Turkey and Syria – Will Turkey Go to War?

Concerns Build Over Violence In Syria - Talk of the Nation – October 11, 2012 [Go to minute 13]

Artillery fire between Syria and Turkey has further raised the stakes, and NATO has pledged to defend its Turkish ally. NPR’s Peter Kenyon, Joshua Landis, and Soner Cagaptay of The Washington Institute discuss the broader implications. listen

Syria’s Islamist rebels join forces against Assad [The most important article on the month]
By Mariam Karouny – Reuters

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Powerful Syrian Islamist brigades, frustrated at the growing divisions among rebels, have joined forces in what they say is a “liberation front” to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Mistrust and miscommunication have been a feature of the rebel campaign against Assad. Differences over leadership, tactics and sources of funding have widened the rifts between largely autonomous brigades scattered across Syria.

After more than a month of secret meetings, leaders of Islamist brigades – including the Farooq Brigade that operates mainly in Homs province and the heavyweight Sukour al-Sham brigade of Idlib – formed the “Front to Liberate Syria”.

The agreement is not the first which seeks to bring together disparate fighting groups and its Islamist emphasis has already alienated some other fighters.

The growing role of the Islamist fighters and their battlefield prowess has also caused concern among Western powers as they weigh up how best to support the opposition forces arrayed against Assad.

The new front does not include some groups which Western officials consider the most radical such as the Nusra Front, an affiliate of al Qaeda which has claimed responsibility for a series of devastating bombs in Damascus and Aleppo.

Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafist group which includes a large contingent of foreign fighters, withdrew, objecting to the killing of a Salafist leader killed by a rival rebel force.

But rebel sources said talks were continuing to bring Ahrar al-Sham back, and leader of the new front, Ahmad al-Sheikh, said it was continuing to attract members.

“We have more than 40,000 fighters now and the numbers are growing because more brigades are expressing interest in joining,” said Sheikh, known to his men as Abu Eissa.

Accurate figures for the total rebel numbers are hard to establish but such a force could represent around half of Assad’s armed opponents.

Originally the group was called the Islamic Front to Liberate Syria. Brigade leaders voted to drop the word ‘Islamic’ but Islam remains a central element, Sheikh told Reuters.

“We are proud of our Islamism and we are Islamists. But we do not want to show it in a slogan because we might not live up to the responsibility of Islam,” said Sheikh, who is also the head of the Sukour al-Sham Brigades. “But we want a state with Islamic reference and we are calling for it.”

Brigades in Damascus, Deir al-Zor, Aleppo, Idlib and Homs provinces have joined the front and logistical offices have been opened across Syria to facilitate coordination, Sheikh said.

CHECKPOINT ATTACKS

Since its formation, the front’s fighters have been focused on attacking checkpoints as part of their attempt to push Assad’s forces out of towns.

On Tuesday fighters from the Sukour al-Sham (Hawks of Syria) seized the town of Maarat al Nuaman in Idlib province from government forces….

But the move which is supposed to unite the rebels has also widened the rifts. Some in the FSA denounced the front and said that the emphasis on Islamic identity would worry minorities in the religiously mixed country.

Some fighters also said the group receives funding from Gulf states which promote the same Islamist ideology – a reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar – and also has better access to weapons coming through Turkey.

They accused them of denying some of those arms to rebels from smaller groups fighting alongside them.

“We are fighting and getting killed but some do not even bother helping us. They just watch us as if we are not on the same front,” said a fighter in a brigade composed of less than 500 insurgents.

Sheikh said his front would maintain “brotherly relations” with all groups but fell short of offering support.

“Whoever wants to work with us is a brother and a son of the front and whoever wants to work under other wings in the interest of the revolution is also a brother for us. But the others who are in the camps (in Turkey), they do not have any acceptance among us.”

Islamic militants help seize missile base in Syria
By Ben Hubbard and Zeina Karam, Wash Post: October 13

BEIRUT — Fighters from a shadowy militant group with suspected links to al-Qaeda joined Syrian rebels in seizing a government missile-defense base in northern Syria on Friday, according to activists and amateur video.

It was unclear whether the rebels were able to hold the base after the attack, and analysts questioned whether they would be able to make use of any of the missiles they might have taken.

Nevertheless, the assault underscored fears of advanced weaponry falling into the hands of extremists, whose role in Syria’s civil war appears to be increasing.

Videos purportedly shot inside the base and posted online stated that the extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra participated in the overnight battle near the village of al-Taaneh, three miles east of the country’s largest city, Aleppo. The videos show dozens of fighters inside the base near a radar tower, along with rows of large missiles, some on the backs of trucks.

A report by a correspondent with the Arabic satellite network al-Jazeera who visited the base Friday said Jabhat al-Nusra led the attack, killing three guards and taking others prisoner before seizing the base….

Syria despatch: rebel fighters fear the growing influence of their ‘Bin Laden’ faction
The growing strength of Islamists in the fight against President Bashar al-Assad is alarming Syria’s secular opposition, reports Ruth Sherlock
By Ruth Sherlock, Idlib province, 13 Oct 2012, Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph accompanied the head of the Free Syrian Army Supreme Military Council, General Mustafa al-Sheikh as he moved the FSA’s command centre from Turkey to inside Syria. They travelled nervously through Idlib’s countryside, in cars with blacked out windows, heavily armed, and with their rifles locked and loaded.

“It’s not because of the regime that we are carrying weapons. It’s because we are afraid of being attacked by the jihadists,” an FSA rebel later admitted. ..

Even before President Bashar al-Assad has been defeated, a war within the civil war is brewing in Syria. It is a battle of ideas, a struggle for the overall direction of the insurgency that is pitting moderate-Muslims against Salafists, jihadists and other Islamist groups.

Syria’s most powerful Islamist brigades have united under a new “liberation front” to wage jihad against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and turn the country into an Islamic state….

Secular rebel commanders also revealed that they are working to cut the supply lines of jihadist groups, and limit the influx of foreign fighters to their ranks.

“We watch the borders. If we find supplies entering for [jihadist groups] we will take them,” said one secular FSA fighter. “We have also caught 25 foreign fighters trying to cross from Turkey. We gave them to the Turkish intelligence.”

But moderates aligned with Gen al-Shiekh’s men are suffering from a lack of credibility. Rebel commanders on the front lines have praised the battlefield prowess of Islamists – many of who learnt to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan – and are angered that the head of the Free Syrian Army was based in Turkey for so long, saying it stripped him of any legitimacy among fighters who were dying inside the country.

“We are tired of paper tigers outside the country who have no link to the battlefield,” said Abu Eissa, whose 16-year-old eldest son was killed in fighting in Idlib six months ago.

Can FSA leadership be relevant again in Syria?
By Daniel DePetris, Special to CNN, an independent researcher.

For the first time since the Syrian rebellion began, the leadership of the opposition Free Syrian Army is making a concerted effort to unify the dozens of armed factions fighting under its name. The announcement by Colonel Riad al-Asaad, leader of the Free Syrian Army, that the FSA will be relocating its staff headquarters inside of Syrian territory is widely seen as a step in the right direction. Whether the move will make any practical difference in the fight, however, remains to be seen.

Al-Asaad was once a mid-level commander in the Syrian military, but his defection last year, and his attempt to form a band of former soldiers willing to fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, steadily changed the nature of the conflict. He is often considered by Syrian activists and deserters to be the first really high-ranking commander to flee the Syrian army in protest over the crackdown, and his actions appear to have inspired thousands of conscripts to follow in his footsteps: the FSA now includes more than two dozen former Syrian generals……It seems highly doubtful that moving its headquarters from Turkey to Syria will resolve any of these dilemmas for the FSA.

Yamin (A Christian whose family is originally from Raqqa) writes:

” The Baath took some land from us too and we were not big landholders. We however forgave. Old landowners are starting to feel that they now have a chance to recover their confiscated land, which they describe as “stolen land”. (See an article by Rania Abouzeid in Raqqa Province in Time Magazine dated October 10, 2012, titled “Who will the Tribes Back in Syria’s Civil War?”.)

This is why most of the people of Raqqa Province and other provinces in Syria, who acquired land in the 1960s, have been concerned about the aftermath of the Syrian  Revolution. Tribal heads lost the most, as they claimed wide uncontested areas without documentation or title deeds. It was like claiming land in the desert or in the ocean, when it should have been communal tribal land. Large areas in Syria were claimed that way by powerful chieftains, and Nasser and the Baath took the land from feudal groups and gave it to the peasants and tribesmen.

This is why the peasants and tribesmen backed Hafiz Assad in the early 1980s when he crushed the Moslem Brotherhood rebellion. They considered the Moslem Brotherhood the army of the landholders. To the many who benefited from Baathist land reforms, Hafiz Assad was a savior. But that was in the past and today they have rebelled against his son. If this matter escalates it may split the Syrian Revolution…..

I forgot to mention that the people of Raqqa Province always treated the Christians well. They trusted us Christians, almost like brothers, and we reciprocated.

The industrialist Christians of the Jazirah, who hailed from Turkey before Ataturk expelled them and fled to Qamishli, Hassakeh, Derbassieh, Amuda, Ras Al-Ain, were among the first to open the Jezzera land to wheat and barley farming in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Bedouins who had settled in Raqqa some 30 years earlier paid in land for the services of the Christians who knew about mechanized farming and who were importing the pumps, piping, and tractors to the region. The Christians still own thousands of acres in the Raqqa province.

My father had a head-on collision accident at midnight near Dyar Al-Zor in 1965. Four people were killed and many blamed my father. By coincidence the three dead from the other car were from our Syriac Catholic Church in Qamishli. One of our Raqqa neighbors was in the passenger seat next to my father. He died. My father was never the same. He spent months in the hospital being repaired, but emotionally, his convalescence took years. My father cared for the neighbor’s family for years, and they appreciated it. They never sued or threatened to sue. The family of the other three sued and it was settled through our Church years afterward.

God protect the people of Raqqa.

Syrian writer Samar Yazbek: ‘A woman like me makes life difficult’
Aida Edemariam, The Guardian,

Syrian novelist Samar Yazbek was born into a wealthy Alawite family, but became ‘a traitor to her kind’ to fight the Assad regime. Her latest work is a visceral, nightmarish account of the revolution that drove her into exile…

She says that Syrian women have the best conditions in the Middle East after Tunisia. But “it seemed that when Hafez al-Assad was president he was accomplishing reforms, but in reality, in profound ways, it was getting worse, going backward.” And things did not improve under his son, Bashar.

“The real revolution will begin after the fall of Assad,” she says. “Then we will have a feminist revolution to construct a new life, a new education, build a new society.” But aren’t you afraid of unintended consequences? Of the influx of Islamists, or of mirroring Egypt and Libya? “If we are afraid of the religious impact, we need to work from now to help in the revolution, to be able, after, to rebuild.”…

John Howard Wilhelm writes:

The Israelis would be wise as they pause for thought on bombing Iran to go after the Syrian air force instead. Surely the Israelis have the capacity to destroy that air force and bring about a swifter outcome to the fighting in Syria to the advantage of the Syrian people, of  regional stability, and of undermining Iranian influence in the region to the benefit of all. Regime change in Damascus might even hasten regime change in Tehran which, with the exception of the current leaders there, would be the best outcome for others.

Syria: New Evidence Military Dropped Cluster Bombs HWR

Nick Blanford in Hezbollah role in Syria grows more evident-  describes how Shiites and Sunnis in the Bekaa support different sides of the Syrian revolution and eye each other warily.

Iran’s Tumbling Rial Undermines Its Support of Syria’s Economy
Ibrahim Saif , Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Carnegie

The latest slide in the value of the rial has surprised many in its severity and speed. There is now a growing concern that it will have severe ramifications for Iran’s regional allies, including Syria.

Time: Is the Glass Half Full for Syria’s Assad?
2012-10-11

Winter is coming, and with it the near certainty that the lot of millions of suffering Syrians will get substantially worse. Some 335,000 and counting find themselves in refugee camps in neighboring Turkey and Jordan, the lucky among them in pre …

Two forgotten dimensions to the Syrian conflict
Jonas Bergan Dræge , 11 October 2012

Two other fault lines, unrelated to the sectarian issue, need to be taken into account in order to understand the multi-dimensional Syrian conflict.

Syria’s Tangled Roots of Resentment

October 11, 2012 Lindsay Gifford – Sada

Syria, Turkey, Israel and the Greater Middle East Energy War
By F. William Engdahl, Global Research, October 11, 2012

 On October 3, 2012 the Turkish military launched repeated mortar shellings inside Syrian territory. The military action, which was used by the Turkish military, conveniently, to establish a ten-kilometer wide no-man’s land “buffer zone” inside Syria, was in response to the alleged killing by Syrian armed forces of several Turkish civilians along the border.

There is widespread speculation that the one Syrian mortar that killed five Turkish civilians well might have been fired by Turkish-backed opposition forces intent on giving Turkey a pretext to move militarily, in military intelligence jargon, a ‘false flag’ operation.[1]

Turkey’s Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Foreign Minister, the inscrutable Ahmet Davutoglu, is the government’s main architect of Turkey’s self-defeating strategy of toppling its former ally Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.[2]….

The geopolitical dimension

The significant question to be asked at this point is what could bind Israel, Turkey, Qatar in a form of unholy alliance on the one side, and Assad’s Syria, Iran, Russia and China on the other side, in such deadly confrontation over the political future of Syria? One answer is energy geopolitics.

What has yet to be fully appreciated in geopolitical assessments of the Middle East is the dramatically rising importance of the control of natural gas to the future of not only Middle East gas producing countries, but also of the EU and Eurasia including Russia as producer and China as consumer…..

Is Turkish foreign policy becoming sectarian?
by Ahmet T. Kuru*, Zaman

ALAWITES AND ALEVIS: WHAT’S IN A NAME? [JL. They suggest that Ankara does not have to be too worried about internal sectarian dissent if it intervenes in Syria. Alevis will not object even it Alawites do.]
By Khairi Abaza and Soner Cagaptay

Tensions are rising on the Turkish-Syrian border, as Turkey recently became the first country to take direct military action against the al-Assad regime since Syria’s uprising began in spring 2011.  In response to the Syrian shelling of the Turkish town of Akcakale on October 3rd, an incident which killed 5 people, Ankara began shelling Syrian military targets.  What is more, Turkey has issued a number of escalation threats — on October 7th, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that “although Turkey does not want war, it is close to war,” suggesting  that Ankara is concerned with the spillover effect of the Syrian conflict in Turkey.

One major concern in this regard is the sectarian dimension of the Syrian conflict…..Problems between the Arab Alawites in Hatay and the government in Ankara are leading some to surmise a broader cleavage between Turkey’s Alevis — a community that represents 10-15 percent of Turkey’s 74 million citizens — and the Ankara government.  Partly due to their similar names (Alevi vs. Alawite), many commentators appear to be confusing the groups, leading them to the erroneous conclusion that Alevis are close kin to the religious sect that controls Damascus. Alawites and Alevis alike represent non-Orthodox Islam, and the two groups have similar-sounding names because of their shared reverence for Ali, son-in-law of Mohamed. Nevertheless, Alawites and Alevis are in fact different groups ethnically and theologically, and confusing the two would be akin to saying that all Protestants are protestors. Just to name a few, here is a list of five ethnic and theological differences between the Alawites and the Alevis, detailed in length in a recent article published in Turkish daily Zaman:……

Confusing the two distinct groups would only serve to stoke sectarian tensions and further divide the Turkish public on the issue of involvement in Syria. Some Alevis, like many other staunchly secular-minded Turks, take issue with the rise of Sunni Muslim Brotherhood-led regimes in Damascus, which they fear might discriminate against or even persecute “non-orthodox” sects. Others, but also many Sunni Turks, are concerned over the security risks for Turkey of becoming more deeply involved on one side of the Syrian civil war. But Turkey’s Alevis as a whole, unlike Syria’s Alawites as a whole, are not predominantly supporters of Assad’s regime…..

At least 100 bodies found near Damascus, say activists
2012-10-14

Damascus (dpa)- At least 100 bodies were found Sunday near Damascus, reported opposition activists.    The victims appear to have been executed, in the town of Darya on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, they added.

Israel, Syria Held 2010 Golan Talks, Official Says: NYTimes Link
2012-10-13

Few good Options to Secure Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Times (GB) [Reg]: Videos reveal a new horror for Syrian civilians: cluster bombs
2012-10-14

The videos leave little room for doubt: they show cluster bombs lying on dusty ground next to buildings, or stuck nose first in the earth. All around are dozens of the unexploded bomblets that they released in mid-air and scattered over areas larger …

Comments (121)


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101. Tara said:

Visitor

You are a liar. You and me know that you are Aqoul. You should have not denied it. You could have chosen not to respond if you did want to confirm it. Denying it makes you a liar. Please go and read the Quraan again. You have gotten it all wrong.

I am ready to hear a barrage of insults now. I know you are very capable of this one thing that I call Tashbeeh.

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October 15th, 2012, 8:20 am

 

102. zoo said:

#89 WSS

Thanks for respecting the bold header rule, it allows me to swiftly skip the post.

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October 15th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

103. zoo said:

The rebels praying while attacking and destroying Aleppo Mosque in a state of religious hysteria

13 10 Aleppo أوغاريت حلب , تحرير الجامع الأموي من شبيحة الأسد
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKBoX3Co_Hs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4hpjMBUTCg

Note: The Mosque has been taken back by the Syrian Army.

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October 15th, 2012, 8:53 am

 

104. Tara said:

The US is committing a serious mistake allowing arms to flow to unwanted Islamists while withholding them from genuine non-jihadists rebells.  We do not want the Islamists concept to become a genuine home-grown phenomena with time.
—–

Rebel groups in Syria are playing up their Islamist credentials, including growing Salafi beards, as a ruse to secure arms from conservative Gulf-based donors, according to a report by the International Crisis Group.

It said the increasing presence of jihadi fighters was irrefutable but added that groups with very different motives were being confusingly bracketed together. It said:

In some cases, adoption of Salafi nomenclature, rhetoric and symbols reflects a sincere commitment to religious ideals; in others, it expresses an essentially pragmatic attempt to curry favour with wealthy, conservative Gulf-based donors

The report said “not all Salafis are alike; the concept covers a gamut ranging from mainstream to extreme”.

It added:

The money flow from conservative donors did more than strengthen Salafi factions relative to their mainstream counterparts. It also pushed non-Salafi combatants toward joining Salafi units capable of providing them with the requisite weapons and ammunition. Groups with no ideological affiliation whatsoever began to adopt the symbols, rhetoric and facial hair associated with Salafism for that purpose.

It cited the example of Abdul Razzaq Tlass, a popular mid-level leader of Katibat al-Farouq in Homs who grew a Salafi beard to please Gulf financiers of his brigade.

It added that last June a small group of militants released a YouTube video officially naming their unit after a Kuwaiti cleric who had provided support.

The rebel faction, based outside Abu Kamal on the Iraqi border, called themselves Katibat al-Sheikh Hajaj al-Ajami – a Salafi Kuwaiti cleric who was prominent in raising money for the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front.

Rebel fighters pragmatically shift from one group to another based on the availability of funds and weapons, the report said.

It argued that western reluctance to arm the opposition was encouraging rebels to turn to the jihadi rhetoric favoured by private Gulf donors. It cited a Homs-based activist group who claimed that donations from Syrian expatriates and other Arabs in Gulf countries helped fuel a growing Islamist trend among militants.

It warned: 

While such forms of behaviour typically might start as a largely opportunistic phenomenon and thus lead to exaggerated assessments of a rising Islamist tide, over time they could well turn into more genuine feelings, as the experience of a religiously inspired struggle permeates a generation of fighters. It is also is liable to provoke a backlash, should these superficial Salafis engage in conduct that tarnishes the broader brand … It is, in other words, far too early to predict whether the Salafi trend is temporary or destined to persist.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/oct/15/syria-crisis-russia-denies-cluseter-bombs-live#block-507bd28bc0e361310bc6ceed

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October 15th, 2012, 9:03 am

 

105. zoo said:

Draw your own conclusion: These initiatives aimed at forcing a regime change in Syria made the headlines in the last few months:

Morsi’s quartet : dead
SNC Transition government in exile: dead
Opposition Unity meeting in Qatar: dead
Armed rebels unity with FSA in Syria: dead
Friends of Syria meetings : dead

This is besides older plans:
AL League plan : dead
UN Annan Plan : coma

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October 15th, 2012, 9:04 am

 

106. Visitor said:

100 TARA الانثى المخنث,

Listen for the last time. Get lost because you know nothing. You are hoping for a barrage of insults, you are not going to get it this time. You will get it if you insist on making further stupid comments.

Who do you think you are for me to lie to you? Or, even to swear on anything for that matter? The whole matter is a trifle to me.

So get lost and do your own blah…blah…blah…with your invalid buddies.

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October 15th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

107. zoo said:

The West is indirectly helping the expansion of Islamists terrorists while trying to topple an authoritarian secular regime.

Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: October 14, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all

WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the
tar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.

American officials worry that, should Mr. Assad be ousted, Syria could erupt afterward into a new conflict over control of the country, in which the more hard-line Islamic groups would be the best armed. That depends on what happens in the arms bazaar that has been feeding the rebel groups. In several towns along the Turkey-Syria border, rebel commanders can be found seeking weapons and meeting with shadowy intermediaries, in a chaotic atmosphere where the true identities and affiliations of any party can be extremely difficult to ascertain.

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October 15th, 2012, 9:26 am

 

108. zoo said:

Is Turkey sneakily trying to implement its long wanted No-Fly zone using its F-16 ?

Turkey grounds Armenian plane in growing de facto air blockade of Syria

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2012/1015/Turkey-grounds-Armenian-plane-in-growing-de-facto-air-blockade-of-Syria

A week after raising Russian ire by grounding a plane traveling from Russia to Syria, Turkey grounded an Armenian airliner – this time in a routine check arranged in a recently inked agreement.

By Arthur Bright, Staff writer / October 15, 2012

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October 15th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

109. zoo said:

The Region: Empowering the Middle East’s radicals

By BARRY RUBIN
10/14/2012 21:38
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=287805

There are two problems with US policy toward the Middle East: both the analysis and response aren’t just wrong, they make things much worse.

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October 15th, 2012, 9:51 am

 

110. zoo said:

No panic in Iran

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-panic-in-iran.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32412&NewsCatID=418

Iran’s currency virtually collapsed last week, and the public protests that followed in Tehran stirred memories of the massive anti-regime protests of 2009. This has caused excited speculation in the United States and its allies about the imminent fall of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the abandonment of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, or even the end of the whole Islamic regime.

Don’t hold your breath.

So the sanctions are working, in the sense that they are hurting people. But what are they accomplishing in terms of their stated purpose of forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program? More importantly, perhaps, what are they achieving in terms of their UNSTATED purpose: triggering an uprising that overthrows the whole Islamic regime?

First of all, Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.S. and Israeli intelligence service are all agreed on that, although the public debate on the issue generally assumes the contrary. Iran says it is developing its ability to enrich uranium fuel for use in reactors, which is perfectly legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Israel’s current government has talked itself into a state of existential panic over Iran’s uranium enrichment program, but the U.S. certainly doesn’t believe that Iran has any immediate plans to build nuclear weapons. So what are these sanctions really about?

Overthrowing the Iranian regime, of course.

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October 15th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

111. zoo said:

Will Turkey ‘go on it alone’? Even Fouad Ajami disagree.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/will-we-go-it-alone.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32416&NewsCatID=406

“The international allies clearly signaled that if Turkey was going to take military action inside Syria it would do so alone” reports Al-Jazeera. The foreign press is increasingly focusing on the opposition to war within Turkey.

Even Fouad Ajami, who is known as a supporter of removing the Bashar al-Assad regime, reminds Erdoğan of Atatürk’s approach to regional politics in a very sarcastic way. Ajami suggested that Erdoğan, “a proud Islamist, might better appreciate the wisdom of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The secular founder of modern Turkey advised his countrymen: Look West, leave the old lands of the Ottoman Empire to their feuds and backwardness” (“Turkey’s Dangerous al-Assad Dilemma,” The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 12, 2012). Leaving aside the Orientalist overtones, Ajami (who has little in common with Atatürk, other than unconditional admiration for Western civilization) was once a great supporter of moderate Sunni politics in regional affairs.

It seems now that nobody – including former supporters of Turkish politics of Syria – is convinced by Turkey’s current Syria policy.

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October 15th, 2012, 10:00 am

 

112. Visitor said:

WSS 89,

Man, I appreciate the sentiment. Your desire to help me really touched me? help with what? I do not feel that I need any help especially with my allies or my own personal choices. I choose them both carefully and they have to fit a minimum standard.

Glad to know you’re from White Rock ~50 miles away from PQ, and that much further from gangsters.

Who wants to be in that neighborhood? Stay safe.

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October 15th, 2012, 10:03 am

 

113. zoo said:

Israeli sexually frustrated women take advantage of Palestinians ‘modern slaves’

Palestinian labourers sexually harassed in Israel: study

There are 55,000 illegal Palestinian labourers in Israel

By Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
Published: 15:34 October 15, 2012
http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/palestinian-labourers-sexually-harassed-in-israel-study-1.1089603

Ramallah: Palestinian labourers working in Israel are at a high risk of sexual harassment by Israeli women, according to a recent field study conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The study found that 77 per cent of the Palestinian labourers in Israel had been subject to sexual harassment by Israeli women.

In an interview with Gulf News, Shaher Saad, the President of the Union of the Palestinian Labourer Federations, said the Palestinians face a real problem with the labourers who work in Israel on permits other than the official legal work permits.

He stressed that the problem increased further with the illegal labourers who are smuggled into Israel and spend days and weeks there for work. He said those labourers usually are blackmailed, harassed and forced to get involved in illicit and intimate affairs.

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October 15th, 2012, 10:04 am

 

114. ghufran said:

ذكرت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” اليوم الاثنين ان غالبية الاسلحة التي تنقل سرا الى سوريا بايعاز من السعودية وقطر تذهب الى جماعات متشددة وليس الى المنظمات الاكثر علمانية التي يفضلها الغرب.
ونقلت الصحيفة عن عدد من المسؤولين الاميركيين قولهم “ان هذا هو الاستنتاج الذي خلصت اليه تقارير سرية عرضت على الرئيس الاميركي باراك اوباما وعدد من كبار المسوؤلين الاميركيين”

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October 15th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

115. ghufran said:

this is the full English text for article in NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html?hp&_r=0
(those jihadist groups pose a serious and long term threat for Syria’s stability and security regardless of what regime Syria ends up with)

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October 15th, 2012, 10:41 am

 

116. ghufran said:

أوقفت شركة “يوتلسات” الأوروبية بث باقة ترددات القنوات الايرانية التي تشمل 19 قناة واذاعة فضائية ايرانية على القمر الصناعي “هوتبرد”، وذكر موقع قناة “العالم” الفضائية “أن القناة الناطقة بالعربية بالاضافة الى قنوات “برس تي في” الناطقة بالانكليزية وقناتي “الكوثر” و”سحر” وغيرها قد أوقف بثها على القمر “هوتبرد”
Hypocrisy is the hallmark of western position against Iran, freedom of speech means that you must not block others from speaking just because you disagree with them.

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October 15th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

117. syrain said:

89. William Scott Scherk said:

“I cannot accept your thanks for showing that most of Ghufran’s sources are from hardcore Baathi sites…..”
It is ok ,
because that was half my comment,I was explaining like you did later about what he did wrong, then I deleted it thinking what the use of beating a dead horse.

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October 15th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

118. syrain said:

77. Visitor said:
“69 Syrain,

Are you sure that Faisal Abbas is not being sarcastic in that apparent apology?”
As the great Syrian Hampster said , you do have a great command of English, I did not notice that it was kind of sarcastic apology,at the same time it was a great piece like Syrian lover said,exposing Assad khalil who kinda cut his nose to spite Alarabia

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October 15th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

119. syrain said:

104. zoo said:

“Draw your own conclusion: These initiatives aimed at forcing a regime change in Syria made the headlines in the last few months:”
My own conclusion is the regime wants to go down fighting, becuase all this initiatives is to save the regime’s ass

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October 15th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

120. Uzair8 said:

DamascusTribune
#Breaking: Clashes in Qurdaha (#Assad home town) are taking place right now, Louay Almokdad spokesperson for #FSA

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/damascustribune-breaking-clashes-in-qurdaha-assad-home-town/

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October 15th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

121. Syrialover said:

VISITOR,

There will be so much to be done in Syria the Day After.

I call for the energies and emotions of those who care about Syria to be channelled into that rather than aggressive religious debates here.

We owe it to all Syrians who have lost so much to help prepare for rebuilding the country.

Think about the millions of people who will need help to “rebuild” psychologically and materially.

It doesn’t matter what anyone’s interests and abilities are, there would be a way to contribute to post-Assad Syrian recovery.

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October 15th, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

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