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  1. #161
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    Default Re: Syria

    Syria's Assad warns Western powers




    BEIRUT | Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:22am EDT

    (Reuters) - Western powers risk causing an "earthquake" across the Middle East if they intervene in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said, after protesters called for foreign protection from a crackdown in which 3,000 people have been killed.

    Assad's warning came ahead of Syrian government talks on Sunday with the Arab League aimed at starting a dialogue between the government and opposition and ending violence which has escalated across Syria in recent days.

    Activists said Syrian forces killed more than 50 civilians in the last 48 hours and one activist group said suspected army deserters killed 30 soldiers in clashes in the city of Homs and in an ambush in the northern province of Idlib on Saturday.

    Assad's suppression of the seven-month uprising has drawn criticism from the United Nations and Arab League. Western governments have called on him to step down and imposed sanctions on Syrian oil exports and state businesses.

    Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely," Assad told Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

    "But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different."

    "Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake."


    WESTERN STANCE

    NATO military intervention in Libya played a decisive role in toppling Muammar Gaddafi, the third Arab leader to be overthrown after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

    Western nations have shown no appetite to repeat their Libyan operation in Syria, but demonstrators are increasingly calling for a "no-fly zone" over their country.

    "Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?" Assad said. "Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region."

    Since the start of protests in March, Syrian authorities have blamed the violence on foreign-backed gunmen and religious extremists they say have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.

    Syria has barred most international media, making it hard to verify accounts from activists and authorities.

    But the resilience of the protesters, the determination of authorities to crush dissent and the emerging armed insurgency have combined to make Syria's turmoil one of the most intractable confrontations of this year's Arab uprisings.

    Assad, whose father put down an armed Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the city of Hama in 1982, killing many thousands, said the latest crisis was part of the same conflict.

    "We've been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them," he said.

    Authorities had made "many mistakes" in the early part of the uprising, but he said the situation had now improved and that he had started implementing reform within a week of the troubles erupting in mid-March.

    "The pace of reform is not too slow. The vision needs to be mature. It would take only 15 seconds to sign a law, but if it doesn't fit your society, you'll have division," he said.

    Assad's opponents say although he lifted emergency law and gave citizenship to thousands of stateless Kurds, his promises of reform ring hollow while security forces kill protesters and arrest thousands of people.

    They also say protests are driven by a desire for greater freedoms, not by an Islamist agenda.

    Friday's shooting of demonstrators prompted Arab ministers to issue their strongest call yet on Assad to end the killing of civilians.

    The Arab League's committee on the Syrian crisis sent an "urgent message to the Syrian government expressing its severe discontent over the continued killing of Syrian civilians."

    A source at Syria's Foreign Ministry, quoted by state media, said the Arab League statement was "based on media lies" and urged the committee to "help restore stability in Syria instead of stirring sedition."

    An Arab League ministerial group is due to meet Syrian officials on Sunday in Qatar to press for dialogue between the government and opposition.
    Syria, a majority Sunni Muslim nation of 20 million people, is dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

    Aware of potentially seismic geopolitical implications if Assad were to fall, leaders in the mostly Sunni Arab world have been cautious about criticising the Syrian president as they struggle with domestic challenges to their own rule.

    Sunni ascendancy in Syria could affect Israel and shake up regional alliances. Assad strengthened ties with Shi'ite Iran while also upholding his father's policy of avoiding conflict with Israel on the occupied Golan Heights frontier.

    Syria has barred most international media, making it hard to verify accounts from activists and authorities.


    (Additional reporting by David Milliken in London; Editing by Ralph Gowling)
    Last edited by BRVoice; October 30th, 2011 at 11:20.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Syria

    Well, I really think that Syria has a lot more hidden weapons than anyone knows or believes. Stuff from Iraq and Saddam, and I'm CERTAIN that Iran has moved stuff there... It's going to be the next flashpoint I'm sure, but if it does it won't last as long as Libya did.

    On the other hand if they start releasing chemical or biological weapons then they won't even last a day.

    Then again, Saddam talked shit. He's dead.
    Qadaffi talked shit. He's dead.

    Next?
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    Default Re: Syria

    Peterle.... I'll say this in one word, "Hitler".

    History repeats itself and Hitler was someone we ignored for a long time. Then he over ran Poland, France and parts of North Africa.

    It's called "mitigation".
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Yes

    I know the story

    But

    Think about:

    3 Countries (Germany,Italy,Japan) against the entire World!

    Tecnically it wasnt easy.

    The entire World had its troubles to win.

    ___________________________


    I say : I am happy Hitler loose the war.

    But this was a cosideration.
    The whole world had troubles against those three little countries, Peterle because the whole world IGNORED Hitler and the Nazi movement for several years AND some even CONDONED it.

    Just like today people are condoning the behavior of Muslims the world over.

    Just like today people are condoning the behavior of a few Americans who deem themselves Socialists (and they call me a RACIST if I question them....).
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Do you know why Italians themselves killed Mussolini?

    Because they said:"Oh,NO!Americans are arriving and they are able to let Mussolini in power for the next years.Americans have their very complex international Harvard's strategy!!!Better we Kill him now!And make an end to whole story!!!"
    I'm sure I don't know that story. I know who killed him, and they were partisans who were trying to oust him, and they wanted, most likely the glory of killing the man before the Americans got to take the glory.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    What did Bush Senior with Saddam in the first Gulf War?

    He let him in power!

    It's an American strategy.

    Partisans knew that Americans could let Mussolini in power to contrast the communism.

    They said :"We have enough of Fascism!Bang!"
    No, it's civilized.

    He backed off because he had a lot of complaints from other countries about going in.
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    Default Re: Syria

    US plot to wage Syria war revealed

    Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:32AM GMT

    Informed sources in Syria say they have discovered a pre-fabricated US scenario for the country's future, seeking to wage war against the nation from various fronts, Press TV reports.

    The sources said the US strategy includes attacks on Syrian diplomatic missions abroad. According to the American scenario, the Syrian opposition abroad would engage in taking over the country's diplomatic missions and use them as bases for directing and carrying out terrorist activities within the country.

    The US plan is set to refer Syria to UN's human rights commission and the General Assembly on November 23 as well as the the International Criminal Court in an effort to formally declare the Damascus government as a "war criminal," sources say.

    The American scenario also provides a role for Turkey in a NATO defense ministers' meeting, in which Ankara would be commissioned to move its forces across the Syrian border in an effort to establish a buffer zone inside Syria and facilitate the supply of weaponry and arms to the so-called 'contra forces' inside the country and trigger insurgency activities and potentially a civil war across the nation.

    Wahhabi insurgents based in the Syrian city of Tripoli would then launch attacks on the border villages of the country.

    Moreover, the Syrian sources said, the US scheme provides that the Israeli regime, along with Jordan, would also declare their readiness to engage in military operations against Damascus.

    The latest discovery comes as the Arab League (AL) announced the suspension of Syria during an emergency session in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Saturday and called for the imposition of sanctions against Syria.

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has described the AL decision as “illegitimate and dangerous.”

    The Arab League has also proposed to dispatch an observer mission of 30-50 members to Syria in a supposed effort to end unrest in the country.

    Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations held both in favor of and against President Bashar al-Assad.

    Millions of Syrians took to the streets in several cities across the country on Sunday to condemn the Arab League decision and its siding with US-led anti-Syria measures. Demonstrators also expressed their support for the government of President Assad.


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Syria

    Contra forces... sounds like my old life.

    God.
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    Default Re: Syria

    What I see.... is no such thing. I see a lie in the making, another attempt to pursuade the world "America had a hand in it" so all the little liberals and shit heads can scream how "America is at FAULT", just like Obama is doing...

    LOOK at the location of the so-called "news agency" that Vector posted.....

    "pressTV.ir"

    Ever wonder who .ir is?

    Don't worry, I will tell you. It stands for "Islamic Republic" (of Iran).

    Duh. Of COURSE the "US" has a "hand in it" when the Muslims wish to say so.
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    Default Re: Syria

    No, I recall you TELLING us without any proof.

    And to be honest, I still don't really see much in the way of proof that Obama did ANYTHING - other than tell the Egyptian President to "step down", then tell Quadaffi to "step down".

    Has he said anything about Assad? I am not sure. I haven't paid as much attention to Syria now since I figured they'd fall eventually.
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    Default Re: Syria

    November 19, 2011 7:11 AM



    Syrian troops attack despite Arab peace plan



    .












    (AP) BEIRUT — Syrian troops stormed a central town and a northwestern region in search of regime opponents on Saturday, activists said, a day after the government agreed in principle to allow the Arab League to send observers to oversee a peace plan proposed by the 22-member bloc.

    The attacks on the town of Shezar in the central province of Hama and on the restive Jabal al-Zawiya region near the Turkish border came as pressure mounted on Damascus to end its eight-month crackdown on anti-government protesters. The unrest has killed more than 3,500 people since mid-March, according to U.N. estimates.

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist group called the Local Coordination Committees said land and cellular telephone lines as well as electricity were cut in the Jabal al-Zawiya region, where army defectors have been active for months.

    Syria agreed in principle Friday to allow dozens of Arab observers into the country to oversee an Arab League peace plan that calls on the government to stop attacking demonstrators, pull tanks out of cities and begin negotiations with the opposition.

    It was a significant concession from a hard-line regime that loathes any sort of outside interference. But critics say the government is only stalling, trying to defuse international pressure while continuing its bloody crackdown.

    The Arab League has already suspended Syria's membership in the bloc for failing to abide by the peace plan. On Wednesday, the league gave Damascus three days to accept the observer mission or face economic sanctions.

    Violence has escalated in Syria over the past week, as army dissidents who sided with the protests have grown more bold, fighting back against regime forces and even assaulting military bases. Activist groups said security forces on Friday killed at least 16 anti-government protesters.

    Pressure from European capitals and the U.S. is also building on President Bashar Assad to end the bloodshed.

    An official at Britain's Foreign Office said Foreign Secretary William Hague intends to meet opposition representatives in London on Monday.

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on the U.N. Security Council to strengthen sanctions against Assad's regime. However, Russia, which holds veto power in the council, urged caution in moving against Damascus.

    In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. has seen no signs that Syria's government will honor the Arab League proposal.

    Syria's neighbor to the north, Turkey, has become one its most vocal critics, a notable shift because the two countries once had close political and economic ties.

    On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on the deteriorating relations between his country and its southern neighbor, accused Syria of not fulfilling promises for reform or to stop the bloodshed.

    "In the past nine years, it was Syria and the Syrian people — rather than Turkey — that had benefited from the Turkish-Syrian friendship," Erdogan said.

    "... Syria has not kept its promises to Turkey, to the Arab League or to the world. It made promises but did not fulfill them. It has not acted in a sincere trustworthy manner," he said.

    The attacks on Jabal al-Zawiya came two days after an army force in the nearby area of Wadi al-Deif came under attack by army defectors, a clash that lasted four hours and left an unknown number of casualties among troops loyal to Assad, an activist said.

    The activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said troops fired heavy machine guns mounted on armored personnel carriers.

    The Arab League observer mission aims to prevent violence and monitor a cease-fire that Damascus agreed to last week but has been unwilling — or unable — to implement.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Meera Selva in London contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russia warns Syria on the brink of civil war


    • by: AFP
    • From: AFP
    • November 19, 2011 12:00AM




    0


    Syrians wave their national flag as they rally in central in Damascus overnight. Picture: AFP AFP



    REBEL troops have hit offices of Syria's ruling party, a day after a spectacular raid on an intelligence base that prompted Russia to warn its longtime ally is being dragged into civil war.

    The rocket-propelled grenade attack in Idlib province in the northwest, close to the Turkish border, came as security forces killed at least 11 people, including a nine-year-old girl, despite a three-day ultimatum from the Arab League to halt the bloodshed or risk sanctions.
    ''A group of dissident troops attacked regime youth offices, where security agents were meeting, with rocket-propelled grenades and clashes broke out,'' the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
    The attack came hot on the heels of a raid on an air force intelligence base in Harasta, outside the capital, on Wednesday by fighters of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group formed by army deserters that has inflicted mounting losses on the regular army in recent months.

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    In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said it was ''not surprising'' the opposition was resorting to violence in its campaign to end President Bashar al-Assad's 11 years of iron-fisted rule.
    ''We don't condone it in any way, shape or form but ... it's the brutal tactics of Assad and his regime in dealing with what began as a non-violent movement (that) is now taking Syria down a very dangerous path,'' he said.
    ''We think that this kind of violence ... it really plays into Assad's and his regime's hands when this becomes violent,'' the spokesman warned.
    In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the world community should call on all sides in Syria to stop violence, including the opposition.
    ''There are more and more weapons that are being smuggled in from neighbouring countries,'' Lavrov said.
    ''Today I saw a television report about some new so-called rebel Free Syrian Army organising an attack on the government building, on the building belonging to Syria's armed forces,'' he told reporters.
    ''This was quite similar to a true civil war,'' he warned.
    Russia has been deeply opposed to Western efforts to internationalise the crisis in its Cold War ally, fearing it might clear the way for Libya-style Western military intervention under UN mandate.
    On October 4, it joined with China in vetoing a Western-drafted Security Council resolution that would have threatened Assad's regime with ''`targeted measures'' if it continued its deadly crackdown on protesters, which the UN says has killed more than 3500 people.
    Leading Syrian dissident Haithem al-Maleh took issue with Russia's warning of civil war, saying the intelligence base, where a number of detainees were being held, was a legitimate target in the protection of civilians.
    ''This attack on one of the worst departments of the security services does not mean a civil war. This army of defectors is protecting civilians, no more, no less,'' Maleh told the satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.
    Security forces killed the nine-year-old girl on Thursday during a search operation in the town of Subkhan, in the eastern oil hub of Deir Ezzor, the Observatory said.
    Two civilians were killed in the flashpoint central city of Homs and a fourth near Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, the watchdog added.
    Turkey, a one-time ally of the Assad regime that has turned into one of its most outspoken critics, joined Wednesday's meetings in Morocco at which Arab foreign ministers decided to give Damascus three days to halt the bloodshed or risk sanctions.
    In Istanbul, the leader of Syria's exiled Muslim Brotherhood said his compatriots would accept Turkish ''intervention'' in the conflict.
    ''The Syrian people would accept intervention coming from Turkey, rather than from the West, if its goal was to protect the people,'' Brotherhood leader Mohammad Riad Shakfa told a news conference.
    Pro-government newspaper Sabah reported the opposition Syrian National Council, together with the Brotherhood, had asked Turkey to establish a Libya-style no-fly zone in areas of northern Syria where there have been deadly clashes between troops and fugitive dissidents.
    Brotherhood leader Mohammed Farouk Tayfour declined to comment on the report, only saying discussions had been held with several governments on ''every possible means'' to stop the bloodshed.
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  13. #173
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russian warships enter Syrian waters to prevent NATO attack: report

    Submitted 9 hrs 7 mins ago
    Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.

    “Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest,” reports Haaretz.
    Russia has stepped up efforts to defend Syria in recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown on innocent protesters.
    As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20 security police.
    U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim that Syria is in a civil war, stating, “We believe it’s very much the Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression against innocent protesters.”
    Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeering fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent protesters,” we were told at the time.
    As we have previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.
    US President Barack Obama got the ball rolling back in August when he called on President al-Assad to step down. The UN has already withdrawn all non-essential staff from the country.
    Without Russia’s help, Syria would be largely defenseless against a NATO attack. “I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” former French air force chief Jean Rannou commented.
    Given that the western press has proven adept at manufacturing lies to justify military interventions, whether the actions of Assad’s regime represent genuine atrocities or legitimate conduct in the midst of a civil war remains unclear. Some have claimed the abuses are being embellished, while both former CIA agent Robert Baer and ex-MI6 officer Alastair Crooke point out that the Syrian people definitely want change, but not in the form of a NATO “humanitarian” assault. (The EU Times)
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    Default Re: Syria

    Maybe so.

    But this is no longer about Assad. It's about Russia and NATO now...
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    Default Re: Syria

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7MD0GZ20111121Britain meets Syria opposition, condemns crackdown

    By Stefano Ambrogi
    LONDON | Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:47pm EST



    (Reuters) - World powers will do as much as they can to turn up the heat on the Syrian government, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday, calling President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on eight months of protests "appalling and unacceptable."


    Hague held talks with representatives of Syrian opposition groups on Monday, intensifying British contacts with them just days after he appointed a former ambassador to lead London's coordination with Assad's opponents.


    "I think the Assad regime will find that more and more governments around the world are willing to work with the opposition ... as part of the increasing pressure on this regime," Hague said after the meeting.
    The talks follow the expiry at the weekend of an Arab League deadline for Assad to pull the military out of urban centers, free political prisoners and start a dialogue under the 22-member group's initiative to end the bloodshed in Syria.


    Assad said in an interview published on Sunday he would not bow to international pressure to stop the crackdown on the protests against his rule in which the United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed.
    On Monday activists said Syrian forces killed two youths when they stormed a neighborhood in the city of Homs looking for a football star who has been leading protests against Assad.


    The state news agency said security forces killed four "terrorists" in Homs, including one of the most wanted men in the city. It also said an ambulance driver and his colleague were wounded when an "armed terrorist group" fired at them.


    Syrian authorities have barred most independent journalists from entering the country during the revolt, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists and officials.


    "The behavior of that regime is appalling and unacceptable and of course we will do what we can to support democracy in Syria in the future," Hague told the BBC earlier on Monday.


    He said international pressure had already been ratcheted up on Syria, pointing to European Union sanctions on Syria's oil exports. "We are working this week on a further round of sanctions which I hope we can agree next week," Hague added.


    An EU diplomat said that at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, EU states discussed extended sanctions on Syria expected to be agreed ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers on December 1.


    He said the sanctions were likely to target more individuals responsible for the violence and entities that support and fund the Syrian government, and to include a range of steps against the financial and banking sectors.


    On top of the U.S. and European sanctions, Syria has alienated former ally Turkey and, in a dramatic deepening of its regional isolation, been suspended by the Arab League and threatened with Arab sanctions.


    But international consensus over Syria has proved elusive.


    Russia, which joined China last month in vetoing a Western-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Assad's crackdown, accused Western nations of undermining the chances of a peaceful resolution in Syria.
    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West was urging Assad's opponents not to seek compromise.
    "We see a situation in which the Arab League is calling for an end to violence and the start of talks, while absolutely contradictory calls are coming from Western capitals and the capitals of some regional countries," he said.


    Those nations, which Lavrov did not name, are "directly recommending that the opposition not enter dialogue with the Assad regime," he said, according to Interfax. "This is like a political provocation on an international scale."


    ATTACK ON BUS


    Early on Monday gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Turkish buses carrying pilgrims inside Syria, Turkish media reported.


    Reports of the incident were fragmentary and Turkish authorities said they were still trying to establish what had happened.


    Alongside the mainly peaceful street protests against Assad, army deserters have launched a series of attacks against forces loyal to the president.


    Within hours of Assad ignoring Saturday's Arab League deadline, residents said two rocket-propelled grenades hit a major ruling party building in Damascus, the first such reported attack by insurgents inside the capital.
    A statement by the Syrian Free Army, comprising army defectors and based in neighboring Turkey, initially said it carried out the attack but later withdrew its claim.


    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem denied any attack had taken place. But a witness said security police blocked off the square where the building was located and reported seeing smoke rising from it and fire trucks in the area.


    It was the second reported hit on a high-profile target in a week, underscoring a growing challenge to Assad who blames "armed terrorists" for the unrest in which authorities say at least 1,100 soldiers and police have been killed.


    In an interview with the British Sunday Times newspaper, Assad said he had no choice but to pursue the crackdown on unrest because his foes were armed.


    "The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue. Syria will not bow down," he said.


    Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said that in the event of Assad's overthrow, it envisaged a transitional period lasting up to 18 months to agree a new constitution and hold a parliamentary election.
    But some prominent Assad opponents said more work was needed on uniting the opposition to bring about his downfall.
    Hague said his meeting with the opposition did not mean Britain was about to offer them formal recognition, "partly because there are differing groups."
    "There isn't a single national council as there was in Libya ... and the international community has not yet reached that point," he said.
    At the talks he met representatives from the National Council and the National Coordination Body, which has been more explicit in its opposition to military intervention in Syria.
    "We discussed the situation in Syria and the possibility of international protection to ... stop the bloodshed and provide protection for civilians," SNC chairman Burhan Ghalioun said.
    He told reporters the council wanted the West to work with Turkey and Arab states so that Assad could be "given a strong signal that he should leave and abandon power."
    (Additional reporting by Adrian Croft in London, Steve Gutterman in Moscow, Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman, Jonathon Burch in Ankara, David Brunnstrom in Brussels; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Jon Hemming)
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  16. #176
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    Default Re: Syria

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey warned Syria's president Monday that he cannot continue to oppress his people with tanks and guns forever, even as Syrian soldiers opened fire on at least two buses carrying Turkish citizens, witnesses and officials said.

    • AP
      Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop oppressing his people.

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    AP
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop oppressing his people.






    In separate attacks, Syrian security forces killed at least 13 people during raids in central Syria Sunday, activists said. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said most of the deaths were in the flashpoint city of Homs, a hotbed of dissent against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
    The attacks on the buses, which wounded two people, appeared to be retaliation for Turkey's mounting criticism of Assad, whose military crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising against his rule has killed nearly 4,000 people.
    "You can only continue with tanks and guns to a certain point, the day will come when you will go," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech at an international religion conference in Istanbul. "Sooner or later, the oppressed will win."
    It was not clear whether Erdogan was aware of Monday's attacks on the buses when he delivered the speech. The Turkish leader has grown increasingly critical of the Syrian regime, and he said last week that the world must urgently "hear the screams" from Syria and do something to stop the bloodshed.
    Turkey has allowed Syrian refugees and military defectors to take refuge on its soil, and Syria's political opposition has used Turkey as a place to meet and organize.
    Assad's deepening isolation and the growing calls for his ouster are a severe blow to a family dynasty that has ruled Syria for four decades — and any change to the leadership could transform some of the most enduring alliances in the Middle East and beyond.
    The attacks on the buses carrying Turkish citizens occurred near the central Syrian city of Homs, where opposition to the regime is high.
    One of the bus drivers, Erhan Surmeli, said he was taking 25 butchers back to Turkey from Saudi Arabia following the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice.
    "We had stopped at a checkpoint," Surmeli told the Associated Press by telephone from a Turkish hospital near the Syrian border. "Syrian soldiers emerged from behind sandbags and cursed Erdogan when we told them we were Turks. Then they suddenly opened fire at the bus."
    The vehicle crossed into Turkey with at least one smashed window, video from the Turkish Dogan news agency showed.
    "We came face to face with death," Ahmet Okkas, a passenger, said by telephone. "They shouted obscenities at us and opened fire."
    Another Turkish citizen, Cemil Karli, was wounded in a separate attack on a second bus, the state-run Anadolu Agency said. That vehicle also crossed into Turkey, and Karli was taken to a local hospital, it said.
    "We were traveling in a convoy of eight or nine buses. First we were fired upon from a red car," the agency quoted Karli as saying. "Then others started firing at us."
    "We were shocked. We piled onto each other in the aisle to save our lives," he said. "I was hit in the abdomen and in the leg."
    Syria's uprising has grown increasingly violent in recent months. Army defectors who sided with the revolt have grown bolder in recent weeks, fighting back against regime forces and even attacking military bases — raising fears of a civil war.
    On Sunday, the commander of a group of Syrian army defectors retracted earlier claims that his followers launched an unprecedented attack inside the capital, Damascus, in an embarrassing turnaround for the armed movement.
    Riad al-Asaad, a Turkey-based air force colonel who heads the Free Syrian Army, said in a video posted on the group's Facebook page Sunday evening that Assad's government was trying to tarnish the image of the revolution.
    "We did not target the party building in Damascus and we will not target any civilian installation," said al-Asaad, who was wearing his military uniform.
    But al-Asaad did not address why his group had claimed responsibility for the attack hours after Damascus residents reported hearing two loud blasts before dawn Sunday. In a Facebook posting — which had been removed by Monday morning — the FSA had said it fired rocket-propelled grenades at the headquarters of Syria's ruling Baath party.
    There were no apparent damage or injuries.
    Syria has banned most foreign journalists from entering Syria and prevented reporters from moving freely in the country, making it nearly impossible to independently confirm events on the ground.
    The Free Syrian Army, which claims to have more than 15,000 defectors in its ranks, is controversial among protesters involved in the uprising. Many in the opposition want the protesters to remain peaceful.
    But the FSA and others say there are limits to a peaceful uprising, and the time has come to meet the regime's tanks, bullets and tear gas with force.
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  17. #177
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    Default Re: Syria

    Turkish Convoy Fired Upon in Syria




    By MARC CHAMPION

    ISTANBUL—Turkey's foreign ministry said Monday it was investigating reports that Turkish pilgrims were shot at in Syria, leaving two wounded.
    Video footage posted on the internet by Syrian pro-Democracy activists showed wounded people being transferred from several buses to ambulances in Hatay, just across the Syrian border in Turkey, apparently after the pilgrims returned.
    According to Turkey's NTV television, the Turkish pilgrims were on their way to Mecca in a convoy of buses on Sunday, when they came under fire near the city of Homs, close to Syria's border with Lebanon. Three of the buses were hit and two people were injured, including a bus driver, NTV said.
    The buses were attacked after they got lost and asked directions at a checkpoint, and then turned back to Turkey, NTV said. It wasn't certain Monday who fired at the buses; passengers said the Syrian military was responsible.
    A spokesman for the foreign ministry confirmed that "an incident" had taken place. "We are looking into it," he said.
    Although close allies until the beginning of this year, Ankara and Damascus have become increasingly hostile since the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began a crackdown on opposition protesters this is believed to have claimed more than 3,500 lives to date.
    On Monday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan again lashed out at Mr. Assad. "If you believe in yourself as a leader, if you are confident, you will open the ballot boxes and everyone would go to vote," Mr. Erdogan said in a speech to a meeting of Muslim clerics from Africa in Istanbul. "But with tanks and cannons you can only lead up to a point. A day will come when you will go too."
    Pro-regime protesters attacked the Turkish embassy in Damascus and consulates elsewhere in the country 10 days ago, in the wake of an Arab League decision to suspend Syria from the organization.
    On Monday, several Turkish newspapers cited unnamed government officials saying Ankara had developed contingency plans to impose a military buffer zone or no-fly zone within Syria should the security situation there deteriorate significantly.
    "We have no confidence left in the regime, but at the moment we don't think outside military intervention to be right," Turkey's President Abdullah Gul told journalists as he flew to visit the U.K. on Sunday, according to several TV and newspaper reports. "These are things that should be solved within Syria."
    A Turkish official told The Wall Street Journal that Ankara now sought to stay in line with, or one step behind, the Arab League in applying further measures to pressure the Syrian regime.
    —Ayla Albayrak in Istanbul contributed to this article.
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  18. #178
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    Default Re: Syria

    lol

    I think we all see ourselves there, Peterle.
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    Default Re: Syria

    No, I don't think even me being as sick as I am today is as bad as what Michael has gone through.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Erdogan to Assad: 'Your Days Are Numbered'

    Turkey's prime minister tells Syria's Assad tanks and cannons would not keep him in power forever - who will you fight?

    By Gavriel Queenann First Publish: 11/22/2011, 12:16 AM


    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Senat RP/Polish Senate


    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Syrian President Bashar Al Assad Monday that his days as a leader were numbered.

    "You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain point. The day will come when you'll also leave," Erdogan said.

    "Someone shows up and says 'I'll fight and die. Against whom will you fight? Will you fight against your Muslim brothers you rule in your country?" said Erdogan.

    Erdogan appeared to be responding to comments made by Assad in an interview published in London's Sunday Times in which he vowed "to fight and die for Syria" if faced with foreign intervention.

    "This goes without saying and is an absolute," Assad told the Sunday Times.

    “As someone who has studied in the United Kingdom, lived in the United Kingdom, has this world view, President Al Assad should be able to understand this.”

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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