Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday said that his
army will succeed in ending the Syrian war within the next six months.
Assad made the remarks addressing a delegation of representatives of various Arab countries
participating in the Arab Parties Conference in Damascus, according to Al-Alam’s
During the meeting, Assad confirmed that the Syrian army will achieve decisiveness in
its military operations in the next six months. READ FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Jihadists who overran Syria’s ancient town of Ma’loula as they disparaged Christians calling them “Crusaders” while forcing at least one to convert to Islam at gunpoint, have been forced to flee the city, after an extensive military campaign launched by Assad’s military.
Many of Ma’loula people left after a first militant assault knocked out an army checkpoint at the entrance to the strategic town on September 4. Some went to a nearby village and others to Damascus, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) to the south. One of them, Marie, was still frightened as she spoke of that day.
“They arrived in our town at dawn… and shouted, ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,’” an Islamist term for Christians, Marie said in Damascus, where she and hundreds of others attended the burial Tuesday of three Christian fighters who belong to the public committees.
Ma’loula is one of the most renowned Christian towns in Syria, and many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
The Syrian army on Wednesday September 11, regained control over Ma’loula after five days of fierce clashes with the militants in the town.
After the military entered the town, the militants moved back to the northern part of Ma’loula before they completely withdrew to the neighboring towns.
The army, aided by the local fighters who belong to the public committees, started its campaign by ambushing a large number of al-Nusra Front militants who lost their supplies from al-Nabk and other towns in the vicinity.
The Syrian army also restored security and stability to the village of Maksar al-Hisan in Homs countryside, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their weapons and tools, a military source told the Syrian news agency, SANA.
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Washington on Monday to brace for retaliation if US forces attacked his country, as he categorically rejected accusing the army of using chemical weapons in Damascus.
“You’re going to pay the price if you’re not wise. There are going to be repercussions,” President Assad told CBS television. “It’s an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. You have to expect everything.”
Assad also warned of the risks of possible chemical attacks by rebels or “terrorists” if there was outside intervention in Syria.
“You should expect everything. The government’s not the only player in this region. You have different parties, different factions, different ideologies. You have everything in this decision now,” President Assad said.
Assad denied the army carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on August 21 on the outskirts of Damascus, as alleged by the United States and some of its allies.
“How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidence?” he asked in the interview, in which he spoke English.
“We’re not like the American administration, we’re not like the social media administration or government. We’re the government that deals with evidence.”
Assad noted that the Syrian army had themselves in fact been attacked by rebels using chemical arms.
“But in the area where they say the government used chemical weapons, we only have video and we only have pictures and allegations. We’re not there. Our forces, our police, our institutions don’t think this,” Assad said.
Asked whether the repercussions President Assad predicted could include the use of more chemical weapons, Assad replied: “That depends. If the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have it, it could happen. I don’t know. I’m not a fortune teller to tell you what’s going to happen.”
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—The Syrian army regained control over all the areas that
had been recently seized by the militant groups in Latakia countryside. In the
framework of pursuing the armed terrorist groups in Latakia countryside, units of the
armed forces completely controlled al-Nabi Ashi’a Mount and the adjacent areas, an
official source told SANA news agency on Monday.
“The army retook control of the Nabi Ashia mountain range and adjoining areas in the
north of Latakia province,” the source said, of villages seized in early August by rebels
trying to topple Assad.
On Sunday state television reported that the army had reclaimed rebel-held villages in
the coastal province, hinterland of Assad’s minority Alawite community.
A Syrian security force, however, told AFP the army still had to recapture the Salma
region, a strategic area along the border with Turkey that has been in rebel hands
since the end of last year.
Source: Al Manar
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—The Syrian Army launched at dawn on Wednesday a successful operation in which it exerted absolute control over the city of al-Qusayr. As Syrian media confirmed that the Syrian Army was totally controlling the city, international news agencies reported that the Syrian opposition militants announced their withdrawal of al-Qusayr.
Al-Manar correspondent, Youssef Cheaitou, reported there was collapse within the ranks of the foreign-backed militants fighting the Syrian government. He said that the armed groups fled the city to the northern towns of Daba’a and Bowayda.
Later on, the correspondent reported that the Syria Army was launching combing operations in the northern neighborhoods of al-Qusayr. For its part, Reuters news agency said that Syrian opposition militants announced their withdrawal from the city, as Agence France Presse, (AFP) reported the same development.
“Syria’s rebels conceded on Tuesday they had lost the battle for the strategic town of al-Qusayr,” AFP said.
On the other hand, the London-based opposition observatory said that Hezbollah fighters were now controlling al-Qusayr.
The Syrian Arab Army has called upon its displaced residents to return to their safe homes within days. Syrian helicopters bombed the open area on the border between Lebanon and Syria near the eastern Lebanese town of Ersal, Lebanese security sources told Al-Manar TV.
The Syrian Arab Army warplanes targeted opposition gunmen who have fled from Syrian territories of al-Qusayr border city towards Lebanon, the sources said.
Source: Al-Manar TV News
Newscast Media TEL AVIV—Israeli air force chief warned that a “surprise war” would break out in Syria as tensions are escalating there, saying that the Israel should be prepared for painful and protracted war with Hezbollah and Iran.
“A surprise war could take shape today in many configurations,” Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said at a strategy conference in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.
Eshel also said Israelis should brace for a protracted and painful conflict should their forces engage in combat with Hezbollah or Iran.
“If Syria collapses tomorrow, we will need to take action to prevent a strategic looting of advanced weaponry,” he told the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Studies.
“We have to be ready for any scenario, at a few hours’ notice,” Eshel said.
He assumed fighting could escalate on to three fronts at once and require the Israeli air force to employ “the full spectrum of its might”.
He noted that Russian S-300 air defense systems were “on their way” to Syria, though Israel asked Russia not to supply the advanced air defense system to Syria. Tel Aviv has been watching the current crisis taking place in Syria since March 2011.
It has already carried out three air strikes on Syria.
On May 5, Syria said the Israeli regime had carried out an airstrike targeting a research center in a suburb of Damascus, following heavy losses inflicted upon al-Qaeda-affiliated groups by the Syrian army. According to Syrian media reports, the strike hit the Jamraya Research Center. The Jamraya facility had been targeted in another Israeli airstrike in January.
The May 5 Israeli aggression was Tel Aviv’s second strike on Syria in three days.
Source: Al Manar News
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted on Wednesday the Syrian Army had achieved great gains in the northern border city of Qusayr, but said they were not permanent. Ahead of a meeting of the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group in Amman, Kerry called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to make “a commitment to find peace in his country.”
In the same context, Kerry threatened if President Assad was unwilling to negotiate on peace terms, U.S. and other countries would discuss increasing support to Syrian opposition, without elaborating what kind of support they would offer.
US Congress committee voted on Wednesday on a bill to arm Syrian Islamists in their fight against the Arab country.
Speaking at a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, Kerry said a US-Russian proposed conference in Geneva seeks “to end the bloodshed what has cost tens of thousands of lives.”
“We are committed to try to work this evening to find the unity in specific approaches, to find the unity to implement Geneva 1…that will allow the people of Syria to choose the future of Syria,” he said.
That was a reference to an international conference last June in which several steps were laid down for ending the war, which were never implemented. The foreign ministers of Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are attending the Amman gathering.
The meeting seeks to discuss US-Russian proposal to hold a peace conference dubbed “Geneva 2″ to bring together the opposition and representatives of the Syrian government.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Al Manar is reporting that behind the scenes 3500 fighters from the Takfiri groups and Syrian opposition militants who are under siege in Qusayr area—Homs sent many urgent messages and envoys to propose their surrender to the Syrian official authorities.
The report also says US officials working on the Syrian crisis line, proposed to their Russian counterparts that they would accept if Moscow nominates a name of its choice to replace Bashar Assad in the Syrian Presidency. The Russians refused categorically and insisted that they have only one name; Bashar Assad.
What triggered the offer to surrender is attributed to the heavy defeats they (the rebels) received in many Syrian areas, causing the opposition groups to become more flexible in their conditions to negotiate with the Syrian government. According to Lebanese sources handling the mediation efforts, the opposition has dropped the condition that Syrian President leaves office to start negotiations.
The Syrian opposition forces are are confronted with three major problems after the recent defeats on the battlefield: the first one has to do with the severe demoralization of the fighters, the second, is the severe siege against them by the government forces, and the third is their inability to attract more fighters or to rally support.
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia will not allow a repetition of the Libyan scenario in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.
“We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria. Unfortunately our Western partners have departed from the Geneva accords and are seeking the departure of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” Lavrov said, adding Russia was not clinging to any individual leaders in Syria.
Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria on July 19 over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country. The resolution was tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have provided for the use of force to put an end to the rapidly escalating conflict. Russia says it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate.
A number of Western countries have been trying to persuade Moscow to support a resolution effectively authorizing a military operation, but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.”
In Libya, rebels ousted and killed long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after a months-long military standoff in which they received assistance from NATO forces. Russia did not use its veto power in the UN Security Council to block the intervention in Libya that was started under the pretext of protecting civilians there. Lavrov also said Russia was not holding any talks on the fate of embattled Assad.
Meanwhile, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said the Syrian leadership had assured Russia there was no danger of the spread of chemical weapons in the Middle East country.
“The Syrian government is assuring us that it will not allow their spread [chemical weapons]. We hope that this will be so,” Patrushev said.
He was echoed by Lavrov, who said Russia is more concerned that the chemical weapons could fall into hands of Assad’s opponents, whose ranks allegedly include al-Qaida affiliates.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—In an exclusive interview with Russia Today, Syria’s President Bashar Assad talks about who the enemy is and what his plans for Syria and the Syrian people are. Below are some excerpts of the interview:
‘My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria’
RT: There are many people who were convinced a year ago that you would not make it this far. Here again you are sitting in a newly renovated presidential palace and recording this interview. Who exactly is your enemy at this point?
BA: My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria. This is our enemy in Syria. It is not about the people, it is not about persons. The whole issue is not about me staying or leaving. It is about the country being safe or not. So, this is the enemy we have been fighting as Syria.
RT: I have been here for the last two days and I had the chance to talk to a couple of people in Damascus. Some of them say that whether you stay or go at this point does not really matter anymore. What do you say about this?
BA: I think for the president to stay or leave is a popular issue. It is related to the
opinion of some people and the only way can be done through the ballot boxes. So, it is not about what we hear. It is about what we can get through that box and that box will tell any president to stay or leave very simply.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—The United Nations said that a video showing militants executing Syrian soldiers was evidence of war crimes. “It is very likely that this was a war crime, another one,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told reporters in Geneva.
He was reacting to a video posted on YouTube of showing insurgents beating around 10 soldiers before lining them up on the ground and executing them with automatic rifles.
According to Al Manar TV news, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that rebels had killed 28 soldiers during attacks on three army checkpoints.
Colville said he and his colleagues had only just seen the video and that it was difficult to verify who was involved. However, he stressed, the perpetrators should be under no illusion they could get away with their crimes.
“Accountability will follow,” he said. “The video could well be used as evidence in legal proceedings. We call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to respect international law,” he added.
These are the same western-supported rebels that are referred to as Friends of Syria. Before the Syrian conflict, these atrocities were a rarity. Syria was a tourist attraction due to its biblical and historical sites. Yet the West continues to encourage and support these rebels in their quest to overthrow Bashar Assad.
What satisfaction can anyone derive from this? Each and every slain soldier above is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s father or someone’s husband.
These are nothing but human sacrifices, and the blood that is being spilled is crying out to the Most High God, who sets rulers up and brings them down.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C—The Iran-Contra scandal that happened under Ronald Reagan facilitated the illegal sale of weapons to Iran covertly. It became one of the biggest political scandals since the inception of the nation, after the operation turned into an arms-for-hostages exchange undertaking.
Weapons abandoned by Gaddafi were under surveillance in Libya at all times, since the US knew they could fall in the hands of the bad guys if left unmonitored. The CIA had an operation there because it was reported that former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was at the CIA annex about an hour away from where Chris Stevens came under attack.
A few months before the attack, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had requested more weapons because it had come under heavy fire in Aleppo and was forced to retreat. France, that had previously supported rebels under Sarkozy, reversed itself and refused to send any more weapons to the Syrian rebels.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France’s Europe-1 radio, “Rebel backers Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others are sending arms to the rebels . We Europeans decided on an arms embargo. We are not going to contradict our own positions.”
“America and Europe just talk, talk, talk, but no one helps,” said Abu Mohammad, an FSA commander in Aleppo who supplies his men with the homemade grenades. “There have been promises from other countries to provide us with arms, but no one has helped us,” reported the Christian Science Monitor.
As we saw in Pt.2 there were fighters identified as Libyans in Syria, and Chris Stevens was the bridge between the US and the opposition. The FSA’s requests for weapons were finally responded to and there is indication that arrangements were being made to ship the weapons to Syria via Turkey. Intending to funnel weapons only to what the US perceived as the “good guys” namely the Free Syrian Army, word must have inadvertently reached the “bad guys” namely al-Qaeda, that they had been left out of the party. Al-Qaeda did not take this too kindly. They had spilled their blood for the sake of the West, and were willing to risk their lives in Syria, and wondered, “Is this how the West pays us back, by snubbing us?”
Benghazi would be the place they got revenge. We know this because the attack had been pre-planned months ahead of time. On September 11, witnesses saw about 150 bearded armed men setting up roadblocks, and sealing off street leading to the US Consulate in Benghazi. Interestingly enough, no US embassy in Benghazi is listed on the list of US embassies, because there is only one US embassy in Libya, and it is in Tripoli. Nevertheless, the trucks of the gunmen bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a powerful local group of Islamist militants, according to the Miami Herald.
The only logical reason al-Qaeda would get involved in such an operation points to taking Chris Stevens hostage, and then making a deal similar to the Iran-Contra deal, by swapping Chris Stevens in exchange for a portion of the weapons that was supposed to be delivered to FSA. According to FOX News, CIA chain of command told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. There were also two drones with live video feeds of the attacks.
U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over. Bingo! The only reason there was a period of several hours when fighting stopped, also points to a negotiation taking place, between the gunmen who were holding Stevens hostage and those who had access to the intel being fed to them by the military surveillance drones.
For McCain to mention there was a cover-up, is as a result of putting two and two together based on what happened in the Iran-Contra deal, and most recently the Fast and Furious scandal when the government sold weapons to Mexican drug lords covertly. It would therefore make sense to a military man like McCain to suspect the same was happening in the Stevens case, which would be an enormous scandal that not even the media could protect Obama from.
It was reported that at around 4am, the compound’s building in which Stevens had taken refuge, was hit by mortar fire which killed agents Doherty and Woods. Stevens was not seen by the security team again until his body was delivered to the airport. Officials said, and they still do know how he reached the Libyan hospital where attempts were made to revive him. He obviously did not grow wings, so we can deduce that it was al-Qaeda that dropped his body off at the hospital after a possible failure to secure a weapons deal from the cache that was en route to Syria.
Finally, to conclude this three-part series, we have to place the weapons in Syria. The Russians knew all along that weapons were headed to Syria to be used against Assad. In order to protect their interests in Syria, the Russians have been providing weapons to the Syrian government. Ruslan Pukhov, the Russian defense analyst and director of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said, “Russia doesn’t see any problems selling weapons to Syria if the CIA and French and British secret services are shipping military hardware via Turkey to the rebels, including the Islamists,” in this video interview with the BBC.
Arab news network Al Arabia reported early in August that surface-to-air missiles, particularly MANPADs,(man-portable air-defense systems), had been supplied to the rebels to help oust Assad.
The New York Times also reported that weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some anti-tank weapons, were being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Further evidence reveals that there was squabbling between al-Qaeda and FSA in regard to who got what weapons. FOX News has evidence that a Libyan-flagged vessel reportedly carrying weapons named Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed during an extended assault by more than 100 Islamist militants.
Quoting The Times of London, Syria News Agency verified that over 400 tons of cargo included “SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).” Abu Mohammad, who told The Times that he “helped to move the shipment from warehouses to the border” said “this is the largest single delivery of assistance” the gunmen have so far received.
We have determined why Stevens was sent to Libya, and have been able to place both the Libyan rebels and the cache of weapons in Syria. John McCain’s theory is the only legitimate one of all four, since there has been silence in this administration as to what really happened and why it happened.
Tying all the loose ends together, it is safe to say, based on the available evidence, Chris Stevens was an unintended victim of extortion who was taken hostage by the very people he helped overthrow Gaddafi. The deal went wrong after the militant al-Qaeda could not reach a consensus with the person in charge of the negotiations. The cover-up benefits the parties who gave the order to stand down, since they do not have to take responsibility or stand trial for the lives that were lost.
Should Romney win the election, he will have access to all the intel, and in 2016 if Hillary Clinton attempts to re-run for the presidency, this currently-sealed information could be used as a trump card by the GOP, to “swift boat” her.
Newscast Media, DAMASCUS—President Basahar al-Assad slammed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for supporting armed groups fighting in Syria, as he insisted that these militants would not win the battle.
“They suddenly saw money in their hands after a long period of poverty and think they can buy history and play a regional role,” Assad told Al-Ahram al-Arabi, which put excerpts from the interview on its website on Thursday.
“The widespread idea that Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt are the cornerstone of stability in the region is false. It has always been, and will remain, Syria, Iraq and Egypt,” said President Assad.
He said that before the conflict, Riyadh served only as a “mediator with the West that does not appreciate the axis of resistance against Zionism advocated by Syria.”
The Syrian leader said Qatar “uses the power of money and revolves in the orbit of the West by providing weapons and money to terrorists to repeat the scenario of Libya.”
“The Qataris were the quickest to fuel the violence,” he said.
President Assad also criticized Turkey, saying it was unconcerned “about the interests of its people, focusing solely on its ambitions that include ‘the new Ottoman empire’,” he said.
He reiterated that “armed men were using terrorism against the Syrian state,” but they “have no support among the people. Ultimately they will not emerge victorious.”
“It will take time” for regime forces to win, he said, adding that the “door to dialogue is open — only talks with the opposition will solve the crisis.”
Source: Al Manar news
Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria—After a deadly attack by rebels on top Syrian officials, there was much speculation about the whereabouts of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Several rumors suggested that Assad might have left the capital, but the president disproved those rumors by appearing on TV with newly-named Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij.
One of the victims killed in the blast was the president’s brother-in-law. The location of the killings took place in one of the most tightly secured neighborhoods in the city. The National Security headquarters is located in Rawda, in the upscale Abu Rumaneh neighborhood. It lies in a square that contains the Turkish, US, Iraqi, and several EU embassies.
President Assad with his newly-named Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij
According to Al-Akbar, the ambush which targeted the commanders of the security unit was claimed by the Free Syrian Army (FSA). But there were several accounts. One spoke about a suicide bomber inside the building. Another said an explosive device had been installed inside the meeting room. Others claimed a number of FSA brigades penetrated the security structure and planted an explosive device in the meeting room.
Newscast Media LONDON, England—One of the most anticipated news programs hosted by WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, aired its first episode on Russia Today. The guest for the show was none other than Sayyid Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah. The decision by Russia Today (RT) to host the program, The World Tomorrow hosted by Assange, has caused many to question the relationship between, and motive of Russia and Julian Assange to broadcast controversial interviews.
In explaining his rationale for hosting the show, Assange said, “I wanted to have a different sort of approach with other people. And while that approach has been difficult in some ways, I think it has also succeeded in other ways, and revealed sides of very interesting and important people that are not normally revealed because they are not dealing with a standard interviewer, they are dealing with someone who is
under house arrest, who has gone through political problems that they can sympathize with.”
However, virtually all the critics of the show are coming from the corporate media, because the alternative news media is by far trusted more than the mainstream media.
In regard to the mainstream media, Julian Assange said, “Media organizations, by their very nature, are engaged in the political sphere. So the editors and publishers of media organizations have to sit down at the table with power groups, and they start becoming captured by these power groups.
“So, we have found that working with them, when we try to get out our material through organizations, that these organizations self-censor in a tremendously frequent manner and in a way which is against their stated values. It is not just against our values. It is against their stated values. And in some cases even against the contracts that we have made with those organizations.”
In Assange’s first episode with the controversial Hezbollar leader, Nasrallah said he believes Israel “is and will be an illegal state… It was established on the basis of occupying the lands of others,” he says. “If I occupy your house by force it doesn’t become mine in 50 or 100 years.”
The Hezbollah leader also added: “Our priority is still the liberation of our land and the protection of Lebanon from the Israeli threat”, he told Assange, “Israel’s hi-tech surveillance will never crack the code of the Lebanese resistance – they use local village dialects.” The interview can be watched here in its entirety.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria—The Syrian authorities should “make the first step” towards restoring peace in the country by pulling troops and tanks out of rebellious cities and towns, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
“We agree that the Syrian government should make the first step and order the beginning of security forces and army units’ pullout from residential areas,” the minister said.
However, he said, “ending this process will be impossible without reciprocal steps from those fighting the government.”
Lavrov’s statement came during his speech at an Armenian university in Yerevan. The Syrian government, he said, “has made a lot of mistakes over the past year, first of all, in terms of its inadequate reaction to the protest movement,” which he said involved “armed provocateurs” along with “peaceful demonstrators.”
“The Syrian authorities have been clearly slow to implement reforms – although it would also be wrong to screw up eyes to the fact that reforms do take place,” he said.
He described calls by Syrian opposition groups for President Bashar al-Assad to step down as an “invitation for bloodshed,” adding that Russia was not considering Assad’s removal from power as an option to end the violence in Syria.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the breakout of a popular uprising against Assad in March 2011, the UN has estimated. The Syrian authorities blame the unrest on “armed terrorist gangs” affiliated with al-Qaeda.
On Sunday, during a “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting in Istanbul, 70 countries, including the United States, pledged to send several million dollars and communications equipment to Syrian rebels fighting Assad. Russia, which along with China and Syria’s main regional ally Iran, was absent from the meeting, criticized the initiative. Lavrov said it was at odds with a peace plan for Syria proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
All members of the UN Security Council have backed the Annan Plan, which calls for an immediate ceasefire by both government troops and opposition fighters, provision of humanitarian aid to those in need and launch of a broad Syrian dialogue without foreign intervention.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media NEW YORK— UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has apparently asked the UN Security Council to support a deadline of April 10 for the gradual implementation of his peace plan in Syria. Damascus has reportedly agreed to the deadline.
The government of Syria has agreed to an April 10 deadline to partially implement a plan to end violence in the country, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan reportedly told the UN Security Council on Monday.
Diplomats said Annan asked the 15-nation council to support the deadline, which would include a full cease-fire within 48 hours. The peace plan includes a freeze on Syrian troop movements toward dissident cities and a halt to the use of heavy weapons.
The Assad regime had said it would accept the peace plan but did not initially specify when. Meanwhile fighting has continued, and at least 18 people were killed in Syria on Monday.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that arming the opposition “would lead to a potentially dangerous proliferation of weapons in the region.”
The issue of arming the rebels also divided an Arab League summit in Baghdad last week, where Qatar and Saudi Arabia – both advocates of supporting the rebels militarily – snubbed the conference by sending lower-level envoys instead of their heads of state.
A representative of the opposition Syrian National Council said on Monday that some Arab countries had already pledged arms to the rebels, but he implied that the exchange would take place in secret.
“The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries, but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon,” SNC member Sheikh Anas Airout told the DPA news agency.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Wednesday to vanquish “foreign conspirators” plotting against his government, saying the crisis in the country is nearing its end.
Addressing tens of thousands of Syrians in the capital Damascus, Assad said that the support of Syrians for his government gives him power to fight hard against the external conspiracy trying to destabilize the country.
“I wanted to be with you so I can draw strength from you in the face of everything that Syria is subjected to. It was important that we maintain our faith in the future. I have that faith in the future and we will undoubtedly triumph over this conspiracy,” the Syrian president told his supporters, Reuters reported.
“You are standing against a desecration of our identity, and you are confirming your steadfastness and support for the armed forces, whose martyrs are falling every single day so you can live in safety,” he added.
Assad’s wife Asma and their two children joined him for his surprise appearance in the capital’s central Umayyad Square.
“I belong to this street,” Assad, 46, said, adding Syria faced foreign conspirators. We will make this phase the end for them and their plans. We are going to win without any doubt.”
His remarks followed a 100-minute speech on Tuesday in which he censured the Arab League, vowed to hit “terrorists” with an iron fist and promised reforms, but with no hint that he would relinquish the power he inherited from his father in 2000.
The Arab League, which suspended Syria in November for failing to halt its crackdown on protests, sent an observer mission in December that has not stopped the violence. It urged Syria this week to protect its observers.
In his speech on Tuesday, Assad had scorned the Arab League for trying to discipline Syria, saying it had “failed for six decades to take a position in the Arab interest” and that “the Arab League without Syria suspends its own Arab identity.”
The Syrian president, however, said that Damascus will not close the door on any Arab solution which respects its sovereignty.
“Our priority now is to regain the security in which we basked in for decades, and this can only be achieved by hitting the terrorists with an iron fist,” Assad said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March. According to the UN, over 5,000 people have been killed in ten-month long unrest. While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing
protesters, Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
Source: Tehran Times