He's been a good boy, letting us opine at Rantburg. The opinions/comments are real. The background experiences behind these opinions/comments, lend a wealth of knowledge making Rantburg the special place to be....
And for the work he does behind the scene? Well, let's just say, he's underpaid.
You know that phrase often heard at this time of the year.... "It's better to give than to receive."
We Rantburgers have been receiving from Mayor Fred, and it's time for the giving part...... It's a click that will bring a smile to your face.....
There is that PayPal button far down on the right side of the screen. Keep scrolling ---- PayPal also gets you to the place for a credit card entry.
When you click the PayPal button, scroll down and you will see:
Don't have a PayPal account?
Use your credit card or bank account (where available). Continue
The Continue is clickable and displays that familiar credit card entry screen.
Need to snail mail cash or check? Email "fred-at-rantburg.com" for an address....
So, think about it -- where else do you get the Rantburg Defender-Scimitar, published daily for over a decade -- the best War on Terror news with knowledgeable comments -- the Babe of the Day and the best snarkiness of all snarks online......
Oh, and did you have some anxiety while Fred had Rantburg down, moving us to Faithful Penelope? Imagine, gone forever..... it could happen.....
[Pak Daily Times] A jacket wallah detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants... military convoy entering Kabul airport on Wednesday, killing himself but causing no other casualties, officials said.
The blast was heard across the Afghan capital, which has seen a recent drop in hard boy attacks after several high-profile strikes earlier this year.
"We can confirm a suicide boom-mobileing that targeted an ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) convoy coming to Kabul International Airport," a spokeswoman with the NATO force said. "The vehicle detonated too early and didn't reach the convoy. There were no ISAF casualties."
Interior ministry front man Sidiq Sediqqi confirmed the attack on the heavily fortified airport, which houses a major NATO military base as well as operating civilian flights to destinations including Dubai, New Delhi and Istanbul.
Sediqqi said there were no Afghan casualties in the incident.
[Shabelle] Four members of Kenya's police force and two non-combatants were killed in an ambush on Tuesday by suspected Somali Islamist hard boyz near the Somali border, a bigwig said.
Two suspected members of Somalia's al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... group were also killed in the fighting, Garissa County Commissioner Rashid Khator said. The clash occurred near Liboi, a Kenyan town in the Garissa region about 15 km (10 miles) from the border.
Al-Shabaab has staged several raids targeting police and others in the border area in the past, and in September its hard boyz attacked a Nairobi shopping mall, killing at least 67 people.
The group said the Nairobi assault was to demand Kenya withdraw its troops from Somalia, where they are part of an African peacekeeping force that has fought the Islamist.
"Our officers were ambushed as they left Liboi on their way to Dadaab. They battled and killed two al-Shabaab (militants) who staged the attack," Khator told Rooters. Two other coppers were missing, he said.
Al-Shabaab grabbed credit for the ambush. It said it had killed eight members of the security forces and burnt vehicles.
Dadaab is the site of a vast camp for Somali refugees, who have fled over the years from the fighting and chaos at home.
[Shabelle] Residents of Qalimo, a village located in the middle Shabelle region of Somalia confirmed to Shabelle media station in Mogadishu that two sets of Government troops fought against each other.
The infighting between the two Somali government troops has claimed the lives of two soldiers and unconfirmed number of them is believed to have sustained different degrees of injuries.
The reason behind the infighting between the Government troops who are on the frontline to fight Alshabab fighters is not yet known, however, top administrative officials of the region and AMISOM troops intervened and stopped the infighting.
The situation of the two set of troops both located in the same village is reported to be calm as for now.
[Al Ahram] A tribal dispute on the border of Sudan's Darfur region has killed 38 people, the United Nations ...an organization which on balance has done more bad than good, with the good not done well and the bad done thoroughly... said on Wednesday.
"According to reports received by the UN, 16 Maaliya and 22 Hamar rustics were killed following festivities" on December 5, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its weekly bulletin.
The fighting, apparently sparked by a dispute over grazing rights, occurred in West Kordofan state just over the border from East Darfur's Adila region.
"Fighting stopped following the deployment of SAF (Sudan Armed Forces) and negotiations between tribal leaders from both tribes. However, a person who gets all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package... tensions in the area remain high," OCHA said.
[Libya Herald] Eight Egyptian men, caught in Beida dressed in women's black abayas and face veils, are being questioned as to their real motives in being in Libya. None was in possession of a Libyan visa in his passport.
The eight were tossed in the slammer Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! yesterday at a checkpoint at on the outskirts of the town by soldiers from Security Battalion 405, according to the Libyan news agency LANA.
Battalion commander Abdul-Rahman Muftah said that members of his battalion became suspicious about the unaccompanied veiled women travelling together.
"Real women don't travel unescorted. Besides, you shoulda seen the Adam's apples on 'em -- monstrous they were!"
When challenged, the two drivers, both Libyans, refused to allow their vehicles to be searched and tried to drive off at speed. But members of the battalion opened fire, forcing them to stop. Muftah said that in the shooting one of the Egyptians was injured.
[Libya Herald] Forty Tunisians taken hostage on Monday by Libyan faceless myrmidons close to the Ras Jedir border crossing were released yesterday.
The Tunisians were seized by the faceless myrmidons some 40 kilometres from the Tunisian border at around 11:30 pm on Monday. The Tunisian Embassy in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... has said they were seized in retaliation for the earlier arrest of three Libyans found in possession of drugs at the Ras Jedir crossing point. A further eight Tunisians were kidnapped by the same group on Tuesday morning.
The hostages were finally released following the intervention of Tunisian authorities who negotiated with Zawia Local Council and the city's high security committee for their safe return.
The Tunisian Ambassador, Ridha Boukadi, told the Libya Herald that the Libyans who had been locked away Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! for the possession of drugs were complicit in "a criminal act perpetrated by outlaws. They had to be held according to Tunisian law which stipulates that anyone caught with drugs will be arrested and investigated".
The arrested Libyans were later released on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
[DAILYPOST.NG] No fewer than nine persons were on Wednesday reportedly slaughtered along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road by suspected members of the Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... , DailyPost learnt.
The faceless myrmidons were said to have attacked a passenger bus and a car, close to Bulabulin Ngaura village of Damboa Local Government Area.
Supporters of the All Progressive Congress, APC, from Biu Local Government council, who were on their way to Biu, made a u-turn.
They reported that lifeless bodies of nine passengers were seen lying by the road side.
According to them, "the road is not good, we have to turn back because we saw and counted nine dead bodies and there was nobody around there, so we were afraid to continue our journey to Biu".
It would be recalled that, there have been series of attacks along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road since last week. w
The latest was on Monday when two lorries carrying oranges were attacked and the passengers kidnapped.
As at the time of filling this report, there is no official confirmation of Wednesday's attack from either the military or the police but a lot of passengers traveling to Biu had to postpone their trip.
[An Nahar] A warning of a possible attack in the part of Yemen's capital where U.N. offices are located has prompted an order for staff to stay home on Thursday, a U.N. source said.
"Staff of the U.N. mission and U.N. agencies have received instructions not to turn up for work on Thursday," the source said.
The source said it was a "precautionary measure following advice from Yemeni security authorities."
The guidance warned of the "risk of possible acts of terrorism in certain places, particular Hida," the south Sanaa neighborhood where the U.N. offices are located, the source said.
A government front man told Agence La Belle France Presse that Western embassies were not affected by the alert.
"Additional security measures will be taken around certain key installations and foreign interests, including the offices of (French energy giant) Total," the front man said.
However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... he added that the American School, in a northwestern suburb of Sanaa, will close on Thursday.
Security forces have been on high alert in the city since a brazen daylight attack on the defense ministry's sprawling headquarters on December 5 killed 56 people, among them expatriate medical staff.
Information gleaned during the investigation into that attack, which was claimed by al-Qaeda, led to the discovery of two cars packed with explosives and a massive search for five more suspected to be still inside Sanaa.
[An Nahar] A Dutch couple were heading home from Yemen Wednesday after their six-month kidnapping ordeal came to an end.
The couple -- Judith Spiegel and Boudewijn Berendsen -- boarded a plane before dawn heading to Amsterdam via Cairo, a Dutch diplomat said.
Speaking to news hounds before boarding the plane, Spiegel said "we were treated very well" during captivity.
No details have been revealed on the identity of the abductors or how the pair's release, announced Tuesday, was secured.
But Spiegel dismissed reports of al-Qaeda's involvement in the June 8 abduction. "I think (they were) just tribes," she said, adding that she had "no idea" if ransom was paid to the kidnappers.
"So I know there were many rumors that we were in the hands of al-Qaeda, but I'm not so sure about that," added Spiegel, who appeared with her husband relaxed, in good health and smiling at news hounds.
The Hague said "the Yemeni and Netherlands governments are extremely pleased to welcome the news of the release."
"The couple is in a good physical condition, extremely happy to have survived their ordeal unharmed and wishes nothing more than to be soonest reunited with their family," it said.
[An Nahar] A Saudi court has incarcerated Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! an al-Qaeda-linked jihadist for 16 years for plotting to kill the kingdom's grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, and other holy mans, media said Wednesday.
The sentence, which includes 40 lashes and a 16-year travel ban,
So if he escapes he can't go anywhere? What a clever idea!
was handed down on Tuesday by a court in Riyadh specializing in terrorism cases, the local Okaz daily reported.
According to Okaz, the jihadist was convicted of "recruiting several people to assassinate the kingdom's grand mufti, several holy mans, important personalities and security officials".
The official SPA news agency said the defendant was convicted of "receiving books inciting adoption of the deviant ideology and assassinating security officials and important personalities" in the kingdom, without specifying that the grand mufti was targeted.
The convicted man, who has not been named, has one month to appeal.
Saudi courts started in July 2011 to try hundreds of people believed linked to a wave of al-Qaeda attacks from 2003 until 2006, when authorities launched a massive campaign of arrests targeting the jihadist network.
[Bangla Daily Star] Jamaat-Shibir activists continued to unleash terror across the country during the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... -enforced daylong hartal ... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ... yesterday, protesting the move to execute convicted war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah.
Abdul Hamid, 48, an Awami League activist, died of his injuries early yesterday seven hours after he was kidnapped and beaten up allegedly by Jamaat-Shibir men in Madhabkathi area of Satkhira.
Local traders alleged that Jamaat-Shibir men kidnapped Hamid as he had protested the decision of some opposition activists to shut down shops in the area soon after the news regarding Mollah spread.
Jamaat-Shibir activists set fire to a cycle of violence and hurled petrol bombs at the branches of Mercantile Bank and Dutch Bangla Bank at Aloka intersection in Rajshahi city last night.
They also smashed the windowpanes of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry office hurling brick chunks around 8:30pm, said Ziaur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Boalia Police Station.
Criminals set fire to the village home of Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha in Kamalganj upazila of Moulvibazar around 5:30am. None was injured in the attack. Police picked up Abu Taleb, a local Jamaat activist, in this connection.
Shibir activists severed the tendons of the right leg of a Chhatra League ... the student wing of the Bangla Awami League ... activist at Bagha upazila in Rajshahi around 6:30pm.
Armed with machetes, about 10 activists of the pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir ... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh... ambushed Mizanur Rahman, a second-year student of Shah Doula Degree College, when he was going to his village home in Chhatari.
On Tuesday, when the news spread that Jamaat leader Quader Mollah would be executed, Jamaat men went on the rampage across the country. They enforced a hartal that coincided with the opposition's ongoing countrywide blockade.
At least 27 copperswere maimed as activists of Jamaat-Shibir clashed with police in Narail, Sylhet and Cox's Bazar districts.
Following a new tactic, the activists of the opposition alliance yesterday removed several steel plates of three bailey bridges in Sirajganj and Pirojpur, disrupting vehicular movement.
The opposition activists also vandalised three offices of Awami League and its associate organizations in Sonarmore area in Shamnagar upazila of Satkhira around 10:00pm Tuesday.
Are they the sons and the same men who killed 3,000,000 Hindus in the Bangla Desh War of 1971 ? Yes, they are.
Are they sorry about that? No. And clue you, Abdul Quadar Mollah IS a war criminal bigtime. ( that name sounds Moslem, somehow, I don't think it's a Amish or a Presbyterian name, do you?)
The Hindus are going to have to fight again if they want to survive. Is there any nice way to do that ? Are they going to have to destroy the Moslem Culture and probably all the Moslems too in Bangla Desh ? Do you see any other way to survive? No?
Its SO much fun having Moslems in the neighborhood. Do YOU have any Moslem neighbors?
[Pak Daily Times] Law enforcers on Wednesday claimed to arrest 46 suspects involved in hit mans and extortionist during separate targeted raids in the city.
District South police claimed to catch five members of a political party and an alleged gangster. Another alleged Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... gangster, Ashiq Hussain Baloch was jugged ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... from Baloch Colony area.
Separately, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) claimed to nab an alleged hit man, Naeem Abbas along with a pistol during a raid conducted in Manghopir. CID's Sectarian Cell also arrested two suspects, Zubair and Israr, from Baldia Town. Likewise, Special Investigation Unit caught six suspects, whereas Rangers rounded up 32 hardened criminals.
[Pak Daily Times] Five people were killed in different incidents of violence in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... on Wednesday.
In the first incident, a person was killed and three others injured when faceless myrmidons opened fire on a rally against the alleged desecration of Holy Koran.
The dear departed was identified as Zainul Abideen and the injured included Ghulam Murtaza, Abdul Ghafoor and Mehmood Rasheed.
Meanwhile, ...back at the saloon, Butch got the bill for the damage caused by the fist fight, the mirror broken in the shootout, and drinks for everyone...... another person was also killed in Satellite Town by a stray bullet.
The person, identified as Khalil Ahmad, was hit by the stray bullet while the city was in grip of gun sex and chaos.
Separately, three persons were killed in Duki area of Balochistan over a land dispute.
According to sources in levies force, an armed clash erupted between two groups in Duki, leaving three persons of a family dead. The dear departed included Maulvi Abdul Rehman, his son and brother.
The administration started the paperwork but haven't done much else into the incident and further investigation was underway.
[Pak Daily Times] KARACHI: As police and Rangers continue nabbing criminals in their ongoing 'targeted' raids, the spate of assassination is also going on correspondingly as another six people bit the dust in different incidents across the city on Wednesday.
Five people were also maimed in a grenade attack in Lyari.
Armed gangsters hurled a hand grenade in Gul Mohammad lane of Lyari's Kalakot area. Resultantly, five people including a woman and her two years old son was maimed. The injured were identified as 35-year-old, Humaira, wife of Rafiq Baloch, and her two-year-old son, Ahmed Ali and three more passersby, Ismail, 10, son of Ibrahim, Shahzad, 5, son of Ejaz and Mohammad Usman, 6, son of Hanif.
The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital, Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... for medical treatment. DSP Shakeel Ahmed said the gunnies were behind both the incidents, adding that the law enforcers reached the site and controlled the situation, however, no one was locked away Please don't kill me! .
Separately, a prayer leader of the Shah Faisal Masjid was rubbed out near Disco Bakery in Gulshan-e-Iqbal within the precincts of Gulshan-e-Iqbal cop shoppe.
Police said the 40-old Qari Mohammad Usman, son of Asif, was on his way to teach his student in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, when at least two gunnies riding a cycle of violence waylaid him and escaped after shooting him. Resultantly,l the victim was struck down in his prime. The body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for an appointment with Dr. Quincy. Police said that apparently the incident seemed to be a part of ongoing sectarian killings however, further investigation was underway. The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ...which is the false nose and plastic mustache of the murderous banned extremist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain, whatcha might call the political wing of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi... claimed the affiliation of the victim with their organization and condemned the incident. Their leaders also demanded arrest of the culprits.
Similarly, a man was rubbed out in Data Nagar within the vicinity of Orangi Town cop shoppe. Police said the dear departed was identified as Zeeshan Ali, 28, son of Ahmed Ali, resident of the same area. He was going somewhere when unidentified armed riders targeted him and killed him on the spot. Police shifted the body to hospital for an appointment with Dr. Quincy. Police are yet to ascertain yet the motive behind the incident. Further investigation was underway.
In another incident, a woman was rubbed out inside her house over domestic dispute in Block 13-D, Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Police said that deceased was identified as Zara, wife of Shamim Haider, mother of two children. Police said the dear departed was shot and killed by her husband over some family dispute. Police have also arrested the accused and initiated further investigation and started the paperwork but haven't done much else against him.
Separately, a body of a young man was found near from Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... Post Office within the jurisdiction of Kalakot cop shoppe.
Police said the victim was kidnapped by unknown culprits and later they threw his body at the said place after brutal torture.
Meanwhile, ...back at the dirigible, Cynthia backed into the galley, the barbecue fork held in front of her. Jack! she called. Where the hell are you?... the bodies of a woman and a boy were found near from the graveyard in Baldia Town within the limits of Ittehad Town cop shoppe.
Police said they shifted the bodies to CHK for an appointment with Dr. Quincy. According to police, the bodies were at least eight days old and both the victims were strangled to death. The corpses were later shifted to morgue for identification.
[An Nahar] A mob killed a man and maimed three others over the alleged desecration of a Koran in the southwestern Pak city of Quetta on Wednesday, officials said. Their idol is a book, y'see...
The violence started when some vendors allegedly found torn-out pages of Koran in a pomegranate crate they received in a shipment from neighboring Iran, witnesses and officials said.
A mob then formed, shouting slogans against Shiites, who form a majority in Iran.
They destroyed shops, burnt a cycle of violence and tried to march towards a Shiite neighborhood in the city but were stopped by police, a senior police official told Agence La Belle France Presse on condition of anonymity.
The crowd began shooting indiscriminately in various parts of the city, which resulted in one death and bullet wounds to three others.
"At least one man was killed and three others were maimed in firing incidents in the city," provincial home secretary Asad Gilani told AFP.
Gilani said the unrest in the city was contained after paramilitary troops were deployed in key areas, but he declined to shed light on the allegations of desecration.
He said that nobody had come to the police to register a case under the country's strict blasphemy law.
Five Thai soldiers were killed and 14 wounded when a powerful roadside bomb exploded in the path of their vehicle on Wednesday.
A group of 19 soldiers were traveling in a six-wheeled truck on their way to Nong Chik district when terrorists insurgents detonated the bomb by mobile phone. The truck flew off the road and hit a tree.
A number of soldiers were tossed from the vehicle by the force of the blast, some up to 20 meters. Four soldiers died at the scene, and 15 were wounded, two seriously. They were rushed to the hospital, where another soldier later died, bringing the death toll to five.
Meanwhile, a traffic police officer was gunned down in Yala province on Wednesday morning. The attack occurred as Pol Sr Sgt Maj Montree Saengmolee was traveling in his car to work. He was killed instantly when two men on a motorcycle opened fire him in Muang district.
The gunshots left his car peppered with holes. The attackers took his pistol and a rifle from the car before fleeing. The officer had been shot and injured in an earlier attack, but had survived.
[An Nahar] The bully boy group Jund al-Sham recruited teenagers to help it monitor several structures in an attempt to carry out terrorist acts, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, the army intelligence nabbed Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! recently a 12-year-old boy identified by his initials H. A. after suspecting his movement near a Hizbullah mosque in the Taamir Ein el-Hellhole area in southern Leb.
A security source said that the boy testified that a prominent leader in Jund al-Sham, who is present in al-Taware' neighborhood in Ein el-Hellhole, tasked him with monitoring the mosque in order to plant an explosive in its premises later on.
The daily also reported that two teenage brothers were locked away Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! two weeks ago over the same charges.
The two brothers said that Jund al-Sham tasked them with monitoring a building to plant a bomb near it.
Earlier in December, a member of al-Saadi family shot up Ali Abul Kamal, a member of the Jund al-Sham group, in Ein el-Hellhole refugee camp.
In another incident, a member of Jund al-Sham had shot and killed a member of Fatah.
An armed clash had also taken place recently between members of Fatah and Jund al-Sham in the camp.
[An Nahar] Two residents of the Jabal Mohsen district in the northern city of Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... were maimed on Wednesday when assailants shot them as part of the sectarian attacks gripping the city.
Samer al-Aswad was maimed in his abdomen while Haidar Soaifan was shot in his leg, the state-run National News Agency reported.
They were transported to a hospital in Zgharta, NNA said.
The Lebanese army sent reinforcements to al-Beddawi after the shooting.
Sectarian attacks against Alawites from Jabal Mohsen has increased lately.
The latest assault earlier this month brought a new round of deadly gunbattles between the district and the rival Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh.
State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged several Jabal Mohsen suspects for their involvement in the festivities.
He referred them to First Military Examining Magistrate Riyad Abu Ghida.
The Lebanese government authorized the army to take control of Tripoli for six months following the three days of sectarian fighting.
Tensions between the neighboring areas date back to Leb's 1975-1990 civil war but have been exacerbated by the conflict across the border in Syria, where Alawite Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators... is battling a Sunni-led uprising.
[An Nahar] Britannia said Wednesday it has suspended non-lethal aid to the opposition in northern Syria after Salafist tough guys seized key bases belonging to the Free Syrian Army, following a similar move by the United States.
"We have no plans to deliver any equipment while the situation remains unclear," a front man for the British embassy in Ankara told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The Islamic Front, the largest Islamist rebel force in Syria, seized depots belonging to the Western-backed FSA near the Bab el-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on Saturday.
Britannia is "in contact with the SMC (Supreme Military Council)" to investigate the status of British equipment, the front man said, referring to the highest military authority in the FSA.
The move does not mean that British support for the Syrian opposition is diminishing, he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Washington also suspended non-lethal aid to rebels in the Syrian north.
"We have seen reports that Islamic Front forces have seized the Atmeh headquarters and warehouses belonging to the Supreme Military Council and we are obviously concerned," T.J. Grubisha, front man for the U.S. embassy in Ankara, told AFP.
"Because of the current situation, the United States has suspended deliveries of non-lethal assistance into northern Syria," he said.
The Islamic Front, the largest Islamist rebel force in Syria, seized depots belonging to the FSA near the Bab el-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on Saturday.
The group on Tuesday also took control of the crossing itself, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights, a monitoring group, said.
Non-lethal aid provided to the rebels by Washington has included armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communications equipment.
Grubisha said the U.S. decision to suspend such aid would not impact on humanitarian assistance which was coordinated by international and non-governmental organizations including the United Nations ...boodling on the grand scale...
"We are gathering the facts and consulting with friends of the Syrian opposition on next steps in support of the Syrian people," Grubisha said.
"We are working with General Idriss and SMC staff to inventory the status of U.S. equipment and supplies provided to the SMC," he added, referring to the Supreme Military Council of the FSA headed by Selim Idriss.
The Islamic Front was formed last month when six groups merged and pledged to work towards forming an Islamic state. It has rejected the authority of the FSA.
Turkey on Tuesday shut its side of the border in Hatay province after the Islamic Front seized the Bab al-Hawa post, customs officials said in a statement.
"The crossing into Syria via Cilvegozu has been closed ... due to the festivities between rebel groups in Syria," the statement said.
But a foreign ministry official, contacted by AFP, said the measure was temporary and would not affect refugees entering Turkey.
Turkey, which is fiercely opposed to the regime of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... , has taken in about 600,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict and has become a base for Syrian rebels and army defectors who form the very core of the FSA.
The FSA was the first organized rebel military entity to emerge after peaceful demonstrations against the Assad regime in 2011 degenerated into an armed uprising.
Since then, numerous other groups have emerged, many of them Islamist, which are operating with a high degree of autonomy from the FSA if not totally independently.
Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 126,000 people and displaced millions, has become more complicated as jihadist and other rebel groups battle not only Assad but, increasingly, each other.
The United States has not committed to providing any weaponry for Syrian rebels out of fear that it may end up in the hands of bad boys.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.