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PEOPLE AND PLACES

Saturday, August 24, 2013

War-torn Syria Split into Three Regions

 

 

War-torn Syria Split into Three Regions

 

According to the Associated Press, two and a half years into Syria's civil war, the once highly-centralized authoritarian state has effectively split into three distinct parts, each boasting its own flags, security agencies and judicial system. The regime of President Bashar Al Assad retains control of a corridor running from north to south along the Mediterranean shore, while large sections of Syria's interior and southwest remain in rebel hands, and Syrian Kurds control the northeast. The dividing lines remain very fluid, as regime and rebel forces have traded advances and attacks for months now. While foreign aid to both rebels and Assad's forces is on the rise, and diplomatic efforts toward peace start and stop, the U.N. now estimates that more than 100,000 Syrians have died in the conflict, with millions more forced to flee to neighboring states.

 

A rebel fighter passes through an access hole broken in the perimeter of a football pitch, close to the front line, where clashes between the rebels and pro-government troops have been taking place on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, on July 4, 2013.(Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

Armageddon watch over Syria

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

“Israel, unable to field credible conventional forces, is attempting to destroy the fighting ability of the Syrian Army through attrition, not simply “shock and awe,” but nuclear, chemical and even biological weapons.”

Experts on arms control policy, confirmed by multiple independent sources, indicate that Syria has been hit, in recent days, by at least four tactical nuclear weapons.

In addition, a Syrian Army brigade suffered massive casualties from a Sarin gas attack.

Not only are these attacks pushing the world to the brink of war but they coincide with a threat against America “from within,” Pentagon, DHS, AIPAC, drug cartels and key leaders of extremist GOP and Tea Party factions.

There is no “Al Qaeda threat,” the whole thing is a deception and cover, which has allowed President Obama to put in place needed defenses against a coup that was only days away.

WMD Use in Syria

The chemical weapons were traced to the Republic of Georgia and delivered to Israeli-led Al Qaeda forces inside Syria by units of the Turkish Army.

Israel, unable to field credible conventional forces, is attempting to destroy the fighting ability of the Syrian Army through attrition, not simply “shock and awe,” but nuclear, chemical and even biological weapons.

Crisis Looming

Last week, IDF Military Intelligence told their American counterparts that Russia had delivered eight nuclear weapons to Syria as a deterrent to further WMD attacks by Israel.

The US contacted Russia though official diplomatic channels. Russia, when asked, denied transferring nuclear weapons to Syria but indicated it had “special weapons” in theatre, with naval and air forces, if their “vital interests” were threatened.

Israel then reached out to Saudi Arabia, asking them to promise Russia a payment in excess of $1 trillion to abandon both their interests in Syria and to work to isolate Iran.

Russia was told they would receive their payment when they introduced a resolution to the Security Council to enact a “no fly zone” over Syria. Israel and Saudi Arabia received assurances that China would not exercise her veto at the Security Council if Russia either introduced or supported the measure.

There has been no leak from Kremlin sources as to the position President Putin will take.

Brinksmanship Diplomacy

The visit to Israel by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is an effort on behalf of the Obama administration to curtail what sane voices in Washington see as an attempt to begin a nuclear conflict that would inexorably engulf the planet.

President Obama canceled his scheduled meeting with President Putin in Moscow, not over issues of political asylum for Edward Snowden as reported in the press.

President Obama is facing a powerful domestic threat, reports of a possible military coup. He will not leave the capitol and has sent those he sees as leaders of that effort to bring down the government, Senators McCain and Graham, to Egypt on a “fishing expedition.”

In Egypt, McCain’s crass remarks and unconsidered comments, directly contradicting not just Secretary of State Kerry but angering the Egyptian government, may well undermine McCain’s influence with extremist elements planning to overthrow the US government.

“Songbird” McCain may well have plotted his last.

On the Ground in Syria

Today, a car bomb killed 18 outside Damascus. Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate trying to topple the governments of Iraq and Syria is credited. However, all intelligence estimates now clearly recognize that Al Nusra is, increasingly, Israeli controlled, particularly after bouts of infighting between factions fighting the government of Syria.

Russia spoke out against this attack, citing foreign-backed militants trying to “burn Syria to the ground” in revenge for the lack of support the Syrian people have given toward “regime change.”

What Russia hasn’t done is speak out against far more serious attacks on Syria, the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Israel, some believed to be launched from above Golan or Lebanon, some from inside Turkey or from submarines off Syria’s coast.

Russia’s lack of a reality-based policy on Syria is as responsible for the current state of affairs as Israeli hubris.

Israeli Collapse

Israel is desperate, under pressure by the US to come up with a peace plan with the Palestinians who, themselves, now “smell blood” and are unwilling to settle for a smile, handshake and knife in the back as they had before.

Israel’s use of nuclear weapons against Syria is far from a demonstration of power, it is a sign of, not just weakness but collapse. Israel is so “forgotten” even the weekly holocaust hand wringing marathons are going unnoticed.

The whole idea behind the victimization hysteria that constitutes the social fabric of Israel is failing.

Israel’s continually changing scenario, always trying to “brand an evildoer,” is no longer having success with Iran. Iran’s newly seated popular government, progressive by Western standards, makes fear mongering by Netanyahu’s Likudist fanatics less than credible.

Background

In early May, Israel lost a Dolphin submarine to a Russian built homing torpedo dropped from a Syrian helicopter. Approximately 48 hours later, Israel hit a Syrian command center with a tactical nuclear weapon.

Video of the attack, when examined by nuclear weapons experts, led to one conclusion. This was a nuclear weapon.

Since then, Israel has lost one F16 with two crewmembers to their S300 air defense system. However, sources indicate that the US, prior to Bush (43) leaving office, had supplied, not only latest variants of Generation III and IV tactical nuclear weapons, yields as low as 10 tons of TNT, some with no residual radiation whatsoever.

This has allowed Israel to attack Syria’s “soft targets” using terrain following missiles that can avoid the S300 radars, which are stretched thin.

Israel has been applying a “full court press,” using every intelligence asset available to defeat the S300 system through tracking the mobile radar and launch systems.

However, based on very limited conventional striking power, Israel has only its newfound mini-nukes, Sarin gas and unconfirmed use of bio-toxins to lash out with.

Official sources concurred and in an interview with Colonel Jim Hanke, former Defense Attaché to Israel, it was revealed that Israel has long prepared for such attacks on Syria, even to the point of carefully mapping target sites in reference to fault lines that lead into Israel.

Were a nuclear weapon or massive penetrator/bunker-buster to be used carelessly, it could spread massive earthquakes across Israel.

Nuclear Confirmations

On August 1, 2013, Israel attacked what they called a “large weapons cache” outside Homs.

In many ways, the attack resembled the Qasyoon mountain attack in early May, an attack that was confirmed to be nuclear, a full mushroom cloud with requisite “ball lightning.”

The Homs explosion was said to be both a fuel depot and arms cache. What was observed, however, was a telltale mushroom cloud, a massive shockwave and an explosion that no munitions expert would ever consider a “secondary blast.”

From an August 5, 2013 article by Jon Snow, posted on the UK Channel 4 blog:

“But the two explosions in Homs and Qasyoon share the same property:

They are both above ground airbursts according to Greg Thielmann, an expert on arms control policy whom I spoke with on Saturday at great length. I was first alerted to the connection by slow twitter chatter right after the bombing in Homs.

Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next:

‘The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean.’

But sure, Greg, wouldn’t this mean a nuclear holocaust? Not so he says. ‘Tactical nuclear weapons lower the threshold on use of a nuclear bomb as their modern incarnation can be tuned in yield in order to target military sites using standoff weapons without escalating by destroy surrounding civilian infrastructure.’”

Snow’s source, highly credible and knowledgeable, indicated that Israel stood ready to deploy its arsenal of five-megaton thermonuclear weapons against Syria’s cities.

Israel believes they are immune to retaliation.

Toward that end, Israel has instructed India to begin border clashes with Pakistan and to put its nuclear forces on high alert.

Only Pakistan could meet an Israeli attack with an overwhelming nuclear response. It is India’s job to tie Pakistan’s hands.

Every base has been covered, the US threatened with coup, the EU financially destroyed, Russia facing an uncertain United States and the chance for a huge financial payday.

People have heard about game theory warfare but few knew the real risks.

 

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A Syrian government forces tank, outside Khaled bin Walid mosque in the Khalidiyah district of Syria's central city of Homs, on July 31, 2013. The Syrian government announced on July 29, the capture of Khaldiyeh, a key rebel district in Homs, Syria's third city and a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Members of the Free Syrian Army fire a home-made rocket towards forces loyal to the Syrian regime in Deir al-Zor, on June 16, 2013.(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

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A man walks along a damaged street filled with debris in Deir al-Zor, on June 17, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

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A female member of the Ahbab Al-Mustafa Battalion stands on a pick-up truck mounted with an anti-aircraft weapon as she undergoes military training in Aleppo's Salaheddine district, on June 24, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman)

by Stuart Littlewoodsyria-gun

British people woke for a second morning to the chilling realisation that the US and UK were not waiting for the results of the UN’s enquiries in Syria before launching military intervention. There’s also a suggestion that the UN inspection team’s remit does not include determining blame for the chemical attack (if that’s what it was).

The BBC has also been telling the nation that there’s no legal requirement for the prime minister to consult Parliament before committing an act of war. This sounds incredible. So too does the idea being circulated that a military strike could happen without UN Security Council approval.

Furthermore, we are now hearing from the government’s media serfs on a regular basis that Syria has not signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention, as if that settles the matter. The CWC declares that “all States Parties have agreed to chemically disarm by destroying any stockpiles of chemical weapons they may hold and any facilities which produced them, as well as any chemical weapons they abandoned on the territory of other States Parties in the past.”

But neither has Egypt and she still receives massive military aid from the US. And guess who still hasn’t ratified (i.e. formally confirmed) the treaty? Israel, showing the same contempt with which that regime treats nuclear non-proliferation.

The US is a signatory but also a major violator of the CWC while Israel won’t open its chemical weapons facilities to international inspection.

Many fingers point to Israel as the likely perpetrator of the chemical weapons atrocity. It is after all the region’s chief troublemaker. Israel illegally invaded Lebanon in 1978. Before their 1982 re-invasion the Israelis prepared the ground for war by callously manipulating their provocations and Lebanon’s responses in order to provide ‘justification’, a tactic they have also used against Hamas in Gaza. When the ‘justification’ came Israel retaliated with disproportionate air and artillery strikes against Palestinian targets in Lebanon, including the refugee camps.

The Sabra and Shatila camps near Beirut were bombed for four hours. An international commission concluded that Israel “committed acts of aggression contrary to international law”, that the government of Israel had no valid reasons for invading Lebanon, and that Israel was responsible for the killings in Sabra and Shatila. The United Nations General Assembly declared the Sabra and Shatila massacre an act of genocide.

UN Resolution 1701 required the Israeli army to withdraw behind the Blue Line and both parties to respect that boundary. It also required Israel to hand over all maps of landmines in Lebanon. However Israel still occupies the Shebaa Farms area. There is discussion as to whether this formally belongs to Syria or Lebanon. It certainly doesn’t belong to the Israelis. Nevertheless Israel repeatedly breaches 1701 by crossing the Blue Line and violating Lebanese airspace.

In Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon, Amnesty International called on both Hezbollah and Israel to end attacks on civilian areas and identified the destruction of entire civilian neighbourhoods and villages by Israeli forces, attacks on bridges with no apparent strategic value, and attacks on infrastructure indispensable to the survival of the civilian population. They said Israeli actions suggested a “policy of punishing both the Lebanese government and the civilian population”. AI also highlighted the IDF’s use of white phosphorus shells (a crime repeated in Gaza in 2008/9), and after the ceasefire some parts of southern Lebanon were uninhabitable for a long time due to unexploded cluster bombs left lying around by Israel.

So Israel is certainly sadistic enough to be the culprit in the Damascus case.

Israel also seized the Golan Heights above the Sea of Galilee from Syria in 1967 and unilaterally annexed the area in 1981, a move that was not recognised internationally. Apart from its military value the Golan is an important rainwater catchment area. Israel desperately wants to hold onto this stolen territory.

For those who don’t know, prime minister Cameron and foreign secretary Hague are both fervent members of Conservative Friends of Israel, Hague since he was 15. Cameron is a self-declared Zionist and both have pledged undying support for Israel no matter what. Hague went so far as to arrange a change to Britain’s universal jurisdiction laws in order to provide a safe haven for Israelis suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Cameron and Hague both voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war, according to theyworkforyou.com. In other words, they both failed to exercise due diligence and establish the truth about Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction before approving the almost total destruction of Iraq and the obscene slaughter that went with it. This recklessness is all the more contemptible when both were members of the opposition charged with holding the government of the day (Blair’s) to account. After such a shocking demonstration of poor judgement, Cameron and Hague and all the others who approved the Iraq war should, in my opinion, never have been allowed to hold public office again.

Yet here they are, salivating at the prospect of more mega-bloodshed. And from the sidelines Blair, who should be in chains at The Hague or preferably swinging by the neck from a lamp-post on Tower Bridge, pops up again to urge an attack on Syria.

What can British citizens do to stop this next warmongering tragedy? Parliament probably will be recalled, so it may be worth writing to tell one’s MP what’s expected of him. I did so yesterday along these lines…….

“Britain is planning to join forces with America and launch military action against Syria within days in response to the gas attack believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against his own people…” These are the chilling headlines this lovely summer’s bank holiday.

“Gas attack BELIEVED to have been carried out…” (by Assad’s forces). No incontrovertible evidence, however, and nothing that justifies an armed response. Only a belief, no more than a hunch, when reason actually points the finger elsewhere.

Will the British people and their Parliament be consulted before fateful action is taken? I hear that Downing Street said summoning the Commons from its summer break had not been ruled out, but stressed Mr Cameron “reserved the ability to take action very swiftly if needed”, according to Sky News.

Why not wait for proof? On whose behalf are Hague and Cameron speaking, anyway? Certainly not for the British public, who have had enough of illegal and interfering wars.

The trigger-happy duo, always straining at the leash, clearly have their own agenda and scant regard for either hard facts or international law let alone the consequences. Anyone with a slightest knowledge of the Middle East and the Tory leadership’s affiliations can easily join the dots. And the picture formed is not a pretty one.

What is the Party doing, please, to rein in its dangerous loons before it’s too late?

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A damaged church in Qusayr, on June 5, 2013. Syrian troops and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies captured the border town after a grueling three-week battle, dealing a severe blow to rebels. (AP Photo/SANA) #

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A vandalized statue displayed at Saint Elie Church in the city of Qusayr, in Syria's central Homs province, on August 1, 2013.(Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A man attempts to harvest wheat from a field on fire, which activists said was caused by shelling carried out by forces loyal to the Syrian regime, in Ma'arat Masrein, north of Idlib, on June 6, 2013. (Reuters/Abdalghne Karoof) #

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A Free Syrian Army fighter, near Kindi hospital, which is under the control of forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, as both sides fight to take control of the hospital in Aleppo, on June 11, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

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Children play with water from a burst water pipe in Aleppo's al-Shaar district, on July 23, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

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A Free Syrian Army fighter walks past swings in a damaged amusement park in Deir al-Zor, on July 21, 2013. (Reuters/Karam Jamal) #

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A defaced picture of Bassel al-Assad, brother of Syria's President Bashar, at the gate of the Minnig military airport, after it was seized by rebels, on August 8, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

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Damaged radar equipment that belonged to the Syrian Army, at the Minnig military airport, after it was seized by rebels, on August 11, 2013.(Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #

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A destroyed Russian-made helicopter that belonged to the Syrian Army at the rebel-captured Minnig military airport, on August 11, 2013.(Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano) #

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Free Syrian Army fighters hold their weapons in Jobar, Damascus, on August 8, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abdullah) #

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Damaged buildings in the Karm al-Jabal neighborhood of Aleppo, an area controlled by the Free Syrian Army fighters, on June 20, 2013.(Reuters/George Ourfalian) #

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Syrian men rush a heavily wounded man to hospital in Saraqeb in northwestern Syria after a barrel bomb dropped by an air force helicopter exploded less than 10 meters away from his car on July 20, 2013. The Syrian air force kept up a fierce campaign against Saraqeb and staged 10 air strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killing several people and injuring many others.(Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A bicycle hangs on a wall of a balcony of a damaged building in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal district, on June 3, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #

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A rebel fighter drills into a bomb at a makeshift weapons workshop in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, on August 5, 2013, where fighters recycle ordinance used by pro-government forces. (Mezar Matar/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A rebel fighter places explosive packets into a suicide belt which will be detonated with the orange fuses (left) at a makeshift weapons workshop in Raqqa, on August 5, 2013, where fighters manufacture mines, bombs and improvised explosive devices to be used against troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. (Mezar Matar/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Sunni Sheikh, who goes by the pseudonym of Abou Obaida, holds up his weapon, and gestures while calling upon worshipers to join a jihad against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during Friday prayers inside Osama Bin Zayed mosque in Aleppo, on August 9, 2013.(Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

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Soldiers of the Syrian government forces patrol a devastated street in the district of al-Khalidiyah, Homs, on July 31, 2013. The Syrian government announced the capture of Khalidiyah, a key rebel district in Homs, Syria's third city and a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Syrian government forces soldier eats in the al-Khalidiyah district of of Homs, on July 31, 2013. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Free Syrian Army fighter fires back towards what he said were forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, on July 22, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

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The bodies of dead and injured rebel fighters lie under a bridge during clashes with pro-government forces in the Suleiman al-Halabi neighborhood in Aleppo, on June 20, 2013. (Abo Al-Nur SADK/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Vehicles abandoned by Syrian opposition fighters in Dabaa, north of Qusayr, in Syria's central Homs province as regime forces sought to mop up pockets of rebel resistance north of Qusayr, on June 7, 2013. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Dead bodies of Syrian rebels lie on the ground, killed during an ambush by Syrian forces near the Damascus suburb of Adra, on August 7, 2013. Syrian government forces killed more than 60 rebels Wednesday in the ambush near Damascus. (AP Photo/SANA) #

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Rebel fighters walk past the bodies of government soldiers in a field in Syria's eastern town of Deir al-Zor, on August 10, 2013.(Abo Shuja/AFP/Getty Images) #

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In this image taken from leaked video obtained by Ugarit News and posted on Monday, July 15, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show a fireball from an explosion at a weapons depot set off by rocket attacks that struck government-held districts in Homs on Thursday, August 1, 2013. The blasts sent a massive ball of fire into the sky, killing scores and causing widespread damage and panic among residents, many of whom are supporters of President Bashar Assad.(AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) #

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A man carries a boy wounded in what the Free Syrian Army said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Duma district area near Damascus, on July 13, 2013. The air raid on July 13 was part of al-Assad's campaign to secure the Duma area from rebels, according to the Free Syrian Army. Picture taken July 13. (Reuters/Bassam Khabieh) #

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People help a man after he was pulled out from under rubble at a site hit by what activists say was a missile attack from the Syrian regime in the besieged area of Homs, on July 25, 2013. (Reuters/Yazan Homsy) #

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Residents try to find their belongings among the rubble left of their homes after what activists said was an air attack from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Bab Neirab, Aleppo, on July 27, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

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Bodies lie at a morgue following fighting between rebel fighters and Syrian government forces on August 10, 2013 in the northern city of Raqqa, the only provincial capital in rebel hands. Syrian regime air strikes killed more than 30 people Saturday in the Latakia province, bastion of the ruling Assad clan, and the northern city of Raqqa, a monitory group said. (Alice Martins/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Siham, wife of Mohammad Darro Jamo, mourns his death as she is comforted by a relative in Sarafand, southern Lebanon, on July 17, 2013. Militants assassinated a well-known supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Lebanon early on Wednesday, security sources said, the latest sign of Syria's civil war spreading to its smaller neighbor. Mohammad Darra Jamo, a commentator who worked for Syrian state media and often appeared on Arab TV channels, was attacked by gunmen hiding in his house in the southern town of Sarafand, the sources said.(Reuters/Ali Hashisho) #

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People walk and shop on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, at the Karaj Al-Hajez crossing, a passageway separating Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr, which is under the rebels' control, and Al-Masharqa neighborhood, an area controlled by the regime, on July 10, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #

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A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his son as he walks along a street in the old city of Aleppo, on June 24, 2013.(Reuters/Muzaffar Salman)

   

1 comment:

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