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Area: WoT Background    Non-WoT    Opinion        Politix   
US embassy security chief gunned down in Yemen
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
2 18:35 DarthVader [6473]
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3 12:23 Procopius2k [6469]
3 08:05 Perfesser [6482]
12 17:40 Black Bart Hapsburg9135 [6481]
7 16:55 Procopius2k [6481]
Page 6: Politix
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8 20:40 Unang Omeans6347 [6502]
Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  delete this idiot
Posted by: Frank G || 10/11/2012 9:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Idiot dumped....
Posted by: Sherry || 10/11/2012 10:21 Comments || Top||

#3  An entire matching set of Marthas. Saucy little minxes, aren't they?
Posted by: SteveS || 10/11/2012 10:46 Comments || Top||

Taliban Leader Killed in Kandahar Airstrike
[Tolo News] Taliban leader Khal Mohammad was killed Saturday by 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...
Arclight airstrike in southern Kandahar province, Isaf said Wednesday.

"Khal Mohammad organised the placement of improvised bombs (IEDs) intended for Afghan and coalition personnel operating in Kandahar province," Isaf said in its operations update, without naming which province the Arclight airstrike occurred in.

Meanwhile Taliban leader Amir Gul was killed in an operation in Wardak province on Sunday, Isaf said. The leader Amir Gul, also known as Qurashi, planned IED and rocket attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

In northern Sar-e-Pul province, the statement said that several other cut-throats were killed in a joint Afghan and coalition troops operation on Wednesday.

The operation, which was launched to arrest a Taliban leader in the province, saw the security forces seize multiple assault rifles, a machine gun, an extra machine gun barrel and several grenades, it said.

In eastern Paktiya province, a Haqqani leader was killed and another tossed in the clink
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
during two joint military operations on Tuesday.

The cooled for a few years
Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un!t
Haqqani leader was actively involved in high-profile attacks on Afghan government officials, Isaf said, adding that six additional suspected cut-throats were also cooled for a few years
Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un!
In eastern Kunar province
... which is right down the road from Chitral. Kunar is Haqqani country.....
, Afghan commandos with the 1st Special Operations Kandak, partnered with coalition forces, killed several cut-throats during a clearing operation on Monday.

Afterward, commandos and coalition forces uncovered a stockpile of tactical equipment, which was destroyed on site, Isaf said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Pork sandwiches and beers all around.
Posted by: Nioj Eht 3.1 || 10/11/2012 20:21 Comments || Top||

#2  heh. A round on me. F-150!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/11/2012 20:47 Comments || Top||

7 Afghan Police Killed by Helmand Roadside Bomb
[Tolo News] Seven Afghan Local Police (ALP) officers including a commander were killed by a roadside kaboom blast in southern Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province on Wednesday morning, local officials said.

Today's blast happened about 07:00 AM in the Nad-e-Ali district after the police vehicle struck an improvised bomb (IED) in the road, the district governor Mohammad Ibrahim said.

One of the officer's survived but has sustained injuries.

"A local police commander, Mohammad Agha, is also among the dead," Ibrahim added.

No group including the Taliban has grabbed credit for the blast.

It comes a day after four people were killed and two others were maimed by two separate blasts in the same Helmand district.

Three civilians travelling in a car early morning hit an IED in Nad-e-Ali district's Lochak area, killing all three. About an hour later, a second blast happened only two kilometers away when police were attempting to remove an IED in the area. One policeman was killed and two were maimed.

Insurgents frequently use hidden IEDs in the road to target Afghan and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
-led troops, but the victims are usually civilians.
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6491 views] Top|| File under:

Africa Horn
Sudan expels Norwegian diplomat
Sudan asked Norway on Wednesday to send home one of its diplomats, Khartoum's foreign ministry said, a day after Oslo ordered a Sudanese diplomat home over spying allegations.

"Sudan's ministry of foreign affairs asked Norway's ambassador in Khartoum at a meeting today to send home one of his diplomats," ministry front man Al-Obeid Meruh said in a statement.

Norwegian ambassador Morten Aasland told AFP he could not immediately comment.

Norway expelled a Sudanese diplomat on Tuesday, saying his activity was incompatible with his diplomatic status.

The Scandinavian country's intelligence agency PST on Tuesday announced the arrest of a 38-year-old Sudanese man suspected of covertly gathering information on Sudanese refugees in Norway and transmitting it to someone at the embassy in Oslo.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan

#1  Yes, Norway, bring your diplomat home along with your money.
Posted by: American Delight || 10/11/2012 6:17 Comments || Top||

TFG Forces detain 300 suspected Al Shabab members in Mogadishu
(Sh.M.Network)-- Somali National Army(SNA) have placed in durance vile
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
at least 300 suspected Al-Shabaab
... the personification of Somali state failure...
members in Mogadishu, the biggest mass arrest for months in the capital, police official said.

General Mohamed Hassan Maalin, the police chief of Benadir region for Somali government told news hounds in Mogadishu that the massive operation was conducted in villages in Hodon district, to protect attacks in the capital by Al shabab turbans.

The incarcerated
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
, mostly young men are believed to have links with Al shabab and were locked away
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
in Hodon prison for investigations, according to police.

The Somali army has been on high alert and carrying out cordon and search crackdowns in Mogadishu, the capital which is witnessing improving security since Al shabab made retreat last year following two years of offensives by Somali and AMISOM forces.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Somalia: Govt Official survives an assignation attempt
McBee steeled himself outside the door of the cheap hotel room. Inside was the "Fatal Femme." The very sight of her seminude curves had caused strong men to keel over from stroke. Her kisses were known to melt tongues.

He took a deep breath and reached for the knob. "Alright, Lover Boy," he chided himself. "Do your stuff!"

(Sh.M.Network)-- Somali official has narrowly escaped from an assignation plot aimed to take his life overnight by unknown gunmen in the volatile town of Afgoye, some 30 Kilometres north-west Mogadishu, reports said.

Local sources told Shabelle Media Network by phone from Afgoye that assailants armed with AK47 and pistols have tried to assassinate Mohamud Elmi Arabey, an official in Lower Shabelle region administration for Somali government.

"Al shabab elements have ventured last night to storm into my residential house in Afgoye district to eradicate me, but my security guards fended them off from the area and I was unhurt in the attack," the official told Shabelle Media Network by phone.

The attack is the latest in series of violent assaults against Somali government officials and security forces since the district fell to government soldiers and AMISOM forces early this years following a week-long offensives against Al shabab.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

US embassy security chief gunned down in Yemen
Qassem Aqlani, the Yemeni head of security at the US embassy in Sanaa, was gunned down by motorcycle gunman on way to work. Aqlani had been working there for nearly 20 years.

Radio Netherlands reports:

A US diplomat said Aqlan was in charge of coordinating a US and Yemeni probe into an attack on the embassy last month by protesters angry over an anti-Islam film that triggered a wave of deadly demonstrations across the Muslim world.
Posted by: ryuge || 10/11/2012 06:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6565 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "obviously on it's face it was a response to a 14 minute despicable video trailer posted on teh Inter tubes by a scapegoat person we have jugged. The important thing to take from this is that Romney would cut Big Bird and steal your Lady Parts"
Posted by: Frank G || 10/11/2012 9:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Hows that local national contract security program working out ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 10/11/2012 9:36 Comments || Top||

#3  There's been some conflict whether he was in charge of a team, the entire security, or just a grunt at the front gate. Given how it would look we won't know until after the election.
Posted by: Charles || 10/11/2012 11:43 Comments || Top||

#4  "Just another spontaneous murder." - Federation of the Socialist States of America
Posted by: Tarzan Bumble5881 || 10/11/2012 13:57 Comments || Top||

#5  Another site said he was a Foriegn Service National Investigator. As such, he would have worked for the RSO. Doubtful he "running" the investigation but was a vital link to the Yemeni authorities.
Posted by: Bangkok Billy || 10/11/2012 14:47 Comments || Top||

#6  he must have been getting somewhere.
Posted by: Raider || 10/11/2012 15:25 Comments || Top||

#7  My thoughts too, Raider. RIP
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 10/11/2012 15:50 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Terrorist killed in Dagestani shoot-out
Authorities in Dagestan say a terrorist militant has been killed in the Khasavyurt district. The man was holed up in a house in the village of Endirei and refused to surrender on October 11.

Security and police forces used firearms after the man started shooting at them and wounded one of the police officers.

The alleged terrorist militant was identified as 22-year-old Khalimbek Khalimbekov. He is the fifth suspected terrorist militant to have been killed by police in the Khasavyurt district since October 9.
Posted by: ryuge || 10/11/2012 06:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

Belgian police arrest seven suspected 'Jihadists'
[Al Ahram] Belgian police said Wednesday they had cooled for a few years
You have the right to remain silent...
seven suspected members of a terror cell aiming to "indoctrinate young Brussels Mohammedans" and "send them to combat zones" in north Africa.

"Seven people of Moroccan and African origin [including] one Belgian were cooled for a few years
You have the right to remain silent...
and placed in jug pending questioning," said a statement from the federal prosecution service.

They were to go before a magistrate who would decide whether or not to detain them, a front man told AFP.

The arrests followed six separate raids in Brussels where computers and files were also seized.

The raids stemmed from an investigation that followed the August 2011 arrest of a Belgian of Moroccan origin at the Somali border linked with a regional Al-Qaeda offshoot, the prosecutors added.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Europe

Houses of six PPP leaders targeted in 'bomb attacks'
[Dawn] The residences of at least six Pakistain People's Party leaders, including the Sindh Assembly speaker and two provincial ministers, were targeted in different parts of the province on Tuesday in a series of kabooms linked to a shadowy organization, the Sindhudesh Liberation Army, officials said.

While two of the improvised bombs -- one planted at the gate of the Shikarpur residence of Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani and the other hurled into the bungalow of PPP politician Imdad Ali Pitafi in Hyderabad -- went off early in the morning, the bomb disposal squad timely defused four other bombs placed at the residences of Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro and Law Minister Ayaz Soomro in Larkana, politicians Syed Faseeh Shah in Nawabshah and Haji Hayat Talpur in Mirpurkhas.

The early morning kabooms came as a grim reminder of the killings of six PPP activists and a journalist in a gun attack on a public meeting in Khairpur on Sunday night. MNA Nafeesa Shah of the PPP was scheduled to address the meeting.

The police, meanwhile, claimed to have caught a man red-handed who was fleeing after placing an bomb outside the Larkana residence of Mr Khuhro.

It was in the early hours of Tuesday when staff on duty at the Nazar Mohalla residence of the Sindh Assembly speaker noticed some suspicious activity outside the house and informed a police van about it. The police after a brief chase picked up a man outside the house and seized a bag of explosives found in his possession, said Larkana DIG Abdul Khalique Sheikh.

The bomb weighing around 1.5 pounds was defused. Interrogation with the suspect was under way, the DIG said.

At the same time, a similar bomb wrapped in a polythene bag was thrown into the house of Sindh Minister for Law Ayaz Soomro in Sheikh Zayed Colony, the police said.

The staff deputed at his house informed the police who called a bomb disposal squad. The house was swept and declared clear by the squad after defusing the bomb weighing about 1.5 pounds, said DIG Sheikh.

Speaking to Dawn, Larkana Deputy Commissioner Asadullah Abro said that a pamphlet of Sindhudesh Liberation Army was found in the courtyard of the house of the law minister that he suspected had been thrown along with the 'firecracker'.

The incidents took place between 4am and 6am.

Sources said that the police obtained the footage of a closed-circuit television camera focused at the house of the minister.


In Hyderabad, furniture and fittings in the bungalow of PPP politician Imdad Ali Pitafi were damaged and his two cousins, Asif and Zaman, were hit by shards of glass from windows when an improvised bomb went kaboom! on Tuesday.

The IED thrown from a street behind the house shattered windowpanes and damaged tables, chairs and sofas, the police said.

The blast also caused a crater in the floor, they added.

While there is resentment among Sindh nationalist parties over the recently passed Sindh People's Local Government Act-2012, Mr Pitafi ruled out the involvement of mainstream nationalist parties protesting against the law.

"It is a terrorist activity," he said, while showing a pamphlet that he said was found after the kaboom.

Such pamphlets are usually found from sites of kabooms carried out at railway tracks and purportedly issued by Sindhudesh Liberation Army commander Darya Khan.

"We are not frightened," Mr Pitafi said, "we have planned a meeting of party leaders and parliamentarians at my residence on Wednesday to finalise the arrangements for the Oct 15 public meeting."

He reiterated that the Oct 15 meeting would be held as planned.

He said that PPP workers were peaceful and believed that Sindh is land of mystics.

"But such type of politics can't be appreciated in which families are attacked. I will request the party leadership to let us handle the situation, but I know the party believes in the principles laid down by Benazir Bhutto
... 11th Prime Minister of Pakistain in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistain People's Party, who was murdered at the instigation of General Ayub Khan. She was murdered in her turn by person or persons unknown while campaigning in late 2007. Suspects include, to note just a few, Baitullah Mehsud, General Pervez Musharraf, the ISI, al-Qaeda in Pakistain, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who shows remarkably little curiosity about who done her in...
," he said. His father Bux Ali Pitafi had left home shortly before the blast. "It is perhaps an attempt to deter us from holding the meeting at our home on Wednesday," he said.

Saleem Vistro of the bomb disposal squad said that the device weighed around three pounds and it was locally made.

A large number of PPP leaders and workers and friends of the Pitafi family reached the MPA's house and expressed solidarity with him and his family.

Hyderabad SSP Pir Farid Jan Sarhandi said the police were conducting raids to arrest those associated with the group.

Earlier, an bomb went off at the gate of the Garhi Yasin residence of Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani.

a poor excuse is better than no excuse at all...
no casualty was reported in the small-scale blast.

Police and Rangers rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. They recovered a spent casing of a cracker weighing about 250grams from the site of the kaboom that damaged the iron gate of Kot Durani.

A three-member investigation team comprising DSP Imtiaz Ali Soomro, DSP Meer Ahmed Chandio and Rangers District Commander Major Tariq was constituted following the kaboom. Shikarpur SSP Parvez Chandio said that an FIR of the incident would be registered after receiving the investigation report from the committee.

In Nawabshah, a bomb was spotted and defused outside the residence of PPP politician Syed Faseeh Ahmed Shah at 7am.

Officials of the bomb disposal squad said the IEF weighed about 500grams.

Later residences of all the five politician in the district were searched by the bomb disposal squad and declared clear.

Similarly, an IED planted inside the house of PPP MPA Haji Hayat Talpur in the Digri Town area of Mirpurkhas was defused after the watchman found it early Tuesday morning and informed the police.

The explosives weighed around 800 grams, the police said.

It was found along the inner wall of the house where Mr Talpur used to perform ablutions every morning. There were marks on the wall indicating that the snuffies scaled it to do their job.

A pamphlet published by the Sindhudesh Liberation Army was also found in the house.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Karachi: One more killed in sectarian attack, three others in general bloodthirstiness
[Dawn] Four persons were killed in separate targeted attacks on Tuesday.

Police said Jehangir Hasan, 38, son of Hasan Raza, was rubbed out near the parking plaza within the remit of the Saddar cop shoppe.

The victim was a resident of North Nazimabad.

They said the incident took place at a narrow street next to the parking plaza, where Jehangir was targeted by two suspects riding a cycle of violence. The victim was also riding a cycle of violence.

The suspects had apparently followed him and decided to attack him in the narrow and dark lane, police said.

The victim suffered a gunshot wound in the head and was struck down in his prime. Police said the body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

A senior police officer of the area said that apparently the killing had a sectarian motive. Police were waiting for the victim's relatives at the hospital.

In another incident, a young man was killed by gunnies in the old city area late on Tuesday night.

Police said the incident took place within the remit of the Kharadar cop shoppe, where a young man, later identified as Ahmed, was shot at. The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
, where he died during treatment.

Details of the incident and background of the victim were yet to be ascertained, police said. In a third incident, a milk shop owner was killed and an activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement
...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead...
was maimed in Orangi Town.

Police said the incident took place near Mohajir Chowk within the remit of the Pakistain Bazaar cop shoppe, where motorcyclists opened fire on the milk shop. Mohammad Kamran, an activist of the MQM, was maimed and Akram Khan, the milk shop owner, killed in the attack.

Police shifted the maimed and the dead to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment and medico-legal formalities, respectively. Following the incident tension gripped different parts of Orangi Town.

A young owner of a marriage lawn was killed in New Bloody Karachi on Tuesday.

Police said the incident took place in Sector 5-M within the remit of the Bilal Colony cop shoppe, where gunnies riding a cycle of violence came to a bakery and opened fire on Shahzad Aslam, 35.

The victim was rushed to ASH, but he died on his way.

Bilal Colony SHO Arif Afridi said the incident took place on resistance against a robbery. The victim was the father of five.

The victim owned a marriage lawn in the area, the police said.

Two young men found tortured, killed

The bodies of two young men were found in the Mewashah graveyard within the remit of the Pak Colony cop shoppe on Tuesday.

Two bodies were found in the same graveyard on Sunday which are still unidentified at the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth.

Police said the bodies stuffed in gunny bangs were trussed up and bore torture marks.

The victims were in trousers and shirts.

"The two men had been slaughtered before their bodies were dumped at the scene," said a duty officer at the Pak Colony cop shoppe.

The police said it appeared that the two men had been kidnapped somewhere else and their bodies were dumped at the scene following their murder.

The bodies were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for medico-legal formalities.

The police said nothing on the bodies was found that could help identify the victims.

'Bandit' rubbed out

A suspected bandit was rubbed out and his accomplice was thrashed after they were caught by people in Baloch Colony on Tuesday.

Police said the incident took place in Mehmoodabad within the remit of the Baloch Colony cop shoppe, where two suspects on a cycle of violence snatched cash and valuables from a salesman near the Azam Medical Centre.

man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
as the bandidos were fleeing, they were surrounded by people who overpowered them and gave them a severe hiding.

The police said that during the thrashing, someone from the crowd shot at one of the suspects.

Later police arrived at the scene. The other bandit was handed over to the police by the people. Police seized a pistol from one of the suspects.

Police shifted both suspects to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where the shot suspect was pronounced dead while the maimed was admitted for treatment.

Baloch Colony SHO Murtaza Majeed said the dead bandit was identified as Hasan Naveed and the maimed as Shahzaib. Both men were residents of Korangi 2-1/2, the police said.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6493 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
Man arrested in bomb attack in southern Thailand
A man was arrested on Thursday in connection with the roadside bomb attack in Yala province on Wednesday in which nine paramilitary rangers were wounded. He was identified as Muhammad Patae. He was nabbed while allegedly taking photos of the officials investigating at the scene of the attack.

Nine paramilitary rangers on patrol were wounded as they completed their patrol on Wednesday. They were traveling by pickup truck to their base at Ban Ya Soop at the end of their patrol duty. As the vehicle arrived at Ban Baro in Yaha district, a sidecar motorcycle parked along the roadside exploded, hitting the military truck as it passed by. Police said explosives were built into the sidecar and were triggered by presumed terrorists insurgents.

Police investigators said a second bomb exploded about one kilometer down the road, apparently to target the responding security team, but no one was hurt.
Posted by: ryuge || 10/11/2012 05:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6491 views] Top|| File under: Thai Insurgency

US deploys troops to Jordan to monitor Syrian chemical weapons
Posted by: ryuge || 10/11/2012 07:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6515 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Requisite host nation denial.
Posted by: Besoeker || 10/11/2012 10:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Got our foot in the door...
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 10/11/2012 11:37 Comments || Top||

#3  One of the problems of using chemical weapons is that they themselves become a target that if 'excited' turns on its owners.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 10/11/2012 12:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Interesting - we've gone from "secret deployment," to "assisting with refugee control," to "assisting the Jordanian military," to "monitor Syrian chemical weapons".
Posted by: Pappy || 10/11/2012 15:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Is that what you call "mission creep"?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 10/11/2012 15:52 Comments || Top||

#6  ...or they're running out of easy drone targets further east.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 10/11/2012 15:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Is that what you call "mission creep"?

It's the foreign-policy version of filling sandbags against the impending flood.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/11/2012 16:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Not a bad idea actually.
Posted by: DarthVader || 10/11/2012 16:49 Comments || Top||

#9  Where is the Arab Legion???
Posted by: bman || 10/11/2012 17:04 Comments || Top||

#10  It's not mission creep, it's revolving door lies, trying to find one that sticks.
Posted by: Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division || 10/11/2012 19:21 Comments || Top||

#11  mission creep - but not OUR fault. The next few weeks may pose the biggest risk in terms of AQ actually getting their hands on a real weapon of mass destruction.

I hope all our guys will be OK.
Posted by: Raider || 10/11/2012 19:52 Comments || Top||

Syrian troops blast Homs, residents plead for help
[Al Ahram] Syrian forces on Wednesday hammered rebel belts in the central city of Homs, where besieged residents desperately pleaded for humanitarian assistance, and in the northern city 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...
, a watchdog said.

Shells rained down from early morning on parts of Homs and on the nearby town of Qusayr, near the Leb border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The army has intensified operations against Homs and Qusayr, which have been besieged by regime forces for months, vowing to overrun them by the end of the week to free up troops for battle zones in the north, such as Aleppo.

The onslaught has sent a new flood of refugees across the border into Leb, a Lebanese security official said, who noted on Tuesday that up to 400 people had crossed the frontier in a 24-hour period.

An activist in the Homs Old City, reached via Skype on Wednesday, said the district was "totally surrounded."

"There is no way out. Our situation is so bad it makes anyone cry," said the activist, who identified himself as Abu Bilal.

"The field hospitals are full of injured people needing operations and who need to be evacuated. There is no way out at all, at all."

The Old City neighbourhood of Homs has been under total siege by the army for more than four months. According to the Observatory, thousands of civilians remain trapped in the Old City and other besieged, rebel-held districts of the city rebels refer to as "the capital of the revolution."

"We call on the International Committee of the Red Thingy, and on the Red Islamic Thingy, to come to our assistance," said Abu Bilal.

The ICRC made several failed attempt
Curses! Foiled again!
s in the early summer to enter into Homs. The army and rebels exchanged blame for a failed ceasefire, a prerequisite for the mission's entry to evacuate maimed and civilians.

In Qusayr, the situation was "terrible" overnight, activist Hadi al-Abdallah told AFP via Skype on Wednesday.

"People are afraid of what might happen if the army enters into the rebel-held areas of Qusayr. They say they would prefer to die in the shelling than be executed by the army," said Abdallah.

Qusayr has been in rebel hands -- and under siege -- since September last year. The Observatory says thousands of people are trapped in the town, and that the only way out is via secret tunnels.

"There is no way out for anyone here," said Abdallah.

The Observatory also reported heavy shelling on Wednesday against a string of rebel-held neighbourhoods in Aleppo, which has been the theatre since mid-July of an increasingly bloody battle between rebels and the army.

The Britannia-based watchdog, which collates information from a network of activists and medics on the ground, added that on Tuesday alone 22 civilians died in a shelling blitz against Aleppo.

The Observatory added that 180 people died across the country on Tuesday -- 84 civilians, 45 rebels and 51 soldiers.

Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6498 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Syria rejects truce as rebels intercept reinforcements
[Al Ahram] The Syrian regime rejected a UN call for a unilateral ceasefire on Wednesday as rebels confronted columns of tanks and troops sent to retake a town on the road to main battleground city 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...
Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs...
's regime, on the back foot with rebels controlling swathes of northern Syria, insisted the beturbanned goons must stop the violence first as it turned down the call issued the previous day by UN chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
"We told Ban Ki-moon to send emissaries to the countries which have influence on the gangs, so that they put an end to the violence," foreign ministry front man Jihad Maqdisi said.

As he spoke, the embattled regime was sending tanks from Mastumah south of Idlib city to Maaret al-Numan, a rebel source told an AFP news hound in the nearby town of Sarmin.

It had also deployed soldiers along the highway to Maaret al-Numan to secure the passage of its heavy armour to the strategic town on the Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
-Aleppo highway.

The beturbanned goons were battling to halt their advance, however, using rocket launchers and improvised bombs, the source said, adding three tanks were damaged.

The intensifying battle for Maaret al-Numan was "very important," said the rebels who took control of the town on Tuesday after 48 hours of fierce fighting and heavy shelling.

Rebels also intercepted troops on the outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, south of Maaret al-Numan, where intense festivities erupted even as warplanes bombed rebel zones, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"If the rebels, who already have Maaret al-Numan and Saraqeb, take Khan Sheikhun, they will completely isolate regime troops in Aleppo because redeployments will not be able to arrive," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Turkey's top military commander, General Necdet Ozel, warned meanwhile of a tougher response if Syria keeps hitting Turkish soil, as he visited the town of Akcakale, where cross-border shelling killed five civilians last week.

"We have retaliated (for Syrian shelling) and if it continues, we'll respond more strongly," General Ozel said, as he inspected Turkish troops on a tour of the heavily fortified border zone.

Following the deadly shelling in Akcakale on Wednesday of last week, Turkey's parliament approved the use of military force if necessary against Syria.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also warned Damascus not to test Turkey's patience.

...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants...
head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has warned against escalation along the frontier and said the alliance has "all necessary plans in place to protect and to defend Turkey if necessary."

The sabre-rattling added to growing fears of wider regional fallout from the conflict ravaging Syria, in which activists say more than 32,000 people have died, mostly civilians.

Separately, Jordan's army denied the US military was helping the kingdom handle an influx of Syrian refugees and prepare for other scenarios, including Damascus losing control of its chemical weapons.

A senior US defence official said earlier that a 150-strong force of planners and specialists -- led by a US officer -- was looking at ways to prevent the increasingly bloody war from spilling across Jordan's borders.

Residents of the Old City neighbourhood of Homs, meanwhile, desperately pleaded for assistance as the Observatory reported heavy shelling of rebel belts across the central city and nearby Qusayr, both besieged for months.

The army has vowed to overrun the whole of Homs province by the end of the week to free up troops for northern battle zones like Aleppo, and the latest offensive has prompted hundreds of civilians to flee to neighbouring Leb.

An activist speaking to AFP over the Internet from Homs said the Old City district was "totally surrounded."

"There is no way out. Our situation is so bad it makes anyone cry," said Abu Bilal. "The field hospitals are full of injured people needing operations and who need to be evacuated. There is no way out at all."

The Observatory also reported heavy shelling on Wednesday against a string of rebel-held neighbourhoods in Aleppo, which has been the theatre since mid-July of an increasingly bloody battle between rebels and the army.

The Britannia-based group reported at least 50 people killed across Syria on Wednesday - 18 rebels, 16 soldiers and 16 civilians.

One of the civilians killed was Mohammed al-Ashram, a cameraman who had been working for the pro-government Al-Ikhbariya television channel, which said he was rubbed out by "terrorists" in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Syria rebels battle army in landmark Aleppo mosque
[Al Ahram] Syrian rebels launched an attack on troops in second city 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...
's landmark Umayyad Mosque on Wednesday sparking festivities inside the 13th century place of worship, a military source told AFP.
An AFP correspondent witnessed the tail end of the fighting, which the military source said lasted some four hours.

"The rebels broke through the wall of the mosque using RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and tried to push inside," the source told AFP.

Fighting raged inside and outside the mosque before the troops repulsed the assault, the source added.

The AFP correspondent said troops had retained control of the mosque itself but that rebel snipers were continuing to shoot at army positions around it.

The military source said that the army had been unable to reinforce the mosque because the rebels had launched simultaneous mortar attacks on army positions elsewhere in the Old City from the adjacent rebel-held Bustan al-Basha district.

"The men at those checkpoints were unable to help us defend the mosque as the mortar rounds denied us any freedom of movement," he said.

Elsewhere in Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital, two mortar rounds struck in front of the central bank building as it was crowded with early morning customers, killing three people outside, a bank clerk told AFP.

"There were around 150 people in the bank when the first mortar struck, many of them farmers getting their government cheques for produce. The windows shattered and everyone was panicking," said Ahmed, 35, who gave no second name.

"We took the people inside and closed the doors, and right afterwards the second mortar struck directly in front of the bank. It hit a small truck and killed the three people inside," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6500 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Free Syrian Army wants to whack Hezbollah -- in Beirut
Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please...
BEIRUT: Syrian rebels said they have detained 13 Hezbollah members and threatened to take the fight to Hezbollah’s stronghold in Beirut’s southern suburbs unless the party ends its support for President Bashar Assad’s regime.

“We [vow] to take the battle in Syria to the heart of the [Beirut] southern suburbs if [Hezbollah] does not stop supporting the killer-Syrian regime,” Free Syrian Army spokesman Fahd al-Masri told media outlets Tuesday.

He said the FSA is holding 13 Hezbollah members in a village near Homs for their involvement in the Syria conflict.

“They [the Hezbollah detainees] have confessed to killing and slaughtering [people] in Syria,” Masri said, indicating that most of the captives come from Baalbek and Hermel in the Bekaa Valley.

Masri stressed that Hezbollah is “deeply involved” in the fighting in Syria and said that the fate of the 13 detained men was “in the hands of [FSA] field commanders.”

Hezbollah “is involved in the killing of the Syrian people and in suppressing the revolution, particularly in Damascus and Homs,” Masri said.

“Hezbollah focuses [its operations] on Damascus’ Zabadani area given that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has a military base there,” he said. “They also have a huge presence in Qusayr and Talbiseh.”

Responding to Masri’s comments, Hezbollah bloc MP Kamel Rifai denied that members of the resistance group were being sent to fight alongside the Syrian army.
"Lies! All lies!"
“The party has a basic rule that forbids fighting anyone other than Israel and thus it bans its elements from fighting in Syria,” Rifai told The Daily Star Tuesday. “There are Shiites living in Syria, but that does not make them Hezbollah [fighters]."
"Wudn't us."
In an apparent response to Rifai, Masri told the Lebanese MTV channel later Tuesday that the 13 Hezbollah men were arrested in their military uniforms.

“They were armed and in military uniform when they were captured in Homs’ countryside,” Masri said. “They were not pilgrims and not on a tour.”
Perhaps they were just heavily-armed pilgrims who were lost...
He held Hezbollah fully responsible and said the Shiite group “must not drag Lebanon into lost battles.”

“Funerals were held for four Hezbollah members who died at a military training camp as well as three others who passed away in the Nabi Sheet explosion,” Rifai said. “None of them were involved in the Syrian fighting as has been rumored.”
"We're perfectly capable of killing them here in Lebanon!"
Last week, Hezbollah said three of its fighters were killed in an explosion at a munitions depot in Nabi Sheet in east Lebanon.
That was a warning shot blast...
Hezbollah buried Monday one its fighters who a security source said was killed in the border area with Syria. Hussein Abdel Ghani al-Nimr, 35, died “performing his jihadist duty,” a Hezbollah spokesman said.
And now he's dead. Perhaps his mother loved him...
Nimr’s death comes less than a week after a senior Hezbollah commander, whom Syrian rebels said was killed in Syria, was buried in the Bekaa.
Posted by: Steve White || 10/11/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6517 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't get your hopes high just yet ...

A reminder ...

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 10/11/2012 0:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't get your hopes high just yet ...

Total war throughout the region, down to the last man standing. It would leave us one drone-zap away from peace in the Middle East, something that hasn't happened since... I dunno, the Pleistocene. Sure, it's fantasy. But a man can dream!
Posted by: SteveS || 10/11/2012 3:29 Comments || Top||

#3  SteveS, the chief foreign correspondent of The Telegraph believes Syria and Turkey are about to go at it hammer and tongs:

If anyone believed that Syria’s bloodshed would stay inside the country’s borders, the events of the last week should have put them right. I’m in southern Turkey, near the frontier with Syria, and this area feels like the new front line of the battle against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Convoys of Turkish army vehicles ply the roads down to the border and, quietly, civilians are trickling away to safer areas.

The reason is simple: cross-border artillery and mortar bombardments have become daily events.
If another family dies in similar circumstances, the Turkish government will come under immense popular pressure to respond with full force. If the Akçakale killings were to be repeated, I would not be surprised if Turkey retaliated with a strike by troops as well as artillery, possibly accompanied with air power. The country’s parliament has authorised the government to do exactly that if necessary. In other words, Turkey and Syria are close to war. The two countries have been waging a covert, undeclared war since the onset of the uprising against Assad, with Turkey supplying the Syrian rebels and Damascus hitting back by fuelling the Kurdish insurgency inside its neighbour. But we could be close to the moment when this shadow war becomes a formal, cross-border conflict.
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/11/2012 8:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Hezbollah has a big supply depot near Madaya very near Lebanon. There are FSA forces in the vicinity and they've come close to capturing the supply depot a few times.

Latest rumor is that Hezbollah is now providing personal security for Assad since there have been some defections and a few people were 'discharged' for suspected rebel sympathy.
Posted by: lord garth || 10/11/2012 10:00 Comments || Top||

#5  And Iran joins in when?
Posted by: AlanC || 10/11/2012 10:02 Comments || Top||

#6  AlanC

Iran has forces in Syria and some have already been killed. The Iran role will be constrained somewhat because of the language problem and because Iran is a bit concerned that if (or when) they have a heavy presence in Syria, it will result in some conflict (possibly some red on red deadly force) between Hezbollah and the Iranian forces (since Arabs don't like taking personal orders from Persians among other things). Its better for Iran if the Mullahs give orders to Hezbollah HQ and Hezbollah orders their forces.

Lots of different types of popcorn.
Posted by: lord garth || 10/11/2012 10:18 Comments || Top||

#7  #5 And Iran joins in when?

Iranian munitions were turning up in Afghanistan at least two years ago, possibly long before.
Posted by: Besoeker || 10/11/2012 10:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Looking at this with the context of the Turkey thread as well (not to mention the nuke issues) and wondering how much overt action there will be? Covert is a given and known but the permutations and combinations of ethnic and religious enmity in that region just boggle my mind.
Posted by: AlanC || 10/11/2012 11:03 Comments || Top||

#9  Perhaps his mother loved him... She could have been just jivin'
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 10/11/2012 11:23 Comments || Top||

#10  You know, if the Syrian Rebs can't get the Madaya supply depot there's another way to take care of it. And on that note, I join Steve: Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please...
Posted by: Charles || 10/11/2012 11:50 Comments || Top||

#11  FSA is dreaming. Syria will be gone soon.
Posted by: Raider || 10/11/2012 15:29 Comments || Top||

#12  ...Syria and Turkey are about to go at it hammer and tongs

I'm calling for the whole region to go up in flames. Everyone has little proxy armies in their neighbor's countries and/or designs on a patch of land just across the border. The whole mess is just one archduke away from being a mini-WWI. Only this time the Great Powers (can we even say that now?) won't be involved since they either don't really give a flip or can't afford to get involved.

A little in-depth from Spengler here.
From the final 'graph: The bad news is that none of the major countries in the region can be kept from falling, and once fallen, they cannot be put back together again. The good news is that the bad news is not so bad. As long as the calamity is restricted to the region, and prospective malefactors are prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, the impact on the rest of the world will be surprisingly small.
Posted by: SteveS || 10/11/2012 19:49 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2012-10-11
  US embassy security chief gunned down in Yemen
Wed 2012-10-10
  Turkey Intercepts Syrian Civilian Plane
Tue 2012-10-09
  Taliban bravely shoot Pakistani schoolgirl campaigning for peace
Mon 2012-10-08
  Syria Rebels Advance in North, Pushed Back in South
Sun 2012-10-07
  1 dead, 10 arrested in anti-terror sweep in France
Sat 2012-10-06
  US suspected drone kills five persons in Shabwa
Fri 2012-10-05
  18 Republican Guards killed in Damascus province
Thu 2012-10-04
  Violence and Protest in Iran as Currency Drops in Value
Wed 2012-10-03
  Syria shells kill five inside Turkey
Tue 2012-10-02
  More Than 130 Dead in Syria amid Clashes in Aleppo Souk
Mon 2012-10-01
  Children killed in Kenya church attack
Sun 2012-09-30
  Thousands rally in Karachi against anti-Islam film
Sat 2012-09-29
  Kenyan Army Claims Fall of Kismayo
Fri 2012-09-28
  Iraq militants attack Tikrit prison, freeing 90 inmates
Thu 2012-09-27
  Clinton Sees Link to Qaeda Offshoot in Deadly Libya Attack

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