1) Obama and his friend Ban cozy in the plane
2) April 18, 2013, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, escorts United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into the Pentagon as Ban Ki-moon arrives for an honor cordon
3) April 19, 2013, Chuck Hagel (L) negotiating with former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli officials on sales of new weapons to Persian Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are arming the so called Free Syrian Army and terrorist groups in Syria)
'White House statement on Syrian regime chemicals weapons - full text'
Statement by Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, on chemical weapons
13 June 2013
At the President's direction, the United States Government has been closely monitoring the potential use of chemical weapons within Syria. Following the assessment made by our intelligence community in April, the President directed the intelligence community to seek credible and corroborated information to build on that assessment and establish the facts with some degree of certainty. Today, we are providing an updated version of our assessment to Congress and to the public.
The Syrian government's refusal to grant access to the United Nations to investigate any and all credible allegations of chemical weapons use has prevented a comprehensive investigation as called for by the international community. The Assad regime could prove that its request for an investigation was not just a diversionary tactic by granting the UN fact finding mission immediate and unfettered access to conduct on-site investigations to help reveal the truth about chemical weapons use in Syria. While pushing for a UN investigation, the United States has also been working urgently with our partners and allies as well as individuals inside Syria, including the Syrian opposition, to procure, share, and evaluate information associated with reports of chemical weapons use so that we can establish the facts and determine what took place.
Following a deliberative review, our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year. Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information. The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete. While the lethality of these attacks make up only a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in Syria, which now stands at more than 90,000 deaths, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades. We believe that the Assad regime maintains control of these weapons. We have no reliable, corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons.
The body of information used to make this intelligence assessment includes reporting regarding Syrian officials planning and executing regime chemical weapons attacks; reporting that includes descriptions of the time, location, and means of attack; and descriptions of physiological symptoms that are consistent with exposure to a chemical weapons agent. Some open source reports from social media outlets from Syrian opposition groups and other media sources are consistent with the information we have obtained regarding chemical weapons use and exposure. The assessment is further supported by laboratory analysis of physiological samples obtained from a number of individuals, which revealed exposure to sarin. Each positive result indicates that an individual was exposed to sarin, but it does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination.
We are working with allies to present a credible, evidentiary case to share with the international community and the public. Since the creation of the UN fact finding mission, we have provided two briefings to Dr. Åke Sellström, the head of the mission. We will also be providing a letter to UN Secretary General Ban, calling the UN's attention to our updated intelligence assessment and specific incidents of alleged chemical weapons use. We request that the UN mission include these incidents in its ongoing investigation and report, as appropriate, on its findings. We will present additional information and continue to update Dr. Sellström as new developments emerge.
The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States, as there has long been an established norm within the international community against the use of chemical weapons. Our intelligence community now has a high confidence assessment that chemical weapons have been used on a small scale by the Assad regime in Syria. The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has.
Our decision making has already been guided by the April intelligence assessment and by the regime's escalation of horrific violence against its citizens. Following on the credible evidence that the regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the President has augmented the provision of non-lethal assistance to the civilian opposition, and also authorized the expansion of our assistance to the Supreme Military Council (SMC), and we will be consulting with Congress on these matters in the coming weeks. This effort is aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the SMC, and helping to coordinate the provision of assistance by the United States and other partners and allies. Put simply, the Assad regime should know that its actions have led us to increase the scope and scale of assistance that we provide to the opposition, including direct support to the SMC. These efforts will increase going forward.
The United States and the international community have a number of other legal, financial, diplomatic, and military responses available. We are prepared for all contingencies, and we will make decisions on our own timeline. Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity.
Photos: UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and his personal friend Barack Obama - Ban Ki-moon visits the Pentagon
'China calls for objective probe on Syrian chemical weapons claim'
China says it hopes that the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria will be fair and objective in investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
A spokesperson from China’s Foreign Ministry made the statement after allegations from the White House on Thursday said that the US intelligence community found the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition several times in the last year.
She said, "The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons no matter who uses them. We hope the UN working group investigating the chemical weapon’s claim in Syria can investigate it objectively and fairly on the premise of following international laws and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. We always think a political solution is the only realistic and correct way out for the Syrian issue."
Photos: UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and his personal friend Barack Obama - Ban Ki-moon visits the Pentagon
(China: 'We hope the UN working group investigating the chemical weapon’s claim in Syria can investigate it objectively'...)
Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - 14 June 2013
3 new results for latest news Syria SANA:
Assad crosses 'red line'; U.S. confirms chemical weapon use
WASHINGTON » The United States has conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces seeking to overthrow the government, crossing what President Barack Obama has called a "red line ...
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The army continues confrontations, killing many terrorists, including non-Syrians
Jun 14, 2013
Units of the armed forces on Friday inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists and foiled several attempts to attack the Central Prison and Minnegh Airport in Aleppo, killing and injuring several terrorists.
An official source told SANA that the army units repelled several attempts of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists to attack the Airport, killing and injuring several terrorists, in addition to destroying their equipment.
The source pointed out that other army units killed 7 terrorists to the west of Minnegh Airport and destroyed a 23mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon and weapons warehouse to the south of the Airport.
Meanwhile, the guards of the Central Prison foiled "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists' attempt to sneak into the area surrounding the prison from a cemetery nearby, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
Another army unit killed a number of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorists in Oram al-Kubra village, including an armed terrorist group leader Ahmad al-Shami and 10 other non-Syrian terrorists, while another army unit killed and injured several terrorists on Aleppo-Idleb road.
In Aleppo city, the army units carried out operations against terrorists who were stationed in the cultural center in Masaken Hanano area and destroyed a rocket-launcher, mortar and ammunition near the old and new Hanano Police Stations and in the area surrounding Hanano Barracks.
Other army units carried out operations against terrorists who were stationed in al-Maysar school compound, destroying a 23 mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon and killing several terrorists.
In Bustan al-Basha, the army units killed 8 terrorists and destroyed two mortars, while another army unit carried out a special operation in old Aleppo, killing a number of terrorists, in addition to destroying a factory of explosive devices.
Army units destroy terrorists' dens in Damascus Countryside
Units of the armed forces continued operations against the armed terrorist groups in Harasta, Douma and Joubar in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA that the army units killed and injured several terrorists near the court BUILDINGin Harasta city, including Ayoub Hassoun and Muhammad Hassoun.
The source added that another army unit destroyed a terrorists' den in al-Eb farms in Douma area, killing and injuring several terrorists, including Salim Eido and Nouman al-Shalet.
The source pointed out that another army unit clashed with members of an armed terrorist group in Joubar, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
Rabia Badereddin and Housam al-Aghawani were identified among the dead terrorists.
Army units eliminate terrorists, including leaders, in Damascus Countryside
Units of the armed forces inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in several towns in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA that an army unit destroyed terrorists' dens in the farms surrounding al-Khamasia and al-Ahmadia towns in the eastern Ghouta, killing Majid Kahal, leader of an armed terrorist group called" Shabab al-Baraa Battalion", and a number of the battalion's members, including Muhammad Zuhir al-Nazaq.
The source added that other army units destroyed a mortar and killed a number of terrorists in Hijjeira town, including non-Syrian terrorists, among them a Jordanian called " al-Sheikh Bader" and terrorist Nidal al-Saidi.
In Yalda town, another army unit killed several terrorists affiliated to the so-called "Ansar al-Souna Battalion", including Tawfiq Shour.
In al-Ziyabiya town, another army unit killed scores of terrorists, including Talal al-Mandil, leader of an armed terrorist group, and a number of his group, including Basil al-Hamdo.
The source pointed out that the army units continued hunting the armed terrorist groups in Daraya city, killing a number of terrorists to the east of al-Sayyeda Sukaina shrine, including snipers.
Terrorists killed in Homs and its countryside
Units of the armed forces targeted several armed terrorist groups which were attempting to attack military checkpoints at Jisr al-Sad in al-Rastan in Homs countryside, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
A military source told SANA reporter that the army units destroyed a rocket-pad and weapons which were used by terrorists in their acts of terrorism.
Another unit also destroyed an armored vehicle and eliminated terrorists near al-Mahmoud mosque in al-Rastan city.
An Army unit clashed with terrorists in a car on a farm road in Hasya area, eliminating the terrorists and confiscating their weapons.
In a series of operations in Teldo and Burj Qai'ii, an Armed Forces unit destroyed a number of terrorist hideouts, leaving a number of terrorists dead or injured, while other units eliminated terrorists between the areas of al-Furuqlus and Sad Handoura and near Habra village in Jub al-Jarrah area.
In Homs city, the Armed Forces continued to pursue terrorist groups in the Old City, eliminating a number of terrorists who tried to sneak into Wadi al-Sayeh neighborhood from al-Hamidiye neighborhood, in addition to eliminating terrorists in Bab Houd and Jouret al-Shiyah.
Terrorists killed, heavy machineguns destroyed in Deir Ezzor
Army units continued chasing members of the armed terrorist groups in al-Sina'a, al-Matar al-Qadeem and al-Umal neighborhoods in Deir Ezzor and eliminated a number of them and destroyed their vehicles.
An official source told SANA reporter that the source added that another army unit clashed with gunmen group in Hawijet Sakr district killing four of its members and destroying a mortar in their possession.
Another unit foiled a terrorist group's infiltration attempt from the Eastern Hweika to the Western Hweika district and eliminated ten terrorists.
In Deir Ezzor countryside, terrorists' gatherings were devastated as heavy machine guns in their possession were also destroyed in Hawijet al-Mrai'ieh and Mrat.
Army units pursue terrorists in Hama Countryside
Units of the armed forces killed and injured several terrorists affiliated to the so-called "Ababil al-Sahra'a Brigade", including non-Syria terrorists, in addition to destroying their weapons and equipment in al-Khdaira, al-Souha and Hamadi Omar towns southeast of Salamia.
An official source told SANA that the army units destroyed several gatherings of "Jabhat al-Nusra" terrorist group along with the weapons and ammunition inside them, in addition to killing a number of terrorists in Adla town in Hama countryside.
The source pointed out that other army units killed and injured a number of terrorists in al-Kastal al-Wastani and al-Shamali towns, in addition to destroying two rocket-launchers, weapons and ammunition which were used by terrorists in their acts of terrorism.
Non-Syrians terrorists eliminated in Daraa
A military source said that the army unit targeted an armed terrorist group in al- Nazehen camp in Daraa, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
In a statement to SANA reporter, the source said that terrorist Omran Abdul Rahman al-Aidi, leader of a terrorist group, Mounir Mousa Bajbouj, and Musab Fuad Suleiman al-Qtaifan, in addition to the five non-Syrian terrorists of the so-called al-Mujahedin battalion in Daraa were killed.
The source pointed that the other army units targeted terrorists' dens in al-Sheikh Miskeen, on the road of Abtta', in Sason, al-Shabreq, al-Misteriya and Glenn, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and destroyed an armored vehicle and a car loaded with ammunition.
Jabhat al-Nusra-linked terrorist Mansour al-Beiruti of a Palestinian nationality was identified among the dead.
Army units inflict heavy losses upon terrorists in Idleb
Units of the armed forces destroyed terrorists' dens and gatherings in several areas of Idleb countryside.
A military source told SANA reporter that an army unit targeted terrorists' gatherings in al-Ghassania, al-Taibat, al-Shughr and Mashimshan in Jisr al-Shughour countryside and in Nahla villagein Ariha area, inflicting heavy losses upon teerorists.
Osama Ahmad Rahal and Ra'ad Iyad Hasson were identified among the dead terrorists in Nahla village.
In the areas surrounding Idleb city, another army unit destroyed a number of terrorists' dens and gatherings in Taftanaz, Maar Tamsarin, Tall Dineit, Shalakh, Zardana and Tallet Binnesh, inflicting direct strikes upon them.
In Binnesh city, the army units destroyed terrorists' dens, causing the killing and the injury of several terrorists.
In Sermin city, other army units destroyed a den of the so-called "Ahrar al-Sham Brigade" and "Daoud Brigade" terrorist group, killing 13 terrorists.
A military source told SANA that the army units destroyed terrorists' gatherings in Bait al-Kaiari and al-Buweiti in Abu Duhour area, killing and injuring several terrorists who were perpetrating acts of terrorism in the area.
Army unit eliminates terrorist in Lattakia countryside
An Army unit clashed with terrorist groups in the village of al-Houeh in Slenfeh area in Lattakia countryside, leaving a large number of terrorists dead or injured and destroying a heavy machinegun.
Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA
3 new results for latest news Syria SANA
12 juni 2013
FP Passport: Assad is loving the protests in Turkey
Foreign Policy (blog)
As Turkish security forces used tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to clear Istanbul's Taksim Square of protesters last night, Syria's state media reacted with a tone approaching glee. The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) argued that ...
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Syrian extremist rebels raid Shiite village - CBS 5 - KPHO
(AP Photo/SANA, File). FILE - This Wednesday, June 5, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a damaged church in the town of Qusair, near the Lebanese border, in Homs province, Syria. By SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press ...
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Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese border town
It's the first such attack from Syria on an urban center inside Lebanon. There was no immediate word on casualties. Scores of rebels and civilians who fled from the Syrian western town of Qusair last week in the last days of a government military ...
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Photo: February 17, 2011 – President Barack Obama joins a toast with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and other technology executives at a dinner in Woodside, California.
The “Day of Rage” in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for February 17, 2011…
On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google.
The American federal government has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas for nearly six years from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of ‘national security threats’, the director of national intelligence confirmed Thursday night.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the national official news agency in Syria:
http://sana.sy/index_eng.html (if the link isn't blocked by the western war seeking authorities)
Lavrov: Syrian Opposition Responsible for Delaying Geneva Conference
Jun 11, 2013
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said that the Syrian opposition is responsible for delaying the holding of the international conference on Syria in Geneva.
In an interview on CBS TV, Lavrov said that the US officials admit that the "Syrian Coalition" is not ready to negotiate and cannot even decide who to represent it.
Lavrov said that the Syrian government is ready to send its delegation to the conference, adding that "Moscow believes that the Syrian leadership will send its delegation to the conference, we should know if the opposition will or will not go to Geneva."
He dismissed the reports alleging that Russia's stance on Syria is a reaction to a "US potential interference" in other countries' affairs, adding that "Our foreign policy is firm and it is not based on such approach."
"Russia's western partners express their full understanding to the situation but they are embarrassed by their past statements", Lavrov said, adding that these countries tell Russia that " We said that President Bashar al-Assad should leave and we cannot retract our statements and swallow our tongues."
Lavrov addressed these western officials saying "Well, you have to choose, you can think of your reputation or you can think of saving lives."
He criticized US media which said that Russia is supporting a "loser horse", saying " It needs so much impertinence to use such terms to describe the tragic situation in Syria ".
In a related context, the Russian Minister said that Moscow is providing Syria with defensive weapons through contracts that were signed between the two sides.
He added that the international law does not prevent importing weapons to any sovereign country.
Lavrov expressed his country's disappointment that the International Arms Trade treaty didn't clearly tackle the issue of preventing weapons' sale to non-governmental organizations.
He said that the opposition forces which are fighting against the Syrian Army is equipped with modern warfare as was the case in al-Qseir, adding that "The opposition had artillery and anti-aircrafts systems".
Earlier, Lavrov and his Argentinean counterpart, Hector Tiimerman, expressed rejection of providing weapons to armed groups in Syria, reiterating their rejection to attempts to militarize the crisis in Syria.
Russia, Argentina Renew Their Refusal to Militarize Crisis in Syria
Earlier, Russia and Argentina have reiterated their unequivocal rejection of the militarization of the crisis in Syria, expressing their concern over the escalation of violence that actually worsens the situation in Syria.
During their meeting in Buenos Aires on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister, sergei Lavrov and his Argentine counterpart Hector Timerman, expressed their refusal of importing weapons to illegal armed groups to be used against the army and the Syrian people.
Lavrov and Timerman called for a peaceful and political settlement to the crisis in Syria, an immediate cessation of all acts of violence and commitment to a comprehensive dialogue between all components of the Syrian people.
H. Zain/ M. Nassr / Ghossoun
The Voice of Russia: http://english.ruvr.ru/
Soldiers and civilians holding the Syrian national flag stand near boxes containing aid from the Syrian army in Qusair, after the army took control of the city from foreign backed terrorists, June 5, 2013.
A Belgian Involved in Fighting with Terrorist Groups Killed in Syria
Jun 10, 2013
Italian news agency AKI said a twenty-year-old Belgian youth has been killed in Syria after entering Syrian and joining the armed terrorist groups in it.
The agency quoted local sources as saying that the youth, named Tariq, is a brother of a young man who has just been arrested on his return to Belgium from Syria last week.
There is uncertain information proving that the two brothers are belonging to a newly dismantled extremist cell called "a Sharia for Belgium." According to the agency.
Earlier, Belgian officials exchanged accusations over the phenomena of young Belgians going to fight alongside the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
A number of ministers of the current Belgian government have faced sharp criticism for doing nothing in this regard. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders criticized the refusal of Belgian Interior and Justice Ministries to provide him with information about the youth who went to or preparing themselves to go to Syria.
The issue of the Europeans who went to fight in Syria under the name of Jihad and finding more effective means for tackling this issue was repeatedly reviewed by the European Ministers but in vain.
It is supposed that 80 to 100 Belgians, mostly extremists and underage, have joined the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
Army Units Restore Security and Stability to Villages in al-Qseir Countryside
Jun 7, 2013
Army units on Friday restored security and stability to al-Mas'udieh and al-Salhieh villages in al-Qseir countryside.
An official source told SANA reporter that units of our armed forces are continuing their missions in pursuing the terrorists' remnants and inspecting operations.
The units dismantled a number of improvised explosive devices were planted by terrorists in the two villages.
A military source said that the army is searching the farms of al-Husseinyeh and al-Dumaineh al-Sharqyeh as to clean them of terrorists.
The source said that the army destroyed weapons and ammunition while they were transported to al-Houla and Hur Binafsouh areas.
An army unit targeted terrorists' gatherings in al-Husn and Housh Hajjo in Talbeseh and Palmyra and eliminated and injured scores of terrorists.