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Tag Archive: Homs


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Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:33

Russian Warplanes Destroy ISIL’s Tanker Column, 100 Fuel-Transfer Stations in Syria

Russian Warplanes Destroy ISIL's Tanker Column, 100 Fuel-Transfer Stations in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Air Force has conducted 59 combat missions hitting 200 ISIL targets in 7 Syrian provinces over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense ministry said.

“Over the past 24 hours Russian warplanes have conducted 59 sorties, hitting 212 ISIL targets in the Syrian province of Aleppo, Idlib, Lattakia, Hama, Homs, al-Hasakah an Raqqa,” the Defense Ministry spokesman told journalists.

Aircraft from Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria have also destroyed more than 300 militants and scores of armored vehicles over the last 24 hours, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday, Sputnik reported.

“More than 320 militants and 34 armored vehicles of terrorists, including two tanks, one infantry fighting vehicle, 15 jeeps equipped with large-caliber guns were destroyed,” Konashenkov told journalists in Syria’s Lattakia.

In the past 24 hours, Russian jets have also destroyed a column of tanker trucks and more than 100 fuel-transfer stations used by terrorists, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov added.

“In order to disrupt terrorists’ sources of income, Russian Su-34 bomber jets destroyed 94 fuel-transfer stations near Deir Ezzur,” he said.

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In the video, a Takfiri hooded executioner strangulates the young girl to death using a piece of metal wire in an unidentified location.

The girl has been put to death because of her refusal to recognize the rigid-minded beliefs promoted by Takfiri groups in Syria.

Earlier this month, a disturbing video emerged showing al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria’s central province of Homs beheading a man believed to have been a Shia supporter of the government.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which posted the video, said the beheading was conducted by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in March 2011, many similar videos have emerged, depicting horrendous crimes, including decapitation and cannibalism, committed by the foreign-backed Takfiri militants against the people in Syria.

A video footage posted online on January 26, showed several mutilated bodies in the western suburb of Aleppo that reportedly belong to the civilians who were executed by ISIL militants.

Another video posted online on May 12, 2013, showed Takfiri militant, Khalid al Hamad, known by his nom de guerre, Abu Sakkar, eating an organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

In an interview with the state-run BBC in July 2013, Abu Sakkar threatened to commit more gruesome murders if foreign-backed terrorists in Syria do not receive more military aid from abroad.

Reports show that the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

KA/SS

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Syria Government Says Women, Children Can Leave Homs

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi gives a short press briefing upon his arrival to the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 26, 2014, as Syria's government and opposition met for UN-mediated talks.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi gives a short press briefing upon his arrival to the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 26, 2014, as Syria’s government and opposition met for UN-mediated talks.

 

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi says Syrian government delegates, at peace talks in Geneva, have agreed to allow women and children to immediately leave a besieged district in the central city of Homs.

Homs is one of Syria’s largest cities and has been pounded by government assaults to reclaim control from rebel forces.

The breakthrough followed two rounds of talks Sunday between the U.N. mediator and representatives of Syria’s government and the opposition.

The early talks in Geneva, Switzerland, focused on the release of thousands of prisoners, including women, children and the elderly, from Syrian prisons.

Brahimi told a press conference later Sunday the opposition has agreed to a government request for a list of detainees held by armed rebel groups.

Brahimi said he will meet the two sides jointly on Monday. The idea of forming a transitional governing body might come up then.

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Syria talks: Civilians to be allowed out of Homs old city

Man walk through damaged buildings in the besieged area of Homs The old city of Homs has been under siege by government forces

Syria will allow women and children to leave the besieged area of Homs “from now”, the UN mediator at the Geneva peace talks has told reporters.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said women and children were free to leave. He said armed groups were preventing them from leaving.

Mr Brahimi said that the opposition had agreed to give the government lists of detainees held by armed groups.

He said it was “too early” to assess the prospects of a comprehensive deal.

Mr Brahimi said he hoped a humanitarian convoy from the UN and the Red Cross would be able to go to Homs on Monday.

Mr Mekdad said he hoped arrangements could be made with local officials to allow the convoy access but that the aid must not fall into “the hands of terrorists”, the term Syrian officials for all armed opposition.

Lakhdar Brahimi said that the government would allow women and children to leave immediately but had asked for a list of adult male civilians who wanted to leave to ensure they were not fighters.

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Syria talks mediator presses for deal to allow aid into Homs

Government and opposition negotiators struggling to agree on local ceasefire sought by Lakhdar Brahimi at Geneva talks
Lakhdar Brahimi

Lakhdar Brahimi is representing the UN and Arab League at the Syria talks in Geneva. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Syrian government and opposition negotiators are struggling to agree on a local ceasefire to allow humanitarian relief supplies into Homs, on the second day of UN-mediated talks about confidence-building measures.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the Algerian diplomat representing the UN and Arab League, is trying to nail down an agreement allowing aid through to a rebel-held area of the central Syrian town. But government officials said the talks in Geneva did not need to deal with the issue, underlying their unhappiness with the conference, which is seeking to end a war that has claimed 130,000 lives and made two million people refugees.

Brahimi said on Saturday that the negotiations had got off to a “good beginning”, but said the two sides were speaking only through him and not directly to each other.

In Sunday’s first session the format was the same. In the afternoon the teams convened in separate rooms at the UN HQ, with the veteran mediator shuttling between them.

In the morning, opposition delegates placed on an empty chair a photograph of Abdel-Aziz al-Khayr, of the moderate Damascus-based National Co-ordination Bureau, who was detained in 2012, probably by the regime. The point was to demonstrate how Bashar al-Assad’s repression targeted even his mildest critics.

Munzer Aqbiq, spokesman for the western-backed Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), accused Assad of stalling on the Homs aid convoy. Buthaina Shaaban, the president’s media adviser, said the matter was being dealt with in Damascus. Western diplomats said the official Syrian delegation had denied knowing about the relief plan – which was drawn up with input from the US and Russia, as well as the UN and Red Cross – when it was raised.

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UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi: “The huge ambition of this project is to save Syria, no less than that”

Syria’s opposition and government will meet “in the same room” in Geneva on Saturday after the first day of a peace conference ended with no direct talks.

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who held talks with both sides on Friday, said they all understood that the conference was trying to “save Syria”.

The two sides have blamed each other for a lack of progress.

Diplomats say they are now aiming at small concessions such as local truces rather than an overall peace deal.

An unnamed source at the talks told Reuters news agency that the two sides had agreed to spend the next 48 hours discussing humanitarian access to the besieged city of Homs.

Lakhdar Brahimi’s announcement that the two sides will, after all, meet face-to-face is the first genuinely positive moment since these talks began on Wednesday.

Just a few hours earlier it looked as if Geneva II would end as it started, amid rancour and accusations. The Syrian government threatened to leave, and the opposition continued to insist it did not even want to see government representatives unless they agreed that President Assad had no place in a future transitional government.

Somehow, in separate talks, Mr Brahimi managed to persuade them to stay. The first face-to-face meeting is now scheduled for Saturday morning. If it goes well, there may be further meetings in the afternoon.

Exactly what will be discussed remains unclear: if the two sides focus on better access for aid agencies, or even some temporary local ceasefires, then progress may be made. If they continue to make President Assad’s future their starting point, they may get nowhere. As Mr Brahimi said, no-one expected these talks to be easy.

“The practical aspects have been worked on, things are ready and if the government doesn’t put a block on it then it could happen quickly,” said the source.

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad have surrounded rebels in Homs, besieging the central areas of the city for more than a year.

‘Encouraging discussions’

The delegates are reportedly still not prepared to talk to each other directly, but are expected to communicate via Mr Brahimi.

“Tomorrow everybody will be in the same room but everybody will address Mr Lakhdar Brahimi,” Louay Safi, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Coalition, told reporters late on Friday.

Preliminary talks began on Wednesday in Montreux, and Mr Brahimi spent Thursday and Friday attempting to persuade both sides to agree to meet face-to-face.

Friday was supposed to be the first day of official talks, but neither side would meet the other.

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Syria conflict

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Syria’s foreign minister threatens to walk out of peace talks

Walid Muallem says he will leave Geneva unless ‘serious’ talks begin by Saturday, as UN mediator meets both sides separately
Syria's foreign minister Walid Muallem arrives at the UN in Geneva to meet mediator Lakhdar Brahimi

Syria’s foreign minister and head of the government negotiating team, Walid Muallem (centre), arrives at the UN in Geneva to meet mediator Lakhdar Brahimi. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

Long-awaited direct peace talks between the Syrian government and rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad failed to get under way as expected on Friday morning after Damascus insisted on ending “terrorism” before seeking a political solution to end nearly three years of war and misery.

The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi was meeting both sides separately in Geneva for the second consecutive day to iron out procedural and agenda issues before a first round of negotiations at the Palais des Nations.

But Walid Muallem, Syria‘s foreign minister and head of its delegation, raised the stakes by warning that he would return to Damascus unless serious talks began by Saturday, Syrian state TV reported.

Face-to-face talks were due to follow on from where Wednesday’s 40-nation international conference in nearby Montreux left off. It would be the first direct contact between the opposing parties since the anti-Assad uprising began in March 2011. An estimated 130,000 people have been killed since then, 2 million Syrians have fled abroad and a total of 9 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Angry remarks in Montreux by Muallem left the western-backed Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) claiming that it alone was committed to the 2012 agreement – known as Geneva I – to create a “transitional governing body”. Assad, president since succeeding his father in 2000, has insisted repeatedly that he will not step down. The opposition says he must go. Brahimi’s problem is how to square that circle.

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Two Christians including a priest are beheaded by US-backed Takfiri militants in Syria.

 

 

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A shocking video has emerged on the Internet showing US-backed Takfiri militants in Syria brutally beheading two Christians including a priest in the western city of Homs.

In the gruesome footage recently posted online, the militants who are said to be members of the terrorist al-Nusra Front, cut off the heads of two handcuffed men, including Father Francois Murad, with a small knife in front of a crowd of people.

This is not the first time that the US-backed terrorists who are fighting against the Syrian government commit such grisly crimes against innocent civilians in the war-torn country.

In March, a Muslim cleric was beheaded in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo by militants, who decapitated Sheikh Hassan Saif al-Deen before dragging his lifeless body on the streets.

Local media blamed the beheading on the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra.

Foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.

The al-Nusra Front has been behind many of the deadly bombings targeting both civilians and government institutions across Syria since the beginning of the violence.

In an interview broadcast on Turkish television in April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

MAM/KA/SS

 

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Adam Taylor | May 13, 2013, 5:54 PM
Homs Syria

AP

British Prime Minister David Cameron, in DC to meet with President Barack Obama, told reporters today that Syria’s history was being written in the blood of her people — and that it’s happening on our watch.

It’s hard to argue with the figures — as many as 80,000 people have been killed over 2 years of conflict, the BBC reports.

There’s perhaps no more visceral sign of this destruction than the image at the top of this article from Syrian photographers Lens Young Homsi (which has been authenticated by the Associated Press).

This image is from today, May 13 2013, and shows the level of devastation in the city of Homs. As Max Fisher of the Washington Post notes, it shows a city in “total ruin”.

Here’s another image from today, featuring a destroyed tank:

Homs Syria

AP

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen devastation in the city of Homs, which is now largely in control of the Syrian army after a long and bloody siege.

The city, near the highway that links the capital Damascus with Jordan, has seen extensive shelling and bombing during the Syrian conflict. It was also the city where American journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remy Ochelik died in 2012.

This image from 2011, taken at the beginning of anti-Assad protests in the city’s center, Quwatli Street, show what the city looks like full of life:

Homs Syria 2011

Flickr: bTaras Kalapun

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Syria: Democracy vs. Foreign Invasion. Who is Bashar Al Assad?

Global Research, March 31, 2013
ASSAD

Bashar al-Assad has been systematically demonized by the mainstream and so-called alternative media who claim that he is a brutal dictator.

Actually Bashar is a reformer who has done much to further the causes of democracy and freedom. It is the “opposition” and their foreign supporters which represent the most repressive elements of the former ruling party in Syria.

To fully understand this its is helpful to look at the historical context of the current crisis. The so-called “spontaneous popular uprising” started in Daraa on March 15th, 2011. The court house, police stations, governor’s house, and other public buildings were looted and torched by the “peaceful protestors” in the first week of the crisis. The people in Homs then began to protest in solidarity with Daraa, but this was uncharacteristic of peaceful Homs and many Syrians knew that it was a fake revolution.

About 110 unarmed police officers were murdered in Daraa and Homs, sparking anger against the “revolutionaries.” There was an incident in the city Baniyas where an Alawite truck driver was attacked by an armed mob, skinned, and paraded through the city. This was strongly resented by almost all Syrians and since then not a single major city actually rebelled against the government.

The foreign backed “revolutionaries” would attack a neighborhood, police station, or army base, from across the borders of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Then they would claim that the city was in rebellion.

But the Syrians, seeing the same lies in all the western and Arab news stations, and the exiled rotten officials adopting the ‘revolution’, mostly took an anti-revolution stance. That is why whenever the rebels would infest a town or city you would immediately hear of a massacre to punish the residents for not supporting them. Of course the mainstream media would claim that it was Assad forces punishing the town that dared to oppose him!

Assad took advantage of the revolution to introduce his packages of reforms, putting aside those in the old guards who opposed them. Many of the old guard then joined the opposition abroad.

The opposition demanded the removal of article 8 from the Syrian constitution making the Baath Party head of the government. Instead of just deleting it Bashar Assad had the constitution re-written buy a specialized committee of Syrian experts from all parties in Syria and with input from all Syrians.

A referendum was held and the new constitution was approved with almost 90% of a voter turnout of 60%.

Assad then enacted a Media Law that would allow more freedom of expression and the establishment of new independent media outlets. Assad eased requirements on the formation of political parties, excluding sectarian based parties. We now have at least nine new political parties.

Municipal elections were held in December 2011. Many of those who won seats were assassinated or threatened throughout the country by the same revolutionaries who claimed to want democracy. Parliamentary elections were held in May 2012 with no eligibility restraints on the candidates.

Many new members of parliament have also been assassinated by the FSA including the wife and three daughters of parliament elect trustee Abdulla Mishleb in the infamous Houla massacre.

Historical Context: Syria in the 1980s

Recent events can be better understood in the context of Syrian history. Bashar al-Assad is the son of late president Hafez al-Assad. Hafez was described by western mainstream media as a tyrant and oppressor but he was not nearly as bad as any other leader in his time like Thatcher, Reagan, or any of the region’s rulers including Turkey’s military rule.The current anti-Assad opposition often refer to the 1982 Hama ‘massacre’.

They claim that Hafez besieged the city and then bombed it killing up to 40,000 civilians. I lived in Damascus at that time and you must understand the conditions in the country at the time to know what really happened.

 

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Politics, Legislation and  Economy

Syrian army advances into another insurgent-held district in Aleppo

Press TV

Syrian troops in the restive city of Aleppo (File Photo)

Syrian troops in the restive city of Aleppo (File Photo)
Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:16PM GMT
8
LAST UPDATE
The Syrian army has advanced into another insurgent-held district in the flashpoint city of Aleppo as the military operation to clear the northern city of armed groups enters its sixth day.

Syrian troops entered the western district of Saif al-Dawla on Monday and heavy clashes are still taking place in the area.

There are also reports of fighting in several other Aleppo districts including Sukari.

The army has launched a mop-up operation against insurgents in the northern city of Aleppo since Wednesday and so far, several districts, including insurgents’ stronghold of Salahuddin, have been cleared of terrorist groups.

A large number of insurgents have also been killed, injured and arrested in Aleppo since the beginning of the operation.

Meanwhile, Syrian troops have attacked an insurgent hideout in the city of Talbisah in Homs Province, killing a large number of them.

The army has also clashed with armed anti-government groups in Ariha, Idlib and Homs countryside of al-Ghanto.

Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March, 2011 and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on August 1 that the country is engaged in a ”crucial and heroic” battle that will determine the destiny of the nation.

HM/JR/SS

British Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomson: The Syrian ‘rebels’ set me up to be shot at by Syrian military

Alex Thomson
Channel 4

Alex Thomson in Syria. If only the few half-decent journalists in the MSM would bother to read Sott.net and other alt.news websites, they might learn a thing or two about who they’re dealing with before walking into such traps.

Standing outside the Safir Hotel in Homs as the white UN Nissan landcruisers stood waiting, the Irish officer in charge, Mark Reynolds, came over: “Usual rules Alex OK? We’re not responsible for you guys. If you get into trouble we’ll leave you, yes? You’re on your own.”

“Yup – no problem Mark. Understood.”

I always say that, sort of assuming it will never come to that in any case.

Just two UN plus the local police white patrol car marked “Protocol” as escort, moving south through the peaceful areas of Homs, unmarked by war.

Barely ten minutes south from the city and it’s goodbye protocol. The last Syrian Army checkpoint is right on the main highway south to Damascus.

We’re headed west – just follow the direction the tank barrel is pointing next to the parked protocol car and you get the idea.

There’s always that slight tightening of the stomach across deserted no-mans-land, but this is open country, no sign of fighting.

Presently, the first motorbike picks us up and we are across and into the first Free Syrian Army checkpoint.

After a long and dusty half-hour of tracks across olive groves, we arrive at al Qusayr, to the predictable crowd scene.

The UN settles down for a long meeting with the civilian and military leaders here. It looks much like an Afghan “shura” to me. Everyone is cross legged on the cushions around the room, except it is Turkish coffee passed round rather than chai.

We settle down to filming outside. The women and boys bring us oranges and chairs in the heat. Shell fragments are produced to be filmed. They explain how the shelling will begin again as soon as we leave – a claim which, by its nature, must remain untested, though there is certainly extensive shell damage in some parts of town here.

So we while away the time, waiting for the UN to move – they’re the only way across the lines with any degree of safety of course.

But time drags. Our deadline begins to loom. And there’s this really irritating guy who claims to be from “rebel intelligence” and won’t quite accept that we have a visa from the government.

In his book foreign journos are people smuggled in from Lebanon illegally and that’s that. We don’t fit his profile.

He and his mates are making things difficult for our driver and translator too – their Damascus IDs and our Damascus van reg are not helping.

This is new. Different. Hostile. This is not like Homs or Houla and still the UN meeting drags on in the hot afternoon…

We decide to ask for an escort out the safe way we came in. Both sides, both checkpoints will remember our vehicle.

Set up to be shot?

Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow. We move out behind.

We are led another route. Led in fact, straight into a free-fire zone. Told by the Free Syrian Army to follow a road that was blocked off in the middle of no-man’s-land.

At that point there was the crack of a bullet and one of the slower three-point turns I’ve experienced. We screamed off into the nearest side-street for cover.

Another dead-end.

There was no option but to drive back out onto the sniping ground and floor it back to the road we’d been led in on.

Predictably the black car was there which had led us to the trap. They roared off as soon as we re-appeared.

I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian Army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.

That conviction only strengthened half an hour later when our four friends in the same beaten-up black car suddenly pulled out of a side-street, blocking us from the UN vehicles ahead.

The UN duly drove back past us, witnessed us surrounded by shouting militia, and left town.

Eventually we got out too and on the right route, back to Damascus.

Please, do not for one moment believe that my experience with the rebels in al Qusair was a one-off.

This morning I received the following tweet:

“@alextomo I read your piece “set up to be shot in no mans land”, I can relate as I had that same experience in Al Zabadani during our tour.”

That was from Nawaf al Thani, who is a human rights lawyer and a member of the Arab League Observer mission to Syria earlier this year.

It has to make you wonder who else has had this experience when attempting to find out what is going on in rebel-held Syria.

In a war where they slit the throats of toddlers back to the spine, what’s the big deal in sending a van full of journalists into the killing zone?

It was nothing personal.

BREAKING NEWS – 120 French troops captured in Syria

French Ambassador recalled to Paris… up to 120 troops arrested in HOMS, Syria including French officers and troops.. This shit just got real.

The fermentation of hate and division … the assassination by snipers on Syrian protesters …. the kidnappings…. the tortures…. the beatings ….. I think we can safely assume NATO and the allied forces have been very busy forming division and creating false crisis for Bashar Al -Assad and the embattled Syrian Govt.

It was not Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad .. it was devious French troops creating problems for Syria….

By deception they wage war… they better check their passports for forgeries to see if it has made in Tel Aviv..

Remember….. French were very eager to join Germany and USA in their oil conquest against LIBYA… So too they are seeding discourse and trouble for Syria. BY DECEPTION they wage war.