Syria in the News – February 14, 2012

by admin on February 14th, 2012 in SAC News
Associated Press Fresh violence in Syria as UN warns of civil war By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces renewed their assault on the rebellious city of Homs on Tuesday in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days, as the U.N. human rights chief raised fears of civil war. US sees ‘challenges’ for peacekeepers in Syria By MATTHEW LEE WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Monday it backs Arab League plans to end ongoing violence in Syria but noted several obstacles to deploying a proposed international peacekeeping force to the country and stopped short of a full endorsement of the idea. UN rights chief deplores Syria crackdown By EDITH M. LEDERER UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. human rights chief decried Syria’s escalating crackdown on civilian protesters Monday and warned that the Security Council’s failure to take action has emboldened the Syrian government to launch an all-out assault to crush dissent. In complicating move, al-Qaida backs Syrian revolt By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida’s leader has called for the ouster of Syria’s “pernicious, cancerous regime,” raising fears that Islamic extremists will try to exploit an uprising against President Bashar Assad that began with peaceful calls for democratic change but is morphing into a bloody, armed insurgency. CNN Your chance to talk to a Syrian dissident  At 9a.m. EST today, I will be hosting GPS’ first live online video discussion with three Syrians – two expats and one dissident in Homs, Syria. Syrian residents say they’re bracing for full-blown war  Fear and horror paralyzed residents in the Syrian city of Homs Tuesday, with snipers preventing anyone from moving and heavy shelling blasting through the air, opposition activists said. Increased intelligence activity in Syria  Syria is becoming a top priority for U.S. intelligence and the military. CNN’s Barbara Starr reports. Syrian residents say they’re bracing for full-blown war As U.N. diplomats slam the Syrian regime for the country’s mounting bloodshed, residents wondered out loud what the implications of total war might be. CNN reporter hiding in Syrian safe house Anderson Cooper talks to Arwa Damon about the activist organization in Syria and the use of weapons in the conflict. LA Times Idea of peacekeeping force for Syria greeted coolly Such missions ‘need first to have a peace to support,’ Russia’s foreign minister says, but Russia and other leading nations are studying the Arab League proposal. By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times Reporting from Beirut— A request by Arab foreign ministers that a joint Arab-U.N. peacekeeping team be dispatched to Syria met little international enthusiasm Monday as the death toll mounted in the battleground city of Homs and elsewhere. New York Times Syrian Tanks Resume Shelling Despite U.N. Rebuke By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and RICK GLADSTONE BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian government forces on Tuesday brushed aside a stern castigation from the top United Nations human rights official about its deadly attacks on civilians, resuming what one activist described as the “brutal shelling” of the city of Homs. Reuters Iraqi fighters, arms trickle into Syria as violence grows By Khalid al-Taie MOSUL, Iraq | Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:44am EST (Reuters) – Weapons and Sunni Muslim insurgents are seeping from Iraq into Syria, Iraqi officials and arms dealers say, fuelling violence in a country that once sent guns and militants the other way. China’s Wen says urgent to prevent chaos in Syria By Lucy Hornby and Ben Blanchard BEIJING | Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:22am EST (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday it was urgent to prevent war and chaos in Syria and vowed to work through the United Nations to seek an end to civil strife in the country. Assad’s forces attack opposition on fronts across Syria By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Erika Solomon AMMAN/BEIRUT | Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:44am EST (Reuters) – Syrian government forces attacked opponents of President Bashar al-Assad on several fronts on Tuesday, sending residents fleeing from one town near the capital and bombarding the city of Homs for an 11th day running, activists said.