Posts Tagged ‘helicopter gunships’

Syrian Rebels Survive Regime Onslaught in Aleppo – ABC News

July 29th, 2012 Comments off

ABC News

Syrian Rebels Survive Regime Onslaught in Aleppo
ABC News
The Syrian government launched an offensive Saturday to retake rebel-held neighborhoods in the nation's commercial hub of Aleppo, unleashing artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships against poorly armed opposition fighters. Yet after a day of fighting,
Syrian Forces Intensify Assault in AleppoVoice of America (blog)
Assad reshuffels inner circleSalt Lake Tribune
Syrian helicopters pound Aleppo, as massive onslaught loomsHaaretz
San Francisco Chronicle –Reuters Africa –Washington Post
all 2,072 news articles »

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Syrian rebels survive regime onslaught in Aleppo

July 28th, 2012 Comments off

In this Sunday, 22 July, 2012 photo a Syrian rebel fires his weapon during clashes with Syrian troops in Idlib, Syria. (AP Photo/Fadi Zaidan)BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government launched an offensive Saturday to retake rebel-held neighborhoods in the nation's commercial hub of Aleppo, unleashing artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships against poorly armed opposition fighters.

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Feared regime forces assault Syrian capital

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off

An armed Syrian rebel wearing the jersey of FC Barcelona rests with comrades near the northern city of AleppoFeared forces led by President Bashar al-Assad's brother used helicopter gunships Sunday in a new assault on rebels in Damascus, activists said, as clashes also raged in Syria's second city Aleppo.

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Syrian Rebellion Enters new Stage with Aleppo, Border operations

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off

On Saturday and Sunday, the Free Syrian Army launched attacks on government facilities and personnel in Aleppo, with fighting raging in several districts of the country’s largest city. Fighting raged near a large government intelligence facility. If the rebels can take Aleppo, they would benefit from Turkish aid and trade, and could hope to build it up into a stronghold. They also have asserted control over two checkpoints on the border with Iraq that could help them supply the north. They have several checkpoints with Turkey, as well.

In Damascus, The Baath government is alleged to have used helicopter gunships in a push to retake districts of the capital from bands of Free Syrian Army irregulars.

In a further sign of military demoralization, Three more brigadier generals (a lower rank of general in Syria) defected to Turkey this weekend, joining two dozen others who had left before.

Agence France Presse reports that the Free Syrian Army has taken the second of three major border crossings from Iraq to Syria, at al-Ya`ribiya/ Qa’im. The Iraqi authorities in Ninevah Province promptly closed the crossing from their side except for Iraqi refugees who want to return home from Syria. (Several hundred thousand Iraqi refugees had been in Syria, fleeing sectarian and political violence at home).

Thousands of Iraqis are now fleeing Syria. I’ve seen it alleged on twitter that Iraqi Shiites in the Sitt Zainab district of Damascus have been threatened by Sunni rebels. Sunni clerics and activists have for some years complained of missionary work by Iraqi Shiite refugees in Syria, aimed at converting local populations to orthodox Twelver Shiism from Sunnism or the Alawite folk religion. I don’t know whether the allegation has any truth to it, but it is widely believed by Sunnis and may be one reason the more hard line Sunni rebels are eager to see the Iraqi Shiites leave. The rebels may also suspect the Iraqi Shiites of favoring the Alawite Shiite elite in the Baath Party, though I think any such fear must be overblown.

If the FSA can take the third crossing from Iraq, at Walid, they can control truck traffic into Syria from Iraq, starving the regime. The border is long and porous, but big trucks need metalled roads, which are few and go through the checkpoints. Some 70% of goods coming into Syria were coming from Iraq, because Europe cut off trade with the Baath regime of Bashar al-Assad. The rebels are increasingly in a position to block that trade or direct it to their strongholds.


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Syria uses helicopters to battle rebels in capital

July 17th, 2012 Comments off

This image made from amateur video released by the Ugarit News and accessed Sunday, July 15, 2012, purports to show Free Syrian Army soldiers clashing with Syrian government forces in Damascus, Syria. Syrian troops and rebels clashed inside Damascus for a second day on Monday, causing plumes of black smoke to drift over the city's skyline in some of the worst violence in the tightly controlled capital since the country's crisis began 16 months ago. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) TV OUT, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIALSyrian government forces backed by helicopter gunships battled rebels in heavy clashes with rebels in Damascus, a clear escalation in the most serious fighting in the capital since the country's conflict began last year, activists said.

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Violence engulfs Syrian capital

July 17th, 2012 Comments off

Syrian opposition activists block the roads with burning tires in Damascus' Jobar neigbourhoodHelicopter gunships on Tuesday strafed Damascus neighbourhoods and blasts shook another district hours after rebels announced the launch of a full-scale offensive on the capital, activists said.

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Syria Spirals down

July 3rd, 2012 Comments off

The news out of Syria is bad and worse. The regime is being accused of widespread torture, and it is having to fight the rebels on the doorstep of the capital.

Human Rights Watch has mapped out the torture centers used by the Syrian government and identified the various techniques used on dissidents by the secret police. SMH has a good summary. Human Rights Watch says that the evidence is strong that the Syrian state is systematically practicing torture on a significant scale, and points out that this policy is a crime against humanity.

The Syrian military deployed helicopter gunships against Douma on Monday, a town on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus. Syrian troops had already stormed the town and there were bodies in the street, so the helicopters were involved in a mop-up operation.

In a one-day record, some 85 Syrian military personnel escaped to Turkey Monday, along with 300 family members. Six were officers, and one was a brigadier general (a one-star in American terms, i.e. not very high ranking).

Also on Monday, a television anchor for the regime news channel defected, and revealed that he had been for some time providing the opposition with the raw news stories

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Syrian forces deploy tanks, helicopters

May 25th, 2012 Comments off

An image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows an anti-regime demonstration in the Daraa provinceTens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Friday as more than 30 people were reportedly killed across Syria, while security forces deployed tanks and helicopter gunships against rebels.

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Why a No-Fly Zone won’t Work in Syria

October 29th, 2011 Comments off

Syrian troops fired into peaceful demonstrations in Hama and Homs on Friday. Repression of protests yesterday is estimated to have cost 40 lives. The BBC reports that some demonstrators are calling for a “no-fly zone” imposed by the international community on Syria. (The BBC video shows a sign demanding a hazr jawwi or aerial curfew.)

This wish for outside intervention on the part of some street protesters contrasts with the position of the opposition Syrian National Council, which has steadfastly rejected foreign meddling in Syria

There are many reasons for which the protesters will not get their wish for a no-fly zone over Syria.

Most important, a no-fly zone is not a practical response to the Baath government’s repression. On Friday, troops just shot into the crowds. Unlike Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad is not bombing his cities with jets from the air. Nor are helicopter gunships or tank units central to the coercive abilities of the Syrian state. Syrian geography is complex, and plinking tanks from the air is not an option in Syria.

A further consideration is that Syria is in conflict with Israel, and taking out its anti-aircraft abilities would so weaken it as to encourage Israeli adventurism. Libya was not at war with its neighbors this spring and summer and so an intervention there did not upset regional balances of power.

There is no Arab League resolution urging intervention in Syria. There is no United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing war. In the absence of a UNSC resolution, any attack on Syria would be considered an act of aggression and could open US politicians and military men to prosecution in international courts.

Russia and China are against Western intervention, which dooms any condemnatory resolution at the UN security council. In international law since 1945, especially in the UN charter, the only grounds for going to war are self-defense or as a result of a UNSC resolution. Neither obtains in Libya and any foreign intervention would therefore be illegal, and the pilots could be tried in international courts.

It breaks my heart to say all this. The youth of Syria is being cold-bloodedly shot down by army snipers. You wish there was a way to stop it. But there isn’t. There isn’t a practical set of military tactics outsiders could deploy effectively in this situation. There is no international framework of legality for an intervention.

But it should be remembered that the political wing of the Syrian opposition in any case does not want such an intervention, and that most Syrians are determined to go it alone. They want to do what the Tunisians and Egyptians did. They should be given a chance, since that would be the best outcome possible.

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The Libyan conundrum: Don’t let him linger | The Economist []

March 4th, 2011 Comments off

As reluctant as I am about intervention, this is a reasonable compromise: "But if the Libyan regime starts killing people in their thousands—and especially if it uses helicopter gunships or aircraft—diplomatic reluctance should melt away. Too often the world has dithered open-mouthed as evil men have slaughtered Darfuris or Rwandans with impunity. Outsiders, led by the UN, must help Libya’s emerging transitional councils with humanitarian aid. The UN Security Council may yet have to be persuaded to restore peace by invoking the ample power of Chapter VII. And if that proves unattainable, the widest possible coalition of the willing, ideally including Libya’s Arab neighbours, must protect Libyan civilians by arming the opposition and defending them from aerial attack."
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