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Assad Forces Launch All-Out Attack In Damascus

Government tanks in the Midan neighborhood of Damascus on July 20
Government tanks in the Midan neighborhood of Damascus on July 20

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By RFE/RL
Syrian government forces have launched an all-out offensive on rebel positions in Damascus, as the UN Security Council extended for 30 days the mandate of its observer mission.
 
Rebels also clashed with troops in several neighborhoods of Syria's second-largest city, Aleppo, on July 20, a day after rebels seized a number of crossings on the Iraq and Turkey borders.
 
Thousands of civilians meanwhile continued to flee to Lebanon and Iraq to escape the violence.
 
The UN refugee agency said between 8,500 and 30,000 Syrians had entered Lebanon in the past 48 hours, and thousands of Iraqis have also returned home, after having fled to Syria from their own country's violence.
 
Activists put the two-day death toll at more than 470 people, one of the highest of the 16-month uprising.
 
The Security Council meanwhile voted unanimously to give a "final" 30-day extension to its observer mission.
 
The monitors had been charged with overseeing a ceasefire that never took hold, but suspended their mission on June 16 in the face of escalating violence.
 
The July 20 vote left the door open for a further but unlikely extension of the mission.
 
Vitali Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, said after the vote, "I was somewhat surprised to hear [U.S.] Ambassador [Susan] Rice's definition, or description, of the resolution as something which provides for an orderly withdrawal of the mission."

Churkin added, "This is not a resolution about withdrawal, it's a resolution about a continuation of the activity of the mission. If a decision were to be taken not to extend the mission, then of course it can withdraw very quickly and I hope safely, but this is not about withdrawal and I think we should not disorient the mission and the international community by describing it as a withdrawal resolution."
 
The vote followed emergency consultations just hours before the expiry of the 300-strong mission's mandate, after Russia threatened to use its veto powers as a council permanent member for the second time in as many days.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on July 21 that Syrian authorities have "manifestly failed" to protect civilians and called on the international community to act to stop the violence.

Speaking during a visit to Croatia's Brijuni Island as part of a week-long Balkans tour, the UN chief said the Syrian government must stop the killing in the country and its use of heavy weapons against the population.
 
Fierce Fighting

In Damascus, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad recaptured the neighborhood of Medan, while fierce fighting continued in at least three other parts of the capital.
 
Troops and rebels clashed for a second day in the Syrian city of Aleppo on July 21. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says in Aleppo "battles have been ongoing since Friday morning between regular forces and fighters from rebel units in the Salaheddin neighbourhood."
 
Rights group Amnesty International has said rebel forces too could be blamed for the deaths of civilians as they extended the fighting into large cities.
 
Assad's national security chief, General Hisham Ikhtiyar, died on July 20 from wounds sustained in a July 18 bombing that killed three other key aides to Assad, including the defense minister and Assad's brother-in-law.
 
Assad has only appeared publicly in one soundless video on state TV since the bombing, and his whereabouts remain unknown.
 
The revolt against Assad's regime began in March 2011 and has killed more than 17,000 people.
 
Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters 
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Comments
     
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 21, 2012 05:48
Today's (Saturday) French media is reporting that the three districts of the Syrian capital (Midane, Kfar Sousseh, Jobar) that had last week been reported to be controlled by the US-Saudi-financed terrorists, were retaken by the forces of the legitimate govt of the country: govtl representatives have taken foreign journalists stationed in Damascus to all the three so that the media could see for itself who is really in control of the situation there.
So, all this talk about the "last days of Assad" and about the "endgame is Syria" that we heard from Hillary Rice and from The Economist the entire last week seems to be nothing but the usual cheap Western propaganda. Apparently, the terrorists are just way to weak to present a serious challenge to the govtl forces for more than a few days.
Source: http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2012/07/20/01003-20120720ARTFIG00573-le-regime-syrien-veut-reconquerir-damas.php
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
July 22, 2012 01:44
This time Eugenio and Jack are right.
Syrian people at large, thougth consisting of various ethnic groups, against being conquered by insurgency and given the choice they will fight and retake their country.

Both are wrong, thought, trying make it "tat for tat" by Russia
against the West, specially Western propaganda, staffed and
instigated by pro-Russian "raskol'niki, negodyai, derzhimordy",
as confessed once even their own dictator, Lenin.

Remember:
1954-56 pact to resurect Russian, British and Germano-Austrian colonial empires and being given to Ethnic Russia technology for many small A-bombs to conquer CIS and Eastern Europe, even Afghanistan as a bonus;
Movie "The 13-th Warrior" about World devided between Nordic-Germanic barbarians in the North and Halifat in the South, with all
other nations destroyed in the middle, calling them "Hazars" and "Tatars";
Forming oboroten's of "Halifat" that helped already Russia to invade Northern Caucasus, Abkhazia and South Osetia and
cleansing population for Russian re-population.

It just happened that USA and NATO trying "steal the initiative" for themselves, not without 1954 pact member Brits playing the role too - probably because of Litvak-Shvartckof and 9/11 retaliation USA trying cool down - dealing with Arabs.

That doesn't mean, thought, that NATO and USA must have "total victory" of halifat of all Muslims (for 1954
conspirators) - there are many national and religious group in between that have right to exist too, contrary to propaganda of "raskol'niki, negodyayi i derzhimordy" - from Northern Caucasus throught Middle East and from CIS throught Eastern Europe, or as "Captain" said to "Katrin", West would have to say:

- "(total) Victory is not that sweet."


In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 22, 2012 09:52
Hey, Konstantin, there you are! Look, I will be on vacation for the next three weeks, so I left you an extensive instruction on this forum on how to proceed for the next three weeks (you will find it as a comment to the article "U.S. Says Bulgaria Attack 'Bears Hallmarks' Of Hizballah" - provided the RFE/RL publishes it).
In any case, just continue commenting in my name, the same way you did previously, and make sure you repeat the same joke about Nasrallah as often as you can - obviously, you should use my name for it, 'cos otherwise it's not funny.
Have a nice time and you will hear from me in August when I am back in Vienna!
Saludos, Eugenio
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
July 24, 2012 03:35
Where is my comment?
Eugenio and his accompliccess labeled me by impudent lies
to be killed by CIA on request of Russian provocateurs.
They killing me for many years.
7/7/2012 they threatened and killed my mother!
Why you denied me to confront by comment
my lying accuser, Eugenio?"

by: Jack from: US
July 21, 2012 14:54
Syrian people are defeating US and Saudi -sponsored Wahhabi thugs from "Free Syrian Army". Hundreds of thugs have been exterminated in recent days.

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