Syria – Aleppo rebels close to defeat – VOR
Laaska News August 14, 2012
Syrian government forces have killed or captured dozens of terrorists, including Libyan and other Arab mercenaries, as they continue their operations to flush armed rebels out of Syria’s second city Aleppo.
Local people are flocking back to their homes in many southern neighbourhoods, which are now safe.
There have been similar developments in many other towns and cities in northern Syria.
According to television reports in Iran, Syrian forces operating near the border with Turkey have captured 35 Turkish officers and five members of an Iranian Islamist group. Syrian media are yet to confirm these reports.
Syrian rebels down MiG-23 fighter – Al-Arabiya
The Free Syrian Army has allegedly shot down a MiG-23 fighter jet over the town of al-Muhassan in the Deir al-Zor province, Al Arabiya has cited the rebels as saying.
Oppositional Syrian militants have published a video on YouTube, showing a plane catching fire, which they claimed was the downed MiG. Damascus hasn’t responded to these allegations yet.
According to Al-Arabiya, a blast shook the neighborhood of Mezze in the Syrian capital earlier today, while shootings were heard in the Kabun area.
Opposition activists further claimed that 19 people died Monday at the hands of Syrian forces.
Aug 13, 2012
Syrian fighter jet crashes in flames
A Syrian government forces fighter jet has crashed in flames in the eastern part of the country.
Syrian insurgents told NHK by phone on Monday they used weapons taken from the Syrian army to shoot down a government warplane.
Syria’s state-run media said the plane crashed due to technical problems.
The Assad government is deploying fighter jets to help massive numbers of troops attack Aleppo in the north, and other cities.
In Aleppo in particular, the government apparently hopes to win the battle and boost its chances of defeating the rebels.
The anti-government forces are continuing their guerrilla war in Aleppo and elsewhere. They are using tanks and machine guns snatched from their opponents.
The insurgents assaulted a military depot in Daraa in the south on Monday. Analysts believe they grabbed a large number of weapons.
Aug. 13, 2012
US mulls no-fly zone over Syria
The Syrian opposition calls for international powers to impose a no-fly zone in areas bordering on Jordan and Turkey. The president of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of Syria’s main opposition group in exile, made this call just hours after Washington said it was mulling exactly such a possibility.
During a visit to Istanbul on Saturday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the establishment of a no-fly zone over some parts of Syria would strengthen the hand of the anti-Assad opposition. The creation of such a zone over Libya last year seriously constrained the use of pro-Gaddafi aviation and artillery. France, Britain and then NATO made ample use of it to eventually bring about a regime change in Libya and this is exactly what may now happen in Syria. Says Adzhar Kurtov, an expert with the Institute of Strategic Assessments in Moscow.
“An analogy with what happened in Libya is hard to ignore here, but the decision to establish a no-fly zone over Libya was made by the UN Security Council, which is still able to make balanced decisions. However, the Americans may try to make it happen in circumvention of the Council, which will set the stage for a ground operation and we already see signs of this in the recent concentrations of armor and artillery along the country’s border with Turkey and Jordan”
Fighting broke out between Jordanian and Syrian forces in a border region between the two countries on Friday involving a number of armored vehicles on both sides. There have been no immediate reports of any one killed or wounded, but it is already obvious that the Syrian conflict is spilling over into neighboring Jordan. Moreover, the Tel Shihab-Turra area where Friday’s clash happened, is used by Syrian refugees to cross into Jordan where an estimated 150,000 Syrians have already found refuge. According to eyewitness reports, the border clash occurred after Syrian refugees tried to cross into Jordan.
Jordan has thus far been more moderate on the Syrian issue than the neighbouring Turkey or some Gulf nations. Worsened relations between Amman and Damascus would obviously have a negative impact on Syrian refugees in the first place. This would also prove helpful to the West, Ankara, Riyadh and other nations seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in beefing up their arguments for toughening the stand on the Syrian government.
But Lebanon has, perhaps, been the worst affected by the dramatic events in Syria. Beirut has traditionally had especially strong ties with Damascus. This is what former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said about the situation in a comment.
“The Syrian crisis has been raging for 18 months now, but the government still remains in control, which is evidence that it has the support of a very big part of the population. If Syrians really wanted a different president, this would have been the case long ago. The opposition has been getting arms, the latest military hardware; it has the support of western and some Arab mass media, but to no avail. The reason is that many in Syria support their president. If the current Syrian Cabinet falls, the country will be dismembered, and the region, including Lebanon, will plunge into chaos.”
Appointing another UN and Arab League special envoy to replace the resigning Kofi Annan could obviously prevent further escalation of the crisis around Syria. But the effort to appoint the successor is clear being delayed by the forces in the West which energetically pressed for the abolition of the office when Mr. Annan was still in charge. These forces are also pressing for the wrapping up of the UN monitor mission in Syria. If the forces in question prevail, the aggravation of the ongoing civil war will prove inevitable. This would, in turn, encourage those seeking the imposition of no-fly zones on the Syrian borders to pass from words to deeds.
Aug 13, 2012