Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DTN News - SYRIA UNREST: Syria Calls On Refugees In Turkey To Return

DTN News - SYRIA UNREST: Syria Calls On Refugees In Turkey To Return
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada / BOYNUYOGUN, Turkey - June 15, 2011: Syrian tanks and the government's most loyal troops pushed into more towns and villages Tuesday, trying to snuff out any chance that the uprising against President Bashar Assad could gain a base for a wider armed rebellion.
Facing the most serious threat to his family's 40-year ruling dynasty, Assad has abandoned most pretenses of reform as his military seals off strategic areas in the north and east — including the town of Jisr al-Shughour, which was spinning out of government control before the military moved in on Sunday.
"The (Syrian forces) damage homes and buildings, kill even animals, set trees and farmlands on fire," said Mohammad Hesnawi, 26. He fled Jisr al-Shughour over the weekend and spoke to The Associated Press from this border area of Turkey, where some 8,000 Syrians are seeking refuge in camps.
Pro-democracy activists, citing witnesses, said the military also surrounded al-Boukamal, along the Iraqi border, an area that was a major smuggling route for insurgents and weapons into Iraq in the 2000s. Syrian officials have expressed concern over a reverse flow of arms into Syria, and in March security forces seized a large quantity of weapons hidden in a truck coming from Iraq.
Activists say more than 1,400 Syrians have died and some 10,000 have been detained in the government crackdown since the popular uprising began in mid-March, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Assad initially responded with vague promises of reform, but the increasingly deadly government crackdown has only added fuel to the movement. Thousands of protesters across the country now vow to continue until Assad leaves power.
There is no sign of that, however. The crackdown has obliterated a view held by many in Syria and abroad of Assad as a reformer at heart, one constrained by members of his late father's old guard who were fighting change, especially privileged members of the Assads' minority Alawite sect.
An offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Alawites represent about 11 percent of Syria's population, which is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim. The sect's longtime dominance has bred resentments, which Assad has worked to tamp down by pushing a strictly secular identity in Syria.
But Assad is now relying heavily on his Alawite power base to crush the resistance, particularly amid rumors that Sunni army conscripts have been refusing to fire on civilians.
The president and commander-in-chief's latest military moves in the north and east are being carried out by his most trusted forces — many of them Alawites whose fate is linked to the regime's. The bloody new push, against civilians who took up arms and reportedly military mutineers, was clearly designed to keep the opposition from establishing a base, as happened in Libya, where rebels trying to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi took over Benghazi.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. condemns the "barbaric acts" in Syria. In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Iran of assisting its ally Syria in the opposition crackdown.
She didn't detail such assistance, but Syrian human rights activist Ammar Qurabi, at a Paris news conference, claimed the Iranians have sent guns and electric batons to Syrian authorities, and Iranian computer experts were in Damascus hacking into activists' email and Facebook accounts.
For its part, Tehran on Tuesday warned the U.S. against any military intervention in Syria. "This would be a mistake and an engagement in a scene which can bring dire consequences for the region," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.
Washington and its allies have shown little appetite, however, for intervening in yet another Arab nation in turmoil, as NATO has done in Libya. There is real concern that Assad's ouster would spread chaos around the region.
Assad has had to juggle many factors in the Syrian political landscape: its sizable minority populations; a majority Sunni population drawn in part to Muslim fundamentalism; an influential military, and alliances with such external Shiite forces as Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
The government crackdown has brought intense international condemnation and sanctions on Syrian figures including Assad, a soft-spoken, British-trained eye doctor who told the Wall Street Journal in January his country was immune to the unrest sweeping the Arab world because he is in tune with his people's needs.
Now an international pariah, Assad will struggle to regain a semblance of legitimacy if he manages to quell a revolt spreading quickly across the country and to a wider cross-section of society.
On Tuesday, activists said about 2,000 doctors, pharmacists, lawyers and engineers protesting in the central city of Hama called for the regime's downfall — a significant shift in a movement that so far appears dominated by the young, poor and disenfranchised.
For the most part, the opposition has yet to bring out the middle and upper middle classes in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's two key cities. The monied classes have been Assad supporters, preferring a heavy-handed regime to instability.
If that support unravels, Assad's dictatorship could begin to wobble, 11 years after he inherited power from his father, the late Hafez Assad, who ruled with an iron hand for three decades.
It was impossible to independently confirm the crowd estimate of the Hama protest, made by the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, a group that documents the anti-regime movement.
Only sketchy reports are emerging from Syria, since foreign journalists have been expelled and local reporters face tight controls. Most witnesses inside the country speak on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution from the government.
Refugees in Turkey offer a grim picture of what they left behind, but the Turkish government has largely prevented access to the camps. Turkey's prime minister has accused Assad's regime of "savagery," but also said he would reach out to the Syrian leader to help solve the crisis.
Neil Sammonds of Amnesty International appealed to Turkey to allow access to the camps. But he stressed that inside Syria, thousands are still desperate for help.
"They're living under trees, exposed to the elements," he said. "Last night was a terrible storm - rain, thunder, lightning and all the rest of it. And that's women, elderly, children, who have been walking for days from the Jisr-Al-Shugour area. No one is helping them until now."
Many seemed to be helping themselves. Male refugees emerging from Syria on Tuesday could be seen carrying bread, water and milk for children, as well as diapers, to distraught families just across the border in Turkey.
Syria Unrest ~ Comprehensive Media News
Angelina Jolie Hoping To Visit Syrian Refugees

ANKARA — Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has asked to visit refugee camps in southern Turkey where thousands of Syrians who fled a crackdown in their homeland are now staying, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Turkey's foreign ministry was "currently considering the request" by Jolie, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugees agency (UNHCR), said the source.

Turkish officials say more than 8,000 Syrians are now camped in Turkey after fleeing the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations. Many of them are from Jisr al-Shugur, a town some roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Turkish border, which has been the scene of a major army operation.

Jolie is noted for her humanitarian work and paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan in March to visit refugee camps.

Turkey Spurns Assistance as Syria's Attack on Town Forces More to Flee

Bloomberg - Emre Peker - ‎24 minutes ago‎
Syrians have been crossing the border for a week to escape the violence, with the Turkish state-run Anatolia news agency putting the total in Turkey at 8538 yesterday, up from 122 on June 8. ...

Turkish PM, Syrian envoy to huddle as refugee numbers mount

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By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) -- The Turkish prime minister plans to meet with a special Syrian envoy on Wednesday as more and more refugees flee across the border to Turkey. The Turkish government said the number of Syrians who've crossed the border now ...

Angelina Jolie wants to visit Syrian refugees in Turkey

Xinhua - Fang Yang - ‎41 minutes ago‎
ANKARA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Movie star Angelina Jolie wants to visit Syrian refugees in southern Hatay province of Turkey who have fled from Syria and sheltered in camps on the Turkish side of the border. Jolie, goodwill ambassador for the United ...

Syrian troops press forward as presidential envoy is despatched to Turkey - ‎49 minutes ago‎
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Ha'aretz - ‎51 minutes ago‎
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Bangkok Post - ‎1 hour ago‎
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Angelina Jolie hoping to visit Syrian refugees

AFP - ‎1 hour ago‎
ANKARA — Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has asked to visit refugee camps in southern Turkey where thousands of Syrians who fled a crackdown in their homeland are now staying, a Turkish diplomatic source said. Turkey's foreign ministry was ...

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The Daily Star - ‎1 hour ago‎
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Syria calls on refugees in Turkey to return

Ynetnews - ‎2 hours ago‎
Syria's government is calling for the return of thousands of refugees who fled to Turkey to escape violence in a northern town. Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud says security, electricity, water and communications have now been restored in ...

Syria calls on refugees in Turkey to return

Newsday (subscription) - ‎2 hours ago‎
Photo credit: AP | Syrian refugees are seen in a camp, in Boynuyogun, Turkey, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. According to the Turkish Prime Minister's office the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey stands at more than 8.500 people.As the government expands ...

Syria calls on refugees to return

BBC News - ‎2 hours ago‎
Syria has called on the people of Jisr al-Shughour to return to the town, three days after an army attack restored government control there. Officials said the city was returning to normal, but that army units were pursuing militants through the hills ...

Libya, Syria and Middle East unrest - live updates

The Guardian - ‎2 hours ago‎
Libyan rebel fighters sit by a caricature of president Muammar Gaddafi at a checkpoint west of the rebel-held city of Misrata on 14 June. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters 9.13am: A family of four, including two children aged five and four, ...

More than 8500 Syrian refugees flee to Turkey

Xinhua - Chen Zhi - ‎3 hours ago‎
BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhuanet) -- An increasing number of Syrian refugees are pouring into Turkey and into shelters there for food as well, as the conflict in Syria continues to escalate. A Turkish government spokesman, announced after a cabinet meeting, ...

Syrian troops expand push to put stop to uprising

Boston Globe - Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Selcan Hacaoglu - ‎3 hours ago‎
AP / June 15, 2011 BOYNUYOGUN, Turkey — Syrian tanks and the government's most loyal troops pushed into more towns and villages yesterday, trying to snuff out any chance that the uprising against President ...

Syrian forces seal off areas of resistance | Philadelphia Inquirer | 2011-06-15

Philadelphia Inquirer - Selcan Hacaoglu, Elizabeth A. Kennedy - ‎3 hours ago‎
AP BOYNUYOGUN, Turkey - Syrian tanks and the government's most loyal troops pushed into more towns and villages Tuesday, trying to snuff out any chance that the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad ...

Syrians seek refuge at Turkish border

Al Jazeera - ‎4 hours ago‎
Syria says it is safe for citizens who have fled the country to return home. The televised appeal came as the Syrian military widened its crackdown on protesters. Tanks and troops are moving closer to the Turkish border where thousands of Syrians are ...

Turkey Calls For Halt In Syria Violence

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - ‎4 hours ago‎
A TV grab shows Syrian troops deployed in the flashpoint town of Jisr al-Shughour on June 14. International media have been denied access to areas of unrest. Turkey's prime minister has called on the Syrian regime to halt the violence as President ...

Syria widens crackdown in north and east - ‎4 hours ago‎
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London Dispatch / Ray Moseley: Why Assad's days in Syria may be numbered

Al-Arabiya - Ray Moseley - ‎4 hours ago‎
Anti-Syrian president Bashar Al Assad protesters, shout slogans as they demonstrate against the Syrian regime. (File photo) By RAY MOSELEY President Bashar Al Assad may appear to have the upper hand in Syria as his security forces shoot down unarmed ...

VIDEO: Syrians seek refuge in Turkey

BBC News - ‎8 hours ago‎
Syrian tanks have fanned out around towns and villages near the Turkish border, widening a crackdown on 12 weeks of anti-government protests. Damascus said its forces were pursuing rebels through the countryside around Jisr al-Shughour, ...

Turkey asks Assad to end unrest

The Nation, Pakistan - ‎8 hours ago‎
ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Syria's Bashar al-Assad Tuesday and urged him to stop a bloody crackdown on protesters and launch reforms, Anatolia news agency reported. Erdogan told the Syrian leader to "refrain ...

Images from the Syria-Turkey border

Globe and Mail - ‎8 hours ago‎
Newly arrived Syrian refugees are led by Turkish soldiers in a camp, in Boynuyogun, Turkey, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Newly arrived Syrian refugees are seen in a camp, in Boynuyogun, Turkey, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Women and children in a tent at a ...

Syrians vent rage in tent camps on border with Turkey

Los Angeles Times - Borzou Daragahi - ‎8 hours ago‎
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Syria's Bashar al-Assad losing faith of religious and ethnic minorities

Globe and Mail - Patrick Martin - ‎8 hours ago‎
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Syrian Refugee Exodus Continues as Tanks, Troops Push Into More Towns

PBS News Hour - ‎9 hours ago‎
Read the Transcript: Syrian refugees continued to stream across the border into Turkey Tuesday, fleeing the military's drive to crush anti-government demonstrations in northern towns and villages. Margaret Warner reports.

Turkey feels racial tensions as flood of Syrian refugees goes on

The Independent - Kim Sengupta, Justin Vela - ‎11 hours ago‎
The demonstration was vocal, about rights and Syria – a familiar sight. The difference, however, was that this was taking place in Turkey and the slogans were in support of Bashar al-Assad and against those ...

Syrians cross border to seek bread for families

The Daily Star - Alexandra Hudson - ‎11 hours ago‎
GUVECCI, Turkey: Dozens of frightened Syrians with mud covering their boots and clothes clambered to a Turkish village Tuesday to find bread for families waiting across the border in Syria in sodden makeshift camps. ...

Syrian troops expand crackdown

Washington Post - Liz Sly - ‎12 hours ago‎
BEIRUT — The Syrian military widened its crackdown on anti-government protesters Tuesday, dispatching tanks to at least two more locations, including a town near the border with Iraq, as the government sought to extinguish an expanding ...

The road to ruin for the Assad regime

Financial Times - ‎13 hours ago‎
By Bassma Kodmani After a week of suppression and mass punishment, the Syrian army has regained control of the town of Jisr al-Shughour. It has been a brutal campaign in the classic mode of tyrants. But not withstanding this success, the world should ...

Syria's Ruling Alawite Sect

New York Times (blog) - Robert Mackey - ‎13 hours ago‎
As my colleague Anthony Shadid reports, the uprising in Syria “is sharpening sectarian tensions along one of the country's most explosive fault lines: relations between the Sunni Muslim majority and the minority Alawite sect to which ...
*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News



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