Home Tags Posts tagged with "syrian soldiers"

syrian soldiers

Syrian rebels have captured a number of positions on the country’s borders with Iraq and Turkey.

A senior Iraqi official said all the crossings on Syria’s eastern frontier had been seized. At one point, two Turkish posts were also in rebel hands.

The push came a day after a bomb claimed the lives of three senior defence officials in Damascus.

At the UN, negotiations are under way on extending the mandate of the observer mission in Syria,

The mandate for the mission is due to expire on Friday.

There are almost 300 UN observers in Syria, but the mission suspended most of its monitoring activity in June, because of the risk from increasing violence.

Syrian rebels have captured a number of positions on the country's borders with Iraq and Turkey

Syrian rebels have captured a number of positions on the country's borders with Iraq and Turkey

The US says it might consider a final brief extension of the monitors work, but warned that it could not pin its policy on an unarmed mission.

The UK is proposing an extension for 30 days, and then the mission would continue only if the regime had removed heavy weapons from cities and sent troops back to their barracks.

The major Abu Kamal crossing on the Euphrates river in the east was captured after a clash with government forces, opposition activists said.

More than 20 Syrian soldiers and their commander were killed when a remote army outpost in the far north-east was attacked, Associated Press news agency reported.

Iraq’s government, seen as sympathetic to President Bashar al-Assad, has threatened to shut its side of the border and one official told Reuters news agency that it was closing the Abu Kamal crossing.

On the frontier with Turkey, too, rebels were said to have taken control of two posts, at Bab al-Hawa and Jarablus.

Video from the Bab al-Hawa crossing in Idlib province soon emerged of rebels defacing a portrait of President Assad, but they later reportedly withdrew from the position.

The regime’s grip on outlying areas may be slipping, which is hardly surprising given the fighting in Damascus.

State TV has been reporting on violence across the capital, showing footage of troops in the Midan area where it said 20 terrorists had been killed.

Analysts point out that the regime shows no signs of collapsing, and the military is still heavily armed, loyal and able to defend key institutions.

Violence broke out in the capital on Sunday, and two days later the rebels declared an all-out assault, calling it “Damascus volcano”.

The explosion on Wednesday that killed three top security officials led to a mobilization of government troops in an attempt to drive the rebels out of the city.

The president’s brother-in-law, the defence minister and head of the government’s crisis team were killed by a bomb as they attended a meeting at the national security headquarters.

The first images of President Bashar al-Assad since the attack have appeared, largely ending rumours he might have been hurt.

The footage appeared to show Gen Fahd Jassim al-Furayj, chief of staff of the armed forces, being sworn into his new post as defence minister.

Tanks and armored vehicles were reported to have moved into Qaboun on Thursday, close to the centre of Damascus.

There were heavy casualties, activists said, as a result of an army bombardment of Zamalka in the eastern outskirts of Damascus.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the number of fatalities across the country on Thursday at 250.

The pace of events in Syria was in marked contrast to the diplomatic stalemate at the UN Security Council, where Russia and China vetoed a Western resolution calling for tougher sanctions on Damascus.

Under the Western-backed plan, the Damascus government would have been threatened with non-military sanctions under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter if it failed to move troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.

But the use of Chapter Seven paved the way for “external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs”, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin argued.


President Bashar al-Assad is quoted as saying he regrets “100 per cent” a Turkish jet was shot down after entering Syrian airspace.

In an interview with Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper, Bashar al-Assad argues that the plane was flying in an area previously used by Israel’s air force.

The plane went down in the Mediterranean last month and the two pilots have not been found.

The incident has heightened tensions between the two countries.

President Bashar al-Assad is quoted as saying he regrets "100 per cent" a Turkish jet was shot down after entering Syrian airspace

President Bashar al-Assad is quoted as saying he regrets "100 per cent" a Turkish jet was shot down after entering Syrian airspace

Last week, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Syria’s action and described the neighboring country as a “clear and present threat”.

Turkey reinforced border areas with rocket-launchers and anti-aircraft guns.

On Sunday, Turkey said it had scrambled six F-16 fighter jets when Syrian helicopters had approached the border.

“We will not allow (the shooting down) to turn into open combat between the two countries,” President Bashar al-Assad is quoted as saying.

Cumhuriyet, which published the interview on Tuesday, does not indicate when it took place but shows a picture of Bashar al-Assad standing beside its Ankara bureau chief Utku Cakirozer.

In other developments:

• Turkish media reported late on Monday that another 85 Syrian soldiers, including 14 senior officers, had defected across the Turkish border. It is one of the biggest groups of army defections since the March 2011 uprising in Syria began.

• Syria has been accused of practicing a widespread policy of state-sanctioned torture, in a Human Rights Watch report . The group says it has identified at least 27 detention centres across Syria.

• UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said that both Syrian government forces and the opposition have been involved in operations that harmed civilians. She has appealed for further militarization of the conflict to be avoided at all costs.