The Damage to Assad’s Security; Death Rate Soars; Fighting in Damascus; Border Crossings Taken

Landis on C-SPAN at Woodrow Wilson Institute talking about Syria and the Revolution: Joshua Landis spoke about political unrest and violence in Syria, as well as strategies to …

Video of the Syrian Army troops after their “victory in Midan” with proclamations that their moral is high, The Midan is a downtown Damascus neighborhood that FSA had taken under its control on Thursday. Government troops now claim that they have The soldiers we made this video seem to all be Alawites based on their accents. Those that speak all pronounce the “qaff” in the manner of the coast. They stick out in the Midan, the heart of Sunni middle-class and religiously conservative, old Damascus. Older Damascenes used to speak of the Alawites who came to Damascus with the Baathist takeover in the 1960s as “muwaffidiin” or alien interlopers. Today, they undoubtedly seem more alien than ever.

Claiming victory in Midan, Syrian state television declared: “Our brave army forces have completely cleaned the area of Midan in Damascus of the remaining mercenary terrorists and have re-established security.” Rebels said they had staged a “tactical withdrawal” from Midan to avert civilian casualties.

On Thursday, helicopters blasted the northern Damascus suburb of Qaboun with rockets, while the armed forces warned residents of a wide area of the southern part of the capital to evacuate ahead of an assault. Thousands of people fled to neighboring Lebanon.

The number of dead in fighting across the land on Thursday was reported to have risen above 300 – the largest number dead in a day since the uprising began. Of the dead, 98 were soldiers, 139 civilians and 65 rebels, rebels said.

Observer writes:  “My family that just left Damascus tell me that the sound of explosions was continuous day and night and that whole units defected.”

Fadi Writes: I’m in Aleppo now. Too many weird stories of liberated this and liberated that! All BS. Just drove around the city during and after the prayers. Some demos here in the usual places. Many shabbiha there too. Tanks entered and left Salaheddin neighborhood after armed clashes earlier today. Here is video of a demo in the square…. [Fadi writes later in the day] Distant sounds of explosions and firearms heard in central Aleppo now. Meanwhile, streets, shops, cafes are crowded!

On the assassination of four of Assad’s top security men, the last word must go to Peter Harling, of the International Crisis Group, who said:  “This is a regime of networks, not institutions.  They are all senior officials, but absolute power tends to be vested elsewhere,” he said.  “What counts is this symbolism of all of this.”

It is also a regime built on loyalty to the Assads and based on the family. Thus the death of Asef Shawkat, the brother-in-law is big. The number of Assads is not infinite and Asef was one of the smarter and more experienced members of the family.

National Security Chief Hisham Bakhtiardied from Wednesday’s bombing in Damascus. The attack, which killed the Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, Assad’s brother-in-law Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat, and the head of Assad’s crisis team Hassan Turkomani, is being called the “turning point“. The New York Times writes: Washington Begins to Plan for Collapse of Syrian Government. Here are the profiles those killed in the blast.

News reports said the funerals of the three men were scheduled for Friday. Maher al-Assad, President Assad’s brother who commands the praetorian guard protecting the family, and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa were said to have presided over a ceremony honoring them.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said it was “clear that Assad is losing control.” The bombing appears to be part of a coordinated assault referred to by opposition fighters as the “liberation of Damascus.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah said he expected the Syrian government to show “fortitude” following the attack, which was a “tremendous blow” to the regime, and expressed fears of a civil war.

CNN quoted the king saying:

This was a tremendous blow to the regime but again, Damascus has shown its resilience, so I think maybe we need to keep this in perspective. Although this is a blow, I’m sure the regime will continue to show fortitude at least in the near future.

If it breaks down, if civil order breaks down to the point of no return, it will take years to fix Syria. I have a feeling we’re seeing the signs of that. The only people that can bring us back from that brink is the president and the regime. This is the last chance they have.

Assad is in the coastal city of Latakia, opposition sources and a Western diplomat told Reuters. Assad has not made a public appearance since Wednesday’s attack.

Syria denies report of Assad’s readiness to renounce power, English.news.cn 2012-07-20

DAMASCUS, July 20 (Xinhua) — Syrian information ministry on Friday denied as “totally baseless” media reports which cited the Russian ambassador to France as saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ready to leave office in a “civilized way.”

In a statement carried by the state media, the ministry said the interview of Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov with the International Radio France has been altered, adding that Orlov did not make the remarks.

Assad Accepts Need for ‘Civilized’ Exit, Russian Envoy Says, 2012-07-20
By James Hertling

(Bloomberg) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted the need for his eventual departure under the terms of an agreement struck in Geneva June 30, said Alexander Orlov, Russia’s ambassador to France.     “It will be hard for him to stay,” Orlov said today in a French-language interview with Radio France International. “He is accepting to go, but to go in a civilized manner.”

Syrian rebels seize all border posts with Iraq

…“After the Free Syrian Army took control of the post, they detained a Syrian army lieutenant colonel, cut off his arms and then “executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers,” AFP cited Iraq’s Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi as saying.”…

Rebels attacked Syrian forces Thursday along the nation’s porous border with Iraq, killing at least 21 soldiers and seizing control of all four major border posts, a senior Iraqi army official said. Additionally, rebels took control of two major crossings on the border with Turkey, Reuters reports. Syrian rebel spokesmen said they seized control of the customs and immigration buildings on the Syrian side of the northern Turkish frontier gate of Bab al-Hawa, as well as the Jarablus crossing.

[addendum] Iraq: Syrian rebels took only 1 border crossing, Associated Press

“Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh on Friday refuted earlier reports that rebels had seized all four major border crossings between Syria and Iraq.”

Iraq has reportedly thrown up blast walls to seal its main border crossing with Syria while thousands of Syrians fled toward Lebanon.

Syria forces recapture key areas across the country from rebels – Reuters

Syrian Troops Clash with Armed Rebels in Qaboun District of Capital – 20 July 2012 – xinua

Syria’s state-media said government troops have inflicted hefty losses to armed groups in the Damascus neighbourhood of Qaboun on Thursday. Unspecified large number of armed men were killed in the military crackdown, said SANA news agency, adding that the armed men started to burn the bodies of foreign fighters, so their bodies would not be identified, xinua reported.

Meanwhile, pro-government media reports said the Syrian troops have completely regained control of the Midan neighbourhood, which has been a stage of armed conflict between government troops and armed rebels over the past four days. The capital’s clashes mark the death-match between the two sides, trying to eliminate one another once and for all. […]

DER SPIEGEL: According to the UNHCR Iraq has sent two planes to evacuate Iraqi citizens willing to leave Syria. In the past days 80 buses have already left Syria with Iraqui citizens. Also more than 30.000 Syrians have fled to neighboring Lebabnon within the last 48 hours.

‘It’s all about Iran!  Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN claims that the UN veto on Syria is all about IRAN. Don’t be duped by US & UK, “the great humanitarians” – remember Iraq’

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Russia and China have vetoed the latest Western-backed draft resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council. RT exclusively talks to one of the men who raised his hand in that ‘NO’ vote – Moscow’s envoy to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin.

CBS News: Clinton on Syria: U.S. has done all it can do
2012-07-16

Hillary Clinton has said she plans to step down as secretary of state in January regardless of whether President Obama is reelected. She’s on an extended diplomatic farewell tour, and was met with protests Monday in Cairo. She also sat down with CBS …

US refuses to help Syrian rebels until after election
Barack Obama’s US government has warned its western allies and Syria’s opposition groups that it can do nothing to intervene in the country’s crisis until after November’s presidential election, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
By Peter Foster in Washington, 16 Jul 2012, Telegraph

Despite mounting fury from the Syrian rebels, who are seeking assistance for their efforts to overthrow the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the White House has refused all requests for heavy weapons and intelligence support.

Syrian lobby groups in Washington, who only a few weeks ago were expressing hope that the Obama administration might give a green light to the supply of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, said they had now been forced to “take a reality pill” by the US government.

The Telegraph understands that the Syrian Support Group (SSG), the political wing of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), recently presented American officials with a document requesting 1,000 RPG-29 anti-tank missiles, 500 SAM-7 rockets, 750 23mm machine guns as well as body armour and secure satellite phones. They also asked for $6m to pay rebel fighters as they battle the regime. All their requests were rejected.

“Basically the message is very clear; nothing is going to happen until after the election, in fact nothing will happen until after inauguration [Jan 2013]. And that is the same message coming from everyone, including the Turks and the Qataris,” said a Washington lobbyist for the group.

The Obama administration has also made clear to its allies that it will not intervene, a message that was carried to London last week by Tom Donilon, the White House National Security Adviser, who made a low-profile stop en route to Israel…..

What Americans would do for Syria – FP reviews recent polls to explain how most Americans don’t want much greater intervention in Syria.

A Syria writes:

My friend who just arrived back from Turkey, recounted to me the story of a Syrian man he met there. This 30 year old, a volunteer from Jisr Alshughour, was helping the refugees to Turkey from Syria. My friend was shocked that this young man did not have a single tooth in his mouth. After a brief inquiry, he found out that this man was arrested in Syria for participating in a demonstration and while in custody, he was tortured by pulling out all his teeth. Needless to say, they were not pulled out properly, so the man needs a lot of surgery that he can not afford.

This is one of many stories of arrest and torture that many of our young and old recount. I say: God damn us all. Each and every one of us, who for years accepted this as part of normal life. Our collective silence allowed this to happen and continue to happen for years in Syria. While we were going to school, our friends were in Tadmor being treated with the utmost cruelty and some tortured to death, yet we kept our mouths shut. God damn each one who is still supporting these murderous criminals for whatever reason.

Syria refusing visas for Western aid workers: U.N. By Stephanie Nebehay | Reuters

Government Increases Gas Oil Price: The Ministry of Economy has raised the price of gas oil, or mazout, for the second time in two months. (Syria Report)

Trade with Lebanon Resilient: Bilateral trade between Lebanon and Syria remained remarkably stable in the first five months of this year.

Economy President Appoints new Governors: The Syrian President has appointed seven new governors and a new head for the State Planning and International Cooperation Commission.

Russia sees the West’s attempts to hold it responsible for the escalation of the Syria conflict due to Moscow’s refusal to vote for the UN resolution that would slap sanctions on the Syrian authorities as unacceptable.

Robert Fisk: Syria rebels will not claim their greatest prize

The appalling scenes in Syria begin to reflect the barbarism of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia….

They have gone for the jugular now. ….Assassinations take time to plan, but this was on an epic scale, to match the bloodbath across Syria. Bashar al-Assad’s own sister, Bushra, one of the pillars of the Baath party, loses her husband in a massive explosion in the very centre of Damascus. No wonder the Russians talk about the “decisive battle”.

It won’t be a replay of Stalingrad, but the tentacles of the rebellion have now moved towards the heart. And, of course, there are massacres to come. Why else would thousands of Syria’s citizens flee to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp yesterday, to seek protection from the most betrayed citizens of the Arab world?….

“At the time, a Syrian friend of mine looked at it bleakly. The torture goes on below ground, he said. “You don’t even want to know what happens there.” But whoever emerged from there would be happy to kill his tormentors, let alone the chief torturers.”

Towards the endgame, 21 July 2012, The Economist

The world should start preparing for what comes after Syria’s President Bashar Assad…  IN EVERY revolution, there is a moment when the tide turns against the regime…. In Syria it may have happened on July 18th, when a bomb struck at the heart of Syria’s military command. If the attack shifts the balance of power decisively against President Bashar Assad,…

Bashar al-Assad has amassed fortune of up to £950m, analysts estimate, The Guardian‎

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has amassed up to $1.5bn (£950m) for his family and his close associates, according to analysts, …

Many of Assad’s assets are held in Russia, Hong Kong and a range of offshore tax havens to spread the risk of seizure, according to London-based business intelligence firm Alaco.

A myriad of companies and trusts are understood to have been deployed to disguise assets that ultimately belong to members of the Syrian regime.

Iain Willis, the head of research at Alaco, said the millions of pounds frozen in UK bank accounts make up just a fraction of the regime’s estimated global wealth.

In peacetime, the Assads and their close friends owned around 60% to 70% of the country’s assets, from land and factories to energy plants and licences to sell foreign goods. But Assad would find it difficult to liquidate such assets in the event of his regime’s collapse.

“In terms of realisable assets, it’s likely to be in the region of $1bn to $1.5bn (£636m to £950m),” said Willis. “This would be in line with Egypt’s Mubarak and the Marcoses of the Philippines.

“These are held, not just by Assad himself, but by extended family members, by second cousins, uncles, business partners and their advisers…

Comments (256)


Uzair8 said:

I saw earlier a Press Tv report claiming Manaf Tlass was back in Damascus. Sounds like nonsense to me. Don’t think anyone else reported this. There is a hole in the heart of the regime after the attack on top figures. Everybody is aware of this and they must feel it too. This propaganda is probably designed to give the appearance of the hole being filled. It also serves to mock the reports of the ‘defection’.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/20/251841/syrian-manaf-tlas-back-in-syria-reports/

July 20th, 2012, 11:42 am

 

bronco said:

Reposted here as a reply to the allegations in the main post of the ‘fortune’ amassed by Bashar al Assad.
ALACO, the source of the article seems to be looking for free advertisement.

905. Tara:

Please count the number of times the article used “likely” and “estimate”, “are thought to”.

In addition ALACO, the main source of the information used by Guardian is qualified in another article by Guardian as ” a business intelligence boutique”.
Their website is totally empty, not even “About US” . They do not appear to me as any reliable source, more like an obscure ’boutique’ probably easily bought off to desinform. It has been registered on the 22 june 2012, 2 weeks before the Guardian article and their activities are not yet filed.
Company profile:
ALACO
Registration Date: 29/06/2012
Registration Number: 08124964
Type: Private Limited with share capital

Registered Address
UNIT 3 LOGIX ROAD,
R D PARK
HINCKLEY
LE10 3BQ
Activities
This company has not yet filed a description of their activities.
http://companycheck.co.uk/company/08124964

In addition, in view of the UK propaganda campaign to demonize Bashar Al Assad, and the rumors they have published later disowned, their information always need to be confirmed from other sources. I haven’t found any that does.

July 20th, 2012, 11:56 am

 

zoo said:

Reposted here to counter the news in the Main post that all four borders with Iraq are in the hands of the FSA

Iraq: Syrian rebels took only 1 border crossing
Associated Press – 1 hr 7 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/iraq-syrian-rebels-took-only-1-border-crossing-135720693.html?_esi=1

“Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh on Friday refuted earlier reports that rebels had seized all four major border crossings between Syria and Iraq.”

July 20th, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

bronco said:

No heading for this post?

July 20th, 2012, 12:01 pm

 

zoo said:

Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-Style Breakup?
Even if the regime loses its grip on growing swaths of territory, the civil war’s sectarian dimension could see it opt to retreat into enclaves controlled by its base of Alawite, Christian and non-Sunni support
By Tony Karon | @tonykaron | July 19, 2012

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/07/19/is-syria-facing-a-yugoslavia-style-breakup/#ixzz21BBHew1a

July 20th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

zoo said:

Russia and China bashed in Western media. Is this arrogance constructive?

United Nations paralysis condemns Syrians to dark days ahead
Published on Thursday July 19, 2012

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1229004–united-nations-paralysis-condemns-syrians-to-dark-days-ahead

“Having refused to help ease Assad out, Russia and China have written themselves out of the most hopeful chapter in Mideast history in decades, and will bear much responsibility for the implosion that follows.”:

July 20th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The pronunciation of “qaff” by the coastal Alawis, reminds me of a biblical event, in which the tribe men of Ephraim pronounced the letter “SH” as “S”.

When their enemies (the people from the Gilad region) needed to identify those from the Ephraim tribe, they ordered them to say the word “Shibboleth” (grain, in Hebrew). The Ephraim tribesmen used to pronounce it “Sibboleth” rather than “Shibboleth”.

The Torah tells us that 42,000 men of Ephraim were slaughtered because of this “qaff” (Sh, S) different pronunciation.

Judges ch 12, v 6
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0712.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibboleth
.

July 20th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

zoo said:

Is the majority support for Bashar really “clearly a nonsense”? Who can prove it?

If he was smart, Mr Assad would accept the lesson from the bomb blast, realise the game is up and negotiate a handover to a transitional authority in terms of the six-point peace plan drawn up by UN peace envoy Kofi Annan. Russia, the only country with leverage in Damascus, should persuade him to do so. Repeated assertions by its Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, that the Assad regime has majority support are clearly nonsense. Russia must make Mr Assad see sense before more die.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/syrias-dictatorship-is-in-tatters/story-e6frg71x-1226430365861

July 20th, 2012, 12:10 pm

 

Bruno said:

Yeah its true The FSA have only taken one border crossing i have seen the reports.

And from joshualandis once again he attacks the death squad shabbiha that dont exist.

(Fadi Writes: I’m in Aleppo now. Too many weird stories of liberated this and liberated that! All BS. Just drove around the city during and after the prayers. Some demos here in the usual places. Many shabbiha there too.)

Seems like the propaganda is getting quiet desperate yet again even after that bomb blast terrorist tactics that now it seems that the rebels are using.

July 20th, 2012, 12:13 pm

 

Bruno said:

So my comment hasn’t gone through eh? i guess the truth hurts doesn’t it?

The propaganda yet again seems to be getting desperate and the links above quoting a guy who claims to be in Sryia, using CNN.

Is pretty much further proof of it.

July 20th, 2012, 12:14 pm

 

omen said:

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has amassed up to $1.5bn

gasp. is that all?

bronco, tell me again how assad and regime has syria’s best intentions at heart.

July 20th, 2012, 12:22 pm

 

Mina said:

From Angry Arab in al Akhbar English:
http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/damascus-bombs-and-mysteries

(…)
“But American officials knew Shawkat and wrote about him in WikiLeaks — he was the key figure that coordinated the murderous intelligence cooperation between the two countries, where prisoners were dispatched to Syria (and other countries) to be tortured at the behest of a grateful US. That is an aspect of Shawkat that supporters of the regime don’t want to acknowledge.”
(…)

So the same day, he and Omar Suleiman, his Egyptian counterpart in this dirty business, die suddenly?
Or they get a new identity and a ticket to Panama?

July 20th, 2012, 12:44 pm

 

omen said:

studies show bashar has a screw loose:

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) — The volume of a small brain region influences one’s predisposition for altruistic behavior. Researchers from the University of Zurich show that people who behave more altruistically than others have more gray matter at the junction between the parietal and temporal lobe, thus showing for the first time that there is a connection between brain anatomy, brain activity and altruistic behavior.

also

Rich People Lack Empathy, Study Finds

July 20th, 2012, 12:45 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Really very creative and funny comix.
It proves only the bad and inhuman taste of the artist. One shall never laugh about dead people whoever they are. This is a matter of education and upbringing.
Very disappointing to see such a “joke” on a HP of a professor.

What if someone would post a “joke” about Sept 11th? It would be more than ugly….

July 20th, 2012, 12:59 pm

 

Mina said:

I’ve heard on the radio that one of the three top officers killed was a Christian and that his funerals were held today in a church in Damascus. Another point the medias prefer to hide. So after all, not every body in the regime’s inner circle is an Alawite?

July 20th, 2012, 1:04 pm

 

zoo said:

More manipulation by the increasingly confused and desperate opposition. Who are they fooling?

المعارضة توزع صورة لـ”راجحة بعد مقتله” هي صورة لـ”معن العودات” في
2011
http://syria-politic.com/ar/Default.aspx?subject=859#.UAmP61L5Oap

July 20th, 2012, 1:08 pm

 

Tara said:

Mina just discovered that the late defenses Minister was Christan…way to go, Mina

July 20th, 2012, 1:12 pm

 

bronco said:

#13 SticK

I agree, extremely bad taste, it should be taken out by the SC moderator, otherwise the comments section will be full of such cynical cartoons ridiculing the dead rebels, and the moderator would have no right to censor them.

REMOVE THAT INSANITY NOW.

Joshua would never allow that on his blog.

July 20th, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

#3. zoo said:

Reposted here to counter the news in the Main post that all four borders with Iraq are in the hands of the FSA

Iraq: Syrian rebels took only 1 border crossing

Cyber-Mercenaries. are never precise.
The largest portion of “Neutral and Objective” mainstream press in the west distributed this lie without challanging the content.
This press has lost its credibility. Many ask themselve whether
they are payed for it.
This want surprise me.

July 20th, 2012, 1:22 pm

 

Juergen said:

video is out now, but server has problems, i think a very worthwhile film

The Light in Her Eyes
Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway — women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Produced in association with American Documentary

http://www.pbs.org/pov/thelightinhereyes/full.php

July 20th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

Mina said:

Tara
I am not asking for people sects usually (and this multiculturalism is one of the reasons many people like Syria), but I am interested to know why the Western media, for which I pay for indirectly through my taxes, are selling such a narrative for months. But as one of the person who have been claiming that the Alawites solely held power, maybe you have an explanation why the fact the Defense Minister is a Christian is never mentioned?

July 20th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

zoo said:

After his noisy threats to attack Iran fell on deaf ears, Netanyahu is having a psychosis, he sees Iran’s hand everywhere while Bulgaria “focuses in realistic options”

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=278279

Israel has accused Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists of carrying out Wednesday’s attack at Burgas airport, a popular gateway for tourists visiting Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Iran has denied having any involvement.

“We are talking about a person that is not a Bulgarian citizen,” Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told a news conference. “We are exchanging information with our Israeli colleagues and the other services.” Tsvetanov said investigators were working on several leads, including the possibility that the bomber had an accomplice, but he denied media reports that a local Hezbollah cell was behind the bombing.

“Such topics, and such interpretations have not been talked about or discussed. At the moment we are focused on realistic options,” he said.

July 20th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Mina,

It has been widely reported that the defence minister was Christian by the western Media:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18889030
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/07/2012718132147531114.html

Even his Wiki page mentions it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawoud_Rajiha

July 20th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

Anwar said:

Mina you act like its hard to buyout a puppet christian. This is a calculated and deliberate move by the regime to gain legitimacy among christians. As an orthodox myself, I hope this guy rots in hell along with all the other church heads who sold their soul for assad. Real conscious christians follow pere Paolo’s lead.

July 20th, 2012, 1:32 pm

 

Mina said:

Anwar,

I do think he is already in Panama with Omar Suleiman and Shawkat. Did you read the article in al Akhbar?

I second STT and Bronco in calling for the removal of the ugly Herald Tribune cartoon promoting Talibans methods.

By the way, the usual crowd conveniently ignore the whole sentence I wrote above: “and that his funerals were held today in a church in Damascus”… I should add, with a huge crowd of Christians who chased and insulted the French radio journalists, to thank them for all what they are doing for their country.
So people go out today in Damascus? Churches are open? Not exactly what some here are claiming.

July 20th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

Halabi said:

The defense minister’s religious upbringing has been mentioned in all media since his appointment, and was mentioned when he was killed. I say upbringing because I don’t fall in the same trap as Assad supporting racists and call out killers by their religions. This murderer can’t be considered a Christian, just as Al Qaeda terrorists aren’t Muslims, because they violate a major tenet in all religions.

“Western media, for which I pay for indirectly through my taxes”

That’s a complete lie. Western media operates in the free market and only a few outlets (PBS, NPR and small U.S. propaganda outlets) receive some subsidies. If you pay taxes in the West you are paying for the murder of Iraqis, Yemenis, Palestinians and Afghans, as well as supporting the Egyptian military and defending Saudi and Qatar, basically projecting the American empire which you so hypocritically oppose.

July 20th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

bronco said:

20. Mina

The media propaganda from the beginning has tried to push the idea that it was an “evil” religious minority associated with an another “evil” religious country Iran with similar religious beliefs that are responsible for the chaos in which Syria is now. Alawi has been ad nausea called an “off-shoot” of Shia by the western media in opposition to Sunnis who make 70% of Syrians in various flavorss, from moderate to Moslem Brotherhood to Salafists.

To make the government appear biased toward Alawites, Christians, Sunnis who are the integral part of the government are conveniently skipped. The same way, the quasi absence of Christians, Kurds and Druzes in the armed rebels is conveniently skipped. The islamist religious color of the armed gangs is also eluded.
It must appear as planned: An evil and corrupted small religious entity associated with a large evil entity who want the destruction of Syria rather than to give them their ‘freedom’.

That’s what the West calls Media independence.. more like the independence of sheeps.

July 20th, 2012, 1:40 pm

 

irritated said:

Anwar

Real conscious christians follow pere Paolo’s lead.

and leave Syria.. That’s a great advice for losers.

Instead the Christians are staying, they face dangers by attending in masses the funerals of the killed minister and they curse the christian media for its bias. That’s much more courageous to do for a proud Syrian.

July 20th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

The repetition of the word Alawites in the mainstream press and unfortunatelly in SC reminds of the repetition of the word Jew in the media of Hitlers Germany.

We all know to which horrible crime -Genocide” this has led!!!
Most of the Germans denied after the WWII that they new of what was happening.

We here can not deniy in the future that we did not know.

July 20th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

# 23. Anwar said:
I hope this guy rots in hell along with all the other church

Is this the Cristianity pere Paolo taught you?

I would love to see the reaction of pere Paolo on your comment.

July 20th, 2012, 1:55 pm

 

Mina said:

The reports on Suleiman’s death are all hard to believe “a blood disease”, “a rare disease”… And the most powerful Egyptian has never had blood samples taken before? Three month ago he was running for president and suddenly ends up in a US clinic? Mubarak knew how to chose his doctors and went solely to Germany.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/us-clinic-suleiman-died-rare-disease

Sure you can’t wait to have the same in Syria…
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/morsy-answers-questions-citizens-daily-radio-program

July 20th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

erin said:

Assad fortune is 1.3 billion!!! this is what rumor has it!!
I think we had enough lies and fabrication on the news!.
I am sure his fortune is more than an average Syrian, but it is probably less than the Jordan’s king or any other prince in the KSA or GCC.
although it is not right for him to have such amount but i doubt the figure is anything near the truth, typical western propaganda.
I thought journalism is based on verification and confirmation of new prior to reporting, i guess news about the regime becoming closer to the FB standard than to journalism as a respected profession.
i am not defending the regime, but it appears all within the psych war against syria and the Syrians.
it is clear that the conspiracy bigger than the syrians. it is a regime change regardless what the Syrians want.
The USA is a master of regime change through killing thousands and thousands of people. Iraq is the best example.
is Syria better off without Assad, that’s not a yes answer given the previous examples we have elsewhere.

July 20th, 2012, 2:08 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

You are offended by the caricature that Joshua put in the main post? You are kidding. Right?

July 20th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

zoo said:

Erdogan should rejoice: His allies the rebels looted the Turkish lorries at the Syria-Turkish border they capture: Discipline and chevalry? The Turks closed the border on their side.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-rebels-seize-border-crossings

Syrian rebels also seized control of the Bab Al-Hawa border post with Turkey on Friday after a fierce battle with Syrian troops, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.

The carcasses of burnt-out lorries were scattered across the scene of the battle. Some 150 armed rebel fighters were in control of the post, which lies opposite Turkey’s Cilvegozu border crossing in the southern province of Hatay.

The rebel fighters had already sacked the buildings making up the Syrian border post, which were bloodstained and riddled with bullets from the battle.

They had also looted the contents of the Turkish lorries that were caught up in the battle as they waited to cross the border.

Syrian government soldiers had abandoned the site.

July 20th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

Anwar said:

“and leave Syria.. That’s a great advice for losers.”

he was exiled. He will back soon, once the regime is buried.

July 20th, 2012, 2:20 pm

 

ghufran said:

ماهر الأسد شارك في تشييع القادة العسكريين السوريين في دمشق
we still do not know whether Bashar met with the new DM in Latakia or Damascus, regime sources said the meeting took place in Damascus.
the regime denied reports from a Russian diplomat that Bashar is willing to resign his post.
it does not look like the FSA attack on Damascus was received well by civilians who,and rightfully so, chose to run to safety instead of supporting the rebels,the attack was also criticized by many anti regime people on social media.

July 20th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

#30. Tara said:

Bronco

You are offended by the caricature that Joshua put in the main post? You are kidding. Right?

Tara,
is that your sense of humor?

July 20th, 2012, 2:26 pm

 

bronco said:

30. Tara

I am not kidding at all. I think it’s sick and should be removed for the sake of decency towards dead people and their family. If more of this comes, I’ll consider quitting this blog as I do not not want to lower myself in replying with the same cheap methods of cynicism and disrespect to dead people. Lynching is never a subject of jokes.

I hope it is not Joshua who posted this, I think it is whoever is replacing him whose opinions I sense well with his choice of articles.

July 20th, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

bronco said:

#33 Gufran

This attack was a PR disaster for the opposition in Damascus.

The FSA not only failed to win the hearts and mind of the Damascenes but they showed a very ugly face that may flip many Damascenes toward the national army and away from the opposition.

July 20th, 2012, 2:34 pm

 

anwar said:

lol we have some overly sensitive alawites here.
murdering close over 20,000 people detaining countless others, robbing the country dry, raping..all of this is ok but a caricature sketch offends you ?

July 20th, 2012, 2:37 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

It is obvious that you are way too offended with the above picture. I am perhaps dull or insensitive today and can’t even get it. I am not trying to rub it on but can anyone explain what is so offensive about it?

July 20th, 2012, 2:37 pm

 

VISITOR said:

We must be thankful once again to that great hero who because of his heroism we are celebrating today the fitting and just end of one more notorious criminal. Good riddance.

We assure you that all the members of this criminal regime will meet the same just and fitting end. There will be no exceptions regardless of whether Russia or Iran like it or do not like it.

July 20th, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

irritated said:

Anwar

he was exiled. He will back soon, once the regime is buried.

He was exiled for good reasons. It is none of the business of a religious man to meddle in the politics of a country that hosted him for decades.

July 20th, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

irritated said:

Visitor

We assure you

Who is WE?

July 20th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

bronco said:

#38 Tara

In the cartoon the dead people are not shown as if they were abstract objects or pieces of walls. It is this insidious deshumanisation that is unacceptable.
Imagine a 9/11 joke saying: Who needs towers anyway? thus ignoring that people who died. Would you laugh?

July 20th, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

bronco said:

Anwar

A cheap and bias caricature on the main post of a balanced blog shocks me, yes.
Commenters may post anything they want through a link that I may chose not to open. While on the main post it is not a link, it is the actual cartoon and not from a Arab caricaturist but from the NYT.
If the person who created that blog wanted to be balanced, he/she should have posted 2 cartoons. By posting only one, it shows a bias that I find unacceptable.

July 20th, 2012, 3:02 pm

 

Syrialover said:

“This is one of many stories of arrest and torture that many of our young and old recount. I say: God damn us all. Each and every one of us, who for years accepted this as part of normal life. Our collective silence allowed this to happen and continue to happen for years in Syria. While we were going to school, our friends were in Tadmor being treated with the utmost cruelty and some tortured to death, yet we kept our mouths shut. God damn each one who is still supporting these murderous criminals for whatever reason.” (note from Syrian in from Joshua’s post above)

Exactly! And I see people on this forum who are angrily fighting to the end to maintain this silence.

For some reason they want it and they need it.

July 20th, 2012, 3:04 pm

 

bronco said:

Anwar

A one sided caricature on the main post of a balanced blog shocks me, yes. To be fair there should be two and not from a USA media, there are plenty of talented Arab caricaturists who can show both sides of the story.

July 20th, 2012, 3:06 pm

 

Amjad said:

Oh my God, what is it with this website’s ridiculously absurd spam filer?

#42

You will excuse us if we get as much laughter out of your fake righteous indignation than we do out of the brilliant cartoon. You are upset because the truth hurts. How many cartoons about Ben Laden came out when the US killed him off? Numerous. Like Shawkat and the rest, he was a murdering scum bag who deserved what he got.

If its humanity you have suddenly found, why haven’t you once criticized Dunya and Syrian State TV’s disgraceful filming of dead members of the FSA? Just today on al-Dunya I saw, clear as day, images of faces of people they were claiming to be “Arab mercenaries”. Filming your dead opponent for propaganda purposes is far more disagreeable than a delightful and witty cartoon (although in the case of that scum shabeeh Abu Shadi of Al-Baida, I’ll make an exception. 3ala jahanam el hamra).

No, what the menhebakjis really want to do is exert control over this forum, which they feel has gotten out of their control. Today, they will demand that a cartoon they find offensive be removed. Tomorrow, it will be something else. It always starts off with small impositions and demands, and then eventually grows until nothing that even hints of criticism of The Eye Doctor is tolerated.

Of course, we all know how well menhebakjis tolerate cartoonists, just look at Ali Ferzat.

Daniel Pipes said it well when he called out the Iranian Football Association when Iran was playing a game in the USA. The Iranians demanded that no beer commercials be broadcast during halftime. Pipes rightfully called it for what it was; the first step in a series of increasingly theocratic demands. The US broadcasters rightfully told the Iranians to chill out and get a drink.

So menhebakjis, chill out and enjoy some Ali Ferzat cartoons.

July 20th, 2012, 3:12 pm

 

PATRIOT said:

@ Bronco

I respect the fact that you are entitled to your own opinion, so I am just thinking out loud right now.

With that in mind that has to be the dumbest explanation as to why that caricature was so offensive. These men were directly responsible for the death of over 17,000 people, yet you are SO offended at a harmless cartoon. These men entered politics knowing it was going to be a dirty game, and they knew the consequences of their decision to pursue a security solution instead of legitimate reforms. You are saying that the author of the cartoon does not respect human life yet you are in essense defending people who had no respect for human life and have driven my country to the gates of hell. Every new posting of yours makes you sound increasingly delusional, like that despot Nasrallah when he talks about “Souwiwa”

July 20th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

omen said:

42. comparison to 9/11 isn’t valid, bronco. it’s a stretch to try to make a connection. it’s exploitative and insulting to try to appeal to emotion connected to that tragedy.

-shawcat was a stone cold mass murderer who got what was coming to him.

-victims of 9/11 were completely innocent.

…..

39. visitor, let’s keep it to just members of regime with blood on their hands.

holding them for trial where regime crimes can be publicized for all the world to see would be good too.

July 20th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

Amjad said:

Moderator, yet again one of my posts got stuck in the spam que, where I address the menhebakji’s ridiculous and hypocritical self righteous indignation about the cartoon.

Seeing #42’s fake outrage has given us as many laughs as the cartoon. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s just a way for the menhebakjis to exert control over what content appears on this website. Otherwise, where was their outrage when Al-Dunya broadcast bodies of dead Syrians they disgustingly called “Arab mercenaries”. Despicable.

When Ben Laden was killed, numerous cartoons appeared to mark the event. I doubt #42 boycotted a single newspaper or website that put up those cartoons. But apparently, this one has hit too close to home.

In any case, we all know the history the regime has with regards to cartoonists. Just ask Ali Ferzat.

July 20th, 2012, 3:25 pm

 
 
 

Stick To The Truth said:

44. PATRIOT said:

@ Bronco

These men were directly responsible for the death of over 17,000 people, yet you are SO offended at a harmless cartoon

Ths does not make the cartoon funny and tastefull

Sorry if I cant share this bloodthirsty sense of humnor.

July 20th, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

Amjad said:

Some more cartoons to drive the menhebakjis mental

http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/directory/S/Syria.asp

July 20th, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

bronco said:

44. PATRIOT

If Joshua’s Blog has decided to take the direction of being openly anti-regime and publishing articles and showing exclusively cartoons that make “fun” of the regime, then let it be clear, and there’ll be no point in arguing or contributing anymore.

July 20th, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

Amjad said:

Translation of #51; “It doesnt mean a thing to me that Professor Landis is the only credible analyst who regularly gives space to SANA and other blatantly pro-regime outlets, if he isn’t as blatantly pro-regime, I’m going off in a huff to that bastion of free speech, Al-Baath newspaper.”

July 20th, 2012, 3:43 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

45. omen said:
victims of 9/11 were completely innocent.

….. and were murderd by people that believe in the same ideology and in terrorism as an instrument of politics.

July 20th, 2012, 3:47 pm

 

omen said:

bronco, the blog has posted cartoons that have insulted the people. you know…the victims.

here, this will make you feel better.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10408

July 20th, 2012, 3:47 pm

 

zoo said:

FSA got help from Mossad

Damascus bombing ‘smells of Mossad,’ US analyst says

WASHINGTON
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/damascus-bombing-smells-of-mossad-us-analyst-says–.aspx?pageID=238&nID=25950&NewsCatID=352

A former U.S. intelligence analyst said Israeli spy network Mossad could be linked to a fatal bombing that killed top security officials in Damascus on July 18.

An unidentified former analyst said “the entire attack smelled of Mossad,” according to Kasım Cindemir of daily Habertürk.
Members of the Syrian opposition reportedly claimed Israel played an important part in the attack, with some saying they received satellite images from Mossad showing the building where Syria’s National Security Council meeting took place.

July 20th, 2012, 3:48 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Bronco,

JL for many many years (since I discovered his blog) was an acute mnhebak. You wouldn’t believe to what degree. He was Assad’s main cheerleader and apologist.

So what? Didn’t people who disagreed with him (me included) continue to post comments.

My judgment: mnhebaks lack sense of humor, and are hyper sensitive.

If you don’t like the heat, don’t go in the kitchen. As we say in Hebrew.
.

July 20th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

32. ANWAR said:

“and leave Syria.. That’s a great advice for losers.”

he was exiled. He will back soon, once the regime is buried.

ANWAR,
Unless you intend on burying the church when you bury the regime, I am afraid Father Paolo is not coming back. Not as a priest anyway.
Father Paolo was dismissed by the church from his responsibility at the Mar Mousa monastery, and transferred out of Syria to another post, for his political activism and taking sides in the Syrian conflict.
His duty was to attend to his congregation and the needs of the monastery, regardless of the political affiliation of the members.
The christian church relationship with the secular authority is dictated by the phrase: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21)
When Father Paolo became a political activist, he violated his church vows, and committed an infraction. An infraction serious enough to cause him to loose his choice of post and his choice of country of service, and that is a church decision.
You claim to be an orthodox. You should know that it is not up to Father Paolo, to be able to return to his previous post, regardless of the political outcome in Syria in the future.

July 20th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

omen said:

i’m glad he’s dead. it was an act of self defense. killing him likely spared more people being slain on a grander scale. (wonder what his inclinations were in regard to using the stockpile.)

that being said, are these really his daughters?

https://twitter.com/LeRifai/status/226295748180996097

….

53. stick: and were murderd by people that believe in the same ideology and in terrorism as an instrument of politics.

nice try. too many sources have confirmed the regime was in bed with alqaeda.

….

9. bruno, my posts are getting stuck too. there is a bug in the machine. it’s not a conspiracy.

July 20th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

zoo said:

Bab Al Hawa borders rendered useless after the looting by armed rebels calling themselves mujahideen

Syria rebels control border post with Turkey

BAB AL-HAWA, Syria – Agence France-Presse
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-rebels-control-border-post-with-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=25951&NewsCatID=352

The rebel fighters had already sacked the buildings making up the Syrian border post, which were bloodstained and riddled with bullets from Thursday’s battle.

They had also helped themselves to the contents of the Turkish lorries that were caught up in the battle as they waited to cross the border.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/jul/20/free-syrian-army-turkey-border-video?newsfeed=true

July 20th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria Denies Assad Ready to Stand Down

Friday, 20 July 2012
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/138891/syria-denies-assad-ready-to-stand-down.html

Syrian authorities denied on Friday reports that President Bashar al-Assad was preparing to leave office “in an orderly way.”

A statement on Syrian state television said the rumors were “completely devoid of truth.”

The denial came after comments by Russia’s ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, to French radio.

“At the Geneva conference, there was a final communique that foresees a transition towards a more democratic system,” Orlov told RFI radio.

“This final communique was accepted by Assad. Assad nominated his representative to lead the negotiations with the opposition for this transition. That means he accepted to leave, but in an orderly way,” he went on.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Paris said when contacted by RIA Novosti that Orlov’s comments had been misinterpreted.

July 20th, 2012, 4:11 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

55. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

My judgment: mnhebaks lack sense of humor, and are hyper sensitive.

If you don’t like the heat don’t go in the kitchen.

I wonder of you would show the same sense of humor if you listen to some Genocide jokes in Germany?

By the way, the words heat and kitchen fits very much in this context.

Or you are not hyper sensitive?

July 20th, 2012, 4:14 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

“By the way, the words heat and kitchen fits very much in this context.”

WTF!!!!!

That is utterly disgusting, to equate the deaths of millions of Jews during the Holocaust to that of the killing of murderous thugs is beyond comprehension.

Despicable and disgusting assertion that can only be made by sick and callous people.

Same argument goes for the people arguing that 9/11 is the same as well.

July 20th, 2012, 4:20 pm

 

ghufran said:

armed rebels in Homs are on the defense now,in Syria nobody seems to be able to claim long term gains,I do not know why it is so hard for some to understand that winning militarily in this conflict can only be achieved through utter destruction of the state.
non Syrians ,on and off this board , who are regurgitating their concern about Syrian lives and deciding who deserve to live or die provide more reasons on why foreigners should keep their hands(and mouths) off this conflict.

July 20th, 2012, 4:22 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

62. ghufran said:

non Syrians ,on and off this board , who are regurgitating their concern about Syrian lives and deciding who deserve to live or die provide more reasons on why foreigners should keep their hands(and mouths) off this conflict.

I cant agree more….

July 20th, 2012, 4:28 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Was Omar Suleiman killed with the other murderos rapists while offering secret Israeli and SCAF advice to Bashar? Can somebody please tell Nasrillat to shut up?

Free Syria & Palestine?

July 20th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

zoo said:

Some news indicate that the Syrian army have regained control of the border. In any case the ‘free’ looting by the villagers is an indication of what we will see should the FSA control any city or town

Villagers loot Syria border post seized by rebels
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/syria-crisis-border-post-idINDEE86J0J320120720

BAB AL-HAWA, Syria | Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:03am IST

(Reuters) – Rebel fighter Ismail watches approvingly as local villagers loot beer and whisky from the burnt-out duty free shop at Bab al-Hawa, the border post between Syria and Turkey seized from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on Thursday.

“This is the people’s money; they are taking it back,” he said. “Whoever wants to should take it. There is no shame or wrongdoing.”

Youths on scooters arrived from nearby villages to empty the charred duty free shop and warehouse, whose walls were already daubed with anti-Assad graffiti. “Down with the Iranian agent”, “Leave child killer” and “Free Army forever” the slogans read.

Some rebels had smashed bottles of alcohol to stress their Islamic opposition to drinking – leaving a powerful smell of liquor in the charred duty-free complex.

But others turned a blind eye as local villagers carried off Heineken beer and Chivas whisky along with cartons of tobacco for hubble bubble pipes.

“This is yours. Take it away,” said 23-year-old fighter Sameh, offering up a case of 12 Black Label whisky bottles before being politely turned down.

July 20th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

Tara said:

The comparison between Jews who died in the holocaust and the assassination of few mass murderers from the Syrian regime is not acceptable.

July 20th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

# 61. Son of Damascus said:
Same argument goes for the people arguing that 9/11 is the same as well.

Terrorism remains terrorism whatever the color it has. Same argument goes for the people who were behind the terror attack in Bulgaria yesterday.

July 20th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

omen said:

62. foreigners should keep…off this conflict.

you forgot a caveat, ghufran.

unless they’re iran sending death squads or russia providing intelligence & weapons for the regime.

pretty sad. when lacking a counterargument, yell “foreigner!” it’s a lazy card to play. but i guess it’s hard to defend the indefensible.

July 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

66. Tara said:

The comparison between Jews who died in the holocaust

DIED is only a belittlement of this crime. They were murderd!!!

July 20th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

63. Stick to the Truth,

Here’s one for you:
Why did Hitler commit suicide?
He received the gas bill.

Another one:
How do you place 6 Jews in a Volkswagen beetle?
Answer: 2 in the front seats, 3 in the back seats, and 1 in the ashtray.
.

July 20th, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Sticking it to the truth,

After your sick and callous assertion and cynical joke about ovens, I care not to converse with such bigoted and heartless trolls such as yourself. Go find some other person you can try to spread your callous and bigoted crap to, I neither have room for it nor do I want to lower myself to your disgusting level.

July 20th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

irritated said:

Anyone who condones acts of terrorism and justify it by saying they deserve it, is condoning the murder of Arafat, the lynching of Qaddafi, the assassination of Kennedy, the murder of Sadat, 9/11 etc..
Many still claimed these acts were acts of justice, are you one of them?

July 20th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

omen said:

irritated, you condone state sponsored terrorism by failing to denounce the regime.

for syrians, everyday is 9/11.

July 20th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

Tara said:

Irritated

Please tell me why wouldn’t I condone the assassination of Ariel Sharon or…Bashar al Assad.

July 20th, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

zoo said:

Border news to be confirmed

Abu Kamal and Bab Hawa borders re-occupied by the Syrian army

http://www.documents.sy/news.php?lang=en

July 20th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

ghufran said:

نفى السفير الروسي في باريس ألكسندر أورلوف بشكل قاطع في مقابلة مع تلفزيون بي اف ام الفرنسي كل ما نشر على لسانه بشأن قبول الرئيس الأسد بالتنحي من خلال مقابلة مع راديو فرانس إنترناسيونال.
I do not know why is the issue of Assad stepping down is such a taboo or a major sin for many,I think as soon as there is an acceptable level of security,if we ever get to that point,he must make arrangements for somebody else to lead the country for a short period while elections are being prepared, a military council was on the table before but not now after too much blood was spilled,I truly believe that no military person should be allowed to lead the country until after he resigns his post and stay out of the army for 3 years or more,the plan was to let the regime puts ahead their team of negotiators and let the opposition do the same,Assad was not supposed to be part of this process,I do not know if this plan is still doable now.
BTW,Alsharra was at the funeral of the victims of Alrawda bombing, he is likely to play a role in future negotiations,if those negotiations ever take place.

July 20th, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

irritated said:

Tara

It’s your choice. I still believe that no one has the right to take the place of the justice, even if sometimes it fails.

July 20th, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

71. Son of Damascus said:

I neither have room for it nor do I want to lower myself to your disgusting level.

People like you are the reason we have middle fingers.

July 20th, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

ghufran said:

shaikh akher zaman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HUGUxGYYDuk
I think that anybody who is still talking about a secular revolution is in need for a psychiatric revolution, Seculars were brutalized and imprisoned by Hafez,then his son,and now they are called traitors by the opposition.

July 20th, 2012, 5:11 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Ah Moderator, now it is my turn have a post captured and hidden. The one where I reply to Albo.

July 20th, 2012, 5:12 pm

 

irritated said:

73. omen

I disagree, the State has the responsibility toward its citizens, terrorists only to themselves.
For some Syrians the state is the terrorist, for others it is their protector. It is not up to you to decide who is right or who is wrong.

July 20th, 2012, 5:14 pm

 

ghufran said:

أعلن عضو مكتب العلاقات الخارجية في “المجلس الوطني السوري” عبد الرحمن الحاج أن المجلس “يعد للانتقال إلى الأراضي السورية تزامناً مع التطورات الميدانية المتسارعة” في البلاد.
وأوضح الحاج في تصريح لوكالة “آكي” الايطالية للأنباء، أن “هذه الخطوة تأتي انطلاقاً من اعتقاد المجلس بأن النظام يتهاوى ونهايته باتت وشيكة وأن هذه التطورات تأتي بعد دخول عدد من اعضائه البارزين إلى مختلف المناطق والمدن السورية، وهنالك الآن عشرات من أعضاء المجلس داخل الأراضي السورية”.

July 20th, 2012, 5:16 pm

 

ghufran said:

أعلن المراقب العام السابق لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين في سوريا علي صدر الدين البيانوني اليوم الجمعة عن بدء الإعداد لإطلاق حزب سياسي وطني مستقل ذو مرجعية إسلامية .
ونقلت وكالة أنباء الأناضول عن البيانوني قوله في إسطنبول إن الحزب سيدعم منظمات المجتمع المدني وينفتح على التيارات الإسلامية والقوى الشعبية والوطنية في الوطن وخارجه.
وأضاف البيانوني أن الحزب الجديد سيعمل مع كافة القوى الوطنية، وستعمل الجماعة على تفعيل كافة القوى الشبابية بين صفوفها وتعزيز دور المرأة وتوسيع دائرة الشورى لاستيعاب كل الطاقات.
وشدد على أن الجماعة تستمر في السير على نهجها الوسطي المعتدل المنفتح على أبناء الوطن جميعاً وعلى مبدأ الحوار والمشاركة الوطنية بعيدا عن الإقصاء والاستئثار والمواربة.
وأشار إلى سعي الجماعة لتأسيس دولة سورية تكون وطنا حرا كريما يتساوى فيه المواطنون في دولة مدنية تعددية تداولية ديمقراطية يتنافس أبناءها على تداول الحكم
MB in principle should have the right to form a political party but what about membership requirements? will the MB accept Alawites,Christians and Druze? will Syria be well served with a party that only accepts conservative Sunnis?
why do religious Sunnis ,or any other religious group,need a political party anyway?

July 20th, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

Amjad said:

“By the way, the words heat and kitchen fits very much in this context.”

The true measure of a mature people and society is how tolerant they are with regards to humor aimed at themselves. The most enlightened societies are those who indulge in self-deprecating humor. Any episode of SNL has Jew jokes written and performed by Jews.

The kind of jokes a person makes and tolerates is a reflection on the kind of individual that person is. For a menhebakji to be so intolerant of legitimate expressions of free speech, while simultaneously making the disgusting and despicable kind of remark that I quoted, is to have the worst of both traits co-exist at the same time. I hope the comment in question gets as much distribution as is possible. This is the kind of “free expression” the menhebakjis would impose on this website; anti-semetic comments celebrating genocide, while forbidding anything that may show up el doktor in a bad light.

“People like you are the reason we have middle fingers.”

What did I say? Do I know how to call them or what?

July 20th, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Brother Anwar:

As usual, your analyses are sophisticated-not fictional.

Please allow me to remind all that you are a Syrian Christian to contradict the falsehood that most Christians support the dictator.

July 20th, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

“People like you are the reason we have middle fingers.”

Thanks for reaffirming my earlier comment…

July 20th, 2012, 5:28 pm

 

Information said:

This wasn’t the assassination of generals post conflict, this was the assassination of top level military and intelligence agents who were in the process of waging war and killing unarmed combatants. To me, it is even more morally justifiable to attack them than some poor kid from Masyaf with a gun who joined the military so that his parents would have one less mouth to feed in Assad’s paradise. I wouldn’t classify the act as one of terrorism since it wasn’t targeting individuals I would consider civilians.

July 20th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Al Mayadeen confirms that Abu Kamal the border with Iraq is back into the hands of the Syrian authorities.
The freedom fighters got some whisky and cigarettes from the duty free shops they looted.

http://almayadeen.net/ar/Programs/Newscast#!/part_2

July 20th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Bashar Assad would have had a lot more in the family accounts if his greedy Uncle Rifaat had not taken so much to fund his luxurious lifestyle in his Mayfair mansion.

But I think you would find Bashar and his family feel personal ownership and wealth in the state-funded homes they live in, in every public building and state owned enterprise he sees in Syria, in the massive body of servants he has in the Syrian citizens (some of whom are now conducting what he’d see as an insolent slaves revolt).

An interesting glimpse into that mentality is his bored wife sitting online spending state funds to decorate a state-owned building as if she personally owned and financed it. Just as Gaddafi’s and Saddam Hussein’s families felt entitled to lavish their country’s funds on their personal lifestyle.

Also, Bashar’s friendly family in the UK, his father in law, has probably been assisting in setting up some invisible nest eggs.

July 20th, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

irritated said:

#87 INFORMATION

who were in the process of waging war killing unarmed (???) combatants.

Just in a day there has been more than 50 soldiers killed? with olive branches?
Who has attacked Damascus, bombed power station and factories? The Syrian army?
This heroic “victim” version does not work anymore,

July 20th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

irritated said:

The trapped rebels withdraw from Barzeh and Midan after getting a moral flash that their presence was causing civilians casualties.

Isn’t rather because, contrary to their expectations, the civilians did not rise on their sides and told them to go away.
Another ‘tactical’ retreat we got used to, hiding a defeat.

July 20th, 2012, 5:47 pm

 

irritated said:

Information Ministry: A Fake Channel is Using Syrian Satellite Channel Logo and May Replace Genuine Channel

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Information Ministry announced that there is a satellite channel using the logo of the Syrian Satellite Channel and broadcasting nationalistic songs in preparation for springing a media ambush which has been uncovered before. This channel may appear on the same frequency as the genuine channel if it is cut off at any time…

July 20th, 2012, 5:52 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Stick to the Truth,

Vulgarity towards a commenter is not acceptable. Please consider this a warning. SC Moderator
—-

71. Son of Damascus said:

I neither have room for it nor do I want to lower myself to your disgusting level.

86. Son of Damascus said:

“People like you are the reason we have middle fingers.”

Thanks for reaffirming my earlier comment…

What happend? I guess the temptation was big to lower yourself.
I detest weak and inconsequent people.

July 20th, 2012, 5:57 pm

 

omen said:

33. GHUFRAN said: the attack was also criticized by many anti regime people on social media.

really? on social media…yet you don’t quote any examples.

you seem to have a habit of not providing source for your claims.

July 20th, 2012, 6:05 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I reply to Albo from the previous thread who said:

“Syrialover, if indeed you love Syria you shouldn’t approve of what is happening the way it’s happening. It’s one thing to want political change, another to destroy your country to reach that goal. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

“Because, yes I hear you about innocents being killed, but can you guarantee that all the cops and soldiers killed in ambushes when armed rebels appeared, that they all deserved their fate from your POV?”

MY RESPONSE

Two things, and I answer sincerely.

First, I desperately hate what is happening the way it is happening. It is the worst nightmare beyond imagining and I live for the day the fighting stops.

But its root cause and inevitability has been created by the Assad regime, starting in 1970, with flame accelerant poured on it by war criminal and idiot Bashar Assad. You describe perfectly HIS stance when you write “….to destroy your country to reach that goal. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face”

The other thing, and I have voiced it here more than once,is that my heart breaks for every ordinary soldier and policemen who has died. I see their faces, think of their lives, and I share the grief of their family and friends. I am distressed and furious they have been made victims. Victims of the Assad regime.

Just like every courageous and decent Syrian who has joined the FSA, this is not the fate in life they would have chosen – it has been imposed on them. Imposed by them because they had the rotten misfortune to be born in a country under this vicious dictatorship.

A vicious dictatorship which is now eating Syria’s young men in its hideous death throes.

I will forever mourn and honor every ordinary Syrian who died on both sides and embrace every one who has suffered. I am close to weeping as I write this. The blood of every one of them is on the Assad regime’s filthy hands.

July 20th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

omen said:

bronco, the blog has posted cartoons that have insulted the people.

you know…the victims.

here, this will make you feel better.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10408

July 20th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

SC Moderator said:

Stick to the Truth,

Please read my note to you in comment #100.

July 20th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

Tara said:

Majedkhaldoun et al,

Happy Ramadan to you, and to all who celebrate or do not celebrate Ramadan. I wish and pray next Ramadan brings peace, freedom and dignity to all ME in general and Syria in particular.

July 20th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

Ghufran said:

أكد المخرج حاتم علي أن الممثل ثامر إسماعيل، الذي أدى دور عمر بن الخطاب في مسلسل الفاروق “مسلم سني”.
يأتي ذلك بعد انتشار شائعات بأن بطل المسلسل مسيحي.
وأضاف علي أنه لا مشكلة لديه سواء أكان مسلماً أو مسيحياً، ولكنها كانت رغبة لجنة العلماء المشرفة على العمل. وضرب مثالاً بالممثل العالمي أنطوني كوين، الذي جسد شخصيتي عمر المختار وحمزة بن عبدالمطلب، في فيلمي الرسالة وأسد الصحراء، ولم يكن مسلماً، ومع ذلك أدى الدورين بمهنية واحترافية عاليتين.
تخرج الممثل الشاب ثامر إسماعيل، الذي أدى دور الصحابي الجليل عمر بن الخطاب، في مسلسل “الفاروق”، حديثاً في المعهد العالي للفنون المسرحية في سوريا، ولم يسبق له الظهور في أي عمل درامي، أو مسرحي في حياته.
وقد اشترطت لجنة العلماء المشرفة على العمل أن يجسد شخصية الفاروق ممثل ليس له تاريخ في الدراما، وغير معروف في هذا المجال.

وكان من ضمن اشتراطات اللجنة الدينية أيضاً، أن يوقع الممثل الشاب على إقرار بعدم أداء أي دور في أي عمل درامي أو مسرحي، لعدة سنوات، تبدأ من يوم الاتفاق على العمل.

July 20th, 2012, 6:46 pm

 

Tara said:

The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to keep its observer mission in Syria for a “final” 30 days.

However, members agreed the mission could be extended further if the use of heavy weapons ends and fighting eases.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18929942
….
Britain’s UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, said after the vote: “We have said clearly that it is a final extension unless there is a change in the dynamic on the ground, and in particular that there should be a cessation of use of heavy weapons and that there should be a sufficient reduction in the violence to enable UNSMIS [the observer mission] to carry out its mandate.”

US ambassador Susan Rice said it was “unlikely” that the violence in Syria would ease enough to allow a continued UN presence.

She said that Washington’s “strong preference” would be for a resolution involving sanctions.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Western powers on Friday not to take action against Syria outside of the Security Council.

His spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying: “In the opinion of the Russian president, any attempts to act outside the UN Security Council will be ineffective and only undermine the authority of this international organisation.”

July 20th, 2012, 6:51 pm

 

Ghufran said:

اللهم اجعلنا من عبادك في رمضان ولا تجعلنا من عباد رمضان اللهم وأعنا على طاعتك فيه وفي غيره من الشهور.
اللهم ارزق جوارحنا الصيام عن المعاصي والذنوب والآثام.

July 20th, 2012, 7:02 pm

 

Karabennemsi said:

69 Ghufran

“non Syrians ,on and off this board , who are regurgitating their concern about Syrian lives and deciding who deserve to live or die provide more reasons on why foreigners should keep their hands(and mouths) off this conflict.”

GFY
I have done a lot of things for Syria and the people, i have worked my ass off for them, and i have lived in Syria a big part of my life, and i know a lot about politics
It is called Syria Comment, not SyriaN Comment, and i will comment on whatever i want to comment on, although i am not Syrian, but i am very sure that im competent enough to comment on here, who the hell are you to tell people to shut up anyways

Sorry about the vulgarity, but this sort of ignorance does not deserve be answered nicer

acutally not sorry about the vulgarity

July 20th, 2012, 7:07 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

91. Amjad said:

The true measure of a mature people and society is how tolerant they are with regards to humor aimed at themselves.

“If it were proved to me that in making war, my ideal had a chance of being realized, I would still say “no” to war. For one does not create a human society on mounds of corpses.”

Louis Lecoin

I guess Pere Paolo has taught you this!

By the way, do you write under 2 different nicks? Are you also the Son of Syria? If not why did you quote my comment “People like you are the reason …………”?

It was not adressed to you. Odd!!!

July 20th, 2012, 7:11 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Searching for Respectability

Making fun of the regime? who? me?

Heck no, I don’t want to make fun of it, I want to obliterate the cult of the leader, the ceiling of nation, the …. so on. I want to show it for the pathetic thing it is and I want to highlight the demented mental state of those who “love” such a mental nut case.

Sarcasm is liberating as a literary and artistic method of obliterating the fake and fear induced hallow of mastery surrounding the buffoon and his close circle as well as the myth surrounding the foolish founder of this abominable dynasty. This is a revolution, and the first act in a revolution is to eradicate fear, to demolish the statutes of the foolish founder erected inside our minds and to laugh at the arrogance of power and to demolish the taboo that sent many innocents to jail and to their graves for daring to make a joke.

YES the cartoonist is sharp, and this cartoon is a good one and it is descriptive far more than a long article or a post. I think some people hate the fact that fear has been obliterated. Well, live with it.

And the Damascus explosion is not comparable to 9-11, and the dead generals are not Youssef Al-Azmeh, and they were not targeted because they are from this or that sect. They were targeted because they are key links in the machinery of destruction and in the blow-torch that is burning the country for the sake of the buffoon. Little they knew, they themselves became drops of fuel for that torch. The buffoon cares so much about them that he is no where to be seen and heard from except to anoint their replacement. Wow, what a leader and what charisma and character…. the selfish coward.

The circle will get smaller and smaller, in the end, the buffoon will be searching for a rope, and he will have none. There will be no safety rope for him, neither a mercy rope for him to hang himself with.

BTW, can anyone show a photo of Mr Ninja Pajama boy in the funeral of the three generals?

Yet, there is a greater injustice in their death than the injustice of their death…. Yo win a duckling if you can identify it.

Obliterate the lying image of the western-educated-doctor, and show the emperor’s naked behind for what it is, a naked behind.

July 20th, 2012, 7:13 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Karaben,
You probably should read my post again,I do not own this forum and I have no right to tell you or any other poster,Syrian or not,whether to comment or not.
Informative comments from all are good for this forum,however,garbage-quality posts do not serve Syria or this site,free speech is free speech,that means allowing all to talk,I reserve my right to express my opinion the same way you do.
If you did any work to help Syria,then please accept my appreciation,you should be able to understand why many Syrians are furious about foreign interference in Syria,that includes Iran,Qatar and Turkey among others.

July 20th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

Ghufran said:

University of Oklahoma Syria specialist Joshua Landis finds the Alawite-state scenario unconvincing. “Once the regime loses Damascus, it’s finished,” he says. “The Alawite mountains are not a sufficient basis for a nation-state. It has no separate economy of its own, and the regime hasn’t planned for this. Such an entity wouldn’t have an external backer — Iran wouldn’t be in any position to provide the necessary support. Once the Sunnis own the capital and the income from the oil fields, they’d make short work of any remaining Alawite resistance.
Once the regime departs the capital, it essentially vacates the structure of power it had established, Landis argues. And that raises the danger of even more vicious fighting ahead, spearheaded by the Shabiha units of pro-regime thugs often led by men no older than 21.
Still, even if it isn’t the final outcome, it’s conceivable that Syria’s civil war will pass through a potentially protracted and bloody phase in which rival power centers control on different pieces of territory, in a manner not unfamiliar to Bosnia or Lebanon.
Like Yugoslavia, the Syrian nation-state was an invention of the victorious Western powers in the wake of World War I. Those powers saw no benefit in trying to prevent the unraveling of their handiwork in the Balkans seven decades later, but in Syria — where the geopolitical and security stakes are vast, region-wide and far more perilous — they’re desperate to preserve the Syria they created in the 1920s, and with a strong central state to boot.

July 20th, 2012, 7:26 pm

 

zoo said:

http://news.yahoo.com/snc-chief-reassures-minorities-post-assad-syria-213228176.html

Sayda had said in Rome Thursday the Syrian regime was “in its final days”.
The Syrian National Council is “ready to take power in Syria”, he told Deutsche Welle. “We have a concrete plan and keep contact with all opposition groups inside and outside Syria.”

July 20th, 2012, 7:48 pm

 

Juergen said:

What was that today? I seriously thought we all got ourselfs committed to a civil dialogue.

For those who are celebrating, ramadan kareem.

July 20th, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

Ghufran said:

، قال مصدر سوري لـ “القدس العربي” طلب عدم الكشف عن اسمه أن التفجير حصل داخل الغرفة التي كان فيها المسؤولون الكبار المجتمعون حيث جرى إدخال شرائح من مادة الـ c4 شديدة الانفجار حجم الواحدة منها أقل من حجم جهاز الموبايل الصغير، هذه الشرائح جرى إلصاقها بأسفل طاولة الاجتماعات عند مكان جلوس كل مسؤول من المسؤولين المجتمعين.
يقول المصدر الذي تحدث لـ”القدس العربي” ان إدخال الشرائح المتفجرة جرى عبر شاب جامعي في العقد الثالت من العمر هو متعاقد مدني مع مكتب الأمن القومي منذ عدة سنوات ويحظى بثقة رئيس المكتب هشام اختيار، الشاب جرى تجنيده من أجهزة مخابرات تشك السلطات السورية بأنها تركية وأردنية ليتم إيصال الشرائح اليه عبر وسيط يعمل لصالح المعارضة الخارجية وبدوره قام الشاب بوضع الشرائح المتفجرة في المكان المناسب.
المصدر أضاف أيضا أن الشرائح الـ c4 هي من النوع المتطور والذي لايوجد منها إلا لدى أجهزة مخابرات متقدمة وهذه الشرائح تحوي أيضاً على شرائح ممغنطة تتلقى أمر التفجير من جهاز يرسل لها إشارات من مكان بعيد وفي أي توقيت يختاره المنفذون.
مبنى الأمن القومي هو مبنى متواضع من ثلاث طبقات يفصله عن مبنى السفارة التركية بدمشق بناءين فقط ومسافة لا تتجاوز 40 متراً، الاجتماع وحسب المصدر كان يجري في غرفة اجتماعات مجاورة لمكتب اللواء هشام اختيار في الطابق الثاني. ورفض المصدر الحديث عن مصير الشاب الجامعي الذي جرى تجنيده.
المصدر نفى وجود محمد سعيد بخيتان الأمين القطري المساعد لحزب البعث داخل الاجتماع وقال أن بخيتان لم يعد هو من فريق إدارة الأزمة أصلاً، كما نفى وجود كل من العميد حافظ مخلوف والعميد ماهر الأسد

July 20th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

irritated said:

Ghufran #113

Joshua Landis: “they’re desperate to preserve the Syria they created in the 1920s, and with a strong central state to boot.”

It does not look to me that they are. Only Russia and China
who had nothing to do with the divisions of the Middle east are the ones struggling to keep Syria a strong state.
The others ( France, Uk , USA) appear to be pushing more for a fragmentation of the country to protect Israel and weaken Iran.

July 20th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

Juergen said:

Those who dont feel like watching the usual great ramadan series productions, Top Goon is back with a second series

July 20th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

An opposing thumb is more valuable than a middle finger.
But it is still fun, and perhaps a duty to point one’s index.

July 20th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

zoo said:

Syrian forces control only one of the 8 borders with Turkey or is it Turkish propaganda? is it going to become the long waited ‘corridor’?

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/rebels-claim-control-of-turkish-syrian-border.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26024&NewsCatID=359

Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have been left in control of only one of Syria’s eight border gates with Turkey after losing control of the others in pitched battles with rebels July 20, according to a Turkish official.

July 20th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

#114. zoo,

Sayda is not even capable of convincing the Kurds to allign themelves with the rebells, so how can he convince the other minorities to allgin to align themselves with them.

The message of Sayda is not addressed to the minorities in Syria but to the public opinion in Europe and worldwide.

Could anyone imagine that a person like Sayda could have any power to protect the minorities in Syria?
I believe he will be busy protecting himself from the extremists on the rebelles side.

July 20th, 2012, 8:21 pm

 

Ghufran said:

BBC Arabic has a report and a video about Iraqis in Syria who were forced by the FSA to leave their homes.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/multimedia/2012/07/120720_syria_iraqi_refugees.shtml

July 20th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

Tara said:

Bashar is now begging to implement Annan’s plan

Syria: Assad regime starts to unravel
Damascus sees fierce fighting as Free Syrian Army fighters take control of key suburbs and crossings into Turkey and Iraq

Luke Harding in Beirut and Ian Black,
guardian.co.uk, Friday 20 July 2012 14.38 EDT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/20/syria-assad-regime-unravel-damascus

With the situation changing by the hour, the government’s control over large parts of the country continued to unravel. The FSA said it had captured two border crossings between Syria and Turkey as well as one in Iraq. The regime still holds key cities, at least during the day, but it appears increasingly vulnerable to guerilla raids.

Diplomats revealed that Assad had phoned the head of the UN monitoring mission, General Robert Mood, pledging to implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan shortly after Wednesday’s devastating bomb attack in Damascus, which killed four senior members of his military-security command. The UN says Assad and the rebels have failed to observe a ceasefire.

The capture of Syria’s borders by the opposition was an important moment, analysts said, and showed Syria’s 16-month conflict was now a fast-moving guerilla war. Fawwaz Traboulsi, a Beirut-based historian and columnist, said the tactics and strategy of the Free Syrian Army had improved, in contrast to the early days of the uprising.

“It’s conducting a war that is very close to a guerrilla war. The FSA can move very easily. It can withdraw. It is taking whole regions and holding them,” he said.

With Assad’s options narrowing, and a diplomatic solution elusive, Traboulsi was sceptical that Assad would abandon Damascus and go abroad – even if he wished to.

He noted: “Bashar doesn’t rule himself. He leads a family in power and a circle of army and security leaders. He can’t simply whisk himself out of the country without their knowledge. If he flees the whole thing will collapse.”

July 20th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

Stick to the truth said:

122. Ghufran said:

BBC Arabic has a report and a video about Iraqis in Syria who were forced by the FSA to leave their homes.”

Any idea about the ethnic groups of these Iraqis?

Sayda just promised that the rights of the minorities will be respected and protected.

July 20th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

123. Tara said:

Fawwaz Traboulsi, a Beirut-based historian and columnist…

UNFORTUNATELLY defeat or victory are in the hands of fighters and are not made in Alhamra district in Beirut by columnists holding a glasses of french wine in their hands.

The world is full of these pseudo-experts.

July 20th, 2012, 8:50 pm

 

Tara said:

Who is running the military operations in Syria after the death of most people in the inner circle. The army remained cohesive..who are leading the operations?

July 20th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

omen said:

i can’t remember if it was on cnn or aljazeera, but general akil hashem gave an interview the other day where he mentioned chemical weapons were used during the hama massacre during 1982.

i never heard this claim before so i started looking around.

according to wiki:

There are also unsubstantiated reports of use of hydrogen cyanide by the government forces.[17]

which pointed to a syrian human rights committee report:

Other reports talk of using containers of cyanide gas to kill all inhabitants of buildings

also from wiki:

Twenty years later, Syrian journalist Subhi Hadidi, wrote that “under the command of General Ali Haydar, besieged the city for 27 days, bombarding it with heavy artillery and tank [fire], before invading it and killing 30,000 or 40,000 of the city\’s citizens – in addition to the 15,000 missing who have not been found to this day, and the 100,000 expelled.”[6]

from another page citing a report:

The initial bombing run cost the city few casualties. It\’s main purpose had been to disable the roads so that no-one could escape. Earlier in the night, Syrian tanks and artillery systems had surrounded Hama. With the conclusion of the air bombing run, the tanks and artillery began their relentless shelling of the town.

[…]

With their mission completed and their pockets filled with loot, the soldiers began to retreat from the city. One would think that would have been the last wave of the attacks. It was not. The final attack on Hama was the most gruesome. To make sure that no person was left alive in the rubble and buildings, the Syrian army brought in poison gas generators. Cyanide gas filled the air of Hama. Bulldozers were later used to turn the city into a giant flat area.

.

cyanide would explain the high numbers of people killed back in 1982. the bashar regime has shelled homs for longer than 27 days and hasn’t racked up killing 40 thousand people within that timeframe.

why isn’t this better known?

if chemical weapons have been used before, doesn’t that increase the chances they will be used again?

July 20th, 2012, 8:55 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Stick,
If you watch the video you will hear the refugees using the accusation of “Ta’ifiyyah”
Do your math.

July 20th, 2012, 8:58 pm

 

Ghufran said:

اعلنت وزارة الداخلية السعودية في بيان تحذيري موجه للمقيمين غير المسلمين، انها ستقوم بفصل وابعاد كل من يجاهر بالاكل خلال شهر الصيام.

July 20th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

omen said:

related to 127.

and this reference

Twenty years later, Syrian journalist Subhi Hadidi, wrote that “under the command of General Ali Haydar, besieged the city for 27 days, bombarding it with heavy artillery and tank [fire], before invading it and killing 30,000 or 40,000 of the city’s citizens – in addition to the 15,000 missing who have not been found to this day, and the 100,000 expelled.”[6]

don’t tell me this is the same guy wss has been talking up (ali haider) slated to head the a transition effort. please tell me these are two different people – because that would be a sick joke.

July 20th, 2012, 9:09 pm

 

omen said:

🙁

i posted a piece that belongs with 127. but it got swallowed up twice.

July 20th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Dear Dawoud @71

” Can somebody please tell Nasrillat to shut up?”

I really like simple heart-felt statements…That is exactly what went in my mind listening to him.

July 20th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

omen said:

thank you, moderator!

July 20th, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

Amjad said:

#110

And yet your prethident’s daddy didn’t mind waging war on Lebanon and Jordan to promote his ideology.

“By the way, do you write under 2 different nicks?”

Yeah yeah, I write under 10,000 names, on 10,000 forums, as per my instructions from the Salafi-Zionist organization that apparently has nothing better to do than to torment the biggest pussy of a president Syria has ever seen. Does he have ANY soldiers left on the Golan?

Anything on this forum is fair game, your interactions with other individuals are not private, especially when you spout such disgusting anti-semitic garbage. Don’t like it, then I refer you to Amir’s phrase about staying out of the kitchen.

July 20th, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Assad’s threat to deliberately burn the country now coming true in Damascus.

Fear, confusion and destruction. People in Damascus feel unsafe staying or leaving.

New report:

“Syrians Fleeing Capital Leave Bodies and Bombs Behind”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/world/middleeast/fleeing-syrians-leave-behind-bodies-and-bombs-in-damascus.html?_r=1&hp

July 20th, 2012, 10:15 pm

 

Norman said:

Is it possible that if the crises in Syria blow up that ethnic cleansing might take place and migration from Syria to Lebanon and from Lebanon to Syria might take place to establish a state on the cost for Christians Alawat and Shia, and state for the Sunni Muslims in the rest of Belad Al Sham.

July 20th, 2012, 10:50 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Assad’s inside enemies and plotters. Are they sitting with him in meetings, are they cleaning his shoes and making his bed, are they bringing in papers for him to sign, giving him briefings on the glorious victories of his army.

Playing along with his delusions and paranoia and vanity, while planning their next move. They will be making sure they survive post-Assad. They are not going to go down with him.

“Blast Strips Assad of a Valuable Family Member and a Pair of Powerful Loyalists”

Excerpt:

“Bashar today can no longer trust almost anyone who is close to him, and that is going to send a shiver through his inner circle and their confidence,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria scholar at the University of Oklahoma.
…..

With the ranks of his male siblings depleted, Mr. Assad relies on his cousins, like the business mogul Rami Makhlouf and his brother Hafez Makhlouf, a senior intelligence official, along with Dhu al-Hemma al-Shalish, the director of presidential security. Mr. Shalish, in particular, has risen in the thinning ranks of the Assad inner circle as the key financier and organizer of the paramilitary forces known as Shabiha.

Mr. Shalish and his immediate family “were looked at as lowlife no-goodniks a year ago, but today they have been catapulted into the ranks of the inner circle because they are willing to do the dirty work for the regime,” Mr. Landis said. “There are only so many family members.”

July 20th, 2012, 10:54 pm

 
 

Syrialover said:

Ghufran, #138 – the same story I posted about half an hour ago. Yes, it’s very disturbing reading.

July 20th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

ann said:

barak Orders Israeli Military to Prepare for Syria Invasion – July 20, 2012

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/07/20/barak-orders-israeli-military-to-prepare-for-syria-invasion/

n an interview with Israeli Channel 10 today Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that he has ordered the military to prepare for a full-scale invasion of neighboring Syria, with the goal of seizing weapons from the Syrian military, currently embroiled in a civil war.

Barak sought to justify the move, saying that it was possible Syria might transfer “anti-aircraft missiles” or even chemical weapons to Hezbollah, a militant faction operating out of neighboring Lebanon.

There were some reports that Syria was hoping to ditch some of its less useful weapons on Hezbollah, because they weren’t of much value in the ongoing civil war and were costing resources to protect from looters. Though this would be the case with some weapons, it is unlikely Syria would want to reduce its anti-aircraft arsenal, particularly with Western nations chomping at the bit for a NATO attack and imposed regime change.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 12:25 am

 

ann said:

Myriad Syrian Rebel Factions Continue to Puzzle US – July 20, 2012

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/07/20/myriad-syrian-rebel-factions-continue-to-puzzle-us/

For the Obama Administration, the question of whether or not to back the Syrian rebels in their ongoing civil war was answered a long time ago. Now comes a much more complex problem for them: who even are the rebels?

Military defectors, exiled politicians and even al-Qaeda wannabes are all present, and each sees themselves as the real mouthpiece of the rebels. The US is set to endorse the rebels as the new regime in Syria, but before they can properly impose that regime on the Syrian people they will need to figure out who they are and more importantly who their leader is.

Its more complicated than it sounds. Both the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have designs on being the “real rebels” in Syria, and even within the FSA there are a number of generals and colonels who consider themselves the “real commander” of the FSA.

Efforts at overseas meetings for the rebel blocs have been exercises in futility, as several refuse to attend and some claim others are secretly conspiring with Assad. Some groups seek negotiations leading to elections, while others spurn the idea, demanding to be immediately installed by the international community.

US diplomats are frustrated by the lack of a credible rebel “leadership” to talk to and, ideally, to buy off.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 12:38 am

 

ann said:

Switzerland, UAE set up joint probe into grenade report – 2012-07-21

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/21/c_131729043.htm

Switzerland is a country enjoys neutral status. Although Swiss laws ban arms sale to warring states, weapons produced by Swiss manufactures have repeatedly been spotted as being used in wars.

Swiss-made tanks sold to the UAE in 2004 and Romania in 2007 were also found to be used in Morocco, Iraq and Afghanistan.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 12:59 am

 

Ghufran said:

Only a fool would believe that armed thugs will lay down their weapons as soon as there is a new regime in Syria.
Alquds alarabi has a very disturbing story about the presence of alqaida and its affiliates in Syria. Keep denying this at your own peril ,folks.
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today%5C20z497.htm&arc=data%5C2012%5C07%5C07-20%5C20z497.htm

July 21st, 2012, 1:01 am

 

ann said:

France pledges further support for Syrian oppostion – 2012-07-21

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/21/c_123448927.htm

July 21st, 2012, 1:06 am

 

abbas said:

136 Norman
Will the Sunnis accept a land locked country?

July 21st, 2012, 1:13 am

 

Syrialover said:

Omen #127

On the use of cyanide at Hama, you cite some good sources and ask, why isn’t this better known?

Because it happened in Assadist Syria where secrecy and fear and distorted norms have meant a numb conspiracy of silence and burial of evidence.

Who would have dared be a questioner or informant on something like that and expect to survive?

This and other chilling atrocities will emerge post-Assad and become part of the real history of Syria.

Records will be found, witnesses will talk, forensic studies will be made of mass graves.

Those soldiers at Hama will now be in their 50s and 60s. Researchers will find some who will talk in detail after the state terror apparatus has collapsed.

Let’s hope this includes researchers collecting evidence for Rifaat Assad’s war crimes trial.

And journalists who will shock the world with information and evidence that destroys his luxury life in London. Making him a shabby and hated figure on the run, fighting extradition orders from a new Syrian government.

July 21st, 2012, 1:13 am

 

Syrialover said:

111. # SYRIAN HAMSTER

Please do not make us think of Assad’s naked behind. His clothed front is ugly and shudder-making enough.

And we already know there is a gap below the waist.

July 21st, 2012, 1:20 am

 

Syrialover said:

And this regime-made hell in Damascus is happening in temperatures over 40 degrees and during Ramadan.

This will be the main memory of Bashar Assad’s “rule” that will stay with millions of Damascenes for the rest of their lives and be handed down in families.

That’s his legacy.

July 21st, 2012, 1:37 am

 

ann said:

Russia slams U.S. for threats to solve Syrian crisis bypassing UN – 2012-07-21

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/21/c_123448834.htm

“The Russian Security Council stressed it was utterly inappropriate and unacceptable to link the increasing tensions in Syria to the position of the Russian Federation,” Peskov told reporters after the meeting.

He highlighted Putin’s stance that any attempts to bypass the UN Security Council would be inefficient and only undermine the authority of the UN.

The meeting of the Russian Security Council was also attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speakers of both houses of the Parliament, and other high-ranking officials.

After the vote, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, told the UN Security Council that it “utterly failed” on Syria.

“We will intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need,” she said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Friday rejected Rice’s comments, calling them an “alarming signal. ”

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 1:50 am

 

Expatriate said:

Russia and China slap down yet another Western-backed UN Security Council resolution on Syria
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/07/russia-and-china-slap-down-yet-another.html

July 21st, 2012, 2:51 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

SYRIA LOVER @ 147

The real threat is the void in the cavity above the long neck.

July 21st, 2012, 3:17 am

 

annie said:

Jordan hands over Syrian opposition voices and activists back to the regime – an appeal for Omar Alhariri

URGENT APPEAL:
The Jordanian authorities have handed over the activist Omar Aharir into the hands of the Syrian regime, more precisely, back to the secret services, despite the well-known fact that he has been a wanted man for his activities in favour of freedom and that, for this reason, he will be sentenced to death in Syria. Amman will hand over to the regime another 11 activists.

We are spreading this news as widely as possible so that this shameful action by the Jordanian authorities is stopped, aware as they are, of condemning these young people to certain death, people whose only crime has been that they have asked for the end of the dictatorship. The Jordanian authorities have been contacted and begged to not proceed in this act, but they have not listened. It’s not enough to undergo the abuse of the Syrian regime, now other States are chasing down and handing over for execution those who are demanding freedom for their people?

July 21st, 2012, 3:41 am

 

Mina said:

“Revolutionaries” who trust the Jordanian, Qatari, Saudi and Turkish regimes really have a missing piece in their brain.

Faruq al-Sharraa is back on the stage
http://syrie.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/07/21/reapparition-de-farouq-chareh-en-poseur-de-chrysanthemes-en-syrie/
(the writer of this blog claims to have been a diplomat and gives the tone of what French diplomats are supposed to be believing since the beginning of the conflit, he has a lot of imagination usually; in this piece he implies that the bombing occured not during a security meeting but against Bashar’s convoy, and that Bashar was injured but this was covered properly as to let him appear on the picture published yesterday with the new minister of defense)

July 21st, 2012, 4:33 am

 

ann said:

UN approves 30 more days for observers as clashes continue in Syria – 2012-07-21

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/21/c_131729832.htm

The TV station quoted officials as saying that Syrian flags were raised again Friday above the border crossings with Iraq, a day after armed rebels announced that they took over control of the border points.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Manar TV quoted Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Talal Tlass as saying that a “cleansing campaign has already started and good news will be heard soon.”

Tlass reportedly made the remarks while attending an official funeral procession on Friday for top officers who were killed in Wednesday’s bombing in Damascus.

During a tour of Midan organized by the Syrian Information Ministry, Xinhua reporters saw dead bodies of bearded fighters lying on the ground, all dressed in black. Many old apartments were damaged or destroyed.

The streets in Midan were almost deserted. Mosques there suffered serious damage as the armed rebels had sought refuge inside the holy places.

Many of the arrested gunmen were tied up and on their knees in line, waiting to be transported to prison. Uniformed Free Syrian Army rebels were also seen along with large quantities of seized ammunition and weapons.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 4:48 am

 

ann said:

Hey Mina,

Looks like SC is coming back to reality 😉

July 21st, 2012, 4:58 am

 

ann said:

For UN in Syria, Mood is Replaced By Gaye, Open Compared to Ladsous – July 20, 2012

While Ladsous had been “blocking release of the UNSMIS report on the Houla killings” in Syria, according to Security Council members, maybe at least Gaye can get that released

By Matthew Russell Lee

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1gaye072012.html

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 5:09 am

 

visitor said:

Next target is Assad(s). Preparations are under way.

July 21st, 2012, 5:13 am

 

Expatriate said:

157. VISITOR
go ahead and attack Russian base !

July 21st, 2012, 6:17 am

 

Juergen said:

I dont recall if this article was posted here yet or not.

Manaf Tlass: The Defection Story

Manaf Tlass’ defection was a half-surprise to friends privy to his thoughts and activities over the past months. When talking about the crisis, Tlass speaks of a “political solution” and a “military solution” to the crisis, consistently advocating the former. From the beginning of the unrest in Syria, he had announced a sort of rebellion—not against Assad—but against those within the President’s narrow inner circle and the security apparatus who are opposed to a political solution to the crisis due to personal interests.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/manaf-tlass-defection-story

July 21st, 2012, 6:20 am

 

Mina said:

Hey Ann,
I bet you are right when you say that “you need jobs in the US” and not only to send teenagers get killed overseas because it is their sole hope to have one day enough money to do higher studies.
Here in the EU it is the same. The European Commission has made a big hold-up and got away with the dough. Since they wrote for themselves all sort of exemptions and a special status not much can be done!!

Yesterday again I was remembering the first 15 minutes of Bowling for Columbine (not too far from Denver) where Michael Moore makes an explicit link between bombing Yugoslavia, the feeling of guilt of these weapon factory workers, and the feeling of nonsense that these kids had.

July 21st, 2012, 6:44 am

 

Mina said:

Allah yunawwir ‘alayk ya Jürgen, so you start to admit there is more than one current in the so-called inner circle?

July 21st, 2012, 6:47 am

 

Tara said:

Next target should be Maher al Assad.  If this happen, Bashar will collapse…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/20/bashar-al-assad-fight-flight-syria
Bashar al-Assad: fight or flight?
…..

Outsiders admit that they struggle to characterise the relationships within the secretive inner circle. “The Assad regime itself is not so cohesive,” argued Nadim Shehadi of the Chatham House thinktank in London. “What binds them together is negative tension. They will only trust someone because they know they have some kind of hold over them.”

Assad, say presidential observers, is now likely to be drawn closer to his family — his mother, Anisa, the powerful matriarch of the clan (and widow of former president Hafez) and his sister Bushra, Shawkat’s widow. Both women were seen at the funeral of Shawkat and two other bomb victims at the martyrs cemetery on Jebel Qassioun overlooking Damascus. Assad was not there..

Another possibility is more dramatic. “I think Bashar might fight to the end,” said the former government official. “He seems to be more defiant and that makes it less likely he will be able to find an escape route. I don’t think he will. Earlier on in the crisis he could have gone to the UAE. But now I doubt whether any Arab country will take him in. He’s too toxic.”

Joseph Bahout, a Lebanese-French political analyst, said: “It’s dangerous to over-psychologise but having said that, Bashar’s character is important. If Maher had been killed too he probably would have collapsed. My guess is that he is much shaken but that as long as Maher is still there he may go for a suicidal solution involving massacres and ethnic cleansing. I just don’t see these guys negotiating.”≠

July 21st, 2012, 7:07 am

 

Syrialover said:

# 152. Annie said:

“Urgent Appeal: Jordan hands over Syrian opposition voices and activists back to the regime.”

That is seriously disgusting. And stupidly short-sighted. We can assume some payment from the Assad regime is involved.

Jordan exists entirely on life support from US aid. Augmented by western tourism.

The NY Times would make a good story of this. And the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph in the UK.

I don’t know how well this would be going down in the Gulf either. King Hassan’s half sister is married to Sheikh Maktoum of Dubai, among other connections.

Yes, spread the news, everybody. Please

July 21st, 2012, 7:17 am

 

zoo said:

Joshua Landis on Wilson (Woodrow) International Center for Scholars

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/EastSec

July 21st, 2012, 7:37 am

 

ann said:

Report Unveils MI6 Involvement in Bomb Blast in Damascus – 2012-07-21

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9104250864

TEHRAN (FNA)- Britain’s Foreign Intelligence Service (MI6) played an active role in Wednesday’s blast in Syrian national security headquarters in Damascus which targeted the country’s ministers, a website unveiled.

Nahrain Net quoted unknown sources of some Persian Gulf states as disclosing that MI6 has had active cooperation with armed Wahhabi elements in Syria and Lebanon since a few months ago in order to conduct terrorist attacks on military and non-military bodies and assassinate senior Syrian army officials as well as attacks on Syria’s vital oil and power facilities.

The sources added that officials from the British Embassy in Kuwait have increased their meetings with Takfiri Wahhabi Salafi elements in recent months, Nahrain Net reported.

The sources revealed that Salafi elements in turn introduced Syrian Wahhabi elements living in Kuwait to two MI6 officers, who are active under the guise of diplomats at the British Embassy in Kuwait.

The Nahrain Net reported that these meetings provided MI6 with links with Syrian extremist Wahhabis. These relations are all aimed at leading Syrian terrorists by the US and British spy agencies to target people or places which the MI6 proposes.

Earlier, a member of the central committee of the Syrian Ba’ath party had also said that the deadly terrorist blast in Damascus was not possible without intelligence assistance by the US, Israel and a number of Arab states.

“The intelligence services of the enemies of Syria have always been active in Damascus in a bid to hit a blow at Syria’s popular government and today’s operations were not possible without (foreign) intelligence support for the terrorists,” Khalaf al- Meftah told FNA on Wednesday.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 7:42 am

 

Amjad said:

“Syrian-American sentenced to 18 months for spying on US-based dissidents”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2012/0720/Syrian-American-sentenced-to-18-months-for-spying-on-US-based-dissidents

So, the USA gives a year and a half prison sentence to a guy caught working for a foreign government. Such a humane and civilized way to deal with spies. What would the Baathist junta have done instead?

This news item is going to send a chill up the spines of our resident West-based menhebakjis. How many of them are prepared to back up with words with actions and go live in Assad’s “paradise”. Or even the Iranian “paradise”.

Spying for a dictatorship has its consequences. If this scum bag had been in any Arab country he’d have been tortured and shot.

And the despicable Western left have the galls to whine about waterboarding. I’d rather be waterboarded than face a day in Syrian jails for shop lifting.

July 21st, 2012, 7:47 am

 

ann said:

Turkish Politician Discloses Secret Washington-Ankara Agreement against Syria – 2012-07-21

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9104250874

TEHRAN (FNA)- A key member of Turkey’s Labor Party strongly criticized the Ankara government for its stance on Syria, and disclosed a secret agreement between Turkey and the US against Syria.

In a press statement, Vice-Chairman of Turkey’s Labor Party Hasan Besri Uzbi lashed out at Turkish President Abdullah Gul for his stance on developments in Syria, and noted that Gul is “provoking Syrian terrorist into committing crimes”.

According to the statement published in Turkish Ulusal website, Uzbi said his party will file a lawsuit with Turkey’s judicial authorities against Gul to try him in the country’s Supreme Court.

He stated that his party has “clear evidence” substantiating that Abdullah Gul has provoked terrorist moves and war in Syria and signed secret agreement with the US, adding that the issue is enough for trying Gul in the court.

Uzbi noted that the single case is enough for trial of Gul, and stressed that the Turkish president ignored his humanitarian task after terrorist attack targeted officials of the neighboring state.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 7:49 am

 

zoo said:

Syria new constitution: A SNC-USA joint venture

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/20/inside_the_secret_effort_to_plan_for_a_post_assad_syria#.UAo_tNzOaiw.twitter

Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria
Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, July 20, 2012 – 5:55 PM Share

For the last six months, 40 senior representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting quietly in Germany under the tutelage of the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) to plan for how to set up a post-Assad Syrian government.

The project, which has not directly involved U.S. government officials but was partially funded by the State Department, is gaining increased relevance this month as the violence in Syria spirals out of control and hopes for a peaceful transition of power fade away. The leader of the project, USIP’s Steven Heydemann, an academic expert on Syria, has briefed administration officials on the plan, as well as foreign officials, including on the sidelines of the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul last month.

The project is called “The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria.” Heydemann spoke about the project in depth for the first time in an interview with The Cable. He described USIP’s efforts as “working in a support role with a large group of opposition groups to define a transition process for a post-Assad Syria.”

July 21st, 2012, 7:52 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Brigadier General Nasser Farzat defects, and he has a message to the Russians (in Russian)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sakmsJTBUH0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrTegSmZQfU
.

July 21st, 2012, 7:54 am

 

Tara said:

I ‘m worried that there is a connection between Tlass’s defection and the assassinations. They are too close. Tlass family is not welcomed in new Syria. The west should understand this. We will not replace on thugs family with another one.

July 21st, 2012, 7:54 am

 

Syrialover said:

Juergen and Tara

Those courageous Syrians being betrayed in Jordan each have 1,000 times the human value of Manaf Tlass.

Any status and attention Manaf Tlass has is 100% due to him being born into an Assad crony family.

Once Bashar is gone, who will care if Tlass exists. And after 50 years as a spoilt brat in the Assad court, he’s not going to create a new identity and credentials.

Watch him fade, and fast. He’s made of quick-degrading material.

July 21st, 2012, 7:55 am

 

ann said:

This little coward is threatening to invade Syria now 8)

israel’s barak: Israel may seize advanced weapons in Syria – Jul 21, 2012

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12642262-israels-barak-israel-may-seize-advanced-weapons-in-syria

“Syria has advanced anti-aircraft systems, advanced ground-to-ground missiles and elements of chemical weapons,” he said.

“I have instructed the Israeli army as well as intelligence to prepare for a situation in which we would need to consider an option of attacking”, said barak.

“Our information is that there is a presence of al-Qaida in certain regions inside Syria, and has been there for a while,” He made these comments in an interview on CNN.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 8:02 am

 

zoo said:

Renewed sabotage on Turkey-Iraq oil pipeline

Pipeline fire halts Iraqi crude supplies to Turkey
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pipeline-fire-halts-iraqi-crude-supplies-to-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26026&NewsCatID=352

An official says an explosion and fire has shut down a pipeline that carries oil from Iraq to the Mediterranean.
An Energy Ministry official said no one was injured in the explosion and fire that occurred late Friday. The explosion hit a section of the pipeline near the southern town of Midyat and was quickly put out.

The official said Saturday the blast was most likely caused by sabotage.

July 21st, 2012, 8:04 am

 

Syrialover said:

Suddenly a stream of great news from the bad news vendors.

Britain’s M16 involved in the inside bombing, Turkey and the US getting it together against Assad, and a serious and well-advanced behind-the-scenes effort by the opposition to plan for post-Assad Syria.

All great stuff. Keep it coming.

(Even if some of it’s coming from Iranian news services.)

July 21st, 2012, 8:09 am

 

ann said:

Obama administration sends CIA officers to find biological and chemical weapons in Syria – July 21, 2012

US official tells The Daily Beast that US government seeks to obtain information from military defectors, intercepted correspondences

http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-administration-sends-cia-officers-to-find-biological-and-chemical-weapons-in-syria/

July 21st, 2012, 8:12 am

 

zoo said:

This language of war won’t help Syria escape its agony
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/19/language-of-war-syria

In reacting to foreign conflicts, the west has to find a way of engaging that has meaning but stops short of bloodshed
Simon Jenkins
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 July 2012 21.00 BST

A year ago the Syrian regime was “on the brink of collapse”. Following the Houla massacre in May, President Assad was “on his way out”. Now his opponents have reached the streets of Damascus and Aleppo, and it is “the beginning of the end for Assad”. To Britain he is “unacceptable”, to America brutal and bloodthirsty, to the United Nations the architect of “civil war”. The language of international affairs seems unable to handle the morass of horror, damnation, reporting bias and wish fulfilment that overwhelms these half-understood conflicts. The task of analysis always falls to the great god cliche.
….
Economic sanctions – coward’s aggression – besiege, isolate and entrench a ruler, and probably delay the political evolution by which all regimes eventually fall. Apart from making imposing nations feel good, their most common feature is the longevity of their victims. Witness Cuba, Libya, Iran, Burma and North Korea.

The boundaries have been lost between intervention to relieve suffering, to promote democracy and to aid “national security” back home. US Republican candidates have demanded military intervention in Iran “to make Americans safe”. The reason for intervening to topple a regime in Libya but not in Egypt or Syria was opportunistic; claiming liberation in Burma as a “success” for 16 years of sanctions was absurd. It emerged, as did the end of apartheid in South Africa, from the internal dynamic of the ruling class. As for 10 years of campaigning in Afghanistan, it led this week to the British army pleading with the prime minister not to withdraw or it would lose its mission.

July 21st, 2012, 8:13 am

 

ann said:

Syria’s Armenian community guarantees Armenians’ presence in Middle East – analyst – July 21, 2012

http://news.am/eng/news/114314.html

YEREVAN. – The Armenian community in Syria must be preserved at any cost, Arab Studies specialist Armen Petrosyan stated during a press conference on Saturday.

In his words, this community enables the Armenians to consolidate their presence in the region.

“There are 60 thousand Armenians living in Syria, whose population is 23 million. They have their representative in the country’s government, and this means the community plays an important role. The Armenian Apostolic Church functions there, there are Armenian organizations, cultural centers, and today it is very important to ensure their safety,” the Arab Studies specialist noted.

The analyst also stressed that Syrian Armenians are very united and organized.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 8:21 am

 

irritated said:

#173 SL

You sounds desperate for any good news, especially after the fiasco of the Damascus Volcano that resulted in Syrians becoming refugees and beggars in neighboring countries “with dignity”.
Rumors even say that the FSA had nothing to do with the mass murder of the officials. That is no good for their reputation, they should claim again: we were defeated in the Damascus Volcano but for the terrorist attack, it’s not the Mossad or M16 or the CIA, it’s us, we did it alone.
It would be an occasion for Ryad Al Assad from his bunker in Turkey to make a video appearance after 2 months of disappearance. I guess he is too busy organizing the next Volcanos.

July 21st, 2012, 8:25 am

 
 

zoo said:

Ramadan Mobarak to all Moslems.
I hope peace will prevail in our beloved region

July 21st, 2012, 8:36 am

 

Syrialover said:

Irritated,

Sure, but how about the bomb being the work of people in Assad’s own circle with their own agendas?

Bottom line, Shawkat is dead and Assad now knows he can’t trust those around him.

Damascus is caught in the hideous death throes of a vicious dictatorship.

July 21st, 2012, 8:43 am

 

ann said:

This is my urgent message to all Mujahideen from all brigades to join their brothers the Mujahideen of Damascus. Those willing to join have to go. It is the moment of truth. It is the Damascus fight for salvation. It is either life or paradise.

Looks like Paradise to me!

July 21st, 2012, 8:58 am

 

Tara said:

I forgot something yesterday.  Happy Ramadan to my “best freind”  Why-Discuss. كل رمضان وأنت بخير

July 21st, 2012, 9:01 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

And to Revlon. I miss him.
.

July 21st, 2012, 9:09 am

 

Tara said:

Amir

Yes. I miss him too and happy Ramadan to you too Amir.

July 21st, 2012, 9:12 am

 

Syrialover said:

Comment #181 is childish and in bad taste.

Some people are here for entertainment and games.

It’s offensive to those who care and agonize about what is happening in Syria.

July 21st, 2012, 9:13 am

 

Amjad said:

Another post held in the spam que. Please release it, pretty please.

July 21st, 2012, 9:16 am

 
 

ann said:

Syria’s muslim brotherhood declares Annan plan failed – 21 July 2012

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/2049132.html

July 21st, 2012, 9:24 am

 

Ghufran said:

ANB said that Manaf and his father are in Syria

July 21st, 2012, 9:55 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

.

July 21st, 2012, 10:06 am

 

ann said:

NATO seeks destruction of modern Syrian nation: American author – Jul 21, 2012

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/07/21/252046/nato-wants-syrian-nation-destroyed/

“NATO’s goal is nothing less than the destruction of the modern Syrian nation, followed by chaos, partition, subdivision, warlords, Balkanization, and a failed state,” Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley wrote in an article published by Press TV on Saturday.

“In the abstract, the capabilities shown in this attack could range anywhere from a cruise missile or drone to the capabilities deployed in the assassination of (Prime Minister) Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon.”

The American author also pointed out that to the “acute disappointment of the NATO mindbenders, the Syrian state did not collapse starting on July 18, and has continued to demonstrate robust capabilities for self-defense.”

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 10:07 am

 

irritated said:

#181 SL

the work of people in Assad’s own circle with their own agendas?

Then it will be one more agendas among the multiple agendas of the hundred of militias aiming for the elusive USO : United Syrian Opposition.
It is forever breast-fed by Erdogan and Hillary, unless with the help of the USA, Turkey, France, Qatar and KSA, it ends up like the SNC, an empty shell full of gibberish echoes of vanity.

July 21st, 2012, 10:18 am

 

irritated said:

Syria’s muslim brotherhood declares Annan plan failed – 21 July 2012

It should read
“Annan declared that the Syria’s muslim brotherhood plan failed”

July 21st, 2012, 10:21 am

 

Ghufran said:

 اعلن مصدر امني اردني لوكالة الصحافة الفرنسية ان”مقاتلي المعارضة السورية حاولوا السيطرة على معبر نصيب الحدودي بين سوريا والاردن لكنهم فشلوا وذلك بعد مواجهات مع الجيش السوري النظامي”.

July 21st, 2012, 10:36 am

 

zoo said:

Contrary to France who keep declaring that the SNC will take over the transitional government in Syria tomorrow, most western media are extremely cautious not to look ridiculous again.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2012/07/whether_bashar_al_assad_falls_or_not_the_fighting_in_syria_is_likely_to_persist_for_a_long_time_.2.html

The obvious answer is that nobody knows and it’s a fool’s game to guess. Even the question’s premise is shaky, as it’s far from clear that Assad’s regime is on the verge of collapse.
….
The rebels have gained momentum and strength in recent days, assassinating some of Assad’s closest military advisers, luring some prominent defectors, and capturing (?) a few key border stations, including one on the Turkish border, a move that might facilitate the flow of more (and more lethal) weapons.

But these trends—hopeful as they are—don’t necessarily mean that Syria’s government is about to surrender.

These forces include Syria’s crack soldiers and a lot of tanks. In other words, Assad may only be just beginning to bring out his heavy firepower.

This is not to say that Assad is in fine shape. To the contrary, it’s a pretty good bet that he’ll be gone, one way or the other, within a matter of months, if not sooner. But it is to say that his fall probably won’t mean the end of the fighting.

Assuming Assad keeps resisting a settlement (as seems likely), the best course of action is to continue condemning his actions, support the rebels in a low-key way (doing a lot overtly might be ineffective, as well as harmful to the rebels’ long-term political prospects and a confirmation in many eyes of Assad’s claim that the rebels are western agents), and—if they do win the battle—help them, to the extent they want our help, in the aftermath

July 21st, 2012, 10:37 am

 

ann said:

Royal Jordanian suspends flights to Damascus and Aleppo in Syria – 2012-07-21

http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=17244

AMMONNEWS-Royal Jordanian announced that it will suspend its operations between Amman and each of Damascus and Aleppo starting with Thursday, July 19, flights.
This comes in light of the regression in the demand on travel to both routes due to the current situation prevailing in Syria and the developments in the last two days.

In a press statement, the airline said that it will constantly study resuming its service to Damascus and Aleppo, depending on the demand.

RJ pointed out that it has also put various options to the passengers who already issued their tickets to RJ’s destinations in Syria; they can refund the tickets of the cancelled flights or revalidate them to a later date after resuming the service, both options are valid with no penalties.

In addition, passengers may use the ticket value to purchase any other ticket on RJ.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 10:48 am

 
 

Stick to the Truth said:

170. Tara said:

I ‘m worried that there is a connection between Tlass’s defection and the assassinations. They are too close. Tlass family is not welcomed in new Syria. The west should understand this. We will not replace on thugs family with another one.

You have changed your opinion very quickly. I remember your comment 4-5 weeks ago “Bravo Manaf”.

What happend?

July 21st, 2012, 11:23 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Happy Ramadan to everyone.

July 21st, 2012, 11:24 am

 

Observer said:

Syrian Hamster for President

ZOO BRONCO ANN JAD IRRITATED AND STICK
This video clip is worth a thousand words.

July 21st, 2012, 11:27 am

 

Uzair8 said:

A tweet.

solhog
Gas bottles for home use that previously cost 70 #Syria|n pounds currently costs ~5,000 p and are nowhere to be found. via @SyrienNyheter

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/solhog-gas-bottles-for-home-use-that-previously/

July 21st, 2012, 11:30 am

 

omen said:

200. observer, do you have any tips as to how people who lack gas masks can protect themselves from cyanide gas?

July 21st, 2012, 11:31 am

 

Tara said:

Stick

Bravo Manaf that he defected. All defections are welcome. The goal is to encourage defections to hasten the fall of the Mafia family. That is not to say that any defector is a presidential candidate. Tlass family has a dark history and they should not be part of the new democratic Syrian goverenmrnt,

Got it? Or do I really have to explain one more time. I am very patient if needs to.

July 21st, 2012, 11:36 am

 
 

omen said:

88. IRRITATED said: 73.
I disagree, the State has the responsibility toward its citizens, terrorists only to themselves.
For some Syrians the state is the terrorist, for others it is their protector. It is not up to you to decide who is right or who is wrong.

this demonstrates the depth and strength of propaganda. it wasn’t until later on that i realized bashar assad isn’t “the state.” he’s profoundly illegitimate. he doesn’t have the right to rule.

if it requires genocide to maintain the status quo, that should tell you right there that something is deeply out of whack. the current order is not sustainable. you cannot force a square peg into a round hole.

if you need to kill people in order to feel comfortable, i’d suggest moving.

July 21st, 2012, 11:42 am

 

Stick to the Truth said:

203. Tara said:

Got it? Or do I really have to explain one more time. I am very patient if needs to.

No thanks you, its enough. I have got it, obviously he has disappointed many hopes.

July 21st, 2012, 11:42 am

 

irritated said:

Omen

he’s profoundly illegitimate. he doesn’t have the right to rule

Who are you to decide? what percentage of the Syrian population you represent : 0% ?

July 21st, 2012, 11:45 am

 

omen said:

Syria embodies the end of colonialism

This week’s fighting in Damascus and the bombing of the national security council meeting indicate that if the regime cannot protect its top military officers, whom can it protect? That is the question certainly being asked by thousands of Syrians who now serve in the regime’s military and political organizations. If Bashar and Maher Assad cannot protect their brother-in-law and chief muscle man and enforcer Assef Shawkat, how can they possibly protect lowly foot soldiers, senior officers, Shabbiha gangs, and the three-dozen remaining Baath Party faithful in the country? The consequences of such hesitation and questioning by regime loyalists and apparatchiks when it comes to the regime’s will determine the pace of the regime’s collapse.

[…]

At some point soon, the movement of those loyalists deciding to flee the regime will abruptly increase. Panicked low- and mid-level security personnel will abandon their posts and uniforms and melt back into civilian life, and opposition forces will take control of key installations, such as border crossings and provincial police posts. When opposition fighters obtain more sophisticated anti-tank and shoulder-mounted ground-to-air missiles, as is happening now, the regime will lose two of its key military advantages, and the end will then come quickly.

July 21st, 2012, 11:46 am

 

Uzair8 said:

A tank hit. Close up and dramatic footage. 50 sec long.

July 21st, 2012, 11:46 am

 

irritated said:

#200 Observer

Now you finished your obsession with Corleone, you became obsessed by Hitler… Next will be the “Desperate Housewives”?

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=15408&cp=all#comment-319497

same reply:

“Observer #925
Great clip: Hitler looks much more like Ryad al Assad in his bunker in Turkey, panicking.

Bashar is in his regular office, while Ryad and his clique of defected generals are in a bunker protected by Turkish soldiers. Would they ever dare to show up in Syria without their Turkish pretorian guards.”

July 21st, 2012, 11:49 am

 

omen said:

207. irritated, let’s say i gave you that point. what about the others raised? do you think genocide is a defensible response?

July 21st, 2012, 11:50 am

 

irritated said:

#208 Omen

At some point soon,

A month, a year, a decade?

July 21st, 2012, 11:51 am

 

irritated said:

Omen

if you need to kill people in order to feel comfortable, i’d suggest moving.

Is it what the FSA feels after mass killing officials of the government and throwing 40,000 fearful Damascenes to neighboring countries? I doubt.
The opposition is having its hands getting bloodier than what they accuse the government to have.

July 21st, 2012, 11:55 am

 

Karabennemsi said:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444161255605508.98496.444073568947610&type=1
-> نقاط استقبال اللاجئين _ منقول من مجموعة check and share
(بث الطوارئ المدني في دمشق Damascus Civil Emergency Broadcast)

https://www.facebook.com/DftAml
-> خطوات التجهز للأزمات

https://www.facebook.com/groups/266146126825377/
-> “check and share”
(لحتى نشوف و ننشر أي خبر أو طريقة منقدر ..أي نساعد فيا الأشخاص اللي بحاجة لأي نوع إغاثة. الصفحة غير سياسية بالمطلق هي إلنا منشان نساعد بعض و نكون صلة وصل لأي حدا موجود ب مكان ساخن و بدو مساعدة و لحتى نعرف كمان شو عميصير ب مراكز الإغاثة المنتشرة ..)

PLEASE SHARE / JOIN if in Dimashq

July 21st, 2012, 11:56 am

 

Tara said:

Stick

You have not got it entirely…only partially. He did not disappoint.. There was and will not be expectation or hope from him or his family. Tlass’ chapter ends with his defection, that is all.

July 21st, 2012, 11:57 am

 

zoo said:

A taste of chaos to come: “Members of the Free Syrian Army had done nothing to stop their fellow rebels from looting, he complained.”

Turkish truck drivers accuse rebel fighters of looting
By Fulya Ozerkan | AFP – 42 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/turkish-truck-drivers-accuse-rebel-fighters-looting-150505544.html

Dozens of Turkish truck drivers on Saturday accused rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army of having burned and looted their lorries as they stormed a border post in Syria.

A group of truck owners, traders and transporters have been waiting since Friday at the Cilvegozu border crossing, in Turkey’s southern province, which lies opposite to Syria’s Bab al-Hawa post.

Rebel fighters captured the Syrian border post after battling President Bashar al-Assad’s loyalist troops.

“We barely escaped when the rebel fighters took full control of the Bab al-Hawa border post in Syria,” said Hasan Abbasoglu as he retrieved his vehicle from Syria after the looting.

While the truck was not damaged, its cargo had been ransacked. And he had to pay $700 (575 euros) in bribes to get his truck back, he said.

“I’ve been exporting carpets via the Syrian border crossing for seven years,” he told AFP. “But this time we narrowly escaped with our lives.”

Members of the Free Syrian Army had done nothing to stop their fellow rebels from looting, he complained.

..

July 21st, 2012, 12:01 pm

 

omen said:

209. wow, that took timing.

how do they train to fire those things? do they start out with blanks?

July 21st, 2012, 12:06 pm

 

zoo said:

Is a fully veiled woman still attractive enough for a ultraconservative Sunni cleric to fall in the devil’s temptation

Egyptian sheik gets jail after fondling report
AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-sheik-gets-jail-fondling-report-135843367.html

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court sentenced an ultraconservative former lawmaker and cleric to a year in prison for public indecency on Saturday, after police said they found him fondling a woman on his lap in a parked car at night.

Police have said in a report that the man was touching and caressing the fully-veiled woman when they approached him while parked alongside an agricultural road outside Cairo last month.

Ali Wanees has denied the charges. He claimed that he pulled the car over to assist his ill niece, but police say he is not her uncle.

July 21st, 2012, 12:07 pm

 
 

Expatriate said:

Putin Warns Against Bypassing Security Council Syria Veto
http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120720/174704600.html
Russian President Vladimir Putin opposes any action related to Syria not authorized by the United Nations Security Council, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
“In the Russian president’s opinion, any attempt to act without the [UN] Security Council’s approval will be inefficient and will undermine the authority of this international organization,” the spokesman said.
After Russia and China vetoed the Western-backed UN Security Council resolution, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said that the United States and its partners “have no choice but to look to partnerships and actions outside of this council to protect the Syrian people.”
Putin met with members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday to discuss the latest developments on Syria, including the veto.
“Members of Russia’s Security Council stressed that attempts to link the aggravating situation in Syria to Russia’s stance were inappropriate and inadmissible,” Peskov said.

July 21st, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

Mina said:

Zoo,
With Yahoo and the NYT, always expect morals to be safe. Reality has another taste. It is not one year in jail, it is a “suspended sentence”.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/48292/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-Islamist-exMP-fined-for-public-sexual-ind.aspx

July 21st, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

216. Omen

I’m not clued up on these (military) matters. I guess they don’t upload the failed (or mistimed) attacks. LOL.

July 21st, 2012, 12:19 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

200. Observer said:

Syrian Hamster for President

ZOO BRONCO ANN JAD IRRITATED AND STICK
This video clip is worth a thousand words.

Thanks Observer,

.. and this video is worth 1001 words

I count on your sense of humor.

July 21st, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

omen said:

207. IRRITATED said: Who are you to decide? what percentage of the Syrian population you represent : 0% ?

you know what? if you want to talk percentages, i agree with you. what right does the regime have telling the sunni majority what to do?

July 21st, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

zoo said:

Tara

It is not one year in jail, it is a “suspended sentence”.

So he can do it again? I hope his wife( ves) watch over him. In any case not such a good example to his followers…
The story does not say if the ‘niece’ was willing or not

July 21st, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

irritated said:

#223 Omen

what right does the regime have telling the sunni majority what to do?

Because the regime (The Baath party) is made of more than 50% sunnis

July 21st, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

Juergen said:

Allah yunawwir ‘alayki bardo ya Mina!

July 21st, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo

From the story, it appears that “Salafism” is more like a job for living as it can never be a human nature..it appears that the “niece” was willing.

July 21st, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

zoo said:

More direct accusations of looting on the FSA in Turkish media.
Will Erdogan scold Ryad al Assad? Who will pay the damages?

Turkish truck drivers accuse rebels of looting

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-truck-drivers-accuse-rebels-of-looting.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26033&NewsCatID=352

Dozens of Turkish truck drivers on Saturday accused the Free Syrian Army of having burned and looted their lorries as they stormed a border post in Syria.

At Bab al-Hawa, four kilometres (two and a half miles) from Turkey’s Cilvegozu, Syrian rebels ransacked customs buildings and pulled cargo from the back of stranded trucks.

“All of our trucks were burned,” said trader Ali Cengiz, who exports to Saudi Arabia via Syria. “The rebel fighters destroyed our trucks during the clashes.”

Traders however argued that as long as the border crossing at Cilvegozu remained open, they have to keep trading via Syria in order to stay in business.

“How will we earn our living then?” asked Cengiz. “We have debts, will the government make up for our loss?

July 21st, 2012, 1:11 pm

 

zoo said:

#227 Tara

In view of the appearance of the guy on the photo, her veil must have been very opaque…

July 21st, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria: “Propaganda and hype” ( In french)

http://www.arte.tv/fr/Syrie%E2%80%94Propagande-et-battage-mediatique/6817906.html

Günter Meyer, director of the Institute for Research on the Arab world at the University of Mainz, this assumption is “totally preposterous” because the use of chemical weapons would be tantamount to political suicide. He accuses the Syrian opposition to swell its reports, for propaganda purposes.

However, even assuming that Assad has such an arsenal, he knows that by using chemical weapons against its people, he would cross a red line and it would cause a massive reaction and the international community. In this case, even Russia could no longer continue to support the Syrian government.
The purpose of this propaganda is to convince world opinion that Assad would be about to use chemical weapons. In fact, information has been a real hype in most Western media. The propaganda orchestrated by the Syrian National Council opposition worked perfectly.
..
The fear is that in case of collapse of the Syrian regime, all these weapons of mass destruction may into the hands of Al Qaeda fighters. Some fear that these chemical weapons may reach Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations that can use worldwide. As long as Assad is in power, he controls the arsenal for the troops involved in it are composed of Alawites, ultra loyal to the regime. It’s from the moment Assad would lose control of the arsenal that the potential risk would become enormous.

What does it take to anticipate the fall of Bashar al-Assad?

Günter Meyer: If indeed there is a fifty deposits of chemical weapons, then the figure advanced by the U.S. Secret Service, 75 000 men to secure them, seems quite consistent. But how to involve foreign troops? In view of the Syrian military and air defenses supplied by Russia, a military intervention in Syria in the short and medium term is excluded. But all this is just a set of speculations on political strategy games that are still very far from ground realities.

July 21st, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

Observer said:

Omen
I do not know how to make gas masks for cyanide I am sorry.

Stick, nice clip I am not sure whether you identify with the Arab revolt or the Turkish garrison. Please explain which side you are on.

My clip clearly shows delusional Fredo detached from Reality.

July 21st, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

Ghufran said:

There is consensus now even among some hardcore regime loyalists that Bashar needs to transfer power to another person,or a group of people,but not until certain conditions on the ground are met,I do not believe Bashar himself will be around much longer, the focus now is what to do with the regime as a whole and the nervous and well armed alawite community. GCC media is circulating news about a possible deal that includes manaf and other known figures but the story has too many holes in it. The most difficult obstacle to a solution is some armed rebels who may not be willing to listen to anybody and are not interested in any solution that includes any degree of compromise.
Expect the army to push hard in the next few days,armed rebels will not consider a cease fire if they think a total collapse of the army is near,the army is months or years away from being defeated by the FSA,so the right thing to do is to spare Syria more blood shed and let people live as they should free from fear,oppression and violence.

July 21st, 2012, 1:56 pm

 

Mina said:

Ghufran,
This fits with the fact that the people who have advised the hardcore insurgents in the latest days to launch some well televised attacks on the borders’ checkpoints, in Damascus and now Aleppo’s Salah al-Din, seem to have had a double agenda. These poor folks have been very ill-counselled. It looks like their mentors are now in a hurry to get rid of them.

July 21st, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

ryan said:

This seems significant – from the Guardian piece on Aleppo:

>Another brigadier, Adelnasser Ferzat, defected to FSA fighters in Aleppo, it was claimed. In a video address in fluent Russian, he urged Moscow to dump Assad and back “freedom” and the rebels’ side.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/21/syrians-flee-fierce-fighting-aleppo

July 21st, 2012, 2:44 pm

 

zoo said:

French TV admits that the Syrian army has recovered all of the rebels stronghold in Damascus and are deploying strongly in Aleppo to dislodge the pockets occupied by armed rebels.

While the Bab Al Hawa border post is still in the hands of FSA fighters, they are now trapped between the Turkish border and the Syrian army less than a 1km away that is waiting for the right moment to storm the border and get it back under their control.

July 21st, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

Halabi said:

Yes, Assad is just hours of way of securing the country and defeating the foreign, Islamic terrorists, and only weeks away from liberating Golan.

Al Jazeera in 3zaz, the tank graveyard.
http://youtu.be/Ml1hpIP_0v4

July 21st, 2012, 3:09 pm

 

omen said:

225. IRRITATED said: Because the regime (The Baath party) is made of more than 50% sunnis

bashar does not remain in power because of the baath party.

the very fact he has to rely on force should tell you something.

July 21st, 2012, 3:11 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo

It is not important that the Assad Army taking the border posts back or even the rebels’ stronghold. It is important that it fell off to the rebels to start with.. How long Assad army can play whack a mole all over the country and remain cohesive and intact with all the defections?

July 21st, 2012, 3:12 pm

 

omen said:

232. GHUFRAN said: possible deal

5 stages of grief (because the regime is dying)

-denial

-anger

-bargaining

-depression

-acceptance

July 21st, 2012, 3:14 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Irritated,

If you sincerely think a hereditary dictatorship, won and kept unchallened by state terror, is legitimate, you need to find another planet to live on.

Human civilization has moved on and won’t turn back.

July 21st, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

If you sincerely think a hereditary dictatorship, won and kept unchallened by state terror, is legitimate, you need to find another planet to live on.
_________________________________________________________________

Sorry to give you the bad news. Those other planets maintain the same violent, hereditary dictatorships rule like earth. We human in fact are far more compassionate and fairer. In fact, human/ earth only problem, is that those other planets interfering in our lives and forcing own systems on us humans to keep us backaward and subservient for their resource interests.

We need to free the earth of alien bondage.
http://www.helpfreetheearth.com

July 21st, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

omen said:

welcome back, aldendeshe.

what do you make of the bombing?

do you know ali haidar, the man bashar picked to head the reconciliation effort?

July 21st, 2012, 4:05 pm

 

omen said:

234. zoo,

wonder how much weapons/supplies rebels were able to smuggle through the border crossings for whatever short amount of time they held it.

i wish rebels would deploy on a mission to win the release of political prisoners. i saw an earlier report that the regime had shelled a stadium in damascus. and there were troubling rumors last night about prisoners in homs being executed.

July 21st, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

irritated said:

#239 Syria Lover

And you continue to trust the only real allies of the opposition: Qatar and KSA? What about Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain etc…? I guess all these are not part of the ‘human civilization’. Are you sending them to the Moon or Venus?

Yet they helped the opposition to drag Syrians into a bloody quagmire without offering a valid model for a change, except their rotten one.
After this turmoil and the increased awareness of the greed and manipulation of foreign powers and the discovery of who is a friend and who is not, Syrians are becoming mature enough to welcome gradually a real secular democracy, probably the only one in the Arab world.

Yet, let see who are the candidates for such a change. Until now nobody worthwhile at the horizon.

July 21st, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

irritated said:

45. omen

I wonder how much weapons/supplies rebels were able to smuggle through the border crossings for whatever short amount of time they held it

I doubt they were able to smuggle anything through this open air borders, as the Syrian Army was waiting one km away.
The intention was to create a ‘free zone’ where they could regroup and make it easy for defectors to join them. It failed miserably and after the FSA looted the trucks, the Turks won’t be very helpful anymore. Because of their behavior, it is becoming obvious that the FSA fighters are just a bunch of thugs not even capable of respecting their hosts, the Turks.

July 21st, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

zoo said:

Increased burden and pressure on Turkey on its non-transparency for Syrian refugees in camps that are kept closed to NGO and media

The plight of Syrian refugees
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-plight-of-syrian-refugees-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26001&NewsCatID=396

Refugee groups also criticize Turkey’s continued reluctance to allow NGOs and the media to monitor its operations. Although a small number of international and national delegations have visited Hatay province, almost none have been given permission to enter the camps there. As the Council of Europe and Amnesty International emphasize, this policy raises concerns about transparency and oversight of practices in the refugee camps. Last February, a Turkish daily reported the refoulement of some high-profile Syrian dissidents,

It needs to grant refugee and human rights NGOs and the media regular access to monitor practices in the camps to ensure transparency. Ankara also needs to ensure that all refugee camps are at a safe distance from the border, where the Syrian military occasionally carries out operations.

July 21st, 2012, 5:12 pm

 

zoo said:

Syrian forces battle rebels in Aleppo, families flee
By Dominic Evans and Khaled Yacoub Oweis | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-forces-attempt-fight-back-rebel-surge-031040814.html

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian troops and armored vehicles pushed into a rebel-held district of Aleppo on Saturday and struck back in Damascus against fighters emboldened by a bomb attack against President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle.

Opposition activists in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and a northern commercial hub, said hundreds of families were fleeing residential areas after the military swept into the Saladin district, which had been in rebel hands for two days.

Fighting was also reported in the densely-populated, poor neighborhood of al-Sakhour.

“The sound of bombardment has been non-stop since last night. For the first time we feel Aleppo has turned into a battle zone,” a housewife, who declined to be named, said by phone from the city.

The Syrian army’s push in Aleppo occurred after rebels assassinated four of his top security officials this week and mounted a six-day attack in the capital that they dubbed “Damascus Volcano”.

July 21st, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Syria crisis: rebel push quelled in Damascus but spreads to northern city of Aleppo

While government forces claimed on Saturday to have largely quelled resistance in Damascus, fierce street battles erupted in Aleppo…

Armed guerrillas from the Free Syrian Army were reported to have entered from the surrounding countryside, bringing fighting for the first time into the downtown area. The city has previously been considered a regime stronghold.
“This night was very bad, there were huge explosions and the gunfire didn’t stop for several hours,” said Mohammad Saeed, an Aleppo-based pro-democracy activist, as hundreds of families fled the city in convoys of cars. “The uprising has finally reached Aleppo.”

More..
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9417943/Syria-crisis-rebel-push-quelled-in-Damascus-but-spreads-to-northern-city-of-Aleppo.html

July 21st, 2012, 5:20 pm

 

zoo said:

Turks played with fire, and got burnt while France is living in a Qatari-Qodmani fantasy.

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-forces-attempt-fight-back-rebel-surge-031040814.html

A Turkish regional governor said on Saturday Syrian rebels and “independent groups” linked to smuggling were still holding the Bab al-Hawa commercial crossing point.

Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz said nine Turkish trucks on the Syrian side had been set on fire by the Syrian groups, contradicting statements by the rebels that they were torched by the Syrian army because of Turkey’s support for the rebels.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking after contacts with the head of the Arab League and Qatar’s prime minister, said all three agreed that it was time for Syria’s fractured opposition to prepare to take charge of the country.

“We would like to see the rapid formation of a provisional government representing the diversity of Syrian society,” said Fabius. Syria’s main political opposition group, the Syrian National Council, operating in exile, has so far failed to unite Assad’s disparate foes on a united political platform.

July 21st, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

Halabi said:

Where is Bashar? Syrian TV had a propaganda video of Assad’s thugs in Midan and they chanted for Syria, not Bashar. Shouldn’t he come out and reassure his slaves and allies that he is in control? Is he even allowed to speak now? If I were amoral and brain-dead and supported this murderer, I would want to hear from him that Thooriya Bkheir and that we will emerge stronger from the crisis.

July 21st, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

AIG said:

Zoo,

Seriously, when you write “Turks played with fire, and got burnt” what exactly goes through your mind? How would you describe what Assad did by not introducing serious reforms for 11 years? Was he “playing with fire”? Would you call what he has caused Syria “getting burnt”? If you judge someone by the results of their actions as you do Turkey, how is Assad not a disaster for Syria?

July 21st, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

omen said:

247. IRRITATED said: The intention was to create a ‘free zone’ where they could regroup and make it easy for defectors to join them. It failed miserably and after the FSA looted the trucks, the Turks won’t be very helpful anymore. Because of their behavior, it is becoming obvious that the FSA fighters are just a bunch of thugs not even capable of respecting their hosts, the Turks.

251. ZOO said: A Turkish regional governor said on Saturday Syrian rebels and “independent groups” linked to smuggling were still holding the Bab al-Hawa commercial crossing point.

Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz said nine Turkish trucks on the Syrian side had been set on fire by the Syrian groups, contradicting statements by the rebels that they were torched by the Syrian army because of Turkey’s support for the rebels.

.

okay, these are contradicting accounts.
who did what to these trucks?

is “independent groups” code for kurds? isn’t the syrian side along the turkish border controlled by them? kurds harboring grudges (or even the regime) torching turkish trucks would make sense.

irritated, let’s say the rebels did loot the turkish trucks. wouldn’t that counter your contention that the fsa are materially supported for by the saudis and qataris?

rebels sufficiently provided for with monies, weapons and supplies by wealthy sponsors don’t need to resort to looting in order to be able to support their mission.

July 21st, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian capital’s governor tours troublesome district, clashes slightly decline – 2012-07-22

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/22/c_123450359.htm

DAMASCUS, July 21 (Xinhua) — The governor of Syria’s capital Damascus toured Saturday the neighborhood of Midan after being cleansed of armed insurgency at a time the intensity of clashes slightly declined inside the capital.

After touring the neighborhood Saturday, Bisher al-Sabban said the normal life will be completely restored in Midan within five days after the ending of the restoration process.

Midan has emerged as a main battleground between armed rebels and government troops over the past week of clashes in the capital.

Large amount of ammunition has been confiscated as many of the armed rebels were rounded up on Friday.

Meanwhile, al-Sabban stressed that all food stuffs and other services will be made available in a short time.

In the capital Saturday, the intensity of clashes has to some extent declined after soaring up over the past week as the most of food shops in some areas have opened and shoppers filled the markets.

Still, clashes have been reported in the Razi orchards in the Mazzeh district and the southern district of Qaboun.

Severe clashes have erupted in Damascus last Sunday, in what the armed rebels name as the “big battle of Damascus” aiming at bringing down the regime’s stronghold.

However, after getting slammed with the blast, the Syrian administration promised it will hit back hard, unleashing great firepower in a number of districts in the capital crippling the armed opposition fighters, particularly in Midan, which was announced rebel-free on Friday.

The opposition fighters, over the past couple of days, have tried to take over a number of border points with Turkey, Iraq, and recently Jordan.

They have managed to take over points on the borders with Iraq, but the Syrian army recaptured the posts. Also media reports said that clashes have erupted on border crossing with Turkey.

The rebels have also tried to capture border point with Jordan, but the attempt was rendered flat when the regular troops responded to them.

The opposition fighters have been apparently trying to make a foothold on the border so it can repeat the Libyan scenario when the Libyan rebels used Benghazi as a launching pad to their assaults.

[…]

July 21st, 2012, 7:38 pm

 

Halabi said:

اهداء لأرواح الشهداء الاعلاميين من عبد الباسط الساروت وابو عمر

http://youtu.be/c0MW9v7iUFA

The revolutionaries come up with great songs for their martyrs. Menhebaks chant for Assad and pledge to be his shabi7a forever. In addition to the lack of creativity, the lack of compassion is also a characteristic of the pro-Assad side. While we gather money, medicine and other help for the millions of Syrians in need, even calling on Arabs and foreign governments, the pro-Assad side complains about sanctions but does nothing to help – not one camp was built by this so-called national army for the internal refugees in the country. I’ve challenged menhebaks before to point me to an organization that sends donations to the families of shabi7a killed during their criminal acts to no avail.

All the menhebak has is hatred for other sects and a warped view that everyone opposing them share the same kind of racism. The revolution is about music, collective action, demonstrations, protecting towns and villages and fighting one of the world’s truly evil armies. Who wouldn’t be optimistic with that when Assad can only deliver an eternity of tashbee7.

July 21st, 2012, 8:27 pm

 

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