Nir Rosen reports from Syria.
Iraqi leaders fear that the country is sliding rapidly into a new civil war which “will be worse than Syria”. Baghdad residents are stocking up on rice, vegetables and other foodstuffs in case they are prevented from getting to the shops by fighting or curfews. “It is wrong to say we are getting close to a civil war,” said a senior Iraqi politician. “The civil war has already started.”
The situation has suddenly deteriorated since the killing of at least 36 Sunni Arab protesters at a sit-in in Hawijah on 23 April.
Complicating the issue is the fact that several of the rebel-held oil fields are believed to be under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra,which has declared its allegiance to al-Qaeda. “There is no way the E.U. is going to do business with al-Qaeda,” says Ayham Kamel, a Syria analyst for the Eurasia Group in London. “So it creates the incentive for secular groups to take over these fields”—a factor that Western governments might have had in mind, he said, when they lifted the oil embargo. At the moment, the chaotic ground battle, with rival rebel groups defending disparate patches of turf, would make it all but impossible to knit together a viable oil industry. “There are hundreds of groups fighting Assad,” Kamel says. “For them to sell oil on international markets would seem very unlikely.
It was recently reported that the European Union would be lifting its oil embargo on Syria, in an effort to help fund what it calls “rebels” operating there.
President Barack Obama has signaled that he will green light the transfer of lethal weapons to FSA militants in Syria within weeks despite the fact that such groups are being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for killing U.S. troops in Iraq who have vowed to destroy America.
Activist groups in eastern Syria asserted that the military airstrike, which hit the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, was carried out by a warplane that had flown across the border with Iraq. Some accused Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq, whose Shiite-dominated government is engrossed in a worsening conflict with Sunni militants, of ordering the strike. Others said the plane was a Syrian Air Force MiG that had crossed into Iraqi airspace before turning back into Syria for its bombing sortie.
The eastern command of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group, issued a statement blaming the Maliki government: “This attack is a flagrant violation perpetrated by Maliki forces against our people in Deir al-Zour in collaboration with Assad gangs, and we will not forgive them this brutal, barbaric assault.”
The capture of Otaiba would be the latest in a string of recent reported successes for government forces, who have been pushing back against opposition fighters in several regions of Syria.
Cause they don't care about muslims dying, when jihad is on.
One sane neutral man from UN talks some sense...
Nobody gives a shit.
More news from the free-for-all clusterfuck of the Middle East.
Nothing really new, all these talking heads are saying why OPPOSING SIDE should stop, without stopping themselves to negotiate.
The things they say are highly entertaining though.
US Senator Rand Paul said the statements by persons claiming that the US is not involved in smuggling weapons to Syria, are false.
According to Paul, the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, not only supervised the shipment of weapons to the Syrian opposition, but also recruited jihadists for the Syrian opposition.
Paul confirmed that Syrian fighters for the most part are composed of members of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation and have a relationship with al-Qaeda.
Now, when Al-Qaeda in Syria declared it's merge with Al-Qaeda in Iraq and when americans have suddenly realized the threat of them getting chemical weapons, it is time for the NATO to collectively shit their pants and think about providing the rest of rebels with weapons and invade Syria from the south to create a buffer zone.
A new brand of foreign fighter is appearing in Syria, including its capital city. They are fighting the rebels alongside Syrian regime troops in the country’s uprising-turned-civil war, which last month marked its second anniversary. When not on the front lines, the foreign fighters seem to be protecting the Assad regime and its main installations in the heart of Damascus.
This trend comes on the heels of an unprecedented fatwa issued last month by the government-installed Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmad Hassoun, calling on “all Muslims to come and join the fight” alongside the Syrian Army.
The open support of the ISO and the European petty-bourgeois “left” for CIA-led wars is a culmination of their evolution as pro-imperialist bourgeois parties, operating in the periphery of the Democratic Party in the United States or of the social-democratic parties in Europe.
The ISO and the NPA have maintained a studious silence on popular protests against the Islamist, CIA-led opposition forces they have promoted. These protests are, however, one indication that a revolution based on the working class in Syria would take the form of an uprising against the opposition forces supported by Washington and the ISO, as well as against the Assad regime.
Al-Joulani said that he is raising the bar higher by pledging allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
He said the group's goal of achieving an Islamic state in Syria "can only be built with the help of everyone -- without excluding any of the main parties who bled and fought with us and waged jihad in Syria."
Al-Joulani said that includes "all the other rebel factions."
Al-Joulani, acknowledging that al-Nusra Front fought with jihadists in Iraq before turning its attention to the Syrian civil war, said he would delay consideration of a merger with al Qaeda in Iraq in part so his group can consult with various supporting groups.
A former American soldier was charged Thursday with fighting alongside a terrorist group that is battling the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, whose ouster the United States has sought for nearly two years.
The soldier, Eric Harroun, 30, of Phoenix, who served in the United States Army from 2000 to 2003, is accused of entering Syria in January and participating in attacks on Assad forces led by the Al Nusra Front, which American officials say is part of Al Qaeda in Iraq, a designated terrorist group.
The father of U.S. Army veteran Eric Harroun, arrested on Tuesday night by the FBI for fighting alongside an Al-Qaeda group in Syria, says his son was working for the CIA.
"In Libya we took responsibility for the operation based on a United Nations mandate to protect the Libyan population against attacks from its own government...and we had active support from the countries in the region," he said.
"None of these conditions are fulfilled in Syria, there is no United Nations mandate, there is no call on NATO to intervene in Syria, even the opposition in Syria does not ask for a foreign military intervention," he said.
The day started like a regular Sunday for Mohammad al-Daher, better known as Abu Azzam, the commander of the rebel Farouq Brigades. He had a series of meetings in the morning in a number of locations in the bustling town of Tal Abyad on Syria’s border with Turkey as well as in the partially destroyed former police station that is the Farouq’s headquarters.
By late afternoon, however, he would be lying in a hospital bed — wounded by members of the ultraconservative Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra (which the U.S considers a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda). Abu Azzam’s targeting has blown open a sharp rift and long-brewing conflict between the more secular nationwide Farouq brigades and the Jabhat. The two groups are among the most effective, best organized and most well-known of the many military outfits aligned against Syrian President Bashar Assad — and the fight between them is just beginning.
The SNC also urged the US to live up to its claims to support democracy in Syria, saying that it had had enough of "statements that are not accompanied by action."
The SNC's decision effectively "torpedoes" any prospect of internationally-brokered negotiations between the Syrian opposition and Assad's government, the BBC said.
Loyalist troops as well as civilians were reportedly among those killed and wounded.
"We have no reason to believe these allegations represent anything more than the regime's continued attempts to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the Syrian people," said US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
The protesters are also angry over reports that around 100 Coptic Egyptians are being held by an ultraconservative Islamist Libyan militia.
Italian anti-war activist Marinella Correggia protested at a press conference attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and leader of the so-called Syrian opposition Moaz al-Khatib following the Feb. 28 "Friends of Syria" summit in Rome. She caught worldwide attention when she managed to hold up a large sign that read, "U$A, EU, Italy, Qatar, [Saudi Arabia], and Turkey support terrorists."
The UK is to provide armoured vehicles and body armour to opposition forces in Syria "to help save lives", Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.
These are the people we should help? GTFO.............
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a rare interview with a British newspaper, accuses the UK government of bullying and naivety.