FSA attacks Lebanon Army post near border with Syria

FSA attacks Lebanon Army post near border with Syria

The Daily Star
A general view of the village of Arsal, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
A general view of the village of Arsal, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEIRUT/BAALBEK: Members of the Free Syrian Army attacked a Lebanese Army post Friday night near the northern border with Syria, the Army said in a statement Saturday.

No causalities were reported.

“For the second time in under a week, a unit from the Free Syrian Army [consisting of] a large number of gunmen entered Lebanese territory overnight via the outskirts of Arsal, where it attacked one of the Lebanese Army’s posts,” the statement said.

Following the incident, Army reinforcements were dispatched to the area, while soldiers began pursuing the assailants who escaped toward the mountains as well as some border towns, according to the statement.

“The Army’s leadership affirms that it will not allow any party to use Lebanese territory to implicate Lebanon in ongoing events in neighboring countries,” the Army said.

Residents in Arsal, located 10 kilometers from the border with Syria, told The Daily Star that earlier Friday the Army caught an unspecified number of members of the Syrian rebel group, but released them hours later due to pressure by the town’s notables

Tensions have been running high on the 550-kilometer-long Syria-Lebanon border since the uprising began against President Bashar Assad’s government in mid-March of last year.

Syria has repeatedly claimed that rebel groups are operating in Lebanon’s border towns, and have asked authorities to crack down and prevent the smuggling of arms and gunmen.

Earlier this year, Lebanon’s Cabinet asked the Army to deploy heavily along the border and take all necessary measures to prevent smuggling. The government’s decision in July came after Syrian shelling killed two Lebanese in the northern Wadi Khaled border region and in light of repeated Syrian incursions into Lebanese territories.

In its statement Saturday, the Army reiterated its determination to protect Lebanese territory, adding that it would respond with force to any violation regardless of the party behind it. -With additional reporting by Rakan al-Faqih

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Sep-22/188895-fsa-attacks-lebanon-army-near-border-with-syria.ashx#ixzz27JC2YZyg
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Top China official visits Afghanistan, signs security deal


[It is impossible to tell what the Chinese and Afghan security officials will be negotiating, whether it concerns the post-2014 period or just coordinating efforts until the end of this year, when the concerns about the Buddhist ruins at Aynak will become overridden by the urgency of the Aynak copper mine.  Work on the giant open-pit copper mine starts in December.]

Top China official visits Afghanistan, signs security deal

Rob Taylor

KABUL (Reuters) – China has signed security and economic agreements with Afghanistan during a rare trip to Kabul by a top Chinese official, in deals seen aimed at bolstering Beijing’s influence ahead of a NATO withdrawal of most combat forces by 2014.

Zhou Yongkang, China’s domestic security chief and a member of the ruling Communist Party’s central Politburo, made an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital late on Saturday, holding talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his garden palace.

Zhou’s visit was the first to Afghanistan by a senior Chinese leader since 1966 and followed a visit by Karzai to Beijing in June when both countries agreed to cooperate on combating extremism in the region.

During the talks, held under tight security after violent protests in Kabul over a film which insults Islam, Zhou signed agreements on increased security and economic cooperation, including a deal to help “train, fund and equip Afghan police”.

The agreement was not specific on how much assistance China planned to give the 149,000-strong police force, which is currently trained by the NATO-led coalition.

“It is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples for China and Afghanistan to strengthen a strategic and cooperative partnership which is also conducive to regional peace, stability and development,” Zhou said in a statement, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.

Resource-hungry China, which has a small border with Afghanistan in the country’s mountainous north-eastern corridor, is keen to invest in Afghan resource deposits worth as much as $1 trillion, based on U.S. Pentagon estimates.

Chinese state-owned miner China Metallurgical Group (MCC) operates the $3 billion Aynak copper mine in eastern Logar province, which has been subject to rocket attacks and other raids by insurgent groups looking to disrupt operations.

MCC won the contract to develop Aynak in 2008 and it was originally scheduled to begin production in 2013, but work has been delayed by the discovery of a huge and significant archaeological site in the area.

Zhou’s visit underscores the concern in Beijing about a deterioration in security as the NATO presence in Afghanistan winds down.

It also comes after Karzai last week voiced concern about strategic pacts signed with chief ally the United States earlier this year ahead of talks starting in three weeks’ time on a continued U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Zhou had originally been scheduled to travel to Turkmenistan following a visit to Singapore, but diverted to Afghanistan for the meeting.

The Chinese government fully respects the right of the Afghan people to choose their own path of development and will actively participate in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, Zhou told Karzai, according to Xinhua.

Karzai said security in the region “depends on the relations between Afghanistan and its neighbours”, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said, with both countries agreeing to expand their so far limited ties.

(Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Copyright © 2012, Reuters


Russian-Sponsored National Conference to save Syria Held In Damascus Draws 20 Opposition Groups


Syria, Damascus

Held this morning the National Conference to save Syria, organized by the opposition in the coordinating body illiteracy Hotel in Damascus with the participation of about twenty political parties and framework of the opposition forces in Syria for consultations on ways to save the country from risks according to the announcement by the Preparatory Committee.

The Russian Ambassador in Damascus greatness God Komahmedov through the opening of the conference the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria and in the hands of the Syrians themselves away from any external interference including suspension of funding, arming and harboring armed groups included foreign mercenaries.

He pointed the Russian ambassador to the main objective, which should work on it now is to put an end to violence in Syria immediately by all parties and work to divert the crisis towards a peaceful political solution with the launch of a national dialogue hard without any preconditions, adding that this is the only way out of the current impasse, which does not bode continue well either Syria or for the entire region.

Russian Ambassador “The efforts of Russia’s existing aimed at achieving these objectives in coordination and dealing with all parties concerned, including the Syrian government, which we are in constant contact with them, including on decisions in order to reach the ultimate political solution to the crisis in our contacts also with Western countries including in the UN Security Council, as well as regional parties and focus our efforts on the induction and influence on armed groups to stop violence and to address the political solutions to the crisis in Syria. “

The Russian Ambassador in Damascus stressed that the Kofi Annan plan and statement of Geneva should be the basis for finding peaceful solutions to the crisis in Syria, expressing Russia’s support for the efforts of the new international envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

Russian Ambassador “Russia confirms its readiness to move forward in dealing with all spectrums of the Syrian opposition on the basis of the above principles and attach great importance to unite all parties of the Interior was or foreign alike, and that common ground denying violence and external interference, as well as support the launch of a comprehensive national dialogue to in the interests of all Syrians. “

The Russian ambassador noted the relations of friendship and cooperation existing kinship between the Russian and Syrian peoples for decades.

Syrian opposition kick off “national conference” with absence of many parties

Hassan Abdul-Azim, the head of the National Coordination Body for the Forces of National and Democratic Change (L) and the Egyptian charge d’affairs Alaa Abdul-Aziz attend the opening session of “National Conference for Rescuing Syria”in Damascus, Sept. 23, 2012. Syrian oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) and some other opposition parties started a “National Conference for Rescuing Syria” in Damascus on Sunday, a day after some 28 opposition parties called for postponing the conference over disputes with the NCB. (Xinhua/Hazim)

DAMASCUS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Syrian oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) and some 20 other opposition parties started a “National Conference for Rescuing Syria” in Damascus on Sunday, amid the boycott of more than 28 parties which announced a day earlier that they had disagreements with the NCB in terms of vision and basics.

The all-day-long conference was kicked off Sunday morning with the Syrian national anthem. It is notable, however, that the conference started with neither the official Syrian flag nor the opposition’s one.

In an opening statement, the participants said they have agreed on a number of principles, mainly “bringing down the current regime with all of its symbols and fundamentals” in a way that would guarantee building a “democratic and civilian state… regardless of religion, sex and ethnicity.”

The statement also stressed on denouncing sectarianism and anything that could lead to fragmenting the society.

The statement’s signatories also stressed the importance of ” peaceful struggle” as a strategy to achieve “the revolution’s goals.” They, however, pointed out that the rebels’ Free Syrian Army (FSA) is a component of the “revolution” and it should protect the “strategic peacefulness of the movement.”

The NCB’s attitude towards the FSA is the main point of dispute with other opposition parties inside Syria.

On Saturday, a total of 28 opposition parties said their relation with the NCB is marred by the wrangling on the rebels’ tactics and their role in the 19-month crisis in Syria. They said they are against the militarization of the crisis and against the terrorist acts carried out by operative armed opposition on ground.

The 28 parties did not take part in Sunday’s conference.

Rajaa al-Naser, a NCB member, said at the opening session that “we believe and seek to put forward emergency plans that would allow the return of the displaced people and provide the medical treatment and livelihood for millions of restive Syrians, and we found no other prelude to this except the immediate halt of gunfire and the barbaric, brutal shelling.”

Russian Ambassador to Syria Azamat Kulmukhametov, who also attended the conference, stressed that “we see that the main goal now is to put an immediate end to the violence in Syria, whether it was from the government or the armed groups.”

He added that another “no less important” goal is “turning the current confrontation between the authorities and the armed opposition to the track of peaceful, political solution.”

The ambassador also stressed the importance of “solving the Syrian crisis by the Syrians themselves away from any foreign intervention, including halting the armament and the harboring of the armed groups that also group foreign mercenaries.”

After the opening session, al-Naser told Xinhua that the parties which refused to take part in the conference aim to ” confuse the conference,” adding that “this conference is for the opposition and we didn’t exclude anyone.”

The deep fracture among the Syrian opposition parties is expected to place more hurdles in the face of concrete results at the conference. The fractured opposition in the country has an even greater dispute with the broad-based one, as the Turkey-based Syrian National Council demands a foreign military offensive to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sunday’s conference will be wrapped up with a final communique later in the day.

Syrian Terrorists Claim Control Over Most of Syria

“The international community’s efforts to halt more than 18 months of bloodshed in Syria have so far failed to make any headway.”

[It is a total falsehood that the international community has been trying to halt the bloodshed in Syria, since it took them so long to build the violence to this point.  For the “international community,” there is only one acceptable way to halt the war against Syria–the removal of Bashar al-Assad and the empowerment of an Islamist (Wahabbi) government.  The sheer audacity of American hypocrisy is unmatched in all of human history.  May we all burn in the hell that we are creating.] 

Rebels claim control over most of Syria



ATMA: The rebel Free Syrian Army said on Sunday that it now controls most of the war-torn country, a day after announcing that it has moved its command centre from Turkey to “liberated areas” inside Syria.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks about Syria on Saturday, agreeing the crisis was “a steadily increasing threat to regional peace and stability,” according to a statement.

Brahimi, who was appointed in early September, is due to brief the UN Security Council on Monday about his first round of talks with both the regime, including PresidentBashar al-Assad, and opposition groups.

The international community’s efforts to halt more than 18 months of bloodshed in Syria have so far failed to make any headway, and fighting persisted on the ground overnight and on Monday morning.

Regime forces shelled many rebel-held areas, including in and around Damascus, second city Aleppo in the north, neighbouring Idlib, the central cities of Hama and Homs, and Daraa in the south, a watchdog said.

In Aleppo, the key battleground for the past two months, an AFP correspondent reported clashes as rebels exchanged fire in Bustan al-Qasr and Bustan al-Zahraa neighbourhoods.

Government forces shelled the Aleppo districts of Fardus, Sakhur and Suleiman al-Halabi, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based-based watchdog.

It added that two rebel fighters were killed in Daraa province where the uprising against the Assad regime broke out in March 2011.

The Observatory said that 150 people were killed across Syria on Saturday– 88 civilians, 30 rebels and 32 soldiers. Another 25 bodies were found in Damascus.

As the fighting continued unabated, a rebel commander told AFP that the regime’s aerial superiority was the only thing preventing the Free Syrian Army from taking control of the capital.

FBI Conducts Interrogations of 12 Federal Police Officers Involved In Ambush of CIA At Tres Marias

Tres Marias: FBI interrogates the 12 federal police rooted

Ambush at Tres Marias Photo: Eduardo Miranda

Ambush at Tres Marias 
Photo: Eduardo Miranda

MEXICO CITY (proceso.com.mx.) – The 12 members of the Federal Police (PF) who were seated at the attack on the CIA and a sailor in Tres Marias were questioned by the FBI, according to statements of the lawyers for the federal daily Reforma .

The litigants claimed that FBI agents questioned the federal involvement in the alleged incident, on August 24, from other people who were aboard a van X-Trail and Voyager so far not been located.

According to lawyers for the officers seated, the FBI asked the PF’s about whether there were several trucks, marked the high or if not marked.

However, the coach clarified that the FBI had no offers and that it was worthless ministerial questioning.

They said the FBI asked about other people involved in the incident at Three Marias but indicated, PF agents know whether more elements involved.

According to what the lawyers told Reforma , is the second time that the feds are questioned by members of the FBI.

The first time was the day after the events in the delegation of the Attorney in Cuernavaca.