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Report: 500 Terrorist Groups Operating in Syria

TEHRAN - Over 500 terrorist cells and groups are now fighting against the Syrian government in different parts of Syria, media reports disclosed on Tuesday, according to FNA.

The Palestinian Almanar weekly quoted informed sources as saying that the size of these networks and the number of their members varies depending on who is sponsoring them.

The sources, who asked to remain anonymous in fear of their life, added that over 85% of these criminals are non-Syrians who have come from different continents and have been recruited by Saudi and Qatari spies and later trained in special training camps in Turkey.

The weekly added that these networks are receiving Israeli made weapon cargos paid by Gulf Arab Sheikhs.

The sources also said that these terrorist cells and groups are paid salaries for operations in Syria.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.


Lebanese Parliamentary Elections on June 16

Beirut, (ST) _The Lebanese Cabinet on Monday set June 16th as a date for  the upcoming parliamentary elections. The approval  was announced  during  a special meeting held under the chairmanship of the Lebanese President Michel Suleiman,  according to the Lebanese Media Agency  which added that  a sum of  22 billion for LP  was allotted to cover costs of  these elections . 

For his part, Prime Minister of the Lebanese government in transition  Najib Mikati  said after the cabinet meeting that the elections will take place on the basis of the so far valid law –the  sixtieth law – noting  attempts to extend  because of exceptional circumstances,  and that a decision on that  is confined to the  Parliament , while  the government is persistent to hold the elections.


T. Fateh 

Baghdad car bombs kill more than 50

Baghdad-At least 50 people have been killed in a series of explosions in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police say, according to BBC.

Many more were wounded in the car bomb attacks, targeting many  districts in the capital, according to officials.

The violence comes amid a recent marked rise in attacks linked to growing political tension.

The bloodshed has raised fears of a return to the levels of violence seen in 2006 and 2007.

The latest attacks included up to 11 bombs in Baghdad city.

One bombing struck the busy commercial Sadoun Street in central Baghdad. One bystander who saw that attack, Zein al-Abidin, said a four-year-old child was among the victims. "What crime have those innocent people committed?" he asked.

No group has said it carried out the attacks.

Mr Maliki has vowed to make immediate changes to Iraq's security strategy, saying militants "will not be able to return us to the conflict".

Monday's bombings come a week after more than 70 people were killed and many others injured in a series of attacks across the country, in what was described as one of the worst days for violence in Iraq for several years.


Syria,Iran Main Supporters of Resistance:Lahoud

TEHRAN - Former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud lauded Iran for the constructive efforts it has made to help restore peace and tranquility in Syria.

Lahoud made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Beirut Qazanfar Roknabadi in the Lebanese capital on Monday,according to FNA.

"Iran and Syria have played key roles in achieving victories and are considered as the main supporters of the resistance movement," the former Lebanese president said.

The Iranian ambassador to Beirut, for his part, underlined that holding national Syrian-Syrian dialogue is the best solution to the crisis in the country.

Roknabadi pointed to Iran's efforts to help settle the crisis in Syria, and said, "Tehran's six-point plan for resolving the Syrian crisis and subsequent hosting of national dialogue meetings on Syria in Tehran and Damascus are among the Islamic Republic's initiatives to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria."

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

Last November, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid-November with the motto of 'No to Violence, Yes to Democracy".

The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, the opposition, and state officials.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.


Diplomat: Iran Part of Solution to Syrian Crisis

TEHRAN (ST)- Iranian Ambassador to Tunisia Peyman Jebeli welcomed the massive participation of different world states in the 'Friends of Syria' meeting in Tehran later this month, and said Iran is a part of any solution to the Syrian crisis.            

"The massive participation of countries in the meeting will show the international determination to support a political solution (to the problem in Syria) and proves that Iran is a part of the solution to the current crisis in Syria," FNA quoted  Jebeli as saying in an interview with al-Shorouq newspaper on Monday.

He said even those states which have helped the "rebel" groups in Syria with arms and financial supports have now failed in their plots and realized that the only solution to the crisis in the Muslim country is a political one.

"Since the very first day of the crisis, we have said that we believe and still believe that the only way to end the crisis is a peaceful and political solution based on dialogue between the two sides (the Syrian government and the opposition) and therefore, we support any plan which advocates a political and fair solution within the framework of Syrian-Syrian talks between the government and the dissidents," Jebeli underlined.

The Friends of Syria Conference is due to be held in Tehran on Wednesday to find a way to restore peace and stability in the region.

Iran has invited different regional and international actors to the 'Friends of Syria' conference due to be held in Tehran on Wednesday, the foreign ministry announced on Saturday.

"Representatives of Russia and China will be present in the meeting and Tehran has invited different states, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which hold different positions (from that of Iran on Syria) to attend the conference," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Sunday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs and terrorists against Syrian forces and civilians being reported across the country.

The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May 2012 that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling Assad's government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of "rebel" credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

Opposition activists who several months ago said the "rebels" were running out of ammunition said last May that the flow of weapons - most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past - has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.


M. Wassouf