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Tag Archive: Syrian Opposition


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An al-Nusra Front battalion training during the Syrian Civil War.

Wikipedia.org

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Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:4
EXCLUSIVE: Al-Nusra’s Saudi Commander Begs Terrorist Groups to Rush to Aleppo

 

Abdullah al-Muhsini, the al-Nusra’s senior commander, wrote on his social network pages that in case all militant groups do not join their comrades in Aleppo, the entire province “which is of vitally strategic value will soon be lost” to the Syrian army.

The Saudi Sheikh who is also a religious leader voiced deep concern over militants’ status quo in Aleppo, saying that the Syrian army and its allies have increased the momentum of their advances in the last few days.

He specially demanded militants in neighboring Hama province to “show care for common, instead of personal and individual, interests” and rush to the al-Nusra and ISIL’s aid “before the Syrian army conquers the strategic al-Aeis heights”, warning that the government troops will prevail over all militants’ positions in Northern Syria soon if their all-out advances in Aleppo are not brought to a halt.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhsini stands at the highest ranks of the al-Nusra Front command. When the group leader, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, moved to the countryside of Hama where Joulani spoke to nearly 1,500 fighters before they headed to battle in Mhardeh, several years ago, the general military commander of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abou Hammam as-Suri, and Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhsini were also present during the gathering, to boost the fighters’ morale.

Al-Nusra militants said Hama is of strategic importance to the terrorist group as it connects the countryside of Hama to the countryside of Idlib, which al-Nusra desired to make its new stronghold after it lost the Eastern parts of Syria.

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23 killed, 65 injured by shelling in Latakia city, Syria – reports

 

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DETAILS: One shell fell near Tishreen university, another hit a bus stop http://on.rt.com/6w0g 

At least 23 people have been killed by shelling in the Syrian city of Latakia. Another 65 were injured, RIA Novosti reported citing a source in local police.

“Twenty-three people have been killed and at least 65 hospitalized with injuries of varying degrees,” the police source said.

RT’s Lizzie Phelan reports from Syria that the attack took place in a very densely-populated part of Latakia.

“All of the reports so far are suggesting that all of those killed and injured are civilians,” she said.

The missiles that struck the city were most likely fired from Grad multiple-launch rocket system, Phelan added.

“Initial reports suggest that the attack was carried out by the Al-Qaeda branch, Al-Nusra Front,” RT’s reporter said.

There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties coming from the port city of Latakia at the moment.

Meanwhile AFP cites Syrian state TV as saying there were “22 people killed and 62 wounded” in the attack on eastern neighborhoods of Latakia.

Earlier state news agency SANA reported 12 people died and 57 were injured when two mortar rounds struck residential areas.

 

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Double standards, demonization of Russia made Middle East worse – US lawmaker

U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca) © Shuji Kajiyama
US double standards towards Russia and refusal to work with President Putin in the Middle East and elsewhere have resulted in an Islamist takeover in Libya and bloodshed in Syria, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) has told senior US diplomats.

“The double standard that we have been judging Russia with, and basing our policy on that double standard, has caused us great harm,” Rohrabacher said at a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday morning. “Had we been working with the Russians all along in good faith, I believe the situation in the Middle East would have been totally different, and better, more stable.”

Washington ‘Hostility’ to Cooperation With Russia Impedes Middle East Peace: US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher c… http://bit.ly/1RUxGYM 

The California lawmaker took exception to Russia-bashing by his colleagues, as well as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and her colleague Anne Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Nuland and Patterson were at the House committee hearing to brief lawmakers on US policies in the wake of Russia’s intervention in Syria against Islamic State militants.

Washington has accused Russia of bombing the US-backed “moderate rebels” rather than Islamic State targets. Moscow maintains the Russian air force is targeting all terrorists inside the country, including IS and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. Patterson admitted that al-Nusra had “absorbed a number of what we would previously call the moderate opposition” during the hearing.

 

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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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Nightly News   |  January 20, 2014

Sanctions and Syria: Iran’s step forward — and back

While Iran was rewarded for limiting its nuclear enrichment program, the country’s invitation to partake in UN-led Syria peace talks was revoked.

Video Transcript

>>> the federal government said something today about iran that we don’t hear very often. they said that iran has taken, quote, concrete actions that represent an important step forward. this came after iran moved to scale back its nuclear program , and the u.s. and europe started to lift some sanctions as part of that interim agreement . we get the story tonight from nbc’s andrea mitchell .

>> reporter: the seal of approval came from u.n. weapons inspectors today. disconnecting the centrifuges producing iran ‘s high-grade 20% enriched uranium . fuel that can easily be upgraded to power a nuclear weapon .

>> everything going as planned. the 20% enrichment has been stopped.

>> reporter: iran has complied by limiting its uranium enrichment to lower levels, granting full access to u.n. inspectors diluting current uranium stockpiles. halting construction on a separate plutonium plant. within hours, europe and washington lifted some of the sanctions that have cripple iran ‘s economy, permitting some oil exports, imports of auto and airplane parts, and trade in gold and other precious metals .

>> the suspension of these sanctions will enter into force today.

>> reporter: as expected, israel’s prime minister, netanyahu, said today, iran ‘s entire program should be shut down. and now comes the hard part, a final agreement requiring iran to disclose all its nuclear secrets.

>> it’s going to have to answer basic questions about did iran work on nuclear weapons in the past, and do some of those efforts continue.

>> reporter: today’s breakthrough came 33 years to the today after the american diplomats were freed. now iran ‘s new president rouhani offers hope of a new beginning, unless rouhani is blocked by hard liners.

>> a major open question is whether president rouhani can actually implement any deal inside iran .

>> reporter: or unless the deal is blocked by its many critics in congress. what iran is cooperating on the nuclear issue, it is still arming president assad. so after intense pressure from the u.s., tonight the u.n. has withdrawn its invitation to iran to take part in peace talks this week on syria. the first talk since the war started more than two years ago. brian?

>> andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom tonight, thanks.

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United Nations withdraws Iran invitation to save Syria peace talks

Iran was stopped from attending long-awaited Syrian peace talks last night after an extraordinary last-minute invitation almost led to the breakdown of the whole process.

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, had shocked the United States, its western allies and the Syrian opposition by announcing that Iran would attend the talks, starting on Wednesday.

Iran is the Syrian regime’s most important sponsor, and the move was also welcomed by Russia, which said Iran’s absence would be an “unforgivable mistake”.

But the opposition Syrian National Coalition, which had only reluctantly agreed to its western backers’ demands it attend after a vote on Saturday, immediately said it would pull out.

It gave Mr Ban until last night to withdraw the offer if Iran did not immediately promise to withdraw its forces from Syria and agree to the formation of a transitional government, as agreed in a previous round of talks in Geneva in June 2012.

When Iran refused to do so, Mr Ban was forced to backtrack. “He continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva communique,” his spokesman said. “Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.”

The Montreux part of the talks will be attended by a Syrian delegation led by the Assad regime’s foreign minister and the Coalition representing the rebels, as well as ministers from an array of states supporting either side in the conflict, including Russia, the United States and Britain.

Talks will then resume in Geneva on Friday, with direct negotiations taking place between the two Syrian sides conducted in closed-door session by the UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi.

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Syria talks: Iran and Russia angry over invitation withdrawal

Tehran says UN’s rescinding of invite is deplorable while Moscow says Iran’s absence could jeopardise peace talks
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the UN’s withdrawal of Iran’s invitation to Syrian peace talks was a mistake, but not a catastrophe. Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/EPA

Bashar al-Assad’s key international allies in Moscow and Tehran have reacted angrily to the UN’s decision to rescind Iran‘s invitation to this week’s peace talks on the crisis in Syria.

The UN hastily withdrew its surprise invitation after pressure from the US and a threat that the Syrian opposition would boycott the talks.

The build-up to the talks, which are due to start in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday, is being overshadowed by Iran’s non-attendance, and new evidence showing the Syrian government has been involved in the systematic killing of thousands of political detainees.

Iran, which is accused of providing military and financial backing to the Assad government, said the decision to withdraw its invitation was deplorable.

Russia‘s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who helped broker the talks with his US counterpart, John Kerry, said the UN move was a mistake. While it was not a catastrophe, it made the slim prospect of an agreement less likely, he said.

Speaking at his annual press conference in Moscow, Lavrov said Iran’s presence at the event would have given it more chance of succeeding.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking to reporters in Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, said it was regrettable that the UN general secretary had rescinded the invitation and that Tehran had only accepted it reluctantly in the first place.

“Unfortunately, Ban Ki-moon came under pressure after extending an invitation to Iran,” Zarif said, according to the semi-official Isna news agency. “We were not eager to participate in the first place and had only decided to attend because we were invited.”

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

 

Published on Oct 28, 2013

As the human cost of the spiraling Syrian conflict mounts, civilians are being increasingly caught up in the fighting. Some are now facing no other choice than to enlist in the military and head to the front line. One Syrian mother who has taken the safety of her children into her own hands is featured in this RT report.

Source: RT

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Part 1

Published on Oct 4, 2013

Christian nun, Mother Agnes Mariam, who heads the convent of St. Jacob in the Damascus countryside, has collected evidence of fabrication based on the 13 videos that the US administration used to blame the chemical attacks in Eastern Ghouta on August 21, 2013 on the Syrian government. This evidence is discussed with al-Jadeed TV in Lebanon, as it relates to the unusually large number of parentless and unknown children that were victims of the attack in conjunction with the shifting of locations where the suffocating children were filmed within a short period of time.

Source: al-Jadeed TV (Lebanon)
Part 2: http://youtu.be/mLc65lK-sxk

Part 2

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Oct 4, 2013

This footage from August 21, 2013 shows a Saudi jihadist from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) in Syria sitting in the back of a truck taking pride in beheading a young Syrian conscript, claiming that his victim was Alawite, since his military service card did not show “Muslim” on it. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Syria does not mention religious affiliation of people on their ID cards. The cameraman’s accent indicates that he is also Saudi.

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File:Flag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpg

Image Source  :  Wikimedia . Org

by  أبو بكر السوري

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BEIRUT: Some Saudi Arabian-supplied anti-tank missiles intended for mainstream Syrian rebels have inadvertently landed in the hands of the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front, throwing plans to arm moderates via neighbor Jordan into question.

The failure of the pilot plan has forced Western and Arab opposition backers to reconfigure efforts to arm and vet moderate opposition types, and shift these efforts to the northern, Turkish border, The Daily Star has learned.

Senior Free Syrian Army and Jordanian sources, along with video evidence, have confirmed that European-made anti-tank missiles were obtained, and in some cases sold, to the hard-line Nusra Front after being supplied to vetted Free Syrian Army battalions across the Jordanian border.

The debacle prompted Jordan to back away from arrangements to arm moderate rebels, and close its borders in May.

The plan to train and arm moderate rebels via Syria’s southern border gained Western and Saudi support earlier this year, as concerns mounted over gains by Bashar Assad’s forces, backed by his Lebanese ally Hezbollah, as well as the proliferation of hard-line Islamist rebel brigades.

Special Forces personnel from the United States and the United Kingdom are known to have conducted training operations for vetted opposition troops.

An investigation by Reuters revealed that Saudi Arabia began transferring small numbers of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels under the command of Gen. Salim Idriss, the chief of staff of the FSA, through Jordan in March.

The supply was reportedly coordinated by Saudi Arabia in consultation with France and Britain.

But Jordan, weary of the presence of Islamists at home, voiced concern over plans to arm the rebels, fearing that the weapons might end up in the hands of radicals, further jeopardizing Jordan’s security.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, cast doubt early on about the ability to properly vouch for rebel elements.

“Our position was always, arming who? And do we have addresses and do we have CVs? … We are a country that neighbors Syria, and therefore, while we don’t interfere in the internal affairs of Syria, we are certainly affected by the outcome of what’s going on in Syria,” Judeh told reporters, in response to questions about arming the rebels, during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman in May.

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