Tag Archives: Damascus

Iran Sent ‘Tens Of Millions’ To Renew Support For Hamas

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The Iranian regime is reviving support for the Sunni terror group ruling Gaza in wake of nuclear agreements with the White House.

Tehran has transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas’s military arm over the last few months, according to The Wall Street Journal. The money will assist militants in repairing tunnels destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces last summer.

Hamas’s military wing, dubbed the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, is also replenishing its “depleted stocks of medium-range missiles,” reports Con Coughlin, a WSJ contributor.

Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, allegedly ordered the money transfer. The Iranian operative, reportedly sighted in conflict zones in Syria and Baghdad, designated annual funds to support Hamas’s military activities, according to the WSJ.

Relations between Iran and Hamas split over the Syrian crisis three years ago — ending ten years of Tehran support — with Iran siding with long-time ally, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and Hamas siding with Sunni opposition leaders.

Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas’s political wing, left Damascus over the differences. Meshaal moved to Qatar, resulting in the Sunni Gulf state becoming Hamas’s primary financial backer, promising billions for repairs following Israel’s latest military operation against the group.

According to the WSJ, Meshaal “has not always enjoyed a good working relationship with commanders of the military wing in Gaza, who often complain that he doesn’t have a full grasp of their needs.”

Now, Iran appears to be exploiting the rift by reviving its support of Hamas, vying to replace Qatar as the group’s main donor. Although Iran typically supports Shiite allies, such as Iraqi Shiite militias fighting the Islamic State, it shares a common strategy with Sunni Hamas – to destroy Israel.

Hamas’s strategic location gives Iran influence over a second border with Israel, in addition to militants from its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon.

As Iran accelerates its funding for the Gaza-based terror group, leaders are negotiating a deal with the U.S. and European powers over its nuclear capabilities. The premise of negotiations is for Iran to limit its nuclear power in exchange for the eventual lifting of economic sanctions.

If sanctions are lifted, it will free up funding for Iranian proxies like Hezbollah.

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مسرب وثائق “ويكيليكس” يخرج عن صمته ويتهم أمريكا بالكذب بشأن العراق

Last US Military Convoy Departs Iraqأتلانتا، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية :

كسر الجندي الأمريكي برادلي مانينغ، الذي يقضي  عقوبة بالسجن لتسريب وثائق إلى موقع “ويكيليكس”، صمته بهجوم ناري على الولايات المتحدة، متهما إياها بالكذب بشأن العراق

تواري مانينغ، عن الأنظار بعد الحكم عليه بالسجن 35 عاما، لتسريبه 750 ألف صفحة من الوثائق السرية إلى “ويكيليكس”، وأعرب لاحقا عن رغبته في قضاء بقية حياته كامرأة وأطلق على نفسه اسم “تشيلسي

WikiLeaks Contributer Chelsea Manning

WikiLeaks Contributer Chelsea Manning

واتهمت “تشيلسي” في مقالة بصحيفة “نيويورك تايمز“، نشرت السبت، تحت عنوان “ماكينة ضباب الحرب“، متهما وسائل الإعلام الأمريكية بإشاحة وجهها بعيدا عندما سادت الفوضى والفساد في العراق وأفغانستان، مضيفا: “فيما انفجرت الحرب الأهلية في العراق، ومجددا، تفكر أمريكا في التدخل، هذه الأعمال غير المنجزة يجب أن تفرض سؤالا ملحا إزاء  كيفية سيطرة الجيش الأمريكي على التغطية الإعلامية خلال تورط الطويل هناك وفي أفغانستان”

وتابعت المقالة: “أعتقد أن القيود الحالية على حرية الإعلام وتكتم الحكومة الشديد، يجعلان من المستحيل على الأمريكيين استيعاب كامل ما يحدث في الحرب التي نمولها”

وأضافت “تشيلسي” في مقالتها: “قد تذكرون الإعلام الأمريكي الذي غص بقصص تعلن نجاح الانتخابات العراقية، وصور نساء وهن يستعرضن بفخر أصابعهن الملطخة بحبر الانتخابات.. كان معناها الضمني نجاح عمليات الجيش الأمريكي في خلق عراق مستقر وديمقراطي.. أما نحن المتمركزون هناك كنا ندرك تماما أن الحقيقة أكثر تعقيدا”

وأشارت إلى تلقيها تقارير بانتظام بتفاصيل عمليات قمع أمنية ضد معارضين نفذت نيابة عن رئيس الوزراء، نوري المالكي، مضيفة: “صعقت من تواطؤ جيشنا في الفساد بتلك الانتخابات.. ورغم ذلك فأن تلك التفاصيل المقلقة للغاية مرت تحت رادار الإعلام الأمريكي”

والجمعة، استبعد الرئيس الأمريكي، باراك أوباما، إرسال قوات إلى العراق، في معرض تأكيده بأنه يدرس خيارات أخرى مطروحة ستدعم بها إدارته الحكومة العراقية للتصدي لـ”داعش”، رهن تقديمها بحل قاد العراق خلافتهم السياسية، وهو مطلب أعاد وزير خارجيته، جون كيري، تكريره

ويرى معارضو أوباما أن عدم رغبة الرئيس تقديم مساعدات عسكرية مهمة لقوات المعارضة السورية خلال تصديها للقوات الموالية للنظام، سهل لـ”الدولة الإسلامية في العراق وبلاد الشام” مهاجمة العراق

وكانت محكمة قد قضت بعقوبة السجن 35  عاما على “تشيلسي” بعد إدانته بتهريب وثائق سرية، وبرأته من أخطر التهم ضده وهي مساعدة العدو

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Breaking news | Assad wins Syria election with 88.7%

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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.

I declare the victory of Dr Bashar Hafez Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic with an absolute majority of the votes cast in the election,” parliament speaker Mohammad Laham said in a televised address from his office in the Syrian parliament.

A total of 10.2 million people voted for Assad. The voter turnout stood at 73.42 percent. No violations have been reported, Syria’s Higher Judicial Committee for Elections said as quoted by SANA news agency.

Syrian officials said the result was a vindication of Assad’s three-year campaign against those fighting to get rid of him.

This was the first multi-candidate presidential election in Syria for almost 50 years. The other two candidates for the top post were Hassan Abdullah Nouri, from the National Initiative for Administration and Change in Syria, and Maher Abd Al-Hafiz Hajjar, formerly from the People’s Will Party.

Despite the high turnout figures, residents of some areas in the country’s north and east were obstructed from voting by rebel forces.

The conflict in Syria has already killed 160,000 people and created nearly 3 million refugees, as well as displacing more people inside Syria.

But while opposition groups inside Syria and most countries in the West have denounced the election as a sham, many Syrians are supporting President Assad and see him as the only option to return stability to the country.

This is our duty, we can’t allow people from outside the country to decide for us. Our duty is to vote – or order to protect our country,” Usam Hammami, a resident in the capital Damascus, told RT’s Maria Finoshina.

Russia and Iran both supported the election and Assad himself has said that it is part of his efforts to meet the opposition’s demands.

People took to streets in the different Syrian and Lebanese cities, celebrating President Assad win.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) and his wife Asma al-Assad (R) casting their votes at a polling station in Maliki, a residential area in the centre of the capital Damascus, in the country's presidential elections on June 3, 2014

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) and his wife Asma al-Assad (R) casting their votes at a polling station in Maliki, a residential area in the centre of the capital Damascus, in the country’s presidential elections on June 3, 2014

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Syria Will Hold Presidential Elections on June 3

Members of the Syrian parliament attend a session to set a date for voting for the presidential election,in Damascus April 21, 2014,

Members of the Syrian parliament attend a session to set a date for voting for the presidential election,in Damascus April 21, 2014,

People’s Assembly of Syria has called on candidates to register for the country’s upcoming presidential elections.

According to the speaker of the assembly, Mohammad Jihad Lahham, the presidential vote for Syrians inside the country will be held on June 3, the official SANA news agency reported on Monday.

Voting for Syrians living outside the Arab country will take place on May 28, he added, noting that candidates seeking to run for president could register their candidacy from April 22 to May 1.

Damascus has insisted that it will hold the elections despite the foreign-backed militancy that has plagued the country for more than three years.

Based on Syrian law, the vote must take place between 60 and 90 days before President Bashar al-Assad’s seven-year term comes to an end on July 17.

Earlier this month, the assembly approved a law which says any candidate running for president must have lived in Syria for the past 10 years and cannot have any other citizenship.

President Assad is expected to run for a third term in office.

Syria has been experiencing unrelenting militancy since March 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are said to be supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Reports say that more than 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced because of the ongoing violence.

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President Bashar al-Assad Visits Maaloula on Easter Day

President Bashar Assad, center right, looking at the damaged interior of a monastery in the ancient Christian town of Maaloula  April 20, 2014

President Bashar Assad, center right, looking at the damaged interior of a monastery in the ancient Christian town of Maaloula April 20, 2014

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the liberated town of Maaloula in Damascus countryside on Easter Day, wishing peace, security and amity to all of the country, state-run SANA news agency repoted.

During his visit to Maloula town, Assad inspected the Monastery of Saints Sergius and Bacchus and checked the damage and destruction caused to the monastery by the terrorist groups.

Syria's President Bashar Assad looking at icons as he visits a monastery in the ancient Christian town of Maaloula which his troops recently recaptured from rebels. April 20, 2014

Syria‘s President Bashar Assad looking at icons as he visits a monastery in the ancient Christian town of Maaloula which his troops recently recaptured from rebels. April 20, 2014

“No one, whatever their terrorism reached, can erase our human and cultural history,” Assad said as he was inspecting Mar Thecla Monastery.

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“Maloula will remain, along with other Syrian human and cultural landmarks, steadfast in face of the obscurantism and barbarianism of all those who are targeting the homeland,” he added.

Maaloula was liberated on Monday after targeting Al-Manar TV crew, leaving three killed and two other wounded.

Four Syrian army soldiers were also killed in the attack.

3 Assad visits Maaloula 5

al-Assad Visits Maaloula 
Christians celebrate EasterIn Damascus

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Militants in Syria prepare chemical attack in Damascus – UN envoy

Armed gangs in Syria are conspiring to stage a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs in order to later lay the blame on the Bashar Assad’s government, Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari has warned the Security Council.

“Competent Syrian authorities intercepted a wireless communication between two terrorists in the Jawbar area of the Damascus governorate,” Jaafari said in a letter addressed to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council. The letter was published on Tuesday on the UN website.

In that communication, the diplomat said, one “of the terrorists said that another terrorist named Abu Nadir was covertly distributing gas masks.”

The Syrian security services, Jaafari said, also intercepted another communication between militants one of whom was called Abu Jihad. During that conversation, the latter indicated that toxic gas would be used and “asked those who are working with him to supply protective masks.”

Back in March, Jaafari informed the Security Council that a person named Haytham Salahuddin Qassab “transported chemical substances from Turkey on behalf of the terrorist organization known as Ahrar al-Sham.” He allegedly purchased the chemical agents from Turkey’s Dharwa Import and Export Company.

The substances reportedly included among others white phosphorous and isopropyl hydroxylamine. It was alleged, Jaafari said, that militants planned to use them to produce white smoke in certain areas and later claim that Syrian planes had bombed them.

However, the primary reason for requesting those substances was to use them as chemical weapons,” the Syrian diplomat warned.

The information in the previous letter along with new details obtained from the intercepted communications confirm “that armed terrorist groups are preparing to use toxic gas in the Jawbar quarter and other areas, in order to accuse the Syrian Government of having committed such an act of terrorism,” Jaafari said.

Syria’s UN Ambassador confirmed his concerns to RT Arabic. He said that militants had earlier followed a similar scenario in the chemical attacks in Allepo and in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, when they blamed Assad’s forces for the deadly incidents. Jaafari said that the UN is currently considering the issue. The Secretary General as well as the Coordinator of the UN-OPCW joint mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons program, Sigrid Kaag, are also being kept up to speed with developments.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal through a deal brokered largely by Russia, after the US threatened to use military force against the country. That followed a deadly chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August, 2013. The Syrian government and the opposition have pointed the finger of blame at each other over the incident that killed hundreds, and both have denied their involvement.

So far, 49 percent of the raw materials for Syria’s poison gas and nerve agent program scheduled for destruction have been shipped overseas, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said last week.

The rest is expected to leave the country by the end of April, the global chemical weapons watchdog added in a report to the UN, reported AP. The total amount of chemicals either removed or already destroyed inside Syria is 53.6 percent.

According to the OPCW, Damascus pledged to remove all chemicals by April 13, except for those in areas “that are presently inaccessible,” which face an April-27 deadline. But so far the deadlines have not been met, with the Syrian government blaming the unstable situation inside the country.

Under the deal, some chemicals are to be destroyed at facilities in the US and Europe, while a large part of the toxic material is to be eliminated on board a ship at sea. Syria has declared around 700 tons of the most-dangerous chemicals, 500 tons of less-dangerous precursor chemicals and 122 tons of isopropanol – an active ingredient in sarin gas production. The deadline for the mission’s completion is June 30.

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US shuts down Syrian embassy, tells diplomats to leave !!!!!?

Embassy of Syria, Washington

Washington has closed the Syrian embassy and two of its consulates, and has told all Syrian diplomats that they must leave the country, after Damascus decided to call back its mission last week.

“Following the announcement that the Syrian Embassy has suspended its provision of consular services, and in consideration of the atrocities the Assad regime has committed against the Syrian people, we have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States,” said a note from the State Department’s special envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein.

As well as its mission in the US capital, Syria also operated two consulates in Troy (Michigan) and Houston.

Syria’s own decision, reported in Middle Eastern media last week, was allegedly provoked by the US, which made it increasingly difficult to obtain accreditation for new diplomats since the internal conflict broke out in 2011.

Reports also claimed that Damascus would follow the same course of action in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, two other countries that have staunchly supported the rebels alongside the US.

Neither Damascus nor Washington have implied that the withdrawal of representatives constitutes a severing of diplomatic ties.

“Despite the differences between our governments, the United States continues to maintain diplomatic relations with the state of Syria as an expression of our longstanding ties with the Syrian people, an interest that will endure long after Bashar Assad leaves power,” said Rubinstein.

The US vacated its own embassy in Damascus more than two years ago.

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Sarin used in two Syria chemical attacks point to military stockpiles – UN

In this image made available by the Syrian News Agency (SANA) on March 19, 2013, a man is brought to a hospital in the Khan al-Assal region in the northern Aleppo province, as Syria‘s government accused rebel forces of using chemical weapons for the first time

Two incidents where chemical weapons were used in Syria last year appear to have come from Syrian army stockpiles, United Nations investigators said on Wednesday in a new report that goes beyond previous conclusions.

The team of experts led by Paulo Pinheiro concluded that sarin – a deadly nerve agent – was used in total in three incidents: in the Damascus suburb of Al-Ghouta on August 21, in Khan al-Assal near Aleppo on March 19, and in Saraqeb near the northern town of Idlib in April 2013, Reuters reported.

The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military, as well as the expertise and equipment necessary to manipulate safely large amount of chemical agents,” the UN investigators said in the report.

They also concluded that the attack in Khan al-Assal in March used the same chemical agents and bore exactly the same hallmarks as the Al-Ghouta attack in August.

But Pinheiro’s report did not give any reliable casualty figures from the attacks and was only able to determine “that at least several hundred people were affected.”

Ake Sellstrom, who was in charge of the inspection team that was on the ground in Syria, concluded in an earlier report in December that while chemical weapons had most likely been used in five out of seven alleged attacks, the team did not assign any blame.

Both the Syrian government and the opposition have blamed each other for the attacks, which they have also both denied.

The Al-Ghouta attack was the world’s deadliest in 25 years and provoked threats of retaliatory military attacks by the US. Under a diplomatic initiative suggested and largely brokered by the Russians, Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to help the international community to destroy his chemical weapons arsenal.

On Tuesday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – the global chemical weapons watchdog – said that Syria has so far managed to ship out about one-third of its stockpile, including mustard gas, for destruction abroad or on vessels in international waters.

The Pinheiro team has been investigating up to 20 incidents where chemical weapons have allegedly been used. He said they were building on Sellstrom’s findings while also trying to dig deeper.

Pinheiro told a news conference on Thursday that his team had interviewed a wide group of people, including doctors, victims, defectors, and journalists.

We made other investigations [to Sellstrom] in terms of interviews of experts, interviews with functionaries involved. We conducted our own investigation including specialized expertise and of course we have been in close contact with the members of this Sellstrom mission,” he said.

Selltsrom’s December report visited only seven sites and cited poor security conditions as the primary reason.

Sarin used in two Syria chemical attacks point to military stockpiles – UN — RT News.

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المرصد: اعترافات “خطيرة” حول تمويل الخليج للمقاتلين بسوريا – CNNArabic.com

دمشق، سوريا (CNN)–

بث المرصد السوري، لحقوق الإنسان، تسجيلا مصورا، قالت أنها حصلت على نسخة منه، يظهر قائد لواء “الله أكبر” المقاتل في سوريا، والذي يعترف فيه بأمور وصفتها بـ”الخطيرة” حول الأزمة السورية وموضوع التمويل الخليجي

(شاهد الفيديو)

المرصد: اعترافات “خطيرة” حول تمويل الخليج للمقاتلين بسوريا – CNNArabic.com.

لافروف: الحديث عن إقامة قاعدة عسكرية روسية في مصر مبالغ فيه – RT Arabic

أعلن وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف أن الحديث عن إقامة قاعدة عسكرية روسية في مصر مبالغ فيه، مؤكدا أن روسيا لا تسعى إلى الحد من النفوذ الأمريكي في مصر. وقال لافروف في حديث لصحيفة “روسيسكايا غازيتا” نشر في عددها الصادر يوم الأربعاء 20 نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني، إن روسيا تربطها بمصر علاقات قديمة لم تنقطع بعد الثورة، مذكرا بأنه زار مصر بعد انتخاب محمد مرسي رئيسا للبلاد. وأضاف أن روسيا مستعدة لتمويل مختلف المشاريع في مصر وبينها مشاريع الطاقة الذرية. وقال الوزير الروسي إن بعض المراقبين يعتبرون تعزيز التعاون في المجال العسكري بين البلدين مفاجأة ويرون في ذلك تصادما مع مصالح الولايات المتحدة، إلا أن هذا الاستنتاج غير صحيح. وأشار لافروف إلى أن المصريين يدركون جيدا أن واشنطن لن تفقد نفوذها في المنطقة، إلا أن الحكومة المصرية الجديدة تريد أن تتوقف الولايات المتحدة من اعتبار علاقات مصر مع روسيا أو غيرها من الدول تهديدا لمصالحها. وأوضح الوزير الروسي أن الحديث عن إقامة قاعدة عسكرية روسية في مصر مبالغ فيه، مشيرا إلى أن البعض يرون أن روسيا تملك قاعدة عسكرية في طرطوس السورية، لكن مانملكه هو رصيف تقف عنده السفن الحربية الروسية القائمة بخدمتها في البحر المتوسط للتزود بالوقود. وأضاف لافروف أن روسيا تسعى إلى تعزيز وجودها في البحر المتوسط، مشيرا إلى أن الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا وغيرهما من الدول تملك قوات بحرية كبيرة في البحر المتوسط

المصدر: RT + “روسيسكايا غازيتا”

http://arabic.rt.com/news/634429/ :روسيا اليوم

Rossiyskaya Gazeta’