Skip to comments.Syria rebels capture northern Raqqa city
Posted on 03/05/2013 6:00:00 AM PST by bert
Syrian rebels battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad overran al-Raqqa after days of fierce fighting, and were now in "near-total control" of the northern city, activists said.
The fall of Raqqa, located on the Euphrates River, on Monday is a significant development in the two-year-old revolt against Assad. The rebels do not claim to hold any other provincial capitals.
Residents in Raqqa destroyed a statue of late President Hafez al-Assad (Bashar's father), according to amateur video footage distributed by activists.
Rebel fighters said loyalist forces were still dug in at the provincial airport 60 km from the city and they remained a threat. A resident said that a Syrian military intelligence compound was not in rebel hands but was surrounded by anti-Assad fighters.
"This is the first provincial capital in Syria where rebels have made such progress. They now have near-total control of Raqqa city, except for some regime positions, including the military security and Baath party headquarters," Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP news agency.
Activists said a police chief was killed and two senior security officials captured by the rebels.
"Rebels took the state security chief to Turkey," Abdel Rahman said, noting that the road linking Raqqa to Turkey, including the border crossing at Tal al-Abyad, was under rebel control.
Raqqa was once home to 240,000 residents, but some 800,000 people forced to flee violence in other parts of Syria have sought shelter there ever since the start of the conflict.
In recent weeks, rebel fighters cut off all the army's supply routes leading to the city and escalated their attacks on checkpoints and other regime positions.
Elsewhere, Syrian troops on Monday launched a major assault to capture rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs.
Regular troops backed by pro-regime fighters attacked the centre of Homs where rebels are holed up, including the Old City and neighbourhoods of Jouret al-Shiah, Khaldiyeh and Qarabees, it said.
Activists told Al Jazeera that the fighting in the embattled city was the worst since months, adding that scores of regime soldiers and rebels were killed
I take this to be progress.
Raqqa City. Doesn’t some giant multinational umbrella corporation have a major research facility there?
2 years of figthing with the Western World siding with the rebels and Assad is still holding on. He’s way stronger than the numbers seem to represent. Clearly his minority government has significant support.
The Arab “Spring” has been a nightmare for Christians and other ME minority groups. So far where is the progress?
I certainly wouldn’t take this as “progress”. When a Muslim Brotherhood based regime is in charge, it will make Asaad look like a saint.
Dissidents proving they can control supply corridors or at least disrupt them enough to drain the manpower of a centralized despotic state. God I hope America never has a “Spring.”
One side is supported by Iran, the other by Al Qaeda - there'll be no "progress" with either.
One side is supported by Iran and Russia, the other by Al Qaeda and NATO- there'll be no "progress" with either.
Now it's even more baffling.
Yesterday, The US Secretary of State sat down with the GCC in Saudi Arabia and in effect joined their effort publicly. There was likely US involvement all along, but it is now public.
Check this ........
"US and Saudi send warnings to Iran and Syria" http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/03/201334122024169854.html
Look at that aristocratic bony finger point.
Rebels? I’m surprised AllJazz just doesn’t call them freedom fighters instead of the islamoscum they really are. Send both sides more ammo!
Then explain this to me.....
I was aware of your ‘additions’, it’s just that i happen to reduce them solely to the ‘bottom-line’ important ones. I could care less who Russia or NATO support, as long as those two others are involved, that’s all that matters.
...overran al-Raqqa after days of fierce fighting, and were now in "near-total control" ...a significant development in the two-year-old revolt... rebels do not claim to hold any other provincial capitals. Residents in Raqqa destroyed a statue of late President Hafez al-Assad... fighters said loyalist forces were still dug in at the provincial airport 60 km from the city and they remained a threat... a Syrian military intelligence compound was not in rebel hands but was surrounded by anti-Assad fighters... Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP news... "Rebels took the state security chief to Turkey," ...noting that the road linking Raqqa to Turkey, including the border crossing at Tal al-Abyad, was under rebel control... some 800,000 people forced to flee violence in other parts of Syria have sought shelter [in Raqqa] ...Syrian troops on Monday launched a major assault to capture rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs.Raqqa when the walls fell ping.
There was a German intelligence report that estimated about 90% of the rebel fighters were foreigners. This isn’t a civil war it’s a foreign invasion by Sunni extremists to isolate irans influence in the region. This is the gcc al Qaeda sponsoring states vs Iran. To be honest my main enemy is militant Sunni Islam not just because they have been our enemy since 9/11 but throughout history they believe down to their core that they need to forcefully convert and conquer the world. They are doing this currently in a peaceful manner by attempting to outbreed Europeans. I always see articles about how Muslims have a higher birthrate but what is also much more important than the rate is the age at which they marry, I know loads of Muslims that are going back to their home countries and getting married to 15 year olds and then importing their whole families back. I know we are taught to be tolerant but when there is an obvious clash of civilization then you need to call it as it is. For me I see it this way: Iran is by far more tolerant when it comes to other minority religions even having beautiful churches and christian Iranians as well as Jewish Iranians and a Jewish member of parliament. Look at the tolerance of wahabist Saudi Arabia who believe that even acting in a friendly manner to someone not Sunni is going against god. They are so extreme that they believe it’s permissible to kill even Sunni Muslims if they feel that they are not following the religion properly. We need to be careful which horse we are backing here, neither horse for as long as possible would be good but in the end of the day The Assad regime being able to stay in power and ensuring that minorities will atleast still have a place in a country in the Middle East is the best course of action. I think by far the biggest threat to our future is Sunni Islam and its on a scale that make the nazis look like choir boys.
>>There was a German intelligence report that estimated about 90% of the rebel fighters were foreigners. This isnt a civil war its a foreign invasion by Sunni extremists to isolate irans influence in the region. <<
Exactly. Iran, Assad might be evil but they pose little to no threat outside their near abroad. Neither Alawites nor Mullahs has plans to expand into Europe or elsewhere. Both Iran and Syria has Christian and Jewish minorities which is for some reason not present at all in “friendly” Saudi Arabia.
Al-Qaeda and Saudis with their crap are absolute different story.
People are very ignorant judging Middle East by media reports and posture of their leaders.
It is not Iran’s agents who preach hate in Dearborn and NJ. It wasn’t Iran’s nationals who did 9/11 as well.
Once again, I’m not about to say I love Ahmadinejad here but he is a clown and has to be treated accordingly. So was Q-duffy. He has gone and what next? Both secular dictators and Shia leaders are useful idiots in a good sense, to counter much greater evil of Worldwide Jihad which is the same threat as Commintern at the time. The difference is jihaddis are much more bloodlusting than commies ever been.
Know your enemy. Know enemies of your enemies and use it against each other. Nothing is absolute there. I pray for Assad troops to make it. So does all Christians in the Middle East.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.