Syrian rebel soldiers in Idlib province, northern Syria
Syria Direct news staff

After months of talk, the United States and its allies may now be on the verge of military intervention in Syria. As American military leaders met with European and regional leadership in Amman to discuss the Syrian crisis, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC Tuesday that the U.S. has “moved assets into place” and is ready to strike.

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the chemical weapons attack that killed approximately 1,500 people in the Damascus suburbs last week, calling it an “indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilized world long ago decided must never be used.”

“Make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people,” Kerry added.

Syria Direct spoke with rebel fighters and activists on Tuesday to hear their thoughts on potential military intervention in Syria.

Fahed al-Masri, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Joint-Command in Paris
We have asked in a formal statement to form an international military coalition separate from the UN Security Council with the purpose of organizing military intervention in Syria. The crisis will not end without a swift surgical air operation. This regime can’t participate in dialogue but should instead be pulled up from its roots.

Without military intervention, this crisis will last for years because of Iranian and Russian support for the regime, and because of the UN Security Council’s paralysis on this issue.

On European participation in the potential intervention: If Europe cares about its safety, it has to interfere immediately in Syria. What the Syrian streets are witnessing today might move to European streets. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime pose a threat to regional, national and international security. The world must get rid of it and al-Qaeda at the same time.

Abdulbasset Saed a-Dein, president of the FSA Command in Aleppo, part of the FSA Joint Command
“The military intervention is in the interests of the Syrian people, to solve the Syrian crisis by striking regime targets and military bases, in particular ballistic missile launch sites.”

Firas, media activist with the United Media Office of Homs
If the intervention is to hit military targets and enforce a no-fly zone, then I support it. But I am against intervention on the ground in Syria, to avoid what happened in Iraq.

Striking military targets will stop missile attacks and air raids that kill thousands of civilians, and we’ve been hearing about this no-fly zone for two years but nothing has happened yet.

Abu Moawia, field authority for the FSA’s Moawia Brigade in Damascus
We don’t want military intervention on the ground because intervention is reoccupation, planting the West here in our country.

America will not interfere unless it is sure that Assad has chemical weapons, and that he is definitely on his way out.

Sama Masoud, spokesman for Syria Live, an opposition-leaning news network in Damascus
American intervention comes at a time when they know that the Syrian regime is falling. There is no doubt about it. Now that America sees us winning, it wants to show us that it can help.

Abu Jaffar, activist in Homs
Absolutely I support military intervention because the Syrian regime does not respect international law nor the international community. It is using all kinds of chemical weapons and cluster bombs to massacre in Syria. There is no one who can stop it from continuing in this way, only military intervention.

The majority of opposition Syrians want it to happen, but there are fears that an intervention might target rebel strongholds because there are extremists there.

Abu Mohammad, spokesman for the Shield of Truth Brigade in Homs
We in the FSA are not against U.S. intervention, but we want it to be carried out by Syrian hands, rather than American ones. In other words, we want them to help us with weapons and a no-fly zone. Don’t they know that the FSA controls the ground and the regime controls the air?

We are of course afraid that the U.S. Army could hit the FSA before Assad’s army. Also, a military intervention will hit everything that is economically important to Syrians. If a ground military intervention happens, Syria’s borders will be redrawn. Every Syrian rejects the idea of dividing Syria.

Mohamed, manager of the pro-revolution Dara’a Media Office
I am with the intervention if it takes down the regime. The Syrian people’s opinion is that they are with this intervention if it takes down the regime, in any way, and end the crisis.

The military intervention could not be more destructive than what Assad’s regime is doing to Syria. It could not be any harder on the people.

Kerry’s speech did not give the green light to terminate the regime, so it did not meet the Syrian people’s hopes. It only adds more question marks.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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