Coming to America: 30,000 Middle Eastern Refugees

December 30, 2013

The State Department said Thursday that its goal is to welcome 35,000 permanent refugees from the Middle East and South Asia in fiscal 2014.
30,000 Syrians are slated to be moved into permanent or long-term homes abroad by October if the U.N. refugee agency meets its goals, The Washington Post reported.
The target would include vulnerable Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and Pakistanis, as well as Syrians.
The United States does offer a form of short-term asylum, however. Syrians who were already in the country on work, student or other temporary visas as of last June are eligible to remain at least into 2015. In 2013, more than 1,300 Syrians applied for and received that extension.

Hashemites repost AFP claim that Assad is best option

December 13, 2013
Assad, backed by Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, is locked in combat with a diverse group of Sunni rebel factions which are increasingly dominated by hardline Wahhabi militant groups.

The rebel groups are dominated by Sunni Muslims, while Assad is generally backed by Syria’s Alawite, Shiite, and Christian minorities. 

This in Ma’an? This is Jordan preferring Iran to Sunni Muslims


Germany sold Syria chemicals with military potential

September 18, 2013
(Germany exported 111 tons of chemicals to Syria between 2002 and 2006 that could be used in the production of sarin gas, according to a government document published on Wednesday. )

SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER

September 14, 2013
SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER by simonstudionyc
(SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER)

SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER

September 14, 2013
SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER by simonstudionyc
SYRIAN REBEL INFIGHTING KILLS 5 NEAR IRAQI BORDER,  photo by simonstudionyc (REDRAW GUNS)

Video: Tearful Christian Woman Kicked Out Of Her Village Begs Obama To Stop Sending Weapons To The Rebel Jihadists

September 12, 2013

syria  

(Deb) The battle rages on for the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, Syria  despite reports that government forces had retaken it.
BBC reported:
Government forces are in Maaloula, but there is still fighting going on. I’ve heard a lot of heavy fire and one or two large explosions as well. Their opponents from the al-Nusra Front – the armed rebel group that is allied with al-Qaeda – appear to still be in the town. I’ve seen about half a dozen wounded government soldiers driven back at speed towards their rear echelon.
I’ve spoken to some local members of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government militia. They say they are fighting for their town and the fact it was a place where Christians and Muslims once lived side by side. They say they are fighting against the people they regard as terrorists.
The town’s residents fled in a hurry to Damascus when the rebels first moved in. They are very upset and angry about what happened. Some told me that when they left, the al-Nusra Front desecrated some of their churches. There is quite a bit of damage to the town, but I can’t see considerable damage to the holy places. In fact, I can see a big statue of the Virgin Mary that is very much intact.
Syrian-militants-650x330Free Syrian Army (FSA) units and members of the jihadist al-Nusra Front occupied Maaloula for several hours on Thursday before withdrawing when their positions were bombed by government warplanes.
Syria’s state SANA news agency  uses the government’s preferred term “terrorists” to describe the rebels….
A Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of them sporting beards and shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great, attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village overnight.
“They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,” said the resident, reached by telephone from neighbouring Jordan. “So many people fled the village for safety.”
Now, Maaloula “is a ghost town. Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?” asked the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal by the rebels.
According to one eye witness, five Christians were seized and  told, “either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.”
A  Christian woman from the besieged town who had fled to Damascus tearfully told a BBC reporter about the Free Syrian Army & Al Qaeda Infestation, and begged Obama to stop sending them weapons “because they are killing us!” When asked what the rebels she saw terrorizing the town looked like, she said said they were wearing “Free Syrian Army” clothes. Those would be the “good guys”Obama has been arming. Note that they have been fighting right alongside the al Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front.
When the reporter asked her about Obama’s plan to punish the regime for killing civilians with chemical weapons, she cried, “no that’s wrong! It’s wrong!…it’s a big liar (sic) you can watch the video (this one?)  and you can tell…”
We absolutely need to stay out of this war. My God, I’m rooting for the government forces Obama wants to bomb to beat back the rebels Obama’s been arming.

Hostage Released From Syrian Prison Says he Overheard Rebel Captors Admitting Insurgents Used The Chemical Weapons (Video)

September 10, 2013
A Belgian writer who was held hostage with an Italian reporter for five months in Syria says that he heard their rebel captors deny that President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the Ghouta massacre. The two were kidnapped while working in the war torn country back in April and were released over the weekend.

Pierre Piccinin said that he and fellow hostage Domenico Quirico, an Italian war reporter, heard their jailers talking about the chemical weapon attack and saying that Assad was not to blame.

Quirico confirmed to La Stampa newspaper that they had eavesdropped such a conversation through a closed door but added that he had no evidence to substantiate what he heard.
Piccinin said the captives became desperate when they heard that the US was planning to launch a punitive attack against the regime over the gas attack in the Damascus suburb.
“It wasn’t the government of Bashar al-Assad that used sarin gas or any other gas in Ghouta,” Piccinin told Belgian RTL radio after he was released.
“We are sure about this because we overheard a conversation between rebels. It pains me to say it because I’ve been a fierce supporter of the Free Syrian Army in its rightful fight for democracy since 2012,” Piccinin added.
Here is an interview Pierre Piccinin had with RTL TV:
Watch with the captions. The translation is very poor, but it is clear that he doesn’t think that Assad released the chemical weapons.
Piccinin’s fellow prisoner said it would be “madness” to say that he knew for sure that Assad was not culpable.
“I do not know if this is true but nothing tells me it is,” he said.
Quirico said he listened to a Skype conversation between three individuals, whose names he could not confirm. One identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general.
The three contended that insurgents had used gas in Ghouta to trigger Western intervention.
“I have no evidence to confirm this theory and I do not know who these people were or if they are reliable,” Quirico said.
“It is impossible for me to say if this conversation was based on real events or on rumours and hearsay. It is not my habit to hold true conversations overheard through a door.”
Kidnapped in April, Piccinin and Quirico were freed by their captors and flown to Rome.
Quirico said he was treated badly. The Syrian revolution had turned into something “very dangerous” since he began covering it, he added.
Just one more hole in Obama’s “slam dunk” case.

Iranians Warned U.S. That Syrian Rebels Had Chemical Weapons Over a Year Ago…

According to leaked diplomatic correspondence obtained by the Christian Science Monitor, ‘Iran has been warning Washington since July 2012 that Sunni rebel fighters have acquired chemical weapons, and called on the US to send “an immediate and serious warning” to rebel groups not to use them.’ In one letter Iran stated that as a “supporter” of the rebels,  the US would be held responsible for any use of the chemical weapons.
Iran amplified those year-old warnings over the weekend in its strongest public comments to date linking the rebels with a chemical weapons, echoing Russia‘s dismissal of American assurances that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were to blame. The comments come as the US Congress prepares to vote on military strikes.
“There is ample intelligence that takfiri  [extremist] groups are in possession of chemical arms,” Iran’sForeign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday during a visit to Iraq, according to state-run PressTV. “Extremists and takfiris are a threat to the whole region.” Semi-official Fars News Agency headlined its story: “Iranian FM refutes US claims on Syria’s use of chemical weapons.”
Multiple warnings
Iran says that it warned the United States directly, in mid- and late- 2012, and at least once after that, about the risks of chemical weapons among the rebels. The letter acquired by the Monitor references messages from July 18 and Dec. 1, 2012.
According to the English translation that accompanies the one-page Persian document, the letter reads: “Alerting [worrying] news has been published about the preparations of insurgent forces in Syria for using chemical weapons/elements.”
Iran “holds responsible, in addition to the elements of violent forces, their supporter countries including the American government, for any resort to chemical weapons/elements by those insurgent forces,” it states.
The letter makes no reference to the possibility of chemical weapons use by Syria itself – holder of the world’s third-largest chemical arsenal. Nor does it acknowledge that if the same argument was applied to the regime, then Iran and Russia, Syria’s closest supporters, would likewise be held responsible for any regime use of chemical weapons.
The Iranian letter is undated and was produced by the previous government under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to informed sources in Iran who provided a copy to the Monitor on the condition that they not be further identified.
Reuters reported back in May that the UN had collected testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas.
U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.
Hostages who were recently released from a Syrian prison say they overheard a Skype conversation between three rebels, one who identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general. The three contended that insurgents had used gas in Ghouta to trigger Western intervention.
On CBS’ Face the Nation, Sunday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said  that the Obama Regime “embellished” its public statements on the situation in Syria.  Amash said that the evidence presented to Congress during briefings is “not as strong” as what the Obama administration has been telling the public.
Democrat Alan Grayson D-FL is also saying that the Obama administration manipulated intelligence in order to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
The Daily Caller reported that according to former military officers who had access to the original intelligence reports, a Syrian military communication intercepted by Israel’s famed Unit 8200 electronic intelligence outfit was doctored so to lead the reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report.
The doctored report was leaked to a private Internet-based newsletter that boasts of close ties to the Israeli intelligence community, and led to news reports that the United States now had firm evidence showing that the Syrian government had ordered the chemical weapons attack on August 21 against a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus.
The doctored report was picked up on Israel’s Channel 2 TV  on Aug. 24, then by Focus magazine in Germany, the Times of Israel, and eventually by The Cable  in Washington, DC.
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.
However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.
The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.
According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.
The report contains a note at the end that the major was interrogated by Syrian intelligence for three days, then returned to command of his unit. “All of his weapons were accounted for,” the report stated.
This ties in with what Walid Shoebat has been reporting – Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad) and Yossef Bodansky’s blockbuster piece: Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?
This morning Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is awaiting a proposal from the Russians about how Syria could agree to give up its chemical weapons, but will not wait for long.
Kerry told a House panel on Tuesday that the Obama administration will give any proposal a hard look, but that it must not be used as a delaying tactic and that it has to be verifiable, real, and include tangible conditions for Syrian President Bashar Assad to forfeit his chemical weapons.
Kerry is testifying in the House to persuade members of the Armed Services Committee to back Obama’s request for military action against Syria — a strike that could be avoided if Syria gives up its weapons.
Meanwhile, @AP: BREAKING: Senate Republican leader McConnell announces his opposition to military strikes against Syria.