Keyword: assad

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  • Obama Throws Fidel a Rope

    12/20/2014 5:04:48 PM PST · by ObamahatesPACoal · 12 replies
    Townhall ^ | Pat Buchanan
    The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro's Cuba. In JFK's metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit. We got back Alan Gross before his Communist jailers killed him, along with an American spy, in exchange for three members of a Cuban espionage ring. Had we left it at that, the deal would have been fine. But Obama threw in an admission that all nine presidents before him pursued a "failed policy." Calling for recognition of the Castro regime as the legitimate government...
  • The Syrian Army Is Shrinking, And Assad Is Running Out Of Soldiers

    12/19/2014 3:07:26 PM PST · by Viennacon · 21 replies
    IBT ^ | 12/17/2014 | Alessandria Masi
    When the U.S. launched an airstrike campaign in Syria to “degrade and destroy” the so-called Islamic State, some were concerned that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad would indirectly benefit from the destruction rained down on its enemies by America and its allies. Now, nearly three months later, Assad is desperate for manpower to maintain control in areas where pro-regime support is dwindling. U.S. airstrikes, concentrated in areas with a heavy Islamic State presence, have allowed Assad to reallocate some resources, but his army is facing a huge problem: It's running out of soldiers. Ground forces have shrunk from...
  • Iraq: Exclusive Photos Show Al-Hanooti's Political Clout

    03/28/2008 10:26:14 AM PDT · by llevrok · 13 replies · 619+ views
    Investigative Project on Terrorism ^ | 3/27/08 | Steven Emerson
    Before he was alleged to have become a spy for Saddam Hussein's regime, Muthanna Al-Hanooti's charity work and political activism provided him with access to the highest echelons of government. Newsletters collected by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, some published now for the first time, show Al-Hanooti photographed with dignitaries ranging from First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1996 and Vice President Al Gore along with significant members of Congress. That may explain why Iraqi intelligence agents had confidence that Al-Hanooti would be able to persuade Congress to lift economic sanctions against Iraq. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses him of...
  • U.S. strategy against Islamic State hits major hurdles

    11/02/2014 7:13:46 AM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 30 October 2014
    The Obama administration's plan to raise a 15,000-strong rebel army in Syria has run into steep political and military obstacles, raising doubts about a key element of the White House strategy for defeating Islamic State militants in the midst of a civil war.. Pentagon concerns have grown so sharp that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a two-page memo to the White House last week warning that the overall plan could collapse because U.S. intentions toward Syrian President Bashar Assad are unclear, according to a senior defense official who read the memo but was not authorized to speak publicly. At a...
  • U.S. Concludes Syria Helped Finance Sunni Insurgence

    11/20/2004 3:52:31 PM PST · by xzins · 21 replies · 817+ views
    AINA ^ | 20 Nov 04
    The United States has concluded that Syria helped finance the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Officials said the regime of President Bashar Assad used the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria to relay hundreds of millions of dollars to Saddam Hussein loyalists in Iraq. They said the money has been deployed to finance the insurgency against the U.S.-led coalition primarily in Iraq's Sunni Triangle. The Commercial Bank of Syria held more than $1 billion in Saddam regime accounts on the eve of the U.S.-led war in Iraq in March 2003, officials said. Most of that money stemmed from Iraqi arms and...
  • Whose sarin? (Obama exposed for Syria false-flag)

    12/18/2013 9:23:22 AM PST · by Abiotic · 42 replies
    London Review of Books ^ | 19 December 2013 | Seymour Hersh
    Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the...
  • Purely military action in Syria could fuel extremism: U.N.

    10/21/2014 5:32:06 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:23pm EDT | Michelle Nichols
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday that using only military means to fight the threat of Islamic State in Syria could radicalize more Sunni armed groups and spark greater violence. “Our long-term strategic objective in Syria remains a political solution,” Ban told the U.N. Security Council. The United Nations is spearheading efforts to end a civil war sparked by President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests more than three years ago. “A purely military response to the vicious new threat posed by (Islamic State) could ultimately contribute to the radicalization of other Sunni armed groups and spark a...
  • Surprise: ‘Disarmed’ Assad regime has been hiding chemical weapons facilities

    10/08/2014 1:44:29 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    Hotair ^ | 10/08/2014 | Guy Benson
    A quick update on the largely forgotten half of President Obama’s shambolic Syria policy. You’ll recall, of course, the blown chemical weapons “red line” and the subsequent, humiliating Putin/Assad plan that accidentally became US policy due after John Kerry blundered into it. Kerry has since admitted that the entire proposition has collapsed, forcing the White House to publicly disagree with its own Secretary of State. Nevertheless, a loyal band of administration lackeys triumphantly cheered news of Syria’s alleged disarmament when it broke over the summer, after several missed deadlines. ‘No Drama Obama’ had done it again, they crowed, achieving...
  • To Defeat Islamic State, Remove Assad

    10/06/2014 9:15:58 PM PDT · by Bettyprob · 62 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 10-06-2014 | John McCain and Lindsey Graham
    Syrians are already asking why we’re bombing ISIS but not stopping Assad’s attacks on them. Good question. The airstrikes and other actions President Obama is taking against Islamic State deserve bipartisan support. They are beginning to degrade the terrorist group, also known as ISIS, but will not destroy it, for one reason above all: The administration still has no effective policy to remove Bashar Assad from power and end the conflict in Syria. Administration officials have called their approach “ISIS first.” As for Mr. Assad, in the words of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the administration will...
  • Biden continues to apologize; first Turkey, now UAE

    10/06/2014 2:05:31 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 7 replies
    McClatchy ^ | 10/06/14 | Roy Gutman
    “The Saudis, the Emiratis; what were they doing?” he said. “They were so determined to take down (Syrian President Bashar) Assad and have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were (Jabhat) al Nusra and al Qaida, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world."
  • Syria troops threaten rebel supply route to Aleppo: monitor

    10/03/2014 9:24:53 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 2 replies
    AFP/Yahoo ^ | 6 Hours ago
    Beirut (AFP) - Syrian troops have seized a village just north of Aleppo that could allow them to cut off a supply line to rebel-held districts of the country's second city, a monitoring group said Friday. ... But the Observatory said rebels had sent reinforcements to Handarat, and that fierce clashes had broken out for control of a hill by the same name that overlooks the main supply route from Turkey into Aleppo. Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Observatory, said 28 rebels had been killed and 16 on the government side, and that fighting continued into the evening.
  • Free Syrian Army Filmmaker Says Rebels ‘Laughing’ at U.S. Plan, ‘Don’t Take This Seriously’

    09/24/2014 5:26:05 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 27 replies
    The National Review's The Corner ^ | September 23, 2014 | Brendan Bordelon
    (VIDEO-AT-LINK)A documentary filmmaker who spent time with the Free Syrian Army said that moderate rebels are “laughing” at President Obama’s plan to arm them against the Islamic State, claiming they simply “don’t take this seriously.” Matthew VanDyke, an American filmmaker and a friend of executed journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, spoke with Fox News’s Shepard Smith about the White House’s plan to arm and train thousands of rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, a more moderate rebel group that’s friendly with the West, in order to encourage them to fight the Islamic State. VanDyke warned that removing the...
  • America gave advance warning to Iran that it'd bomb ISIS in Syria & they'd not target Assad's regime

    09/24/2014 4:21:58 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 2 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | September 24, 2014 | John Hall
    The U.S. told Iran of its plans to strike ISIS militants inside Syria in order to reassure them that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be targetted, a senior Iranian official has claimed. The communication, confirmed in part by a senior U.S. State Department official, appears to signal a cooling in hostilities between the U.S. and Iran for the first time since a 1979 hostage crisis prompted Washington to sever ties with Tehran. Iran is said to have voiced concerns for the safety of Assad, who remains the Shia Islam-dominated nation's closest regional ally and the recipient of Iranian military...
  • Syrian rebels angry that airstrikes hit Khorasan but not Bashar Assad

    09/23/2014 9:33:16 PM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 33 replies
    Stars and Stripes ^ | Sept 23, 2014 | Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee
    <p>REYHANLI, Turkey — Anti-government media activists and rebel commanders gave a mixed assessment of U.S.-led airstrikes in northern Syria on Tuesday, saying that some of the Islamic State encampments hit had been evacuated and one building that was struck had been filled with displaced civilians, even as at least one major Islamic State base was seriously damaged and many fighters were killed.</p>
  • Assad backs efforts to fight terrorism

    09/23/2014 9:46:11 AM PDT · by Navy Patriot · 8 replies
    The Modesto Bee ^ | September 23, 2014 | ALBERT AJI and BASSEM MROUE
    DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday he supports any international effort against terrorism, apparently trying to position his government on the side of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group. Damascus said the U.S. informed it beforehand that the strikes were coming.SnipThe United States has ruled out any coordination with Assad's government.
  • U.S. actually had Assad’s cooperation during strikes on targets in Syria

    09/23/2014 8:40:23 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/23/2014 | Noah Rothman
    “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside,” Barack Obama said in a written statement in August, 2011. The statement came following reports that indicated Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was involved in a bloody crackdown on protesters who rose up amid the Arab Spring revolutions. Two years later, Obama was marshalling support for air strikes against forces loyal to Assad. Though the administration had ruled out “regime change” through military force, toppling Assad was the goal nevertheless. The United States was responding to the clear evidence that Damascus had used chemical...
  • Samantha Power: U.S. Aid Will Help Syria Rebels Fight ISIS And Assad

    09/23/2014 7:58:47 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 47 replies
    "But, may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they've been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime"
  • U.S. strikes Khorasan Group in Syria, which posed 'imminent' threat to West

    09/23/2014 4:34:27 AM PDT · by winoneforthegipper · 15 replies
    CNN ^ | 09/23/14 | Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister
    (CNN) -- [Breaking news update 6:44 a.m. ET] The Khorasan Group, which the U.S. military struck overnight in Syria, was actively plotting against a U.S. homeland target and Western targets, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday. The threat was "imminent," the source said. The U.S. military also struck ISIS targets in Syria. The United States "had very good information" about the threat from the Khorasan Group, the source said. The U.S. strikes against the group were planned in advance, not at the last minute, the official said. Khorasan operatives were coming closer to the "end of their planning," the official...
  • Moderate terrorists? Obama and Boehner calling a dog’s tail a leg in Syria

    09/22/2014 9:25:51 AM PDT · by Oldpuppymax · 5 replies
    Coach is Right ^ | 9/22/14 | Kevin "Coach" Collins
    Abe Lincoln once said, “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” In order to avoid actually doing something about ISIS a terrorist group whose goals he probably endorses, Barack Obama has enlisted John Boehner in calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) moderates. They are no more moderates than a dog’s tail is a leg regardless of what they are called in Washington. People on the ground, those who are not constrained by cowardice, have a different view of the FSA. The “Friends...
  • Russia: ‘Free Syrian Army No Longer Exists’; Rebels Are Coordinating With Terrorists

    09/17/2014 2:45:27 AM PDT · by markomalley · 62 replies
    CNS News ^ | 9/17/2014 | Patrick Goodenough
    Russia on Tuesday accused the West of ignoring its warnings about the growing terrorist threat in Syria, and claimed that the moderate rebel front – the one the Obama administration wants to arm as part of its anti-ISIS strategy – “no longer exists.”The remarks by Russia’s ambassador in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin came during a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which was discussing the most recent report by a U.N.-mandated independent commission of inquiry into the conflict.The report, released late last month and roughly covering the first half of this year, recorded atrocities by the Assad regime and by...
  • Juan McShame going INSANE at ISIS hearing!

    09/16/2014 7:44:43 AM PDT · by Viennacon · 47 replies
    Me | 9/16/2014 | Viennacon
    I hope people are watching this. Such insanity would typically end in someone being ejected from the party John McCain, the hideous terrorist aider DEMANDING the US military attack Assad's regime in Syria and send heavy weapons to the 'moderate' opposition, also known as mega extremists just like those guys in Libya we gave stinger missiles to. Another reason to NOT let McConnell back in the senate. He will continue to send the most unstable man in the country to this vital committee. STOP ARMING TERRORISTS WHO HATE AMERICA!
  • Paths to War, Then and Now, Haunt Obama

    09/14/2014 9:47:14 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 20 replies
    NY Times ^ | 09/14/14 | PETER BAKER
    He made clear the intricacy of the situation, though, as he contemplated the possibility that Mr. Assad might order his forces to fire at American planes entering Syrian airspace. If he dared to do that, Mr. Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system, which he noted would be easier than striking ISIS because its locations are better known. He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow, according to one account.
  • Obama: Assad Shooting At American Planes Would Lead To His Overthrow

    09/14/2014 8:51:34 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 57 replies
    NYT/BI ^ | Sep. 14, 2014, 10:12 AM | Michael B Kelley
    President Barack Obama would seek to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad if American planes were attacked upon entering Syrian air space, Peter Baker of The New York Times reports. If Assad's troops fired at American planes entering Syrian airspace, "Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system," Baker reports. "He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow, according to one account."
  • Obama: Assad Protected Christians In Syria

    09/14/2014 8:00:12 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 18 replies
    US President Barack Obama surprised his visitors, the delegation of Eastern Christians patriarchs, on Thursday when he told them that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "protected the Christians in Syria." Obama met with the delegation in the White House for 35 minutes, during which the patriarchs presented a paper in which they exposed the situation of Christians in the Middle East and the threats and challenges they are facing, due in part to the expansion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group. Sources told Al-Akhbar that the highlight of the meeting was when Obama said the following...
  • Israeli Hospital Battles to Save Injured Syrian Child’s Sight

    09/14/2014 5:37:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    INN ^ | 9/14/2014, 1:06 PM | (Reuters)
    Israeli medics were checking last week a 12-year-old Syrian boy who was brought to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat (Safed), northern Israel. The hospital said that the boy was severely wounded, losing the sight in both eyes and suffering injuries to his arm and leg, when a shell exploded near his home in the outskirts of Damascus. After undergoing basic medical treatment in Lebanon, his brother took him by donkey across the border to an Israeli military post, where soldiers took him to hospital in Safed. The spokesperson said the boy was one of ten Syrians currently being treated at...
  • Syrian Government: Go Ahead, Bomb Our Country!

    09/12/2014 8:38:34 AM PDT · by TangledUpInBlue · 20 replies
    Slate ^ | 9/12/14 | Josh Keating
    Since the United States started getting serious about military action against ISIS, politicians and policymakers have worried that such an initiative would play into the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In his speech last night, President Obama was careful to stress that strikes against the group would not in any way imply that the United States was allied with the Syrian government. “In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people—a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost,” the president said. Instead, he said, Washington would step up...
  • URGENT Video: ISIS personally threatens Russian President Putin with seized Russian fighter jets

    09/08/2014 9:11:52 AM PDT · by mojito · 55 replies
    Iraqi News ^ | 9/5/2014 | Abdelhak Mamoun
    The video which follows this article was published on social media by members of the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, includes threats to attack Russian President Vladimir Putin and liberate Chechnya and the Caucus Region with Russian fighter jets and missiles ISIS had seized from Tabaqa Airport in Raqqa, Syria as reported by IraqiNews.com on 27 August. Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is a principal supplier of weapons and equipment for Syrian government forces. A member of ISIS directs his words to Putin, “these Russian planes which you had sent to Bashar,...
  • Israel Shoots Down Unmanned Drone From Syria

    08/31/2014 12:30:35 PM PDT · by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis · 12 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 8-31-14 | Uzi Baruch
    The Israeli Air Force downed an unmanned drone (UAV) over the Golan Heights as it attempted to enter Israeli airspace from Syria. Forces fired a surface-to-air Patriot missile at the drone, which came from the area of Quneitra - which has seen fierce clashes between Syrian rebels and regime forces. The Israel Defense Forces told the Associated Press that the drone appeared to have belonged to the Syrian military and had flown accidentally into Israeli airspace. The IDF said that the drone was identified in Israel's air space and shot down by a ground-to-air Patriot missile. The IDF "will respond...
  • Should we Work with Assad to Defeat the ISIS?

    08/29/2014 4:55:00 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 08/28/2014 | By Paul Austin Murphy
    The British government has said that it won't work with President Bashar al-Assad in order to destroy the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.This is in response to the comments of the former head of the British Army, Lord Dannatt (along with former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind), who recently advised some kind of alliance with Assad. And, as a military man, I suppose that Lord Dannatt may know what he's talking about. Nonetheless, since these suggestions seem to have arisen specifically in response to the beheading of the U.S. journalist James Foley, they may simply be knee-jerk reactions....
  • Allying with Assad to Stop ISIS is 7 Different Kinds of Stupid

    08/27/2014 8:15:56 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    FrontPage Mag ^ | 08/27/2014 | Daniel Greenfield
    The latest genius to come up with this particular plan is Pat Buchanan. It’s not unique, but it’s a refreshing change from all the proposals that we ally with Iran to stop ISIS. Alternative proposals that we ally with Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy to stop ISIS are on the table. Here’s why it’s stupid 1. Assad is getting his ass kicked by ISIS and most of the other rebel groups. In other words what is the point of this alliance exactly? We’re already allied with an Iranian client in Baghdad that’s incapable of fighting its own battles and is...
  • The grotesque alliance that has been allowed to carve up Syria

    08/26/2014 2:57:08 AM PDT · by elhombrelibre · 5 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 25 Aug 14 | David Blair
    If a retired tyrant chose to write a guidebook entitled “How to be an Arab Dictator”, what would be the most important lesson? It might be summarised thus: “When you are in trouble, fan the flames of Islamist extremism so that your enemies will look even worse than you.” This time-honoured trick can work wonders for the beleaguered autocrat. If he pulls it off, some venerable figures in the West might even argue that he is just the man to quell the very conflagration that he helped to ignite. So it is with Bashar al-Assad, the chief arsonist of Syria,...
  • The Rebels Are Gaining Ground in Syria

    08/24/2014 4:37:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | August 13, 2014 | Robert S. Ford
    Don't believe everything you read in the media: The moderate rebels of Syria are not finished. They have gained ground in different parts of the country and have broken publicly with both the al Qaeda affiliate operating there and the jihadists of the Islamic State. Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad's regime is showing new signs of weakness. The death of moderate armed opposition elements has been greatly exaggerated. These groups -- whom I define as fighters who are not seeking to impose an Islamic state, but rather leaving that to a popular decision after the war ends -- have recently gained...
  • US Gives Intelligence To Assad For Targetting Isis Commanders

    08/23/2014 9:10:15 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 114 replies
    IBTimes Co., Ltd. ^ | August 23, 2014 15:58 BST | Tom Porter
    Western intelligence agencies have been assisting the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad fight militants of Isis (now called the 'Islamic State'), by providing details on the location of militant leaders for targeted air strikes. The information was passed to Assad's government by German intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), which acted as an intermediary, a source told the Independent... In recent weeks, Syrian forces have launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic State commanders and headquarters, as they battle to halt the advance of jihadist forces from their stronghold in the east of the country. The Assad regime has been accused...
  • Bashar al-Assad Is Betting The ISIS Threat Will Bring West To His Side

    08/21/2014 6:58:11 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 20 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 08/21/2014 | TOM PERRY, REUTERS
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria is wagering that Islamic State's push to reshape the Middle East will eventually force a hostile West to deal with President Bashar al-Assad as the only way to tackle the threat. While Assad's forces escalate their fight with Islamic State militants in the Syrian civil war, the United States is staging air strikes on the same group across the frontier in Iraq. This, along with United Nations sanctions targeting the Sunni Muslim militants in both Syria and Iraq, has strengthened Assad's belief that the United States and Europe are coming around to his way of viewing...
  • Finding James Foley (Interesting Background)

    08/20/2014 9:53:13 AM PDT · by mojito · 13 replies
    Columbia Journalism Review ^ | May 3, 2013 | Curtis Brainard
    After 162 days with no information about his whereabouts, GlobalPost announced Friday that James Foley, an American journalist who went missing on November 22 in Syria, is almost certainly being held by the Syrian government in a detention center near the capital city of Damascus.... ...GlobalPost CEO and President Philip Balboni said: "With a very high degree of confidence, we now believe that Jim was most likely abducted by a pro-regime militia group commonly referred to as the Shabiha and subsequently turned over to Syrian government forces. We have obtained multiple independent reports from very credible confidential sources who have...
  • ISIL to U.S.: ‘We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House’

    08/09/2014 4:45:41 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 43 replies
    The Washington times ^ | 8-8-14 | Douglas Ernst
    The first installment of a five-part documentary by Vice News on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was released online Thursday, offering Westerners a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the terror group that now controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. For three weeks, VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh interviewed and recorded members of ISIL in the Syrian city of Raqqa, even capturing gruesome footage of an ISIL victory over the Syrian army’s 17th division. The terrorist group overran a position held by 50 soldiers belonging to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, decapitated them and...
  • ISIL's Syria push 'a political disaster' according to Al Qaeda leader

    05/03/2014 8:50:46 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 14 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | May/03/2014
    Iraqi Al Qaeda's entry into Syria's civil war caused "a political disaster" for Islamist militants there, the movement's global leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a video message, urging the faction to redouble its efforts in Iraq instead. Zawahri has repeatedly tried to end infighting between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and another Al Qaeda-aligned group, the Nusra Front. He said on May 2 in a message translated by SITE Monitoring that if ISIL had accepted his decision not to get involved in Syria and had instead worked to "busy itself with Iraq, which needs double its...
  • Syrian Army Pounding Civilian Areas to Dust with Endless Supply of Cheap, $200 'Barrel Bombs'

    07/07/2014 9:41:50 AM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 26 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 07 July 2014 | Reaganite Republican
    Basically a car-bomb stuffed into an disused oil barrel (NH₄NO₃ and fertilizer w/nails, bolts, and other improvised shrapnel) then dropped from high altitude -out of the range of small arms fire- the government has already killed 20,000 with the crude-yet-effective device... They started tossing them out of Russian-made Hind helicopter gunships over a year ago, and to especially devastating effect in the government's pounding of Allepo a couple months back. Though just a barrel full of stuff that blows up and spews nails/etc all around, part of it's effectiveness in the government terror campaign has been how indiscriminatethe barrels are in...
  • (ISIS)Anti-Assad rebels said to control 95% of Syrian Golan Heights

    06/27/2014 9:09:31 PM PDT · by Perseverando · 21 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | June 28, 2014 | The Times of Israel Staff
    Almost the entire Syrian side of the Golan Heights is now under the control of rebel forces, including radical Islamist groups, a senior Israeli military commander in the area said Friday. Only the Quneitra border area is still in the hands of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, Lt.-Col. Anan Abbas, deputy commander of the Golan Brigade, told Israel’s Channel 10. About 95 percent of the Syrian side of the Golan is in the hands of anti-Assad rebels, including radical Islamic groups such as the Al-Nusra Front, affiliated with al-Qaeda, a rival of the burgeoning Islamic State of Iraq and...
  • Obama seeks $500 million from Congress to help “moderate” Syrian rebels

    06/27/2014 2:30:01 AM PDT · by markomalley · 14 replies
    Jihad Watch ^ | 6/26/2014 | Robert Spencer
    Doesn’t Obama know that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has bulldozed the part of the Syria/Iraq border that it controls? Doesn’t he know that there are no significant forces in Syria that want a secular state, but only various bands of pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists? Doesn’t it occur to him how incoherent it is to want to arm these people in Syria and fight against them in Iraq? For there is no significant difference between the “rebels” fighting Assad and the “extremists” fighting Maliki.“Obama seeks $500 million from Congress to help moderate Syrian rebels,” Reuters, June 26,...
  • Paul: US has been arming ISIS in Syria

    06/22/2014 5:17:33 PM PDT · by xzins · 73 replies
    The Hill ^ | 06/22/14 | Rebecca Shabad
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States has armed their group in Syria. “I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have been arming [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS in Syria.” ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, has been collaborating with the Syrian rebels whom the Obama administration has been arming in their efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Paul explained. The administration has reportedly assisted the moderate opposition in Syria,...
  • Chris Wallace: Hillary Clinton defended Syria's Assad as a 'possible reformer'

    06/01/2014 4:26:51 PM PDT · by yoe · 9 replies
    Tampa Bay Times ^ | June 1, 2014 | Staff
    Talk along the lines of Hillary, Hillary, Hillary dominated the network news shows Sunday, as hosts and their guests mulled Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, excerpts from her forthcoming memoir Hard Choices and her potential 2016 presidential bid. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace countered praise of Clinton from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., by listing some of Clinton’s troubles as President Barack Obama’s top diplomat. Wallace singled out developments in U.S. relations during Obama’s first term with Russia, Iran and Syria."She defended Syria’s President Assad as a possible reformer at the start of that country’s civil war," he...
  • Syrian rebels surrender their strongholds in Homs

    05/07/2014 2:54:15 PM PDT · by PaulCruz2016 · 27 replies
    CTV News ^ | 05-07-2014 | Bassem Mroue
    BEIRUT -- Carrying their rifles and small bags of belongings, hundreds of exhausted Syrian rebels withdrew Wednesday from their last remaining strongholds in the heart of Homs, surrendering to President Bashar Assad a bloodstained city that was once the centre of the revolt against him. For Assad, it is a powerful victory ahead of presidential elections. For the rebels, the dramatic exit after two years of enduring grueling assaults and siege captures their sense of abandonment amid world reluctance to help shift the balance of power on the ground. "We ate grass and leaves until there was nothing left for...
  • Western Intelligence Suspects Assad Has a Secret Chemical Stockpile

    05/06/2014 11:33:57 AM PDT · by mojito · 22 replies
    Daily Beast ^ | 5/1/2014 | Noah Schatman and Christopher Dickey
    Concerns are growing among Western intelligence services that Syria still has a significant and undeclared arsenal of chemical weapons, including crude chlorine-filled bombs, secret stockpiles of sophisticated nerve gasses or their components—and the scientific know-how to rebuild a larger-scale, higher-grade chemical weapons effort once the Bashar al-Assad regime has escaped the international spotlight. “A ghost of CW [chemical weapons] program in a place riven with conflict—that’s a real concern,” one American intelligence official tells The Daily Beast. But it’s not the only worry. Within the U.S. intelligence community, there’s also lingering unease about the Assad regime’s biological weapons program that...
  • United States Fueling Instability in Syria

    05/03/2014 2:16:03 PM PDT · by PaulCruz2016 · 6 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 05-02-2014 | Katie Gorka
    A growing number of Syrian Christian leaders are traveling to the United States to plead with lawmakers to stop sending arms to the rebels. The most recent visitor is the Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, His Beatitude Gregorios III, who is based in Damascus. For the first three years of the civil war, Syria’s Christian leaders have not been frequent visitors to the U.S., in part fearing reprisals when they return to Syria, but also because they have been reluctant to engage in what they see as political issues. But with the civil war now in its fourth year,...
  • Syria's Assad Visits Recaptured Christian Village

    04/21/2014 6:17:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 28 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 4/20/14 | Barbara Surk
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's president marked Easter with a tour Sunday of an ancient Christian village recently recaptured by his forces, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that country's Christians "will not submit and yield" to extremists. Syrian state TV and the country's official SANA news agency said President Bashar Assad visited the hilltop hamlet of Maaloula, inspecting the damage done in recent fighting to its monasteries and churches. Rebels, including fighters from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, seized Maaloula several times late last year, most recently in December. Government troops swept through the village on Monday,...
  • Syria´s Bashar Assad visits recaptured Christian village on Easter

    04/20/2014 2:21:39 PM PDT · by Nachum · 11 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 4/20/14 | Staff
    BEIRUT - Syria´s embattled president marked Easter with a tour Sunday of an ancient Christian village recently recaptured by his forces, an important symbolic prize for his government ahead of coming presidential elections he appears poised to contest. President Bashar Assad´s visit to Maaloula, some 40 miles northeast of Damascus, serves a propaganda victory for his government in its quest to be seen as protector of religious minorities as its civil war grinds on. (Snip) Rebels, including fighters from the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, seized Maaloula several times late last year, most recently in December.
  • 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 · 45 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.” …