Saturday, August 10, 2013

Drumbeats of War:Mideast Cold War Getting Hot




Drumbeats of War:Mideast Cold War Getting Hot

Barak-8 ... Where has Israel been testing these?

Barak-8 … Where has Israel been testing these?

An important news item came and went this week, quickly buried by what is jokingly referred to as our non-Jewish controlled mass media.

Despite both civilian and military deep budget cutbacks, the Israelis are going ahead with putting their latest “Barak 8″ surface-to-air missiles on all of their Sa’ar 5-class warships after delaying doing so for years.

When asked why, the Israeli military said it was to defend them from the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Why would Israel be concerned with having their small navy wiped out by a major power like Russia? They would never do this pre-emptively. Can anyone remember when the last time Russia attacked anyone? How about Israel or the US? Such attacks seem to only be the foreign policy tool of the West and their Jewish Lobby puppeteers.

But there is another reason. What if Israel is planning pre-emptive strikes itself against Syria and the Russian air defense systems there? The Syrians, in this case meaning the Russians, have already said they would respond “in kind” to any Israeli attacks. The Russians have already delivered 250 S300′s and another 250 are in the pipeline. That is a lot folks, and a huge amount of money spent by somebody. For some framing, South Korea only has 100 Patriot missiles, and they live next door to the North Korean crazies.

Veterans Today originally exposed the media hoax story about the Russian missiles all being blown up in the Latakia attack on July 5th. This included one of the F-16 planes shot down was later reported to have been a training accident off the Gazan coast.


The New York Times just confirmed the story July 31rst, citing US intelligence sources. Long time American blogger Richard Silverstein has also confirmed via his excellent Israeli sources. Neither cited Veterans Today’s July 10th story as the first disclosure. That might have something to do with our having a complete corporate media blackout on us here.

Besides claiming that an FSA spy tipped the Syrians off about the planned attack, which allowed time for the missiles to be moved, the Syrians engaged in some gamesmanship themselves. Said the New York Times:

“After the Israeli attack, the Assad government sought to hide the fact that the missiles had been missed by setting fire to launchers and vehicles at the site to create the impression of a devastating blow, according to American intelligence reports.”

The Syrian/Russian retaliation “in kind” statement obviously would include strikes against Israel’s ability to defend itself, so that further aggression on its part would be much more risky. It is called having a credible deterrent, which kept us all alive during the Cold War.

The Soviet task force in the Mediterranean would feel more comfortable if it could respond to an Israeli attack on its defensive forces by eliminating the Israeli Navy threat completely.

This, of course, would have to include ALL of Israeli’s Dolphin subs with their nuclear surface-to-surface and anti-ship missile capability, and all of Israeli navy capable of attacking the Russian ships in the Med.

That would leave the Russian forces free to concentrate completely on defending against the Israeli Air Force on the next attack without having to consider both submarine and ship fired anti-ship missile fire.

Israeli Dolphin submarine - Small, quiet, built for off shore patrolling with ten missile tubes

Israeli Dolphin submarine – Small, quiet, built for off shore patrolling with ten missile tubes

That would set the stage for the next showdown … how good really are the Israeli air defenses against a major world power. Israel’s nukes are worthless in this situation. Why? Because of a little thing called “mutually assured destruction.” Israel is a small country and all of its military bases can be completely destroyed in two hours.

Its economy would be totally destroyed. And America would do nothing if this occurred due to a crazy offensive Israeli strike. Replacement planes and munitions could only come from US stocks which would leave us more vulnerable. Would the American people be happy with that increased risk, AND having to pay for it?

I mention that because suspicious me, I have a funny feeling that similar to the situation in WWI the US has made secret agreements with Israel to replace any and all military hardware and ammunition in an “emergency.”

Would this replenishment be triggered by an Israeli aggressive strike … when such an agreement would have, I suspect, been formulated where Israel had itself been pre-emptively attacked?

Does the US think that if the Israelis attacked the Russians, they would not respond? Of course not. The Russians would have the right under international law to launch retaliatory attacks against the bases where the strikes had originated to defend itself against further aggressive strikes.

Veterans Today has also reported that Israel lost one of it Dolphin subs after Damascus had been attacked by an Israeli nuclear bunker buster, what we call a tactical nuclear weapon.

The tactical nuke use was confirmed on the ground by scientific analysis and additionally by US satellites which can easily detect any nuclear weapon use by analyzing what is in the explosion plume. And yes, Russia has satellites that can do this, also.

Israel also lost an F16 in the Latakia attack. They used the later reported “training accident” off the coast of Gaza as the usual cover-up. But still the Russians did not launch a major counter strike. There was no need to.

The Russians have loads of these S-300's...and Syria does now, also.

The Russians have loads of these S-300′s…and Syria does now, also.

The Russians will hold their fire until Israel launches a major strike on Syria where it would be clear to the world that is was a major aggression.

That would create a situation where the US commitment to defend Israel against attack would be in a weak position if it tried to cast a clearly retaliatory attack as an aggressive one by the Russians.

Elsewhere the US is going ahead with the joint Bright Star military exercises with Egypt. This is nothing more that another wasteful expense of taxpayer money.

The Egyptian military power is primarily used to defend its running 25% of the economy. In the post-Mubarak Palace Guard days the army is evolving into a defense force for its own financial holdings.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood overthrow where the army patiently gave the MB lots of rope to hang itself, the army has greatly increased its political and financial fortunes. They have almost everybody, but the MB supporters behind them now, including some of the Salafists.

While the Saudis have been supporting the radical Salafists in Syria against Assad and now most of the Syrian people, they have rolled out the red carpet of cash, gold and free oil to the interim Egyptian government.

The UAE has also jumped in with their support. This has cut the Muslim Brotherhood off at the knees as the economy is now rescued, at least temporarily.

The Saudis are doomed politically - as are the Israelis


The Saudis report they are experiencing declining oil sales. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made a big splash about diversification as 92% of the Saudi budget comes from oil revenues.

I sense a strategic capital investment move to Egypt to capture an economic partner addicted already to subsidized fuel prices which the Saudis can assure a gradual easing of without collapsing the economy.

The Royal Family needs to plan a second country to live in just in case the people at home get tired of being feudal subjects in the 21st Century.

Will the Egyptian people throw this new lifeboat out the window to get Morsi and the Brotherhood back and hard economic times with them? I don’t think so.

EGYPT - With its people more polarized than ever and the military once again struggling to impose calm, Egypt’s downward spiral appears to have no bottom. At least 51 people were killed Monday when army and police forces opened fire on a sit-in during morning prayers. The protesters outside Republican Guard headquarters said they were peacefully calling for the release of the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, whom the military deposed last week. The army said it responded to a “terror group” firing weapons and hurling Molotov cocktails. Stunned but not deterred by the violence, the Islamists quickly called for a national uprising. “We are very patient. We Egyptians built the pyramids,” said Essam Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing. “Do you know how many people died building the pyramids? How many died digging the Suez Canal?” The two sides’ differing views of the violence were a chilling suggestion of what Egypt may yet endure. The military crackdown has been fierce and swift. But the army so far has been unable to patch together a coalition government to replace Morsi and the Brotherhood. Without it, critics say, the army resorted to excessive force — as it did two years ago when it stepped in after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. The army’s actions early Monday may also have nudged two Islamic adversaries — the Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party — closer together. Nour, which won 25% of the vote in last year’s parliamentary elections, plays a pivotal role. It sided against the Brotherhood last week and joined a coalition of secular and religious parties in favor of ousting Morsi. But it balked at the naming of prominent secularist Mohamed ElBaradei as prime minister Saturday. Facing increasing pressure from the Islamist camp after the killings, Nour withdrew from the negotiations on forming an interim government. The move is likely to consolidate Islamist forces and damage efforts to stabilize the country. 
The military is dealing “with human beings, not animals, so how can you target people like that?” said Nour spokesman Nader Bakar. “This is something that cannot be justified…. Where is the military’s self-control and restraint?” The army was unbowed. It was determined to convince Egyptians that its takeover and removal of Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, was necessary to stem political chaos and economic turmoil. It said it was forced to act because of a deepening threat from radicals. “The armed forces always deal with issues very wisely, but there is certainly also a limit to patience,” said Ahmed Ali, the military spokesman. The army increasingly has used the term “terrorism” to describe not only attacks by militants, but also in reference to clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators. The term to many Egyptians is becoming a code word for Islamists. “The reports say that the army assaulted them while they were praying, but of course this isn’t true,” said Ibrahim Allaga, a 23-year-old who runs a T-shirt business. He was one of the anti-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday. “This has never happened in Egyptian history, that the army would attack people while they pray. This is a rumor started by terrorist groups to get the support of the Egyptian people.” In Washington, the Obama administration ruled out, at least for now, cutting off $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt despite a federal law that requires halting assistance to countries that have overthrown elected governments with military coups. –

The US is off the hook for any major new financial aid as is Europe. All it has to do is keep the Camp David Agreement aid going and a few F-16s delivered, to be used against who I cannot imagine … Libya, the Israelis? Egypt has no air defense, so these few planes would just be target practice for the Israeli Air Force.

The plan seems to be to settle Egypt down and keep Israel’s west flank dependably quiet. Some of the Interim government parties are rattling sabers at Israel, but those sabers do not belong to them or the government, but to the military.

General Sissi did not take his prominent role in the interim government just to get his picture taken. He will make sure that no one wants to threaten the army’s interests.

Meanwhile, the Syrian news is off the front pages of mainstream news. The Geneva 2 conference is being stalled while the West tries to figure some way to stabilize the FSA so the Syrian National Council has some theoretical negotiating position.

The Kurds are now being used to kill the al-Nusra gangsters, or is it the other way around. One can get dizzy trying to follow all of this. This gives the Syrian army more time to eliminate the FSA in the south. Everybody is catching on quickly to the cost effectiveness of using proxy forces to fight for your interests, even if the proxies don’t know it. Despite the almost daily reports of mass executions by rebel forces about all that is heard from international bodies is that they may begin and investigations.

These types of videos are almost never shown on Western mass media. You have to hunt them down. You don’t need to know Arabic to get the drift. If you have a delicate stomach I would pass on both of these videos.

Update: I just found this…another short clip of these men just before they are killed. At the end you seen them raise their faces for the camera so maybe their families will be able to see them one last time. Some even wave goodbye.

Moments Before Execution Of 51 Soldiers In Khan al-Assal

This was often used as a tactic in the Cold War where the grand chessmen remained in the rear supplying money and weapons while the pawns bled and died, partially from not being better students of history.

This next one is the other side of the coin. They Syrian army has had a long time to train under live fire. They have specialty units now doing ambushes along known infiltration routes and you are about to see what can happen to reinforcements coming in at night where their number is up.

The problem though is there seems to be an endless supply of these people so it could go on and on.

While Israel’s western front seems well under control, the Syrian debacle led to the US pressuring the EU to a semi-blacklisting of Hezbollah as a bone to throw to the Israelis. They created a new “blacklisting light” … where if you attack Western-supported terrorists, you only get “partially blacklisted.” You just can’t make this stuff up folks.

The European Union’s West Bank sanctions card has been played, and more of those will be followed by other countries. The EU has better uses for its money, as does everyone else.

There will be growing public pressure to pry the Jewish Lobby fingers from the throats of their respective governments paying never-ending cash tribute to the war-mongering Zionists, indirectly funding their aggression.

The Syrian mess will go down in history as a huge debacle and reflection on the how low Western leadership has gone. The Gaddafi dirty deal with Tony Blair on Lockerbie prisoner release went public … in the British press mind you, so some shifting sands are in play there.

Foreign Minister Hague says today that Britain is ready to engage in improving relations with Iran step by step. But the US Congress, owned by the Israeli Lobby here, is initiating more Iran sanctions. Israel is desperate to show it still can pull strings somewhere, and that American politicians are willing traitors.

The ex-head of MI-6 is threatening to spill the beans on Tony Blair and the Iraq war false Intel scandal. The scandal of the missing South African nukes that his party sold off for campaign cash, and the killing of Dr. Kelly to keep him from going public about it are still awaiting their day in court.

The Cold War chickens have come home to roost. While the powerful elite can still initiate these diversions, it is getting harder and harder for them to keep the public from connecting the dots.

All that is lacking is a proper legal forum to prosecute our Neo-Crimes Against Humanity hustlers. They are nothing more than that, cheap hustlers, despite the huge body count and trillions wasted.

We have leadership walking among us that deserved to have shared Saddam Hussein’s and Gaddafi’s fates. Over a million are dead because of them, and millions more destitute. They should burn here, so we can all watch … and not in hell, where we cannot.


Postscript: This is a sad video of a Syrian soldier engaging the FSA and putting his gun down to talk to them about why do we have to keep fighting. He lived through this…but was killed in a later firefight.


While much of the world's attention focuses on a possible war with North Korea, the war currently being fought in Syria grinds on. March of 2013 was a month of grim milestones in Syria. It marked two years since the start of hostilities; the number of war refugees passed one million; and it was was the bloodiest month to date, with more than 6,000 people killed. Neither the pro-Assad forces, nor the group of rebels opposing them have gained much ground recently, and little or no progress has been made by international agencies to halt the bloodshed. The following photographs come from across Syria, taken over the past six weeks, showing just some of the devastation in Aleppo, Deir al-Zor, Homs, Deraa, Idlib, and Damascus.

“Doomsday Weapons To Syria”: Putin Russian Advanced Weapons for Syria:

Unrevealed Secrets of Vladimir Putin’s Recent Visit to London

Thermobaric barrage seen for the first time

[Editors Note: We had reported earlier that when the Israelis used an American made mini-nuke bunker buster in the Damascus attack that they had crossed Russia 'quiet red line' of using a tactical nuke against an non attacking opponent.

This not only forced them to move Syrian air space defenses to block additional Israeli attacks, but also get fully deployed when the calls from the Israeli Lobby shills like John 'McQaeda' McCain and Lindsy Graham for a no fly zone which none of our military thinks is a smart idea, the wrong fight, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

With the Russian navy back in the Mediterranean and the Israelis threatening to attack their air defense weapons in transit, this gave the Russians no choice but to deploy all of their top line weapons systems to protect their defensive deployment. Unsaid has been that any pre-emptive attack on the Russians would be dealt with in a full response so that the attacking party could then explain to it's citizen once again why Syria was worth the devastation.

NATO is a hollow shell that could not fight its way out of a paper bag.  America is expected to do most everything and of course pay for it. And if someone on our side makes an aggressive move I expect to see a quick response. We would do the same. But no one is threatening us.

We and our proxies are the threatening parties here, taking us to war inch by inch thinking they will be able to pull some incident out of the hat to make it all look like we were attacked and then responded. No one will believe that...because it will not be true. And if the Saudis and Gulf States think they are going to move armor into Syria and not pay a price for it I suspect they will be getting an education the hard way...Jim W. Dean]

… by  Gordon Duff, VT Senior Editor

The following report comes to us from intelligence sources that have been able to confirm some of the “legend” behind the story.  If this is true, and we have confirmed that the S 300 missile defense system has been, for some weeks now, in the hands of the Syrian military despite denials by the “pop culture press,” Putin has made an interesting and very necessary move.

Now, reports indicate that the S 400 system is either inside Syria now or in the process of delivery.  There are no confirmations.  The S 400 system has a range of over 400 miles and is considered more than a decade ahead of the most advanced US counterpart.

YouTube - Veterans Today -

Sources inside the CIA, or at least one or two of the warring factions that now call themselves the “CIA,” confirm that President Obama has not set forth criteria for the distribution of weapons and ammunition he had promised last week. 

Reports indicate that Saudi Arabia is moving vehicle mounted anti-tank systems into Syria, thus pushing Putin to trump Saudi’s move with a far more devastating system, the “Buratino,” capable of obliterating entire grid squares with thermobaric warheads.

The improved version, the “1A” uses a combination of air and surface blast thermobaric warheads to defeat any armoured enemy on open ground.  This system, delivered to the Russian Army only 2 years ago, is capable of stopping any main battle tank including the M1A and the Israeli Merkava.

YouTube - Veterans Today -

With the Iskandar system in place, capable of clearing Golan Heights mine fields and underground bunkers, not to speak of defeating air defenses, these enhanced systems, if delivered as claimed, combined with recent Iranian improvements in vertical attack anti-ship missiles changes the balance of power in the Middle East.


YouTube - Veterans Today -

As you will read below, Putin is said to have demanded assurances that these weapons will not be used against Israel, the two mentioned here and others we are told are already deployed inside Syria with Russian technicians based on there not being a repetition of Israel’s nuclear attack of May 4, 2013, an attack made in response to the sinking of an Israeli Dolphin submarine near Syrian coastal waters.

From Dam-Press

Confirmed by Global Research.CA

During his recent visit to London and meeting with British Prime Minister Cameron, President Putin passed on a message to the US and France in response to their recent announcement that they will arm the [Al Nusrah] fighters in Syria.

As Russia is a sovereign nation dealing with the sovereign, legitimate government of Syria, some new arms which have never left Russia before [previously deployed in Syria] will be delivered to the Syrian military.

The Patriot Missiles will be hit and repealed with S 300 SAM [already installed in Syria]. Putin also threatened to deliver the more advanced S400 anti-aircraft missiles (see image below) far superior to the Patriot missiles and ranked as the World’s most advanced air defense system.

S 400 Space Defense System To Be Deployed in Syria

He added that Russia will also supply Syria with state-of –the-art 24-Barrel rocket launchers which have a range of 6 km ranked as the most developed artillery weapon of its kind.(see video below)

TOS 1A “Buratino” Missile System Headed for Syria – 6km range, thermobaric warhead equipped

He added that Russia will supply 400 of these launchers which will be able to destroy all targets around Syria’s borders.

A British intelligence report stated that Putin went to London bringing his own Russian cooked food and did not consume anything from Britain including water as he even brought his own water with him reportedly because he had concerns of being poisoned.

The British intelligence site stated that Putin threatened to send other secret Russian made weapons to Syria which would tip the balance of power even further in favour of Syria and re-iterated that these weapons will not be used against Israel on condition that Israel will not participate in the war within Syria and neighbouring countries. {Lebanon, Jordan]

Reportedly, the British PM’s response was very weak in relation to Putin’s threats.

Putin’s response came just over 24 hours after Obama’s statement on Saturday that he was going to arm the Syrian resistance.

Putin clearly stated that the Middle East is going to witness a significant change.  Syria will be armed with weapons that have never been seen before [in the Middle East] including computer guided smart missiles that never miss their target.

He also added that Russia will supply Syria with Skean 5 ground -to-sea missiles that are capable of hitting and sinking any target up to 250 km off the Syrian coast.

A member of the Free Syrian Army sits on a sofa in the middle of a debris-strewn street in Deir al-Zor, Syria, on April 2, 2013.

Western supported Syrian rebels taking care of PoWs

Western publics sit like deer in the headlights, unable to move despite the illegal night hunter about to shoot them through the head.

But it also could be said we are shooting ourselves in the head.

I use that dramatic analogy because that seems to be exactly what is happening to us. A new generation of terror is being created right before our very eyes using our own tax dollars to do so, and the effort led by those sworn to protect us…people we elected.

Let’s review the current Syrian mess and how some very evil people, maybe an evil empire really, saw a way to exploit the situation to launch a new generation of terror not only in the Mid East but the Caucus region and Europe and North Africa.

The devastation that this will bring upon those areas is so certain I can only conclude that it is actually the purpose of the whole effort. The motivation seems a bit hazy as there is no real understandable beneficial motive for the people of these countries…like a real security threat. A war for commercial interests is the only feasible reason.

Syria in particular has not been a threat to any of the new terrorist sponsor club members that just met in Doha. It has no strategic offensive power whatsoever. Why did it so quickly become the replacement for the bogus Iran threat? Was it because the world became more educated about the attempted hoax over Iran’s nuclear programs, peddled upon us by international institutions that are forever stained for the deception?

al-Nusra kidnaps locals to ransom them for side money. Whether the families pay or not, they murder the hostages…for advertising purposes. These in Aleppo.

Let’s take a look at the new terrorist cheer leading club…Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Israel was there in spirit. What the UAE is doing in there I have no idea.

Egypt was the big surprise when Morsi finally showed his cards by giving the green light to Egyptians to go fight with the Free Syrian Army which has been completely rejected by a large majority of the Syria people.

They are exposed as greedy opportunists leading nearly a 100 different groups of thugs and religious mercenaries, over whom they have no real control.

But radical Salifists who did not want to travel to Syria to murder Shias just killed some outside of Cairo. Several hundred cowards murdered the top Shia cleric in Egypt, Sheikh Shehata and some of his staff at his home, and then set it on fire at the village of Abu Mussalam.

After having his body dragged through the streets the local hospital reported that he had been slaughtered (his throat cut). The Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil had to carry the ball on denouncing the killings because president Morsi, who was clearly the cause of the incitement, was hiding out.

Jordan has been pitiful, recently claiming that they wanted no American invasion of Syria from their country, something they know will never happened. What they left out was Jordanian cargo planes have been flying arms to the Syrian rebels, coordinated by the CIA.

Dear Jordanian Intel, plane tail numbers are recorded everywhere they go and put into databases for pattern analysis…A,B,C stuff. You should find something else to lie about.

Lebanese army is being attack by Salafists now to kindle a sectarian civil was there.
Who is supporting them? Saudi Arabia? Qatar?

Qatar has been a big funder of Egypt during its difficult post revolution financial transition.

This has been made worse as Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood have focused on maintaining their political monopoly and letting the country’s future drift in the wind.

I suspect that Qatar twisted his arm by asking him to promote more Egyptian terrorist recruits heading off to rape, rob and terrorize in Syria.

The Western terrorist puppeteers still have their eye on Lebanon. Salafist Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir attempted to trigger a new Lebanon civil war which began first in Sidon in 1975.

His gunman attacked an army checkpoint, killing some soldiers, and more were killed taking over the mosque which al-Assir used as his base. The army is in complete control now with 60 of al-Assir’s followers arrested.

But the army went further, not waiting for opposition to snipe at them at their chosen time. It asked all religious leaders to state whether they stand with the army in maintaining security, or if they prefer drenching the country in blood again. It was a smart move.

Lebanese soldiers were killed and wounded defending their country from being another Geo-political shooting gallery for Western interests along with Israel, and then the Saudis who are heavily invested in Lebanon. They are looking for strategic pipeline routes through both Syria or Lebanon, and cutting Iran off from the same.

Despite Iran’s disappointment in Turkey’s support of the Syrian Rebel disaster, Iran’s religious leaders have not called for ‘volunteers’ to go fight in Syria, or open a second front in Turkey.

Iran is standing by its pledge to seek resolution via a political settlement and has made no threats, only promises of retaliation if attacked which every country has the right to do under international law.

The bodies continue to pile up – but there is a never ending supply so no one cares

The world public is going to have to get proactive on this growing state sponsored terrorism threat. The UN has shown itself totally useless with these privately country financed terror brigades now roaming around the planet with nation state approval and protection.

Qatar, always in the thick of the intrigue, has been flying arms out of Libya to the Syrian rebels for some time, from stockpiles captured during Gaddafi’s war. And Libyan Salafists have been fighting in Syria almost from the beginning.

The Tunisians have no trouble seeing this threat as they estimate 800 of their young people are fighting in Syria, having entered via Turkey. They fully expect when Syria is over to see these well trained native born extremists returning to turn Tunisia into a battlefield, and consequently are pushing for them to be all be arrested.

Why is it that newly democratic Tunisia has figured out what Western jurisprudence has not, or does not want to…that all of these religious mercenaries should have arrest warrants put out on them? They are a danger to everybody while they are running around loose.

But I would take it a major step further. Those who are funding, transporting and and arming them should also have arrest warrants put out on themselves under the existing anti-terrorism laws that exist. These aiders and abettors are now the mega-terrorists of our time because they are industrializing terror by proxy.


Damaged buildings in Jouret al-Shayah, Homs, Syria, on February 2, 2013. (Reuters/Yazen Homsy) #


People walking down a street are pictured through a hole in a building in Deir al-Zor, on April 4, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


A Syrian opposition fighter rubs dust from his face in the Jabilleh neighborhood of the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, during clashes with regime forces as they try to retake the area on February 16, 2013. (Zac Baillie/AFP/Getty Images) #


A resident inspects the damages at an ancient Souk caused by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, on March 9, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


A woman wearing a scarf depicting the Syrian opposition flag walks in the damaged areas in Deir al-Zor, on March 3, 2013.(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


A group of Syrian Free Army activists inspect a damaged mosque at the Sheikh Yassine district area in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, on February 16, 2013.(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


People walk on a street lined with buildings damaged by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Deir Al-Zor, on March 12, 2013. (Reuters/Muhammad Younis/Shaam News Network) #


A burning tank is in Daraa, on March 9, 2013. (Reuters/Ali Abu-Salah/Shaam News Network) #


People inspect damaged areas in Deir al-Zor, on March 3, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


A Syrian street vendor who sells cigarette boxes, sits in front of destroyed shops which were damaged by the shelling of the Syrian forces, at Maarat al-Nuaman town, in Idlib province, on February 26, 2013. Syrian rebels battled government troops near a landmark 12th century mosque in the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, while fierce clashes raged around a police academy west of the city, activists said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) #


Vehicles burn near a crater on a road after an explosion in central Damascus, on February 21, 2013. Syrian state media blamed what it said was a suicide bombing on "terrorists" battling President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters/SANA) #


In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, injured Syrians sit on the ground while flames and smoke rise from burned cars after a huge explosion that shook Damascus, on February 21, 2013. (AP Photo/SANA) #


A view of a damaged building in Houla, near Homs, on March 14, 2013. (Reuters/Maysara Al-Masri/Shaam News Network) #


A boy holds a bicycle near debris and damaged buildings in Homs, on March 25, 2013. (Reuters/Yazan Homsy) #


Destroyed buildings and streets filled with debris in Homs, on February 19, 2013. (Reuters/Khaled Tellawi/Shaam News Network) #


Damaged cars are piled up, used as cover from snipers in the Khaldiyeh area of Homs, on February 19, 2013. (Reuters/ Yazan Homsy) #


A boy takes a picture of his friend who gestures from the top of a damaged building in Deir al-Zor, on April 4, 2013.(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #


A mirror stands inside an old damaged house in Homs, on March 16, 2013. (Reuters/Yazen Homsy) #


Destroyed buildings along streets filled with debris in Homs, on February 19, 2013. (Reuters/Khaled Tellawi/Shaam News Network) #


A view of damaged buildings on Abu al-Hol street, Homs, on February 2, 2013. (Reuters/Yazen Homsy) #


(1 of 3) Nihal, 9, in the entrance of an underground Roman tomb used as shelter from Syrian government forces shelling and airstrikes, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province,on February 28, 2013. Across northern Syria, rebels, soldiers, and civilians are making use of the country's wealth of ancient and medieval antiquities to protect themselves from Syria's two-year-old war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) #


(2 of 3) Sami (center) speaks with his children in an underground Roman tomb which he uses with his family as shelter from Syrian government forces, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province, on February 28, 2013. The ancient sites are built of thick stone that has already withstood centuries, and are often located in strategic locations overlooking towns and roads. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) #


(3 of 3) Sobhi al-Hamod, 60, lives with his family in an underground cave used for shelter from Syrian government forces in Idlib province, on February 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) #


A painting of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad riddled with bullet holes, on the facade of the police academy in Aleppo, after it was captured by Free Syrian Army fighters, on March 4, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #


Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire at a factory after what activists say was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at al-Haidariah area in Aleppo, on February 8, 2013. (Reuters/Malek AlShemali) #


An excavator is used to search for casualties under the rubble at a site hit by what activists said was a Scud missile in Aleppo's Ard al-Hamra neighborhood, on February 23, 2013. Rockets struck eastern districts of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, killing at least 29 people and trapping a family of 10 in the ruins of their home, activists in the city said. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #


A damaged car in rubble in Al-Ansari neighborhood after what activists said was a missile attack by Syrian Air Forces in Aleppo, on February 3, 2013. (Reuters/Aaref Hretani) #


Inside a damaged mosque in Aleppo, on March 10, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #


A Syrian woman sits on the ruins of her house, which was destroyed in an airstrike by government warplanes a few days earlier, killing 11 members of her family, in the neighborhood of Ansari, Aleppo, on February 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Abdullah al-Yassin) #


The wreckage of a helicopter, belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, near Menagh military airport in Aleppo, on March 2, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #


Burned and damaged buildings in the Sheikh Maksoud area of Aleppo, on April 3, 2013. (Reuters/George Ourfalian) #


Damaged buildings, after air force shelling in the Karam Al-Tarrab neighborhood near Aleppo International Airport, on February 15, 2013.(Reuters/Malek Al Shemali) #


A Syrian rebel takes position behind a makeshift barricade during clashes with regime forces in the Salaheddine district of Aleppo, on March 16, 2013. (JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images) #


In this Tuesday March 19, 2013, citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, black smoke rises from buildings due to government forces shelling, in Aleppo.(AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC) #


Damaged buildings in the Jdeideh district of Aleppo, on February 20, 2013. (Reuters/George Ourfalian) #


A Syrian man fumigates a street covered with uncollected garbage in the northern city of Aleppo, on March 24, 2013.(Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images) #


A child stands on the remnants of a destroyed military vehicle in front of a damaged building in Al Inzarat district of Aleppo, on February 17, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib)




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