"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Monday, March 31, 2014

Infographic: Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria- Al-Akhbar

What is the death toll of Hezbollah fighters in Syria?
This issue is still a matter of debate since the beginning of Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria on the side of the Syrian regime. And Hezbollah adds to this ambiguity, by not providing any numbers or other comprehensive information.
The only official statement from Hezbollah came in early December 2013, when its secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, revealed that the number is less than 250. Around the same time, Syrian opposition(s) and anti-Hezbollah Lebanese groups claimed that the death toll is higher than 500, and even exceeds the 1,000 threshold. Only the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) was in range with Hezbollah’s declaration. It put the number of casualties at 232 on December 1, 2013. The latest SOHR count on March 13, 2014 stands at the number of 332. (Note that SOHR doesn’t provide any list or details.)

To know the real number of killed Hezbollah fighters, I decided to follow the funerals.

Syria’s Victory, Setback For US-NATO, Turning Point For Western Global Hegemony (Tony Cartalucci- Global Research)

Since 2011, Syria has been the target of an attempted foreign-backed regime change. Riding on the momentum of the US-engineered “Arab Spring,” protesters took to the streets across Syria, serving as cover for armed militants the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – on record – had been preparing since at least as early as 2007.
It was in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that prophetically stated (emphasis added): 
“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”


Turkish military fires into Syria after rocket hits mosque- Reuters

(Reuters) - The Turkish military fired back into Syria on Monday in retaliation for mortar shells and a rocket from over the border that hit a mosque in the town of Yayladagi, the provincial governor's office and local media said.
Three mortar rounds landed on Turkish soil, fired during fighting between the Islamist rebels in Syria and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for control of the Armenian Christian village of Kasab, Turkey's Dogan News Agency said.

Islamist insurgents launched an offensive about ten days ago into Syria's Latakia region on the Mediterranean coast, taking both the border crossing and Kasab on the Syrian side.

Meryem Filmi 3 Ödül Aldı- SANA Türkçe

ŞAM – Suriye yapımı uzun metrajlı sinema filmi ‘Meryem’ Umman’da düzenlenen 8. Uluslararası Maskat Sinema Festivalinde üç önemli ödüle layık görüldü.

Suriyeli Basil el Hatip’in yönetmenliğini yaptığı ve Telid el Hatip ile birlikte senaryosunu yazdığı sinema filmi festivalin resmi yarışmasında Bronz Hançer ödülünü alırken filmin başrollerinden Sabah el Cezairi en iyi oyuncu ödülünü aldı.

Filmin aldığı üçüncü ödül ise İranlı Kameraman Ferhat Mahmudi’ye en iyi kamera ve görüntü ödülü olarak verildi.

Sinema Kamu Şirketinin yapımı olan söz konusu sinema filmi Fas’ta düzenlenen sinema filminde büyük ödülü alırken, Cezayir’de düzenlenen Vahran Sinema festivalinde de birincilik ödülüne layık görülmüştü.


Metropolitan Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim elected Syriac Orthodox Patriarch- SANA

Damascus, (SANA) Metropolitan Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim was elected as the 123rd Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East, succeeding the late Zakka I Iwas.

The elections took place on Monday in the patriarchate headquarters in the towns of al-Atshana in Lebanon, and the ordainment ceremony will be conducted later in Damascus.

Aphrem Karim was born in Qamishli city in Hasaka province, Syria, in 1965. He was the Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Eastern United States of America, and before that he was the secretary of late Patriarch Iwas.

Patriarch Iwas passed away on March 21st in a medical center in Germany and was interred in Mar Aphrem Monetary in Sednaya, Damascus Countryside.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Journalists Held by Militants in Syria Reunite With Family- The New York Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two Spanish journalists held for six months by radical Islamist militants in northern Syria arrived safely in Madrid on Sunday, greeting friends and family in an emotional scene at the airport a day after one called his newspaper to report they had been handed over to Turkish soldiers.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Syria's Assad preparing to run for president despite civil war- FOX News

Syrian President Bashar Assad is quietly preparing the ground to hold elections by early this summer to win another 7-year term, even as the Syrian conflict rampages into its fourth year with large parts of the country either in ruins or under opposition control and nearly a third of the population scattered by civil war.
Amid the destruction, which has left more than 140,000 dead, presidential elections may seem impossible. But Syrian officials insist they will be held on time.
The election is central to the Syrian government's depiction of the conflict on the international stage. At failed peace negotiations earlier this year in Geneva, Syrian officials categorically ruled out that Assad would step down in the face of the rebel uprising aimed at ousting him. Instead, they present the elections due at the end of Assad's term as the solution to the crisis: If the people choose Assad in the election, the fight should end; if Assad loses, then he will leave.

Obama Offers Assurance to Saudis on Syria Stance- The New York Times

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Obama reassured King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Friday that the United States remained committed to strengthening the moderate opposition in the Syrian civil war, administration officials said.


Stability restored to Fleita and Ras al-Maara in Qalaoun- SANA

Damascus Countryside, (SANA) The Army and Armed Forces restored Saturday stability and security to the towns of Ras al-Maara and Fleita in Qalamon area in Damascus countryside after getting rid of the fleeing terrorists and destroying their weapons.

Earlier, The Army and Armed Forces units chased down fleeing terrorists and besieged them in the villages of Raas al-Maara and Fleita , a military source said Saturday.

The source added that many terrorists were killed and others were injured during the operation.


Al-Nusra, ISIL terrorist groups clash in eastern Syria- PRESS TV

Heavy clashes have broken out between two major foreign-backed Takfiri groups, al-Nusra Front and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra front has accused the ISIL of attacking its bases in Deir Ezzor, occupying several towns and villages.

The ISIL has besieged Deir Ezzor to kill al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani who has reportedly taken refuge in the area.

Last month, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said infighting among extremist militants operating in Syria had left around 3,300 casualties since January.


Syria Says Israel and Turkey Collaborating to Support Rebels- Arutz Sheva

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Al-Ja’afari, on Friday accused the governments of Turkey and Israel of a "public alliance of supporting terrorism" in his country, the Turkish Cihannews agency reports.

“Terrorists” is the word that the Syrian regime uses to describe the rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.


Syria leak prompts espionage probe in Turkey- Al-Jazeera

Turkey has started an espionage investigation after a recorded discussion between top officials on potential military action in Syria was leaked on YouTube, heralding a possible government crackdown on its political opponents after elections on Sunday.


Information Minister and media figures offer condolences over passing of Patriarch Iwas- SANA

Damascus, (SANA) Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi offered condolences over the passing of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, at St. George Church in Damascus.

Head of the Journalists Union Elias Murad, directors of media establishments and editors-in-chief of local newspapers also offered condolences alongside the Minister.

In a statement to journalists, al-Zoubi said that the passing of Patriarch Iwas created a void in Syrian national life, and that this void must be filled by working to consecrate the values upheld by the Patriarch, who was a part of the coexistence among Syrians which must be preserved.


Turkish conspiracy to provoke Syria war ‘unlikely’ to go as planned now- RT

Turkey’s plan, recently leaked to the media, to stage an attack in Syria to trigger a military intervention was most likely being pushed forward and backed by the US, still desperate to depose President Assad, political analyst Lew Rockwell told RT.
RT: The leaked audiotapes revealed Turkey’s highest ministers were staging an anti-Assad military intervention in Syria. Now the authenticity of that recording has not been yet verified, but the PM claims it is a breach of national security, does that mean the leaked audio is real?
Lew Rockwell: Well, sure it is real. And in fact, the prime minister in effect said that it was real by all of his comments about it and shutting down YouTube. If it were a phony thing, they wouldn't be shutting down YouTube in an attempt to censor it.
So it is a very important look into how so many countries operate. Turkey were saying ‘We're going to stage attacks on Turkey, probably kill a number of people in order to then blame it on the Syrians so then we can invade Syria and kill a lot of Syrians.’ Well, Turkey ought to be leaving Syria alone. The US should leave Syria alone too. But so many people are killed in Syria, and when you see Turkey, a NATO ally of course of the US, I'm sure it is doing the US bidding in this. I'm sure not in their own interest to invade Syria, to have their troops killed and support more deaths.
God bless whomever put this on YouTube, because it is a great peek into the way governments operate and how they gen-up wars that they would like to have happened and blame it on somebody else.
RT: What is the interest of Turkey of unleashing a full scale war with Syria at the moment?
LF: I don’t think it is in Turkey's interest, but I assume people are being paid off by the EU, by the US. Because the US with the help of Turkey, a lot of these insurgents were trained at American military bases and air force bases in Turkey, then put into Syria. Syrian insurgents also has gotten all shipments of weapons from Turkey. This is all coordinated with the US. The US wants to overthrow Bashar Assad and have been very, very upset that the American people oppose the US doing more of this war. The US ought to get out and stop messing with other people's countries, stop killing people and just mind our own business. We have plenty of problems here at home without killing people in Syria.
And Turkey should not be doing US's bidding. Maybe this will have a great effect on Turkish people, who'll say: ‘We don’t want to do the US's bidding, we should mind our own business in Turkey too and not go kill people in Syria.’

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jihadist threat against sacred Turkish tomb threatens to widen Syria's war- FOX News

A man who has been dead for nearly 800 years could be the catalyst that draws Turkey into Syria’s bloody civil war.
Jihadists who poured into Syria to help the Free Syrian Army only to turn on them, have threatened to attack the sacred tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The tomb is located inside Syria, in the border city of Aleppo, but the site is considered Turkish territory under a near century-old treaty.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Suriye uçağını düşürmek El Kaide’ye hava desteği verilmesidir (Ümit Özdağ- Yeni Çağ)

Türk savaş uçakları, Hatay/Yayladağı bölgesinde IŞID militanlarına karşı savaşan Suriye Hükümet güçlerine havadan destek veren bir Suriye savaş uçağını düşürdüler. Türk Genelkurmay Başkanlığı’ndan yapılan açıklamada iki MİG 23 Suriye savaş uçağının Türk sınırına yaklaşması üzerine Diyarbakır’da konuşlu Pars Filo diye anılan 181.Filo’ya mensup iki F-16 tarafından uyarıldığını, bunun üzerine bir Suriye savaş uçağının geri döndüğünü, diğerinin ise Türk sınırına yaklaştığını ve Türk hava sahasını bir kilometre ihlal ettiğini, sonra batıya yönelerek Türk hava sahasında 1.5 kilometre uçması üzerine angajman kuralları gereği düşürüldüğünü duyurmuştur. Suriye uçağı, Suriye’nin Keseb kasabası civarında düşmüştür. Suriyeli pilot son anda uçaktan atlayarak kurtulmuştur. 

Suriye savaş uçaklarının Hatay/Yayladağı bölgesine yönelik operasyon düzenlemesinin nedeni Nusra Cephesi, Ensar ul Şam ve Fetih Tümeni adlı El Kaide bağlantılı üç Selefi grubun, 19 Mart’tan itibaren Suriye ordusu ile savaşarak 23 Mart sabahı saat 05.00’da Hatay/Yayladağı’nın Suriye tarafında, karşısında bulunan Lazkiye’ye bağlı Keseb kasabasına bağlı Keseb sınır kapısını ele geçirmesidir. Keseb sınır kapısı, Esad rejiminin elinde bulunan kuzeydeki son sınır kapısıdır.


ISIS emerges as threat to Turkey- Al-Monitor

Western governments have been worrying for some time now that jihadists in Syria, who traveled there from Europe to fight regime forces in the name of Islam rather than democracy, will be primed for terrorist attacks on targets in their countries of origin after they return home.

It appears, however, that rather than Western Europe, it is NATO member Turkey that militants from one of the most prominent of the al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups fighting in Syria — namely, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) — have chosen as their first European target.
Turkish security forces are worried now that the attack on March 20 in the Central Anatolian province of Nigde — by three ISIS members, according to government officials — in which a policeman, a non-commissioned gendarmerie officer and a truck driver were killed, and five soldiers were wounded, may be the start of further attacks in Turkey by ISIS.

Syria: Saudi Arabia says rebels need more help in ‘catastrophic’ civil war- Euro News

Saudi Arabia says the crisis in Syria has reached ‘catastrophic proportions’ and has called for a change in the ‘balance of forces’ on the ground.
Crown Prince Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy prime minister, speaking at the opening of the annual Arab summit in Kuwait, stressed the need for more support for rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The annual meeting of the 22-member League of Arab States is expected to agree on more humanitarian action in response to Syria’s war, which has entered its fourth year and put a severe strain on neighbouring countries hosting refugees.

Syrian opposition chief demands "sophisticated" weapons- Al-Akhbar

Syria's opposition chief urged Arab leaders Tuesday to pressure the international community to supply rebels with "sophisticated" weapons that would tip the balance of power on the ground.
Addressing the Arab summit in Kuwait, National Coalition chief Ahmed Jarba also urged Arabs to give Syria's Arab League seat to the opposition and hand them Syria's embassies worldwide.
In his address, Jarba called on Arab leaders to "pressure the international community to commit to its promises to supply sophisticated weapons to our revolutionaries."

Terrorists dealt crushing blows in northern Lattakia and across the country- SANA

Provinces, (SANA)  The army and Armed Forces pressed ahead with sweeping operations in various areas across the country, directing crushing strikes to the terrorist groups, particularly those in northern Lattakia.

Army repels terrorists in northern Lattakia, clashes over Point 45 continue
Army units continue to valiantly confront terrorist groups’ repeated attempts to infiltrate Point 45 in the northern countryside of Lattakia province, inflicting heavy losses upon them, a military source told SANA, noting the clashes there are underway.

The army units have earlier foiled an attempt to attack Point 45 and forced the terrorists to retreat towards the northeastern side, chasing down the fleeing members with heavy fire.

The source added that the army units also directed sever blows to the armed terrorist groups in al-Nesser Mount in the north, destroying their firing sources and means and leaving big numbers of their members dead.
The source pointed out  that an army unit tightened full control over the area surrounding the aforementioned point.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Syria militants demand sophisticated arms- PRESS TV

The foreign-sponsored Syrian opposition has called upon Arab states to pressure the international community to supply militants fighting against the Damascus government with "sophisticated" weapons.

Addressing the 25th Arab League summit in Kuwait City on Tuesday, Ahmad Jarba, who is the president of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, urged Arab leaders to "pressure the international community to abide by its promises to supply sophisticated weapons” to militants operating inside Syria.

He also called on Arab leaders to hand over Syria's Arab League's seat as well as the country's embassies worldwide to the foreign-backed opposition.

Earlier, Saudi Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Abdulaziz, whose country is a major supporter of militant and terrorist groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, accused the world of "betraying" the so-called Syrian opposition by failing to arm them.


Syrian Army Strikes Terrorist Groups Northern Latakia- Al-Manar

The Syrian army pressed ahead with sweeping operations in various areas across the country, directing crushing strikes to the terrorist groups, particularly those in northern Latakia.

Army units continue to valiantly confront terrorist groups’ repeated attempts to infiltrate Point 45 in the northern countryside of Latakia province, inflicting heavy losses upon them, a military source told SANA, noting the clashes there are underway.


Yayladağı'na havan topu düştü- Al-Jazeera Türk

Şam yönetimi muhaliflere kaptırdığı Keseb kasabasına ve muhaliflerin ilerlediği Lazkiye'ye, İdlib bölgesindeki birliklerini sevk ediyor. Hatay'ın Yayladağı ilçesi kırsalına 6 havan topu mermisi düştü.


Suriye ile gerginliğin ardında seçim mi var?- BBC Türkçe

Yerel seçimlere sadece günler kala, Türkiye-Suriye sınırındaki gerginlik görülmemiş bir noktaya ulaştı.
Türkiye, 23 Mart’ta sınır ihlali gerekçesiyle Suriye Hava Kuvvetleri’ne ait bir tıklayınMIG-23 savaş uçağını düşürüp sınırdaki askeri birliklerini teyakkuza geçirirken, Suriye de sınır hattı devriyesi yapan Türk jetlerine karşı füzelerini kilitleyerek tacizlerini artırdı.

Syria Key Issue at Arab League Summit- VOA

KUWAIT — The stalled Middle East peace process and Syria’s civil war dominated opening talks at the 25th Arab League Summit, which got under way in Kuwait on Tuesday.

The two-day summit is being held amid deepening divisions among member states, but speakers were united in condemning what they described as Israel’s aggression against Palestine and the bloodshed in Syria.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Was shoot down of Syrian plane linked to Turkish elections?- Al-Monitor

If I had begun this article by saying, "The shooting down of a Syrian MiG-23 warplane that allegedly violated Turkish airspace at 1:14 p,m. March 23, with a missile fired from a Turkish F-16 has suddenly shifted the attention of Turkish public opinion to the Syria border,” it would have been an incomplete lead.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/turkey-syria-warplane-downed-erdogan-justified-elections.html

Syria rebels seize key area on Turkey border- Saudi Gazetta

DAMASCUS – Syrian rebels seized the Kasab village and border crossing with Turkey Monday, an NGO said, as the regime launched fresh air strikes in a bid to halt the opposition advance.

The air raids come a day after a Syrian warplane was shot down by Ankara’s jets in an incident slammed as “flagrant aggression” by Damascus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels and Al-Nusra Front were now in full control of Kasab, the only border crossing with Turkey in sensitive Latakia province, President Bashar Al-Assad’s heartland.

The crossing was the last functioning border post with Turkey to slip from regime control.


Syrian rebels seize Turkey border village as regime warplanes bomb frontier- Al-Ahram

Syrian rebels on Monday overran a key village on Turkey's border as Syria's air force launched raids along the frontier a day after Ankara's jets shot down a regime warplane.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the rebels were now in full control of Kasab, the first border crossing with Turkey seized by opposition fighters in sensitive Latakia province, President Bashar al-Assad's heartland.
"The rebel fighters are in control of Kasab's main square. There is fighting on the edges of Kasab, but the rebels are in control of the village now," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Turkey shoots down Syrian plane as elections heat up- Al-Monitor

As Turkey was shuddering from scandals involving corruption, wiretaps and the closing down of Twitter as it neared the March 30 local elections, the Syria crisis came as a lifesaver to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As the threat that al-Qaeda was going to attack the sovereign Turkish enclave of the Tomb of Suleiman Shah inside Syria turned out to be a non-event albeit one that kept Turkey’s agenda busy for a few days, the real bomb came with the shooting down of a Syrian warplane that was attacking opposition fighters trying to capture the Syrian town of Kassab on the Turkish border. With the shooting down of the plane, the election rallies of the governing party immediately assumed the atmosphere of “our victorious prime minister.”

Turkey downs Syria military jet 'in airspace violation'- BBC News

Turkish forces have shot down a Syrian military jet they say was violating their airspace despite warnings.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned such action by Syria merited a "heavy response".
But Syria accused Turkey of "blatant aggression", saying the plane had been over Syrian territory at the time.
The incident reportedly occurred in an area where Syrian rebels and government forces have been fighting for control of a border crossing.
Turkey and Syria - once allies - share more than 500 miles (800km) of border.

Kessab Targeted by Al-Qaeda Front Groups in Cross-Border Attack from Turkey- Armenian Weekly

KESSAB, SYRIA–The Armenian populated villages of Kesab (Kessab, Kasab), Syria were the target of three days of brutal cross-border attacks from Turkey by al-Qaeda affiliated armed bands, which have cost 80 lives and forced the civilian population of the area to flee for to neighboring hills, with many seeking safe-haven in the nearby cities of Latakia and Basit.
In a written statement, the Armenian National Committee—International, condemned the attacks and Turkey’s active role in aiding and abetting extremist groups in their targeted attacks against the Christian and minority populations in Syria. “For months, we have warned the international community of the imminent threat posed by extremist foreign fighters against the Christian minority population in Syria,” noted the ANC-I statement. “These vicious and unprompted attacks against the Armenian-populated town and villages of Kesab are the latest examples of this violence, actively encouraged by neighboring Turkey. We call upon all states with any influence in the Syrian conflict to use all available means to stop these attacks against the peaceful civilian population of Kesab, to allow them to return to their homes in safety and security. In the last one hundred years, this is the third time that the Armenians are being forced to leave Kesab and in all three cases, Turkey is the aggressor or on the side of the aggressors.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tripoli death toll hits 25 as clashes intensify- The Daily Star

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Tripoli intensified Friday evening, with no end in sight to the violence that has increasingly targeted Lebanese soldiers.

The death toll from the latest round of clashes between the city’s predominantly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh and mainly Alawite Jabal Mohsen districts rose to 25, with at least 175 people wounded so far, security sources said.

The Army said four soldiers were wounded when the military responded to sources of fire, bringing the total number of wounded soldiers to 33 since the clashes began on March 13.

Obama Calls Salam, Urges Timely Presidential Vote Without Foreign Meddling- Nahar.net

Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Friday received a phone call from U.S. president Barack Obama who congratulated him over the new cabinet's formation.
Obama stressed during the call on the importance of holding the presidential elections on time, before the constitutional deadline.
He also emphasized that the vote must take place without any foreign interference.
The U.S. president urged strengthening the disassociation policy, noting the importance of national unity.
He also assured that the United States will continue supporting Lebanon.

The unknown role of Kuwait's Salafis in Syria- Al-Akhbar

Kuwaiti Salafis have played a central role in supporting armed groups in Syria. They have established support entities, and most of them do their work in public and are highly organized. Major credit goes to unofficial Kuwaiti money in arming a number of the biggest armed groups in Syria such as Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and al-Nusra Front.


Death toll climbs in Lebanon clashes- BBC News

At least four people have been killed in clashes between neighbouring communities in northern Lebanon linked to the conflict in Syria.
The latest deaths brings to at least 21 the number killed since the violence erupted in Tripoli one week ago.
Battles have raged between Bab al-Tabbana, where there is strong support for Syrian rebels, and Jabal Muhsin, which backs President Bashar al-Assad.
Fighting between the two districts has flared since the Syria conflict began.

Syrian Shells Hit Wadi Khaled as Air Raids Target Arsal- Nahar.net

Shells fired from Syria landed on several areas in the northern border region of Wadi Khaled on Friday evening, the state-run National News Agency reported.
"Several shells hit the outskirts of the Buqaiaa town in Wadi Khaled near the old railway,” the NNA said.
LBCI television said four shells were fired from the Syrian side of the border and landed on Khat al-Petrol, Sheikh Mohammed Hill, and Mashta Hammoud regions in Wadi Khaled.
"No injuries were however recorded,” LBCI noted.
The same source added that gunshots from Syria also hit the northern border region.
Meanwhile in the Bekaa, the NNA reported that Syrian helicopters raided the Wadi Ajram region in the Arsal plains.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Terrorists suffer severe blows in several areas- SANA

Provinces, (SANA) Army units continued directing smashing blows to terrorists and destroying their dens and criminal tools in several areas.

Army units eliminate terrorists in Damascus Countryside
Army units pursued terrorists in the farms southwest of the town of Ras al-Ain in Yabroud area, Damascus Countryside, eliminating a number of its members including Ahmad Seddik, while other units eliminate other terrorists including Rashed Shahin and destroyed their weapons and ammo in Rankous farms.

A terrorist hideout was destroyed in the mountains near the town of Madaya, eliminating a number of terrorists including Ghanem Nassif, while a precise army operation in Wadi Moussa in al-Tal area resulted in the elimination of a number of terrorists including Ramez al-Mazloum.

In Douma area, an army special operations in Aliya farms resulted in destroying weapons and ammo and eliminating many terrorists including Younes Hamed, while army units continued pursuing terrorists in the farms around the town of al-Mleiha, killing a number of them including Abdo Ghzeil.

A terrorist hideout was destroyed in Jobar area, and an entire terrorist group including its leader was eliminated.


Syria back on Turkey's agenda (Fehim Taştekin- Al-Monitor)

Just what Turkey needed: As the country was already in the throes of pre-election turbulence, plus corruption scandals and leaks of secret phone conversations, the Syrian boomerang came back.

The warning by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), that Turkey could easily send its army inside Syria to defend the Sovereign Turkish Enclave of Jabar Fortress and the Tomb of Suleiman Shah, guarded by a small Turkish military detachment, was enough to bring the issue of a cross border operation on the agenda. This comes in addition to comments by Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz that in case of an attack against the tomb, Turkey could respond with “a specific point attack.” But a more serious development took place at Nigde, southeast of Ankara.

Islamist rebels fight to take Syria crossing with Turkey- Hurriyet Daily News

Three Syrian Islamist opposition groups, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, were battling for control of a regime-held border crossing with Turkey on Friday, a monitoring group said.
"Al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam and Ansar al-Sham are engaged in fierce clashes around the Kasab crossing with Turkey in Latakia province," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.


Syrian rebels killed fleeing castle- 3 News

The Syrian army ousted rebels from a massive Crusader fortress after several hours of fierce fighting, killing at least 93 of them as they fled to neighbouring Lebanon, an army commander told reporters on a government-led tour of the area Friday (local time).

Reporters were shown signs of a precipitous flight from Crac des Chevaliers by the opposition fighters, including food on a burning makeshift stove left behind untouched, as well as collapsed walls and staircases and other damage from the multiple rounds of fighting in the UNESCO World Heritage site since rebels first seized it in 2012.

The Thursday fall of the imposing hilltop citadel is as much symbolic as strategic. It is the latest in a string of government victories near the frontier with Lebanon, used by rebels as a conduit for recruits and supplies.

Army general command: the Army hoists Syrian flag over al-Hossen citadel- SANA

Damascus, SANA, General Command of the Army and armed forces said Thursday that units of the Syrian Arab army, in cooperation with the national defense hoisted flag of the Syrian Arab republic on al-Hossen citadel ( Krak des Chivalries ) and restored security and stability to al-Hossen town and its surroundings where terrorist gangs have taken as a gathering for collecting weapons and terrorists who were infiltrating through Lebanese borders.

“This great victory comes as completion to the victories achieved by the Syrian Arab army in Talkalakh region in Homs western countryside to tighten closing of bordering regions with Lebanon and boost safety of international highway which connects the central and coastal areas as well as tightening the grip around the remaining terrorist cells in Homs,” A statement by the Army’s General command said.

It added the Army’s General command affirms that eliminating terrorist organizations in al-Hossen region comes as a direct outcome of the successive victories of the Syrian Army which led to a speedy collapse in the terrorist gangs’ morals and their leaders.

The Army Command reiterated pledge for more victories until security and stability would be restored to Homeland.


Muhalifler Keseb kapısına bayrak çekti- Al-Jazeera Türk

Suriyeli muhalifler, Türkiye'nin Hatay'a bağlı Yayladağı sınır kapısının karşısındaki Keseb kapısını rejim güçlerinden aldı. Türkmen köylerinin yakınındaki kapı iç savaşın başından beri ilk kez muhaliflerin kontrolüne geçti.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

British fighters in Syria urge others to join them- The Independent

A British citizen fighting with an extremist rebel group in Syria has issued a call for others to join the country’s civil war. 

In a video posted online, a masked man speaking in a London accent says that “the doors of jihad are still open,” and claims that he has helped three other Brits make the journey to Syria.

The man is believed to be a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) – an extremist Islamist rebel group formerly affiliated with al-Qa’ida and similar in ideology.  He has appeared in several other videos uploaded by a group called Rayat al-Tawheed, which claims to be the distributor of English-language materials for Isis.


Medieval castle near Homs recaptured by Syrian army- Al-Alam

Syrian army forces have recaptured a famous medieval castle near the western city of Homs after heavy clashes with foreign-backed militants surrounding the area.

The Syrian army took control of Qal’at al-Hisn near the Homs countryside on Thursday, following clashes which left tens of militants dead.

The latest army inroad on foreign-backed militants follows Syrian forces' other achievements in the country’s west, including in the cities of Yabrud and Homs.

Backed by the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, Syrian forces on Sunday pushed back foreign-backed militants from Yabroud, the last major militant stronghold in the Qalamoun region.

Meanwhile, Syrian troops are clearing the strategic mountains, forcing dozens of Takfiri militants in the area to flee toward the Lebanese border.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive over the past months there, aiming to cut militant lines across the border.

- See more at: http://en.alalam.ir/news/1577767

First UN aid convoy enters Syria via Turkey- Al-Jazeera

United Nations aid trucks have crossed from Turkey into Syria for the first time in three years, a development aid officials hope will lead to greater humanitarian access to civilians hardest hit by the civil war.

But with the convoy heading to a region controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, doubts remained whether those in rebel-held areas most urgently in need would benefit.

The trucks travelled through the largely deserted frontier at the Nusaybin border post, taking food supplies, bedding and medicine towards the ethnic Kurdish city of Qamishli in Syria.


Syria closes Lebanon border amid clashes- Al-Jazeera

Syrian troops have closed a border crossing into Lebanon amid heavy clashes with rebels in the area, according to Lebanese media.

The state-run National News Agency said the fighting around the Bqaiaa crossing in the Wadi Khaled region in Syria on Thursday was so intense that stray bullets and rockets landed in Lebanon.

Syrian troops had ambushed the rebels as they tried to flee the besieged area.

Lebanese medical sources said 41 wounded Syrian rebels had crossed a river into Lebanon as they attempted to flee the fighting. Another eight rebels had either been carried in dead or succumbed to their wounds after escaping Syria.


Lübnan Ordusu Ersal’da Konuşlandı- SANA Türkçe

BEYRUT – Lübnan ordusu dün, Suriye'den kaçmaları ardından Suriye ve Lübnan'ın güvenlik istikrarını sabote etmek amacıyla beldeyi terör karargahına dönüştüren Nusra Cephesinin yoğun bir şekilde bulunduğu Bika Bölgesindeki Ersal Beldesine konuşlandı.

Lübnanlı bir güvenlik kaynağı Ahbar Gazetesinin aktardığı açıklamalarında; Lübnan ordusunun Nusra Cepheli teröristlerin yoğun olarak bulundukları ve terör karargahına dönüştürdükleri Ersal Beldesi cadde ve sokaklarında geniş bir şekilde konuşlandığını aktardı.

Güvenlik kaynağı ordunun aynı zamanda teröristlerin Lübnan'a bombalı araçlar geçirmek için kullandığı Ersal ormanlık alanlarında da yerini aldığını ifade ederken, operasyonun Lübnan'a bombalı araçların girişiyle birlikte Suriye'nin Kalemun Bölgesinden kaçan teröristlerin Lübnan'a girişlerini engelleme amacı taşıdığını belirtti.
Kaynak ordunun bölgedeki Vadi el Şaab barikatından Lübnan'a sahte evraklarla girmeye çalışan ve bir kısmı Nusra Cepheli olan 15 teröristi yakaladığını söyledi.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Syria army takes control of Ras al-Ayn, Ras al-Maara near Damascus- Al-Alam

Syrian army troops continue to make advances against foreign-backed militants by capturing two areas near the capital Damascus, Al-Alam reports.

Soldiers of the Syrian army managed to liberate the villages of Ras al-Ayn and Ras al-Maara near the strategic town of Yabroud in the Qalamoun region on Tuesday.

Takfiri militants fled to villages and towns near Yabroud after they lost their major bastion to the Syrian troops.

The army also captured a workshop used for making improvised explosive devices (IED) during its progress in the region.

The Syrian troops also destroyed several tunnels used by the militants to supply weapons to anti-government insurgents in the village of Jobar near Damascus.

See more at: http://en.alalam.ir/news/1577179