As rare faces from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority within a ruling clique dominated by Assad's fellow Alawites, Tlas and his father Mustapha, who friends said left for Paris some months ago claiming medical problems, long furnished an answer to Syrians who complained of sectarian domination by Alawites. Their flight may show Assad is losing wider support among wealthier Sunnis.It also suggests the Tlas clan, whatever moral scruples friends say were their prime motive for abandoning their friend and patron, has seen the writing on the wall for Assad's rule.Opposition sources said Manaf Tlas had seen his movements watched as suspicion of him increased before he fled and that other potential defectors, being courted assiduously by the opposition, were also under surveillance. Security men ransacked Tlas's house on Thursday, an activist in Damascus said.Abdel Baset Seda, the president of the opposition Syrian National Council, told a news conference in Paris that he was in contact with "several" high-ranking officials still inside the country and also hoped to speak with Tlas in the coming days."This shows that the very heart of the regime is starting to crumble. This is reminiscent of what happened in Libya toward the end, when there were defections every day," he said, recalling the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last August.However, a Syrian news website quoted a Syrian official on Thursday as saying dismissively: "His desertion means nothing. If Syrian intelligence had wanted to arrest him it would have."Bloodshed on the ground and the suffering of thousands of civilians forced to flee homes and worry about food shortages have kept up pressure on Western governments to be seen to be doing something and the "Friends of the Syrian People" meeting in Paris saw new calls for U.N. action and backing for rebels.But the opposition remains fractious. A meeting in Cairo this week saw a fistfight; governments are wary of anti-Western Sunni Islamists in rebel ranks and are reluctant to see them too heavily armed; and the Western powers have little appetite for a Libyan-style military intervention of their own in a pivotal regional state that is home to a volatile mix of communities.
Yet the veto power which Moscow and Beijing wield in the United Nations Security Council has also blocked Western efforts to tighten the net of sanctions around Assad, leaving leaders watching impatiently for signs of cracks from within - something fearful Alawites and other minorities seem anxious to prevent.
REBEL TOWN FALLS
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, spoke again with alarm at the situation on the ground: "The risk of full civil war has become even more real," she said. "The regime is clearly responsible for the brutality of the repression. Instead of freeing detainees and withdrawing its troops and heavy weapons from urban areas, Assad's regime continues with the shelling of innocent civilians."Syria's army took control of the rebel stronghold of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Idlib province on Friday after an assault on the town backed by helicopters, rebels said."The Free Army withdrew from the town last night after it ran out of ammunition. Assad's army is in control," said Abu Hamam, a rebel spokesman who fled to a nearby village.
"They are burning the houses. They have burned my own house. I see the smoke covering the sky from where I am now."Army shelling and assaults also killed three people in the southern province of Deraa, where the nationwide revolt began.Opposition activists say more than 15,000 people have been killed in the uprising, while the government says several thousand members of the security forces have died.Clinton repeated a U.S. and French call for a U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows the Council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.Russia and China and say they are committed rather to the peace plan drafted by Annan which proposes national dialogue. However, that plan's prospects seem dim; U.N. peace monitors effectively gave up on their mission last month after just weeks in Syria as it became clear there was no peace to monitor.
Press TV paraphrased Salami's description of the drills as a "firm response to those who threaten Iran with the option of military action."The United States and Israel have for years been locked in a struggle with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program and the leaders of both the Israeli and American governments have said that any option -- including military action -- was "on the table" should it become clear Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Iranian officials have denied the nation seeks nuclear weapons and said Iran is only enriching uranium for domestic nuclear power purposes.Press TV said that several different missile types were tested, including the Shabab-3, which reportedly has an operational range of over 900 miles, meaning it could reach potential targets throughout the Middle East. The U.S. and its allies have several military bases in the region, including the home of the Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain, a little over 120 miles from Iran's southern border. Israel's eastern border is about 600 miles from Iran's mainland.
ABC News' Martha Raddatz and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.
ISRAELS INHERITED LAND IN THE FUTURE
7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people;(ISRAEL) for ye were the fewest of all people:
8 But because the LORD loved you,(ISRAEL) and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you:(ISRAEL) and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect,(ISRAEL) in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect (ISRAEL) shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect (ISRAEL) shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
1 CHRONICLES 17:9
9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel,(IN PALESTINE) and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more;(ISRAEL-NEVER DESTROYED-FOREVER AN EARTHLY NATION) neither shall the children of wickedness(ISHMAEL-ARAB/MUSLIMS-WORLD ISRAEL HATERS) waste them any more, as at the beginning,(ARAB/MUSLIMS ATTACK ISRAEL ON MAY 15,1948)
5 Even unto them (ISRAELIS) will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name,(ISRAEL) that shall not be cut off.
3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion:(JERUSALEM) he will comfort all her waste places;(FROM NUCLEAR WAR) and he will make her wilderness like Eden,(I BELIEVE THE EZEKIEL-4TH TEMPLE WILL BE BUILT 25 MILES FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT AFTER JESUS RULE FOR THE 1,000 YRS FROM JERUSALEM) and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.(PRAISE TO JESUS IN THE DESERT-COULD BE THE NEW JERUSALEM-4TH TEMPLE BUILT 25 MILES INTO THE DESERT FROM THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT.SINCE EZEKIELS TEMPLE IS WAY TO BIG FOR THE CURRENT TEMPLE MOUNT)
4 Hearken unto me, my people;(ISRAEL) and give ear unto me, O my nation:(ISRAEL) for a law shall proceed from me,(JESUS IN JERUSALEM) and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.(ISRAEL AND THE WORLD)
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.
12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
The council's president, Uruguay's ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, announced the names of the investigators after holding consultations among member states, diplomats said.As the team will not be allowed access to Israeli settlements, they are likely to have to gather information from second-hand sources, including media.Even if the investigators conclude settlements violate human rights law, U.S. opposition is likely to stymie any attempt to impose any punishment on Israel.About 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967 war. Palestinians seek the territory for an independent state along with the Gaza Strip.Palestinians say settlements, considered illegal by the International Court of Justice, the highest U.N. legal body for disputes, would deny them a viable state.Israel cites historical and biblical links to the West Bank and says the status of settlements should be decided in peace negotiations.On Monday Richard Falk, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories, told a news conference that the acceleration of settlement building had "closed the book" on the feasibility of a two-state solution."The Palestinian position gets weaker and weaker through time and the Israelis get more and more of a fait accompli through their unlawful activities," he said.
"Is it just a delaying tactic that allows the Israelis to expand the settlements, expand the settled population, demolish more and more Palestinian homes and structures and engage in a program that has assumed such proportions that the language of ethnic cleansing is the only way to describe the demographic changes in East Jerusalem?"(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles; Editing by Pravin Char)