JNN 14 Dec 2016 Damascus: The Syrian forces backed by Russian airstrikes are almost in the last phase of liberating the northern city of Aleppo. Damascus and its allies launched a major offensive to recapture the militant-held of the city nearly three weeks ago. Residents of Aleppo have taken to the streets to celebrate the imminent official announcement of the city’s full liberation from militants. Continue reading
JNN 04 July 2014 London : A plan to train and equip a 100,000-strong Terrorist Force to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was drawn up by Britain, then scrapped as it was deemed too risky, BBC Newsnight reported on Thursday.
The alleged proposal, put forward two years ago, was the idea of General David Richards, then chief of Britain’s defense, according to the BBC.
The secret “extract, equip, train” militants at bases across Turkey and Jordan proposal was considered by Prime Minister David Cameron and the National Security Council, as well as U.S. officials, the BBC said, citing Whitehall sources.
As part of Richards’ proposal, the “substantial army” of moderate Syrian rebels would have been trained at bases in Turkey and Jordan.
Sources have also revealed that US military instructors trained Takfiri terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) at a secret base in Jordan in 2012. At least one of the ISIL training camps is in the vicinity of Turkish air base, Incirlik, which houses American personnel and equipment.
The United Nations says some 10.8 million people in Syria need assistance, of which 4.7 million are in hard-to-reach areas, while another three million have fled during the three-year uprising against Assad.
Some believe the opportunity to carry out such an initiative has been missed.
Professor Michael Clarke, of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, told the BBC: “We have missed the opportunity to train an anti-Assad force that would have real influence in Syria when he is removed, as he will be.
“I think there was an opportunity two or three years ago to have become involved in a reasonably positive way, but it was dangerous and swimming against the broader tide of history… and the costs and the uncertainties were very high.”
Some 400 British nationals are thought to be fighting in Syria, in what could constitute a crime under UK terrorism legislation.
And as a Backlash of such Plans and training now the Fears are growing that European militants trained and hardened in Syria may carry out terrorist attacks once they return home.
The West and its regional allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are giving financial and military support to the militants.
JNN Bashar Assad has won a landslide victory in the Syrian presidential poll with 88.7 percent of the vote. This will secure him a third seven-year term in office amidst a bloody civil war, which stemmed from protests against his rule. Continue reading
JNN 20 Jan 2014 Damascus : In recent weeks Russia has stepped up supplies of military gear to Syria, including armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs, boosting President Bashar al-Assad just as rebel infighting has weakened the insurgency against him, sources with knowledge of the deliveries say. Continue reading
JNN 03 Sept 2013 Hague : There is Strong sense of the Majority of the World against the US War Hysteria of a Possible Attack or Strike on Syria , on the Pretext of the Chemical Weapons attack on the Civilians , as till now this could not be even Proved that the forces loyal to Bashar Al Asad have Used the Chemical Weapons , as at a time when they were in the Win Win Situation , and why should they use the Chemical Weapons , to create a chaos and to put the World against them , while as the Independent source has even provided Proofs that the Saudi Government has provided the Chemical Weapons used by the terrorist on the Civilians to set a Pretext for a Strike against Syria By US.
Any possibility of British involvement in a military campaign in Syria has been effectively ruled out after British lawmakers voted down the prospect in parliament, costing the U.S. the nation’s closest ally in a potential strike.
By a 285 to 272 margin British MPs rejected the government’s motion to support in principle military action against Syria. A second vote was due to be held on committing to action following the report by United Nations weapons inspectors, who are currently investigating claims that President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on civilians.
British MPs also voted down an opposition Labor amendment calling for more information about the deployment of chemical weapons in Syria.
The Labor amendment was defeated Thursday by 332 votes to 220. “A number of Tories in the no lobby with Labor,” wrote Labor MP Jon Trickett.
The vote could be a blow to Cameron’s authority after he has advocated UK military action in the event U.S. forces deploy missiles in the Middle East.
Cameron, while advocating limited attacks against the Assad government, admitted he was not “100 percent certain” that Assad was behind a recent chemical attack, but that it was “highly likely”.
After the defeat in the parliament, Cameron admitted it was clear that Britons did not want action and said he “will act accordingly.” One MP shouted “resign” as Cameron pledged he would not order an attack.
Phillip Hammond, the UK Defense Secretary, said the U.S. “will be disappointed that Britain will not be involved”, however he did not think it would halt the process, “I don’t expect that the lack of British participation will stop any action,” he told the BBC.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel commented on the UK’s decision, explaining that a concerted international effort is the way forward in this matter.
“It is the goal of President (Barack) Obama and our government … whatever decision is taken, that it be an international collaboration and effort,” he said on a trip to the Philippines.
The vote came just before U.S. President Barack Obama met with congressional lawmakers and other key leaders to brief them on possible military action in Syria. White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday that the U.S. was prepared to “go it alone” in Syria to protect American “core national security interests.”
“The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests of America,” he said. “The decisions he makes about our foreign policy is with our national security interests front and center.”
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded Wednesday for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian conflict, even as US appeared to be moving toward punitive military strikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Ban said Wednesday a United Nation team investigating the alleged chemical attack must be given time to establish the facts. The investigators left their hotel Wednesday, and two anti-regime activists said the team was expected to visit an eastern suburb of the capital, Damascus, affected by the Aug. 21 strike that the group Doctors Without Borders says killed 355 people.
Syria has denied it was behind the alleged attack and challenged Washington to present proof to back up its accusations
Ban said the team already has already “gathered valuable samples and interviewed victims and witnesses.”
He also urged the United Nations Security Council, whose permanent members are bitterly divided over Syria, not to go “missing in action” as the Syria crisis deepens.
Without explicitly referring to moves apparently preparing for military action by Washington and its allies, Ban urged a peaceful resolution to Syria’s civil war.
“Here in the Peace Palace, let us say: Give peace a chance. Give diplomacy a chance. Stop fighting and start talking,” Ban said.
NATO’s secretary-general says he does not foresee a major role for the bloc regarding the crisis in Syria except deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey.
“I don’t foresee any further NATO role,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference on Monday. However, he said the bloc still conducts “closed consultations between allies.”
Rasmussen added that he had seen concrete evidence that made him convinced a chemical attack was carried out in Syria.
He stated that he could not discuss evidence presented to him thus far. “I do not comment on intelligence reports,” he affirmed.
EH also said he thought the Syrian government was responsible for the attack; an allegation that has been vehemently rejected by the Syrian government.
Yet he believed any subsequent strikes against the country were fully up to the discretion of the constituent states, adding that it could take time to build internal support.
UN chemical weapons inspectors left Syria on Saturday, and it will likely be three weeks before they provide the public with their analyses.
However, the US is pressing ahead with its claims of concrete evidence.
The US, backed by Israeli intelligence elements, claimed they had evidence that showed the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical attack near Damascus.
Russia dismissed US documents as not convincing and called on the US to stop its military plans and follow with the political solutions and negotiations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that a ‘regime of secrecy’ by the West is unacceptable with regards to evidence on an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. “If there truly is top secret information available, the veil should be lifted. This is a question of war and peace. To continue this game of secrecy is simply inappropriate,” Lavrov said in an address to students of the Moscow State University of International Relations.
Support in the ‘democratic counties’ being referred to by Rasmussen is sparse.
A BBC poll published on Monday found that 71 percent of people thought the British Parliament was right to reject military intervention in Syria, while 72 percent said they did not think the move would negatively impact UK-US relations. A further two thirds said they would not care if it did hurt the bilateral relations.
French opinion is also heavily weighted against the move, despite French President François Hollande stating in the wake of the UK Commons vote against military action that he supported a “firm” response.
Fifty-nine percent of French voters oppose involvement in an airstrike by their nation, according to IFOP poll results published on Saturday.
China said there should be no rush to force UN Security Council action against Syria until a probe by UN experts into suspected chemical weapons use is complete.
In remarks reported by the official Xinhua news agency on Friday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a telephone call that China fully supported an independent and objective inspection free from outside pressure, Reuters reported.
“Before the investigation finds out what really happened, all parties should avoid prejudging the results, and certainly ought not to forcefully push for the Security Council to take action,” Wang told Ban, Xinhua reported.
Military force would not help resolve the Syrian issue and only worsen turmoil in the Middle East, Wang said.
“A political resolution is still the only way out,” he said.
Wang said in separate conversations with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby that whoever used chemical weapons had to accept responsibility.
Calm and restraint were also needed, Wang said.
“Taking unilateral action will make it hard to resolve the issue, and its legality will attract doubts,” he said.
“All sides should be urging peace and pushing for talks.”
U.S. officials acknowledged on Thursday they lacked conclusive evidence that the Syrian government ordered the August 21 poison gas attack, and some allies have warned that military action without UN Security Council authorization risks making the situation worse.
French President Francois Hollande said the British vote would not affect France’s will to act to punish the Syrian government for the apparent chemical weapons attack.
On Thursday, a meeting of the UN Security Council’s permanent members ended without reaching an agreement to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Representatives from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China met on Thursday afternoon at the UN headquarters in New York for the second time in two days, but the meeting broke up after less than an hour, with the ambassadors steadily walking out.
The diplomats made no comments about the Security Council’s session. British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant looked gloomy as he walked past reporters.
The previous meeting on Wednesday also abruptly ended with the Security Council deeply divided over a British-proposed draft resolution to authorize military action against Syria.
The Western members of the council have been pushing for a resolution on the use of force while Russia and China are strongly opposed to any attack on Syria.
The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said on Wednesday that the West is seeking to turn Syria into a second Iraq and that the issue of chemical weapons use is only a pretext for war.
On Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said there is “no doubt” that the Syrian government used chemical weapons and that it must be held accountable, appearing to prepare the ground for the military offensive against the Arab country.
U.S. allies, notably Britain, France and Turkey, have also accused Syria of using chemical weapons.
During a news conference on Tuesday in Damascus, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem challenged the United States and its allies to present evidence that the government had used chemical weapons.
“We are hearing war drums around us. If they want to launch an attack against Syria, I think using the excuse of chemical weapons is not true at all. I challenge them to show what proof they have,” Muallem said.
He also stated that any military action against Syria would serve the interests of Israel and al-Qaeda-linked militants fighting against the Syrian government.
“The war effort led by the United States and their allies will serve the interests of Israel and secondly al-Nusra Front,” the Syrian foreign minister noted.
Russia urged the West not to jump to conclusions on the chemical weapons attack, and await the findings of a UN inspection team, which will leave the Arab country by Saturday morning.
All countries should wait for the results of the probe and “show prudence and avoid tragic mistakes” by jumping to conclusions about the incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on August 25.
“Our American and European partners must understand what catastrophic consequences this kind of politics would have for the region, for the Arab and Islamic world as a whole,” Lukashevich said, advising the West to avoid military action against Syria.