Eid: FSA controls Tripoli

 

 

 

The political relations official in the Arab Democratic party Rifat Eid hailed Monday the Lebanese Army's procedures to restore calm in Tripoli.

In an interview with al-Ahed News site, Eid revealed that "the LA deployed its units in the hot spots between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh after carrying a series of wide raids."

As he stressed that his party will offer all possible facilities for the success of the truce, Eid urged all sides to protect the LA i.e. performing its duties.

In parallel, the party's top official warned that "targeting the LA would lead to serious consequences, especially that there is an intention to drag Lebanon into the repercussions of the Syrian crisis."

In this context, Eid accused the "Free Syrian Army" militia of being responsible of Northern events.

Eid, who confirmed that the FSA members control the city, revealed that the Future bloc MPs informed Interior Minister Marwan Charbel during his visit to the North that they control only 40% of the insurgents in the city.

"The remaining members are under the FSA command," he unveiled, and noted that "the head of the Future Movement, MP Saad Hariri, is obsessed with returning to power at any cost."

Meanwhile, the head of Arab Democratic party stated that "Hariri cares neither for the dead nor for the wounded in the North."

"He doesn't care if Tripoli is burned city or demolished. What is important to him is to return to power," Eid viewed.

According to him, Future militants escalated the battle to cover up all what is related to Tal Kalakh ambush and the frustrating consequences.

He also reiterated that his party was the first to call for returning the bodies of the people who died in Tal Kalakh.

"Why do they continue fighting? Isn't it for covering their failures?" Eid wondered.

On another level, he neglected the calls for the dissolution and elimination of his party from Jabal Mohsen , the confiscation of its weapons and suing its members.

"Those who are demanding such titles aim at the displacement of the Muslim Alawitte sect to implement their plan of establishing an Emirate in Tripoli," Eid said.

Moreover, the official declared: "We will accept only a basket of solutions and we want to be part of the dialogue as well as of all aspects in the state."

"Tripoli is a city everyone, and we will not be dragged to any temptation," he said, and hoped that "the government expels all strangers who wreak havoc on earth."

As he announced his party's commitment to the self- dissociation policy, Eid accused the other side of spreading tension to achieve personal and factional interests.

Source: al-Ahed News

 

B.N

 

 

 

Terrorists Threaten to Excute Ukrainian Journalist in Syria

The terrorist groups in Syria   are threatening to execute journalist Ankhar Kochneva. They are demanding 50 million U.S. dollars for her life. The ultimatum that was signed by the field commanders of the paramilitary wing of the terrorist groups expires on December 13th.

Terrorists  say that Ankhar Kochneva is a “Ukrainian spy”. Kochneva, a Ukrainian citizen, lived in Russia for the past 10 years. In January this year she went to Syria to work there as a journalist and translator. Ankhar Kochneva is the author of many interesting and exciting reports for Russian media outlets.

The Voice of Russia “contacted” her when it was necessary to comment on the situation in the hot spots in Syria, including Homs. Whenever a call from Moscow came, Ankhar Kochneva was always at a combat post.

Her reports were always different from the picture presented by the Al Jazeera TV Channel and other media that supported the fight of the irreconcilable opposition against the Syrian government. Most likely, it was exactly her objective opinion about the developments in Syria that pushed all those who are standing up for terrorists  to kidnap Ankhar which occurred on October 7th .

In a November 28th video address she asked Russia’s and Ukraine’s governments to fulfill the kidnappers’ demands. For their part, a number of Russian media outlets urged Syrian ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad to do all in his power so that Ankhar Kochneva could be freed as soon as possible. The Russian Committee of Solidarity with the Peoples of Libya and Syria is making efforts in this direction, one of the heads of the non-governmental organization Darya Mitina says.

"The ultimatum, delivered by the terrorists , is urging the parties concerned to start searching for non-trivial solutions as well as for an advancement in the talks. Regrettably, for the time being, the means to influence the militants are limited. We have applied to international human rights and journalist agencies with a request to pay continued attention to this topic on both radio and television. There is little information about the kidnapping attack now, taking into account the role Kochneva played in the public information space."

As a rule, no details are given about talks with kidnappers or about the ransom terms. Judging by the facts, the talks are currently under way. An expert with the Institute of Oriental Studies, Vladimir Isayev, says:

A week after Ankhar Kochneva was kidnapped, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych gave instructions to his aides to do everything possible for secure her release. This occurred on October 15th . No other reports about Kiev’s stand have come since then.

A group of terrorists  have threatened to kill the Ukrainian journalist captured on October 9 if they are not paid a ransom.

The deadline for the ransom payment is set for December 13, 2012, the journalist’s friend and Russian ex-MP Darya Mitina has told reporters. “If the money isn’t paid by that time, she will be killed as a ‘Ukrainian spy’,” she added.

Ankhar Kochneva’s relatives have confirmed that the kidnappers contacted them and demanded a ransom but said they didn’t believe December 13 was the deadline.

Kochneva’s nephew Dmitry was cited as saying he had no detail of negotiations to free his aunt. “The foreign office is saying they are working on it. But we don’t know what exactly is being done,” he said.

Ankhar Kochneva, a Ukrainian journalist who went missing in Syria on October 10, contacted her relatives for the first time on Sunday, saying she hoped everything would be fine and asking not to call her.

A similar text was reportedly sent to one of her friends. In it Koncheva also mentioned that she had been kidnapped.

The Russian embassy in Damascus has shown active support of Ukrainian authorities in their search for the 40-year-old.

Source :Voice of Russia

M.D

Sakr,and Al Hariri asked to buy the recordings

 

 

 

His press conference lexicon was rich in expletives and insults, but all this impudence served only as a smokescreen to mask his lies.

After Al-Akhbar published authenticated recordings that documented Future MP Okab Sakr’s role in providing arms to Syrian rebels, the MP has concocted his own recordings. With the help of audio experts, Al-Akhbar easily confirmed that Sakr’s recordings, which portray him as the humanitarian savior of Syrian revolutionaries, can hardly pass muster.

By fabricating his own recordings to counter those obtained by Al-Akhbar, MP Okab Sakr wants to delude the public into believing that the recordings published by Al-Akhbar were “doctored.” Yet Sakr initially acknowledged the authenticity of the published recordings, even offering to buy them to prevent them from going public.

On Thursday, 6 December 2012, Sakr held a press conference of sorts, but the spectacle that ensued was unfortunate. He thought that by shouting at Al-Akhbar and his political opponents, he would be able to conceal the facts surrounding his actions. To be sure, Sakr never dared before to say one word to counter the media of the West.

A simple look at the audio file played by Oqab Sakr at his press conference in Istanbul shows a disparity between the original clip released by Al-Akhbar and the additional parts played by Sakr.

When the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Times, The Guardian, and Le Figaro, all ran stories confirming that “Saudi Arabia’s man, Okab Sakr,” was supplying Syrian militants with money and weapons, Sakr remained silent. He swallowed up his bile, only to vomit it out on Thursday, in the form of 15 words of folly, ten words of lies, eight words of sheer stupidity, and four words of blind hatred.

His press conference lexicon was rich in expletives and insults, but all this impudence served only as a smokescreen to mask his lies.

Sakr wanted to convince the audience that he was not panicked by Al-Akhbar’s possession of the incriminating recordings. In fact, when this newspaper offered to jointly publish them with a number of television networks in Lebanon, Okab was tipped off.

The Future Movement MP was quick to contact officials in one of these networks (before the recordings were advertised) – using whatever favor he enjoyed with the TV network to offer the following: “You buy the recordings, and Sheikh Saad Hariri will pay you double what you paid, provided that you don’t broadcast them.”

The offer still stood last week for the unpublished recordings, even after some of the recordings were published by Al-Akhbar.

During the conference, he exhibited a misleading sense of self-confidence, just like he did back when he appeared on Paula Yacoubian’s show “Interviews.”

That day, he made a finger gun with his hand and pretended to shoot himself in the mouth on television. He said that he was going to commit suicide, but everyone understood that he was jesting. Nevertheless, Sakr came across as a ‘charmer,’ but one lacking charisma. He is a man who knows the ins and outs of the game. He knows the audience, how it thinks, and what it likes to hear.

The fact of the matter is that there is no battle taking place, even if Sakr has sought to portray things otherwise. For one thing, the recordings published by Al-Akhbar were clear and unambiguous.

No one knows this better than Sakr and nothing confirms their authenticity better than his own acknowledgment. So, what how do Sakr’s own recordings hold up?

In the recording where Sakr asks for “more advanced weapons,” published by Al-Akhbar on Friday, 30 November 2012, Sakr spliced in two technically different audio segments at the beginning and at the end of the published recordings. The gaps are noticeable when the segments are joined together, albeit this cannot be detected directly by ear without certain equipment.

Al-Akhbar spoke to sound engineers about Sakr’s recordings. The audio experts preferred to remain anonymous because they feared “getting involved in something this big,” one said.

But MP Sakr must have known that a “scandal” such as this would not go unnoticed. Consequently, the Future Movement MP’s recording was not aimed at sound engineers or even Al-Akhbar.The audio experts said that Sakr’s recordings were “doctored more than they needed to be.” Technically speaking, anyone can consult any engineer he likes and compare the recordings published by Al-Akhbar, which, once again, Sakr has acknowledged were authentic, and the recordings he peddled as his irate press conference.

Of course, the audio experts’ opinion needs some explanation. The figure above shows an analysis of the recording presented by MP Sakr, which had a total duration of five minutes and 12 seconds.

The sound analysis shows that the recording contains crossfades, that is, gradual transitions between two consecutive segments, appearing at 2:30 in the clip. It is a slight and inaudible “interruption,” or more precisely, a “sound gap” that can only be discerned by means of an audio analysis, according to the engineers we spoke to.

For the one minute and seven seconds that followed the section published by Al-Akhbar, which starts with “Allo, Allo, yes brother,” variations in the timbre, a measure of sound quality, are clear.

Similarly, the drop signal and the intonation are different. The first has to do with the distance between the speaker and the recording device, while the second is related to the tonality of the speaker’s voice, which is affected by his “posture” as well as other factors.

In other words, the audio experts are certain that the section which begins with the words “we need machine guns” in the recording Sakr presented at his conference, is technically different from Al-Akhbar’s clip.

In Sakr’s recording, up to the 2:30 mark, his voice had different characteristics from the subsequent one. Evidently, the first segment was added in later to Al-Akhbar’s clip. The same goes for the last segment.

From the 3:36 mark until the end of the clip, the audio characteristics are nearly the same as those of the first segment, which Sakr added to the recording. Indeed, the audio analysis shows that Sakr’s recording is divided into three segments, with crossfades added in twice.

The first crossfade appears at the beginning of the segment published by Al-Akhbar while the second can be discerned at the end of the same segment. Sakr’s clip is thus divided into three segments: the first from 0 to 2:30 (the part published by Al-Akhbar); the second from 2:30 to 3:36; and the third from 3:36 to 5:12.

The audio experts have no doubt that the clip presented by Sakr, in which he asks for machine guns, and which contains no mention of milk and blankets as he claimed, has different audio characteristics and properties, as we detailed above, and which are clearly illustrated by the figure above.

In summary, the experts concluded that Sakr added “a segment in the beginning and a segment in the end,” leaving the part published by Al-Akhbar intact, which was the only authentic segment. According to the audio experts, the least that can be said about this fabrication is that it is “not so smart.”

But MP Sakr must have known that a “scandal” such as this would not go unnoticed. Consequently, the Future Movement MP’s recording was not aimed at sound engineers or even Al-Akhbar.

So, why did Okab do it? Does he want to lure the public into the trap he claimed to have set before the recordings went public? Or maybe the man thought that games like this would be easily camouflaged by bringing the issue of the Lebanese abductees in Azaz back to the limelight?

On Friday, Sakr “gathered” some of the hostage’s relatives, with whom Sakr now has close ties, so that through them he can lash out against Al-Akhbar and OTV. Then in the evening, Ali Zugheib, one of the Lebanese hostages, appeared in a recording and read a speech written for him, where he spoke about high gasoline prices in Azaz, and claimed that there were secret detention facilities in Lebanon where Syrian and Arab prisoners of conscience are being tortured, using the same methods of the Syrian regime.

(Al-Akhbar)

B.N.

 

 

 

Terrorist Admit to Destroying A Secular Syria in the Name of Islam

 

 

 

Sky’s Tim Marshall gains rare access to a prison where he finds evidence that international jihadists are operating in Syria.

Interviewing people who, under different circumstances, might kill you, is a strange experience.

To the soundtrack of multiple rocket launchers and small arms fire, I met six men who the Syrian authorities told us were jihadist rebel fighters captured by the army.

We were in a Ministry of Interior prison near Damascus in an area now close to the front lines.

The men, four Syrian, an Iraqi, and a Turk, said they had indeed been in the jihadist movement fighting President Assad’s forces, but now renounced the armed struggle even though they continued to espouse Salafist ideology. All are awaiting court appearances.

Jamil Us Turk, Ahmed al Rabido, Hamid Hassan al Attar, Bahar al Bashah, Ali Hussein and Mahmoud al Ahab said they were happy to be interviewed and had not been badly treated.

At one point I asked the guards to leave, spoke with the men alone and checked them for obvious signs of mistreatment, which were not apparent.

As far as I could ascertain, the men were who they said they were. The Turkish man spoke Turkish, the Iraqi had an Iraqi accent, they displayed religious knowledge of the sort taught to those with a Salafist mindset.

The Syrian authorities are keen to promote the view that they are fighting an al Qaeda type force which partially explains why, after much pushing, we were allowed rare access into the jail.

Mahmoud al Ahab, who described himself as a Palestinian Syrian, told me he was in the al Nusra Front which he said was an al Qaeda group. He had sworn an oath of allegiance to al Nursa but now felt this was a mistake.

Ahmed al Rabido, a 48-year-old Syrian, said he was a religious leader, a Mufti, in the Free Syrian Army.

“I joined because I wanted to demolish the secular state… I don’t believe in this anymore because the country is being ruined,” he said.

Bahar al Basah, 35, another Palestinian Syrian, told me he was influenced by the writings of Abu Qatada, the radical cleric currently under house arrest in the UK.

The men only became animated when I showed a little knowledge of Salafist ideology and brought up the works of Islamists such as the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb.

This led to a question about the future of Syria’s minorities such as the Christians. Ahmed, Basah, and Hamid Hassan all agreed – Christians could only live there if they either converted, or paid the ‘Jizyah’ – a special tax levied on non-Muslims in previous centuries in the Middle East. If not said Bahar, they could be killed.

When asked why, the answer was, to them, quite simple – because the Prophet Mohammed said so. I was then invited to become a Muslim.

The conversation verged on the surreal. There we were talking in a quite friendly manner, with the occasional joke, about killing people because they wouldn’t pay the Jizyah, which critics regard as effectively obtaining money through menaces.

The interview ended with Ahmed volunteering that eventually Muslims must reclaim Andalucia in Spain for the Islamic Caliphate.

His logic, that it was justified because Spain used to be under Islam, was somewhat undermined when he went on to say that Islam should move on to bring the UK under its control and indeed, eventually, the whole world.

The men are not representative of the FSA, indeed many militia units are deeply suspicious of the jihadists’ aims.

However, it appears that a lot of the best weapons are reaching the jihadist groups, and they are using these to gain influence and territory.

Even if the rebels overthrow the government, they won’t just have a problem dealing with militia from the minority groups, they will have problems with each other.

As the men left to go back to their cells, we shook hands.

Two of them were still trying to convert me, asking me, with a smile, to say the Shahada ‘La ilaha il Allah’ – there is no God but Allah.

Syriatruth

B.N

 

 

 

Former Powell adviser ‘skeptical’ of ‘politicized’ US intelligence on Syria

 

 

 

Syria will never use chemical weapons against its own people, Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired US Army Colonel who was Chief of Staff to Colin Powell told RT. Instead, the reality is that US is “preparing the ground to intervene in Syria.”

An act which would lead to a conflict “that would take at least a decade to settle – and there aren't going to be too many victors at the end of that decade, just losers,” Wilkerson says, as Washington's ultimate aim is to overthrow the Iranian leadership.

Simultaneously, some members of Congress are talking about "impeachment" of the US president for not consulting Congress before involving the country in conflicts.

RT: You were Colin Powell's chief of staff when the decision was made to invade Iraq. In 2003, Powell made a speech that laid out the case for that war. Let's take a listen to what he said. You helped prepare that speech, and have since described it as the biggest mistake of your life. Why?

Lawrence Wilkerson: Primarily because we – to the American people, to the international community and of course to the members of the US Security Council – presented that speech… it was not accurate, it was not true, it was not valid. We did not know that, but it was not just an intelligence failure. It was also the massive politicization of intelligence by the leadership in Washington.

RT: We're currently seeing very similar rhetoric in the US in relation to Syria.  Will it end in war again?

LW: I would be highly skeptical of any of the intelligence rendered by the $140-billion-plus US intelligence community as to weapons of mass destruction in possession of another country. Period.

And I think we're looking into Syria and Iran being a combination that we would then take on – and you're talking about a conflict that becomes regional and maybe even wider, because we've got Russia, we've got China, we've got other players; as I've just mentioned, the Turks. We've got a significant interest in that region if Iran and Syria are seriously threatened by the US invasion. And I think, you're looking at a configuration that would take at least a decade to settle and there aren't going to be too many victors at the end of that decade – just losers.

 

B.N.

 

 

 

Aljazeera is no longer preferred choice

 

 

 

Cairo – The active role played by al-Jazeera television network during the 25 January 2011 Egyptian revolution led to sentiments of solidarity following the torching of the news channel’s offices around two weeks ago on 22 October 2012.

This support for the channel did not stop activists from criticizing al-Jazeera’s weak coverage of the Final Warning Million March last Tuesday.

Al-Jazeera’s Live Egypt station is no longer the preferred choice of revolutionaries now that there are alternative Egyptian stations in abundance following the revolution. It also didn’t help that the channel’s coverage of the recent “million person” marches and major protests left much to be desired since this time, the million was surrounding the presidential palace of Mohammed Mursi.

Ever since the removal of Hosni Mubarak, the channel has been accused of bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Mursi’s political current.

The angry protesters maintain that Qatar’s support for Mursi has influenced the channel’s direction.This never stopped the protesters in Tahrir Square from welcoming the Qatari news channel and its correspondents, who are the most popular among the revolutionaries, compared with other Egyptian channels.

The latter were accustomed to providing insipid coverage of major events, especially those where the conflict is between the street and the regime, whether the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) or Mursi, who today represents the MB in the Egyptian presidential palace.

Last Tuesday, however, the picture began to change. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched from all over Cairo to al-Ittihadiya presidential palace in Heliopolis north of Cairo. They wanted their voice to reach Mursi in his own home after he refused to listen to their demands from Tahrir Square.

Al-Jazeera decided to cover the protests in a detached manner, relying mostly on in-studio discussions. It wasn’t interested in the protesters or broadcasting their positions on air. This would have meant that Mursi would have to listen to what he did not want to hear. His detractors, sheltering under Tahrir’s legitimacy, are still very angry at his political decisions.

Moreover, an al-Jazeera correspondent decided to play the devil’s advocate in his interviews with some protesters. He asked, “Did you read the constitution?” Of course, the answer was, “No.” The correspondent replied, “So why doth thou protest?”

The correspondent said this in full knowledge that neither the constitution’s supporters nor the opponents had read the document because the disagreement is centered on the way it was drafted. The actual flaws have yet to be considered by the people due to the current clash with the regime and lack of time.

The angry protesters maintain that Qatar’s support for Mursi has influenced the channel’s direction. It even impacts the location of its camera in Tahrir Square, to make it look empty or full.

The disappointment was not just expressed at the screen. Activists clashed with al-Jazeera’s news presenter Jamal Rayyan over Twitter after the latter surprised everyone with statements opposing the demonstrations against the constitutional declaration.

The Jordanian-Palestinian presenter wrote, “If I was in the place of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, I would have done what US president George Bush Sr. did when he deployed the army in Los Angeles to put a stop to the chaos.”

Private Egyptian television channels, feeling the threat of Mursi’s regime, were eager to cover the Ittihadiya protests.Rayyan attacked Egyptian media networks, saying they were out of control and responsible for inciting tumult, the same accusation thrown at al-Jazeera during the early days of the revolution.

Private Egyptian television channels, feeling the threat of Mursi’s regime, were eager to cover the Ittihadiya protests. The screens were split once again, with windows to Tahrir Square, the presidential palace, and Maspero – the site of Egypt’s official television, which became the latest target of demonstrations due to its continued favor towards the the regime.

For the very first time, Egyptian channels used methods that were once only available to al-Jazeera: cars drove alongside the demonstrations, carrying processions live while other reporters covered events at the presidential palace, awaiting a confrontation that ended with the protesters easily reaching the palace gates.

Channels such as ONTV, al-Nahar, and CBC were able to endure the task and cover the events. Not many viewers cared much for the SMS messages in support of Mursi that were scrolling at the bottom of al-Jazeera Live Egypt’s screen.

Its presenter, Ayman Azzam, found some balance. When one of the callers told him that the volume of support messages reaching the channel is a reflection of Mursi’s popular support, Azzam replied that this should not be taken as an indicator, since someone has been sending dozens of messages from the same phone number.

A while ago, it was claimed that al-Jazeera allowed tampering with its online opinion polls about the Egyptian constitution on its website. It immediately announced that its results were inaccurate.

Egypt’s official channel, on the other hand, attempted some balance, but kept failing in regaining viewer trust, especially after allowing calls that reminded Egyptians of those that were fabricated by Mubarak’s people during the revolution.

One example is a phone call to Nile News by an amateur sheikh who said that as a graduate of al-Azhar, one of the major Islamic schools in the region, he does not believe Mursi broke his oath to respect the law and constitution.

He said that Mursi’s latest decrees “are meant to uphold the law, from the point of view of the president who is charged with protecting the country.”

B.N

 

 

 

 

71 journalists in prison, union says

 

 

 

Seventy-one journalists still remain behind bars in Turkish prisons, journalists from the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) said, adding they were concerned about the current state of press freedom in the country, during a meeting of the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) held Dec. 5.

Democratization

Freedom for Journalists Platform (GÖP) speaker Peter Preston said he had been closely following Turkey’s steps in the democratization process for the last 25 years. Preston is also the secretary general of Ankara Journalists Association and a columnist for The Guardian and The Observer. “I think the speed of [Turkey’s] democratization process has slowed down. The things I heard worry me,” Peterson said, adding that they met government authorities and the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in Ankara, demanding the release of the arrested journalists.

According to data gathered by the association, 71 journalists are still in prison, while the trials of those released are ongoing.

TGC deputy chair Turgay Olcayto, IPI’s Turkey Executive Board member Ferai Tunç, Turkish Journalists Syndicate chair Ercan İpekçi were among the meeting’s speakers.

Olcayto commented on the fourth judicial package, which is mainly focused on eliminating the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) rulings that concern the violation of human rights in Turkey and is expected to pass Parliament soon. “Unfortunately, I am not very hopeful about this package,” he said, adding that the Turkish Penal Code and the Anti-Terror Law must be immediately reformed. “Those incidents are a shame for Turkey,” Olcayto said.

Hürriyet

B.N