Home » Be Informed About Syria: Reference List (4)

Be Informed About Syria: Reference List (4)

Images of students at Damascus University, interviewed at a vigil held for those killed and maimed in the terror attack on the School of Architecture café, 28 March 2013.

Interview of Mother Agnes Mariam for a Catholic radio station in the UK, broadcast on Easter Sunday 2013.

Mother Agnes Mariam
http://sotonsom.com/radio_rc/antioch1.mp3

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Car bomb in Damascus

April 8, 2013


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KctcEIZ0QWw&feature=youtu.be

Russian Journalist reports from scene of car bomb in central Damascus on 8 April; Syria: “We are fighting fascism”


http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=643_1365440692#YeAfDzBS8AGj4mPk.30

 

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US ‘fueling and orchestrating’ war crime against people of Syria

RT 7 April 2013

Moscow has expressed its concern over the UN’s “inconsistent” and “unconstructive” approach to dealing with the charges of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria. Sara Flounders explains what could go wrong if the issue is not thoroughly addressed.

Russia has accused the UN of yielding to the pressure of “certain states” and disrupting the investigation into what Moscow says are perfectly verifiable claims, all in order to further condemn the regime of President Bashar Assad, while victimizing rebels. The attack in question took place on March 19 and has claimed the lives of 25 people, with blame being directed both ways.

 

Sara Flounders, who is the head of the International Action Center in New York, is adamantly opposed to the drumming up of any charges as a pretext for intervention or invasion. She recalls the lessons of Iraq and Libya – both now completely destitute and without properly-functioning governments. Finally, Flounders believes that the US is putting the region’s people in mortal danger by supplying extremists in the area with weapons for the purpose of bringing about regime change in Syria.


http://rt.com/op-edge/russia-syria-us-weapons-450/
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The liberal way to run the world – “improve” or we’ll kill you

John Pilger September 2012

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-liberal-way-to-run-the-world-improve-or-we-ll-kill-you
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Video appears to show world’s most powerful rifle in hands of Syrian rebels

FoxNews.com By Paul Alster  Published April 03, 2013

New YouTube video from the Syrian battlefield shows rebels firing what appears to be the same high-powered sniper rifle favored by U.S. Navy SEALs, leaving some experts wondering who the ragtag army of insurgents might train the guns on in the future.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/03/world-most-powerful-rifle-raising-fears-in-hands-syrian-rebels/

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This news report is some months old, but it does present the voices of women in a street in Aleppo, voices rarely heard in the West.


Syrian TV News 23 Dec 2012

Women in Aleppo speak out against ‘rebels’; church service in Damascus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVF9sOlslUg&feature=player_embedded

 

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Gulf states put new conditions on arms supplies to Syrian rebels

THE NATIONAL   7 April 2013

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/gulf-states-put-new-conditions-on-arms-supplies-to-syrian-rebels

 

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Joshua Landis has been quoted by ABC reporter Matt Brown as if he is a trusted ABC source. Here Landis is being interviewed with Syrian doctor and activist Yazan Abdullah.

Terminology Chaos: Discuss “post-Qaeda” not “post-Assad” Syria. Yazan Abdalla

6 April 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RZCa3ESwZM

 

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The Telegraph

Ahmed, the eight-year-old boy on the front line of Syria’s civil war

29 March 2013


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9961945/Ahmed-the-eight-year-old-boy-on-the-front-line-of-Syrias-civil-war.html

 

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Islamic cleric decrees it OK for Syrian rebels to rape women

WASHINGTON TIMES  3 APRIL 2013

By Cheryl K. Chumley

An Islamic cleric has cleared the path for rebels in Syria, who are trying to oust President Bashar Assad, to rape women, so long as they’re non-Sunni.

Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni, who hails from Jordan but who lived in Damascus for 17 years, sent a message via YouTube: It’s a “legitimate fatwa” for Muslims waging war against Mr. Assad and trying to put in place a Sharia government to “capture and have sex with” Alawites and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women, Human Events reports. Mr. Assad is part of the Alawites sect.

In the video, the cleric called non-Muslim women by their Arabic term, “melk al-yamin,” Human Events reports. The term is from the Koran and refers to non-Muslim sex slaves, Human Events says.

This isn’t the first time Islamists have called for the raping of women.

A preacher in Saudi Arabi, Muhammad al-Arifi, sent forth a fatwa a few months ago giving jihadi fighters the right to have “intercourse marriage” with Syrian women they caught, and for that act to take enough time “to give each fighter a turn,” Human Events reports.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/3/islamic-cleric-decrees-it-ok-syrian-rebels-rape-wo/

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BREAKING: U.S. backed Syrian Rebel Group supported by Al-Qaeda Affiliates

ROCKLAND TIMES   27 March 2013 By Anthony Melé     RCT Contributor
According to Reuters and A.P. field reports and the New York Times, the United States support of rebels in Syria is directly benefitting the Al Nusra Front, which is allied with Al-Qaeda.

In fact, Al Nusra has become the de facto leaders of the entire rebel movement, international news media accounts indicate. Moaaz Al-Khateeb, the US designated leader of the Syrian opposition groups has said the US made a “grave mistake” listing Al-Nusra as a terrorist group. He called the jihadis the backbone of the rebellion.

Social media updates streaming in from Syrian youth reporters, confirm the atrocities being perpetrated against the Syrian civilian population by jihadis. The American situation in Syria and indeed the entire region has turned into a dangerous conundrum, or worse.

According to White House correspondent, Neil Munroe;   ”[It’s] a risky policy, because the administration has inadvertently helped jihadi-allied Islamist groups gain weapons and power in Libya, Egypt and Mali.”

It is further reported in an Arab news agency that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia released jihadi prisoners arrested for attacks within the Kingdom, offering clemency if they direct their jihad against Syria.

Anthony Mele is a TEA Party activist and was the 2010 GOP candidate for Congressional District-17. He is a former intelligence staff NCO for high ranking national security officials at the Pentagon.

http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2013/03/27/breaking-u-s-backed-syrian-rebel-group-supported-by-al-qaeda-affiliates/

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Mazzah Bombing – Damascus, Syria 31 March 2013

VIDEO FROM SYRIAN TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxpj7zxAjP0

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Homs Baath University Remember Damascus University Martyrs

Published on Apr 2, 2013

15 students martyred and tens injured in the March 28, 2013 ‘democratization’ of the College of Architecture in Damascus University, by the powers of evil, darkness and ignorance, the Wahhabi Sex Jihadist mercenaries. They were remembered today by their friends at the Baath University in Homs city.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VKM2NaSvIA&feature=player_embedded
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AL-MANAR

Has the Arab League Mortally Wounded Itself by Declaring War on Syria?

29 March 2013   Franklin Lamb

……….. There is no escaping the fact that the result of the decisions made in Doha is that the Arab League has refused a peaceful settlement for Syria and that the AL recognition of the national coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people contradicts the Geneva Communique and makes irrelevant, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out this week, the mission of UN and Arab League mediator for Syria, Brahimi.   Given that one of the founders of the mandate, the Arab League, proclaims that the national opposition is the only legitimate Government of Syria, advocates and joins in the arming of the forces anointed to oust the regime how can there be negotiations?  This decision to supply arms to the Syrian opposition not only violates international law, but again in the words of Lavrov, “is a blatant encouragement of confrontation of the irreconcilable forces on both sides to make them fight this war to the bitter end.”

http://www.almanartv.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=2&cid=101&frid=41&seccatid=101&eid=87989

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PRESS TVAl Quds scholars call on Syrians for dialogue & peace
31 August 2012Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU4f8shwQks

In a call that is first of it’s kind from Jerusalem Al Quds; a group of Islamic scholars called on Syrians not to be misled by false propaganda and foreign interests.

Imam Salah Edin Ben Ibrahim the only speaker among the relatively unknown group of scholars, urged Syrians to sit down and hold talks that will pave the way for a peaceful resolution to the 18 month bloody conflict.

The Imam blamed a number of factors for what is happening in Syria namely false propaganda while referring directly to Al Jazeera network as the principle network for such propaganda spreading it on Syria. Secondly, the Imam accused Sheikh Mohammad Qaradawi of being untruthful about Syria and inciting violence among Syrians. Lastly, the Imam blamed foreign intervention and cited a foreign military base in the region is clear reference to a U.S. base in Qatar.

Supporters of this call for dialogue and peace are not only Muslims. Earlier in the month we’ve met with a leading Palestinian Christian Archbishop who also had harsh words against foreign intervention in Syria.

Palestinians often look to Syria with great concern and Syrian issues have been of great significance to them.

The Syrian conflict without a doubt is complex. But more and more Palestinians, including religious figures, are now starting to believe that what is happening in Syria is the result of foreign intervention.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/259137.html

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Nusra Front Brainwashing Syrian Children

(29/03/13) Disturbing footage of Jabhat Al Nusra insurgents using propaganda to brainwash children with their Jihadist ideals. Hatred of non-Muslims and contempt of democracy being just two of them. Several young children, some of whom have already been compelled to cover from head to toe are filmed singing songs in honour of Jabhat Al Nusra which also condemn ‘kuffars’ and their ideals while pledging loyalty to Jihad and Jabhat Al Nusra – Syria’s major Al Qaeda front group.

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CIA and US Military Fight Under Al Qaeda Command in Syria

VETERANS TODAY  April 1 2013

Interview with Gordon Duff

What we know is that the weapons that this young man is accused of using came through Turkey; they were supplied by NATO, there is no question about this, the group is claimed by the United States…. if you want to accuse him of something he could just as easily have been arrested if he’d failed to shoot at Syrian army helicopters. I have no idea what the crime is here other than it appears that the CIA and FBI don’t know what each of them is doing. Which by the way it’s not the first time that that’s happened.”

An intelligence analyst says the recent FBI arrest of US soldier and alleged CIA agent, Eric Harroun, for joining foreign-backed militants in Syria is a mockery of US operations as it shows the CIA and FBI’s disunity.

The comment comes as Harroun’s father Darryl says his son was serving the CIA in Syria and reporting back to the Agency from the country.

He says his son, who was arrested and charged with conspiracy on Wednesday for fighting with al-Qaeda-linked militants, is extremely patriotic and would not join militants.

However, the FBI affidavit mentioned no word of Harroun working for the CIA.

Harroun, 30, was arrested upon arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, after fighting with the notorious al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria since January.

The detained soldier has confessed to shooting 10 people and using a rocket-propelled grenade while in Syria and being involved in downing a Syrian chopper. He is also charged with plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the US.

Press TV has conducted an interview with American intelligence analyst Gurdon Duff in Ohio to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/04/01/cia-and-us-military-fight-under-al-qaeda-command-in-syria/

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Arab League’s part in Syria violence

PRESS TV 2 April 2013  by Jim W. Dean

I watched in utter amazement last week as the so-called Arab League endorsed the external overthrow of a member state, which involves not only other member states’ funding of arms smuggling, but their supporting terrorism against the Syrian people.

Bashar al-Assad was one the Arab League had no problem with previously. So why the change of policy now?

Despite their Phds. and many years in government, these League Arabs seem to suffer from the traditional elitist disease which is, “Do like I say, not like I do.” The monarchies ruling some of the member states are nothing more than thieves themselves, albeit well-dressed ones, but they historically have limited themselves to robbing their own people.

I had a Moroccan visitor a few months ago here in Atlanta who explained to me the Moroccan attitude toward not supporting the Communists. “Why should we go through all of the trouble for a communist revolution just to then be robbed by Communists, when we can avoid all of that disruption by keeping the robbers we have now?” It was a refreshing admission.

When regime change comes to their door with deep pockets supplying arms to internal opposition, their overseas assets being seized, families being car bombed and universities mortared, they will regret the day when they gave permission for it. That is exactly what they have done here, a most irresponsible move.

Jim W. Dean comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. He has appeared on PBS most recently on the Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates and lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon. His current writing focus is on national security, intelligence, black and psyops, military/Intel history including personal video archives, and the current wars. Jim Dean is the managing editor of Veterans

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/02/296138/arab-leagues-part-in-syria-violence/
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Jesuit Refugee Service

Syria: witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians

Published on Feb 12, 2013

Working entirely with Syrians, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) relies on local networks of volunteers who give much of their time, energy and skills to assist with our efforts within Syria’s borders. Hailing from all walks of life, with different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, these volunteers are focused on the goal of assisting and serving people severely affected by the conflict.

Note: Since the making of this video, the number of Syrians in need of assistance has increased to 2.5 million internally displaced persons and 4 million in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k__dYVnz9N0&feature=player_embedded#!

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

A Syrian’s Perspective: Bashar al-Assad’s Democratic Movement

GLOBAL RESEARCH 30 March 2013

…….

This background gives the context accompanying president Assad’s reform attempts in Syria, where he had to face foreign powers from abroad and their agents from within.

The current crisis is not a civil war or rebellion, but a foreign aggression against a sovereign nation.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-democracy-vs-the-foreign-invasion-who-is-bashar-al-assad/5329181

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TUNISIANS RALLY TO SUPPORT PEOPLE OF SYRIA AND PEACE

Video uploaded 31 March 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmQq7pvx-R0&feature=youtu.be

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Interview / documentary on Syrian TV with Syrian American researcher and journalist, Rafeeq Lutuf, based in Syria

This is a look at events in Aleppo which includes interviews with young men who had joined the ‘rebels’ and later been captured.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79uXLZXlhW8

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Turkey camps, training hub for Syria insurgents: Turkish party

PRESS TV 13 NOV 2013

This is a short report which suggests Turkey is heavily involved in supporting armed militias, both Syrian and foreign, going across its border into Syria.  A member of the Turkish opposition explains that there is a price given to militias for dead Alawis. (It should not be necessary to spell out the meaning of that, but there has been so much demonising of the president of Syria, an Alawi, that perhaps it helps to ask ourselves what if there was money given for a dead Jew, or Chinese, or black American, or Aborigine, or atheist?  How would the world react? )

http://presstv.com/detail/2012/11/13/271982/turkey-camps-rebels-training-hub/

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PALESTINE CHRONICLE 27 March 2013

Burning out Another Room in the Arab House

By Jeremy Salt – Ankara

In the ugly panorama that is the contemporary Middle East a light hardly flickers on the horizon. Iraq has been destroyed as a unitary Arab state and jihadis unleashed in Syria are burning out another room in the Arab house. Lebanon has again been brought to the brink of implosion through the intrigues of outside governments and local proxies incapable of putting the interests of their country ahead of their sectarian and power intrigues. The Palestinians are divided between those who live under the authority of one man who has bound himself to Israel and the US and two others who have bound themselves to Egypt and Qatar. Fitna – the spreading of division and sowing of hatred amongst Muslims – is being fanned across the region by governments brazen enough to call themselves Muslim. Whether in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, Shiism is the enemy. Ceaselessly stirring this pot from the outside are governments that feast on division in the Arab world.  CONT.

http://palestinechronicle.com/burning-out-another-room-in-the-arab-house/

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Syrian rebel fighters blast Muslim Brotherhood for ‘delaying victory’

The National April 1, 2013  by Phil Sands

ANTAKYA, TURKEY // Syrian rebel fighters have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of undermining the revolt against Bashar Al Assad and trying to dictate opposition politics.Rebel officers said the Brotherhood was putting narrow factional politicking over the broad interests of the revolt.

“We hold you responsible for delaying victory of the revolution and the fragmentation of the opposition,” the Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army said in an open letter to the Muslim Brotherhood.

There was a “deep confrontation” within the opposition between the Muslim Brotherhood and other secular, national and military factions, the FSA said. …

In a response posted online, the Brotherhood spokesman Amr Mishoh dismissed the statement. He said there was no evidence for its claims and that the organisation was playing a proportionate, constructive role both in opposition politics and on the ground.

“All of these attempts to deform the Muslim Brotherhood will not succeed and will not stop our patriotic role in the Syrian revolution,” he said.

More tellingly, the Brotherhood claimed the FSA Joint Command’s open letter represented only Mr Al Masri, who signed it – not the FSA as a whole or the alliance of armed rebel groups.

Just as the Brotherhood’s critics can accuse it of having little sway on the ground inside Syria, so the Joint Command of the FSA is, to a greater or lesser degree, something of a fiction.

Despite the corporate branding of the FSA, it is really more of a loosely knit umbrella organisation containing various armed factions that pay only lip service to the idea of a unified chain of command.  CONT.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/syrian-rebel-fighters-blast-muslim-brotherhood-for-delaying-victory

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GUARDIAN 31 March 2013

The message sent by America’s invisible victims

By Glenn Greenwald

As two more Afghan children are liberated (from their lives) by NATO this weekend, a new film examines the effects of endless US aggression

Yesterday I had the privilege to watch Dirty Wars, an upcoming film directed by Richard Rowley that chronicles the investigations of journalist Jeremy Scahill into America’s global covert war under President Obama and specifically his ever-growing kill lists. I will write comprehensively about this film closer to the date when it and the book by the same name will be released. For now, it will suffice to say that the film is one of the most important I’ve seen in years: gripping and emotionally affecting in the extreme, with remarkable, news-breaking revelations even for those of us who have intensely followed these issues. The film won awards at Sundance and rave reviews in unlikely places such as Varietyand the Hollywood Reporter. But for now, I want to focus on just one small aspect of what makes the film so crucial.

The most propagandistic aspect of the US War on Terror has been, and remains, that its victims are rendered invisible and voiceless. They are almost never named by newspapers. They and their surviving family members are virtually never heard from on television. The Bush and Obama DOJs have collaborated with federal judges to ensure that even those who everyone admits are completely innocent have no access to American courts and thus no means of having their stories heard or their rights vindicated. Radical secrecy theories and escalating attacks on whistleblowers push these victims further into the dark.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/31/dirty-wars-terrorism-victims?CMP=twt_gu

Lords of War

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Christians want President Assad or they will be killed by FSA Extremists…

Video uploaded on 31 March 2013

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The Treason of the Intellectuals

The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some claimed they had opposed the war when they had not. Others among “Bush’s useful idiots” argued that they had merely acted in good faith on the information available; if they had known then what they know now, they assured us, they would have acted differently. This, of course, is false. The war boosters, especially the “liberal hawks”—who included Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and John Kerry, along with academics, writers and journalists such asBill KellerMichael IgnatieffNicholas KristofDavid RemnickFareed ZakariaMichael WalzerPaul BermanThomas FriedmanGeorge PackerAnne-Marie SlaughterKanan Makiya and the late Christopher Hitchens—did what they always have done: engage in acts of self-preservation. To oppose the war would have been a career killer. And they knew it. …

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_treason_of_the_intellectuals_20130331/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Truthdig/ChrisHedges+Chris+Hedges+on+Truthdig

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Fear and loathing in Damascus: ‘Why are they doing this? Why are they trying to starve us?’

The civil war raging in Syria is sparking shortages and fury in Damascus’s Old City, writes Alex Thomson, Chief correspondent for Channel 4 News.

In a bazaar in central Damascus a young man approaches, clearly agitated, maybe even angry. “Here, look at this,” he says. “This is for Syria.”

Around his neck in Arabic script is a bold, five-inch long tattoo, so fresh that his skin is still healing. It is simply a name: “Bashar al-Assad”.

The regime under whose rule Syria is steadily disintegrating still has plenty of supporters in Damascus. But few people have either the time or money for making such designer statements of defiance in this war.

As more and more of the outer suburbs are pulverised by shelling, people are retreating into an ever-shrinking, increasingly overcrowded central zone of the city. Here, more than 50 per cent are unemployed and existence for many has been reduced to a daily struggle to obtain food, whose prices are beginning to spiral out of control.

Iamad Assi, an electrician, is typical. Already homeless because of fighting in his own suburb of Al-Amleha, in the north-east of Damascus, he has moved in with relatives in the Old City, bringing his wife and two children with him. Few shells land here, but there is no prospect of working his trade now and the price of feeding his family is driving him out of the country altogether.    CONT.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9963063/Fear-and-loathing-in-Damascus-Why-are-they-doing-this-Why-are-they-trying-to-starve-us.html

Video showing ‘rebel’ fighters (male) in Syria:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o3SwQ80m6U

Video showing women in Syria before and after start of crisis: http://vimeo.com/56420545
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‘US Army veteran fighting Syrian government worked for CIA’
31 March 2013 Press TV

The father of a US Army veteran recently arrested by the FBI for joining foreign-backed militants in Syria says his son was serving the CIA and reporting back to the Agency from the country.

Darryl Harroun says his son Eric, who was arrested and charged with conspiracy on Wednesday for fighting with al-Qaeda-linked militants, is extremely patriotic and would not join militants.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/31/295961/us-soldier-in-syria-worked-for-cia/

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There is a US military base in Qatar while Qatar shows strong support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

ORIENTAL REVIEW.ORG

Qatar’s Great Power Games

By Peter LVOV (Russia)

March 30, 2013
The recent Arab League summit, which illegally decided to provide military aid to the Syrian opposition under pressure from Doha, has once again demonstrated that there is a new power balance in the Arab world where the traditionally powerful countries like Egypt, Algeria and Iraq have again proved helpless against the wealthy dwarf Qatar. The emirate used every means at its disposal to get what it wanted, including financial blackmail. Even Saudi Arabia showed less perseverance than Qatar…After all, the Emirate can hardly be considered a state in the classical sense. It is actually a large natural gas field that is dominated by US-based Exxon Mobil and the largest US Air Force base in the Middle East, which has almost 5000 US military personnel, i.e., almost half as many as are in the Qatari Armed Forces. How much independence has Qatar in reality? Moreover, the Emir and his family are caught on Washington’s hook. After all, the Emirate had previously been listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, and it was only taken off the list because it allowed its territory to be used in the war against Iraq. But many members of the Emir’s family openly supported the terrorists who carried out the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the legitimacy of the Emir himself is questioned by almost half of the members of the Al Thani family. After all, he removed his father from the throne in 1995, which prompted his brother and some of his relatives to leave the country in protest and live in exile till nowadays. CONT.http://orientalreview.org/2013/03/30/qatars-great-power-games/*********************************************************************************
This may be an outline of current official US policy and rhetoric on Syria.  Advice of a former US diplomat and ambassador to Israel and Syria to the US administration: help arm and support the ‘moderate’ opposition in Syria.

A Two-Track Solution to the Syrian Crisis

28 March 2013

Syria, according to many indicators, is headed toward state failure. Extremism is on the rise and sectarianism is pervasive. With 70,000 Syrians killed and over three million displaced, the humanitarian situation is grim. The conflict’s destabilizing spillover to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel is a major concern, and the Syrian government’s chemical weapons stockpiles present a critical threat. Amid the crisis, external actors both inside and outside the region are working to shape their own versions of a future Syrian state.

By itself, military assistance to the opposition is not a solution: there can ultimately only be a political resolution to this crisis. What is needed is a combination of military assistance and a coordinated strategy of capacity–building within the opposition. This strategy could reinforce efforts to find a political solution to the crisis, because a better–trained and organized opposition could not only change the power balance on the ground, but also the perceptions of the conflict in Russia and Assad’s inner circle. A negotiated political settlement, supervised by a UN–Arab League peacekeeping force, would be the best first step to restore law and order, preserve Syria’s territorial integrity, and prevent sectarian conflict and ethnic cleansing as Syria builds a stable, democratic future.

The United States, together with its partners in the international community, should act to preserve the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional nature of the Syrian state, and help the Syrian people develop a democratic state at peace with its neighbors. While renewed American and European Union engagement with Russia is needed to help reach a political solution in Syria, immediate steps could be taken to support moderate forces on the ground and buttress neighboring countries under pressure from the crisis. To accomplish this, the US should consider the following policy initiatives.

The US, along with the international community, should help the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces to become a transitional government that is inclusive of all communities in Syria and is representative of former Syrian government officials who share a common vision for a democratic, post-Assad Syria. In an effort to support the moderate opposition, protect Syrian civilians and undermine extremists, the US should consider providing military assistance, in cooperation with like-minded countries, to FSA leaders who have been vetted for their commitment to this vision of a future Syria. In addition, the US and NATO could form a joint special operations command in Turkey to monitor the delivery of military assistance and provide logistical and communications support and training to these fighters.CONT.
http://www.aawsat.net/2013/03/article55297077

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Russian President orders Surprise Black Sea Naval Exercise as Diplomatic Ties to West keep Deteriorating

29 March 2013 Christof Lehmann (nsnbc)

Russia´s President Vladimir Putin has ordered a Surprise Black Sea Naval Exercise of Russia´s Black Sea Fleet, together with other military services. The surprise order was issued while the President was en route back to Russia, after he has participated in the 2013 BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa. The surprise exercise raises the stakes in the Syria crisis while diplomatic ties continue deteriorating.

http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/29/russian-president-orders-surprise-black-sea-naval-exercise-as-diplomatic-ties-to-west-keep-deteriorating/

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Syria’s women refugees fear sham marriages and rape

Channel4 News

Published on Mar 28, 2013

Thousands of Syrians fled to Jordan’s Zataari refugee camp to escape violence at home. But now women and children live in fear of kidnap, rape and sham marriages in the camp meant to keep them safe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzpVhW1tXVY&sns=tw***********************************************************************

Syria: FSA Beheaded Sheikh Hassan Seif Addin in Aleppo

Posted by: ProSyriana March 30, 2013

http://www.syrianews.cc/fsa-killed-beheaded-sheik-hassan-seif-addin-aleppo/

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LAND DESTROYER

World Must Unite Against US-Saudi-Israeli Proxy War in Syria

March 30, 201 (LD) – Since 2007, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have been documented as conspiring to overthrow the Syrian government by way of sectarian extremists, including groups “sympathetic to Al Qaeda,” and in particular, the militant, sectarian Muslim Brotherhood. While the West has attempted to portray the full-scale conflict beginning in Syria in 2011 as first, a “pro-democracy uprising,” to now a “sectarian conflict,” recent atrocities carried out by US-Saudi-Israeli proxies have shifted the assault to include Sunni Muslims unable or unwilling to participate in the destruction of the Syrian state.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/world-must-unite-against-us-saudi.html

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Damascus University Students Killed In Mortar attack 28 March 2013

28_03_2013 ~ Syria News (ENG) ~ 15 Killed in Terrorist Attack to the University

Note: comments by Lebanon’s foreign minister about Arab League decision to allow NSC to represent Syria in the League.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b9y_wytOyQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7SnkVbKHoA

15 killed in Damascus University shelling – Syrian state TV (VIDEO)

RUSSIA TODAY  28 March 2013

http://rt.com/news/syria-university-shell-students-987/

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BBC WORLD NEWS  28 March 2013

Syria crisis: University of Damascus hit by mortars

Mortar fire has hit the University of Damascus, killing 15 students, Syrian state media say.

Officials blamed rebels for the attack, saying a number of people had also been injured.

It said the mortars had hit the university’s faculty of architecture.

The Syrian capital is in the grip of heavy fighting between government and rebel forces, who have recently intensified the use of mortars in the city, correspondents say.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21964299#TWEET692193

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These two different approaches to presenting the First Lady of Syria raise the question of the purpose of propaganda in times of war. Is it used to support peace and unity, or to support war and aggression between groups?  How close to the truth is it?  Who are the sources?  How reliable are they?

Article about the First Lady of Syria on the ABC Syria News page:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-20/asma-al-assad-profile/3900816

Recent video from a Syrian TV station on the First Lady meeting the mothers of people killed in the war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S9Bs8xDFn3Y

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CIA On The Loose to Assassinate Bashar Al Assad

Video Published March 28 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vukzwEOWOiM&feature=player_embedded

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SOCCER MATCH BETWEEN SYRIA AND IRAQ: CROWD WAVE SYRIAN FLAG AND SHOUT SUPPORT FOR SYRIA (regular people doing regular things)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0JA1w14b-s

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Video: Large-scale military drills in Black Sea following order from Putin

RT 28 March 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCb8xMPCz6A

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American who fought with Al Qaeda against Syria’s Assad arrested in Virginia

FOX NEWS 28 March 2013

A former Army soldier from Phoenix who joined rebels fighting the Syrian government and boasted to FoxNews.com of his exploits as a Muslim soldier of fortune earlier this month was arrested Wednesday in Virginia and could face life in prison.

Eric Harroun, 30, who left the Army in 2003 on full disability pay after a truck accident, was charged with conspiring to use a rocket-propelled grenade while fighting with the al-Nusrah Front, an organization also known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. Harroun, who was in Syria or Turkey when he spoke to FoxNews.com by Skype, was nabbed shortly after flying in to Dulles International Airport after a voluntary interview with FBI agents, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

….

Harroun at the time shrugged off a question about fighting alongside Al Qaeda terrorists who have joined the Syrian rebellion, saying, “the U.S. plays both sides, too.” He said the offshoot of the terror group behind the 9/11 attacks welcomed him.

“Getting into Al-Nusra is not rocket science,” he said. “It just takes balls and brains.”

Harroun, known among Syrian rebels and loyalists alike as “The American,” has moved from one country to another, joining protesters in the takedown of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak before fighting alongside rebels attempting to depose Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. A prolific poster of online diatribes against the infidel, he’s joined the threads of those calling for the deaths of Zionists.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/28/american-who-fought-with-al-qaeda-against-syria-assad-arrested-in-virginia/

What are the implications of this American’s arrest in Australia? 

Australians rush to join war in Syria

by: PAUL MALEY AND CAMERON STEWART   From: The Australian   December 22, 2012 12:00AM

AUSTRALIAN security agencies believe more than 100 Australians have joined the civil war in Syria, sparking fears the conflict could produce a wave of home-grown jihadists hardened with combat skills and training.

The concerns come amid fears that hundreds of thousands of dollars a month are leaving Australia, bound for the conflict zone, with some flowing to rebel jihadists.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/australians-rush-to-join-war-in-syria/story-fn59niix-1226542144750

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REUTERS

World News

France says too early to send arms to Syria rebels

Thu, Mar 28

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that the situation in Syria was still too unsure to start supplying weapons to opposition rebels, an idea France backs in the longer term.

France and Britain are both pressing for the relaxation of an arms embargo on Syria so that arms can flow to outgunned rebels waging a two-year-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The embargo expires on June 1 and both countries say it should be allowed to lapse. But Hollande said that before arms were delivered to Syria, guarantees were needed they would not fall into the hands of Islamist fighters.

“We will not do it as long as we cannot be certain that there is complete control of the situation by the opposition,” Hollande said during an interview on France 2 television.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSBRE92R0XR20130328?irpc=932

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A critique of Robert Fisk:

SOCRATES AND SYRIA

The Truth According To Robert Fisk

Pinned to the noticeboard above Robert Fisk’s computer

1. Know Thy Audience

You do NOT write for the average well-informed Lebanese, Syrian or Iraqi, wherever they are, so don’t worry about the porkies you may tell or the consequences of them.  Assume your readers are well-educated, left-leaning people (decent Aussies and Brits) who are cynical about their government and media.  They look to you to be better informed about the ME.  Respect them and they will defer to you.

2. Present Titbits

Present to your reader scraps of verifiable information they’re not likely to have picked up from the ABC or the BBC.  They will appear better informed on the ME when they are at a dinner party

CONT.….

10. Keep In Mind The Final Destination

Make sure the snakes and ladders game you play with your readers takes them all to the one conclusion: the Syrian president is a brutal dictator, the Alawis are his henchmen, the Sunnis are OK, and you don’t need to worry about the Christians.  In fact, in the end it will be Arabs fighting Arabs again, so it is none of the white man’s business.  (Refugees may cause a bit of a problem, and there might be a bit of exported terror, but people shouldn’t see the connections if you don’t make them. And who will if Fisk doesn’t?)

And don’t let the editor publish any images of regular Syrians.   They’re not helpful.
http://socratesandsyria.com/the-truth-according-to-robert-fisk/
ABC LATELINE 28 March 2013

Fisk says the Arab states are no longer afraid of the US

..You know, there’s a very unpleasant line going around in some parts of Syria at the moment among the opposition: “The Alawites to the grave and the Christians to Beirut.” In other words, send the Christians to join their fellow Christians in Lebanon, but the Alawis are finished. This is the minority Shia sect to which the President belongs. A very, very nasty situation at some point is gonna come about, as if it isn’t nasty enough already. But you’re looking for bright, friendly Australian solutions. I see none out here at the moment.

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3726416.htm

“Christians to Beirut, Alawis to their graves” was a chant heard at the very beginning of some demonstrations in Syria and repeated since, so it is duplicitous of Robert Fisk to suggest it is something heard just recently.  (Ref: http://pool.abc.net.au/media/syria-questions-must-be-asked-and-answered )

Furthermore, if a google search is done for “Robert Fisk” + “Qaradawi”, it seems Robert Fisk makes only one benign reference to Qaradawi in regard to Syria (see below). Yet Sheik Qaradawi is infamous in Syria, having declared in 2011 on Al-Jazeera that “It is OK to kill a third of the Syrian population if it leads to the toppling of the ‘heretical’ regime”.  Ref: Virtually any Syrian person; https://australiansforreconciliationinsyria.wordpress.com/the-president-the-sheik-and-appeasement/ )

Exclusive: ‘We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments’

Assad’s Foreign Minister gives his first interview to a Western journalist since the conflict began

Robert Fisk 28 August 2013

Muallem nodded. “If you met the same Emir two years ago, he was praising Assad, and considered him a dear friend. They used to have family relations, spending family holidays in Damascus and sometimes in Doha. There is an important question: what happened? I met the Emir in Doha in, I think, November 2011, when the Arab League started their initiative [resulting in the sending of League observers to Syria] and we reached agreement … The Emir told me: ‘If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular prelate with a regular slot on the television chain] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…’ .

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exclusive-we-believe-that-the-usa-is-the-major-player-against-syria-and-the-rest-are-its-instruments-8082457.html

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Walid Jumblatt is not a political figure taken seriously by many in Lebanon and the region; he is well-known for his opportunism and he is often parodied in skits on Lebanese TV.  But Robert Fisk has described him as his “favourite nihilist (and dinner host)”.  Jumblatt may be Fisk’s patron, a reason for his longevity in Lebanon.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fiskrsquos-world-not-even-a-civil-war-could-stop-the-old-bookbinder-of-beirut-1786167.html

Now that Jublam has come out to support al-Nusra, an organization listed by the US and Australia as a terrorist organization, where does that leave Fisk?

Jumblatt: “I Am With al-Nusra Front Against Assad”

AL-AKHBAR ENGLISH

By: Hassan Illeik, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblatt tells Al-Akhbar that the Syrian people have the right to deal with the devil in order to unseat Bashar al-Assad. He is also convinced that Hezbollah is looking to cut him down to size in the coming parliamentary elections.

MP Walid Jumblatt believes that the West is not about to change its position on Syria: “The intent is to destroy it,” he says. “The goal behind the small amounts of weapons trickling to the opposition is to prolong the war.”

His conclusion is that the regime will not fall, but Syria will be destroyed in the end.

He is not phased by the fact that his position on what is happening in Syria has undermined his popularity among the Druze there. “My position is meant to protect them,” he insists. “The Alawis will return to their mountains, but the Druze live in a sea of Sunnis.”

He says he supports the statement by Druze sheikhs calling on their followers not to join the Syrian army, so that they are not implicated in crimes like those committed by Issam Zahreddine – a Druze commander in the Republican Guard – against the Syrian people in the Baba Amro district of Homs.

But wasn’t Zahreddine fighting armed groups? “No,” Jumblatt fires back, “he was fighting his own people.”

His people or armed elements of the people? “No matter,” he replies. “I am with al-Nusra Front against the Syrian regime – the Syrian people have the right to deal with the devil, with the exception of Israel, to confront the regime.”

http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/15162

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Syrian Refugees Flee Concentration Camp in Turkey

Published on Mar 27, 2013

A fire killed one child and wounded 2 more in the concentration camp opened by fanatic Muslim Brotherhood gov and its Caliph wannabe Erdogan in Turkey, crowds angry stormed the gates and attacked their jailers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ2NZCaZNwc

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Arab League violating its own charter on Syrian crisis:

Daoud Khairallah

A political analyst tells Press TV that the Arab League (AL) has violated its own charter with respect to the Syrian crisis and they are doing whatever they can to prevent any peaceful negotiated solution in Syria.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/26/295318/al-violated-its-own-charter-on-syria/

THE GUARDIAN  28 March 2013

Britons in aid convoy kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Libya

Three women taking part in aid convoy to Gaza are attacked in Benghazi

…… Attacks on the British and Tunisian consulates and the attempted murder of the Italian consul in previous months have made the city a no-go zone for most foreigners, with Egyptians on edge after the burning of the city’s Coptic church on 4 March.

Benghazi is immune to central government control, its streets controlled by a galaxy of militias, army and police units. Ansar al-Sharia, the Islamic unit blamed for the killing of Stevens in September, is back in its city centre headquarters and defying government demands that it disband.

The burning of the church and arrests of more than 50 foreigners for evangelism have raised tension.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/28/britons-kidnapped-sexually-assaulted-libya

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Qatar is a key sponsor of the armed militias and opposition in Syria.

Qatar- Human rights defenders Mohammed Issa Al-Baker and Mansoor Rashed Al- Matroushi held in incommunicado without access to families or lawyers

GULF CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS  2013-03-26

http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/372#.UVKj7_1hlP4.twitter

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This article is only relevant in relation to Syria because Saudi Arabia is a key funder and supporter of militias in Syria. It raises the question: what is the Saudi agenda for Syria?

Saudi Prosecutor Asks for Crucifixion of Jailed Shia Cleric

27 March 2013

http://riyadhbureau.com/blog/2013/3/nemer-prosecution


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