3 dec

Press TV – Syria foreign-backed militants kidnap 12 nuns in Ma’loula

Foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria have kidnapped 12 nuns from a convent in the Christian town of Ma’loula.
According to local authorities, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, the militants took the nuns to the nearby town of Yabrud after they stormed the convent on Monday.

voiceofrussia.com – Syria: UN report on Assad’s war crimes ‘doesn’t prove anything’ – expert

Do they have enough evidence that proves the Syrian government authorized the crimes?
We have been studying these reports since the beginning and we have 3 remarks. The first one is about methodology, second one is about standard of proof and third one is about defining the responsibility – who committed what.
As to the first thing, the methodology, unfortunately, this commission as a part of methodology works on phone interviews and interviews in refugee camps around Syria like Turkey, Jordan, but also phone interview with people who are allowed not to give their name – anonymous interviews. So, it means that everyone can say everything. The commission has no way of proving this, the standard of proof is not fulfilled and for the same events the commission speaks about, we have alternative witness who says exactly the opposite about who committed the crimes. So, in the same situation if you listen another voice about responsibility, there is a completely another version plus there are events which are not verified.

telegraph.co.uk – Syria dispatch: from band of brothers to princes of war

But in northern Syria, the FSA has now become a largely criminal enterprise, with commanders more concerned about profits from corruption, kidnapping and theft than fighting the regime, according to a series of interviews with The Sunday Telegraph.

“There are many leaders in the revolution that don’t want to make the regime fall because they are loving the conflict,” said Ahmad al-Knaitry, commander of the moderate Omar Mokhtar brigade in the Jebel az-Zawiya area, south-west of Idlib city. “They have become princes of war; they spend millions of dollars, live in castles and have fancy cars.”

voltairenet.org – Europeans renew contact with Syria

The news agency Agence France Presse has revealed that secret high-level contacts between the European powers and Syria have taken place since May 2013 (that is to say, before the outbreak of the chemical weapons crisis at the end of August).
According to the agency, ”While the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Eva Filippi, never left Damascus, the representatives of Austria, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and the EU have been meeting all along in the Syrian capital on a regular basis.” The agency continues by reporting on meetings between members of French and British secret services and General Ali Mamlouk, commander of the General Security Directorate.
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