Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rebels beaten back by military counter offensives in ongoing civil war

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed confidence of victory against the rebels in the ongoing civil war that has ravaged his nation over the past two years. Assad made these comments at a visit to the town of Daraya, southwest of Damascus which was once overrun by insurgents that has since been retaken by his army.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, expressed confidence of victory against the rebels in the ongoing civil war that has ravaged his nation over the past two years.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, expressed confidence of victory against the rebels in the ongoing civil war that has ravaged his nation over the past two years.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Bashar al-Assad, regime, rebel forces, Darya


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The gesture appeared to be the remarks of a president who is taking the upper hand in a conflict after many Syrians saw him about to be ousted.

"If we were not sure that we were going to win in Syria, we would not have the ability to resist and the ability to continue fighting for more than two years against the enemy," Assad was quoted as saying.

While insurgents have seized large swathes of territory, Assad's forces have since staged a counter-offensive in recent weeks. Rebels have been pushed back from around the capital Damascus and have retaken several towns near the border with Lebanon.

Assad has called those who dare decry his family's four decades of iron-fisted rule as a foreign-backed conspiracy fought by Islamist "terrorists." When pro-democracy protests started in March 2011, a military crackdown eventually led to an armed insurrection.

A huge explosion hit a majority Alawite, which is the same sect as the president - neighborhood of the central city of Homs on Thursday, blasting a fireball hundreds of yards into the air, video posted on the Internet by opposition activists showed.

The blast killed at least 22 people including soldiers and civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group said.

United Nation investigators say Assad's forces have carried out war crimes including unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks and pillaging in what appears to be a state-directed policy. The other side of the coin is that anti-government rebels have also committed war crimes, including executions, but on a lesser scale.

Both sides accuse the other of using chemical weapons. A chemical weapons investigation team is scheduled to visit three sites where alleged attacks have occurred, the United Nations says.

It is hard to say if the trip will be able to establish who was behind the attacks. One attack in the northern town of Khan al-Assal was in March and samples of Sarin gas can degrade within weeks. Sarin is a fast-acting nerve agent that was originally developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide, and was used in the Tokyo subway attacks of 1995.

Weapons inspectors will only determine scientifically whether banned chemical agents were used in the 28-month-old conflict, and not who used them, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which works with the United Nations on inspections.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Middle East

War in all but name: Hezbollah rocket attack kills two Israeli soldiers, Israel responds with attacks of its own Watch

Image of Hezbollah launched a rocket attack on an Israeli military convoy which left seven injured and two dead.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Iranian-backed terrorist group that holds major political clout in Lebanon, Hezbollah, may have just fired the first shots of a war with Israel, which could plunge a delicately balanced region into all-out war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On January ... continue reading


'We will reach America!' ISIS threatens to behead Obama in an execution video (Warning: Graphic Content)

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America," states a black-clad ISIS militant in ISIS' latest beheading video. "Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This video, ... continue reading


Looking for any chance to execute non-Muslims, Islamic State makes new demands of Japan for release of one hostage Watch

Image of Kenji Goto appears to be still alive, for the time being, though if Japan does not secure the release of Sajida al-Rishawi from Jordan, he too will likely be executed.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has apparently killed one of the two Japanese men that it held hostage, releasing an image of what appears to be the decapitated body of one of the two men, and saying that it had killed one of its hostages after Japan failed to pay $200 million ... continue reading


Crucial U.S. ally against terrorism, Yemen's President resigns Watch

Image of Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's resignation, following his prime minister and Cabinet stepped down has left the region especially vulnerable.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's resignation, following his prime minister and Cabinet stepped down has left the region especially vulnerable. The resignations came a day after the government and Houthi rebels struck a peace deal meant to end days of ... continue reading


Airstrikes have killed 6,000 Islamic State militants, but signs suggest this won't save Iraq Watch

Image of The Islamic State has been hurt by U.S. airstrikes, but it may not be enough to save Iraq.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The American-led coalition that has been engaged in an ongoing campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State through much of 2014 has taken a "devastating" toll on the terrorist group, and a U.S. official recently releasing figures for the number of terrorists ... continue reading


Saudia Arabia's King Abdullah has died Watch

Image of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud has died.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud has died. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After suffering from pneumonia and being admitted to the hospital, King Abdullah passed away at 90-years-old.He became King in August 2005, but had been in charge of ... continue reading


Do not appease Iran! Democrat, Republican and Israeli leadership warn Obama about the dangers of a nuclear armed Iran Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before Congress on February 11 about the dangers that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the United States, Israel and the West.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel is set to come to the United States in February and give a speech before Congress about the dangerous issue of Iran. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Netanyahu has already been quite vocal in raising his concerns ... continue reading


Iran, Hezbollah plan 'imminent' joint invasion of Israel's northern Galilee region Watch

Image of Hezbollah said that Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of a prominent commander, and Mohammed Issa, funeral shown here, was responsible for the group's operations in Syria and Iraq and died alongside Tabatabai.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Israeli security sources claim that senior Iranian and Hezbollah figures killed in an airstrike in Syria this weekend were likely planning an "imminent" attack on Israel. Six Iranian army chiefs died alongside five Hezbollah militants when an Israeli helicopter ... continue reading


Yemeni president loses control as Shiite rebels storm the presidential palace Watch

Image of Shiite Houthi rebels have stormed the Yemeni presidential palace, and the Yemeni Minster of Information has declared that the president of Yemen has lost all control.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Yemen may next on the list of Middle Eastern countries whose leadership has changed, following the capture of the presidential palace in Sanna, by a group of Shitte Houthi rebels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack took place on January 20, and led to ... continue reading


'This knife will become your nightmare' ISIS demands $200 million in new hostage video (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Image of A man dressed in all black, with British accent, threatens the lives of two Japanese men in newest ISIS video.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two Japanese men are held hostage in the Islamic State's (ISIS) latest act of extremism. ISIS released a video demanding $200 million or the two hostages would be killed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa are featured in the video in ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter