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Archive for 07/23/2012

Turkey Sends Missiles To Border With Syria

07/23/2012 Leave a comment

AAP – “TURKEY has sent batteries of ground-to-air missiles to the border with Syria, boosting its firepower as rebels in Syria seized several border posts.

As fighting raged in Damascus and Aleppo, rebels took control of three crossing points on the border with Turkey, which is sheltering thousands of Syrians who have fled the conflict at home.

A train convoy carrying several batteries of missiles arrived in Mardin in southeastern Turkey and will be transferred to several army units deployed on the border, according to the Anatolia news agency.

Television footage showed at least five vehicles in the convoy were carrying air defence missiles, in the latest show of force by Syria’s one-time ally, which is now a fervent critic of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned last month after the downing of a military jet initially blamed on Damascus that it now regarded Syria as a ‘clear and imminent threat’.

Syria has in turn accused Turkey of sheltering rebels and training and supplying militants fighting the regime in a conflict that erupted in March 2011 and has now claimed at least 19,000 lives, according to activists.” Read more.

Syria: We Will Use Chemical And Biological Weapons If Attacked

07/23/2012 Leave a comment

By PAUL SCHEMM and BEN HUBBARD, AP – “BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian regime threatened Monday to use its chemical and biological weapons in case of a foreign attack, in its first ever acknowledgement that it possesses weapons of mass destruction.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi stressed, however, that Damascus would not use its unconventional arms against its own citizens. The announcement comes as Syria faces international isolation, a tenacious rebellion that has left at least 19,000 people dead and threats by Israel to attack to prevent such weapons from falling into rebel hands.

The timing, however, of Syria’s decision to reveal the long suspected existence of its chemical weapons suggests a desperate regime deeply shaken by an increasingly bold revolt that has scored a string of successes in the past week, including a stunning bomb attack that killed four high-level security officials, the capture of several border crossings and sustained offensives on the regime strongholds of Damascus and Aleppo.

‘No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria no matter what the developments inside Syria,’ Makdissi said in news conference broadcast on Syrian state TV. ‘All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression.’

The Syrian government later tried to back off from the announcement, sending journalists an amendment to the prepared statement read out by Makdissi adding the phrase ‘if any,’ in attempts to return to their previous position of neither confirming or denying the existence of unconventional weapons.” Read more.

Flashback: US Worried As Syria Begins Moving Sarin Nerve Agent, Mustard Gas And Cyanide Out of Storage – “Syria has begun moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities, U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal… ‘This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch,’ a U.S. official said. ‘This is incredibly dangerous to our national security.’… Officials said that if Assad uses chemical weapons, Western allies would probably go ahead with plans to intervene in the Syrian civil war more aggressively than they have until now and topple him from power.” Read more.

In Egypt, Morsi’s Silence Speaks Volumes

07/23/2012 1 comment

By Joel Brinkley, Chicago Tribune – “Mohammed Morsi has been Egypt’s president for less than a month, and already senior clerics in his country and around the Islamic world are loudly calling for the demolition of the pyramids, Egypt’s most important tourist attraction and among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Saudi Sheik Ali bin Said al-Rabi’i called them heinous ‘symbols of paganism.’ In recent days, similar calls have been echoing through Egypt and the region, including one from a Bahraini sheik who urged Morsi to ‘destroy the pyramids and accomplish what the Amr bin al-As could not.’ He was referring to the Prophet Muhammad’s companion who conquered Egypt in the seventh century but didn’t have the technological wherewithal to accomplish the task.

None of this should be too surprising. Islamic extremists are now destroying 15th century tombs in Timbuktu, world heritage sites, because they are considered ‘idolatrous.’ And remember in 2001, when the Taliban fired heavy artillery at two huge Buddha statutes carved into a rock face about 1,700 years ago. Taliban leader Mullah Omar had issued an edict against un-Islamic graven images. Numerous other examples exist, contemporary and ancient.

What’s surprising is that Morsi has had nothing to say about this, not a word. Neither has he said anything about numerous ‘freelance’ efforts to enforce other elements of Shariah law across Egypt, even though his new government hasn’t said that’s his plan.

Well, his extremist allies are already trying to enforce an ancient Koranic commandment that directs Islamists to collect a tax called the jizya from Coptic Christians and other ‘non-believers.’ Ahmed Imran, who was a Salafist-party candidate for office, recently declared that ‘Copts are obligated to pay the jizya.’ And as Raymond Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American author and columnist of Coptic ancestry, recently wrote: ‘Increasing numbers of attacks on Christians in Egypt revolve around extorting jizya.’

The Koran (9/29) declares: ‘Fight those who do not believe in Allah’ until ‘they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.’ Once again, Morsi has said nothing about this.” Read more.

Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi Says Christians Must Convert To Islam, Pay ‘Jizya’, Or Leave – ‘Conquest Is Coming’ – “According to the popular Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will ‘achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya,’ the additional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslims, or financial tribute… ‘They need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay jizya or emigrate.’” Read more.

Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi Declares ‘Death In The Name Of Allah Is Our Goal’ – “Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law, presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement Mohamed Morsi said. ‘The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,’ Morsi said in his election speech before Cairo University students on Saturday night. Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels, he said.” Read more.

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