Sky News is reporting hat Syrian forces claimed to "Have cleansed the terrorist groups from the town of Haffeh.
Syria Opposition's Smuggled Arms Keep Fight Alive
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1592590.htmlISTANBUL, June 13 (*******) - Newly armed with mortars, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades smuggled across borders by truck and donkey, Syria's rebels are now ready to step up their fight against President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebel fighters say they have taken advantage of a shaky truce to regroup against a Syrian army that is showing signs of poor morale, desertions and equipment failure.
Thousand of shells and hundreds of sniper rifles, as well as anti-armour missiles, have been smuggled in via Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq in recent weeks, much of them from suppliers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, fighters and opposition figures say.
Although the rebels say these additional weapons are not enough for them to topple Assad, they may have been a factor in the insurgents' announcement last week that they were abandoning the failing truce and resuming attacks on government targets.
"Now the Free Army has more sophisticated weapons. We still have less than we need but it is entering the country," said a fighter in the north-western province of Idlib.
"It still does not cover all we need because the number of fighters is increasing. Thousands of soldiers are still waiting in Turkey for weapons," he said.
Some areas are stronger than others, with Idlib province the best equipped and organised, the rebels say.
"It is the headquarters of the Free Army right now. It is almost a buffer zone, almost independent. Most of the Free Army soldiers go there because it is close to Turkey," said a fighter from another province who asked that his location not be disclosed.
"The regime cannot take on Idlib right now. It is using helicopters because it has suffered many losses recently there."
Rebels have killed scores of soldiers, including in Idlib, in the last 10 days after stepping up their campaign. Video footage released by activists has shown burning hulks of tanks and armoured personnel carriers destroyed by their new weapons.
"Recently a lot of weapons have entered Syria. We are getting ready and we will create a balance of horror. The days when hundreds of us are killed will be soon over. In my city we have received at least 10,000 rockets and 100 sniper rifles."
"What is left for (Assad)? Using planes? We will get weapons for that too. Nothing will stop us now. The world has decided to finally get rid of him and we are ready."
Opposition fighters are now staging more audacious offensives on state security, including the temporary seizure over the weekend of a strategic army base in Homs province which housed several surface-to-air missiles.
The Free Syrian Army rebels were forced to withdraw from the al-Ghanto base by an army counter-offensive - leaving the missiles in place but taking looted machine guns and ammunition.
Syria prints new money ‘as deficit grows’
http://gulfnews.com/news/region/syri...rows-1.1035483Amman: Syria has released new cash into circulation to finance its fiscal deficit, flirting with inflation after violence and sanctions wiped out revenues and led to a severe economic contraction, bankers in Damascus say.
Four Damascus-based bankers told ******* that new banknotes printed in Russia were circulating in trial amounts in the capital and Aleppo, the first such step since a popular revolt against President Bashar Al Assad began in 2011.
The four bankers said the new notes were being used not just to replace worn out currency but to ensure that salaries and other government expenses were paid, a step economists say could increase inflation and worsen the economic crisis.
The United Nations says Assad’s forces have killed at least 10,000 people in a crackdown, and the government says more than 2,600 members of its security forces have died.
The four bankers, along with one business leader in touch with officials, said the new money had been printed in Russia, although they were not able to give the name of the firm that printed it. Two of the bankers said they had spoken to officials recently returned from Moscow where the issue was discussed.
“(The Russians) sent sample new banknotes that were approved and the first order has been delivered. I understand some new banknotes have been injected into the market,” said one of the bankers. All requested anonymity.
Two other senior bankers in Damascus said they had heard from officials that a first order of an undisclosed amount of new currency had arrived in Syria from Russia, although they were unable to confirm whether it had entered circulation.
Syria Choppers Censured By Clinton Said To Be Sold Decades Ago
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...cades-ago.htmlRussia is only repairing helicopters sold to Syria by the Soviet Union, two people familiar with the matter said, after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said shipments of Russian attack choppers were escalating 15 months of violence.
Russia has been fixing about 20 Mi-24 choppers that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's father Hafez acquired, under a contract signed four years ago, said one of the people, who works in Russia's defense industry and declined to be identified because the matter is confidential. Clinton said yesterday that the U.S. is ``concerned by the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.''
I thought this printing business was called Quantitative Easing or Stimulation of the financial markets ...........I read it somewhere .....
In any case, the government needs to constantly print new banknotes to replace the old banknotes from circulation.
Russia Rejects U.S. Allegations on Arms Deliveries to Syria
So it looks like Clinton for all intents and purposes lied, I'm shocked. Wait, no I'm not because EVERYBODY fvcking lies!Russia dismissed on Wednesday claims by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that it was selling attack helicopters to Syria and accused the United States of arming rebels fighting against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.“We are completing right now the implementation of contracts that were signed and paid for a long time ago,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks in the Iranian capital of Tehran. “All these contracts concern exclusively anti-aircraft defense.”
“We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators,” Lavrov went on. “In this we differ from the United States, which regularly delivers riot control equipment to the region, including a recent delivery to a Persian Gulf country. But for some reason the Americans consider this to be fine."
And Lavrov, speaking on Iranian state television, also said the United States was "providing arms and weapons to the Syrian opposition that can be used in fighting against the Damascus government."
Russia's top diplomat's comments came a day after Clinton told a forum in Washington that Moscow’s repeated assurances that the arms it supplies to Syria could not be used to attack protesters in the Middle East country were “patently untrue.”
"We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria,” she added, without giving further details.
Clinton also warned that such supplies would “escalate the conflict quite dramatically."
"We know that the Assad regime is using helicopter gunships against their own people," Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby said later. He also said, however, that he had no information on a new shipment of attack helicopters from Russia to Syria.
Syria is one of Russia’s major weapons clients, and Moscow has opposed proposals for an arms embargo on Damascus, saying this would give rebel forces an unfair advantage in the conflict.
Russia – along with China – has also twice vetoed UN resolutions against Damascus over what it says is a pro-rebel bias. Moscow has, however, fully backed UN envoy Kofi Annan’s faltering peace plan for Syria.
And Lavrov repeated again on Wednesday Moscow's assertion that its stance was not based on support for Assad, who rules Russia's sole remaining ally in the Arab world.
"Our position is not based on support for Bashar al-Assad or anyone else," he said. "We do not want to see Syria disintegrate."
Russian military experts suggested on Tuesday that Moscow may be repairing earlier-supplied helicopters for Syria, rather than providing Damascus with new models.
“There were large-scale deliveries of attack helicopters to Syria in the Soviet era,” said Andrei Frolov, editor of the Arms Exports research journal. “The last deliveries of Russian helicopters took place at the start of the 1990s.”
“There is no information about new contracts for the delivery of attack helicopters,” he went on. “This might be a case of the repair or possible modernization of earlier delivered machines.”
The editor of the Moscow Defense journal, Mikhail Barabanov, said the helicopters possibly being repaired in Russia might be Soviet-era “Mi-24 or Mi-17” models.
Clinton was answering a question on the Pentagon’s purchase of Russian helicopters for the Afghan military ahead of a pull-out by U.S. troops.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this week calling Rosoboronexport "an enabler of mass murder in Syria” and called for sanctions against the company.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said Washington “understood” Cornyn’s concerns, but said the helicopters involved were the best option to allow Afghan forces to “take on their own fights inside their own country."
The UN says at least 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, but is unable to update its figures. Syrian activists say the true number of those killed is at least 13,000.
But Syria hit out on Wednesday at comments by U.N.'s peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, who said the crisis in the country had now descended into “civil war.”
The Syria Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its forces were fighting armed groups responsible for "killings, kidnappings and other terrorist acts."
For starters we now know why Assad didn't use his helicopters that much, most of them are in Russia.
Maintaining helicopters with spares is also a form of foregine support IMO. Rusdia shouldnt deliver those helicopters, they will only escalate the conflict.