UN Resident Coordinator in Syria: US Sanctions Negatively Affect Syrians
May 18, 2013
Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Syria, Adam Abdul-Mawla said that the US sanctions affect negatively the lives of the Syrians, especially as regards the provision of medicine and the spare parts for medical equipment.
During his meeting on Saturday with representatives of the UN offices in Syria and Sweida governor, Dr. Atef Naddaf, Abdul-Mawla said that the ''wok of the UN offices in Syria is focused for the time being on the humanitarian operations.''
He pointed out that 2.5 million people benefit from the United Nations World Food Program monthly.
Abdul-Mawla hailed the Syrian government's efforts for meeting the needs of the affected, indicating that it gave permits to around 29 organizations and national NGOs to build partnerships with the UN offices as to help deliver aid to the affected.
He said that his visit to Sweida is aimed to inspect the situation there and for talks with the bodies concerned about establishing a UN office in the province after a similar UN office was established in Homs.
The governor stressed the government's interest in providing medicine for the citizens despite the western embargo, adding that Sweida has 5 housing centers hosting over 52.000 displaced people from other provinces.
Kashmiri protesters condemn Israeli attacks on Syria
Hundreds of angry protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir have held rallies to condemn Israel’s recent aggression against Syria...
May 10, 2013
On Friday, Kashmiri protesters torched effigies of US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir.
The demonstrators condemned what they called the US and Israeli interference in Syria.
The protesters also chanted slogans against the US-led Western imperialism and said the US and Israeli intelligence services - CIA and Mossad - were fuelling the flames of sectarian strife among Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.
Protests were also held in several other towns of the Muslim-majority valley.
On Sunday, Syria said the Israeli regime had carried out an airstrike targeting a research center in a suburb of Damascus, after al-Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting against the Syrian government suffered heavy losses.
According to Syrian media reports, Israeli rockets struck the Jamraya Research Center. The Jamraya facility was also targeted in an Israeli airstrike in January.
'Resolving Crisis in Syria through Dialogue without External Interference'
May 17, 2013
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to resolve the Syrian crisis through dialogue.
In a joint press conference with Ki-moon, Lavrov said that the Geneva Statement is the basis for the action of the international community, stressing that his country is committed to the unity and sovereignty of Syria.
U.N. Chief’s Ambivalent Role
May 17, 2013
'Russia has sent sophisticated anti-ship missiles to Syria, US media report'
'The New York Times quotes unnamed US officials as saying the missiles could be used to counter any potential future foreign military intervention in Syria'...
Friday, 17 May 3013
An Iranian lawmaker has warned that Western plots aimed at stoking sectarian divisions in the Middle East could see insecurity spill over to other countries...
“The West seeks to spread tribalistic sedition in the region in collaboration with reactionary regional states,” Mohammad Reza Mohseni Sani said.
Pointing to the recent car bomb attacks in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, the parliamentarian said people in southern Turkey paid the price for the imprudence of their country’s officials.
“Terrorists who are fighting against [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Assad’s government in Syria are certainly behind incidents such as the bombing in Reyhanli,” the Iranian legislator pointed out.
Mohseni Sani noted that individuals linked to groups such as al-Qaeda terrorists and Salafi extremists are committing such crimes in Turkey.
He said the Reyhanli incident should be an object lesson for Turkey and reactionary states in the region to stop supporting terrorists.
Mohseni Sani’s remarks came after Turkey, which backs militants fighting against the Syrian government, accused Syria of being behind the two car bomb attacks in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli on May 11 which killed 51 people. However, the Syrian government has dismissed the claim.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told a news conference on Sunday that Damascus “did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that.”
The Syrian minister blamed the Turkish government for the Reyhanli bombings and the ongoing foreign-sponsored turmoil in Syria.
“It is (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan who should be asked about this act… He and his party bear direct responsibility,” he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Turkish authorities say they have arrested a number of people suspected of being involved in the attacks.
Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo is feeling lucky. Belgium’s search for investment has paid off, with internet giant Google GOOG +3.14% expanding its Belgian data center, just outside Mons, where he was mayor until becoming PM. Google said it is investing €300 million in the expansion, and that the facility will be one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, using around 50% less energy than typical data centers. “Google’s significant investment shows that Belgium is a key business destination, including for new technologies,” said Elio Di Rupo. “Although we’re going through difficult economic times, we keep attracting major investments from international companies.”
On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…
Belgium Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, center, poses with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and President Barack Obama on arrival for the NATO summit in Chicago, Sunday, May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - 15 mei 2013
Internet, telecoms cut across Syria: SANA
DAMASCUS — Internet and telecommunications in Syria were down across the country, the state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday, saying a fault with a fibre-optic cable was to blame. "Maintenance and repair work is underway to reestablish the ...
See all stories on this topic »
Website of the Syrian News Agency Sana: http://sana.sy/eng/22/index.htm
CHP, Republican People's Party Turkey
CHP Predident Mr. Kemal Kiliçdaroglu's speech
At the group meeting of the Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
Brussels, 14 May 2013
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
Europe today is at a junction: Either it is going to be swept along by the current of history, or it is going to direct that flow. At this point in time,we politicians have huge responsibilities. It is the duty of us socialists and democrats to transform Europe into a project that inspires and generates development, welfare, stability and justice.
In this rapidly changing and globalising environment, the issues of our era are diversifying and becoming more complex. Today, even if some of the underdeveloped countries are tasting the fruits of economic development, hundreds of millions of people still live in the spiral of inequality, poverty, and distress. The internet, social media, mobile technologies, nano technologies, and the quest for green energies that have been contributing to the progress of humanity, are at the same time creating a new consumer society. While globalisation has been creating opportunities, it has also been bringing complex problems with it. Unequal relations continue to exist between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. We are still combatting issues caused by hunger, poverty, dictators, injustice, civil wars, violence against children, women and civilians, as well as the deterioration in the earth's eco-system.
It is because of all these developments and issues that humanity needs a more effective, more creative and more just Europe. As the birthplace of democracy, human dignity and social justice that form the basis of universal values, Europe has always been a driving force for development and progress. It is this verity of Europe that we in a multitude of ways feel and experience in Turkey.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the association regime Turkey established with the European Union. Let us not forget that Turkey - European Union relations are relations that go beyond the target of full membership. For centuries, we wrote our history together and shared a common fate. In an environment of global competition and a race among civilisations, a Turkey that is a full member of the Union will strengthen Europe in many ways and create added value for all humanity. Turkey's full membership will increase EU's social and economic power, its geo-strategic projects, but most importantly, shall add to the global attraction and impact of Europe's universal values and norms.
CHP, Turkey's social democrat party with progressive political dynamics,b elieves in this perspective. It was in 1963 when CHP was in power that CHP started Turkey's accession to a great undertaking of peace and democracy that was to develop into a political union. CHP has always supported this process.
EU policies of recent years, unfortunately, have not been effective in guiding Turkey towards European values and standards. On the other hand, the ruling conservative AKP government started practicing its anti-democratic culture and spreading it to the entire country. In the meantime, through a variety of channels, the AKP government and its supporters have been carrying out an intensive disinformation campaign in Europe, with Brussels as the major focal point. AKP has made an effort to portray itself as a "democratic force in Turkey" while they have tried, with an intent to mislead, to label the opposition, as a "militarist party, opposed to reforms." It is sad to note that this campaign of disinformation has been effective in some circles.
Dear friends, we are living in the Information Age. CHP's ideology, entire discourse, attitude, votes casted in the parliament and all of its proposed policies are on record and accessible to the public. CHP is the only political movement in Turkey that has truly internalized what democracy is all about. CHP is the leading party in Turkey that defends the true meaning of democracy.
The following question becomes important at this point in time: "How can the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament encourage Turkey to make a leap forward for extensive democratic reforms and social development?"
The situation is clear. EU's Progress Report as well as your report, the European Parliament's Report on Turkey are crystal clear. As PES,too, has disclosed, the AKP government is moving Turkey away from Europe and drifting her away from the path of contemporary civilization. According to these report, the areas where democracy has regressed most are hair-raising: the basic liberties of our citizens, women's rights, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the media, freedom of expression and thought, freedom of assembly and communication, freedom of internet usage, state of the rule of law in general. ..
And now AKP disinformation is continuing on the Kurdish issue. They are trying to create an atmosphere as if "they are the ones who want a solution, but that we the CHP are, allegedly, against a solution." Feeding even such a big lie is not all that difficult in present-day Turkey where there is no freedom of press, where auto-censorship is becoming prevalent, and where journalists who criticize the government are either fired from their posts or put in jail.
I would now like to briefly share with you CHP's actual position on the Kurdish issue, as I have explained many times in Turkey:
• Firstly, CHP is the only party that has actually made proposals for the resolution of the Kurdish issue and shared them with the public. We made clear that ethnic discrimination and racism constitute grave crimes. We proposed a wide range of concrete policies: from the teaching of the Kurdish language to cultural rights; as well as expansion of the environment of individual liberties. Our basic references on the topic are clear: they are the EU's Copenhagen political criteria.
• Secondly, CHP believes that the solution to the Kurdish issue can be made lasting and sustainable with a new constitution that would strengthen our democratic, parliamentarian regime. AKP, on the other hand, is bargaining with the PKK for an authoritarian, anti democratic Presidential system with unchecked powers.
• Thirdly, we shall support all sincere steps taken towards the solution of the Kurdish issue.However, AKP insists on not sharing information with the public or CHP and refrains from bringing the matter to the Parliament in Ankara.
• The fourth is a very important point. With total disrespect for the rule of law and under the cloak of secrecy, AKP is engaged in a bargaining process with the PKK - which is declared as a terrorist organization by the EU and by the US. CHP, on the other hand, under all conditions, wants the implementation of law and, as a state of law, wishes to remain within the confines of law and legitimacy.
• Fifth, it is not possible to bring about lasting social peace and reconciliation in the existing oppressive, anti-democratic atmosphere dominating the media and the society -conditions also emphasized in the EU reports.
• Last but not least, is the fact that 100% of the CHP electorate is in favor of a democratic constitution. The CHP electorate is keen on realizingstrong and lasting social reconciliation and peace - with the Kurdish issue, at the top of the list.
As a party, the CHP is under many forms of pressure. The oppression on the media restricts our communication with society at large. Two of our parliamentarians have been imprisoned for the last five years. Yet there is no court verdict against them. All rules of universal law are violated. Our MPs in prison are wasting away in small, isolated cubicles. There are thousands of other innocent people imprisoned like them. The AKP is carrying out a "witch hunt and practicing "McCarthyism". People are living in fear.
In addition to AKP's poor report card on democracy,The United Nations Annual Human Development Index displays AKP government's failures in a concrete and objective manner.
Turkey has the maturity and the democratic background to overcome these problems. In recent years, the EU is experiencing internal weaknesses in managing economic affairs, unemployment, xenophobia, and rise of extremist political movements. All these have, unfortunately, had a negative effect on Turkey, too.
We are all on the same boat; we are focused on a vision for a stronger democratic future, sustainable social development, and a society of law.
The international order in the 21st century is rapidly taking shape. On the one hand, there are issues devastating the lives of civilians in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Palestine, and Afghanistan. On the other hand, important economic bodies are being formed, especially in the Western world. The Transatlantic Partnership between the US and the EU, EU's free trade negotiations. with Japan, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership under the leadership of the US,may bring about new shared standards to international trade and investment. The scope of these initiatives should not deal with customs tariffs only, but should also include consumer rights, social arrangements, as well as rules for the environment. It is in our hands to approach these new economic structures with a more egalitarian understanding, and turn them into opportunities that would serve the welfare of the peoples of the world. It is with this understanding that, within the framework of Turkey's customs union with the EU, we advocate Turkey's inclusion in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the us.
As CHP, we are the party next to govern Turkey. We shall make our country contribute positively in all fields, to the future of Europe. We have concrete policy proposals and action plans in every field. Under a CHP government, Turkey shall not be an instigator of war, but the protector of democracy, social development,and peace-keeping actor in its region.
The European Union can undertake a constructive role in this direction. We need:
• a European Union that supports Turkey more rationally in the process of negotiations,
• an EU that does not create further obstacles in opening negotiation chapters,
• an EU that does not give credence to the disinformation of the AKP government,
• an EU that is more effective in the realm of democratic reforms
• an EU that gives priority to communicating with the Turkish people.
• an EU that would remove illogical visa practices for the citizens of the Turkish Republic.
And most importantly, we need an EU whose politicians tell their own peoples that "Turkey's democracy and social development are crucial for the future of Europe, making its EU membership essential."
I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and messages with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, the most effective and influential actor in to convey them in Europe.
I would like to extend to all, my dear comrades in the Socialists and Democrat Groups, the greetings and the best wishes of CHP. I also would like to express my wish to see you and host all of you in Turkey.
Thank you very much!
CHP Party Leader
May 8, 2013
It’s no secret, except for those still living in denial, the level of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and the Zionist entity of settlers known to the west as ‘Israel’, this cooperation doesn’t raise any suspicion to the majority of Arabs and Muslims as the terrorist organization created by the CIA in Afghanistan has never carried out any attack that would harm the interests of Israel, even if that would be on the account of the US or other western countries and their citizens. That coordination, or to be more precise the subversion of Al-Qaeda to Israel was crystallized in the recent Israeli unprovoked air (or missile) raids against military sites and chicken hens near Damascus (check Israel Rushes to Rescue Al-Qaeda Terrorsits in Syria), serving as a wake up slap to those sleeping in the US honeymoon of ‘democracy’ aka the ‘Arab Spring’.
Iran, Syria’s main regional old ally, demonstrated its maximum support to the Syrian people on all humanitarian, economical and political levels, on the militarily level, well, nobody claims to know what are the levels of military cooperation are, not even when the two ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries were asked during their short press conference in Damascus yesterday May 07, 2013 evening after Salehi’s meeting with president Bashar Al-Assad ‘in Damascus and not on a Russian Navy Ship’.
During the war of the 8 years between US led Saddam Hussein and Iran, Syria showed the maximum level of support to Iran severing its relations with most of the Arab world and others as the Syrians at that time saw who is really behind the war that took the lives of over a million people, destroyed the two countries and only benefited Israel and US corporations. Syria at that time even suffered a wave of terror led by the Vanguard Fighters, or the FSA of that time, both belong to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization that was found by Britain and sponsored by NATO, yet Syria didn’t stop its support to Iran, even when fighting on multiple fronts: Israel reaching Lebanese capital Beirut, war of terror and attrition with the terrorist groups inside Syria, a more severe economic sanctions by the west and regional stooges, Syrians, rightly expect much more than ‘humanitarian and political aid’ from Iran during the current crisis, but we can only put it in the context of Iranian weakness towards Bearded leaders or the new ‘Beardocracies’ sprung in the region especially those in Turkey, Libya and Egypt, tries their best to find ‘moderate bearded’ figures among the Syrian oppositions abroad, ignoring a basic fact: Syria and Muslim Brotherhood don’t mix [to say it Egyptian Morsi-Style]. A Syrian activist commented satirically: ‘If (Israeli) Netenyahu grows a beard, there’s huge chances that Iranian leadership would seek better relations with him’..!
But back to reality, everybody knows the war Syria is fighting at a very high cost of lives, blood, infrastructure and heritage, is not Syria’s war alone. Syria and the Syrian people are standing firm to stop the evil plan of destroying current countries to build a One World Order where everybody would serve as servants to the elite behind that plan, many countries sadly and swiftly fell, and Syria alone is fighting it back, and will win this war. Russian and Chinese did not use their veto powers at the UNSC thrice for the love of Syrians, they used it because they’re fighting this war with imperial western powers on the Syrian account.
On a side note, the number of times the Iranian official thanked God in his press statement might be the reason the Wahhabis consider Iran as their main enemy and Zionist Israel and anti-Islm entities as their main allies, beside Salehi speaking with fluent Arabic many new Arab ‘Sprung’ politicians, and even old ones, fail to speak, of course except for the Syrians famous for their eloquent language!
30 Apr 2013
A civilian cargo aircraft crashed at Bagram Air Field near the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, killing all seven people aboard. The plane came down shortly after take-off and crashed within the boundaries of the US-run airbase, a NATO spokesperson at the base said. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the crash, but the coalition dismissed the claim as "false" in a statement to AP. The cause of the crash is being investigated by emergency crews, but no sign of insurgent activity in the area was spotted at the time, the statement added.
Iranian Security Minister: Schemes to Strike Syria Failed
May 2, 2013
Iranian Security Minister, Haider Muslihi said that all the schemes hatched by enemies to strike Syria and the resistance have failed.
In a statement on Thursday, Muslihi said that the events in the region ''may raise concerns, but they indicate a rise of the resistance in the region.''
Muslihi said that the sectarian conflicts in the region ''are an outgrowth of the British espionage that seeks to take advantage of the confessional sedition to strike Islam.''
Army Units Retake Al-Qaisa Town in Damascus Countryside
Army units regained full control over al-Qaisa town in eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside, a source told SANA.
The source added that units of the armed forces destroyed in a string of qualitative operations terrorists' hideouts in the town, killing and injuring their members.
Nine days ago, units of the armed forces restored security and stability to al-Eteibeh town to the east of al-Qaisa town.
With the army retaking al-Qaisa, the noose is tightening on the terrorist groups in Ghouta after the army regained control of the line spreading from Damascus airport to the towns of Kafrin, Harran al-Awamid, al-Eteibeh, al-Qaisa, Adea and al-Dmair.
President al-Assad Visits Umawyeen Electricity Station, Congratulates Workers on Their Day
May 1, 2013
DAMASCUS, (SANA) - President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday visited the Umawyeen Electricity Station at Tishreen Park in Damascus and congratulated its staff and all workers of Syria on the occasion of the Workers' Day.
May 1, 2013 - 39 minutes ago (14:45):
'Pentagon steps up planning for military intervention in Syria'
Washington: The Pentagon has stepped up planning for potential military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
The move comes specifically because of growing evidence the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons. According to CNN, a senior administration official said that 'there is intensified planning underway as more precise evidence has come that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons'. If President Barack Obama were to order action, it could involve thousands of US troops. The official said it's not likely to involve troops on the ground in Syria.Two other officials said that the most likely options would be using cruise missiles based at sea and fighter jets to try to destroy chemical sites or the headquarters of Syrian military elements linked to them, the report said.
May 1, 2013 - 10 minutes ago (9:37 am):
'Barack Obama won't rush to act against Syria over chemical arms'
President Barack Obama signaled on Tuesday he is no rush to respond quickly to Syria's apparent use of chemical weapons, taking a cautious approach to the country's civil war, mirroring the views of the American public, most lawmakers and some US allies'.
Mr Obama, who last year declared that the use or deployment of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would cross a "red line," told a White House news conference there was evidence those weapons were used, but there was still much that US intelligence agencies did not know.
"We don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them," he said, and, "We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened."
(Reuters - Times of Oman)
Photo: The American secretary of state John Kerry as a young veteran of the Vietnam War protesting the American engagement.
American chemical wars and war crimes
'A Battle Unending: The Vietnam War and Agent Orange':
'Vietnam's war against Agent Orange':
Between 1962 and 1970, millions of gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed across parts of Vietnam.
Agent Orange victims 'need help':
Vietnam's Red Cross has appealed for urgent help for victims of Agent Orange - the poisonous chemical dioxin used during the Vietnam War. But the BBC's Clare Arthurs says the US is reluctant to acknowledge any link between dioxin and people born with disabilities.
War on Iraq. The Lies That Lead To War - part 4 of 4 - CBC:
America's use of Depleted Uranium 1of4:
Photo: Agent Orange victims Vietnam
US-pressure on Iraq - Iraq repeats the need of a political solution to the situation in Syria...
March 25, 2013
BAGHDAD: US secretary of state John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday to stop Iranian flights over Iraq from carrying arms to Syria during a visit to the Iraqi capital.
Iraqi officials denied allowing weapons to be flown from Iran to Syria through Iraqi airspace. Abbas al-Bayati, a member of the Security and Defence committee in parliament, said: "We have done our duty by randomly inspecting a number of Iranian flights and we did not find any leaked or smuggled weapons."
"If the US is keen to push us to do more they have to give us the information that they have relating to this," he said.
At his news conference, Kerry said the United States had "agreed to try to provide more information" to the Iraqis and suggested that sentiment in the US Congress may be turning against Iraq because of the suspected arms transfers to Assad.
More than a dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore through Shia Muslim districts in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and other areas on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people on the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.
A statement released by Maliki's office following the talks said they had agreed on the need to find a political solution to the situation in Syria.
Photo: Iraqi Media Delegation in Syria
Two Belgian mercenaries who were fighting against the regime in Syria have been killed, Belgian media say.
Some 80 Belgian Muslims are said to be participating in fights in Syria.
They were sent to the Middle East by the so-called Belgian Islamist Movement which is not recognized as a legal institution.
The number of radical Muslims coming from Europe to Syria is on the rise, many of them joining extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.
Voice of Russia, RIA
March 31, 2013
Russia finished the large manoeuvres in the Black Sea. The Russian President Vladimir Putin had surprisingly arranged larger manoeuvres of the Russian marine in the Black Sea, and thus the Russian warships of the Black Sea Fleet have carried out some large manoeuvres in the last days.
The large manoeuvres of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were completed yesterday and they ended with target practice as it was stated in a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday. The statement of the Russian Defense Ministry said that the warships of the Black Sea Fleet have completed the main tasks of the unscheduled review of the readiness for combats of the Russian military in the south and that the main tasks have, as mentioned, ended with target practice.
According to the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, large amphibious ships of the Russian marine were part of these combat exercises at the Black Sea. For example, the large amphibious ships were used to train the landing of the Russian marine landing forces on the non-upgraded coast near Opuk in Feodosiya, where a training area of the Russian military is located.
Also the Russian Air Forces were a part of these suddenly announced combat training for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Su-24 assault aircraft of the Russian Air Forces took part as a support from the air, as it was mentioned by the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, too.
On Thursday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the beginning of such a practice manoeuvre of the Black Sea Fleet while he was on his way back from the BRICS summit in South Africa.
About 7,000 Russian soldiers, 30 ships, 50 artillery unites of various purposes, 250 armoured vehicles and about 20 combat aircrafts and helicopters took part in this suddenly announced training for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Also some paratroopers, rapid reaction forces and even some Russian special forces were part of this combat training in the last days.
Photo: Russia and China joint naval exercises
Event in Paris Denouncing Crime against al-Bouti
Mar 24, 2013
PARIS, (SANA)- The Syrian and Algerian communities and a number of French citizens staged an event in Paris denouncing the crime of assassinating scholar al-Bouti and his students at al-Iman Mosque in Damascus.
The participants in the event lighted up candles mourning the souls of scholar al-Bouti and the homeland's martyrs.
The popular committee for solidarity with the Syrian people and leadership in Palestine staged an activity in solidarity with the Syrian people in Arah and Ararah towns.
The participants in the event condemned the assassination of scholar al-Bouti at the hands of the evil takfiri powers.
They raised banners condemning the policies of the US, the European countries, Turkey and some Arab countries which support terrorism.
They also raised the Syrian and Palestinian flags and photos of martyr al-Bouti.
Secretary of the Committee Wasfi Abdull-Ghani said that the event aims at expressing the Palestinian people's support to the Syrians in the face of the Zionist, imperialist and Arab conspiracies hatched against Syria.
Terrorists Detonate Explosive Device near Southern Wall of Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo
Feb 26, 2013
Terrorists detonated an explosive device near the southern wall of the Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo city, causing significant damage to the wall and surrounding areas.
In October 2012, terrorists broke into the Mosque, rifling its contents, looting it, damaging its walls and burning some of its contents.
People's Assembly Listens to Ministers' Answers on Urgent Issues
Feb 18, 2013
People's Assembly on Monday held a session led by Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, listening to answers of Ministers on the questions of Members of the Parliament about the measures taken by the government to overcome difficulties and obstacles resulted by the crisis in the country.
The MPs called on the government to provide citizens with the basic needs and distance itself from giving promises without implementation, as well as adhering to credibility and transparency in depicting the current situation.
They urged for adopting the principle of the national comprehensive dialogue as a human and moral need before being a political need and responding to the government call for carrying out the political program depending on overcoming pains and wounds.
Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs, Minister of Local Administration Omar Ghalawanji, said that the war which Syria is facing affected the state infrastructure, noting that the government has taken essential steps to restore security and stability.
He added that the government also set up the stages for implementing the political program to solve the crisis on the ground.
Ghalawanji pointed out that the government is studying the possibility of establishing the Social Insurance Fund and its main funding sources, adding that a committee for construction has been formed and more than SYP 2 billion were spent on construction in 2012.
He noted that the construction committee estimated the damage caused by the armed terrorist groups till January, 10th, 2013 at SYP 1000 billion.
In turn, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Dr. Qadri Jamil, said that discussions in the People's Assembly sessions are a sign of progress and openness in political work in Syria, calling on all sides to engage in dialogue and abandon slander.
Jamil said that the opposition abroad didn't present any initiatives; rather they reacted to the government's initiative and its calls for dialogue.
He added that the unjust economic embargo on Syria has affected many Syrians and their livelihoods, and that the security conditions in areas between cities and on roads have also had a negative impact on the process of providing supplies to citizens.
He saw that "there is corruption in the state body which causes losses of SYP billions in all fields, and treating it requires a political will and courage."
Similarly, State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said that the Syrian people are suffering from many difficulties, stressing the need to implement a clear work mechanism between all ministries and the People's Assembly to overcome this, thereby creating a unified vision through the integrated work of the legislative and executive authorities.
Haidar affirmed commitment to holding dialogue with the opposition within Syria and abroad, along with all those who bore arms and then abandoned them, all without relinquishing national standards.
For his part, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi asserted that national dialogue will help reduce violence, saying that the government is meeting even with unlicensed political forces and parties.
Al-Zoubi noted that one shouldn't be quick to judge the results of these meetings as dialogue needs preliminary steps and the contribution of everyone including the opposition abroad, and that it also requires that gunmen throw down their weapons.
He said that the current government's role ends when national dialogue is launched and when it produces a national charter.
Al-Zoubi said that the political program for resolving the crisis relies on public will and referendum, noting that there are attempts by western and Arab mass media to abort this program and political dialogue.
The Minister said that the political decision adopted by President Bashar al-Assad at his latest discourse and shifting it into a political solution for the crisis was one of the most courageous, democratic decisions throughout Syria's modern history.
In turn, Justice Minister Dr. Najm al-Ahmad said that his ministry is working to establish a just, independent legal system and that it deals with any case related to the current situation in an exceptional manner that differs from the way cases were handled before.
He affirmed that the Justice Ministry's doors are open to everyone and that it accepts criticism that helps judicial work.
Al-Ahmad said that all courts and justice palaces within the regions that witnessed security tension have been burned and sabotaged by armed groups in a systematic way, adding the Ministry has worked to maintain and find substitutes for the damaged courts.
Dec 20, 2012
Units of the Armed Forces on Thursday pursued terrorist groups in al-Husseiniyeh town in Damascus Countryside, killed many of their members and destroyed their weapons.
An official source told SANA reporter that the army units killed a number of terrorists near the old bakery and destroyed a mortar and a car carrying terrorists and weapons.
The source added that another army unit destroyed a hideout for terrorists in al-Bashawat Street in the town, killing and injuring some of them.
A vehicle equipped with a machinegun was also destroyed.
Terrorists Killed, Amounts of Weapons and Ammunition Seized in Homs
A unit of the Armed Forces destroyed a machinegun-equipped vehicle and killed all the terrorists inside it near the crossroad to al-Ghajar village in the countryside of al-Rastan in Homs province.
SANA reporter quoted a source in the province as saying that the army also killed a number of terrorists inside a hideout in the same area, indicating that the leader of the group Khaled Habib and terrorists Ahmad Mohammad Khattab and Ayman al-Deek were identified among the dead.
Authorities on Wednesday night seized an amount of weapons and ammunition in an abandoned farm in al-Sultaniyeh neighborhood in Homs city.
A source in the province told SANA reporter that the seized weapons included four sniper rifles, five Cobra rocket engines, a hunting rifle, an explosive device, a mask and different types of ammunition.
'The war against Iraq and America's drive for world domination':
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friend President Barack Obama.
On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated. At the beginning of the month of February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.
On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was 'deeply grateful to the United States' after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity. On Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.Israel plans now to build unspecified thousands of new settler units in the strip of land known as E1 around Al Quds...
Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman who, for tactical political reasons, recently announced that he withdrawned temporarily, proposes since 2001, to establish four townships in the occupied West Bank, hermetically sealed, which would be grouped the Palestinians.
More recently he has improved his plan.
He sees it as a solution for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are more than one million, to move the vast majority of the group in tightly closed, self-administered areas.
Thus would arise a State ethnically homogeneous from the Mediterranean Sea until the Jordan, sheltering in its midst Palestinian “Bantustans”.
Lieberman, besides his ministerial duties, is the leader of Israel Beteinou (Israel Our Home), a political party openly racist and Arabophobia.
Germany last year ordered a small fleet of Israeli Heron spy drones designed to provide real-time images above a battlefield. That has brought German jet pilots to coastal Ein Shemer air base for accelerated retraining on the unmanned propeller planes, already daubed with their flag and Iron Cross emblem. “It’s for the need of the ground troops, for our own protection, like convoy protection,” said a Luftwaffe (airforce) major, who formerly flew a Tornado fighter-bomber on Afghan reconnaissance missions and could not be named due to military secrecy.
Israel is a pioneer of combat drones, having deployed them in Lebanon in the Palestinian territories. Heron’s manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), says it is also used by Canadian, French and Australian forces in Afghanistan. On December 12, 2012, Germany has expelled four employees of the Syrian embassy in Berlin in a diplomatic move to put pressure on the regime of President Bashar Assad. German MPs of the lower house of parliament voted 461-86 on Friday, December 14, 2012, to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey along the Syrian border, Reuters reported.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently expressed Turkey’s desire for a leading role in a Greater Middle East, while also claiming that Turkey’s borders are NATO’s borders.
On October, 26th 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the media during a news conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Rasmussen said the alliance wanted to confirm a decision to end its operations in Libya by Oct. 31. Rasmussen: 'The U.N.’s resolution adopted earlier in the day reflects that we have fully accomplished our mandate to protect the civilian population of Libya'.
Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”:
'The war against Iraq and America's drive for world domination':
'The American Drive for World Domination':
'World Domination By the US: An Economic Disaster in the Making':
'Syria, Turkey, Israel and the Greater Middle East Energy War':
'The Greater Middle East Project - The Globalist Agenda For Africa And The Middle East': http://syria360.wordpress.com/globalist-agenda/
'The New U.S. Proposal for a Greater Middle East Initiative: An Evaluation':
'America's imperial delusion'
The US drive for world domination has no historical precedent
The Guardian, 14 June 2003
The present world situation is unprecedented. The great global empires of the past - such as the Spanish and notably the British - bear little comparison with what we see today in the United States empire. A key novelty of the US imperial project is that all other empires knew that they were not the only ones, and none aimed at global domination. None believed themselves invulnerable, even if they believed themselves to be central to the world - as China did, or the Roman empire. Regional domination was the maximum danger envisaged until the end of the cold war. A global reach, which became possible after 1492, should not be confused with global domination.
The British empire was the only one that really was global in a sense that it operated across the entire planet. But the differences are stark. The British empire at its peak administered one quarter of the globe's surface. The US has never actually practised colonialism, except briefly at the beginning of the 20th century. It operated instead with dependent and satellite states and developed a policy of armed intervention in these.
The British empire had a British, not a universal, purpose, although naturally its propagandists also found more altruistic motives. So the abolition of the slave trade was used to justify British naval power, as human rights today are often used to justify US military power. On the other hand the US, like revolutionary France and revolutionary Russia, is a great power based on a universalist revolution - and therefore on the belief that the rest of the world should follow its example, or even that it should help liberate the rest of the world. Few things are more dangerous than empires pursuing their own interest in the belief that they are doing humanity a favour.
The cold war turned the US into the hegemon of the western world. However, this was as the head of an alliance. In a way, Europe then recognised the logic of a US world empire, whereas today the US government is reacting to the fact that the US empire and its goals are no longer genuinely accepted. In fact the present US policy is more unpopular than the policy of any other US government has ever been, and probably than that of any other great power has ever been.
The collapse of the Soviet Union left the US as the only superpower. The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand, all the more so since it fits neither with long-tested imperial policies nor the interests of the US economy. But patently a public assertion of global supremacy by military force is what is in the minds of the people at present dominating policymaking in Washington.
Is it likely to be successful? The world is too complicated for any single state to dominate it. And with the exception of its superiority in hi-tech weaponry, the US is relying on diminishing assets. Its economy forms a diminishing share of the global economy, vulnerable in the short as well as long term. The US empire is beyond competition on the military side. That does not mean that it will be absolutely decisive, just because it is decisive in localised wars.
Of course the Americans theoretically do not aim to occupy the whole world. What they aim to do is to go to war, leave friendly governments behind them and go home again. This will not work. In military terms, the Iraq war was successful. But it neglected the necessities of running the country, maintaining it, as the British did in the classic colonial model of India. The belief that the US does not need genuine allies among other states or genuine popular support in the countries its military can now conquer (but not effectively administer) is fantasy.
Iraq was a country that had been defeated by the Americans and refused to lie down. It happened to have oil, but the war was really an exercise in showing international power. The emptiness of administration policy is clear from the way the aims have been put forward in public relations terms. Phrases like "axis of evil" or "the road map" are not policy statements, but merely soundbites. Officials such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz talk like Rambo in public, as in private. All that counts is the overwhelming power of the US. In real terms they mean that the US can invade anybody small enough and where they can win quickly enough. The consequences of this for the US are going to be very dangerous.
Domestically, the real danger for a country that aims at world control is militarisation. Internationally, the danger is the destabilising of the world. The Middle East is far more unstable now than it was five years ago. US policy weakens all the alternative arrangements, formal and informal, for keeping order. In Europe it has wrecked Nato - not much of a loss, but trying to turn it into a world military police force for the US is a travesty. It has deliberately sabotaged the EU, and also aims at ruining another of the great world achievements since 1945: prosperous democratic social welfare states. The crisis over the United Nations is less of a drama than it appears since the UN has never been able to do more than operate marginally because of its dependence on the security council and the US veto.
H ow is the world to confront - contain - the US? Some people, believing that they have not the power to confront the US, prefer to join it. More dangerous are those who hate the ideology behind the Pentagon, but support the US project on the grounds that it will eliminate some local and regional injustices. This may be called an imperialism of human rights. It has been encouraged by the failure of Europe in the Balkans in the 1990s. The division of opinion over the Iraq war showed there to be a minority of influential intellectuals who were prepared to back US intervention because they believed it necessary to have a force for ordering the world's ills. There is a genuine case to be made that there are governments so bad that their disappearance will be a net gain for the world. But this can never justify the danger of creating a world power that is not interested in a world it does not understand, but is capable of intervening decisively with armed force whenever anybody does anything that Washington does not like.
How long the present superiority of the Americans lasts is impossible to say. The only thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that historically it will be a temporary phenomenon, as all other empires have been. In the course of a lifetime we have seen the end of all the colonial empires, the end of the so-called thousand-year empire of the Germans, which lasted a mere 12 years, the end of the Soviet Union's dream of world revolution.
There are internal reasons, the most immediate being that most Americans are not interested in running the world. What they are interested in is what happens to them in the US. The weakness of the US economy is such that at some stage both the US government and electors will decide that it is much more important to concentrate on the economy than to carry on with foreign military adventures. Even by local business standards Bush does not have an adequate economic policy for the US. And Bush's existing international policy is not a particularly rational one for US imperial interests - and certainly not for the interests of US capitalism. Hence the divisions of opinion within the US government.
The key questions now are: what will the Americans do next, and how will other countries react? Will some countries, like Britain, back anything the US plans? Their governments must indicate that there are limits. The most positive contribution has been made by the Turks, simply by saying there are things they are not prepared to do, even though they know it would pay. But the major preoccupation is that of - if not containing - educating or re-educating the US. There was a time when the US empire recognised limitations, or at least the desirability of behaving as though it had limitations. This was largely because the US was afraid of somebody else: the Soviet Union. In the absence of this kind of fear, enlightened self-interest and education have to take over.
This is an extract of an article edited by Victoria Brittain and published in Le Monde diplomatique's June English language edition. Eric Hobsbawm is the author of Interesting Times, The Age of Extremes and The Age of Empire
Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. Weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.
'The war against Iraq and America's drive for world domination':
'The American Drive for World Domination':
'World Domination By the US: An Economic Disaster in the Making':
American President Bush said he invaded Iraq "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people." But all the reasons Bush gave for his war on Iraq were false.
Disinformation about Iraq was produced by a special unit within the Pentagon run by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith. The unit operated outside the normal intelligence channels of the CIA and DIA. Its purpose was to create false intelligence to enable Bush to initiate war with Iraq.
The concern that Saddam had stored large amounts of chemical and biological weapons was widely believed, although wrong. However, in September 2002, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the weapons were buried so deeply that "airstrikes alone" could not eliminate them. Two months later, the National Intelligence Council reported to Rumsfeld that the underground weapons were "vulnerable to conventional, precision-guided, penetrating munitions because they are not deeply buried." Rumsfeld did not pass the information along to senators.
For six and one-half years the Bush regime relied on coercion, intimidation, war, and threats of war. Diplomacy and good will have been shunned.
Speaking upon his return to the White House from the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains March 23, 2003, Bush said, "I was told this morning in my briefings that humanitarian aid should begin moving -- massive amounts of humanitarian aid should begin moving within the next 36 hours. And that's going to be very positive news for a lot of people who have suffered a long time under Saddam Hussein."
Bush stated, "We have an obligation -- and this is just not America, it's coalition forces -- have an obligation to put food and medicine in places so the Iraqi people can live a normal life and have hope." He said that U.S. and coalition forces are doing everything possible to protect innocent life.
Although completely unreported by the western media and the U.S. government, the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by U.S.-led coalition forces was in large part an oil currency war which has been responsible for the death of at least 150,000 civilians.
Photo: Victims of the so called 'Iraqi Civilian War'
'The Real Reason for Bush's Invasion of Iraq Is a National Security Secret':
'False reasons for war in Iraq cannot be forgiven':
'Reasons for Iraq War: Planning before 9/11':
'The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq':
'Hillary Clinton’s “Democracy” for Syria':
'U.S. invasion responsible deaths of over 250,000 civilians in Iraq':
'Bush Takes Hard Line on Humanitarian Aid to Iraq':
'Bush says massive humanitarian aid to flow into Iraq soon':
Photo 1: Agent Orange (a defoliant used by the US military during the Vietnam War) victims. Most of the children live a life without recreation, education, or physical therapy and spend the majority of their day in wooden chairs or in mass beds. Some of the children more prone to wandering off at night or harming the other children are kept in locked iron cages overnight and during afternoon naps. The majority of the children will 'live' their entire lives at a center.
Photo 2: a victim of american chemical weapons in Iraq.
Pentagon Signs Five-Year Military Cooperation With Kazakhstan
Trend News Agency
December 11, 2012
Baku: The Kazakh and US Defense Ministries signed a cooperation plan for 2013-2017 in Washington, the Kazakh Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
The document envisages cooperation in such areas as peacekeeping, staff training, technical assistance, development of the military education system and assistance in establishing contacts with the US military-industrial complex.
Within the bilateral consultations of the Defense Ministries of the two countries which took place in Washington, special attention was paid to the special forces’ trainings.
The parties agreed to develop a program of joint trainings and to exchange experiences.
Within the meeting, Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Talgat Zhanzhumenov said that the development of the domestic military-industrial complex is one of the main priorities of the Kazakh armed forces.
The US party proposed Kazakhstan to cooperate in this sphere and the Kazakh party expressed interest in such cooperation.
Within the visit to US, the Kazakh military delegation visited U.S. military-industrial complex enterprises.
Photo: U.S. troops in Kazakhstan for this year’s annual Steppe Eagle military exercise
Christmas Evening for the Syriac Mar Afram Choir Invoking Peace would prevail in Syria
Dec 18, 2012
DAMASCUS, (SANA)-A Christmas evening for the Syriac Mar Afram Choir was held on Tuesday at Mar Gregory Cathedral for the Syriac Orthodox in Bab Touma, Damascus, including prayers invoking peace to prevail in Syria.
The choir presented Christmas music pieces, songs and anthems inspired by Damascus, the city of joy, as what has been said in the Holy Book.
The Choir of First Mar Afram Iwas the Syriac was established by Mar Ignatius Zakka Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.
Terrorists Killed in Damascus Countryside, Deir Ezzor and Idleb, Weapons Confiscated in Daraa
PROVINCES, (SANA)_A unit of the armed forces carried out a qualitative operation on Tuesday, killing a number of terrorists in al-Dhiyabieh in Damascus countryside.
An official source told SANA that the group of the terrorist nicknamed Abu Ayman was eliminated. The terrorists Abdul-Ghani Bkheit, Mohammad Hamada and Fares al-Rahwas were identified among the dead.
Meanwhile, another army unit destroyed a hideout for terrorists from the so-called "Islam Brigade" in Zamalka in the eastern Ghouta.
SANA reporter qouted an official source as saying that the army killed and injured many terrorists, adding that terrorist Wassim Marwan al-Olabi was identified among the dead.
In the same context, a unit of the Armed Forces killed a number of terrorists and destroyed their weapons and ammunition in al-Husseiniyeh.
An official source told SANA reporter that another army unit destroyed a mortar in al-Bahdaliyeh and killed three terrorists.
Meanwhile, a unit of the armed forces eliminated terrorists groups who were perpetrating acts of killing and looting the private and public properties in al-Hajar al-Aswad in Damascus countryside.
A source stated that among the terrorists killed were Yaser Yahya Eid, leader of a so-called group "Ansar Allah" in al-Hajar al-Aswad along with Mohammad Sultan Hussein, Rizk Abu Aisha, Walid al-Akrami, Mohammad ahmad al-Jolani and Mohammad al-Louis.
The Army continues its National Duty in Aleppo and its countryside
Units of the armed forces today continued their national duty in clearing Aleppo and its countryside from the mercenary terrorists.
In Aleppo countryside, units of the army targeted gatherings of terrorists near al-Nour Association in Andan, around the playground in al-Mansoura, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
A source in the province told SANA that the army units also targeted dens of terrorists at al-Hadi Association in Kfar Dae'l and al-Jisr in Khan Toman, killing a number of terrorists and injuring many others.
Meanwhile, another army unit targeted gatherings of terrorists in the old city and al-Lermon, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
At al-Nakreen, a unit of the army was able to destroy a warehouse of weapons and munitions while another army unit targeted a gathering for terrorists behind Golden city Compound.
The Army Kills Scores of Terrorists in Deir Ezzor
Meanwhile, units of the Armed Forces killed scores of terrorists in al-Mreiy'ieh, al-Rushdiyeh and al-Jbeileh in Deir Ezzor province.
An official source told SANA reporter that an army unit clashed with an armed terrorist group in al-Mreiy'ieh, killing many of its members and injuring others.
The source added that terrorists Mohammad Yasin al-Mheisen and Loai al-Salem were identified among the dead.
In al-Rushdiyeh, a unit of the Armed Forces confronted terrorists who were committing acts of killing and looting in the area.
The clashes resulted in killing and injuring many of them, including terrorist Omar Suleiman al-Hamadi.
In a relevant context, an army unit targeted a gathering for terrorists in al-Hweiqa, killing and injuring many terrorists.
Terrorist Mohammad Ahmad al-Fad'am was identified among the dead.
Armed Forces Inflict Heavy Losses upon Terrorists In Idleb Countryside
Armed Forces unit carried out a series of operations in Idleb countryside, resulting in the destruction of terrorist bases and gatherings in the town of Bansh where a number of terrorists were killed and others were injured.
A number of terrorists were also eliminated in the town of Zardana, in addition to destroying a workshop for manufacturing homemade weapons in the town of Saraqeb and killing several terrorists who were in it.
Engineering units dismantled an explosive device weighing 100kg which terrorists had planted on the highway between Saraqeb and Ariha and rigged it for remote detonation.
Weapons Confiscated in Daraa Countryside
The authorities confiscated weapons from terrorists in the village of al-Masmiye in Daraa countryside, including assault rifles, PKC machineguns, 9 US-made shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, one LAW rocket, RPG launchers, and handguns.
The weapons were confiscated following a clash between the authorities and terrorists in the village which resulted in the killing of a number of terrorists including Jihad al-Ghazali, Jamal Ahmad Sayel al-Hasan, Anas Mohammad al-Jarad, and Mohammad Marouf Matar.
Meanwhile, the competent authorities today arrested a number of terrorists while storming one of their dens at al-Nazeheen camp in Daraa, seizing different kinds of weapons inside the den.
SANA reporter quoted a source in the province as saying that the seized weapons included 11 rifles and a machinegun.
German MPs of the lower house of parliament voted 461-86 on Friday, December 14, 2012, to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey along the Syrian border, Reuters reported.
'Ein Shemer Air Base - History's Twist: German Pilots Seek Jewish Help'
As World War Two raged in the years before Israel’s founding, colonial British planes were scrambled here to fend off German forces. Now the German Luftwaffe is back, preparing for a far more remote fight with the modern equipment and expertise of the Jewish state established after the Nazi Holocaust.
Worried by insurgent ambushes on its soldiers in Afghanistan and return fire that sometimes kills civilians or local allies, Germany last year ordered a small fleet of Israeli Heron spy drones designed to provide real-time images above a battlefield.
That has brought German jet pilots to coastal Ein Shemer air base for accelerated retraining on the unmanned propeller planes, already daubed with their flag and Iron Cross emblem.
“It’s for the need of the ground troops, for our own protection, like convoy protection,” said a Luftwaffe (airforce) major, who formerly flew a Tornado fighter-bomber on Afghan reconnaissance missions and could not be named due to military secrecy.
“In Afghanistan it’s really hard to compare the good guys from the bad guys. So you have to surveil them a long time.”
Israel is a pioneer of combat drones, having deployed them in Lebanon in the Palestinian territories. Heron’s manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), says it is also used by Canadian, French and Australian forces in Afghanistan.
Yet the fact Israeli know-how may now be saving German military lives offers up a unique historical irony lost on none.
The Defence Ministry in Berlin declined to allow the Luftwaffe trainees to be interviewed about such symbolism, but one of them described how they took time off to visit the central Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Dressed in civilian clothes while in Israel, trainees on an earlier course stood at attention for annual commemorations in April of the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide.
“As a Jew, I felt very proud at this specific moment,” said Tomer Koriat, deputy director of the IAI training programme, who praised the Germans’ mastery of the Heron within intensive courses lasting just three-and-a-half weeks.
“All of us have learned that today we are talking about another Germany than what we used to know ... A very, very good friend, if not the best friend of Israel today in the world.”
Germany has become a key ally of Israel despite Berlin’s criticism of its Palestinian policies.
While the United States regularly conducts drone air strikes in Afghanistan and on suspected insurgent bases in neighbouring Pakistan, its allies are generally limited to using the planes for unarmed surveillance.
This is especially true for Germany. Although it has the third-biggest NATO Afghan contingent—some 4,300 personnel—it often appears uncomfortable with being involved in hostilities while World War Two is still a living memory.
“We’re kept to ‘recce’ (reconnaissance) missions only. We’re the good guys,” joked another Luftwaffe major at Ein Shemer.
He recalled how, flying a Heron on a hunt for IAI staff posing as Taliban guerrillas in the surrounding cotton fields, the high-resolution camera spotted two boys in a fistfight. “I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so I just pulled away.”
Each Heron costs about $10 million, depending on the sophistication of its equipment and the ground control booth. In a boon for spartan Afghan crews, the drone is designed to land and take off automatically.
Israelis are barred by Afghanistan, so IAI ceded maintenance services to German partner firm Rheinmetall Defence.
The former Tornado pilot spoke wistfully of his time in the clouds but said being grounded to fly Herons is just as vital.
“All of the time you have to be really certain what you do, because it has a real effect,” he said. “It’s not like a computer game - ‘Game Over’.”
'Secretary General thanks Belgium for its contribution as a reliable Ally'
Brussels, 17 Dec. 2012
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen congratulated Belgium for its important role in NATO-led operations during a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo and Defence Minister Pieter De Crem.
"Your soldiers and trainers in Kabul and Kunduz do an outstanding job. Your jet fighters provide necessary air cover for ISAF troops in Kandahar, “ Mr Fogh Rasmusssen said. “Their work makes a valuable contribution to our goa, to make sure that Afghan troops and police can take full charge of their country’s security by the end of 2014. And due to their courage and dedication, we are making steady progress." The NATO Secretary General also thanked Belgium for its commitment to Afghanistan after 2014.
Mr Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Belgium’s recent decision to deploy fighter jets on a new four-month air policing mission over Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia next September. This is the third time that Belgium is taking up such a mission as part of an Allied rotation. The Secretary General stressed that overall, Belgium’s contributions are even more valuable as they are made in difficult economic times, when Allies have to spend more effectively together. He said that Belgium is playing an important role in multinational projects including NATO’s AWACS surveillance aircraft, and highlighted the country’s cooperation with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, calling it “Smart Defence in action.”
Mr Fogh Rasmussen thanked the Belgian Prime Minister for his country’s commitment to NATO and for its great hospitality for NATO’s Headquarters, present and future.
Photo: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Belgian Prime Minister, Mr. Elio Di Rupo jointly meet the press at the Lambermont building.
Belgian jihadists and weapons made in Belgium
Meanwhile, the Belgian State Security "has not confirmed" the rumor that Belgian jihadists are fighting in Syria. The newspapers 'Het Belang van Limburg' and 'Gazet van Antwerpen' argued the opposite: "The State Security confirmed the presence of Belgian terrorists in Syria". Originally the Flemish newspapers relied on a report by Reuters, dated July 31th 2012, citing statements from "several rebel commanders in the north-west Syria," according to which "Muslims in Great Britain, Belgium and the United States had joined the Free Syrian Army (SLA)". On July 13th, Reuters pointed out a flood "of thousands of assault rifles Belgian FN FAL was in the hands of the rebels". In its annual reports, the Belgian State Security explains how and why she follows people attracted by fighting abroad: there was attention for Iraq, then, from 2010, to the movement towards Pakistan-Afghanistan border area; Finally, most recently, to new locations: "If the Afghan-Pakistan area, more than Iraq, was still popular in 2010 with the majority of volunteers for jihad", the Belgian State Security wrote in his latest report, "some of them began to plot their way to Yemen, Somalia and the Caucasus". And Syria now? "Obviously. Where they are beaten, those who return and who actually participated in the fighting have gained knowledge on how to handle weapons, strategy and tactics of war," noted the Belgian State Security yesterday. "This is the central reason for the Belgian concern".
A list of the top 24 countries, among the more than three dozen that are currently involved in sending weapons to Syria to achieve a puppet government include: USA, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.
Nearly two-thirds of the above listed arms suppliers are members of NATO and constitute almost half of NATO’s 28 country membership.Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium.
Photo: Victims of NATO backed bomb-attacks in Syria