Posted by Joshua on Monday, August 15th, 2011
Syrian Navy Ships Join Attack on Coastal City
By ANTHONY SHADID, 2011-08-14
(New York Times) — BEIRUT — In yet another escalation of its crackdown on dissent, the Syrian government unleashed navy vessels, tanks and a mix of soldiers, security forces and paramilitary fighters against the port city of Latakia on Sunday, killing at least 25 people, including three children, activists and residents said….
The BBC World Service had a telephone interview with an Anglican clergyman in Latakia, Rev. Nadim Nasser who said that he was in a neighborhood far from the one under assault, and although they could hear gunfire he didn’t hear shelling and explosions. He also expressed the belief that armed groups had infiltrated the protests. Is that regime propaganda?….
Syria denies pounding district in coastal Latakia with gunboats
DAMASCUS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) denied Sunday media reports that Syrian gunboats pounded the impoverished al-Ramel neighborhood in Latakia with heavy machine guns.
Law-enforcement members are hunting down armed men, who responded with machine guns, grenades and explosive devices in al- Ramel neighborhood, SANA said….
The BBC World Service had a telephone interview with an Anglican clergyman in Latakia, Rev. Nadim Nasser who said that he was in a neighborhood far from the one under assault, and although they could hear gunfire he didn’t hear shelling and explosions. He also expressed the belief that armed groups had infiltrated the protests.
Syria uses gunboats for 1st time to crush uprising“>Syria uses Gunboats to Hammer Mediterranean Coastal City
ZEINA KARAM | AP
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria used gunboats for the first time Sunday to crush the uprising against Bashar Assad’s regime, hammering parts of the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia after thousands marched there over the weekend to demand the president’s ouster. At least 25 people were killed, according to activists.
The coordinated attacks by gunboats and ground troops were the latest wave of a brutal offensive against anti-government protests launched at the beginning of the month. The assault showed Assad has no intention of scaling back the campaign even though it has brought international outrage and new U.S. and European sanctions.
“We are being targeted from the ground and the sea,” said a frightened resident of the al-Ramel district of Latakia, the hardest hit neighborhood. “The shooting is intense. We cannot go out. They are raiding and breaking into people’s homes,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
As the gunships blasted waterfront districts, ground troops backed by tanks and security forces stormed several neighborhoods including al-Ramel, sending terrified women and children fleeing, some on foot, to safer areas.
The al-Ramel resident said at least three gunboats were taking part in the offensive, and that many people have been killed and wounded. The shooting targeted several mosques in the area.
“La Syrie, terrain du bras de fer irano-saoudien”
Moyen-Orient | 13 août 2011 | Mise à jour le 14 août 2011
En Syrie, le mouvement de contestation du régime entre dans son sixième mois. S’il menace le pouvoir de Bachar Al-Assad, ses conséquences pourraient aussi rebattre les cartes diplomatiques à l’échelle du Moyen-Orient, comme l’explique Joseph Bahout, chercheur associé à l’IEP de Paris et spécialiste de la région…..
Saturday, August 13, 2011 3:37 PM
Qifa Nabki – or Elias Muhanna – has translated this most interesting “last” conversation between Mu’allim and Hariri into English:
Syria’s Youth Revolutionaries – Youtube (good) وثائقي شباب الثورة السورية – مترجم
The French government believed in August 2008, just weeks after the assassination of Syrian General Muhammad Suleiman, that the perpetrator behind the assassination was not Israel, as many previously assumed, but rather a rival within the Syrian …
Canada said Saturday it had expanded sanctions on Syria, including blacklisting a commercial bank and a mobile phone provider, to protest the government’s brutal crackdown on protests.
The new sanctions include travel bans on four officials, including Mohammed Mufleh, head of military security in the flashpoint city of Hama, and Mohammed Makhlouf, an uncle of President Bashar al-Assad.
Canada will also freeze the assets of the state-run Commercial Bank of Syria, the country’s largest commercial bank, and Syriatel, its largest mobile phone company.
The United States imposed sanctions on the two firms earlier in the week, and has joined European allies in sanctioning top officials close to Assad.
“Canada reiterates its strong condemnation of the ongoing violent military assault by the Assad regime against the Syrian people,” Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement.
Palestinian youth stage sit-in against Syria crackdown in Ramallah
15 August 2011 | AFP
Ramallah. About 400 Palestinian youths staged a sit-in late Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah to protest Syria’s brutal crackdown on Syrian anti-regime protesters.
Policy Hawks Gunning for Syrian Confrontation
Nicholas Noe | August 11, 2011
In the ideological struggle over how best to approach the five-months old crisis in Syria, a motley crew of Middle East policy hawks are on the verge of claiming a rare, but nevertheless long sought-after “mission accomplished”: a bloody confrontation with the bloody dictator, Bashar al-Assad.
Israel stockpiling crowd-control weapons
Hugh Naylor (Foreign Correspondent)
Aug 15, 2011
JERUSALEM // Israel is stockpiling crowd-control weapons and preparing security forces for Palestinian protests planned to coincide with a push for statehood at the United Nations.
Israel’s police and military have reportedly gone on a spending spree in the past month importing everything from extra tear-gas launchers to Belgian-born stallions in anticipation of the Palestinian bid to win recognition at the United Nations.
The preparations come after a string of deadly responses to pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have left Israel sensitive to international scrutiny of its tactics. Israel is also fearful of inflaming widespread Palestinian anger.
While acknowledging the potential for violent confrontations, Palestinian officials, who have called for peaceful rallies in September, say the Israeli preparations are overblown.
“I haven’t seen any Palestinian individual or group planning at all for violent unrest,” said Ghassan Khatib, a spokesperson for the West Bank’s governing Palestinian Authority.
WSJ Editorials & Contributors: The Arab World Condemns Syria’s ‘Killing Machine’
2011-08-15 00:43:47.557 GMT
BY FOUAD AJAMI In the manner of all momentous rebellions, the Syrian upheaval has been rich in iconography and lyrics and political language. A people long repressed have come out to give voice to what has been on their minds for four decades of …
No Horse to Back in Syria
As al-Assad runs out of allies, no clear opposition has stepped forward
By Aron Lamm
Epoch Times Staff Created: Aug 11, 2011
A picture taken on a guided government tour, shows Syrian soldiers shouting pro-Syrian President slogans, as they return from the city of Hama following a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators. (AFP/Getty Images)
The United Nations Security Council met Wednesday to further discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria, after last week’s statement condemning the al-Assad regime for attacking peaceful demonstrators.
In a statement to the press after the meeting, Syrian U.N. representative Dr. Bashar Ja’afari said that the other representatives are “misleading” the public regarding the “so-called situation in Syria.”