Shelling, shaky truce challenge U.N. few in Syria
4/16/12 BEIRUT (Reuters) - A handful of soldiers in blue caps put a tentative United Nations presence at the heart of the Syrian crisis on Monday, predicting success for their mission to stabilize a shaky four-day-old ceasefire even as shells were still falling.
Charged with overseeing an end to 13 months of violence, the unarmed multinational squad of six professed their optimism.
"We are going to organize ourselves in order to be ready to do our task as soon as possible," the leader of the advance guard, Colonel Ahmed Himmiche of Morocco, told reporters at a Damascus hotel before meeting Syrian officials in the capital.
"All peacekeepers are optimistic," he added when asked if he was hopeful an observer mission that should be expanded to 250 could cement a truce marked by persistent, sporadic violence.
UN council authorizes up to 300 Syria truce monitors
4/21/12 UNITED NATIONS/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a Russia-European drafted resolution on Saturday that authorizes an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months to help bolster a fragile week-old ceasefire.
But the 15-nation council's move to condition deployment of observers on a U.N. assessment of compliance with the truce reflected U.S. and European fears that the Syrian government's failure to stop shelling towns, return troops to barracks and withdraw heavy weapons from cities makes the prospects for success slim.
The vote came hours after U.N. ceasefire monitors visited the Syrian city of Homs on Saturday after months of bombardment.
Opposition activists in Homs, epicenter of the 13-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, said shelling and gunfire stopped for the first time in weeks before Syrian authorities let the monitors into the city.
China steps back from supporting Assad, parts ways with Russia
April 23, 2012 I view this as meaningless.
Assad scrambles for cash to fund his war.
Beijing distances from Assad.
Latest exchange of messages with 0bama last week said China will no longer be a problem for America in dealing with Assad.
That leaves only Russia.
The UN Security Council met on Saturday, April 21 where the Chinese delegate made a speech.
Essentially said the territorial integrity of Syria as well as the will of the Syrian people should be respected.
Thus China stepped aside from Russia in backing Assad.
Turkey noted the shift in Chinese policy.
Beijing is most concerned with the US oil embargo on Iran and its effect on the Chinese economy.
Obama Declares Syria A National Emergency And Outlaws Reporting On Rebels
April 23, 2012
President Obama issues a constitution trampling executive order declaring Syria a national emergency and outlaws reporting on terrorist rebel activities.
In perhaps the most unconstitutional power grab by the Obama administration to date the constitutional rights of Freedom of Press and Freedom of speech have now been suspended under the false premise that the “human rights violations” in Syria and Iran constitute as “national emergency”.
Perhaps even more laughable than the claim that the conflict in Syria is somehow a national emergency is the fact that the executive order directly states that excuse being used to target Iran is human rights violations are alleged to have occurred in 1981, over 31 years ago, which were supposed to have occurred when the US funded the Iraqi’s to invade Iran and was trying to instigate a revolution within Iran much like they are doing in Syria right now.
So here we have our totalitarian government setting another disastrous legal precedent by declaring a national emergency based upon something that happened 31 years ago.
Hungry Syrian soldiers desert Golan defenses, prowl for food
April 23, 2012 DEBKA Exclusive
Syrian troops defending the Golan border are not being supplied with food and water, and are deserting. Rations are redirected to the units fighting anti-Assad rebels.
Some have approached the border fence. They don’t ask Israeli soldiers for food, but parcels are thrown across the fence.
The district commands have lost control of the Syrian-Israeli border deployment.
Military facilities are deserted with no one to guard against trespassers.
Gangs, local and from across Syria’s eastern borders with Jordan and Iraq, were quick to realize the bases are unguarded and have
begun stripping them of equipment and looting everything they can lay hands on.
April 20 a large bomb blew up as a Syrian military convoy was passing through, killing 10 soldiers and injuring 35.
Military intervention hovers over Syria.
A joint Saudi-Turkish command to prepare a combined invasion of Syria, possibly in sync with Israeli strike on Iran. debka.com
Syria Massive explosion It is common for Muslims to use their homes and mosques to make and store weapons.
26 April 2012 NEVER trust BBC for facts!
Assad troops fired rocket at building killing 54, several of them children.
Up to 70 people have been killed in attack on Hama, according to Syrian protesters.
They said several houses were destroyed by a big explosion.
State media said 16 died in a house used as a bomb factory.
Syrian military comes under sea attack
April 28, 2012
Gunmen in inflatable dinghies have attacked a Syrian military unit on the Mediterranean coast, leading to a fire-fight in which several people from both sides were killed,
the SANA official news agency said on Saturday.
"The fighting ... resulted in the death and wounding of a number of military personnel while the number of those killed from the
terrorist group was not known because they attacked the military unit at night," SANA said. (Reuters)
Lebanon intercepts Syria-bound smuggling ship
Beirut discovered rocket-propelled grenades, rifles in ship that was sailing in the Mediterranean from Libya via Egypt.
Weapons to supply Syrian rebels. The Lutfallah was on its way to Tripoli when it was intercepted.
Assad has said weapons are being smuggled from neighboring countries, including Lebanon, to arm jihadists.
Lebanon holds weapons ship
April 29, 2012 The Lebanese navy is holding Lutfallah ship and says it confiscated a large consignment of arms and ammunition it was carrying.
Lebanon said there was light, medium and heavy weapons aboard, some Libyan, destined for the jihad rebels in Syria.
The ship was due to unload in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, a hotbed of support for the Syrian opposition.
Russia has accused Libya of supporting the Syrian rebels and providing them with weapons.
Libya has been very active in Sinai and Gaza also. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17885085
Obama spokesman on Syria ceasefire: We may have to ‘admit defeat’
3 May 2012 The White House on Thursday angrily denounced a bloody overnight raid on Aleppo University by Syrian troops, and warned that it may soon be time for the world to "admit defeat" in its current strategy to drive President Bashar al-Assad's regime to halt a deadly yearlong crackdown on opposition to his regime.
"If the regime's intransigence continues, the international community is going to have to admit defeat and work to address the serious threat to peace and stability being perpetrated by the Assad regime" via the U.N. Security Council or the ad-hoc "Friends of Syria" group of countries, said spokesman Jay Carney.
For weeks, Carney and other White House officials have expressed frustration with Assad's failure to abide by a ceasefire plan brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, warning on an almost daily basis that he must comply or face unspecified reprisals from the international community. But Russia and China's opposition to punishing Syria at the U.N. Security Council makes that route difficult to take. And Obama's critics have expressed increased frustration with his refusal to arm Assad's opposition.
On Thursday, however, an Obama national security aide shed a bit more light on why the administration hasn't simply declared that the current Annan plan is a dead letter.
Syria Moving Scuds to Israel, Turkey Borders
Jordanian news site says western spy satellites show hundreds of Scud launchers moving south and north.
Jordanian news site Ahbar Baladna reports that western spy satellites have recently spotted movements of Syrian heavy missile launchers northward and southward, toward Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel.
The site says hundreds of high-caliber launchers are being moved, and that these could only be long range Scud missile launchers.
Syria has threatened in the past that in the event of foreign military intervention on its soil, it will not hesitate to fire missiles at Israel and Turkey in order to ignite a large scale regional war.
Turkish and French officials said ten days ago they were mulling a potential military intervention in Syria, where civil war has been raging for 14 months.
“In the face of developments in Syria, we are taking into consideration any kind of possibility in line with our national security and interests,” Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told parliament during a briefing to lawmakers.
Multinational force massed on Jordanian-Syrian border
May 10, 2012 Bashar Assad rushed his most loyal troops to Damascus as 2 massive car bombs in Damascus demolished the Syrian command center.
12,000 special operations troops from 17 nations, including the USA / NATO, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, were poised on the Jordanian side of the Syrian border.
This attack is the most serious his regime had suffered in 14-months.
Western and Arab pressure is building for Assad to step down.
Like Mubarak of Egypt and other Arab nations - AND WESTERN nations - WORSE replaces each leader.
HELLzballah rushes arms to Syria, Iran sets up security cameras in Damascus
May 11, 2012 DEBKAfile Exclusive
Iran's Lebanese proxy Hellzballah sent weapons and military equipment across the border to Syria after the Damascus explosions.
No one in Lebanon will stop this.
Syria violence kills 15 even as UN mission grow
Violence in Syria cost at least 15 lives on Saturday as a UN force to oversee a truce neared half its planned strength, monitors said.
In Idlib province, a stronghold near the Turkish border of rebels fighting President Bahar al-Assad's regime, security force gunfire killed a man and a woman during a series of raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another civilian and a child were killed in pre-dawn shelling in central Hama province, the Britain-based watchdog said, while a fifth was killed by sniper fire in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor.
Meanwhile, nine soldiers and an army deserter were killed in clashes between rebel groups and regime forces in Idlib province, according to the Observatory.
For its part, state news agency SANA said authorities thwarted an infiltration attempt by an "armed terrorist group" from Turkey and entered the Idlib city of Jisr al-Shughur.
Syrian civil war spreads to Lebanon
May 15, 2012 Muslim against Muslim
Tripoli is in north Lebanon not too far from Homs Syria
Syrian ruler Bashar Assad is issuing direct instructions to the Lebanese army in suppressing the Syrian uprising.
The immediate result was a flare-up in Tripoli.
The local Alawites who side with Assad and the Lebanese Army on one side, Sunni groups led by Saad Hariri on the other.
Assad agents assassinated Hariri's father in 2005.
Muslim Brotherhood command Salafist militias
Medical supplies are running short.
Syria's Assad: Nations that sow chaos will suffer
AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that countries trying to "sow chaos" in Syria could be infected with it themselves, an apparent warning to Arab Gulf nations that back the insurgency aimed at forcing him from power.
Assad's remarks, to a Russian TV channel, came after U.N. staff monitoring an increasingly shaky ceasefire were caught up in an attack that killed at least 21 people, and had to spend a night with rebel forces.
The stranding of the observers and new claims of a massacre by Assad's security forces underscored the relentlessness of the violence that continues to rage 14 months into mass protests and an insurrection against the Syrian strongman.
Assad said countries hostile to him and his government that may have believed he would follow in the footsteps of four Arab leaders ousted after popular protests now knew better.
Obama approves anti-tank arms for Syrian rebels
May 22, 2012 DEBKA
Saudi and Qatar have supplied Syrian rebels with anti-tank weapons.
The Syrian rebels are the bad guys, hardline jihadists some ignorantly call Islamists.
The anti-tank missiles sent to the Syrian rebels to impede Syrian military tank movements.
Turkey is arming Syria rebels with IED roadside bombs.
May 19 Hussein Obama said at the G-8 that Bashar al-Assad must leave power.
Russia strongly opposes that and is helping Syria.
Both Russia and China kept silent after Obama spoke.
Russia and Iran are warning Assad that the advanced missiles reaching the rebels
represent the most dangerous development his regime has faced to date.
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