En artikel om massakern i Akrab som togs upp i gårdagens inlägg, en journalist har rest till byn och intervjuat vittnen.
Alex Thomson, blogs.channel4.com – Was there a massacre in the Syrian town of Aqrab?
What follows is a series of eye-witness accounts which runs almost entirely against the version of what happened here which has gone global from rebel propaganda websites.
We do not say what follows is the truth. But we can say it is the first independently observed story of Aqrab from the first outside journalist to reach this area.
We interviewed three key eye-witnesses in three separate locations. They could not have known either of our sudden arrival, nor did they know the identities of the other two eye-witnesses.
What is striking is that their accounts entirely corroborate each other, to the last detail. And their accounts are further backed up by at least a dozen conversations with other Alawites who had fled from Aqrab.
All three agree – as do the rebels – that rebels attacked Aqrab on Sunday 2 December. Madlyan says: “They had long beards. It was hard to understand what they said. They weren’t dressed like normal Syrians.”
I press her and she is adamant that their Arabic was not from Syria.
The youth Ali told us: “They all had big beards and came in four or five cars, from the direction of al-Houla.”
They all insist, as did everybody else we met, that the rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) corralled around 500 Alawite civilians in a large red-coloured two-storey house belonging to a prominent businessman called Abu Ismail.
They then say they were held – around 500 men, women and children – in this building until the early hours of Tuesday 11 December. Nine days.
slut på uppdateringen ________________________
Uttalandet som spreds överallt igår från Mikhail Bogdanov på ryska utrikesministeriet som kunde tolkas som en uppgivenhet, om att en seger för ”rebellerna” var möjlig, förnekas alltså nu av Ryssland – Russia foreign office denies pro- opposition statements on Syria – om det rörde sig om en felcitering eller vad, så vill man alltså inte stå för det. Russia Today – Russia never changed position on Syria – Foreign Ministry
En intressant artikel om hur syriska armén lurade de väpnade grupperna inför en väntad offensiv mot Damaskus i månadsskiftet nov-dec. Genom att t.ex. sprida rykten om avhopp från syriska armén och att flytta vapendepåer vilket registrerades av amerikansk satellitövervakning, fick man grupperna att gå till attack i förtid, och armén var förberedd och kunde slå tillbaka. Det plötsliga avbrottet av internet och telekommunikation just då ska ha varit en del i operationen för att störa angriparna.
al-monitor.com – Syrian Army May Have Set Damascus Trap for Rebels – De avslutande raderna i artikeln är intressanta.
As for the days ahead, sources said the US has granted opposition rebels a period of one month to launch a third round of attacks on Damascus, in an attempt to make serious gains on the battlefield, which would contribute to boosting the conditions of the Russian-US settlement.
The settlement is set to come into force by the end of January, based on the agreement reached in Geneva.
Ska man våga tro att Thierry Meyssan – Obama II – the purge and the pact – är rätt ute i alla fall? Med hans bild som jag tagit upp så många gånger här, att en uppgörelse mellan Ryssland och USA är på gång. I artikeln skriver Meyssan att om John Kerry utses till efterträdare till Hilary Clinton så är det ett steg i rätt riktning för en sådan uppgörelse. Idag kom beskedet att Susan Rice inte längre är aktuell för posten! John Kerry becomes topmost candidate for State Secretary
Ännu har inget hörts ifrån om den kidnappade ukrainska journalisten – video från Russia Today – The fate of a Ukrainian journalist held by Syrian rebels remains unknown, after a ransom deadline from a group threatening to execute her – passed. Anhar Kochneva was kidnapped by insurgents said to be from the Free Syrian Army, who she repeatedly accused of undue brutality against civilians.
Scott Creighton – U.S. Sec. of Defense Sends Missiles and Troops in Support of the 9/11 Terrorists
Leon Panetta and the administration of “CHANGE” are working overtime to terrorize the legitimate leader of Syria and the general population of the country.
Till then, the build-up of foreign weapons of war and troops on the Syrian border constitutes a violation international law. It amounts to terrorist threats, trying to force instability in the country in support of their on-going destabilization campaign. To in a sense terrorize the people of Syria and their leadership into simply giving up and handing over their nation to the neoliberals who run NATO.
Syrian Perspective har nyligen framfört tanken att Ryssland skulle skicka in trupper i Syrien för att förhindra att de väpnade gängen lyckas störta regeringen. Och nu säger en man från Ryssland samma sak, i en intervju hos Morris (i andra halvan av videon).
Franklin Lamb har varit på besök i Damaskus igen – Damascus Street Notes – Svårigheter för civilbefolkningen pga USA/västs sanktioner, dyrare mat och brist på eldningsolja för uppvärmning.
Students here in Damascus intend to publish a more detailed list of consumer goods every two weeks. Yesterday some picketed the empty American embassy in protest against US led sanctions. “The Syrian people will never forget or forgive the American campaign to starve us into submission”, one sign read.
It appears to this observer that, rather as is the case with Iran, the illegal and immoral US led sanctions, which urgently need to be challenged at The Hague, imposed on the civilian population of Syria is having the opposite effect of what their cynical architects intended.
Tal av Syriens FN-ambassadör Bashar al-Jaafari – Al-Jaafari : Solving Crisis in Syria Couldn’t Be Achieved Through Funding and Harboring Armed Terrorists – video
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN stressed that the Syrian government will provide all facilitations to humanitarian workers and grant licenses to the OCHA for field visits to several areas in Syria without any delay.
He indicated that Syria had a constructive participation in 6 meetings of the Humanitarian Forum held in Geneva and tackled the situation in Syria.
Al-Jaafari pointed out that the government’s humanitarian efforts were hindered by several obstacles as the countries which are known for their support to the armed terrorism in Syria continued funding, arming and protecting armed terrorist groups in Syria.
He reported the statement of the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, in Geneva on Thursday as saying that the situation in Syria is exceptional because the intensive battles in the country and the involvement of regional and international powers in it.
Al-Jaafari added that it is paradoxical that the issuance of 6 press statements to condemn terrorist bombings carried out by the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra were hindered at the UN Security Council after which one of those countries which hindered the statements puts this terrorist group on its national list of terrorist organizations.
He went on to say that ” Since October 2011, Jabhat al-Nusra announced its responsibility for carrying out 600 attacks, including more than 40 suicide attacks and other attacks using weapons and explosive devices, in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Daraa, Homs, Idleb and in Deir Ezzor.
From the beginning of the crisis, Syria tried hard to draw the attention of the member states to the presence of armed terrorist intervention in its internal affairs, but we faced political obstinacy and ignorance of issues related to the political geography and huge media falsification which made the senior officials of this organization deny the reality and reach wrong conclusions about the situation in Syria, al-Jaafari said.
‘US arming al-Qaeda with missiles’, An analyst criticizes ‘US hypocrisy’ in its decade-long denouncement of the extremist al-Qaeda organization as the country’s arch enemy and now providing the very same organization in Syria with sophisticated weapons.
Interview with director of Center for Middle East Studies, Hisham Jaber
Real Syria Updates – Syria: Al Qaeda FSA Terrorists Burn a Shiite Mosque in Idleb Countryside