Thursday, February 21, 2013

Who is Winning the War in Syria?

By the time you are finished reading this post I hope you understand why I no longer want to blog about the Boston Globe. 

"The resumption of fighting, which had lapsed for the past few weeks, as part of a renewed effort by rebels to seize control of central Damascus, the Syrian capital, although that depiction seemed highly exaggerated. Witness accounts said many people were going about their business, while others noted that previous rebel claims of territorial gains in Damascus had almost always turned out to be embellished or unfounded." 

Oh, like war propaganda regarding weapons of mass destruction and other such things?

Incredibly, my agenda-pushing intelligence agency psychological operation called a newspaper is citing rebel reports as fact now -- without the previous caveat of unable to verify or confirm.


Rebel fighters give ground to Syrian troops in Aleppo

"Syrian rebels in embattled Aleppo tried to maintain morale on Thursday by highlighting small gains even as they withdrew."

The thumping sound you hear is George Orwell twirling in his coffin at light speed.

"morale boost for rebel fighters"

Is that anything like a "moral" victory?

"A rebel unit of army defectors launched a major offensive dubbed “Northern Volcano,” and anti-regime forces targeted air bases, activists said. Rebels seized several areas in Aleppo last month, signaling a turning point in the conflict. Activists say. Activists say."  

How long ago was that?

Assad regime accepts pause in hostilities 

rebels claimed major gains in the key battleground of Aleppo..... empty talk."

Something my Globe didn't want to say on the web anyway. I mean, what's up with that?

Something confirmed by my pos paper in a one-day wonder of a sentence. Please don't let that spoil the we-are-winning narrative.

"Syrian rebels strengthen hold in country’s west:" by Barbara Surk  |  Associated Press, November 23, 2012

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels strengthened their hold Thursday on an oil-rich province bordering Iraq, activists said, capturing a key military base that was considered one of the last bastions for President Bashar Assad’s loyalists in the strategic region. 

I'm wondering if you've had enough at this point.

The reported fall of the Mayadeen base, along with its stockpiles of artillery, caps a series of advances in Deir el-Zour including last week’s seizure of a military airport.

The province borders on western Iraq. Syria’s rebels enjoy strong support from the Sunni tribes of Iraq’s west, and many Iraqis with combat experience from their own war are believed to have crossed the border to join the fight.

Rebel fighters also say that weapons seized when bases fall have been essential to their transformation from ragtag brigades into forces capable of challenging Assad’s professional army....

Violence also was reported in opposition strongholds around the capital Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo, where government aircraft damaged one of the rebels’ key field hospitals.

Rebels who have battled government forces for months to control Aleppo, Syria’s economic hub, scored a major victory several days ago when they overran the nearby base of the regime’s 46th Regiment. The unit was a pillar of the government’s Aleppo garrison and its fall cuts a major supply line.

However, the regime has used its air power to dent rebel gains. Government aircraft late Wednesday flattened a building next to Dar al-Shifa hospital, killing 15 people and badly damaging one of the last remaining sources of medical help for civilians in the city, activists said....

Who said?


"Syrian rebels seize six key military facilities and weapons" by Liz Sly  |  Washington Post, November 26, 2012

BEIRUT — None of the battles alone represented the kind of decisive military victory that the rebels need if they are to claim control of a city or province and prod the international community for greater support, and whether they will ever be in a position to dislodge the regime from the heavily guarded capital without help is in question.

How can they be winning, winning, winning, advancing, advancing, advancing, and then... oh, right consider the source I'm smelling, I mean, reading.

Taken together, however, the gains underscore the steadily growing effectiveness of the rebel force and the accelerating erosion of what had once been one of the region’s most powerful armies, now severely depleted and on the defensive.... 


The fighting is piecemeal, intense, and likely to persist for many more months as regime forces and rebel fighters battle it out town by town, base by base, across the vast swathes of the country that are being contested.

But no longer is it possible to describe the war in Syria as a stalemate, said Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the pace of rebel gains in recent weeks raises the prospect that a collapse of government forces could come sooner than has been expected.

For those that don't know, WINEP is a war-promoting Zionist Jew outfit. Yup, that would be the kind of "expert" to which my paper would turn.

‘‘The war is turning against the regime, and it’s turning at a faster rate than we had seen before,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s a reasonable chance there will be some kind of breaking point, and the regime will collapse in a hurry. It’s not probable, but it’s possible, and then the guys with the guns will be in charge.’’ 

And as usual, he's pushing the same old Jewish bs.

Putting a timetable on the regime’s likely demise is impossible, analysts say, in part because so many other variables are in play....

But don't let that get in the way of the 100% bovine excrement we call news around here.


Syrian rebels seize hydroelectric dam, more weapons

It is the latest in a monthlong string of tactical successes that demonstrate the rebels’ ability to erode the government’s dominance in the face of withering aerial attacks."

"Pressure on Damascus rises as clashes erupt; Advance raises fears of chemical weapons use" by Ben Hubbard  |  Associated Press, December 05, 2012

BEIRUT — Rebel groups around Syria have scored victories in recent weeks, overrunning military bases and airports and halting air traffic at the capital’s international airport for days.

The government’s response has been harsh, and suburbs to the east and south of Damascus have seen some of the heaviest fighting since July, when rebels seized neighborhoods in the capital itself before being routed by government troops.

Say what?

Death tolls in the area have soared....


"Syrian rebels target airport to cut off regime’s supplies" by Barbara Surk  |  Associated Press, December 08, 2012

BEIRUT — ‘‘The rebels have made major military gains, and have been fighting closer to the regime’s nerve center, which is the airport, for days, systematically chipping away at the political and military power off the Assad regime,’’ said Fawaz A. Gerges, head of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics....

‘‘a moral victory’’

Another one? 

That means you lost, but why let that get in the way of good propaganda?


RelatedRussia and NATO say that rebels could win in Syria

Did they really say that?

"Syrian rebels capture part of massive army base; 13 soldiers killed in ambush near strategic town" by Bassem Mroue  |  Associated Press, December 11, 2012

BEIRUT — Tightening the opposition’s grip on areas close to the Turkish border....

Once on the defensive, Syria’s rebels have gained momentum in recent weeks with a number of tactical advances putting Assad’s forces on their heels.

In an interview with Dubai TV, Syria’s top military defector said Assad’s regime is over and he advised the president to leave office....

That was over two months ago and before my post-leading quote. 

Manaf Tlass, a Syrian general who was the first member of Assad’s inner circle to break ranks and join the opposition, said, ‘‘We are at a turning point....’’

What's that, the second one of this post alone?


Also see:

Syria turns to Scuds vs. rebels

The momentum of a gaining insurgency 

Why bother with the rest?

Printed paper says it's admitting a stalemate.

Syrian rebels take northern town, attack air base

With steady rebel gains across the north, President Bashar Assad’s regime is having increasing difficulty sending supplies by land to Aleppo Province, especially after rebels cut a major thoroughfare from Damascus. It is just another sign that the opposition is consolidating its grip across large swathes of territory in northern Syria near the Turkish border."

Gee, they are just gaining everywhere. North, south, east, and west, the Globe's propaganda is the best!! 

Or not. No government likes a traitor.

"Fighting leads to shutdown of Syrian airport; Troops, rebels battle outside of Damascus" by Bassem Mroue  |  Associated Press, January 02, 2013

BEIRUT — The rebels have been making inroads and posing a stiff challenge....

What is a stiff challenge is continuing to read and report on this s***. 

The opposition trying to overthrow authoritarian President Bashar Assad has been fighting for control of Aleppo since the summer, and they have captured large swathes of territory in Aleppo Province west and north of the city up to the Turkish border.

In the past few weeks, the rebels have stepped up their attacks on airports around Aleppo Province, trying to chip away at the government’s air power, which poses the biggest obstacle to their advances.

The air force has been bombing and strafing rebel positions and attacking towns under opposition control for months.

But the rebels have no planes or effective antiaircraft weapons to counter the attacks....

Un-f***ing-believable when I was told above they had in fact seized such weapons from overrun bases. I guess it is whatever pile of shit that needs shoveling at a given time when it comes to the Amerikan media.


"Syrian president plans speech on status of war; Battles rage on as rebels push against capital" by Barbara Surk  |  Associated Press, January 06, 2013

BEIRUT — Rebels pressed ahead with an offensive on the capital....

The rebels are trying to push through the government’s heavy defenses in Damascus, prompting the regime to unleash a withering assault on the suburbs that has included intense barrages by artillery and warplanes.

Diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian crisis have failed so far to stop the bloodshed, although the international community continues to push for a peaceful settlement.

As they fund terrorist mercenaries inside Syria.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, told reporters after a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart in Riyadh that there should be an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria and called for a peaceful political transition.

Saudis are one of the main funders of money and men. 

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have both called on Assad to step down, and Riyadh has also been an outspoken supporter of the rebels....

Meanwhile the violence continued unabated Saturday....

The army dispatched fresh reinforcements to Daraya, part of an offensive aimed at dislodging rebels from the district....

Say what? I was told they were on the defensive only a few spaces above. 

Un-f***ing-believable. I suppose it really doesn't matter. The real mission of the AmeriKan media is just to shovel the shit and get it out there. It's not about news, civic duty, or even selling papers and making money. It's about getting shit-slop out there to advance the agenda, whatever it happens to be at a given time.

Government troops also arrested several residents in raids in the suburb of Qatana....

There was also fighting on the road to the Damascus International Airport, which has not been functioning since last month when clashes first erupted on the airport road, and international airlines have yet to resume flights to the capital.

I'm thinking of getting off the Globe road.


"In rare speech, defiant Assad justifies crackdown; Syria’s president rips negotiation, offers own plan" by Anne Bernard  |  New York Times, January 07, 2013

BEIRUT — President Bashar Assad of Syria said Sunday that the first step in his plan would be for foreign countries to stop financing the rebels. Then his government would put down its weapons, he said, although he reserved the right to continue to fight terrorism....

EUSrael would reserve that right, and not put its weapons down.

Assad’s speech appeared unlikely to satisfy even those among his opponents who reject the armed rebellion, since it made no apology for the arrests of peaceful activists or for airstrikes that have destroyed neighborhoods. Assad gave no sign of acknowledging that the movement against him was anything more than a foreign plot or had any goals other than to inflict suffering and destroy the country....

Readers, ASSAD SEES, because he's a TRAINED EYE DOCTOR!


"Assad’s speech met with disdain" by Barbara Surk  |  Associated Press, January 08, 2013

BEIRUT — Rebels have recently made gains around Aleppo, as well as in the east and in the capital, Damascus, bringing the war closer to the seat of Assad’s power....

The army sent reinforcements to join an offensive aimed at dislodging rebels.... 

I'm just wondering if you can blame me for the big, blue Xs through the rest of the s*** print. 



"The back-to-back declarations highlight the see-saw nature of the conflict in Syria, where one side’s victories in one area are often followed by reverses in another."

Say what?

"Rebels, Islamist militants seize key air base in northern Syria; Envoy sees little hope for political solution to war" by Bassem Mroue  |  Associated Press, January 12, 2013

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels and Islamist militants overran a major military air base in the north Friday and, buoyed by the victory, intensified their offensive on two other bases in their most aggressive campaign yet to erode the air supremacy that President Bashar Assad’s regime has increasingly relied on over the past year.

Readers, need I even comment anymore?

The rebels control the ground in large parts of the north, but they have been unable to solidify their grip because they — and civilians in rebel-held regions — come under withering strikes from aircraft stationed at a number of military bases in the area.

The Taftanaz air base in Idlib Province is the largest air base yet to be captured by the rebels. It is the biggest field in the north for helicopters the military uses, both for strikes on rebels and for delivering supplies to government troops still in the north to avoid the danger of rebel attacks on the roads.

Shortly after they captured the Taftanaz field, rebels in the neighboring province of Aleppo intensified their assault on the Mannagh air base and the international airport of the city of Aleppo, which includes a military base. Rebels have been trying to capture the two sites since last week, along with a third airfield known as Kweires....


Syria reportedly bombs Damascus suburbs to repel rebels

My printed paper carried AP, and I'm sick of posting NYT war propaganda. Sorry. It's there if you want it.

"Fighting escalates in Syria with bombings, airstrikes; Suicide attacks kill 22; army presses in north" by Albert Aji and Barbara Surk  |  Associated Press, January 17, 2013

DAMASCUS — Syrian troops stepped up an offensive against rebels in the north on Wednesday, following explosions targeting security forces and a university campus that killed more than 100 people in two days.

Those were the terrorists. 

Powerful suicide car bombs that killed about two dozen people in Idlib marked another escalation in the fight for control of northern Syria, a key battlefield in the country’s civil war. The day before, massive blasts heavily damaged the main university in the commercial hub of Aleppo, killing 87 people and wounding scores of others.


The nearly simultaneous bombings in Idlib on Wednesday bore the trademarks of Islamic militants, the most organized rebel fighters trying to topple the government of President Bashar Assad. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the 22-month conflict, according to the United Nations.

By this time anyone who doesn't know that Islamic militants is a euphemism for western intelligence agency operations hasn't been paying attention or has shit for  brains.

Assad’s warplanes struck rebel targets in both northern cities, still reeling from the deadly explosions. The Syrian Army vowed to crush the armed opposition to ‘‘cleanse the homeland of their dirt.’’

Did they really say that, or is it another Jewish media misquote?

The army said in a statement that its troops killed and wounded dozens of terrorist mercenaries in Aleppo after the attacks on the university, where students were taking midyear exams. Assad’s regime regularly refers to rebels as terrorists.

Government troops and rebels have been locked in a deadly stalemate in Aleppo and other areas in the north since last summer. Rebels hold large parts of the city but have been unable to overcome the regime’s superior firepower.

I really can't take much more.

With the two sides deadlocked on the northern front, rebels have increasingly targeted state security facilities and government institutions in other parts of the country, including in the capital, Damascus.

It's called terrorism, and a deadlock after I was told... sigh.

There were conflicting accounts of the rebel assaults on Idlib, southwest of Aleppo....

I believe Syrian government. How sad is that, 'eh, Amurkn?

No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s explosions. In the past, Jabhat al-Nusra, a group linked to Al Qaeda that the Obama administration has labeled as a terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks.


It is also unclear who was responsible for the twin blasts that ripped through the university campus Tuesday in Aleppo, killing dozens, setting cars on fire, and blowing the walls off dormitory rooms....

But you can see who my war propaganda press implicates.


"Airstrike kills at least 7 near Syrian capital" Associated Press, January 21, 2013

BEIRUT — Rebels have become bogged down in their push for Damascus, where government troops are still firmly in control.

While the opposition fighters have established footholds in suburbs east and south of the capital, Assad’s forces have kept them from advancing into the heart of the city and regularly hit them with artillery and airstrikes....


"Fighting rages in Syria’s suburbs" by Barbara Surk |  Associated Press, January 25, 2013

BEIRUT — President Bashar Assad’s forces are trying to drive out rebels who have established enclaves in the suburbs. While the government has lost control of large swaths of territory in the country’s north and east, including parts of the northern city of Aleppo, the capital remains tightly secured.

Conditions in the city have worsened, however, with prices for basic goods rising and fuel in short supply. US officials said Thursday that they believe Assad’s sister and mother have left the country, suggesting that hardship has reached the leadership’s families....


"At the same time, rebel fighters seeking Assad’s overthrow appeared to have made advances in the east of the country, where government forces have seemed to reduce their presence to concentrate on the center, giving rebels more freedom to maneuver and in some cases siphon fuel from gas and oil fields there."

Related: Syrian rebels take key area near Aleppo airport

I thought they already had based on the reporting above, but who want's to quibble over a huge pile of s*** propaganda?


"Battles in Damascus expand to suburbs" by Hania Mourtada and Rick Gladstone  |  New York Times, February 08, 2013

BEIRUT — Syria’s official news agency, SANA, characterized the clashes on Thursday as terrorist assaults. It said that government forces in at least a dozen suburbs had vanquished or killed many attackers, including some who were disguised as women and others who were caught with antiaircraft weapons.

But the scope of the clashes described in the SANA dispatch seemed to corroborate that the fighting had intensified close to the center of government power in Syria, forcing the military to go back into areas it had repeatedly sought to secure....

And just a day before the quote I led this piece with was published. 


"Syrian rebels shut down key Damascus highway; UN says refugee flood has become ‘full-on crisis’" by Ben Hubbard  |  Associated Press, February 09, 2013

BEIRUT — Rebels pushed forward in their battle with the Syrian Army in Damascus on Friday, clashing with regime soldiers in contested neighborhoods in the northeast and shutting down a key highway out of the capital with a row of burning tires, activists said....

 It was unclear whether the rebels would be able to hold their ground.

Both the rebels and the regime of President Bashar Assad consider the fight for Damascus the most likely endgame in a civil war that has killed more than 60,000. The government controls movement in and out of the heavily defended city with a network of checkpoints, and rebels have failed to make significant inroads.

But they are advancing and winning, establishing enclaves and footholds. 


A spokesman for one of the opposition groups fighting in the area said the rebels sought to open a path for a future assault on the city.

‘‘This is not the battle for Damascus. This battle is to prepare for the entry into Damascus,’’ he said via Skype, giving only his nickname of Abu al-Fida for fear of reprisals....

Online videos showed a row of burning tires laid across the highway, blocking all traffic. Smoke rose from a number of areas nearby, reflecting clashes and government shelling.

The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to activist reports....

And therefore are not to be questioned.


Related: ‘Syria Danny’ Caught Staging CNN War Propaganda Stunt

But you can believe those videos the lying AmeriKan war press cites.

"Syrian troops battle rebels for vital road to Damascus; Civil war focuses on capital city" by Bassem Mroue  |  Associated Press, February 10, 2013

BEIRUT — An eventual assault on the heavily defended capital.

Rebels have been on the offensive in Damascus since launching a series of attacks on government positions on Wednesday....

The fighting is the heaviest to hit Damascus since July, when a first rebel assault managed to capture several neighborhoods before a punishing government counter offensive. After that rebel foray, the regime quickly reasserted its control over the city, which has spared Damascus much of the violence and destruction that the civil war has wrought on other major urban centers.

Both the rebels and the government consider the fight for Damascus the most likely endgame in a civil war that has already killed more than 60,000 people.

The city is heavily fortified and dotted with armed checkpoints, and activists say it is surrounded with three of the most loyal divisions of the army, including the Republican Guard and the feared 4th Division, commanded by Assad’s brother Maher.

The latest Damascus offensive did not appear to be coordinated with rebels on other sides of the capital, and it was unclear whether the opposition fighters would be able to hold their ground....

They never do -- if they even took it at all.

Activists say the fighting is only the beginning of a long battle for the capital....

Syria’s crisis began in March 2011 and has settled into a bloody stalemate....

But the rebels are winning, rebels are gaining.... SIGH!


"Syrian rebels reportedly take dam; Van blast kills 13 at Turkish post, prompts inquiry" by Hwaida Saad and Rick Gladstone  |  New York Times, February 12, 2013

BEIRUT — Syrian insurgents and opposition activists said Monday that rebel forces had taken control of Syria’s largest hydroelectric dam, an assertion that, if confirmed, would give them significant control over a vital reservoir and what remains of the sporadic power supplies in their war-ravaged country.

The Tabqa Dam, built more than 40 years ago with Russian help on the Euphrates River in northeast Syria’s Raqqa province, provides electricity to areas that are both in rebel and loyalist hands, including the contested city of Aleppo. It would be the third Euphrates dam taken by the rebels, who control two smaller facilities upriver.

But the Tabqa Dam, which the government once boasted had made Syria self-sufficient in power generation, is considered a more potent weapon in the battle for allegiances in the nearly two-year-old Syria conflict. Rebel-held areas have been systematically denied electricity by President Bashar Assad’s forces in their effort to turn the population against the insurgency....

Reports by rebel commanders and by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group based in Britain with a network of contacts in Syria, said insurgents had met little resistance as they swept into the Tabqa area Sunday, seizing the dam and setting fire to an imposing statue of Assad’s father and predecessor, Hafez, in the city of Tabqa.

The reservoir created by the dam, known as Lake Assad, is Syria’s largest and is vital for irrigating farms and supplying drinking water to Aleppo.

The Syrian government did not confirm the insurgent claims. But videos uploaded on the Internet by insurgents appeared to corroborate they were in control of areas inside and outside the dam, although not necessarily the control room. One rebel was quoted as saying the insurgents intended to divert power from the dam to rebel-held areas.

He said that rebels also had taken control of large areas of Tabqa, including a military police barracks, an air force facility, and an artillery base, seizing weapons and ammunition, and that they did not intend to damage any infrastructure.

‘‘The Shabiha says, ‘Assad or burn the country,’’’ he said, using the term for the feared plainclothes pro-government militias. ‘‘We say, ‘We will burn Assad and keep the country.’’’

Fighters in the operation included members of the Al Nusra Front, the Islamic militant group that has developed a reputation for its fearless attacks on Assad’s military but has emerged as a problem for the United States, which wants to aid the Syrian insurgency but considers Al Nusra a terrorist organization with ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq.


"Syrian rebels closer to controlling airport" by Zeina Karam  |  Associated Press, February 14, 2013

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels knocked down army defenses and moved in on the country’s second-largest airport Wednesday, reportedly killing more than 40 soldiers and bringing them closer to what could be their biggest conquest since the beginning of the civil war.

Control of Aleppo International Airport and a military air base next to it would be a huge strategic shift for Syria’s northeastern region, giving the opposition a potential air hub enabling aid and other flights.

Still, activists said it could be days before the rebels would be able to push their way into the airport, 4 miles from the contested city center, and even then, it was unclear whether they would be able to retain control of the sprawling facility for long.

But is was a headline of the previous day's article.

The country’s air space is firmly controlled by the government, which uses its warplanes indiscriminately to bomb rebel strongholds.

Sort of like what AmeriKa does in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq.....

The advance on the airport comes on the heels of other strategic gains....

‘‘There has been some extremely significant advances by the rebels in the past few days. There is real fear and flagging morale among regime forces in the region,’’ said Muhieddine Lathkani, a London-based member of the Syrian National Council opposition group.

The government tried to reverse the gains with a series of airstrikes in several locations across the country Wednesday....

The rebels have been pushing their way into the capital since last week. The foray marks the opposition’s second significant attempt to storm Damascus since July, when the rebels captured several neighborhoods before being swept out by a swift government counteroffensive.

What was that? Maybe the government lured them in to kill them. That has been reported on the blogs.

Since then, the regime has buckled down in Damascus, setting up checkpoints and controlling movement in and out of the city. The heavily defended city so far has been spared the kind of violence that has devastated whole neighborhoods in other major cities such as Aleppo and the central city of Homs....

If you want more of this shit you are welcome to it, readers. I can't take it anymore, I really can't.


"Syrian rebels make inroads, taking part of oil field, base" by Ben Hubbard  |  Associated Press, February 15, 2013

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels captured most of an eastern oil field and stormed a military base in the south, antiregime activists said Thursday, further chipping away at President Bashar Assad’s hold on the country’s hinterlands.

Well, there are chips of some sort here.

Although Assad’s regime does not appear on the brink of collapse, rebels seeking his ouster have scored a string of strategic victories during the past week....

These blows have shrunk the portion of the nation that Assad effectively governs and may deprive his regime of needed resources....

Videos posted online in the past three days showed dozens of bearded rebels looting a large red building and making off with boots and green munitions boxes. The bodies of a few government soldiers were in the dirt nearby....

Also Thursday, rebels stormed a small military base near the town of al-Sahwa in the southern province of Daraa, which rebels had surrounded and shelled for days before launching their raids.

Videos posted online showed rebels chanting in victory as what they said were destroyed tanks burned and sent up columns of smoke in the distance.

All videos appeared to be authentic and were consistent with other Associated Press reporting.

And how could one ever question that, huh? It's not like they ever LIED US INTO WARS or anything.

Rebels clashed....

rebels captured....


"Syrian forces kill 33 in missile strike; Many children die in area held by opposition" by Zeina Karam  |  Associated Press,  February 20, 2013

BEIRUT — A Syrian missile strike leveled a block of buildings in an impoverished district of Aleppo on Tuesday, killing at least 33 people, almost half of them children, antiregime ­activists said.

Who said?

Many were trapped under the rubble of destroyed houses and piles of concrete and the death toll could still rise further if more bodies are uncovered.

The apparent ground-to-ground missile attack struck a quiet area that has been held by antiregime fighters for months, a reminder of how difficult it is for the opposition to defend territory in the face of far superior weaponry.

In the capital, Damascus, two mortars exploded near one of President Bashar Assad’s palaces, state news agency SANA said. It dealt a symbolic blow to the embattled leader, who has tried to maintain an image as the head of a functioning state even as rebels edge closer to the heart of his seat of power.

This has really reached beyond the point of bullshit and reached some rank point as of yet unmarked on the shit-o-meter. 

No casualties were reported and it was unclear whether Assad was in the palace. He has two others in the city.

The attack was the first confirmed strike close to a presidential palace and another sign that the civil war is seeping into areas once considered safe.

“This is a clear message to the regime that nowhere is safe from now on,” said Khaled al-Shami, an activist in Damascus reached via Skype. “The fact that they had to announce it means they can no longer hide what is happening in Damascus.”

You see, terrorists are okay if they are called rebels and serve western interests.

The news service, SANA, said “terrorists” fired the rounds that struck near the southern wall of the Tishreen palace in the capital’s northwestern Muhajireen district. The government refers to antigovernment fighters as “terrorists.”

Assad often uses the Tishrin palace to receive dignitaries and as a guest house for foreign officials during their visits.

The capital has largely been spared the violence that has left other cities in ruins. For weeks, however, rebels who have established footholds in the suburbs have been pushing closer to the heart of Damascus from the eastern and southern outskirts, clashing with government forces....

Amateur videos posted online showed scores of men combing through the rubble of destroyed buildings in the poor Jabal Badro neighborhood to find those trapped beneath it.

“Allahu Akbar,” or God is great, they shout as a group of men lift up a body wrapped in a pink blanket.

One man swung a sledgehammer to break through concrete while a bulldozer hauled off rubble. In another video, a man covered in gray dust struggled under a pile of concrete. 

Now they know how Palestinians have felt all these years.

The videos appeared ­authentic and corresponded with other Associated Press ­reporting....

Oh, well, then must be true -- as this cut and paste sentence proves.


"Russia offers to broker Syria talks" by Albert Aji and Ryan Lucas  |  Associated Press, February 21, 2013

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s rebels have notched a series of tactical victories in recent weeks, capturing the nation’s largest hydroelectric dam and overtaking airbases in the northeast. They cut off a key highway in Damascus and are making forays to within a mile of the heart of the heavily guarded capital....

And because my war-cheering, agenda-pushing press says so it must be true. 

A government airstrike on a rebellious Damascus suburb killed at least 20 people. Amateur videos posted online from the air raid appeared genuine and corresponded to other reporting on the events.

And no longer any caveat that the reports could not be independently verified or confirmed. It's just accepted as an agenda-pushing fact.



"Syrian activists said a video broadcast shows" 

I'm sorry, but I've stopped believing fakes and frauds vouched for by the the intelligence operation known as the AmeriKan news media.