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State of War in Syria

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One employee said:

"I heard a small explosion then a huge explosion and gunmen ran in. They ransacked the offices and entirely destroyed the newsroom."

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it "a massacre against the freedom of the press." Terrorists were responsible, he said.

"This massacre won't go unpunished and the broadcast of the Syrian al-Ikhbariya Satellite Channel will not stop and we hold the EU, Arab and International organizations responsible for this massacre."

"Those who committed this crime had carried out the decision of the Arab League Council to silence the voice of Syria."

Three journalists and four other employees were killed. Al-Ikhbariya's editor-in-chief, Abdo al-Assadi, called the massacre an attack on all Syrian media. Those murdered were "armed only with their words and views."

Editor Adham al-Taweel said al-Ikhbariya was attacked for discussing anti-Assad propaganda. Correspondent Yara Saleh added that other journalists will be motivated to "unmask these terrorists and their actions."

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The Syrian Journalists Union and National Media Council also condemned the massacre. So did the Lebanese Amal Movement. Its Central Information Bureau said it constituted an attack against journalism, the media, and a free press.

On June 26, Russian State Duma's Vice Chairman, Vladimir Zhirinovsky , condemned Turkey for violating Syrian airspace. He called doing it "a deliberate provocative act." 

He suggested Washington and key NATO allies are escalating conflict ahead of full-scale intervention. He said Syria acted responsibly.

Vice Chairman of the Russian Federation Ilyas Umakhanov said Syrians alone must resolve issues.

Viktor Ozerov, Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defense and Security,  warned against NATO intervention. So did Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

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Heated Turkish rhetoric continues. On June 26, Today's Zaman headlined "Army on high alert on Syrian border as Turkey warns of retaliation," saying:

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Syria that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been given instructions to treat any approaching Syrian military unit as a threat...."

He ordered them to intercept, confront, and attack "in case of any violation" encountered.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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