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Iran Blasts EU Decision to Lift Syria Arms Embargo

TEHRAN - The Iranian foreign ministry blasted the EU decision to send weapons to terrorists  groups who fight the Syrian people, and warned the decision would result in the spread of terrorism in the European countries.

"The decision to lift the embargos on arms shipment to the terrorist groups in Syria is a dangerous one," Araqchi told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, according to FNA.

His remarks came after the EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to end the embargo on supplying arms to opposition forces in Syria.

"By their incorrect decision to support such groups, the European countries brought the terrorists thousands of kilometers closer to their soil and such a hasty and incorrect decision will certainly increase threats against them," he added.

Araqchi also censured the European countries for undermining international efforts to settle the crisis in Syria politically, specially the upcoming Geneva II conference, through their decision for militarizing the situation in Syria more, and added, "The decision will make the settlement of the crisis in Syria more difficult and complicated."

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.

The EU's anti-terror chief said in April that hundreds of Europeans are now fighting with terrorists  in Syria against the Syrian government  government.

Gilles de Kerchove estimated the number in Syria at about 500.

Intelligence agencies are concerned some could join groups linked to al-Qaeda and later return to Europe to launch terrorist attacks.

The UK, Ireland and France are among the EU countries estimated to have the highest numbers of fighters in Syria.

"Not all of them are radical when they leave, but most likely many of them will be radicalized there, will be trained," de Kerchove said.

"And as we've seen this might lead to a serious threat when they get back."

Across Europe, intelligence agencies have stepped up investigations, says the BBC's Europe correspondent Duncan Crawford.

In Britain and Belgium they have increased efforts to track how people are recruited.

In the Netherlands, officials have raised the terror threat level there to "substantial" - partly over concerns about radicalized citizens returning from Syria.

M.D

CHP leader: Erdogan helps train terrorists in Syria

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman  Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “providing training to terrorists in Syria.”

Criticizing Erdogan’s foreign policy towards war-hit Syria, Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed the Prime Minister’s visit to the bombed Turkish town of Reyhanlı,according to Dogan News agency.

 “You have no idea about Reyhanlı, you do not know their problems. You do not know the locals’ crafts issues. You are the man who trains members of terrorist organizations and sends them into Syria. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you are the terrorist leader for Syria,” Kılıçdaroğlu said May 26 in Antalya where he met the leaders of his party’s regional city branches.

M.D

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.

R.S

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.

M.D