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Tag Archive: Bashar Al- Assad


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Hmmmm,  last I checked the sovereign Nation of Syria had invited only two countries to enter and assist in the eradication of ISIS .  Russia and Iran.

It is curious  that in the short time period that Russia has been involved they have done more to eradicate the scourge infecting Syria than the US had done  in the two years it has been leading this  alleged ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition.

So my question is  what right  does the US have to stipulate any demands  or requirements  of Russia? When they have been invited by a  sovereign Nation.  The  US, however, has basically entered said  sovereign Nation of it’s own accord to tell them who should be in charge.

Not to mention claiming victories  against ISIS  while using videos of  airstrikes that are  essentially  Russian. Making it very clear that the  US  has no footage to backup their claims.  Quite the contrary they have been accused of  not only backing  ISIS  but having created it.

The Russian campaign in Syria has brought to light just how inept the alleged US led  campaign truly is.  As well as the discrepancies in the reports given by US officials.  For the most part fairy tales and fabrication!

Essentially waging war without declaring war on Syria itself! 

 

What unmitigated audacity!

 

~Desertrose~

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Russia ‘must change strategy’ in Syria if it wants to join US-led ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition – State Dept

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby. © Alex Wong

 

Russia is not welcome to join the US-led coalition in Syria, as France has proposed, until it changes its “focus” and stops “propping up” President Assad, the US State Department said. Yet, Washington continues to insist their goal isn’t defeating Assad.

“If other nations not in the coalition [the US-led coalition] want to join it and become part of it and focus on the fight against ISIL [Islamic State/IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] that’s a conversation we’re certainly willing to have,” US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said.

An appeal to expand the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State came from French President Francois Hollande three days after deadly attacks in Paris a week ago. Stating that “France is at war,” Hollande called for the creation of a “large coalition,” which could unite forces with Russia “to achieve a result that has taken too long.”

READ MORE: ‘For Paris!’ Revenge messages on ISIS-bound Russian bombs

The grand coalition is going to be the focus of separate talks President Hollande will have with his American and Russian counterparts in coming days. The French leader is expected to hold talks in Washington on November 24 and in Moscow on November 26.

However, the US State Department says that Russia’s involvement in the coalition would depend on Moscow’s “commitment.”

“But in order for that to work, every member of the coalition has to have the same focus on defeating ISIL, and thus far we, talking about Russia, haven’t seen that same commitment,” Kirby said, referring to Russia’s support for the Syrian President Bashar Assad. “It’s inconsistent with the goals of the coalition, which is to defeat ISIL, if you’re also propping up the Assad regime.”

 

 

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New Eastern Outlook

Why Qatar Wants “to Make Friends” With Russia

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As it has been reported, the leaders of the International Union of Muslim Scholars drafted an open letter, stating that they “share a positive attitude towards the Russian Federation, which supports the Arabs and Muslims today.” Moreover, the letter states that if any any decision is to be made in relation to the Russian Federation, those making the decision must first consult Russia’s Islamic theologians. The letter is truly unique, in fact, it says that the International Union of Muslim Scholars supports the actions of the Russian authorities in Syria. If there is at least a couple of sincere words in this letter, then means a lot, especially if one is to remember that the headquarters of this organization are located in Doha – the capital of Qatar, a Wahhabi state. Moreover, the letter states that the fate of Bashar al-Assad should be decided by the Syrian people themselves.

It would be an understatement to say that it’s an unusual step, since this International Union is one of the most influential and authoritative Muslim organization in the world that brings together Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and even Ibadi Muslim, that are generally residing in Oman. There’s at least 90 thousands of prominent Muslim scholars to be found in the ranks of this Union, including more than 40 of the most authoritative Russian theologians – those are muftis and rectors of the Islamic institutions of the North Caucasus and Volga regions. So, it’s a truly influential organization.

But one thing should be remembered all along – the president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and he’s the spiritual and ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, which remain the largest association of radical Islamists in the whole world. In 1963 the then president of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled Yusuf al-Qaradawi from Egypt for attempts to undermine the ruling regime. But the radical scholar wasn’t wondering the world for long, since he found refuge in Qatar – the Wahhabi emirate. Yusuf al-Qaradawi was the spiritual leader and the ideological mastermind of all the Arab “revolutions” –  Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian and Yemeni. It was he, together with the former Prime Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim, to organize in 2011 an assault on the Russian ambassador to Doha, since Russia’s envoy exposed his vicious policies of encouraging the Arab revolutions.

Largely due Qaradawi’s influence on the former emir of Qatar, that now has been surpassed by the influence he has on the sitting Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Doha has been fomenting and financing the wave of the Arab “Springs” and, despite all the recent changes in the situation in Syria, it continues supporting the terrorist group that goes under the name Jabhat al-Nusra. What is curious is that after Russian intervenion in Syria Sheikh Yusuf urged Muslims around the world to wage a “jihad” against Russia, and now we witness a complete reversal of his policies.

Many analysts have immediately noted that we are witnessing an incredibly positive phenomenon, almost a complete change Qaradawi’s mentality. But is there any change at all? It’s obvious that a leopard cannot change its spots.

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 Sputnik

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at Nazarbayev University on November 2, 2015 in Astana

US Secretary of State John Kerry Lays Out Washington’s Policy in Syria

© REUTERS/ Brendan Smialowski/Pool
US

21:36 12.11.2015(updated 01:23 13.11.2015) 

Speaking at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Washington’s foreign policy in Syria.

“The stakes could not be higher,” Kerry said on Thursday, before insisting that the United States is “on the right track and we are making gains and we are clear on the road ahead.”

The secretary of state also reiterated the Obama administration’s three principle goals for ending the conflict. The first is the necessity for defeating the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group, the second is the intensification of diplomatic efforts, and the third being a determination to support regional allies to ensure that Syria’s instability does not spread beyond its borders.

Kerry also spent a good deal of time claiming that the Syrian government was ultimately responsible for the creation of IS. While the international community largely agrees that the principle cause for the terrorist group’s formation was the instability created by the US-led invasion of Iraq, Kerry blamed local dissatisfaction with the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Strategic Culture
                      ONLINE JOURNAL

 

Uprising against Assad was Engineered in Washington

Eric ZUESSE | 10.11.2015 | 00:02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A terrific news report by Jonathan Marshall at Consortium News provides the first-ever presentation in the West of the event that sparked the demonstrations that sparked the Syrian civil war, and of the entire origin of that war.

Unlike so many online ‘news’ reports that are merely authoritarian trash because they don’t link to any of their sources (they rely instead upon dumb readers’ faith or trust in the ‘reporter’ or in the publisher, such as The New York Times or Fox News), this one from Marshall is top-notch: not only does it provide intelligently skeptical readers with instantaneous access to documentation for each one of its key points, but those sources are credible ones. Taken all together, the sources, and Marshall’s presentation of them, constitute a solid historical account of how the war to bring down Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, actually started. It didn’t start by Assad’s dumping (as U.S. President Barack Obama loves to claim) “barrel bombs,” upon merely peaceful protesters in Syria. It started actually in Washington, years before that. The Obama Administration itself was taking advantage of not only the “Arab Spring” protests throughout much of the Arab world, but, specifically, of an ongoing economic catastrophe in Syria that had started five years before the anti-Assad demonstrations did: an extended drought. Here is how the source that Marshall linked to describes it, two years before the “Arab Spring” even began:

In the past three years, 160 Syrian farming villages have been abandoned near Aleppo as crop failures have forced over 200,000 rural Syrians to leave for the cities. This news is distressing enough, but when put into a long-term perspective, its implications are staggering: many of these villages have been continuously farmed for 8000 years.

That source had been published on 16 January 2010. The drought continued on; the situation only got even worse right into 2011 and up through the public demonstrations in Aleppo that started the war. There were no “barrel bombs” then. There was instead surging economic dislocation. Obama merely took advantage of it. He knew that it was coming, and he planned so as to exploit it.

In fact, a wikileaked confidential 26 November 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Damascus to the CIA and other associated agencies referred to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization by saying:

 

 

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Consortiumnews

 

Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War

Exclusive: In the early months of the Syrian civil war, the West’s mainstream media presented the conflict as a simple case of good-guy protesters vs. bad-guy government, but the conflict was more complicated than that and the one-sided version only made matters worse, writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, nearly a quarter million people have perished and fully half of the country’s inhabitants have been forced from their homes, creating the worst refugee crisis in the past quarter century. Meanwhile, the continuing advance of brutal Islamist factions — which a leading CIA officer in 2013 termed the “top current threat to U.S. national security” — makes the chances of restoring peace and human rights seem more remote than ever.

Many parties are to blame, but certainly among them are interventionists in the United States and its allies who rationalized supporting the Islamist opposition — and refusing to embrace serious peace negotiations — on the grounds that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a uniquely evil dictator. That image of Assad grew directly out of his regime’s brutal response to civilian protests that began in early 2011, soon after the start of the Arab Spring.

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

Summarizing the conventional wisdom, the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect notes that “The crisis in Syria was prompted by protests in mid-March 2011 calling for the release of political prisoners. National security forces responded to widespread, initially peaceful demonstrations with brutal violence. From summer 2011 onwards, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refused to halt attacks and implement the meaningful reforms demanded by protestors. In July 2011, accounts emerged from witnesses, victims, the media, and civil society that government forces had subjected civilians to arbitrary detention, torture, and the deployment and use of heavy artillery.”

That August, following critical reports about the regime’s crimes, President Barack Obama joined European leaders in demanding that Assad “face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people” and “step aside.” Washington imposed new economic sanctions, prompting Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari to assert that the United States “is launching a humanitarian and diplomatic war against us.”

 

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Le Figaro poll: Over 70% want Syria’s Assad to remain in power

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad © SANA
A recent poll carried out by France’s Le Figaro newspaper has indicated that at least 72 percent of respondents want Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power.

The survey, published on Thursday, asked: “Should world powers demand Bashar Assad to leave?” At least 28 percent from 21,314 respondents have voted “Yes” so far, while the majority – 72 percent – have said “No”. 

The poll was conducted ahead of the Vienna talks, where 19 global powers gathered to find a solution for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria. The fate of Assad remained the stumbling block during discussions.

 

Assad calls on Russian businesses to help rebuild http://on.rt.com/6uot 

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Why Assad Visited Moscow

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Moscow has struck a devastating political blow against the West yet again, especially against its Middle Eastern policy, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit to Moscow on October 20 to meet his Russian counterpart – Vladimir Putin. Spokesman for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov said talks were held in both narrow and expanded format with the participation of key figures of Russia’s government. “The talks were held for a long while, and their subject is quite clear,” – said Peskov. Assad relayed to Putin about the situation in Syria and upcoming operations Syrian government troops. The two leaders have also discussed topics related to the participation of Russian Air Force warplanes in those operation. “The most pressing topics were the fight against terrorist groups and the extension of Russian operations to support the offensive of the Syrian armed forces, “- said Peskov. Peskov did not specify whether the political future of Bashar al-Assad himself was discussed or not. Moreover, Russia is willing to assist Syria in the search for a political solution to the crisis in the country. “On the basis of positive dynamics in combat, in the end, a long-term settlement will be achieved with the participation of all political forces, as well as ethnic and religious groups. The Syrian people certainly must have the final say. – Vladimir Putin said after the meeting was over.

 

It is clear that such an unexpected visit does not pursue the goal of detailed discussion of specific aspects of bilateral cooperation. Those are usually carried out by experts and heads of government bodies, in this case they were held by Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and the Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. The main goal of the Russian-Syrian talks was a demonstration of the determination that both Moscow and Damascus both have to put an end to ISIL or any other illegal armed group, created at the expense of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar with an extensive amount of support from the US, Turkey and Jordan.

 

For the last three weeks, while Russian warplanes have been obliterating extremist groups in Syria, Russia has been repeatedly offering the White House broad cooperation at the highest level in the fight against ISIL, starting from the coordination of air strikes and ending with intelligence data sharing. Washington and Barack Obama personally have continuously turned down these calls. Moreover, last week the US president, after consulting the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, refused to receive a high-level Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that sought to discuss a wide range of topics related to the situation in Syria. At the same time Moscow has openly stated that it’s critical at this stage to preserve the government of Bashar Al-Assad, while the Syrian Arab Republic is caught in a middle of a brutal war with hordes of foreign mercenaries. Once this war is over, an internal political settlement can be pursued, but only on the condition that Syrians themselves decide the fate of their country, leaving foreign and regional forces with no say in this matter.

 


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Consortium News

Exclusive: President Obama’s Syrian strategy is getting roundly denounced as incoherent, which – while true – is really a reflection of his failure to fully break with neocon-style interventionism even when he realizes the futility of the strategy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The mystery of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has always been whether President Barack Obama has two separate strategies: one “above the table” waving his arms and talking tough like Official Washington’s arm-chair warriors do – and another “below the table” where he behaves as a pragmatic realist, playing footsy with foreign adversaries.

From the start, Obama surrounded himself with many hawkish advisers – such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, National Security Council aide Samantha Power, etc. – and mostly read the scripts that they wrote for him. But then he tended to drag his feet or fold his arms when it came to acting on their warmongering ideas.

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Friday’s decision to tank the hapless $500 million training program for “moderate” Syrian rebels is a case in point. Obama joined in the hyperbolic rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, lining up with the neocons and liberal interventionists demanding “Assad must go,” but Obama has remained unenthusiastic about their various wacky schemes for overthrowing Assad.

 

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If Assad asks, China can deploy troops to Syria

September 19, 2015, 7:51 pm

 

Turkey-backed Chinese Uyghur terrorists are gaining a stronghold in Syria from which to launch attacks on China.

  

Chinese Uyghur terrorists establishing base in Syria

A new article reported that 3,500 Uyghurs are settling in a village near Jisr-al Shagour that was just taken from Assad, close to the stronghold of Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) that is in the Turkey-backed Army of Conquest. They are allegedly under the supervision of Turkish intelligence that has been accused of supplying fake passports to recruit Chinese Uyghurs to wage jihad in Syria.

The news comes on the heels of TIP capturing a Syrian airbase and acquiring MIG fighter jets as well as other advanced weaponry, similar to ISIS capturing Iraqi army’s advanced US weaponry.

It also comes on the heels of the Bangkok bombing at the shrine frequented by Chinese tourists, with Thai authorities now drawing a link to Uyghurs “and the same gang that attacked the Thai Consulate in Turkey” in reference to Turkey’s Grey Wolves.

This seems to corroborate IHS Jane’s analyst Anthony Davis’s assessment that Grey Wolves are the likely culprit, given their anti-Chinese protests and violent demonstration back in July.

Through Turkey’s support for the Army of Conquest, TIP has risen to prominence within the anti-Assad coalition and played a key role in defeating the Syrian army at Jisr al Shughour earlier this year.

 

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Russia ready to consider sending troops to Syria if Damascus asks

MOSCOW: Russia would consider a request from Syria to send troops if Damascus asks for it, the Kremlin’s spokesman said on Friday.
“If there is a request (from Syria), then in the framework of a bilateral dialogue it would be, naturally, discussed and considered,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on a conference call. “For now, it’s difficult to speak hypothetically.”
The Syrian military, which has lost ground to rebels recently in a four-year-old civil war, has begun using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source told Reuters on Thursday..

 

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RT

Putin’s consistency on Syria has Washington fuming

Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Sergey Guneev
It is increasingly difficult to watch the most recent coverage of the Syrian war and not be struck by how utterly illogical and convoluted it has become. But look through the media spin and it’s clear: the Russian leader’s steady moves in Syria are perplexing the US.

Whether it’s the latest neocon claim that the way to ‘help’ refugees is to drop more bombs and train more Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, or the conveniently-timed mass hysteria over Russia’s (never secret) support for Bashar Assad — or even the strange (and completely false) notion floating around that the West has ‘done nothing’ in Syria, all of this nonsense is becoming very difficult to take seriously.

It’s fairly easy to tell when Washington is scrambling to keep control of a story, because two things usually happen: firstly, the media coverage becomes muddled and frazzled, and secondly, the White House quickly looks for somewhere to offload the blame. These days the scapegoat is usually Russia, and hey, why fix what ain’t broken?

Obama’s fumbling vs. Putin’s consistency

On September 11, Barack Obama warned that Russia’s strategy of continued support for Assad was “doomed to fail” and a “big mistake.” In a patronizing little addendum, Obama said Putin was “going to have to start getting a little smarter.”

Russian involvement in Syria would be “destabilizing” …says the US after backing radical groups and illegally bombing Syria for a year.

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U.S. asks Greece to deny Russian flights to Syria

By Renee Maltezou, Tom Perry and Lidia Kelly

ATHENS/BEIRUT/MOSCOW Sept 7 (Reuters) – The United States has asked Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for supply flights to Syria, a Greek official said on Monday, after Washington told Moscow it was deeply concerned by reports of a Russian military build up in Syria.

The Greek foreign ministry said the request was being examined. Russian newswire RIA Novosti earlier said Greece had refused the U.S. request, adding that Russia was seeking permission to run the flights up to Sept. 24.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would not give any official reaction until there was a decision from Athens.

Russia, which has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous, has sent regular flights to Latakia, which it has also used to bring home Russian nationals who want to leave.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday that if reports of the build-up were accurate, that could further escalate the war and risk confrontation with the U.S.-led alliance that is bombing Islamic State in Syria.

Lavrov told Kerry it was premature to talk about Russia’s participation in military operations in Syria, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Lavrov confirmed Russia had always provided supplies of military equipment to Syria, saying Moscow “has never concealed that it delivers military equipment to official Syrian authorities with the aim of combating terrorism”.

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Peace in Syria? It’s Putin’s fault: Escobar

All one needs to know about the intellectual caliber of the Obama administration is that it is still pondering whether to persist in “ignoring” Russian President Vladimir Putin, or invest in a real partnership to solve the Syrian geopolitical/humanitarian drama. After all, when in doubt between diplomacy or chaos, the Beltway weapon of choice still veers towards the simplistic group think uniting neocons and neoliberalcons: regime change. Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad shake hands in Moscow in 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there’s the non-stop The Russians Are Coming! hysteria — the Cold War 2.0 remix, now switching from the invasion/military occupation of Ukraine to the invasion/military occupation of Syria. The White House — which, same as the Pentagon, does not do irony — actually appealed to the Kremlin to behave in a “more constructive” way side-by-side with the spectacularly inefficient coalition of the dodgy opportunists which is in thesis fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest clarified that when Obama decides that the Sisyphean task of picking up the phone and dialing K for Kremlin is actually in America’s interests, he will do it. The Shakespearean doubt may last days — even as Putin reaffirmed, via Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, he was always open to dialogue.

The White House at least is mulling an offer from Moscow to actually discuss the Russian buildup in Syria via direct military-to-military talks. The Pentagon will do the talking, seeking the “clarity” that so eludes the Obama administration.

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Syrian govt and opposition accuse each other of ‘deadly chlorine attack’

Published time: April 13, 2014 03:35
Edited time: April 13, 2014 11:27

Still from YouTube video/Kafrzita

Still from YouTube video/Kafrzita

Syrian state channels say that Nusra Front radicals are behind a chemical attack that has killed two and injured more than 100 people in a village in central Syria, on Friday. The opposition insists the injuries were caused by government’s bombardment.

State-run Syrian television blamed members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for using chlorine gas in an attack on Syrian village that killed at least two people. It did not say how it confirmed chlorine was used. According to the report the Islamist group had planned two more chemical strikes on civilian targets.

Earlier on Saturday, videos showing a field hospital in Kfar Zeita – about 200 km north of Damascus and on the frontline of intense fighting – were uploaded by opposition activists. The pictures showed obviously weakened civilians, including small children, breathing through oxygen masks, as medical personnel attended to them.

 

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VOA News

FILE - This Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 citizen journalism file image shows a member of UN investigation team taking samples of sands near a part of a missile that is likely to contain chemicals, according to activists, in Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria.FILE – This Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 citizen journalism file image shows a member of UN investigation team taking samples of sands near a part of a missile that is likely to contain chemicals, according to activists, in Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria.

The Syrian government, rebel forces and a rights group say poison gas has injured several people in a central village. The government and rebels are blaming each other for the incident.

The Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that government air raids resulted in dozens of injuries and a gas release on Friday in the village of Kfar Zeita.

State-run Syrian television on Saturday blamed members of the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front for using chlorine gas at Kfar Zeita, which it says killed two people.

 

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SFGate

Poison gas claims complicate Syrian civil war

Updated 2:06 am, Sunday, April 13, 2014

BEIRUT (AP) — Both sides in Syria’s bloody civil war said Saturday that a rural village fell victim to a poison gas attack, an assault that reportedly injured scores of people amid an ongoing international effort to rid the country of chemical weapons.

What exactly happened Friday in Kfar Zeita, a rebel-held village in Hama province some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Damascus, remains unclear and likely won’t be known for some time. It took United Nations weapons inspectors months to say it was likely some chemical weapons attacks happened last year, including an August attack that killed hundreds and nearly sparked Western airstrikes against President Bashar Assad‘s forces.

But online videos posted by rebel activists from Kfar Zeita echoed earlier images that sparked a world outcry, showing pale-faced men, women and children gasping for breath at a field hospital. They suggest an affliction by some kind of poison — and yet another clouded incident where both sides blame each other in a conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people with no end in sight.

The main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, said the poison gas attack hurt dozens of people, though it did not identify the gas used.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that relies on a network of on-the-ground volunteers, said the gas attack happened during air raids that left heavy smoke over the area. It reported that people suffered from suffocation and breathing problems after the attack, but gave no further details.

State-run Syrian television blamed members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front rebel group for the attack, saying they used chlorine gas to kill two people and injure more than 100. It did not say how it confirmed chlorine was used.

Chlorine, one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the U.S., is used to purify drinking water. But as a gas, it can be deadly, with the German army using it in warfare in World War I. The Geneva Protocol of 1925, which Syria signed, banned its use in battle.

The TV report also claimed the Nusra Front is preparing for another chemical attack against the Wadi Deif area in the northern province of Idlib, as well as another area in Hama. The government station did not explain how it knew the Nusra Front’s plans.

Activists in the village could not be reached Saturday.

 

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War burns in Syria 0:58

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AP February 02, 2014

SYRIAN military helicopters have dropped barrels packed with explosives in the government’s latest air raids on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 23 people including a family trapped in a burning car, activists said.

In neighbouring Lebanon, a car bomb blew up near a gas station in a Shiite town, killing at least three people, in the latest attack linked to the war in neighbouring Syria.

Footage on al-Manar television, associated with the Shiite group Hezbollah, showed a bright orange blaze as black silhouettes of people ran by the gas station in the north-eastern town of Hermel that lies near the Syrian border. Blasts could be heard in the background. The Lebanese Red Cross said another 18 people were wounded. The organisation initially reported that four people were killed, but later revised the number downwards.

The large blast occurred near a school for impoverished and orphaned children. None were injured, officials said.

It was the latest in a series of attacks targeting Lebanon’s Shiite community, as Syria’s violence causes neighbouring Lebanon’s sectarian tensions to escalate into outright violence.

Sunni militant groups have claimed responsibility for a relentless series of attacks on Shiite parts of Lebanon, including a bomb that exploded in Hermel in late January. They say it is in retaliation for the Shiite Hezbollah group sending its fighters into Syria’s civil war to support forces of President Bashar Assad.

Lebanon’s Sunni community has also been hit, most notably by a deadly double car bombing outside Sunni mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in August.

In Aleppo, the raids with barrel bombs, as the crude weapons are known, have flattened residential buildings, forcing defenders to flee and allowing government troops to advance.

The latest attacks killed 13 people in the al-Bab area of Aleppo, Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Center said via Skype. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights corroborated the information.

The blasts badly damaged buildings and caused a fuel tanker to explode, setting nearby vehicles alight, including one carrying a family of eight who were trying to flee the area as they heard the approaching helicopters, said Abu Faisal.

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Aljazeera News

Fighting continues as Syria talks wind up

Regime forces accused of using barrel bombs on Aleppo’s rebel-held areas, after Geneva summit ends without breakthrough.

Last updated: 02 Feb 2014 03:43
Syrian opposition activists say military helicopters have dropped barrels packed with explosives in the government’s latest air raids on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 23 people including a family trapped in a burning car.In Aleppo, the raids with barrel bombs, as the crude weapons are known, have flattened residential buildings, forcing defenders to flee and allowing government troops to advance, the activists say.

Saturday’s attacks killed 13 people in the al-Bab area of Aleppo, Hassoun Abu Faisal of the Aleppo Media Centre said via Skype.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights corroborated the information.

The blasts badly damaged buildings and caused a fuel tanker to explode, setting nearby vehicles alight, including one carrying a family of eight who were trying to flee the area as they heard the approaching helicopters, Abu Faisal said.

A video showed men dragging a charred victim out of a smashed building.

“You want a political solution? Here is a political solution!” shouted one man as he pointed at two charred bodies on the rubble-strewn ground.

The man was referring to last week’s conference in Switzerland between government officials and opposition activists seeking to resolve Syria’s war, which began as a peaceful uprising in March 2011 against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Geneva summit did not produce any tangible results, but is likely to lead to backdoor negotiations.

More bombings

Other barrel bombings in Aleppo killed three people near a mosque and another seven people in the Ansari quarter, activists said.

Ansari is frequently hit. On Friday, activists uploaded a video of what they said was a child being pulled alive from the rubble after shelling there.

Scenes of civilians and firefighters pulling out dusty, bloodied bodies from under the rubble have become more frequent as the bombing continues.

The footage appeared authentic and reflected Associated Press reporting of the event.

The barrel bombing in Aleppo comes as Syrian government forces try retake the city, which has been divided into government- and opposition-held areas since mid-2012.

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