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Old 31-01-12, 16:58   #1
 
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Update VIDEOs/PhOTOs-US BOMBs Syria=RUSSIA Deploys Warship-IRAN Responds

Syria: UN to hear Arab League proposals


Guardian UK

US, UK and France press for security council vote on Syria
Russia proposes talks between regime and opposition
• Syrian army retakes Damascus suburbs




Protesters in Kafranbel, in north west Syria call for UN support. Photo: YouTube


Fares Chamseddine (the pen-name of a Syrian man living in Britain) argues on Comment is Free that even a watered down UN resolution on Syria would hurt Asssad:

It will be interesting to see how adamant the Russians are that Assad and his family should be allowed to remain in power. Preventing a Libya-style scenario from emerging in Syria does not necessarily preclude a gradual transfer of power to a provisional government of some sort which incorporates elements of both sides. If Russia can be assured that this would not endanger its considerable military and financial investments in Syria, then perhaps we might see such a resolution pass.

That is a lot to hope for, and so far the Russians have given no hints whatsoever that their position regarding Assad's regime is anything but cast in iron.

Still, the Syrian regime has done everything in its power to delay bringing the question of a resolution back to the UN, and that shows this is something which worries them very deeply. Nobody, not even Assad, can take Russia's support for granted, and at some point even the strongest ally could decide that a losing regime is not worth supporting.

YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inj9WDPB5nQ&feature=player_embedded


4.34pm: The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) say 23 people have died in Syria so far today at the hands of the security forces, including two children. It says 10 people have been killed in Idlib in the north-west, where it has reported shelling and clashes between troops and the Free Syrian Army. Nine people have been killed in Homs and one each in Dael,Damascus and Ain Tarma in Damascus Suburbs, according to the LCC. It says security forces used megaphones to order citizens to leave Ain Tarma within an hour.

This video purports to show a house that was shelled in Ma'art Numan in Idlib.

The LCC has posted another video it says represents the first pictures of the devastation wreaked in Saqba, in Damascus suburbs, by the security forces.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVS9ekOmM1g&feature=player_embedded


Another video purports to show the heavy security presence in Saqba.

The LCC has also accused the Assad regime of blowing up oil pipelines as part of a policy of "collective punishment" towards civilian opponents of the regime. Both the LCC and the government have opposed each other of blowing up pipelines in Homs today, not the first time the government has made such claims (see 2.56pm).

The LCC says:


Quote:
The latest episode of this series was in Baba Amr, where the regime attempted to blame what it calls "armed terrorist groups," in order to support its false story before the United Nations' security council meeting to discuss the Syrian file.

The regime uses these methods to abuse and intimidate civilians. Reports of suffocation incidents have risen in the areas close to the fires, not to mention the short and long term health risks posed by the burning oil fumes on civilians. This is a part of the regime's collective punishment policy against the areas demanding freedom for Syria. The Syrian regime [has] bombed several oil and gas pipelines since the revolution's beginning.


3.13pm: Here's the full text of the draft resolution on Syria.


This is one of the key passages and main sticking points:


Delegation by the President of Syria of his full authority to his Deputy to fully cooperate with the national unity government in order to empower it to perform its duties in the transitional period.


3.01pm: Foreign Policy magazine has useful pen portraits, plus nicknames, on some of the key players on the UN's manoeuvres on Syria.


They are:



Mr. Consensus: Nabil Elaraby, secretary general of the Arab League


The Tip of the Spear: Hamad Bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar


The No Show: Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, head of the Arab League monitoring mission


Mr. Nyet: Vitaly Churkin, Russia's U.N. envoy


The Low Key Negotiator: Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations


Don't Tread on Me: Bashar Al Jaafari, Syria's U.N. ambassador


The Not-So-Loyal Opposition: Burhan Ghalioun, representative of the Syrian National Council


The Arabist for Assad: Mourad Medelci, Algeria's foreign minister


The Front Man: Mohammed Loulichki, Morocco's UN ambassador


Here's the entry on the "The Euro Faction":


Mark Lyall Grant, Britain's UN ambassador, and Gerard Araud, France's UN have been the driving force behind the negotiations on the draft. Since the beginning of the crisis, they have pushed aggressively for the Security Council to increase pressure on Assad regime. In the latest round, they have cobbled together a fairly wide alliance of countries - including the United States, several Arab governments, and Turkey - in support of an Arab League plan for Syria's political transition. Most of the group's meetings have taken place at the British mission to the United Nations, and British and French diplomats have lead the drafting process. Germany's U.N. ambassador Peter Wittig, meanwhile, has played an increasingly vocal role in pressing a tougher line in the council on Syria. It was Wittig who first proposed back in December that the Arab League brief the council on its diplomatic efforts to end the crisis. At the time, the initiative was dismissed even by Germany's allies. "I wouldn't say there was resistance," said one council diplomat. "But there was no appetite."


2.56pm: The Local Co-ordination Committees claim 16 people have been killed in Syria so far today. The umbrella activist group says nine of the deaths were in Idlib, in the north-west, and six in Homs, where it said 76 people were killed on Monday.


It says four of those reported killed in Idlib were army recruits executed for refusing to open fire on protesters. Video taken by locals [warning: graphic] has bee posted online.


A video purportedly from Babr Amr, a hotbed of resistance, shows a gas pipeline blown up by the security forces today, the LCC claims.


The Syrian government has accused "armed terrorist groups" (its way of describing the opposition) of a number of attacks on gas and oil pipelines since the uprising began and the state news agency, Sana, reported: "An armed terrorist group at dawn Monday blew up a gas pipeline extending from Homs to Banyas near al-Rabieh village in Tal Kalakh."


Tal-Kalakh is in Homs but it is unclear whether Sana is referring to the same incident as the LCC.


2.34pm: Turkey has joined in the criticism of Russia ahead of the UN security council meeting, the Turkish daily Zaman reports.
It quotes this tweet from Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser to the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.




Quote:
russia is turning the arab and muslim world against itself in the name of protecting its interests in syria. a bad choice in my view.
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Old 09-02-12, 20:03   #2
 
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Default re: SYRIA-PHOTOS/VIDEOS-BRUTALITY-UN Vote Fails & UPDATES

Russia & China vetoed the Vote in the UN

(Not surprising considering one of them is supplying arms to the Syrian Government-LBB)

Britain will help Syrian rebels says Cameron as Assad army bombs continue to rain down on Homs

  • City being bombarded to stop uprising against ruling regime
  • Russian foreign minister meets Assad in Damascus
  • Pair discuss ways to try to end the uprising
  • 95 killed in yesterday's bloodshed
  • More than 5,400 dead since uprising began in March 2011
  • David Cameron meets to formulate British policy in Syria
By Daily Mail UK 9th February 2012

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave the green light to a three point plan to force Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to quit yesterday, approving plans to train spindoctors to help the Syrian opposition win support.
British officials will help opposition leaders draw up a joint platform for the future of their country and then train them in how to win over the Syrian people.
Details of the plan were signed off yesterday when the Prime Minister chaired an hour-long meeting of the National Security Council.

Scroll down for Videos...



A rebel fighter from a group that calls itself the Free Syrian Army aims his gun through a hole in a wall in Homs




These images of gunmen fighting against the Assad regime are some of the rare pictures of the resistance



An injured man lies on the floor of a corridor as another is carried on a stretcher so that he can receive treatment in Homs




Bodies are loaded onto the back of a pickup truck outside the hospital in the Bab Amr neighbourhood of Homs




Rebels help a wounded man with a bloody vest into the hospital so that he can receive treatment



A seriously injured man lies on a stretcher as medical staff battle to save him

Mr Cameron vowed to back fresh sanctions by the European Union to freeze the assets of key regime figures and ban them from travelling.
He also said Britain would back Arab League efforts to finalise a deal which would see Mr Assad hand over power to a national unity government ahead of elections.

The crunch meeting came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov travelled to Syria in a bid to strike a deal.
He said Mr Assad was ready to end the bloodshed, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives over the last 11 months, and hold a referendum on constitutional reforms.
During a visit to Damascus, Mr Lavrov said he had received assurances from Mr Assad that he was 'completely committed to the task of stopping violence regardless of where it may come from'.




Wounded: Rebels injured in the bombardment flash a victory sign as Assad's regime intensified its crackdown on opposition




Battered: Makeshift medical centres and homes have been hit by mortars and machine gun fire as the crackdown by Assad's forces continues




Cold comfort: The email said Asma Assad was helping the bereaved to cope. Pictured here are the victims of shelling by the Syrian army in the Khalidiya neighbourhood in Homs




Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov (left) said he had received assurances from Bashar al-Assad that he was 'completely committed to the task of stopping violence' wherever it may come from

'President Assad informed (me) that he will meet in the coming days with the commission that prepared a draft of the new constitution,' Mr Lavrov added.
'The work is finished, and now a date will be announced for a referendum on this important document for Syria.'

Mr Lavrov appeared to be attempting to salvage some diplomatic face after infuriating Arab countries and the West by vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning the violence at the weekend.
But his claims seemed empty last night as the relentless shelling of the rebel stronghold of Homs continued yesterday.

Rebel leaders said that another 19 people were killed yesterday in Homs, the fourth day of mortar and tank attacks which have killed more than 300 people.
Downing Street said Syria's government must be judged by its "savage" actions, not its words.





Warm welcome: Assad's supporters took to the streets to welcome Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today




Greeting: Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) in a bid to try and diffuse the escalating violence



Colourful: Pro-Syrian regime supporters gathered under a huge Russian flag made from balloons to cheer on the convoy carrying Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

A spokesman said: 'Our position hasn't changed. We will continue to judge the Syrian regime by its actions not its words.

'Reports that President Assad is ready to talk to all the political forces in Syria to end the violence and set a date for a referendum for a new constitution stand in stark contrast to the actions they are taking and their savage attempt to crush the peaceful protests in Homs.'
At the NSC meeting in London , politicians and defence chiefs ruled out arming the opposition but agreed they would do more to help.

A No 10 spokesman said: 'The work is going to focused on three tracks: firstly, support to the Arab League; secondly, further sanctions to increase the pressure on the Assad regime; and thirdly, work with the Opposition to encourage them to set out a clear vision for the future, for a unified and peaceful Syria.'
A Whitehall security source said: 'The training is taking place on a one to one basis with opposition leaders outside Syria. We are teaching them how to be their own spindoctors to help them agree a message and then get it out to the people.'



Bombed out: Asma Assad said she still supported her husband, who has launched a crackdown on opposition groups in recent months



Destroyed: An obliterated military vehicle lies in a Homs street yesterday after it was struck by mortars fired by troops loyal to Syria's ruling regime

Britain's scepticism was shared by prominent members of the Arab League, who have called for President Assad to relinquish power.

Members of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates - are pulling their ambassadors from Syria because of Mr Assad's refusal to accept Arab attempts to end the country's bloodshed.
Efforts to help the Syrian opposition will gather pace at a contact group meeting being planned for the next few weeks which will bring together a 'coalition of the willing' of countries who want to help.

But Mr Cameron was warned that it could take a long time to see the Assad regime fall. Part of the Prime Minister's briefing yesterday was to emphasise the strength of the Syrian armed forces.
'They can keep up these attacks for a long time,' one source said.




Panic: A hospital in the rebel-held city of Homs under attack yesterday





Terror: Iraqi families pictured arriving in Baghdad after fleeing from their homes in Syria. They had initially fled their home countries after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003




Standing guard: A member of the Free Syrian Army watches over anti-regime protesters holding a demonstration in the city of Idlib




Defiance: Protesters dance on the streets during a demonstration in Idlib, Syria



Anti-regime protesters play drums and wave a revolutionary flag during demonstrations in Idlib




Casualties: YouTube footage shows the bodies of three people reportedly killed in shelling on Rastan in the central province of Homs.
Videos obtained alleges Homs being attacked by Syrian government forces;

WARNING, THESE VIDEOS MAY BE GRAPHIC UPSET SOME OF YOU- Ladybbird


SYRIA


SYRIA2


SICK and very cruel, now they are bombing the hospitals

More........

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Old 09-02-12, 23:45   #3
 
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Default Presidents' Wife, Asma Tries to Escape Syria

'She listens to and comforts the bereaved': Assad's British-born wife speaks for first time as husband tries to crush opposition

  • Asma Assad appears to offer full support to husband in the email
  • Sparks anger from activists who say she is 'delusional'

By Daily Mail UK




Silence broken: Asma Assad, the British-born wife of Syria's president, has spoken for the first time since the country's uprising began last March


The British-born wife of Syria's president has spoken for the first time since the country’s uprising began last March.
In a carefully worded email, Asma Assad appears to offer full support to her husband Bashar as his security forces try to crush the opposition.
'The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the First Lady supports him in that role,' she told The Times.
'These days she is equally involved in bridging gaps and encouraging dialogue. She listens to and comforts the families of the victims of the violence.'
Mrs Assad, 36, approved the text following a critical article in the newspaper last week.
It had asked what an educated woman, raised in liberal Britain and with a long record of good works, must think of the slaughter, torture and imprisonment of thousands.

But her statement that she was comforting the bereaved was greeted with anger by Syrian experts and opposition activists.
They said she had an 'ostrich attitude' and was delusional.
The email followed claims last month that Syrian security forces tried to smuggle her, and her children, out of the country.

They were reportedly in a convoy, also carrying the president's mother and cousin, intercepted by brigades of army defectors, that came under heavy fire as they made their way to Damascus airport. They were forced to turn back to the city's presidential palace.



Fleeing: Asma (right), the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and their two children, seven-year-old Karim (right) and nine-year-old Zein (left) are believed to have been caught trying to flee, it has been claimed




Cold comfort: The email said Asma Assad was helping the bereaved to cope. Pictured here are the victims of shelling by the Syrian army in the Khalidiya neighbourhood in Homs

And it comes as her husband ordered an intensification of a crackdown on protesters, which has so far killed more than 5,400 rebels, and was visited by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss ways to try to end the uprising.
The email is the first communication Asma Assad, who grew up in Acton, West London, has had with international media in 11 months.
Assad, who was known as Emma during her childhood, is the daughter of consultant cardiologist Fawaz Akhras and retired diplomat Sahar Otri, both Sunni Muslims.
They moved from Syria to London in the Fifties so that her father, who is now based at the Cromwell Hospital and in Harley Street, could get the best possible education and medical training.
Asma, who holds dual citizenship, British and Syrian, was educated at a Church of England school in Ealing before attending a private girls’ day school - Queen’s College, Harley Street.
From Queen’s, where she achieved four A-levels, Asma went to King’s College London to read Computer Science and take a diploma in French Literature.
She graduated with a First and, after six months of travelling, joined Deutsche Bank as an analyst in hedge-fund management.


Royal connections: The Queen (right) met Syrian President Bashar Assad (centre) and his wife Asma (left) at Buckingham Palace in 2002



Bombed out: Asma Assad said she still supported her husband, who has launched a crackdown on opposition groups in recent months

She then moved to the investment bank JP Morgan and worked in Paris and New York, as well as London. It was on family holidays back in Syria that she met Bashar.
Then he, too, came to London to study ophthalmology, though he had to leave early to return to Syria after his elder brother Basil, who had been the heir, died in a car crash.
Asma started seeing him in secret, resigning from JP Morgan just a month before the wedding without being able to explain the real reason.
With her father, she has set up several London-based charities such as the Syria Heritage.

Vogue has described her as ‘the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies’ and she has topped French Elle’s ‘most stylish woman in politics’ list.
In Damascus, Bashar and Asma now live in a flat with plate-glass windows and their three boys go to a Montessori school.
She speaks four languages and her connections with France have led her to persuade the Louvre to help her open Syrian cultural attractions.


More....
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Old 09-02-12, 23:59   #4
 
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Default re: SYRIA BRUTALITY-PHOTOS/VIDEOS--UN Takes Action

Why Putin backs this vile tyrant


By Daily Mail UK





Bloodshed: President Bashar al-Assad will stop at nothing to retain power for his corrupt and blood-stained regime


With each day, the Syrian tragedy grows deeper. Over the past weekend we have had first a report from Human Rights Watch documenting the torture and murder of children, then the worst massacre yet, with perhaps 300 people slaughtered in the city of Homs.

It is clear that President Bashar al-Assad, the London-trained eye doctor once feted as a reformer by Tony Blair, will stop at nothing to retain power for his corrupt and blood-stained regime.


The sight of Syrian troops shelling homes once again increases the prospect that this uprising will spiral into full-blown civil war, with all the risks of sectarian strife in the midst of the Middle East powder keg. The governing elite is dominated by the minority Alawite sect, while many army defectors forming revolutionary militia are from the Sunni majority.

No one knows exactly how many people have already died. The UN estimated 5,400 in December, then stopped counting as the fighting intensified. Thousands more have been beaten, tortured and jailed. I heard the horror stories myself, visiting Syria a few weeks into the uprising.

That December death toll had doubled since early October, when Russia and China first vetoed a UN resolution threatening sanctions against the regime. On Saturday, these two autocracies – both wary of foreign intervention given their own problems with restless minorities – combined forces again to prevent a watered-down resolution being passed.

Incredibly, both claimed they opposed the motion – which called for al-Assad to step aside – in order to prevent more bloodshed. Even in a chamber that has heard contemptible cant from some of the world’s nastiest tyrants, this took Orwellian doublespeak to an epic level.




'Disgusted': Russian representative Vitaly Churkin, centre, provoked international outrage after vetoing a draft resolution backing an Arab League call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down





Funerals: A burial ceremony for the victims of a shelling by the Syrian army



In actual fact, opposition was led by Russia. This was unsurprising, given that as the UN debated, some 120,000 people braved –20c temperatures in Moscow to march in support of democracy. But although the former KGB comrades running the country have good cause to worry about their own protest movement, their support for al-Assad is far more cynical.

Syria is the biggest importer of Russian weapons in the Middle East – so the odds are that bullets aimed at the heads of children and shells setting houses aflame in Homs are Russian-made. It takes an incredible 10 per cent of Russia’s global arm sales.


Just last month, a Russian cargo ship laden with ammunition arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus, while the two nations signed a £420million deal for military aircraft. Russia has refused to bend to diplomatic pressure to stop fuelling the violence and volatility. Little wonder its flag has been burned in cities at the centre of the uprising.


Additionally, as Russian oil revenues dwindle it has spent heavily in Syria, drilling wells and building a gas processing plant – investments valued at £15billion. When I visited Syria, I was told there were also Russian computer experts helping hunt online opposition activists.




Defiant: Putin's popularity is waning and with a presidential election looming, he does not want to look weak


Vladimir Putin has fought hard to restore Russia’s status as a great power. With his popularity waning and a presidential election looming, he does not want to look weak, especially over a country home to its only military base outside the former Soviet Union. So what happens next?

Despite the UN’s grandiose talk of preventing crimes against humanity, is the only option to watch as people demanding democracy and human rights are mown down until the crisis grows so intense it risks engulfing the dangerous region?


The awful truth is there are few diplomatic solutions available; Russia and China have already stopped economic sanctions and an arms embargo.

Although it would have been of symbolic importance, the timid UN resolution would have changed little since al-Assad has already ignored U.S. calls to quit.

Demands for foreign intervention are growing, but they are unlikely to be heeded given rising tensions over neighbouring Iran, the nervousness of Israel and diminishing U.S. appetite for such adventurism.

The international community can and should help train the ragbag revolutionaries but the best hope may be to continue tightening the economic noose.

It may be the full scale of the tragedy is only starting to unfurl. Concluding a conversation with an activist I met in Damascus, I wished her good luck. ‘Luck doesn’t work in this part of the world,’ was her bleak response.




More.......


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Old 10-02-12, 00:08   #5
 
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Default re: SYRIA BRUTALITY-PHOTOS/VIDEOS--UN Takes Action

'Bombs fell like rain. You could only pray': Syrians describe carnage of attack that killed 200 as criticism mounts of China and Russia's UN veto

  • Foreign Secretary William Hague accuses Russia and China of turning their backs on the Arab world
  • Former prime minister, Sir John Major, condemns veto
  • Nobel Peace Prize winner says Russia and China bear moral responsibility for killings in Syria

By Daily Mail UK



Eyewitnesses have described the harrowing moment when 'bombs fell like rain' during the worst violence seen in Syria since protesters began their uprising last year.
More than 200 people, including women and children, were killed by President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian forces in the city of Homs which was battered by mortars and artillery overnight.

Wounded civilians took refuge at a mosque in the Khalidiya district which took the brunt of the shells fired by government forces.




Prayers: Residents attend a burial ceremony in Homs where 'bombs fell like rain'




Dead: A stand-off in the city of Homs claimed the lives of more than 200 lives




Funerals: A burial ceremony for the victims of a shelling by the Syrian army

Residents including Omar Shakir described a night of terror. He told the Sunday Times: 'It was like a machine gun shooting randomly, only much, much heavier.
'The bombs fell like rain. You didn't know where they would fall. You could only pray.'


Several hospitals treating the dead and dying were raided by security forces, according to activists' reports.
The Syrian regime has denied the assault - accusing activists of engaging in a 'hysterical' propaganda campaign - while countries around the world spoke out against the atrocity.

A UN Security Council resolution was vetoed by Russia and China just hours after fighting broke out.
The vote saw all of the other 13 council members, including the UK, US and France, vote in favour of the resolution.

END

Now they are not only raiding the hospitals, they have started bombing them.


More......


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Old 10-02-12, 00:18   #6
 
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Default Britain Steps in to Help Syrian People

We'll help rebels overthrow Syrian murderers: Hague's warning to dictator Assad over escalation in violence



By Daily Mail UK


Britain is to send equipment to help the opposition oust Syrian dictator Bashar Assad after William Hague said there was ‘no limit on what resources we can provide’.



The Foreign Secretary announced plans for a dramatic escalation of support for the rebels as Syrian government forces launched yet another bloody attack on the rebel city of Homs, killing 50 more.
Mr Hague ruled out British military action but said the UK is poised to provide ‘strategic communications’ equipment to help different rebel groups work together against the ‘murderous’ regime in Damascus.





Panic: A hospital in the rebel-held city of Homs under attack yesterday





Pledge: Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced the UK is poised to provide 'strategic communications' equipment to help different rebel groups work together against the murderous' regime in Damascus



Diplomatic sources compared the situation to the war in Libya and said Britain will seek to provide radios and mobile phones and work with Turkey and other neighbouring nations to allow rebels to broadcast radio programmes into Syria.



The UK will also back fresh European Union sanctions later this month designed to ‘fracture the regime’.
That will see a new crackdown on activities by the Syrian Central Bank and imposing travel bans and asset freezes on regime officials to encourage them to abandon Assad.
Mr Hague recalled the British ambassador to Syria yesterday for talks as violence erupted again, which prompted the U.S. to withdraw all its embassy staff for security reasons.


Syrian forces bombarded Homs, in the west of the country, killing 50 people in a sustained assault on several districts.
That followed a massacre of more than 200 people by tanks and artillery last Friday night, bringing the total death toll since last March to more than 5,400.

Yesterday’s assault saw government troops deploy multiple rocket launchers, as well as tanks and machine guns.


Eyewitnesses said government forces deliberately targeted a makeshift medical clinic and residential areas.



Local man Hussein Nader said: ‘They want to drive the Free Syrian Army out. Rockets are falling seconds apart on the same target.’
Activists said an explosion ripped through an oil pipeline feeding a main refinery in Homs, the second attack on the pipeline in a week.


They added that the opposition-held town of Zabadani, near the Lebanese border, also came under fire. With violence raging, Syria’s ambassador in London was called into the Foreign Office for a carpeting.
In a statement to the Commons, Mr Hague denounced Russia and China after they vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the violence.








Standing guard: A member of the Free Syrian Army watches over anti-regime protesters holding a demonstration in the city of Idlib







Defiance: Protesters dance on the streets during a demonstration in Idlib, Syria





Anti-regime protesters play drums and wave a revolutionary flag during demonstrations in Idlib


Western diplomats are furious with Russia and China, arguing that they bent over backwards in rewriting the resolution so it could not be construed as a precursor to military action – and they still refused to sign it.
Mr Hague accused Russia and China of ‘betraying the Syrian people’. He said: ‘The human suffering in Syria is already unimaginable and is in grave danger of escalating further.
‘They chose to side with the Syrian regime and implicitly to leave the door open to further abuses by them. They did so while President Assad’s tanks were encircling Homs and shells were pounding the homes of Syrian civilians.’




Mr Hague said the Assad regime cannot survive. ‘This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime,’ he told MPs. ‘There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally or with its own people.’







Casualties: YouTube footage shows the bodies of three people reportedly killed in shelling on Rastan in the central province of Homs.






Hons: A destroyed armoured military vehicle lies abandoned in the streets following clashes between President Bashar al-Assad forces and the Free Syrian Army




In a bid to shame Russia and China, the UK and other countries are planning to pass a resolution condemning the violence in the UN’s General Assembly, where vetoes cannot be used.



The UK will also beef up a diplomatic team under Francis Guy, who is an unofficial ambassador to the Syrian opposition, to ‘intensify’ those contacts.

The team will work to get the Syrian opposition groups to agree a common platform, just as rebels did in Libya.



The Foreign Secretary said: ‘There is no limit on what resources we can provide.

We have provided training in documentation of human rights abuses, in strategic communications and so on. We may be able to do more in the future.’


Mr Hague also announced plans for a new contact group to help the Arab League plan to end the bloodshed
It will see the EU, the Arab League and other countries come together to ‘co-ordinate intensified diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime, and to engage with Syrian opposition groups committed to a democratic future’.




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Default re: SYRIA BRUTALITY-PHOTOS/VIDEOS--UN Takes Action

The pitiful face of Syria's suffering: Terribly injured girl whose brother was killed in bombing of Homs could now lose sight
  • America and Britain close their embasies in Damascus
  • William Hague summons the Syrian ambassador to the Foreign Office
  • Syrian forces resume bombing of rebel city after weekend massacre
  • Rebels claim hospital run by anti-government forces is main target
  • David Cameron: 'There is a tragedy unfolding in that country'
  • Homs residents fear ground invasion by troops is imminent
  • 300 people killed in the city during weekend of violence
By Daily Mail


Face masked by bandages, she is the tiny victim of a brutal massacre.
Now, lying in a makeshift bed, she pleads with Allah to punish the men who killed her brother and may cost her her sight.

The child, believed to be about five, was one of scores of civilians to be injured during the bombing of the rebel city of Homs by Syrian government troops yesterday.
A video which surfaced online appears to show her being carried through the streets by her distraught father.
She was treated for her injuries - including a leg wound too horrific to show - but it is unclear what hope she has of recovery.

Scroll down for video



Senseless: The girl's heavily-bandaged head clearly indicates the severity of her injuries




Still in danger: Helicopters and tanks are today attacking Homs, leading residents to fear an 'imminent' ground invasion by government forces




Desperate circumstances: The girl sits in a makeshift bed in a building which has provided a temporary refuge for her family

Speaking from her bed today, she said: 'God is greater than you Bashar (the Syrian president). May God deprive you of your children like you deprived me of my brother. What did we do that made you do this to us?'




Today, as Syrian forces continued to bombard Homs with shells raining down every 30 seconds, Britain and America both withdrew their ambassadors from the city of Damascus.

In a statement to the House of Commons, William Hague said that he had also summoned the Syrian ambassador in London to the Foreign Office to make clear its 'abhorrence' at the violence in the country.
He condemned President Bashar Assad's 'doomed' and 'murdering' regime and was highly critical of China and Russia for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed.

Mr Hague said their actions were a 'betrayal of the Syrian people' and increased the likelihood of civil war.

'The human suffering in Syria is already unimaginable and is in grave danger of escalating further,' he said. He confirmed that the British ambassador Simon Collins has been withdrawn.

'We will use our remaining channels to the Syrian regime to make clear our abhorrence at the violence that is utterly unacceptable to the civilised world,' he went on.
'The position taken by Russia and China has regrettably made this more likely.


'However this Government, this House, and our country and our allies will not forget the people of Syria.
'We will redouble our efforts to put pressure on this appalling regime and to stop this indefensible violence.'




Innocent victim: A Syrian man holds a girl who activists say was seriously wounded in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs by shells fired by regime forces on Saturday


Russia and China were the only two nations on the 15-strong Security Council to vote against the Arab League-backed resolution.
Mr Hague said: 'They chose to side with the Syrian regime and implicitly to leave the door open to further abuses by them.

'They did so while President Assad's tanks were encircling Homs and shells were pounding the homes of Syrian civilians, killing up to 200 people, and on the 30th anniversary of the massacre in Hama.




Pulling out: America closed its embassy in Damascus

'We regard this veto as a grave error of judgment by the governments of China and Russia.
'There is no need to mince words about this. Russia and China have twice vetoed reasonable and necessary action by the United Nations Security Council.
'Such vetoes are a betrayal of the Syrian people. In deploying them, they have let down the Arab League, they have increased the likelihood of what they wish to avoid in Syria - civil war - and they have placed themselves on the wrong side of Arab and international opinion.'

Mr Hague said that Britain and other nations would consider a resolution at the UN General Assembly, in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution.

As diplomatic pressure intensified, Syrian forces continued to bombard Homs with shells, raining down every 30 seconds.

The attack, which residents claim is aimed at a makeshift hospital run by anti-government forces, has not lapsed since it began at 6am local time.
Activists inside Syria claim that more than 50 people have been killed.

Helicopters and tanks are also attacking Homs, leading residents to fear an 'imminent' ground invasion by government forces.
A British national who has gone to the country to provide humanitarian aid said that the situation is desperate.
Speaking to ITV news from the makeshift hospital in Homs, he said that bodies were being brought in in pieces because they had been hit by heavy artillery. He said many were unrecognisable.

The international community continued to condemn Syria's actions with the U.S. government closing its embassy in Damascus and pulling all its diplomats out.
The mood inside the city is that a final showdown is just hours away. One anti-government protester, known only as Omar, told the BBC: 'This battle will be the last battle.'
The bloodshed comes one day after President Assad's government vowed to continue its crackdown on the nearly 11-month-old uprising.



Under fire: A still taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows the aftermath of an attack by Syrian government forces on a makeshift hospital, run by anti-government rebels, in Homs this morning



Brutal: Smoke billows from the Baba Amr neighbourhood after it was bombarded by Syrian troops





It comes two days after another heavy bombardment that claimed the lives of more than 200 people in a single day, the deadliest incident of the uprising so far.
As many as 300 people have been killed in Homs over the weekend.
The regime of President Bashar el-Assad denied any bombardment took place.

William Hague yesterday warned Russia and China that the blood of Syrian protesters will be on their hands for failing to stand up to the ‘murdering’ regime.
The Foreign Secretary could not conceal his anger following their decision to veto a UN resolution calling for al-Assad's resignation.


He said Moscow and Beijing would be ‘held responsible’ for what happens in Syria and that he could not understand their support for a ‘doomed regime as well as a murdering regime’. He warned the veto marked ‘an hour of shame’ for the UN.

His remarks were echoed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said the veto was a ‘travesty’ and called for the ‘friends of democratic Syria’ to unite against al-Assad.
Human rights groups say at least 7,000 people have died since the uprising began in March.

A draft resolution condemning Syria was supported by 13 of the 15 UN Security Council members when it was put to a vote on Saturday, meaning it was not adopted.
It was the second time in four months that Russia has obstructed a resolution condemning Syria.
Mr Hague said yesterday: ‘Increasingly, Russia and China will be held responsible for this continuing appalling situation.
‘They are standing in the way of the UN Security Council taking a clear position, backing a very good plan for the way forward by the Arab League. It will have consequences for their influence in the Middle East. They are turning their backs on the Arab world.
‘Russia and China are very isolated in the indefensible position they have taken up.’

The Foreign Secretary also warned that al-Assad could step up his reprisals against anti-government protesters. ‘Will he have been emboldened by the fact that Russia and China vetoed the resolution?’ he said.
‘Yes, I think so and I think it does mean that Russia and China do bear increasingly, as these events continue, increased responsibility for what is happening.’



Mourners gather around the coffins of the victims who were killed on Saturday by the bombardment of mortars and rockets during a mass funeral procession in the Khaldiyeh district of Homs



Bodies laid out for burial. Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution to condemn Syria and thus was not adopted, both to the U.S. and UK's lament

Mrs Clinton, on a visit to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, this weekend, echoed Mr Hague’s comments.
‘What happened at the United Nations was a travesty,’ she said.
‘We will work to expose those who are still funding the regime and sending it weapons to be used against defenceless Syrians, including women and children.’


An Al Qaeda leader who allegedly masterminded the July 7, 2005 London bombings has reportedly been freed from a Syrian jail.
Abu Musab al-Suri, who is also wanted in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, was apparently released in Aleppo, near the Turkish border, last week.

His release has been interpreted as a warning to the United States and Britain over their failure to support al-Assad during the Syrian uprisings.
END

I hope the closures of the Embassies mean some sort of action will be taken, though I doubt it. Look how long they all talked and discussed when Gadaffi was murdering his people. So many lives could have been saved because of these delays.

Maybe Britain and France will go in alone as they did in Libya and ignore the UN and the US. Sadly they may not be able to afford it, in this present world economic climate. Military Actions and Wars are very expensive.


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Default re: SYRIA BRUTALITY-PHOTOS/VIDEOS--UN Takes Action

'Tanks are on the streets of Homs': Syrians at breaking point as ammunition, food and hospital supplies run desperately low

By Daily Mail UK

Desperate Syrians are reaching breaking point as government troops look set to storm rebel-held parts of Homs.
As hospitals struggle to cope with hordes of injured and bloody citizens, opposition fighters are locked in a stand-off with president Bashar Assad's army.
The Free Syrian Army is fighting to protect neighbourhoods including Bab Amr, which has been shelled non-stop for four days, with at least 100 civilians killed there in the past two.



Wounded people: A severely injured man apparently lying in a hospital in shell-battered Homs, from amateur video made available by Shaam News Network

David Cameron yesterday gave the green light to a three point plan to force Syrian dictator Assad to quit, at a meeting of the National Security Council.

As international outrage at the president's actions intensified, Mr Cameron approved plans to train spin-doctors to help opposition leaders win the support of Syrian people into the future.

But on the ground, the rebels are running low on ammunition while food and hospital supplies are sparse.

Homs is largely cut off from the outside world, and its people are finding it increasingly difficult to function.


Tragic sight: A YouTube video shows mourners carrying the body of Mazhar Tayyara, a citizen journalist known as 'Omar the Syrian', after he was killed by shrapnel while helping the wounded

NGOs including the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claim the Syrian army is mounting a full-on attempt to reclaim rebel-held enclaves.
Rockets and mortar rounds continued to be fired, according to activists, a day after Russia said Assad wants peace.

Tanks entered the Inshaat neighbourhood and moved closer to Bab Amr district, which has been the target of the heaviest barrages by loyalist troops, activists said.

'Tanks are now at Qubab mosque and soldiers have entered Hikmeh hospital in Inshaat. They also moved closer to Bab Amro and shelling is being heard on Karm al-Zeitoun and al-Bayada,' activist Mohammad al-Hassan said by satellite phone from Homs.

'Communications have been cut in many parts of Homs and it is difficult to put together an overall picture. But tanks are in main thoroughfares in the city and appear poised to push deep into residential areas,' he added.



Lacking resources: Medical staff help the injured at a hospital in the Bab Amr neighbourhood of Homs, which has been bombed by government troops for four days solid

Western and Arab states acted to further isolate Assad following the onslaught on the city, one of the bloodiest of the 11-month uprising.

The official state news agency said 'armed terrorist groups' attacked police roadblocks in Homs and fired mortar bombs at the city, with three falling on the Homs oil refinery, one of two in the country. It gave no details of any damage.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both countries wanted to revive a monitoring effort by the Arab League, whose plan to resolve Syria's crisis was vetoed by Moscow and Beijing in the U.N. Security Council.

Lavrov - a major arms supplier to Syria with deep political ties to Damascus and a naval facility on its coast - told Assad peace was in Russia's interests.


Heart-breaking: An amateur video shows a doctor treating a wounded man at a hospital in Homs

But there was no indication from Lavrov's comments that the issue of Assad eventually giving up power - a central element of the Arab proposal that failed in the U.N. - had been raised.

Tank bombardment also was reported on Zabadani, a town of 20,000 people 30km (19 miles) northwest of Damascus. The town sits in the foothills of mountains separating Syria from Lebanon, where resistance to Assad's rule has been among the fiercest.

At least ten have been killed in Zabadani in the past two days, activists said.

Around 150 tanks and thousands of troops launched an offensive on Zabadani last week following a withdrawal by Assad's forces last month after a truce reached by Assad's brother-in-law and town officials.

Opposition leaders say the bloodshed means it is too late for Assad to offer compromises and it is time to dismantle the 50-year-old police state dominated by members of his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam in the majority Sunni Muslim country.

'It is impossible for Assad to govern after bombarding his own cities and towns. He is escalating the use of his military might either to sink Syria into chaos or to improve his negotiating position,' said opposition leader-in-exile Kamal al-Labwani.

The bombardment has killed mainly civilians. The fighters in Homs and other cities have been slipping away but they will be back.'

Mr Labwani said Moscow will either mediate a transitional military council to replace Assad or help him set up a coastal enclave for his sect.

The offensive on Homs and Zabadni followed attacks to regain suburbs of Damascus last week that had fallen under opposition control after months of mass demonstrations against Assad's rule and repeated military incursions that failed to put them down.

Amer Faqih, an activist in Damascus, said: 'We're under occupation. The army has been looting shops and houses and stealing even mattresses. They have cut electricity and telephones for 10 days now, Water and fuel are scarce. Anyone who ventures in the street after 6 p.m. risks being shot on the spot.'

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Old 14-04-12, 22:04   #9
 
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Default Re: SYRIA BRUTALITY-PHOTOS/VIDEOS--UN Takes Action

14 April 2012 Last updated at 17:12 ET

UN Security Council passes plan to deploy Syria monitors




Jim Muir says there is little ceasefire left in Homs and Aleppo.

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution authorising the deployment of an advance team of monitors to Syria to oversee the ceasefire there.
A small group of observers has been poised to leave for Syria as soon as a resolution is passed. Correspondents say they could leave within hours.
The vote comes as a BBC reporter says the ceasefire appears to be in danger of collapsing in some parts of Syria.
Activists said violence in the restive city of Homs left several dead.
The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, condemned the bloodshed saying it raises "renewed doubts about the sincerity of the [Syrian] regime's commitment to the ceasefire".

She said the resolution was an important opportunity to stop the bloodshed, adding that the burden was now on the Syrian regime.
But Syria's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja'afari, blamed opposition forces for the spike in violence, saying that more than 50 violations had taken place including "many assassinations and sabotage operations".
Syria's opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council, welcomed the vote.
Eruption of violence The resolution was passed unanimously after Russia approved a revised text, which authorised the deployment of an advance party of 30 unarmed observers.
Diplomats had revised a US-proposed draft on Friday to accommodate Russian objections.
Russia's ambassador said Moscow supported the resolution because of the need for a rapid deployment of observers.
Indeed the UN has said that it intends to increase the deployment to 250 - but that is dependent on certain conditions and will require further approval.
Meanwhile the BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut, who has been monitoring developments in Syria, says that in parts of the country the ceasefire seems to be in danger of collapsing, unless something is done to shore it up.
Saturday witnessed a surge in violence, with activists saying at least 20 people killed in several incidents around the country:



British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant: ''Today's resolution is absolutely clear about the commitments that the Syrian regime must now fulfil''

  • In Homs activists said security forces pounded some quarters with tanks and rocket fire
  • Violence was particularly acute in the Qarabis quarter of the city, where video from activists appeared to show immense destruction
  • Several quarters of the city seemed to have a considerable presence of rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army
  • In Aleppo, in the north of the country, heavy casualties were reported from a shooting at the funeral of a protester
  • Activists said security forces opened fire on mourners, but state television blamed armed rebels opening fire at random
In Geneva, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the resolution and also announced that UN aid co-ordinator Valerie Amos would chair a humanitarian forum on Syria in Geneva on 20 April.
He said that about a million people had been displaced inside Syria over the past 13 months of fighting and added that many more had been forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

Mr Annan, the envoy for the UN and Arab League, drew up the plan which called for an advance monitoring team to be deployed immediately to Syria to observe compliance with the truce.

Mr Annan's plan aims to end more than a year of violence in Syria which the UN says has killed more than 9,000 people, mostly civilians.
The resolution passed on Saturday expresses an intention to establish a full mission once there is a sustained cessation of violence. It also puts the onus on the Syrian government to meet its ceasefire commitments.

The text "calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms."
The BBC's Barbara Plett at the United Nations in New York says that it provides important backing to Mr Annan's peace plan.
Significantly, it is the first time Security Council members have been able to overcome divisions and adopt a resolution on Syria, which is a diplomatic defeat for Damascus, she says.

Russia's Role

Analysts say Russia appears to have been key to persuading President Bashar al-Assad to accept both the Annan plan and the ceasefire.
The terms of this resolution, which Russia backed, call on all parties to observe that truce - and exerts even more pressure on Syria's leaders to withdraw their tanks and forces even further.





More talk talk talk, whilst innocent men, women & children are brutally tortured and murdered.

See the latest Brutality on VIDEOS, here;





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Red Arrow VIDEO-Syria Bombs Women & Children by Air

Syrian Warplanes Bomb Town Killing Mostly Women and Children

15 August 2012, BEN HUBBARD
The Associated Press

AZAZ, Syria (AP) - Syrian fighter jets have bombed a rebel-held town near the northern border with Turkey, killing at least eight people including a baby and wounding dozens, most of them women and children.
Associated Press reporters in the town saw two bombing runs Wednesday that sent panicked civilians fleeing for cover and reduced homes to rubble.
One man was pulled bloodied but alive from the wreckage of destroyed homes.



(AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

An arm of a dead Syrian woman peeks from the rubble of her destroyed house after an air strike destroyed at least ten houses in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.


(AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Injured Syrian women arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.

‘Brutal’ direction » U.N. released a report accusing Assad’s forces of war crimes.

Azaz, Syria • Syrian fighter jets screamed through the sky Wednesday over this rebel-held town, dropping bombs that leveled the better part of a poor neighborhood and wounded scores of people, many of them women and children buried under piles of rubble. Activists said more than 20 people were killed.




The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people died in the double airstrike and more than 200 were wounded. Mohammed Nour, a local activist reached by phone, put the death toll at 25. Neither figure could be independently confirmed.

Reporters from The Associated Press saw nine dead bodies in the bombings’ immediate aftermath, including a baby.

The bombings sent panicked civilians fleeing for cover. So many were wounded that the local hospital locked its doors, directing residents to drive to the nearby Turkish border so the injured could be treated on the other side. One person’s remains were bundled into a small satchel.

A group of young men found a man buried in the wreckage of destroyed homes, his clothes torn and his limbs dirty, but still alive.

"God is great! God is great!" they chanted as they yanked him out and laid him on a blanket.

Nearby, a woman sat on a pile of bricks that once was her home, cradling a dead baby wrapped in a dirty cloth. Two other bodies lay next to her, covered in blankets. She screamed and threw stones at a TV crew that tried to film her.

The bombing of Azaz, some 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Aleppo, shattered the sense of control rebels have sought to project since they took the area from President Bashar Assad’s army last month. Azaz is also the town where rebels have been holding 11 Lebanese Shiites they captured in May.

The attack came on the same day the U.N. released a report accusing Assad’s forces and pro-government militiamen of war crimes during a May bloodbath in the village of Houla that killed more than 100 civilians, nearly half of them children. It said rebels were also responsible for war crimes in at least three other killings.

The long-awaited report by the U.N. Human Rights Council marks the first time the world body has referred to events in Syria as war crimes — on both the government and rebel sides — and could be used in future prosecutions against Assad or others.

It said the scale of the Houla carnage indicated "involvement at the highest levels" of Syria’s military and government. The council also said the conflict is moving in increasingly brutal directions on both sides.

A wide-ranging tableau of violence and retributions on Wednesday reinforced the U.N.’s warnings.

A blast in central Damascus rattled — but did not injure — U.N. observers, followed by the airstrikes in Azaz. And in tense Lebanon, a powerful Shiite clan that backs Assad said it abducted at least 20 Syrians in retaliation for rebels holding one of their relatives captive in Syria. The rebels accuse the Lebanese man of belonging to Hezbollah, a Shiite Lebanese group allied with Syria and Iran.

The bombing of Azaz brought into stark relief the limits of the rebels’ expanding control of Syria’s north.

In recent months, rebels have pushed the Syrian army from a number of towns in a swath of territory south of the Turkish border and north of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. About a dozen destroyed tanks and army vehicles are scattered around Azaz, left over from those battles.

As the Assad regime’s grip on the ground slips, however, it is increasingly targeting rebel areas with attack helicopters and fighter jets — weapons the rebels can’t challenge.

Rebels and residents of the Aleppo countryside say the army rarely hits rebel targets, striking instead at residential areas and killing civilians.

The Azaz bombings appeared to fit that pattern.

The first blast seemed to come out of nowhere, shaking the city’s downtown and sending up a huge gray cloud of smoke that sent terrified residents rushing through the streets looking for cover.

Not long after, another jet appeared, dropping bombs nearby.

"We were in the house and heard this plane overhead," said a 36-year-old woman who gave her name as Um Hisham. "There was this huge boom that made my mother pass out in the kitchen."

Hundreds of residents flocked to the bombing sites to inspect the damage and look for dead and wounded in the rubble.

The first blast damaged houses and shattered shop windows along nearby streets. It sheared off the front wall of one home, exposing a man and his wife inside their kitchen, where jars of olives and pickles still sat in the cupboards.

"I saw the plane come down and some missiles fall and then there was smoke all over," said Mohammed Fuad, 18. "When it cleared, we heard screaming and saw rubble all over the streets."

More than a dozen homes were reduced to a huge expanse of broken concrete. Men wandered the area, lifting up bricks and peering through holes in collapsed roofs to see if anyone was stuck underneath.

One group brought a generator and an electric saw to cut through rebar, while others cleared rubble from the road so pickup trucks ferrying the dead and injured could pass.

Many of those gathered screamed at foreign journalists, decrying the international community for not intervening militarily in Syria’s civil war. The revolt that started in March 2011 with protests calling for political change has killed more than 20,000 people, activists say.

Many of the wounded were driven directly to the Turkish border, four miles (six kilometers) to the north.

Nour, the local activist, said there were 15 dead in a hospital in Turkey and 10 who had been buried in the town. He said many more had yet to be counted.

The area appeared to be no more than a poor, residential neighborhood with a few metal workshops, and residents said there were no rebel bases there, though they often do not speak openly about where rebels operate.

Azaz has considered itself "liberated" since rebel forces pushed out the army last month. Its largest rebel group, the Northern Storm Brigade, runs a prison and the nearby border crossing with Turkey. It’s political and media offices are less than a mile (kilometer) away from the bombing site, in the former local headquarters of Assad’s Baath party.

Along with about 15 Syrian prisoners, the rebels are currently holding 11 Lebanese Shiites they detained a month ago. Nour, the activist, said four of them were missing after the bombing, though he was not sure if they had been killed. He said the building they were being held in was hit.

About a dozen rebel fighters in camouflage vests flocked to the scene after the bombings, scanning the skies for more jets. None of them carried more than a Kalashnikov rifle.

In nearby Aleppo, activists reported shelling and clashes in the city, where rebels have taken control of several neighborhoods over the past weeks. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels were trying to take over a key dam in the northern town of Manbij, east of Aleppo. It said the army was using helicopter gunships in the battles along the Euphrates River.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said Syrian government fighter planes fired rockets that struck the main hospital in an opposition-controlled area of Aleppo a day earlier, wounding two civilians and causing significant damage. The group said its members visited the damaged hospital.

There were fresh signs Wednesday that the civil war was spilling across the border into Lebanon, a country ravaged by its own 15-year civil war that Syria was deeply involved in, and which is sharply divided between supporters and opponents of Assad’s regime.

Syrian rebels have adopted a new tactic of seizing prisoners from countries or foreign groups allied with the regime to rattle Assad and his allies outside the country, such as the 11 Lebanese Shiites captured in May shortly after they crossed from Turkey on their way to Lebanon. Earlier this month, rebels abducted 48 Iranians near the capital, Damascus.

On Wednesday, Sunni power Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon, citing fear of kidnappings by Shiites angry over the rebels taking prisoners from Lebanon and Iran.

In Damascus, a bomb attached to a fuel truck exploded Wednesday outside a hotel where U.N. observers are staying, wounding at least three people, Syrian state TV reported. Activists also reported clashes near the government headquarters and the Iranian Embassy in Damascus.

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Old 16-08-12, 05:12   #11
 
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Default re: Re: VIDEO/Photos-Syria Now Torturing Children!

Revealed: Syria's steroid-mad 'Ghost' killers who keep Assad in power by slaughtering women and children

* They wield AK-47s and machetes to carry out the government's dirty work
* Massacre of 108 in Houla blamed on deadly death squad
* Syrian troops today attacking rebel strongholds with helicopter gunships
* Activists say violence has claimed lives of more than 13,000 people

By Lee Moran, Daily Mail UK


These are the 'Ghost' killer thugs pumped up on steroids who are proving key to keeping Syria's brutal President Bashar Assad in power.
Covered in tattoos of images of their leader, they are blamed for roaming the nation massacring children and women by slitting their throats or shooting them at point-blank range.
Wielding AK-47s and machetes, they are said to carry out the government's dirty work so officials can claim the rampages are not being sponsored by the state.




Pumped up: Areen Al Assad, with a tattoo of Bashar Assad on his bicep, is said to be one of the 'Ghost' killers roaming Syria




Meat-head: Known as the 'Shabiha', they wear combat trousers and black t-shirts and are paid the massive sum of £130 per day (US$200)


Known as the 'Shabiha', translating to 'Ghosts', they wear combat trousers and black t-shirts and are paid the massive sum of £130 per day.
Their modus operandi sees them swarm in to towns after the army has stopped shelling. A source said: 'Their mission is to terrorise the civilian population and conduct ethnic cleansing.'

* As the world dithers over Syria, shocking evidence of an entire family massacred by Assad thugs: Father finds his wife and five children among the victims of the Houla atrocity
* I can't rule out sending our troops to Syria, warns Hague as he says country could spiral into Bosnia-style civil war
* Syria's dead are victims of the new Cold War


A massacre of 108 civilians in Houla weeks ago, including 49 children, has been blamed on the group who fanatically follow the Muslim Alawite sect.
They are also reported to have shot dead 12 workers in Qusayr and 78 villagers in Qubair .



Messing about: The 'Ghosts' modus operandi sees them swarm in to towns
after the army has stopped shelling




Muscle man:

Emergence of the death squad pictures comes after William Hague said previously he may have to send troops to Syria if the country spirals into a Bosnian-style civil war

Dr Mousab Azzawi, who runs the Syrian Network for Human Rights from London but had treated some of the Shabiha in Latakia, said recently: 'They were like monsters.
'They had huge muscles, and big bellies and beards. They took steroids to pump up their bodies. I had to talk to them like children as they like people with low intelligence.

That is what makes them so terrifying — the combination of strength and blind allegiance to the regime.'
Emergence of the death squad pictures comes after William Hague said he may have to send troops to Syria if the country spirals into a Bosnian-style civil war.
The Foreign Secretary said Britain would have to 'greatly increase our support for the opposition' if the current United Nations plan for a ceasefire fails, as his office now fears.
Mr Hague repeatedly refused to rule out military action yesterday if Syria descends into 'terrible' sectarian violence.
And he twice compared the violence raging in the Arab state to the conflict in Bosnia, where 12,000 British soldiers were eventually sent, rather than Libya, where the Government resisted sending in ground troops.

Mr Hague told the BBC: 'The reason I don’t rule things out is because we really don't know now how this situation is going to develop or how terrible it is going to become.
'Increasingly the analogy is not with Libya last year but with Bosnia in the 1990s.
'We are on the edge of that kind of sectarian murder on a large scale. So who knows what may be required from the international community to try to deal with that, if it gets going in that way.'

As violence continued to rage, Mr Hague reiterated his message on Sky News.
He said Syria is now 'on the edge of a sectarian conflict in which neighbouring villages are attacking and killing each other so I don’t think we can rule anything out'.

The Foreign Secretary's words will fuel concerns that Britain risks being sucked into another Middle East war with potentially devastating political and humanitarian consequences.


Enforcers: Film footage shows the 'Ghosts' walking out and about



Action man: Pictured with guns, the Ghost poses for this photograph


But some diplomats believe the West will be compelled to act if the situation deteriorates and risks dragging in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.
Security sources said one scenario under discussion would see troops deploy to protect aid convoys entering Syria, a task Western soldiers also carried out in the early years of the Bosnian war.
Mr Hague gave credence to that theory by stressing the problems of providing aid to Syria.
'One of the great difficulties here is getting aid to them where fighting is going on and where the regime doesn’t provide access,' he said.

The UK has already provided £8.5million of medical supplies and emergency aid via international agencies.


Battered: The Ghosts filmed beating activists



Violence: A massacre of 108 civilians in Houla weeks ago, including 49 children, has been blamed on the group who fanatically follow the Muslim Alawite sect

Mr Hague said he 'welcomed in principle' a Russian proposal for an international conference on Syria, but warned it must 'lead to a change and not just buy time for the regime to kill more people'.
He said it would be hard to see how Iran could attend the conference - one of Russia's demands - as it had already given Syria technical support and advised the regime on how to suppress protests.
Instead, he said the way forward was to adopt the peace plan of former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.

Most diplomats, however, believe that plan is dead in the water, and the Foreign Secretary conceded: ‘Every other solution to the Syrian crisis involves a lot more death.’
Today Syrian troops attacked a rebel-held town in the centre of the country with helicopter gunships and shelled other restive areas across the country, activists said.

The aerial assault targeted the strategic river crossing town of Rastan that has resisted repeated government offensives for months, they added.

It is part of an escalation of violence in recent weeks that comes despite an internationally-brokered cease-fire that was supposed to go into effect on April 12 but never took hold.


Destruction: Syrians sit next to a damaged house at the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib




Patrol: Syrian troops deployed in Duma, in a suburb of Damascus

'The regime is now using helicopters more after its ground troops suffered major losses,' said Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 'Dozens of vehicles have been destroyed or damaged since the end of May.'

Syria's Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi recently said rebels are now using sophisticated anti-tank missiles. Videos posted by activists over the past week have shown many destroyed tanks and armored personnel carriers.

The Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees also reported government shelling in the central provinces of Homs and Hama, the southern region of Daraa, the northern province of Aleppo, and suburbs of the capital Damascus and Deir el-Zour in the east.

The Observatory reported the deaths of four civilians and an army defector in shelling in the area of Ashara in Deir el-Zour, and said another eight unidentified bodies had been discovered nearby. It reported three dead in the Hama shelling.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Iran on Wednesday. Russia and Iran are Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest allies. Moscow and China have vetoed two Security Council resolutions that threatened possible sanctions against Syria.

The ministry said in a statement that Russia is not playing the role of advocate for certain Middle East regimes.

'We are speaking for the strict observance of the norms and principles of international law in the interest of supporting regional stability and security in the Near and Middle East and North Africa,' it said.

Syrian activists say the violence has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people. UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said on the killings of children in Syria: 'How many more children need to die?

'Repeated calls for the protection of children by all parties in Syria have not yielded positive action. But we must voice again our outrage when seeing the murder of innocents, especially children and women, as reportedly the case in Al-Qubair village in Hama.

'UNICEF appeals once more: spare and protect the children who are in no way responsible for the violence and must not be its victims.'
END

More Updates tomorrow...
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Old 25-09-12, 02:42   #12
 
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Default Re: VIDEO/Photos-Syria Now Torturing Children!

24 September 2012 BBC UK

Save the Children urges UN to log Syria child atrocities



Save the Children says Syrian refugee children have been traumatised by their experiences

Children in Syria are being subjected to torture, imprisonment and abduction, and these atrocities should be better documented, according to a new report from British charity Save the Children.

Drawing on the testimony of Syrian refugee children, the charity calls on the United Nations to increase its presence on the ground.
It says almost every child it spoke to has seen a family member killed.
The report comes at the start of the UN General Assembly's annual meeting.

Earlier, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria is "extremely bad and getting worse".
Speaking after he had briefed the Security Council following his first visit to Syria since taking up the post, Mr Brahimi admitted he did not have a full plan on how to bring peace.
Although Syria is not formally on the agenda at the UN General Assembly's annual conference, it is expected to dominate discussions.

'Systematic abuse'

Save the Children has documented numerous cases of abuse against children during Syria's 18 month conflict, which was sparked by the arrest and torture of children in the town of Deraa.





Lakhdar Brahimi: "The situation is extremely bad and getting worse"


One 15-year-old told the charity he had cigarettes put out on him when he was imprisoned in what used to be his school.
Another described being given electric shocks and sharing a cell with decomposing bodies, while a third teenager, Wael, said he had seen a six-year-old die after being tortured and starved.

The 16 year-old told the report's authors: "I watched him die. He only survived for three days and then he simply died."
"He was terrified all the time. They treated his body as though he was a dog."

Save the Children's report described the acts as "consistent, recurring and appalling".

It called on the UN to increase its presence on the ground to document violations so that perpetrators can be brought to account.

'No immediate prospect'

Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday, Mr Brahimi said: "There is no disagreement anywhere that the situation in Syria is extremely bad and getting worse, that it is a threat to the region and a threat to peace and security in the world."
He said there was "no prospect for today or tomorrow to move forward", but added "I think that we will find an opening in the not too distant future".




Fighting is continuing in Syria's second city, Aleppo

The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN says Mr Brahimi's mission to forge a political solution seems almost impossible, with the two parties intent on fighting rather than talking, and the Security Council deeply divided.
The UN says more than 20,000 people have been killed since anti-government protests began in Syria in March 2011. Activists put the death toll as high as 30,000.
Violence continued across the country on Monday, with activists saying the government had bombed parts of the second city, Aleppo.
The Local Co-ordination Committees, an opposition activist network, reported that at least 40 people had died in fighting, including 13 in Aleppo.
The group said the victims included three children from one family killed in air strikes in the central district of Maadi.

In addition to the fighting in Aleppo, anti-government activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a five year-old girl and a man were killed during the bombardment of the southern town of Dael, in Deraa province.
Clashes between government forces and rebels were also reported in the north-eastern and north-western districts of the capital, Damascus.

More than 260,000 Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, the UN says. There are also thought to be more than 1.2 million internally displaced people, and 2.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
END


I dont know what you guys think, but I am thinking - what the hell is wrong with the rest of the world, that allows all this murder, torture and continuing abuse of other human beings??? What no oil in Syria and Museums to be robbed? is that why the powers that be are not doing something to stop this. Reminds me of the millions of people that were allowed to be slaughtered by Germany in World War 2, before action was taken by the US and that was only because Winston Churchill had to bribe the US, with the Lib/Land Pact... to get them to help the other allied countries fight Hitler and his henchmen.


Oh silly me I forgot something more important was happening,,,, the US has an election coming up...
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Old 30-09-12, 20:03   #13
 
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Thumbs down PHOTOS -Syria- Historical Souk Destroyed by Fire

Syria Conflict: Aleppo's Souk Burns as Battles Rage

BBC News, 30 September 2012

The BBC's Jim Muir says the souk was once a "magnet for tourists", as amateur footage purportedly from the area showed widespread damage


A blaze has swept though ancient markets in Aleppo, activists say, as rebels and government forces seek to gain control of Syria's largest city.
Reports say hundreds of shops in the souk, one of the best preserved in the Middle East, have been destroyed.
Unesco, which recognises Aleppo's Old City as a world heritage site, described the damage as a tragedy.
On the third day of a rebel offensive, battles broke out in the Old City and the Arkub district, reports said.
The fire, believed to have been triggered by shelling and gunfire, began on Friday but was still burning on Saturday, reports said.
"It's a big loss and a tragedy that the old city has now been affected," Kishore Rao, director of Unesco's World Heritage Centre, told the Associated Press.


Disaster
The market stalls lie beneath the city's towering 13th Century citadel, where activists say regime troops and snipers have taken up positions.




Activists quoted by Reuters news agency said that the presence of snipers was making it difficult to approach the Souk al-Madina, once a major tourist attraction.
Reports estimate that between 700 and 1,000 shops have been destroyed so far.
"It's a disaster. The fire is threatening to spread to remaining shops," one activist, Ahmad al-Halabi, told AP.
He said the Syrian authorities had cut off the water supply, making attempts to control the fire more difficult.
Rebels and civilians were working together to limit the fire with a few fire extinguishers, he added.
The fire took hold with speed, fuelled by the many shops' wooden doors and the clothes, fabrics and leather goods sold inside.

Heavy clashes erupted at several military sites in the city on Saturday evening, Reuters reports.
Fighting was reported at the Neirab military base as well as Bab Antakya, a stone gateway to the Old City.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said the focal point for fighting was Salaheddin, a rebel stronghold on the south-west side of the city.
State television reported attacks on what it called "terrorist centres" in 10 different locations on Saturday, saying heavy losses had been inflicted.
The BBC's Jim Muir, in Beirut, says that though both sides have reported clashes in different parts of the city, the signs are that the rebels simply lack the firepower and the manpower to score a significant breakthrough.
"No-one is actually making gains here, it is just fighting and more fighting, and terrified people are fleeing," one activist told Reuters.
Activists estimate more than 27,000 people have died in the violence since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began last year.

Syrian conflict: Reader Pictures of Aleppo's Souk and Old City




Aleppo's medieval souk caught fire as rebels and government forces battled for control in the Old City on Friday. UNESCO described the damage to the World Heritage site as "a tragedy". BBC News website readers have shared their photos and memories of Aleppo's heritage in quieter times.





Harold Caruana visited Aleppo in November 2010, before the Syrian uprising began. The citadel, pictured here, sits high on a hill in a commanding position.




It's not just tourists and locals shopping at the souk. Hugh was struck by the sight of this donkey browsing the goods.


Reports say hundreds of shops in the souk, one of the best preserved in the Middle East, have been destroyed. Hugh Anderson went to the Aleppo souk with his girlfriend in 2007, while she was studying Arabic at Damascus University.







Food is cooked to order in the souk. Photo: Emma Cave.



The souk was a working market with grains and spices stacked high. Photo: Hugh Anderson.


John was in Syria in March 2011 just before the first demonstrations started. He said: "Tragically, one of my son's friends from his time in Damascus was recently killed in fighting there." Photo of the Aleppo citadel taken by John Winder.





Jeff Saunders and his wife travelled around Syria in April 2009. He took this photo of some local women shopping in the clothes section of the souk.






Simon Jenkins went to Syria for his 50th birthday. Here he pictures the inside of the souk in Aleppo, the market stalls lie beneath the city's 13th Century citadel.




Simon Jenkins, who's from Mumbles in Swansea said: "The locals were really friendly and appeared to enjoy having western tourists visit..."



He added: "It breaks my heart to hear about what is happening now." Photo: Simon Jenkins


and here it is now........



Aleppo's medieval souk caught fire as rebels and government forces battled for control in the Old City on Friday. UNESCO described the damage to the World Heritage site as "a tragedy". BBC News website readers have shared their photos and memories of Aleppo's heritage in quieter times.
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Old 04-10-12, 18:09   #14
 
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Red Arrow Turkey Fires on Syria After Deadly Shelling attack

Turkey Approves Military Action In Syria After Shelling Kills 5 In Akcakale

Turkey Fires on Syria Army Post in Retaliation, -asks UN Security Council to take emergency methods

AP 4 October 2012


AKCAKALE, Turkey -- Turkey's deputy prime minister says Syria has admitted it was responsible for the shelling that killed five civilians in Turkey and has formally apologized for the deaths.
Besir Atalay says Thursday that Syria has reassured the U.N. that "such an incident will not occur again."

The cross-border tensions escalated on Wednesday after a shell fired from inside Syria landed on a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing a woman, her three daughters and another woman, and wounding at least 10 others, according to Turkish media.

Turkey's Parliament authorized military operations against Syria and its military fired on targets there for a second day on Thursday after deadly shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town. The border violence has added a dangerous new dimension to a conflict that is pulling Syria's neighbors deeper into what already resembles a proxy war.
Turkey's deputy prime minister said Parliament's authorization is not declaration of war on Syria, but should act as a deterrent.

The cross-border tensions escalated on Wednesday after a shell fired from inside Syria landed on a home in the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing a woman, her three daughters and another woman, and wounding at least 10 others, according to Turkish media.
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said the bill gives Turkey the right to respond to any future attacks from Syria.
"The bill is not for war," he said of the bill. "It has deterrent qualities."
The bill opens the way to unilateral action by Turkey's armed forces inside Syria, without the involvement of its Western and Arab allies. Turkey uses a similar provision to attack suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq.

The Turkish retaliation is the latest in a series of events that have sharply escalated tensions between the two neighbors that were once allies.
In June, Turkey reinforced its border with anti-aircraft missiles and threatened to target any approaching Syrian military elements after Syrian forces brought down a Turkish jet, killing its two pilots. Turkey said the plane was in international airspace, countering Syrian claims that it was in Syrian airspace.
But Atalay said Turkey's "main priority" was to "act together with the international community."
"That is why we called on NATO and the United Nations to take up the issue," Atalay said, adding that the bill
"It is something that we can assess if the need arises," he said.
Turkish response was prompt. It fired salvos of artillery rounds deep inside Syria. The NATO military alliance, of which Turkey is a member, met at an emergency session in Brussels, condemned the attack on Turkey and demanded "the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally." It also urged the Syrian regime to "put an end to flagrant violations of international law."

Mustafa Guclu, a witness in Akcakale, said the Turkish military fired five rounds of artillery "after midnight" and another round around 5 a.m. on Thursday.
"I have not heard any more shelling since then," he told the Associated Press.
The Syrian mortar shell damaged the door and walls of a house in Akcakale, while shrapnel poked holes and shattered windows of neighboring houses and shops.
Some residents of Akcakale abandoned their homes close to the border and spent the night on the streets. Others gathered outside the local mayor's office, afraid to return to their homes as the dull thud of distant artillery fire rumbled across the town.

The Turkish retaliatory shelling and steps to authorize possible military intervention is the latest in a series of events that have sharply escalated tensions between the two neighbors that were once allies.
In June, Turkey reinforced its border with anti-aircraft missiles and threatened to target any approaching Syrian military elements after Syrian forces brought down a Turkish jet, killing its two pilots. Turkey said the plane was in international airspace, countering Syrian claims that it was in Syrian airspace.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:56   #15
 
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Important Obama Threatens Syria of 'Serious Consequences' > Chemical Weapons

Barack Obama Warns Assad of Chemical Weapons 'Consequences'

US president reacts to reports that sensitive chemical weapons parts have
been moved around the country by the Assad regime

The Guardian UK, 4 December 2012




Barack Obama
President Barack Obama delivers his speech to the gathering of nuclear proliferation experts in Washington. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP


Barack Obama has warned the Syrian regime that any use of chemical weapons on its own people would be "totally unacceptable" and would result in "consequences".

In strongly-worded remarks directed at President Bashar al-Assad, the US president said "the world is watching" and would act if the authorities escalated the conflict through the use of chemical warfare.

Intelligence reports suggest sensitive chemical weapons parts have been moved around the country in recent days. This has raised fears that the regime is considering unleashing chemical weapons = on opposition forces.

Obama told a gathering of nuclear proliferation experts in Washington: "The use of chemical weapons is, and would be, totally unacceptable and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable."

Obama did not outline what consequences would be taken.

His words echoed a similar warning to Damascus from the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton: "I am not going to telegraph any specifics what we do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people, but suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur."

CNN reported that Syrian forces had started to combine chemicals to make deadly sarin gas which it could deploy against anti-government fighters. The network cited an unnamed US official as the source of its report.

Damascus has denied the suggestion that it would resort to chemical warfare. "Syria has stressed repeatedly that it will not use these types of weapons, if they were available, under any circumstances against its people," the foreign ministry said on Monday.

With little indication of an end to the conflict in Syria and signs that Assad's regime is becoming more desperate in the face of persistent opposition forces, the United Nations is preparing to evacuate all non-essential staff from Syria.

Those who remain in the country will be on standby to move to places of safety, said the UN, citing the "prevailing security situation" amid growing fears in Washington that the beleaguered regime is considering using chemical weapons.
The European Union also announced it was cutting its activities in the country.

On a fast-moving day of diplomatic and military action, the Syrian government's foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, was reported to have defected.

The UN's under-secretary for safety and security, Gregory Starr, said it had cancelled all missions to Syria from abroad and suspended its activities inside the country. The decision marks the final step before a full-scale evacuation, a move that has not been ordered at any point during Syria's steady descent into chaos over the past 20 months.

Up to 25 of about 100 foreign staff may leave this week, the UN said, adding that more armoured vehicles were needed after attacks in recent weeks on humanitarian aid convoys and the hijacking of goods or vehicles. Some convoys were caught in crossfire between government and rebel forces, it said, including an incident near the airport in which two staff were injured.

The UN deploys more than 1,000 national and international staff in Syria, but its Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said movement and communications had become more difficult due to intensified fighting near the capital and a 48-hour internet blackout last week.
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Old 17-02-13, 02:44   #16
 
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Red Arrow 300+ Abducted In Syria-Violence Increases

Hundreds Kidnapped In Syria: Britain's Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Reports 300 Abducted

By BEN HUBBARD. 02/16/13





BEIRUT — A rural patch of north Syria has been shaken by a series of tit-for-tat, sectarian kidnappings, anti-regime activists said Saturday, highlighting how much the country's civil war has enflamed tensions between different religious groups.


While all activists agreed that kidnappings had spiked in recent days between armed men in neighboring Shiite and Sunni Muslim villages, reports of the numbers kidnapped by both sides ranged from a few dozen to more than 300.

The kidnappings and the raw feelings they have provoked bode ill for the chances of reconciliation between Syrians, many of whom have come to see the civil war as either a sacred battle to advance their faith or a mortal struggle for the survival of their sect.
Since Syria's crisis began with protests calling for political reforms in March 2011, it has gradually grown more sectarian. Most of the rebels who have taken up arms to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad are from Syria's Sunni majority. Assad himself is an Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, and has heavily stocked his security forces with fellow Alawites and Shiites.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalists among the rebels makes many among Syria's minorities – including Alawites, Shiites, Christians, Armenians and others – fear that a rebel victory could leave them with no place in Syria.

The spate of kidnappings in recent days in the northern Idlib province, which lies along the border with Turkey, provides one example of how Syria's crisis has raised the specter of increasingly sectarian violence.
Local activists said Sunni-Shiite tensions were rare in the area before Syria's crisis began, and that residents of the only two Shiite villages, Fua and Kifarya, moved freely through the constellation of Sunni villages around them.

Tensions rose, however, after the crisis began and opposition members armed themselves to fight back against Assad's harsh crackdown on dissent. Most of the Sunni villages embraced the uprising, while the Shiites stood by the regime. Many say the government armed its supporters to help fight the rebels.
Kidnappings grew common last year, as rebels set up checkpoints to catch Shiites they accused of being "shabiha," or pro-government militiamen, and Shiite gunmen did the same to capture rebels they considered terrorists. Elders from both communities remained in contact, arranging prisoner exchanges to avoid violence.

Most agree that the recent kidnappings started when unknown gunmen stopped a bus carrying Shiite civilians and kidnapped all its passengers on Thursday. Many of the passengers were women and children and their kidnapping was seen as a harsh escalation, especially in the conservative culture of north Syria.

"Before, it was all militiamen catching rebels. It was all part of the war," activist Bahaideen Abdel-Razaq in the village of Sarmeen said via Skype. "But kidnapping of women and children had never happened before."

Soon after, Shiite gunmen began kidnapping residents of nearby Sunni villages, he said, stopping public busses carrying them on rural highways or on their way into the province's regional capital, which is still under regime control.
Many details remain unclear, such as how many people have been kidnapped from the two sides.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 40 Shiites, including women and children, were on the bus when they were captured by unknown gunmen. Since then, Shiite gunmen have kidnapped more than 300 people from nearby Sunni villages, the group said.
Anti-regime activists reached in four nearby villages suggested the number was smaller. Two said no more than 10 people had been taken from their villages. About 15 were missing from Saraqib, and as many as 40 had been taken from Sarmeen, Abdel-Razaq said.
Some activists doubted the story of the bus disappearing.
An activist from the nearby village of Binnish accused the regime of concocting the story.

"We deal with armed groups all over the region and no one has any information" on who kidnapped the bus, said Ahmed, who spoke on condition that only his first name be published to protect his family. "If this is true, give us the names of those who have been kidnapped."
The Observatory said gunmen from Fua refused to state the bus's make and color – "an issue that raises suspicion," it said.

The Associated Press was unable to reach residents of the Shiite villages. A message sent by a reporter to a Facebook page for Fua received an unnamed response.

"We will liberate our prisoners by force and we seek help from no one," it said. "We know how to fight, be victorious and take revenge."

It was unclear who wrote the message.
What is clear is that most Sunni activists and rebels expect an armed showdown between the two communities. Some say they see no place for Shiites in the area's future.

"We have warned them that everything in Fua is a target and that everyone who wants to save himself from the problems should leave," said activist Maher Abdel-Ghani, who often works with Islamic extremist rebel battalions.
"God willing, we'll soon liberate the whole area and there will be nothing left called Fua or Kifarya," he said. "Those two villages will be erased because they have harmed us a lot."

Also Saturday, a power outage plunged Damascus and much of southern Syria into darkness, the state news agency reported, quoting Electricity Minister Imad Khamis.
The blackout affected Syria's capital and the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, which abut the Jordanian border.
An Associated Press reporter in Damascus reported dark streets across the capital. A fuel shortage makes it hard for residents to run backup generators.
A similar blackout struck the same areas on Jan. 20. The government blamed that outage on a rebel attack, and power was restored to most areas the following day.

The Syrian capital's 2.5 million residents have grown used to frequent power cuts as the country's conflict has damaged infrastructure and sapped the government's finances.

The U.N. says nearly 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since March 2011.
____
Associated Press writer Albert Aji contributed reporting from Damascus, Syria.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:10   #17
 
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Thumbs down Russia Confirms Killer Missiles Supply to Syria

Moscow Confirms Weapons Supply to Syria

Vladimir Radyuhin, The Hindu, Moscow, 18 May 2013




Wikimedia Commons -The Yakhont anti-ship missile


Moscow reaffirmed ongoing supplies of weapons to Syria even as U.S. reported new Russian missile deliveries. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the uproar in Western media over Russian arms supplies to Syria.

“We do not conceal it that we supply weapons to Syria under signed contracts; we are not violating either any international agreements, nor our own weapon export control legislation, one of the strictest in the world,” Mr. Lavrov said on Friday after talks with visiting United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We are first and foremost supplying defence weapons related to air defence. This does not alter the balance of power in the region in any way or create any advantage in the fight against the opposition,” he stressed.

An unnamed U.S. official said on Thursday, Russia had delivered a new shipment of “killer” missiles to Syria. The 290-km Yakhont missile is the Russian prototype of the Indo-Russian Brahmos supersonic anti-ship missiles.
The shipment is apparently designed to provide additional firepower to the two batteries of the Bastion anti-ship systems with 72 Yakhont missiles that Russia supplied to Syria in 2011.

The U.S. official told The New York Times that the newly supplied missiles have improved radar guidance that enable them to better evade a ship’s defences.

Earlier this month, media reports said Russia is about to supply S-300 advanced air defence systems to Syria. Western leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during their recent visits to Russia tried in vain to persuade President Vladimir Putin to stop the supplies.

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Old 13-06-13, 22:41   #18
 
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Default re: VIDEOs-Syria Govt Goes"Too Far"-US Plan Military Action



BBC 13 June 2013

Assad Forces used Chemical Weapons - White House

Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons "on a small scale" against the opposition rebels, the White House has said.
A senior aide to President Barack Obama said the US estimated 100-150 people had died in "multiple" attacks.


Ben Rhodes said the president had decided to provide unspecified "military support" to the opposition.

The White House had previously warned that the US considers the use of such weapons crossing a "red line".

Mr Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to Mr Obama, said the US previously had no "reliable" evidence the opposition had used chemical weapons.
Earlier, the United Nations said the number of those killed in the Syrian conflict had risen to more than 93,000 people.

Calculus 'changed'

Mr Rhodes said the president had made the decision to increase assistance, including "military support", to the opposition's Supreme Military Council (SMC).
He declined to provide further details, other than to say it would be "different in scope and scale to what we have provided before".

"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 US," Mr Rhodes said.
"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."

Mr Rhodes said US intelligence agencies had concluded Mr Assad's forces had used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, based on battlefield reports, "descriptions of physiological symptoms" from alleged victims, and laboratory analysis of samples obtained from alleged victims.

However, the full number killed by chemical weapons was "likely incomplete", Mr Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters.

"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," he said, including direct support to the SMC.
"These efforts will increase going forward."

Further actions will be taken "on our own timeline", Mr Rhodes said.


VIDEO- WARNING - Disturbing Images of Syrians Injured by Chemical Weapons

Click Here:

Syria

To be continued......

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Old 01-07-13, 19:31   #19
 
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Important Photos-US Secret Base=Training Syrian Rebels for War




Assad-busters: At a Secret Base in Jordan, U.S Special Forces are Training Syrian Rebels for War...but loads fear sleeper cells in their nation will wreak a Terrible Revenge

  • 8,000 military personnel are behind Operation Eager Lion training exercise
  • Arms from the West would have to travel through Jordan to get to Syria
  • It is believed this could enrage Assad, who may well seek revenge
  • Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour insists that US forces are not preparing for a war in Syria

Flying low over the Jordanian desert, F-16 fighter jets flatten targets in the sand while tanks unleash their deadly firepower and paratroopers dot the late afternoon sky.

These were the scenes a fortnight ago in Operation Eager Lion, the United States-led exercise involving 8,000 service personnel that the military insists was only routine.
In Jordan, though, the war games now feel like a precursor to the invasion of neighbouring Syria. And not just because live rounds were fired.



Special operations forces from Iraq, Jordan and the U.S. conduct an exercise as part of operation Eager Lion at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center in Amman, Jordan



The coastal city of Aqaba was the site of military exercises are said to be designed to promote military relationships and face terrorism

Concerns were raised further last week with news that the CIA and US Special Forces are training Syrian rebels at a secret base in the remote south-west of the country.
The Free Syrian Army fighters are mainly from Daraa, where the uprising began in March 2011.
It is not known how many of the rebels have passed through the US base, but it is understood 20 to 45 at a time have been attending two-week courses since December – and are being trained with Russian-designed 14.5mm anti-tank rifles and 23mm anti-aircraft weapons.
Operation Eager Lion may have ended two weeks ago but 900 combat-ready American servicemen remain behind, with many now based close to the strategically important northern border.
Disquiet over what may happen next is felt all over this desert kingdom – a key ally of Britain and America and one that has played a pivotal role in the power struggle in the Middle East.
Few Jordanians doubt that the West is now more determined than ever to meet the rebels’ demand for heavy arms.
But while they share the same desire to rid Syria of President Bashar Assad, the majority – motivated by a strong sense of self-preservation – view the unfolding scenario as potentially disastrous.

And not just because of the fear that the weapons will find their way into the hands of extremist elements among the rebels, including Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
Or that Assad’s friends in Russia and Iran will respond in kind.



The military training exercises are based close to the strategically important northern border with Syria



A rocket is fired during the operation. Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour insists that US forces are not preparing for a war in Syria

It is because they believe the arms will inevitably have to pass through Jordan to reach Syria. This, they argue, will enrage Assad, who may well seek revenge.

In the wood-panelled bars of Jabal Al-Weibdeh, the Christian quarter of the capital Amman, opinion-formers and decision-makers meet daily over tea and shisha to discuss the threat to their country.

Here, whenever David Cameron and Barack Obama speak of civil war in Syria, which has already cost the lives of more than 100,000 men, women and children, their words are seized upon, scrutinised and debated.

Coverage of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland was almost as keenly watched in Amman as the Arab Idol song contest.

Should Jordan be seen to be too readily helping its Western allies, it is argued, Assad might activate Syrian ‘sleeper cells’ in the capital and elsewhere.

‘It is estimated that around 4,000 Assad loyalists and Hezbollah members have infiltrated our towns and cities and are ready and waiting to rise up,’ said Ahmad Hassan Alzoubi, one of Jordan’s foremost political commentators.

Their numbers have been swollen by fighters who have entered the country among the waves of Syrian refugees.

Mr Alzoubi added: ‘The fear is they will try to destabilise our country.’ Targets are thought to include strategic military facilities.



Operation Eager Lion may have ended two weeks ago but 900 combat-ready American servicemen remain



If Jordan is seen to be too keen to help its Western allies, it is argued, Assad might activate Syrian 'sleeper cells' in the capital and elsewhere

A senior government official said that the cells ‘may try to assassinate prominent Jordanians’.
In the past, sleeper cells in Jordan have been activated by Hezbollah for attacks on Israel through the West Bank.
Even so, Jordan remains, at least for now, one of the region’s safest countries, its significance arising partly from its strategic location at the crossroads of the Holy Land.
It is also one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel.

‘So far the spotlight has been on northern Syria, around Aleppo, where the rebels are strong,’ said Mr Alzoubi.
‘But the significance of what is happening in the south, near our border – which is near Damascus – cannot be overlooked.
‘This is the route the West will use to move arms for the rebels. And, ultimately, it is only in the capital of Syria that victory for the rebels can be achieved.’

For the time being at least Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour insists that US forces are not preparing for a war in Syria.
He said they are in the Arab kingdom to bolster its defence and prevent the civil war from spreading across its border.
Of the 900, he added, 200 are training Jordanians to handle a chemical attack. The remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile-defence system and F-16 fighter jets.

‘If the war continues, it’s a problem, and if it ends with the collapse of the regime, we also have a problem,’ said Mr Ensour.
He added that the fall of Assad’s regime would leave a ‘vacuum, whereby attacks and conflicts would persist’. That scenario appears to be a long way off.

For now, few believe Assad will go anywhere soon, particularly as he appears to be in the ascendancy.
After successfully recapturing the town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, regime forces have moved on rebel strongholds around Damascus and the Jordanian border.



Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour insists that US forces are not preparing for a war in Syria


‘The regime is directing its forces to the border region,’ said Abu Mohammad al-Darawi, who heads a Free Syrian Army battalion outside the southern city of Daraa.
‘We can no longer guarantee the safety of refugees trying to enter Jordan.’

Yesterday, thousands of refugees were stranded across the border because pro-Assad forces, fighting alongside mercenaries from Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia party, had cut off access routes to Jordan, which has already taken in more than 550,000 people.
More than 160,000 of them are in the Zaatari refugee camp, which has effectively become Jordan’s fifth largest city. While many are still desperate to reach it, others are already starting to leave.

Already this month some 9,000 Syrians abandoned Zaatari to answer the rebels’ call to return to their homeland and ‘defend’ their towns.
Many more have simply had enough of the camp, which has become increasingly lawless, and long to start a new life in Amman which is off-limits to them.

Bearing the brunt of the Syrians’ frustrations have been humanitarian agency workers. ‘There have been around 70 cases where agency workers have been attacked with sticks and rocks,’ said Mohammed Ali, a clinic manager with Jordan Health Aid Society.
‘Last month a policeman was stabbed by a refugee. There have been demonstrations, with refugees burning down their tents. People are becoming frustrated because they have been here so long.’

On the surface, however, the camp appears well-equipped, with schools, sports facilities, shops and even a tailor. ‘I don’t want to go back to fight in Syria – I just want to go home and live peacefully,’ said Abu Jarah, a 30-year-old barber.
He arrived at Zaatari in December with his wife after his two-year-old daughter, Shouq, was shot dead by regime forces as he carried her across a street in Daraa.
‘The bullet hit her in the head and she was blown out of my arms,’ he said. ‘It was the most terrible day of my life.’

On Wednesday Jordan’s King Abdullah said: ‘We will not allow anything to compromise our national security or harm our citizens.’

On Friday, at Jordan’s main border crossing with Syria, a burly guard’s discourse on Manchester United’s chances of success without Sir Alex Ferguson was brought to an abrupt halt by a burst of mortar fire.
The loud boom broke the desert stillness and made the guard spring from his chair. Jabbing the air with a cigarette, he estimated that it came from at least two miles away, which seemed to calm his colleagues.
Eventually their tension subsided, but didn’t disappear entirely. The men fell silent, their discussion about football and ‘Mr Alex’ forgotten.

Despite the King’s assurance, his people remain edgy. They simply can’t escape the feeling that Jordan, a bit-part player, has been reluctantly shoved on to centre stage.
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Old 26-08-13, 07:33   #20
 
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Default re: WAR-Britain & US to Attack Syria-Russia Warns! -PhOtOs




WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT!

Britain and U.S. Prepare Missile Strikes Against Syria 'Within Days'

  • David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed plan in 40-minute phone call
  • They are now expected to finalise details within 48 hours
  • Want to send warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over deaths of 1,300
By Daily Mail UK/BBC News, 26 August 2013


Britain and the US are set to launch missile strikes against the Syrian regime in retaliation for its barbaric chemical attack on civilians.
David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed the plan in a 40-minute phone call at the weekend and will finalise the details within 48 hours.


The two leaders want to send a clear warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over the deaths of as many as 1,300 people, many of them children.




Plans: David Cameron, right, discussed options with President Obama in a 40-minute phone call at the weekend




Warning: Obama wants to send a clear message to dictator Bashar Assad



William Hague said ‘all the evidence’ suggested Assad’s henchmen carried out last week’s horrific nerve gas atrocity.
‘We cannot, in the 21st century, allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity – that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences for it,’ insisted the Foreign Secretary.

‘We believe it is very important there is a very strong response so that dictators, whether Assad or others who might slaughter their own people, know that using chemical weapons is to cross a line, and that the world will respond.’

Royal Navy commanders in the region are preparing to take part in the assault, which is likely to be unleashed within ten days.
Government sources indicated the cruise missile blitz is likely to be short and sharp and will not signal an intention to get involved in the bloody civil war in Syria.

But it will inevitably lead to fears that Britain could get sucked into another Iraq-style nightmare.

Military planners in Washington and London are addressing the ‘significant challenge’ of finalising a list of potential targets designed to cripple Assad’s chemical warfare capability.



Syria Graphic


The intervention is likely to involve missile strikes rather than an airborne bombing campaign, in order to avoid the dangers posed by the sophisticated air defences supplied to Syria by Russia.
A British source said ‘naval assets in the region’ were likely to be involved, suggesting the possible use of submarine-borne Tomahawk cruise missiles.

In an ominous development Damascus last night warned US president Obama that any intervention would not be a ‘walk in the park’, adding: ‘It will bring chaos and the region will burn.’

Iran warned the West it would face ‘severe consequences’ if it intervened in Syria.

And Russia, which has blocked UN action against Syria, said unilateral action by the West would undermine efforts for peace and have a ‘devastating impact’ on the security situation in the Middle East.


The Syrian regime last night attempted to head off a military intervention by the West by announcing it would finally allow United Nations experts to visit the gas atrocity site in Damascus. Inspectors are expected to begin their work today.




Hundreds died in the alleged chemical attacks on Wednesday, including many women and children





Activists say that somewhere between 200 and 1,300 were killed in the chemical weapons attack on Wednesday near Damascus. Syria has one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons of any country




The two leaders want to send a clear warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over the deaths of as many as 1,300 people, many of them children



But Washington and London dismissed the move, saying it was ‘too late to be credible’, and followed almost a week of shelling of the area during which much of the evidence may have been destroyed.
Britain, the United States and France have all blamed the Assad regime for the attack because the rebel fighters are not thought to have the capability to carry out an atrocity on that scale.
President Francois Hollande, who spoke to Mr Cameron yesterday, is also pushing for swift military retaliation and could authorise the use of French forces in the attack.

In a statement following the talks, Downing Street said the two men ‘agreed that a chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on the scale that was emerging demanded a firm response from the international community. This crime must not be swept under the carpet.’

Mr Hollande’s office said: ‘France is determined that this act does not go unpunished.’

A Government source said the Prime Minister had not abandoned hope of achieving tougher UN action against Syria in the future.

But with Russia frustrating progress, the source said Mr Cameron believed any short-term military response would have to be taken outside the UN process.

‘This looks like one of the worst chemical weapons attacks of modern times,’ another Government source said.
‘If you are responding to an attack on this scale you have to do it quickly. If you let it go for two, three, four weeks there is a danger you send a message that it doesn’t matter.’





Just one section of the huge Quru Gusik refugee camp in Iraq which is now home to thousands of displaced Syrians





Refugee siblings in the camp eat watermelons being distributed by the NGO





UN aid agencies say the number of children fleeing Syria has now reached one million




One of the Kurdish refugees protects himself from the sun with a shemagh while walking through the camp





A grandmother and mother with a disabled child who fled from Syria to the camp in Iraq



Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has discussed the crisis several times with Mr Cameron in recent days and a senior Lib Dem source said there would be an agreed Coalition response. ‘The Government is working as one on this,’ the source said.

A government source said it was ‘possible’ that Parliament could be recalled early from its summer recess this week to discuss the crisis. But the source stressed that Mr Cameron had always reserved the ‘flexibility’ to order a military strike in response to fast-moving events without recourse to Parliament.

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown yesterday warned against rushing to military action on Syria. But Lord Ashdown, who remains close to Mr Clegg, acknowledged that the UN would be ‘greatly diminished’ if the world failed to respond to Assad’s ‘terrible breach’ of international law.

Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the US Senate foreign affairs committee, said he had spoken to the Obama administration about its plans for Syria and believed the president would seek authorisation from Congress.

‘I think we will respond in a surgical way and I hope the president as soon as we get back to Washington will ask for authorisation from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way,’ he told Fox News.

A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘No decisions have been taken on military action and the timetable for a serious response from the international community is not yet clear.
‘We are very conscious of when MPs are due to return and haven’t ruled out recalling them earlier.’

Cameron must go to the Commons to justify strike against Syria, say Labour and Tory backbenchers



Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said it is right that the UK works with the international community to find a solution on Syria



David Cameron was under pressure to recall Parliament last night to debate the Syrian crisis before Britain launches any missile strikes.
Labour politicians, backed by Tory counterparts, said it was essential that MPs had their say on such a potentially momentous move.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said: ‘In light of ongoing international developments, it is right that the UK works with the international community to try to find an agreed way forward in Syria. If, in reality, the Prime Minister is now considering military options involving UK personnel then of course I would expect him to seek a recall of Parliament and to come to the House of Commons and make his case in advance of a decision being made.’

Bob Stewart, a Tory MP and former military commander, said: ‘Parliament may well have to be recalled before we take any military action, because then that gives us justification.
‘We’re not going to get a Security Council resolution because the Russians aren’t up for it, and the Chinese certainly aren’t.’ He said that if it was confirmed that the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks then Britain would have to act.
‘We shouldn’t just talk,’ he added. ‘We would have to actually act, and by acting we probably mean some kind of punitive warning action using missiles. That means military action – that means a recall of Parliament.’

Fellow Tory MP Sarah Wollaston indicated she would oppose any military intervention in Syria that did not have the full backing of the United Nations.

Dr Wollaston, one of many in her party who is sceptical about the benefits of any intervention, said: ‘Parliament must be recalled before, not after, any decision on military involvement or action in Syria.
‘I don’t believe unilateral Western intervention in Syria can achieve anything other than escalation into a global conflict.’

MPs are away from Westminster for another week on Parliament’s long summer recess.
David Cameron indicated before the recess that he would recall Parliament before taking any step toward war, such as arming the Syrian rebels.
A Downing Street source said it was possible Parliament would be recalled this week to discuss the crisis. But the source said the Prime Minister had always stressed that the Government needed the ‘flexibility’ to respond to major events without recourse to Parliament.

Speaking in the Commons before the summer, Mr Cameron said: ‘We make a big commitment to come to this House and explain, vote and all the rest of it but governments have to reserve the ability to take action swiftly on this or other issues.’

Technically the Prime Minister has the power to authorise military action without the approval of Parliament.

But in practice, all major military interventions in recent times, including the wars in Iraq and Libya have gone ahead only after a Commons vote.
However, government sources last night suggested the missile attacks being planned against Syria were simply a response to last week’s chemical weapons atrocity.
A source said any strikes should not be seen as a sign that further action, such as bombing raids, no-fly zones or arming Syria’s rebels, will follow.
The Prime Minister has the power to declare war as a result of the wide-ranging royal prerogative – powers held by the Queen and exercised by the government of the day.

In 2006, Mr Cameron questioned whether a prime minister should continue to be able to use the royal prerogative to declare war or sign international treaties without first consulting MPs.





David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed the plan in a 40-minute phone call at the weekend and will finalise the details within 48 hours. The two leaders want to send a clear warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over the deaths of as many

as 1,300 people, many of them children.
END

continued...... Russia Warns of 'The Consequences'

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Old 26-08-13, 12:25   #21
 
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Russia Warns US Against 'Extremely Dangerous' Syria Attack


RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned US Secretary of State John Kerry over the "extremely dangerous consequences" of launching military action against the Syrian regime, the foreign ministry said today.

Mr Lavrov told Mr Kerry in a telephone call yesterday that Moscow was "deeply alarmed" by comments from US officials indicating a readiness to intervene in Syria in the wake of accusations the regime had used chemical weapons, it said in a statement.

"Sergei Lavrov drew attention to the extremely dangerous consequences of a possible new military intervention for the whole Middle East and North Africa region," it said.

The statement came as Mr Assad said in an interview published today in a Russian newspaper that Western claims his regime used chemical weapons were an "insult to common sense" and warned the US it faced failure if it attacked Syria.

France's foreign minister said today the West would decided in the coming days on a response to the crisis.

Asked on French radio about a possible reaction with "force'', Laurent Fabius said a decision had not yet been taken, adding: "We have to assess the reactions ... and that will be decided upon in the coming days.''

Turkey's foreign minister today also warned that his country would join an international coalition against neighbouring Syria even if the UN Security Council fails to reach consensus on the issue.

"If a coalition is formed against Syria in this process, Turkey will take part in it,'' Ahmet Davutoglu told the Milliyet newspaper.

Mr Lavrov told Mr Kerry that it appeared certain elements inside the US wanted to launch military action in Syria outside of the UN to undermine joint US-Russia efforts to organise a peace conference.

The Russian minister urged his US counterpart "to refrain from using military pressure against Damascus and not to give into provocations."

The ministry said Mr Kerry promised to "attentively" study the arguments of the Russian side.

Russia underlined the necessity of an objective UN investigation into the claimed chemical attack and repeated its doubts that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad was to blame.

"There is mounting evidence that the incident was a pretence set up by the rebel opposition with the aim of accusing the Damascus government of everything," the statement said.

Mr Assad had told pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia in the extensive interview that Syria would never be a "puppet" of the West and said Washington had never succeeded in reaching its political aims through war.

"The comments (accusing the regime of using chemical weapons) made by politicians in the West and other countries are an insult to common sense ... It is nonsense," Mr Assad said.

Mr Assad accused the US of first making the accusations that his regime used chemical weapons in an attack outside Damascus that activists say killed hundreds, and only later starting to look for proof.

He said the frontline in the area where the incident took place was not clear and the Syrian regime would have risked killing its own army forces if it used chemical weapons.

"This contradicts elementary logic," Mr Assad said. "Such accusations are completely political and the reason for them is a number of victories by the government forces against the terrorists."

With calls mounting for military action against Syria, Mr Assad warned Western states to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries and instead "listen to the opinion of the people".

"If someone is dreaming of making Syria a puppet of the West, then this will not happen," he said.

"We are an independent state, we will fight against terrorism and we will build relations with whom we want for the good of the Syrian people."

Mr Assad warned the US against attacking Syria and argued Washington's previous military campaigns in recent years had always fallen short of their aims.

"The United States faces failure just like in all the previous wars they waged, starting with Vietnam and up to our days," he said.

"America has taken part in many wars but could not once achieve its political goals for which the wars were started. Yes, it is true, the great powers can wage wars but can they win them?"
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Old 26-08-13, 12:50   #22
 
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

UPDATE:

The UK and the US have threatened a "serious response" if it emerges Syria used chemical weapons last week.

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama spoke on the telephone for 40 minutes on Saturday.

Both were "gravely concerned" by the "increasing signs that this was an attack carried out by the Syrian regime", Mr Cameron's office said.

But intervention would have serious consequences and the US case was weak, the Syrian information minister warned.

In an interview with Lebanese TV, Omran Zoabi said: "If the US leads a military intervention, this will have dangerous consequences. It will bring chaos and the region will burn."

The Syrian government has denied any use of chemical weapons, blaming rebel fighters instead.

State television reported on Saturday that soldiers had found chemical agents in tunnels used by the rebels to the east of Damascus.

It broadcast images of gas masks and plastic containers, but nothing to support official statements that soldiers had "suffered from cases of suffocation" when rebels used poison gas "as a last resort" after government forces made "big gains" in the suburb of Jobar.




Syria's government said chemical materials used by rebels had been found


Opposition activists accuse forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad of killing between 500 and more than 1,000 civilians in several suburbs east and west of capital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They want the areas inspected by UN chemical weapons experts who are already in Damascus to investigate other suspected attacks.

The UN's disarmament chief, Angela Kane, arrived in Damascus on Saturday to press the authorities for access.

Iran's Irna state news agency reported that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem had told his Iranian counterpart that Damascus was "co-operating" with the UN experts and "preparing the opportunity for them to visit areas which have been attacked chemically by terrorist groups".

'Gathering facts and evidence'

"The UN Security Council has called for immediate access for UN investigators on the ground in Damascus," Downing Street said in a statement.
"The fact that President Assad has failed to co-operate with the UN suggests that the regime has something to hide."
It said Mr Cameron and Mr Obama had "reiterated that significant use of chemical weapons would merit a serious response from the international community and both have tasked officials to examine all the options".
The statement said the two men had agreed it was "vital that the world upholds the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons and deters further outrages".
They would keep in "close contact", it added.

The US president earlier convened his National Security Council to discuss options on Syria.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the American military, which is repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean, was ready to act.




Chuck Hagel: "President Obama has asked the defence department to prepare options for all contingencies"

"President Obama has asked the defence department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option - if he decides to employ one of those options," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said he understood that the "serious response" mentioned in the UK statement would not include "boots on the ground".
But a range of other options was not ruled out, he said, potentially including air strikes.


Iran's WARNING

On Sunday, Iran's deputy armed forces chief, Massoud Jazayeri, warned the US against crossing the "red line" on Syria, saying it would have "severe consequences", according to the Fars news agency.


'Neurotoxic symptoms'

The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has said three hospitals it supports in the Damascus area had treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms" early on Wednesday morning, of whom 355 have died.
While MSF said it could not "scientifically confirm" the use of chemical weapons, staff at the hospitals described a large number of patients arriving in the space of less than three hours with symptoms including convulsions, pinpoint pupils and breathing problems.

MSF director of operations Bart Janssens said the symptoms - as well as the "massive influx of patients in a short period of time" - strongly suggested mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, meanwhile said it had documented the deaths of 322 people, including 82 women and 54 children.

On Sunday morning, several suburbs of Damascus reportedly came under heavy shell and mortar fire, as government forces continued their offensive on rebel strongholds.
At least 114 people were killed across the country on Saturday, including 33 people in the capital, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees, an opposition activist network.
The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Assad began more than two years ago.



'Chemical Attack': What We Know


  • 01:15: 21 August (10:15 GMT 20 Aug): Facebook pages of Syrian opposition report heavy fighting in rebel-held eastern districts of the Ghouta, the agricultural belt around Damascus
  • 02:45: Opposition posts Facebook report of "chemical shelling" in Ein Tarma area of the Ghouta
  • 02:47: Second opposition report says chemical weapons used in Zamalka area of the Ghouta
  • Unverified video footage shows people being treated on pavements in the dark and in a makeshift hospital
  • Reports say chemical weapons were used in Ghouta towns of Irbin, Jobar, Zamalka and Ein Tarma as well as in Muadhamiya to the west, but this is not confirmed
  • Syrian government acknowledges military offensive in the Ghouta but denies chemical weapons use.
  • END
continued,,,,,, UN Investigators Enter Damascus and come under Snipers Attack


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Old 26-08-13, 13:41   #23
 
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Syria Allows UN to Inspect 'Chemical Weapons' Site - After the Threat of Military Action by Britain & the US


Reuters, 26 August, 2013



The UN's disarmament chief negotiated with the Syrian government, as the BBC's Yolande Knell in Beirut explains


The Syrian government has agreed to allow UN inspectors to investigate allegations of a suspected chemical weapon attack near Damascus.
The team is to begin work today. Activists say Syrian forces killed more than 300 people in several suburbs east and west of the capital on Wednesday.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that evidence could have been tampered with, degraded or destroyed in the five days since the attack.


Syria has Blamed "Terrorists".

State media reported that chemical agents were found in tunnels used by rebel fighters, and also that soldiers suffered "suffocation" in fighting around the suburb of Jobar.
State TV is meanwhile reporting that the governor of the central district of Hama, Anas Abdul-Razzaq Naem, has been killed in a car bomb attack.


'Degradation of Evidence'




William Hague said it was 'clear' the Syrian regime was behind the attack

The Syrian foreign ministry statement broadcast on state television said an agreement to allow UN chemical weapons experts to "investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in Damascus province" had been concluded on Sunday with the UN's disarmament chief, Angela Kane.
The agreement was "effective immediately", the statement added.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon subsequently announced that the inspectors were "preparing to conduct on-site fact-finding activities", starting on Monday. A ceasefire will be observed at the affected locations, the statement said.

Russia, a key ally of Syria, welcomed the decision to allow the inspectors in but warned the West against pre-empting the results.

Mr Hague, though, said time was running out for the inspectors' work.

"Much of the evidence could have been destroyed by... artillery bombardment; other evidence could have become degraded over the last few days, and other evidence could have been tampered with," he said.


Analysis

Quote:
Yolande Knell BBC News, Beirut

It was last Wednesday that amateur videos of Syrian children choking and fighting for their lives and young men suffering horrible convulsions first caused international outrage.
Western countries expressed deep frustration that, although UN chemical weapons inspectors were staying in Damascus at the time, they were not able to go immediately to the city's eastern suburbs to investigate what happened.
It appears that pressure from Syria's allies in Moscow and Tehran may now have helped persuade the authorities to allow access for the experts.
They are due to head to the affected sites on Monday. The Syrian military and opposition fighters are expected to cease hostilities in the area.
The work of the UN team is likely to involve taking soil, blood, urine and tissue samples for laboratory testing to see if banned chemical agents were used. There are concerns that evidence might already have degraded or been destroyed by recent intense shelling.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Saturday that three hospitals it supports in the Damascus area had treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms" early on Wednesday morning, of whom 355 died. While MSF said it could not "scientifically confirm" the use of chemical weapons, staff at the hospitals described a large number of patients arriving in the space of less than three hours with symptoms including convulsions, pinpoint pupils and breathing problems.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has discussed the situation in a telephone call with President Francois Hollande of France.

"They agreed that a chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on the scale that was emerging demanded a firm response from the international community," a Downing Street spokesman said.


"This crime must not be swept under the carpet."

Mr Cameron agreed a similar response in a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama on Saturday evening.


'Red Line Warning from Syria'

Later, Syria's Information Minister, Omran Zoabi, warned that US military action in Syria would not be a "walk in the park".

"If the US leads a military intervention, this will have dangerous consequences. It will bring chaos and the region will burn," he said.


A year ago, President Obama said that any attempt by Syria to use its chemical weapons would be a "red line" for the US, and change his administration's "calculus" in the region.
END


continued,,,,Snipers Fire on UN Weapons Inspectors


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Old 26-08-13, 14:14   #24
 
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Syria Crisis: Snipers Fire on UN Weapons Inspectors
UN Inspectors' Convoy 'Hit by Sniper Fire'


BBC World News, 26 August 2013



The BBC's Yolande Knell: "The UN has always said the safety of its team is paramount"

Unidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria's capital, the UN has said.
One car was shot at "multiple times", forcing the convoy to turn back. The UN promised to continue with the inquiry as soon as it could replace the car.

Syrian state media blamed opposition "terrorists" for the attack, though the claim could not be verified.

Hundreds died in suspected chemical attacks on Wednesday near Damascus.

The US said there was little doubt Syrian forces used chemical weapons in the attacks, which reportedly killed more than 300 people in rebel-held areas.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed the accusation as "an insult to common sense" and warned the US against military intervention.
"If someone is dreaming of making Syria a puppet of the West, then this will not happen," he told the Russian newspaper Izvestiya.



'Intimidation'

The 20-member UN inspection team has been in Syria since 18 August to look into three earlier suspected chemical attacks.
The experts intend to take soil, blood, urine and tissue samples for laboratory testing from five locations on Monday and Tuesday.
They were unlikely to play any role in apportioning blame for the attack.
But shortly after setting out from the hotel, the cars came under fire "multiple times by unidentified snipers", according to a statement from the UN.

"The team returned safely back to the government checkpoint. The team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle," said the UN.

The UN Secretary General's spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the BBC the convoy was "deliberately targeted" and it seemed someone was trying to intimidate the team.


Military Action


A year ago, US President Barack Obama said the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would be "a red line" that could trigger US military action.
Washington has recently bolstered its naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean, and military leaders from the US, UK and their allies are meeting in Jordan.

But the UN Security Council remains divided, with China and Russia appearing unlikely to drop their objection to stricter sanctions on Mr Assad's government.

China & Russia have blocked previous attempts by the UN to take action in Syria

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday that diplomats should be cautious in dealing with the chemical weapons issue, and Moscow warned Western nations not to prejudge the outcome of the inspections.

Western politicians have begun to suggest taking action outside of the UN system.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that action could be taken without UN approval if there was "great humanitarian need" in Syria.




Hans Blix: "It's important that [the inspectors] can go to any place they want to see"

His French counterpart Laurent Fabius suggested the UN Security Council could be bypassed "in certain circumstances".

But in his latest comments on the crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any intervention in Syria without a UN mandate would be a "grave violation of international law".

The West, he told a news conference in Moscow, had not been able to come up with any proof of chemical weapons use while "saying at the same time that the red line has been crossed and there can be no delay".


'Neurotoxic Symptoms'


Western officials were unimpressed with Syria's decision to allow in the UN experts.
Mr Hague said evidence could have been tampered with, degraded or destroyed in the five days since the attack.
A senior White House official, quoted by AP news agency, dismissed the visit as "too late to be credible".

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Saturday that three hospitals it supports in the Damascus area had treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms" on Wednesday morning, of whom 355 died.
While MSF said it could not "scientifically confirm" the use of chemical weapons, staff at the hospitals described a large number of patients arriving in the space of less than three hours with symptoms including convulsions, pinpoint pupils and breathing problems.

Syria's security forces are widely believed to possess large undeclared stockpiles of mustard gas and sarin nerve agent.
It is one of seven countries that have not joined the 1997 convention banning chemical weapons.
Syria has the largest stock of chemical weapons, more than any other country in the world




  • 01:15: 21 August (10:15 GMT 20 Aug): Facebook pages of Syrian opposition report heavy fighting in rebel-held eastern districts of the Ghouta, the agricultural belt around Damascus
  • 02:45: Opposition posts Facebook report of "chemical shelling" in Ein Tarma area of the Ghouta
  • 02:47: Second opposition report says chemical weapons used in Zamalka area of the Ghouta
  • Unverified video footage shows people being treated on pavements in the dark and in a makeshift hospital
  • Reports say chemical weapons were used in Ghouta towns of Irbin, Jobar, Zamalka and Ein Tarma as well as in Muadhamiya to the west, but this is not confirmed
  • Syrian government acknowledges military offensive in the Ghouta but denies chemical weapons use
  • END



More on This Story Will be Posted as Updates come in


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Old 27-08-13, 19:57   #25
 
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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

The Tiny Tragic Victims of Syria's Gas Horror: East Damascus Hospital says it has The Bodies of 20 Children who can't be Identified... Because They Have No Family Left

  • Disturbing situation documented by local filmmaker and passed to ITV News
  • Also shown is textile factory which has begun making gas masks
  • News comes as Western nations prepare to attack strife-torn country

By Daily Mail UK, 27 August 2013

An east Damascus field hospital says they dealt with bodies of 20 children they can't identify because their entire families were wiped out by poison gas.
Unable to identify the dead youngsters, medical staff have taken to referring to them simply by number, with a one-month old girl known simply as 'number 14'.
They are just some of 600 patients treated at the hospital following the dawn gas attacks last Wednesday, in which an estimated 1,200 Syrian civilians were killed - many of them women and children.




Horror: Volunteer paramedic Abu Akram holds up the body of a one-month-old baby girl, dubbed 'number 14', who he and colleagues have been unable to identify





Killed: Photographs of unidentified child victims documented at the east Damascus field hospital

Nearby, a clothing factory has responded to the fear that chemical attacks could continue by beginning the production of makeshift gas masks to supply to residents.
The disturbing situation is documented in footage captured by a Syrian filmmaker and passed to ITV News, which has provided MailOnline with stills taken from the film and details of his findings.
It has emerged as Western nations announced they are drawing up plans to launch an attack on Syria that could start within days, in retaliation for atrocity which they blame on the country's government.

ITV News says Humam Husari, which it describes as an 'independent filmmaker' interviewed Abu Akram, a volunteer paramedic working in the town of Arbin in the Ghota area of Damascus.
Mr Akram said: 'Here at the field hospital in Arbin we took in approximately 600 patients who suffered in the chemical attack. We had registered 110 deaths and approximately 35 unregistered deaths.

Quote:
'We have been unable to identify these twenty children. This young girl [points to one month old baby girl) we have named her number 14.
'We have this poor girl she was no older than a month. No-one's been able to identify her so she is unknown number 14.
'In terms of the women we have been able to identify most of them, only a few left. We have been able to identify 90 per cent of them.'


Parents weep as they look for their children among the dead: Syria's government denies launching the attack last Wednesday. This image was released in the immediate aftermath





Grim toll: The latest images emerged as Western nations prepared to attack Syria



Mr Husari also visited a nearby textiles factory which is said to have repurposed its equipment to make gas masks in anticipation of more chemical attacks.
A man at the scene, Abu Ibrahim, whose precise role, whether manager or worker, is not explained, told the filmmaker: ''We consulted doctors on this project. They told us that coal and sodium absorbs smells and diffuses harmful chemicals... so on took their advice on this... and it should help save lives... God willing.

'We thought of the design... we saw lots of people using cloths or towels to protect themselves... so we thought there must be a better solution.
'So we started to think of design... we saw that coal is used in water filters... so we can use the same filters here... and cotton also purifies air... so all of the textiles used in it are made of cotton.'




A still from footage of a Damascus textile factory which has switched to producing makeshift gas masks in anticipation of more chemical gas attacks



He added: 'It wont be 100 per cent protective but it can be 70 per cent or 60 per cent which can help people get away from danger.'
Downing Street said today that David Cameron is considering a 'proportionate response' to the 'absolutely abhorrent' chemical weapons attack that is believed to have killed hundreds.
Meanwhile U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said today its armed forces are in place in the region and 'ready to go' should President Barack Obama order military action in Syria.
Reports in America suggest they could lead the strikes from as early as Thursday.
A decision on whether to fire missiles into Syria could be taken before the results of a report by UN weapons inspectors into the attack is produced.

Russia, a close ally of Syria, today warned a military intervention in the country could have 'catastrophic consequences' for the region and called on the international community to show 'prudence' over the crisis.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted:

Quote:
'the West behaves towards the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade.'
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Old 27-08-13, 21:55   #26
 
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

'We're Ready to Go': Britain and US could launch missile strikes on Syria as Early as FRIDAY as Assad's Foreign Minister Warns it will Defend Itself using 'All Means Available'

  • PM considering 'proportionate response' to 'abhorrent' chemical attack
  • '600 canister strikes, 12 tanks, 100 soldiers': Witness reveals devastating details of raids on Damascus as Assad’s snipers are accused of ambushing UN chemical weapons team

  • David Cameron recalled Parliament for Thursday and has promised vote
  • He said any action would be to prevent the use of chemical weapons
  • He said their use was 'wrong' and the 'world should not stand idly by'
  • He has said Syria has used chemical weapons on 10 previous occasions
  • U.S. Defence Secretary says they're 'ready to go' if action is ordered
  • Russians: West acts 'towards Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade'
  • Syrian foreign minister denied 'utterly' the state was behind gas attack

By Daily Mail UK, 27 August 2013

David Cameron today insisted any military action in Syria would be to prevent the future use of chemical weapons as he warned Britain was not looking to get involved in 'a Middle Eastern war'.

The Prime Minister said the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons on 10 other occasions before the attack that killed up to 1,200 in Damascus last week and warned the world 'should not stand idly by'.

But the tyrannical al-Assad regime has warned it will fight back with 'all means available' and its foreign secretary said attacking the country to help rebels in their war with the state was 'delusional'.

Earlier today, Mr Cameron announced Parliament would be recalled four days early, on Thursday, to debate the crisis, followed by a vote by MPs on what action to take against president al-Assad.






Threat: David Cameron, pictured arriving at No 10 this morning, is considering whether to take 'proportionate' military action against Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack last week



Message: David Cameron has revealed this lunchtime that Parliament would be called back four days early and a vote on what action Britain will take




Summit: Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at 10 Downing Street for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron this morning


Speaking this afternoon, he said no decision had been made about British involvement but the world had agreed almost a century ago chemical weapons should not be used.

He said action must be 'proportionate', 'legal', and 'would have to specifically be about deterring the use of chemical weapons'.


He said: 'Let me stress to people, this is not about getting involved in a Middle Eastern war or changing our stance in Syria, or going further into that conflict.

'It's about chemical weapons. Their use is wrong and the world should not stand idly by.'


Mr Cameron said the question for Britain is whether failing to act this time would lead to more use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere in future.

'It must be right to have some rules in our world and try to enforce those rules,' he said.

'Of course as Prime Minister I take my responsibilities about the safety of our Armed Services incredibly carefully, seriously but the question we need to ask is whether acting or not acting will make the use of chemical weapons more prevalent.'

Mr Cameron said Thursday's debate would ensure 'proper' scrutiny and allow the Government to listen to MPs.

Cameron slams 'abhorrent' Syria chemical weapons attack









Business: Chancellor George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg arrive to speak to the PM today




Crisis talks: Foreign Secretary William Hague is also at No 10 as the Armed Forces began to draw up plans to attack Syria if needed



'Obviously this is a developing situation, as I say, decisions have not been taken, but we shouldn't stand by when we see this massive use of chemical weapons and appalling levels of suffering,' he said.

'I think in Parliament is the right place to set out all of the arguments, all of the questions.
'But I would say this to people - there is never 100 per cent certainty, there is never one piece or several pieces of intelligence that give you absolute certainty.

'But what we know is this regime has huge stocks of chemical weapons. We know they have used them on at least 10 occasions prior to this last widescale use.

'We know they have both the motive and the opportunity whereas the opposition does not have those things and the opposition's chance of having used chemical weapons in our view is vanishingly small.'

Mr Cameron said: 'Let's be clear what is at stake here.

'Almost 100 years ago the whole world came together and said the use of chemical weapons was morally indefensible and completely wrong.

'What we have seen in Syria are appalling scenes of death and suffering because of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

'I don't believe we can let that stand.'

He concluded: 'I understand people's concerns about war in the Middle East, about getting sucked into the situation in Syria.






'This is not about wars in the Middle East, this is not even about Syria.

'It's about the use of chemical weapons and making sure as a world we deter their use and deter the appalling scenes we have all seen on our TV screens.'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said this afternoon failing to act against the use of chemical weapons would set a 'very dangerous precedent'.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: 'When I saw the Prime Minister this afternoon, I said to him that we the Labour Party would consider supporting international action, but only on the basis that it was legal, that it was specifically limited to deterring the future use of chemical weapons, and that any actions contemplated had clear and achievable goals. And we'll be scrutinising any action that is contemplated on that basis.'




Call to arms: Tony Blair today urged David Cameron to back military intervention in Syria to avoid a 'nightmare scenario' for the West in the Middle East



Mr Miliband added: 'The use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is abhorrent and cannot be ignored.'

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson indicated he would be voting with the Prime Minister, saying he was 'a loyal member of the Government'.

He added: 'And the United Nations Security Council will be looking at the difficult options facing this country.

'But what we've seen in the past week is horrific and we will wait to see what those proposals are on Thursday, and I think it's absolutely right that the Prime Minister has recalled Parliament.'


Politicians have speculated that if an attack is agreed it could be launched within days of the vote because Britain has a RAF base in Cyprus, less than 100 miles from Syria, while the Royal Navy has several warships and a submarine with missiles on board already in the Mediterranean.


A decision on whether to fire missiles into Syria could be taken before the results of a report by UN weapons inspectors into the attack is produced.

Russia on Tuesday warned a military intervention in Syria could have 'catastrophic consequences' for the region and called on the international community to show 'prudence' over the crisis.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted: 'the West behaves towards the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade.'

Downing Street said all options were still on the table adding they wanted to 'deter' al-Assad from using more chemical weapons.


'Let me stress to people, this is not about getting involved in a Middle Eastern war or changing our stance in Syria, or going further into that conflict'
- David Cameron

'Any decision taken will be taken under a strict international framework. Any use of chemical weapons is completely and utterly abhorrent and unacceptable and the international community needs to respond to that,' Mr Cameron's official spokesman said.

'No decision has yet been taken. We are continuing to discuss with our international partners what the right response should be, but, as part of this, we are making contingency plans for the armed forces'.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said this afternoon it was 'clearer and clearer the Syrian government was responsible' for chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus last week.
'I think it is pretty clear chemical weapons were used against people in Syria. I think the intelligence will conclude it was not the rebels who used it,' he told the BBC.
'We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take. We are ready to go.'

French president Francois Hollande added his voice to the growing clamour for action, saying France is 'ready to stand with Britain and punish those who took the heinous decision to gas innocents'.


The Arab League also threw its weight behind calls for punitive action, blaming the Syrian government for the toxic attack that activists say killed hundreds of people and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The announcement by the 22-member body, which is dominated by Gulf powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Qatar, provides indirect Arab cover for any potential military attack by Western powers.




Free Syrian Army fighters hold up their weapons as they cheer after seizing Aleppo's town of Khanasir on Monday





An opposition fighter fires a rocket propelled grenade during clashes with regime forces over the strategic area of Khanasser, situated on the only road linking Aleppo to central Syria





A heavily damaged street in Syria's eastern town of Deir Ezzor



British warplanes have apparently been arriving at RAF Akrotiri, the UK's airbase in Cyprus which sits just 100 miles from Syrian targets.

The Guardian said today that commercial pilots in the area have seen military aircraft from their windows and also 'formations of British fighter jets on their radar screens'.

RAF Akrotiri was built in the mid 1950s and first used in the Suez crisis.
More recently the base was used as a supply post during the Iraq wars and also used to support the attacks on Libya in 2011.


'What we have seen in Syria are appalling scenes of death and suffering because of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. I don't believe we can let that stand'
- David Cameron
It came as former Prime Minister Tony Blair compared the violent Bashar al-Assad regime to the 'dark days of Saddam'.
Mr Blair, who took Britain to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, said this morning that it is 'time we took sides'.
'People wince at the thought of intervention. But contemplate the future consequence of inaction and shudder,' he wrote in The Times.

This morning David Cameron returned early from his Cornish holiday to consider whether to recall Parliament.
MPs are demanding a binding vote over plans to launch missile strikes on Syria without the backing of the United Nations.
But Mr Blair, whose views appear to be out of step with current Labour MPs, urged the Government to ignore 'the impulse to stay clear of turmoil'.

'I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil, to watch but not to intervene, to ratchet up language but not to engage in the hard, even harsh business of changing reality on the ground.

'But we have collectively to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work.

'I hear people talking as if there was nothing we could do: the Syrian defence systems are too powerful, the issues too complex, and in any event, why take sides since they're all as bad as each other?



Tyrant: President Bashar al-Assad speaking with journalists from a Russian newspaper in Damascus, Syria




Talks: Prime Minister David Cameron (right) is expected to hold a second telephone call with US President Barack Obama (left) within the next 48 hours to finalise plans for military action (file picture)




Threat: An attack by Britain and France on Syria would involve long-range Tomahawk missiles

'But others are taking sides. They're not terrified of the prospect of intervention. They're intervening. To support an assault on civilians not seen since the dark days of Saddam.
'It is time we took a side: the side of the people who want what we want; who see our societies for all their faults as something to admire; who know that they should not be faced with a choice between tyranny and theocracy.'
Mr Blair is now the Middle East peace envoy for the US, Russia, the EU and the United Nations, and said allowing the enduring controversy over the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to hold back military intervention in Syria could help produce a 'nightmare scenario' for the West in the Middle East.


Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem denied 'utterly and completely' that state forces had been behind the attack.

At a press conference in Damascus, he said:

'They said that the Syrian forces, the Syrian army are the ones who did this attack.

'I deny it utterly and completely.

'There is no country in the world who would use an ultimate destruction weapon against his own people'.


Speaking about the threat of attack by Britain or America he added: 'If the purpose of a possible (foreign) military strike is to achieve a balance of power ... it's delusional and not at all possible,'

Mr Muallem claimed that the regime had not attempted to obstruct weapons inspectors from visiting the site while evidence was still fresh.





The Russian Air Force acrobatics demonstration teams 'Russian Knights' and 'Swifts' perform during the opening of the International Aviation and Space salon MAKS 2013








Russia has delivered aid to the region and began evacuating some of its citizens. Picture shows the Russian Air Force acrobatics demonstration teams


'We didn't argue about the site they wanted to go to. We agreed immediately. There's no delay.'

The Prime Minister announced that Parliament will be recalled this week to debate plans by Britain, France and the United States to launch strikes against Syria in retaliation for last week’s barbaric chemical weapons attack.

But despite a growing domestic backlash over the prospect of intervention, it was unclear whether MPs will be given a binding vote.

Russia and Syria both raised the prospect of dire consequences if the West launches attacks without a UN mandate.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called last week’s attack a ‘moral obscenity’, but Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad warned: ‘Failure awaits the United States as in all previous wars it has unleashed, starting with Vietnam and up to the present day.’

And experts insisted that any attack could be illegal without UN authorisation – leaving British ministers and military commanders open to war crimes charges.
MPs last night said it was vital that any military action had their backing in a binding Commons vote.




Response: United Nations chemical weapons experts meet residents at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the south-western Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya



Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said it was ‘inconceivable’ that any attack would be launched before UN weapons inspectors have reported back and ‘Parliament has met, discussed and voted on the issue’.

In Geneva, U.N. spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said the inspection team might need longer than the planned 14 days to complete its work and its priority now is to determine what chemical weapons - reports range from Sarin to industrial gas - might have been used in the August 21 attack.

'This is the first priority,' she said.

Nick Clegg is also believed to back a Commons vote, as does Labour. But some ministers are wary of setting a precedent and insist the Government must have the ‘flexibility’ to respond swiftly to events without recourse to Parliament.

WE HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO ATTACK SYRIA, CLAIMS HAGUE




Britain and the United States could attack Syria without the backing of the United Nations, William Hague claimed yesterday – despite warnings it would breach international law.


The Foreign Secretary said the impasse on the UN Security Council caused by Russia’s support for Syria would not prevent the West retaliating against the use of chemical weapons.
A similar argument was used when Britain and the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

Attorney-General Dominic Grieve has been asked to draw up a legal case for military strikes, which will be presented at a meeting of the National Security Council tomorrow.

Russia said bypassing the UN to attack Syria would be a ‘grave violation of international law’. And legal experts warned that intervening without a UN mandate would be ‘very difficult’.

But Mr Hague insisted any action would be legal. He said: ‘Whatever we do will be in accordance with international law and will be based on legal advice to the National Security Council and to the Cabinet.

'So, is it possible to act on chemical weapons, is it possible to respond to chemical weapons without complete unity on the UN Security Council? I would argue, yes, it is.

'It is possible to take action based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress – it’s possible to do that under many different scenarios.’

But others disagreed. Former ambassador Oliver Miles said he ‘did not understand’ Mr Hague’s argument, adding: ‘There is not any legal basis that I am aware of, apart from self-defence – and this clearly is not that.’

Michael Caplan, a solicitor QC specialising in international law, said it was ‘very difficult’ to make a legal case for intervention without a UN mandate.
‘There is no threat to the security of this country or the United States so on what basis could we intervene?’

With polls showing the public is wary of any intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war, many Tory MPs also demanded a vote.

Tory Andrew Bridgen, who co-ordinated a letter to Mr Cameron signed by 81 Conservative MPs demanding a say on Syria, said MPs had previously been assured they would get ‘a debate and a substantive vote’ before action is taken.
He said ministers should now honour their promise, adding: ‘We live in a parliamentary democracy, not a brutal dictatorship. The letter was specifically about arming the rebels but also about any further escalation of the crisis.’

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston said a debate and vote were essential to air widespread public concerns about intervention in Syria.
She added: ‘I sense that we are on a headlong rush into escalating this conflict and I think Parliament can act as a natural brake to that.’
Fellow Tory Douglas Carswell also said it would be ‘unacceptable’ for Mr Cameron to launch military action without the approval of Parliament.
Mr Carswell pointed out that in opposition Mr Cameron had called for curbs on the power of the prime minister to prevent military action without Parliamentary approval.
He added: ‘If the case for military involvement in Syria is as strong as those at the top of this Government seem to believe, they will have no difficulty in coming to the House of Commons and making their case.’

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said: ‘Both the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister have made commitments to the House of Commons that Parliament would be recalled before a decision about further UK involvement in Syria was taken.
‘While of course I understand the Foreign Secretary’s reluctance to discuss specific military deployments, he and the Prime Minister do need to be open about the objectives, the legal basis, and the anticipated effect of any possible UK military action in Syria.
‘I would fully expect the Prime Minister to make his case to Parliament.’

The calls came as the Prime Minister cut short his holiday to return to London to take charge of the crisis.
Mr Clegg has also cancelled a planned visit to Afghanistan to take part in a crunch meeting of the National Security Council in London tomorrow, at which plans for missile strikes against Syria could be finalised.




Bullet damage: Snipers opened fire at a United Nations vehicle traveling in a convoy carrying a team investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus





Guns: Free Syrian Army fighters hold up their weapons as they cheer in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district



Quote:
'Failure awaits the United States as in all previous wars it has unleashed, starting with Vietnam and up to the present day'
Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the US was signed up to plans to deliver a ‘strong response’ – thought to involve missile strikes against key regime targets.

He added: ‘We, the United States, many other countries, including France, are very clear that we can’t allow the idea in the 21st century that chemical weapons can be used with impunity.’
Government sources confirmed that military planners were finalising potential targets for a missile attack that is likely to take place within the next ten days.

A source said any attack would be designed to ‘deter further outrages’ by Assad and send a message to other tyrants that the use of chemical weapons remained taboo.




Arsenal: A member of the 'Free Men of Syria' (Ahrar Suriya) brigade, operating under the Free Syrian Army, works to make improvised weapons as homemade rockets are seen in the foreground at a factory in Aleppo





Wreckage: Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood, east of Damascus, Syria



But the source stressed that any military strike would not signal wider involvement in Syria’s civil war, which has already left more than 100,000 dead.


Quote:
'We, the United States, many other countries, including France, are very clear that we can’t allow the idea in the 21st century that chemical weapons can be used with impunity'
William Hague, Foreign Secretary
Mr Cameron last night held a strained telephone conversation with President Putin, in which the Russian leader repeated his claim that there was still no independent evidence that chemical weapons had been used or that the Assad regime was behind any attack.
The Prime Minister told him that the UK believed there was ‘little doubt’ that the atrocity was carried out by the Syrian regime.
He is expected to hold a second telephone call with President Obama within the next 48 hours to finalise plans for military action


As Britain, America and France threaten to launch missile strikes against Syria, IAN DRURY asks some of Britain’s leading military experts what the West should do...

Don't Start What You Can't Finish, Warn the top Brass-
Britain's Leading Military Experts Explain How the West Should React to Syria
:





LORD WEST OF SPITHEAD

Former First Sea Lord and security adviser in Gordon Brown’s Labour government:

‘We have to be absolutely crystal clear in our own minds that the use of chemical weapons was by the regime. If it was, then I think we can persuade Russia to sign a UN resolution that condemns a head of state for using them against their own people. That seems to be the first move.

‘I’m very wary of military action, even if it is a limited missile strike. What do we hope to achieve? Where will it lead?

‘What if Assad says, “get lost”, and uses chemical weapons again? Are we going to escalate military action? I have a horrible feeling that one strike would quickly become more.

‘The region is a powder keg. We simply can’t predict which way military action will go and whether it would draw us, unwillingly, further into a conflict.’


LORD KING OF BRIDGWATER

Defence Secretary during the First Gulf War:



‘There are no good options, only the least worst ones. I’m very wary of getting involved militarily in the teeth of a major sectarian Sunni-Shia bust-up that could affect the whole region. That’s why it’s so urgent that we get around the table to find a diplomatic and political solution.

‘I’m all in favour of getting Iran [the world’s largest Shia nation] involved because it is vital not to rub them up the wrong way. It’s also important that the Russians are involved: they must not feel as though they’ve been pushed back into a corner.

‘It is imperative to find a solution, and it mustn’t be military. This is turning into such a conflagration that it’s becoming extremely dangerous. I am appalled by the idea that the regime, if that is the case as it appears, would use chemicals against its own people. But the difficulties in how we respond do not become any easier.

‘The idea of a military strike to express disapproval is fraught with problems. We would have to avoid hitting civilians, and if we attacked the chemical plants there is the danger of dispersal of those chemicals into the air. It is hugely important that the UN does show some leadership here.’


MAJOR GENERAL JULIAN THOMPSON

Ex-Royal Marines officer who led 3 Commando Brigade during Falklands War:



‘The attack in Damascus last week has altered the conflict dramatically because it has aroused a considerable amount of odium around the world. It was a stupid thing to do because Assad has fired up people who, on the whole, were not inclined to do anything about him.

‘If we are going to retaliate – which I don’t think we should – then an attack by a submarine using cruise missiles is the favoured solution because you don’t have
to put troops on the ground and you don’t fly aeroplanes against Syria’s
well-armed air defences.

‘It is risk-free, but we have to get our targeting right because we don’t want to kill civilians. The problem is we don’t know what the consequences will be. Russia is certainly against it, as is China.

‘There is a perception that Assad is poking us in the eye; if we let him get away with this chemical attack, what will he try next? But I’m wary of acting if we don’t know what the consequences will be.’


VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JEREMY BLACKHAM

Former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff in 1999:




‘I strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons, which is illegal, and the idea of
a punishment strike is not at all unreasonable: how else is international law to be upheld?

‘Ideally this should have support, or a mandate, from the UN or the International Court of Justice.

‘However, it would be most imprudent to do it without careful consideration of, and proper preparation for, the range of consequences which might follow. This is not
a very nice dilemma and the answer is not at all obvious.’


COLONEL RICHARD KEMP

Former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan:



‘If the Syrian regime carried out a nerve agent attack, then a limited but
devastating surgical air strike is not only justified but necessary in order to send
a clear message to Assad.

‘It is essential that the US and UK base their decision on the best possible
chemical analysis, backed up by firm intelligence to confirm who was responsible.

‘Of course our governments will need to be prepared to follow up with a second, more severe, wave of attacks if Assad responds with another chemical strike or some other outrage. But we must not be drawn into a protracted campaign, either in the air or on the ground. It would not be long before all sides turned against us.

‘And while it will be possible – under the table – to square a swift and limited intervention with Russia, a wider operation would be much more likely to develop into a proxy war or worse.

‘Nor should we supply rebel fighters dominated by Islamist extremists with anti-aircraft or anti-armour missiles: they are sworn enemies of the West.’


GENERAL SIR MICHAEL ROSE

Former SAS commander and leader of United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia in 1994-95:



‘The credibility of America hinges on Obama doing something after he said use of chemical weapons was a “red line” that couldn’t be crossed.

‘I am not against a military strike, but the intelligence has got to be good and the target has got to be very specific; so specific that it identifies the unit that carried out the attacks.

‘If not, we will be seen to be siding with the rebels – and that should not be the business of the Western powers. We don’t know what the outcome is going to be, and we could end up with people in power who are worse even than Assad.

‘We need to be imposing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone, which would reduce the level of the violence. This is a total lose-lose situation for the people of Syria. But however terrible their suffering is with Assad and his brutal ways, the end result of an escalating arms race will be to make things worse. The suffering will only be greater.’
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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

UK Parliament Votes= 285-NO! 272-YES

The Humbling of UK's Tory Prime Minister David Cameron:
On a Momentous Night, Tory Rebellion Forces Prime Minister to Rule Out Military Strike

against Syria... and Plunges Him into a Deep Political Crisis


  • PM's authority in Parliament and on world stage dealt unprecedented blow
  • Shouts of 'resign' from Labour benches as 285-272 vote was announced
  • Last time any PM was defeated over issue of war and peace was in 1782
  • Downing Street source says David Cameron has no intention of resigning
  • Gove allegedly shouted at Tory rebels outside chamber: 'You're a disgrace'
  • Britain faces 'soul-searching' about role in the world, says George Osborne
By Daily Mail UK, 30 August 2013

David Cameron’s authority in Parliament and on the world stage was dealt an unprecedented blow last night as he faced a breathtaking Commons defeat over plans for missile strikes on Syria.
In an extraordinary assault on the Prime Minister’s authority, 50 coalition MPs joined Labour in voting against a watered-down Government motion supporting the ‘principle’ of military action.
There were shouts of ‘resign’ from the Labour benches as the result – 285 votes to 272 – was announced to a shocked House of Commons.



Chastened: British MPs voted by 272 votes to 285 to reject Prime Minister David Cameron's
motion backing British intervention in principle
The last time a Prime Minister was defeated over an issue of war and peace was in 1782.


A Downing Street source said Mr Cameron had no intention of resigning, adding: ‘His colleagues support him on most things, but on this issue they disagreed.’
Education Secretary Michael Gove was said to have shouted at Tory rebels outside the chamber: ‘You’re a disgrace, you’re a disgrace.’

  • Syria dossier says British military action would be 'legally justifiable' to prevent repeat of chemical weapons attack

    Is Assad planning KAMIKAZE strikes on the West? Loyalist says 8,000 'suicide martyrs' are ready to bring down U.S. and British planes as Israelis scramble for gas masks over fears of all-out war

Chancellor George Osborne today raised concern that the UK's place in the world would be undermined by the vote.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

'I think there will be a national soul-searching about our role in the world and whether Britain wants to play a big part in upholding the international system, be that big open and trading nation that I'd like us to be or whether we turn our back on that.
'I understand the deep scepticism that my colleagues in Parliament many members of the public have about British involvement in Syria.

'I hope this doesn’t become the moment where we turn our back on the world’s problems.'



Blast: People inspect the damage at a site hit by what activists say was a car bomb in Raqqa province, Syria







Mr Cameron, who had made a passionate plea for support over proposals for targeted strikes on Damascus after a chemical weapons attack last week, was forced to issue a humiliating climbdown.

Quote:
‘It is clear to me the British Parliament does not want to see British military action. I get that and the Government will act accordingly,’ he told MPs.
His decision to pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US in a planned attack on Syria, and to recall Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate, backfired spectacularly.
Mr Cameron had been counting on Labour’s support to ensure he could win a Commons vote authorising strikes, despite the doubts of scores of Tory MPs.
Labour, however, refused to back the Government, prompting the angriest foreign policy row between the main parties since Suez in 1956.

The Tories accused Ed Miliband of giving ‘succour’ to President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

‘I’m disappointed with Ed Miliband’s behaviour, frankly. Anything that stops this from giving a clear, united view of the British Parliament will give some succour to the regime.’
After the vote, Mr Hammond said: ‘I hope Britain isn’t going to retreat into being the sort of nation that isn’t going to act to uphold international norms.’

Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister who voted ‘reluctantly’ with the Government, accused Mr Cameron of rushing into the vote.
Reza Afshar, head of the Syria team at the Foreign Office, tweeted simply: ‘Disaster.’
Senior US officials said President Obama was prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike despite last night’s vote.

Two Tory ministers, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds, apparently missed the vote after not hearing a division bell.

Humbling of Cameron: Vote on military strike against Syria






Debate: A chastened Mr Cameron was forced by Labour leader Ed Miliband to pledge
not to deploy any UK military forces without first staging another Commons vote



Dusty landscape: Free Syrian Army fighters drive a military tank that belonged to forces loyal to
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after they seized it, in Aleppo's town of Khanasir


An earlier Labour motion, demanding further conditions before Britain could be involved in any military action, was defeated by 332 votes to 220. In other developments:
  • A letter published by Britain’s intelligence chiefs said it was ‘highly likely’ the Syrian regime carried out last week’s attack, but US officials suggested the evidence was ‘not a slam dunk’;
  • The Government insisted military action would be legal on humanitarian grounds even without the backing of the UN Security Council;
  • Russia, a belligerent supporter of Assad’s regime, deployed war ships in the eastern Mediterranean;
  • Military chiefs prepared for the possibility that the Assad regime might retaliate to an attack with a strike on the UK’s sovereign base at Akrotiri on Cyprus;
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warned intervening in Syria could lead to an ‘open season’ on Christians in the region;
  • The Syrian regime accused Mr Cameron of ‘communicating through a monologue of blood and fire’.


Moment: MPs last night dramatically voted against David Cameron's plea to take military action against Syria




Recall: Mr Cameron told a packed House of Commons that Britain had to decide how to respond to
'one of the most abhorrent uses of chemical weapons in a century'



Demonstrate: Protesters speaking out against military action in Syria stand outside the Houses of Parliament



Last night’s vote is a grave humiliation for Mr Cameron and will also raise doubts about the future of the ‘Special Relationship’ between Britain and the US.

One Whitehall source said Britain was ‘handing back its deputy sheriff’s badge’ to Washington.

The shadow of Tony Blair loomed large over yesterday’s proceedings, with speaker after speaker referring to the mistakes and misinformation of the Iraq War.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that Iraq had ‘truly poisoned the well of public opinion’ on military intervention.



Prudent: An RAF Typhoon jet comes in to land at Akrotiri in Cyprus yesterday as
a 'prudent and precautionary measure', the Ministry of Defence said




Target: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre left) pictured yesterday during
a meeting with a Yemeni delegation in Damascus


He admitted there was not ‘one smoking piece of intelligence’ but insisted it was ‘beyond doubt’ that Assad’s regime was responsible for a chemical attack that killed at least 350 civilians.
Mr Miliband insisted he was not ruling out backing military strikes at some point, but presented his own ‘sequential roadmap’ before he thought Britain should take such a step.

Asked if Mr Miliband was giving comfort to Assad, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘Yes. The fact is that a lot of the arguments over this could give succour to the regime.’
No  10 also accused Mr Miliband of ‘flipping and flopping’ and having privately indicated his party would back military intervention before moving the goalposts at the last minute.



Making their point: Protesters demonstrating against military action in Syria stand outside the
Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London




Placards: A protester demonstrating against military action in Syria outside the Houses of Parliament in London




Opposition: As MPs debated the UK response to the Syria crisis,
protestors gathered outside the Commons



Anger: Anti-war protesters have staged a number of demonstrations in Westminster this week
Labour said the suggestion it was giving succour to Assad was ‘frankly insulting’.


Mr Cameron acknowledged voters were sceptical about getting into ‘another war in the Middle East’ but insisted he was not proposing a long-running campaign to dislodge Assad – rather a strike on ‘command and control’ assets to try to reduce the chances of another chemical weapons attack.
A string of senior Conservatives, however, expressed doubts about the wisdom of intervention and Mr Cameron’s rush to join the US.

Former Tory leadership contender David Davis said: ‘It’s very simple – when you are going to do things which will lead to the death of people, civilians in particular, you should get your facts right first.’



Campaign: UKIP leader Nigel Farage (left) and his deputy Paul Nuttall launched this poster
opposing Britain intervention in Syria





Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, said he did not support military intervention in Syria in any shape. He said:

‘The drums of war were banging very loudly two or three days ago. The people didn’t like it.’


But Dr Liam Fox, former Conservative defence secretary, said:

‘Appeasement has never worked to further the cause of peace. It will not now and it will not in the future.’

Lord Howard, the former Conservative leader, said:

‘We are in danger of allowing the United States and France to act as the conscience of the world while the United Kingdom stands on the sidelines wringing its hands.’





THE 39 REBELS IN THE COALITION

Quote:
Conservatives
David Amess (Southend West)
Richard Bacon (Norfolk South)
Steven Baker (Wycombe)
John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
Crispin Blunt (Reigate)
Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
Tracey Crouch (Chatham & Aylesford)
David Davies (Monmouth)
Philip Davies (Shipley)
David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden)
Nick de Bois (Enfield North)
Richard Drax (Dorset South)
Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey)
Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
Jason McCartney (Colne Valley)
Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)
Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)
Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)
Andrew Percy (Brigg & Goole)
Sir Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle)
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)
Charles Walker (Broxbourne)
Chris White (Warwick & Leamington)
DR SARAH WOLLASTON (Totnes)

Lib Dems
Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley)
Mike Crockart (Edinburgh West)
Andrew George (St Ives)
Mike Han**** (Portsmouth S)
Julian Huppert (Cambridge)
Ian swales (Redcar)
Sarah Teather (Brent Central)
Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall)
Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
END


NB: The US Media are not reporting, that both the US and Israel, have used the same chemical weapon in the past, that the Syrian Govt has/is using against its' people ( it was the same white phosporous chemical Syria used)


UPDATE:

The debate on this is now being discussed in the UK's House of Lords, so there may be further developments

The UK's Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential travel to Lebanon and NONE to areas bordering Syria, due to "Heightened Risk of Anti Western Sentiment" over possible Military Action



VIDEOs: Chemical Attack near Damascus Kills 213.






Those MPs that voted NO, should have watched this video before they voted. Non-action against tyrants that do this to children, gives the green light to others that it's ok to do the same thing. Take note, those chemicals will take many years to clear out of the soil and just 1 drop on the skin can be fatal!
The death toll because of Syria's chemical use, has now risen to over 1,300

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France's President Francois Hollande Announced today it can go Ahead with any Military Action Without Britain


France Says U.K. Vote Does Not Change its Will to Act on Syria

PARIS — Reuters
Published Friday, 30 Aug 2013, 5:32 AM EDT

French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he still supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies.

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I'll Help Syria if the U.S. Attacks, says Putin in Chilling Threat to Obama as G20 Summit Breaks up in Acrimony

  • Russian premier has admitted to supplying arms to Syrian tyrant
  • Putin insists the chemical attack was a 'set-up' by government opposition
  • Backs his stance by pointing out that the Pope is against military intervention
By Daily Mail UK, 7 September 2013

Russia last night issued a chilling threat to assist Syria if the US leads military strikes against its hated regime.

As a summit of world leaders broke up in acrimony, Vladimir Putin declared openly that he is already supplying arms to Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad and vowed to step up support if a planned missile attack goes ahead.
There were gasps as the Russian President made his remarks after being asked how he would react if Barack Obama proceeds with an attack in response to Syria’s used of chemical weapons.



Jovial: There may have been a cull in smiles after Putin admitted to helping arm Syria



Host: Russia's President Vladimir Putin has hinted that he would be prepared to help Syria should Obama push U.S. military intervention



Stance: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2L) has said military intervention would be 'counter productive' and 'disrupt the world economy'


Putin: 'We will deliver weapons to Syria.'




‘Will we help Syria? We will. And we are already helping, we send arms, we cooperate in the economics sphere,’ Mr Putin declared.


Amid signs any US-led action could be delayed for as long as a fortnight, with President Barack Obama battling to win the approval of Congress, Russia last night sent a fourth warship with ‘unspecified cargo’ to the eastern Mediterranean.

While few observers expect Mr Putin to deploy his forces in the event of a US-led missile strike on Damascus, Mr Putin’s remarks suggest he is determined to prop up Assad’s rule.

He has already suggested he could renew a suspended contract to supply Syria with a sophisticated missile shield.

Despite what the US, the UK and EU countries again said was conclusive evidence Assad was behind a sarin attack that killed almost 1,500 civilians, including 500 children, last month, the Russian leader insisted rebel forces trying to overthrow the Syrian leader had staged the incident.



In Syria, conflict raged today as people were pictured fleeing flames and caused by a bomb hit Binnish town, Idlib province, Syria





Devastation: A video, obtained from the Shaam News Network, showed the devastation and destruction in the immediate aftermath of the bomb


He said it was a ‘provocation by militants expecting aid’ and insisted that military action without the approval of the United Nations Security Council would ‘violate international law’.

He insisted most people in the US, UK and other countries calling for military intervention did not support it - and also pointed out the Pope had made clear the ‘inadmissability’ of such a move.

Last night, Russia issued a 27-page document on the conclusions of the G20 that made no mention of Syria, though the crisis had dominated discussions at St Petersburg.

In an unprecedented act of defiance for any recent international summit, eleven countries, including the US and the UK, issued their own statement demanding a ‘strong international response to the grave violation of the world’s rules and conscience’ by Assad’s regime.

The countries, which also included Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, said they would ‘support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons’.




Eagle eye: David Cameron watches on as Obama and Putin embrace



Mr Cameron, whose failure to win the support of Parliament for British participation on military action was ridiculed by Mr Putin, attacked the ‘dangerous doctrine’ that military action is only legal with United Nations backing.

He said Britain and other Western nations could not ‘contract out our foreign policy, our morality, to the potential of a Russian veto’.

Insisting Mr Obama is no ‘warmonger’, the Prime Minister said world leaders would set an appalling precedent if they failed to respond to the use of chemical weapons.

‘Everyone will pay a price,’ he said.

After more than hours of fruitless talks that went on into the early hours of the morning, Mr Cameron insisted Russia’s claim the Syrian rebels - not Assad’s hated regime -- were responsible for a gas attack killing nearly 1,500 people was ‘miles from the truth’.

The Prime Minister attacked the argument made by countries opposing US-led missile strikes on Damascus that any intervention made without the approval of the UN Security Council would be illegal, even on humanitarian grounds.

‘The argument that did flare up at the dinner last night is a disagreement about whether it’s possible to have legal military engagement outside the UN Security Council,’ he said.

‘Our strong legal advice is that there is a case for humanitarian intervention. There was a strong argument from some that unless there is a Security Council resolution there is no legal basis for action.

‘I think it’s a very dangerous doctrine. If you accept that, you could have a country massacring half its people, a blockage at the UN Security Council, and no-one could act.

‘It was brought home to me last night that quite aside from the Syrian problem we need to make that argument very vigorously with countries like South Africa, Brazil, India and others.

‘One of the frustrations of last night is you have countries - including Security Council permanent members - saying all this must be decided by the UN Security Council, and yet they are the very countries that are blocking any action and have been blocking resolutions for the last two and a half years.’

Mr Cameron said it had been clear that the G20 was ‘never going to reach conclusions about Syria’, adding: ‘The divisions are too great.’




No joke: Actors in costumes arrive at the Peterhof Palace where heads of state met


Russia's Putin says leaders split on Syria





Attacking Russian intransigence, he said: ‘The Russian position that, as Putin has said, if it is proved it is Assad he will take a different view but he is fairly clear that it is the opposition, is miles away from what I think the truth is and miles away from what lots of us believe.

‘He says to me that he would like to see further evidence of regime culpability and we will go on providing evidence of regime culpability, as will the Americans and others, but I think it will take a lot to change his mind.’

Mr Cameron, whose plan to join US-led military action was scuppered last week when MPs voted against, yesterday offered another £52 million in aid to help the millions who have fled the Assad regime.

He asked President Putin to put pressure on the Syrian regime to agree safe corridors along which aid convoys could pass without coming under attack from either side in its civil war.

Mr Cameron suggested the UN Security Council could be asked to endorse such a plan.

‘I have never heard the Russians argue against humanitarian access. It may well be necessary at some stage to go back to the UN and that will test whether the Russians will support it,’ he said.

‘There’s a case at some stage for writing down all the things that need to happen in terms of access and getting UN support for it. It might be necessary to get a UN resolution.’

Amid growing signs in the US that Mr Obama could struggle to get approval from Congress for his plans, Mr Cameron said he was making a ‘powerful argument... as someone who is trying to extract himself from Middle East entanglements and he is no way seen as a warmonger’.

Last night the US ordered its diplomats to leave neighbouring Lebanon as Congress debates Syria military strikes.

President Obama insisted military action was right even if the public was largely against it, saying US intervention in the Second World War had also been opposed by a majority.

As he left the summit, the US leader said: ‘I’m not drawing an analogy to World War II other than to say that when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country to help the British. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do.’
END


'Small Island? Britain has Given the World The Beatles, Elgar and, er.... One Direction': Outraged Cameron hits back at Putin Taunt with TWO Bizarre Outbursts Defending 'This Sceptered Isle'
  • Russia mocked the UK's size and boasted that oligarchs 'bought Chelsea'
  • Jibe sparked furious response from Britain at G20 summit in St Petersburg
  • Prime Minister says no other country has a 'prouder history or bigger heart'
  • UK leads the world in art, sport, music, philosophy and diplomacy, he says
  • Tribute likened to Hugh Grant's 'small country' speech in film Love Actually
  • Tory MP Henry Smith writes on Twitter: 'Putin really is a tosser'
By Daily Mail UK, 7 September 2013

David Cameron today turned to boyband One Direction to prove Britain can still 'conquer the world'.

The Prime Minister hit back at reports that Russia had dismissed the UK as a 'small island that no one pays any attention to' with not one, but two passionate displays of patriotism.

Quoting Shakespeare to hail the achievements of 'this sceptered isle', Mr Cameron added television, the internet and 'the world's language' to his list of the UK's inventions and triumphs.


Passion: Mr Cameron became animated during the press conference rounding off the G20 summit in St Petersburg, quoting Shakespeare and saying his speech could be set to music





Down the hatch: With relations frosty, President Putin and Mr Cameron warm themselves as they arrived for the Water and Music Show


Early this morning the PM told journalists that Britain had saved Europe from fascism, abolished slavery and 'invented most of the things worth inventing'.
But at a press conference rounding off the G20 summit in St Petersburg, he warmed to his theme to boast how British music has dominated the globe.

Mr Cameron said: 'We’re a country that invented many of the things that are most worthwhile, everything from the industrial revolution and television to the world wide web.

'Our music delights and amuses millions. The Beatles, Elgar and slightly less er... congruously, One Direction have conquered the world.'


Global domination: David Cameron claimed One Direction proved Britain could conquer the world. The Prime Minister appeared in the video for their Comic Relief single One Way Or Another


The Beatles, One Direction - PM outlines why Britain is Great




He went on: 'We have invented most of the sports that the world most likes playing.
'If I go on too long about our literature, our art, our philosophy, our contribution, including of course the world’s language...'
He then quoted from Shakespeare's Richard II, saying: 'If I start talking about this blessed plot, this sceptered isle, this England I may have to put it to music so I might have to leave it there.'
'Our music delights and amuses millions, The Beatles, Elgar and slightly less er... congruously, One Direction have conquered the world.

'Prime Minister David Cameron


The extraordinary diplomatic row erupted last night when Russia dismissed Britain as ‘just a small island no one pays any attention to'.
In an astonishing attack, Vladimir Putin's administration mocked the UK’s size and influence, and boasted that Soviet oligarchs had ‘bought Chelsea’.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Mr Cameron even ridiculed the idea that the UK was just one island, declaring he did not want the people of Northern Island, Orkney or Shetland to 'feel left out' from his tribute to the nation's great history.

But to the dismay of Downing Street, Tory MP Henry Smith wrote on Twitter: 'Putin really is a tosser.'



Out of the picture: As well as falling out with Russia, Mr Cameron's relations with US President Barack Obama have also been strained after British MPs voted against military action



Excuse me! David Cameron finds German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stolen his seat

DAS IST MEIN STUHL: CAMERON FORCED TO OUST ANGELA

All politicians fear losing their seat.
But David Cameron was forced to wrestle his back from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As the British PM returned to his place at the huge table used for talks at the G20, he found Ms Merkel deep in conversation with Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.
Mr Cameron had to interrupt, and ask Chancellor Merkel for his seat back.

As the controversy rumbled on, Russian officials flatly denied the remarks – attributed to President Putin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov – had ever been made.
But the denial did nothing to contain Mr Cameron's fury.

In his first outburst he declared: 'Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience.'
He argued that Britain had 'helped to clear the European continent of fascism' and had remained 'resolute' throughout the Second World War.

'Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.
'We are very proud of everything we do as a small island - a small island that has the sixth-largest economy, the fourth best-funded military, some of the most effective diplomats, the proudest history, one of the best records for art and literature and contribution to philosophy and world civilisation.'



Defiant: Mr Cameron today chaired a meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria on the sidelines of the G20 summit




Smile! With deep divisions over Syria dominating, the 20 world leaders put on a brave face to pose for the traditional 'family photo' at the end of the summit


Disunited nations: President Putin cracks a joke, but Mr Cameron remains stony faced on the back row of the picture



NO. 10 TELLS MPS: DON'T CALL WORLD LEADERS TOSSERS





David Cameron today slapped down a Tory MP who called the Russian President a 'tosser'.
Tory MP Henry Smith took to Twitter to declare: 'Putin really is a tosser.'


The comment raised questions about whether the MP for Crawley, a former county councillor, had overstepped the mark.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said Mr Smith should avoid similar outbursts in future.
'It is important to have a good and constructive discussion and that should be reflected in the language that people use,' the spokesman added.

But Mr Smith was unrepentant. He said: 'On Twitter in a slight fit of pique I might refer to him as a tosser. But in other forums, such as the House of Commons, I would accuse him of being an absurd character.

'There is his abuse of human rights against the gay community in his own country, there is the abuse of human rights in Syria where the way he is helping and prolonging that civil war there is appalling.'
He added: 'I may not use that colloquial language in other forums, but frankly it is still how I feel.'



Outspoken: Henry Smith, Tory MP for Crawley, posted this pith summation of his views on the Russian president


However, Mr Cameron said made clear he did not approve.
The PM said: 'Insulting people should never have a part in foreign policy.
'We should try to maintain good manners and politeness even when under intolerable pressure.'

The row represents an extraordinary breach of protocol, particularly as Russia is hosting the G20 meeting.
President Putin, a belligerent ally of Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad, has been revelling in British MPs' rejection last week of UK participation in US-led military action.

But the Kremlin’s decision to rub Mr Cameron’s nose in it – with the Prime Minister on Russian soil – has plunged Anglo-Russian relations to a new low.
The episode at the G20 summit hosted by Russia underlined the Cold War style tensions that have been created by the row over Syria.

The seating plan at the talks had to be changed so that Barack Obama and President Putin are kept as far apart as possible.

Last night, arriving at the summit venue in St Petersburg, President Obama strode in alone rather than walking in with President Putin.

The war of words with Britain came as Mr Cameron continued to make the case for intervention in Syria despite his defeat in Parliament last week.
Mr Cameron today ruled out any prospect of agreement over Syria at the G20 summit.
He said President Putin remains 'miles away' from the truth of Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons on his own people.

'This G20 was never going to reach conclusions on Syria,' said the Prime Minister. 'The divisions are too great.
'The Russian position that, as Putin has said, if it is proved it is Assad he will take a different view but he is fairly clear that it is the opposition, is miles away from what I think the truth is and miles away from what lots of us believe.'
Mr Cameron and Mr Putin held one-on-one talks in the early hours of this morning lasting 35 minutes.

The PM added: 'He says to me that he would like to see further evidence of regime culpability and we will go on providing evidence of regime culpability, as will the Americans and others, but I think it will take a lot to change his mind.'

The premiers of Turkey, Canada, Germany and Italy all joined Mr Obama and Mr Cameron in making the case at last night's dinner for a robust international response to Assad's alleged breach of treaties banning the use of chemical weapons.

The Russian dismissal of Britain as a 'small island' emerged last night, and was attributed to a spokesman for President Putin.


At first a Downing Street source said: ‘As host of guests from the world’s leading countries, I’m sure the Russians will want to clarify these reported remarks, particularly at a G20 where it’s a very British agenda on trade and tax.
‘It highlights how a small island with great people can achieve a big footprint in the world.’



One man is an island: Russian President Vladimir Putin, sitting in Peterhof garden during the G20 show last night, is at odds with many western countries calling for action in Syria



I LOVE BRITAIN, ACTUALLY: WAS CAMERON INSPIRED BY HUGH GRANT FILM?

Was David Cameron's G20 speech inspired by a Love Actually... ?




David Cameron's spirited defence of Britain in the face of a global superpower led to the Prime Minister being compared to Hollywood actor Hugh Grant.
In the 2003 film Love Actually, Grant played the British Prime Minister who loses his temper with a bullying President.
When he catches his counterpart flirting with his secretary, he uses a press conference to challenged the idea that Britain can be pushed around.

Grant's Prime Minister declares: 'We may be a small country, but we are a great one too.
'A country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot.
'David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.
'A friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now on I am prepared to be much stronger.'

The only difference between the words of screenwriter Richard Curtis and Mr Cameron is who they were aimed at.
While Mr Cameron is furious with Russia, Grant was hitting back at the President of the United States, played by Billy Bob Thornton, over amid doubts about the state of the UK-US 'special relationship'.

Chancellor George Osborne also insisted Britain is 'setting the agenda' at the summit, on the humanitarian response to what’s happening in Syria, the economic agenda and the tax agenda.
He told BBC Radio 4: 'Britain is today leading efforts to step up the humanitarian response to what is happening in Syria, the tragedy of 2m people leaving that country, fleeing for their lives, the imperative that we have as an international community to help people in Syria protect themselves from the use of chemical weapons.

'So Britain is involved in that, Britain is very much involved in the Geneva II peace talks.
'And I would say this is ultimately an economic summit as well, and on the economic agenda, a lot of what Britain’s been talking about is now absolute mainstream to the conference.'

A British diplomat also pointed out that the UK economy was significantly larger than Russia’s.

There was no sign at the summit that the latest evidence produced by the US and the UK to back calls for action against Syria was winning over doubters, with everyone from Iran’s supreme leader to the Pope opposing intervention.

President Putin accused the US of ‘lying’ to justify missile strikes and attacked Secretary of State John Kerry for denying that Al Qaeda was fighting with the Syrian opposition.



President Putin, a belligerent ally of Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad, is well aware of the rejection of British participation in US-led military action as voted against by MPs last week


All smiles: But the Kremlin's decision to rub Mr Cameron's nose in it, with the Prime Minister on Russian soil, will plunge Anglo-Russian relations to a new low


THIS SCEPTERED ISLE: DAVID CAMERON'S PATRIOTIC TRIBUTES


This is the full text of David Cameron's first remarks about what makes Britain great:

'Britain may be a small island, but I would
challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience.
'Britain is an island that has helped to clear the European continent of fascism - and was resolute in doing that throughout World War Two.

'Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.
'We are very proud of everything we do as a small island - a small island that has the sixth-largest economy, the fourth best-funded military, some of the most effective diplomats, the proudest history, one of the best records for art and literature and contribution to philosophy and world civilisation.

'For the people who live in Northern Ireland, I should say we are not just an island, we are a collection of islands. I don't want anyone in Shetland or Orkney to feel left out by this.

'I'm thinking of setting this to music.'

Then at the press conference in the afternoon he said:

'Something I believe very deeply is that yes, we are a small island. In fact a small group of islands.
'But I would challenge anyone to come up with a country with a prouder history, with a bigger heart, a greater resilience.
'This is a country cleared a European continent of fascism, that took slavery off the high seas.
We’re a country that invented many of the things that are most worthwhile, everything from the industrial revolution and television, the world wide web.
'Our music delights and amuses millions, The Beatles, Elgar and slightly less er... congruously, One Direction have conquered the world.
'We have invested most of the sports that the one world most likes playing.
'If I go on too long about our literature, our art, our philosophy, our contribution including of course the world’s language.'

Mr Cameron attempted to win over opponents of military strikes on Damascus by unveiling new new evidence of the regime's use of chemical weapons.

He also launched a provocative attack on those who had blocked British involvement in the planned operation.
Arriving in St Petersburg, the Prime Minister announced that scientists at Britain's Porton Down had identified deadly sarin gas on victims' clothing and in soil samples from Damascus.

It also emerged that a report prepared by US spy chiefs concluded that Syria possesses a 'longstanding biological weapons program', on top of chemical weapons, and may have access to anthrax, camelpox and cowpox.

Taking 'full and personal responsibility' for the Government's shock defeat over British participation in military action last week, Mr Cameron insisted he had taken a 'principled stand against the gassing of children'.
Labour MPs - and those Tories and Liberal Democrats who joined with them to oppose military action - would have to 'live with the way that they voted', the Prime Minister said.
Mr Cameron said he had agreed to all the caveats Labour had asked for but 'even in spite of that, in my view, they chose the easy and political path not the right and the difficult path'.

However, there was no sign that the latest evidence produced by the US and the UK was winning over doubters - with everyone from Iran's supreme leader to the Pope opposing the idea of intervention.

Asked in TV interviews whether he was ‘sidelined’ at the summit as a result of the Commons vote, Mr Cameron said repeatedly: ‘I don’t accept that for a moment.
Mr Cameron said he had not seen ‘any evidence’ that Russia was prepared to shift position and endorse action through the UN.

‘Let’s be clear: almost 100 years ago the world came together, Russia included, to say after the First World War, the use of chemical weapons wasn’t acceptable,’ he said.
'All the testing that's been done, including the testing we are doing at our Porton Down laboratories, all adds to the picture.

'But I don't think anyone is seriously denying that a chemical weapons attack took place. I think the Russians accept that. Even the Iranians accept that.
'The question is obviously convincing more people that the regime was responsible.'



Talks: Mr Cameron was seated next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the working session of the G20, with US President Barack Obama (centre) and President Putin further round the table (right)








US President Barack Obama listens as Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the start of the G20 Working Session


Unable to take part in military operations, Britain is instead offering an extra £52million in aid for the millions of Syrians who have fled President Assad’s forces, taking its total commitment to £400million.

The Prime Minister said he had not seen 'any evidence', however, that Russia was prepared to shift and endorse action through the United Nations.
But he added: 'I don't resile from the arguments I made last week - when America and many others in the world draw a red line over chemical weapons use, if nothing follows from that, that would be very bad for our world.'




Opening speech: Russian President Vladimir Putin (in the centre of the picture) delivers his opening speech during the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg



Also at the summit: New Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, right, is also Chairman of the G20's Financial Stability Board. He is greeted by Vladimir Putin during an official welcome of G20 heads of state and government


Mr Cameron said President Obama had been 'very understanding' over his defeat in Parliament.
'Like me he is a democrat who believes you have to listen to people, you have to listen to Parliament and you have to respect the outcome of a vote.
'Britain isn't going to be involved in this specific military action, but the special relationship between Britain and America is as strong today as it was a week ago,' the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron is also urging President Putin to use his influence with the Syrian regime to strike an agreement that neither side in the civil war should fire on humanitarian convoys.
'Every 15 seconds there is another Syrian refugee. While we are sitting here in the comfort of St Petersburg, thousands of people will be made homeless.
'They need tents, they need shelter, they need food, they need protection from chemical weapons attacks,' the Prime Minister said.
END

Pope Francis also opposed action as world leaders gathered in Russia, urging them to 'lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution' :

Pope Writes to Putin Urging him to tell Obama and other G20 Leaders to Oppose Syria Strike and Pray for a Peaceful Solution

  • Vatican sends tweets and prepares prayer vigil and day of fasting
  • Military action would be 'futile' Pope Francis writes to Russian President

The Pope has written to the Russian President urging him to tell President Obama and other world leaders at the G20 summit to oppose a strike in Syria.

The letter was the latest in a series of moves by Pope Francis to prevent involvement in Syria's bloody civil war.

He has sent tweets condemning a potential war and declared today a day of fasting and prayer for peace in the war-torn country



Peace: Pope Francis has written to G20 leaders and taken to Twitter as he calls for a peaceful resolution in Syria


In his letter to Putin and other G20 leaders he wrote:

'I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.'
'Let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.'

The Pope's push for a peaceful resolution was echoed by the Catholic Church in the U.S. as Cardinal Dolan and American bishops wrote to Congressmen calling on them to vote against military intervention.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also wrote to President Obama, saying the Pope had 'made it clear that a military attack will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation, and will have unintended negative consequences'.


The Pope wrote onTwitter:




Defense: The Pope has used Twitter to call for world leaders to find an alternative to war








END


Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed the US was using a chemical attack in Syria’s civil war as a pretext to interfere in his country.
The head of Iran's elite Quds force, Qassem Soleimani, went further, declaring that the Islamic Republic would 'support Syria to the end'.



continued...... Iran Threatens that Obama's Daughter will be Kidnapped and Raped if America Attacks Syria
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Default re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Iranian Diplomat Warns that Obama's Daughter will be Kidnapped and Raped if America Attacks Syria

  • Threats made by Alireza Forghani, former governor of Iran’s Kish Province
  • Unnamed U.S. officials: American embassy in Baghdad is a likely target
  • Officials did not describe range of potential targets indicated
  • State Department: U.S. citizens to avoid all but 'essential' travel to Iraq
  • Iranian message was intercepted in recent days
  • It came from the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force
By Daily Mail UK, 7 September 2013


An Iranian strategic expert has warned that one of President Obama's daughters will be kidnapped and raped if America attacks Syria.

Alireza Forghani, also the former governor of southern Iran’s Kish Province, warned of mass abductions and killings of American citizens worldwide in the event the Obama administration launches a military strike in Syria.

'Hopefully Obama will be pigheaded enough to attack Syria, and then we will see the … loss of U.S. interests [through terrorist attacks],' he threatened.

'In just 21 hours [after the attack on Syria], a family member of every U.S. minister [department secretary], U.S. ambassadors, U.S. military commanders around the world will be abducted. And then 18 hours later, videos of their amputation will be spread around the world' he said

The threat comes amid reports today that the U.S has intercepted an order from an Iranian official instructing militants in Iraq to attack U.S. interests in Baghdad if the attack goes ahead.




Claims: The U.S has intercepted an order from an Iranian official instructing militants in Iraq to attack U.S. interests in Baghdad in the event the Obama administration launches a military strike in Syria, it was reported today


The American embassy in Baghdad was a likely target, according to unnamed U.S. officials quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal said the officials did not describe the range of potential targets indicated by the intelligence.
In addition, the State Department issued a warning on Thursday telling U.S. citizens to avoid all but 'essential' travel to Iraq.

President Barack Obama has asked the U.S. Congress to back his plan for limited strikes in response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians that the United States blames on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
The Journal reported that the Iranian message was intercepted in recent days and came from the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force.




Target: The American embassy in Baghdad was a likely target, according to unnamed U.S. officials quoted




Scrutiny: Iraqi security forces stand guard in Baghdad today. In addition, the State Department issued a warning on Thursday telling U.S. citizens to avoid all but 'essential' travel to Iraq



The newspaper said the message went to Iranian-supported Shi'ite militia groups in Iraq.

The Journal reported that the message informed Shi'ite groups to be prepared to respond with force after any U.S. military strike on Syria.

'Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation,' according to the State Department's warning, which replaced an earlier one 'to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence.'




Sunshine smiles : President Putin, left, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM David Cameron as they pose for the family photo



The department said that numerous insurgent groups, including al Qaeda's Iraq affiliate, remain active and 'terrorist activity and sectarian violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen since 2008.'

It added: 'The ability of the embassy to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.'

The State Department declined immediate comment.

The CIA declined comment.

The US and France are so far the only nations attending the G20 to have backed the use of military force against the Assad regime, with Russia and China insisting that any action in the absence of UN Security Council approval would be illegal.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta - who also attended this morning's aid meeting - said in a tweet last night that 'the G20 has just now finished the dinner session, at which the divisions about Syria were confirmed'.



Man on a mission: Obama has expanded a list of targets in Syria as he struggles to gather international support for military action




President Barack Obama, left, listens as Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, speaks during the start of the G-20 Working Session


US frustrations over Russia's stance were reflected in comments by the American envoy to the UN, Samantha Power, who told a New York news conference: 'Even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the (Security) Council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities.

'What we have learned, what the Syrian people have learned, is that the Security Council the world needs to deal with this crisis is not the Security Council we have.'

The US Government accuses Assad's forces of killing 1,429 people in a poison-gas attack in a suburb of the Syrian capital, Damascus, on August 21.

Britain announced yesterday that scientists at the Porton Down research laboratories have found traces of the nerve gas sarin on cloth and soil samples retrieved from the site of the attack.

Meanwhile, there were signs that Mr Obama may struggle to secure support in Congress for his proposal of 'limited and proportionate' military action against Assad.

A poll commissioned by the BBC and ABC News suggested more than one-third of Congress members were undecided whether or not to back military action, while a majority of those who had made a decision said they would vote against the President.

The survey found that 226 members of the House of Representatives said they would oppose or were likely to oppose military action, against 45 who were certain or likely to support it and 189 who were undecided or did not respond.

Some 17 members of the Senate were certain or likely to oppose Mr Obama's plans, against 23 certain or likely to back him and 60 whose position was undecided or unknown.
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Update VIDEO-Secret UK Team in IRAQ Investigates ISIS




US Considers Air Strikes and Air Drops to Help Iraqis Trapped on Mountain by Isis-
Move Comes as Iraq's Largest Christian City was Abandoned as Jihadist Militants Advance Through Country's North-West

Iraq's largest Christian town abandoned as Isis advance

Spencer Ackerman in New York, Martin Chulov and Julian Borger, theguardian.com, Thursday 7 August 2014





Displaced Iraqis from Sinjar flee from Isis troops towards the autonomous Kurdistan region. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images



The Obama administration is considering aerial strikes and humanitarian air drops to help besieged religious minorities chased up a mountain by militants in Iraq.

The move comes as Iraq's largest Christian city was all but abandoned as the jihadist group Islamic State advances through minority communities in the country's north-west and towards the Kurdish stronghold of Irbil.

The US military is already helping the Iraqi government coordinate air drops of vital supplies to at least 40,000 Iraqis, mostly from the Yazidi minority, trapped on top of Mount Sinjar in the north after death threats from the Islamists who have overrun much of Sunni and northern Iraq.

Internally, the Obama administration was said to be studying what additional steps it could take directly, to include direct US air drops to those Iraqis stranded on the mountain.
"We have been working urgently and directly with officials in Baghdad and Irbil to coordinate Iraqi airdrops to people in need," a US defense official said on condition of anonymity.

The official said the US was in constant coordination with the Iraqi government on "how we can help coordinate additional relief, enhance their efforts, and provide direct assistance wherever possible."

If the US opts to intervene directly, it would represent the first aerial mission over Iraq since 2011 for a purpose beyond conducting surveillance on Isis, providing long-scheduled military sales, or transporting the extra hundreds of US special-operations "advisers" that Barack Obama ordered into Iraq to help Baghdad confront the threat from Isis.

One option for US air missions is to launch from Incirlik air base, which the Americans share with the Turks and Britain's RAF, just outside the city of Adana on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coastline.
It was a vital hub in both Afghan and Iraq wars, particularly for military air cargo. Its 10,000 ft main runway can accommodate giant C17 air transport planes, which can easily cover the 435 miles to the stranded Yazidi population on Mount Sinjar. Ankara announced earlier in the day that Turkish food parcels had been air-dropped for the Yazidis by Iraqi helicopters.

The base was important strategically during the Cold War because of its close proximity to the Soviet Union. As a hangover from those days it still houses some of the few US nuclear weapons left in Europe, B61 gravity bombs, in hardened shelters on the base.

UN officials say an estimated 200,000 new refugees are seeking sanctuary in the Kurdish north from Islamic extremists who have pursued them since the weekend. The city of Qaraqosh, south-east of Mosul, home to around 50,000 Christians was the latest to fall, with most residents fleeing before dawn on Thursday as convoys of extremists drew near.

Other Christian towns near Mosul, including Tel Askof, Tel Keif and Qaramless have also largely been emptied. Those who remained behind have reportedly been given the same stark choice given to other minorities, including Yazidis: flee, convert to Islam, or be killed.

Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen have been at the frontlines of Iraq's war with Isis ever since the jihadist group stormed into Mosul and Tikrit and mid-June. The Iraqi army capitulated within hours, with at least 60,000 officers and soldiers fleeing on the first day of the assault alone.
Ever since, the jihadists have continued to make advances, while Iraqi troops have concentrated on defending Baghdad and the Shia south, leaving the defence of minorities in the north to the Kurdish peshmurga.

However, even the much vaunted Kurdish forces were no match for the heavy weapons wielded by the jihadists as they advanced in recent days. Peshmurga officers ordered troops to withdraw to areas administered by the Kurdish regional government – a clear sign of priorities and of where the battle lines are being drawn.

Without any protection, Yazidis, Christians and Turkmen are being uprooted from communities they have lived in for millennia and the geo-social fabric of Iraq is being rapidly shredded.
While those who have managed to flee the Christian areas have so far had a relatively safe passage to Irbil, the tens of thousands of Yazidis remain besieged near Sinjar, with little food or water.

The UN said it was able to get some supplies overland to the stranded hordes – avoiding Isis fighters who have surrounded most of Mount Sinjar. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Turkish helicopters had dropped food and water on the mountain top. Iraqi helicopters have also made food drops, but stranded Yazidis say they do not have enough to survive.

The Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Joseph Thomas, described the situation in northern Iraq as "catastrophic, a crisis beyond imagination". He demanded urgent intervention to save what remained of the area's Christian heritage.

Kurdish officials on Thursday demanded more help in catering for refugees. The Kurdish administered areas have seen staggering numbers cross their notional border since the original Isis onslaught two months ago. In the first week alone, some 500,000 people are thought to have fled towards Irbil.

The capital of the Kurdish north is already home to a new Chaldean Christian community, which fled Baghdad in the wake of an Isis-led massacre inside a cathedral in October 2010. Many fleeing Christians have headed for the Ainkawa neighbourhood, which is home to Baghdad's Christian exiles.

The past 11 years of war and insurrection since the US invasion have led to most of Iraq's Christians fleeing. Numbers have plummeted starkly from an estimated one million before 2003 to around 150,000 now. A large number of those who remain are now displaced.

Miriam Dagher, 53, from Qaraqosh, said churches in the city had already been torched and religious insignia smashed. "We stayed as long as we could," she said. "But nothing could save us. This is the end of our community."

Isis has threatened to redraw the unitary borders that were carved out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire. The group's rampant insurgency and the inability of state actors to stop it has rendered the frontier between Iraq and Syria evermore irrelevant.
In the absence of central government authority, Shia militias are taking dominant roles, amplifying sectarian enmity between Islam's two most dominant sects.

Iraq's beleaguered prime minister, Nour al-Maliki, no longer has the authority to unite the country's disparate sects. Maliki, a Shia Muslim, had disenfranchised much of the country's Sunni community over the past three years, some of whom have turned to Isis as a means of reasserting themselves.
After digging in for the past two months, Maliki now faces a desperate battle to form a government, with his key backer Iran understood to have told him that it no longer supports his bid to lead the country for a third term.

Kurdish leader, Massoud Barazani, has said he is moving towards holding a referendum that could pave the way for an independence bid, a move that could spell the end of Iraq, and unsettle surrounding countries, including Syria, Turkey and Iran.
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Default re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS

'America IS Coming to Help': Obama to Bomb Iraq to Save Thousands of Non-Muslim Refugees
-Trapped on Mountains and Facing Starvation or Slaughter by ISIS Fanatics

  • 'Today America is coming to help', he told Iraqis in address on U.S. TV
  • Tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities remain cut off by ISIS militants
  • He said U.S. warplanes had already carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid
  • David Cameron welcomes strikes but rules out British military involvement
  • Pope begs world leaders to step in as Iraq's main Christian city is sacked

Daily Mail UK, 8 August 2014




GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING:


ISIS has been ruthlessly hunting down and slaughtering religious minorities, including Christians and members of the Yazidi sect, who they have denounced as devil-worshipers on account of their ancient set of beliefs. U.S. president Barack Obama said warplanes airdropped food and water supplies to the tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on Sinjar mountain, which has been surrounded by ISIS fighters. But already hundreds of Yazidis, including women and children, have been murdered as the ISIS hoards close in. Photographs have emerged of Yazidi men carrying the bodies of dozens of young children killed by the Islamic extremists, who in turn have posted pictures online of themselves posing next to dead Yazidis.




'We're coming to help': Mr Obama said American military planes had already
airdropped aid to tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities surrounded and cut off by ISIS militants


Barack Obama today authorised US airstrikes in northern Iraq to defend hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims being hunted down and slaughtered by ISIS hoards as he declared: 'America is coming to help.'

His dramatic call to arms came as the chaos engulfing Iraq escalated rapidly last night with a re-energised Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant storming towns in the north, executing villagers and chasing thousands from their homes into the desert.
Already dozens of Yazidis - who ISIS have denounced as devil-worshippers because of their ancient set of beliefs which predate Christianity and Islam - have been murdered as the extremist fighters overran the town of Sinjar.

Tens of thousands of terrified Yazidis have sought refuge from the bloodshed in the surrounding mountains. But there they face another killer: searing desert heat and the constant threat of starvation. Many have already died of hunger and thirst as they struggle to survive on just the food they could carry in temperatures exceeding 42C.

Photographs have emerged of Yazidi men carrying the bodies of dozens of young children apparently killed by ISIS militants, who in turn have posted pictures online of themselves posing next to dead Yazidi men.
The dead men's wives were reportedly kept as trophies to be gifted to unmarried jihadist fighters.


In a televised late-night statement from the White House, Mr Obama said American warplanes had already carried out airdrops of food and water to the Iraqi Yazidis hiding in the mountains.

'Today America is coming to help,' he declared, adding: 'The United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world.

'So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now: when we face a situation like we do on that mountain -- with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help . . . and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye.'

ISIS fighters beat back the Kurdish peshmerga fighters, Iraq's most formidable fighting force who have thus far fought tirelessly to defend their northern heartland, but are becoming stretched thin across several fronts.
In what will be seen as a major coup for the extremist force, they seized the Mosul Dam - Iraq's largest - which gives them control over Baghdad's water supply.

Panic even began to tear through the Kurdish capital of Erbil, long considered a safe haven, where civilians flooded the airport in a futile attempt to buy tickets to Baghdad.





Innocent: Yazidi Iraqis on Mount Sinjar carry the bodies of children killed by ISIS. ISIS has been ruthlessly hunting down
and slaughtering members of the ancient Yazidi religion, a faith derived from Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam






Ruthless: An ISIS fighter poses next to a dead Yazidi. ISIS have denounced the Yazidis as devil-worshipers on account of their ancient
set of beliefs and have issued them with an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes or face death






Split: There are three main religious groups in Iraq: Shia Arabs, the country's majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, who are religiously Sunni but divided by their ethnicity. The is also a minority of Christians scattered across northern Iraq, who comprise just over 1 per cent of the population (450,000). ISIS, who are Sunni Arab, have forced tens of thousands of Yazidis - an ancient religion that predates Islam - from their heartland in the town Sinjar into surrounding mountains where they face extreme heat and starvation




Displaced civilians flee as Obama promises to send help:





Meanwhile, Pope Francis begged world leaders to help end the crisis, after Iraq's largest Christian town was sacked sending tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing into the desert.
Yesterday ISIS captured Qaraqush and several others near Mosul following the withdrawal of Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

'(The Christians) have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region,' Patriarch Sako told AFP. 'This is a humanitarian disaster; the churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down.' He added that up to 1,500 manuscripts were burnt.

The Vatican said in a statement: 'His Holiness addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, to act to protect those affected or threatened by violence and to provide aid, especially for the most urgent needs of the many who have been forced to flee and who depend on the solidarity of others.'


Quote:
WHO ARE THE YAZIDIS?



There are about 700,000 Yazidis in the world, living chiefly in northern Iraq and on Mount Sinjar.

They are ethnically Kurdish but adhere to a religion founded some 6,000 years ago by an Ummayyad sheikh.
The religion, while it predates Christianity and Islam, incorporates elements of each, as well as Zoroastrianism, an ancient belief founded by an Iranian philosopher in around 6BC.

The Yazidis live in small communities mainly scattered through northwest Iraq, north west Syria and south east Turkey, although members are also found in Georgia and Armenia.

Accounts of their population vary, with estimates ranging from 50,000 to a million, and their number has fallen considerably over the past 100 years.
Despite this, they have a well-organised society, following a chief sheikh as their religious leader and an emir, or prince, as the secular head.
The religion is centred around worship of the fallen archangel Melek Tawwus, or Pea**** Angel.

But unlike Satan's fall from grace, Melek Tawwus was readmitted into Heaven by God and represents humanity's potential for both good and evil.
For this reason, the Yazidis have unfairly garnered a reputation as devil-worshippers among certain faiths,
....and have faced centuries of alienation, oppression and attempted extermination. Yazidis - who do not believe in hell or evil - deny they are.

Many Yazidi traditions are shrouded in such secrecy that most have never been witnessed by outsiders. Yazidis regard marriage outside their faith as a sin punishable by ostracism or even death to restore lost honour.
Most Yazidis, even young people, choose to live in their isolated communities, though they often face extreme poverty.

The Yazidis have been targeted before, and claim to have been subjected to 72 genocides during the Ottoman rule of the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 2007 a series of massive truck bombs in northern Iraq killed nearly 500 villagers from the group in August 2007.

Now, forced to flee after the Islamic State group gave them an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee or face death, the plight of these secretive people is under the world's spotlight.
While Iraq's Christian population has declined steeply since the end of the Iraq War, there are still some 450,000 - 1.2 per cent of the country - still living there.

Today's announcements reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq since US troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war.
Mr Obama, who made his remarks in a steady and sombre tone, has staked much of his legacy as president on ending what he has called the 'dumb war' in Iraq.

The president said the humanitarian airdrops were made at the request of the Iraqi government.
The food and water supplies were delivered to the tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on Sinjar mountain without food and water.

The Yazidis fled their homes after the Islamic State group overran the city of Sinjar, issuing an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes or face death. Tens of thousands have scattered into the surrounding mountains where they face a daily battle for survival in extreme heat. Many have already died of starvation and thirst.

ISIS has been ruthlessly hunting and slaughtering members of the ancient Yazidi religion, a faith derived from Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam, who ISIS have denounced as devil-worshipers on account of their ancient set of beliefs.

Mindful of the public's aversion to another lengthy war, Mr Obama acknowledged that the prospect of a new round of US military action would be a cause for concern among many Americans.
He vowed anew not to put American combat troops back on the ground in Iraq and said there was no US military solution to the crisis.
'As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,' Mr Obama said.

Even so, he outlined a rationale for airstrikes if the Islamic State militants advance on American troops in the northern city of Irbil and the US consulate there in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
The troops were sent to Iraq earlier this year as part of the White House response to the extremist group's swift movement across the border with Syria and into Iraq.
'When the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action,' Mr Obama said. 'That's my responsibility as commander in chief.'
He said he had also authorised the use of targeted military strikes if necessary to help the Iraqi security forces protect civilians.

The president spoke following a day of urgent discussions with his national security team.
He addressed the nation only after the American military aircraft delivering food and water to the Iraqis had safely left the drop site in northern Iraq.
The Pentagon said the airdrops were performed by one C-17 and two C-130 cargo aircraft that together delivered a total of 72 bundles of food and water.
They were escorted by two F/A-18 fighters from an undisclosed air base in the region.
The planes delivered 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 pre-packaged meals and were over the drop area for less than 15 minutes at a low altitude.

The president cast the mission to assist the Yazidis as part of the American mandate to assist around the world when the US has the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre.
In those cases, Mr Obama said, 'we can act carefully and responsibly to prevent a potential act of genocide'.

Officials said the US was prepared to undertake additional humanitarian airdrops if necessary, though they did not say how quickly those missions could occur.

And today, David Cameron welcomed US President Obama's decision to authorise airstrikes, saying the world must help religious minorities in Iraq who are under threat from the militants 'in their hour of desperate need' - but ruled out any British military intervention.


President Barack Obama discusses the situation in Iraq
...







Dying: It is reported that dozens of people, mostly children, have died of hunger and thirst since ISIS fighters surrounded Mount Sinjar





Hunted down: A Yazidi girl rests on the ground as she flees with her family from the encroaching ISIS hoards





Not enough: Villagers say food delivered by the Iraqi army by helicopters is insufficient
and people are beginning to die of starvation and thirst in the extreme heat






Fleeing: Officials said, tens of thousands of Iraqis, mainly Yazidi and Christian families, living in Iraq's Sinjar
district bordering Syria were desperately trying to escape the country for fear of massacres by the militants






Safe for now: Iraqi Christians who fled the violence in the village of Qaraqush, about 30 kilometres east of the northern province
of Nineveh, rest upon their arrival at the Saint-Joseph church in the Kurdish city of Arbil, in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region





Scared: ISIS hoards have been particularly ruthless in their treatment of Iraqi Christians. Thousands have fled since ISIS seized Qaraqush, Iraq's largest Christian town, and several others near Mosul following the withdrawal of Kurdish peshmerga fighters, inhabitants said


A Downing Street spokeswoman said the UK was 'not planning a military intervention'.

But Prime Minister Cameron said: 'I have tasked officials to urgently establish what more we can do to provide help to those affected, including those in grave need of food, water and shelter in the Sinjar area.
He said he had asked officials to look into what assistance the UK can provide.

In a statement on Friday morning, Mr Cameron said: 'I welcome president Obama's decision to accept the Iraqi government's request for help and to conduct targeted US air strikes, if necessary, to help Iraqi forces as they fight back against Isil terrorists to free the civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar.

'And I fully agree with the President that we should stand up for the values we believe in - the right to freedom and dignity, whatever your religious beliefs.'

U.S. administration officials said they believe unilateral US strikes would be consistent with international law in part because the Iraqi government has asked for Washington to take military action.
They also said Mr Obama had the constitutional authority to act on his own in order to protect American citizens.




Isis fighters reportedly gained control of this dam in Mosul, giving them power over the main water supply to Baghdad




Fight back:
Soldiers of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Shiite volunteers take position during fighting with ISIS fighters, in Amerly town, northeastern Baghdad. The Kurds, who suffered horrifically under Saddam Hussein, have exploited the recent crisis to grant themselves greater autonomy






Brave: But the Kurds have nonetheless fought tirelessly against the ISIS hoards in a
desperate bid to protect their heartland and other religious denominations under threat




Fighting on:
Thousands of ethnic minorities, including Christians and Yazidi Kurds, have fled their homes after the ISIS hoard seized
Qaraqush, Iraq's largest Christian town, and several others near Mosul following the withdrawal of Kurdish peshmerga fighters (pictured)



Still, there was no guarantee that the president's threat of military strikes would actually be followed by action.
He similarly authorised strikes in Syria last summer after chemical weapons were deployed, but those attacks were never carried out, in part because of domestic political concerns and also because an international agreement to strip Syria of its stockpiles of the deadly gases.

The president has also faced persistent calls to take military action in Syria on humanitarian grounds, given that more than 170,000 people have been killed there.
Critics, including some Republicans in Congress, have argued that Mr Obama's cautious approach to Syria has allowed the Islamic State group to flourish there, growing strong enough to move across the border with Iraq and make swift gains.




Back to Iraq? The announcements reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq
since US troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war



In light of the militants' advances, Mr Obama sent about 800 US forces to Iraq earlier this year, with those troops largely split between joint operation centres in Baghdad and Irbil.
More than half are providing security for the embassy and US personnel. American service members also are involved in improving US intelligence, providing security cooperation and conducting assessments of Iraqi capabilities.

Officials said there were no plans to evacuate those Americans from Iraq but that the US was conducting enhanced intelligence flights over Irbil with both manned and unmanned aircrafts in order to monitor the deteriorating conditions.
If the president were to order actual airstrikes in Iraq, it is all but certain he would proceed without formal congressional approval.
Politicians left town last week for a five-week recess, and there was no sign that Congress was being called back.


President Barack Obama Discusses the Situation in Iraq:



Watch the ISIS Fanatics:





The Fall of Iraq & Syria- What You Aren't Being Told:

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Old 08-08-14, 20:07   #33
 
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Default re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS

The Moment Obama Began Bombing Iraq: First Picture Emerges of US Air Strike on ISIS artillery
-as President Carries out His Threat to use Force to Save Thousands of Non-Muslims Trapped by Fanatics

  • GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING:
  • This Report contains Images of Death that Some Readers May Find Disturbing
  • Two F/A18 fighters dispatched to unleash 500lb laser-guided bombs on Islamic militants outside Kurdish capital Erbil
  • It is America's first military offensive in Iraq since it pulled out of the country in 2011 after eight years at war
  • Comes after Obama vowed to 'help' Iraqi forces with airstrikes to prevent 'a potential act of genocide'
  • Hundreds of thousands of religious minorities have been driven from their homes as ISIS jihadists storm towns
  • Some 50,000 Yazidis - half of them children - fled to hills after ISIS took Sinjar, the Yazidis' heartland in Iraq
  • ISIS calls Yazidis devil worshippers because of their beliefs that predate Islam, Christianity and Judaism
  • Obama said U.S. warplanes had already carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid to Yazidis holed up in Sinjar hills
  • David Cameron welcomes airstrikes to help Iraqis 'in their hour of desperate need' but rules out British military action
  • Foreign Office urges British nationals to stay away from Kurdistan as America pounded Islamic State positions
  • FAA prohibits U.S. airlines and other commercial carriers from flying over Iraq as spectre of more airstrikes looms

America waded into the unfolding crisis in Iraq today as it dispatched two warplanes to bombard an ISIS artillery battery in a bid to halt the extremist horde that is sweeping the country and save hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.

The F/A-18C Hornets took off from the USS George H. W. Bush in the Persian Gulf this morning before unleashing 500lb laser-guided bombs on a unit of Islamic State fighters marching on Kurdish capital Erbil, where U.S. troops are stationed as well as the American consulate.

In an unusual move, news of America's first military offensive in Iraq since it pulled out of the country in 2011 after eight years at war was announced by Rear Admiral John Kirby through his Twitter account.

'US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery. Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel,' he tweeted.




Gone in a cloud of smoke: A dust cloud rises where the first US bomb struck ISIS artillery being towed by a truck outside Irbil




The airstrike marked the first time US forces have taken direct action against ISIS since it began taking control of huge swathes of the Middle East




It begins: One of the two F/A-18C Hornet fighter jets that bombed the ISIS artillery position prepares
for takeoff from the USS George H. W. Bush in the Persian Gulf before the dawn mission this morning



The assault follows Barack Obama's dramatic call to arms last night in which he authorised airstrikes to defend hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims being hunted down and slaughtered by Islamic State jihadists, declaring: 'America is coming to help.'
And as the crisis in Iraq entered a new phase of international involvement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned the U.S. has enough intelligence to clearly single out and hit Islamic militants if they threaten U.S. interests or the thousands of refugees who fled to a mountaintop.

Asked if the Islamic State group could successfully hide among civilians to evade strikes, Hagel said: 'It's pretty clear who they are, and they would be pretty identifiable where our airstrikes could be effective.'

It is understood that ISIS was using stolen artillery, abandoned by retreating Iraqi soldiers, to shell Kurdish forces defending the regional capital of Kurdistan.
Peshmerga Kurdistan forces are now waiting for more strikes by the US fighter jets before launching a full-scale counter attack against the ISIS assault.

The chaos engulfing Iraq has escalated rapidly in the past 24 hours, with a re-energised Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant storming towns in the north, executing villagers and chasing thousands from their homes into the mountains.





'We're coming to help': President Obama meets with the National Security Council yesterday in the Situation Room of the White House, hours before his addressto the nation in which he vowed to help the thousands of Iraqi civilians being driven from their homes and slaughtered by the Islamic State extremists running rampant through the country.
That help came in the form of targeted airstrikes on key ISIS positions today:




Ready for action: And as soon as the first two jets returned from their successful bombing run on ISIS fighters marching
on Erbil this morning, the flight deck of the George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier came alive as more warplanes readied for action



Already dozens of Yazidis - who ISIS have denounced as devil-worshippers because of their ancient beliefs which predate both Christianity and Islam - have been murdered since the extremist fighters overran the town of Sinjar yesterday.

Up to 50,000 terrified Yazidis - half of them children - have sought refuge from the bloodshed in the barren mountain range to the north of their hometown as their hunters close in.

But there they face an impossible dilemma - try to make it to the Turkish border and risk being captured and killed by insurgents, or remain on Mount Sinjar without food or water in the searing heat in the hope that aid will somehow get through.

Many have already died of hunger and thirst as they struggle to survive on just the food they could carry in temperatures exceeding 42C.

Photographs have emerged of Yazidi men carrying the limp bodies of dozens of young children either too exhausted to continue or killed by ISIS militants, who in turn have posted pictures online of themselves posing next to dead Yazidi men.
The dead men's wives were reportedly kept as trophies to be gifted to unmarried jihadist fighters.
Last night, in a televised late-night statement from the White House, Mr Obama said American warplanes had already carried out airdrops of food and water to the Iraqi Yazidis hiding in the mountains.
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Old 09-08-14, 16:41   #34
 
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Update re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS

RAF Joins US & Explores More Ways & to Help Yazidis'


Daily Mail UK, 9 August 2014


Britain is looking at how to get a religious minority group off an Iraqi mountain it has been trapped on by extremist Islamic State (IS) fighters, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.

He said the first British humanitarian relief including drinking water and tents would be dropped "imminently" by RAF aircraft to members of the Yazidi in the Sinjar mountains in Iraq's north-west.

Thousands of Yazidis have been driven into the barren mountains near the Syrian border and hundreds of women from the minority seized by the hardline Sunni IS militants.




Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has chaired a meeting of the Cobra committee to assess the crisis in northern Iraq


Speaking after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra committee, Mr Hammond said such airdrops were only a short-term solution.

He said: "We can expect a continuing drumbeat of airdrop operations working in co-ordination with the US and potentially with others as well.
"But more widely we are looking at how to support this group of people and get them off that mountain, how we are going to facilitate their exit from what is a completely unacceptable situation."

The US has begun airstrikes against IS targets engaging Kurdish forces near the key city of Irbil, but Britain has ruled out military action at this stage.

But the Government has committed £8 million towards humanitarian aid for the troubled country.
Mr Hammond said the Government was deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis and the "extraordinary cruelty" shown by ISIS in areas it has taken control of in the north of Iraq.

The first consignment of UK emergency aid has left RAF Brize Norton for Iraq as the West tries to counter the threat from extremists.

But Mr Hammond said it was for a new Iraqi government to lead the fight against ISIS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which has declared a new caliphate in the area of Iraq it controls.

"We are waiting, all of us are waiting, for a new Iraqi government to be formed which will then have to take the lead in responding to the challenge that ISIS is posing to the integrity of the Iraqi state," Mr Hammond said.
He added: "At the moment our focus is on supporting the humanitarian effort, trying to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq and waiting to see as the new government is formed, whether it will be an inclusive government we can get behind and support in its efforts."

He also called on other countries to send aid, which would also send a political message that "the world is horrified" at what is happening.

The UK's £8 million emergency package includes reusable filtration containers, tents, and solar lights which can also recharge mobile phones.
Some £3 million will go to charities and NGOs already on the ground and helping displaced people in northern Iraq, and £2.5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

A further £500,000 ($750,000) will be used to ensure Kurdish and UN systems can co-ordinate properly.


'I Don't Think We are Going to Solve This Problem in Weeks':
Obama Says it Will Take 'Some Time' to End the Conflict in Iraq


President Barack Obama refused to put forward a timetable for a resolution to the conflict in Iraq on Saturday, saying that it was going to 'take some time.'
'I don't think we are going to solve this problem in weeks,' Obama said, noting that it 'is going to be a long-term project.'

The president said among his 'immediate concerns' was making 'sure ISIL is not engaging in the actions that could cripple a country permanently.'
Despite his open ended timetable for untangling the U.S. from Iraq, the president stood by his previous promises that he would not put boots on the ground in the country for any reason other than to protect American personnel stationed there.

'I've been very clear that we're not gonna have us combat troops in Iraq again, and we are going to maintain that because we should have learned a lesson from our long and very costly incursion in Iraq,' he said.




President Barack Obama said today that it would take 'some time' to resolve the conflict in Iraq and admitted that it will be longer than 'weeks'


Obama also said that 'right now' he did not need any additional funding from Congress to carry out military missions in Iraq.
Asked if the U.S.underestimated Islamic militants in Iraq, Obama said: 'There is no doubt that their advance, their movement over the last several months has been more rapid than intelligence estimates.'

The president admitted that policy makers inside and outside of Iraq did not have a 'full appreciation' for the fact that Iraqi forces would not stand their ground in the face of the enemy.

However, Obama expressed irritation with the perception that it was his 'decision' to pull out of Iraq in 2011.
'That entire analysis is bogus and wrong and oftentimes gets peddled around here by folks who are trying to protect' their own policy decisions,' Obama said.
The previous administration, he said, turned over control of the country to the Iraqi people.

And the Iraqi government, 'based on its political considerations' and the fact that the Iraqi people were tired of their country being occupied, opted not to pass laws that would protect American troops.
'That presupposes that I would have overwritten this sovereign government,' if I had told them, ''You don't have a choice," ' he said.
'Which would have kind of run contrary to the argument we were kind of making,' he added.

That said, history had not happened the way it did, and the US still had troops in Iraq, they wouldn't have been able to prevent the current crisis, he said, because the Iraq has not done the things it needed to do to have a cohesive government.

If the the U.S still had combat troops in Iraq, Obama said, the only difference is that 'we'd have a much bigger job, and we'd probably have to go up again in the number of ground troops to make sure those troops weren't vulnerable.'

Immediately after the president spoke he hopped aboard his Marine One helicopter with his family to speed off to their annual summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

The first family will remain in the elite Massachusetts town for the next two weeks. President Obama will return to Washington next weekend for several days of meetings and then rejoin his family there for the five final days of their vacation.
The president did not cancel or postpone his vacation even after the Islamic militants overrunning the country took control of one of Iraq's largest dams and ran religious minorities out of the city of Mosul under threat of death.

With no where else to go, an estimated 40,000 followers of the Yadizi religion have been stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq for several days.
Over the last two days the U.S. military has made air drops of food, water and basic medical supplies to the Iraqi refugees hiding away in the mountains and has launched airstrikes on extremists camped outside the nearby city of Erbil.
'We feel confident that we can prevent ISIL form going up a mountain and slaughtering the people there,' Obama said today.

The issue is providing 'safe passage' down the mountain and figuring out where the refugees will live after that, Obama said.


FIRST STRIKE:
Smoke rises over the desert near Arbil, northern Iraq, after US air strike on Islamic State artillery.


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Old 09-08-14, 19:26   #35
 
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Update re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS




Ready to Strike: How the US is Armed to the Teeth in the Middle East after Moving Ships, Jets and Troops Within Striking Distance... -Britain's RAF Planes & Troops Already in the Area, in its Large Military Base in the Med, - to Help with Back-Up, Arms & Supplies
  • U.S. & UK forces have spent last two months moving ships, weapons and troops within close proximity of conflict zone
  • Two F/A18 fighters flew from American 'supercarrier' in Persian Gulf to fire 500lb laser-guided bombs on ISIS group
  • Jets were on USS George H.W. Bush, which travelled 1,000 miles from Arabian Sea to Persian Gulf seven weeks ago
  • UK's RAF have been dropping supplies to the trapped people for some days

Daily Mail UK, 9 August 2014


The strike on ISIS today came after U.S. forces spent the last two months moving ships, jets and troops within striking distance.

After President Obama gave the go ahead last night, two F/A18 fighters flew off from an American 'supercarrier' in the Persian Gulf to fire 500lb laser-guided bombs on a group of Islamic militants outside Kurdish capital Erbil.
The jets were on the USS George H.W. Bush, which was ordered to travel 1,000 miles from the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf seven weeks ago.




Surrounded: The U.S. & UK have spent recent months moving ships, jets and troops
within striking distance with today's US attack on ISIS coming from the Persian Gulf





It begins: One of the two F/A-18C Hornet fighter jets that bombed the ISIS artillery position prepares for takeoff from the
USS George H. W. Bush in the Persian Gulf before the dawn mission this morning





Ready for action: And as soon as the first two jets returned from their successful bombing run on ISIS fighters marching
on Erbil this morning, the flight deck of the George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier came alive as more warplanes readied for action


It joined the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet - two aircraft carriers - the USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln - and several nuclear submarines armed with Tomahawk missiles.

Each carrier typically carries 64 aircraft, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, E-2 Hawkeye surveillance planes and SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
There are also five other U.S. ships believed to be in the Arabian Sea of needed.

Obama's operational choices are limited to launches from bases outside Iraq's borders. The UK has a large military base in Cyprus


Among them are Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which already houses command and logistics hubs for U.S. Central Command and was ground zero for air sorties over Afghanistan and Iraq since the early days of the George W. Bush administration.

Al-Udeid is still used for some air missions over Afghanistan and houses long-range B1-bombers.

Closer to Iraq's northern provinces is an American air base in Incirlik, Turkey. After 2011, that facility inherited much of the airborne surveillance hardware – including drones – that the U.S. once launched from bases inside Iraq.





Unmanned attacker: The United States has its MQ-9 'Reaper' drones that can deliver Hellfire missiles more than 1,100 miles away




Gone in a cloud of smoke: A dust cloud rises where the first US bomb struck ISIS artillery being towed by a truck outside Irbil





The airstrike marked the first time US forces have taken direct action against ISIS since it began taking control of huge swathes of the Middle East


In addition, the U.S. commands a detachment of F-16 fighters in Jordan, where it has 2,000 troops based, according to a Pentagon official.

The superpower also has a massive arsenal of MQ-18 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones, capable of delivering Hellfire missiles more than 1,100 miles away.

The Reaper drones can also deliver 500-pound bombs.

The United States has around 800 personnel on the ground in Iraq - but not enough to launch an attack.

In late June it was announced that the U.S. was sending another 300 troops to Iraq to beef up security at its embassy and around Baghdad.




Response: On the ground, a Kurdish armoured vehicle rushes towards the site of the U.S. air strike to meet ISIS





Rolling tanks: Peshmerga fighters are pictured yesterday patrolling their territory in an operation against the ISIS fighters



It does have 10,000 troops in Kuwait and stores millions of rounds of small arms fire, thousands of rounds of tank ammunition, helicopter-fired rockets, machine guns, grenades, flares, sniper rifles, M16s and M4 rifles.
Britain has a large RAF base in Cyprus, less than 100 miles from from Syria and 650 miles from Baghdad.
RAF Akrotiri was built in the mid 1950s and first used in the Suez crisis.

More recently the base was used as a supply post during the Iraq wars and also used to support the attacks on Libya in 2011.

Before intervention in Syria was voted down by the Commons, this is where the strikes would have come from.
Now it could be used for air drops to the Yazidi tribe who are trapped in the mountains of Iraq or the British could share their bases with America.


White House: We'll Give Iraq More Military Support if Needed

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Old 09-08-14, 20:02   #36
 
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Update re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS

They Have Vicious Plans for Them': Fears for Hundreds of Yazidi 'Enslaved' Women Captured by ISIS Fanatics in Iraq as America Wipes out Terrorist Convoy after Launching SECOND Round of Bombing

  • GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: This story contains images of death that some readers may find disturbing
  • ISIS captured hundreds of Yazidi women in Mosul, Iraq's second city, hours after U.S. launched air strikes
  • Two F/A18 fighters dispatched to unleash 500lb laser-guided bombs on Islamic militants outside Kurdish capital Erbil
  • It is America's first military offensive in Iraq since it pulled out of the country in 2011 after eight years at war
  • Comes after Obama vowed to 'help' Iraqi forces with airstrikes to prevent 'a potential act of genocide'
  • Hundreds of thousands of religious minorities have been driven from their homes as ISIS jihadists storm towns
  • Some 50,000 Yazidis - half of them children - fled to hills after ISIS took Sinjar, the Yazidis' heartland in Iraq
  • ISIS calls Yazidis devil worshippers because of their beliefs that predate Islam, Christianity and Judaism
  • Obama said U.S. warplanes had already carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid to Yazidis holed up in Sinjar hills
  • David Cameron welcomes airstrikes to help Iraqis 'in their hour of desperate need'
  • Foreign Office urges British nationals to stay away from Kurdistan as America pounded Islamic State positions
  • FAA prohibits U.S. airlines from flying over Iraq, British Airways also announces it is suspending flights over country

ISIS militants have made hostages of hundreds of Yazidi women after America waded into the unfolding crisis in Iraq by dropping bombs on the extremists' artillery.

Earlier President Obama authorised two bombers to sweep up form the Persian Gulf and drop their payloads on jihadist emplacements, in response to their actions against the Yazidi religious minority in the north of the country.
Later the U.S. military conducted two additional air strikes against the extremists near the city of Arbil in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said.
The second wave of air strikes, included a drone strike on a mortar position and an attack by four F/A-18 jets on an Islamic State convoy and mortar position. They made two passes, released eight bombs and "neutralized" the fighters

But now ISIS - which calls itself the Islamic State - has struck the group again by capturing hundreds of women from Mosul, Iraq's second city. Earlier reports indicated that capture Yazidi women were intended to be given to young jihadists as wives.

American aircraft continued attacking targets in Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said, killing terrorists who were launching attacks from mortars and underway in a convoy.

‘Please save us! SOS! save us!’ a man pleaded, ‘Our people are in the desert. They are exposed to a genocide.’

The savage group - which boasts of crucifying, mutilating and executing those it conquers - is now advancing into the Kurdish northern area of Iraq, which was formerly thought to be safe.


Fighters were today just 25 miles from Erbil, the Kurdish capital, which has been a safe haven in the country throughout the rise of ISIS, and also during the Iraq war to topple Saddam Hussein.An Iraqi government official confirmed the hostage-taking, and said the women are all younger than 35.

Kamil Amin, the spokesman for Iraq's Human Rights Ministry, said: 'We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them. We think that these women are going to be used in demeaning ways by those terrorists to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values.'There are claims that many have been raped and there are fears that they will be sold into slavery by the fanatics. Those trapped on the mountain say they fear they face ‘slaughter’ . They spoke of appalling conditions with no water, food or medicine, and little shelter apart from lone trees, under which groups huddle together, or caves dotted in the barren, bleak mountainside.

‘We are being slaughtered,’ Yazidi MP, Vian Dakhil, said: ‘Our entire religion is being wiped off the face of the earth.’
Another said: ‘We have nothing here except ground to sleep on, there is no food or water, people are hungry, people are crying for help.’

One Yazidi official, Mahma Khalil, put the number sheltering on the mountain, which the community considers the holy site where Noah’s ark settled after the biblical flood, as high as 250,000.




Drama: The two American warplanes dropped 500lb laser-guided bombs on an Islamic State artillery position
Near Irbil in a bid to halt the ISIS horde sweeping the country and save thousands of innocent lives





Split: There are three main religious groups in Iraq: Shia Arabs, the country's majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, who are religiously Sunni but divided by their ethnicity. The is also a minority of Christians scattered across northern Iraq, who comprise just over 1 per cent of the population (roughly 450,000 people). ISIS, who are Sunni Arab, have forced tens of thousands of Yazidis - an ancient religion that predates Islam - from their heartland in Sinjar


US Government Releases Video of Air Operation in the Gulf

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Old 11-08-14, 19:26   #37
 
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Default re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS

THE EVIL CRUELTY OF ISIS:

Lined up and Executed, Their Severed Heads Put on Display as a Warning to Others: Horrific New Photographs of ISIS Atrocities

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Sunni tribesmen marched into desert, made to kneel and shot in the head
  • Tribe made deal with ISIS to be left alone but agreement collapsed
  • Shocking close-up photos of splattered brains and severed heads released
  • 'Punishment for those who fight Allah and his Messenger is to crucify or cut off hands and feet'
11 August 2014


Up to 500 prisoners from the minority Yazidi faith are said to have been killed by ‘death squads’ of jihadi gunmen in recent days.
Some 40 Yazidi children are reported to be among the dead, after being driven from their homes by the brutal Islamist militant offensive in northern Iraq.
Chilling images of the victims have now emerged, some released by the group’s expertly managed propaganda machine.





Prisoners: Members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe are rounded up and marched to their deaths
in Syria by fighters from ISIS in a series of horrific images posted online by the jihadist group





Ruthless: Bent double and barefooted, with their hands are bound behind their backs with rope,
-the prisoners are marched to the execution site in the desert near Deir ez Zor in Syra


Advancing Islamic State fighters have filmed themselves massacring prisoners, some of whom have been crucified or beheaded. Pictures show armed fighters, appearing to laugh over slumped bodies of dead civilians, who had been lined up and shot in the head and back.
Some images, posted online, show militants posing next to dead Yazidi men.

One horrific set of photographs, which emerged yesterday, shows the militants rounding up and executing tribesmen. The prisoners were marched into the desert and made to kneel on the dusty ground, before being systematically shot in the head.





Crimes against humanity: The captives are then lined up and ordered to kneel down on the dusty ground





Barbaric: Around 20 ISIS fighters stand behind the line of men and the squad of jihadists begin to murder the prisoners



A couple of jihadists approach the dead prisoners and finish off any survivors from point-blank range




Sick: A jihadist appears to be smiling as he holds a terrified man by his hair and begins to slice through his neck with a hunting knife


‘The punishment of those who fight Allah and his Messenger and spread mischief on earth is to kill or crucify or cut off their hands and feet,’ the militant group declared.


There were also reports of children being beheaded, crucifixions and amputations. One said trapped Yazidi women were being raped while their husbands were slaughtered.

As each town is taken, anyone opposing the Islamic State is either killed or given the option to convert to Islam and pay a fine. Others try to abandon their homes and flee. Six weeks ago, the Islamic State executed at least 160 prisoners in just four days in the northern city of Tikrit, publishing pictures of men forced to lie with their hands tied behind their backs while they were shot.
A final set of images showed the victims’ bodies piled up.

The brutal tactics of the group, which broke from Al Qaeda, are the work of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who joined the insurgency that erupted in Iraq soon after the 2003 US-led invasion.




Brutal: Other captives are tied to makeshift crucifixes, before being shot




A crowd of local men watch from behind a low fence, some of them are taking photos or filming the executions with their mobile phones






DISTURBING CONTENT: ISIS terrorists execute soldiers in Syria:


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Update re: PhOtOs- Iraq WAR -UK's MI5 &vSAS Go After ISIS



Germany Prepared to Send Arms to Kurds in Iraq

AP/Daily Mail UK, 20 August 2014


BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it is prepared to arm the Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany would closely coordinate its efforts with France, Britain and other European countries who are already delivering weapons to the Kurds.

Wednesday's announcement follows intense domestic and international pressure for the German government to provide more than humanitarian assistance to those fighting the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq in recent weeks.

The offensive by ISIS radicals has left thousands dead and forced 1.5 million people from their homes.




An internally displaced Iraqi woman holds her sister during a sandstorm
-at a new camp outside the Bajid Kandala camp in Feeshkhabour town, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.



Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting in Iraq since the Islamic State's rapid advance began in June, and thousands more have died. The scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency last week. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Sending weapons would be a significant step for Germany, which traditionally has shied away from such moves. Steinmeier said the decision was made to do so because a collapse of Kurdish defenses could precipitate a wider catastrophe in Iraq that would directly affect Europe.

France began shipping arms to Kurdish forces last week and has also supplied similar weapons to Western-backed Syrian opposition forces.

The French government, meanwhile, announced Wednesday it was getting a new shipment of humanitarian aid ready for Iraq as minorities under attack by Sunni militants issued a new appeal for help.

France has already sent dozens of tons of aid to minorities in Iraq in several deliveries since Aug. 10.
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Angry re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Video Showing American Journalist Beheaded Believed Real, -Officials and Family Say


AP, 20 August 2014





AP Photo/Steven Senne, FileIn this May 27, 2011 file photo American Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., poses for a photo in Boston.


WASHINGTON — Two U.S. officials say they believe American journalist James Foley was the victim executed by ISIS militants as shown in a grisly video released Tuesday.


Separately, Foley’s family confirmed his death in a statement posted on a webpage that was created to rally support for his release.
In the statement, Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said the journalist, quote, “gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.”

One of the U.S. officials said President Barack Obama was expected to make a statement about the killing on Wednesday.
The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the video by name.

Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, went missing nearly two years ago in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.

Several senior U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation said the Islamic State very recently threatened to kill Foley to avenge the crushing airstrikes over the last two weeks against militants advancing on Mount Sinjar, the Mosul dam and the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
Both areas are in northern Iraq, which has become a key front for the Islamic State as its fighters travel to and from Syria.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the hostage situation by name.

Since Aug. 8, the U.S. military has struck more than 70 Islamic State targets – including security checkpoints, vehicles and weapons caches. It’s not clear how many militants have been killed in the strikes, although it’s likely that some were.


The Internet video begins with scenes of President Barack Obama explaining his decision to order airstrikes in Iraq. Then it switches to a balding man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in the desert, a black-clad Islamic State fighter by his side. Foley’s name appears in both English and Arabic graphics on screen. The video appears to have been shot in an arid area; there is no vegetation in sight and the horizon is in the distance where the sand meets the gray-blue sky.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimated Tuesday that about 20 journalists are missing in Syria, and has not released their nationalities.

In its annual report last November, CPJ concluded that the missing journalists are either being held and threatened with death by extremists, or taken captive by gangs seeking ransom. The group’s report described the widespread seizure of journalists as unprecedented and largely unreported by news organizations in the hope that keeping the kidnappings out of public view may help in the captives’ release.

The Islamic State militant group is so ruthless in its attacks against all people they consider heretics or infidels that it has been disowned by al-Qaida’s leaders.

In seeking to impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law in the lands it is trying to control, the extremists have killed soldiers and civilians alike in horrifying executions – including mounting the decapitated heads of some of its victims on spikes.

The group is the heir apparent of the militancy known as al-Qaida in Iraq, which beheaded many of its victims, including Americans businessman Nicholas Berg in 2004.


US Journalist Beheaded on Video



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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Vile Boast of Jihadi John... I've made My Fortune:
Bragging British Executioners are Sadists, say Ex Hostages... They Tortured us with Tasers


- Britains MI5 & SAS Go After Terrorists


  • British Jihadis have boasted about making large fortunes from kidnapping
  • Some of the terrorists are planning to 'retire' to either Kuwait or Qatar
  • Jihad John even told terrified prisoners about the amount of cash he makes
  • It comes as CCTV emerged of separate extremists strolling through Gatwick
  • Group reportedly flew to Turkey in October last year before crossing border
  • One returned to UK and is now in jail - the other was killed while fighting
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014



British jihadis involved in the brutal beheading of American reporter James Foley
-callously boasted of making personal fortunes from ransoms paid for other released hostages.


British jihadis involved in the brutal beheading of American reporter James Foley callously boasted of making personal fortunes from ransoms paid for other released hostages.
The gang openly talked of making so much money they could ‘retire to Kuwait or Qatar’, according to testimonies by former hostages obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

The revelation comes as CCTV footage emerged reportedly showing the moment five separate British jihadis strolled through the departure lounge of Gatwick Airport on their way to Syria.
One of the extremists pictured at Gatwick is now in jail, while at least one more has been killed while fighting.

All the men were among more than 500 Britons who have enlisted with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, prompting warnings from the Home Secretary that new powers will be introduced to bring British extremists under control.





Chilling: CCTV footage has emerged which reportedly shows five British jihadis walking through Gatwick Airport
-on their way to Syria. Second left is Mashadur Choudhury, far right is Muhammad Hamidur Rahman




Is this Jihadi John? UK police have photographs of several suspects they believe are now working for ISIS.
Pictured is rapper Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, 23, from London





Junaid Hussain, who has a Birmingham accent, is another UK suspect featured on a Jihadi website,
-believed to be linked to the ISIS terrorist organisation. He posts on Twitter under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani



The four Islamic State militants – nicknamed The Beatles by their Western captives – were reported to be ‘interested in money’ from the start of the kidnap ordeal, even bragging to prisoners about how much they were making.

A security source revealed last night that £24 (US$36) million was paid by at least four European countries for the release of 11 hostages last year.



British and US hostages were seen as being in a ‘different category,’ he said – so demands for an £80 ($55) million ransom on Foley were set deliberately high as a provocation.


It has also emerged that:
• Security services believe they are close to identifying the British militants who executed Foley.

• The East Londoners formed a specialist kidnap gang, operating in Syria for up to two years.

• They are thought to have possibly been involved in the seizure of several Westerners, including Foley.

• Their leader was not ‘John’, the left-handed man wielding the knife in the horrific video of Foley’s death, but ‘George’, who goes under the nom-de-guerre of Abu Muhareb (‘Fighter’).

• One former hostage described them as ‘sadistic psychopaths’, regularly handing out brutal ‘punishments’ that included the use of Tasers on hands and bodies.

• They were so vicious that at one stage they were stopped from guarding hostages by IS.

• IS claims it has ‘sleepers’ already in position in the UK and US, ready to strike at any time.







This man is believed to have travelled to Syria from Portsmouth and has similar eyes to Jihadi John


The sickening beheading of Foley, shown off in a slick and distressing propaganda video, highlighted the shameful role being played by British members of Islamic State.

Security services in Britain and the US have drawn up a shortlist of suspects. They believe there may have been more than one killer, since two different knives feature in the footage, but have not yet definitively identified those behind the murder.

The Mail on Sunday has pieced together an unprecedented picture of the British gang’s brutal operation and its savage treatment of seized captives through extensive interviews with hostages, family and security sources.

The detailed investigation also uncovered disturbing details of how the world’s wealthiest terror group is being funded by ransom payments, with £8 million paid for the release of four French hostages alone.

Two years ago, the United States said such payments had become ‘the most significant source of terrorist funding’. Britain and the US refuse to pay ransoms. The disclosure that British militants talked among themselves and with their captives about ‘retiring’ with the money they were making demolishes any idea they are motivated purely by religious fervour.

Our investigation revealed the existence of four Beatles – not three as has been widely reported – nicknamed John, Paul, George and Ringo by their Western captives.





Hunted: Rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, from west London, is one of those who is being investigated by Britain's MI5


The gang’s ringleader was ‘George’, who spent much of his time regurgitating chunks from the Koran and promoting IS’s extremist brand of Islam at public events.
The hostages concluded he was not very smart – unlike ‘John’, who used the nom-de-guerre ‘Abu Saleh’ (‘Pious’) and was seen wielding the knife in the video of Foley’s murder.
‘Ringo’ was also frequently seen, unlike ‘Paul’ who appeared in their cells the least. ‘He seems to have been just a guard, not there all the time,’ said one key figure.

They were also guarded by French-speaking jihadis – at least one of whom was Belgian.


According to these accounts, the British gang spoke among themselves in English, struggling with Arabic when asked to translate statements for victims to read on video.
This led captives to conclude their tormentors were second-generations Britons; they debated whether the extremists were from Pakistani or Somali backgrounds.

One of the jihadis, who posts on Twitter under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani, has been widely reported for several months as being 20-year-old computer hacker Junaid Hussain.
He was just 18 when he was jailed for six months in 2012 for posting sensitive details online about former Prime Minister Tony Blair.





Targets: Some of the militants believed to be with IS who are being hunted by British security services, MI5


Some, but not all, of the Westerners were tortured – with the thuggish British fanatics feared more than other militants for their viciousness. ‘They did the worst stuff in the world,’ said one family source. This violence included beatings and the use of Tasers to give electric shocks.
Hostages said the British militants were removed at one stage for excessive brutality against them.

They said the gang seemed to flit between carrying out kidnap operations on Westerners, fighting on the front line and guarding hostages.
One well-placed source revealed their cars were identified from number plates as being used in ‘multiple’ kidnaps.

‘This appears to be a professional kidnap team,’ he said. ‘There is a good likelihood that some were involved in the kidnapping of many of the Westerners, including Foley.’

The American freelance journalist was seized in November 2012, when kidnappings were starting to take off in Syria.
In the early days of the uprising, journalists were valued for giving voice to rebels seeking democracy.
Reporters and aid workers began being grabbed from the streets by criminal gangs. Most ended in the hands of rebel militia, especially the increasingly-influential jihadist groups who saw them as valuable financial and propaganda tools.

There are at least seven Western hostages – three of them American – currently controlled by IS in North-Eastern Syria. Others are being held by a motley variety of rebel militia and criminal gangs, sometimes claiming to be IS to ramp up ransom payments.

Seized Westerners said they were frequently moved, often every few weeks, and held together in gloomy basements and cellars. The French hostages confirmed to security sources after their release that they had shared cells.





Respected: Foley (pictured) was a freelance contributor to GlobalPost and was kidnapped while in Syria


The hostages were divided over whether The Beatles themselves carried out ransom negotiations, fixed the prices on their heads or wrote chilling emails sent to their families.
Foley, however, was treated differently from the start. He was barred from contact with his family and there was no ransom demand for the first year of his captivity – then when one was sent, it was set preposterously high at £80 million.


American hostages – especially Foley, whose brother was discovered to be serving in the US Air Force – were picked out for the most brutal beatings.

‘From the beginning, they were interested in hitting America,’ one hostage told a friend. ‘The more they can do to point the arrow into America, they more they will do. They think America is evil.’

Nicholas Henin, a French journalist, has described how his fellow captive Foley ‘became the jailers’ punch bag’ yet remained impassive, despite terrible abuse.
Western hostages endure mock executions, are routinely accused of being spies, and are forced to suffer terrifying interrogations.
One European photographer was told he must be a spy since his country had friendly relations with the US government.

The hostages, who could hear air strikes nearby and in at least one prison, were ordered to pray five times a day and were blindfolded even when moved between cells by the British gang.

‘Those guards really want everything to stay secret,’ one hostage told a friend. ‘They used lots of tricks to make sure we didn’t know who they were or where we were.
‘For example, when they entered the room, you faced the wall even if they were masked.’

Western captives were seen as valuable commodities, sometimes being fed better than local inmates.

‘They might keep Americans for special occasions,’ said a Syrian bounty hunter hired to track down hostages.

One local journalist kidnapped by IS and held in their stronghold of Raqqa said they were crammed 20 to 40 in a stinking cell under a municipal building.
He described watching the torture of a fellow prisoner by guards using electric shocks and sticks, while two fellow inmates were publicly executed in a nearby square.


Syrians have been executed by IS for ‘crimes’ such as homosexuality and witchcraft.





The British security services, MI5. have drawn up a shortlist of suspects behind the murder of James Foley


IS kidnaps and buys hostages from other groups, while also raking off a fortune from oil sales. It has become extremely wealthy and well equipped; even captured soldiers in Iraq are held to ransom, with $1 million raised from just 20 troops in one recent case.

A security source with intimate knowledge of Syrian kidnap cases said hostage families were contacted by email with threatening demands for money. ‘In some cases, the negotiators added on fees when families stalled or weren’t able to produce the money,’ he said.

It is understood £8 million was paid to secure the freedom of four French hostages, including war reporter Didier Francois, with another £16 million handed over for the lives of seven other European journalists and aid workers.

‘They usually demand insane ransoms for people, then it gets lowered to a few million,’ said a Syrian source. All governments deny making payments, but an official Italian source privately admitted paying ransoms last week. Most of the cash comes from governments, although families and employers have also contributed.

One hostage said £3 million was paid to free an Italian journalist held with him. Italian diplomats are currently in the region trying to negotiate freedom for two female aid workers.
ISIS is copying tactics honed by rival terror groups.

The New York Times last month revealed Al Qaeda and its affiliates took £75 million from kidnappings over the past six years, with £40 million handed over last year alone.

Yesterday, the United Nations called for concerted action to save thousands of people trapped by the fanatics in the town of Amerli, about 100 miles north of Baghdad.
Most of the town’s 18,000 residents are Turkman Shia, descendants of Ottoman Turks seen as apostates by IS forces that have besieged them for two months. They are in a desperate state, with no electricity or drinking water and are running out of food and medicines.





ISIS has specialised in kidnapping journalists and aid workers to ransom, torture and even murder


Yet IS remains defiant, despite global outrage. A spokesman told The Mail on Sunday that the message from the Foley murder was that they would fight the US ‘by all means necessary – and not just by killing a journalist’ – following US air strikes.
Abu Obiada, a religious official with IS currently fighting on the frontline against Kurds in Iraq, said Foley was killed despite his innocence for the crimes of his country.
Alarmingly, he claimed the bloodstained group already had ‘sleepers’ ready to strike in this country.
‘Our message is to know that we have some people already in the UK and US who are ready to fight them there.’
‘We will attack anyone who stands in the way of an expansion of the Islamic State,’ he said. ‘There is no border we will stop at.’

Last night it was revealed that a British militant fighting for IS has been killed during a daring raid at a military air base in Syria.
Abu Saif Al Britani was among 70 Islamic State terrorists killed as the group attacked the Al-Tabqa airbase in Eastern Syria on Wednesday.
The IS attack on Al-Tabqa was expected for months, as it is the last Syrian army base left in the province of Raqqa.

On Friday, a photograph of Abu Saif’s dead body appeared on the micro-blogging site Twitter, posted by fellow IS terrorists. A tweet in Arabic described Abu Saif as a British Bangladeshi who was in Saudi Arabia teaching English.



Asbos for Terrorists? No, Let's Tell Them Never to Come Back


By DAVID DAVIS

British governments have historically taken an approach to the so-called ‘war on terror’ that has been distinctly un-British – crude, heavy-handed, careless of innocent people’s liberties, and as a result often counterproductive.
Yet our response to the flood of British Muslims that has left these shores to fight in Syria and subsequently Iraq for an Islamic caliphate has been tentative, uncertain, almost limp.

The brutal, ritualised public murder of James Foley has crystallised the psychopathic nature of what these young Britons have signed up to and in some cases actively promoted.





Conservative MP David Davis, pictured, believes that Jihad John and his friends should never return to the UK


The British intelligence agencies presumably knew what was going on. Yet the Home Secretary’s response as recently as yesterday seemed lacking in both focus and urgency. Asbos for terrorists? It is hard to imagine IS killers quaking in their boots over that.

So why have we done so little so far? We should target the young men who have rushed to take up arms on behalf of IS, an organisation that purports to be a state – and a hostile one at that. It is astonishing to me that this action alone is viewed as legal, let alone what they do once there.
Imagine that in my youth during the Cold War, I had gone off to join the Soviet Army with the intent of taking action against NATO, or that my father had gone to join the Nazis in the Second World War. Those actions would quite properly have been viewed as treason.

What these young men have done is worse.

Remember that in this day and age even conventional ‘legal’ wars are essentially industrialised murder.
Civil wars, and the sort of sectarian conflict we are seeing in Iraq and Syria, are even worse, littered with the self-righteous sadism that we saw in the death of James Foley. They are wars without rules.

And be clear. The barbarism we saw in the murder of Foley has been replicated time and again against thousands of innocent Iraqis and Syrians. Beheadings, crucifixions, burials alive have all been carried out against people guilty of no crime, largely for the purpose of feeding the IS propaganda machine.





David Davis said the young men are going to Iraq and Syria to participate in widespread murder and blackmail


These young men are going to Syria to take part in large-scale murder for an organisation with a $2 billion income from extortion, blackmail and theft.
So if it is not illegal already – hard to believe – let us make it so. Going abroad to fight and kill for a cause hostile to Britain and its NATO allies should be against British law and should carry a very heavy sentence. But I would go further than that.

Since these young men are in effect swearing allegiance to a hostile state, they should all forfeit their British citizenship – not just those who are dual nationals. Since this is an incredibly serious penalty, it should be done only after a proper public trial carrying all the public seriousness and opprobrium of a murder trial, because in many cases that is what it would be.
As the Home Secretary reiterated yesterday, lawyers would say you cannot render someone stateless. Perhaps not. Whitehall lawyers have been wrong before. Democracies have a right to defend themselves.

IS is claiming to be a state. They can issue these young men with Islamic State passports if they so wish. It is not our problem that they would have trouble getting into any civilised country with them. Neither will it be our problem any more if ISIL ceases to exist.
We must face head-on the paradox that these men can burn their British passports on TV and deny their legal allegiance to Britain, yet our nation cannot say to them, in effect: ‘OK, never come back.’

The result would be that these young men would suddenly find their trip to Syria is no longer a short violent holiday but a life sentence to the lifestyle they claim to espouse, complete with Sharia law and a desert climate. We are at a moment of decision. We can change or clarify British law to make the evil actions of these young men illegal and to make the penalty fit the crime: expulsion from the society they claim to reject.
We can do this in British courts and in doing so proclaim to the world that we are a tolerant society, but that we will not tolerate sadism and murder in the name of religion.

Or we can fail to grasp the nettle, let some of these murderers back and try to deal with the subsequent problems. This will allow some of these men to put their new ‘skills’ to further ill use, with potentially terrible consequences for our countrymen, resulting in ethnic suspicion and the social poison that will flow from that.


An Unknown British Jihadist Gives a Tour of his Living Quarters:




Continued...

SAS High-Tech Hunt for the ISIS Killers: 'Significant Force' of UK Elite Troops on Ground in Syria and Iraq

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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

Vile Boast of Jihadi John... I've made My Fortune:
Bragging British Executioners are Sadists, say Ex Hostages... They Tortured us with Tasers


- Britains MI5 & SAS Go After Terrorists


  • British Jihadis have boasted about making large fortunes from kidnapping
  • Some of the terrorists are planning to 'retire' to either Kuwait or Qatar
  • Jihad John even told terrified prisoners about the amount of cash he makes
  • It comes as CCTV emerged of separate extremists strolling through Gatwick
  • Group reportedly flew to Turkey in October last year before crossing border
  • One returned to UK and is now in jail - the other was killed while fighting
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014



British jihadis involved in the brutal beheading of American reporter James Foley
-callously boasted of making personal fortunes from ransoms paid for other released hostages.


British jihadis involved in the brutal beheading of American reporter James Foley callously boasted of making personal fortunes from ransoms paid for other released hostages.
The gang openly talked of making so much money they could ‘retire to Kuwait or Qatar’, according to testimonies by former hostages obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

The revelation comes as CCTV footage emerged reportedly showing the moment five separate British jihadis strolled through the departure lounge of Gatwick Airport on their way to Syria.
One of the extremists pictured at Gatwick is now in jail, while at least one more has been killed while fighting.

All the men were among more than 500 Britons who have enlisted with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, prompting warnings from the Home Secretary that new powers will be introduced to bring British extremists under control.





Chilling: CCTV footage has emerged which reportedly shows five British jihadis walking through Gatwick Airport
-on their way to Syria. Second left is Mashadur Choudhury, far right is Muhammad Hamidur Rahman




Is this Jihadi John? UK police have photographs of several suspects they believe are now working for ISIS.
Pictured is rapper Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, 23, from London





Junaid Hussain, who has a Birmingham accent, is another UK suspect featured on a Jihadi website,
-believed to be linked to the ISIS terrorist organisation. He posts on Twitter under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani



The four Islamic State militants – nicknamed The Beatles by their Western captives – were reported to be ‘interested in money’ from the start of the kidnap ordeal, even bragging to prisoners about how much they were making.

A security source revealed last night that £24 (US$36) million was paid by at least four European countries for the release of 11 hostages last year.



British and US hostages were seen as being in a ‘different category,’ he said – so demands for an £80 ($55) million ransom on Foley were set deliberately high as a provocation.


It has also emerged that:
• Security services believe they are close to identifying the British militants who executed Foley.

• The East Londoners formed a specialist kidnap gang, operating in Syria for up to two years.

• They are thought to have possibly been involved in the seizure of several Westerners, including Foley.

• Their leader was not ‘John’, the left-handed man wielding the knife in the horrific video of Foley’s death, but ‘George’, who goes under the nom-de-guerre of Abu Muhareb (‘Fighter’).

• One former hostage described them as ‘sadistic psychopaths’, regularly handing out brutal ‘punishments’ that included the use of Tasers on hands and bodies.

• They were so vicious that at one stage they were stopped from guarding hostages by IS.

• IS claims it has ‘sleepers’ already in position in the UK and US, ready to strike at any time.







This man is believed to have travelled to Syria from Portsmouth and has similar eyes to Jihadi John


The sickening beheading of Foley, shown off in a slick and distressing propaganda video, highlighted the shameful role being played by British members of Islamic State.

Security services in Britain and the US have drawn up a shortlist of suspects. They believe there may have been more than one killer, since two different knives feature in the footage, but have not yet definitively identified those behind the murder.

The Mail on Sunday has pieced together an unprecedented picture of the British gang’s brutal operation and its savage treatment of seized captives through extensive interviews with hostages, family and security sources.

The detailed investigation also uncovered disturbing details of how the world’s wealthiest terror group is being funded by ransom payments, with £8 million paid for the release of four French hostages alone.

Two years ago, the United States said such payments had become ‘the most significant source of terrorist funding’. Britain and the US refuse to pay ransoms. The disclosure that British militants talked among themselves and with their captives about ‘retiring’ with the money they were making demolishes any idea they are motivated purely by religious fervour.

Our investigation revealed the existence of four Beatles – not three as has been widely reported – nicknamed John, Paul, George and Ringo by their Western captives.





Hunted: Rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, from west London, is one of those who is being investigated by Britain's MI5


The gang’s ringleader was ‘George’, who spent much of his time regurgitating chunks from the Koran and promoting IS’s extremist brand of Islam at public events.
The hostages concluded he was not very smart – unlike ‘John’, who used the nom-de-guerre ‘Abu Saleh’ (‘Pious’) and was seen wielding the knife in the video of Foley’s murder.
‘Ringo’ was also frequently seen, unlike ‘Paul’ who appeared in their cells the least. ‘He seems to have been just a guard, not there all the time,’ said one key figure.

They were also guarded by French-speaking jihadis – at least one of whom was Belgian.


According to these accounts, the British gang spoke among themselves in English, struggling with Arabic when asked to translate statements for victims to read on video.
This led captives to conclude their tormentors were second-generations Britons; they debated whether the extremists were from Pakistani or Somali backgrounds.

One of the jihadis, who posts on Twitter under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani, has been widely reported for several months as being 20-year-old computer hacker Junaid Hussain.
He was just 18 when he was jailed for six months in 2012 for posting sensitive details online about former Prime Minister Tony Blair.





Targets: Some of the militants believed to be with IS who are being hunted by British security services, MI5


Some, but not all, of the Westerners were tortured – with the thuggish British fanatics feared more than other militants for their viciousness. ‘They did the worst stuff in the world,’ said one family source. This violence included beatings and the use of Tasers to give electric shocks.
Hostages said the British militants were removed at one stage for excessive brutality against them.

They said the gang seemed to flit between carrying out kidnap operations on Westerners, fighting on the front line and guarding hostages.
One well-placed source revealed their cars were identified from number plates as being used in ‘multiple’ kidnaps.

‘This appears to be a professional kidnap team,’ he said. ‘There is a good likelihood that some were involved in the kidnapping of many of the Westerners, including Foley.’

The American freelance journalist was seized in November 2012, when kidnappings were starting to take off in Syria.
In the early days of the uprising, journalists were valued for giving voice to rebels seeking democracy.
Reporters and aid workers began being grabbed from the streets by criminal gangs. Most ended in the hands of rebel militia, especially the increasingly-influential jihadist groups who saw them as valuable financial and propaganda tools.

There are at least seven Western hostages – three of them American – currently controlled by IS in North-Eastern Syria. Others are being held by a motley variety of rebel militia and criminal gangs, sometimes claiming to be IS to ramp up ransom payments.

Seized Westerners said they were frequently moved, often every few weeks, and held together in gloomy basements and cellars. The French hostages confirmed to security sources after their release that they had shared cells.





Respected: Foley (pictured) was a freelance contributor to GlobalPost and was kidnapped while in Syria


The hostages were divided over whether The Beatles themselves carried out ransom negotiations, fixed the prices on their heads or wrote chilling emails sent to their families.
Foley, however, was treated differently from the start. He was barred from contact with his family and there was no ransom demand for the first year of his captivity – then when one was sent, it was set preposterously high at £80 million.


American hostages – especially Foley, whose brother was discovered to be serving in the US Air Force – were picked out for the most brutal beatings.

‘From the beginning, they were interested in hitting America,’ one hostage told a friend. ‘The more they can do to point the arrow into America, they more they will do. They think America is evil.’

Nicholas Henin, a French journalist, has described how his fellow captive Foley ‘became the jailers’ punch bag’ yet remained impassive, despite terrible abuse.
Western hostages endure mock executions, are routinely accused of being spies, and are forced to suffer terrifying interrogations.
One European photographer was told he must be a spy since his country had friendly relations with the US government.

The hostages, who could hear air strikes nearby and in at least one prison, were ordered to pray five times a day and were blindfolded even when moved between cells by the British gang.

‘Those guards really want everything to stay secret,’ one hostage told a friend. ‘They used lots of tricks to make sure we didn’t know who they were or where we were.
‘For example, when they entered the room, you faced the wall even if they were masked.’

Western captives were seen as valuable commodities, sometimes being fed better than local inmates.

‘They might keep Americans for special occasions,’ said a Syrian bounty hunter hired to track down hostages.

One local journalist kidnapped by IS and held in their stronghold of Raqqa said they were crammed 20 to 40 in a stinking cell under a municipal building.
He described watching the torture of a fellow prisoner by guards using electric shocks and sticks, while two fellow inmates were publicly executed in a nearby square.


Syrians have been executed by IS for ‘crimes’ such as homosexuality and witchcraft.





The British security services, MI5. have drawn up a shortlist of suspects behind the murder of James Foley


IS kidnaps and buys hostages from other groups, while also raking off a fortune from oil sales. It has become extremely wealthy and well equipped; even captured soldiers in Iraq are held to ransom, with $1 million raised from just 20 troops in one recent case.

A security source with intimate knowledge of Syrian kidnap cases said hostage families were contacted by email with threatening demands for money. ‘In some cases, the negotiators added on fees when families stalled or weren’t able to produce the money,’ he said.

It is understood £8 million was paid to secure the freedom of four French hostages, including war reporter Didier Francois, with another £16 million handed over for the lives of seven other European journalists and aid workers.

‘They usually demand insane ransoms for people, then it gets lowered to a few million,’ said a Syrian source. All governments deny making payments, but an official Italian source privately admitted paying ransoms last week. Most of the cash comes from governments, although families and employers have also contributed.

One hostage said £3 million was paid to free an Italian journalist held with him. Italian diplomats are currently in the region trying to negotiate freedom for two female aid workers.
ISIS is copying tactics honed by rival terror groups.

The New York Times last month revealed Al Qaeda and its affiliates took £75 million from kidnappings over the past six years, with £40 million handed over last year alone.

Yesterday, the United Nations called for concerted action to save thousands of people trapped by the fanatics in the town of Amerli, about 100 miles north of Baghdad.
Most of the town’s 18,000 residents are Turkman Shia, descendants of Ottoman Turks seen as apostates by IS forces that have besieged them for two months. They are in a desperate state, with no electricity or drinking water and are running out of food and medicines.





ISIS has specialised in kidnapping journalists and aid workers to ransom, torture and even murder


Yet IS remains defiant, despite global outrage. A spokesman told The Mail on Sunday that the message from the Foley murder was that they would fight the US ‘by all means necessary – and not just by killing a journalist’ – following US air strikes.
Abu Obiada, a religious official with IS currently fighting on the frontline against Kurds in Iraq, said Foley was killed despite his innocence for the crimes of his country.
Alarmingly, he claimed the bloodstained group already had ‘sleepers’ ready to strike in this country.
‘Our message is to know that we have some people already in the UK and US who are ready to fight them there.’
‘We will attack anyone who stands in the way of an expansion of the Islamic State,’ he said. ‘There is no border we will stop at.’

Last night it was revealed that a British militant fighting for IS has been killed during a daring raid at a military air base in Syria.
Abu Saif Al Britani was among 70 Islamic State terrorists killed as the group attacked the Al-Tabqa airbase in Eastern Syria on Wednesday.
The IS attack on Al-Tabqa was expected for months, as it is the last Syrian army base left in the province of Raqqa.

On Friday, a photograph of Abu Saif’s dead body appeared on the micro-blogging site Twitter, posted by fellow IS terrorists. A tweet in Arabic described Abu Saif as a British Bangladeshi who was in Saudi Arabia teaching English.



Asbos for Terrorists? No, Let's Tell Them Never to Come Back


By DAVID DAVIS

British governments have historically taken an approach to the so-called ‘war on terror’ that has been distinctly un-British – crude, heavy-handed, careless of innocent people’s liberties, and as a result often counterproductive.
Yet our response to the flood of British Muslims that has left these shores to fight in Syria and subsequently Iraq for an Islamic caliphate has been tentative, uncertain, almost limp.

The brutal, ritualised public murder of James Foley has crystallised the psychopathic nature of what these young Britons have signed up to and in some cases actively promoted.





Conservative MP David Davis, pictured, believes that Jihad John and his friends should never return to the UK


The British intelligence agencies presumably knew what was going on. Yet the Home Secretary’s response as recently as yesterday seemed lacking in both focus and urgency. Asbos for terrorists? It is hard to imagine IS killers quaking in their boots over that.

So why have we done so little so far? We should target the young men who have rushed to take up arms on behalf of IS, an organisation that purports to be a state – and a hostile one at that. It is astonishing to me that this action alone is viewed as legal, let alone what they do once there.
Imagine that in my youth during the Cold War, I had gone off to join the Soviet Army with the intent of taking action against NATO, or that my father had gone to join the Nazis in the Second World War. Those actions would quite properly have been viewed as treason.

What these young men have done is worse.

Remember that in this day and age even conventional ‘legal’ wars are essentially industrialised murder.
Civil wars, and the sort of sectarian conflict we are seeing in Iraq and Syria, are even worse, littered with the self-righteous sadism that we saw in the death of James Foley. They are wars without rules.

And be clear. The barbarism we saw in the murder of Foley has been replicated time and again against thousands of innocent Iraqis and Syrians. Beheadings, crucifixions, burials alive have all been carried out against people guilty of no crime, largely for the purpose of feeding the IS propaganda machine.





David Davis said the young men are going to Iraq and Syria to participate in widespread murder and blackmail


These young men are going to Syria to take part in large-scale murder for an organisation with a $2 billion income from extortion, blackmail and theft.
So if it is not illegal already – hard to believe – let us make it so. Going abroad to fight and kill for a cause hostile to Britain and its NATO allies should be against British law and should carry a very heavy sentence. But I would go further than that.

Since these young men are in effect swearing allegiance to a hostile state, they should all forfeit their British citizenship – not just those who are dual nationals. Since this is an incredibly serious penalty, it should be done only after a proper public trial carrying all the public seriousness and opprobrium of a murder trial, because in many cases that is what it would be.
As the Home Secretary reiterated yesterday, lawyers would say you cannot render someone stateless. Perhaps not. Whitehall lawyers have been wrong before. Democracies have a right to defend themselves.

IS is claiming to be a state. They can issue these young men with Islamic State passports if they so wish. It is not our problem that they would have trouble getting into any civilised country with them. Neither will it be our problem any more if ISIL ceases to exist.
We must face head-on the paradox that these men can burn their British passports on TV and deny their legal allegiance to Britain, yet our nation cannot say to them, in effect: ‘OK, never come back.’

The result would be that these young men would suddenly find their trip to Syria is no longer a short violent holiday but a life sentence to the lifestyle they claim to espouse, complete with Sharia law and a desert climate. We are at a moment of decision. We can change or clarify British law to make the evil actions of these young men illegal and to make the penalty fit the crime: expulsion from the society they claim to reject.
We can do this in British courts and in doing so proclaim to the world that we are a tolerant society, but that we will not tolerate sadism and murder in the name of religion.

Or we can fail to grasp the nettle, let some of these murderers back and try to deal with the subsequent problems. This will allow some of these men to put their new ‘skills’ to further ill use, with potentially terrible consequences for our countrymen, resulting in ethnic suspicion and the social poison that will flow from that.


An Unknown British Jihadist Gives a Tour of his Living Quarters:




Continued...

SAS High-Tech Hunt for the ISIS Killers: 'Significant Force' of UK Elite Troops on Ground in Syria and Iraq

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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

SAS in High-Tech Hunt for Jihadi John:
-'Significant Force' of Elite UK Troops on the Ground as MI5 Identify James Foley's Sickening Killer

  • The SAS and Special Reconnaissance Regiment have been deployed to Iraq and Syria
  • The elite soldiers have been tasked to hunt down Isis terrorist 'Jihad John'
  • A range of high-tech surveillance tools are being used to narrow the search
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014


British Special Forces hunting the killer of James Foley are using an array of sophisticated equipment to track him down – and possibly free other hostages being held.


The Mail on Sunday has been given a detailed account of how elite troops from the SAS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) are conducting high-tech operations inside Syria and Iraq, which could lead to the capture of the extremists within days.
It emerged as reports suggested that British intelligence services had identified the true identity of the terrorist who beheaded Mr Foley – as seen in a video which shocked the world - known as 'Jihadi John'.




The SAS team tasked with hunting down the ISIS terrorists will use hand-launched surveillance drones




Elite force: The SAS are experts in desert warfare having conducted operations in the Middle East for decades.
Pictured are a heavily armed British Special Forces patrol in Afghanistan in 2001


The Mail on Sunday has been told that in the past 48 hours a ‘significant force’ of SAS soldiers and signallers have deployed to Syria and northern Iraq, joining Iraqi and Kurdish units fighting IS.

They have separated into four-man teams and are accompanying local troops in an attempt to capture British jihadis, identify them and establish links to Jihadi John.
A key suspect is 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who until a year ago lived with his family in their £1m home in the affluent London area of Maida Vale, but recently appeared on social media grasping a severed head, an anonymous government source told The Sunday Times.

Once a British jihadi is in custody, samples will be taken of the suspect’s blood and DNA – vital in the case of UK extremists because the information can be matched to medical records. For identification purposes, a photograph is also taken of the iris – the visible coloured ring around the pupil – which is unique.


One SAS source said: ‘It is possible to identify British jihadis on the battlefield by intercepting their radio messages. When they’re captured by the Iraqis or Kurds we’ll take a close interest in their questioning.
‘Gathering information such as their blood group and DNA, as well as voice recordings in either Arabic or English, will help us zero in on Jihadi John because it can be compared with existing data.’





Public Enemy Number 1: The SAS have been ordered to find out the British born terrorist 'Jihad John'


From the battleground this information is sent via a portable satellite manned by a soldier from 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron, who beams it to a spy plane, such as the ‘Rivet Joint’ aircraft, circling overhead.
Inside Rivet Joint, a 17-man team processes the information and sends it back to GCHQ, the Government’s secret communications headquarters at Cheltenham. Here it is analysed and matched against records of British jihadis believed to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, before ‘feedback information’ is sent to SAS teams.

GCHQ’s library is believed to include recordings of thousands of voices taken from phone and radio intercepts. Meanwhile, on the Turkish-Syrian border, SRR soldiers fly drones into IS strongholds and give live details of their movements.

Such a detailed study of their bases is intended to prevent a repeat of the US Special Forces mission last month which failed to find any hostages.
American Delta Force troops raided an IS base at Uqayrishah in northern Syria, but were forced to retreat after a gun battle with terrorists.



The SRR’s drones can fly for up to 24 hours, climbing to an altitude of more than 18,000ft. From here they are able to survey hundreds of miles of territory occupied by IS fighters, including the city of Raqqa, where it is believed several Western hostages have been held.
Intelligence gathered will be used in the planning stages ahead of any incursion by SRR troops into Syria.

A source added: ‘The SRR is using strategic drones, which provide an overview of the ground, and tactical drones which can look over the walls of buildings and provide sharp pictures of suspects’ faces.
‘The ground inside Syria and Iraq is well known to British Special Forces after the previous Gulf wars. In 2008, the SAS destroyed the Al Qaeda-Iraq leadership and we’re confident we can do the same to IS.’

A UK Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘We do not comment on Special Forces operations.’






The SAS are using a range of high tech surveillance techniques on the hunt for 'Jihad John' and his friends


James's last letter... I'll be home for sister's wedding

By Caroline Graham

James Foley’s last loving message to his family was memorised by a fellow hostage, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Danish photojournalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, 25, spent 13 months imprisoned alongside Foley and painstakingly committed to memory a lengthy final letter in which the American spoke hopefully about being freed in time to celebrate his sister’s wedding next year.
When Ottosen was released in June, his first call was to Foley’s mum Diane, when he dictated the lengthy letter to her.
His act of love and courage was revealed by the Foley family’s priest of 30 years, Father Marc Montminy, who said: ‘Jim was never allowed to send a letter like the other hostages because he was an American. Jim related the letter to the Danish hostage and he memorised it.





James Foley, pictured, vowed to a fellow hostage that he would make it home to his sister's wedding

‘Jim mentioned every family member and how much he loved them. He mentioned his mother, his father and his grandmother, who he was very close to.
‘He mentioned his brothers and his sisters and his nieces and nephews.
‘He said he loved them all and he knew they loved him and were praying for him and fighting for his release. He ended on a hopeful note by saying he’d be there for [Foley’s sister] Katie’s wedding.
‘She had just got engaged when he left for Syria so he must always have had hope he would come home.’
James’s mother Diane flew to Copenhagen the week before her son was executed to meet with Ottosen, according to the boss of the Boston-based online news organisation Foley was working for when he was snatched in November 2012.

Phil Balboni, CEO of GlobalPost, told how Diane developed a ‘close bond’ with the families of other hostages still in captivity and met up with released hostages from France and Spain who had been held by the same group of British jihadis dubbed The Beatles.

‘She went to Copenhagen to meet with the Danish journalist who memorised the letter. He provided new details of his time with Jim. All of the released hostages spoke of Jim’s courage. He was subjected to the most abuse and torture because he was American but they never broke his spirit.
‘Diane has become extremely close to the families of other Western hostages who are still in captivity. They share a special and very close bond.’




James Foley, pictured, was murdered by a masked ISIS terrorist with a British accent called 'Jihad John'


Balboni described Diane as ‘a woman on a mission’ to save her son from the moment the first email arrived from his captors on November 26, 2013.

‘The email was sent to me and to Jim’s brother Michael. It was brief. It said “We’re holding James. We’re prepared to negotiate for his release. We need money – FAST.”
‘They had all of Jim’s cellphone contacts which is how they got our email addresses.
‘There were more emails, five or six in all. They gave us the opportunity to ask proof-of-life questions, obscure family references impossible for anyone but Jim to answer. That was in early December, 2013. We felt great hope.’

In one email, the terrorists made their sole demand – for £80 million and the release of Muslim prisoners held by the US.
Balboni said the family had raised almost £3 million in ransom money. But then the terrorists stopped communicating.

After months of silence, the Foleys received a final email, dated August 12 – a hate-filled rant full of rudimentary spelling errors in which the jihadis vowed to execute Foley saying

‘You (America) and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!
‘The first of which being the blood of the American citizen James Foley! He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!’
The email may have been written by ‘John’, the British jihadi who beheaded Foley, reports claim.

A memorial service for James Foley will take place today at the family’s church, Holy Rosary, near their home in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Continued - INFORMANTS REPORTS ON JAMES FOLEY'S KILLERS:

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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

SAS in High-Tech Hunt for Jihadi John:
-'Significant Force' of Elite UK Troops on the Ground as MI5 Identify James Foley's Sickening Killer

  • The SAS and Special Reconnaissance Regiment have been deployed to Iraq and Syria
  • The elite soldiers have been tasked to hunt down Isis terrorist 'Jihad John'
  • A range of high-tech surveillance tools are being used to narrow the search
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014


British Special Forces hunting the killer of James Foley are using an array of sophisticated equipment to track him down – and possibly free other hostages being held.


The Mail on Sunday has been given a detailed account of how elite troops from the SAS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) are conducting high-tech operations inside Syria and Iraq, which could lead to the capture of the extremists within days.
It emerged as reports suggested that British intelligence services had identified the true identity of the terrorist who beheaded Mr Foley – as seen in a video which shocked the world - known as 'Jihadi John'.




The SAS team tasked with hunting down the ISIS terrorists will use hand-launched surveillance drones




Elite force: The SAS are experts in desert warfare having conducted operations in the Middle East for decades.
Pictured are a heavily armed British Special Forces patrol in Afghanistan in 2001


The Mail on Sunday has been told that in the past 48 hours a ‘significant force’ of SAS soldiers and signallers have deployed to Syria and northern Iraq, joining Iraqi and Kurdish units fighting IS.

They have separated into four-man teams and are accompanying local troops in an attempt to capture British jihadis, identify them and establish links to Jihadi John.
A key suspect is 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who until a year ago lived with his family in their £1m home in the affluent London area of Maida Vale, but recently appeared on social media grasping a severed head, an anonymous government source told The Sunday Times.

Once a British jihadi is in custody, samples will be taken of the suspect’s blood and DNA – vital in the case of UK extremists because the information can be matched to medical records. For identification purposes, a photograph is also taken of the iris – the visible coloured ring around the pupil – which is unique.


One SAS source said: ‘It is possible to identify British jihadis on the battlefield by intercepting their radio messages. When they’re captured by the Iraqis or Kurds we’ll take a close interest in their questioning.
‘Gathering information such as their blood group and DNA, as well as voice recordings in either Arabic or English, will help us zero in on Jihadi John because it can be compared with existing data.’





Public Enemy Number 1: The SAS have been ordered to find out the British born terrorist 'Jihad John'


From the battleground this information is sent via a portable satellite manned by a soldier from 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron, who beams it to a spy plane, such as the ‘Rivet Joint’ aircraft, circling overhead.
Inside Rivet Joint, a 17-man team processes the information and sends it back to GCHQ, the Government’s secret communications headquarters at Cheltenham. Here it is analysed and matched against records of British jihadis believed to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, before ‘feedback information’ is sent to SAS teams.

GCHQ’s library is believed to include recordings of thousands of voices taken from phone and radio intercepts. Meanwhile, on the Turkish-Syrian border, SRR soldiers fly drones into IS strongholds and give live details of their movements.

Such a detailed study of their bases is intended to prevent a repeat of the US Special Forces mission last month which failed to find any hostages.
American Delta Force troops raided an IS base at Uqayrishah in northern Syria, but were forced to retreat after a gun battle with terrorists.



The SRR’s drones can fly for up to 24 hours, climbing to an altitude of more than 18,000ft. From here they are able to survey hundreds of miles of territory occupied by IS fighters, including the city of Raqqa, where it is believed several Western hostages have been held.
Intelligence gathered will be used in the planning stages ahead of any incursion by SRR troops into Syria.

A source added: ‘The SRR is using strategic drones, which provide an overview of the ground, and tactical drones which can look over the walls of buildings and provide sharp pictures of suspects’ faces.
‘The ground inside Syria and Iraq is well known to British Special Forces after the previous Gulf wars. In 2008, the SAS destroyed the Al Qaeda-Iraq leadership and we’re confident we can do the same to IS.’

A UK Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘We do not comment on Special Forces operations.’






The SAS are using a range of high tech surveillance techniques on the hunt for 'Jihad John' and his friends


James's last letter... I'll be home for sister's wedding

By Caroline Graham

James Foley’s last loving message to his family was memorised by a fellow hostage, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Danish photojournalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, 25, spent 13 months imprisoned alongside Foley and painstakingly committed to memory a lengthy final letter in which the American spoke hopefully about being freed in time to celebrate his sister’s wedding next year.
When Ottosen was released in June, his first call was to Foley’s mum Diane, when he dictated the lengthy letter to her.
His act of love and courage was revealed by the Foley family’s priest of 30 years, Father Marc Montminy, who said: ‘Jim was never allowed to send a letter like the other hostages because he was an American. Jim related the letter to the Danish hostage and he memorised it.





James Foley, pictured, vowed to a fellow hostage that he would make it home to his sister's wedding

‘Jim mentioned every family member and how much he loved them. He mentioned his mother, his father and his grandmother, who he was very close to.
‘He mentioned his brothers and his sisters and his nieces and nephews.
‘He said he loved them all and he knew they loved him and were praying for him and fighting for his release. He ended on a hopeful note by saying he’d be there for [Foley’s sister] Katie’s wedding.
‘She had just got engaged when he left for Syria so he must always have had hope he would come home.’
James’s mother Diane flew to Copenhagen the week before her son was executed to meet with Ottosen, according to the boss of the Boston-based online news organisation Foley was working for when he was snatched in November 2012.

Phil Balboni, CEO of GlobalPost, told how Diane developed a ‘close bond’ with the families of other hostages still in captivity and met up with released hostages from France and Spain who had been held by the same group of British jihadis dubbed The Beatles.

‘She went to Copenhagen to meet with the Danish journalist who memorised the letter. He provided new details of his time with Jim. All of the released hostages spoke of Jim’s courage. He was subjected to the most abuse and torture because he was American but they never broke his spirit.
‘Diane has become extremely close to the families of other Western hostages who are still in captivity. They share a special and very close bond.’




James Foley, pictured, was murdered by a masked ISIS terrorist with a British accent called 'Jihad John'


Balboni described Diane as ‘a woman on a mission’ to save her son from the moment the first email arrived from his captors on November 26, 2013.

‘The email was sent to me and to Jim’s brother Michael. It was brief. It said “We’re holding James. We’re prepared to negotiate for his release. We need money – FAST.”
‘They had all of Jim’s cellphone contacts which is how they got our email addresses.
‘There were more emails, five or six in all. They gave us the opportunity to ask proof-of-life questions, obscure family references impossible for anyone but Jim to answer. That was in early December, 2013. We felt great hope.’

In one email, the terrorists made their sole demand – for £80 million and the release of Muslim prisoners held by the US.
Balboni said the family had raised almost £3 million in ransom money. But then the terrorists stopped communicating.

After months of silence, the Foleys received a final email, dated August 12 – a hate-filled rant full of rudimentary spelling errors in which the jihadis vowed to execute Foley saying

‘You (America) and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!
‘The first of which being the blood of the American citizen James Foley! He will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!’
The email may have been written by ‘John’, the British jihadi who beheaded Foley, reports claim.

A memorial service for James Foley will take place today at the family’s church, Holy Rosary, near their home in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Continued - INFORMANTS REPORTS ON JAMES FOLEY'S KILLERS:

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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

INFORMANTS REPORTS ON JAMES FOLEY'S KILLERS:

'I Know ISIS Butcher known as John the Jailer': French Former Hostage says he has a 'Rough' Idea Who Masked British Jihadi is

  • Jihadist 'John' filmed murdering James Foley in Islamic State video
  • Security services are close to establishing extremist Londoner's identity
  • Former MI6 chief said he will be identified and grabbed by special forces
  • Didier Francois - former ISIS hostage - says he can see who killer is in film
  • Also witnessed mock execution where Foley was 'crucified against wall'
  • James Foley was regularly beaten because his brother was in U.S. Force
  • U.S. and Britain accused of putting citizens at risk by refusing ransoms
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014


A Frenchman who was held captive with murdered American journalist James Foley for months said today he has a ‘rough’ idea who his executioner is.
Didier Francois said a video of the suspected British jihadist stirred painful memories of being chained up in the dark with Mr Foley and other ISIS hostages in Syria.

It came as a former MI6 chief said the British jihadist will be identified and the SAS has been sent to Syria to 'bring him to justice'.
The suspect accused of murdering the reporter has been named as 'John' - one of a gang of British jihadis known as ‘The Beatles’ who are guarding western hostages for ISIS.
Mr Francois, a 53-year-old reporter with radio station Europe 1, said: ‘Recognised is a very big word, but I see roughly who it is.’

Scroll down for video







Manhunt: The face of the masked British killer from the IS video, who Didier Francois,
-a Frenchman held captive by him and pictured on his release in April, says has a 'rough' idea of who he is



For two-and-a-half months, Mr Francois was chained to fellow French hostages, Nicolas Henin, Edouard Elias, and Pierre Torres. They were released in April after France paid a ransom.

Mr Henin said today that Mr Foley was beaten more than any other hostage because he was an American and ISIS knew his brother was in the U.S. Air Force, and in one incident he was 'crucified against a wall', it has emerged.

The killer spoke in a distinctive English accent and his eyes and build are clearly visible in a propaganda video in which he cuts Mr Foley’s head off.
Mr Francois spent eight months with Mr Foley as a captive in Syria, enduring most of that time in underground cells with no natural light.

Mr Francois said he had never spoken publicly about James Foley or the remaining American hostage, Steven Sotloff, before because of threats of reprisals.
Mr Francois said he was told by his captors: ‘If you make public the fact they are being held or that you were together, reprisals will follow against them. Their exact words were: “They’ll be punished”’.

Mr Foley had been singled out for beatings, said Mr Francois, after his captors found pictures on his computer of his brother, who works for the US Air Force.
He said that Mr Foley was subjected to mock executions, including one in which he was ‘crucified against a wall’.
Paying tribute to the American, Mr Francois said: ‘He was an extraordinary guy – a companion in imprisonment who was very agreeable, very solid.’




The man identified as James Foley speaks, giving a message to his family
-and linking his imminent death to the US government's bombing campaign of IS targets in Iraq





Obscene: A video uploaded on Tuesday showed the IS fighter - called 'John' - murdering Mr Foley with a knife




Mr Henin became tearful said the murdered journalist shared his food and blanket.


'JAMES WAS BEATEN MORE BECAUSE HE WAS AMERICAN', SAYS PRISONER CHAINED TO JOURNALIST



Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity and was released in April


James Foley was beaten more than any other hostage because he was an American and ISIS knew his brother was in the U.S. Air Force, a fellow prisoner said today.
French journalist Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity with the murdered journalist in Syria, including a week handcuffed together.
Mr Henin, who was released in April this year, believes Foley was always seen as 'some kind of scapegoat' by his captors, who were led by his British killer ‘John’ – ringleader of a gang of British jihadis known as ‘The Beatles’ guarding western hostages for ISIS.

'Being an American he was probably more targeted by the kidnappers. Well, he would be beaten a bit more probably, he was some kind of scapegoat. And The kidnappers knew that his brother was in the U.S. Air Force’.
He added: ‘He became the whipping-boy of the jailers but remained unperturbed’.
Speaking about the conditions they were kept in together he said: ‘'The conditions were often quite basic and were sometimes quite difficult.
‘We were in extremely narrow rooms and were taken to the bathroom two to three times a day. For emergencies were had a few bottles and a bucket in the corner’.

Mr Henin paid tribute to his former colleague and friend, saying he had been generous with other captives if they were cold or hungry.
He said he was horrified by Mr Foley's killing, but added that he will focus on positive memories from their time together.
'I will try to just remember few, very few opportunities we had to laugh loud together - and it did happen actually a couple of times,' he said.
When asked why he was released but Mr Foley was not he said: ‘Some countries like America but also like the UK do not negotiate and, well, they put their people at risk.’

He said: 'We spent seven months in a very extreme situation together, including for one week we were handcuffed one to the other day and night.
'In circumstances where you are held captive you develop some kind of survival instincts, meaning that, for instance, you try to grab everything that you can find.
'James was the total opposite. He was so truly generous. Basically everything he could share, he would share it. If we were cold, and we were missing blankets, he would share his blanket.
'If we were starving and missing food, he would share his ration.'

Richard Barrett, who was head of counter-terrorism for the security services at the time of 9/11, said he is convinced the murderer - now considered the world's most wanted man - will be arrested and taken back to Britain for trial 'sooner or later'.
Mr Barratt told the Today Programme: 'They will be able to identify him, although there are four or five hundred people who have gone from all over the United Kingdom many of them have made their presence there known.
'I think the community will be able recognise this person and I am sure many in the community will be keen to do so.
'I mean the intelligence community certainly but also the community from which this man comes, he will have had many acquaintances and friends in the United Kingdom and those people will wish to see him brought to justice.'

He agreed that once he is identified the course of action would likely be to send special forces to grab him.
He added: 'This is probably a relatively young man and he has a relatively long life ahead of him, perhaps, if he doesn’t get killed quickly in Iraq or Syria and therefore sooner or later he is going to be vulnerable to arrest or some sort interdiction and brought before the courts'
'I don’t think anyone is prepared to forget this sort of crime and therefore the long arm of justice will eventually catch him.'

A massive manhunt has been launched after a former hostage said he believed the masked Islamic State maniac was a Londoner he had known as ‘John’.

The security services are also close to establishing the identity of the killer who cut James Foley’s throat in a horrific propaganda video.
Said to be a senior Islamic State operative, he was trusted earlier this year to negotiate a hostage exchange.

Yesterday, further evidence emerged of the prominent role British jihadis are playing in Iraq.
Some celebrated and joked about Mr Foley’s murder, with one woman fighter volunteering to be the next to kill a UK or US captive.

Experts warned Britons are among the most vicious of the Islamic State’s fanatics and one may have been chosen to carry out the killing because of the global impact it would have. In other developments:
  • The Foreign Secretary again warned British jihadis could return to kill here;
  • Military chiefs warned of more killings and called for Government action;
  • Barack Obama said ‘no just God would stand for what the Islamic State did’;
  • Muslim leaders were accused of failing to sufficiently condemn the terror group;
  • Mr Cameron admitted it was increasingly likely Mr Foley was killed by a Briton.
The security services are using advanced voice recognition techniques to try to identify the murderer seen in the five-minute IS video, which has been viewed by thousands of people online.
The Briton, who uses his left hand and wears Timberland boots, speaks with what appears to be an East London accent as he makes a series of threats to President Obama and the West.

Yesterday, a man who was held in the Syrian city of Raqqa claimed the fanatic is intelligent, educated and a follower of radical Islamic teachings.
He said international hostages called ‘John’ and his fellow Britons The Beatles because they were from the UK.
Anti-terror investigators are now seeking to establish that the voice in the video is that of the man brandishing the knife before Mr Foley, rather than a voiceover.

US says we do not pay ransoms




Quote:
HOW ONE IN FOUR FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE SIGNED UP FOR ISIS ARE BRITISH - AND HALF OF THEM ARE ALREADY BACK IN THE UK

At least one in four of the estimated 2,000 foreigners fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq is British - and half of those are already back in the UK, it has emerged today.
Serious questions have been raised as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of fighters after the Government revealed it has only seized 23 passports this year to prevent them travelling to the war zone.
The Government says there are around 500 British among the fighters while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.
That means there are now almost three times as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the UK military, an MP has claimed.
But Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, told Channel 4 News the lack of border controls meant the Government’s estimates of jihadi numbers were too low. ‘I think it’s about 2,000 people,’ he added.
According to the Ministry of Defence, there are around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces - just 0.4 per cent of total personnel. This is far below the 4.3 per cent of the British population as a whole who are Muslim.
Irish police also believe that 30 jihadists are using the country as a base while travelling to and from Syria and Iraq.




French journalists Didier Francois (2nd left), Edouard Elias (left), Nicolas Henin (2nd right), and Pierre Torres (right )
-who were freed after their government agreed to a ransom





James Foley: Tributes were paid yesterday to the 'courageous, fearless' warzone journalist









Security boss: Former MI6 chief Richard Barrett says the 'Black Beatle' will be identified and caught if he is not killed in battle



It will also raise questions as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of UK fighters to Syria and Iraq.
The Government puts the figure at around 500 while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.
David Cameron this morning returned to his family holiday in Cornwall – less than 24 hours after flying back to London for emergency talks over the brutal killing.
The Prime Minister insisted he would continue to monitor the developing crisis in Iraq, but his decision to leave Downing Street will spark controversy. Mr Cameron’s Cornish break is his third holiday this year – and his fifteenth since moving into Downing Street in May 2010.

Mr Cameron is already under mounting pressure to recall Parliament over Britain’s growing involvement in the Iraqi government’s fight against Islamic State terrorists bringing mayhem to the region.

It came as President Obama's conduct attracted growing criticism after he played golf immediately after he gave a speech condemning the murder of Mr Foley.
Four minutes after leaving the podium Obama teed-off and was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck Golf Course on Martha's Vineyard - his seventh 18-holes in ten days.


Shiraz Maher, of King’s College London’s international centre for the study of radicalisation, told the BBC that British recruits were ‘among some of the most vicious and vociferous fighters who are out there’ and ‘that is unfortunately just a part of their radicalisation’.

Messages written on Twitter by British jihadis before the release of the video appeared to suggest some had prior knowledge of the killing.
Reyaad Khan, 20, a former college student from Cardiff who has been in Syria for several months, tweeted in advance a picture of Mr Foley’s severed head.
Nasser Muthana, 20, who travelled to Syria with Khan and his younger brother Aseel, 17, also revelled in the murder, mocking Americans for failing to protect their own.


Quote:
CAMERON URGED TO CONFRONT FRANCE OVER CLAIMS IT IS FUNDING ISIS TERROR WITH UNDERHAND RANSOM PAYMENTS



David Cameron has been urged to confront French President Francois Hollande
-over claims the country is funding ISIS terrorists by paying ransoms to free hostages



Britain and the United States refuse to negotiate with terrorists in an effort not to encourage further hostage taking. But this policy is being undermined by European countries negotiating secret deals to free their citizens.
Four French and three Spanish hostages were released this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, the New York Times reported today.
Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its spin off – the Islamic State, an investigation by the newspaper has found.
Together they have allegedly earned at least $125 million – or £75 million – in ransom payments in the past five years alone.
Fears have been raised that European countries’ policy of secretly negotiating with terrorists is undermining the West’s response to the growing threat from ISIS.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindall, who sits on the respected Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘If they are paying ransoms hey are harming the interests of the free world and by playing the game of terrorism by paying ransom money they are funding and furthering the cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
‘The French and the Spanish should really look at themselves in the mirror and ask whether this is the right thing to do.’
‘I think Parliament will be angry – and the British people will be angry. Once again it’s left to Britain and America to stand firm while other countries wobble.



French President Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Four French and three Spanish hostages were released
-this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, the New York Times reported today


‘The Prime Minister should be raising this with President Hollande. The French are undermining all of us by doing this.’
A Foreign Office source admitted it was a concern for the Government. ‘It is definitely an issue,’ the source said.
‘All you can do is emphasise what we do and why we think it is right. A lot of countries won’t talk about it. Some countries will say one thing and another thing happens.’
But a former senior Cabinet minister told MailOnline that there was no point ‘tweaking the French tail’ because the UK would not get anywhere.
He added: ‘They don’t admit it. It comes out through what other people say. When you see a French President on the tarmac greeting a freed hostage you can be fairly sure they paid.’
His father, retired electrical engineer Ahmed Muthana, 57, of Cardiff, spoke of his disgust at the killing, saying: ‘Any right-thinking human being would condemn this. It is brutal and like something from the Dark Ages.
‘The video should be taken down from the internet where it will drive other Muslims to think of this like some sort of game.’
Academics yesterday voiced major concerns over the continuing circulation of the slickly edited video.
They said the footage could help radicalise British Muslims and ‘motivate’ them to support the terrorists’ cause.
And they warned the video and the use of social media to spread news of the beheading had succeeded in promoting IS’s cause to a global audience.
Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at defence think-tank RUSI, said: ‘When we watch these videos, we are horrified by these sorts of acts and wonder how anyone can look at this with anything other than sheer disgust. But actually it has a motivating effect for others.
‘Some will look at this video and see the heinous act and see that they are a really serious group carrying out acts which are having a huge impact and causing world superpowers to look at them and their cause.
‘It could motivate people because they see they are a strong group making a powerful statement.’




'Entire world was appalled': Barack Obama said that 'no just God' would stand for Mr Foley's murder


Mr Pantucci said IS was ‘very good at harnessing social media to get their message out there and attract more attention.
‘They have demonstrated their ability to manipulate social media to its maximum effect,’ he added.
‘Unfortunately the British participation in the conflicts now raging in both Syria and Iraq has been one of full participation, one that has seen them at the front lines, taking part in the conflict in every way.
'So we have seen British fighters out there operating as suicide bombers, we have seen them operating as executioners.’

President Obama said the US would not back down: ‘Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley.
‘No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL speaks for no religion.
'Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.’

Since the video U.S. forces have carried out 14 new strikes on IS targets near the Mosul dam despite the threat that another American hostage would be murdered.

US Special forces attempted to rescue Americans - including James Foley - held hostage by ISIS in Syria earlier this summer but failed, it was revealed today.


The mission to save the journalist and others was carried out in early July but was unsuccessful because the hostages - being held by a group of British jihadists known as 'The Beatles' - could not be found.

'This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL [also known as ISIS and IS],' the White House said in a statement last night.
'Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘We have been saying for a very long time there are significant numbers of British nationals in Syria, increasingly in Iraq.
‘One of the reasons why what is going on in Syria and Iraq is a direct threat to our own national security is the presence of a significant number of our nationals who may, at some stage, seek to come back to the UK with the skills the trade craft that they have learned working with these terrorist organisations and potentially posing a threat to our domestic security here in the UK.
'If the Islamic State, so called, becomes established in an area of Syria and Iraq, it will undoubtedly use it as a base for launching attacks on the West, it will undoubtedly send its fighters out to attack western targets.
‘Equally, if it gets pushed back, some of these people will return to their countries of origin not just the UK. We will see these people going back and carrying on their fight in our own homelands.’

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, told Channel 4 News the lack of border controls meant the Government’s estimates of jihadi numbers were too low.
‘I think it’s about 2,000 people,’ he added. ‘I said a couple of months ago about 1,500. I know there are people still going across. There are no effective controls by the UK Border Agency both on exit and return.
‘No one knows what is going on. There is a real threat to the UK. The Border Agency is not fit for purpose.’ Mr Mahmood said two jihadis had travelled to Syria from his own constituency last year but returned and were detained by the authorities.

Among those who appeared to have been inspired by the appalling murder committed by IS was London-born recruit Khadijah Dare, who vowed to become the first woman to kill a UK or US prisoner.
Miss Dare, from Lewisham, was recently pictured with her toddler son holding an AK47 in northern Syria and is married to a Swedish Islamist fighter called Abu Bakr.
She tweeted yesterday: ‘I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!’.



Quote:
JIHADIS FLOOD TWITTER WITH THEIR VILE JOKES

By Larisa Brown
As details of the horrific beheading swept across the internet, members of the Islamic State posted a flood of sickening messages on Twitter.
The fanatics, who had travelled from Britain and across the world to fight in Iraq and Syria, mercilessly joked about the murder of the innocent American journalist.
If they were not laughing, they were telling of their own desires to commit atrocities of the same barbaric nature.



Taunts: Khadijah Dare with her Swedish husband, IS fighter Abu Bakr


A British jihadist, Nasser Muthana, writing under the name Abul Muthanna, tweeted: ‘So America wants to protect Yazidis from genocide but can’t even protect their own citizens from getting decapitated.’

Fighting in Syria, a London-born woman, Khadijah Dare, used the name Muhajirah fi Sham to write: ‘UK must b shaking up haha. I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terrorist!’

A British woman in Syria, using the alias al-Britaniyya, wrote: ‘So the US want to bombard us with airstrikes in Iraq and not give a damn who’s killed but want to cry when a dusty journalist is killed.
‘By Allah we won’t forget our Muslim brothers and sisters who were killed by United States... the blood of a Muslim is not cheap.’

British jihadist Reyaad Khan, from Cardiff, writing under the name Abu Dujana, said: ‘A message from IS to Obama. Withdraw or chaos will “be-heading” your way.’

A Canadian jihadist, using the name Abu Turaab al-Kanadi, said: ‘Can’t wait for the day IS beheads the first American soldier....SoccerAnyone?’
Following the circulation of the murder footage, he added: ‘I guess it’s time to play soccer boys – a sick reference to the beheading of Mr Foley.

This was followed by: ‘Seeing these so called “Muslims” send condolences to James Foley’s family is disgusting. No dignity whatsoever...’

Abu Farris, another IS fighter, wrote: ‘The message the state sent to Obama is simple; don’t get involved in our war and we really are not joking. We’re ready like never before..’

Abu Muhammad wrote: ‘Obama statement in short: no negotiation,’ followed by ‘Ha, Obama just wrote the death sentence of the second guy.’

Extremists in the UK also exhibited a shocking lack of humanity.

Anjem Choudary wrote: ‘The presence of US forces in Muslim countries is a cause of instability there & a cause of insecurity back in the US. Hands off Muslim land!’
Quote:
SPECIAL FORCES VOICE EXPERTS IN HUNT FOR 'LONDON' KILLER

By David Williams, Chief Reporter

Special Forces experts are using voice-recognition techniques to hunt down the British killer of James Foley.
The specialists are urgently trying to identify the man – who speaks with what appears to be a London accent – who beheaded Mr Foley in yesterday’s shocking video.
In the video, the masked killer gives a statement directly to the camera blaming President Barack Obama for the death of the American, who is seen dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit as he kneels in the sand. The man then carries out the beheading, before warning that another American hostage could be next.

Investigators are studying the video to try to establish whether the voice of the Briton delivering the IS statement is definitely that of the man shown in black who carries out the murder.
Security officials said the words may have been edited on to the video and that the man in black said nothing that was heard. Specialists believe the killer may already be on their radar after more than two years of investigations into Britons travelling to Syria and now Iraq.

The voice and tell-tale speech patterns of terror suspects and radicalised Britons – recorded and monitored in Britain and overseas – are stored and held by investigators at the Government’s Communication Centre in Cheltenham UK.

One clue to the killer’s identity is that he appears to be left-handed, holding the knife in that hand and wearing his rifle on his left shoulder. It is believed the murder took place in Syria where Mr Foley has been held since 2012. The photograph is being studied for possible clues as to the location.

Four French journalists and two Spaniards held for months and freed in April will also be asked if they recognise the voice. One was kept for some of his captivity in the same base as Mr Foley.
Former French Hostage Speaks About Slain US Journalist:




Does This NHS Doctor Hold the Key to Identifying 'Jihadi John'? East London Medic
-Once Accused of Kidnapping Journalists in Syria Probed with his Brother as Hunt for World's Most Wanted Man Intensifies

  • Dr Shajul Islam was alleged to have helped abduct two men in Syria in 2012
  • His brother Razal, 21, is believed to have left Britain and fighting with ISIS
  • Shajul Islam denied any part in kidnap plot and his trial collapsed last year
  • Security sources say he and brother, both Londoners, could know 'John'
  • Manhunt for James Foley's killer continues with SAS on standby to strike
  • 12 U.S. counter-terrorism experts flying to Britain 'within days' to help Yard
  • MI5, MI6 and police comparing features of British ISIS fighter with 'John'
  • His sadistic treatment of hostages has been laid bare by others held in Syria

An NHS doctor previously accused of kidnapping journalists in Syria could help identify the British jihadi who murdered James Foley, MI5 and MI6 sources revealed today.






NHS doctor Shajul Islam, pictured leaving Belmarsh prison after his trial collapsed in 2013,
-could, along with his brother, Razul, know who 'Jihadi John' is


Shajul Islam was alleged to have been a ‘key figure’ in a militant group that abducted foreign nationals, but the case collapsed.
The pair were held at gunpoint, shackled and blindfolded, and told to prepare to ‘meet their maker’ after straying into a terror camp while covering the civil war in Syria in 2012.
But a year later Islam and his alleged accomplice, fellow British resident Jubayer Chowdhury, walked free after prosecutors said the victims were unable to give evidence.
Shajul Islam's younger brother Razul, 21, is also believed to have gone to Syria last year, and may be fighting for the Islamic State, known as IS, ISIL or ISIS.
The authorities are keen to speak to the brothers in case they know Londoner 'John' - who decapitated journalist James Foley.
They may also be able to identify his fellow British jihadi ‘Beatles’, Paul and Ringo, who are all believed to based in Syria close to the IS stronghold of Raqqa.
Rajul Islam's voice and physical features will also be compared with the film showing Mr Foley's killer, according to the Daily Telegraph.

'John' is considered the world's most wanted man and a former MI6 chief said the British jihadist will be identified and the SAS are in Syria to 'bring him to justice'.


It has also emerged that a dozen counter-terrorism experts from the United States will be flown to Britain 'within days' to help UK's Scotland Yard specifically trace 'John'.

Shajul Islam has always denied involvement in the kidnapping of journalists and said he travelled to Syria on a humanitarian mission soon after completing his training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

He was given an interim suspension by the General Medical Council after being charged in 2012 and this remains in place. MailOnline has approached him for comment.
Yesterday it was revealed that at least one in four of the estimated 2,000 foreigners fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq is British - and half of those are already back in the UK.

Serious questions have been raised as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of fighters after the Government revealed it has only seized 23 passports this year to prevent them travelling to the war zone.

The Government says there are around 500 British among the fighters while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.

That means there are now almost three times as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the UK military, an MP has claimed.

According to the Ministry of Defence, there are around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces - just 0.4 per cent of total personnel. This is far below the 4.3 per cent of the British population as a whole who are Muslim.

The Muslim Council of Britain said Britons from across the country's communities had to stop young men being seduced by radical ideologies and must identify 'John' and ithers if they know who they are.

Police have also run a high-profile campaign to encourages wives and parents of extremists to tell them if their loved-ones go to Syria or Iraq.
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Update re: VIDEOS-ISIS -New Beheading >> US Aid Worker

INFORMANTS REPORTS ON JAMES FOLEY'S KILLERS:

'I Know ISIS Butcher known as John the Jailer': French Former Hostage says he has a 'Rough' Idea Who Masked British Jihadi is

  • Jihadist 'John' filmed murdering James Foley in Islamic State video
  • Security services are close to establishing extremist Londoner's identity
  • Former MI6 chief said he will be identified and grabbed by special forces
  • Didier Francois - former ISIS hostage - says he can see who killer is in film
  • Also witnessed mock execution where Foley was 'crucified against wall'
  • James Foley was regularly beaten because his brother was in U.S. Force
  • U.S. and Britain accused of putting citizens at risk by refusing ransoms
Daily Mail UK, 25 August 2014


A Frenchman who was held captive with murdered American journalist James Foley for months said today he has a ‘rough’ idea who his executioner is.
Didier Francois said a video of the suspected British jihadist stirred painful memories of being chained up in the dark with Mr Foley and other ISIS hostages in Syria.

It came as a former MI6 chief said the British jihadist will be identified and the SAS has been sent to Syria to 'bring him to justice'.
The suspect accused of murdering the reporter has been named as 'John' - one of a gang of British jihadis known as ‘The Beatles’ who are guarding western hostages for ISIS.
Mr Francois, a 53-year-old reporter with radio station Europe 1, said: ‘Recognised is a very big word, but I see roughly who it is.’

Scroll down for video







Manhunt: The face of the masked British killer from the IS video, who Didier Francois,
-a Frenchman held captive by him and pictured on his release in April, says has a 'rough' idea of who he is



For two-and-a-half months, Mr Francois was chained to fellow French hostages, Nicolas Henin, Edouard Elias, and Pierre Torres. They were released in April after France paid a ransom.

Mr Henin said today that Mr Foley was beaten more than any other hostage because he was an American and ISIS knew his brother was in the U.S. Air Force, and in one incident he was 'crucified against a wall', it has emerged.

The killer spoke in a distinctive English accent and his eyes and build are clearly visible in a propaganda video in which he cuts Mr Foley’s head off.
Mr Francois spent eight months with Mr Foley as a captive in Syria, enduring most of that time in underground cells with no natural light.

Mr Francois said he had never spoken publicly about James Foley or the remaining American hostage, Steven Sotloff, before because of threats of reprisals.
Mr Francois said he was told by his captors: ‘If you make public the fact they are being held or that you were together, reprisals will follow against them. Their exact words were: “They’ll be punished”’.

Mr Foley had been singled out for beatings, said Mr Francois, after his captors found pictures on his computer of his brother, who works for the US Air Force.
He said that Mr Foley was subjected to mock executions, including one in which he was ‘crucified against a wall’.
Paying tribute to the American, Mr Francois said: ‘He was an extraordinary guy – a companion in imprisonment who was very agreeable, very solid.’




The man identified as James Foley speaks, giving a message to his family
-and linking his imminent death to the US government's bombing campaign of IS targets in Iraq





Obscene: A video uploaded on Tuesday showed the IS fighter - called 'John' - murdering Mr Foley with a knife




Mr Henin became tearful said the murdered journalist shared his food and blanket.


'JAMES WAS BEATEN MORE BECAUSE HE WAS AMERICAN', SAYS PRISONER CHAINED TO JOURNALIST



Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity and was released in April


James Foley was beaten more than any other hostage because he was an American and ISIS knew his brother was in the U.S. Air Force, a fellow prisoner said today.
French journalist Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity with the murdered journalist in Syria, including a week handcuffed together.
Mr Henin, who was released in April this year, believes Foley was always seen as 'some kind of scapegoat' by his captors, who were led by his British killer ‘John’ – ringleader of a gang of British jihadis known as ‘The Beatles’ guarding western hostages for ISIS.

'Being an American he was probably more targeted by the kidnappers. Well, he would be beaten a bit more probably, he was some kind of scapegoat. And The kidnappers knew that his brother was in the U.S. Air Force’.
He added: ‘He became the whipping-boy of the jailers but remained unperturbed’.
Speaking about the conditions they were kept in together he said: ‘'The conditions were often quite basic and were sometimes quite difficult.
‘We were in extremely narrow rooms and were taken to the bathroom two to three times a day. For emergencies were had a few bottles and a bucket in the corner’.

Mr Henin paid tribute to his former colleague and friend, saying he had been generous with other captives if they were cold or hungry.
He said he was horrified by Mr Foley's killing, but added that he will focus on positive memories from their time together.
'I will try to just remember few, very few opportunities we had to laugh loud together - and it did happen actually a couple of times,' he said.
When asked why he was released but Mr Foley was not he said: ‘Some countries like America but also like the UK do not negotiate and, well, they put their people at risk.’

He said: 'We spent seven months in a very extreme situation together, including for one week we were handcuffed one to the other day and night.
'In circumstances where you are held captive you develop some kind of survival instincts, meaning that, for instance, you try to grab everything that you can find.
'James was the total opposite. He was so truly generous. Basically everything he could share, he would share it. If we were cold, and we were missing blankets, he would share his blanket.
'If we were starving and missing food, he would share his ration.'

Richard Barrett, who was head of counter-terrorism for the security services at the time of 9/11, said he is convinced the murderer - now considered the world's most wanted man - will be arrested and taken back to Britain for trial 'sooner or later'.
Mr Barratt told the Today Programme: 'They will be able to identify him, although there are four or five hundred people who have gone from all over the United Kingdom many of them have made their presence there known.
'I think the community will be able recognise this person and I am sure many in the community will be keen to do so.
'I mean the intelligence community certainly but also the community from which this man comes, he will have had many acquaintances and friends in the United Kingdom and those people will wish to see him brought to justice.'

He agreed that once he is identified the course of action would likely be to send special forces to grab him.
He added: 'This is probably a relatively young man and he has a relatively long life ahead of him, perhaps, if he doesn’t get killed quickly in Iraq or Syria and therefore sooner or later he is going to be vulnerable to arrest or some sort interdiction and brought before the courts'
'I don’t think anyone is prepared to forget this sort of crime and therefore the long arm of justice will eventually catch him.'

A massive manhunt has been launched after a former hostage said he believed the masked Islamic State maniac was a Londoner he had known as ‘John’.

The security services are also close to establishing the identity of the killer who cut James Foley’s throat in a horrific propaganda video.
Said to be a senior Islamic State operative, he was trusted earlier this year to negotiate a hostage exchange.

Yesterday, further evidence emerged of the prominent role British jihadis are playing in Iraq.
Some celebrated and joked about Mr Foley’s murder, with one woman fighter volunteering to be the next to kill a UK or US captive.

Experts warned Britons are among the most vicious of the Islamic State’s fanatics and one may have been chosen to carry out the killing because of the global impact it would have. In other developments:
  • The Foreign Secretary again warned British jihadis could return to kill here;
  • Military chiefs warned of more killings and called for Government action;
  • Barack Obama said ‘no just God would stand for what the Islamic State did’;
  • Muslim leaders were accused of failing to sufficiently condemn the terror group;
  • Mr Cameron admitted it was increasingly likely Mr Foley was killed by a Briton.
The security services are using advanced voice recognition techniques to try to identify the murderer seen in the five-minute IS video, which has been viewed by thousands of people online.
The Briton, who uses his left hand and wears Timberland boots, speaks with what appears to be an East London accent as he makes a series of threats to President Obama and the West.

Yesterday, a man who was held in the Syrian city of Raqqa claimed the fanatic is intelligent, educated and a follower of radical Islamic teachings.
He said international hostages called ‘John’ and his fellow Britons The Beatles because they were from the UK.
Anti-terror investigators are now seeking to establish that the voice in the video is that of the man brandishing the knife before Mr Foley, rather than a voiceover.

US says we do not pay ransoms




Quote:
HOW ONE IN FOUR FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE SIGNED UP FOR ISIS ARE BRITISH - AND HALF OF THEM ARE ALREADY BACK IN THE UK

At least one in four of the estimated 2,000 foreigners fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq is British - and half of those are already back in the UK, it has emerged today.
Serious questions have been raised as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of fighters after the Government revealed it has only seized 23 passports this year to prevent them travelling to the war zone.
The Government says there are around 500 British among the fighters while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.
That means there are now almost three times as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the UK military, an MP has claimed.
But Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, told Channel 4 News the lack of border controls meant the Government’s estimates of jihadi numbers were too low. ‘I think it’s about 2,000 people,’ he added.
According to the Ministry of Defence, there are around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces - just 0.4 per cent of total personnel. This is far below the 4.3 per cent of the British population as a whole who are Muslim.
Irish police also believe that 30 jihadists are using the country as a base while travelling to and from Syria and Iraq.




French journalists Didier Francois (2nd left), Edouard Elias (left), Nicolas Henin (2nd right), and Pierre Torres (right )
-who were freed after their government agreed to a ransom





James Foley: Tributes were paid yesterday to the 'courageous, fearless' warzone journalist









Security boss: Former MI6 chief Richard Barrett says the 'Black Beatle' will be identified and caught if he is not killed in battle



It will also raise questions as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of UK fighters to Syria and Iraq.
The Government puts the figure at around 500 while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.
David Cameron this morning returned to his family holiday in Cornwall – less than 24 hours after flying back to London for emergency talks over the brutal killing.
The Prime Minister insisted he would continue to monitor the developing crisis in Iraq, but his decision to leave Downing Street will spark controversy. Mr Cameron’s Cornish break is his third holiday this year – and his fifteenth since moving into Downing Street in May 2010.

Mr Cameron is already under mounting pressure to recall Parliament over Britain’s growing involvement in the Iraqi government’s fight against Islamic State terrorists bringing mayhem to the region.

It came as President Obama's conduct attracted growing criticism after he played golf immediately after he gave a speech condemning the murder of Mr Foley.
Four minutes after leaving the podium Obama teed-off and was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck Golf Course on Martha's Vineyard - his seventh 18-holes in ten days.


Shiraz Maher, of King’s College London’s international centre for the study of radicalisation, told the BBC that British recruits were ‘among some of the most vicious and vociferous fighters who are out there’ and ‘that is unfortunately just a part of their radicalisation’.

Messages written on Twitter by British jihadis before the release of the video appeared to suggest some had prior knowledge of the killing.
Reyaad Khan, 20, a former college student from Cardiff who has been in Syria for several months, tweeted in advance a picture of Mr Foley’s severed head.
Nasser Muthana, 20, who travelled to Syria with Khan and his younger brother Aseel, 17, also revelled in the murder, mocking Americans for failing to protect their own.


Quote:
CAMERON URGED TO CONFRONT FRANCE OVER CLAIMS IT IS FUNDING ISIS TERROR WITH UNDERHAND RANSOM PAYMENTS



David Cameron has been urged to confront French President Francois Hollande
-over claims the country is funding ISIS terrorists by paying ransoms to free hostages



Britain and the United States refuse to negotiate with terrorists in an effort not to encourage further hostage taking. But this policy is being undermined by European countries negotiating secret deals to free their citizens.
Four French and three Spanish hostages were released this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, the New York Times reported today.
Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its spin off – the Islamic State, an investigation by the newspaper has found.
Together they have allegedly earned at least $125 million – or £75 million – in ransom payments in the past five years alone.
Fears have been raised that European countries’ policy of secretly negotiating with terrorists is undermining the West’s response to the growing threat from ISIS.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindall, who sits on the respected Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘If they are paying ransoms hey are harming the interests of the free world and by playing the game of terrorism by paying ransom money they are funding and furthering the cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
‘The French and the Spanish should really look at themselves in the mirror and ask whether this is the right thing to do.’
‘I think Parliament will be angry – and the British people will be angry. Once again it’s left to Britain and America to stand firm while other countries wobble.



French President Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Four French and three Spanish hostages were released
-this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, the New York Times reported today


‘The Prime Minister should be raising this with President Hollande. The French are undermining all of us by doing this.’
A Foreign Office source admitted it was a concern for the Government. ‘It is definitely an issue,’ the source said.
‘All you can do is emphasise what we do and why we think it is right. A lot of countries won’t talk about it. Some countries will say one thing and another thing happens.’
But a former senior Cabinet minister told MailOnline that there was no point ‘tweaking the French tail’ because the UK would not get anywhere.
He added: ‘They don’t admit it. It comes out through what other people say. When you see a French President on the tarmac greeting a freed hostage you can be fairly sure they paid.’
His father, retired electrical engineer Ahmed Muthana, 57, of Cardiff, spoke of his disgust at the killing, saying: ‘Any right-thinking human being would condemn this. It is brutal and like something from the Dark Ages.
‘The video should be taken down from the internet where it will drive other Muslims to think of this like some sort of game.’
Academics yesterday voiced major concerns over the continuing circulation of the slickly edited video.
They said the footage could help radicalise British Muslims and ‘motivate’ them to support the terrorists’ cause.
And they warned the video and the use of social media to spread news of the beheading had succeeded in promoting IS’s cause to a global audience.
Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at defence think-tank RUSI, said: ‘When we watch these videos, we are horrified by these sorts of acts and wonder how anyone can look at this with anything other than sheer disgust. But actually it has a motivating effect for others.
‘Some will look at this video and see the heinous act and see that they are a really serious group carrying out acts which are having a huge impact and causing world superpowers to look at them and their cause.
‘It could motivate people because they see they are a strong group making a powerful statement.’




'Entire world was appalled': Barack Obama said that 'no just God' would stand for Mr Foley's murder


Mr Pantucci said IS was ‘very good at harnessing social media to get their message out there and attract more attention.
‘They have demonstrated their ability to manipulate social media to its maximum effect,’ he added.
‘Unfortunately the British participation in the conflicts now raging in both Syria and Iraq has been one of full participation, one that has seen them at the front lines, taking part in the conflict in every way.
'So we have seen British fighters out there operating as suicide bombers, we have seen them operating as executioners.’

President Obama said the US would not back down: ‘Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley.
‘No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL speaks for no religion.
'Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.’

Since the video U.S. forces have carried out 14 new strikes on IS targets near the Mosul dam despite the threat that another American hostage would be murdered.

US Special forces attempted to rescue Americans - including James Foley - held hostage by ISIS in Syria earlier this summer but failed, it was revealed today.


The mission to save the journalist and others was carried out in early July but was unsuccessful because the hostages - being held by a group of British jihadists known as 'The Beatles' - could not be found.

'This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL [also known as ISIS and IS],' the White House said in a statement last night.
'Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘We have been saying for a very long time there are significant numbers of British nationals in Syria, increasingly in Iraq.
‘One of the reasons why what is going on in Syria and Iraq is a direct threat to our own national security is the presence of a significant number of our nationals who may, at some stage, seek to come back to the UK with the skills the trade craft that they have learned working with these terrorist organisations and potentially posing a threat to our domestic security here in the UK.
'If the Islamic State, so called, becomes established in an area of Syria and Iraq, it will undoubtedly use it as a base for launching attacks on the West, it will undoubtedly send its fighters out to attack western targets.
‘Equally, if it gets pushed back, some of these people will return to their countries of origin not just the UK. We will see these people going back and carrying on their fight in our own homelands.’

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, told Channel 4 News the lack of border controls meant the Government’s estimates of jihadi numbers were too low.
‘I think it’s about 2,000 people,’ he added. ‘I said a couple of months ago about 1,500. I know there are people still going across. There are no effective controls by the UK Border Agency both on exit and return.
‘No one knows what is going on. There is a real threat to the UK. The Border Agency is not fit for purpose.’ Mr Mahmood said two jihadis had travelled to Syria from his own constituency last year but returned and were detained by the authorities.

Among those who appeared to have been inspired by the appalling murder committed by IS was London-born recruit Khadijah Dare, who vowed to become the first woman to kill a UK or US prisoner.
Miss Dare, from Lewisham, was recently pictured with her toddler son holding an AK47 in northern Syria and is married to a Swedish Islamist fighter called Abu Bakr.
She tweeted yesterday: ‘I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!’.



Quote:
JIHADIS FLOOD TWITTER WITH THEIR VILE JOKES

By Larisa Brown
As details of the horrific beheading swept across the internet, members of the Islamic State posted a flood of sickening messages on Twitter.
The fanatics, who had travelled from Britain and across the world to fight in Iraq and Syria, mercilessly joked about the murder of the innocent American journalist.
If they were not laughing, they were telling of their own desires to commit atrocities of the same barbaric nature.



Taunts: Khadijah Dare with her Swedish husband, IS fighter Abu Bakr


A British jihadist, Nasser Muthana, writing under the name Abul Muthanna, tweeted: ‘So America wants to protect Yazidis from genocide but can’t even protect their own citizens from getting decapitated.’

Fighting in Syria, a London-born woman, Khadijah Dare, used the name Muhajirah fi Sham to write: ‘UK must b shaking up haha. I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terrorist!’

A British woman in Syria, using the alias al-Britaniyya, wrote: ‘So the US want to bombard us with airstrikes in Iraq and not give a damn who’s killed but want to cry when a dusty journalist is killed.
‘By Allah we won’t forget our Muslim brothers and sisters who were killed by United States... the blood of a Muslim is not cheap.’

British jihadist Reyaad Khan, from Cardiff, writing under the name Abu Dujana, said: ‘A message from IS to Obama. Withdraw or chaos will “be-heading” your way.’

A Canadian jihadist, using the name Abu Turaab al-Kanadi, said: ‘Can’t wait for the day IS beheads the first American soldier....SoccerAnyone?’
Following the circulation of the murder footage, he added: ‘I guess it’s time to play soccer boys – a sick reference to the beheading of Mr Foley.

This was followed by: ‘Seeing these so called “Muslims” send condolences to James Foley’s family is disgusting. No dignity whatsoever...’

Abu Farris, another IS fighter, wrote: ‘The message the state sent to Obama is simple; don’t get involved in our war and we really are not joking. We’re ready like never before..’

Abu Muhammad wrote: ‘Obama statement in short: no negotiation,’ followed by ‘Ha, Obama just wrote the death sentence of the second guy.’

Extremists in the UK also exhibited a shocking lack of humanity.

Anjem Choudary wrote: ‘The presence of US forces in Muslim countries is a cause of instability there & a cause of insecurity back in the US. Hands off Muslim land!’
Quote:
SPECIAL FORCES VOICE EXPERTS IN HUNT FOR 'LONDON' KILLER

By David Williams, Chief Reporter

Special Forces experts are using voice-recognition techniques to hunt down the British killer of James Foley.
The specialists are urgently trying to identify the man – who speaks with what appears to be a London accent – who beheaded Mr Foley in yesterday’s shocking video.
In the video, the masked killer gives a statement directly to the camera blaming President Barack Obama for the death of the American, who is seen dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit as he kneels in the sand. The man then carries out the beheading, before warning that another American hostage could be next.

Investigators are studying the video to try to establish whether the voice of the Briton delivering the IS statement is definitely that of the man shown in black who carries out the murder.
Security officials said the words may have been edited on to the video and that the man in black said nothing that was heard. Specialists believe the killer may already be on their radar after more than two years of investigations into Britons travelling to Syria and now Iraq.

The voice and tell-tale speech patterns of terror suspects and radicalised Britons – recorded and monitored in Britain and overseas – are stored and held by investigators at the Government’s Communication Centre in Cheltenham UK.

One clue to the killer’s identity is that he appears to be left-handed, holding the knife in that hand and wearing his rifle on his left shoulder. It is believed the murder took place in Syria where Mr Foley has been held since 2012. The photograph is being studied for possible clues as to the location.

Four French journalists and two Spaniards held for months and freed in April will also be asked if they recognise the voice. One was kept for some of his captivity in the same base as Mr Foley.
Former French Hostage Speaks About Slain US Journalist:




Does This NHS Doctor Hold the Key to Identifying 'Jihadi John'? East London Medic
-Once Accused of Kidnapping Journalists in Syria Probed with his Brother as Hunt for World's Most Wanted Man Intensifies

  • Dr Shajul Islam was alleged to have helped abduct two men in Syria in 2012
  • His brother Razal, 21, is believed to have left Britain and fighting with ISIS
  • Shajul Islam denied any part in kidnap plot and his trial collapsed last year
  • Security sources say he and brother, both Londoners, could know 'John'
  • Manhunt for James Foley's killer continues with SAS on standby to strike
  • 12 U.S. counter-terrorism experts flying to Britain 'within days' to help Yard
  • MI5, MI6 and police comparing features of British ISIS fighter with 'John'
  • His sadistic treatment of hostages has been laid bare by others held in Syria

An NHS doctor previously accused of kidnapping journalists in Syria could help identify the British jihadi who murdered James Foley, MI5 and MI6 sources revealed today.






NHS doctor Shajul Islam, pictured leaving Belmarsh prison after his trial collapsed in 2013,
-could, along with his brother, Razul, know who 'Jihadi John' is


Shajul Islam was alleged to have been a ‘key figure’ in a militant group that abducted foreign nationals, but the case collapsed.
The pair were held at gunpoint, shackled and blindfolded, and told to prepare to ‘meet their maker’ after straying into a terror camp while covering the civil war in Syria in 2012.
But a year later Islam and his alleged accomplice, fellow British resident Jubayer Chowdhury, walked free after prosecutors said the victims were unable to give evidence.
Shajul Islam's younger brother Razul, 21, is also believed to have gone to Syria last year, and may be fighting for the Islamic State, known as IS, ISIL or ISIS.
The authorities are keen to speak to the brothers in case they know Londoner 'John' - who decapitated journalist James Foley.
They may also be able to identify his fellow British jihadi ‘Beatles’, Paul and Ringo, who are all believed to based in Syria close to the IS stronghold of Raqqa.
Rajul Islam's voice and physical features will also be compared with the film showing Mr Foley's killer, according to the Daily Telegraph.

'John' is considered the world's most wanted man and a former MI6 chief said the British jihadist will be identified and the SAS are in Syria to 'bring him to justice'.


It has also emerged that a dozen counter-terrorism experts from the United States will be flown to Britain 'within days' to help UK's Scotland Yard specifically trace 'John'.

Shajul Islam has always denied involvement in the kidnapping of journalists and said he travelled to Syria on a humanitarian mission soon after completing his training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

He was given an interim suspension by the General Medical Council after being charged in 2012 and this remains in place. MailOnline has approached him for comment.
Yesterday it was revealed that at least one in four of the estimated 2,000 foreigners fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq is British - and half of those are already back in the UK.

Serious questions have been raised as to whether enough is being done to stem the flow of fighters after the Government revealed it has only seized 23 passports this year to prevent them travelling to the war zone.

The Government says there are around 500 British among the fighters while a further 250 are thought to have already returned to the UK where the police and security services are attempting to watch them.

That means there are now almost three times as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the UK military, an MP has claimed.

According to the Ministry of Defence, there are around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces - just 0.4 per cent of total personnel. This is far below the 4.3 per cent of the British population as a whole who are Muslim.

The Muslim Council of Britain said Britons from across the country's communities had to stop young men being seduced by radical ideologies and must identify 'John' and ithers if they know who they are.

Police have also run a high-profile campaign to encourages wives and parents of extremists to tell them if their loved-ones go to Syria or Iraq.
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