"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


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Islamic State 'beheads women for sorcery' in Syria- BBC News

Islamic State (IS) has beheaded two women in eastern Syria, the first time the jihadist group has decapitated female civilians, activists say.
The women were killed along with their husbands in the city of Deir al-Zour and the town of al-Mayadeen, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
All four were accused of sorcery.
IS has previously decapitated the bodies of Kurdish female fighters killed in battle. The group has also beheaded men for witchcraft in Iraq.
The group's extreme interpretation of Islamic law has also seen gay men thrown off buildings and women stoned for adultery.

The Southern Front Offensives Fail on Three Fronts- Al-Masdar News

For months, the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Central Command and their foreign handlers have been strategizing for this imperative offensive at the provincial capital of Dara’a; however, their contingency to take this integral city in southern Syria has seemingly flopped, as the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division surprised the rebel forces with their discipline and stiff resistance.
Not only has the offensive at Dara’a City and Khirbat Al-Ghazaleh failed to produce any significant gains on the ground, but also, it has resulted in the death of well over 200 militants from the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front” Brigades and their allies from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” that participated in this failed offensive.

Syrian Armed Forces: ISIS has Suffered 691 Casualties in 48 Hours- Al-Masdar

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies from the National Defense Forces (NDF) have allegedly killed 691 enemy combatants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the last 48 hours at the Syrian provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.
According to media sources from the Syrian Armed Forces, the latter has killed 444 ISIS fighters at the provincial capital of  the Al-Hasakah Governorate and 247 ISIS fighters at the provincial capital of the Deir Ezzor Governorate – among these 691 casualties, 13 of them were reportedly field commanders identified by the Syrian Armed Forces.
While the Syrian Armed Forces have killed a substantial number of ISIS militants in the last 48 hours, these alleged numbers have not been confirmed by the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command – the only reports that confirm these numbers are SAA media activists.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Russia pledges to support Syrian government in surprise meeting- DW

Russia has promised to support Syria's government "politically, economically and militarily." President Vladimir Putin also called on the Middle East to unite against the 'Islamic State' (IS).

Speaking in the Russian capital of Moscow on Monday, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said he received the pledge of support for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a surprise meeting with his Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Quashing rumors that Russia would no longer support Assad, Putin said on Monday that his country's policy "which is intended to support Syria, Syria's leaders and its people, remains unchanged."
"We are convinced that in the end the Syrian people will be victorious," Putin said.

Karayılan'dan 'Rojava' tehdidi- Al-Jazeera

KCK yöneticisi Murat Karayılan, Türkiye'nin Suriye'ye olası bir askeri operasyonuyla ilgili olarak, "Onlar Rojava’ya müdahale ederlerse biz de onlara müdahale ederiz; o zaman Türkiye’nin tümü bir savaş sahasına dönüşür" dedi.

Örgüte yakın Fırat Haber Ajansı'na konuşan Karayılan, Ankara'da konuşulan, Suriye'ye yönelik bir askeri operasyonla ilgili olarak, "Eğer bugünkü MGK toplantısında veya başka mercilerde Rojava’daki kantonlara müdahale kararını alırlarsa ve böylesi uğursuz bir yönelime girerlerse, bu müdahale Rojava’ya değil, tüm Kürt halkına karşı yapılmış bir müdahale olacaktır" dedi. 
Karayılan röportajda, Suriye'de PYD'nin ilan ettiği 'kantonlara' müdahale edilmesi ihtimalini vurguladı. Bu kantonlar Cizire, Kobani, Afrin. Karayılan bu kantonlar dışında yer alan bölgelere müdahale olasılığıyla ilgili herhangi bir yorum yapmadı. 
'Türkiye'nin tümü savaş sahasına dönüşür' tehdidi
"Ha Kobanê’ye müdahale etmişsin, ha Amed’e (Diyarbakır) müdahale etmişsin. Hiç farkı yoktur" diyen Karayılan, "Hele hele son iki, üç yılda Rojava ile Kuzey’in bu kadar duygusal bütünleşmesinin olduğu bir ortamda Rojava’ya müdahale etmesi karşısında Kuzey’in duracağını mı düşünüyorlar. Açıkça söyleyeyim: Eğer onlar Rojava’ya müdahale ederlerse, biz de onlara müdahale ederiz; o zaman Türkiye’nin tümü bir savaş sahasına dönüşür" ifadelerini kullandı. 

Al Nusrah Front celebrates 9/11 attacks in new video- The Long War Journal

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a 43-minute documentary titled, “The Heirs of Glory.” The video tells the history of Islam from Al Nusrah’s perspective, culminating in video footage of the 9/11 attacks and audio clips from Osama bin Laden’s speeches.
Al Nusrah highlights the footage of 9/11 after replaying a threat made by bin Laden in 1998. Bin Laden claimed at the time that “the joint Crusader-Jewish forces” have been responsible for all of the recent “aggression” against Muslims lands. The al Qaeda founder portrayed the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and thereafter as part of a successful plot “to capture the two holy sanctuaries (Mecca and Medina).” (Of course, US forces did not capture Islam’s holy sites, but instead defended the region against Saddam Hussein’s aggression.)
“So we seek to incite the Islamic Nation so it may rise to liberate its lands and perform Jihad in the path of Allah, and to establish the law of Allah, so the Word of Allah may be supreme,” Bin Laden continued in the clip from 1998.
An Al Nusrah Front narrator then elaborates: “The letters of Sheikh Osama continued to the West instructing them to cease supporting the Jews in Palestine. He called them several times to cease looting the wealth of the Muslims and to leave the Arabian Peninsula.”

Franjieh Backs FPM-LF Survey as Gemayel Voices Remarks- Naharnet

Change and Reform bloc secretary MP Ibrahim Kanaan held talks Monday with the main Christian parties in a bid to clinch their support for Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun's proposal on carrying out a survey to determine which Christian party or parties are influential in the country.
Following a meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in Maarab, Kanaan said the LF chief reiterated to him “his support for organizing the survey.”
“It is a democratic necessity to explore the choices of Christians whenever the need arises and there is no need to give this issue other dimensions or to claim that it violates the legal norms,” Kanaan added.
“It is unacceptable to keep Christians outside the equation at every juncture. We are supposed to be in a country that respects (sectarian) balance, partnership and the National Pact,” he underlined.
The lawmaker noted that he emphasized during his tour the need to “reach common ground among the Christian parties regarding the issues of the presidency, the survey and what should come next.”

Kanaan lobbies Christian leaders to push for presidential poll- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement MP Ibrahim Kanaan met with Christian leaders Monday to garner support for a presidential poll among Christians to reveal which candidate had the most support for the presidency.
The presidential initiative received the conditional backing ofMarada Movement chief Sleiman Frangieh.
“We are not against a Christian poll, but we want a transparent [vote], one that is approved by all the Christian [powers] who will agree on the poll questions and on the terms,” Frangieh told reporters following a meeting with Kanaan.
Frangieh, however, was doubtful that an exclusively Christian poll would be a good indicator of which candidate would be most representative of the country's populace.
“We want a national and a Christian poll because the presidency is [both] a Christian and a national issue,” he said at his mansion in Bneshi, north Lebanon.

Ya'alon: Israel told rebels not to harm Syrian Druse, and to keep terror groups from border- Jerusalem Post

...Ya’alon, in a briefing with diplomatic reporters, said that contrary to rumors that have circulated among Israel’s Druse, causing a great deal of agitation that led to the “lynching” last week of a Syrian rebel being transferred via ambulance to Israel, the Syrian Druse community was not currently threatened.

That murder, Ya’alon said, has led to calls for vengeance in Syria against the Druse community there.

While some Israeli Druse have called on Jerusalem to aid their Syrian brethren who are fighting the Assad regime, the Syrian Druse are not keen on getting that assistance, he added, as being seen as receiving support from Israel does not serve their interests.

Israel’s policy regarding Syria was to remain outside of the conflict there, but to make sure that Israel’s “red lines” were not crossed, the defense minister said. Among those red lines were the transfer of strategic weapons to Hezbollah and the infringement of Israeli sovereignty.

Ya’alon was careful not to predict the future of Syria, or how long Assad would hold on to control of at least some of the country, saying that it has essentially been broken into a number of different “cantons.”

He said that it was likely that the bloodletting there would continue, and that there was no likelihood of a decisive victory by one side or the other any time in the foreseeable future.

Another Israeli defense official said that while Israel has not refused medical treatment to any Syrian approaching its lines, “later, when it became clear that they were rebels, we made sure that they understood we expected our conditions to be kept.”

The official said he knew of no cases of Israel helping members of Nusra Front, an al-Qaida offshoot in Syria, which has beset the Druse. Rather, the official said, Israel has engaged mainly with non-jihadist rebels like the Free Syrian Army.

Telling apart jihadists from other armed factions “can be difficult,” he said...


Syrian Army Recaptures the Ghuweiran Sports City in West Al-Hasakah- Al-Masdar News

On Monday afternoon, the Syrian Arab Army’s 123rd Brigade of the 3rd Armored Division – in coordination with the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Al-Ba’ath Battalions (Kata’eb Al-Ba’ath), and the Sootooro Brigade (Assyrian militia) – have launched a counter-assault on the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) at the Ghuweiran Sports in the western sector of the provincial capital.
The counter-assault at the Ghuweiran Sports City began at 12:15 P.M. (Al-Hasakah Time) on Monday afternoon when the Syrian Armed Forces – in coordination with local Assyrian militias – stormed the defensive positions of ISIS, killing over 20 enemy combatants and destroying three armored vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft machine guns, while also breaching the terrorist group’s frontlines.
Finally, after an intense three hour battle with ISIS, the Syrian Armed Forces and the Assyrian militias seized full-control of the Ghuweiran Sports City, resulting in the withdrawal of all militants from the terrorist group to the Al-Taqdam District in the eastern sector of Al-Hasakah City.

Russia’s Putin reaffirms support for Syrian leadership- Al-Arabiya

President Vladimir Putin said at the start of talks with Syria's foreign minister on Monday that there was no change in Russia's support for the Syrian leadership.

Putin said he hoped for an end to Syria's 4-1/2 year-old conflict, adding: “We are convinced that in the end the Syrian people will win.”

Syrian army retakes a key district of Hassakeh city from militants- Daily Star

AMMAN: The Syrian army said Monday it had recaptured a main residential quarter in the strategically located northeastern city of Hassakeh, several days after its capture by ISIS militants in a lightning assault.
Syrian state television said in a newsflash that the army had now "cleansed" militants from the southern district of Nashwa in the city.
The militants' assault last Thursday had allowed them to take positions in heavily populated districts in the heart of the city and to drive out thousands of civilians.

Putin: Esad'a desteğimiz sürüyor- Sputnik News

Rusya Devlet Başkanı Vladimir Putin, bugün Suriye Dışişleri Bakanı Velid Muallim ile bir araya geldi.
Rusya lideri Putin, görüşme öncesinde yaptığı açıklamada Moskova'nın Suriye Devlet Başkanı Beşar Esad'a desteğinin sürdüğünü vurguladı.
Esad'a desteklerinde değişen hiçbir şey olmadığının altını çizen Putin, Suriye'de 4.5 yıldır süren çatışmaların sona ermesini umduğunu söyledi. Putin, "En sonunda Suriye halkının galip geleceğine inanıyoruz" dedi.
Putin ayrıca, Suriye ve bölgedeki diğer ülkelerin Irak Şam İslam Devleti'ne (IŞİD) karşı birleşmesi gerektiğinin de altını çizdi. Türkiye, Ürdün ve Suudi Arabistan'ın bu mücadeleye katkı sunmaya hazır olduğunu ifade eden Putin, ''Rusya da (Suriye ve diğer) ülkeler arasında diyalog kurulmasına yardımcı olmaya hazır'' dedi.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Turkish Foreign Minister: Possible Syria operations to be announced after MGK meeting- Hurriyet Daily News

In response to claims that Turkey would be conducting a cross-border military operation in Syria, the Turkish foreign minister said any necessary announcements about the issue would be made after the National Security Council (MGK) meeting, which will be held June 29. 

“We have a MGK meeting tomorrow; we will make the necessary announcements afterwards,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying on June 28 in the Black Sea province of Ordu’s Ünye district, neither accepting nor denying any of the claims. 

Hürriyet Daily News reported June 27 that Turkey’s government wanted more active military action to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Syrian regime and both Kurdish and jihadist forces in Syrian territory, but the military was reluctant to do so, playing for time as the country heads for a new coalition government. 

According to HDN sources, who asked not to be named, the “active support” that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s government seeks from the military ranges from long-range artillery fire (not only in retaliatory terms) against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) positions in Syrian territory to air operations, and includes entering Syria with land forces to secure a strip along the Turkish border. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Haseke: Suriye orduyla IŞİD arasında şiddetli çarpışmalar- BBC Türkçe

Suriye’nin Haseke kentinde IŞİD ile ordu arasındaki çatışmalar devam ediyor.
Cizir Kantonu'nun Savunma Bakanı Abdulkerim Saruhan, BBC Türkçe'ye IŞİD’in ordunun denetiminde bulunan yerlere saldırdığını ve birkaç mahalleyi ele geçirdiğini belirterek, YPG (Halk Savunma Güçleri) güçlerinin rejimle aynı saflarda IŞİD’e karşı savaşmayacağını söyledi.
IŞİD, son birkaç gündür Suriye’nin kuzeydoğusunda yer alan Haseke kentine saldırılarını yoğunlaştırmış durumda. Örgüt Haseke’ye ağır silahlarla saldırıyor.
Kentte, Arapların yoğunlukta olduğu bölgeler Beşar Esad yönetiminin Kürtlerin yoğun yaşadığı yerlerin denetimi ise Demokratik Birlik Partisi PYD'de. Bu bölgeyi partinin silahlı gücü olan Halk Savunma Güçleri (YPG) savunuyor.
Haseke PYD’nin ilan ettiği Cizir Kantonuna bağlı bulunuyor. Kentin çoğunluğu Arap ve Kürtlerden oluşuyor. Kentte Asuriler de yaşıyor ama sayıları çok değil.

Amine Gemayel skeptical of LF-FPM pact- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Kataeb’s former chief Amine Gemayel has voiced skepticism toward the recent agreement between the Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement, saying it failed to address central questions.
“We should give this agreement time to prove its seriousness, and to see whether the two sides can overcome the conflicts of the past and their personal disputes,” Gemayel said in comments published by Al-Akhbar newspaper Saturday.
“The agreement did not address a major issue for Christians, which is the election of a president, something I consider fateful. We all know the effects that presidential vacuum has had on the country and especially on Christians.”
The other crucial matter unresolved by the declaration of intent between the two parties is the “concept of sovereignty,” Gemayel added.

ISIS raids kill 40 Syrian troops in central Syria: activists- Daily Star

BEIRUT: ISIS militants have killed at least 40 Syrian government forces in consecutive attacks on three checkpoints in central Syria, activists said Saturday.
In less than two hours of clashes on Friday, ISIS seized the checkpoints near Sheikh Hilal, a village in Syria's Hama province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"The clashes killed 40 government loyalists, including soldiers and members of the National Defense Forces," a local pro-government militia, said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Russian, Syrian Foreign Ministers to Urge Syrian Dialogue Restart on Monday- Sputnik News

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem, are due to meet in Moscow on Monday where they will call for an urgent restart of a political dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Muallem is due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday for a three-day visit, during which he is also expected to bring up the topic of counter-terrorist operations in the region, the ministry said in a statement.

"The key topic of the ministers’ June 29 meeting will be the difficult situation in Syria and around it," the statement indicated.

"The focus will also be on the priority objective of restarting the political process of Syrian settlement," the ministry said, stressing that the urgency of this task has been recognized by the entire Middle East and the world.

Syria Islamic State: Kurds 'claim control over Kobane'- BBC News

Islamic State (IS) militants have been driven out of the town of Kobane, on the Turkish border, Kurdish forces and activists say.
IS launched a surprise assault on the long-contested town on Thursday, reportedly massacring civilians, including women and children.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 206 bodies were found, most with bullet wounds.
Kurdish forces broke an IS siege of Kobane only in January.
Meanwhile, fighting is reportedly continuing in the Syrian city of Hassakeh, about 270km (180 miles) further east, which was also attacked by IS on Thursday.

Islamic State uses US-made anti-tank missiles in Hasakah offensive- Long War Journal

The Islamic State has released photographs from its offensive in the eastern Syrian city of Hasakah. Two of the photos detail the use of the US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile.
The current offensive in Hasakah is happening concurrently with an offensive in Kobane in northern Syria, and a renewed push at the Deir al Zour airbase. The assaults come after Kurdish forces made significant gains in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah, considered the “capital” of the Islamic State. Over 100 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in the assaults. (For more information, seeLWJ report, Islamic State attacks Kobane, Hasakah, and Deir al Zour.)
Photos released from the battle showcase the spoils gained in the fighting. Several crates of ammunition are seen to have been captured from the regime, as well as several vehicles. Other photos show dead regime soldiers, but the images are too graphic to be published by The Long War Journal. Other images highlight actual fighting, including the two showing the use of the TOW missiles.
This is not the first time the jihadist group has used the US system. Earlier this month, the Islamic Statepublicized the use of the missiles during the capture of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Last December, the jihadist group also published photos showing its forces using TOW missiles against Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in the Damascus countryside. The United States has supplied several FSA groups with TOW missiles, which have sometimes fallen into the hands of jihadist groups or have been used to assist jihadist groups. The TOWs used in Palmyra and Hasakah were likely captured from battles with the FSA in other parts of Syria.
At least one TOW missile was used by the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, in that group’s offensive on Wadi al Daif in the northwestern province of Idlib. The al Qaeda branch also publicized the usage of TOWs during its capture of Idlib city. [For more on this, see LWJ reports Al Nusrah Front uses American-made anti-tank missile in IdlibAl Nusrah Front video showcases more American-made TOW missilesAl Qaeda and allies form coalition to battle Syrian regime in Idlib.]

Republican Guard Arrives in Al-Hasakah City to Forestall ISIS Advance- Al-Masdar News

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a large-scale offensive at the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah on Wednesday, targeting the Syrian Armed Forces’ defensive positions at the southern and western sectors of the city for the fourth time this year; however, unlike their previous offensives, the terrorist group has achieved considerable success.
As a result of their persistency, ISIS has been able to penetrate through the Syrian Arab Army’s defensive barriers at the Al-Nashwa District after sleeper cells inside the city provided the terrorist group with not only invaluable intel, but also, access to the enemy’s frontlines that proved vital in their successful offensive.
Following their capture of the Al-Nishwa and Al-Liliyah Districts, the militants from ISIS focused their attention on the Al-Hasakah Central Prison, where they were met with fierce resistance from the SAA’s 123rd Brigade of the 3rd Armored Division the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the Al-Ba’ath Battalions(Kata’eb Al-Ba’ath”).
Unable to break-into the Al-Hasakah Central Prison, ISIS was forced to withdrawal to the Al-Liliyah District, leaving the Syrian Armed Forces in position to counter the terrorist Al-Liliyah and Al-Nishwa; this would come to fruition on Friday morning, when the Syrian Armed Forces recaptured Al-Liliyah and the eastern corridor of Al-Nishwa.

Kurds Drive IS Jihadists from Syria's Kobane- Naharnet

Kurdish fighters ousted the Islamic State group from the Syrian border town of Kobane on Saturday, two days after the jihadists had seized several neighborhoods, a monitor and activists said.
IS's bloody attack on the town had left at least 174 civilians dead as well as 70 combatants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) took back control of IS positions in Kobane," the Britain-based group said.
"The YPG were able to take back the town's boys' high school, where the last of the IS fighters were holed up, after setting off explosions."
The jihadist group entered Kobane at dawn on Thursday, seizing several buildings in the town's south and southwest.

General Security Thwarts Bombing Plot in Beirut- Naharnet

Security forces thwarted a plot to bomb an area in Beirut at the order of the Islamic State, reported Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) on Saturday.
It said that two Lebanese suspects were tasked by the IS in Syria's al-Qalamoun region to carry out the attack.
The suspects were arrested in May by the General Security and they have been transferred to the Military General Prosecution.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Suicide attack claimed by ISIS kills 27 at Kuwait Shiite mosque, 220 wounded- Daily Star

KUWAIT CITY: A suicide bomber killed 27 people when he blew himself up inside a packed Shiite Muslim mosque in Kuwait cityduring Friday prayers, the Interior Ministry said, the first attack of its kind in the major oil-exporting country.
Extremist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 220 people according to the Interior Ministry, in the district of Sawaber in the eastern part of the Kuwaiti capital.
Parliament member Khalil al-Salih, who was at the mosque when the attack occurred, said worshippers were kneeling in prayer when the bomber walked into the Imam al-Sadeq Mosque and detonated his explosives, destroying walls and the ceiling.

Sayegh Urges Lebanese to Rally Around Maronite Patriarch- Kataeb.org

The Kataeb's second Deputy-President Salim Sayegh Friday stressed the need to rally around the Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi, noting that such a step would consolidate and empower Bkirki's role.
Following a meeting with the Patriarch, Sayegh noted that talks featured high on the presidential vote, reiterating the pressing need to elect a new head of state as soon as possible.
“The main concern is to elect a president of the state and to abide by the Constitution,” he outlined, adding that it is the sole way to safeguard the country and revitalize the state institutions.

The Battle for Dara’a City Heats Up- Al-Masdar News

Some 36 hours have passed since the militants from the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” launched their large-scale offensive at the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate and the strategic town of Khirbat Al-Ghazaleh; however, thus far, this offensive in southern Syria has provided mixed results for the rebel forces involved.
Friday morning started off on the right foot for the militants of the FSA’s Southern Front and Jabhat Al-Nusra, as the  aforementioned groups captured the strategic town of ‘Itman (located directly north of the provincial capital) after a series of intense clashes with the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF).

Those calling for democracy in Syria should worry about Lebanon first: Aoun- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun promised to keep fighting for Christian rights in Lebanon, accusing his political rivals of trying to marginalize their will by violating the Constitution.
“Those who are demanding democracy in Syria should first ensure that their state isn’t depriving any of its components from their rights,” Aoun said in an interview with L'Orient-Le Jour published Friday.
“It’s not my habit to run away in the middle of a battle.”
The FPM chief rejected accusations of paralyzing state institutions, pointing the finger instead at his rivals who he charged with imposing decisions outside the law.
“We are experiencing a coup against the Constitution,” he said, vowing to “resist within the boundaries of the Constitution, the National Pact and the customs.”

ISIS suicide blast kills 20 Syrian army soldiers: activists- Daily Star

BEIRUT: An ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 20 regime troops in Hassakeh city in northeast Syria Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group said.
"The attack by a booby-trapped car targeted the criminal security service headquarters in the south of the city" where deadly clashes have been under way since Thursday, the Britain-based activist group said.
ISIS said Friday it had freed prisoners held at a jail in Hassakeh that it is fighting to seize from government forces.
"The detainees in the central prison have been freed," the ultra-hardline jihadist group said on an official Twitter feed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Battle for Deraa- Carnegie Middle East

Three months after the fall of Idlib, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be about to lose another provincial capital. The Syrian army has been ona losing streak that began in late March 2015. Since then, Idlib, Jisr al-Shughur, and Ariha have been lost to an Islamist-led coalition of rebels in the northwest. Meanwhile in the east, the extremist group known as the Islamic State recently captured the strategic city of Palmyra, along with some of Syria’s critical energy infrastructure.
In the south of Syria, the situation looks equally dire for Assad. Since 2014, and in recent months especially, a long line of local defeats have taken their toll on the army south of Damascus, leaving the remaining government forces in a highly precarious position.
This winter, rebels fought their way into the city of Sheikh Miskin and captured nearby military installations, thereby threatening Assad’s supply routes into the Daraa Governorate. In late March, they seized the long-contested city of Bosra further to the east. They quickly went on to take the Nasib border crossing, Assad’s last point of access to Jordan, thereby choking off the overland trade between the Syrian capital and consumer markets in the Gulf Arab states and Iran. (Attempts to reroute cargo by air or sea do not seem to have made up for the losses.) Meanwhile, the grinding battle for control over Syrian-held portions of the Golan Heights goes on, with rebels now in control of most of the area. More recently, in early June, rebels on the opposite end of the region overtook the Brigade 52 base, an important stronghold for the army.

Suriye ordusu 52. Tugay’a 2 kilometre mesafede- YDH

YDH- Fars haber ajansı, Suriye ordusunun Dera kırsalında başlattığı operasyonlar sonucu 9 Haziran’da Nusra Cephesi'ne bağlı silahlı gruplar tarafından ele geçirilen 52. Tugay’a 2 kilometre mesafedeki el-Herak bölgesine ulaştığını bildirdi.

Suriye ordusunun Dera kırsalındaki en büyük askeri üssü olan 52. Tugay’ı kaybetmesinin ardından silahlı gruplar Suveyda yakınlarındaki Sa’la havaalanını tehdit etmeye başlamıştı.

Suriye ordusunun gönüllü halk güçlerinin desteği ile Sa’la havaalanı çevresinde başlattığı operasyonlar sonucu havaalanı çevresindeki Sakkaka, Tel Sakkaka, Dare el-Kebire gibi idari açıdan Dera’ya bağlı bölgeleri tamamen kontrol altına aldıktan sonra 52. Tugayı’a yöneldiği bildiriliyor.

Dera için idlib senaryosu: Güney Fırtınası- YDH

YDH- El Meyadin televizyonu silahlı grupların Dera ilini ele geçirmek için başlattıkları büyük saldırıya ‘Güney Fırtınası’ adını verdiklerini bildirdi.

İdlib’i ele geçiren Nusra liderliğindeki Fetih Ordusu’nun Antakya’da kurulan operasyon odasından yönetilmesine benzer şekilde güneydeki saldırının da Amerika tarafından eğitilen silahlı grupların oluşturduğu Ürdün’ün başkenti Amman’daki komuta merkezinden yönetildiği bildirildi.

Haberde Amman’daki komuta merkezinden önümüzdeki birkaç saat içerisinde başlatılacak olan büyük saldırı için Dera çevresindeki silahlı gruplara hazırlık emri verildiği ve operasyonda yaklaşık 1500 militan, 40 zırhlı araç ve 30 tank kullanıldığı bildirildi.

Güney Fırtınası adlı saldırı konusunda istihbarat alan Suriye ordusunun silahlı gruplara ait mevzilere yoğun topçu saldırısı düzenlerken Suriye uçaklarının da Ürdün-Suriye sınırındaki silahı gruplara ait mevzileri bombaladığı bildirildi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Syrian leader can stop Islamic State terrorist group — Russian security official- TASS

The Persian Gulf countries should pray for Syrian President Bashar Assad who can stop the Islamic State militant group, deputy Russian Security Council chief Yevgeny Lukyanov said on Wednesday.
"I believe that countries of this region - Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf states and may be others should pray for Bashar Assad. This is the last frontier of their security. If the Assad regime falls, then the IS next goal will be Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states," Lukyanov said.
Some 5,000 Saudi nationals are part of the IS, he said, adding: "When the active phase of confrontation ends there, where will they go? They will come back [home]. What can they do? They can only kill people," he said.

Syria’s Nusra Front underlines Qaeda link in audio message- Reuters

The head of Syria's Nusra Front militant group mourned the death of al Qaeda's deputy leader in an audio message that underlined the organisations' close relationship and appeared to counter recent reports that it might split from the global network.
Nusra is al Qaeda's wing in Syria, but sources close to and in the organisation told Reuters this year it was considering distancing itself from the parent group so that it could attract funding from a wider range of donors.
The audio message from Nusra's Abu Mohamad al-Golani, posted on YouTube overnight, mourned Nasser al-Wuhayshi who was killed in a U.S bombing in Yemen in June, urged his followers not to despair and advised his successor to be cautious.

Nusra is one of the most powerful forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an increasingly complex conflict.

Israeli police arrest several Druze after Syrian lynching- Daily Star

Israeli police said Wednesday they had carried out a "wave of arrests" of suspects involved in two attacks by Druze on military vehicles transporting wounded Syrians to hospital.
Israeli media said nine Druze were arrested over the attacks Monday, when a mob killed a Syrian and wounded another in theGolan Heights and an ambulance was stoned in the Galilee town of Hurfesh.
"An extensive wave of arrests was conducted overnight of suspects involved in two incidents of attacking military ambulances nearMajdal Shams in the Golan Heights and near Hurfesh," a police statement said.
Further details of the investigations into both incidents remained under a gag order.

Israel abducts 9 after Syrians ‘lynch’ Takfiri- PRESS TV

Israeli forces have abducted nine Syrian Druze residents after members of the religious community killed a Takfiri terrorist in Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The abductions came after a group of Syrian Druze attacked a military ambulance taking anti-Syria Takfiri militants for treatment on Monday. One militant was killed, while another militant and two Israeli soldiers were injured. The second terrorist is said to be in critical condition.
The Golan Heights attack was launched in reprisal for the massacre of at least 20 Druze in northwestern Syria by al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the al-Nusra Front.

Presidential Elections Postponed to July 15- Naharnet

Parliament failed once again on Wednesday to elect a president after quorum was not met during the 25th elections session.
Speaker Nabih Berri postponed the polls to July 15.
MP Michel Pharaon stated after the meeting: “The paralysis at parliament and at cabinet are spreading to the remaining state institutions.”
Meanwhile, MP Marwan Hamadeh responded to criticism directed by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi against lawmakers, saying: “Why are we being lumped in sermons and statements with those who have been boycotting electoral sessions?”
“We have attended all 25 meetings,” he stressed.
The patriarch has repeatedly condemned the presidential vacuum and lawmakers for failing to elect a new head of state.
Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.
Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise presidential candidate have thwarted the polls.

Syrian Army Advances against Nusra Rebels in Dara'a Province- FARS News

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army's massive operations against the al-Nusra Front's positions in various parts of the Southern province of Dara'a resulted in the killing or wounding of dozens of the fighters, military sources in the Southern battlefields confirmed.
The sources said that the Syrian army targeted a hideout of terrorist groups’ leaders while they were holding a meeting in the Southeastern neighborhood of Busra al-Sham city, 40 km to the East of Dara'a city.
The hideout was completely destroyed, said the source, confirming that all those who were inside were killed.
A number of al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed and their arms and ammunition were destroyed during an operation by the Syrian army men in the Eastern parts of al-Nueimeh town in the Eastern countryside of Dara'a province.