'Heroic' Iran, 'resistive' Syria behind Sandy, pro-Assad group claims
October 31, 2012 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
- Superstorm Sandy is "the punishment for whoever dares to attack Syria's (Bashar) al-Assad," group says
- Comments accompanying the post range from derision to support
- Iran is a close ally to Syria
(CNN) -- When it comes to natural disasters, the divide between assumption and reality can be stark. Or downright absurd.
Hours after Superstorm Sandy howled its way through the East Coast this week, unleashing a fatal trail of destruction, global reactions included outpouring of sympathy and support.
But not in Syria, where some pro-government supporters welcomed the superstorm when it hit Monday, claiming the natural disaster is the result of high-tech secret engineering.
The superstorm killed dozens across the U.S. East Coast as it ravaged the region with heavy rains, snow and flooding. Millions remain without power as it swirls north.
Pakistan radical wanted by U.S. offers aid to victims of Sandy
Airstrikes pound suburbs of Damascus
In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
Syrian civil war in photos
Syrian cease-fire ceases
Police base targeted in Syria blast
"Sources confirmed to us that Hurricane Sandy that is slamming the U.S. was set off by highly advanced technologies developed by the heroic Iranian regime that supports the resistance, with coordination of our resistive Syrian regime," pro-government group News Network of the Syrian Armed Forces said in a Facebook posting.
"This is the punishment for whoever dares to attack Syria's (Bashar) al-Assad and threaten peace and stability."
Various factions of pro-government and anti-government groups regularly use social media to spread their message.
Comments accompanying the post -- which had more than 300 likes -- ranged from derision to support.
"This is complete baloney by the regime and its thugs," one said on the comment section of the post. "There is nothing worse than this nonsense. If you have such technologies, why doesn't your great sophisticated regime get the temperature to be a bit higher in Russia and make the skies rain in the dry lands in Syria?"
Supporters of the pro-government group slammed those doubting the claim.
"Why are you surprised by such a heroic act that our special forces carried out with the help of the Iranian experts?," one posted. " Yes this is the great work of the brave lions of Syria in retaliation to the evil conspiracy against our great nation. We will have our victory even if it will take some time."
Battles between anti-government fighters and Syrian forces have left scenes of destruction nationwide since the uprising against al-Assad started in March 2011.
An internationally sanctioned truce has failed to take hold.
International envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, pushed for government forces and rebels to stop fighting during Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday that started Friday and ended Monday. But the violence continued almost unabated.
Part of complete coverage on
November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
November 8, 2012 -- Updated 0919 GMT (1719 HKT)
President Barack Obama faces a lengthy and familiar set of challenges after riding a wave of support from moderates, women and minorities to a re-election victory.
November 7, 2012 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
In a historic turnaround, the ballot box is showing America's shifting attitudes about same-sex marriage. The rights passed in at least two states.
November 6, 2012 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
How far are consumers willing to go in their quest for homegrown goods? The answer might surprise you.
November 6, 2012 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
For all of its expected action and drama, the new "Halo 4" boils down to an essential question: Are its central characters humans, machines or something in between?
November 6, 2012 -- Updated 2037 GMT (0437 HKT)
Lakota warrior Crazy Horse has long been a controversial figure, so perhaps it's only appropriate that his memorial follow suit.
November 11, 2012 -- Updated 1918 GMT (0318 HKT)
It may be one of the most-quoted lines in American literature -- and if you dare to quote it, you might have to pay.
November 7, 2012 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
While the U.S. presidential election dominated coverage, news from across the world certainly hasn't stopped.
September 20, 2012 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)
For their extraordinary efforts to help change the world and better the lives of others, 10 everyday people will receive $50,000 to continue their work.
Today's five most popular stories