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Entries in Qusayr (12)


Syria Today: UN Appeal on "Record" Aid for Syrians --- Significant Step or Meaningless Gesture?

The Wounded from Qusayr

Al Jazeera English reports from Arsal in Lebanon, where some of those wounded during the three-week battle for Qusayr have been taken:

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Syria Today: Will Regime Advance Break the Stalemate?

Qusayr After the Battle Zawahiri Calls To Prevent "Pro-US Regime" In Syria

An audio recording purportedly from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, calls on jihadi groups in Syria to prevent the establishment of a pro-US regime in the country.

In the message, published on the internet on Thursday, urges the "Lions of Islam in ash-Sham [the Levant] to gather and unite" above sectarian issues, saying that "America and its agents" want you to shed your blood… to bring down the criminal Baathist regime and then to set up a regime loyal to them that will guarantee Israel's security".

The message goes on to say that jihad in Syria aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country, and then condemns Iran for desiring "Safavid expansion". The Mujahadeen of as-Sham have "exposed the ugly face of Iran…and its heinous crimes", al-Zawahiri says.

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Syria Snap Analysis: Regime Forces Take Qusayr --- What Next?

Footage from Al-Mayadeen TV of the regime capture of Qusayr

Qusayr did not resolve the Syrian conflict. It only highlighted that resolution is distant.

The regime is unlikely to alter this with victory in one town, achieved only with substantial help from Hezbollah. Whether the insurgency and the "West" can do so is the more intriguing scenario.

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Syria Today: Regime Claims Control of Qusayr

Reports Of Breadlines In Largely Kurdish Town Of Efrin Near Aleppo

A Kurdish activist group claims that Kurds in Efrin near Aleppo in northern Syria are suffering because of an ongoing siege by the Free Syrian Army.

Activists on Wednesday tweeted images purportedly of breadlines in the town.

There were sustained reports last month of clashes between the FSA and local Kurdish militia.

Claimed footage, from "Daraa City" activists, of insurgents evacuating women and children from Qusayr

See also Middle East Today: Turkey --- Deputy PM Apologises for "Excessive Violence"...But Will PM Erdogan?
Tuesday's Syria Today: More Than 100 Claimed Deaths on a "Quiet" Monday

Insurgent Withdrawal from Qusayr

Reuters, citing an "opposition group" from Qusayr, said more than 500 insurgents died in the three weeks of the regime assault, with a further 1,000 wounded, leaving just 400 outgunned men struggling to hold onto the town.

Survivors decided to escape in the night through a corridor that regime attackers said they had deliberately left open to encourage flight.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said, “The Al-Qusayr accomplishment is a severe blow to the project of the American-Israeli-Takfiri [infidel] trio and a glowing point for the project of the resistance in Syria.

Qassem continued, “Today, it has been proven that betting on the fall of the resisting Syrian [regime] is an illusion....Building political stances on the accomplishments of the American-Israeli project is unsuccessful.”

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Syria Today: The Civilians Trapped in Qusayr

A spokesman for insurgents tours the besieged city of Qusayr

Claimed Footage of Scud Strike in Kafar Hamra Section of Aleppo

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Syria Today: The Battle for Qusayr Continues

Head of Free Syrian Army, Salim Idriss, appealing for foreign help for the besieged town of Qusayr

Insurgent Projects in the North

A 12-minute video from the insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham, boasting of water supply to 50 villages in Raqqa Province:

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Syria Today: Assad Declares Victory and a Fight Against Israel

See also Syria Analysis: A 5-Point Guide to Assad Interview --- Is He Right To Declare Victory?
Syria Audio Analysis: The Real Importance of the "Russian Missiles to Syria" Story
Syria Video & Transcript: President Assad's Interview with Al-Manar TV

Iran Today: IRGC Commander Says Syrian Government, Nation "Modeled Itself On Iran"
Thursday's Syria Today: Last Chance for Opposition "Unity" in Istanbul Talks

Lebanese Parliament Delays Elections to November 2014

Lebanon's Parliament has voted to extend its mandate and delay elections scheduled for June after failing to adopt a new electoral law.

The motion for a 17-month extension was passed unanimously by the 98 members of the 128-seat house who attended on Friday. It said the delay was due to "the security situation in several Lebanese regions that gives rise to political escalation and division which often take on confessional forms".

Fuad Siniora, the opposition head in parliament, said: "We were forced to vote on this bad project to avoid a vacuum and after unrest in several regions and the serious negative development" of Hezbollah's involvement in the Syria conflict.

Amid the months-long delay over a new electoral law, Prime Minister Tamman Salam, who was named on 6 April, has been unable to form a new Government because of divisions over Syria.

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Syria Analysis: A 5-Point Guide to Assad Interview --- Is He Right To Declare Victory?

Ramped-up foreign intervention is likely to tip the military balance against the Assad regime. But it faces a political question: is the aim merely to pressure and contain the President or to topple him?

And that question in turn leads to others: is there an effective political group, given the tensions and fragementing within the opposition, that can replace Assad? Will the "extremists", rather than the "moderates", win? Will the fall of the regime send destabilising ripples across the Middle East?

Assad is betting that all these questions can be turned into doubts to block further intervention for the opposition. Last night's declarations were his chips to support that bet.

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Syria Today: Last Chance for Opposition "Unity" in Istanbul Talks

Opposition Representatives at This Week's Talks Oppositions Appeals for Help in Besieged Qusayr and Damascus Suburb

Insurgent commanders in the besieged town of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border, have appealed for help and warned of dire consequences if it does not arrive:

If all rebel fronts do not move to stop this crime being led by Hezbollah and Assad's traitorous army of dogs...we will soon be saying that there was once a city called Qusayr.

Malek Ammar, an opposition activist in Qusayr, said, "The town is surrounded and there's no way to bring in medical aid."

Ammar said about 100 of 700 wounded needed oxygen: "What we need [insurgent units] to do is come to the outskirts of the city and attack the checkpoints so we can get routes in and out of the city."

Qusayr has been under sustained shelling and attacks for almost two weeks. On Wednesday, the Syrian military captured the nearby airbase of Dabba, cutting off the town on all sides and bolstering their positions.

Elsewhere, insurgents blockaded in the eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus, appealed for help on Facebook, claiming Assad's forces were "preparing to commit more massacres".

The fighters said they held the opposition Syrian National Coalition, whose members have spent a week arguing in Istanbul over the orgnaisation of the leadership, responsible for their plight.

George Sabra, the acting head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, has confirmed that the group will not attend any international "peace" conference.

However, whereas the Coalition's formal declaration on Wednesday emphasised its demand that President Assad step down as part of any transitional government, Sabra's statement said the condition was the international community's intervention to end the Syrian military's siege of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border.

Then Sabra declared, "The National Coalition will not take part in any international conference or any such efforts so long as the militias of Iran and Hezbollah continue their invasion of Syria."

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Syria Today: The Battle for Qusayr Continues

Insurgents fighting in Qusayr

Opposition Insists Assad Must Go

The opposition Syrian National Coalition has rejected Russian demands that, for an international conference, there should be no pre-condition of the departure of President Assad.

"We have been very clear that any transitional period must start with the departure of Assad and the heads of the security services," Khalid Saleh, the spokesman of the SNC, said Tuesday.

Saleh also said the Free Syrian Army must receive "major shipments of weapons" and "must be able to control more areas of Syria before we start thinking about the conference".

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