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Thread: Syria

  1. #561
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    Default Re: Syria

    "Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan."

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    Default Re: Syria

    I don't think Obama has the ability to stare down the Russians. They might be laughing so hard they need to regroup.

    Took me a second, Ryan. Hunt for Red October. Our buddy Fred Thompson.
    Last edited by MinutemanCO; August 31st, 2012 at 16:11.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria calls up reserves as regime strains to crush revolt

    By REUTERS
    09/04/2012 13:50
    UN Human Rights Council cites sharp rise of refugees in August, including soldiers trying to flee; Assad pledges to allow the Red Cross to expand humanitarian operations.

    Photo: Reuters Syria is calling up former soldiers from the reserves to active army service in growing numbers, a sign of the strain of efforts to crush the 17-month-old revolt against the president. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad promised the president of the Red Cross to allow it to expand its humanitarian operations in the war-torn country.


    Several fleeing reservists and a serving army officer told Reuters that thousands of men had been called up in the past two months to bolster the 300,000 strong army, and many of them are failing to report for duty.


    One army officer contacted in Homs said he believed that only half of those called up in recent months had reported for duty, although it was not possible to verify that figure or ascertain whether other units had experienced similar levels of reservists failing to report.


    Most Syrian men are required to serve in the army for two years when they turn 18 or after finishing university. After a man has served, he remains in the reserves and can be called up for active duty.


    Syria's conflict has killed more than 20,000 people. Fleeing reservists said that whatever their political stance, they did not want to be part of the country's civil war.


    The fighting has intensified in the past two months, with rebels, often led by army defectors, launching advances in the capital Damascus and commercial hub Aleppo despite being massively outgunned by one of the region's best-equipped armies.


    Syrian authorities, who say they are fighting foreign-backed terrorists, have not given full details of military casualties. One anti-Assad monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says nearly 6,000 soldiers and members of the security forces have been killed.


    Meanwhile, Assad and the president of the Red Cross held a meeting in Damascus on Tuesday, during which the Syrian president promised to allow the organization to expand its operations.. The meeting comes after the release of a summary on Tuesday by the UNHCR briefing which stated that more than 100,000 people are seeking asylum in surrounding countries – the highest monthly total of the Syria crisis to date.


    UNHCR and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent continue to expand operations to support displaced Syrians. The number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration as of September 2nd is 235,368 (including 103,416 people who have registered since August 2nd), according to the report.


    It is not only civilians who are seeking to flee, as residents in Damascus say checkpoints across the city now inspect young men's IDs to check they are not fleeing army service or have not been called up from the reserves. Some deserters dare not leave their homes, fearing neighbors who might report them.
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  4. #564
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    Default Re: Syria

    Syrian Chemical Arsenal Being Dispersed Across Country, Officials Say



    Sept. 7, 2012

    Amateur video footage of the effects of Friday shelling in Daraa, Syria. Officials from the United States and other nations say the embattled Syrian government is spreading its chemical arsenal to various locations around the country (AP Photo/Shaam News Network).



    The Assad regime's move to distribute its chemical arsenal around Syria could make the weapons harder to protect against possible pilfering should the government lose its grip on power, regional and U.S. officials told the Washington Post for a Thursday article.


    There might now be up to 20 facilities holding chemical armaments and ingredients. Officials are keeping tabs on the installations, but concerns are rising that they have been unable to pinpoint the whereabouts of all chemical weapon-related sites and that some lethal materials might be seized for use in attacks or otherwise diverted.


    "We think we know everything, but we felt the same way about Libya," said one anonymous ex-U.S. intelligence official.


    At the beginning of the 2011 uprising against dictator Muammar Qadhafi, the international community was under the impression Libya still possessed roughly 11.5 metric tons of degrading blister agent and a larger quantity of precursor materials. An additional cache of sulfur mustard agent was later discovered that Libya had failed to declare as a member nation to the Chemical Weapons Convention.


    "We had been on the ground in Libya, yet there were big surprises, both in terms of quantities and locations," the former U.S. official said in an interview with the Post.


    Two unidentified officials with access to recent intelligence findings said it seems Assad's chemical arsenal is more dispersed and of a greater size than was earlier suspected. The most lethal chemical agents are stored in approximately six areas. An additional 14 installations are employed to produce and hold chemical weapon parts, the officials said.


    "It's obvious that ensuring their security is paramount. Planning for different scenarios, consulting appropriately with allies and preparing to manage any new challenges is simply being responsible," a U.S. government source said.


    The United States and Syrian neighbors Turkey, Jordan, and Israel are preparing for the threat that violent extremists could exploit the chaos to obtain chemical weapons. Washington has reportedly sternly warned Syrian opposition fighters not to attempt to seize the chemical depots.


    As Syria never signed the CWC pact, no concrete details are known about its chemical arsenal. Still, the country is understood to possess an active chemical weapons program encompassing hundreds of tons of materials such as mustard gas and sarin and VX nerve agents as well delivery systems including ballistic missiles, rockets and air-dropped bombs.

    Damascus is also suspected of having a biological weapons program.


    Russia and North Korea have supplied aid to Damascus in recent decades in building weapon sites that are difficult to detect from the sky and protected against outsider threats, the ex-U.S. official said. "They are masters at concealment."


    Multiple serving and ex-U.S. officials admitted it would be a Herculean task to seize, disarm, guard, or destroy Syria's chemical weapons in alongside continuing fighting between Assad loyalists and rebels and a probable regime effort to retaliate against any foreign military intervention.


    One advantage, though, is that the majority of the chemical arsenal is made up of ingredient agents which must be mixed and poured into munitions before they can be used. Untrained individuals who attempt to prepare the precursor materials are likely to cause their own deaths.


    In a best-case outcome, foreign specialists could travel to opposition-held areas of Syria to take control of the chemical facilities, as was the case in Libya after the collapse of the Qadhafi regime. If, however, chemical installations are overwhelmed during fighting between rebels and loyalists or the Syrian military is perceived to be preparing to launch chemical strikes, developed crisis response strategies would have highly trained foreign units enter the country to seize the weapons, informed regional and U.S. officials said.


    Opposition forces are becoming more worried about the potential for a besieged Assad to order chemical strikes in a last ditch effort to maintain power, Syria analyst Andrew Tabler said. "They think the regime is moving the weapons around, mostly to the coast and other areas where the regime will go if it is forced to contract."


    Foreign intelligence agencies have yet to uncover indications the Syrian military is mixing chemical agents and readying munitions for use in a strike. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have all warned Damascus they would harshly respond to any such attack.


    Russia opposes foreign military intervention in Syria without U.N. Security Council authorization. Moscow has used its close connections with Damascus to underline to the Assad regime that chemical weapons must not be used.


    "We are absolutely sure -- and have Damascus' official reassurances on this account -- that this country's government is taking all the necessary measures to ensure safety of the chemical arsenal," Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday. "Certainly, we rule out the possibility that Syria could use its chemical weapons for combat purposes."
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    Default Re: Syria

    All the shit from Iraq.....

    Syria has moved some chemical weapons: US

    (AFP) – 31 minutes ago


    WASHINGTON — The Syrian regime has moved some chemical weapons to safeguard the material as it wages war against rebel forces but the main storage sites for its arsenal remain secure, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday.


    "There has been some intelligence that with regards to some of these sites there has been some movement ...in order for the Syrians to better secure the chemicals," Panetta told a joint news conference with his Canadian counterpart.


    "We still believe, based on what we know and what we're monitoring, that the principal sites remain secure," he said.


    Asked if rebel forces had gotten their hands on some chemical stockpiles, Panetta said: "I don't have any specific information about the opposition and whether or not they've obtained some of this or how much they've maintained."


    Syria's chemical weapons stockpile dates back to the 1970s and are the largest in the Middle East, but its precise scope remains unclear.


    The regime has said it might use its chemical weapons if attacked by outside countries, although not against its own people.
    Last month French President Francois Hollande warned that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would provide a legitimate cause for a foreign intervention.


    The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday that the Syrian army has tested a chemical weapons delivery system, firing shells at a research center in its northwestern desert region.


    Citing "witnesses," the magazine said five to six empty shells designed for chemical agents were fired by tanks and aircraft at Diraiham in the desert, at the Safira research center -- the country's largest testing site for chemical weapons.


    Iranian officers, believed to be members of the Revolutionary Guards, were flown in by helicopter for the testing, according to witness statements cited by the magazine.


    Panetta's comments came as rebel forces in Syria launched a barrage of mortar fire against troops in Aleppo after announcing a "decisive" battle for the city, according to residents and a rights group.


    Rebels claimed they had advanced on several fronts, particularly in the southwest, but admitted they had failed to make any significant breakthrough.
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  6. #566
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    Default Re: Syria

    They tattooed Bush with this crap for years. "There are no WMDs in Iraq." Everyone knew the stuff had been moved to Syria with the help of the Russians. I mean seriously, does our government really just function on lying, deception and subterfuge? It's no wonder our people have gone the way of anti-moralistic behavior. We are broken to the core.
    Last edited by MinutemanCO; September 28th, 2012 at 17:54.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by MinutemanCO View Post
    I mean seriously, does our government really just function on lying, deception and subterfuge?
    Seriously, yes, they DO function on lying. Give you a good example. In 2010, late in the year they made a huge fucking STINK about me (and others) going through CompTia for my Security + certification. it's a "requirement" now for my "job". (my job isn't running servers, etc, I don't have anyone who can access my machines from OUTSIDE, there's NO WAY a "hacker" can get into my systems... etc etc).

    A thousand of us in IT in the MDA bitched about it because we were each on the hook for several hundred dollars to the company Comptia.

    After bitching so much, the government (who made this stupid fucking rule) PAID for our tests. Nice. I took mine. Part of the DEAL was, if we got our certs prior to a certain date in 2011 (we all did) there WOULD BE NO MORE REQUIREMENTS for ON-GOING TRAINING etc.

    Guess what? Today they send us a letter stating that we ALL have to "sign up" and continue paying money to keep our certs otherwise we're somehow breaking the contract.

    I told them to pound sand.

    So yes they fucking LIE all the time. Socialist motherfuckers.


    It's no wonder our people have gone the way of anti-moralistic behavior. We are broken to the core.
    Yes, we are.

    I can do my job without someone "certifying" me to do it.

    And America can survive if we kick the lying motherfuckers out of office. NOW.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  8. #568
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    Default Re: Syria

    And if we neglect to wind up and kick, I hesitate to admit it, but I think we may be facing a fundamental transformation of the greatest republic ever on earth. I for one ain't going down without a fight.
    Last edited by MinutemanCO; September 28th, 2012 at 18:24.

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    Default Re: Syria

    I am with you. America is NOT going down without a fight. I've had it too.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    Alert....

    Syria lobbed some rockets or mortars across the border killing several people in a home, including some children.

    A few hours after, Turkey retaliated.

    NATO ambassadors are about to meet in regards to this.....
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    Default Re: Syria

    Just heard it on the radio too...


    Turkey PM’s Office Says Turkish Artillery Fired On Syria After Shelling Of Turkish Town

    October 3, 2012

    The office of Turkey’s prime minister says Turkish artillery has fired on Syrian targets after deadly shelling from the Syrian side hit a Turkish border town.

    The Turkish statement says the artillery fired “on points in Syria that were detected with radar, in line with the rules of engagement.”

    The artillery fire on Wednesday followed shelling, believed to be from Syrian government forces that hit the Turkish village of Akcakale. A Turkish ruling party official says five people died.

  12. #572
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    Default Re: Syria

    Turkey Fires Artillery Shells Into Syria In Alleged Retaliation

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/03/2012 12:56 -0400

    Following this morning's reported shelling of a Turkish town (from Syrian lands):



    • *NINE INJURED AS SHELL FROM SYRIA LANDS IN TURKISH TOWN: NTV

    The Turkish foreign ministry has held emergency talks and, according to Zaman, Turkey has now begun firing 'warning' shots into Syria and 'the bombardment continues to be heavy'.

    • *TURKISH ARTILLERY BOMBARDS SYRIA IN WARNING, ZAMAN REPORTS

    And it would appear things are escalating:

    • *TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS NATO AFTER SYRIA BORDER SHELLING

    On the earlier Syrian shelling of Turkey...
    Via Reuters: Mortar from Syria kills five family members in Turkey


    AKCAKALE, Turkey, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A mortar bomb fired from Syria landed in a residential district of the southeastern Turkish town of Akcakale on Wednesday, killing a woman and four children from the same family and wounding at least eight other people.

    A cloud of dust and smoke rose up over low-rise buildings as residents ran to help the wounded. Others, infuriated by the increasing spillover of violence from Syria's civil war, took to the streets shouting protests against the local authorities.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu phoned U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to brief him about the incident and also spoke with senior military officials and Syria crisis mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, his ministry said in a statement.

    Davutoglu signalled over the weekend that Turkey would take action if there was a repeat of a mortar strike which damaged homes and workplaces in Akcakale last Friday.

    "It (latest mortar round) hit right in the middle of the neighbourhood. The wife and four children from the same family died," Ahmet Emin Meshurgul, local head of the Turkish Red Crescent, told Reuters, adding he knew the victims personally.

    "People here are anxious, because we got hit before. Security forces tried to convince people to empty the neighbourhood near the border, but now we've been hit right in the middle of the town," he said.

    A Reuters witness saw three police officers among the wounded being taken to hospital.

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan long cultivated good relations with Assad but became a harsh critic after Syria's popular revolt began last year, accusing him of creating a "terrorist state". Erdogan has allowed Syrian rebels to organise on Turkish soil and pushed for a foreign-protected safe zone inside Syria.

    GUNFIRE STRAYING OVER BORDER

    Syria's worsening bloodshed has increasingly affected border zones, with stray bullets flying into Turkish territory.

    "Over the last 20 to 25 days there have been very heavy clashes on the Syrian side. We have felt the effects of these in Akcakale," Labour Minister Faruk Celik, an MP for the province where Akcakale is located, told parliament.

    In April, Turkey reported an incident to the United Nations in which at least five people, including two Turkish officials, were wounded when cross-border gunfire struck a Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, further west along the frontier.

    Turkey beefed up its troop presence and air defences along its 900-km (560-mile) border after Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet in June. But residents in Akcakale said there was still not enough security.

    "People here are rising up, there is no security. People were chanting for the local governors to resign," local resident Ibrahim Halil Arslan told CNN Turk television.

    "Everybody here is so anxious. We keep our children locked at home, and we are trying to live under this psychological pressure," he said.

    Washington sees Turkey as the pivotal player in backing Syria's opposition and planning for the post-Assad era. But Ankara has found itself increasingly isolated and frustrated by a lack of international consensus on how to end the conflict.

    Turkey is also sheltering more than 90,000 refugees from Syria and fears a mass influx similar to the flight of half a million Iraqi Kurds into Turkey after the 1991 Gulf War.

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    TweetsFromAbdel: BREAKING: Turkey has declared war on the Syrian Government. #war #syria
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 4:21:52 PM


    Turkey launches artillery attacks on Syrian targets in retaliation after five civilians were killed in mortar strike


    • Turkish PM: 'Our armed forces responded immediately to abominable attack'
    • Five people killed when Syrian shells struck border village earlier in the day
    • Action by Ankara threatens to drag the West into military conflict with Assad

    By Daily Mail Reporter
    PUBLISHED: 15:09 EST, 3 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:16 EST, 3 October 2012

    Turkey fired on targets inside Syria tonight in a dangerous escalation of the war which has engulfed President Assad’s country.

    The artillery strikes were in retaliation for the bombing of a Turkish village earlier in the day which killed five civilians.

    Last night, the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement that his country’s military had struck targets inside Syria.


    'Abominable attack': Turkey has launched artillery strikes inside Syria in retaliation for this mortar bomb blast in a village in the southeastern border region of Akcakale, Sanliurfa, which killed five Turks


    The action of Ankara threatens to drag the West into a military conflict, which has so far, confined itself to financial support for the rebels fighting Assad.

    Earlier in the evening, Turkey, which has been a Nato member since 1952, had consulted with the military alliance and the United Nations about any response to the Syrian attack.

    More...




    Mr Erdogan had warned Syria it would respond to any further violations of its territory.

    In a statement, he said: 'Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar.

    'Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security.'





    On the attack: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (left) says he will not 'leave unanswered such kinds of provocation' by President Assad's regime


    During the conflict there have been several incidents when Syrian jet fighters had encroached on Turkish territory.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had spoken by telephone with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the foreign ministers of several U.N. Security Council member countries about the incident, the statement said.

    Davutoglu had also agreed with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the need for an
    emergency meeting of NATO members, the statement said.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc was also quoted as saying that Syria must be made to account for the incident and demanded a response under international law.


    Man down: A police officer was injured when Syrian shells landed inside Akcakale, Turkey, on Wednesday


    After a Syrian strike that damaged homes and offices in the southeastern town of Akcakale last week, the Turks warned they would take action if it happened again.

    Troops and air defences were also beefed up along its 560-mile border with Syria earlier in the summer after a Turkish reconnaissance jet was shot down.

    Residents in Akcakale, infuriated by the increasing spillover of violence from Syria’s civil war, took the streets last night to protest against the local authorities failure in protecting the border community.

    ‘The latest mortar round hit right in the middle of the neighbourhood. The wife and four children from the same family died,’ said Ahmet Emin Meshurgul, the local head of the Turkish Red Crescent.

    ‘People here are anxious, because we got hit before. Security forces tried to convince people to empty the neighborhood near the border, but now we’ve been hit right in the middle of the town,’ he added.


    Escalating violence: The new flashpoint emerged after at least 34 people were killed and dozens more injured in a series of explosions in Syria's second city, Aleppo (above)


    Although the Turkish government previously had good relations with President Bashar Assad, it sided with the rebels following the uprising and has allowed them to organize on Turkish soil.

    The UN Secretary-General urged Turkey to keep all channels of communication with Turkey open to avoid increased tensions.

    The new flashpoint emerged after at least 34 people were killed and dozens more injured in a series of explosions in the centre of Syria’s second city, Aleppo.

    A military officer’s club and a hotel being used by the Syrian army bore the brunt of the suicide car bomb attacks.

    ‘It was like a series of earthquakes,’ said one shocked eyewitness. ‘It was terrifying, terrifying.’

    According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, most of the dead in Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square were regime troops.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Fox News Channel reporters were saying this might "trigger a massive war in the Middle East".

    Not sure yet how this is any different than Israel vs Iran.... but when it comes down to it, maybe it's fucking time that a torch went off over there and they started killing one another.

    I don't like war, I don't like the fact that innocents will die, but the majority of Syria is Muslim. If they want Hell coming down on them, then so be it.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Edge of war....

    According to Fox.

    Turkey has shelled the begezus out of Syria for 24 plus hours.

    NATO has met and stated clearly "Syria's shelling of Turkey is unacceptable". But NATO unlikely to anything more....

    EU has condemned Syria.

    Turkish Parliament passes Syria cross-border intervention resolution


    Turkey is on a war footing.

    Turkey has authorized further action against Syria if necessary.

    Syria is apologizing.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    Turkey: Syria apologized via UN for mortar strike

    Following shelling which killed five Turkish civilians, Turkey deputy PM says Assad regime assured that such an incident would not be repeated.

    By Reuters | Oct.04, 2012 | 3:34 PM


    The explosion area is pictured after several Syrian shells crashed inside Akcakale town in Turkey, killing at least five people, October 3, 2012. Photo by AFP



    By Reuters | Oct.04,2012 | 3:34 PM | 10







    Syria has apologized through the United Nations for the mortar strike which killed five civilians in southeast Turkey on Wednesday and said such an incident would not be repeated, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said on Thursday.

    "Syria accepts that it did it and apologizes. They said nothing like this will happen again. That's good. The UN mediated and spoke to Syria in the evening," Atalay said.

    The cross-border tensions escalated on Wednesday after a shell fired from inside Syria landed on a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing a woman, her three daughters and another woman, and wounding at least 10 others, according to Turkish media.

    Turkey's parliament gave authorization on Thursday for military operations outside Turkish borders if the government deemed them necessary, a day after artillery shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish town.


    The government had sought parliamentary approval to send soldiers to foreign countries in a memorandum which said that "aggressive action" by Syria's armed forces against Turkish territory posed a serious threat to national security.

    Turkish artillery hit targets near Syria's Tel Abyad border town for a second day on Thursday, killing several Syrian soldiers according to activists and security sources, after a mortar bomb fired from the area killed five Turkish civilians.

    In the most serious cross-border escalation of the 18-month uprising in Syria, Turkey hit back after what it called "the last straw" when a mortar hit a residential neighborhood of the southern border town of Akcakale on Wednesday.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several Syrian soldiers were killed in the Turkish bombardment of a military post near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, a few miles across the frontier from Akcakale. It did not say how many soldiers died.

    "We know that they have suffered losses," a Turkish security source told Reuters, without giving further details.

    NATO said it stood by member-nation Turkey and urged Syria to put an end to "flagrant violations of international law."

    The U.S.-led Western military alliance held an urgent late night meeting in Brussels to discuss the matter and in New York, Turkey asked the UN Security Council to take the "necessary action" to stop Syrian aggression.

    In a letter to the president of the 15-nation Security Council, Turkish UN Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan called the firing of the mortar bomb "a breach of international peace and security."

    UN diplomats said Security Council members hoped it would issue a non-binding statement on Thursday that would condemn the mortar attack "in the strongest terms" and demand an end to violations of Turkey's territorial sovereignty.

    "I want and hope that the entire international community, in particular through the Security Council, passes a clear and swift message that condemns the Syrian authorities strongly," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.

    While Security Council members had hoped to issue the statement on Wednesday, but Russia - a staunch ally of Syria's, which along with China has vetoed three UN resolutions condemning President Bashar Assad's government - asked for a delay, diplomats said.
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    Default Re: Syria

    I don't know that Syria apologizing after downing the Turkish F-4 and now shelling Turkey will make all that much difference.

    I suspect they're like the kid that keeps pushing and pushing and finally pushes too far and then tries to make up for what they did by being overly apologetic when it is usually too late.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Exactly! LOL

    "I'm sorry I punched Johnny in the nose.. umm nine times... it won't happen again; maybe."
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    UN scrambles to defuse tensions between Turkey, Syria

    By REUTERS
    10/04/2012 19:40
    Sec.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon "alarmed by escalating tensions" as Turkey authorizes military operations in Syria in response to shelling that killed five civilians; Russia proposes diluted UN text on Syria attack.

    Photo: Ki Price / Reuters UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "alarmed by escalating tensions" between Syria and Turkey and warned that the risk of the 18-month-long Syrian conflict embroiling the entire region was growing, his spokesman said on Thursday.
    "The Secretary-General is alarmed by escalating tensions along the Syrian-Turkish border," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. "As the situation inside Syria deteriorates yet further ... the risks of regional conflict and the threat to international peace and security are also increasing."



    A mortar bomb from Syria landed in Turkey on Wednesday, killing at least five people. Turkey responded later the same day by striking targets in Syria. Turkey asked the UN Security Council to take the "necessary action" to stop Syrian aggression and ensure Turkish territorial integrity is respected.
    Turkey's parliament gave authorization on Thursday for military operations outside Turkish borders if the government deemed them necessary, a day after artillery shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town.
    At the UN, Russia blocked the adoption of a draft statement condemning a deadly Syrian mortar attack on a Turkish town and proposed a weaker text that would call for "restraint" on the border without referring to breaches of international law.
    Western diplomats complained that Russia's proposals, if accepted, would weaken the statement to an unacceptable degree.
    "The members of the Security Council called on the parties to exercise restraint and avoid military clashes which could lead to a further escalation of the situation in the border area between Syria and Turkey," said Russia's proposed statement, which was obtained by Reuters.
    If adopted, the non-binding statement would also call on the two neighbors to "reduce tensions and forge a path toward a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis." The Syrian mortar attack on Wednesday killed five Turkish civilians.
    The Russian draft keeps some of the language in the original text proposed by Azerbaijan, and urges the Syrian government to investigate the attack.
    The United States also proposed amendments to "strengthen" the original text, according a Western diplomat.
    The original draft, circulated to the 15-nation council on Wednesday, condemned "in the strongest terms" the Syrian army's shelling of a town in Turkey and demanded an end to violations of Turkish territory.
    Both drafts include the line: "This represents a demonstration of the spilling over of the crisis in Syria into neighboring states to an alarming degree."
    However, the Russians proposed removing the following sentence, which diplomats said was crucial language: "Such violations of international law constitute a serious threat to international peace and security."
    The language removed by the Russians, UN envoys say, was intended to signal that the Security Council, which is supposed to be the guardian of international peace and security, should remain involved in the matter.
    'Typical of Russia'
    Another problem with the Russian proposal, Western diplomats said on condition of anonymity, is that it attempts to balance the Syrian attack with the Turkish response and shifts the blame away from the Syrian army, suggesting an investigation is needed to determine whether the Syrian army was behind the attack.
    "I don't think the Russian proposal will do much to unify the council," a Western diplomat told Reuters. "I don't think it's acceptable but perhaps we can reach a compromise."
    Another envoy said: "It's very typical of Russia trying to protect Assad."
    Some 30,000 people have been killed across Syria in the 18-month-long conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels seeking to oust him, opposition activists say. The civil war is seeing growing sectarian overtones which threaten to draw in regional Sunni Muslim and Shi'ite powers.
    Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, and China have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad's government. They also reject the idea of sanctioning those in power in Syria who are responsible for the military assault against the opposition.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Turkey fires artillery into Syria after shelling






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    By Daren Butler
    ISTANBUL | Sun Oct 7, 2012 12:50pm EDT

    (Reuters) - Turkish forces fired across the frontier into Syria on Sunday after a shell launched from Syria landed in Turkey's border town of Akcakale, underlining Ankara's warning that it will respond with force to any violence spilling over into its territory.
    It was the fifth consecutive day of Turkish retaliation against incoming bombardment from northern Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been battling rebels who control swathes of land close to the Turkish frontier.
    The continued exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's revolt against Assad, which began in March last year with protests for reform but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones which threatens to draw in regional powers.
    The latest Syrian shell landed near a plant belonging to the Turkish Grain Board, the Dogan news agency reported, several hundred metres from the center of Akcakale where five civilians were killed on Wednesday in previous Syrian artillery fire.
    The Syrian Observatory for Human rights said shells fired in retaliation from Turkey on Sunday landed near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, where rebels have been battling Assad's forces.
    There were no immediate reports of casualties.
    NATO member Turkey was once an ally of Assad's but turned against him after his violent response to the uprising in which activists say 30,000 people have died.
    Turkey has nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees in camps on its territory, has allowed rebel leaders sanctuary and has led calls for Assad to quit. Its armed forces are far larger than Syria's.
    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey does not want war, but warned Syria not to test its resolve.
    "You have to be ready at every moment to go to war if it is necessary. If you are not ready for this, you are not a state," Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul on Sunday.
    "What did our forefathers say? 'If you want peace prepare for war' ... If you suffer an outrage, you will do what is necessary. Look, we are retaliating in kind," he said. "If you strike, you will see the retaliation immediately."
    Damascus has said its fire hit Turkey accidentally.
    Turkey and other Sunni Muslim powers in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have backed the rebels who are trying to topple Assad, a member of Syria's Alawite minority which is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. Iran's Shi'ite rulers, and the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah, are strong Assad allies.
    REBELS SEIZE MILITARY POST
    The cross-border fire at Akcakale followed a similar incident on Saturday when three mortar bombs fired from Syria landed near the Turkish village of Guvecci, prompting retaliatory fire from Turkey.
    The British-based Observatory, which monitors violence through a network of activists inside Syria, said that Syrian barrage was part of a fierce battle between Assad's forces and rebels for control of the border village of Khirbet al-Joz.
    It said rebels seized control of the area after a 12-hour battle on Saturday in which at least 40 Syrian soldiers and nine rebels were killed. The death toll could not be independently verified.
    On Sunday, a rebel flag flew over a Syrian military post in the area, visible from the Turkish side of the border.
    "In the last four days there were heavy clashes going on here. We couldn't sleep. Yesterday morning, the Syrian army controlled this area. Now it is calmer," said Turkish villager Musa Sasak, 27.
    Although outgunned by Assad's forces, rebels have taken control of several border crossings with Turkey and Iraq as well as large areas of rural territory.
    They are also battling for control of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, and have kept a foothold in the suburbs of Damascus despite a heavy army counter-offensive, backed by air strikes from jets and helicopter gunships.
    Despite military setbacks, a collapsing economy and the loss of four of top security officials in a rebel bombing in mid-July, Assad remains confident of victory, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.
    "I met in Damascus a president who was very aware of the critical situation. He did not appear detached but self-confident and combative," said Salehi, who held talks with Assad two weeks ago. "The president appeared convinced it was possible to win the conflict in Syria through military means."
    Salehi added that Assad was "open for any solution that came from within Syria", but rejected being pushed out by foreign pressure, adding there was no question of him seeking asylum. The Assad family has been in power in Syria for 42 years.
    International pressure on Assad has been curbed by deadlock at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China have blocked Western-backed draft resolutions which could have led to U.N. sanctions on Syria.
    With major powers paralyzed, the death toll has escalated to more than 1,000 a week, according to Observatory figures.
    At least 70 people were killed across Syria on Sunday, the group said. The bodies of 21 men had been found in the town of Hameh, in Damascus province, believed to have been killed by soldiers, while at least 13 people were killed in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city where Assad's forces have been fighting rebels for two months.
    (Additional Reporting by Sarah Marsh in Berlin; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Jon Hemming)
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