The citizens revolt in Sirya against 50 years of dictatorship; they want dignity, democracy and freedom

Noticias : Oriente medio :: SYRIA


US blasts Syria's Assad for 'terrorism'
US Secretary of State's strong words -without matching deeds- on Assad and Russia come after failing peace talks and continued violence in Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry has blamed the Syrian government for stonewalling peace talks, intended to bring the civil war to an end, and told Moscow it had to stop supplying President Bashar al-Assad's regime with weapons.
Kerry told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that Russia needed to be part of the solution and that Assad was trying to win on the battlefield rather than the negotiating table, a reference to the second phase of peace talks that ended last Friday to little fanfare.
Speaking during a trip to Asia and the Middle East, Kerry said: "The regime stonewalled. They did nothing except continue to drop barrel bombs on their own people and continue to destroy their own country. And I regret to say they are doing so with increased support from Iran, from Hezbollah and from Russia."

... more in AlJazeera - MSNBC - BBC - The Guardian - The Independent

Shame to the UN for failure to stop Assad dictatorship massacring the Syrian people. Again and again the United Nations shows it is useless -albeit at a great cost to tax payers of all countries- as Sigmund Freud predicted to Albert Einstein [read here their correspondence titled Why War?]
Mass murderer Assad -with backing from his mates Putin and Iran's Islamic Supreme Führer- employs Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction against the defenseless children and civilians ... while Obama, France, the UK and the EU dishonor their pledges of intervention to protect the Syrian people.

US secretary of state (and France and the UK -the only 3 democracies in the world) said the use of chemical weapons by al-Assad dictatorship against innocent children and civilians is 'inexcusable' and 'undeniable' - full transcript

Kerry calls attack against Syrian civilians 'crime against humanity' ... [+]

'Vladimir Putin: a tyrant at home, a friend of tyrants abroad'
What does Russia have to show for Putin's rule? A corrupt and brutal oligarchy – and shameful support for Syria's bloody regime the excellent article by Senator John McCain in The Guardian



US has evidence confirming sarin was used by Al-Assad in the recent attack causing over 1,400 innocent victims ... [+]
President Barack Obama's unexpected decision to seek approval from Congress undermines his democratic executive power and Democracy itself ... [+]

President Barack Obama's unexpected decision to seek approval from Congress before launching any military action against Syria surprised many of his own advisers as well as military analysts who predicted U.S. Navy ships were on the brink of firing missiles into areas around Damascus.
Obama explained the surprise move on Saturday afternoon, telling the nation: "I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people and for the people."
The president still noted that he believes he has "the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization."
... more in MNSBC - AlJazeera - BBC - The Independent - The Guardian -

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On Syria, the president can't be paralyzed by the past ... [+]

How Labour derailed the PM's Syria plan: Opposition's insistence on 'evidence then decision' led to Commons defeat... [+]

In Syria, it's a case of all or nothing ... [+]

Iran, not Syria, is the West's real target ... [+]

Lieberman warns Syria: Don't attack Israel, we are prepared and have all the answers: Just hours after Netanyahu chastises minister for lashing out at U.S. inaction, Former FM Avigdor Lieberman criticizes international community for not acting on Syria: '100,000 butchered and the world just keeps talking'... [+]


Dictator Assad mass murdered children and innocent civilians with chemical weapons like did his father and US back dictator Saddam Hussein to his people before. Defense Minister of Israel said that Assad has been using chemical weapons against Syrians during the last two years. Last attack was launched from Brigade 155 missile base west of Damascus. Médecins Sans Frontières treated at least 3.600 persons (some 400 died later) soon after this latest attack...
Race against time to prove Assad's massacre by chemical weapons

France warns Syria of forceful response over chemical weapon claims

Global community would have to act if accusations are proved, says French foreign minister, but rules out ground troops.
France has said that the international community would need to respond with force if allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a mass chemical attack on civilians proved to be true.
But the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said there was no question of sending troops on the ground, in an interview with the television network BFM.
He added that if the UN security council could not make a decision, one would have to be taken "in other ways." He did not elaborate.
Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in an apparent gas attack on rebel-held parts of eastern Damascus that is thought to be the most significant use of chemical weapons since thousands of Kurds were gassed by Saddam Hussein in Halabja 25 years ago.
Medics, as well as opposition fighters and political leaders, said the death toll had reached 1,400 and was likely to rise further with hundreds more critically wounded in districts besieged by the Syrian military. Other estimates put the current death toll at between 200 and 500. None of the figures could be independently verified.

On Thursday morning, rebels said new bombardments of rockets and mortars struck neighbourhoods hit by the gas attack.
The Syrian government acknowledged it had launched a major offensive in rebel-held districts in the east of the capital – described by pro-regime media as the biggest since the start of the civil war

... more in The Independent - The Guardian - BBC - MSNBC - El Mundo - Le Monde - Repubblica - AlJazeera - France 24

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Le dictateur Assad utilise des Armes chimiques de destruction massive : l'indignation ne suffit pas ... [+]
ONG volunteers and doctors confirm dictatorship attack witt chemical weapons of mass destruction / Testimonianza audio - La volontaria: "I nostri medici confermano"

The end of the world is starting in Damascus: Those who underestimate the inherent danger of the Huns bear direct responsibility for the deaths of today’s victims, the Syrians, and tomorrow’s victims, the Israelis, Europeans and Americans.
Can this really be happening? In the 21st century? Only a few hundred kilometers from where I’m sitting writing this piece? Can it be that only hours ago a tyrant used chemical weapons against his own people who were rebelling in the capital’s suburbs against his tyranny? Can it be that during this gorgeous summer, Arab women and children are being gassed to death ... [+]

Israel's Defense Minister: Assad used chemical weapons multiple times in Syria during the past two years ... [+]

Los servicios secretos de Israel están convencidos de que Al Asad no sólo usó armas químicas este miércoles reciente, sino en más ocasiones... [+]

Three experts said Thursday that claims by Syrian rebels and activists that President Bashar Assad's forces had used chemical weapons were credible based on video footage of the victims... [+]

The United Nations has called on the Syrian government to allow weapons inspectors into the country "without delay" to investigate claims of a chemical attack... [+]

Diez vídeos sobre el ataque químico del dictador Al Asad en un barrio rebelde de Damasco: Un portavoz de la oposición dijo que seguían descubriendo cadáveres en el distrito de las afueras de Damasco, que provocó la muerte de cientos de personas, y afirmó que la cifra de fallecidos podría aumentar ... [+]

Médecins Sans Frontières backed hospitals treated thousands of Syria 'chemical victims' ... [+]

Thousands suffering neurotoxic symptoms treated in hospitals supported by MSF ... [+]

After Assad's chemical attack, Obama opts for 'Tomahawk diplomacy': If the U.S. decides it has no choice but to respond, it will have to destroy targets such as the Brigade 155 missile base west of Damascus where the chemical rockets most likely originated. The Tomahawk will be the agent of its destruction.
Just like many other weapons systems, the Tomahawk missile was originally designed for a very different target from that for which it was eventually used. The cruise missile (which the American administration has refused in the past to supply to Israel) was envisaged in the 1970s to be used from submarines and land-based silos to carry relatively small nuclear warheads against Soviet bloc targets but a few years... [+]

Marwan Bishara discusses the implications for the international community of potential chemical weapons use in Syria... [+]

Londres vend du matériel militaire à la Syrie et à l'Iran ... [+]

US officials believe Syria used chemical weapons, weigh military response ... [+]

US bolsters navy presence as military options discussed after Damascus massacre: White House weighs military options, while Hague blames regime for atrocity ... [+]

Syria symptoms 'point to neurotoxic agent': Medecins Sans Frontieres says 3,600 people flooded hospitals, and 355 died, after suspected chemical attack in Damascus... [+]

Vaga respuesta internacional a la mayor masacre química de la dictadura Siria ... [+]

Syria's Christians can be the catalysts for peace: Christians have no ambition to rule Syria but they can encourage the warring parties to negotiate a peace deal.
... Although most Syrians fear radical Islam taking power, our greatest worry is that we have no alternative political system to replace the regime when it does fall. We know from our neighbours in Lebanon, Libya and Iraq that countries can descend into chaos and sectarianism when one government goes and there are no institutions to replace it.
Sadly, the whole infrastructure in Syria – political, economic and social – is rotten to the core and its institutions need to be renewed and replaced. For instance, we have two huge organisations dominating the life of children and youth but both are inextricably linked to the Ba'ath party. Civil society in Syria is totally suspended: everything has to go through the ruling party.
Because Christians are a minority, the general view is that they are sympathisers of the regime because they have been "protected" by it. In fact, under the present regime, Christians have never been given special treatment or protection in any way. Although Christians have not been persecuted in Syria, and we have been free to practise our faith and go to church, we have not been exempt from suffering under the corruption that engulfed the regime and infected much of Syrian society.
... read the article by Rev Nadim Nassar in The Guardian


Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late
An open letter to friends and leaders of public opinion in the west: current policy is short-sighted and inhumane

Three months ago, I left the city of Damascus, where life had become too oppressive, to go to the "liberated" area of East Ghouta. An area that had 2 million inhabitants before the uprising, East Ghouta is now populated by only around one million. It was a base from which the rebels headed towards the capital, but is now completely besieged by the regime's forces due to renewed support from Russia and Iran, and the arrival of Iran-sponsored Iraqi and Lebanese militias. During the past three months, I have personally witnessed the staggering lack of arms, ammunition, and even food for the fighters. Many of them would get two meals a day at most, and their situation would have been immeasurably worse had they not been local residents, protecting their own towns and families, and living off their own kin.
... read the full letter in The Guardian -


Inside Syria: What next after the fall of Qusayr?
We look at how the balance of power has shifted after Syrian soldiers retook a strategic city from the rebels.

It has been a week of military gains for the Syrian government whose soldiers won an important battle against the rebels after long and intense fighting.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces regained control of Qusayr - the strategic city near the border with Lebanon. The main opposition coalition conceded defeat but says the uprising will go on.

... more in AlJazeera - The Guardian - The Independent - BBC - France 24
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Robert Fisk: The Lebanese army fears rise of the Sunni Muslim Salafists. As Shia Hezbollah fighters rush to Assad’s aid, Lebanon is fighting a desperate battle to stop the menacing advance of Sunni rebels in the opposite direction ... [+]


Syrian opposition seeks to form a government in exile

...The diplomatic developments came on Sunday as five members of one family were killed in government air attacks on a village in Damascus province, according to a watchdog.
The National Coalition, which many Western and Arab powers recognise as the sole representative of the Syrian people, was discussing the idea of a government-in-exile in Istanbul, Turkey, but differences have emerged over who should lead the new executive, an opposition official told the AFP news agency.
"The US continues to have the president's departure as a condition of regime change, ignoring the fact that the captain of a capsized ship does not jump into the first boat," he said.
"A proposal was made to name Riad Hijab but it has run into much criticism," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Hijab, a former prime minister in the Assad regime, defected last August and has worked closely with Turkish leaders to help restructure the fragmented Syrian opposition.
The opposition bloc, which has called for the establishment of an interim government with full executive powers in rebel-held areas inside Syria, is due to meet on January 28 in Paris, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said.

...more in AlJazeera - The Telegraph - BBC - France 24
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Families burnt and hacked to death in fresh dictator Assad massacre: Entire families have been burnt or hacked to death in a small farming village in central Syria, activists have reported, in a grim manifestation of the sectarian hatred fomenting within the country... [+]

Another 100 civilians killed by dictator Assad's army: A Syrian army assault killed more than 100 civilians, including women and children, on farmland on the outskirts of the central city of Homs, according to a rights group... [+]

Inside Syria by AlJazeera

Who supports who in Syria?
We look at how support for the regime and the rebels has ebbed and flowed and how it is impacting the battle for Syria.


Suported by Putin and China dictatorship, mass murderer Assad's cluster bomb attack kills several children

Dictator Assad was accused of wrecklessly endangering the lives of innocent children on Monday after government forces appeared to have dropped cluster bombs on a school playground where several pupils died.
Activists published video showing at least nine children, all under the age of 15, dead after a bombing run by a fighter jet against Deir al-Asafir, a village east of the capital that has seen heavy fighting.
The plane was reported to have released cluster munitions that exploded in a schoolyard where more than a dozen children had been playing.
"Families had left their homes and taken shelter in the school. This is why there were many children in one place," said an activist calling herself Alexia Jade, speaking from Damascus. "There was a break in the fighting and the children were outside playing their games."
Charity workers said the claims of the use of cluster munitions had been verified in previous phases of the conflict.
Video footage showed a row of what appeared to be unexploded small bombs.

... more in The Telegraph - AlJazeera - BBC - The Guardian - El Mundo - France 24
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Where are the missing Brides of Peace? Women activists who protested about violence in Syria - and were dragged off to jail in their wedding dresses ... [+]

Libertad para las ‘novias de la paz’ ... [+]

France, Turkey and the United Kingdom recognised National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the UK has decided to recognise the Syrian opposition coalition.
He told MPs the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people.
He said they were now a "credible" alternative to the Assad government.
In the absence of a diplomatic solution, he told MPs the UK would not rule out any action - subject to international law - to save lives.
Up to 30,000 people have been killed in the 18-month conflict, the UK believes.
Those trying to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's government moved closer to a united front when the rival leaders of Syria's rebels formed the coalition after months of bitter division.
At a meeting last week, Britain urged the newly formed coalition of opposition groups to put forward a clear plan for political transition in Syria.

... more in the BBC - France 24 - The Guardian - The Telegraph - AlJazeera
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Aleppo rebels retract rejection of coalition: Commanders in Aleppo voice their support to Syrian National Coalition but call for greater representation in it... [+]

Dictator Assad attacks Turkey and kill Turkish civilians prompting retaliation on dictator Assad's military

Turkish armed forces have launched artillery attacks against Syria in response to a mortar attack which killed five members of the same family in southeastern Turkey.
In a statement on Wednesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, said the attacks, carried out following radar tracking, were within the rules of engagement.
Separately, Bulent Arinc, deputy prime minister, said: "There has been an attack on Turkey's mainland and its citizens lost their lives. There is definitely a response to it in international law ... We are not blinded by rage but we will protect our rights to the end in the face of such an attack on our soil that killed our people."

... more in AlJazeera - BBC - France 24 - MSNBC - El Mundo - La Repubblica - Le Monde - Liberation
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Major intelligence base in Damascus hit by anti-dictatorship rebels:
A militant Islamist group has claimed responsibility for an enormous double explosion at a major intelligence base in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the latest in a now regular series of bomb blasts at strategic locations... [+]

Turkey sends fighter jets to Syrian border: Deployment comes amid reports of fierce fighting in Idlib province as rebels try to take control of strategic town... [+]

Syrian jets bomb Aleppo as envoy says dictator Bashar al-Assad rejects reforms:
Opposition sources report 15 people killed in the northern city, and a total of 58 across the country

Syrian air force planes bombed targets in the northern city of Aleppo, killing 15 people, including three children from one family, according to opposition sources. Fighting was also reported around Damascus and elsewhere across the country.
The Local Co-ordination Committees, an opposition network, reported on Monday that at least 58 people had died, including the 15 in Aleppo, where two buildings were hit by bombs dropped by government planes in the southern suburb of Maadi. Video posted online showed people digging through rubble searching for survivors.
Mohammed Saeed, a local activist, said the pre-dawn raid was intended to "terrify the people and try to turn them against the Free Syrian Army", the Associated Press news agency reported.
Attacks by government troops backed by helicopter gunships were reported in the southern town of Sheikh Miskeen in Daraa province. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels and troops were fighting near the airbase of Tabaqah in the northern province of Raqqa. Last week, rebels captured a key border crossing with Turkey in Raqqa.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission reported an armed helicopter dropping a barrel filled with explosives over Taftanaz in the Idlib area.

... more in The Guardian - Al Jazeera - BBC - The Telegraph - MSNBC

Twin blasts near Damascus military compound: Attempt to strike at Syria's military leadership comes six weeks after another bomb killed four top security officials.

Syrian state television said six people were wounded in twin explosions in Damascus that appeared to target the country's military leadership.
Damascus residents said on Sunday that the explosions occurred at a security building in the Abu Rummana district, not far from the compound housing the army and air force headquarters near central Umayyad Square. All of those injured were male conscripts, Syrian television. Two of them were reported to be in a critical condition.
The opposition Syrian Local Co-ordination Committee reported scores of deaths in fighting in Damascus, its subrubs, and Hama on Sunday.
Video footage from activists showed plumes of white smoke rising from the district, an upscale neighbourhood in the heart of Damascus that is home to several embassies.
"A terrorist attack with two bombs occurred in Al-Mehdi Street in the Abu Rummana district," state television said.

... more in AlJazeera - BBC - The Telegraph

Assad's brother-in-law and top Syrian officials killed in Damascus suicide bomb
President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and the Syrian defence minister, Dawoud Rajha, have been killed in a bombing that struck at the heart of the country's security establishment.

State TV said President Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, and Gen Dawoud Rajha, the defence minister were victims of a blast during a high level security meeting. The Interior minister was also injured.
Gen Shawkat was the deputy defense minister and was among the most feared figures in Assad's inner circle. He is married to Assad's elder sister, Bushra.
Reports said the officials had been killed by a bodyguard in a suicide bombing in the capital of Syria but other reports said a device was placed within the building. A "terrorist bomb" which exploded at a national security building in Damascus during a meeting of ministers and security officials wounded several people, some of them critically, state television said.

...more in AlJazeera - The Telegraph - El Mundo - BBC - The Independent - The Guardian - Voz Populi - El Confidencial - Publico - France 24 - La Repubblica - Die Zeit - MSNBC

Senior general from Assad dictatorship defects to rebels and WikiLeaks starts publishing over 2 million emails unmasking the dictatorship and those who supported Assad tyranny

The Assad regime suffered the most significant defection of the Syrian uprising on Thursday when a general from one of the country's most famous families decamped to join the rebels.
The desertion of Brig Manaf Tlas, a senior commander in the elite Republican Guard, dealt a humiliating personal blow to President Bashar al-Assad and represented a major scalp for the opposition.
Brig Tlas was once a close confidante of the president, serving as a member of Mr Assad's small inner circle and the central committee of the Syria's Ba'ath Party.

A pro-government website with links to the Syrian security services confirmed the defection, saying that Brig Tlas had fled to Turkey but played down the impact of the development.
"His escape does not mean anything," a security official was quoted by the Syriasteps website as saying.
But the brigadier's defection would have reverberated across Syria because of the pedigree of his family name. Opposition sources claim 15 brigadiers have joined rebels camped near the border in recent months.
...more in The Telegraph - El Mundo - BBC - The Guardian - Publico

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WikiLeaks published the first of nearly 2.5 million emails relating to Syria on Thursday, warning that the information would prove embarrassing not only to the repressive regime of President Bashar al-Assad but also to its international opponents... [+]

The view from inside Syria's propaganda machine... [+]

Syria crisis: top defection as 'Friends of Syria' meet - live updates: Opposition Syrian National Council to lobby for no-fly zone at Paris meeting. Manaf Tlass bound for France after his defection. Associated Press removed from list of partners on WikiLeaks Syria Files ... [+]

Assad dictatorship continues to massacre defenseless populations, children and women, due to the incapacity of "democratic countries" to stop his murderous drive

International envoy Kofi Annan has expressed alarm at the escalation of fighting in Syria and called for UN observers to be allowed into al-Haffa near Latakia. In a statement he said he was particularly worried about the recent shelling in Homs as well as reports of the use of mortar, helicopters and tanks in the town of al-Haffa, Latakia. "There are indications that a large number of civilians are trapped in these towns," his office said in a statement... [+]

UN observers confirm Syria aerial attacks: Monitors and joint envoy Annan cite increasing use of helicopter gunships, mortars and tanks against opposition areas... [+]

La oposición siria denuncia una nueva "masacre" en la región de Hama: Al menos 78 personas han muerto en Al Qubeir según un comunicado del grupo opositor. Alrededor de la mitad eran mujeres y niños, 35 de ellos de una misma familia... [+]

Kofi Annan 'gravely concerned' by Syria upsurge as regime helicopter gunships unleash their fire... [+]

US fears fresh massacre in Syria: The United States fears Bashar al-Assad is preparing to carry out a fresh massacre in an opposition stronghold as his regime unleashed helicopter gunships on rebel cities across Syria... [+]

Syria condemned for latest Houla massacre and shelling... but shame to the UN for being useless to stop the dictatorship massacring the Syrian people and children

The UN Security Council has condemned the use of heavy weapons by Syria's government during a massacre in which 108 people were killed and 300 injured.
Some 34 children were killed in Friday's massacre, which has sparked international outrage.
The UN said those responsible for the killings must be held accountable.
Syria's UN envoy condemned what he called a "tsunami of lies" being told by some members of the Council, saying Syrian forces were not to blame.
The Security Council unanimously adopted the non-binding statement, which calls for the Syrian government to withdraw its heavy weaponry from residential areas and return them to barracks.
"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings... in the village of (Houla), near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighbourhood," according to the statement read by Azerbaijan's deputy UN ambassador Tofig Musayev.
"The members of the Security Council also condemned the killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse," the statement continued.
"Such outrageous use of force against civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law."

...more in the BBC - AlJazeera - El Mundo - The Telegraph - The Independent - France 24
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Dictator Assad's family 'directing crimes against humanity'

Cloud of Syria's war hangs over Lebanese cleric's death: The fatal shooting of Sheikh Abdul-Wahid by a soldier raised fears about the influence of the Assad regime over the border... [+]

El infierno en la tierra está en los centros de detención del tirano Assad: Pierre Piccinin, un politólogo belga, describe el horror de las mazmorras sirias en los que pasó varios días en mayo por error -antes creía que el sádico tirano Assad decía la verdad- ... [+]

Syria: The evil results of "good intentions":
The Annan Plan is 'worse than feckless', because it buys the Assad regime time and precludes more effective options.

Kofi Annan is a good man. We know that. We have all watched him for years. Where there is conflict and misunderstanding, whether among individuals, groups, or nations, he seeks conciliation. When two parties are in armed conflict, he does not take sides; instead, he tries to make peace.
But we also know that his instincts, however noble, have sometimes served him badly. That was true in Rwanda, when Annan's forbearance provided evil men with an opportunity they should not have had. It was also occasionally true at the UN, where the corrupt and the abusive sometimes found sanctuary in the nurturing environment of the then-Secretary General's tolerant understanding. And now, once again, we see Kofi Annan on a world stage, following, as usual, his noble instincts.
Annan was a logical choice for the UN and the Arab League to serve as their joint envoy to Syria. The UN Security Council is at loggerheads. Its permanent members cannot agree on a course of action regarding Syria. China, burdened by its ongoing mistreatment of Tibetans and Uighurs, will not support any action which could set a precedent for international interference in domestic repression. Russia has its own interests in the preservation of the Assad regime, and can cite its abhorrence of protracted civil war to forestall concerted international action against it.
The Arab League, for all that it has dealt sternly with Assad, has its own preoccupations and divisions, and collectively flinches from aiding and abetting violent insurrection in an Arab nation.

...more in The Guardian - AlJazeera - The Telegraph - Publico - El Mundo
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Shame to the UN and "democratic" countries for failing to act while dictator Assad continues to massacre entire populations with weapons of mass destruction:

Tanks, helicopter gunships and artillery are being used to crush resistance to President Bashar al Assad in Syria's north, reports Nick Meo in Antakya...
Women and children killed by "government thugs" in Homs, activists say, as the military assault on Idlib continues.
Dozens of people have been killed in two flashpoint cities in Syria, opposition activists say, hours after the UN special envoy to Syria met the country's president in an effort to reach a diplomatic solution to end the violence.
The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), a network of opposition activists, said at least 45 women and children were killed on Monday morning in the Karm al-Zaytoun neighbourhood of Homs.
”[They] have been slaughtered in a massacre by the regime’s Shabiha [armed men],” the group said in a statement, adding that 25 other people were killed in other parts of the city.
...Separately, in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syrian government troops shelled several areas as part of a campaign to crush the opposition in its stronghold along the border with Turkey.
Opposition activists said on Monday that 25 people were killed in Idlib.
In a phone interview with Al Jazeera, Abu Hani, a city resident, described the conditions in local hospitals as shocking.
"After shelling the city, security forces began a house-to-house search for activists and protesters," he said. "And soldiers have been granted complete freedom to loot everything from homes and shops."

...more in The Telegraph - AlJazeera - BBC - El Mundo - France 24 - MSNBC
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Syria's opposition has accused security forces of killing 47 women and children in Homs and urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the killings...
The UN Security Council has "failed" in its duties to the Syrian people by failing to pass a resolution condemning violence in the country, according to William Hague, the foreign secretary...

Exclusive in The Guardian: secret Assad emails lift lid on life of leader's inner circle: Messages show Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran. Dictator made light of promised reforms. British born wife spent thousands on jewellery and furniture...[+]
Los e-mails del dictador Asad: consejos de Irán para reprimir al pueblo Sirio, el dictador se mofa de sus promesas de reformas, los gustos caros de su perversa mujer...

Syria's deputy oil minister says he is resigning to join the revolt against the criminal regime of dictator Assad.

The Syrian opposition has hailed the defection of Abdo Hussameddin, the deputy oil minister, saying it expects more government officials and politicians to follow suit.
Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group, said: "I hail the deputy (oil) minister who defected and I call on all government members and public servants ... to abandon this regime and join the ranks of the revolution for freedom and dignity.
"I expect for sure that there are other government officials and politicians who will follow suit."
Speaking in Cairo, he urged "the Syrian opposition to come together to work with us to find a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people."
Mr Annan was in Cairo for talks with officials ahead of a trip to Damascus on Friday.
"We will do whatever we can to urge and press the cessation of hostilities and an end to the killing and violence," he said ahead of talks with Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr.

...more in Al Jazeera - BBC - The Telegraph - The Guardian - France 24 - El Mundo

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Robert Fisk: Is Homs an echo of what happened in Srebrenica?
Shame to the UN and "democratic" countries: Assad continues to massacre entire populations with weapons of mass destruction: Tanks, helicopter gunships and artillery are being used to crush resistance to President Bashar al Assad in Syria's north, reports Nick Meo in Antakya...

Qatari prime minister calls for Syrian opposition to be armed in legitime defense

Speaking in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, Qatar's prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, urges the international community to provide arms to Syrians rebelling against President Bashar al-Assad. It comes a day after a referendum on a new Syrian constitution which could keep Assad in power until 2028. Assad's British-born wife, Asma, made a rare appearance voting on Sunday

...The Syrian Red Cross has succeeded in evacuating just three people from the besieged city of Homs. The International Committee of the Red Cross said a pregnant woman, her husband and a sick elderly woman had been taken out of the city by ambulances. None of the wounded western reporters were among those evacuated: there are reports they wanted stronger assurances that they would not be detained by Syrian authorities before they would board an ambulance.
• Unconfirmed reports from Homs claim Syrian forces killed more than 60 people attempting to flee the city. The families from the Baba Amr district, which has been ravaged by near-constant shelling in recent weeks, were reportedly loaded onto buses at a checkpoint by solders who promised them safe passage; at least 60 male bodies were later found dumped in two locations. The whereabouts of women who were among the families is unknown.
• A hawkish wing of the opposition Syrian National Council has formed a splinter group to unequivocally back armed resistance against the Syrian government. The move further weakens the already divided opposition.
• Qatar has now joined Saudi Arabia in saying that the international community should arm Syria's opposition. Meanwhile, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has cautioned against arming the opposition, suggesting that arms could fall into the hands of terrorists.

...more in The Guardian

Tyrannies of China and Russia support massacre of Syrian people by mass murder criminal Assad

The Syrian army has stepped up its attacks on opposition fighters in Homs, activists and witnesses have said, a day after a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria was blocked by Russia and China.

Abu Abdo Alhomsy, an activist with the revolutionary council in Homs, spoke to Al Jazeera on Monday, describing an attack on the city as live pictures showed smoke billowing over the city:
"Its a massive attack - a new massacre is happening here. Nobody can go out, we don't know how many homes have been hit or how many people died."
Video received by Al Jazeera from opposition activists on Sunday showed the apparent devastation caused by a military offensive in the Bab Amr neighbourhood of Homs.
Activists and witnesses said the army has been shelling the neighbourhood "indiscriminately" since Sunday morning.
The video images appear to show people who have been shot and hit by shrapnel, including heavily injured young children.

...more in Al Jazeera - MSNBC - BBC - The Telegraph - The Guardian - The New York Times - France 24 - El Mundo - Publico

Has Syria been given a licence to kill?: After Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution on Syria, we ask if this is the end of the road for a diplomatic solution...

Mass murderer Assad backed by tyrannies of Russia and China
Imperialism, despotism, and democracy in Syria: The stark choice between a fascist or an imperialist course in Syria should be discarded for a third and better course...
Live coverage of developments in Syria, where Homs is under heavy artillery fire as Britain recalls its ambassador for "consultations"...

Free Syrian Army is all that stands between civilians and tanks: As Syria's rebellious cities are bombarded, the regime's tank crews continue to massacre defenseless people, only a rag-tag and poorly armed but determined army stands in their way...
Syrian dictatorship 'emboldened' by UN inaction, says human rights chief: UN's human rights commissioner says Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship is launching an all-out assault on opponents...
Britain 'would provide support but not troops for Syria peacekeeping mission': Britain would provide funding and support for a joint United Nations-Arab League peacekeeping mission in Syria but could not go as far as contributing troops on the ground, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, suggested on Monday...

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UN general assembly backs call for Assad to quit as Syrian president: Russia and China oppose resolution which backs Arab League plan calling on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down...
Syria Live Blog
La ONU condena al régimen sirio y exige el inicio de una transición: Rusia y China votaron en contra del texto, propuesto por los países arabes ...


Free Razan Ghazzawi, human rights activist kidnapped by dictatorship

...more in Free Razan Ghazzawi - The Guardian - Siryan Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
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Syrian rebels attack dictator's party offices in Damascus
All-out civil war more likely after Free Syrian Army claims responsibility for grenade strike on ruling party's building

Insurgents in Syria have launched the most audacious attack yet on the seat of power in the capital Damascus, targeting the offices of the ruling Ba'ath party.
Tilting the country closer to all-out civil war, insurgents fired two rocket-propelled grenades at the building. The Free Syrian Army, a collection of defectors fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, claimed it had carried out the attack.
Although the grenades appeared to have done little damage, they were a symbolic blow against Assad's regime – and appeared to demonstrate a new tactical capacity on the part of anti-government forces. Three days ago an air force intelligence complex was attacked in a Damascus suburb.
"Security police blocked off the square where the Ba'ath's Damascus branch is located. But I saw smoke rising from the building and fire trucks around it," one witness, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. "The attack was just before dawn and the building was mostly empty. It seems to have been intended as a message to the regime,"
In a defiant interview, however, Assad told the Sunday Times he would not bow to international pressure. Government troops would continue to target street protesters, whom he called "militants".Assad said his regime was fighting the "militants" to "protect civilians". He claimed the rebels were funded and armed from outside Syria.

...more in The Guardian - AlJazeera - BBC - El Mundo - La Repubblica - France 24 - Die Welt - MNSBC

Dictator Bashar al-Assad 'increasingly isolated', but keeps murdering thousands of citizens claiming for their fundamental human rights
The United States has welcomed a strengthening of an international drive against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the Arab League, King Abdullah of Jordan and the EU piled on the pressure.

The White House said on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was increasingly isolated and reiterated Washington's position that he had lost his legitimacy to rule and should go.
"It is clear that the Assad regime is continuing to be isolated, that the political pressure on them is building," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Meanwhile Mark Toner, the State Department spokesman said: "We're going to continue to consult not only with the Arab League, but also with the EU and our other partners as we move forward in trying to find ways to increase the pressure on Assad."
He added that "the international community, the US, the EU, the Arab League, individual states like Turkey, (are) taking stronger and stronger stances against what's going on in Syria."
On Monday Jordan's King Abdullah II became the first Arab leader to urge Assad to step down, and Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, warned embattled Middle East leaders that those who cannot meet the demands of their people "will go."

...more in The Telegraph - AlJazeera - BBC - The Guardian - El Mundo - France 24 - MSNBC

Syrians appeal for international protection
Deaths reported in security crackdown as protests against Assad's government erupt in cities across the country.

Syrians have taken to the streets for another Friday of protests, calling for international help to stop the security crackdown by Bashar al-Assad's government.
Large protests called "Friday for International Protection" were reported in cities including Qamishli in the northeast, Homs and Hama in the centre of the country, and Deir al-Zor in the east.
Activists and rights group say at least 2,200 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the uprising began in mid-March.
Al Jazeera's Omar al Saleh, reporting from Ramtha on the Jordan-Syria border, said the calls vary from the execution of Assad to international protection.
"These calls are escalating every day, now they are demanding international protection from their own government," he said
Activists said up to five people were killed by security forces on Friday, including a teenage boy.
"A 15-year-old boy was martyred when soldiers manning a checkpoint opened fire in the village of al-Rama, in Jabal al-Zawiyah," in the northwest, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.

... more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - The Independence - France 24 - El Mundo - La Repubblica - BBC

Brave Attorney general resigned to denounce crimes against Humanity by Al-Assad's dictatorship

An attorney general in the central Syrian city has resigned from his post, in protest of what he called repression exercised by the Syrian regime.
Adnan al-Bakkour, speaking in a video footage posted on the internet on Wednesday, claimed to have witnessed over 70 executions and hundreds of civilians tortured while held in custody at Hama central prison last July.
Al-Bakkour said that he had been exposed to over 420 victims in mass graves by security forces, the arrests of peaceful protesters, the torture of prisoners by security services, and the demolition of homes.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Bakkour denied the regime's claim that he was kidnapped by "armed gangs" and was forced to read his resignation. He went on to say that he was in a safe place defended by protesters.
His video release came on the same day security forces made further arrests in the city of Houle, about 12 miles from Homs, where the authorities sparked anger as they returned the bodies of 13 people arrested in early August.
The Local Coordination Committees, grouping activists on the ground, said security forces set fire to the homes of two men in Houle and threatened to arrest their wives and children if they did not surrender.
In the village of Aqrab, security forces burned down another house and carried out searches and arrests, "terrorising" residents at the start of the Eid holidays, which follow the holy month of Ramadan, the committees said.
They said that in Hama province, opposition figure Mustafa Rostom was arrested from his home by military intelligence agents and was prevented from taking medicines with him although he has health problems.

...more in Al Jazeera - The Telegraph - Reuters - ABC Online - SYRIA LIVE BLOG - Haaretz - BBC - MSNBC - El Mundo

Syria crackdown horror catalogued in Amnesty deaths in detention report
Majority of detainees who have died since start of uprising against regime said to have been tortured

The majority of victims were tortured or ill-treated, with injuries ranging from beatings, burns and blunt-force traumas to whipping marks, electrocution, slashes and mutilated genitals.
Amnesty documented the names, dates and places of arrest of victims, while independent forensic pathologists have established possible causes of death in some cases by examining film of the bodies.
Amnesty's report was released as at least seven people were killed when thousands protested outside mosques following prayers to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
A 13-year-old boy was among those killed when government forces opened fire in the southern province of Deraa. There were further deaths and injuries in the capital Damascus and the city of Homs, where people poured on to the streets to demand the removal of President Bashar al-Assad in defiance of tanks and troops, witnesses said.
...more in The Guardian - Al Jazeera - France 24 - BBC
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Security forces 'storm Damascus mosque'
Live fire reportedly used as security forces surround a mosque in the Kafarsouseh district in the west of the capital.

Syrian security forces have reportedly killed two people and wounded several others protesting at a mosque in the capital, Damascus.
Activists said "thousands" of people took to the streets in Kafarsouseh, a western suburb, to protest against dictator Bashar al-Assad's rule after early morning prayers on Saturday.
A witness told Al Jazeera that security forces and regime thugs arrived at the scene, using sound bombs and tear gas in an attempt to stop the demonstration.
Protesters threw rocks and the tear gas canisters back at the security forces, the witness said, and security forces responded with gun fire, injuring eight people.
The witness said protesters were then pushed back into the mosque, which was surrounded by shabiha thugs and security forces.
Activists said security forces stormed the mosque, attacking the 80-year-old imam who was later taken to a Damascus hospital. Parts of the interiors was damaged and about 150 people arrested, according to activists.
While the mosque was besieged, crowds gathered to protest in a square adjacent to the mosque. Activists said five people were injured when security forces opened fire and used teargas to disperse the protesters.
The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) said hundreds of people had also protested in the suburb of Moadamiya, and in the Tijara neighbourhood early on Saturday.
Activists called on protesters to converge on the Abaseen Square in central Damascus, but the LCC said only about 60 people had actually arrived at the square.

...more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - The Independent - France 24 - Repubblica - El Mundo - BBC
Read also:
Syrian expatriates arrested in Saudi Arabia for staging rally in support of uprising
Syrian cartoonist has hands broken: Ali Farzat a political cartoonist whose drawings expressed Syrians' frustrated hopes for change was grabbed after he left his studio and beaten by masked gunmen who broke his hands. ...more in The Guardian - The Telegraph - BBC

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad attacks city of Hama
At least 95 reportedly killed as army enters western city, day after activists reported six dead in city of Deir ez-Zor.

At least 95 civilians have reportedly been killed and dozens of others wounded after Syrian tanks stormed the city of Hama, shooting indiscriminately, residents said.
The attack on Sunday came nearly a month after Syrian forces besieged the city, following some of the largest demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad's rule since protests began in March, the Reuters news agency reported.

Al Jazeera's Rula Amin said that the number of deaths "are on the rise and the government seems adamant in wanting to crush the protests".
"We have seen that the government had intensified its effort to try and end the wave of protesters or contain it over the past two weeks using more severe measures, like mass arrests of activists as well as just regular people who took part in the protests, or sometimes never even went to the streets.
"So it seems that the government is expecting some sort of escalation in the protest movement during the month of Ramadan and they are trying to pre-empt it," our correspondent, reporting from neighbouring Lebanon, said.
The Syrian government has banned Al Jazeera and many other foreign media outlets from reporting from inside the country, making it difficult to verify reports of fighting.

One of the Hama residents, a doctor who did not want to be further identified for fear of arrest, told Reuters that the tanks were attacking from four different direction and "firing randomly".
"They are firing their heavy machine guns randomly and overrunning makeshift road blocks erected by the inhabitants," he said by phone, the sound of machine gun fire crackling in the background.
He said that there were 51 people wounded at Badr hospital alone, which was running short of blood for transfusions. He said tanks had surrounded another main hospital, al-Horani.
Another resident said snipers had climbed onto the roofs of the state-owned electricity company and the main prison, and that electricity had been cut in eastern neighbourhoods.
Assad is attempting to crush an uprising against his 11-year rule that broke out in March, inspired by "Arab Spring" revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and has spread across the country.
Hama was the scene of a massacre in 1982 when Assad's father, the late president Hafez al-Assad, sent his troops to crush an Islamist-led uprising, razing whole neighbourhoods and killing up to 30,000 people in the bloodiest episode of Syria's modern history.
...Earlier this month the US and French ambassadors made a visit to the city to show solidarity with the protesters, while the Turkish prime minister, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, has said there must not be "another Hama" in reference to 1982 massacre.
There were also reports this weekend of a Syrian army colonel saying he had founded an army of defectors after fleeing with hundreds of soldiers. The man, identifying himself as Colonel Riad al-Asaad, told AFP: "I am the commander of the Syrian Free Army" and warned against any attack on Deir Ezzor.
Amateur footage circulating online also purported to show soldiers defecting in Hama, including one video showing soldiers kissing protesters.

...more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - El Mundo - France 24 - Liberation - Publico - La Repubblica - El Pais
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Several citizens dead as Syrian dictatorship fires on protesters.

At least 20 killed near Daraa, a witness tells Al Jazeera, as anti-government protesters defy security crackdown.
The bloody crackdown on protesters in Syria has left dozens dead as President Bashar Al-Assad faces the greatest challenge to his 11 years in power.
Security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in the city of Sanamin near Daraa on Friday, killing at least 20 people, according to one witness.
"There are more than 20 martyrs .... they [security forces] opened fire haphazardly," the witness told Al Jazeera on Friday.
Rula Amin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Damascus, said Syrian forces apparently fired after protesters set fire to a statue of the late president, Hafez al-Assad.
Footage on YouTube also showed protesters in the cental square of Daraa dismantling a portrait of his son, Bashar al-Assad, the current president.

Reuters reported that heavy gunfire could be heard in the southern city of Daraa, the focal point for demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad's regime in recent days.
Three people were also reported killed in Mouadamieh district of Damascus after a crowd confronted a procession of cars driven by supporters of president Bashar al-Assad, residents said, according to Reuters.

...more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - BBC - The Independent - MSNBC - El Mundo - Publico - El Pais - France 24 - La Repubblica

Time in Damascus -

"La tinta del intelectual es más santa que la sangre del mártir"
"El que se arrepiente es como el que no ha pecado"
"La verdadera riqueza de un hombre consiste en el bien que hace en el mundo."
"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow."

News : Middle-East :: SYRIA


Syria country profile

Once the centre of the Islamic Empire, Syria covers an area that has seen invasions and occupations over the ages, from Romans and Mongols to Crusaders and Turks.
A country of fertile plains, mountains and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Arab Sunnis, the last of who make up a majority of the Muslim population.
Modern Syria gained its independence from France in 1946 but has lived through periods of political instability driven by the conflicting interests of these various groups.
From 1958-61 it united with Nasser's Egypt, but an army coup restored independence before the Alawite-controlled pan-Arab Baath (Renaissance) party took control in 1963. It rules to this day.
Baath government has seen authoritarian [dictatorship] rule at home and a strong anti-Israeli policy abroad, particularly under former President Hafez al-Assad. In 1967 Syria lost the Golan Heights to the Israelis, while civil war in neighbouring Lebanon allowed it to extend its political and military influence in the region.
...more in the BBC

Save Syria's Disappeared by the dictatorship
Since March, almost 3000 people have been taken by regime forces and disappeared into secret jails. The international community has spoken out, but done little to stop this attack -- but India, Brazil and South Africa have close ties to Syria and could push for an international human rights delegation to find the missing and reunite families with their loved ones
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Para informaciones sobre los conflictos mundiales en Oriente (Israel, Palestina, Iraq, Afganistán, Siria, etc.) recomendamos (en inglés) la columna del galardonado periodista Robert FISK en el diario The Independent y las entrevistas en Democracy Now (resúmenes en español). También la web dedicada al periodista - Y por supuesto en Haaretz y en Al Jazeera

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