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ISRAEL INVADES GAZA: HEAVY FIGHTING AS TANKS CROSS BORDER – ARMOUR AND INFANTRY, BACKED BY JETS AND HELICOPTERS, LAUNCH OPERATION TO SEIZE HAMAS ROCKET SITES, AS MILIBAND DECLARES URGENT NEED FOR IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

Sunday, 4 January 2009

by Donald Macintyre and Kim Sengupta in Jerusalem

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

SHALON

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

BG EXEC LEAVES AFTER REVIEW OF SHARE DEALINGS – The head of BG Group’s Asian, African and Middle Eastern operations has left the company after an internal investigation found he committed “serious errors of judgment” in relation to his share dealings

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

December 24, 2008

by Ross Kelly – Dow Jones

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AFRICA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, MIDDLE EAST, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BEIRUT BOURSE TRACKS LOSSES ABROAD (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

BlomInvest, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: With the deepening world recession, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) continued to mimic the performance regional Arab stock exchanges that on average have fallen around 43 percent from the start of the year.

On a weekly basis, total volume of trades increased 48 percent to 1.29 million shares as investors rushed to liquidate their portfolios. But the corresponding value decreased 33 percent to $10.29 million on declining share prices that sank the BLOM Stock Index to a 52-week low of 1,183 with a year-to-date drop of 21 percent.

Of the 26 listed stocks on the Beirut Stock Exchange, 11 stocks exchanged hands this past week, of which 2 went up and 9 decreased. Solidere stocks represented 64.9 percent of the total value traded.

The banking sector accounted for the remaining 35.1 percent. In the banking sector, BLOM GDR dropped this week by 2.08 percent to $68.4 after trading 7,830 shares at $533,187. Audi Bank’s GDR stock went down by 3.65 percent to close at $54.1 following trades of 9,460 shares with a value of $518,676. Byblos Bank’s common stock increased slightly this week by 0.61 percent to $1.65 recording a volume of 566,400 shares valued at $939,953. On the other hand, its preferred stock class 2008 dropped by 2 percent to $97.9. Solidere stocks remained vulnerable this week as its A shares dipped 4.58 percent to close at $16.66, Solidere B also dropped 2.65 percent to $16.87.

As described last week, the overall situation on the Beirut Stock Exchange remains volatile and vulnerable to the ongoing financial crisis.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in ALGERIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, LYBIA, MIDDLE EAST, MOROCCO, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

WISE UP OR LOSE OUT, GM TELLS PARTS SUPPLIERS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

PORT ELIZABETH Thursday December 4, 2008

by Bob Kernohan – BUSINESS EDITOR

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

SMALL vehicle component suppliers need to smarten up or face the possibility of closing because they increasingly risk being uncompetitive, a motor company executive cautioned in Mandela Bay this week.

General Motors SA global purchasing and supply chain vice-president Evan Dold was speaking about the need for the vehicle manufacturing industry at all levels to become totally world competitive.

He said the cost of components in a vehicle made up 75% to 85% of the total.

Dold said studies carried out by GMSA in the second quarter had shown that there was an ex-factory “cost gap” of about 30% between a sample of parts sourced locally and the same parts sourced from the most competitive cost location in the Latin America, Africa, Middle East region, under which GM‘s SA operations fall.

He said further: “When sourced from the lowest cost sources globally, such as from emerging markets like Thailand, the gap increased to about 40%.”

Dold suggested that domestic manufacturers could capitalise on the weakness of the rand and narrow the competitiveness gap by increasing domestic content, so also providing a stronger hedge against future currency weakness.

“Growing local content while volumes are down will be a challenge. But it is not all doom and gloom, and the weak rand will work in our favour.

“We should also use the downturn to eliminate unnecessary costs so that when the rand strengthens, we are more competitive and profitable.”

Domestic component production volumes also needed to increase.

“This is a particularly difficult challenge right now, but the industry has always been cyclical and at some stage the markets will start turning.

“Even with the downturn in volumes globally, the weak rand should assist some of our more competitive local suppliers to grow volumes through new export contracts.

“In some cases we can also grow volumes with our most competitive local suppliers by rationalising our supply base and re-sourcing business from less competitive suppliers.”

On increased volumes, Dold said: “Our studies have shown that a doubling of volumes will on average lower the piece part cost by some 10% to 20%, depending on actual volumes.”

Asked about the possible implications for small domestic suppliers of changes worldwide, Dold said it had to be realised that manufacturers were now “globally integrated”.

“For instance, when we are told of a price increase by a local supplier, that information goes into the pot and it is discussed in a global context.

“It has to be realised 85% of GM‘s global business is done with its top 350 suppliers.”

If GMSA‘s local suppliers provided the required quality, service and world-competitive costing, the company would continue to do business with them, Dold said. Otherwise, it could look to its worldwide supply base.

He urged smaller suppliers to take advantage of opportunities in areas like joint ventures with similar enterprises or “selling out” to multinational companies.

Dold pointed to some steel component manufacturers and the catalytic convertor industry as being success stories.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HERALD ON LINE’ (South Africa)

Posted in AFRICA, AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, LATIN AMERICA, METALS INDUSTRY, MIDDLE EAST, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THAILAND, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

ISRAELE: ATTACCHI DI RAZZI SU SDEROT E ASHQELON

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

22-11-2008 – 19:26

(ANSA) – TEL AVIV, 22 NOV – Alcuni razzi palestinesi sono stati lanciati stasera dalla striscia di Gaza in direzione delle citta’ israeliane di Sderot e Ashqelon.Lo affermano fonti locali secondo cui si sono udite quattro deflagrazioni. In diversi insediamenti ebraici a ridosso della striscia sono risuonate la sirene di allarme e la popolazione e’ andata nei rifugi. Fonti palestinesi aggiungono che alcune persone sono rimaste ferite a Beit Hanun,nel nord di Gaza,da una cannonata sparata da un carro armato israeliano.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘IL MESSAGGERO’ (Italy)

Posted in FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

FIRST UNOFFICIAL OBAMA POSITIONS ON NEW WAR STRATEGIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

by Walid Phares

As the transition in the United States between the administrations of Usama bin LadinGeorge W. Bush and Barack Obama is moving forward feverishly while world crises escalate, observers of conflicts are focusing on the messages emanating from the next foreign policy team in Washington.

The smooth passing of the torch from one leadership to another in the middle of unfinished wars and gigantic counterterrorism efforts is critical, especially if a strategic change of direction is on its way.

Analysts wonder about the nature of change to come: is it about managing battlefields or reducing them?

The first post election statements made by Obama sources – incorporated into a Washington Post article by Karen DeYoung published on Nov. 11, “Obama to Explore New Approach in Afghanistan War” – are very revealing.

Although these “conversations” with aides are still unofficial positions at the formal level, one must read them as the first salvo in setting the tone and guidelines for early 2009.

Thus, and in order to engage in a national discussion on what seems to be the near future, we must analyze these propositions one by one and contrast them with the intensity of the evolving threat.

Therefore, the following are early comments on the emerging new policies.

The Washington Post article began by stating that the Obama administration is planning on “exploring a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan including possible talks with Iran.” Citing Obama national security advisers, the Post added that the new strategy “looks favorably on the nascent dialogue between the Afghan government and ‘reconcilable’ elements of the Taliban.”

These two so-called strategic components of the forthcoming administration’s plan to end the conflict in central Asia deserve a high level of attention and thorough examination. In a post Sept. 11, 2001 environment – meaning seven years into a confrontation with jihadist forces – not only experts but a large segment of the American public has developed a higher awareness of the threat of the enemy and of its long-term objectives. Arguments in foreign policy analysis are not as alien as they were to citizens prior to the 2001 attacks. Many Americans know who the Taliban are and what their goals are, and they know as well of the dangerous fantasies of the mullah regime in Tehran.

A new strategy in the region covering Pakistan and Iran is indeed needed to achieve advances in defeating the jihadis and in empowering the democracy forces in Afghanistan.

If the Bush administration was too slow in reaching that conclusion, then one would expect the Obama foreign policy team to bridge the gap and quickly arrive at a successful next stage.

But the “regional” proposition unveiled by the Washington Post defies logic, instead of consolidating it.

For I wonder on what grounds the Iranian regime would shift from a virulent anti-U.S. attitude to a favorable team player in stabilizing Afghanistan? Even the gurus of classical realism would wonder.

If a deal is possible with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it cannot be on establishing a democratic government in Kabul. It simply doesn’t add up knowing the essence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its oppressive nature.

Therefore, and before the new administration even begins to sell the idea, it is important for all to realize that any Afghan deal cut with Iran must assume that the next regime in Kabul will satisfy the agenda in Tehran: meaning non-democratic. This is the first hurdle.

Amazingly, the second proposition simultaneously would invite the Taliban (postulating that a milder wing indeed exists) to share power in the country as a way to end the conflict. More problems emerge here: first, if the “good” Taliban are brought to the deal (assuming this is even feasible), what happens with the “bad” Taliban? Will the latter just “go away” or will there be a fight between the “good and the bad” factions? And how can the new strategy end the new Afghan war and will we come to the rescue of the nice jihadists against the ugly ones? Obviously, it doesn’t add up either.

Second, assuming there would be a partial re-Talibanization of Afghanistan, how could this co-exist with the Iranians? The same Washington Post article quoted the same advisers, underscoring that “The Iranians don’t want Sunni extremists in charge of Afghanistan any more than we do.”

How can the architects reconcile bringing in the Iranians for help and, at the same time, inviting the “Sunni extremists” to be sitting in Kabul? This construct doesn’t fly on mere logic.

As I wondered in an interview with Fox News the same day, are the new foreign policy planners talking about changing the strategy or changing the enemy?

The most logical ally against most of the Taliban should be the democratically-elected government in Pakistan, which is already waging a campaign against al-Qaida and its Taliban allies. Why would Washington replace this potential ally (regardless of all mishaps) with two foes: the non-democratic regime of Iran and a faction of the totalitarian Taliban?

In this dizzying maze a la 1990s, one begins to wonder if we are flipping the enemy into an ally, and vice versa, merely so that the slogan of “change” is then materialized. My feeling is that post electoral political pressures are so intense that it may produce a recipe for greater confusion and even disaster.

The problem is not the idea of “talking” to any of the players, including the current foes; engaging in contacts is always an option and has always been practiced. The problem is the perception by the new U.S. officials (and even current ones) that we can simply and naively “create” the conditions that we wish, regardless of the intentions of the other side. When reading these suggestions, one concludes that they were conceived on paper as unilateral designs lacking any strategic understanding of the enemy.

Take two examples as a starter: first, if you want to engage the so-called “acceptable” Taliban into a national unity government in Kabul (which is not an impossible idea theoretically), did you incorporate what their minimal demands are? And can your analysis of the jihadis’ long-term strategy produce a projection over four to six years of a return of these jihadis to power? I don’t think so.

Second, if you wish to enlist Iran as a partner in Afghanistan, will you be able to continue with the sanctions over its nuclear program? Obviously not. Thus the bottom line is that the price for befriending Tehran in Kabul is to allow it to reach its nuclear military ambitions. If it is otherwise, the upcoming foreign policy team has a lot of explaining to do.

Another interesting statement made by an adviser, according to the Washington Post, was that “the incoming administration intends to remind Americans how the fight “against Islamist extremists” began – on Sept. 11, 2001, before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – and to underscore that al-Qaida remains the nation’s highest priority. “This is our enemy,” one adviser said of Bin Laden, “and he should be our principal target.”

Although as a reader I am not sure if DeYoung was discussing the new strategies in the war with the same “source,” the latter, stronger sentence is of great value for future inquiries. For if indeed the incoming administration intends to remind U.S. citizens that the fight is “against Islamist extremists,” then this would be a good bridge to the Bush administration’s bold rhetoric, which ended in 2006.

If the Obama administration “change” in strategy is to redefine the confrontation in the precise manner the adviser did, then we will be lucky. If that is the case, then we would hope and expect the new administration to repel the irresponsible “lexicon” disseminated by bureaucrats within the Bush administration and instead issue a strong document identifying the threat as stated in the Washington Post article, explaining once and for all the ideology of bin Laden so that indeed we can understand “our principal target.”

These early remarks are aimed at helping the Obama administration from its inception to clearly strategize and target so that the next four, and maybe eight years, will be a leap forward in protecting this country and in defending democracy worldwide.

This is only a glimpse of conversations to come about America’s national security and the hope to see a real qualitative change for the best.

(*) – Dr. Walid Phares is the director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of “The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad”.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in AL QAEDA, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MIDDLE EAST, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

SEN. CLINTON’S VIEWS ON U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

Saturday November 15, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sen. Hillary Clinton has emerged as a candidate for U.S. secretary of state – SENATOR HILLARY CLINTONthe top diplomat in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama, who defeated her for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Here are some views on foreign policy issues expressed by Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton.

IRAQ

“Ending the war in Iraq is the first step toward restoring the United States’ global leadership,” Clinton wrote a year ago in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine. U.S. troops had to be brought home safely and stability restored to the region, she said.

But on the campaign trail, Clinton was more reluctant than Obama to commit to a firm timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. She refused to apologize for her 2002 Senate vote authorizing the war, but did say she would like to have that vote back to do over.

AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN AND AL QAEDA

During the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the United States should focus more on improving security in Afghanistan. She has called for greater U.S. troop deployments there. She also has suggested a U.S. envoy who could shuttle between the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to help them in their efforts against a resurgent Taliban and al Qaeda presence in their countries.

IRAN

A big question for Obama’s secretary of state will be how to approach Iran. The Bush administration, which accuses Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb and helping militant groups in Iraq, has generally HILLARY RODHAM CLINTONshunned contacts with Tehran.

During the Democratic presidential primary campaign, Clinton charged that Obama’s willingness to meet leaders of Iran, Syria and North Korea was evidence of his naivete about foreign policy. She has threatened to “obliterate” Iran if it uses nuclear weapons against Israel.

But Clinton also has argued for engaging Iran, Syria and other countries of the region in talks about the future of Iraq. And one of her top foreign policy advisors, Richard Holbrooke, a former assistant secretary of state, suggested recently that U.S. contacts with Iran should start through private and confidential channels to determine if there is a basis for continuing.

MIDDLE EAST

Clinton stresses the need for Arab-Israeli peace, but is considered a favorite of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. She says the fundamentals are a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank in return for a declaration that the conflict is over, recognition of Israel’s right to exist, guarantees of Israeli security, diplomatic recognition of Israel and normalization of its relations with Arab states.

“U.S. diplomacy is critical in helping to resolve this conflict,” she said in her article in Foreign Affairs in November-December 2007. She said the United States should help get Arab support for a Palestinian leadership that is willing to engage in a dialogue with the Israelis.

RUSSIA AND ARMS CONTROL

“I think she would probably be tough-minded toward Russia,” said Kim Holmes, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the Heritage Foundation. “She has a reputation of being tough-minded generally, she is known and respected for that.”

Clinton has however criticized the Bush administration’s “obsessive” focus on “expensive and unproven missile defense technology” — one of the major points of contention recently in the U.S. relationship with Russia.

She favors further reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, and also favors U.S. Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

CHINA AND NORTH KOREA

Clinton has said the U.S. relationship with China will be the most important bilateral relationship in the world this century. Noting China’s support was important in reaching a multilateral deal to disable North Korea’s nuclear facilities, she says “we should build on this framework to establish a northeast Asian security regime.”

TRADE

Like Obama, Clinton has said the United States should either renegotiate or “opt out” of the North American Free Trade Agreement that was reached with Canada and Mexico during her husband’s administration. She also has called for a “timeout” from new trade agreements and a top-to-bottom review of trade policy.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR’ (Malaysia)

Posted in AFGHANISTAN, AL QAEDA, CHINA, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, IRAQ, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, NORTH KOREA, PAKISTAN, PALESTINE, RUSSIA, SYRIA, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

EARNINGS FROM POTASH EXPORTS SURGE TO JD301.4M (Jordan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 31, 2008

31 October 2008

AMMAN (Petra) – Earnings from potash exports rose to JD301.4 million during the first eight months of this year, according to the website of the Central Bank of Jordan. Exports during the January–August period of last year amounted to JD148.2 million. Potash ranked second among the country’s exports, after garments. The increase in earnings were attributed to higher potash prices and a slight rise in exported quantities. India, Malaysia and China were the principal importers of Jordan’s potash as they accounted for two-thirds of the exports.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘JORDAN TIMES’

Posted in ASIA, CHEMICALS (crude components), CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JORDAN, MALAYSIA, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a Comment »

US TROOPS ENTER SYRIA, KILL 8 CIVILIANS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 28, 2008

Number 3255 – Tue, Oct 28, 2008 – Aban 07 1387- Shavval 28 1429

American helicopter-borne troops from Iraq launched an assault on Sunday on a building in a Syrian A survivor of the US military attack on the Syrian village of Al-Sukkiraya on Oct. 26border village, killing eight civilians, official Syrian media reported.
“Four American helicopters violated Syrian airspace around 16:45 local time (1345 GMT) on Sunday. They penetrated eight kilometers (into Syria,“ official Syrian media said, AFP reported.
“American soldiers“ who had emerged from helicopters “attacked a civilian building under construction and fired at workmen inside, causing eight deaths,“ reports said. SANA named the dead and said they were a father and his four children, a couple and another man.
“The helicopters then left Syrian territory towards Iraqi territory,“ it said.
The news agency said one person was also wounded in the attack on the village of Al-Sukkiraya, around 550 kilometers northeast of the capital in the Abu Kamal area.
Earlier, the private television channel Al-Dunia said nine civilians had been killed in the attack. The raid appears to have been the first of its type into Syrian territory.
A US military official in Washington confirmed Sunday that special forces had conducted a raid in Syria that targeted the network of Al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq.
“We are taking matters into our own hands,“ the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.

Envoys Summoned

Syria summoned the US and Iraqi envoys to Damascus to protest against what it called a US military attack and to demand that Iraq prevent US forces from “launching aggression against Syria“ from its territory, official media said.
“Syria condemns and denounces this act of aggression and US forces will bear the responsibility for any consequences,“ SANA quoted an unidentified official as saying.
“Syria also demands that the Iraqi government accept its responsibilities and launch an immediate inquiry following this dangerous violation and forbids the use of Iraqi territory to launch attacks on Syria,“ it said. “We are in the process of investigating this“ reported attack, Sergeant Brooke Murphy, a US military spokeswoman, told AFP in Baghdad.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment. Commander Darryn James told AFP that there was “no response“ from the US Department of Defense about the Syrian reports.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry also refused to comment, on the grounds the incident took place inside Syria.
Syria’s first ambassador to Iraq in 26 years took up his post in Baghdad this month, marking the official end of more than two decades of icy relations.

In Desperation

Syria called the raid a “serious aggression,“ and its Foreign Ministry summoned the charges d’affaires Syrians mourn next the bodies of their relatives who were killed in a deadly US military attack on the village of Sukkiraya, on the Syria-Iraq border, Oct. 27of the United States and Iraq in protest.
Syrian parliament member Suleiman Hadad called the raid “a last-ditch hit by the defeated and desperate“ Bush administration, which is trying to “restore some of its lost dignity in the region.“
Government newspapers also published scathing criticisms in Monday’s editions. Tishrin splashed its front pages with a headline denouncing the raid as a “US war crime,“ while the Al-Baath newspaper described the attack in an editorial as a “stunning, shocking and unprecedented adventure.“
“Even while it’s preparing itself to leave the White House, the Bush administration seems determined to demonstrate its foolishness, and this is a dangerous indication of political madness and stupid arrogance,“ Al-Baath said.
Iran also condemned the attack, while Iraqi officials said they hoped the raid would not harm their relations with Syria.
“We are trying to contain the fallout from the incident,“ Iraqi Foreign Ministry undersecretary Labib Abbawi said. “It is regrettable and we are sorry it happened.“
Some Iraqi officials warned that the US military raid into Syria could be used by opponents of a security pact under negotiation with the United States.
“Now neighboring countries have a good reason to be concerned about the continued US presence in Iraq,“ prominent Kurdish politician Mahmoud Othman said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘IRAN DAILY’

Posted in INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, MIDDLE EAST, SYRIA, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

SYRIA HITS OUT AT ‘TERRORIST’ US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 27, 2008

Last updated at 16:30 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Syria’s foreign minister has accused the US of an act of “criminal and terrorist aggression” over what it Walid Muallem - We put the responsibility on the American government says was a helicopter raid on its territory.

Walid Muallem said Sunday’s attack saw four US aircraft travel eight miles inside Syrian airspace from Iraq and kill eight unarmed civilians on a farm.

He said those who died were a father and his three children, a farm guard and his wife, and a fisherman.

The US has not confirmed or denied the alleged raid.

However, a unnamed US official was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that its forces had mounted a “successful” raid against foreign fighters threatening US forces in Iraq.

The US has previously accused Syria of allowing militants into Iraq, but Mr Muallem insisted his country was trying to tighten border controls.

‘An opportunity’

Speaking at a news conference in London, Mr Muallem said the raid on the town of Abu Kamal was “not a mistake” and that he had urged the Iraqi government to investigate.

“We consider this criminal and terrorist aggression. We put the responsibility on the American In pictures - Grief and anger in Syria - CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO VIEW PICTURES OF THIS EVENT government,” he told reporters following talks with UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

He added: “All of them [the victims] are civilians, Syrian, unarmed and they are on the Syrian territories.

“Killing civilians in international law means a terrorist aggression.”

Asked if Syria would use force if a similar operation was mounted, he said: “As long as you are saying if, I tell you, if they do it again, we will defend our terrorities.”

Referring to the US presidential election, he said: “We hope the coming administration will learn the mistakes of this administration.”

Three children and a married couple were said to be among the dead

Mr Muallem and Mr Miliband were scheduled to hold a joint press conference, but Mr Miliband withdrew. The UK government has declined to comment on the raid.

The US official quoted by AFP said: “Look when you’ve got an opportunity, an important one, you take it.

“That’s what the American people would expect, particularly when it comes to foreign fighters going into Iraq, threatening our forces.”

 

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in INTERNATIONAL, MIDDLE EAST, SYRIA, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

FOREIGN MINISTRY SUMMONS US CHARGE D’AFFAIRES IN DAMASCUS, HOLDS US ADMINISTRATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DANGEROUS AGGRESSION IN ABU KAMAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008 – 09:45 PM

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – An official source on Sunday announced that four US helicopters coming from Iraq violated the Syrian airspaces over Abu Kamal area (al-Sukkariah Farm) targeting a civilian building, killing eight citizens.

The source identified the civilians killed in the aggression as Daoud Mohammad al-Abdullah and his four sons, in addition to Ahmad Khalifa, Ali Abbas Al-Hassan and his wife. Another citizen was also wounded, the source added. Later, the US helicopters flew back to the Iraqi airspace.

Syria, while condemning this act of aggression, holds the US forces responsible for this aggression and all of its repercussions, calls on the Iraqi government to shoulder its responsibilities and open an immediate investigation into this dangerous violation and prevent using the Iraqi territories for launching aggression on Syria.

The Deputy Foreign Minister summoned the Charge d ‘Affairs at the US Embassy in Damascus, informing her of Syria’s protest and condemnation of this dangerous aggression, holding the US administration full responsibility for it. The Iraqi Charge d’affaires has also been summoned to the Foreign Ministry for the same purpose.

Earlier, a media source said that four US military helicopters had violated the Syrian airspaces eight km over al-Sukkariah Farm, in Abu Kamal area at 4.45 P.M Sunday.

The US helicopters launched an aggression on a civilian building under construction and opened fire at the workers inside the building, killing eight civilians, including the wife of the building guard, and wounding another. The helicopters then left towards the Iraqi territories.

Mazen

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SYRIAN ARAB NEWS AGENCY’

Posted in INTERNATIONAL, MIDDLE EAST, SYRIA, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »