(Rooters) - The Afghan army has tossed in the clink Please don't kill me! or sacked hundreds of soldiers for having links to bad turbans, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday as it tries to stem the rising number of so-called insider attacks.
It made the announcement as NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... to express his concern over the attacks, in which Afghan servicemen have killed at least 45 NATO-led troops this year, including 15 in August, compared with 35 for all of last year.
"Hundreds were sacked or tossed in the clink Please don't kill me! after showing links with bad turbans. In some cases we had evidence against them, in others we were simply suspicious," Defence Ministry front man Zahir Azimi told news hounds in Kabul.
"Using an army uniform against foreign forces is a serious point of concern not only for the Defence Ministry but for the whole Afghan government," Azimi said, adding that Karzai had ordered Afghan forces to devise ways to stop insider attacks.
Azimi declined to say whether the tossed in the clink Please don't kill me! and fired soldiers were from Taliban strongholds in the south and east, saying they were from all over the country.
He said his ministry started an investigation into the attacks, called green-on-blue attacks, within the 195,000-strong Afghan army six months ago.
[An Nahar] Mauritanian authorities have handed over Muammar Qadaffy's ... who had more funny outfits than Louis XIV... ex-spy chief to Libya nearly five months after he was placed in durance vile Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! for entering the country illegally, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
"Mauritanian authorities hand over ex-Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi to Libya," read a newsflash on the screen written in Arabic.
An official source speaking on condition of anonymity ... for fear of being murdered... confirmed that Senussi had "effectively left Mauritania".
A delegation from Libya, including the defense minister and army chief of staff, were in Nouakchott on Tuesday for a visit which several official sources said was in connection with the extradition.
Senussi, a brother-in-law and feared former right-hand man of the slain Libyan dictator, was placed in durance vile Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! in Mauritania in March and charged two months later for illegal entry and use of forged documents.
[Bangla Daily Star] Eminent war crimes researcher Shahriar Kabir yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-2 that Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... had committed genocide and crimes against humanity in the name of religion during the Liberation War in 1971.
The party's charter was at variance with the constitution of the country, as it did not believe in people's illusory sovereignty, said Shahriar Kabir during his cross-examination in the war crimes case against Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.
The prominent writer and journalist is the first prosecution witness in the case.
He said Ghulam Azam, another accused of war crimes and former ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, had regretted his actions in favour of the Language Movement afterwards.
Defence counsel Mizanul Islam cross-examined Shahriar for two and a half hours and asked over 70 questions, mostly on the Jamaat and its former chief Ghulam Azam.
The tribunal yesterday witnessed a heated situation in the courtroom when half a dozen defence counsels reacted angrily over a comment made by the witness.
While giving his testimony on August 26, Shahriar appealed to the tribunal to try the Jamaat-e-Islami and its associate forces alongside the top leaders of these organizations for crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
Yesterday, during the cross-examination, he said the party had played a vital role in turning Pakistain into an Islamic Theocratic Republic although it was not in power between 1947 and 1970. Pakistain became an Islamic Theocratic Republic through the constitution of 1956.
"The Jamaat did not make any statement against the Language Movement when the movement was on," said the defence counsel.
Shahriar, who is also executive president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, agreed with the defence on this point.
Responding to another question, Shahriar said the Dhaka University Students' Union had demanded that Bangla be made one of the state languages of Pakistain when it handed over a citation to Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948.
"It was Ghulam Azam, the then general secretary of the Dhaka University Students' Union, who read out the citation [at the meeting]," said defence counsel Mizanul.
"Yes, but he later regretted his involvement with the movement," replied Shahriar.
"Do you have any footage or audio clips of Ghulam Azam regretting his involvement? asked Mizanul.
"There was no opportunity for taking video footage then. What a stupid question!" Shahriar replied. The defence vehemently objected to the comment. Most among the team rose from their seats and started shouting in the courtroom angrily.
The prosecution counsels also were on their feet. The courtroom took a chaotic turn with both sides shouting for around five minutes, until the court intervened.
The witness and the defence later apologised to the court for such a situation.
Shahriar continued, "There was no opportunity for video recording then and I don't know whether there is any audio clip of Ghulam Azam's speech. It was published in then newspapers and is also in the writings of Badruddin Umar, chief researcher of the Language Movement."
"Can you tell us when and where Ghulam Azam delivered his speech?" the defence asked.
The witness replied that he needed to go through Badruddin Umar's book.
The defence then asked if Shahriar knew which newspaper had published Ghulam Azam's speech.
"As far as I can remember, Badruddin Umar quoted the event from Daily Azad," answered Shahriar.
At this, Mizanul Islam said the witness' claim about Ghulam Azam's speech was a part of his "continuous propaganda against the Jamaat-e-Islami and its leaders".
Shahriar denied the defence's claim just saying, "It is not true."
"Haven't you and your organization been waging a movement to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami and other parties formed on the basis of religious values," asked Mizanul.
"We have been moving against politics by fundamentalists, communalists and peddlers of religion. Religion is sacred to us and it should not be contaminated with politics. The Jamaat committed genocide and crimes against humanity in the name of religion in 1971," replied Shahriar.
He said the Nirmul Committee did not move against any political parties that believed in communism. Such a movement would go against the constitution and the spirit of the Liberation War. The communists also participated in the war of liberation in 1971, he added.
Replying to another question, he said, "We have verbally urged the Election Commission not to register the Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party because we think the party is comprised of killers and war criminals and does not obey Bangladesh's constitution."
The defence then asked Shahriar whether Jamaat politicians had violated the constitution when they took their oath as per the constitution in 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008.
"I think they violated the constitution by taking the oath and this is its political hypocrisy, as according to its charter, the Jamaat-e-Islami is against Article 7 of the constitution," said Shahriar, adding that the constitution speaks about people's illusory sovereignty which the Jamaat didn't believe in.
Jamaat Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami ...During the liberation war of 1971, Nizami formed the Al-Badr Force and acted as its supreme commander. The Al-Badr militia took active part in rape, extortion, looting and killing of Bangladeshis who supported the liberation, including a pre-planned massacre on December 14, 1971, when the Al-Badr militia along with Pakistan Army rounded up hundreds of doctors, professors, writers, and other Bengali intellectuals, and executed them... and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed had become ministers in 2001 after taking oath as per constitution, said Mizanul. Then he asked the witness, "Did they work against the constitution?"
"I do not think they [Nizami and Mojaheed] worked in compliance with the constitution, as their behaviour towards me after my arrest [during the BNP-led coalition government] does not go with the oath they had taken," said the witness.
Japan has told the U.S. it is against increasing the permissible range and payload of South Korean missiles, a senior diplomatic source said Tuesday. Seoul is having a hard time persuading Washington to revise a voluntary agreement that limits the range and payload. We should remember that Japan and the ROK are allies of convenience, at best...
The source said Tokyo "is taking a negative attitude toward Seoul's drastic extension of the missile range" from the current 300 km to over 800 km "for fear that a considerable part of the island nation would come within their range." Tokyo is about 1,160 km from Seoul and Osaka about 848 km.
Experts believe that Japan's three-stage solid-fuel rocket could be turned into an intercontinental ballistic missile anytime.
Tokyo has stepped up lobbying against the increased capacity since President Lee Myung-bak on Aug. 10 made a symbolic visit to Dokdo, to which Japan maintains a dubious claim. It has reportedly told Washington that South Korea could take independent action against North Korea if it improves capacity.
North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly convenes for the second time this year on Sept. 25, the state-run KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday. It did not say what will be discussed. The first meeting took place in April.
The rubber-stamp parliament met twice a year in the days of nation founder Kim Il-sung but only once a year since Kim Jong-il officially took power in 1998, except in 2003 and 2010.
There is speculation that the National Defense Commission, the top decision-making body under Kim Jong-il, will be restructured to reflect recent changes, according to Ryu Dong-ryeol at the Police Science Institute. Former army chief Ri Yong-ho was gunned down purged in July by rival Choe Ryong-hae.
Perhaps Choe will be promoted to vice chairman of the NDC and old guards like vice chairmen Ri Yong-mu (87), O Kuk-ryol (82) and Kim Yong-chun (76) and NDC member Ju Kyu-chang (84) put on the scrap heap. Or they'll just be shot, if they haven't been already...
Any void could be filled by Kim Yong-chol, the head of the General Reconnaissance Bureau who is in charge of anti-South Korean operations, and new army chief Hyon Yong-chol.
It's kind of like those old James Bond movies - where SPECTRE would meet for a management review. Then some guy's chair would fall through a hole in the floor and he would be dropped into the shark cage.
You just never know who could disappear at a meeting of the North Korean Parliament :-)
[Dawn] The United States is keeping up pressure on the Pakistain-linked Haqqani network, a US official said Wednesday, just days ahead of a congressional deadline on whether to designate it a terrorist group.
"We've been pretty clear for a long time... that the US policy is to put pressure on the Haqqani network," acting US State Department deputy front man Patrick Ventrell told journalists.
"That includes both the sanctions we have already disclosed, but also military pressure as well."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Heroine of Tuzla and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Elihu Root ... has said she will meet an obligation to decide by Sunday whether the Haqqani network should be considered terrorists.
US politicians have pressed her to blacklist the group, but some US officials have warned such a move could further fray already fragile ties with Pakistain.
US officials have linked the Haqqani network to some of the boldest attacks in Afghanistan including a June assault on a hotel near Kabul that killed 18 people and a siege last year of the US embassy.
Clinton last week declined comment on which way she is leaning, but said the United States was already "putting steady pressure" on the Haqqani network.
"That is part of what our military does every single day along with our ISAF partners," she said, referring to the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... -led force in Afghanistan.
"We are drying up their resources, we are targeting their military and intelligence personnel, we are pressing the Paks to step up their own efforts," she said during a visit to the Cook Islands.
[Dawn] The government has decided to bring in a new law that would arm security and intelligence agencies with modern techniques of surveillance and collecting evidence to ensure that no culprit escaped punishment for lack of proof.
Law Minister Farooq Naek told Dawn on Tuesday that the Fair Trial Act of 2012 would be among three to four other laws that the federal cabinet would consider at a meeting on Wednesday.
The minister said if the laws were approved by the cabinet, the government would table them in parliament during the ongoing sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate. He said the Fair Trial Act of 2012 was being promulgated to ensure that no culprit, particularly those involved in acts of terrorism, managed to win release from the courts because of lack of evidence or through intimidation of witnesses and even judges.
The government had introduced a bill to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act in the Senate some two years ago, but the house committee on
interior, headed by a JUI-F Senator, did nothing.
The minister said the law was aimed at providing investigation for collection of evidence by means of modern techniques and devices to prevent and effectively deal with scheduled offences and to regulate powers of law-enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Explaining the term 'scheduled offences', the minister said there was a long list of laws that dealt with different kinds of offences such as the Pakistain Nuclear Regulation Act and the Explosives Act.
Mr Naek said the law would also prevent security and intelligence agencies from using arbitrary powers and to provide for permissible and fair uses in accordance with the law and under proper executive and judicial oversight keeping in view Article 10-A of the Constitution.
The existing laws, he said, had no provision for modern investigative techniques such as covert surveillance, human intelligence, eavesdropping and communication interception.
[Dawn] Punjab police on Tuesday decided to reorganise lists of Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act and show zero tolerance toward the elements promoting sectarianism.
Field officers were asked to arrest such elements after registration of cases against them. Authorities announced a new and comprehensive plan to ensure security for foreigners, government installations, minorities and the general public.
Punjab Police Inspector General Habib-ur-Rehman stated this at a meeting on law and order in the province at the Central Police Office here. Additional IGs, RPOs and DPOs from all over the province and Lahore police command were also present.
The meeting decided that police would ensure foolproof security for foreigners and minorities in the province and a strategy must be implemented in this regard.
It was decided that promotion cases would be decided on merit and in the light of court directions. The IG was informed that at least 16 DSPs (legal) had been promoted to the rank of SP and seven DSPs and other officers were regularised on merit in recent past.
The meeting reviewed police encounters, arrests of top-10 and top-20 proclaimed offenders and overall crime situation in the province. So far, 44 police encounters have been reported in Rahim Yar Khan, 26 in Faisalabad ...formerly known as Lyallpur, the third largest metropolis in Pakistain, the second largest in Punjab after Lahore. It is named after some Arab because the Paks didn't have anybody notable of their own to name it after... and 16 in Vehari in which most wanted criminals were killed and cooled for a few years Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw! The IG gave cash award of Rs100,000 to Rahim Yar Khan DPO Sohail Zafar Chatha, and Rs50,000 each to Faisalabad CPO Bilal Siddique Kamyana and Vehari DPO Ali Nasir Rizvi. Similarly, the IG awarded cash prizes of Rs50,000 and Rs25,000 to Lahore CCPO Aslam Tareen, DIG (Operations) Rai Tahir and DIG (Investigations) Chaudhry Shafique who traced the 34-member Kohat gang involved in bank robberies.
The IG directed the Sheikhupura RPO to send him proposals on relocation of Sheikhupura Police Range from Lahore to Sheikhupura. On this occasion, the IG said that names of Faisalabad RPO Aftab Ahmed Cheema, Vehari DPO Ali Nasir Rizvi and Sahiwal DPO Rana Ayyaz Saleem had been withdrawn from the Mid Career Management Course due to their outstanding performance.
The IG directed the coppers to respond to media queries and ensure their availability to the media in case of any incident.
The meeting decided to ensure physical fitness of the coppers across the province and field officers were directed to replace overweight officials on operational duties with smart and energetic coppers.
[Dawn] The Fata chapter of Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... (PTI) has expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... over longevity of military operation in Bara and asked army to make public the goals it has achieved in the tribal region.
Addressing a presser here on Tuesday, PTI Fata leader Javed Afridi said that Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI... should at least disclose to the nation the achievements or failures of the operation.
Flanked by Ali Rahman Afridi, Jamal Khan Afridi, Haji Khan Afridi, Muzammil Afridi and Arif Afridi, he said that situation in Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... was more serious as compared to that of Khyber Agency but operation in the district was completed within three months. But in Khyber Agency the operation took more than three years and it was yet to be completed, he added.
Mr Afridi said that tribal people did not know as to what mistake they had committed for which they were forced to leave their houses and villages.
The tribal people, he said, had always rendered sacrifices for protection of the country's borders and it was duty of government to do justice with them.
"According to Article-1 of the Constitution of Pakistain, tribal people have equal rights like those living in the settled parts of the country.
But, situation in Fata is different as lives, honour and properties of tribal people are not secure," he said.
Mr Afridi claimed that no high value target was hit in the operation and only innocent people were affected. "Yesterday, a small girl fell prey to a bullet in her mother lap," he said.
The PTI leader said that tribal people were being made scapegoats in the war of others. He said that thousands of poor people were compelled to live as internally displaced persons in camps where they were insulted and even killed when they tried to get food for their children.
"The rulers have no sympathies with the poor people, who are leading a miserable life in the camps without getting sufficient food, water and shelter," Mr Afridi said. He added that people were passing through the worst phase of history.He said that a think-tank should be formed under the supervision of chief of army staff to work in consultation with tribal people for restoration of peace in Fata.
[An Nahar] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday canceled a security cabinet meeting after details from an initial session, which reportedly concerned the Iranian threat, were leaked to the press.
"A short time after the conclusion of yesterday's meeting, a very serious thing happened: a leak from within the cabinet's discussions," said a statement from his office.
"Yesterday, somebody severely undermined the confidence that Israeli citizens give to this forum. He violated the most basic rules regarding the conduct of security cabinet discussions," he said.
Details about the meeting, at which the 14-member security cabinet was briefed by military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi, Tamir Pardo who heads the Mossad spy service, and Yoram Cohen who runs the Shin Bet internal security, were splashed across the front page of Wednesday's Yediot Aharonot.
Under the headline: "Dispute over Iran between intelligence agencies," the article said the various organizations "presented conflicting positions on Iran."
"There is currently a disagreement about the point at which Israel's ability to damage the Iranian nuclear program loses its effectiveness," the paper said, indicating it was the first time "in many months" the forum had held an in-depth debate about Iran's nuclear progress.
No doubt Netanyahu is furious. But if you look at what actually was "leaked" - it didn't do any great harm. The leaks don't appear to have strengthened the position of Washington or Tehran. But they have probably set the world's mind at ease - at least a little bit. Speaking as one individual, I feel better for knowing that the situation (as view by the Israeli Cabinet) is "disturbing but not daunting". At least they are looking things in a balanced and rational way.
Look beyond the veil.
All the excitement could really be from the content of the leak, which may identify the leaker. Or, satisfaction that items discussed were also leaked through other channels. Or even, they are ready to go now and this is intended to mask the timetable.
Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, terrorist who orchestrated 2002 Park Hotel massacre, in which 30 Israelis died, gets $3,000 a month, Channel 2 reports; bomb-maker tossed in the clink Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! for 67 killings gets $1,000
Despite the Paleostinian Authority's financial hardships, it spends tens of millions of shekels each month paying salaries to prisoners held in Israeli jails for security offenses and acts of terrorism against Israel -- including mass murderers -- and last year Prime Minister Salam Fayyad ...Fayyad's political agenda holds that neither violence nor peaceful negotiations have brought the Paleostinians any closer to an independent state. The alternative to both, violent negotiations, doesn't seem to be working too well, either... tripled their monthly pay. The PA also pays monthly stipends to the families of jacket wallahs.
Payments are made not only to members of Fatah, the political faction of PA President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... , but also to those of his bitter Islamist rivals from Hamas, and other factions.
As of May 2011, the PA spent NIS 18 million ($4.5 million) per month on compensating Paleostinian inmates in Israeli prisons and a further NIS 26 million ($6.5 million) on payments to families of suicide bombers. In all, such payments cost the PA some 6 percent of its overall budget, Israel's Channel 2 news reported on Monday night, citing documentation signed by Fayyad.
The PA also makes payments to Israeli Arabs tossed in the clink Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! for security offenses against Israel, the report said.
Starting in 2003, Paleostinian law mandated the dispensation of a monthly salary of NIS 1,000 ($250) to security detainees sentenced to up to five years in prison. The longer the sentence, the higher the pay. An inmate serving a life sentence was paid NIS 4,000 ($1,000) per month.
An amendment of the law in January 2011 enacted by Fayyad increased the salaries by up to 300%, Channel 2 reported.
A prisoner sentenced up to three years in prison now receives a base salary of NIS 1,400 per month, and for 3-5 years that rate increases to NIS 2,000, the report said. A NIS 300 bonus is added for a wife, and NIS 50 per child.
According to the Channel 2 report, the PA-funded salaries are an equal opportunity benefit; members of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad ...created after many members of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the liquidation of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah... all receive them.
Prisoners' salaries also increase based on how many years they have served. Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas bomb-maker who was sentenced in 2004 to 67 life terms for orchestrating the killings of 67 Israelis, receives a monthly stipend of NIS 4,000. In less than a year that figure will rise to NIS 6,000 ($1,500).
Another major Hamas terrorist figure, Abbas al-Sayyeed, convicted of planning the 2002 Park Hotel massacre, in which 30 Israeli non-combatants were killed as they sat down for a Passover meal, is paid NIS 12,000 ($3,000) per month.
Prisoners who have sat more than 30 years in Israeli prison receive NIS 12,000 per month.
[ABC News] Secretary-General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... is criticizing the U.N. Security Council for failing to take action to protect Syrians facing massive violence, which has led to thousands of deaths.
Ban told a General Assembly meeting Wednesday that the council's paralysis is not only harming the Syrian people but damaging its reputation and weakening the concept of protecting civilians caught in conflict.
At a U.N. summit in 2005, world leaders agreed that governments have a collective responsibility to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
Ban demanded urgent action, saying: "We cannot stand by while populations fall victim to these grave crimes and violations." Awwww, sure you can. You usually do...
[An Nahar] The March 14 forces on Wednesday announced the creation of a permanent consultative body aimed at confronting the threats facing Leb, urging President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... and "all the free, loyal Lebanese" to take part in defending the country.
"The conferees agreed that there are four main threats that require political, popular and parliamentary mobilization before it is too late," said a statement issued after a broad meeting for the March 14 forces in Maarab.
The March 14 forces warned of "the Syrian regime's insistence on blowing up the security situation in Leb, especially in the North, and on targeting civil peace through bringing back the hit list and plotting bombings."
They also accused Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... of being behind the latest kidnappings.
The conferees slammed "the insistence of Iran's allies in Leb on rejecting the concept of the state and its illusory sovereignty, hijacking the decisions of war and peace and turning the country into an arena for regional and international conflicts."
The gatherers accused Hizbullah of "defying the principle of protecting Leb and sparing it (the repercussions of Syria's crisis), as stipulated by the Baabda Declaration."
[An Nahar] The Free Syrian Army plans to reform to overcome divisions and address the growing number of militias fighting on its behalf, as well as to rename itself, a rebel general said on Wednesday.
Following discussions due to end in around 10 days, the FSA would go by the name of the Syrian National Army, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, head of the military council grouping rebel chiefs, told AFP.
The FSA, which has grown from a rag-tag force of military defectors into a popular guerrilla bad turban movement buoyed by civilian recruits, was also set to appoint General Mohammed Hussein Hajj Ali as its highest-ranking officer.
"After a long period, we must restructure the army because we fear the proliferation of militias in Syria and want to preserve the country's future," said the brigadier general, who was among the first to defect to the FSA.
Among those areas that needed restructuring was the control of funds that reach rebel fighters, in order to "prevent the creation of militias because that is very dangerous," said Sheikh.
While rebel groups are gathered under the auspices of the FSA, the structure of the rebel army remains vague and lacks a strong and cohesive central command.
"There are many groups that claim to be the FSA but do as they please," said the general.
He said reforms were key to winning the support of the international community which has so far been reluctant to arm the rebels "on the grounds that the (FSA) is not a real institution."
The rebel army has thousands of fighters, among them about 3,000 officers of various ranks, including 70 generals, according to Sheikh.
Unifying the FSA ranks would prevent Sunni majority countries from "sinking into a civil and confessional war after the fall of the regime" of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... , who hails from the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam.
[An Nahar] Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday told a meeting of Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... ministers it was time for the Syrian regime to step down and added that a resolution of the crisis was an Arab responsibility.
"I tell the Syrian regime 'there is still a chance to end the bloodshed'. Now is the time for change... no time to be wasted talking about reform," Morsi told the Cairo meeting.
"Don't take the right step at the wrong time... because that would be the wrong step," he said.
He urged Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... to "take lessons from recent history" and step aside, in reference to Arab Spring revolts that overthrew the longtime dictators of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
The Battle of Fallujah took 1.5 months for the Marines to resolve. It's been 1.5 months since the Battle of Aleppo started, and both sides are still whaling away at each other. Of course, it has to be said that the Battle of Fallujah that ended decisively was actually the second campaign for that city. The First Battle of Fallujah was terminated about 1-1/2 years before the second campaign was initiated. Given that Aleppo has 7x Fallujah's population, the struggle for Aleppo may have years left to go before one side prevails.
Turkey accused Syria of "state terrorism ... normally, any action taken by a non-Moslem state that constrains the violent impulses of Moslems or their allies ... " Wednesday after a sharp spike in the corpse count from the Syrian civil war, and Iran came under new scrutiny with the U.S. alleging that Tehran is flying weapons to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... 's regime across Iraqi airspace. With violence escalating in the nearly 18-month-old crisis, strains rippled across the region as Egypt's president urged Assad to take a lesson from the Arab Spring uprisings that deposed other leaders and step down.