Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/1/2013 (11 months 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 (11 months 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Middle East

'I will not let another Holocaust happen!' Sign the petition in support of Iraqi Christians forced to flee from persecution Watch

Image of Christians in Mosul embrace one another as they are forced to leave absolutely everything behind at gunpoint.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The plight of Iraq's Christians has now lasted longer than a decade, and recent militant uprisings in Mosul threaten to expunge the neighboring Chaldean-Assyrian-Syriac villages. Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul in droves, but some remain behind, awaiting their ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - Islamic Caliphate celebrates Eid with VIDEO OF MASS CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE Watch

Image of This video capture shows the moment an ISIS terrorist finishes the last man our of what appears to be hundreds systematically killed near Tikrit. Christians are next and may already be included in this number.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic Caliphate terrorists continue to produce and disseminate videos of their brutal executions. In their most recent release, they celebrate the arrival of Eid, the end of Ramadan, by rounding up and executing hundreds of young men, setting the macabre events ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC, RAW PHOTOS -- ISIS on Christians: 'There is nothing to give them but the sword' Watch

Image of Soldier's heads were hoisted on poles as they were killed in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has warned Christians, possibly for the last time, saying "there is nothing to give them but the sword." Across Northern Iraq, Christians are huddled in refugee camps, trapped in the desert, or trapped in their homes, waiting for death. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Drought now hammering war-torn Syria Watch

Image of The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures has affected agriculture and food production across the nation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On top of all the trials and tribulations facing war-torn Syria, a worsening drought there now has "dire humanitarian consequences for millions." The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures ... continue reading


'LEAVE US ALONE!' top Israeli official says to Obama Watch

Image of Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States and Israel remain the staunchest of allies, top Israeli official, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. "Leave us ... continue reading


Holy month of Ramadan ends with Eid Mubarak 2014 Watch

Image of Ramadan is an annual celebration held during the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar, starting after the sighting of the new moon.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The holy month of Ramadan ended this year as Muslims worldwide celebrated with prayer and food during the Eid al-Fitr festival this past Monday. The end of Ramadan 2014, the Islamic holy month of fasting, lasted for three days. The event marked the anniversary ... continue reading


Christians flee as Islamic ISIS gets ready for a 'Christian Holocaust' Watch

Image of Christians are fleeing for their lives in parts of northern Iraq where Islamic militants issued an ultimatum to convert or be killed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iraq will soon be a Christian free nation, the only vicar of the only Anglican church in that country warns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Canon Andrew White, also known as 'the bishop of Baghdad' gave this warning after the deadline set by Islamic militants to ... continue reading


Massive underground bunkers empower Hamas in Israeli conflict Watch

Image of Other than giving Hamas tax revenue and weapons, the tunnels supply in-demand civilian goods like food and medicine, as well as infrastructure materials including concrete and fuel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cut off from the rest of the world with three sides enforced by Israel and Egypt, coupled with shelling maintained by sea and in the air above its coastal strip, Gazans have found a way around their confinement by tunneling underground. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


BLOWN TO BITS: Video surfaces of Jonah's tomb being destroyed Watch

Image of Militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, are said to have planted explosives around the tomb and detonated the explosion remotely.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's horrific footage, and many pray that it was faked - but knowing of the ruthlessness of the people involved, it probably wasn't. Jonah's tomb, a holy shrine in Mosul, Iraq is depicted being blown to bits. The demolition of this shrine occurred in seconds. ... continue reading


WARNING VERY GRAPHIC UNCENSORED CONTENT: Islamic State terrorists from Australia pose with the severed heads of their captives - CHRISTIANS ARE NEXT Watch

Image of Mohamed Elomar poses with a pair of his victim's heads, taking delight in the slaughter of fellow Muslims.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a gruesome series of images, an Islamic State terrorist is tweeting images of a friend posing with the severed heads of decapitated victims. Terrorist, Mohamed Elomar who was born in Australia and traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State is clearly having a good ... 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, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... 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