PROSPERITY: REAL PROSPERITY
MEASURED BY HEALTH, HAPPINESS, FAMILY BONDS THAT ARE STRONG EXTENDING INTO THE COMMUNITY, GOOD NEIGHBOURS & GOOD FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Russia and the U.N called Thursday for the resuscitation of a peace initiative for Syria that never got off the ground when it was proposed months ago because both parties to the conflict rejected it.
The plan, unveiled by world powers at an international conference in Geneva in June, called for an open-ended cease-fire, a transitional government to run the country until elections, and the drafting of a new constitution. The plan was a non-starter for the opposition because it did not explicitly ban authoritarian President Bashar Assad and other members of his regime from taking part in the transitional leadership.
The regime ignored it because it would entail voluntarily giving up power.
There was no sign that the plan had any more chance of succeeding now than it did back in June. Assad’s government did not comment on the attempt to revive the proposal, and a coordinator for the rebels seeking to end Assad’s rule called the plan “illogical.”
No one in the opposition can accept this, and if they accept it, it will be refused by the Syrian people,” said Bassam Al-Dada, a Turkey-based coordinator with the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Because of Russian objections, the original plan did not call specifically for Assad’s ouster nor ban him or top members of his regime from participating in the new government.
In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevic said Russia, too, is trying to revive the Geneva plan.
“We continue to believe that there is no alternative to that document in trying to find a settlement in Syria,” Lukashevich said.
He also reaffirmed Moscow’s objection to calls for Assad’s ouster.
“The regime ignored it because it would entail voluntarily giving up power.”Voluntarily.
No one in the opposition can accept this, and if they accept it, it will be refused by the Syrian people,” said Bassam Al-Dada, a Turkey-based coordinator with the rebel Free Syrian Army.
I was shocked when a liberal commander of a brigade from al-Hasakah, a province in northeastern Syria, told me that he was considering joining Jabhat al-Nusra. His view of why he had “no option” was strategic: “I’m struggling with funding, and if the deal comes through me, I’ll maintain influence over the 20-year-olds fighting in my brigade, most of whom are not terribly educated. If the frustration grows, they will leave me, and they might end up with Jabhat al-Nusra, at which point they might embrace their ideology.”
When leaving Aleppo, I had an experience that underscores the problem. Our group encountered members of Jabhat al-Nusra at a roadblock. Their respectful treatment and their short beards caught me off-guard. I initiated a conversation with the men manning the checkpoint. They were local people from a village about half a mile away. They joined Jabhat al-Nusra, they told me, because the group has the weapons and supplies necessary to protect their families.
`You are fettered,'' said Scrooge, trembling. ``Tell me why?''
``I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. ``I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''
Scrooge trembled more and more.
``Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, ``the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''
Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.
``Jacob,'' he said, imploringly. ``Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob.''
``I have none to give,'' the Ghost replied. ``It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all permitted to me. I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house -- mark me! -- in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!''
Syria's 1.8 million Christians make up some five percent of the population.
Many have tried to remain neutral in the country's spiraling conflict. Others have taken President Bashar al-Assad's side, for fear of the Islamists in rebel ranks.
"Foreign fighters are coming to Syria to impose their religious and political views in our country," said Maryam, who lives in central Damascus.
"These armed terrorists might force me to wear the veil, stop working and stay home," she said.
Islamist foreign fighters threaten to attack two towns, both Christian.
Towns that have been kept safe by Syrian troops and the Syrian people
Islamist rebels warned two Christian towns on Saturday they will be attacked if they do not evict regime forces, as the new Greek Orthodox patriarch said Syria's often-fearful Christians will stay put and urged a peaceful end to the conflict.
In a video message to the Hama provincial towns of Mharda and Sqilbiya, one of seven men armed with Kalashnikovs warned residents to expel gangs of (President Bashar al-) "Assad and shabiha (pro-regime militia) from your towns and convince them not to bomb our villages and families."
"If not, we will immediately attack the hideouts of Assad's gangs and shabiha," added the man, who identified himself as Rashid Abul Fida, head of the Al-Ansar Brigade in Hama.
The hostility shown to Russia inside Syria by the opposition appears only one part of a bigger story, which has a larger international dimension. NATO forces at Ankara’s request are deploying Patriot missiles in Turkey, apparently, not far from the Syrian border. The Russians have slammed this move, and reinforced their opposition with the deployment in Syria of the state-of-the art Iskander missiles, which, apparently cannot be downed by any known anti-missile system.Quoting from the Guardian and Telegraph:
The Russian move mirrors the beginning of a standoff between Washington and Moscow -- faintly echoing an era when rival missile deployments symbolised the Cold War chill between the two. Iran has also reacted furiously at the deployment of Patriot missiles, and the impending presence of these weapons seems to have reinforced an already existing dynamic of bringing Moscow and Tehran closer.
Russian military advisers are manning some of Syria's more sophisticated air defences – something that would complicate any future US-led intervention, the Guardian has learned.
The advisers have been deployed with new surface-to-air systems and upgrades of old systems, which Moscow has supplied to the Assad regime since the Syrian revolution broke out 21 months ago.
The depth and complexity of Syria's anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky. The possibility of Russian military casualties in such a campaign could have unpredictable geopolitical consequences.
South Sudan's army shot down a UN helicopter Friday, killing all four Russian peacekeepers on board
UN leader Ban Ki-moon said the helicopter was a "clearly marked" UN aircraft and demanded that those responsible be brought to account.
It called for South Sudan to "immediately" undertake an investigation and bring those responsible to account.Odd that South Sudanese authorities claim they cannot reach the site of the crash?
“The artillery unfortunately shot down the aircraft mistaking it for an enemy one, because we had not been duly informed by the UN that the helicopter would fly in that particular area,” South Sudan’s army spokesman said late in the day.
This video shows medics in a besieged area in Homs city trying to help a person struggling to breath. They say he inhaled poisonous gas sprayed by regime forces in the rebel-held al-Bayada neighbourhood.Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts given by them.
After seven people died from poisonous gas fumes in an assault on Homs.(alleged)We don't know what it is, but, we know it is something similar to 'sarin'. 7 dead.
"The situation is very difficult. We do not have enough facemasks. We don't know what this gas is but medics are saying it's something similar to sarin gas," Raji Rahmet Rabbou, an activist in Homs, told the Qatar-based television channel.
Russia's President Putin says he is concerned that the push to unseat Syrian President Bashar Assad could plunge the country even deeper into violence.The most recent “kidnap” psyop undertaken by the US media.
Speaking during his annual news conference, Mr Putin said mistakes from Libya should not be repeated in Syria.
He stressed that Russia was not interested in the survival of Assad's regime, but that change should not come through military victory.
The kidnapping of Russian nationals on Monday is drawing Moscow deeper into the Syrian crisis, which is becoming increasingly internationalised as battle lines get more sharply defined between foreign supporters of the government and the armed opposition.
The foreign ministry of Russia has confirmed that two of its citizens, V.V. Gorelov, and Abdessattar, who holds dual Russian-Syrian nationality, were kidnapped from the coastal city of Latakia. An Italian was also abducted. All three worked in the Syria-owned Hmisho steel plant.
“We are now actively engaged and all the necessary steps are being taken in Syria, and in other countries that may have an impact on the situation,” said Sergei Lavrov the Russian foreign minister. The kidnappers have demanded a ransom, but the abductions may have been triggered more by political motives rather than criminal intent.
Haitham al-Maleh, a member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces told Russia Today that his group identified Russians as legitimate targets because Moscow actively supported the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. “Russia, like Iran, supports the Assad regime with weapons and ammunition, as well as in the political arena, so the citizens of these countries are legitimate targets for militants in Syria,"In other words. NATO's mercs were showing their true colours in a bold fashion. Something just had to done to make them look palatable. Hell, even heroic. As if on cue...the NBC psyop.
NBC was able to keep the abduction of chief Middle East correspondent Richard Engel in Syria largely a secret until he escaped late Monday because it persuaded some of this country's most prominent news organizations to hold back on the story.
This image taken from undated amateur video posted on the Internet shows NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, center, with NBC Turkey reporter Aziz Akyavas, left, and NBC photographer John Kooistra, right, after they were taken hostage in Syria. More than a dozen heavily armed gunmen kidnapped and held Engel and several colleagues for five days inside Syria, keeping them blindfolded and tied up before they finally escaped unharmed during a firefight between their captors and anti-regime rebels Engel said
Americans reject an immediate U.S. military intervention in Syria’s raging civil war, but are open to the possibility should President Bashar al-Assad’s struggling regime use or lose control of its massive stockpile of chemical weapons
In general, Americans widely oppose U.S. military involvement in Syria, but majorities support establishing a no-fly zone and direct action rises if chemical weapons are used by the government.
Kerry can bring in his peopleReport blames management failures after Libya attack that killed ambassadorAn Obama administration official said the officials who resigned were Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and Raymond Maxwell, the deputy assistant secretary of state.
Authorities expected to encounter a second shooter as they converged on the building, according to a recording of a 911 tape that was independently verified by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Tuesday.There are two audios available:
"I have reports of two shooters running past the building, past the gym, which would be rear," a dispatcher said on the tape, before trailing off. Shortly afterward, the operator told a State Police trooper who was racing to the scene from the nearby Troop A barracks in Southbury to "make sure you have your vest on."
A number of news outlets also raised the possibility that there was a second gunman.
The Associated Press three weapons were found inside Sandy Hook Elementary School and a fourth weapon was found outside.
Three other guns have also been recovered, but it was not clear where they were found, the official told AP. They were a Henry repeating rifle, an Enfield rifle and a shotgun.
"Why didn't anyone notify us that he was feeling badly?" she asked, after a Quebec coroner told her that Kimveer Gill had seen a doctor, was prescribed antidepressants, but then stopped taking them."
"He told me he'd seen a doctor who gave him medication for anxiety, so I didn't know he was depressed."
Russia sent warships to the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry announced, in what appeared to be preparation for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria.
Late on Monday, Russian diplomats said that two Russian citizens had been kidnapped by an armed group. The two Russians — evidently workers in a privately owned steel factory — were seized as they traveled on a road between Homs and Tartus and were held for ransom. An Italian citizen, Mario Belluomo, was abducted along with them.Then on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a flotilla of five ships — a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large landing vessels — were being sent from Baltiysk, a port in the Baltic Sea, to relieve ships that have been in waters near Syria for months. A second group was sent from Severomorsk, on the Kola Bay in northwestern Russia. At typical cruising speeds for such vessels, both groups would arrive on station around the beginning of January.
“It appears that some break has taken place, but whether that means a change of policy, or a modification of policy, that’s hard to say,” said Mr. Shumilin, who is head of the Middle East conflict analysis center at the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute for Canada and the United States. “The decision-makers are now concentrating on humanitarian questions, the protection of Russian citizens.”
Iran, Syria’s last ally in its region, appeared to remain firmly committed to Mr. Assad. On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahianof Iran told reporters in Moscow, “The Syrian Army and the state machine are working smoothly.”
A planned visit by the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Ankara, the capital of Turkey, was suddenly canceled on Monday amid tensions between Iran and Turkey over NATO’s decision to deploy Patriot antimissile batteries on the Turkish border with Syria.
Iranian leaders, politicians and Revolutionary Guard commanders have all denounced the NATO decision, made on Dec. 4, to send six batteries of American, German and Dutch Patriot systems staffed by about 1,000 soldiers to Turkey to intercept any Scud missiles that may be launched toward Turkey by the embattled Syrian government. Iran fears that NATO will use the batteries, which can also be used against aircraft, to set up a no-fly zone and create a rebel safe haven in northern Syria.
Iran’s top general, Hassan Firouzabadi, said at a meeting of senior commanders on Saturday that the deployment was part of a Western plan to start a “world war,” and that Iran’s own ambitious missile program was the real target.
“They signify concerns over Iran’s missiles and the presence of Russia for defending Syria,” he said. “The sensible people in America, Turkey and Europe must prevent this situation from getting out of control.”The mobile Patriot systems could technically be used to intercept Iranian as well as Syrian missiles. They are effective against missiles at a range of about 12 miles, and against aircraft up to 100 miles.Iran has repeatedly threatened to fire missiles at Israel if its nuclear installations come under attack.On Tuesday, Iran’s defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, said Israel was the winner in the Syrian conflict, because it was witnessing the destruction of an enemy — the Assad government — while the Syrian people were being “manipulated” by “terrorists.”
Turkey, a longtime geopolitical hotspot, has recently played a key role in the struggle for influence between regional and Western powers over NATO missile deployments – Ankara is once again at the center of a global crisis.What prompted this new crisis (and evoked a distinct feeling of Cold War déjà vu) was Ankara’s appeal to NATO to deploy its Patriot missiles in the southern Turkish provinces, along the 900-km-long border with Syria. While described as a purely defensive move, aimed at enhancing Turkish security in the wake of the escalating Syrian war and alleged possibility of a chemical weapons attack by the cornered President Assad, the initiative was denounced straight away by Ankara’s neighbors and other regional powers – Moscow, Tehran and Damascus.
“Moscow was wary of the NATO anti-aircraft system’s deployment in Turkey,” Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said last week during talks with the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Knud Bartles.
Remarks were echoed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich, who warned last Friday that “the stockpile of extra weapons” in the border area would “bring about an additional element of tension."
However, there is little chance the Patriot deployment process on Turkish soil will be reversed. At its ministerial meeting in Brussels, held on December 5th and 6th, NATO unequivocally gave the Turkish request its stamp of approval, standing by the commitments under the organization's collective security pact. A team of NATO officials and experts has already landed in Turkey to finalize the terms and conditions of the deal, which will allow Ankara to station six NATO Patriot systems on its soil – two American, two German and two Dutch. The missiles are expected to reach Turkey soon, within weeks according to some estimates.
One could ask: What is wrong with Turkey’s genuine wish to effectively seal off its borders from hundreds of potential threats emanating from its troubled neighbor, and take advantage of being a NATO member? Independent military experts have found NATO's official explanation of Patriots being used for defensive purposes confusing.
The Patriot system is not used against shells and rocket-propelled grenades, which eventually could be fired at Turkey from Syrian territory. Patriot missiles are used to intercept and destroy missiles as well as to shoot down aircraft. But what missiles does Syria possess that the Patriots could be used against, and why would President Assad arm these alleged missiles with deadly sarin gas (if he even possesses such chemical weapons)?
The pretext for the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey does not appear credible. But if the real motive is not to deter Syria, why is NATO hurrying to station its anti-missile systems in the region, a part of the world already overloaded with deadly weapons? What if this move has a hidden agenda?
“Turkey has explained its request to NATO as exclusively related to its need to defend itself from a possible attack from the Syrian army. But there could be a second motivation for this actions, which is a preparation for military strike against Iran,” a Russian diplomatic source told Kommersant daily.
If one considers the distance between the region of Patriot deployment in Turkey and the Iranian border, Moscow's worry could seem a bit far-fetched. However, Patriot missiles can easily be moved to any region in Turkey, including its eastern border with Iran. “These are mobile units that can be moved to any point in Turkey. It’s only about 500 kilometers from where the units will be located to Tebriz in Iran, where some say there are secret nuclear facilities,” Dmitry Polikanov said. Polikanov is the vice president of the Moscow-based PIR Center, an independent thinktank.
“Considering that the US wants to use Turkey as an advance missile shield, the Patriots might be stationed there forever. Turkey wanted to modernize its weapons anyway and already started taking bids for similar weapons systems. Under these circumstances, the weapons are most likely directed against Iran," Polikanov said, adding that any kind of provocation could now become a pretext for war. And the installation of NATO anti-aircraft missiles in Turkey means that Iran will no longer be able to retaliate if attacked.
Iranian armed forces chief General Hassan Firouzabadi said last Saturday that the lessons of 1962 Cuban missile crisis may return to haunt the world.
"Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war. They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself," General Firouzabadi warned.
The already tense relations between Ankara and Tehran have been further strained by a last-minute announcement that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has skipped a much-awaited visit to Turkey and talks with Prime Minister Erdogan in a move largely seen as a sign of Iran's growing displeasure with the Patriot deployment.
The DSM has also expanded its definition of depression to include bereavement. In the past, bereavement was listed as an exception to a depression diagnosis, but now those who lose a loved one can be diagnosed as suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).
Previous to this edition, skeptics had already criticized the APA for having a definition for depression that was too broad. The concern is related to labeling healthy people with a depressive diagnosis and over-prescribing antidepressants and antipsychotics — especially after people have experienced symptoms of bereavement for as little as two weeks.
Another of the changes relates to over-diagnosis of bipolar in children. In an effort to prevent these incorrect diagnoses, the APA added a new category called disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), which addresses children who are consistently irritable and have behavioral outbursts. Critics worry that since these characteristics may be present in a majority of young children, it may lead to over-diagnosis yet again.
An expanded definition of depression may lead to more diagnoses and more prescriptions for antidepressants. As of 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 percent of Americans age 12 or older took antidepressants. As this number may continue to rise, patients should be aware of the risks associated with certain antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
The Newtown school shootings have revived debate in the US media about gun control - the same debate that raged, for a while, after previous atrocities such as Columbine and Virginia TechWhile reinforcing the heartbreak of the killings at Sandy Hook School with images of Obama crying. Obama? Crying? Give me a break! Since that man has the blood of so many dead children on his hands, let me rephrase that, ahem...Obama shedding his crocodile tears in front of the camera like a well rehearsed actor.
That report makes no mention of Asperger's syndrome, but it cites Adam's uncle who said he was taking an anti-psychotic drug called Fanapt.Fanapt. My suspicions confirmed.
Remember Fanapt (iloperidone)? That's the antipsychotic compound that bounced around from company to company during the 1990s, and nearly sank Vanda Pharmaceuticals a few years ago when the FDA gave them a "Not Approvable" letter. I predicted at the time that we'd never hear from them again, but to my surprise (and to Vanda's, I'd guess), the FDA reversed itself and let the compound through in 2009.Surprise approval of Fanapt makes stock go wild
First, there is no evidence that antidepressants prevent suicide and a great deal of evidence that they cause it.
Second, antidepressants almost never cure depression and instead they frequently worsen depression.
Third, antidepressants never cure biochemical imbalances. Instead, they always cause them. There are no known biochemical imbalances in the brains of depressed people until they start taking toxic psychiatric drugs and every person who takes one of these drugs end up with a significant biochemical disturbance in the brain. That's how the drugs work--by disrupting normal biochemical processes in the brain.
Fourth, when all antidepressant studies are examined as a group, rather than cherry picked by the drug companies, antidepressants are no better than placebo.
Conclusion? Antidepressants are a hoax--in this case, a hoax that is killing members of our armed services. With billions of dollars at stake, the drug companies also do everything they can to downplay the risks of their products. Thus the pharmaceutical industry failed to find any evidence that antidepressants cause suicidality until the FDA forced them to re-evaluate their old data. The result? Now the FDA requires a black box warning that antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal behavior in children, youth and young adults.
In my latest book, Medication Madness, I describe dozens of dramatic cases in which peace-loving citizens have become suicidal, violent and psychotic from taking antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.
“The only conclusion we can make is that the Russian Foreign Ministry is very realistic about what is happening there,” he said. “There are no illusions about the trend. But we can understand the Russian position has not changed.”
"We have never changed our position and will not change it,” said the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr K. Lukashevich, at a briefing. He rejected a comment made by a State Department spokesman on Thursday that Moscow had “woken up” and changed its position as dynamics shifted on the battlefield, saying “we have never been asleep."You know what they say about assuming?
Aleksander Lakashevich continues “In the given situation, we are not talking about the fate of leaders, we are talking about the fate of people,” he said.
More on that topic here
Russia is developing a new intercontinental ballistic missile, the military announced on Friday, in an apparent attempt to remind the United States of Moscow's rocket capacities.
Revealing the existence of the project for the first time, rocket forces commander General Sergei Karakayev said that several test launches of prototypes had already taken place and the work was on the "right path", Russian state media said.
Karakayev said the latest test was on October 24 at the Kapustin Yar firing range in the Astrakhan region of southern Russia. (Did my anonymous link person leave info regarding these missile tests?)
He appeared to link the solid-fuel missile's development to controversial US plans to install missile defence systems in central Europe which have long angered Moscow.
"The solid fuel missile will allow us to realise possibilities like the creation of a high-precision strategic missile with a non-nuclear warhead with practically global range," Karakayev was quoted as saying by the state RIA Novosti news agency.
He said that the new 100-tonne missile would be able to overcome any existing missile defence system.
Karakayev added the missile would also be effective in combating any future missile defence system that the United States could install in space.
He said that the missile would ultimately replace Russia's new generation of intercontinental missiles the Yars and Topol-M.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta signed an official deployment order on Friday to send 400 American military personnel and two Patriot air defense batteries to Turkey as cross-border tensions with Syria intensify.
The American batteries will be part of a broader push to beef up Turkey’s defenses that will also include the deployment of four other Patriot batteries — two from Germany and two from the Netherlands.
All six units will be under NATO’s command (US Command)and are scheduled to be operational by the end of January, according to officials in Washington.
The House and Senate foreign relations committees have already announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on Benghazi next week, but the State Department said today that's not a done deal.Related to the Benghazi 'incident'
Moreover, the State Department may not even share the report of its own internal review on Benghazi with Congress, a top State Department official said today.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has also already announced its Dec. 20 hearing featuring Clinton's testimony. The title of the HFAC hearing is "Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board"
But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said today that the ARB is not complete, might not be complete by Dec. 20, and Clinton has not agreed to testify on Dec. 20.
The reluctant announcement makes Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs soon.
Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement today announcing the hearing.John Kerry, the next head of the US State Department?....We just have to wait and see
"We ask our diplomats and development personnel to operate in some of the most dangerous places on the planet." "We owe it to them, and we owe it to the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi to get past the politics and focus on the substance of what happened and what it tells us about diplomatic security going forward."
Originating with the NATO news nerve centre in BrusselsReuters UK - 33 minutes agoBRUSSELS | Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:59pm GMT. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Several Scud missiles fired at rebels by Syria have landed "fairly close" to the Turkish border, NATO's top military commander said on Friday in a blog explaining why Patriot anti-missile ...
Syria's rebel leadership and the United States seized on Russian pessimism over President Bashar al-Assad's future to urge Moscow to help push its ally into ceding power and end the battles closing in around his capital.
"We want to commend the Russian government for finally waking up to the reality and acknowledging that the regime's days are numbered," the U.S. State Department spokeswoman said after a senior Kremlin envoy conceded publicly on Thursday that Assad's opponents could win the 20-month-old civil war.
Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:27pm GMT
NATO accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces of firing Scud missiles that landed near to the Turkish border, in explaining why it was sending anti-missile batteries and troops to the bloc's frontier.
The Syrian government, which finds itself under attack from rebels in the capital Damascus and by a diplomatic alliance of Arab and Western powers, denies firing such long-range, Soviet-built rockets and had no immediate comment on the latest charge.
"Over the past few days, a handful of Scud missiles were launched inside Syria, directed by the regime against opposition targets. Several landed fairly close to the Turkish border, which is very worrisome."Over the past few days? Extremely vague. Over the past few days does not mean yesterday or today.