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tabatha's Journal
tabatha's Journal
March 15, 2012

Free Syrian Army withdraws from Idlib. Desertions including 7 generals. Syrians speak.

Free Syrian Army withdraws from Idlib
According to reports coming out of Idlib, the Free Syrian Army fighters have withdrawn from the besieged Northern Syrian city. They say they want to avoid reprisal attacks. (Interesting comments about weapons)

Syria Loses 20,000 Troops as Desertions Surge, Turkey Says
About 20,000 Syrian soldiers have deserted from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in less than a month, according to Turkish intelligence reports cited by a Foreign Ministry official.

The desertions are in addition to 40,000 military personnel who left before Feb. 20, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with government rules. The Syrian armed forces have a strength of 295,000 active personnel, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 2012
They have been at the forefront of Assad’s bid to stamp out the yearlong uprising, which yesterday resulted in the seizure of the rebel-held city of Idlib. Some of the soldiers are joining the opposition Free Syrian Army, whose commanders reside in Turkish refugee camps.

Defection Live Blog
4 hours 51 min ago - Syria
Turkey's foreign ministry has confirmed that the country is hosting seven defected Syrian generals in addition to more than 14,000 refugees.
Spokesman Selcuk Unal told reporters in Ankara on Thursday that roughly 1,000 Syrians had crossed the border to Turkey in the past 24 hours, including one of the generals.
In Sanliurfa province, near the halfway point of Turkey's 910-kilometre border with Syria, Turkey has already started building a massive camp site that can house up to 20,000 people, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

One year on: Syrians speak about uprising (Interactive map with the comments of Syrians from different places)
Cross-section of Syrians share their thoughts on the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

Child survives family massacr - Arwa Damon
Added On March 14, 2012
In Syria, a rescue operation to retrieve corpses of a massacred family turns up a child who survived. Arwa Damon reports.
March 14, 2012

Amnesty: Syrian Detainees Face Widespread Torture

Amnesty: Syrian Detainees Face Widespread Torture
Amnesty International says Syrians detained during a year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule have been subjected to widespread torture that amounts to crimes against humanity.

The London-based human rights group issued its assessment on the situation in Syria in a report released Wednesday.

Amnesty said “the scale of torture and other ill-treatment in Syria has risen to a level not witnessed for years and is reminiscent of the dark era of the 1970s and 1980s.” An Amnesty official said detainees in Syria's crackdown face “a nightmarish world of systemic torture” that has set the country back decades.

Amnesty's report, based on interviews with Syrians who fled to Jordan, documents 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment meted out by security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs, described by witnesses or victims.

A grim catalogue of torture has emerged from former detainees describing their treatment in Syria’s detention centres since the predominantly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government began in March 2011. This report reveals that all the various security forces are routinely torturing and ill-treating detainees held in the context of the protests and unrest, using methods of cruelty mostly used for decades. The torture carried out appears to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population as part of Syrian government policy to crush dissent.

Syrian Revolution Martyr Database
March 13, 2012

Iran supported Al Qaeda in Iraq - when prior to the invasion there was no Al Qaeda under Saddam

In effect, they did support the creation of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"Al Qaeda and its affiliate, al Qaeda in Iraq, are among the terrorist groups supported by the MOIS, which is Iran's chief intelligence agency."

"A terrorist in Iraq linked to Al-Qaeda has also admitted that Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda with weapons and money, and says that he personally has dispatched terrorists to Iraq via Syria, also implicating that country (which is an ally of Iran)."

Nope, I think the talking out of the ass is not applicable to him.

March 13, 2012


The "six generals" are never actually identified?
Because they are fearful for their families, etc.

Scud missiles used for local bombardment? Not when mortars, howitzers, and tank gunnery as well as Katyusha type rockets will do.
"Syria is known to possess Scud-B, Frog-7 and two hundred SS-21 (120km/480kg) missiles purchased from the Soviet Union."
Lieutenant Omar Al-Homsy from Farouk Battalion explaining the reasons for withdrawing and talking about how the Assad Army used Scud missiles in their attacks against Baba Amr.

And Sunni al-Qaeda is unrelated to Shiite Iran and Allawite Syrian governments. It is Saudi Arabian and Egyptian in origin!
Where was that stated? All that was stated was that Iran supported Al Qaeda in Iraq. It did.
"Al Qaeda and its affiliate, al Qaeda in Iraq, are among the terrorist groups supported by the MOIS, which is Iran's chief intelligence agency."
"A terrorist in Iraq linked to Al-Qaeda has also admitted that Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda with weapons and money, and says that he personally has dispatched terrorists to Iraq via Syria, also implicating that country (which is an ally of Iran)."

Check your claims first before posting.
March 6, 2012

Syrian Army 'Bombed Bridges Used By Refugees Fleeing Into Lebanon'

The Syrian government has bombed bridges as they were being crossed by wounded refugees fleeing from Homs to Lebanon, activists have reported. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the al-Qusayr bridge in Homs was bombed on Tuesday.

"[The bridge] is used by refugees and the wounded fleeing to Lebanon," said Rami Abdel Rahman of SOHR, to the AFP news agency.

The Avaaz activist network quoted an activist known a Ahmed in the town of Alqaseer as saying another bridge near to the Lebanese border had been bombed. He said: "Snipers are shooting at anyone they see. The military is tightening its hold over the city.

"Two days ago they bombed a bridge that connects the Alqaseer areas with other western areas. The army also shelled another bridges in the village of Rabla. "All access is blocked off and more checkpoints are being erected. Any person is arrested and movement is increasingly difficult."


English Speakers to Help The Syrian Revolution
Whichever way this ends.... the tens of thousands of men who started out as criminals and turned from sociopaths to psychopaths... revealed in the horrors perpetrated every day, are a massive problem for the future Syrian Government and society. Psychologically there are now dangerously damaged 'people' .... as is seen to this day in Germany, with communities which still have very high levels of rape that can be traced back through decades... and the massively high murder, rape and crime rates seen in South Africa. That this needed to be ended months ago, back in July and August is an indictment on the International Community for lack of action over months.... the increasing trail of destruction was completely predictable from this barbarous government response that has no basis in humanity and constantly bases itself on lies, with little reference to reality, ..... beware all those countries that think stability is autocratic dictatorship....check the murder rates, particularly of girl babies, in China.... The lessons of Syria that must be learned date a long way back, and early warning signals must be seen and acted on by the international community if we are ever to get to NEVER AGAIN. Sadly, two prime candidates for this collapse of humanity are permanent members of the UNSC.


March 6, 2012

Libya is not a failed state in-waiting

As it happens, knowing that fellow Libyans intervened to stop these men from causing further damage, and recognising just how strongly people in Libya will feel about this incident (the chief mufti has already appeared on television condemning the attacks and declaring them in contravention of Islam) it is not inconceivable that the perpetrators will be caught and brought to justice.


Having spent a fortnight in the country last month, I can say with some certainty that Libya is not collapsing. On the contrary, for a country less than six months on from the end of a war that ended one of the most regressive and eccentric dictatorships in recent memory, Libya is doing very well indeed.


It is important to recognise just how widespread the desire of Libya’s people to see their revolution succeed actually is. Not only that, but this desire is accompanied by a strong sense of collective ownership that is compelling Libyans to take responsibility for the success or otherwise of their country’s transition to democratic rule. This country has just fought a war for its freedom and there is virtually no desire to start another one, amongst militia or anybody else.


March 5, 2012

BP settles while Macondo 'seeps'

New Orleans, LA - As BP settles out of court for the first phase of thousands of lawsuits that could cost the company tens of billions of dollars, Al Jazeera has spotted a large oil sheen near the infamous Macondo 252 well.

In September 2011, Al Jazeera spotted a large swath of silvery oil sheen located roughly 19km northeast of the now-capped well.

But now, on February 29, Al Jazeera conducted another over-flight of the area and found a larger area of sea covered in oil sheen in the same location.

"This is the same crescent shaped area of oil and sheen I've been seeing here since the middle of last August," Bonny Schumaker, president and pilot of On Wings of Care, told Al Jazeera while flying over the oil.

March 4, 2012

It was ordered by Gaddafi. There are documents to prove it.

Libya rebel leader: I have evidence Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie

The former Libya justice minister says he has documents that implicate Colonel Gaddafi personally in the Lockerbie bombing.

n an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the provisional rebel government in Benghazi and Libya’s former justice minister, said he had evidence of Gaddafi's involvement in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.
"The orders were given by Gaddafi himself," he told Rob Crilly.

Mr Abel Jalil claimed he had evidence that convicted bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi worked for Gaddafi.

"This evidence is in our hands and we have documents that prove what I have said and we are ready to hand them over to the international criminal court," he added.


Gaddafi was happy to have someone else be the scapegoat.

March 4, 2012


THE LONDON-based father-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al Assad last night begged him to make democratic changes to his strife-torn country “before it’s too late”.

Harley Street cardiologist Dr Fawaz Akhras, says he is “horrified” by his son-in-law’s savage suppression of the uprising in Syria which has cost the lives of at least 7,000 ordinary civilians. As Syrian troops renewed their ferocious bombardment of the city of Homs he revealed for the first time that he has been quietly pushing for reform since before the revolution began last March.

Dr Akhras, admits he is also fearful for the safety of his British-born daughter Asma, 36, who married Assad 12 years ago. There are rumours that she is being kept under virtual house arrest in Damascus by the president’s henchmen who fear she might attempt to leave the country – a move that would severely damage the regime.

Dr Fawaz refuses to discuss the worsening situation in public, but he has told friends in the British Syrian Society he is now in an “impossible position”, caught between family loyalty and worldwide condemnation of the increasing brutality of his son-in-law’s regime.


March 4, 2012

U.S. officials: Iran is stepping up lethal aid to Syria

Posted on March 3, 2012 by t2994
By: Joby Warrick and Liz Sly

U.S. officials say they see Iran’s hand in the increasingly brutal crackdown on opposition strongholds in Syria, including evidence of Iranian military and intelligence support for government troops accused of mass executions and other atrocities in the past week.

Three U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports from the region described a spike in Iran­ian-supplied arms and other aid for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad at a time when the regime is mounting an unprecedented offensive to crush resistance in the key city of Homs.

“The aid from Iran is increasing, and is increasingly focused on lethal assistance,” said one of the officials, insisting on anonymity to discuss intelligence reports from the region.


Assad Threatens Israel With Missiles if Syria is Attacked

Syrian President Bashar Assad has ordered the heads of his military to hit Israel with a barrage of missiles should there be any foreign intervention in Syria, a Jordanian news website reported on Saturday.

According to the site, Our Country’s News, Assad gave the order in a secret meeting with the heads of the Syrian army last Thursday, in light of his fear of a U.S. military strike in Syria.

The report said that Assad ordered that if any military action is started against Syria, the Syrian army should respond by firing missiles in Israel, with a particular emphasis on Israeli military airports.

The report added that an operations room has been opened in Damascus and that it is continuously manned by officers from Syria and Iran, as well as by Hizbullah terrorists, all of whom coordinate their military operations in the event of external military intervention in Syria.


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