Friday, May 9, 2014

War Watch May 9 , 2014 -- Syria news of the day .... After the fall of Homs , the attention will shift to Aleppo ( note Rebels blow up Carlton hotel used by Government troops as a barracks , 50 soldiers killed ) , for the second tim in recent weeks Jordan has fired upon al - Nusra Rebels attempting to cross into Jordan...... SNC begs for weapons from Washington ................Iraq news of the day - bombings returns to Baghdad ....... Libya news of the day - death dealing and political confusion continue ....


Thousands flee jihadist clashes in Syria

Fierce clashes between rival jihadist groups have forced more than 100,000 civilians to flee the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, Agence France-Presse reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying on Saturday.
The clashes come after fighting between al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and the rival Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had killed 230 militants in the last 10 days, the British-based monitoring group said.
Of those killed, 146 were members of al-Nusra and other Islamist brigades, including some who were executed by ISIS.
The clashes between the two groups in the oil-rich province began at the end of April and come after a wider backlash against ISIS that started in January.
ISIS, which grew from al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch, has been the target of a joint campaign by moderate and Islamist rebels as well as al-Nusra since early January.
The campaign has pushed it out of much of Aleppo and Idlib provinces, though it has strengthened its presence in the provincial capital of Raqa province.
ISIS was initially welcomed by some of the Syrian opposition, but its abuses of civilians and rebel forces sparked the backlash that begin this year.
In February, ISIS withdrew from most of Deir Ezzor under pressure, but in recent weeks it has advanced once again, the Observatory said, regaining territory in the west of the province.

Jihadists cut water supplies

Meanwhile, residents of Syria’s second city Aleppo have been without water for a week because jihadists have cut supplies into rebel and regime-held areas, the monitoring group said Sunday.
The Observatory said al-Nusra Front had cut water supplies from a pump distributing to both the rebel-held east and government-held west of Aleppo.
Last month, opposition forces cut the electricity supply to regime-controlled areas of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside.
But Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the groups were unable to cut off water supplies to regime areas without also affecting rebel-held neighborhoods, calling the move “a crime.”
Once home to some five million residents and considered Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been divided between government and opposition control since shortly after fighting there began in mid-2012.
Around three million people have been displaced from the city since then by fighting and relentless regime aerial bombardments of rebel areas.
Opposition forces also regularly shell regime-held parts of the city in the west.
The Observatory said the week of water cuts had forced residents to queue in front of wells to collect water, and the Britain-based group warned that some people were drinking unclean water risking a spread of disease.

Syrian Rebels Destroy Aleppo Hotel Full of Soldiers, Killing 50

Fighters Tunneled Under Hotel to Plant Explosives

by Jason Ditz, May 08, 2014
Tunneling attacks seem to be a new favored tactic in northern Syria, as for the second time in a week Syrian rebels have tunneled under an entrenched military position and planted explosives.
Today’s attack claimed Aleppo’s Carlton Citadel Hotel, and badly damaged many historic buildings in the vicinity, according to Syrian state media. Reports say at least 50 soldiers were killed.
Like a lot of big buildings in northern Syria, the hotel had been repurposed into a barracks for military forces fighting to keep the area, and was in the line of fire by rebels trying to expand their hold.
The attack was claimed by the Islamic Front faction, and was mocked by the military, who insisted they had to “use tunnels like rats because they cannot face the Syrian Army.”


Last rebels to leave Homs Thursday
The last rebels and citizens inside Old Homs will leave Thursday, a day after nearly 1,000 combatants were transported to the rebel-held northern Homs suburb of Dar al-Kabira. “Convoys entered old besieged Homs Thursday to complete the departure of the rebels,” Thabit Hakimi, an opposition activist who was evacuated from Old Homs on Wednesday, told Syria Direct. 
Pro-government newspaper al-Watan reported Thursday that 24 buses had evacuated 980 combatants Wednesday, days after rebels and government troops reached a wide-ranging agreement whereby rebels agreed to surrender the 13 encircled neighborhoods of Old Homs to government forces after nearly two years of siege. 
In exchange, rebels released 70 prisoners in northern Aleppo and Latakia provinces. Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi denied rumors circulating that rebels that had failed to execute a condition of the agreement, saying the opening of a humanitarian corridor into the majority-Shi’ite rebel-encircled Aleppo towns of Aleppo and Zahra was not included in the framework of the truce.
“The operation [in Homs] has no connection with Nubl and Zahraa,” he said.  
Rebels destroy Aleppo landmark hotel
Rebels destroyed a government base in the Carlton Hotel adjacent to Aleppo’s Old City Thursday,claiming to have killed 50 government troops. Led by the Islamic Front, the rebels exploded what remained of the building, which was partially destroyed in February, by digging a meters-long tunnel under the hotel and packing it with explosives, a tactic increasingly employed in the center of Syria’s largest city, where both sides are deeply entrenched.
Elsewhere in Aleppo, Syrian government troops claimed rebels had withdrawn from the village of Kafr Hamra northeast of the city of Aleppo, clearing the way for a government advance toward Aleppo Central Prison, one week after government troops advanced to within four kilometers of the prison by seizing al-Breij Circle.
BnGggQXIQAATI5s.jpgSyrian rebels on Wednesday destroyed Aleppo's famed Carlton Hotel, which regime forces have reportedly used as a base. Photo courtesy of the Islamic Front.
In late 2013, Aleppo Central Prison was the last remaining regime outpost in northern Aleppo; a systematic government advance has brought government troops within striking distance of reinforcing its troops at the prison and threatened rebel supply routes to northern Aleppo province.
Jordanian army fires on jihadists returning from Syria
Jordanian border guards exchanged gunfire Wednesday with 10 Jordanian jihadists attempting to return from Syria to Jordan after having fought with al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat a-Nusra, according to The Jordan Times. “Two of the infiltrators were injured and were rushed to a nearby field clinic while others fled the scene,” reported Jordan’s official Petra news agency. The incident is the second in a month along Jordan’s northern border with Syria, after the Jordanian air force targeted a group of armored vehicles attempting to cross from Syria into Jordan. It also coincides with a Jordanian crackdown on jihadist movement between the Hashemite Kingdom and Syria.
Jabhat a-Nusra has taken on an increasingly prominent role in Syria’s southern Daraa province, including kidnapping prominent rebel general Ahmed a-Nimah earlier this week.
UNRWA: Lebanon turning away Palestinians fleeing Syria
Lebanese authorities on Wednesday denied entry to all Palestinian refugees attempting to enter Lebanon from Syria at the Masnaa border crossing, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) responsible for Palestinian refugees.
"We have been given assurances by the Lebanese authorities that these restrictions are temporary,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness in a public statement Wednesday.
The report comes one day after Human Rights Watch warned that Lebanon had forcibly returned” some three-dozen Palestinian refugees to Syria, in addition to turning Palestinians away as they sought to cross the border. Beirut has denied adopting any official policy of rejecting Palestinian refugees from Syria, of which some 50,000-60,000 have entered Lebanon over the past three years.
Jarba pleads for new weapons during first Washington visit
Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba appealed Wednesday for greater military support from the United States, speaking both at an event with the Washington-based US Institute for Peace (USIP) and in a televised interview with PBS NewsHour. “We don’t want your American sons to come and fight in Syria, like Iraq and Afghanistan,” Jarba told PBS’s Katherine Warner Wednesday, during his first visit to the American capital. “We just want the weapons to defend ourselves.”
Jarba issued a similar call during a Wednesday event with USIP, declaring that Syria’s rebels need “efficient weapons to face [government] attacks including air raids, so we can change the balance of power on the ground.” Jarba’s public appearances come two days after the US Department of State announced its decision to upgrade the Coalition’s Washington offices to “foreign mission” status while increasing non-lethal aid by $27 million. 


Bombers Return to Baghdad; 78 Killed, 100 


by , May 08, 2014
In Anbar:
In Falluja, several mortars struck in and around hospital property. Eight civilians were killed and 10 more were wounded during air strikes. Earlier 13 people were killed and 21 were wounded in more air strikes. Four militants were killed and four more were wounded in clashes.
Security forces in Ramadi killed four militants.
Four people were killed and eight more were wounded when a bomber blew up at aHusseiniya cafe.
In Baghdadtwo people were killed and nine more were wounded when a bomb blew up in the Doura neighborhood. A bomb killed three people and wounded seven moreat an Abu Dsheer wedding reception. Two people were killed and five more were wounded when a bomb exploded at a checkpoint. A bomb in Suleikh killed one soldier and wounded two more.
Three people were killed and nine more were wounded in Yusufiya when a bomb exploded at a market.
The body of a policeman, kidnapped from Shirqat, was found by his relatives; however, the body was rigged with explosives and killed his father and brother and also wounded a second brother when it blew up.
In Tikrit, gunmen killed a police officer. A roadside bomb wounded a civilian. An attack on Sahwa members left one dead and two wounded.
Gunmen killed a truck driver in Mosul.
A sticky bomb wounded six soldiers in Daquq.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, a bomb killed a soldier and wounded four more. Security forceskilled an al-Qaeda leader.
Seventeen militants were killed during operations in Shura and Qayara.

Libya ......

Intelligence chief assassinated in Benghazi

By Mutaz Ahmed.
Benghazi, 8 May 2014:
The head of intelligence in eastern region, Colonel Ibrahim Senussi, was assassinated this afternoon, two days after he went on television to name names behind killings in the city.
His car was shot at near the Benghazi medical college. Senussi then drove off, trying to escape but was followed.  He was then shot again some 200 metres further along the road, this time fatally – in the neck and chest, according to an eyewitness.
When Senussi spoke on Libya Awalan TV two days ago he was not named, but was introduced as the head of intelligence.
He said terrorist groups were targeting anyone who had been trained abroad since the revolution. He accused Ansar Al-Sharia of being behind much of the violence in the city. 
He also said that, unbeknown to their families, 58 young men had returned from Syria and were preparing to take part in suicide attacks. It was one of them, he added, that had been involved in the suicide attack on the headquarters of Brigade 21 on 29 April in which two Saiqa Special Forces members were killed. 
There are reports that yesterday there was an attempt to seize one of his staff.
Several members of intelligence have been killed or targeted in the past year.

Jadhran rejects Maetig’s election as PM

By Farah Waleed.
Tripoli, 7 May 2014:
Ibrahim Jadhran, whose “Cyrenaica Defence Forces” are still occupying the Brega, Ras Lanouf and Sidra export terminals has reportedly refused to recognise new prime minister, Ahmed Maetig, claiming his election was illegal.
This move, if confirmed, could jeopardise the partial lifting of the Cyrenaican separatists’ blockade of export terminals.
A spokesman for the separatists said that a press conference would be held later this evening, at which it was likely that Jadhran would explain his position.
There has been no reaction for far from caretaker prime minister Abdullah Al-Thinni nor from his replacement Maetig, who is busily engaged in putting together a cabinet within a fortnight.

Awami criticizes GNC heads – regards Maetig unelected

Original source: Lybia Herald | May. 8, 2014 | No Responses
By Sami Zaptia Tripoli, 8 May 2014: Libya's faltering political process has reached new low depths this afternoon after the First Deputy head of the General National Council (GNC) stood-by his decision to declare Prime Minister-elect Maetig unelected. Speaking live on TV in a press conference this afternoon,
Read full article on: Lybia Herald