Monday, November 19, 2012
Third Attack in New Assyrian Quarter in Aleppo, Scores Injured and Killed
More than 38,000 people are believed to have died in the 20-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
ALEPPO, SYRIA (ANS) -- A bomb exploded near a Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo, Syria’s second city, at 6 PM on Friday, November 16. Scores of people were injured and many were killed. The exact number is not known.
This is the third attack in four weeks in the New Assyrian Quarter in Aleppo. The first occurred on October 21, the second on October 26.
This video report (www.aina.org/news/20121108193425.htm) from Al Ikhabirya discusses the fear and terror inflicted on the Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) by the Syrian rebels in the New Assyrian Quarter.
Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that Islamist rebel groups in Aleppo say they reject the new Western-backed opposition coalition.
In an internet video, they denounced what they called “the conspiratorial project” and said they intend to establish an “Islamist state” in Syria, something that is feared by the country's Christian population.
France has already backed the group as “sole representative” of Syrians.
The BBC went on to say that known as the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and formed in Qatar on November 11, the opposition has also been given full recognition by Turkey and the six Gulf states. The UK may follow suit.
However, Islamist rebels are unimpressed with the new grouping. In a video posted online, an unidentified speaker sits at the head of a long table with at least 20 others, in front of a black Islamist flag. He lists some 13 armed Islamist groups who reject the opposition coalition.
“We are the representatives of the fighting formations in Aleppo and we declare our rejection of the conspiratorial project, the so-called national alliance,” he says. “We have unanimously agreed to urgently establish an Islamic state.”
The significance of the video proclamation was played down by the opposition coalition's new leader Moaz al-Khatib, who said in Cairo: “We will keep in contact with them for more cooperation in the interest of the Syrian people”.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said it was “not surprising to us that those who want an extremist state, or a heavily Islamist state in Syria, have taken issue” with an opposition endorsing pluralism and tolerance.
The BBC said, “But it will serve to increase fears among some Western nations who are already concerned that any arms sent to help the rebels in Syria could end up in the hands of extremists, observers say.”
The EU's 27 foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, said they considered the opposition coalition “legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people”.
Inside Syria, nearly 100 people were killed on Monday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
NATO is considering a request from Turkey for ground-to-air missiles to help protect its border with Syria.
More than 38,000 people are believed to have died in the 20-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
The BBC added that the international charity Save the Children has warned that 200,000 Syrian refugee children are at serious risk from freezing temperatures, as winter begins in the Middle East.
Many families, including thousands of Christians, have fled across the borders to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to escape the conflict, and more than two million people are displaced within Syria - living without the proper shelter and clothing to survive the falling temperatures.
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