Syrian Army Retakes important towns in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. Both Salah and Salameh, leaders of largest Aleppo militia, wounded.

The Syrian Army has gone on the offensive, retaking a key town – al-Sfireh – on the south-east of Aleppo. On Monday, the town of Tal Aran, on the Safira-Aleppo road, also fell. The army then secured the area around the city’s airport and retook a strategically important base nearby, named Base 80, a large military position which rebels had held since February. Analysts claim that the base will help regime troops move on opposition-held areas of Aleppo.

The response of rebel militas was immediate. A statement by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) urged “all brigades and Muslims to face off against the enemy.” Liwa al-Tawhid urged people in Aleppo to “face up to regime attacks” and called for a mass mobilisation in Aleppo to halt a government advance. They claimed that government forces backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and members of Abu al-Fadl Abbas, an Iraqi Shia militia, had launched a “fierce offensive to reoccupy” Aleppo.

Within a few days, The Syrian Army killed a number of the leaders of Aleppo’s largest militia – Liwaa al-Tawhid. Its top leaders, Abd al-Qader al-Saleh & Abd Aziz Salehmeh were both injured, but are in good condition. The unit commander Youssef al-Abbas was killed. The regime bombed a meeting of Liwaa al-Tawhid leaders, suggesting it has improved its intelligence operations. Liwaa la-Tawhid has about 25-30 unit commanders joined at the top by Saleh/Salame, the majority stationed in the Aleppo region

عبد القادر الصالح، وتمنياتنا له بأن يمنّ الله عليه بالشفاء العاجل. Abdel Qader al-Saleh in hospital. This photo seems to be an old one, taken when he was wounded over a year ago, but the Revolution 2011 Facebook page republished it after the recent injury of Saleh. Many well-wishers have left comments expressing their hope that Saleh has a quick recovery.


Abd al-Aziz Salameh in his hospital bed

According to ISIS sources, the loss al-Sfireh was due to fighting between ISIS and al-Nusra, the two main branches of al-Qaida in Syria. This news comes from an article published in Sana al-Sham News, an ISIS aligned weekly newspaper that was recently launched in the northern Aleppo countryside.

Here is the quote:

” قمنا بعملية مهمة في السفيرة ولكن حصل نزاع بيننا وبين جبهة النصرة والله تعالى يقول «ولا تنازعوا فتفشلوا فتذهب ريحكم» فدخل النظام السفيرة مرة ثانية بعد انسحابنا منها. ” [Translation] We carried out an important operation in al-Sfireh but a conflict arose between us and Jabhat al Nusra and Allah says “dispute not one with another lest ye falter and your strength depart from you” and the regime entered Sfireh again after we withdrew from it.

ISIS Leader – `Amr al-Shishani – military Amir of the Northern Region

Included in the new publication is an interview with the Chechen leader and military Amir of the Northern Region of ISIS, `Amr al-Shishani. الأمير العسكري للمنطقة الشمالية في تنظيم «الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام»، عمر الشيشاني

BBC arabic also researched his childhood in Georgia, where a reporter found some interesting information. He had mandatory military service in the Georgian army between 2006-2007 and signed a contract to work with the army after that period. He fought against the Russian army during the last Russia/Georgia confrontations in 2008. He was released from the army in 2010 after coming down with Tuberculosis. He was arrested later for stocking weapons and received a 3 year sentence but was released early due to his deteriorating health condition. He then traveled to Egypt, from where he hoped to go to Yemen to fight. But after some time was able to go to Syria, where he was shocked that people were listening to music, cutting their beards, and smoking cigarettes. Protestors were demanding “democracy and freedom” and not Islam. He went to Syria to apply Sharia Law.

He denies giving Asifat al-Shamal, the militia that hosted John McCain permission to meet McCain. He says the notion that he would permit their meeting is ridiculous because Americans are the enemies of Allah and Islam and there’s only the sword between him and the US. He remains an emir in ISIS and denies rumors that he quit the group. “How can I quit the Dawla Islamiya when it’s the project of the Islamic umma and all Muslims?” he asks. He did not join ISIS because of Baghdadi or Abu al Athir( والي حلب) , he did it for Allah.
ISIS was the main player behind the coast front and is responsible for the latest victories in Hama

Here is a photo of ShiShani with Hajaj al ajmi, one of his main Kuwaiti sponsors. Much like the Kuwaitis who fund Nusra (read Ben Hubbard’s story), private Kuwaitis also raise money for ISIS.


عمر الشيشاني جاء ليطبق شرع الله: فوجئت بشعارات كالحرية والديموقراطية

الأمير العسكري للمنطقة الشمالية في تنظيم «الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام»، عمر الشيشاني،

عمر الشيشاني جاء ليطبق شرع الله: فوجئت بشعارات كالحرية والديموقراطية

تنشر «الأخبار» في ما يأتي حواراً مع الأمير العسكري للمنطقة الشمالية في تنظيم «الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام»، عمر الشيشاني، أجرته مجلة «سنا الشام» التابعة للتنظيم، في العاشر من الشهر الماضي، ونشرته يوم 9/11/2013


The Syrian Army issued a statement announcing major advances in southeastern countryside of Homs and the capture of 3 towns. The villages that they captured fell in rebel hands earlier this month in an attack that included the capturing of an army weapons depot in one of the villages, which was said to be the second largest arms depot in the country.

Cutting Off the Wrong Head

An ISIS fighter cut off the head of a fighter, claiming he was an Iraqi Shiite fighting for the Assad regime.  It turned out that

Militants from al Qaeda-affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) issued a statement asking for forgiveness after a video was posted online of ISIS fighters brandishing the decapitated head of a commander of Ahrar al-Sham, an ISIS ally who ISIS says it beheaded by mistake.

Here is the Telegraph story about it by Richard Spencer: Al-Qaeda-linked rebels apologise after cutting off head of wrong person: Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham militants say sorry for decapitating a fellow extremist rather than enemy

Comments (80)

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52. zoo said:

The ‘debacle’ of Turkey’s policy toward Syria, blinded by arrogance and political naivety

Turkey confronts policy missteps on Syria with rise of al-Qaeda across the border

KILIS, Turkey — A group affiliated with al-Qaeda controls the road leading south into Syria from this key border crossing on the front line of the debacle that Turkey’s Syria policy has become.

For more than a year, Turkey turned a blind eye as thousands of foreign volunteers from across the Muslim world streamed through the country en route to fight alongside Syria’s rebels, perhaps calculating that the fighters would help accelerate President Bashar al-Assad’s demise.
Now the extremists whose ranks the foreigners swelled are gaining ascendancy across northern Syria, putting al-Qaeda on NATO’s borders for the first time, raising fears of cross-border attacks and exposing how terribly Turkey’s efforts to bring about Assad’s removal have gone awry.

Meanwhile, in Damascus, Assad is showing every sign that he will ride out the revolt and perhaps remain in power for years, sustained in part by Western alarm at the rise of the extremists. The United States has served notice that it has no intention of intervening militarily, and Turkey, once the most vocal proponent of action to oust Assad, has been left to confront the consequences of what appears to have been a grave policy miscalculation.

“This was not the outcome Turkey wanted,” acknowledged a Turkish official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the subject of Syria is so sensitive.

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November 16th, 2013, 10:05 pm


53. zoo said:


Egyptian were lead to believe that their country would be better under a Moslem Brotherhood islamic system. It was encouraged by Turkey and Qatar dreaming to have this big country under their domination to exploit it economically.
It took less than a year for the Egyptians to realize they have been cheated. Now they are divided , in disarray and in a economical disaster.
In Syria, it took 2.5 years, 120,000 death, millions of displaced and billions of dollars of destruction to come to the same conclusion.

In both case, the blame falls principally on the die-hard supporters of the Moslem Brotherhood, Turkey and Qatar and on the vicious game the Western powers played.

Egyptians like Syrians are the victims of these criminals who have put the brothers to fight and kill each other under a claimed pretexts of ‘liberation’ and ‘democracy’

Now we see Turkey backing off, Qatar neutralized and the West in a totally confusion.
For a ‘revolution’ that was supposed to bring freedom and dignity, it is a shameful disaster.
Bashar al Assad has shown that he is not a coward and weak leader that can be manipulated, like Mobarak and Ben Ali.
Quite the contrary.

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November 16th, 2013, 10:24 pm


54. zoo said:

The Saudis spread their ideas around the world – why don’t we?

15 November 2013

This happens because the most authoritarian strains of the religion (as with all religions) presume to state that only theirs is authentic Islam, and unfortunately we tend to take them at their word, even though we would never agree for the leaders of the Catholic or Anglican churches to decide who is a Christian.

Much of the intolerance in Pakistan stems from the influence of the Saudis, who are trying to reshape Islam in their image, and are helped by Westerners because of their vast reserves of money. Shamefully the British Museum put on an exhibition on Mecca funded by the Saudis, even while those iconoclasts were vandalising the city; I can’t think of anything so contrary to the spirit of that fine institution.

But they’re not the only ones – universities and organisations all over the West take Saudi money, and they should be publicly shamed, just as tax dodgers are. Likewise countries that do not allow freedom of religion should be made pariahs; in Qatar apostasy is still technically a capital crime, although it has never been enacted and one gets the impression the rulers only keep it there to appease the head-bangers. But why isn’t the world boycotting the 2022 World Cup until this law is changed? Why isn’t David Cameron going for a drink to discuss that?

At the heart of the problem is that we’re too scared of even admitting that the problem is within Islam, perfectly illustrated by the BBC’s coverage of events.

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November 16th, 2013, 10:32 pm


55. zoo said:

Qatar took a “beating”…

Qatar loses clout amid fading Arab Spring

DOHA, Qatar — Qatar has been dreaming big for years.

The gas-rich Persian Gulf state, which is slightly smaller than Connecticut, wanted to host world-class sporting events; to build a network of top-tier universities and museums; and to push, tweak and manipulate regional politics to reshape the Arab world to its liking.
At the moment, that last priority isn’t going so well.

If 2011 was the tiny state’s year for victory laps — its flag flying high alongside the Libyan rebels, as the revolution there raged with Qatari support; its satellite channel Al Jazeera praised among Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square; and everybody wanting a bag full of Qatari cash — 2013 has been a year for losses.

Qatar is taking a beating as the Arab Spring revolts, which ushered in Islamist governments in Egypt and Tunisia and empowered upstarts across the region, yield to a reassertion of power by the region’s old heavyweights.

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November 16th, 2013, 10:37 pm


56. Akbar Palace said:

Peace Process Silver Lining News

I guess we can thank the Supreme Leader.

“The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” an unnamed diplomatic source told the paper.

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November 16th, 2013, 10:44 pm


58. omen said:


“an alawite fsa member jalal khalil the regime tortured to death in tadamon, damascus.”

maybe he find reward in heaven.

may a soon free syria be blessed by his sacrifice.

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November 17th, 2013, 1:49 am


59. don said:

Putin promises Syria medical aid

Big News Network (UPI) Sunday 17th November, 2013

MOSCOW — Russia is responding to a request by Syrian President Bashar Assad for medical aid, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

Dmitry Peskov said Assad and Putin discussed the Syrian crisis in a telephone conversation Thursday, RIA Novosti reported. Assad described a “difficult health situation,” Peskov said.

Russia plans to send first-aid kits, pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, Peskov said.

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November 17th, 2013, 3:24 am


60. Mina said:

I guess I was too optimistic. But it’s just like the fake “Gay Girl of Damascus”, you’ve probably not read all the evidence, be it on Who attacked Ghouta blogspot or on the Closer Look on Syria Wikicommon page.
The discrepancies in the number of victims statements? The problems of trajectory of the missiles and of the places they were launched from? The same kids appearing in different videos?
Or you just want to help Canada’s PR towards the extremist groups?

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November 17th, 2013, 4:28 am


61. don said:

Syria, Rabi’a area – Conflict between ISIS and FSA ended lethal, 6 captured FSA fighters executed by ISIS

Syria, Latakia province, Nov.11, 2013: The SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) received footage showing the bodies of 6 rebel fighters from the al-Hijra ila Allah battalions who were executed by the ISIS after detaining them in the Rabi’a area of Jabal al-Turkman. The ISIS accused the victims of killing 4 non-syrian ISIS fighters in the same area after stopping them on a checkpoint in the town of Rabi’a.

On Sunday an ISIS leader executed a member of the Shari’a Court who went to mediate and stop the fighting between the two groups.

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November 17th, 2013, 5:24 am


62. don said:

Syria in HD

A brief look at the beautiful and secular country of Syria before the death squads invasion of the Israeli criminal Regime

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November 17th, 2013, 5:53 am


63. don said:

Source: 600 Saudis Fighting Along with Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Syria
November 17, 2013 – 13:29
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Six hundred Saudi nationals are fighting in Syria along with Al-Qaeda terrorists affiliate to the so-called Islamic Government of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), Syrian sources said.

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November 17th, 2013, 6:23 am


64. don said:

There’s a sucker born every minute

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November 17th, 2013, 6:57 am


65. don said:

End of the road for death squads of the Israeli criminal regime


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November 17th, 2013, 7:15 am


66. don said:

Four suspected jihadists arrested in France

PARIS, Nov 15, 2013 (AFP) -Four men aged between 22 and 35 have been arrested in the Paris region for allegedly belonging to a jihadist network sending fighters to Syria, informed sources said Friday.

The arrests by investigators from France’s intelligence agency DCRI took place on Tuesday and the presumed leader of the network is a 24-year-old man, according to sources close to the case.

At least two of the other men went to Syria to fight for the Al-Nusra Front. A woman was also arrested but released later.

Three of the men were born in France and one in Morocco.

An informed source said about 440 people from France were either currently fighting in Syria, planning to go and fight or had recently returned.

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November 17th, 2013, 8:20 am


67. zoo said:

The opposition shows again and again its criminal incompetence and naivety

Syrian opposition fighters demand ISIS leave Latakia

Al-Qaeda linked group ordered to leave province and surrender its regional leader following recent clashes

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Sources close to the Syrian opposition in the Latakia region told Asharq Al-Awsat that Free Syrian Army (FSA) and independent Islamist fighters have joined forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to force the group out of the area and ensure the surrender of its leader Abu Ayman Al-Iraqi, following recent clashes.

The sources said the refusal of ISIS to abide by agreements reached in efforts to mediate in recent clashes between armed opposition groups in the area “may lead to a wide war between the two sid

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November 17th, 2013, 8:53 am


68. zoo said:

Turkey now kill Syrians fleeing their country, while they help terrorists to enter Syria

Three Syrians shot dead while crossing Turkish border

Three Syrians have been killed by border troops while seeking to cross into Turkey through the southeastern province of Mardin.

The Syrian intruders, who were trying to walk over a mined area on the border, were shot dead on Nov. 17 by Turkish soldiers, according to Doğan News Agency.

An armored vehicle opened fire at around 1.30 a.m., after the Syrians ran toward the Turkish border village of Yeniyol, despite repeated warnings from soldiers to stop, the agency reported.

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November 17th, 2013, 9:00 am


69. zoo said:

Coming out of a surgical operation, has the Sunni rebel faced a “revelation” and converted to Shiism before being swiftly decapitated?

The incident happened in the northern city of Aleppo, where two fighters were videotaped displaying the severed head to a crowd on Wednesday, the activists said. The men claimed the head belonged to an Iraqi Shiite fighter allied to the government of Bashar Assad, but residents later recognized it as belonging to a rebel commander.

Activists said the ISIL fighters found the wounded rebel in a hospital after a battle with government forces on Wednesday. As he emerged from anesthesia, he called out the names of saints recognized by Shiites, an Islamic sect whose members have largely sided with Assad, one of the activists said.

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November 17th, 2013, 9:08 am


70. don said:

Syria opposition chief ‘very interested’ in Moscow meeting

November 17, 2013

“President Jarba received an invitation from (Russian Foreign) Minister (Sergei) Lavrov for an official visit to Moscow for talks”, he said.

Jarba “expresses a high interest in the Coalition for relations and talks with Russia as well as his interest in visiting Moscow”, Aqbiq said.

The comments come a day before a Syrian government delegation is set to arrive in Moscow.

A Damascus official had earlier this week said the government delegation will be made up of Assad’s advisor Buthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad and Ahmad Arnous, the ministry’s senior official on European affairs.

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November 17th, 2013, 9:11 am


71. don said:

Bibi eat your heart out!

Gaza offers homes, financial aid to Palestinians fleeing Syria

Every family returning from Syria will be offered a one-time $500 in urgent assistance, an apartment in the Qatari-funded Sheikh Hamad housing project and free education for their children, Haniyeh said.

“The arrival of Syria-based Palestinians in Gaza does not mean that they would settle here. All Palestinians would return to their original home towns, including Ramla, Haifa and Yafa [inside Israel now],” Haniyeh insisted.

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November 17th, 2013, 9:43 am


72. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I wonder if the Ayatollah´s teocrathic dictatorship in Iran is going to offer some modern solution to its population. Until now detentions, torutres and killings were the only solution they have given in 34 years of ISLAMIC REVOLUTION.


If God exists he should destroy them. If not then Netanyahu will do the job.

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November 17th, 2013, 11:07 am


73. Heads-up said:

Akbar Palace,

The US under Obama is a disaster waiting to happen just like in the movie Gravity. Everyone onboard the US Obama shuttle will perish as a result if they do not abandon ship before the disaster strikes.

The Guided Kingdom is taking measures to steer away from this disaster-in-waiting, as you can see here,

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November 17th, 2013, 11:25 am


74. don said:

71. SANDRO LOEWE said:

If God exists he should destroy them. If not then Netanyahu will do the job.

נתניהו והוא פחדן

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November 17th, 2013, 11:36 am


75. zoo said:

Counter-Terrorism: The Best Friend And Worst Enemy Of Islamic Terrorists

November 17, 2013: Saudi Arabia has long supported Islamic conservative groups. Yet the Saudis came out against the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt this year and against al Qaeda two decades ago. Yet the Saudis have no problem supporting Islamic radicals in Syria, including some who belong to al Qaeda. What is going on here? It’s simple.
The Saud family has always supported Islamic radicals, but only those who agreed that the Saud family should be in charge (of Saudi Arabia and as a leader of the Islamic world). Islamic radicals that changed their minds about this arrangement were crushed. Thus the Saudis supported al Qaeda until al Qaeda decided that the Sauds were not Islamic enough to be in charge. That led to a dispute in the 1990s that escalated in 2003 and, so far, the Sauds are winning.
The Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt has always been hostile to the Sauds, and that has been reciprocated. This was made worse by the fact that the current head of al Qaeda was once a leader in the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood. This was made worse as the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood won a recent election in Egypt and got cozy with Iran, the archenemy of Saudi Arabia and Sunni Moslems in general.

Iran is especially feared by the Sauds because the Iranians are not Arabs (but rather Indo-European, like most Europeans and Indians) and are openly hostile to the majority (80 percent) form of Islam (Sunni) espoused by the Saudis. The Iranians are Shia, a smaller (about 10 percent of Moslems) sect that conservative Sunnis consider heretics. After several major wars over the issue, for the last few centuries Moslem leaders have played down this antagonism. But the mutual hatred remains and in the last few decades Iranian Shia leaders have become increasingly aggressive in claiming that Shia should control the Moslem holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well as all that oil the Arabs now possess. The two holy cities are in Saudi Arabia and have been administered by the Saud family for nearly a century. Saudi Arabia also contains the largest oil reserves in the world. The Sauds want to keep things the way they are and have been increasingly aggressive in blocking Iranian moves. That’s why the Sauds support Islamic radicals in Syria, even though many of these Islamic terrorists want more radical Moslems running Saudi Arabia (and removing “Saudi” from the name of Arabia). Despite all this opposition the Sauds continue to hold firmly onto power. This is all because on one man.

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November 17th, 2013, 11:55 am


76. zoo said:

Is Turkey preparing for a U-turn on Syria?

It is extremely unlikely that the new opening with Iran will lead to a major policy change in Turkey regarding Syria. Ankara knows quite well that abandoning the legitimate Syrian opposition would not be without major consequences.
Now that it has heavily invested in what it believed to be the inevitable collapse of the Baath regime, it is intolerable for Ankara to coexist with a very hostile regime in Syria, with which Turkey shares its longest land border. It would also mean the total and brutal elimination of the opposition force at the hands of the Assad regime.
The extremist Salafi groups would appear to be the only credible hope to fight the regime and survive for a long time, yet this, too, would have serious security implications for Turkey. Saudi Arabia appears to be uncompromising in its stance on Syria and reportedly enlists the training support of Pakistani military advisers.
Furthermore, the fate of the Syrian Kurdish opposition group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), given its links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), will present a new situation for Turkey. This could be exploited to Turkey’s advantage if the Kurdish democratization process continues, but if that effort ends in failure, Turkey will find itself in a more disadvantageous geopolitical situation with regard to the Kurdish question.
A resurgent Iran whose power is recognized by the US and Europe may force a recalculation of interests by the PKK leadership. Finally, the collapse of the Syrian revolt will irreversibly destroy prospects for a democratic future in the Middle East, especially given the serious setback in Egypt.
This also means an end to Turkey’s ambitions to play a key role in the region, as democracy is the only power asset for Turkey. Turkey would be sandwiched between a reluctant but expanding Europe, a powerful Russia and a resurgent Iran. Syria is the critical issue that can turn the tide for Turkey in order to avoid this fate.

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November 17th, 2013, 11:59 am


77. zoo said:

That’s a an excellent new carried by the desperate opposition “Defense Minister”

Iran to recapture rebel-held areas in Syria–533978

Iran has launched an “organized invasion” of the suburban areas of the capital Damascus, the Syrian opposition Defense Minister Asaad Mustafa told Al Arabiya News Channel on Saturday.

Mustafa said the suburb of Ghouta – where a chemical weapons attack took place in August – had been the subject of an offensive involving large military forces and “heavy” shelling.

“It is clear which forces are behind the organized invasion,” said Mustafa. “It includes the Iranian forces, Hezbollah and the Iraqi forces,” he added.

The opposition minister said that foreign groups loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were responsible for most of the offensive.

“They are the ones fighting and the regime forces are only there to ‘picture’ it,” he said.

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November 17th, 2013, 12:05 pm


78. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I think all religions deserve to be destroyed and all those speaking in the name of any God should be crushed and incinerated, beginning by Obama, Israelis and of course the Pope of Rome and all the islamic authorities including Assad, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc so on. Fxxxx them all. Power to the people.

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November 17th, 2013, 12:20 pm


79. don said:

Syria troops continue push against militants in Aleppo

Syrian army troops continue their push to free more areas from militants’ control in the northwestern city of Aleppo and near the capital Damascus.

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November 17th, 2013, 12:28 pm


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