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I truly feel sorry for the Syrian stranded in Aleppo. Russian, Shia militias and Assad forces are burning Aleppo and exterminating its people under the context that they are fighting Islamic state. What a joke! This is the life in Raqa as we speak:
Saracen21stC posted a topic in Political FrontSyria unrest: 'Massacre leaves 200 dead' in Tremseh Unverified footage said to show residents of Tremseh fleeing the artillery bombardment Continue reading the main story Syria conflict Syria killings: What we know 'Taking Syria to Hell' Who are the shabiha? Guide: Syria Crisis Some 200 people have been killed in an attack on the Syrian village of Tremseh, opposition activists say. If confirmed, it would be the bloodiest single event in the Syrian conflict. Residents said the village, in Hama province, was attacked with helicopter gunships and tanks, and later by the pro-government Shabiha militia, who carried out execution-style killings. State media blamed "terrorist groups" who were trying to raise tension ahead of a key UN Security Council meeting. The mandate for the UN's observer mission to Syria expires on 20 July. UN observers are now trying to get to Tremseh to investigate the killings. UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and appalled" by the news from Tremseh, adding that it was "desperately urgent that this violence and brutality stops". Some 16,000 people are thought to have been killed since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March 2011. Individual reports of casualties often cannot be independently verified, as Syria severely restricts journalists' freedom of movement. High-level defection Reports suggest the army was trying to take back Tremseh after it had fallen into rebel hands. The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says both sides agreed many people were killed in Tremseh, but have totally different versions of what happened.Continue reading the main story Syria's massacres 2012 3 Feb: At least 55 killed in Homs in month-long bombardment by military 3 Apr: Military attack on Taftanaz in Idlib. Mass graves said to hold 57 people 25 May: Some 108 killed in Taldou, in Houla region, many of them women and children 6 Jun: At least 79 people, many of them women and children, killed in village in Hama province Timeline: Syria's massacres Activists say government forces surrounded the village on Thursday morning and heavily bombarded it for several hours, killing many people. Pro-government militias from nearby Alawite villages then moved in, they said, killing many more villagers and setting fire to houses. Others who tried to flee through fields were also gunned down, the activists said. One activist, named Ahmed, told Reuters: "So far, we have 20 victims recorded with names and 60 bodies at a Masjid. There are more bodies in the fields, bodies in the rivers and in houses... People were trying to flee from the time the shelling started and whole families were killed trying to escape." Activists have posted a video they say shows the bodies of a number of men and boys killed in Tremseh. Our correspondent says UN observers are talking to both sides in the conflict so that they can move from their base in Hama to Tremseh to investigate the killings. The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (Unsmis), Maj Gen Robert Mood, said: "Unsmis stands ready to go in and seek verification of facts if and when there is a credible ceasefire." Protests condemning the attack have been reported in Damascus, Idlib and Hama. State media said gunmen from what they termed armed terrorist groups had attacked the village in the morning, shooting dead dozens of people. The Sana news agency said on Friday: "The bloodthirsty media in collaboration with gangs of armed terrorists massacred residents of Tremseh village... to sway public opinion against Syria and its people and provoke international intervention on the eve of a UN Security Council meeting." Western nations are pressing the UN to threaten Syria with sanctions as it considers renewing the mandate for its observer mission in Syria. They want a 10-day ultimatum to be part of a Security Council resolution on the future of the mission. A new resolution must be passed before the mission's mandate ends next Friday. China and Russia continue to oppose any moves to threaten Damascus with further sanctions ahead of the deadline. The mission had a 90-day remit to monitor a truce, but fighting has continued largely unabated. The truce formed part of a six-point peace plan brokered by Mr Annan, who has called for "clear consequences" for the Syrian government and rebels if the ceasefire is not observed. Mr Annan is to travel to Moscow early next week for talks on the Syria crisis, Russian media say. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal on Thursday quoted intelligence reports as suggesting that Syria was moving its chemical weapons, amid fears the government could use them against rebels or civilians. US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the international community would hold accountable any Syrian officials who failed to safeguard the stockpiles. BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the Syrian transfer could be an attempt at safe storage or may mark an even more deadly phase in the conflict.
Saracen21stC posted a topic in Political FrontTurkey calls Nato meeting on warplane downed by Syria Syria said it engaged the aircraft in its airspace "according to the laws that govern such situations"Continue reading the main story Syria Conflict Turkey seeks diplomacy not war UN mission at crossroads Russia stands by Assad An intractable conflict? Turkey has called a meeting of Nato member states to discuss its response to the shooting down of one of its warplanes by Syrian forces on Friday. Ankara has invoked Article 4 of Nato's charter, under which consultations can be requested when an ally feels their security is threatened, officials say. Earlier, Turkey's foreign minister said the F-4 Phantom was in international airspace when it was shot down. Syria has insisted the jet was engaged while it was inside its airspace. It has also said no act of hostility was intended, noting that as soon as the military discovered the "unidentified" aircraft was Turkish its navy joined efforts to rescue the two crew members. The Turkish foreign ministry said it knew the coordinates of the jet, which was in Syrian territorial waters at a depth of 1,300m (4,265ft), but has not yet found it. The coast guard is still searching for the crew in the Mediterranean Sea, though hopes are fading of them being found alive. The government has also issued a diplomatic protest note to Syria. Continue reading the main story Analysis Jonathan Marcus BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Turkey's decision to call a Nato meeting to discuss the downing of one of its warplanes by Syrian air defences is a measure of the seriousness of the situation. But it also sends a signal that, for now, Ankara is looking for a concerted diplomatic response rather than taking military action of its own. Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty allows for countries to consult together whenever "in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened". Turkey might have sought such consultations at earlier stages in the Syrian crisis, prompted for example by the flood of refugees across its borders or shells fired by Syria landing on its territory. Nato's deliberations will raise the pressure on the Syrian regime, but it is hard to see them having any practical effect in terms of convincing President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power. 'Training mission' Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the North Atlantic Council, the principal political decision-making body within the military alliance, would meet in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the incident. "Turkey has requested consultations under Article 4 of Nato's founding Washington Treaty," she told Reuters. "Under article 4, any ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened." Turkey wants to be sure of the strongest backing once it decides its official response, reports the BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul. The government has promised that it will be strong, decisive and legitimate, and that it will share all the information it has with the public. Earlier, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu became the first senior Turkish official to challenge Syria's account of the downing of the jet. After lengthy meetings with military chiefs, he told TRT state television that the unarmed jet had "momentarily" entered Syrian airspace by mistake on Friday but had left when it was shot down 15 minutes later. "According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles (24km) from Syria," he said. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the aircraft was unarmed, and on a routine training mission According to international law, a country's airspace extends 12 nautical miles (22.2km) from its coastline, corresponding with its territorial waters. Mr Davutoglu also insisted that the jet had not been on a "covert mission related to Syria" but had instead been carrying out a training flight to test Turkey's radar capabilities. He said the plane had not "shown any hostility", been clearly marked as Turkish, and that he did not agree with the Syrian military's statement that it had not known to whom it belonged. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Syrian military's actions were "outrageous" and underlined "how far beyond accepted behaviour the Syrian regime has put itself". "It will be held to account for its behaviour. The UK stands ready to pursue robust action at the United Nations Security Council," he said. 'Unidentified target' The Turkish military said it lost radio contact with the F-4 Phantom at 11:58 (08:58 GMT) on Friday while it was flying over Hatay province, about 90 minutes after it took off from Erhac airbase in the province of Malatya, to the north-west. Later, the Syrian military said an "unidentified air target" had penetrated Syrian airspace from the west at 11:40 local time (08:40 GMT), travelling at very low altitude and at high speed. It said that in line with the laws prevailing in such cases, Syrian air defences engaged the craft, and scored a direct hit about 1km (0.5 nautical miles) from its coastline. It burst into flames, and crashed into the sea at a point 10km (5 nautical miles) from the village of Om al-Tuyour, off the coast of Latakia province, well within Syrian territorial waters, the statement added. Relations between Nato-member Turkey and Syria, once close allies, have deteriorated sharply since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. More than 30,000 Syrian refugees have fled the violence across the border into Turkey. Alleged flightpath of downed Turkish F-4 Phantom 1. F-4 Phantom takes off from Erhac airbase, Turkey, at approximately 10:28 local time (07:28 GMT), on 22 June 2. Syria says the jet enters its airspace at 11:40 (08:40 GMT) 3. Turkish military loses contact with the plane at 11:58 (08:58 GMT), while it is over Hatay province 4. Syria says its air defences engaged aircraft about 1km (0.5 nautical miles) from the coast and that it crashed into the sea 10km (5 nautical miles) west of Om al-Tuyour. Turkey says the plane was 24km (13 nautical miles) from Syria, which under international law is considered international airspace Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18571580