Far from bowing to international pressure over the brutal siege of Homs, Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad is extending his military clampdown across the country.
he last defenders of the free Syrian village of Ain al-Beida were huddling from a biting wind in a Turkish border town. They were still covered with mud from their desperate escape over the mountains.
The previous day, the unit of 50 ragged fighters were driven out of their village by 500 Syrian soldiers backed with tanks. Afterwards, President Bashar al-Assads forces burnt the buildings and planted landmines.
"Weve never seen them fight like that before, they were crazed," said Jamal, a rebel commander, on Saturday. "You shot them and they didnt drop. They must have been drugged or something."
Many other villages in Idlib province, in the north along the Turkish border, got the same treatment last week. While the world's attention was focused on the horror being inflicted on Homs, where Syrian troops were accused of "medieval barbarity" by David Cameron, President Assad expanded his scorched-earth policy northwards in an apparent bid to destroy the rebel movement altogether.
"There are soldiers everywhere now," said one man who escaped out of Idlib province on Friday night. "They have flooded the countryside, shelling the villages, searching and raiding everywhere."
"We've never seen them fight like that before, they were crazed," said Jamal, a rebel commander, on Saturday. "You shot them and they didn't drop. They must have been drugged or something."
The Islamists are merely fighting for the right to liquidate non-Sunnis at their whim. The Alawites, Christians and other religious minorities who are the core of Assad's military are fighting for their lives. I would expect their motivational levels to be somewhat different.
Yes - Islamists claim to love offing themselves as we love life, but the reality is that the number who actually believe that is probably zero - just about every Islamist who has conducted a self-immolation has required major monetary payments to his family members by sponsoring terror groups/Muslim governments.
If they really believed checking out while slaughtering infidels would be rewarded by Allah with places in heaven for them and 72 other favored friends and family, why the need for earthly compensation? Not to mention major narcotics-binging prior to the attacks?
Drugs have been used in the past. Super warrior. I have heard of this being done many times in history. "they were crazed", this will put fear into any opposition. Biting wind is because it has been snowing and cold.
Some were saying the rebels cause had been lost last week.
Could be the Legion. Might not even be French. If I were Lebanese or Algerian and caught in Syria, I might claim I was French.
Or it might not have happened at all. I can't see Legion allowing themselves to be "captured" under such circumstances and by the rebels? And then turned over to the govt by the rebels? That would assume the rebels and the govt. are on speaking terms.
Officials release graphic chat transcripts from Temple bombing suspects gallery
HACKENSACK -- Nineteen year old Aakash Dalal was the brains behind a string of attacks that terrorized the Bergen County Jewish community between December and January, police alleged on Friday.
Aakash Dalal, a Lodi resident and student at Rutgers University, is the second man jugged in connection to the attacks, which began as petty vandalism and took a violent turn with the Molotov cocktailing of two synogogues last month.
Another 19-year-old Lodi man, Anthony M. Graziano, is accused of wielding the Molotov cocktails that were thrown into the window of the Congregation Beth El temple in Rutherford. But police say Dalal, Graziano's childhood friend, was behind the scenes, prodding him along.
He is charged with aggravated arson, conspiracy to commit aggravated arson, bias intimidation and two counts of criminal mischief. He's being held on $2.5 million bail.
Graziano, who has already plead not guilty to his charges, faces additional counts after the investigation found that both men were present in the cases of anti-Semitic graffiti at Jewish temples in December of last year, Molinelli said.
Dalal, whose academic status at Rutgers is unclear, was described as a religious agnostic.
How very odd. Is this the kind of behaviour we expect from agnostics?
It remains unclear where he and Graziano allegedly developed anti-Semitic views. The two were not members of any known hate groups, Molinelli said.
It was the Congregation Beth El temple in Rutherford, where authorities allege Graziano flung Molotov cocktails into the windows of the upstairs residence while Rabbi Nosson Schuman and his family slept on Jan. 11.
"In hindsight, it makes sense that they are two [suspects]," Schuman told The Record Friday. "The person they caught today is more the criminal mastermind behind the attacks, and Graziano is the pawn carrying out the attacks."
Molinelli also revealed Friday that Graziano was in the process of obtaining a gun when he was apprehended in January.
"I am certain that we were within weeks away of a tragedy," he said.
Aakash Dalal is not a Muslim? Well then, what kind of a name is that?
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
03/03/2012 12:35 Comments ||
Abu, according to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know....), "Dalal is a surname of a family which is mainly found in Bangladesh [and also India]. . . . Dalals claim to be descendants of Dalla Bhatti Yadav" (whoever the hell that was).
Posted by: Barbara ||
03/03/2012 18:36 Comments ||
African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... and Somali government troops seized control of an al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... krazed killer base in the north of the capital on Friday, a move the AU troops said would reduce the rebels' capacity to launch attacks in the city.
"In a swift move that started this morning, the Uganda Contingent helped capture Maslah which the Death Eaters have been using as a base to launch attacks on the city," AMISOM said in a statement. AMISOM Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha said the operation "extended the city's defenses and will deny the forces of Evil important ground from which they have been attacking the population."
Jessica Biel aka Sophie in "The Illusionist (2006)" aka Erin in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)" aka Charissa Sosa in "The A-Team (2010)" aka Mary Camden in "7th Heaven (TV Series 19962007)" aka Lt. Kara Wade in "Stealth (2005)" aka Abigail Whistler in "Blade: Trinity (2004)" aka Vanessa Price in "Home of the Brave (2006)" (age 30)
[Dawn] At least 55 people were killed Friday in violence in Pakistain's troubled northwestern tribal region of Kyhber, which borders Afghanistan, local officials said.
Twenty-two people were killed in a suicide kaboom targeting a mosque after Friday prayers in the Tirah valley, while at least 10 soldiers and 23 forces of Evil died in an earlier clash around 10 kilometres away (six miles).
Fifteen forces of Evil were also killed when Pakistain fighter jets blitzed various suspected turban hideouts in the Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... .
Kyhber is a haven for forces of Evil linked to the Pak Taliban and the threat of renewed fighting there between the army and bully boyz prompted some 18,000 people to flee their homes in October last year.
Local administration official Jamilur Rehman told AFP that the suicide kaboom killed at least 22 people and maimed more than 20 others, adding the toll may rise.
"The bomber let 'er rip near the gate of a mosque in Tirah valley of Khyber tribal region when people were returning from the prayers," he said.
The mosque is located in an area controlled by warlord Mangal Bagh ...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency... , he said, adding that most of the dead were from his Lashkar-e-Islam --a group widely linked to forces of Evil and criminal gangs.
The attack and the toll was confirmed by Khyber administration chief Mutahir Zeb Khan.
"It was a suicide attack. The bomber went kaboom!" at the entrance of the mosque when the worshippers were returning after the Friday prayers," he said.
Khan earlier said at least 10 Pak soldiers and 23 forces of Evil were killed in a shootout in the Tirah valley.
"At least 10 soldiers embraced martyrdom and three others were maimed," a security bigshot told AFP, adding that the fighting lasted for nearly six hours.
"All law enforcement agencies' posts in the area were intact and the situation was stable," the official said, blaming the Lashkar-e-Islam group for attacking the outpost.
Military officials in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties, but it was not possible to independently verify the official account of the incident as access to the area is restricted.
Separately, fifteen forces of Evil were killed and 10 others maimed when Pakistain fighter jets blitzed various suspected turban hideouts in the Orakzai Agency.
Five suspected hideouts were destroyed in the operation in Akhunkot and Balras areas, said official sources.
Gunmen on cycle of violences Friday rubbed out an intelligence official in Peshawar, police said.
Bashir Khan, a 38-year-old Intelligence Bureau inspector, was on his way to work on his cycle of violence when gunnies also riding a motorbike shot him, senior police official Tahir Ayub told AFP.
Ayub said it was not immediately clear who shot Khan.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Lashkar-e-Islami
It's a start....
Posted by: Barbara ||
03/03/2012 18:37 Comments ||
[Dawn] Taliban rubbed out a pro-government tribal elder of Mohmand ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... Agency along with his nine-year-old son in Ghoshta area of Afghanistan near the border.
Malik Nasrullah, an elder of Mamad Kor Khwezai, and his son Yasir were killed by Orcs and similar vermin in Afghanistan, sources said here on Thursday.
Mohmand Taliban spokesperson Mukarram Khurasani talked to local journalists by telephone from an unspecified location and grabbed credit for killing Malik Nasrullah and his son.
He claimed that the tribal elder was using his son as a shield.
In Swabi, Orcs and similar vermin blew up a government school in Razaar tehsil on the night between Wednesday and Thursday.
It was the fourth incident of its kind in Razaar during the last one week. Officials said that Orcs and similar vermin planted two bombs at Government High School for Boys Yar Hussain No.1 that went off at 2:30am. They said that the kabooms rocked the entire
Officials said that about 1,000 students were enrolled in the school. The school was kept open on Thursday owing to preparation for the upcoming annual examinations.
Officials said that so far 12 educational institutions were destroyed by Orcs and similar vermin in the district. They said that Orcs and similar vermin had targeted schools in Marghuz, Aman Kot, Tand Kohi, Khalil Banda, Karnal Sher Kallay, Shewa Adda, Shiekh Jana, Muradabad, Swabi, Panjpir and Yar Hussain. Two watchmen were present in the school at the time of the kabooms. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat... no casualty was reported.
Officials said that owing to presence of watchmen, Orcs and similar vermin planted bombs near the outer wall of classrooms. Both the watchmen said that they didn't see any suspected person before or after the blasts.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan
[Dawn] Senior Afghan holy men said on Friday the Koran burning ...One of the basic tenets of Islam is that once a Koran has been printed it is expected to last for all time, no matter how old, ratty, and smelly other, lesser holy books may become. Should it actually become necessary to put a Koran out of its misery there is a ritual that includes extensive charivari, featuring long drawn-wailing and head bonking, ritual wife beating, and the sacrifice of dozens of women's noses and pubic lips. When the actual disposal has been completed there is a prescribed period of celebratory gun sex with the expectation of a minimum of two hundred casualties. Should actual infidels dispose of a Koran, Islamic custom calls for three weeks of rioting and a minimum of three dozen dead, which is a holdover from the days of Moloch worship... at a 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... base last month was an "evil act" that must be punished, a demand that could deepen widespread public anger over the incident. This is what happens when you apologize to Muslim crazies...
"The council strongly condemns this crime and inhumane, savage act by American troops by desecrating holy Koran's," members of a council of holy mans said after meeting President Hamid 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... , according to a statement issued by his office.
"The council emphasised that the apology for this evil act can never be accepted. Those who committed this crime must be publicly tried and punished."
Despite the apology from US President Barack Obama I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick... , the desecration of the Koran's at Bagram air base ignited a wave of anti-Western fury across the country. Moslems consider the Koran the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence.
At least 30 people were killed in the protests. The Koran's had been confiscated from prisoners at the base and mistakenly discarded in an incinerator, US officials said. Afghan labourers found charred remnants.
The Koran burnings have hurt a US campaign to win the hearts and minds of Afghans in order to weaken the Taliban and force the turban group to negotiate an end to the war now in its eleventh year.
Hearts and minds winning daze are over. The Taliban saw opportunity knocking and they went for it. The clerics will keep the pot boiling an people will continue to go ape sh*t. Welost the propaganda war a long time ago. We are not loved, respected or even feared.
This land is frog-in-a-box mental.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
03/03/2012 0:38 Comments ||
80% of this shit is a direct result of the Idiot Obumbles apologizing instead of telling them to fu*k off and die already.
If we stay then we need to change from a 'nation building' force to a occupation force - even a brutal occupation force.
Korans are defiled by writing in them, and can then be burned or buried by Islamic law. Afghan interpreters determined which ones were burned--yet the laborers pulling out charred remains were upset over the messages destroyed.
A NATO military official said last week that it appeared detainees were exchanging messages by making notations in the texts. The Western official confirmed reports that after the writings were discovered, two Afghan-American interpreters were assigned to go through the materials at the library and that 1,652 items were removed.
The items, which included the Korans, were placed in boxes and the Western official confirmed that a decision was taken to dispose of them because of a lack of storage space and because of the notes scribbled in them.
At some point a group of soldiers on a work detail came and removed the books to throw them away. The Western official told The Associated Press on Saturday the three soldiers on the garbage detail had no idea what they were carrying to the burn pit.
The Afghan workers then realized what was being burned and tried to extinguish the flames, some burned their fingers trying to salvage the books. Afghan government officials said initial reports indicated four Koran texts were burned.
To clarify my point--1652 items removed and only 4 were defiled Korans, the same they were pulling out of the incinerator. Sounds like proper procedures and those leading the uproar are most likely the instigators....and should be incinerated, too.
The Republican party should be rejoicing over this news. All they have to do now to win the election in November is publish Obama's apology. The only question is will they put up a candidate with sufficient dangly bits to make an issue of it.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
03/03/2012 12:07 Comments ||
Sounds like self identify practice points for drone targeting.
[Bangla Daily Star] A jacket wallah on a cycle of violence attacked a 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... convoy in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar yesterday, wounding seven people including four soldiers, an official said.
"A suicide kaboomer rammed his explosives-laden cycle of violence into a convoy of NATO troops in Dand district injuring four foreign soldiers, one policeman, one translator and one civilian," provincial governor Toryalai Weesa told AFP.
The attack bore the hallmarks of Taliban bully boys, who on Monday targeted NATO troops in a suicide car booming at an airport in eastern Afghanistan, killing nine people but no foreign soldiers.
The Taliban said that attack was in Dire Revenge for the burning of Korans at a US military base at Bagram north of Kabul, an incident that ignited days of violent anti-US protests and led to an apology by US President Barack Obama I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick...
The only NATO soldiers reported killed in Afghanistan in the 10 days since the demonstrations erupted have died at the hands of Afghan colleagues.
Two Americans were killed at a military outpost in Kandahar Thursday, taking the number of Americans killed by Afghan associates to six since outbreak of the protests.
NATO withdrew all its advisors from Afghan government ministries after two American officers were shot and killed inside the interior ministry last Saturday, apparently by an Afghan colleague.
Two days earlier, two American troops were killed by an Afghan soldier who turned his weapon on them as demonstrators approached their base in the east of the country.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
[Yemen Post] Exchange of gunfire between rival Yemeni military forces occurred on Thursday on the footsteps of the residence of the new President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who was sworn in on Saturday in front of the Yemeni Parliament.
Gunfire battle broke out on Thursday evening between military forces loyal to defected Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who abandoned former President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... and pledged support to the revolution in March, and security forces under Saleh's nephew's, Yahia Mohammed Saleh, command, eyewitnesses told Yemen Post.
As of yet, the reason of the clash is still unclear with conflicting news circulating in the streets. However, a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth... security sources confirmed that the gunfire lasted only for a few minutes.
No reports of causalities have been released.
The incident happened only hours after Hadi issued his first presidential decree in which he appointed new military commanders and changed others.
Hadi has moved to the Presidential Palace on Monday after the official inauguration of him as the new Yemeni President.
He won the presidential election which is a part of the GCC-initiated power transfer deal signed in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in November 23.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Iran Press TV] A Russian state-controlled bank has closed down the accounts of Iranian embassy staff in Moscow in obvious submission to unilateral sanctions imposed by the West against Iran.
Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi was quoted by Dow Jones as criticizing the measure on Friday, accusing the Russian bank of surrendering to US-led financial sanctions against Tehran.
He added that shutting down the embassy's accounts were ordered at short notice by VTB 24, the retail banking arm of Russia's second-largest bank VTB, and even his own credit card has been blocked.
"The bank said that this was an order from their top management, and they couldn't do anything about it," Sajjadi wrote in a blog post.
"This behavior on the bank's part is ill-mannered, unprofessional and characteristics of Third World countries. Even banks in Britannia and La Belle France are not ready to take such liberties with our embassy employees," he said.
Meanwhile, ...back at the palazzo, Count Guido had escaped from his bonds and overwhelmed this guard using the bludgeon the faithful Filomena had smuggled to him in the loaf of bread... a front man from VTB 24 said the move was a "purely economic" one, saying the bank's wage project with the embassy was being closed because it is unprofitable.
The embassy had been informed a week in advance of the closure, he claimed.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
The Russians policy is that when they send a message, they want it understood clear as a bell.
In this case, when the balloon goes up, don't even think you can store your loot in Moscow.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... troops in Somalia on Friday began an operation aimed at capturing an Al-Shabaab ... Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahidin aka the Mujahideen Youth Movement. It was originally the youth movement of the Islamic Courts, now pretty much all of what's left of it. They are aligned with al-Qaeda but operate more like the Afghan or Pakistani Taliban... stronghold in the outskirts of Mogadishu.
The operation involves a contingent drawn from the Uganda People Defence Forces alongside the Transitional Federal Government troops, fighting to drive out the terrorist militia from Maslah region.
Amisom said the operation was "in response to attacks by the terror group Al-Shabaab originating from their base in the northern fringes of Mogadishu."
"It will extend the city's defences and deny the Al-Qaeda backed hard boyz important ground from which they have been targeting the city's population," said Amisom force commander, Maj Gen. Fred Mugisha.
At the same time, a statement released by the Somali army reiterated that armed personnel had been ordered to refrain from burning or abusing the flag of the retreating Al-Shabaab.
All armed personnel in the upcountry regions have been instructed to stop burning the black banner of Al-Shabaab. The statement added that the flag contains Islamic scripts.
Al-Shabaab's distinctive black flag has shahâdah (the Mohammedan profession of the oneness of Allah and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's final prophet), extolled on it.
"No soldier is allowed to burn the flag with shahâdah," said the statement.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/03/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Shabaab
[An Nahar] Syrian security forces on Friday killed 75 people across the country and opened fire to disperse demonstrations in the cities of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... and Damascus ...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations... as thousands erupted into the streets, activists and monitors said.
The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said among the victims were several children, two women and 14 summarily executed in the flashpoint Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr.
Thirty-four people were killed in Homs province, 11 in the northwestern province of Idlib, eight in the northern province of Aleppo, nine in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, nine in the central province of Hama, two in the Damascus suburb of Douma, one in the coastal province of Latakia and one in the southern province of Daraa, the LCC said.
The northern city of Aleppo was the scene of 12 protests, with demonstrators chanting support for Homs and other areas besieged by regime forces, according to local activist Mohammed al-Halabi.
"Hundreds were taking part several demonstrations in the Halab al-Jadida district, while thousands demonstrated in other areas such as Salah el-Din, Fardoss and Marjeh," he told Agence La Belle France Presse.
He said security forces fired live rounds at protesters in Salah el-Din and Saif a-Dawla neighborhoods, where several people were maimed and others incarcerated.
Five demonstrators were shot and maimed as security forces fired to disperse a protest outside Salam mosque in the Barzeh area of Damascus, after weekly Mohammedan prayers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Activist Mohammed al-Shami told AFP that thousands of demonstrators turned out in several areas of the capital and its suburbs, such as Mazzeh, Hajar al-Aswad, al-Aasali, Douma, Qadam, Qaboon and Kfar Sousa.
'We shall not abandon Homs. We shall not abandon Daraa," protesters chanted in a video posted online, hailing the main centers of dissent against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... 's regime.
Meanwhile, ...back at the mall, Clarissa spent the day shopping for new underwear. Tonight was going to be a special occasion... a Red Thingy relief convoy was poised to enter the battered Baba Amr neighborhood of the city of Homs, a day after regime forces overran it, ending a nearly four-week pounding.
More than 20,000 civilians are believed to have been trapped in the district through the prolonged bombardment with a lone doctor reported to be tending to the scores of casualties in a single makeshift clinic.
As rebel fighters pulled out on Thursday in the face of the regime's overwhelmingly superior fire power, the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) warned of "barbaric" reprisals against the neighborhood's residents.
The U.N. rights body appealed to Syria to respect international law after receiving unconfirmed reports of 17 "grisly" executions as regime forces took control of Baba Amr.
Rupert Colville, front man for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the OHCHR had received information "suggesting a particularly grisly set of summary executions" on Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said another 10 people were rubbed out in Baba Amr on Friday, but its head, Rami Abdul Rahman, added: "The circumstances of their deaths are not clear."
La Belle France announced it was closing its embassy in Damascus, mirroring similar moves by Britannia and the United States.
"What is going on is scandalous, there are more than 8,000 dead, hundreds of children, and the city of Homs faces the risk of being wiped off the map," French President Nicolas Sarkozy ...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit... said at the close of an EU summit.
A first International Committee of the Red Thingy and Syrian Arab Red Islamic Thingy relief convoy was poised to enter Baba Amr with seven truck loads of desperately needed supplies, an ICRC front man said.
"We are preparing to enter the district of Baba Amr," deputy ICRC front man Sebastien Carliez said in Geneva.
The Observatory urged the ICRC to use the access to the neighborhood to inspect a shopping center it said was being used by regime forces as a makeshift detention center.
The rebels said they had pulled out "tactically" from Baba Amr on Thursday, the second day of an all-out ground assault by the feared Fourth Armored Division led by President Bashir al-Assad's younger brother Maher.
The storming of the rebel bastion began early Wednesday, following 27 straight days of relentless shelling that has made the neighborhood an icon of the more than 11-month uprising against Assad's regime.
Other parts of Homs, including the Khaldiyeh, Bayyada, Bab Sbaa and Hamidiyeh neighborhoods, remain in the hands of the "terrorists" and still have to be "dealt with," a security source in Damascus told AFP.
Activists called for nationwide protests on Friday to demand the arming of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) to give it the fire power to defend itself against regime forces.
"Assad, don't delude yourself, there are a thousand and one Baba Amrs," the activists said on their "Syrian Revolution 2011" Facebook page.
"Soon, we'll be back even stronger," it added, next to a picture of rebel fighters.
The SNC announced on Thursday that it was forming a military bureau to coordinate the flow of arms to the rebels after calls from Gulf Arab states for weapons deliveries ran into opposition from Washington, which said it feared al-Qaeda might exploit the situation.
Two French journalists, trapped for days in the bombardment of Baba Amr, were headed home in a hospital plane after being brought out to safety in Leb on Thursday, the French embassy in Beirut said.
Syrian authorities, meanwhile, said they located the bodies of U.S. journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik in Baba Amr after the rebels retreated. The journalists were killed in the same rocket attack.
The FSA's Al-Farouk Brigade said a number of its fighters were killed or maimed evacuating foreign journalists from Homs.
In Brussels, EU leaders "horrified" by the atrocities taking place in Syria called for those responsible to be held to account.
EU president Herman Van Rompuy said at the close of the two-day gathering that the 27 EU leaders had adopted a text stating that "the European Council remains determined to ensure that those responsible for atrocities in Syria are held accountable for their actions".
"We are horrified by the atrocities that have been committed and are still being committed," Van Rompuy said.
As pressure mounted on key Damascus ally Moscow to harden its stance against Assad's regime, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile... in talks with foreign news executives late Thursday rejected the idea that Russia was taking sides in what he described as an "armed civilian conflict."
"Our aim is not to help one of the sides -- not the Syrian authorities nor the armed opposition -- but to obtain an all-round reconciliation," he said in comments published on the government website Friday.
"We have no special relationship with Syria," he added.
Both Russia and China backed a U.N. Security Council statement on Thursday calling on Syria to allow "immediate" humanitarian access to protest cities, after vetoing two resolutions on the conflict last October and again in February.
For a map, click here. For a map of Zacatecas state, click here
By Chris Covert
Mexican security forces in Zacatecas state fought four gun battles with armed groups since last Wednesday, killing 10 armed suspects and seizing a number of weapons, according to Mexican news accounts.
Policia Federal units along with a detachment of Mexican Army troops of the 11th Military zone encountered an armed group near the village of Chaparrosa in Villa de Cos municipality. Gunfire exchanged between security forces and the armed group led to eight individuals killed, including three women. Two Policia Federal effectives were reportedly wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
The remainder of the armed group managed to escape from security forces heading towards Panuco, towards the southwest.
In the village of Milpillas de Allende in Teul de Gonzalez Ortega municipality at around 1910 hrs Thursday morning, a detachment with the Mexican 11th Military Zone observed three vehicles with armed suspects aboard.
The suspects attempted to flee, then opened fire on the army patrol. All three vehicles were abandoned by the armed group.
Soldiers found one unidentified dead individual aboard one vehicle, and seized nine AK-47 rifles, one AR-15 rifle, weapons magazines, 8,000 rounds of ammunition and the three vehicles, all reported as stolen.
Early Friday morning at around 0045 hrs, an army patrol detachment came under small arms fire from armed suspects travelling aboard a Jeep Patriot near the village of El Salero in Concepcion del Oro municipality. Army return fire forced the suspects to abandon the vehicle. The suspects left behind nine rifles, 52 weapons magazines, 512 rounds of ammunition, one grenade, tactical and communications gear, personal quantities of marijuana and the vehicle.
Thursday morning near the village of Sierra Milpillas in Valparaiso municipality, a patrol with the Mexican 53rd Infantry Battalion came under small arms fire. Army return fire hit and killed one unidentified individual. An unknown number of others escaped.
[Dawn] Soddy Arabia has tossed in the calaboose 11 Paks and Iranians allegedly involved in smuggling hashish from Iran into the kingdom, the interior ministry said on Friday, a charge that carries the death sentence.
Saudi security services "foiled an attempt to smuggle half a tonne (1,102 pounds) of hashish through the kingdom's eastern coasts," the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
"The narcotic was seized and 11 people involved in its smuggling were tossed in the calaboose -- six Paks and five Iranians."
"Preliminary investigations have shown that those tossed in the calaboose are part of a criminal network involved in drug trafficking from Iranian territories into the kingdom and Gulf Cooperation Council states," it added.
The group was tossed in the calaboose while they were "handing over the drugs" in Soddy Arabia's territorial waters, it said.
The ultra-conservative Mohammedan kingdom imposes the death penalty on people convicted of drug trafficking.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.