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Cedar Lounge
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President Assad outlines political solution to Syrian conflict

category international | anti-war | other press author Sunday January 06, 2013 12:31author by Elric Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

Syria’s president has outlined a plan to end the country's conflict, starting with a halt to international support to “al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups.” The solution proposes a new constitution and government, as well as national reconciliation. President Bashar Assad said that his government had never refused a political solution, but would not negotiate with terrorists. He then stressed that the only solution was a Syrian proposal to end the crisis.

“The political solution entails regional and international powers halting their support for armed groups, which will be followed by a halt in our security forces' crackdown against them,” Assad said in his first public address to the people of Syria since June

An image grab taken from the state-run Syrian TV shows Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad making a public address on the latest developments in the country and the region on January 6, 2013 (AFP Photo)
An image grab taken from the state-run Syrian TV shows Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad making a public address on the latest developments in the country and the region on January 6, 2013 (AFP Photo)

He claimed the move would be followed by dialogue with all parties who work in Syria’s interests, in the form of a national conference on the creation of a truce and the drafting of a new constitution to be put to public vote. The charter would form the basis of the new Syrian government.

The final step would be a national reconciliation process, including amnesty for those imprisoned during the crisis.

Assad stated that his government had not yet found any partners willing to back a solution to Syria’s ongoing crisis. However, he did thank Russia, China and Iran for not “interfering in Syrian affairs.”

Related Link: http://rt.com/news/assad-solution-syria-conflict-434/
author by Elricpublication date Sun Jan 06, 2013 13:59Report this post to the editors

Franklin Lamb writes on how Jihadists are taking over Yarmouk camp. Full text at link.

Some fleeing Palestinians refugees at the Maznaa crossing mention that they fear that al-Qaeda affiliates are taking over Yarmouk camp and want to establish an Islamic emirate.

With a long-time Palestinian friend, I visited the camp this morning and inquired. Contrary to some of the many rumors regarding late breaking developments in Damascus, Syrian army units guarding the main entrance to Yarmouk camp and patrolling the adjacent areas are not preventing Americans and other foreigners from entering. They simply warn them not to enter but do not block them or arrest them. Certain parts of the large camp, more like a large urban neighborhood, divided along Yarmouk and Palestine streets, appear quite safe.

But there are sections of Yarmouk where the Al Nusra Front is very much in control and are actively setting up social service centers and training bases for arriving recruits from a number of countries as well as, regrettably, some Palestinians. The latter I was advised are mostly unemployed, school dropouts, or perhaps under the sway of a fiery salafist sheik who gives sermons on the virtues of jihad. The recruits are receiving a weapon, some training and cash and “religious instruction” wherein they are falsely instructed that the Holy Koran demands of them to liberate Yarmouk from non-believers including those who are not Sunni, and to establish in the liberated areas an Islamic Emirate while dismantling the legacy of Sykes-Picot.

To this latter end, Al Nusra types are currently “cleansing” areas of Yarmouk under their control and attempting to spread into adjoining areas of the camp. As of 1/4/12 there is not much resistance to their activities as the pro-government armed popular committees such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command have not returned in significant numbers after fleeing nearly two weeks ago.

Some of the camp inhabitants expect that the Syrian army will enter Yarmouk with massive force in an attempt to expel al Nusra Front and their allies but others are saying that the army is very reluctant to do so because it would be accused of destroying a Palestinian refugee camp

Related Link: http://www.countercurrents.org/lamb050113.htm
author by Elricpublication date Mon Jan 07, 2013 22:08Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

On Sunday, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad made his first public speech in several months. He focused his remarks on the sponsorship of the opposition by the Western powers and its domination by Islamist forces. Any “political solution” in Syria “would require that regional powers stop funding and arming [the opposition], an end to terrorist operations and controlling the borders,” he said. “We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West.”

He called for a “full national mobilisation” to fight against “terrorists who follow the ideology of Al Qaeda.”
The sectarian character of the opposition and the fact that it is sponsored by the US and Europe, in alliance with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, is Assad’s main source of internal support. Many who oppose his brutal regime—Sunnis as well as Alawites, Christians and other minorities—back him for fear of what will come next.

Two days before Assad’s speech, US troops began to arrive in Turkey to man Patriot missile defence batteries near the Syrian border. The dispatch of 27 personnel Friday to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to survey the Patriot deployment is a first step towards launching an air campaign to establish no-fly zones, similar to that waged to depose Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the 27 troops as “a site survey team.” Over the next several days, the US will deploy personnel from an air defence battalion based in Oklahoma, according to the US European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. They will fly into Turkey on military aircraft, with additional equipment arriving by sea.

A full deployment of 400 US troops will follow, alongside troops from Germany and the Netherlands. German and Dutch Patriot missiles are being shipped to Turkey this week. The combined force of around 1,000 troops and six patriot missile batteries will be operational by the end of January. They will be under the overall control of NATO, but the missiles will be operated by their respective countries.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/07/syri-j07.html
 
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