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Keyword: assad

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  • Netanyahu calls Putin, takes neutral stance on Ukraine

    04/17/2014 12:55:42 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 17 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 4/17/2014 | Herb Keinon
    Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu initiated a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss bilateral issues, Iran and Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement. ... Netanyahu does speak to Putin by phone from time to time, so Tuesday night's conversation - though not a regular occurence - is by no means unprecedented. Russia is a major player in three areas of major concern to Israel: Iran, Syria and arms sales to the Middle East. ... On Monday, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied a Haaretz report last week...
  • Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?

    04/16/2014 8:45:25 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 44 replies
    The Week ^ | 4/16/2014 | Michael Brendan Dougherty
    Russia and Israel seem to have a growing affinity for each other. A few weeks ago, Israel abstained from a vote in the UN censuring Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported [link at URL] that this is a sore spot for the White House and a diplomatic novum on the world scene. A senior Israeli official said that Israel's absence from the United Nations vote was viewed around the world as an extremely irregular measure, a departure from a long-standing Israeli policy of voting with the United States in the UN. While the Americans viewed...
  • Syria: US, Turkey, Israel behind chemical weapons attacks

    04/15/2014 7:33:58 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Yedioth Ahronoth ^ | 04.16.14, 01:06
    The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused the United States, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the rebels fighting to overthrow it, of being responsible for chemical weapons attacks in the country, Syria’s state news agency SANA reported on Tuesday. In letters to the UN Security Council as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Assad regime cited “reports, studies and documented researches” that allegedly implicate the US and Turkish administrations, as well as several other countries, “whether directly or indirectly in these appalling carnage in Syria, including Khad al-Assal on March 15, 2013.” …
  • Help For Ukraine Would Be Equal To Helping Syrian "Rebels" When Obama Waited Too Long

    04/11/2014 7:30:32 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 18 replies
    4/11/2014 | Laissez-Faire Capitalist
    Obama waited too long to help the Syrian FSA against the monstrous Assad regime. When some sort of intervention was talked about: (bombing, indirect support, arms, etc) it was TOO late to help, and it would most likely have helped (either directly or indirectly) terroristic elements and possibly Al Qaeda elements which had taken the lead in Syria against Assad. NO WAY ON DOING THAT. PERIOD. And, once again, it is too late to help the Ukrainians against the thug Putin. (strike one against helping them). And as long as the Ukrainian gov't hasn't ran Svoboda and Right Sector and...
  • Town by town, Assad regime retakes southwestern Syria

    04/09/2014 5:03:13 PM PDT · by PaulCruz2016 · 15 replies
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 04-08-2014 | Nicholas Blanford
    Hezbollah and the Syrian Army's five-month campaign to clear rebels from the strategic Qalamoun region is approaching its final stand. The allies have seized one village and town after the other, gradually moving southward through the corridor between Damascus and Homs which links the Syrian capital to the Mediterranean coast. According to Syrian state media, Syrian troops and Hezbollah fighters are set to launch an offensive against Rankous in central Qalamoun after seizing high ground overlooking the town and encircling it. Once Rankous is seized, only a tract of mountainous terrain stands in the way of the regime's final objective:...
  • Syrian Rocket Hits Turkish Mosque

    03/31/2014 7:43:56 AM PDT · by Fennie · 24 replies
    Hurriyet ^ | March 31, 2014
    A rocket hit a mosque near Turkey's border with Syria on March 31, injuring a Syrian woman, Dogan News Agency has reported. The incident took place at around 2 p.m. in the Yayladagi district of Hatay, a Turkish province on the border with Syria, when clashes between Syrian regime forces and the Free Syrian Army had intensified.
  • Israel bombs Syrian posts over Golan attack on its troops

    03/19/2014 1:02:02 AM PDT · by blueplum · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | March 19, 2014 1:55am EDT | Dan Williams, Maayan Lubell contributing
    JERUSALEM - Israel attacked several Syrian military sites on Wednesday in retaliation for a roadside bombing that wounded four of its troops on the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, the Israeli military said. It said targets included a Syrian military headquarters, a training facility and artillery batteries. :snip: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement that the Syrian army had aided and abetted Tuesday's attack. "We hold the Assad regime responsible for what happens in its territory and if it continues to collaborate with terrorists striving to hurt Israel then we will keep on exacting a heavy price...
  • On third anniversary of Syrian rebellion, Assad is steadily winning the war

    03/14/2014 5:56:46 PM PDT · by PaulCruz2016 · 8 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 03-14-2014 | Liz Sly
    BEIRUT — Three years into the revolt against his rule, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in a stronger position than ever before to quell the rebellion against his rule by Syrians who rose up to challenge his hold on power, first with peaceful protests and later with arms. Aided by the steadfast support of his allies and the deepening disarray of his foes, Assad is pressing ahead with plans to be reelected to a third seven-year term this summer while sustaining intense military pressure intended to crush his opponents. The strategy is not new, but in recent months it has...
  • Al Qaeda hijacks spirit of Syria revolt three years on

    03/12/2014 6:03:18 AM PDT · by mac_truck · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 3/11/2014 | Samia Nakhoul
    KILLIS, ON THE TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER - Syrian refugees in this border outpost were delighted to hear their home town of Azaz had been liberated - not from Bashar al-Assad's troops but from al Qaeda fighters who subjected them to a regime that included torture and public beheadings. For Syrians who three years ago rose up against 43 years of Assad family rule, living under the hard-line Sunni jihadists who said they had come to save them from the president's atrocities was even worse than Assad himself. While neither Assad nor the rebels have the upper hand, there is a growing...
  • Syria: Army advancing on rebel town near Lebanon

    03/04/2014 2:34:48 AM PST · by PaulCruz2016 · 2 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | 03-04-2014 | Associated Press
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian state media say government forces are advancing in battle and tightening their grip on the last rebel stronghold near the border with Lebanon. The SANA news agency said on Tuesday that troops have made significant gains in the battle for the opposition-held town of Yabroud. It cites a field commander in the mountainous Qalamoun region along Syria's border with Lebanon who says President Bashar Assad's forces captured several hills and strategic positions on the town's outskirts. Backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, Syrian troops have been on the offensive in Qalamoun since December, trying to sever a...
  • Kerry tells Capitol Hill that Obama’s Syria policies have failed

    02/03/2014 1:09:13 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 34 replies
    Hotair ^ | 02/03/2014 | Ed Morrissey
    Josh Rogin gets this bombshell from two of the Senators in the closed-door meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, who briefed them and thirteen other members of Congress on progress in Syria. In short, it doesn’t exist. The chemical-weapons inspection regime set up by Russia to protect Bashar al-Assad is nothing short of a joke, and the peace talks are going exactly where everyone else knew they would … nowhere. Kerry told his former colleagues that he has lost faith in Obama’s policies, and now the US must intervene to stop Syria from being taken over by radical Sunni...
  • Is the Assad Regime in League with al-Qaeda? [Team Obama Tries New Line]

    01/31/2014 9:57:23 AM PST · by SoFloFreeper · 9 replies
    Time ^ | 1/27/14 | Aryn Baker
    For months, anti-regime activist claims that the Syrian government has cultivated a beneficial relationship with al-Qaeda groups in order to undermine the opposition have fallen on deaf ears. After all, the idea that Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has staked his leadership platform on a campaign against “terrorists”—his term for all anti-government fighters and supporters—would engage with the most radical of all rebel groups, reeks of conspiracy theories. Yet an emerging consensus among analysts and Western diplomats reveals that there might be some truth to the accusations after all. The opposition is now hoping that a shift in the current...
  • US secretly backs rebels to fight al Qaeda in Syria

    01/21/2014 12:44:45 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8:20PM GMT 21 Jan 2014 | Ruth Sherlock
    The United States and Gulf countries have been secretly backing efforts by opposition rebels to destroy al-Qaeda’s most extreme wing in Syria, diplomats and rebels involved in the plan have told The Telegraph. As Western leaders publicly push the Syrian regime and the opposition to the Geneva II peace conference that begins Wednesday Washington has also been quietly supporting moves by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to give weapons and cash to rebel groups to fight al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) in Syria. One source said the US was itself handing out millions of dollars to rebel groups...
  • Report details 'industrial' killing of 11,000 in Assad jails

    01/21/2014 9:50:06 AM PST · by nuconvert · 52 replies
    A Syrian military police photographer has supplied "clear evidence" showing the systematic torture and killing of about 11,000 detainees in circumstances that evoked Nazi death camps, former war crimes prosecutors said. Syrian officials could face war crimes charges as a result of the evidence provided by the photographer, who has defected, the three prosecutors said.
  • Exclusive: Russia steps up military lifeline to Syria's Assad - sources

    01/18/2014 2:22:34 AM PST · by cunning_fish · 27 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo! ^ | Jonathan Saul
    LONDON (Reuters) - In recent weeks Russia has stepped up supplies of military gear to Syria, including armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs, boosting President Bashar al-Assad just as rebel infighting has weakened the insurgency against him, sources with knowledge of the deliveries say. Moscow, which is trying to raise its diplomatic and economic influence in the Middle East, has been a major provider of conventional weapons to Syria, giving Assad crucial support during the three-year civil war and blocking wider Western attempts to punish him with sanctions for the use of force against civilians. The new Russian supplies come...
  • Syria's Assad slams Saudi ideology as 'threat to world'

    01/16/2014 7:04:26 AM PST · by mac_truck · 45 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 1/15/2014 | AFP
    Damascus (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned during a meeting in Damascus on Wednesday with Iran's foreign minister that Saudi Arabia's political and religious ideology is "a threat to the world," state television reported. He was referring to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim tradition which is predominant in Saudi Arabia, a key backer of Syria's revolt against Assad. "President Assad warns during his meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of the threat posed by Wahhabi thinking to all the world, not just to the region," the report said. "The Syrian people and some peoples in the region...
  • Bad luck: Same family killed in Syria by Assad and by IDF bombing in Gaza

    01/01/2014 6:39:56 PM PST · by Nachum · 19 replies
    Jihad Watch ^ | 1/1/14 | Robert Spencer
     But if you doubt the atrocity tales that Islamic supremacists tell, you're a greasy Islamophobe, a genocide denier, and worse.
  • Livnat tells Arab MKs, 'you think we're not enlightened? Go to Assad'

    12/24/2013 6:08:27 PM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 6 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 24/12/13 | Lahav Harkov
    Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat caused an uproar among Arab MKs late Monday night, saying they have more freedom in Israel than anywhere else. During a plenum discussion ahead of the first vote on an amendment to the Film Law, which sets the Culture and Sport Ministry’s budget for movies at NIS 79.5 million, a debate arose on the kinds of films the government should fund. “The job of cinema is to be provocative. There should not be a connection between art and politics,” MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said, adding that “the Right and culture have no connection.” Video...
  • Assad win may be Syria's 'best option'

    12/17/2013 11:24:58 PM PST · by cunning_fish · 9 replies
    AFP via Yahoo! ^ | December 12, 2013 9:44 PM
    Washington (AFP) - The sectarian bloodbath in Syria is such a threat to regional security that a victory for Bashar al-Assad's regime could be the best outcome to hope for, a former CIA chief said. Washington condemned Assad's conduct of the conflict, threatened air strikes after he was accused of targeting civilians with chemical weapons and has demanded he step down. The United States is also supplying millions of dollars in "non-lethal" aid to some of the rebel groups fighting Assad's rule. But Michael Hayden, the retired US Air Force general who until 2009 was head of the Central Intelligence...
  • UN inspectors confirm Syria chemical attack

    12/12/2013 11:48:11 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec. 13, 2013 2:33 AM EST | Edith M. Lederer
    Chemical weapons were probably used in four locations in Syria this year, in addition to the confirmed attack near Damascus in August that forced the government to abandon its secret chemical stockpile, U.N. inspectors have said. In a report released Thursday, the experts, led by Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom, examined seven alleged chemical weapons attacks and said it lacked information to corroborate the allegations at two locations. The inspectors’ limited mandate barred them from identifying whether the government or opposition fighters were responsible for any of the attacks. Thursday’s report said evidence indicated chemical weapons were probably used in Khan...
  • America as the Protector of Putin, Assad, and Khamenei

    11/27/2013 8:12:08 AM PST · by SeekAndFind
    American Thinker ^ | 11/27/2013 | Shoshana Bryen
    When protests broke out in Syria in late 2011, Russia hoped for a short, nasty war as a matter of Russian national interest -- just enough to put the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted Sunnis in their place. Violence from its own Sunni Muslim population has plagued Russia for decades. Saudi Arabia took over the defeated nationalist Chechen rebellion in the late 1990s, infusing it with money and Islamist overtones, prompting the second Chechen war. More recently, there has been open fighting and rioting in Moscow between Muslims and Slavs. Iran counted on a short war as well -- something to...
  • What Does Nuclear Deal Mean for Iran's Role in Syria?

    11/24/2013 10:24:47 PM PST · by Kennard · 10 replies
    Voice of America ^ | November 25, 2013 | Scott Stearns
    LONDON — Could the nuclear deal with Iran help ease the way toward peace talks on ending Syria's civil war? Immediately after the accord with Iran was finalized, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague set to work to prepare a political transition to stop the fighting in Syria. Iran is the principal backer of Syrian military strikes against government opponents and has made clear its intention to carry that influence to planned peace talks in Geneva. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says there is no excluding Tehran. "Without any doubt, the Islamic Republic...
  • Syrian Hackers Claim Twitter And Facebook Accounts Of Obama

    10/29/2013 4:16:15 AM PDT · by Madison Andrew · 11 replies
    Syrian Electronic Army, the hacker group of Syria that supports the Assad regime has undertaken responsibility for hacking the link of Obama’s campaign on Monday. The group said that it redirected the shortened service links of Twitter and Facebook accounts of the President to one among the propaganda videos of the group. This admission from the Syrian group arrives just a day before Obama hosts a discussion about cyber security with top notch CEOs who belong to various sectors such as Information Technology, defenseand energy. Syrian Hackers Claim Twitter And Facebook Accounts Of Obama
  • Bashar al-Assad: The Nobel Peace Prize should have been mine

    10/15/2013 8:55:59 AM PDT · by honestabe010 · 9 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 14 Oct 2013 | Ruth Sherlock
    Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, has joked that he deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize after it was awarded to the international weapons watchdog currently destroying his regime's massive chemical arsenal. The prize, which was given to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Friday, "should have been mine," he said. The remark, which the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar quoted, was made "jokingly" during a recent meeting with visitors at the presidential palace, the newspaper said. However, it might be viewed as inappropriate when uttered by a president whose civil war has already cost more than...
  • Assad: We could blind Israel in an instant

    09/26/2013 8:43:38 PM PDT · by barmag25 · 22 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | 9/26/13 | By YASSER OKBI, THE POST CORRESPONDENT
    “We now possess deterrent weapons that are more important and more sophisticated than chemical weapons,” Syrian President Bashar Assad told visitors to his palace in Damascus on Thursday. He emphasized that he had no need for chemical weapons. According to the report, which was carried by Hezbollah’s paper Al-Akhbar, Assad said this was because the situation in Syria “has never been better,” as “we created chemical weapons in the ’80s as a deterrent against Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Today, it is no longer a weapon of deterrence. We have weapons that are more important and more sophisticated to challenge Israel, which...
  • Assad: We have weapons that could blindside Israel

    09/26/2013 8:35:48 AM PDT · by Former Fetus · 28 replies
    Syria has deterrent weapons, more advanced than anything in its chemical arsenal, that could blindside Israel in mere moments, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed Thursday. “Originally, we produced chemical weapons in the 1980s as a deterrent to Israel’s nuclear capabilities,” Assad said in an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated, Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar newspaper, adding that “today, we have weapons that are far more important and sophisticated and that can blindside Israel in the blink of an eye.” The Syrian president also charged that the West was not really concerned with stripping Syria of its weapons stockpile in order to safeguard the country’s...
  • FSA MANPADS Down Assad SU-22: Civvy Airliner Some Day?

    09/25/2013 7:11:30 PM PDT · by gaijin · 20 replies
    Syria Baynetna ^ | 9/25/2013 | me
    Five minute handycam videos show crash of apparent SU-22 amidst AAA and surface to air missile fire. Presumably taken by FSA rebels, video clip collection shows six different views of the same event. First clip is totally inconclusive, however subsequent clips in the collection suggest the most likely cause was a successful MANPADS hit. Fire is visible from the aircraft tailcone as the strike aircraft arcs through the sky and strikes the ground in a huge ball of smoke, with no pilot ejection discernible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja9divCVW94 After the success of Reagan's post-Lockerbie Libyan air raids Gaddaffi went on a years-long...
  • MUSLIM TROPHY IN SYRIA: LIFELESS BODY OF DECAPITATED CHRISTIAN CHILD

    09/22/2013 7:22:31 AM PDT · by FR_addict · 150 replies
    LiveLeak ^ | Sept. 18,2013 | LiveLeak
    A young Christian girl beheaded in Syria. The sign of extremism and fanatics, the long beards, is present in each and everyone of these subhuman Muslims who killed this small child, in their jihad to Allah – inspired by the Quran. This is Obama, Britain, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey funded and supported handiwork. Don’t put your support behind any of these people, whether for military action in Syria, asylum, immigration, another hate preaching mosque. This is what is moving into your town, your country, your society, your neighborhood: video... This video is written with false propaganda claiming...
  • Rebel-on-Rebel Violence Seizes Syria

    09/20/2013 9:24:19 AM PDT · by mojito · 29 replies
    WSJ ^ | 9/18/2013 | Nour Malas
    An al Qaeda spinoff operating near Aleppo, Syria's largest city, last week began a new battle campaign it dubbed "Expunging Filth." The target wasn't their avowed enemy, the Syrian government. Instead, it was their nominal ally, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army. A band of fanatical al Qaeda rebels are turning their guns on more secular rebels in an attempt to turn the struggle in Syria into a holy war. Across northern and eastern Syria, units of the jihadist group known as ISIS are seizing territory—on the battlefield and behind the front lines—from Western-backed rebels. Some FSA fighters now consider the...
  • Pentagon Proposes Boots On The Ground In Syrian Civil War (CNN video at link

    09/19/2013 7:27:20 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 47 replies
    FireDogLake ^ | 9/19/2013 | DSWright
    Despite it being overwhelmingly clear that the American people want nothing to do with the civil war in Syria, the Pentagon has proposed entering the war. Under the proposal U.S. involvement will escalate from providing weapons to rebels via the CIA to direct support and training of rebel forces by the U.S. military. ...
  • One Hour Fox news Interview with Assad on NOW.

    09/18/2013 3:36:47 PM PDT · by Recovering Ex-hippie · 169 replies
    FOX NEWS
    INTERVIEW WITH ASSAD ON FOX NOW...WITH KUCINICH AND A FOX REPORTER....NO LIMIT ON QUESTIONS. aSSAD SPEKING IN ENGLISH..fOX PANEL TO FOLLOW
  • Syria deal shines light on suspected Israeli chemical weapons program

    09/17/2013 9:01:14 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 10 replies
    Fox News ^ | 9/16/2013 | Staff
    The U.S-Russia plan to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons is drawing attention to Israel's own suspected chemical stockpile and could raise pressure on the Jewish state to come clean about its capabilities. Israel signed the landmark international treaty banning the production or use of chemical weapons two decades ago, but it is among a handful if nations that have never ratified the deal. ...
  • In public shift, Israel calls for Assad's fall

    09/17/2013 8:50:27 AM PDT · by elhombrelibre · 130 replies
    Reuters ^ | 17 Sep 13 | Dan Williams
    Israel wants to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad toppled, its ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday, in a shift from its non-committal public stance on its neighbor's civil war. Even Assad's defeat by al Qaeda-aligned rebels would be preferable to Damascus's current alliance with Israel's arch-foe Iran, Ambassador Michael Oren said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post. His comments marked a move in Israel's public position on Syria's two-and-1/2-year-old war.
  • Half of Syrian rebels are hardline Islamists: British study

    09/15/2013 9:58:45 PM PDT · by DTA · 10 replies
    France24 ^ | 2013-09-16 | AFP
    Half of Syrian rebels are hardline Islamists: British study AFP - Jihadists and members of hardline Islamist groups make up almost half of forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to extracts from a British defence study published in Monday's Daily Telegraph. The analysis by defence consultancy IHS Jane's, due to be published in full later this week, puts the number of rebel forces at around 100,000, the Telegraph reported. But these fighters have split into as many as 1,000 bands since violence flared two years ago, the study concluded. Of the rebel forces, IHS Jane's estimates that around...
  • Putin’s Russia now a force in the Middle East

    09/16/2013 6:05:20 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 23 replies
    jpost.com ^ | Sept 16, 2013 | By ISI LEIBLER
    Israel must now persuade Russia, to draw the line at providing weapons to its allies that would undermine Israel’s security. President Barack Obama’s abysmal failure to provide leadership during the Syrian crisis represents a turning point in the Middle East and has paved the way for President Vladimir Putin’s Russia to emerge as the dominant regional force, a position it had surrendered after the breakup of the Soviet Union. To avert abject humiliation, Obama has absurdly spun the situation into a victory achieved by the American threat of military force. Instead, it was Putin who played the role of international...
  • Is Assad hiding his chemical weapons outside Syria?

    09/16/2013 3:48:48 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 17 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 9-16-13 | Mark Duell
    Full title: Is Assad hiding his chemical weapons outside Syria? Rebel leader claims stockpiles have been moved to Lebanon and Iraq to prevent detection Syrian president Bashar Assad is hiding his chemical weapons outside the country to prevent the deadly arsenal being destroyed, a rebel leader has claimed. The dictator has been accused of moving his stockpiles across the border to Lebanon and Iraq to evade a possible inspection. His forces were said to have acted after the US and Russia agreed to secure and eliminate the weapons – a deal hailed by Assad’s regime as a ‘victory’. General Salim...
  • Poker-face Putin holds all the cards

    09/15/2013 9:43:24 AM PDT · by mojito · 5 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 9/14/2013 | Janet Daley
    ...So this was always the plan, plotted three moves ahead by the clever American president, who was only pretending to be indecisive, quixotic and out of his depth. By sort-of threatening military intervention and then appearing to back down at the last minute, the US was not dithering or tripping over its own feet on the world stage. Oh no. It was creating the necessary conditions for Bashar al-Assad and his Russian mentors to come to the table and begin the process of submitting themselves to international standards on chemical weapons. Of course, if we pursue the chess analogy, then...
  • Report: Syria transported chemical weapons to Iraq

    09/15/2013 9:02:56 AM PDT · by Seizethecarp · 16 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | September 15, 2013 | JPOST.COM STAFF
    Lebanese daily says 20 trucks crossed into Iraq last week, bearing equipment and material used for manufacturing chemical weapons. Syria has moved 20 trucks worth of equipment and material used for the manufacturing of chemical weapons into neighboring Iraq, the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported on Sunday. The newspaper reported that the trucks crossed the boundary separating Syria with Iraq over the course of Thursday and Friday. Border guards did not inspect the contents of the trucks, which raises suspicions that they contained illicit cargo, according to Al-Mustaqbal.
  • Assad's forces on attack after U.S.-Russia arms deal

    09/15/2013 7:55:35 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 53 replies
    Syrian warplanes and artillery bombarded rebel suburbs of the capital on Sunday after the United States agreed to call off military action in a deal with Russia to remove President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons.
  • Beheaded in front of children, Assad's thugs are dragged to their doom and butchered like animals

    09/14/2013 5:11:50 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 80 replies
    Daily Mail UK ^ | 9/13/13 | Nick Enoch
    ...Warning; Graphic content A Syrian boy is held by the hand as he walks past the body of a beheaded Islamic militant loyal to Assad. An unnamed photojournalist was given rare access to the public execution in the town of Keferghen in the north of the country. @LeJournal/SIPA/Rex Features ... A group of young children sit on a wall as they stare at the dead body. The severed head of a militant is held aloft. The photographer witnessed four executions on August 31. @LeJournal/SIPA/Rex Features
  • Canada’s FM: Syria should not be given time

    09/14/2013 8:51:32 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 14, 2013 6:52 AM EDT
    Canada’s foreign minister John Baird is calling Syria’s offer to begin providing information on its chemical arsenal 30 days after it signs an international convention banning such weapons “ridiculous and absurd.” Baird said Syrian President Bashar Assad could not be given extra time. Baird said: “This is a man who up until a week ago denied that they had any such weapons.” …
  • McCain: US inaction put Hollande in ‘unfair position’ (McQaeda interview w/France24)

    09/14/2013 8:46:35 AM PDT · by csvset · 14 replies
    France24 ^ | 14/09/2013 | AFP
    In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, US Senator John McCain acknowledged François Hollande’s support on Syria and noted that US inaction had put the French president in an “unfair political position”. US Senator John McCain has said he was worried US inaction had hurt the Syrian rebels’ campaign against President Bashar al-Assad and had put Washington’s allies, such as French President François Hollande, in an “unfair political position”. In an interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, McCain said he feared the recent international focus on chemical weapons had given Assad an advantage in his use of conventional...
  • U.S. Won’t Insist U.N. Resolution Threaten Force on Syria, Officials Say

    09/13/2013 2:58:28 PM PDT · by sunmars · 53 replies
    WASHINGTON — President Obama will not insist on a United Nations resolution threatening to use force to ensure that Syria lives up to its commitment to turn over chemical weapons, but will seek other tangible consequences for Syria if it does not comply, senior administration officials said Friday. Although Mr. Obama reserves the right to order a punitive military strike on his own without United Nations backing if Syria reneges, the officials said he understood that Russia, because of its veto power in the Security Council, would never allow a resolution that authorized such a use of force. France, which...
  • Assad says US must stop military threats, and Israel must sign WMD treaties

    09/13/2013 10:22:38 AM PDT · by Former Fetus · 17 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | 9/12/2013 | TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
    Syria’s President Bashar Assad on Thursday demanded that Israel ratify international treaties on non-proliferation of nonconventional weapons, and that the US promise not to attack his regime, as he set conditions for a negotiated resolution of the crisis over his chemical weapon. Assad said he would submit data on his country’s chemical weapons stockpile a month after signing an international convention banning the arms, adding that it was Russia, and not the US, that was making a negotiated solution possible. His comments were believed to mark Assad’s first formal acknowledgement that he has chemical weapons. Calling a month wait the...
  • Syria chemical weapons sites being dispersed to avoid detection, report says

    09/13/2013 9:01:34 AM PDT · by mojito · 8 replies
    JPost ^ | 9/13/2013 | Unattributed
    An elite Syrian unit that runs the government's chemical arms program has been scattering the weapons to dozens of sites across the country, potentially complicating US plans for air strikes, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing unnamed US officials and lawmakers briefed on the intelligence, said on its website on Thursday that a secretive military group known as Unit 450 had been moving the stocks around for months to help avoid detection of the weapons. US and Israeli intelligence agencies and Middle Eastern officials still believe they know the location of most of the government's chemical weapons supply,...
  • Syrian Rebels Attack Chinese Diplomats, Embassy

    09/12/2013 8:33:15 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 29 replies
    The Diplomat ^ | 9/13/13 | Staff
    Chinese diplomats in Syria as well as Beijing's embassy are under regular threat from rebel attacks, China's ambassador to Syria has confided to local media outlets. In an interview with the Global Times [ link at site], Zhang Xun, China's ambassador to Syria said that Beijing's embassy has increasingly been caught in the cross-hairs of fighting between rebel and government forces in recent months... Zhang said that in another attack last month, Syrian rebels fired mortar shells at President Bashar al-Assad's motorcade. They missed the Syrian leader but hit a building that was located just 10 meters from the Chinese...
  • Assad: We’ll start handing over our chemical weapons when the U.S. stops arming Syria’s rebels

    09/12/2013 3:58:35 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 32 replies
    Hot Air ^ | September 12, 2013 | Allahpundit
    I … don’t remember this being part of the offer. Obama had better run it past Putin right away to see how he wants the U.S. to respond. Syria will fulfil an initiative to hand over its chemical weapons only when the United States stops threatening to strike Syria, RIA news agency quoted President Bashar al-Assad as saying in a television interview… “When we see the United States really wants stability in our region and stops threatening, striving to attack, and also ceases arms deliveries to terrorists, then we will believe that the necessary processes can be finalized,” he was...
  • Assad Demands End to U.S. 'Threats'

    09/12/2013 3:07:11 PM PDT · by lbryce · 19 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | September 12, 2013 | JAY SOLOMON in Geneva and GREGORY L. WHITE
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insisted that the U.S. give up its "policy of threats" and halt arms shipments to rebels before his government turns over its chemical weapons, as U.S. and Russian delegations began talks in Geneva aimed at forging a road map for the shutdown of the weapons program. Mr. Assad's comments, in his first public statement on the Russian proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to an international monitors, underlined the distance between Syria and its backers in Moscow on one side and the U.S. and its allies on the other. Before starting their discussions, Secretary...
  • Assad Sets Conditions on Relinquishing Chemical Arms (US quit supporting Al Qaeda)

    09/12/2013 1:18:52 PM PDT · by markomalley · 9 replies
    National Journal ^ | 9/12/2013
    Syrian President Bashar Assad said his nation would give up its chemical arms only if the United States ends any weapons deliveries to opposition forces and ceases its "threatening" behavior. The Damascus leader made the remarks in a Russian television interview quoted on Thursday by the Washington Post. "When we see the United States really wants stability in our region and stops threatening, striving to attack, and also ceases arms deliveries to terrorists, then we will believe that the necessary processes can be finalized,” Assad reportedly told Rossiya-24 television. He said Damascus would start disclosing details about its chemical assets...
  • Assad moving chem weapons to Iraq and Lebanon, Syria opposition Gen. Salim Idriss claims to Amanpour

    09/12/2013 1:22:32 PM PDT · by CMB_polarization · 38 replies
    CNN blog ^ | September 12th, 2013
    The head of the opposition Free Syria Army, General Salim Idriss, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that he has intelligence that the Assad regime is moving its chemical weapons out of the country. “Today we have information that the regime began to move chemical materials and chemical weapons to Lebanon and to Iraq,” General Idriss told Amanpour from inside Syria. It’s a huge claim that would fundamentally shift everything U.S. intelligence officials have in the past said they believe about the situation in Syria, CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reports.