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Syrian army reinforcements head to Homs
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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2 13:55 trailing wife [276]
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2 08:13 Steve White [264]
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4 12:13 Slereque Snore5829 [270]
1 22:27 texhooey [345]
7 20:23 Dale [367]
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Page 4: Opinion
1 17:20 Glenmore [277]
1 11:36 Gruth McGurque5303 [268]
3 17:22 Bill Clinton [276]
Page 6: Politix
16 21:20 RandomJD [339]
3 19:25 Dale [336]
Afghanistan
Suspected Afghan Police (Taliban) Kills Albanian Soldier
Suspected Afghan police opened fire on Albanian and other foreign troops in the war-wracked country's south Monday, killing an Albanian soldier, and wounding an Albanian and another international soldier, authorities said. Eleven suspected policemen were arrested.
An entire troop of turncoat assholes? Karzai will pardon them and condemn USAF for getting in the way of their bullets
The death was the first for Albanian troops in Afghanistan.
RIP - and thank you for your sacrifices
The shootings appeared to be the latest in a growing number of attacks by Afghan police or army soldiers on foreign forces, a trend that has raised concerns about the vetting of Afghan recruits and threatened the international military commitment to the country. Last month, France suspended its training program and warned it may withdraw its forces a year ahead of schedule after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers.
which is the point
Monday's shooting occurred in the village of Robat, in the southern district of Spin Boldak near the Pakistani border, Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq said. The troops were accompanying a USAID team for a meeting about opening two schools and a health center, Albania's defense ministry said.
schools and health centers are unIslamic
The soldiers "found themselves attacked by a group of persons wearing uniforms of the Afghan police," Brig. Gen. Viktor Berdo, head of Albanian land forces, told reporters in Tirana.

The Albanian ministry said the remaining soldiers "arrested 11 Afghan policemen who opened fire."
Should've killed each and every one of them
Posted by: Frank G || 02/20/2012 16:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:


NATO speedup of transfer to Afghan forces highlights problems.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/20/2012 06:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fundamental problem is that its still a tribal society. You have to pick who you want to keep the place from getting out of control the next time not some State Department defined model of 'progress'.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/20/2012 8:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Looks like the choice will be South Korea or Vietnam. It's not like we are going to go back in after the Taliban owns half the country again.
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:42 Comments || Top||

#3  BREAKINGNEWS.com > [WSJ] AFGHANISTAN TO SPY ON ITS SOLDIERS, IN EFFORT TO HALT ATTACKS ON COALITION FORCES.

and

* TOPIX > [E-Ariana] TALIBAN [Peace] TALKS TO FAIL WIDOUT ALL GROUPS: HIZB-I-ISLAMI.

* SAME > HAMID GUL: BALUCHISTAN RESOLUTION PROVES US WANTS TO BREAK PAKISTAN INTO PIECES.

* BHARAT RAKSHAK > PAK TALIBAN GAINING MORE RESOURCES FROM [high-profile = Gangster/Mafia-style] KIDNAPPING.

$$$ etc.

* SAME > [NY Post] PAKISTAN EXTREMISTS [000's] SHOUT "DEATH TO AMERICA" AT ISLAMABAD RALLY.
Also demand HOLY WAR at mass rally organized by approximately 40 different Political-Activist Groups.

Mamas-N-Papas versus The Bangles???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/20/2012 21:04 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
Darfur rebels claim to be holding 52 UN peacekeepers
One of the biggest rebel groups in Sudan's Darfur region said it was holding 52 international UNAMID peacekeepers mainly from Senegal on Monday. A spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement said, "We are holding the UNAMID soldiers because they entered our territory without permission and because they were accompanied by three Sudanese we suspect work for the security services."
Posted by: ryuge || 02/20/2012 09:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I guess the can keep the peace ... er quietly ... in that corner over there ... for a while ...
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Years ago, National Lampoon did a comic featuring UN peacekeepers in Vietnam. Hopelessly stifled in bureaucracy and frivolous complaints, accomplishing nothing while surrounded by carnage and brutality, which they couldn't even agree to "deplore".
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/20/2012 12:50 Comments || Top||

#3  Jem Darfur rebels have released them. There still may be more held captive tho.
Posted by: newc || 02/20/2012 16:37 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Libya is beset by uncontrolled militias, rights abuses - Who knew ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/20/2012 06:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This always happens after a popular revolution. It just takes time for the dust to settle, and the most powerful faction to prove it.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/20/2012 8:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Funny, I don't remember reading much about it after our revolution, except for a few tories moving to Canada maybe with tar and feathers for decoration.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/20/2012 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  It was bad and split families. Tory families ended up starving in Jamaica. On he whole, though, British society was pretty orderly so raping, pillaging and murdering didn't hit the revolution scene until the French made their opus.
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:50 Comments || Top||


Four Dead in Bomb Attack on Bus in Algeria
A roadside kaboom blast killed four people and injured 10 other passengers on a bus east of the Algerian capital on Sunday, local news websites reported.

A security source confirmed the blast to AFP but did not give a toll or say whether the victims were civilians or military.

The Arab-language En Nahar said the bomb had been intended for a military convoy but went off early and hit a civilian bus transporting people between Les Issers and Bordj Menail, around 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Algiers.

According to the website of the French-language al-Watan, some of the victims were in a critical condition and not all of them were on the bus. Al-Watan said the bomb exploded remotely as a convoy of security forces was going past and gunshots were also heard. The road was closed to traffic for several hours and only reopened after all traces of the attack had been removed, it added.

The region east of Algiers is one of those most affected by attacks from Islamist groups, notably Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which regularly targets security forces.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa


AQIM emir believed dead in ANP airstrike
I'm keeping the official Rantburg ululator near at hand, awaiting official confirmation.
[Magharebia] Algerian experts believe one of three gunnies killed in a recent Algerian army Arclight airstrike near the Malian border to be a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), based on DNA evidence, El Khabar reported. Samples are being compared with DNA from family members of Yahia Djouadi, alias Abou Ammar, known also as Abu Al Hammam, and of his military commander Mohamed Ghedir, alias Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, among other AQIM leaders.

The three bad boyz were potted just hours after the ANP thwarted the Tinzaouatine terrorist attack, killing seven other terrorists.
Posted by: Fred || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa


Africa Subsaharan
Suspected Somali Islamists Attack Kenyan Police Outpost
Gunmen believed to be Somali Shehab faceless myrmidons killed a Kenyan policeman in the northeastern border region with war-torn Somalia, the latest in a string of attacks, police said Sunday.

"We lost one officer in the raid late on Friday night, and another person shot in the attack is still in hospital," a police brass hat in the region, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
, told Agence La Belle France Presse.

The attack took place at Fafi in Garissa district, some 50 kilometers from the frontier with Somalia.

"One rifle loaded with at least 20 bullets was stolen by gunnies, who beat feet to Somalia," the police officer added.

Regional police chief Leo Nyongesa confirmed the attack, adding that no arrests had been made but that "the attackers are being sought."

The shooting was the latest in a string of attacks in northeast Kenya since Nairobi sent troops into southern Somalia last October to fight al-Qaeda-allied Shebab cut-thoats.

Regional armies are pushing against Shebab positions in Somalia, with Kenyan forces in the far south, Ethiopian soldiers in the west and 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...
forces in the capital Mogadishu made up of troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti.

In retaliation, the Shebab have carried out grenade attacks and abductions in areas near the porous Kenya-Somalia border, killing and wounding several people.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab


Arabia
Explosion rocks Yemeni polling station in south
An kaboom tore through a polling station in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Monday and gunfire was heard shortly after the blast, an official said, a day before an election to replace Ali Abudllah Saleh, Yemen's ruler for three decades. No casulaties were reported.
 
"The kaboom caused a big hole in the building's wall and shattered the window glass of nearby houses," the official said.
Posted by: || 02/20/2012 07:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:


Caribbean-Latin America
Mexican Policia Federal abandons La Laguna
For a map, click here For a map of Coahuila state, click here?
This report also appeared on borderlandbeat.com


By Chris Covert

In an unusual speculative Sunday morning report, El Diario de Coahuila reported that Policia Federal (PF) units have abandoned the La Laguna region.

La Laguna region encompasses the cities of Torreon, Coahuila and Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio, Durango, where since October 2011, a major security operation -- dubbed Segura Laguna -- has been underway including Mexican Army PF units, Coahuila and Durango state police and local police in a comprehensive plan to tamp down on cartel violence in the region.

According to the report, Policia Federal Preventativa (PFP) patrol units have not been seen in the region for at least two days prompting speculation PF units have been ordered to leave La Laguna. The report cites recent violence, the latest of which was the discovery of three dead in Gomez Palacio, Durango three days ago and the murder of the Saltillo, Coahuila police chief -- the second such murder in as many months.

The report also charges PF agents with adding to the problems of violence.

Other violent incidents have taken place as well, but in Saltillo mainly involving Los Zetas cartel operatives. Those confrontations have included firefights between Los Zetas and federal and state security forces, as well as intergang fighting.

Los Zetas maintains a presence, if weakened, in neighboring Zacatecas state, that despite an increase in deployment of Mexican Army troops to that state.

A month ago, a senior commander, General Marco Antonio Gonzalez Barreda was replaced by another field commander, General de Division Roberto de la Vega Diaz, who was assigned as commander of the Mexican IX Military Region, based in Saltillo. That command encompasses Coahuila and Chihuahua states, including the La Laguna region.

The rotating of field commanders is not ordinarily done, because commanders tend to remain at their posts until their mission is complete, or if a sharp reverse has taken place. The ongoing violence in Saltillo prior to the January 18th, 2012 rotation may have been as much a factor in the decision to replace General Gonzalez Barreda as the recent violence in the same time frame in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, where General de la Vega came from.

A total of 4,000 federal and state effectives have been deployed to the region so far.

Last May, 2011 1,500 Mexican Army troops and another 300 PF troops were sent to Coahuila. Last September, 2011, additional troops were deployed to the La Laguna region, in apparent anticipation of the start of the Segura Laguna security operations.

Late in December, 2011, parts of the Mexican 15th Motorized Cavalry Regiment were deployed to Saltillo, Coahuila after a two day road march to reinforce security efforts in northern Coahuila, including Piedra Negras. Those troops were earmarked to participate in the ongoing security operations in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon states

This latest report is surprising in light of President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa's remarks in Juarez last Friday when he credited the presence of federal security forces including PF operatives with reducing the violence in that border city.
Posted by: badanov || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:


China-Japan-Koreas
N.Korea Threatens Over Military Drill
North Korea on Sunday threatened a sea of fire "merciless counter-strike" a day before a South Korean firing drill in the West Sea and warned residents on the five northwesternmost islands to "evacuate to safety in advance."

In an "open notice," the North Korean western front command claimed nearby waters are under North Korean sovereignty. The North will retaliate the moment South Korea starts "a reckless military provocation in these waters and even a single column of water is found to have risen there," it added.

It warned all civilians living or working on the five islands or nearby to evacuate before 9 o'clock Monday, when the firing drill near the sea border starts.

Such rhetoric is customary whenever South Korea conducts military drills, but Pyongyang on Aug. 3, 2010 threatened a "powerful physical retaliation" ahead of a South Korean firing drill near the five islands and then lobbed about 130 rounds of artillery shells into waters near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime sea border, in the West Sea six days later. Some of the shells fell into the South Korean waters.

"The firing drill on Monday is one of several annual routine exercises," an officer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said. "There are no signs of a provocation from the North for now, but we're heightening alertness just in case."

Meanwhile, the North has ratcheted up denunciations of President Lee Myung-bak again since the death of former leader Kim Jong-il. It denounced Lee three times in November and six times in December but about 250 times in January, and the frequency is rising.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [350 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And in other unusual news announcements: "Water is wet."
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 02/20/2012 3:31 Comments || Top||

#2  I wonder which poor sucker has to chart NK denunciations. I always feel sorry for the poor Certified Nursing Assistants who have to inspect and rate bowel movements.
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:55 Comments || Top||

#3  North Korea watchers in the West think Jong-un has been "too quiet" of late.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/20/2012 21:27 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Four Special Ops Airmen Killed: U-28A Crashed In Africa
Video of U-28A at site
Four Hurlburt Field airmen died Feb. 18 when their U-28A was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa.

Capt Ryan P. Hall from the 319th Special Operations Squadron, Capt Nicholas S. Whitlock and 1st Lt Justin J. Wilkens from the 34th Special Operations Squadron and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten from the 25th Intelligence Squadron were killed in the crash. No other personnel were on board the aircraft, according to a press release from Hurlburt Field.

The U-28 was returning from a mission in support of OPERATION Enduring Freedom.

Hall, a 30-year-old from Colorado Springs, was a U-28A pilot on his seventh deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2004, receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corp at The Citadel. He had been assigned to the 319th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.

Whitlock, a 29-year-old from Newnan, Ga., was also a U-28A pilot and was on his fifth deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2006, receiving his commission through the Officer Training School. He had been assigned to the 319th SOS and then to the 34th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2008 and had more than 800 combat flight hours.

Wilkens, a 26-year-old from Bend, Oregon, was a combat systems officer on his third deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2009, receiving his commission through the Air Force Academy. He had been assigned to the 34th SOS at Hurlburt Field since April 2011 and had more than 400 combat hours.

Scholten, a 26-year-old from Upper Marlboro, Md., was a mission systems operator assigned to the 25th IS at Hurlburt Field since 2009. He enlisted in the Air Force in 2007. He had more than 900 combat hours in six different airframes and was on his third deployment.

"The Hurlburt Field community expresses our deepest condolences to the family of the crew, and we share in their sorrow. Our efforts are focused on helping them through this difficult time," said Col. Jim Slife, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing. "We will never forget the valuable contributions these brave men made to their country and community."

The U-28A is a single engine, manned fixed wing aircraft developed around the Pilatus PC-12 airframe that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of special operations forces.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The Air Force is committed to a thorough investigation, and more information will be released as it becomes available.
Posted by: Sherry || 02/20/2012 17:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [356 views] Top|| File under:

#1  RIP heroes
Posted by: Frank G || 02/20/2012 17:55 Comments || Top||

#2  It's very sad to learn of this.
Prayers and RIP to four heroes; who among a few that struggle and sacrifice to serve at the "tip of the spear".
Posted by: Elmising Poodle6592 || 02/20/2012 22:01 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Bombing kills nine lashkar men in Khyber Agency
* Six more anti-Taliban militia members injured

* Taliban open fire on Islamic fascisti retrieving bodies from debris

* Two gun-hung tough guys killed in retaliatory fire

LANDIKOTAL: At least nine members of a local militia were killed and four others injured when a bomb planted by gun-hung tough guys went kaboom! in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency on Sunday.

According to local political administration, the bomb was planted by the Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) gun-hung tough guys at Stana checkpoint at Nari Baba, which was recaptured by the Zakakhel lashkar, Tawheedul Islam (TI), following an encounter. The nine volunteers of the peace force, who were killed, included its commander, Naek Afzal Afridi. The TI volunteers had repelled an attack from the banned LI, but the gun-hung tough guys had reportedly planted explosives in the checkpoint before leaving it. The bomb exploded when the TI volunteers recaptured the post. As a result, nine TI men were killed and four injured. The gun-hung tough guys also opened fire on Islamic fascisti retrieving bodies from the debris. Two of the bad boyz were potted in retaliatory fire.

Pakistain has outlawed the Lashkar-e-Islam, which is not formally linked to the Pak Taliban. But it shares similar ideology with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in the tribal regions along Afghan border. The group sometimes shares manpower and resources with other terrorists.

The militia fighting the Lashkar-e-Islam is composed of local rustics frustrated with the growth of Taliban-style groups in their territory. Such militias were started by the government in its campaign against the Pak Taliban in the Tribal Areas.

The blast in the border region with Afghanistan shows the challenges that these militias and their government supporters face as they try to purge the volatile border region of groups such as the Taliban and al Qaeda who have grown in strength over the last decade. Separately, at Sheen Drand Akakhel in Bara, a mortar shell fired from an unidentified location landed in the house of one Abdalkhel, killing two children and injuring five others.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar-e-Islami


Pakistan Bomb Kills Six Members of Tribal Militia
A kaboom Sunday in Pakistain's troubled northwest killed six members of a tribal militia set up to combat bad turbans, and maimed three others, an official said.

The bomb, in the lawless Khyber tribal district on the Afghan border, was planted by local bad turban group Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by warlord Mangal Bagh
...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency...
, said local government official Khalid Mumtaz.

"It was a planted bomb and exploded when the anti-snuffies reached a private checkpoint" run by the bad turbans, who had deserted the checkpoint, Mumtaz told AFP.

Islamist bombers and gunnies have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistain since government troops raided an turban mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar-e-Islami


Iraq
15 killed in Police Academy explosion
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq : The toll of the suicide bombed car reached to 15 killed and 29 wounded, according to security sources here today. The explosion took place at the entrance of Police Academy east of Baghdad.

Earlier reports said that a suicide bomber carrying an explosive belt exploded himself at the entrance of the Academy.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
"Iron Dome" deployed around Tel Aviv region ..
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/20/2012 11:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [391 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why deploy a defense against short-range rockets in Tel Aviv?
Posted by: Iblis || 02/20/2012 12:15 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought they had installed the Thunder Dome.
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:38 Comments || Top||

#3  It's part of a multi-layered defense. For the big missiles launched from Iran, Israel and the US have PAC-3, Patriot, and Arrow anti-missiles. Over the horizon detection is done with X-Band radar.

This leaves an estimated tens of thousands of smaller rockets and missiles from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and possibly the West Bank, many of which are believed to be able to hit Tel Aviv.

So this is where Iron Dome comes into play.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/20/2012 12:43 Comments || Top||

#4  By extension, methinks Israel already has in-depth security emplaced in + around its Nucfacs???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/20/2012 18:50 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syrian army reinforcements head to Homs
A Syria-based activist says three columns of army reinforcements including tanks are heading toward the restive central city of Homs.
 
Mustafa Osso says the regime appears to be preparing to storm rebel-held neighborhoods in the city before a referendum is held Feb. 26 on a new constitution.
Posted by: || 02/20/2012 07:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [571 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "There's no place like Homs. There's no place like Homs. There's no place like Homs..."
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/20/2012 8:21 Comments || Top||

#2  I guess its too late to turn them around and head for Damascus.

Mind you, Homs is on the way to the Alawite homeland along the coast.
Posted by: Phil_B || 02/20/2012 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  With more dead people, they stand a better chance of winning the vote. Let's hope this doesn't inspire Barry.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/20/2012 10:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Who do we want to win?

popcorn comes to mind!
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 02/20/2012 11:12 Comments || Top||


Prosecutor, judge killed in northwest Syria
BEIRUT: Gunmen assassinated a senior prosecutor and a judge in a restive province in northwest Syria on Sunday, the country’s state news agency said, while activists reported that security forces shelled rebel-held areas in the besieged city of Homs.

SANA news agency said gunmen opened fire in the morning on a car carrying Idlib provincial state prosecutor Nidal Ghazal and judge Mohammed Ziadeh. The agency said the two were killed instantly along with their driver.

Syrian rebels control parts of Idlib province, which borders Turkey. It has been one of the regions hardest hit by a government crackdown on an uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

SANA said the prosecutor’s assassination came a day after gunmen shot dead Jamal Al-Bish, member of the city council of the nearby northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest. It said he was killed outside the city, a center of support for President Bashar Assad that has been relatively quiet since the uprising began.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [364 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Tribal payback during the chaos or part of the Syrian appeals process?
Posted by: Super Hose || 02/20/2012 12:57 Comments || Top||


At Least 22 Dead in Syria as Troops Clamp Down in Damascus
Syrian security forces on Sunday killed at least 20 people across the country and flooded a tense neighborhood where a mourner was rubbed out in the largest anti-regime rally seen in Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
, activists said.

Regime troops killed nine people in the restive northwestern province of Idlib, nine in the central protest hub of Homs, one in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour and another in the southern province of Daraa, the cradle of the uprising, the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said.

Protesters seemed to be more emboldened in Damascus after 11 months of revolt which has largely beat feet the city.

Although the security deployment thwarted attempts to stage new protests in Mazzeh neighborhood, scene of a Saturday funeral that turned into a huge anti-regime rally, business there ground to a halt, activists said.

Mohammed Shami, a front man for activists in Damascus province, said most shops were shut in Mazzeh as well as in the Barzeh, Qaboon, Kfar Sousa and Jubar districts.

Student demonstrations had been expected in Mazzeh but security forces were stationed around schools, Shami said.

"Security forces are heavily deployed throughout Mazzeh," he said.

Another activist, Abu Huzaifa from the Mazzeh Committee, said police forced the family of Samer al-Khatib, 34, who died after being shot in neck during the mass funeral on Saturday, to bury him in a small ceremony earlier than planned, in an apparent move to prevent protests.

In central Damascus shops opened as usual, witnesses said, while state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
showed live interviews from Mazzeh with people who claimed life was proceeding normally.

Dib al-Dimashqi, a member of the Syrian Revolution Council based in the capital, told Agence La Belle France Presse earlier that "huge demonstrations" were expected, but adding that security forces had imposed a tight clampdown round the city.

"There is a large security presence," he said.

In a message to Damascus residents on the "Syrian Revolution 2011" Facebook page, activists said: "The blood of the deaders exhorts you to disobedience," after more than 6,000 deaths since anti-regime protests erupted in March, according to activists' estimates.

Meanwhile,
...back at the desert island, Bert was realizing to his horror that he'd had only one bottle for one message, and he'd forgotten to include a return address...
the official SANA news agency said a "terrorist group" rubbed out prosecutor Nidal Ghazal and judge Mohammed Ziyadeh and their driver in the northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday.

It said that another "terrorist group" on Saturday had killed Jamal Bish, a city councilor in 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...
Security forces on Sunday rubbed out a woman when they stormed the town of Sukhna in Homs province as they hunted activists, the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.

It also said that a man was rubbed out at a checkpoint in the northern province of Aleppo.

A lawyer was rubbed out as troops stormed the town of al-Ashara in the province of Deir al-Zour, according to the Syrian Observatory.

Regime forces pounded the flashpoint central city of Homs for the 15th straight day, activists said.

Sporadic shelling that targeted the Baba Amr neighborhood in the defiant city of Homs intensified in the afternoon, at the rate of 4-5 rockets a minute, said Hadi Abdullah of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution.

He said the districts of Bab Sbaa, Bab Dreib and al-Safsafa were being targeted with sporadic shelling.

Abdullah voiced fears of the army being reinforced.

"News has been leaked to us from army officers about a bloody attack that will burn everything in Baba Amr. We were expecting the attack two nights ago, but it could have been just delayed because of the snowstorm," he said.

Saturday's funerals in Damascus were for four people, including two teenagers, killed on Friday when security forces fired on protesters in Mazzeh which houses many government offices and embassies.

"The funerals in Mazzeh turned into protests -- it was the closest major gathering to Omayyad Square" in the city center, Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

Shami said that some 15,000 people had turned out despite the snow.

He said the shootings during the funerals, in which many people were maimed, were followed by a "wave of searches and arrests" across the upscale district which is overlooked by the presidential palace.

Activists described demonstrations held on Friday in Damascus as "unprecedented," saying there were 49 in all.

Agnes Levallois, a Gay Paree-based Middle East expert, said the demonstrations in Damascus indicated growing pressure on the government.

"We said from the onset that the day when huge demonstrations will spill out in Damascus and Aleppo, it will be the end of the regime," said Levallois.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/20/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:


Good morning
Posted by: Steve White || 02/20/2012 00:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [425 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well now -- as a believer in the pixie hair cut -- this one is a winner....
Posted by: Sherry || 02/20/2012 1:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Nah. Workin' the other side of the street, I hear.
Posted by: Muggsy Johnson7466 || 02/20/2012 2:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Happy Birthday/Daily Gam Shot

Cindy Crawford aka Kate McQuean in "Fair Game (1995)" aka Cindy in "Body Guards (2000)" aka Sandra in "The Simian Line (2000)" aka Kate McQuean in "Fair Game (1995)" (age 47)



Would you like to break bread with me?

OK Gorb, you're a bicycle seat
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/20/2012 2:26 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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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.
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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2012-02-20
  Syrian army reinforcements head to Homs
Sun 2012-02-19
  Iran stops oil sales to British, French
Sat 2012-02-18
  SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
Fri 2012-02-17
  Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Thu 2012-02-16
  U.S. drone kills five insurgents in Miranshah
Wed 2012-02-15
  Thailand charges Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok
Tue 2012-02-14
  Suspected Iranian Agent Bungles Bombing in Bangkok
Mon 2012-02-13
  Israel says bombs target embassies in India, Georgia
Sun 2012-02-12
  Uzbek man in US pleads guilty in Obama murder plot
Sat 2012-02-11
  Arrests in Quetta Related to Rabbani Assassination
Fri 2012-02-10
  Zawahiri says Somalia's Shebab Joined al-Qaida
Thu 2012-02-09
  Badar Mansoor Dronezapped in North Wazoo
Wed 2012-02-08
  German Police Arrest Lebanese, Syrian for Spying for Damascus
Tue 2012-02-07
  Blasts Rock N. Nigeria, Police Station Attacked
Mon 2012-02-06
  36 Civilians, 28 Troops Killed in Fresh Syria Violence

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