Archive for the ‘Civil War in Syria’ Category

Syrian Rebels: Turkey Is Arming And Training Them

May 24, 2012

Syrian Rebels Say Turkey Is Arming And Training Them — The Telegraph

The weekend before last I was in Hatay province, in southern Turkey, interviewing Syrian rebels and activists, who all complained of the lack of foreign assistance in toppling the Assad regime. Even the “non-lethal” aid that the Obama administration had promised hadn’t seemed to make it through to these fighters, many of whom had spent as much as $6,000 of their own money to buy black-market Kalashnikovs.

A lot’s changed in a week.


My Comment: I have been reading the same news reports in other blogs and websites. In the past week, it appears that Turkey has made the decision to supply the Syrian rebels with weapons and training. In short …. Turkey is now involved in the Syrian civil war.

Syria bomb kills 9, Damascus blames foreign plot

May 19, 2012

By Joseph Logan | Reuters

BEIRUT, Lebanon (Reuters) – A car bomb killed nine people at a Syrian military post in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday, an attack the government said was the latest proof that an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad was a foreign plot.

The official SANA news agency said the blast had been the work of a suicide bomber, and had also wounded about 100 people, including guards, at what it called military installations.

International pressure and an U.N.-backed peace plan has failed to quell Syria’s turmoil. French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday the peace plan still had international backing, but Washington sounded a more aggressive note saying Assad had to leave power.

Syrian state television broadcast footage of smoke rising over Deir al-Zor, pools of blood amid rubble, the damaged facades of buildings and twisted, smoking vehicles.

Opposition activists said the target was an intelligence base.

“It seems like a well-planned attack. The explosion hit the least guarded rear gate of the Military Intelligence complex … where the operatives keep their cars,” said one activist in Deir al-Zor.

State television called the blast part of a campaign funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to topple Assad.

The Sunni-led Gulf powers have called for military help for the Free Syrian Army, a loosely organized force of defecting soldiers and protesters formed in response to Assad’s crackdown on what began 14 months ago as a peaceful uprising.

Syrian television said U.N. staff who are supposed to be monitoring an internationally brokered ceasefire, had inspected the site.

The U.N./Arab League peace plan drawn up by Kofi Annan aims to mark a political path out of the violence in Syria.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, in Damascus for consultations with ceasefire observers, told reporters on Saturday: “This is a process. We have reached certain elements of our objectives. We are not there yet.”

Hollande said leaders of the Group of Eight countries, meeting at Camp David, had agreed to continue supporting Annan’s Syrian peace efforts.

“I insisted that all the participants support Kofi Anan’s mission so that observers can provide protection of the Syrian people from their leaders,” Hollande said.

But the White House said Syria’s violence would not end without a political changeover, adding that external monitors and a ceasefire would not be sufficient to address the problem.

“We believe change has to include (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad leaving power,” White House aide Ben Rhodes told reporters during the G8 summit.


Twin suicide bombings on security facilities in Damascus killed at least 55 people this month, the deadliest in a series of such attacks in the capital.

On Thursday Syria sent a letter to the United Nations saying members of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were using border areas of neighboring Lebanon – where Syria has long influenced the security apparatus – to arm Syrian rebels.

It pointed the finger at a Sunni Muslim political movement led by Saad al-Hariri, son of assassinated former minister Rafik al-Hariri, and at Lebanese Sunni Muslim Salafist groups.

Last week Sunni Muslims in the Lebanese city of Tripoli fought street battles against Alawites, members of an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam to which most of Assad’s Syrian ruling establishment belong, despite being in the minority in Syria.

Earlier this month, Syria sent the United Nations the names of 26 foreigners who it said were affiliated with the Sunni Muslim militant group al Qaeda who had been caught trying to enter from Turkey to fight.

On Saturday state television said security forces had thwarted two more such infiltration attempts, one in Idlib province, which borders Turkey, and one from Lebanon.

A British-based opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said security forces had shot and killed a man in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, and that unidentified gunmen had killed two people in the northern city of Aleppo.

There was no independent verification of the claims from Syria, which allows little or no access to foreign journalists.

Members of Syria’s main opposition grouping, the Syrian National Congress, have accused Assad of orchestrating the bomb attacks in order to discredit them and flesh out his account of a foreign conspiracy.

(Additional reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman; Writing by Joseph Logan; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Massive Protests In The Northern Syrian City Of Aleppo

May 19, 2012

‘Thousands’ Protest In Northern Syrian City Of Aleppo — BBC

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, activists say, in the biggest protests there since the revolt began.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several people were injured by tear gas and live ammunition.

Protests were reported elsewhere, a day after activists called for rallies in solidarity with students in Aleppo.

Observers say anti-government sentiment is rising there, after security forces killed students in a raid in early May.


More News On Massive Demonstrations In Syria

Syria: ‘Heroes of Aleppo university’ protests – live updates — The Guardian
Syria Live Blog — The Al Jazeera
Largest protest yet in Syrian city loyal to Assad — CBS/AP
Largest protests yet in Syrian city of Aleppo — AP
Syrian Protesters Rally in Northern Flashpoint City — Voice of America
Thousands take to the streets in northern Syrian city of Aleppo — Global Post
Regime forces fire on huge Syria protests — AFP

Civil War In Syria — News Updates February 13, 2012

February 14, 2012


Syrian Government Bombards Rebel City Of Homs After Arab States Pledge To Back Rebels — National Post/Reuters

AMMAN/BEIRUT — Syrian forces bombarded districts of Homs and attacked other cities on Monday after Arab states pledged support for the opposition battling President Bashar al-Assad and called for international peacekeepers to be sent to the country.

Tank fire was concentrated on two Sunni Muslim neighborhoods that have been at the forefront of an 11-month-old uprising against Assad, activists said.


More News On Syria’s Civil War

Syria Live Blog — Al Jazeera
Syria: Overview — Yahoo News

Syria: UN general assembly begins discussion of crisis — The Guardian
‘We’ve been maimed for life’: Victims of Syrian security crackdown show horrific injuries inflicted by Assad’s forces — Daily Mail
Syria bloodshed rages as Arab League asks for U.N. peacekeepers — New York Daily News
Activists: Syria Crackdown Continues in Homs — Voice of America
Syria launched “indiscriminate attack” on civilians: U.N. — Reuters
Syrians Suffer as Government Crackdown Continues — Voice of America
Syrian rebels repel government troops — USA Today/AP
Syrian Rebels Battle Government Forces In Key Town — NPR/AP
Help for Syrian rebels from over Iraq border — Sydney Morning Herald

Syria rejects Arab League call for UN peacekeepers, resumes assault on Homs — Haaretz
Syria ignores Arab plan — News24
Syria rejects new Arab League peace mission proposal — BBC
Syria ignores Arab plan to stop bloodshed — Yahoo News/AFP

UN Rights Chief Makes Scathing Report About Syrian Regime — Radio Free Europe
Syrian troops are raping and torturing, UN watchdog claims — The Telegraph
Diplomatic inaction fuelling Syria crackdown: U.N. — Yahoo News/Reuters
Syria ’emboldened by UN inaction’ — BBC
Syrian regime ’emboldened’ by UN inaction, says human rights chief — The Guardian
UN rights chief says crimes against humanity continue in Syria and must not go unpunished — Washington Post/AP

China, Russia undecided on Arab plan for Syria — CNN
Russia balks at Syria peacekeeping plan — Al Jazeera
Russia changes tack, signals open to Syrian intervention — Globe and Mail
Russia ‘Studying’ Syria Peacekeeping Force Proposal — Voice of America
Russia says Syria ceasefire needed before peacekeeping mission — The Telegraph

United States weighing Syria peacekeeping mission
— Stars and Stripes/AP
Britain ‘would provide support but not troops for Syria peacekeeping mission’ — The Telegraph
Syria’s rebels “disillusioned” with America — CBS

Elliott Abrams: U.S. should back Syrian opposition with money and arms — Washington Post
Syria crackdown continues as UN refuses to call for an emergency special session — Anne Bayefsky, FOX News
One activist’s chronicle of daily hell in Syria — CNN
Historic tales unfolding in Syria — Alexandra Zavis and Rima Marrouch, Los Angeles Times
The Arab League has misjudged its actions on Syria — Abdel Bari Atwan, The Guardian
Syria, the new Libya — Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
Syria’s slide towards civil war — Paul Wood, BBC