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Posts Tagged ‘Syria Crackdown’

Asma Assad: Syria Dictator’s Wife A ‘Rose In The Desert’ Crushed By Uprising Violence

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 22, 2012


She is what she is. We should not cry, we should not laugh, we should not shout. This makes us fool not her:

By Maria Golovnina

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – She was supposed to be the gentler face of a would-be reformist regime. Now Asma al-Assad has become a hate figure for many.

Syria’s London-born first lady, once breathlessly described as a “rose in the desert”, is ensconced at the heart of the shadowy inner circle of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Syria slides towards civil war and foreign powers watch for cracks within the ruling clan, understanding Asma could prove vital to understanding the Assads and the future of the Syrian crisis.

A British-educated former investment banker, Asma cultivated the image of a glamorous yet serious-minded woman with strong Western-inspired values who was meant to humanise the increasingly secretive and isolated Assad family.

That image crumbled when her husband responded to an anti-government rebellion with extreme violence a year ago. Asma had clearly decided to stand by her man despite international revulsion at his actions. Assad himself says he is fighting an insurrection, involving foreign-backed “terrorists”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Troops In Syria? Report Claims Military Unit Arrives At Syrian Port

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 20, 2012


It seems world leaders are preparing to make 2012 the end of human civilization:

According to ABC News, Russian news reports claim that an Iman tanker carrying an “anti-terror squad” from the Russian Marines has arrived in Syria.

Al Arabiya writes that DEBKAfile, an open-source military intelligence website based in Israel, has reported that two Russian ships have arrived in Syria’s port of Tartus.

However, ABC also points out that Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has denied the reports.

From the Associated Press:

The [Russian defense] ministry said Monday that the navy’s Iman oil tanker arrived at Tartus 10 days ago on a mission to assist Russian navy ships on anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.The ministry says the tanker is carrying a civilian crew and a team of servicemen protecting it. A ministry spokesman wouldn’t say how many troops are on board. Read the rest of this entry »

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John McCain Calls For U.S.-Led Airstrikes On Syria

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday knocked the Obama administration for being too passive in its response to Syrian violence and called for U.S.-led airstrikes on President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces.

“The time has come for a new policy,” McCain said during remarks on the Senate floor. “The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad’s forces. To be clear: This will require the United States to suppress enemy air defenses in at least part of the country.”

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the goal of airstrikes should be to create safe havens in the country for opposition forces to plan their own political and military attacks against Assad. The benefit of the United States leading the military effort, he said, is that it would allow the U.S. to better empower Syrian groups that support U.S. interests to move toward a democratic transition.

“If we stand on the sidelines, others will try to pick winners, and this will not always be to our liking or in our interest,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Conflict Tension Rises As Iran Ships Dock And China Warns Of Civil War

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 20, 2012


By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Angus MacSwan

AMMAN/BEIRUT, Feb 20 (Reuters) – China accused Western countries of stirring civil war in Syria and two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian naval base, underscoring rising international tensions over the near year-long crisis.

Despite pursuing a sustained military crackdown on the opposition in cities across the country, President Bashar al-Assad forged ahead with plans to hold a referendum at the end of the week.

Activists in the western city of Hama said troops, police and militias had set up dozens of roadblocks, isolating neighbourhoods from each other.

“Hama is cut off from the outside world. There are no landlines, no mobile phone network and no internet. House to house arrests take place daily and sometimes repeatedly in the same neighbourhoods,” an opposition statement said.

Government troops extended their control on Hama after an offensive last week that concentrated on northern neighbourhoods on the edge of farmland that have provided shelter for Free Syrian Army rebels.

The rebel fighters have been attacking militiamen, known as shabbiha, while avoiding open confrontations with armoured forces that had amassed around Hama.

Government forces also maintained their siege of pro-opposition neighbourhoods of Homs, south of Hama on the Damascus-Aleppo highway. Opposition activists reported sporadic morning shelling of Baba Amro district. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Forces Attack Homs, UN Condemns ‘Appalling Brutality’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 9, 2012

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Angus MacSwan

AMMAN/BEIRUT, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Syrian forces bombarded opposition-held neighbourhoods of the city of Homs with rocket and mortar fire on Thursday, activists said, as divided world powers struggled to find a way to end the violence.

The United Nations chief condemned the ferocity of the government assault on Homs, heart of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that broke out nearly a year ago and is getting bloodier by the day.

“I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighbourhoods, is a grim harbinger of things to come,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters after briefing the Security Council.

Activists and residents report hundreds of people killed over the last week as Assad’s forces try stamp out opposition in Homs, and as dawn broke on Thursday, rocket and mortar fire rained down again on Baba Amro, Khalidiya and other districts. Armoured reinforcements also poured into the eastern city.

Concern was growing over the plight of civilians and the United States said it was considering ways to get food and medicine to them – a move that would deepen international involvement in a conflict which has wide geopolitical dimensions and has caused division between foreign powers.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said before flying to Washington for talks on Syria that Turkey, which once saw Assad as an ally but now wants him out, could no longer stand by and watch. Turkey wanted to host an international meeting to agree ways to end the killing and provide aid, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Clashes: Homs Assaulted By Government Forces As Russian Foreign Minister Visits

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 7, 2012

BEIRUT — Days after blocking a U.S.-backed peace plan at the U.N., senior Russian officials pushed for reforms Tuesday during an emergency meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, promoting a settlement to end the uprising without removing him from power.

Thousands of flag-waving government supporters cheered the Russians in the Syrian capital of Damascus, while to the north, Assad’s forces pounded the opposition city of Homs – underscoring the sharp divisions propelling the country toward civil war.

The violence has led to the most severe international isolation in more than four decades of Assad family rule, with country after country calling home their envoys.

France, Italy, Spain and Belgium pulled their ambassadors from Damascus, as did six Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia. Germany, whose envoy left the country this month, said he would not be replaced. The moves came a day after the U.S. closed its embassy in Syria and Britain recalled its ambassador.

Turkey, once a strong Assad supporter and now one of his most vocal critics, added its voice to the international condemnation, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying his country cannot remain silent about massacres in Syria. He said Turkey would “launch a new initiative with countries that stand by the Syrian people instead of the regime.”

His comments reflect a growing movement by the U.S., Europe and countries in the region to organize a coalition of nations to back Syria’s opposition, though what kind of support remains unclear. Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for “friends of democratic Syria” to unite and rally against Assad’s regime. Read the rest of this entry »

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US closes embassy in Syria, UK recalls ambassador

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 6, 2012

UK foreign secretary William Hague speaking in Parliament on Monday

UK foreign secretary William Hague speaking in Parliament on Monday

The United States has shut down its embassy in Syria. The announcement comes amid mounting reports of lethal government attacks. The UK has followed the suit, summoning their ambassador from Damascus.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says the British ambassador has been recalled from Syria for consultations. The Secretary has also summoned Syria’s representative in London to the Foreign Office so that he could express his“abhorrence” at the violence in the Arab country.

Hague accused China and Russia of “betraying the Syrian people,” saying their blocking a UN resolution on Syria was a “grave error.” The UK Foreign Secretary pledged to increase pressure on the Syrian government through the UN and other bodies.

This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime,” Hague told British lawmakers on Monday. “There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally.

Russia says the West is overreacting to the veto Moscow and Beijing used in the UN to block the resolution on Syria, which the two countries perceive as unbalanced. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called such remarks “almost hysterical.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Uprising: Assad Forces Beat Back Damascus Rebels Ahead Of UN Security Council Resolution Vote

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 31, 2012

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Louis Charbonneau

AMMAN/UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Syrian government forces reasserted control of Damascus suburbs on Tuesday after beating back rebels at the capital’s gates as diplomatic pressure mounted on President Bashar al-Assad at the United Nations.

Western and Arab diplomats pushed for a U.N. Security Council resolution which would call for Assad to step down to defuse a 10-month-old uprising against his family’s dynastic rule.

They will make the case for a resolution adopting a plan by the Arab League for Assad to quit, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Britain’s William Hague presenting a united western front.

The resolution’s fate depends on whether the Arabs and their Western backers can persuade Russia not to veto it.

But a senior Russian diplomat said in Moscow the move would only set the stage for civil war, Interfax news agency reported. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syrian President Bashar Assad Warns Against Western Intervention

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 30, 2011


The consequenc­es of this warning could cause another recession
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Syria: UN Human Rights Commissioner Calls For ‘Immediate Measures’ To Protect Civilians

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011


The U.N.’s top human rights official urged the international community to take “immediate measures” to protect civilians in Syria as the death toll from seven months of anti-government unrest in the country rose above 3,000.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned that the unrelenting crackdown by the government of President Bashar Assad could worsen unless further action is taken.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Russia, China Veto Syria Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011


Veto sometimes good and sometimes not
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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