woensdag 9 januari 2013

Mijn losse-Syrië-wapens-flodders en signaleringen her-en-der

On this blog information is collected about arms in Syria and neighbouring countries and cartoons are used as illustrations. Broekstukken is not agreeing with all text and pictures, but reproducing them as a service to readers.

Syria: how we can end the bloodshed
Israel's attack on Syria shows how volatile this conflict is. A political solution is now urgent, by  The Guardian

Russia will on Tuesday land two planes in Lebanon to evacuate more than 100 of its citizens from Syria, in a significant blow to the credibility of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Along with Iran, Russia has been the main ally of Mr Assad since the start of the conflict in March 2011. It has remained Syria’s biggest arms supplier and maintained a small naval base on Syria’s Mediterranean coast at Tartus. Moscow has routinely used its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to shield his regime from sanctions.

Alex Spillius, Diplomatic Correspondent and Tom Parfitt in Moscow, 'Russia to evacuate citizens from Syria,' The Telegraph 22 januari 2013.

While the Al-Nusrah Front has influence in the rural areas of Aleppo and Idlib, the Aleppo-based Al-Faruq Brigades is considered one of the most important Syrian fighter factions "owing to the heavy arms it had seized from the 46th Regiment, which fell under the control of the opposition two months ago," according to leading sources close to Al-Faruq [Brigades]. Sources have told Al-Sharq al-Awsat that this battalion "possesses [Russian-made anti-tank] Metis missiles. It fired some of them on the Police Academy during the last battle at the academy, under the leadership of Captain Ammar Sa'd-al-Din. It also has the 130-mm Howitzers. It took part in shelling the Idlib-based Taftanaz Military Airport during the siege before the airport was taken over yesterday."

Assassination of key Syrian rebel figure draws fears of infighting, Text of report by Saudi-owned leading pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on January, Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, January 18, 2013

Lebanon minister’s convoy attacked, 11 wounded
January 18, 2013 12:25 PM (Last updated: January 18, 2013 06:45 PM)
By Misbah al-Ali
The Daily Star

The Army has deployed in the area on several occasions over clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government, but Charbel said the “issue was bigger than the military, security forces and the Lebanese government.”

In an earlier chat with reporters at Karami's residence, Charbel said political cover should be lifted from gunmen in the city.

“When [political] cover is lifted then we can resolve the issue of armed individuals,” he said.

Charbel said the incident was a result of shortcomings by the government and security forces but said political figures could no longer control their supporters who he said were heavily armed.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2013/Jan-18/202780-gunfire-roads-blocked-in-north-lebanon.ashx#ixzz2IR471dNs (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Hoe ver reiken Patriots? Over het bereik van de Patriotsystemen meldt nrc.next (8 januari) het volgende: ,,Defensie stelt officieel dat de Patriot PAC-3 niet hoger komt dan 20 kilometer en niet verder dan 60 kilometer. Onafhankelijke bronnen zeggen echter dat de PAC-3 meer kan: een ballistische raket op 30 kilometer hoogte raken en op 160 kilometer afstand gevechtsvliegtuigen en kruisraketten raken".

Naar aanleiding van de Turkijemissie werden feitelijke vragen gesteld over het effectieve horizontale en verticale bereik van de Nederlandse, Duitse en Amerikaanse Patriots. De regering schreef: ,,Het begrip 'effectief bereik' slaat op het bereik waarbinnen een onderschepping door een Patriotraket op effectieve wijze kan plaatsvinden. Dit gebied is vanwege de afstand van de locatie van de Nederlandse systemen tot aan de grens met Syrië beperkt tot Turks grondgebied".

Als de informatie van uw onafhankelijke bron klopt, dan is het antwoord van de regering op de feitelijke Kamervragen op zijn minst misleidend. Dat is relevant omdat hieruit volgt dat vanuit de huidige plaatsingslocatie een no-fly zone kan worden ingesteld boven Syrisch grondgebied.

Karel Koster (Wetenschappelijk bureau SP, Brieven, NRC.Next, 17 januari 2013.

Australia has effectively ruled out any contribution to arming the rebels. Mr Hague played down any suggestion of a difference of opinion between Australia and Britain, saying an end to the arms embargo merely gave "flexibility" to send life-saving equipment such as body armour or chemical detection equipment to the rebels."But how much we want to use that flexibility will depend on the situation. Our efforts are directed to a peaceful diplomatic and political solution in Syria. We don't believe there is a solution from the military victory of one side over another. That would leave Syria in an even more catastrophic position."Senator Carr said that Australia would present its plan for protecting medical workers and ensuring access to hospitals in Syria to the United Nations Security Council on Friday.

 David Wroe, 'Perfect storm' fears on Middle East', The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 18 januari 2013.

15 januari 2013

Recently, Sakr 122mm cargo rockets and their submunitions have been ‘Grad
’, or ‘hail’) and other 122mm systems such as the Chinese Type 81 SPRL and Egyptian RL-21 and RC-21 launch vehicles. These surface-to-surface multiple rocket launcher systems are not designed for precise fires, but instead target wide areas; this effect is, of course, even more pronounced when firing submunition-dispensing rockets from these systems. Despite multiple reports to the contrary, these munitions are not Iranian, but were produced in Egypt at the Sakr Factory for Development Industries, a subsidiary of the Egyptian Arab Organization for Industrialization(AOI). The AOI logo can be seen very clearly on the rocket in the video below, and the full name along with ‘Sakr Factory’ can be seen printed on the rockets in Arabic in the images at the bottom of this article.Van: 2013/01/15/sakr-122mm-cargo-rockets-submunitions-in-syria/ Zie ook: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/14/syria-army-using-new-type-cluster-munition

14 januari 2013

Arm Syrian insurgents, says Rudd;  Australia-British talks

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says the international community should consider arming Syrian rebels in a bid to end its bloody civil war.

But the Gillard Government flatly rejected the idea that Australia might help supply the weapons and said it was only willing to provide medical aid to the war's victims.

Mr Rudd's comments come before the British defence and foreign secretaries meet Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr in Perth this week for talks on, Iran and regional security.

Mr Rudd, who has previously called for stronger action against the Syrian regime, said the world should deploy all available options to save lives.

If that means relevant states with the capacity to provide to the Syrian national coalition to protect themselves, then so be it, Mr Rudd said.

Last week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he would lobby the European Union to lift an Syria, which could open the way for Britain to provide weapons to Syrian rebels.

Syria is well past the point of being a humanitarian crisis, it is on the road to becoming a crime against humanity, Mr Rudd said.

12 januari 2013

BEIRUT: A Syrian rebel group that the US has labelled an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Iraq appears on the verge of overrunning a government airbase used to launch helicopter strikes against rebel-held areas in Syria's north.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the offensive at Taftanaz, an airbase near the road that links the Syrian cities of Idlib and Aleppo, is being led by the Nusra Front, which the US State Department designated a terrorist organisation last month.

Ahrar al-Sham, another rebel group that, like the Nusra Front, wants to establish an Islamic state in Syria, is participating in the offensive, according to its internet postings.

A US State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, offered an upbeat assessment of the rebel advance on Thursday, saying the likely takeover of the base was a sign the abilities of the ''armed opposition'' were growing.
She did not acknowledge in her remarks the assault on the base was spearheaded by the Nusra Front. State Department spokesmen did not respond to later requests for comment.

The latest fighting came as Britain said it would urge the European Union to ''amend'' its arms embargo on Syria to allow equipment such as body armour and chemical detectors to be given to the rebel alliance.
Last November, Britain ensured that the EU arms embargo on Syria was extended for only three months instead of a year.

The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said when this measure comes up for renewal before March 1, it should be watered down to allow the option of supplying a broader range of non-lethal equipment.

''We should send a strong signal to [Syrian leader Bashar al-] Assad that all options are on the table. We will therefore seek to amend the EU sanctions so that the possibility of additional assistance is not closed off,'' he said.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/rebels-linked-to-alqaeda-set-to-take-syrian-airbase-20130111-2cl7s.html

8 januari 2013

Salih Musallam, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Union party, which actually holds the reins of power on the ground in the Kurdish areas in Syria, said:

"We, the Kurdish people, were part of the Syrian revolution and are still in revolt against the Syrian regime. From the beginning, the Kurds made the decision to stick to a peaceful revolution while reserving the right to defend themselves. This is what we have been doing in our areas up to this day. Tens of thousands took to the streets and still take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations in our areas. When the Syrian regime forces attacked the demonstrators, we defended our people and many of our people were martyred. Our basic decision was to refuse arming the demonstrators because we realized from the beginning that if we waged an armed revolution while the Syrian authorities and security agencies had all types of weapons at their disposal, they would handle the demonstrators and protesters with utmost savagery. In terms of weapons, we were the weaker party and we were convinced that if we entered armed struggle against the regime, we would certainly need a foreign power to supply us with arms. We avoided this because we did not want others to impose on us their will and agenda as is happening today. It was not our fault, but the fault of the other party. The party in the Arab areas was unable to maintain the peaceful nature of the revolution, and some parties, particularly Turkey, succeeded in dragging the rebels to the current situation. Turkey succeeded in making the peaceful revolution deviate from its path. What is happening today is deviation by the revolution from its path and turning into a struggle for power. This situation makes us fear the future. The revolution no longer demands freedom and democracy; it is now struggle for power. There are people who want a dictator to quit to replace him with another dictator."
BBC Monitoring Middle East (part of text of report by Saudi-owned leading pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 5 January)

De drie No's. De Syrische Saraa Saleh studeerde architectuur in de havenstad Latakia in het westen van Syrië. In 2001 kwam ze naar België om te studeren aan de KU Leuven, waar ze een master en later een doctoraat over Romeinse amfitheaters in Syrië behaalde aan de faculteit oosterse studies. Nu werkt ze aan de faculteit Arabistiek en Islamkunde en het Instituut voor Levende Talen van de KU Leuven. Sinds 2006 woont ze met uitzondering van de zomermaanden permanent in België. MO* sprak met haar over de situatie in Syrië: 'Ik geloof in de drie No's: neen tegen tirannie, neen tegen geweld en neen tegen buitenlandse (militaire) interventie.'

4 januari 2013

Smuggled Gaza-Bound Missiles US-Made? Maybe Not

Egyptian authorities say that the six anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles they seized from alleged smugglers headed for Gaza were of U.S. origin – but weapons proliferation experts cast doubt on the claim.The weapons, which were intercepted in the Sinai desert, were believed to have come from Libya and to have been manufactured by U.S. firms, Egyptian security sources told reporters.

But Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, who tracked weapons in Libya after the fall of Gadhafi, said he "was not aware of any American weapons in Libya neither from the days of Gadhafi nor under the rebels."

"This is probably a misidentification of weapons systems, confusing weapons made by NATO allies such as France and Italy with U.S.-made weapons," said Bouckaert.