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Posts Tagged ‘Syria News’

SYRIAN DEFENSE MINISTER KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 18, 2012

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Dawoud Rajha

By BASSEM MROUE and ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press

BEIRUT — A suicide bomber struck the National Security building in the Syrian capital Wednesday, killing the defense minister and wounding the interior minister in a brazen attack on the seat of government power, state-run TV said.

Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, a former army general, is the most senior government official to be killed in the Syrian civil war as rebels battle to oust President Bashar Assad. Interior Minister Mohammed Shaar was in stable condition, state-run TV said.

Although it was unclear who was behind the attack, the high-level assassination could signal a turning point in the 16-month conflict as the violence becomes increasingly chaotic.

The capital also has seen four straight days of clashes pitting government troops against rebels – an unprecedented challenge to government rule in the tightly controlled capital.

Rajha was the most senior Christian government official in Syria. Assad appointed him to the post last year. His death will resonate with Syria’s minority Christian population, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population and have generally stood by the regime.

Christians say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people, and they are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Muslim groups.

Wednesday’s attack struck the National Security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials. State-run TV said some of the officials were seriously wounded. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Crisis: Arab Nations Reportedly Consider Arming Opposition

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 14, 2012

By Erika Solomon and Angus MacSwan

BEIRUT Feb 14 (Reuters) – Government forces and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad clashed in cities and countryside across Syria on Tuesday and Arab officials confirmed that regional governments would be ready to arm the resistance if the bloodshed did not cease.

The western city of Homs, heart of the uprising against Assad’s 11-year-rule, suffered a bombardment of pro-opposition neighbourhoods for the 11th day running.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 20 people killed across Syria on Tuesday, including opposition supporters, civilians, and five government soldiers shot in clashes with rebel fighters in Qalaat al-Madyaq town in restive Hama area.

With Assad seemingly oblivious to international condemnation of his campaign to crush the revolt, Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia prepared for a new resolution at the United Nations in the next few days which would support a peace plan forged at a meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

But Arab League diplomats said that arming the opposition forces was now officially an option.

A resolution passed at the meeting urged Arabs to “provide all kinds of political and material support” to the opposition.

This would allow arms transfers, they confirmed to Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Crisis: Bombs Hit Security Headquarters In Aleppo

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 10, 2012

BEIRUT — Two explosions struck security compounds in Aleppo on Friday, killing 28 people, state media reported, the first significant violence in a major city that has largely stood by Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 11-month-old uprising against his rule.

The blasts come as escalating violence between regime forces and an increasingly militarized opposition has raised fears the conflict is spiraling toward civil war.

A Syrian offensive aimed at crushing rebels in the battered city of Homs continued Friday, with soldiers who have been bombarding the city for the past six days making their first ground move to seize one of the most restive neighborhoods.

State TV blamed “terrorists” for the blasts in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, and said they were proof the government is facing a violent enemy. Anti-Assad activists accused the regime of setting off Friday’s blasts to discredit the opposition and avert protests that had been planned in the northern city on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asma Assad, Wife Of Bashar Assad, Speaks Out

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 7, 2012

In a rare public statement, Bashar Assad’s wife has sent an email to the Times for publication. Her message is clear; the Syrian first lady stands firmly beside her husband as the country teeters toward the brink of civil war.

“The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the First Lady supports him in that role,” the email stated, according to AFP.

Asma Assad largely has remained quiet since the start of the protests in Syria in March 2011. Thestatement sent from her office reportedly said that“the First Lady’s very busy agenda is still focused on supporting the various charities she has long been involved with and rural development as well as supporting the President as needed.”

Asma Assad grew up in Acton, West London, theDaily Mail reports. She graduated from King’s College London and worked for Deutsche Bank as an analyst in hedge-fund management before marrying Bashar Assad in 2000.

Asma Assad’s family are Sunni Muslims from Homs, the city that has been heavily targeted by security forces in the past months.

Nesrine Malik, a commentator for The Guardian who calls Asma Assad “one of a breed of educated westernised Arab first wives” who “default unquestioningly to their fathers and husbands,” noted the poor timing of the first lady’s comments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria UN Resolution: Russia, China Veto UN Resolution

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 5, 2012


VETO system itself not good as it is making powerful countries unnecessar­ily more powerful like dictator:

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Russia and China joined forces in a double veto on Saturday to knock down a Western-Arab U.N. Security Council resolution backing an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.

The other 13 council members voted in favor of the resolution, which would have said that the council “fully supports” the Arab League plan aimed at ending 11 months of bloodshed as Syria has sought to crush an anti-Assad uprising.

Mohammed Loulichki, the U.N. ambassador of Morocco, the sole Arab member of the 15-nation council, voiced his “great regret and disappointment” that Moscow and Beijing struck down the resolution.

Dropping the usual diplomatic courtesies, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said she was “disgusted” by the Russian and Chinese veto, adding that “any further bloodshed that flows will be on their (Russia’s and China’s) hands.”

French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the council, “It is a sad day for this council, a sad day for all Syrians, and a sad day for democracy.” He said Moscow and Beijing were now “complicit in the policy of repression” of Damascus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Crisis: Russia Will Not Stop Arms Sales To Assad Regime

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 2, 2012

BEIRUT (AP) – Russia will not stop selling arms to Syria, a top defense official said Thursday, as Moscow stands by its longtime ally despite mounting international condemnation over the Syrian regime’s bloody crackdown on a 10-month-old uprising.

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said his country is not violating any international obligations by selling weapons to Damascus.

“As of today there are no restrictions on our delivery of weapons,” he told journalists in Russia, according to the country’s state news agencies. “We must fulfill our obligations and this is what we are doing.”

Moscow has been one of Syria’s most powerful allies -€” along with Iran – as Syria tries to crush the revolt against President Bashar Assad. The U.N. estimates that more than 5,400 people have been killed in the government crackdown.

Moscow’s stance is motivated in part by its strategic and defense ties, including weapons sales, with Syria. But Russia also rejects what it sees as a a world order dominated by the U.S. Last month, Russia reportedly signed a $550-million deal to sell combat jets to Syria.

U.N. ambassadors this week are trying to overcome Russia’s opposition to a draft resolution at the Security Council calling for Assad to surrender power. Moscow says it would veto the draft because it believes it opens the way for eventual international military action.

Wiam Wahhab, a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician, met Tuesday with Assad in Damascus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Activists: ‘Terrifying Massacre’ In Homs

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 27, 2012

BEIRUT — Two days of bloody turmoil in Syria killed at least 74 people, including small children, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad shelled residential buildings and fired on crowds in a dramatic escalation of violence, activists said Friday.

Video posted online showed the bodies of five small children, five women and a man, all bloodied and piled on beds in what appeared to be an apartment after a building was hit in the city of Homs. A narrator said an entire family had been “slaughtered.”

Much of the violence was focused in Homs, where heavy gunfire hammered the city Friday in a second day of chaos. A day earlier, the city saw a flare-up of sectarian kidnappings and killings between its Sunni and Alawite communities, and pro-regime forces blasted residential buildings with mortars and gunfire, according to activists.

At least 384 children have been killed, as of Jan. 7, in the crackdown on Syria’s uprising since it began nearly 11 months ago, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said Friday. The count, based on reports from human rights groups, included children under age 18.

Most of the deaths took place in Homs and most of the victims were boys, UNICEF said. It said 380 children have been detained, including some under age 14. The United Nations estimates that more than 5,400 people have died in the turmoil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Riad Al Asaad, Syria Rebel Army Chief, Calls For International Intervention As Bloodshed Continues

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2012


By Erika Solomon

BEIRUT, Jan 17 (Reuters) – A Syrian rebel army chief urged the world on Tuesday to protect civilians in Syria, saying Arab peace monitors had failed to curb President Bashar al-Assad’s violent response to a 10-month-old revolt against his rule.

Big powers have also proved unable to stop the bloodshed in Syria, where U.N. officials say more than 5,000 people have been killed and Damascus says its security forces have lost 2,000 dead.

Riad al-Asaad, Turkish-based commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, called for international intervention to replace the Arab observer mission, which has just days to run.

“The Arab League and their monitors failed in their mission and though we respect and appreciate our Arab brothers for their efforts, we think they are incapable of improving conditions in Syria or resisting this regime,” he told Reuters by telephone.

“For that reason we call on them to turn the issue over to the U.N. Security Council and we ask that the international community intervene because they are more capable of protecting Syrians at this stage than our Arab brothers,” Asaad said.

Iran condemned what it called foreign interference in the affairs of its closest Arab ally, Syria, and praised reforms President Assad has promised as “problem-solving”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Uprising: Arab League Chief Warns Of Civil War

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 14, 2012

BEIRUT — The head of the Arab League warned Friday that Syria may be sliding toward civil war, as security forces fired on thousands of people who poured into the streets in support of army defectors who switched sides to try to topple President Bashar Assad. At least 10 people were killed, activists said.

Also Friday, an activist group said two foreign journalists and a translator were briefly detained near the Syrian capital, Damascus. The group, the Local Coordination Committees, had no further details. Canada’s CBC broadcaster later said one of its reporters was briefly detained at a checkpoint, but has since been released.

The government has barred access to the country by most foreign media, except on a limited number of escorted trips.

Over the course of the 10-month-old uprising, much of the bloodshed has been from security forces firing on unarmed protesters. But in recent months breakaway soldiers have been attacking the Syrian military, and some opposition members have taken up arms against the regime, adding to the violence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Violence In Syria: 400 Killed Over The Past 10 Days, U.N. Official Says

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 11, 2012

UNITED NATIONS — An estimated 400 people have been killed in Syria since an Arab League mission arrived in the country to monitor the uprising against the government of President Bashar Assad, a top U.N. official said Tuesday.

 

United Nations political chief B. Lynn Pascoe provided the latest figures in a closed-door report to the 15-member Security Council on the Syrian uprising that has already claimed more than 5,000 lives since it began almost 10 months ago, diplomats said.

 

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the rate of killings, an average of 40 a day, was even higher than before the monitors arrived.

 

“That is a clear indication that the government of Syria, rather than using the opportunity of its commitment to the Arab League to end the violence and fulfill all of its commitments under the protocol is instead stepping up the violence, despite the presence of monitors, and carrying out further acts of brutality against its population, even often in the presences of those monitors,” Rice said, calling on Assad to step down and make way for a more democratic regime.

 

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari blamed the killings on incitement by western powers.

 

“These victims are falling in Syria because of those who are still insisting on instigating and inciting violence. And I am sure you have heard a lot of these incitement calls from the same countries, from the same representatives who have just spoken to you,” Ja’afari told reporters following comments by Rice and the ambassadors from Britain, France and Germany.

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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