Kristin Chenoweth aka Maria Kelly in "Bewitched (2005)" aka Cherie in "The Pink Panther (2006)" aka Book Channel Host in "Stranger Than Fiction (2006)" aka Annabeth Schott in "The West Wing (34 episodes, 2004-2006)" aka Georgia King in "You Again (2010)" aka Glinda (Tony Award) in "Wicked (Broadway 2003)" aka Olive Snook in "Pushing Daisies (2007--2009)" aka Writer & Singer (age 44)
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Rebels from Sudan's Darfur region on Monday said they seized a government military compound just across the Darfur state border in South Kordofan.
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said it took control of the base near the Abu Jabar oil field but its front man, Gibril Adam Bilal, had no information on rebel or government casualties.
"Now there is fighting between our troops and SAF in another area" nearby, Bilal told AFP.
The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) front man could not be reached for comment.
The alleged clash comes after South Sudan said on Saturday it was cancelling planned face-to-face peace talks with Sudan after accusing Khartoum of launching a new air raid on its territory.
Two people were maimed in the strike against Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, which borders southeastern Darfur, South Sudan's military front man said.
One of Sudan's negotiators to the African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... -led talks, Omar Dahab, denied the bombing, saying SAF had responded inside its own territory to an attempted JEM attack.
Last year, the government signed a peace deal in Doha with an alliance of Darfur rebel splinter factions but JEM and other key rebels in Darfur refused to participate.
(Sh.M.Network)-Four Orcs and similar vermin were killed and a cache of weapons and communications equipment recovered when Somali security forces supported by AMISOM troops attacked a camp for Al‐Qaeda affiliated Death Eaters in southern Somalia on Tuesday morning.
The operation involved troops from AMISOM's Kenyan contingent and targeted an al-Shabaab ... the Islamic version of the old Somali warlord... camp in Tarako village in Gedo region. 11 AK47 rifles with 550 rounds (7.62mm), 2 PKM guns with 60 rounds of ammunition, 2 Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) with 10 bombs as well as two hand held radios were recovered.
Acting AMISOM Force Commander, Brig. Gen. Audace Nduwumunsi, said the raid was part of AMISOM's continuing effort to degrade the Death Eaters' ability to terrorize the civilian population.
"At this critical time, as Somalia prepares to inaugurate a new political order and end 12 years of transition, we remain committed to securing the safety of the Somali people," he said.
Over the last year, AMISOM successes have pushed the Death Eaters out of much of central and south Somalia. A National Constituent Assembly is expected to deliberate and adopt a provisional constitution, paving the way for the return of permanent and representative government.
[An Nahar] Somalia's most powerful turban group publicly executed three of its members Sunday, saying the trio had spied on the Orcs and similar vermin for the U.S. and British intelligence agencies.
Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... said the three men were CIA and MI6 informants, and were the reason several drone attacks killed leaders from the group.
Mohamed Jama, a resident in the coastal town of Merca, told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named that dozens of masked fighters tied up the three men and killed them by firing squad.
A self-proclaimed turban judge gave the death penalty order. Hundreds of residents were forced to watch and many of them vomited after the killings, Jama said.
"The execution and the verdict were quick and dirty. It was gruesome to watch," he said. "The men instantly died after their bodies were riddled by bullets."
A U.S. Embassy front man said he was not aware of the executions, but that in general the U.S. does not comment on intelligence matters.
An al-Shabaab member, who gave his name as Abu Abdalla, said Orcs and similar vermin interrogated the men for six months before the executions.
Al-Shabaab said on its official Twitter feed the three men "were part of a wide network of spies deployed by the British and American intelligence agencies" to spy on al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab said that Western powers can't coordinate Arclight airstrikes without relying on human intelligence.
Dozens of American and British citizens, usually of Somali origin, have joined al-Shabaab, and officials in both countries worry that members of al-Shabaab holding U.S. or U.K. passports could return to carry out a terror attack in those countries.
The Twitter postings said that two of the accused spies planted tracking devices on a vehicle that was hit by a missile strike on the outskirts of Mogadishu in January. Bilal Al-Berjawi, a British fighter of Lebanese descent, was killed in that strike.
The postings said that Ishaq Omar Hassan, 22, and Yasin Osman Ahmed, 23, worked for the CIA. It said that Mukhtar Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed, 33, worked for MI6, Britannia's spy agency.
[Iran Press TV] A Qatari official who has recently defected to Venezuela says his country is fully aware that gangs cannot topple the Syrian government, but it is helping them because Israel has tasked Doha with provoking violence in pro-Paleostine countries.
The official says Israel has ordered Qatar to incite unrest in Syria, Leb and Jordan, which is a part of the US Middle East policy.
The unnamed official, who left his country for opposing Doha's domestic and foreign policies including those on Syria, also said that Qatar has a joint operations center with Israeli intelligence agents, monitoring events unfolding in Syria via Turkey and that Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, can be responsible for a kaboom in the Syrian capital, which killed at least four military and security officials last week.
He also said that the Turkish government has agreed to allow its soil to be used for the transit of faceless myrmidons into Syria under US pressure, adding that Turkey hosts the main terrorist groups fighting against the government of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... .
He also said that Doha is angry at Jordan for preventing the gangs from infiltrating into Syria. The Qatari official also said that Jordan might also experience unrest in the near future.
He also said that Qatari authorities have placed in durance vile Please don't kill me! and tossed in the clink Book 'im, Mahmoud! several security officials and activists for opposing Doha's anti-Syria stance.
And besides, Venezuela can support him in the style-to-which-he-has-become-accustomed. Their government has lots of money this year after selling the Venezuelan Oilfield lock stock and barrel to China.
What they're supposed to do next year, I dunno. I think Chavez is hoping he'll die from cancer and it won't be his problem any more.
[Bangla Daily Star] Rapid Action Battalion early yesterday locked away You have the right to remain silent... Mahtab Khamaru, a key leader of outlawed myrmidon group JMB, from Talgharia village in Bagmara upazila here.
Khamaru, 45, was a regional commander and the second-in-command of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh The JMB is said to be the youth front of Al Mujahideen, the parent organization that began working toward establishing Bangladesh as an Islamic state in the mid 1990s which remains obscure even today. Other organizations, such as Jama'atul Jihad, JMB, Jagrata Moslem Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), Hizbut Tawhid, Tawhidi Janata, Islami Jubo Shangha, Islami Shangha, Al Falah A'am Unnayan Shanstha and Shahadat-e al Hiqma are believed to be part of the Al Mujahideen network. The JMB at its peak was reported to contain at least 100,000 members, and an alleged 2,000-man suicide brigade, few of whom actually went kaboom!. JMB allegedly received financial assistance from individual donors in Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Libya. Reports have claimed that funding of JMB by international NGOs like Kuwait based Society of the Revival of Islamic Heritage (RIHS) and Doulatul Kuwait, Saudi Arabia based Al Haramaine Islamic Institute and Rabita Al Alam Al Islami, Qatar Charitable Society and UAE-based Al Fuzaira and Khairul Ansar Al Khairia. The top leadership of JMB was captured in 2005 and hung in 2007, which pretty much shot their bolt. (JMB) in 2004, when its leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai was operating in the region, said a release of Rab.
He was also a close aide to Bangla Bhai, who was executed in March 2007 in the two judges' murder case in Jhalakathi.
Acting on intelligence information, members of the elite force picked him up from his home around 3:50am. He had been on the run for a long time, said ASP Mirza Golam Sarwar, chief of Rab's anti-militancy cell.
Khamaru was sent to jail through a court after Rab members handed him over to Bagmara Police Station for legal action.
A few weeks ago, a Rajshahi court had issued arrest warrants against him and several others in connection with a case filed by Amir Ali of Madhya Jhina area of the upazila on August 17 in 2009.
According to the case statement, Khamaru and his associates kidnapped Amir from his house in 2004 and tortured him for extortion.
The arrestee is also accused in five other cases of extortion and torture, said the release.
[Dawn] Police placed in durance vile You have the right to remain silent... two alleged hard boyz during a raid in Shah Hasankhel village here on Sunday.
Following a tip-off a police team, headed by SHO Lakki Asad Ali, encircled a hideout in Shah Hasankhel village and overpowered two alleged hard boyz identified as Umar Daraz and Fazalur Rehman, police sources said. They said that the two were wanted by law-enforcement agencies in cases of subversive acts.
The police team was backed by commandos of elite force and anti terrorism squad.
The officials said that police also conducted a daylong search operation in Surband area, a cluster of villages and hamlets neighbouring Shah Hasankhel village, and placed in durance vile You have the right to remain silent... a proclaimed offender and 10 suspects.
[Dawn] Chief of Bazidkhel Peace Committee Malik Asif Khan alleged on Sunday that two police officials were involved in the liquidation of his brother Fahim Khan, former chief of the peace body.
Mr Khan told Dawn that he visited Paharipura cop shoppe to lodge FIR against the two police officials including sub-inspector Gul Mohammad and assistant sub-inspector Javed Akhtar, who were bodyguards of the former chief of peace committee.
Both of them had gone missing after the liquidation of Fahim Khan and his three colleagues, whose dead bodies were found in a vehicle parked on Ring Road in the limits of Paharipura cop shoppe on June 27.
Police claimed that the missing coppers were recovered on July 19 in a raid on a house in Speen Khak area of Nowshera district. Two kidnappers were also killed in the raid.
Mr Khan said that they suspected that both the police officials were involved in the liquidation of his brother and his friends.
He said that he went to Paharipura cop shoppe on Sunday to register FIR against the officials. However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... police turned down his request to charge the officials in the murder case, he added.
"Police officials told me to move court in this connection," he said, adding that he was left with no option but to file a writ in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar High Court.
However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... on Sunday evening, he said, SSP talked to him by telephone and asked him to hold a meeting with his brother's bodyguards, who were recovered recently.
"I have many questions for both the police officials. I want to ask them as to how my brother was assassinated," the peace committee leader said.
[Dawn] A senior Pak official says the country's intelligence agency has been negotiating with Islamic fascistiover the release of the kidnapped son of an assassinated liberal politician.
It is the first official confirmation that the government is in talks with the men holding Shahbaz Taseer, whose father was killed by his bodyguard last year for criticizing laws that call for the death penalty for insulting Islam.
Taseer was kidnapped last August in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said during a Geo News TV program broadcast Monday that Taseer's kidnappers are demanding a large ransom and the release of some of their colleagues.
Sanaullah said the Inter-Services Intelligence agency previously secured the release of the son-in-law of a former Mighty Pak Army general in similar negotiations.
Sanaullah said the Inter-$ervices Intelligence agency previou$ly $ecured the relea$e of the $on-in-law of a former Mighty Pak Army general and ....the hand-over of Osama Bin Laden ...in $imilar negotiation$.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Police issued shoot-on-sight orders on Monday in a bid to quell violent festivities in India's remote northeast that have prompted thousands of villagers to flee their homes and left 19 dead.
More than 30,000 villagers have fled amid fighting between Bodo tribal groups and Mohammedan settlers over land rights, and violence was spreading to new areas, police said.
Soldiers were out in force in the restive state of Assam to try to stop the unrest in which houses have been set ablaze and villagers forced to shelter in government buildings and schools.
"We have just issued shoot-on-sight orders to stop the festivities. Angry residents are burning shops, houses and hostels," S.N. Singh, Assam inspector general of police, told AFP by telephone.
Shoot-on-sight orders are often issued in a bid to restore order when violence spirals.
Singh said the festivities broke out late Friday and had claimed the lives of 19 people and left at least 12 injured.
"Police, army and paramilitary troopers have intensified patrols and a curfew has been imposed in many areas," Singh said, adding there were 30,000 people in the government shelters.
Police said the festivities were spreading to new parts and incidents of arson had escalated.
"We have fled our homes leaving behind everything, fearing an attack on our lives," Pramila Brahma, a mother of four, told a local television channel at one shelter.
"We don't know if at all we can go back to our village as they set ablaze most of the houses," added Habibur Rahman, a casual labourer.
Four bodies were recovered by police on Monday from Kokrajhar district, some 220 kilometres (135 miles) west of Assam's main city of Guwahati.
The fighting, in regions close to the borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh, marks the latest outbreak of violence over long-running territorial disputes. Many people from both the Bodo and Mohammedan communities -- particularly women and kiddies -- were seeking safety in designated schools and government offices.
They are protected by soldiers and food is provided.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the fighting was triggered when two Mohammedan student leaders were shot and seriously injured in Kokrajhar, leading to Dire Revenge™ strikes on Bodo groups.
Rockybul Hussain, the Assam state forest minister, told AFP he was in the affected area and that more security personnel were needed to ensure peace before any villagers started to return home.
"We are appealing for calm and have asked authorities to take adequate security measures," he said.
Kampa Borgoyary, deputy chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council, a local government organization, said: "There is some panic and people are moving to safer areas apprehending retaliatory attacks."
By my read, India's Muslim community are tired of the status quo and are now demanding their rights as par wid India's majority Hindus lest mass violence andor armed insurgency ["India/Hindu Spring"] break out.
[Iran Press TV] At least 12 people have been killed in a US liquidation drone strike in Pakistain's northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border.
In the attack, which occurred on Monday, US drones fired several missiles at a private compound in the Shawal area in the North Wazoo tribal region, Rooters reported.
The targeted compound is in Dray Nashtar village, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Miranshah ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas... , the main town of North Waziristan.
Local residents said that the Arclight airstrike sparked a huge fire in the building.
Most of the bodies have been recovered from the rubble.
Some local media reports said five drones were still hovering over the area, creating panic among the people in the tribal region, and hampering the rescue work.
[USA Today] A startling spasm of violence shook more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday, killing more than 100 people in coordinated bombings and shootings and wounding twice as many in the country's deadliest day in more than two years.
The attacks came only days after al-Qaeda announced it would attempt a comeback with a new offensive against Iraq's weakened government.
With the U.S. military gone and the government mired in infighting, the Iraqi wing of al-Qaeda has vowed to retake areas it once controlled and push the nation back toward civil war. Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday's attacks, nearly all of them struck in the capital and in northern Iraqi cities where al-Qaeda can most easily regain a foothold.
"Terrorists are opening another gate of hell for us," said Kamiran Karim, a sweets-seller in the northern city of Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... which was hit by five exploding cars throughout the morning. He suffered shrapnel wounds when one of the car booms blew up about 200 yards from his cart.
So far this summer, beturbanned goons linked to al-Qaeda have grabbed credit for a steady drumbeat of attacks designed to keep the government off-balance as it works to overcome a power struggle that pits Sunni and Kurdish leaders against the Shiite prime minister. The infighting, which escalated the day after the U.S. military withdrew last December, has all but paralyzed the government and deepened sectarian tensions around the country.
Iraqi and U.S. officials insist al-Qaeda is incapable of sowing the kind of widespread violence that would return Iraq to sectarian warfare. And indeed, Shiite militias so far have held back from returning fire. But Monday's attacks prove al-Qaeda's continued ability to thwart security, undermine the government and create chaos in a fragile democracy that experts fear is headed toward a failed state.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, accused beturbanned goons of "spreading panic and fear" and urged political parties to resolve their differences and help restore stability.
Many of Monday's attacks were stunning in their scope and boldness. They bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, happening within a few hours of each other and striking mainly at security forces, government officials and Shiite neighborhoods.
In one brazen assault, three carloads of gunnies pulled up at an Iraqi army base near the northeastern town of Udaim and opened fire, killing 13 soldiers before escaping, two senior police officials said.
In another, a car boomwent kaboom! outside a government office in Sadr City, the poor, sprawling Shiite neighborhood in northeast Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... . Sixteen people died.
"The only thing I remember was the smoke and fire, which was everywhere," said Mohammed Munim, an employee at the office who woke up in a nearby emergency room with shrapnel in his neck and back.
The deadliest attack, however, took place just north of Storied Baghdad in the town of Taji, where a double bombing killed at least 41 people. The blasts were timed to hit as police rushed to help victims from a series of five kabooms minutes earlier.
The corpse count of at least 110 was the worst for a single day in Iraq since May 10, 2010, when a string of nationwide attacks killed at least 119 people. The sheer breadth of Monday's bloodshed harkened back to the bloodiest days of Iraq's sectarian fighting in 2007, when it was common for more than 100 people to die in a day.
It appeared to be the start of a new al-Qaeda campaign in Iraq dubbed "Breaking the Walls," which was announced late last week by the local insurgency's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In a statement issued Saturday on a myrmidon website, al-Baghdadi warned that his Islamic State of Iraq is returning to strongholds that it was driven from by the American military. The Islamic State of Iraq is the formal name for the al-Qaeda linked group.
"The majority of the Sunnis in Iraq support al-Qaeda and are waiting for its return," al-Baghdadi said.
At its peak, al-Qaeda in Iraq brutalized its victims with publicized beheadings, suicide kabooms and roadside kabooms that targeted the Shiite government, the U.S. military and Iraqi civilians alike. In an attempt to goad Shiite militias to respond, al-Qaeda bombed the revered al-Askari Shiite shrine in Samarra in 2006 -- an attack that launched Iraq's descent into more than three years of sectarian fighting.
But the Iraqi wing of al-Qaeda was shunned by the worldwide terror network's central leadership, which chided it for killing civilians. The insurgency made a series of other missteps -- imposing overly strict Islamic discipline and alienating tribal leaders -- that undercut its support in Iraq's Sunni communities and helped lead to the widespread defection of fighters to groups allied with the U.S.
As a result, the flow of funding, arms and fighters slowed to a trickle, and al-Qaeda in Iraq has struggled to command much power.
Storied Baghdad political analyst Hadi Jalo said the insurgency now feels emboldened by the success of the Sunni-dominated uprising in neighboring Syria against Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... ' Alawite rulers. The Alawites are an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
"It is leading a sectarian war, and Iraq is part of its war and ideology in this region," Jalo said.
Since late last year, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party.... , a Shiite, has courted Sunni tribal leaders to gain their support. With their help, he's sought to ease the political crisis that has largely broken down along sectarian and ethnic lines. Earlier this month, al-Maliki offered to reinstate former army officers from Sunni provinces who were forced out after the 2003 U.S. invasion because of suspected ties to Saddam Hussein's regime.
But the political stonewalling shows no sign of breaking, and many of Iraq's leaders have left Storied Baghdad during the holy Moslem month of Ramadan, which began late last week.
Antony J. Blinken, national security adviser to Vice President Joe Foreign Policy Whiz Kid Biden The former Senator-for-Life from Delaware, an example of the kind of top-notch Washington intellect to be found in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body... , predicted last week that al-Qaeda will fail to lure Iraq back toward war. He said the level of violence in Iraq today is roughly what it was before the invasion.
"Iraq remains, relative to other counties, violent, and the Iraqi people suffer from it," Blinken said in the July 18 briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Storied Baghdad. "But again, I think it's very important to put all of this in context. Compared to where Iraq was a few years ago, there's been a dramatic change for the better."
h/t Gates of Vienna
...these militias stopped the car of a Christian, a civilian state official called Nabil Zoreb, and forced the man, his wife Violet and his two children, George and Jimmy, to get out of the car and then shot them all at point blank range.
* TOPIX > [Near East/Middle East] CHRISTIANS TO LEAVE WID THE AMERICANS. Year 2014, or ASAP shortly thereafter???
ARTIC = the Catholic + Protestant states of the US-Europe, aka Western Christianity] have shown they care little about what happened to their fellow Christians [mostly Orthodox = Eastern Christianity], or other benign non-Muslims, in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, ... + now Syria.
Christianity to become extinct in the very land(s) of its birth, + NOT BECUZ ONE BRANCH COULDN'T HELP THE OTHER???
Advantage/Winner = Radical Islam + OWG Caliphate.
Lest we fergit, ANTI-US GLOBALISTS + ALIGNED = desire the rollback, weakening or destruction of US, Western power + influence. THE WESTERN CHURCH = VATICAN MUST BE CAREFUL THAT WHATEVER "GREAT GAME" OF INTER-FAITH POLITICS + DIPLOAMCY, ETC. IS BEING PLAYED BETWEEN THE WESTERN + EASTERN CHURCHES, THAT THE FAITH IS PRESERVED + EXPOUNDED, NOT DESTROYED JUST FOR THE SAKE OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE.
All in keeping with our policy of "We are not a Christian Nation" working with moderate Islamic groups such as the MB. What would the Brave Lions of Islam eat if it were not for Christians and Jews. The games must continue, Gaius wills it!
I see the usual suspects aren't allowing the problem of Assad to distract them from the important things.
Christians and Jews are safest in the US, as long as they stay off college campuses.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
I recognize that this is wrong and terrible on many levels.
But one point -- is there a Christian today in the Middle East who doesn't understand what his/her relationship is to the Muslim majority? It is a situation similar to what the Jews of these countries had in the 1950s. There's no leaving anything to the imagination.
Some of your neighbors might be fine, peaceful people, but there are just enough murderous thugs in their midst that you really ought to think about moving. There's no Christian Middle East homeland, but you need to find a new place to live, because the places you're in aren't tenable in the face of a Salafist revival.
Posted by: Steve White ||
The Christians in Syria are strongly aligned with Assad and the Alawites. It is how they have protected themselves from the Sunnis. If the Sunnis win the Christians will go the way of the Alawites. Tough choosing sides in this one. Steve is right. Somewhere else is a better place to be.
#7 got it right. In Syria it's the Alawites vs. the Sunni's. And the Christians are aligned with the Alawites - which means they are seen as being on the side of Assad. The events in the news story are terrible, but it's part of the breakdown in order in that country.
But one point -- is there a Christian today in the Middle East who doesn't understand what his/her relationship is to the Muslim majority? It is a situation similar to what the Jews of these countries had in the 1950s. There's no leaving anything to the imagination.
Actually, Alawites (and the Christians helping them) are trying to do what Israel did, frighten the majority Sunni Arab Muslims into leaving via continuous military pressure so that it's tenable for them to continue living in the land of their ancestors without the persecution that is practically guaranteed if a Sunni Arab majority government comes into being. Ideally, these Sunni Arab Muslims would move back to the land of their ancestors, what is now the realm of the al Saud family.
Question: If a ME Christian, so called, applies for a visa to the US, does our government consider that person's religion in the application? If not, then we don't know what we're getting when we grant a visa with a path to eventual citizenship. We could end up with a much bigger Dearborn or several other Dearborn type cities where it is no longer safe for infidels. But then, if we do consider religion, I can imagine the current WH regime denying Christians. A similar scenario is described in the book Garden of the Beasts in which German Jews frantically applied for visas but were denied by none other than F.D. Roosevelt who still thought it was possible to "get along" with Der Fuhrer. How would the government go about ascertaining an applicant's true religion? And if the government did so, wouldn't we then be open to charges of bigotry? Is this not a can of worms?
[An Nahar] A previously unheard of group calling itself "The Brigade of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi" has grabbed credit for kidnapping Syrian opposition members in Leb with the aim of swapping them for 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims kidnapped in Syria on May 22, al-Mayadeen television reported on Monday.
The Beirut-based, pan-Arab TV network did not mention how many Syrian activists were nabbed or the Lebanese area they were allegedly kidnapped from.
A Syrian rebel commander on Sunday said that the 11 Lebanese men were in "good health" but stressed that they will only be released "after the ouster" of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Trampler of Homs... .
Al-Jazeera ... an Arab news network headquartered in Qatar, notorious for carrying al-Qaeda press releases. The name means the Peninsula, as in the Arabian Peninsula. In recent years it has settled in to become slightly less biased than MSNBC, in about the same category as BBC or CBS... television aired Tuesday a video it said it received from the abductors of the 11 pilgrims.
"In response to the appeal of the Mohammedan Scholars Committee in Leb, we will hand over two of the guests in our custody to their families under the supervision of the Mohammedan Scholars Committee in Leb and the state of Qatar," the abductors said in what they dubbed "Statement Number 3."
"We have informed the Turkish government in order to confirm our good intentions," the statement broadcast by Al-Jazeera added.
But the abductors rejected to "forget what was voiced in the first statement: the demand of an apology from (Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed) Hassan Nasrallah who was justifying for (Syrian President Bashar) Assad his deeds while the honor of our women was being violated in Homs and who claimed that what's happening in Syria is nothing but media fabrications."
"We do not have a problem with any sect and we are rather struggling for the freedom and dignity of our people," the presumed kidnappers added in their statement.
The Lebanese men were on their way back from a pilgrimage in Iran when gunnies intercepted their buses in the northern Syrian province 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... .
The rebel Free Syrian Army has denied any involvement in the operation.
In a previous video, the kidnapped pilgrims said they were "the guests of the Syrian revolutionaries," expressing support for "their revolution against oppressors."
Also on Tuesday, President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... held talks with Turkish leaders about the fate of the 11 pilgrims.
"We told the Lebanese side that we will do our best to find the kidnapped pilgrims but our opportunities are also restricted," a diplomatic source told Agence La Belle France Presse after Suleiman's meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ahead of his trip to Turkey, Suleiman told news hounds that "there are some good signs" about the case of the 11 pilgrims.
"I am exerting all efforts and holding contacts and routine meetings to secure their release," he added.
Their abduction is not a democratic act and does not serve any cause, the president said.
[An Nahar] Syrian rebels "liberated" several districts of 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...
on Monday, a Free Syrian Army front man in the country's commercial hub said.
"This is the first step towards the liberation of the city," Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi told Agence La Belle France Presse via Skype, adding that fierce festivities continued on the edges of the Salah el-Din, Shaar, Hanano City, Tareq al-Bab and Sheikh Najjar neighborhoods.
"Regime forces continue to pound these (captured) districts from the outskirts with tanks and helicopters," said Oqaidi.
The same front man had announced earlier "the start of an operation aimed at liberating Aleppo from the blood-stained hands of Assad's gangs," referring to loyalists of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad. One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators...
[An Nahar] [An Nahar] Syrian regime forces on Monday reclaimed most of Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... after a week of heavy fighting ... as opposed to the more usual light or desultory fighting... with rebels, who are using guerrilla tactics to keep a foothold in the capital, activists and regime sources said.
"Unfortunately, regime forces have taken control of almost all the capital. There are still skirmishes in the southern district of Qadam and Daraya," a suburb to the south, an activist who named himself as Omar told Agence La Belle France Presse via Skype.
"There are still members of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Damascus, but they are hiding now," he added.
Anti-regime activist Lena al-Shami said helicopters were continuously overflying her district of Mazzeh in western Damascus.
"Regime forces are everywhere in the capital, but that doesn't mean they control the city," said Shami, describing the FSA as resorting to a guerrilla strategy.
Another activist, who identified himself as Ahmed, told AFP that "the battle to liberate Damascus continues, and there is still fighting in several areas of the city."
Ahmed from al-Midan neighborhood, the scene of fierce festivities last week, said: "That was the first phase, and a second will follow. More strikes against the regime will be carried out."
A security source in Damascus said most of the city had been reclaimed by government forces.
"The army has succeeded in taking control in some areas by force, but in others raids are still being carried out, notably Kfar Sousa," he said, adding that the objective was to "find the hidden terrorists."
The head of the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said "regime troops have taken control of some areas, but in others the rebels are still present."
State news agency SANA said regime forces have "restored security" in the outskirts of Razi, near Mazzeh, "surrounding and killing many terrorists."
They also locked away Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! other "terrorists" hiding in sewers, SANA said, adding that the army seized automatic rocket launchers, rifles, machineguns, communications equipment and stolen medicines.
Regime forces deployed reinforcements on Monday in several districts of Damascus, struck by shelling during the night, according to activists and an AFP journalist.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > AFTER 500 SYRIAN SOLDIERS [ + 50 AFVS] ENTER DEMILITARIZED ZONE NEAR BORDER [Golan Heights], ISRAEL COMPLAINS TO THE UN.
* DAILY TIMES.PK > JORDAN SHOULD AVOID MILITARY ROLE IN SYRIA: ANALYSTS.
IMO Artic read, THREAT TO JORDAN FROM EITHER AL-QAEDA-IN-ARABIAN-PENINSULA [AQAP/AQIY], or else AL-QAEDA-IN-THE-TRANSJORDAN/GAZA. Jordan's neutrality may not be enuff.
Iff Jordan + Monarchy succumb to "Arab/Islamic/
Muslim Spring" protests, THE ONLY THING OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL'S BORDERS WILL BE NUKE-WANNABE, ANTI-ISRAELI, ISLAMIST GOVTS-STATES.
Save for TURKEY, which on its own is another LT regional question mark as per its ability to resist the Islamist Jihad-Springs.
And then there's CYPRUS.
Ala "Siege of Malta", Iran vee Abu Musa, + Rising China's disputes wid everybody in the East China Sea + South China Sea, WILL CYPRUS-THE-ISLAND DECIDE THE ULTIMATE FATE OF ISRAEL-VS-ISLAMIST-NUCLEAR-MIDDLE-EAST???
* IIRC WAFF > POSTER: POSSIBLE ANSCHLUSS BETWEEN [Orthodox]GREECE + [Muslim]TURKEY???
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > THE NECESSITY OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD TO HAVE THE ATOMIC BOMB | [Voices = Yahoo News] ISLAM MUST HAVE THE BOMB.