for military intervention, and who inside the Syrian government or among the country's fragmented opposition might take his place.
The messages from Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels coincided with a U.N. report recommending that Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity, including summary executions, torturing prisoners and targeting children in the crackdown on demonstrations.
Much of Syria was quiet Thursday, although activists reported intense shooting around noon in the flashpoint city of Latakia.
Rights groups say Assad's forces have killed nearly 2,000 people since mid-March. The military assault on civilians has escalated since Ramadan began, with security forces killing hundreds and detaining thousands.
Activists said security forces killed 18 people across the country on Wednesday, the same day Assad assured U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that military and police operations had stopped.
In Thursday's coordinated statements, President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Canada and the European Union called for Assad to resign, saying his repression of demonstrations inspired by this spring's Arab uprisings made him unfit to lead. The new effort signals the end of the world's thin patience for Assad, once viewed as a Western-looking pragmatist who might expand freedoms at home and help achieve an Arab peace deal with Israel.
The resignation calls were the first explicit demands from the U.S. and its allies for Assad to step down, although condemnation of his actions had been growing for weeks.
Syria presented a different case than other Muslim nations swept by unrest this year. The United States used leverage from its billions of dollars in military aid to gradually ratchet up pressure on Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak to step down, and called early on for the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
But Washington has very little direct influence on Syria, long a pariah state accused of sponsoring terrorism. Syria does have wider trade and other ties with Europe and the Arab world, which complicated the U.S. position, and with neighbor Iran. Iran remains one of the Assad regime's few allies, although those bonds are not deep.
In a statement released by the White House, Obama said Assad had lost all credibility as a leader and had to go.
"His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people," Obama said. "We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."
British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement saying that Assad should "leave power in the greater interests of Syria and the unity of his people." European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also joined the chorus of condemnation.
In Geneva, a high-level U.N. human rights team said that Syria's crackdown "may amount to crimes against humanity" and should be referred to the International Criminal Court. The U.N. investigators say they had found "a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population."
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Thursday she had asked the Security Council to refer Syria to the court, and the U.S. and Europeans said they would push for sanctions at the U.N.
Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, accused the U.S. of waging a "humanitarian and diplomatic war" against his country in order to instigate further violence by sending "the wrong message to the terrorist armed groups that they are under American and Western protection."
Obama said Assad was wrong to think he could silence the voices of his people with repressive tactics similar to the ones his father, Hafez Assad, used to crush opponents in the 1980s. Obama signed an executive order that gives his administration authority to impose sweeping new sanctions on Syria intended to further isolate Assad.
The order immediately bans the import into the United States of any Syrian petroleum or petroleum products. Syria is not a huge source of oil for the U.S., but if European allies join the effort, it could significantly affect one of the government's top sources of revenue. Syrian crude oil exports go mostly to European countries such as Germany, Italy and France, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
Obama's order also denies Syria access to the U.S. financial system, freezing all Syrian government assets that are subject to American jurisdiction. It prohibits any U.S. citizen from engaging in transactions with Syria, investing in the country or exporting services there.
The U.S. had already hit more than 30 Syrian officials, including Assad himself and members of his inner circle, and firms with sanctions. It has also lobbied other nations to follow suit, an acknowledgment both of limited U.S. leverage and the value, as Clinton said this week, of giving Assad nowhere to run.
The administration was careful to try not to appear highhanded or meddlesome in a region where suspicion of U.S. motives is rampant. Some of the Syrian protesters demanding an end to Assad's rule also reject the idea of a new alliance with the American government. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama stressed that no one would impose transition in Syria.
"We understand the strong desire of the Syrian people that no foreign country should intervene in their struggle, and we respect their wishes," Clinton said at the State Department. "At the same time, we will do our part to support their aspirations for a Syria that is democratic, just and inclusive, and we will stand up for their universal rights and dignity by pressuring the regime and Assad personally."
The White House had planned to make the announcement last week but postponed it largely at the request of Syria's neighbor Turkey, which asked for more time to try to persuade Assad, and because Clinton and other officials argued it was important to build a global coalition to demand his departure.
U.S. intelligence analysts believe one possible outcome of a post-Assad era is a Lebanese style government in which Syrian political parties form along sectarian lines, with some pro-Iran, some Sunni Muslim, some Christian. One U.S. official said a positive sign is that the protesters across ethnic and religious lines appear to have maintained a cohesive, unified front. That shared experience, coupled with unseating Assad, could forge ties between disparate groups.
Another possibility is that Assad gets pushed out by members of the existing government, who use his ouster to win back the people.
Until Thursday, the administration had said Assad had lost his legitimacy and that Syria would be better off without him. But it had stopped short of demanding his departure.
In addition to the statements from Europe and Canada, Jordan's foreign minister said Thursday that his country is "angered" and "extremely worried" by the killings of civilians in Syria, and Switzerland recalled its ambassador. A day earlier, Tunisia recalled its ambassador from Syria, following the lead of several other Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, which the U.S. has been lobbying to show displeasure with Assad.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday compared Assad to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi for refusing to heed pressure to change. Turkey has joined calls for Gadhafi to leave power, and Erdogan said he had personally spoken to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but "despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians."
That terrorist in the whitehouse, Barak Obama, also demanded Egypt's Mubarak leave .. and Libya's Kdaffy .. now Assad.
Well I demand Obama leave! NOW! So do millions of REAL AMERICANS!
Syria hits point of no return amid broad isolation
Aug 21/11 BEIRUT (AP)
When Bashar Assad inherited power in Syria in 2000, many saw him as a youthful new president in a region of aging dictators — a fresh face who could transform his father's stagnant dictatorship into a modern state ready to engage with the world.
Now, the bloody government backlash has extinguished the once-popular image of Assad as a reformer struggling against members of his late father's old guard.
With calls for his resignation last week from Washington to Tokyo, the Arab Spring has forced Assad to face the most severe isolation of his family's four-decade rule. And the events of the past five months have dashed any lingering hopes that he would change one of the most repressive states in the world.
There is little sign that the 45-year-old Assad will manage to crush the protests that are shaking his regime. But even if he does, his newfound status as a global pariah stands to devastate his country of 22 million people, undermine stability in the Middle East and affect the role of Iran, Syria's ally, on the world stage.
"Power is an aphrodisiac, and as the old saying goes, it corrupts absolutely," said David W. Lesch, an American expert on Syria who wrote a 2005 biography of Bashar Assad. "In the end, he became more of a product of his environment rather than a transformational figure who could change that environment."
The United States and several of its major allies called Thursday for Assad to give up power, a crescendo to months of mounting reproach. The messages from Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels coincided with a U.N. report recommending that Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity in the crackdown, including summary executions, torturing prisoners and targeting children.
Even Japan added its voice to the chorus calling for Assad to leave.
Human rights groups said Assad's forces have killed nearly 2,000 people since the uprising erupted in mid-March, touched off by the wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world.
There is no sign that the global calls for Assad's ouster will have any immediate effect, although analysts say they could ultimately help turn the tide. The growing isolation could compel Syrians who have supported the regime to move toward the opposition, especially if the economy continues to deteriorate.
Longtime ally Iran has offered unwavering support for Damascus, but it cannot prop up the regime indefinitely.
Still, many observers predict at least several more months of bloodshed, perhaps even more brutality to prevent further attempts to replace Assad.
Both sides of the conflict remain energized. Protesters pour into the streets every Friday, defying the near-certain barrage of shelling and sniper fire. But the regime is strong as well and in no imminent danger of collapse, setting the stage for what could be a drawn-out and bloody stalemate.
The opposition has yet to bring out the middle- and upper-middle classes in Damascus and Aleppo, the two economic powerhouses, although protests have been building.
Assad, and his father before him, stacked key military posts with members of their minority Alawite sect, ensuring loyalty by melding the fate of the army and the regime. That loyalty is the Assad regime's most potent weapon.
Economic sanctions can chip away at the regime, although the new U.S. ban on Syrian oil is not a significant blow on its own. But EU officials said Friday the bloc's 27 member states were considering an embargo on oil, which could significantly slash the Damascus government's revenues.
Syria's oil exports — most of them heading to Europe — generate $7-8 million per day, said David Schenker, director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Without that revenue, Syria will quickly burn through the $17 billion in foreign reserves that the government had at the start of the uprising.
"But it could still take a year to deplete, collapsing the economy," Schenker cautioned.
It remains to be seen if Turkey, a former close ally of Syria, will also impose sanctions. Turkey is Syria's neighbor and important trade partner, and its leaders have grown increasingly frustrated with Damascus.
Although Washington has little direct influence on Syria, President Barack Obama's call for Assad to leave decisively ends the U.S. push for engagement with Damascus.
There were early signs that the attempt would end badly: A secret U.S. diplomatic cable from June 2009 portrays Assad as vain and inexperienced, and government officials in Damascus as inveterate liars.
Assad sees himself "as a sort of philosopher-king, the Pericles of Damascus," Maura Connelly, the U.S. charge d'affaires in Damascus at the time, says in the cable, which was released by WikiLeaks.
She suggests flattering Assad may be a good way to manipulate him: "Playing to Bashar's intellectual pretensions is one stratagem for gaining his confidence and acquiescence; it may be time-consuming but could well produce results."
Syria has long been viewed by the West as a potentially destabilizing force in the Middle East because of its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Damascus also provided a home for some radical Palestinian groups.
In recent years, however, the country has been trying to emerge from years of international isolation, raising hopes that Washington could peel the country away from Tehran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
But two years of U.S. overtures to Damascus yielded few results. Now, an isolated Assad is as close to Iran as ever. Iraq is sticking by Assad as well — a move that some see as a sign of how the Iraqi government is shifting toward an alliance led by Iran as American forces get ready to leave at the end of the year.
It's a marked change in the relationship between Iran and Syria, which were deeply estranged all through the Saddam era and the insurgency.
Assad's isolation stands in stark contrast to the hopes many pinned on his leadership.
He gave up an ophthalmology career in Britain to enter Syrian politics when his brother Basil, widely regarded as his father's chosen heir, died in a 1994 car crash.
Assad, who was 34 when he took power, slowly lifted Soviet-style economic restrictions, letting in foreign banks, throwing the doors open to imports and empowering the private sector. His youth and quiet demeanor endeared him to Syrians. The tall, lanky leader with a mild disposition is said to detest being surrounded by bodyguards.
He and his wife, Asma, and their three young children, live in an apartment in the upscale Abu Rummaneh district of Damascus, as opposed to a palatial mansion like other Arab leaders.
But the "Damascus Spring" turned out to be short-lived, and Assad slipped into the autocratic ways of his father.
"I have personally seen Assad's evolution from someone who became president by accident and wanted to reform the country to someone who was battle-tested, in power, and appears to have been convinced by sycophantic praise and regime propaganda as to his own indispensable position in the country," Lesch said.
For now, though, Assad enjoys a measure of support in Syria. His main base at home includes Syrians who have benefited financially from the regime, minority groups who feel they will be targeted if the Sunni majority takes over, and others who see no clear and safe alternative to Assad.
The Syrian opposition movement is disparate and largely disorganized, without a strong leadership.
Sectarian warfare is a real, terrifying possibility in Syria, a fragile jigsaw puzzle of Middle Eastern backgrounds including Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, Druse, Circassians, Armenians and more. The worst-case scenario is a descent into a Lebanese-style civil war — and Assad has exploited those fears.
The Syrian government insists the unrest is being driven by terrorists and foreign extremists looking to stir up sectarian strife. On Saturday, a government-owned newspaper said the U.S. and European calls for Assad to step down finally have revealed the "face of the conspiracy" against Damascus.
Russia vetoes UN resolution against Syria
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and China vetoed a European-backed U.N. Security Council resolution Tuesday that threatened sanctions against Syria if it didn't immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians.
It would have been the first legally binding resolution adopted by the Security Council since President Bashar Assad's military began using tanks and soldiers against protesters in mid-March. Its defeat reflects the deep divisions in the U.N.'s most powerful body over how to address the ongoing violence in Syria, which the U.N. estimates has led to more than 2,700 deaths.
The European sponsors of the resolution tried to avoid a veto by watering down the language on sanctions three times, to the point where the word "sanctions" was taken out, but they failed.
The vote was 9-2 with four abstentions — India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon.
It was the first double veto by Russia and China since July 2008 when they vetoed proposed sanctions against Zimbabwe. In January 2007, they also vetoed a resolution calling on Myanmar to release all political prisoners, initiate a wide-ranging dialogue and end military attacks and human rights abuses.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after the vote that his country did not support the Assad regime or the violence but opposed the resolution because it was "based on a philosophy of confrontation," contained "an ultimatum of sanctions" and was against a peaceful settlement of a crisis. He also complained that the resolution did not call for the Syrian opposition to disassociate itself from "extremists" and enter into dialogue.
China's Ambassador Li Bandong said his country is concerned about the ongoing violence and wants to see speedy reforms but opposed the resolution because "sanctions, or threat of sanctions, do not help the situation in Syria but rather complicates the situation."
Supporters of the resolution expressed disappointment and outrage.
France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud called the veto "a rejection of the extraordinary movement in support of freedom and democracy that is the Arab Spring" and commended "all of those who fight against the bloodthirsty crackdown in Syria."
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the veto "will be a great disappointment to the people of Syria and the wider region that some members of this council could not show their support for their struggle for basic human rights."
"By blocking this resolution, the onus is now on those countries to step up their efforts and persuade the Syrian government to end the violence and pursue genuine reform," he said.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said "the courageous people of Syria can now clearly see who on this council supports their yearning for liberty and human rights — and who does not."
"Those who oppose this resolution and give cover to a brutal regime will have to answer to the Syrian people — and, indeed, to people across the region who are pursuing the same universal aspirations," she said. "The crisis in Syria will stay before the Security Council, and we will not rest until this council rises to meet its responsibilities."
Rice accused Russia and China of wanting to sell arms to the Syrian regime rather than stand with the Syrian people — an accusation vehemently denied by Russia's Churkin.
From the outset of the Syrian uprising, the council has been split.
Western members, backed by some African and Latin American nations, demanded an end to violence, and when it was not heeded they pushed for Security Council action, including the threat of sanctions. On the other side, Russia, China and the newly emerging global powers — Brazil, India and South Africa — pressed for more time for the Assad government to implement reforms and for political dialogue with the opposition and strongly opposed even mentioning sanctions.
It took four months of arguments between supporters and opponents of Assad's regime for the Security Council to issue a presidential statement in August condemning the escalating violence.
Britain, France, Germany and Portugal, backed by the United States, then pressed for a council resolution calling for an immediate arms embargo and other sanctions aimed at stopping the Assad government's crackdown on protesters.
But Russia, China, India, South Africa and Brazil opposed that sanctions resolution. They argue the U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians in Libya was misused by NATO to justify months of air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and expressed fear a new resolution might be used as a pretext for armed intervention against Syria.
The final watered-down draft that was voted on and defeated demanded that Syria immediately end violence, allow fundamental rights and freedoms, lift all media restrictions and allow unhindered access for human rights investigators.
It expressed the council's intention to review Syria's implementation of these demands within 30 days, and "to consider its options, including measures under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations."
Article 41 authorizes the council to impose nonmilitary measures which can include economic and diplomatic sanctions.
The draft also would have strongly condemned "the continued grave and systematic human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities" and called on all states "to exercise vigilance and restraint" in supplying weapons to Syria.
Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, the last speaker after the vote, criticized "the prejudice in certain Western capitals against our country" and insisted a comprehensive package of reforms is now being implemented by the government, "enhancing the democratic process."
Without naming the U.S., Ja'afari said that it used its Security Council veto 50 times since 1945 to protect Israel and deny the Palestinians their rights.
Therefore, he said, it could be considered a party to "genocide, as this language is tantamount to turning a blind eye and supporting the Israeli massacres in occupied Arab lands."
As he spoke, U.S. diplomats led by Rice walked out of the council chamber.
Assad threatens to attack Tel Aviv in case of NATO strikeSyria's Assad threatens to attack Tel Aviv in case of NATO strike
October 05, 2011
Assad threatens to attack Tel Aviv Israel in case of NATO strike.
Turkey to hold military exercise on Syrian border.
War tensions between Turkey, NATO and Syria again as Turkey has military exercises along the Syrian border.
Israel warned that if a single Syrian missile explodes in Tel Aviv,
Damascus will be first to pay the price. (be nuked. )
Further evidence of a gathering storm
An oracle concerning Damascus
Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.
Assad must go
Syrian Kurdish leader assassinated
The assassins were masked. The NWO want to replace leaders. Assad may not have had a role in this.
Obama and others told Assad to leave last August. This is NOT the first call to go.
October 9, 2011
Syrian Kurdish leader Mashaal Tammo, head of the Kurd Party, was murdered by masked men who burst into his home in Syria, and seriously injured his son.
Obama has called on Bashar Assad to leave. Russia also said Assad must go.
Syria's 2.5 million Kurds, mostly Sunnis, did not support the Assad regime but were not in active revolt against it.
Assad is incensed by the troop exercise Turkey is staging on the Syrian border Oct. 13.
Canadians in Syria urged to leave
Oct. 14, 2011 CBC News
Canadians travelling or living in Syria should leave the country immediately and trips to the country should be avoided due to the deteriorating security situation, Foreign Affairs warns.
"There has been extensive use of force by the security forces and military in suppressing demonstrations across the country," a release issued Friday says. "Many casualties and fatalities have been reported and protests and violent repression are likely to continue."
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, meanwhile, said Friday more than 3,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March.
Security operations by government forces can involve the lockdown of entire cities, including roadblocks and checkpoints, and may last for weeks, the release says. Communications services could also be disrupted, it warned.
Anyone in the country should avoid political gatherings or crowds as they may turn violent without warning, the release says.
Canadians in the country should also contact the Canadian Embassy in the capital of Damascus and make sure travel documents are up to date.
3 Syrian generals disappear
October 18, 2011
3 generals disappeared in Damascus, one turned up riddled with bullets.
There are defections in disgust at President Bashar Assad. This could signal a purge of his high command.
Syrian civil war is feared, and they are preparing themselves by barricading their villages.
Syrian protesters vow to bring down Assad regime
Death of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya brings new momentum to uprising as demonstrators call for international military intervention
October 21, 2011
Syrian protesters poured onto the streets on Friday, vowing that President Bashar al-Assad's regime will be the next to unravel after the death of the ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Activists said around 14 protesters were killed when security forces opened fire.
"Gaddafi is gone. Your turn is coming, Bashar!" protesters in the central city of Hama, a hotbed of resistance to the Assad regime, shouted.
The Syrian uprising has been resilient over the last seven months despite a bloody crackdown in which the UN estimates that more than 3,000 people have been killed.
Although mass demonstrations have shaken one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, the Syrian opposition has made no major gains in recent months. It holds no territory and has no clear leadership.
But the armed uprising in Libya, which drove Gaddafi from power, albeit with Nato air support, appeared to have breathed new life into the Syrian revolt.
"Our souls, our blood we sacrifice for you, Libya!" Syrian protesters chanted. Others held signs linking Assad's fate to those of other deposed Arab leaders. Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been driven into exile, and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is in jail facing charges of complicity in the deaths of more than 800 protesters during his country's uprising.
"Ben Ali (Tunesia) fled, Mubarak (Egypt) is in jail, Gaddafi is killed, Assad … ?" one banner read.
(CJ NOTE - That line is a very good line!)
The Syrian uprising has taken cues from Libya recently.Syria's opposition has formed a national council, like Libya's National Transitional Council, hoping to forge a united front against Assad that Syrians and the international community could rally behind.
In turn, Libya became the first country to recognise the Syrian National Council as the "legitimate authority" in Syria.
After the successes of armed Libyan revolutionaries, many Syrian protesters have started to see the limits of a peaceful movement.
Some Syrians have called on protesters to take up arms and invited foreign military action, hoisting signs that read "Where is Nato?".
For the most part, Syrian opposition leaders have opposed foreign intervention.
There has been no central call to arms by the opposition, in part because of its lack of clear leadership.
The Syrian opposition has been disparate and fragmented, with various parties vying for power as they have sought an end to more than 40 years of rule by Assad and his late father, Hafez.
There have been some clashes in border regions between Syrian forces and apparent defectors from the military, but they have not been widespread.
But growing signs of armed resistance may accelerate the cycle of violence gripping the country by giving the government a pretext to use even greater firepower against its opponents. Authorities have already used tanks, snipers and gunmen.
US pulls out ambassador from Syria, diplomats say - Reuters
October 24, 2011
Syria mining borders
October 28, 2011
Syria mining borders with Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan
Syria has laid minefields along the Jordanian, Turkish borders to cut down on army deserters and the influx of weapons and anti-Assad opposition.
Syria aims to seal itself off against foreign military intervention by Arab or NATO troops.
Bashar Assad started acting like a hunted man since Qaddafi death.
He sees the NWO handwriting on his wall. Assad is not as bad as what will replace him. GOAL? Wipe out Israel.
Syria's Assad warns of "earthquake" if West intervenes: report
LONDON (Reuters) - Western powers risk causing an "earthquake" that would burn the Middle East if they intervene in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
Assad has drawn repeated condemnation from the United Nations, Arab League and Western governments for the violent manner in which he has attempted to crush a seven-month uprising against his rule.
Assad said in the interview that Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely," adding: "but Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different."
"Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake," he said.
"Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans? Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region," Assad added.
The U.N. estimates that 3,000 people, including nearly 200 children, have been killed in the unrest.
Since the start of protests in March, Syrian authorities have blamed the violence on gunmen they say have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.
Syria has barred most international media, making it hard to verify accounts from activists and authorities.
Assad said that Syrian authorities had made "many mistakes" in the early part of the uprising, but that the situation had now improved.
Assad said he had responded differently to the Arab Spring than other, deposed Arab leaders. "We didn't go down the road of stubborn government," he said.
"Six days after (the protests began), I commenced reform. People were sceptical that the reforms were an opiate for the people, but when we started announcing the reforms, the problems started decreasing..This is when the tide started to turn. This is when people started supporting the government," Assad told the Sunday Telegraph.
Syrian forces pound Homs
Assad warns West not to intervene
Sat October 29, 2011 cnn
Syrian forces pounded the western city of Homs Saturday with jets and tanks, sustaining fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
At least 21 people were killed in clashes countrywide, including 11 in Homs, according to the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) of Syria, an opposition group that organizes and documents protests in Syria.
Syria-Pakistan nuke tie, NOT GOOD!
November 1, 2011 Tuesday AP
UN investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria and suspects
Syria worked with A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan atomic bomb, to acquire technology that could be used to make
nuclear arms. The buildings in northwest Syria closely match the design of a uranium enrichment plant provided to
Libya when Moammar Gaddafi was trying to build nuclear weapons under Khan's guidance.
September 6, 2007 ISRAEL bombed the Syrian Nuclear Plant, they can do it again.
The oracle concerning Damascus.
Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.
Syrian forces kill 19, government offers amnesty
November 4, 2011 AMMAN (Reuters)
Syrian security forces killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens as they cracked down on protests after Friday prayers, activists said, casting doubt on whether an Arab League plan can end months of bloodshed.
The government offered an amnesty to anyone with weapons if they reported to police within a week, "as long as they did not commit any crimes of killing," state television reported.
The gesture did not appear to be part of the Arab League plan, accepted by Syria on Wednesday, under which the army would leave turbulent cities, political prisoners would walk free and a dialogue with the opposition would begin within two weeks.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reacted dismissively when asked if she thought Syrians should participate in the amnesty, saying: "I wouldn't advise anybody to turn themselves into regime authorities at the moment."
She also accused the Syrian government of failing to carry through on the Arab League plan and said the United States had no confidence that it would. "We have a long, deep history of broken promises by the Assad regime," she told reporters.
Violence has intensified since the Arab League agreement was announced, amid reports of sectarian killings.
Troops fired on protests that erupted after Friday prayers in many towns, killing 7 people in Kanaker, south of Damascus, 9 in Homs, where tanks were again in action, and one in Saqba, near the capital.
Another two protesters were killed in the city of Hama, 240 km (155 miles) north of Damascus, when security forces fired at several thousand protesters who tried to march to the main Orontes square, scene of big demonstrations before tanks stormed the city three months ago, they said.
"Lots of people fell on the ground with bullet wounds and we are afraid some will not make it," Mohammed, a Kanaker resident, said by telephone.
Tough media curbs have made it hard to verify events in Syria since protests against President Bashar al-Assad began in March, inspired by revolts against Arab autocrats elsewhere.
Syrian state television denied any killings, and aired footage it said were from areas where protests were reported, showing crowds calmly leaving mosques after prayers.
It said four police were injured by gunfire from "armed terrorist groups in Kanaker".
But YouTube footage, purportedly from many towns and cities, showed thousands of people waving flags, with some shouting: "Mother do not cry, Bashar's days are numbered."
One clip, from the town of Taybet al-Imam, near Hama, showed crowds marching along a main street where huge Syrian flags from the pre-Baathist era were draped over buildings, along with the Libyan flag adopted by those who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
"The people want the execution of Assad," shouted people at a rally in the town of Deir Baalba near Homs.
Homs has emerged as a protest flashpoint and a center for emerging armed resistance to government forces. Activists said tank and sniper fire killed at least 22 people in the central city on Thursday, mainly in the old Bab Amro quarter.
The violence in Homs, where tanks were bombarding for the second straight day, illustrates how difficult it will be to implement the Arab League plan in a country locked in a deadly struggle between Assad and foes of his 11-year rule.
Diplomats who have seen the agreement say it lacks any timeline for implementation.
Fears that unrest is taking a sectarian turn have mounted this week amid reports of killings of members of Assad's minority Alawite community and counter-killings of Sunni Muslims, who form a majority of Syria's 20 million people.
State news agency SANA quoted several Homs residents describing attacks by gunmen on shared taxis on Thursday.
One woman, named Ikhlas Ashour, said gunmen forced passengers out of the taxi and robbed them of their money and identity cards before killing all the men.
"It was an indescribably ugly scene, I felt like I was living a nightmare," she was quoted as saying.
Another resident, Ghayath Darwish, told SANA gunmen killed some male passengers at random and dragged away their corpses.
SANA also said the bodies of 13 soldiers killed by "armed gangs" in Homs, the city of Hama and the northwestern province of Idlib were returned to their families for burial on Thursday.
The opposition has so far rejected talks with Assad as long as violence continues and has said the only way to restore peace is for the president to step down immediately.
"We have already seen the regime's bloody response to the Arab initiative today in the form of intensified shelling on Homs," Ahmad Ramadan, spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council, said on Thursday.
Security forces arrested dozens of people in the early hours in some northern Damascus suburbs, activists said.
In Maarat al-Numaan, a town on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, one resident said troops manned roadblocks and snipers lurked on rooftops. Nevertheless, crowds were shouting "Freedom, freedom, despite you, Assad," he said.
The United Nations says more than 3,000 people have been killed since the uprising against 41 years of Assad family rule began in March. The authorities accuse Islamist militants and foreign-backed armed gangs of killing 1,100 security forces.
Western sanctions and growing criticism from Turkey and Arab neighbors have raised pressure on Syria to end the bloodshed.
Army of 15,000 gathers against Syria
November 6, 2011 Sunday
Army being coordinated from eastern Turkey againsts Syrian President Bashar Assad
There is evidence that attacks inside Syria are causing high levels of casualties in the security forces.
Many are defectors from the Assad army. There are reports that 9 members of the Alawites to which Assad belongs
were dragged off a bus and killed, while 15 members of the security forces were killed by deserters.
Crowds attack diplomatic missions in Syria
All the chatter about an attack on Iran is likely covering the planned deposing of Assad in Syria.
NOTE - The Maronite Christians in Syria favor Assad. Interesting.
Nov 14, 2011
Crowds of Assad loyalists attacked the Saudi Arabian embassy in Damascus and French and Turkish consulates in Latakia after the Arab League suspended Syria.
Tens of thousands poured into the streets Sunday to protest an Arab League vote to suspend their membership.
Turkey evacuated diplomatic staff and their families after a night of attacks on embassies.
Facing growing isolation, Assad called for an urgent Arab summit to discuss the unrest and invited Arab League officials to visit Syria.
France has joined the condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and summoned the Syrian ambassador to Paris to demand an explanation for attacks by Assad loyalists on diplomatic missions in Syria.
Syrian soldiers killed as crisis accelerates
Nov 14, 2011 BEIRUT (AP)
Army defectors ambushed dozens of Syrian troops and regime forces gunned down civilians during one of the bloodiest days of the 8-month-old uprising, which appeared Tuesday to be spiraling out of President Bashar Assad's control.
Up to 90 people were killed in a gruesome wave of violence Monday, activists said. The extent of the bloodshed only came to light Tuesday, in part because corpses lying in the streets did not reach the morgue until daylight.
As the bloodshed spiked, Assad's former allies were turning on him in rapid succession, a sign of profound impatience with a leader who has failed to stem months of unrest that could explode into a regional conflagration.
Turkey, Jordan and the 22-member Arab League all signaled they were fed up with Assad's response to the uprising and were ready to pressure him to go.
Turkish PM Erdogan said he no longer has confidence in the government led by Assad, a 46-year-old eye doctor who inherited power from his father 11 years ago.
"No regime can survive by killing or jailing," said Erdogan, who cultivated close ties with Assad before the uprising began in March.
"No one can build a future over the blood of the oppressed."
Erdogan, who disrespectfully addressed Assad by his first name, warned that the brutal crackdown threatens to place him on a list of leaders who "feed on blood."
Turkey also canceled plans for oil exploration in Syria and threatened to cut electricity supplies to the country, which is burning through the $17 billion in foreign reserves the government had at the start of the uprising. Turkey provides around 7 percent of Syria's total electricity consumption.
A day earlier, Jordan's King Abdullah II said Assad should step down, the first Arab leader to publicly make such a call.
And over the weekend, the 22-member Arab League took a near-unanimous vote to suspend Damascus from the regional body.
In a sign that Saudi Arabia's rulers now foresee an end to Assad's rule, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States,
Prince Turki Al Faisal, told reporters in Washington that it was "inevitable" that Assad would step down.
"I think what we're seeing here and continue to see is that the drumbeat of international pressure is increasing on Assad," U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
Despite the widespread condemnation, Assad was unlikely to put an end to the crackdown, said Fadia Kiwan, a political science professor at Beirut's St. Joseph University.
The reason is simple: Assad's regime would almost certainly fall if the crackdown ends, she said.
Although activists say the anti-government protesters have remained largely peaceful, an armed insurgency has developed in recent months targeting Assad's military and security forces.
34 soldiers were killed Monday in an ambush in Daraa, the birthplace of the uprising, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The brazen attack by army defectors suggests a new confidence among troops who have sided with the protesters and highlights the potential for an armed confrontation to escalate.
Amateur video provided by activists showed what appeared to be an army tank and other military vehicles engulfed in flames in Daraa. "God is great!" a voice cried out.
"This is an armored vehicle with a machine gun from Assad's brigades. God is great!"
Other footage showed a fire at the end of an alley sending up a plume of smoke, followed by an explosion. "That's the free army!" a man shouted as gunshots rang out. "That's a sniper," another voice said. "There's a sniper at the school."
Other videos showed tanks on urban streets firing their cannons and crowds of people running from the sound of automatic gunfire.
An activist in the area said he counted the bodies of 12 civilians killed by security forces' fire. "I saw two army armored personnel carriers, totally burnt," he told The Associated Press by telephone.
A resident near the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh in Daraa province said he heard more than four hours of intense gunfire. Both witnesses asked that their names not be used for fear of government reprisals.
As many as 90 people were killed nationwide Monday, including 19 civilians whose bodies were collected from the streets of Homs and delivered to the morgue.
The U.N. estimates the regime's military crackdown has killed 3,500 people in the past eight months. November is shaping up to be the bloodiest month of the revolt, with well over 300 people killed so far.
The latest death toll was compiled by sources including British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Local Coordination Committees activist coalition and morgue officials.
In many ways, the violence against security forces plays directly into the regime's hands by giving it a pretext to crack down with overwhelming force, analysts say.
Assad says extremists pushing a foreign agenda to destabilize Syria are behind the unrest, not true reform-seekers aiming to open the country's autocratic political system.
Assad has responded with once-unthinkable promises of reform in one of the most authoritarian states in the Middle East. But he simultaneously unleashed the military to crush the protests with tanks, gunfire and snipers.
On Tuesday, the regime announced an amnesty for 1,180 prisoners who were arrested over the past eight months but whose "hands have not been stained by blood." Earlier this month, Assad freed 533 prisoners to mark Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice.
The regime also released Kamal Labwani, 54, one of the country's most prominent detainees, according to the observatory for human rights. Labwani was serving a 12-year sentence on charges of anti-government activities after he met White House officials.
Still, the gestures ring hollow alongside the mounting death toll and amateur videos posted online every day that appear to show random gunfire and shelling.
The Syrian government has largely sealed off the country, barring most foreign journalists and preventing independent reporting. But details gathered by activist groups and witnesses, along with the amateur videos, have become key channels of information.
The bloodshed also has laid bare Syria's long-simmering sectarian tensions, with disturbing reports of Iraq-style sectarian killings.
Syria is an overwhelmingly Sunni country of 22 million, but Assad and the ruling elite belong to the minority Alawite sect. Assad, and his father before him, stacked key military posts with Alawites to meld the fates of the army and the regime — a tactic aimed at compelling the army to fight to the death to protect the Assad family dynasty.
To a large degree, the military has remained loyal. Most of the defectors appear to be lower-level Sunni conscripts, not officers. But observers say the tide could change if the military continues to be called upon to shoot unarmed protesters.
On Wednesday, the Arab League will meet in Morocco and the group is expected to formally suspend Syria. The decision has enraged Syria, which considers itself a bastion of Arab nationalism.
Syria announced on state-run TV that it would boycott the meeting.
Damascus fears the United States and its allies might use the rare Arab consensus to press for tougher sanctions at the United Nations. Veto-wielding Russia and China have so far opposed efforts at the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria — a stance that could become harder to maintain.
Defectors attack Syria intel base
Syrian army defectors hit intel complex
November 16, 2011 Wednesday
Syrian army defectors have attacked a major military base near Damascus.
Free Syrian Army fired shoulder-mounted rockets and machine guns at a large Air Force intelligence complex near Damascus.
A gunfight ensued and helicopters circled the area.
Parts of the Air Force Intelligence building in Harasta were destroyed.
It comes as the Arab League prepares to discuss its response to the crackdown on anti-government unrest in Syria.
Turkey says Syria on "knife-edge," may cut power
Turkey may be Non-Arab but Turkey is an Islamic nation.
Calling it non-Arab is mis-leading
November 18, 2011 ANKARA (Reuters)
Turkey kept up pressure on its one-time ally Syria Tuesday, warning President Bashar al-Assad his government was on a "knife-edge" and
saying it may review its supplies of electricity to Damascus if it does not change course.
In a possible signal Turkey was readying economic sanctions against Damascus, the country's Economy Ministry also said
it had established a Syria desk to monitor developments and to assist Turkish businesses doing trade in Syria.
"Nobody now expects the (Syrian) people's demands to be met. We all want the Syrian administration, which is now on a knife-edge, to turn back from the edge of the cliff," Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a party meeting.
He also demanded an immediate apology following attacks on Turkey's diplomatic missions in Syria.
Non-Arab Turkey, after long courting Assad, has lost patience with its neighbor's failure to end an eight-month crackdown on protests against the president and implement promised democratic reforms.
"Right now we are supplying electricity there (Syria). If this course continues, we may have to review all of these decisions," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters.
Syria produces more electricity than it consumes and it has links with other countries such as Jordan and Lebanon so the impact of Turkey pulling the plug would probably be limited.
However, ending a supply route that began in 2006 would send a strong symbolic message about its disapproval and willingness to impose further sanctions.
Turkey is Syria's largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $2.5 billion in 2010, and investments by Turkish firms in Syria reaching $260 million, Turkish data shows.
But Turkey now hosts and meets with the main Syrian opposition and has given refuge to defecting Syrian soldiers. It has also thrown its full support behind an Arab League decision to suspend Syria.
Underlining how much ties between the two powers have deteriorated, protesters armed with sticks and stones attacked Turkish diplomatic missions in Syria over the weekend, burning the Turkish red and white flag.
"I once again strongly condemn the attacks on Turkish officials and on the Turkish flag. We expect the Syrian administration to undertake immediately all the necessary steps to apologize and take responsibility," Erdogan said.
"Bashar, you are required to punish those who attacked the Turkish flag. We want the Syrian administration to not only respect the Turks in Turkey and the Turkish flag but also to respect their own people, we especially want this."
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem apologized on Monday for the attacks, which also included raids on Saudi and French missions. But Erdogan said Turkey expected a further expression of apology although he did not elaborate.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned of repercussions if attacks on its missions were allowed to happen again.
"It is not possible to accept these attacks on our citizens ... and diplomatic missions in Syria, we have already condemned these," Gul said at a news conference in Ankara alongside the Hungarian president.
"If they do not take the necessary measures and this happens again, our reaction will be different. Unfortunately, Syria today has entered a dead-end road. The Arab League decision is clear and we have also supported it."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was expected to meet Arab foreign ministers in Rabat Wednesday.
But despite tough talk, Turkey has moved cautiously compared to its European Union and U.S. allies, which have been swift to approve sanctions against Damascus, as Ankara weighs the domestic and regional challenges involved.
For weeks, Turkey has said it is preparing sanctions that will target the Syrian government and not the people. But there have been few details on those sanctions or when they will be imposed.
Tuesday, the Economy Ministry said it was setting up a "Syria monitoring desk" and that Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan would meet Turkish firms Thursday to discuss any difficulties faced trading in Syria and to establish a "roadmap on what will be done."
Turkey has already imposed a weapons embargo on Syria and plans to jointly form a Turkish-Syrian bank have also been shelved, along with plans to increase ties between the two countries' central banks, according to Turkish media.
France recalls ambassador to Syria
..PARIS (Reuters) - France has recalled its ambassador from Syria after an escalation of violence there and is working with the Arab League on a new draft United Nations resolution against Damascus, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Wednesday.
"New violence is taking place and that has led to the closure of the missions in Aleppo and Latakia and to the recall of our ambassador to Paris," Juppe told legislators.
Pro-government Syrian crowds have attacked France's honorary consulate in Latakia and diplomatic offices in Aleppo as well as the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Damascus.
International pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to halt the bloodshed is intensifying. His military crackdown has cost more than 3,500 lives since street protests erupted in March, according to the United Nations.
Western countries have tightened sanctions and Monday Jordan's King Abdullah became the first Arab head of state to urge Assad to quit after ensuring a smooth handover.
Arab foreign ministers met in Morocco Wednesday after Syria's suspension from the Arab League took effect earlier in the day. That decision has prompted a new push for a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
Last month, Russia and China blocked a Western-backed Council resolution that would have both condemned Syria for its crackdown on protesters and warned of possible sanctions.
China's position appears to be softening after it urged Damascus this week to cease violence and adopt an Arab League plan to end the impasse. The plan obliges Assad to withdraw tanks and troops from cities and towns and engage in dialogue with the opposition movement.
Juppe said that despite the failure of initial efforts last month to pass U.N. resolution, Paris, which sponsored the original measure, was working with the Arab League on a new one.
"The noose is tightening around this completely autistic regime that continues to carry out bloody repression," Juppe said. "The Syrian people will win the battle and France will do all it can to help them."
Raids in Syria as pressure mounts on Assad regime
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops made sweeping arrests Thursday in the restive Hama province as President Bashar Assad faces a growing challenge to his iron rule, activists said.
The raids in Hama came after Syrian army defectors attacked an army checkpoint the previous day, killing eight soldiers in that attack, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Assad is facing severe isolation stemming from his crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising, which appears to be spiraling out his control. Attacks by army defectors are growing, and world leaders are looking at possibilities for a Syrian regime without Assad.
The latest blow came from the Arab League, which on Wednesday suspended Damascus and threatened economic sanctions if the regime continues to violate an Arab-brokered peace plan.
Germany, Britain and France are pressing for a U.N. resolution that would strongly condemn Syria's human rights violations. The three European countries decided to move ahead with the General Assembly resolution after the Arab League confirmed its suspension.
"We hope it will show Assad just how isolated he is," Germany's U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig said of the resolution.
Russia and China have stood by Damascus amid concerns that the downfall of Assad would be a severe blow to their interests in the Middle East. In October, they vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that threatened sanctions against Syria if it didn't end its crackdown.
But on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin appeared to suggest China might support a resolution in the future.
"It depends on whether these actions will help to resolve the tensions in Syria and facilitate the resolution of disputes through political dialogue," he said.
Also Thursday, Russian and European Union officials were holding talks on Syria and other issues in Moscow.
The U.N. estimates Assad's crackdown has killed more than 3,500 people since the uprising began in March.
The growing calls for Assad's ouster are a severe blow to a family dynasty that has ruled Syria for four decades — and any change to the leadership could transform some of the most enduring alliances in the Middle East and beyond.
Syria's tie to Iran is among the most important relationships in the Middle East, providing the Iranians with a foothold on Israel's border and a critical conduit to Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.
GOG - MAGOG
Russian warships to prevent NATO attack on Syria
Hellary Clinton says its only a matter of time before Syrian Assad regime falls.
November 18, 2011 Haaretz
Syria is the likely target for the next NATO (NWO) regime change WAR.
Russian warships in Syrian waters in an aggressive move to prevent NATO attack.
The UN has already withdrawn all non-essential staff from Syria.
Clinton says there could be civil war in Syria
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday Syria could slide into civil war but she did not foresee the global community intervening in the same way it did in Libya.
"I think there could be a civil war with a very determined and well-armed and eventually well-financed opposition that is, if not directed by, certainly influenced by defectors from the army," Clinton told NBC news in an interview in Indonesia, where she was attending a regional summit.
"We're already seeing that, something that we hate to see because we are in favor of a peaceful protest and a nonviolent opposition," she said.
Clinton said, however, that she saw no prospect for the kind of coordinated international intervention that occurred in Libya, where a NATO-led coalition won a U.N. mandate to mount air strikes in support of rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi.
"There is no appetite for that kind of action vis-a-vis Syria," Clinton said, pointing to regional moves by the Arab League and Turkey as key to persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to halt the violence against civilians.
Syrian troops attack despite Arab peace plan
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops stormed a central town and a northwestern region in search of regime opponents on Saturday, activists said, a day after the government agreed in principle to allow the Arab League to send observers to oversee a peace plan proposed by the 22-member bloc. At least 15 people were killed, activists said.
The attacks on the town of Shezar in the central province of Hama and on the restive Jabal al-Zawiya region near the Turkish border came as pressure mounted on Damascus to end its eight-month crackdown on anti-government protesters. The unrest has killed more than 3,500 people since mid-March, according to U.N. estimates.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist group called the Local Coordination Committees said land and cellular telephone lines as well as electricity were cut in the Jabal al-Zawiya region in the northwestern province of Idlib, where army defectors have been active for months.
At least 15 people were killed, around half of them in Idlib province, the LCC said. The observatory had a higher toll of 16 dead and said they included two civilians and two army defectors killed in a clash with troops in Qusair near the border with Lebanon, as well as four members of the air force intelligence whose car was ambushed in Hama by gunmen believed to be army defectors.
Syria agreed in principle Friday to allow dozens of Arab observers into the country to oversee an Arab League peace plan that calls on the government to stop attacking demonstrators, pull tanks out of cities and begin negotiations with the opposition.
It was a significant concession from a hard-line regime that loathes any sort of outside interference. But critics say the government is only stalling, trying to defuse international pressure while continuing its bloody crackdown.
The Arab League has already suspended Syria's membership in the bloc for failing to abide by the peace plan. On Wednesday, the league gave Damascus three days to accept the observer mission or face economic sanctions.
Violence has escalated in Syria over the past week, as army dissidents who sided with the protests have grown more bold, fighting back against regime forces and even assaulting military bases. Activist groups said security forces on Friday killed at least 16 anti-government protesters.
Pressure from European capitals and the U.S. is also building on President Bashar Assad to end the bloodshed.
An official at Britain's Foreign Office said Foreign Secretary William Hague intends to meet opposition representatives in London on Monday.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on the U.N. Security Council to strengthen sanctions against Assad's regime. However, Russia, which holds veto power in the council, urged caution in moving against Damascus.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. has seen no signs that Syria's government will honor the Arab League proposal.
Syria's neighbor to the north, Turkey, has become one its most vocal critics, a notable shift because the two countries once had close political and economic ties.
On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on the deteriorating relations between his country and its southern neighbor, accused Syria of not fulfilling promises for reform or to stop the bloodshed.
"In the past nine years, it was Syria and the Syrian people — rather than Turkey — that had benefited from the Turkish-Syrian friendship," Erdogan said.
"... Syria has not kept its promises to Turkey, to the Arab League or to the world. It made promises but did not fulfill them. It has not acted in a sincere trustworthy manner," he said.
The attacks on Jabal al-Zawiya came two days after an army force in the nearby area of Wadi al-Deif came under attack by army defectors, a clash that lasted four hours and left an unknown number of casualties among troops loyal to Assad, an activist said.
The activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said troops fired heavy machine guns mounted on armored personnel carriers.
The Arab League observer mission aims to prevent violence and monitor a cease-fire that Damascus agreed to last week but has been unwilling — or unable — to implement.
Nabil Elaraby, the head of the Arab League, said in a statement Friday that he received "amendments" to the monitoring mission from Damascus, which the league is studying. He gave no details on the changes Syria seeks.
The original league proposal had been for a 500-member observer mission but the number has dropped to 40, said Ibrahim el-Zaafarani, an Egyptian member of the Arab Medical Union who is expected to be part of the team for Syria. He said it was not clear why or on whose behest the number was reduced.
Dozens protest in Jerusalem supporting Syria
November 19, 2011
Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the US consulate in west Jerusalem on Saturday in support of the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Arab-Israeli and Palestinian protesters waved Syrian flags and held portraits of Assad, an AFP photographer reported. Israeli police and security guards deployed outside the consulate did not intervene.
"Down with imperialism and the reactionary conspiracy against Syria," one banner read. Another said: "Hands off Syria."
Other signs denounced Qatar and the Arab League, accusing both of joining a common front with the Unites States against Damascus.
The protest came hours before an Arab League deadline for Damascus to stop its lethal crackdown on a popular revolt and a day after Syrian security forces killed at least 15 civilians.
Deadline passes with no sign of Syria violence abating[/size]
An Arab League deadline for Syria to end its repression of anti-government unrest passed with no sign of violence abating, and President Bashar al-Assad remained defiant in the face of growing international isolation.
"The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue," he told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. "Syria will not bow down."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 people were killed Saturday by government security forces. Friday dozens were reported killed in clashes.
The Arab League had set a Saturday deadline for Syria to comply with a peace plan which would entail a military pullout from around restive areas, and threatened sanctions if Assad failed to end the violence.
The League, a group of Arab states, suspended Syria's membership in a surprise move last week.
Non-Arab Turkey, once an ally of Assad's, is also taking an increasingly tough attitude to Damascus.
Turkish newspapers said Saturday Ankara had contingency plans to create no-fly or buffer zones to protect civilians in neighboring Syria if the bloodshed worsens.
"It's almost certain that Bashar al-Assad's regime is going down, all the assessments are made based on this assumption.
Foreign Ministry sources say that the sooner the regime goes down, the better for Turkey," one paper said.
"It is out of the question that Turkey carries out a military intervention to change the regime. However, it takes a flexible stance on opposition groups running activities in Turkey."
Turkish President Abdullah Gul told Britain's Telegraph newspaper: "With a strong and clear voice we are saying that the legitimate demands of the (Syrian) people are being supported by us."
The United Nations says the crackdown on the Syrian protests has killed at least 3,500 people since March. Authorities blame the violence on foreign-backed armed groups which it says have killed some 1,100 soldiers and police.
Syria has barred most independent journalists from entering the country, making it difficult to verify reports from activists or officials.
Dissident colonel Riad al-Asaad, organizing defectors in Syria from his new base in southern Turkey, said in a television interview with Al Jazeera Saturday that no foreign military intervention was needed other than providing a no-fly zone and weapons supplies.
He said more deserters would swell his Free Syrian Army's ranks if there were protected zones to which they could flee: "Soldiers and officers in the army are waiting for the right opportunity."
The dissident colonel denied government allegations that neighboring states were allowing arms smuggling across their borders into Syria. He said "not a single bullet" had been smuggled from abroad.
Weapons were brought by defectors, obtained in raids on the regular army or bought from arms dealers inside Syria, he said.
Saturday, Syria's state news agency SANA said security forces had captured 140 wanted men from several parts of the country that had seen protests.
President Assad repeated his assertion that any foreign military action against Syria would create an "earthquake" across the Middle East.
"If they are logical, rational and realistic, they shouldn't do it because the repercussions are very dire. Military intervention will destabilize the region as a whole, and all countries will be affected," he said.
Palestinian terrorists fly to Syria for attack on Israel
November 20, 2011 Sunday Syrian ruler Bashar Assad issued his routine warning if attacked.
Iran is transferring Palestinian terrorist units into Syria after training them for cross-border raids into the West Bank and Israel.
300 Syrian Palestinian terrorists were recruited to Iran some months age for training.
Blasts in Syrian capital as Assad vows crackdown
BEIRUT (AP) — Residents in the Syrian capital awoke to two loud explosions Sunday amid reports from activists that the Damascus headquarters of the ruling Baath party had been hit by several rocket-propelled grenades.
There was no immediate confirmation of the report but the Free Syrian Army, a group of military defectors, claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement posted on the group's Facebook page, the FSA said the assault caused casualties and damage to the building. But eyewitnesses said the party headquarters appeared intact and reported no significant security deployment around it.
If true, the Damascus attack on the Baath Party's main building would signal a significant shift in the eight-month revolution against President Bashar Assad, bringing the violence that has engulfed much of the rest of the country to the heart of the Syrian capital, which has so far been relatively untouched.
In Cairo, the Arab League said it has rejected amendments proposed by Syria to a peace plan to end the crisis, saying the changes put forward by Damascus alter the plan's "essence."
The 22-member organization did not give details of Syria's proposed amendments. But it said in a statement Sunday that Damascus' proposals were unacceptable because they introduce "drastic changes" to the mandate of an observers' mission the league wants to dispatch to Syria to ensure the implementation of the peace plan.
The Arab League has already suspended Syria's membership over its failure to abide by the plan, which calls for the withdrawal of the government's tanks from the streets, the release of political prisoners and a halt to attacks on civilians.
An Arab League official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media said the Syrian government was required to implement the peace plan in its entirety.
Assad, meanwhile, vowed to continue with a security crackdown to crush "militants" who he says are massacring Syrians on a daily basis.
"The role of the government is to fight those militants in order to restore stability and to protect civilians," he said in an interview with Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. He also repeated earlier warnings that any foreign military intervention in Syria would "shake the entire Middle East."
On Sunday, activist groups said at least three people were killed in continuing operations by security forces, including two in the flashpoint central city of Homs and one in northern Syria.
Syria's uprising against Assad, although largely peaceful, has grown more violent and militarized in recent weeks, as frustrated protesters see the limits of peaceful action. Army dissidents who sided with the protests have also grown bolder, fighting back against regime forces and even attacking military bases, raising fears of a civil war in Syria.
The Free Syrian Army group of dissident soldiers this week staged their boldest operation yet, striking a military intelligence building in a Damascus suburb.
If Sunday's attack on the Baath Party headquarters in Damascus is confirmed, it would mark the first assault on a government building in what has so far been a relatively quiet central Damascus.
The Local Coordination Committees activist network and several residents reported several explosions in the district of Mazraa in the heart of the Syrian capital.
The LCC said in a statement that the building had been hit at daybreak Sunday by several rocket-propelled grenades and that two fire brigades headed toward the area amid a heavy security presence. The group said it had no further details.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said unknown gunmen on motorcycles threw first a sound bomb and then fired RPGs at the Baath party headquarters, hitting the external wall of the building. Two other grenades missed the target, it said.
Residents in the Syrian capital said they heard two loud explosions but could not confirm whether the building had been hit.
"I woke up to the sound of two loud thuds," said a resident of the area who asked that he remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. "We have no idea what they were."
The U.N. says more than 3,500 people in Syria have been killed in the crackdown since the start of the uprising in mid-March. Assad, in the interview, said more than 800 Syrian officers and security forces were killed.
"We are not talking about peaceful demonstrations, we are talking about militants," he said.
Syrian TV said the country's foreign minister will announce Damascus' position on the Arab initiative later Sunday.
Assad, however, lashed out at the Arab League and said the peace plan was aimed at giving the international community an excuse to meddle in his country.
"It's been done to show that there's a problem between the Arabs, thus providing Western countries with a pretext to conduct a military intervention against Syria," he said.
The consequence of any such intervention, he warned, would be "an earthquake that would shake the entire Middle East."
In the interview, Assad said he feels "pain and sorrow" for the bloodshed but added the solution was to eliminate the militants he blames for much of the violence. The Assad regime maintains the militants are playing out a foreign agenda to isolate and weaken Syria.
"The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will also continue," he said. "However I assure you that Syria will not bow down and that it will continue to resist the pressure being imposed on it."
Assad, who took over power from his late father, Hafez, in 2000, said there would be parliamentary elections in February or March, after which there would be a new government and new constitution.
"That constitution will set the basis of how to elect a president ... the ballot box should decide who should be president."
I DO NOT accept death toll numbers
November 20, 2011 Sunday
2 rocket-propelled grenades hit a building belonging to the Baath party in Damascus on Sunday.
Arab League Rejects Syria demand
Assad will not bow down
Syria demands to change peace plan
The Arab League rejected amendments proposed by Syria to a peace plan to end the crisis in Syria.
Assad to continue crackdown.
Assad will not bow and will continue to resist the pressures being imposed on it.
Turkey says Syria can't oppress people forever
November 21, 2011 Monday ANKARA, Turkey
Turkey warned Syria's president Monday that he cannot continue to oppress his people with tanks and guns forever,
even as Syrian soldiers opened fire on at least two buses carrying Turkish citizens, witnesses and officials said.
In separate attacks, Syrian security forces killed at least 13 people during raids in central Syria Sunday, activists said. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said most of the deaths were in the flashpoint city of Homs, a hotbed of dissent against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
The attacks on the buses, which wounded two people, appeared to be retaliation for Turkey's mounting criticism of Assad, whose military crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising against his rule has killed nearly 4,000 people.
"You can only continue with tanks and guns to a certain point, the day will come when you will go," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech at an international religion conference in Istanbul. "Sooner or later, the oppressed will win."
US Ambassador to Syria will not return to Damascus as planned this month
Arab states, Turkey plan 'No-Fly Zone' over Syria
Senior European sources said that Arab jet fighters, and possibly Turkish warplanes, backed by American logistic support will implement a no fly zone in Syria's skies, after the Arab League will issue a decision, under its Charter, calling for the protection of Syrian civilians.
The sources told Kuwait's al Rai daily that the no fly ban will include a ban on the movement of Syrian military vehicles, including tanks, personnel carriers and artillery, adding that this move would aim at curbing the movement of Assad forces, and cripple their ability to bomb cities. The European sources said the no fly ban might lead to the paralysis of the Syrian regime forces "in less than 24 hours."
Meanwhile, it is reported that the leadership of the Turkish General Staff informed all the concerned parties with the Syrian issue its rejection of the idea that the Turkish army would launch any invasion to the Syrian territory including the area adjacent to the Turkish border to establish a "buffer zone" to protect civilians fleeing the violence.
U.N. draft is a "declaration of war" on Syria: envoy
November 21, 2011 UNITED NATIONS (Reuters)
Syria's U.N. envoy on Monday slammed a draft U.N. resolution condemning the Syrian government's eight-month crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, calling it a "declaration of war" on Damascus.
Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari was referring to a draft resolution on Syria which Germany submitted to the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee.
The draft, which was crafted by Germany, Britain and France, has five Arab states among its 61 co-sponsors.
"This was tabled in the context of declaring a political and media and diplomatic war on my country," Ja'afari told the committee, which is comprised of the 193 U.N. member states.
"It is a declaration of war that aims to affect the independence of our political decision-making and stop us from moving ahead in our national political agendas," he said.
Israel: Promotion of Syria demonstrates UN's irrelevance
Friday, November 18, 2011 | Ryan Jones
Israeli officials on Wednesday said a decision by the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to name Syria as the Arab representative to a committee on implementing human rights at a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own citizens further demonstrates the total irrelevance of the world body.
Israeli media reported on Syria's promotion on Thursday, just one day after the UN had issued a report condemning the massacre of at least 3,500 Syrian pro-democracy activists and other civilians at the hands of Syrian government forces.
"We are talking about an outrageous absurdity," one Israeli official told Israel Radio. "UNESCO is legitimizing Syria [as a human rights champion] even as it is slaughtering its own people."
Other officials noted that this is the same UNESCO that just a week ago summoned the Israeli ambassador to officially complain over a political cartoon in the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
Syrian activists say 2-day death toll is 34
Syrian security carried out raids in rebellious areas in the center and the south of the country Wednesday, and at least six people died, raising the death toll in the past two days to 34, activists said, as the U.S. and Turkey took unusual steps to protect their citizens.
Syrian President Bashar Assad was under increasing international pressure to stop the brutal crackdown, but no effects were apparent on the ground.
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart "immediately," and Turkey's foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria.
"The U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available," said a statement issued to the American community in Syria Wednesday. It was posted on the embassy's website.
NATO conceals preparations for military action against Syria
The United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about the plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country.
"Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty's implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia's decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.
According to her, the USA does not refuse from the dialogue with Russia within the scope of the Treaty. However, Russia must get back to the institution of the CFE, the US diplomat added.
Nuland also said that the United States did not intend to tie the CFE with the missile defense talks.
The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything up side down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first edition of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.
US deploys USS George HW Bush to Syria US deploys USS George H. W. Bush to Syrian coast
November 24, 2011 Thursday
Nov. 22 Debka reported the USS Bush in the Persian Gulf
Nov. 24 FOX news reported it in the Mediterranean off Syria
It could NOT negotiate that distance in 2 days.
O great. The p war.
Nov 14 The Navy's newest aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush has been fighting
widespread toilet outages. I sincerely hope those aboard arent dubbed 'the unflushables.'
November 22, 2011 Tuesday
Russian warships off Syria, US carriers near Iran
2 American carriers, the USS Bush and USS Stennis sailed through the Strait of Hormuz side by side and took up position opposite the Iranian coast.
That was also the day when a mysterious explosion at the Revolutionary Guards base near Tehran wiped out the entire leadership of Iran's ballistic missile program.
3 Russian warships near Syria.
Will Russia targets small craft transporting arms from Lebanon and Turkey to Syrian rebels.
The “Free Syria Army”: Placard-Waving Protesters are actually Machine Gun-Wielding Terrorists
November 24, 2011
November 15, 2011 – The “Free Syria Army” is literally an army of militant extremists, many drawn not from Syria’s military ranks, but from the Muslim Brotherhood, carrying heavy weapons back and forth over the Turkish and Lebanese borders, funded, supported, and armed by the United States, Israel, and Turkey.
The latest evidence confirming this comes in the form of a report out of the International Institute for Strategic Studies where Senior Fellow for Regional Security at IISS-Middle East Emile Hokayem openly admits Syria’s opposition is armed and prepared to drag Syria’s violence into even bloodier depths.
This report comes in sharp contrast to the propaganda fed via the corporate-media and the West’s foreign ministers on a daily basis, where the violence is portrayed as one-sided, with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad “gunning down” throngs of peaceful, placard waving protesters.
Just as in Libya where these so-called “peaceful protesters” turned out to be hordes of genocidal racist Al Qaeda mercenaries, led by big-oil representatives, fighting their cause upon a verified pack of lies, so too is Syria’s “pro-democracy” movement which is slowly being revealed as yet another militant brand of extremists long cultivated by Anglo-American intelligence agencies, whose leadership is harbored in London and Washington and their foot soldiers supplied a steady stream of covert military support and overt rhetorical support throughout the compromised corporate media.
The unrest in Syria from the beginning was entirely backed by Western corporate-financier interests and part of a long-planned agenda for region-wide regime change. Syria has been slated for regime change since as early as 1991. In 2002, then US Under Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil.”
It would be later revealed that Bolton’s threats against Syria manifested themselves as covert funding and support for opposition groups inside of Syria spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.
USA-Russia face off over SYRIA
Bashar Assad can see the handwriting on the wall.
November 26, 2011 Saturday
The Syrian crisis is building to a superpower face-off.
Moscow is warning the US, NATO and the Arab League that they will not allow an Assad overthrow like in Libya.
USS George H. W. Bush carrier strike force enters Syrian waters
The Syrian crisis grows as United States and Russia warships face off.
The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23 in the wake of 3 Russian warships anchored earlier in the Syrian port Tartus.
The Russian Kuznetzov carrier will join their warships at Tartus.
The US Sixth Fleet is in the Mediterranean.
The Arab League has scheduled weekend meetings to decide how to proceed after Damascus ignored its Friday deadline for accepting hundreds of monitors.
Israel, Jordan on alert November 26, 2011 Saturday
Free Syria Army (FSA) seeking to overthrow Assad are called terrorists by Assad.
FSA receiving targeting data from inside Syria armed forces.
Israel is blamed as usual for what the FSA are doing.
Bashar Assad must retaliate or admit he is out of control.
Israel, Jordan and Turkey are braced for trouble.
Syria buries security forces as sanctions loom
Syria buried 22 members of the armed forces Saturday, including six elite pilots, as the government reinforced its message that the 8-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad is the work of terrorists and foreign agents, not patriotic Syrians seeking reform.
Syria buries security forces as sanctions loom 11/26/11
Syria buried 22 members of the armed forces Saturday, including six elite pilots, as the government reinforced its message that the 8-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad is the work of terrorists and foreign agents, not patriotic Syrians seeking reform.
Arab states plan to cut commercial ties with Syria
CAIRO (Reuters) - Arab states plan to cut commercial ties with President Bashar al-Assad's government and freeze its assets in response to violence in Syria, where activists said 42 civilians and soldiers died on Saturday.
The sanctions, which would plunge Syria deeper into economic crisis and regional isolation, were drawn up by an Arab League economic committee in Cairo on Saturday and need to be ratified by foreign ministers meeting on Sunday before coming into force.
They would also include a travel ban on senior Syrian officials and a halt to commercial flights to the country, according to an Arab League document seen by Reuters.
Dealings with Syria's central bank would be halted, it said, but basic essentials needed by the Syrian people would be exempted from sanctions.
The move follows Syria's failure to let monitors into the country, part of a broader Arab League initiative aimed at ending Assad's eight-month crackdown on protests in which the United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed.
My commentary November 27, 2011 Sunday
There is a civil war inside Syria, and its spreading over its borders. I am reading death tolls online, but not publishing them as they are highly doubtful. Syria cant attack its Muslim nation neighbors so it may attack Israel, the collective enemy. I will not be surprised if Assad nukes Damascus himself as he sees he cant remain in power and cant flee. His replacement will be worse than he.
Arab states plan to cut commercial ties with Syria's government and freeze its assets as they step up pressure to end months of political violence.
The sanctions would also include a travel ban on senior Syrian officials and a halt to commercial flights to Syria.
Arab League Approves Sanctions Against Syria
Arab League foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo, agreed Sunday to impose a series of biting economic sanctions on Syria, after Damascus failed to accept an Arab plan to send monitors in response to its deadly crackdown on an opposition uprising. The ministers will meet again next Saturday to review the effects of their action.
Nineteen of 22 Arab League foreign ministers voted to impose the sanctions on Syria. It was an extraordinary action against a member state.
The sanctions include a freeze on the assets of Syrian leaders in Arab states, an end to Arab investment and trade with Syria, a halt to dealings with Syria's central bank, and a ban on travel by Syrian officials to Arab states.
The Arab League's point-man for Syria, Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al Thani, said the vote to impose sanctions will have its desired effect, even if the sanctions are never applied, so long as Syria ultimately agrees to stop targeting civilians:
Arab foreign ministers will hold a follow-up meeting in one week to re-evaluate the effects of the sanctions and whether they need to be prolonged.
Syria neighbors on alert November 28, 2011
Hizballah began bringing its rockets out of their hideouts. (Some loaded with chemicals.)
Libya fighters joining FSA.
US and Russia ships near Syria.
Russia airlifting missiles to Assad.
Iran specialists landed near Damascus on their way to Lebanon.
Israeli, Turkey, Hellzballah, Lebanese and Jordan armies moved to the Lebanese and Syrian borders.
Syrian Economy Minister Blasts Arab League Sanctions
Syria's economy minister says economic sanctions approved by the Arab League against Syria are "a dangerous precedent" that will harm the Syrian people.
Mohammed Nidal al-Shaar added in remarks published Monday in the Syrian pro-government daily Al-Watan that once the sanctions are put in force Damascus' "sources of foreign currency would be affected.
The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state.
Syrian Economy Minister Blasts Arab League Sanctions
Nov/27/11 Syria's economy minister says economic sanctions approved by the Arab League against Syria are "a dangerous precedent" that will harm the Syrian people.
Mohammed Nidal al-Shaar added in remarks published Monday in the Syrian pro-government daily Al-Watan that once the sanctions are put in force Damascus' "sources of foreign currency would be affected.
The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state.
Syrian FM calls Arab sanctions economic war
Nov/28/11 BEIRUT (AP)
The Arab League's newly approved sanctions against Damascus amount to "a declaration of economic war," Syria's foreign minister said Monday, betraying deep concern about the effects of the measures on the embattled regime.
But in a clear sign of defiance, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem insisted that the Syrian people will be the ones to suffer — and the regime will survive.
"Let them study the history of Syria very well," al-Moallem told reporters at a televised news conference. "Neither warnings nor sanctions will work with us."
In an unprecedented move against a fellow Arab state, the 22-member Arab League approved sanctions Sunday to pressure the regime to end its suppression of an 8-month-old revolt. The crackdown has killed more than 3,500 people and deepened Syria's international isolation.
The sanctions by Syria's Arab neighbors include cutting off transactions with the Syria's central bank, and are expected to squeeze an ailing economy that already is under sanction by the U.S. and the European Union.
The END of Bashar Assad
November 29, 2011 Tuesday
Military officers from NATO and Persian Gulf nations have an operational command in Turkey on the border of North Syria to set up humanitarian corridors inside Syria to serve the victims of Bashar Assad crackdown. They aim to move into northern Syria because the UN had documented human rights violations.
This Western-Arab force entails a buffer zone in northern Syria encompassing towns Assad has victimized including Aleppo.
Aleppo is home to the moneyed classes who run the financial and trading sectors. Therefore, for the Assad regime, including Aleppo robs him of funds for his military crackdown.
Exile Assad to Russia or Iran
Bashar Assad trapped in a corner and headed for a Gaddafi-style demise, some believe
it may be him who unleashes the first missile salvo against Israel. He has nothing to lose
EU to blacklist Syrian oil firm
November 30, 2011 LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters)
The European Union plans to add Syria's General Petroleum Corporation (GPC) to its list of sanctioned companies, diplomatic sources told Reuters on Wednesday, in a move designed to starve the government of President Bashar al-Assad of vital oil revenues.
World powers are imposing tough economic sanctions on the Syrian government over a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.
The diplomatic sources said Germany had reached a preliminary agreement with other EU powers to add state-owned GPC, along with several other Syrian firms, to its blacklist, ahead of a formal decision expected on Thursday.
GPC - already blacklisted by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control - is responsible for supervising joint venture companies in Syria, according to its website.
Syrian civil war drags in Mideast, global powers
November 30, 2011 LONDON (Reuters)
As Syria's uprising escalates into outright civil war and begins to drag in other states, it risks fuelling not only wider regional confrontation but also growing antagonism between the world's great powers.
After months of largely peaceful demonstrations in the face of a bloody government crackdown, Syrian opposition fighters look to be behind an ever rising number of attacks on forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
That in itself could mark the beginning of a long, bloody, open-ended civil war. And speculation about foreign military intervention could even spark a Cold War-style face-off between Russia and the United States.
Analysts and foreign governments have long said they believed Iran was providing military and logistics support to Damascus, and some now suspect the opposition too is now receiving foreign weapons.
Syria in state of civil war
December 1, 2011 Thursday
As I have reported, the situation in Syria is civil war.
They claim 4,000 dead, but there is no way to know the count.
UN said it is much more than that.
More and more defecting soldiers taking up arms against Assad.
Russia delivers missiles to Syria
72 Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria.
Israel is furious. Israel knows some will end up in the hands of Hellzballah terrorists in Lebanon.
Moscow has defended Assad.
A 2007 contract between Syria and Russia, reportedly worth at least $300 million, included 72 cruise missiles.
EU expected to increase sanctions on Iran, Syria
BRUSSELS (AP) — Britain's foreign minister accused Iran's government Thursday of supporting repression in Syria, as he and European Union counterparts discussed imposing more sanctions on both countries.
Mobs stormed the British Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian capital, for hours Tuesday, prompting Britain to pull its diplomats out of the country. Germany, France and the Netherlands have recalled their ambassadors in solidarity.
"There is a link between what is happening in Iran and what is happening in Syria," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on his way into the meeting in Brussels.
He said Iran has aided Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, which the United Nations estimates has killed at least 3,500 anti-government protesters since March.
UN rights chief says Syria death toll over 4,000
December 1, 2011 GENEVA (AP)
The U.N.'s top human rights official says her office estimates the death toll in Syria's nine-month uprising is now "much more" than 4,000.
Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, gave the latest figure a day before the global body is due to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in the country.
Pillay told reporters in Geneva on Thursday that evidence emerging of abuses committed by Syrian security forces affirms her call that the country's leadership should be prosecuted for "crimes against humanity."
What’s in a name? Why the international community is divided on calling Syrian unrest a ‘civil war’
Is Syria in a civil war? December 2, 2011
On Thursday, Navi Pillay, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, said that the nation's political unrest has indeed approached the level of a civil war. Pillay said her assessment stems in part from recognition that elements of the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime are increasingly calling for armed resistance. She added that UN estimates of the conflict's death toll--4,000 killed in the past nine months--are likely understated.
"I have said that as soon as there were more and more defectors threatening to take up arms--I said this in August before the Security Council --there was going to be a civil war," Pillay told a news conference in Geneva Thursday, according to a Reuters report. "At the moment, that's how I am characterizing this."
However, it appears that Pillay's is not yet the official UN line. Shortly after she delivered her remarks, her spokesman walked back the characterization, asserting that Syria is, rather, on the "cusp" of civil war, and "heading" in that direction.
"It is definitely heading that way, with more and more reports of armed resistance to the government forces," Pillay's spokesman Rupert Colville told Reuters. "It is on the cusp, but in these circumstances it is hard to say definitively at what point it becomes civil war."
So what prompted the walk-back? And what determines whether the Syrian bloodshed constitutes a civil war?
Syria - Damascus has 'positively responded' to Arab League request to send observers.
Syria says it accepts Arab League observer request
12/5/11 DAMASCUS, Syria (AP)
Syria has accepted an Arab League request to send observers to the country in an effort to end its eight-month crisis, a move that could ease Arab sanctions on Damascus, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The Syrian statement came after Damascus announced it conducted mass military maneuvers over the weekend in an apparent show of force as President Bashar Assad's regime defies pressures over its deadly crackdown on opponents.
The ministry's spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, told reporters that Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem "responded positively" to the League demand and sent a letter to the organization's chief Nabil Elaraby on Sunday night.
There was no immediate reaction from the Arab League, which has already suspended Syria, to Damascus' announcement.
But Makdissi said that al-Moallem's message to the League combined some "minor amendments that won't affect the essence of the plan," stressing that Damascus is still insisting that the protocol be signed in Damascus rather than at the League's headquarters in Cairo.
Israel and Syria brace for imminent war
December 6, 2011
Israel and Syria brace for regional war between mid-Dec. 2011 and mid-Jan 2012
Netanyahu and Assad are poised for a regional war, including an attack on Iran.
Syria staged a military exercise testing its missiles.
Bibi said, There are times when a decision may carry a heavy price, but the price for not deciding would be heavier.
Then he announced his Likud party would hold elections in January, 2 years early.
US Secretary of State of Hellary Clinton is clearly aiming to undermine the Netanyahu government.
SYRIA - Bodies dumped in Homs 6 December 2011
At least 34 people have been abducted and killed by Assad forces, the bodies dumped in a square in Homs.
Many of them civilians opposed to the Assad government.
Most foreign media are banned from entering Syria.
Financial Collapse and War
Maurice Sklar prophecy
Assad pleads NOT guilty
LIES of WAR, In war time, TRUTH is the first to die.
Syrian Christians back Assad
7 December 2011
Syria president Bashar Assad denies responsibility for violence.
What if he really isnt guilty? We know this is all arranged. We know Muslims lie. What to believe?
Assad said UN reports could not be relied upon. True. I said that too. Its an NWO global plan.
Assad said he gave no orders for security forces to use violence against his people in an interview with ABC Barbara Walters.
He cast doubts on reports of brutality and blames the violence on gangs.
Arms transfer from Syria to Hellzballah
Hellzballah to move advanced weapons out of Syria to prevent it from being captured by opposition groups if Assad regime collapses.
Israel is taking precautions and is tracking the arms.
Fearing assassination, Nasty Nasrallah seldom comes out of hiding.
Hizballah will help Assad regime in Damascus
Barbara Walters interviews Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad
Wed, Dec 7, 2011
COMMENTARY | Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims he hasn't killed anyone and denounces the United Nations' report claiming crimes against his own people. What reality is he living in?
ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters had an exclusive interview with Assad.
Walters didn't back down in her questioning either, and the highly educated Assad stated true to form with equally mild-mannered denials. So, what's the true story here?
According to Walters, life is a contrast inside Damascus. There are riots in the streets, but just a couple blocks away, people are peacefully enjoying coffee at sidewalk cafes. But NPR reported 25 civilians were killed Saturday. Assad claimed to still have the support of his people and denied the validity of child torture claims. He even challenged the respected journalist to prove her allegations.
Wake up Assad, the press is full of reports of child rape, torture and executions at the hands of the Syrian military. The Arab League has suspended relations because of a litany of crimes by Assad's forces against the Syrian people. And the United Nations issued a damaging report that corroborated the Arab Leagues allegations. Assad is attempting to draw a distinction between being a head of government and allegations of being brutal dictator. In the case of Syria, they are one and the same.
Syrians attack their embassy in Jordan
December 11, 2011 AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The Syrian Embassy in Jordan says a dozen of its nationals have attacked consulate employees, wounding at least two diplomats and four other people.
An Embassy statement says its guards arrested one of the attackers, identified as Syrian refugee Ahmed al-Shureiqi.
It says Jordanian police arrested eight others — all Syrians allegedly involved in the Sunday morning attack.
The attack was linked to the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Police spokesmen did not answer repeated calls to confirm the arrest.
The group entered the embassy claiming they had paperwork to finish. They then beat up a security guard, the consul and another diplomat and several others.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1 John 5:19
I dont think ANY TRUTH is coming out of SYRIA.
There is a bit more trust from Jordan, but the whole world lies.
The Syrian Embassy in Jordan says a dozen of its nationals have attacked consulate employees, wounding at least two diplomats and four other people. ynet
What if ASsad really isnt guilty? We know this is all arranged. We know Muslims lie. What to believe?
Assad said UN reports could not be relied upon. True. I said that too. Its an NWO global plan.
Assad brother-in-law killed December 12, 2011
Opposition sources say General Assef Shawkat killed when he threatened his aide.
Unconfirmed report that Shawkat, President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law and military intelligence chief
was shot to death during an argument with his aide, General Ali Mamlouk. Some claim Shawkat is in a coma.
US Troops massing on Jordan-Syria Border
Russia condemns USA
December 13, 2011
Russia has accused the West of an immoral stance on Syria, saying it should condemn the opposition as well as security forces.
US tells Russia to join UN action on Syria
Think LIES of WAR as you read. The USA urged Russia to back UN Security Council action on Syria.
Moscow replies armed extremist groups in Syria becoming increasingly reckless.
Russia and China in October used a rare double veto to block a Western-backed resolution condemning Assad regime.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1 John 5:19
I dont think ANY TRUTH is coming out of SYRIA.
Gog-magog or Psalm 83 war soon
Syrian defectors kill 27 soldiers, police in south
12/15/11 BEIRUT (AP)
In one of their deadliest attacks, Syrian army defectors killed at least 27 government soldiers and police Thursday in clashes in the south,
activists said. The escalating political unrest prompted Canada to become the latest country to urge its citizens to leave Syria.
The fighting took place around daybreak in the southern province of Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime began in March.
Attacks by army defectors have been escalating in recent weeks, raising concerns the country is headed toward civil war.
Sanctions by Western powers and the Arab League have added to the growing pressure on Assad from within Syria.
Defectors from the Free Syrian Army, whose leaders are based in exile in neighboring Turkey,
fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a bus carrying policemen into the town of Busra al-Harir, killing 12 of the officers, said an activist based nearby.
Syria deploys Russian anti-sea missiles on coast, scuds on
December 16, 2011 DEBKAfile Exclusive
Russian Yakhont (SSN-26) shore-to-sea missiles set along Syrian Mediterranean shore.
These may be part of Russian 'Satan' series.
Russian Admiral Kutznetsov carrier and strike group was sent to Syrian port of Tartus, armed with advanced weapons against submarines and aerial attack.
Scuds set on the border with Turkey, 5 with chemical warheads.
Syria rushed armored reinforcements to the Jordanian border.
Western-Arab force appear on the point of invading Syria and ousting Bashar Assad as they did Libya Muammar Qaddafi.
Turkey is on top military preparedness for war
Russia's Syria shift a bid to guard image, interests
12/16/11 MOSCOW (Reuters)
Russia's offer of a new U.N. Security Council resolution on the violence in Syria is a pragmatic step by a country increasingly isolated in its support for a widely discredited leader.
The shift allows Russia to look less recalcitrant without giving ground on its opposition to sanctions or foreign military interference, which it has vociferously opposed since the NATO operation in Libya.
With the death toll mounting in bloodshed the world blames mostly on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Kremlin is under increasing pressure to abandon a government that has given Moscow one of its firmest footholds in the Middle East.
It took a small step in that direction on Thursday, circulating a draft resolution that refers to "disproportionate use of force" by the Syrian authorities and urges them to stop "the suppression of those exercising their rights."
In the short term, analysts said, Russia sees that it must distance itself from Assad in the eyes of the world.
Arabs may take Syria peace plan to United Nations
12/17/11 BEIRUT (Reuters) - Arab states may take their proposals for ending Syria's crackdown on protests to the U.N. Security Council next week unless Damascus agrees to implement the initiative, Qatar's foreign minister said on Saturday.
Expressing frustration that Syria had not carried out the plan, six weeks after it was first agreed, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said the window for an Arab solution to the crisis was closing.
"If this matter is not solved in the weeks ahead, or couple of months, it will no longer be in Arab control," he told journalists after an Arab ministerial committee meeting in Qatar. "That is what we told the Syrians from the beginning."
Arab ministers would vote on Wednesday on whether to ask the Security Council to approve the initiative. "I believe that December 21 will be decisive, and we hope that the brothers in Syria will sign (the deal) before this date," Sheikh Hamad said.
Syria has conditionally approved a plan to send monitors to oversee implementation of the November 2 Arab League initiative, which calls on Assad to withdraw the army from urban areas, release political prisoners and hold talks with opponents.
I guess Assad is supposedly using his planes to bomb his people and shelling them with tanks. True or not, I dont know.
He wont give up. He is more likely to nuke Damascus first. This is my opinion.
The other Arab nations arent going to fight Syria. Thats just not gonna happen.
Also, it was 5 years ago when Rick Warren met with Assad, and said how both he and him can put aside their differences and co-exist, and even went on to lie over how Christians and Muslims are leaving in peace together in Syria.
With all that's going on in Syria now, I was thinking about Warren's little rendez-vouz back then. I wonder what his intentions really were.
Syria government says 40 killed in suicide blasts
December 23, 2011 DAMASCUS, Syria (AP)
A Syrian military official says the death toll from twin suicide car bombings in Damascus is now more than 40.
The military official says more than a hundred people were wounded in the explosions targeting security and intelligence headquarters in the Syrian capital.
He spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to give official statements.
He declined to say how many civilians and military personnel were among the deaths.
Philippines offers to fly all citizens out of Syria
The Philippines on Thursday offered to fly its 5,000 citizens in Syria home for free as it again urged them to leave immediately to escape escalating violence, the foreign department said.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government would help all Filipinos arrange passage out of the Middle East country, which has been torn by deadly protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"In view of the escalating violence in Syria, the Department of Foreign Affairs will be raising alert level 4 for the entire country of Syria effective today," he said in a statement.
That alert status meant all Filipinos would be repatriated at Philippine government expense, the ministry said.
About nine million Filipinos work around the world, earning more money in a wide range of skilled and unskilled jobs abroad than they could in their impoverished homeland.
Last week, the Philippine embassy in Damascus sent home 51 of an estimated 5,000 Filipinos in Syria, the ministry said.
I do not believe anything coming out of Syria - or any news about Syria.
Just be careful - discern.