Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Worried about the current situation of the Syrian opposition, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of efforts by extremists to “hijack” the so-called Syria revolution.
“There are disturbing reports of extremists going into Syria attempting to take over what has been a legitimate revolution against an oppressive regime for their own purposes,” Clinton said during a visit to Croatia on Wednesday.
The opposition should “strongly resist the efforts by the extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution”.
“We are working very hard with many different elements of opposition inside and outside Syria,” Clinton told reporters.
She said Washington’s efforts “are focused on pressuring the regime through increasing and tightening sanctions, meeting the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people who are displaced, assisting those countries that they seek refuge in, and helping the opposition unite behind a shared, effective strategy that can resist the regime’s violence and begin to provide for a political transition.”
The top US official added that the opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council (SNC) “can no be longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition.”
“They can be part of the opposition, but the opposition must include people from inside Syria and others.”
She called for an opposition “leadership structure” to ensure that all Syrians are represented and protected, adding: “There has to be a representation of those who are on the front line fighting and dying today.”
“It is not a secret that many inside Syria are worried about what comes next. They have no love lost for the Assad regime, but they worry, rightly so, about the future,” Clinton said.
“And so there needs to be an opposition that can speak to every segment and every geographic part of Syria.”
Source: Al Manar TV News
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C—”I don’t know if it’s either a cover-up or the worst kind of incompetence, which doesn’t qualify the president as commander in chief,” John McCain said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, as published by CBS News in this article.
While some might think McCain is on a “wild goose chase”, there seems to be a method to his madness. We should therefore consider and explore the cover-up as the fourth theory.
The question this journalist must now confront is, “What is the cover-up?”
During the civil war that eventually led to the overthrow of Libya’s Col. Gaddafi, it was reported that his immense cache of weapons that he had accumulated over decades went missing.
“All of Libya is a grand arms bazaar,” said Mr. Peter Bouckaert, who said it appeared that SA-14 and SA-7 missiles had also been taken.
Speaking to the BBC from Tripoli, Mr. Bouckaert said the rebels had no use for SAMs anymore, given that there was no longer a threat from the air, but that they were still going missing – and were often the first to go.
“It begs the question – why are these being so sought out?” He asked, according to the BBC.
In Part 1 we settled the question regarding how Stevens found himself in Benghazi, now we have to link the al-Qaeda rebels to him, before we can answer the question of the cover-up.
During the uprising, Libyan rebel commander Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, admitted in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that members of Al Qaeda whom he referred to as “good Muslims” were fighting with the rebels in Libya.
We also know that they were al-Qaeda rebels fighting, because after Benghazi had been overriden they flew the al-Qaeda flag above the Benghazi courthouse.
After Gaddafi was overthrown, these same rebels began occupying Benghazi, and we saw earlier that Chris Stevens was sent as a liaison to the Libyan opposition. We’ve also determined, based on the rebel commander Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi’s interview, that al-Qaeda was among the opposition. We have therefore established a link between al-Qaeda and Chris Stevens the “liaison” as described by Hillary. We should now take this a step further and ask, “How would the rebels and the US benefit from each other, since Stevens was sent to create a bridge between the two?”
In order to answer that question, we also have to also answer the question above posed to the BBC by Mr. Peter Bouckaert, who asked, “Why are these weapons (SA-14 and SA-7 missiles) being sought out? The answer will help us hit two birds with one stone.
The first question has to do with how the US would benefit from creating a bridge between Stevens and opposition, and the answer is, they (the opposition) were the ones who would be used as pawns to fight the war in Syria in exchange for the US helping remove Gaddafi—Without outside intervention, the rebels could not do it by themselves.
The second question by Mr. Bouckart as to why the SA-14 and SA-7 missiles were being sought out, and where the cache of weapons had disappeared, also point to Syria. Those are the same weapons that would be used to bring down Assad’s jets and helicopters, and would also be used to destroy tanks.
Yet in order to fully solve this puzzle, we have to be able to place the Libyan opposition and al-Qaeda in Syria. After all, we have just determined that the weapons cache would be used in Syria against Assad, by these very same rebels. After we place the rebels in Syria, we also have to place the weapons that disappeared, in Syria.
Ruth Sherlock of The Telegraph, was on the ground in Idlib province in Syria, and according to her, when she asked the leader of the Free Syria Army (FSA) who the fighters were in Syria, he identified them as Libyans.
“Libyans”, muttered the rebel Free Syria Army leader under his breath, shooting the men a dirty look. “We don’t want these extremist people here. Look at them; we didn’t have this style in Syria – who is this? Bin Laden?” The Telegraph reported in this article.
After we place the weapons in Syria, the cover-up McCain was talking about will begin to make sense. Part 3. Continue to the cover-up alluded to by McCain>>
Newscast Media TEHRAN, Iran—Just when the Free Syrian Army thought the battle between them and Assad’s soldiers would subside due to the past Ramadan celebrations, the unrelenting Syrian government made an aggressive push to mop Aleppo up, and chased the Free Syrian Army into the wilderness in the outskirts of the city. Press TV with reporters on the ground, reported that Assad’s soldiers trashed the rebels’ command center in Aleppo’s Sayyed Ali district on Wednesday.
“The command center in Aleppo’s Sayyed Ali district was destroyed. Security forces killed a large number of insurgents in Aleppo neighborhood of Seif al-Dawla. Government forces also fought with insurgents in the capital Damascus, Idlib, and Hama, inflicting heavy losses on them,” Press TV reported.
Meanwhile, Tehran has said in spite of different viewpoints within, in case of a foreign attack, the entire Iranian nation will be united against it. Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi dismissed Israeli officials’ threat of war as “worthless,” saying Tehran is capable of giving a crushing response to any aggression.
The Islamic Republic, is warning that in case Israel makes the mistake of launching such an attack, it will spell the end of the Israeli regime.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian Security forces destroyed several vehicles filled with weapons, and seized a dozen more of the vehicles carrying ammunition and weapons to Aleppo. According to Press TV, cars were identified in the suburb of Kafar Hamra on Wednesday, and were captured as they tried to enter Aleppo from the North.
On Tuesday, Syrian authorities captured dozens of insurgents near the Souq al-Hal area in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reported. Syrian forces also destroyed seven cars equipped with DSHK machine guns and occupied by insurgents in the al-Bab area.
Another key neighborhood of Bab al-Hadid was also liberated by Assad’s forces. This has been confirmed by Iran’s Press TV that also has reported the top insurgent leader Wa’el Mohammed al-Majdalawi was killed in Syria’s capital, Damascus. According to media reports in the region, Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the atmosphere in Syria was improving.
“The improvement curve in Syria is ascending,” he said, and mentioned the 30-country meeting that took place in Tehran yielded positive results. “The proposal put forward by Iran’s foreign minister [at the meeting] about a three-month truce is a logical one,” Boroujerdi stated, as reported by Press TV.
Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has confirmed to BBC news it has retreated from Salah al-Din (Salaheddin), a densely packed area of narrow streets on the south-west side of Aleppo, where rebel fighters had been heavily dug in. State media had reported the army was in full control of the district, saying it had inflicted heavy losses on hundreds of “terrorist mercenaries”.
“We have staged a tactical withdrawal from Salah al-Din,” rebel commander Hossam Abu Mohammed of the Dara al-Shahbaa Brigade in Aleppo told the AFP news agency by phone. “The district is completely empty of rebel fighters. Regime forces are now advancing into Salah al-Din,” BBC news reported.
Syria has been waging war against the rebel gangs for the past 18 months, in a battle the President Bashar Assad believes will determine Syria’s destiny.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. State Department announced on Friday that it has imposed sanctions on Syria’s state-run oil company for selling 33,000 metric tons of gasoline to Iran in April. The State Department said this kind of trade allows Iran to continue developing its nuclear program while providing the Syrian government with resources to oppress its own people.
“The United States remains deeply concerned about the close ties shared by the Iranian and Syrian regimes and is committed to using every tool available to prevent regional destabilization,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement August 10.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is on her way to Turkey for talks with Turkish leaders and Syrian opposition activists to coordinate efforts to oust the regime of Bashar al-Assad and start planning to help Syria after Assad falls, according to the article on the State Department’s Web site.
Meanwhile, the sanctions on Hezbollah were placed because the U.S. believes it is providing training, advice and “extensive logistical support” to the Assad regime. According to a Wall Street Journal, the U.S. said Hezbollah has been working closely with Iran, Mr. Assad’s other close supporter and the main U.S. nemesis in the region.
“I think it is safe to say that Hezbollah is playing a critical role in advising the Syrian government and training its personnel in how to prosecute a counterinsurgency,” Daniel Benjamin, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, said Friday. “At this point…we’re satisfied by our assessment that the group is playing an absolutely integral role in helping the Assad regime try to put down this popular movement.”
Analysts in the region argue that the U.S. is overstating Hezbollah’s role in Syria, and say the group has chosen to limit its support for Mr. Assad—endorsing Syria’s regime but not publicly taking up arms to defend it.
“Although the final decision hasn’t been made, Hezbollah has come to realize that it doesn’t serve its core objectives to get involved in Syria and Iran’s conflict,” said Omar Nashabi, a columnist for the Al-Akbar newspaper, which leans toward supporting Hezbollah. The Reuters full article can be read here.
In other reports, the rebel gangs in Aleppo are asking for more weapons from the West, because they are “slowly losing the battle” against Assad. Syrian rebels were running low on ammunition and guns Friday and appealed for international help as government forces tried to consolidate their control over Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a deadly battleground in recent weeks.
“The warplanes and helicopters are killing us, they’re up there in the sky 15 hours a day,” said Mohammad al-Hassan, an activist in Aleppo’s main rebel stronghold of Salaheddine. “I don’t know how long this situation can be sustained,” the New York Times reported in this article.
Regardless of whether the sanctions against Hezbollah will have any effect, the group has now been dragged into the crisis in Syria, and it will be interesting to see what Hezbollah’s reaction, covert or overt, will be in the weeks ahead.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria—According to news reports from within Syria, Assad’s military has now restored tranquility to the second largest city of Aleppo in northern Syria. Assad ordered his army to secure the city and flush out all the rebel gangs who form a contingent called the Free Syrian Army. In a three-day operation “Clean Sweep”, the Syrian army embarked on the undertaking beginning Saturday July 28, and by Monday July 31, Aleppo was in control of the military.
There are still some pockets of resistance in the outskirts since the rebels were using innocent civilians as human shields. The Syrian army therefore is cautious after this resounding victory, and continues to establish checkpoints in and around Aleppo, to facilitate completely flushing out of the terrorist gangs.
Turkish newspaper Idinik said U.S. Blackwater agents have been operating at the border area and that the firm’s mercenaries are being deployed to Syria via the Turkish province of Hatay.
Rebels are chased to the Lebanese border
Securing Aleppo was not enough for the Syrian military. Operation “Clean Sweep” called for cleansing Syria of the rebel gangs once and for all. Graffiti was sprayed on the walls of damaged buildings to warn the rebel gangs about their impending doom. The graffiti read: “Flee. If you stay you will face humiliation”.
Not wanting to face humiliation, the gang of rebels indeed took the warnings seriously and fled all the way North to the border. The rebels who did not take the warnings seriously were surrounded by the Syrian army on Wednesday, who then attacked a rebel-held school in Aleppo’s Salahuddin district, which was being used as a command center, and heavy losses were inflicted upon the rebel gangs.
A new rift among rebel groups emerges
Meanwhile in Cairo, a new rift among the rebels has emerged. A group called the Syrian Revolutionary board of trustees told reporters on Tuesday in Cairo that it has tasked veteran opposition activist Haytham al-Maleh with forming a transitional government in exile in Egypt. The group said that parts of Syria captured by opposition groups would be controlled by Maleh’s government and that it will continue its work until the collapse of the government of President Bashar al-Assad and formation of a democratically-elected government.
The terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) have both criticized the decision by the Syrian Revolutionary board of trustees.
While FSA leader Riad al-Asaad described the move as fueling the rift among the Syrian opposition, head of SNC Abdel Basset Sayda said “This step is unnecessary. We hoped that our brothers had discussed it with us beforehand”.
The enemy within
To acknowledge the triumph of the military operation, Assad delivered a statement today which is the 67th anniversary of the Syrian military formation.
“The army is engaged in a crucial and heroic battle… on which the destiny of the nation and its people rests. The enemy is among us today, using agents to destabilize the country, the security of its citizens… They (the enemy) wanted to deprive the people of their national decision… but they were astonished to see these proud people, who confronted their plans and defeated them,” the Syrian president stated.
“You men of the country… you have demonstrated, in dealing with the war waged against our country by the terrorist gangs, that you possess an iron will and a keen awareness.”
Assad also pointed out that the Syrian “military remains the backbone of the motherland.”
Source: Press TV