Administrative Update plus Round-Up

As many noticed during the recent period of silence at Syria Comment, responsibilities have pulled us away from being able to post regularly. Though we are currently on break, I should explain that the demands of the academic year’s schedule will sometimes decrease my availability for writing articles and posting news round-ups.

I will still be available to post work from other writers, and will also continue to do some moderation, though not always in a timely fashion.

—Matthew Barber

The names of the Syrian revolution Friday protest days

For now, a brief roundup…

Before looking at the important recent stories, please look at this October article, if you missed it previously. Though challenging for many, it’s content is still relevant and raises important food for thought: Partitioning Syria by Gary Gambill

Fisk wonders if presidential control of security is continuing to decline, and whether Khan’s death implies internal challenges to Assad: British prisoner Dr Abbas Khan found dead in Syrian jail days before he was due to be handed over to MP George Galloway – Independent

In a scandal that will inevitably embrace the Syrian and the British governments, a British prisoner in the hands of the Syrian state security police has been found dead in a Damascus prison only four days before he was to be handed over to British MP George Galloway to be taken home to Britain on the instructions of President Assad himself.

Dr Abbas Khan, who was arrested by Syrian government forces while working as an orthopaedic surgeon in the Aleppo region and held incommunicado for more than a year, “committed suicide” in the state interrogation centre at  Kfar Soussa in Damascus, according to Syrian security authorities.  Khan’s mother, Fatima, who was herself in Damascus and had seen her son four times in the past four months, was eagerly awaiting his release this weekend when she received a telephone call from a Syrian official to say that he had hanged himself with his pyjamas.

His family in London – where Abbas was born – had received a bundle of letters from him in the last few weeks expressing his delight at his imminent release.  “He was saying ‘I can’t wait to be back with you guys’,” his sister Sara told me today.  “He did not commit suicide.” …

George Galloway was flabbergasted.  When I telephoned him, he described Khan’s death as “inexplicable”.  He had just booked his air ticket to Damascus when he heard the news from Dr Khan’s family – and then from the Syrian deputy foreign minister himself.  “As yet, no satisfactory explanation has been given to me.  The idea of a man committing suicide four days before he was to be released is impossible to believe. …

… Syria is now certain to become embroiled in a political crisis that suggests President Assad may not be able to control his own security authorities.  Dr Khan was a London-born doctor and no longer had any political importance – he had been arrested after treating women and children in rebel-held areas of Aleppo well over a year ago – yet he was taken from the Azra prison where he was being held last week to the Kfar Soussa interrogation centre, a jail where inmates are held just after arrest and just before their release.

For a tragedy of this importance, for what many clearly believe to have been a murder – for a British citizen whose release has been ordered by President Assad himself only to be found dead in state security police custody – will require a full explanation not only from the Syrian government but from Assad himself.  Repeatedly, Assad has claimed that he is solely in charge of Syria, and – despite disquiet among Syrians at his decision to hand over his chemical weapons to the United Nations last summer – nothing has hitherto suggested that Assad’s word might be crossed.

Yet the death of Abbas Khan now raises the devastating possibility that there are those in authority in Damascus who want to challenge the power and prestige of their own president.  It is clear that the Syrians intended to make a conciliatory gesture towards the West by releasing Khan – yet his death suggests there are those who wish to destroy Assad’s chances of a reconciliation with Western powers which only a few months ago were set on destroying his regime in a military attack. …

U.S. Weighing Closer Ties With Hardline Islamists in Syria – FP

Syria region where polio found excluded from 2012 vaccination drive – Reuters

The Syrian government excluded the largely rebel-held province of Deir al-Zor – where polio broke out this year – from a 2012 vaccination campaign, arguing that most residents had fled although hundreds of thousands were still there, a Reuters investigation shows. …

Whose sarin? by Seymour M. Hersh – London Review of Books

Brown Moses’ rebuttal: Sy Hersh’s Chemical Misfire – FP

Also see this: Report Detail Could Further Implicate Syria in Chemical Attack, Analysts Say

Buried in the annex of a United Nations inquiry into chemical weapons use in Syria is information that some outside analysts say could further implicate the government of Syria in the deadliest of the five confirmed attacks. …

Saudi Ambassador to Britain declares greater autonomous action on the part of the Kingdom and takes stab at US policy: Saudi Arabia Will Go It AloneNYT

… We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East. …

… But this year, for all their talk of “red lines,” when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability. …

… Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.

We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners. Nothing is ruled out in our pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab World as King Abdullah — then Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince — showed with his leadership of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We showed our preparedness to act independently with our decision to reject a seat on the United Nations Security Council. What point was there in serving in an international talking shop when so many lives are threatened, and so many opportunities for peace and security are being thwarted by the U.N.’s inability to act?

We continue to show our determination through our support for the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian opposition. It is too easy for some in the West to use the threat of Al Qaeda’s terrorist operations in Syria as an excuse for hesitation and inaction. Al Qaeda’s activities are a symptom of the international community’s failure to intervene. They should not become a justification for inaction. The way to prevent the rise of extremism in Syria — and elsewhere — is to support the champions of moderation: financially, materially and yes, militarily, if necessary. …

Patrick Cockburn: U.S. Turns Blind Eye as Saudis Fund Jihadists in Syrian Conflict – Democracy Now

Cockburn on the Independent: Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

Film taking aim at Saudi monarchy opens in Syria – AP

King of the Sands

“King of the Sands…” purports to show events leading up to the creation of Saudi Arabia in 1932. In the movie, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is portrayed as a merciless ruler fighting opponents with a sword, commanding that the hands of thieves be cut off, ordering the stoning of couples for having premarital sex, and taking numerous wives himself. He is also shown as a man who enjoys underage women.

 A Confused Situation in Northern Syria – Aron Lund

… In a widely read article, the Wall Street Journal portrayed the events at Bab al-Hawa as part of a simple radical-moderate conflict: the Islamic Front had chased the SMC out of Syria, punching a big hole in American strategy before the planned Syrian peace conference in Geneva. Some SMC officials seem to agree. But as new details emerge, the truth appears to be considerably more nuanced. …

For its part, the Islamic Front claims that it only intervened to safeguard the Bab al-Hawa area after a distress call from the SMC leader, Salim Idris, who wanted help protecting his warehouses against attacks by an unnamed group.

Idris himself has come forward in support of this version and seems eager to downplay the conflict between him and the Islamic Front. According to Idris, the SMC headquarters have not been “occupied” by the Islamic Front, rather they are locked and empty after the SMC abandoned them. “I could return to the [SMC] headquarters any time I want,” he claims in an interview with the U.S.-funded al-Hurra television station, “but the entire region is in danger. Most forces have abandoned their headquarters. There’s an unnatural situation in the entire northern region, to be honest. In the northern area of Syria, there is confusion and there are checkpoints for different forces and alliances. The situation in northern Syria is no longer clear, no longer safe.” …

… One of the reasons for the chaotic and dangerous situation in the northern Idlib area is a spate of clashes between the SRF and the Islamic Front. In the days after December 6, these groups faced off, putting up roadblocks in the area, kidnapping each other’s members, and blocking convoys of supplies. …

Arabic article suggests that Oman is hosting secret negotiations between regime and rebels (via Andrew Hammond @Hammonda1): انباء عن مفاوضات سرية بين النظام السوري وشخصيات معارضة تستضيفها سلطنة عمان

Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah

Syrian conflict said to fuel sectarian tensions in Persian Gulf – WP

… Kuwaiti Sunnis have been among the most prominent financial supporters of Syria’s rebels, raising tens of millions of dollars through both traditional charity functions and online canvassing using social media sites. Prominent Sunni families have sent sons to fight for Islamist rebels in Syria, and Kuwaiti Twitter and Facebook pages devoted to the conflict regularly applaud the slaughter of Shiite forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Although less conspicuous, Kuwaiti Shiites have launched parallel efforts to build support for Syria’s pro-government Shiite and Alawite communities, according to the Brookings report. At a forum in Kuwait City last year, a Shiite group claimed to have raised the equivalent of $81 million for Assad’s forces. Many of the country’s city-dwelling Shiites have begun to refer to Sunnis as “Bedouin” who are less authentically Kuwaiti, the report said.

“Now the talk is about Shia-Sunni,” a Kuwaiti newspaper editor was quoted as telling the report’s author. “It has become popular, very normal. . . . It wasn’t like that in Kuwait.”

West signals to Syrian opposition Assad may stay – Reuters

…”Our Western friends made it clear in London that Assad cannot be allowed to go now because they think chaos and an Islamist militant takeover would ensue,” said one senior member of the Coalition who is close to officials from Saudi Arabia.

al-Julani, head of Jabhat al-Nusra interviewed by al-Jazeera English – Al-Qaeda leader in Syria speaks to Al Jazeera

The leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, one of the most powerful groups in the war-torn country, has told Al Jazeera that that the conflict is nearing an end and that his fighters hold the upper hand.

Jabhat al-Nusra presence in Syria

“Bashar al-Assad Is Not As Bad As These People!” – A Libyan On Joining Jabhat al-Nusra – Brown Moses

Bashar Al Assad: An Intimate Profile of a Mass Murderer – New Republic

Syrian and Iraqi Kurds more divided over Syria – al-Monitor

Gaza fighters head to Syria as refugees flow in – BBC

… Fahd al-Habash had been avidly following news about Syria and saw it as a just, holy war. “The situation in Gaza is calm. There’s no fighting with Israel right now and Fahd wanted to fight against the Shia [Muslims],” Shehata al-Habash says. …

… However the movement between Gaza and Syria is not just in one direction. Dozens of Syrian refugees have headed here since the war started, as well as hundreds of Palestinian refugees who were living in Syria. …

… UNRWA is now supporting 1,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria in the Gaza Strip. They are entitled to the same benefits and services as refugees who were already based in Gaza. …

Osama al-Shehabi (Abul-Zahra al-Zubeidi): An al-Qaeda Leader in Lebanon – Aron Lund

In a press statement issued yesterday, the U.S. State Department declared that it had sanctioned Osama Amin al-Shihabi as a “specially designated global terrorist.” The statement went on to explain that Shihabi has recently been appointed head of the Nusra Front’s Palestinian wing in Lebanon. …

The Belated Birth of the Waad Party – Raphaël Lefèvre

The New Power On The Ground In Syria (on Zahran Alloush) – Mike Giglio

Syrians disappeared in ‘campaign of terror’ – al-Jazeera

Government forces snatching people in a ‘systematic attack’ on civilians, UN says.

The Other Arab Awakening – Thomas Friedman – NYT

AND so it turns out that there were actually two Arab awakenings.

There are the radical revolutions you’ve read about in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Libya, none of which yet have built stable, inclusive democracies. But then there are the radical evolutions that you’ve not read about, playing out in Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf monarchies. The evolutions involve a subtle but real shift in relations between leaders and their people, and you can detect it from even a brief visit to Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Gulf leaders still have no time for one-man, one-vote democracy. But, in the wake of the Arab Spring, they’re deeply concerned with their legitimacy, which they are discovering can no longer just be bought with more subsidies — or passed from father to son. So more and more leaders are inviting their people to judge them by how well they perform — how well they improve schools, create jobs and fix sewers — not just resist Israel or Iran or impose Islam. …

Aron Lund on refugees: Slamming the Golden Door

Syria’s neighbors are overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis. Syrians now constitute more than one-fifth of Lebanon’s inhabitants, and the attendant growing economic burden and religious tensions threaten to pull the country back into civil war. In Jordan, the Zaatari refugee camp has grown from a collection of empty tent grounds in 2012 into what is now one of the country’s largest cities, where 2,000 new refugees arrive every day.

Poor Third World nations are shouldering almost the entire burden. Apart from Syria’s hard-pressed neighbors, significant numbers of refugees have also been received in Egypt, Algeria, Libya, and other Middle Eastern countries. In distant Brazil, the government recently announced the creation of “humanitarian visas” for Syrian refugees. Syrians will now be able to apply for asylum at Brazilian embassies in the Middle East, something that hardly any other state allows.

… But in looking closely at the numbers, a pattern emerges. In almost every case, the states most deeply involved with fanning the flames of the Syrian civil war—like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, and Russia—are also the ones most reluctant to take in its refugees. It is remarkable that a wealthy fellow Arab country like Saudi Arabia (with a population of 28 million), has still not offered to resettle a single Syrian refugee.

… In Europe, Germany is the only large nation (with a population of 82 million) making an effort to take in Syrian refugees. It already shelters around 8,000 asylum applicants and recently started bringing in 5,000 more refugees. It is in talks with the UN to eventually resettle up to 10,000 Syrian refugees, or 80 percent of the EU’s pledges for UN resettlement.

Sweden (with a population of 9 million) has received even higher numbers of refugees, but not on the UN quotas. Instead, it has become the primary destination for private Syrian asylum seekers entering the EU illegally. Since the start of the crisis, Sweden has granted residency status on humanitarian grounds to some 25,000 Syrians, which is the largest number anywhere outside the Middle East (in total, some 50,000 Syrians have applied for asylum in EU countries; that’s 2.4 percent of the global total). In addition, Sweden has informed the UN that it could take 400 refugees on its quota for 2013. …

Aleppo and the Battle for the Syrian Revolution’s Soul – Aron Lund

Uncertain Future for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s Political Party – Yezid Sayigh and Raphaël Lefèvre

VansGuard wrote a song for Syria:

VansGuard explained the motivation for the song in an email:

One day i was reading the news, here in America, and Syria was on the headlines. But right under that headline was a big article about the Grammys that would take place the next day… This juxtaposition of suffering and luxury existing so closely together in our consciousnesses, blurring the line of right and wrong, and allowing us to click on the next hot topic without a second thought, struck me as terribly awry. The next day photos from the Grammys were in the spot where the article on Syria had been the day before. The Grammys had now become the most important topic. I cried for the apathy of America and i knew i had to write a song to speak out for the people of Syria. So i did.

Those concerned with the array of humanitarian issues facing Syria should follow the project Focus on Syria, created by Italian aid workers and researchers (disponibile anche in Italiano).

Syria’s Alawite Villages: ‘Scenes of Beauty As Well As Unspeakable Horrors’ – WSJ

It’s not only the religious minorities that come under fire in Syria; sexual minorities are suffering as well. Here’s an FP article from this month on the struggles facing gay Syrians: Out and Down in Syria’s Civil War – Haley Bobseine

…For gay Syrians, nowhere is safe: Across the country, they have been the target of attack by pro-regime militants and armed Islamist militias alike…

…Amir recounts how one of his gay friends, Badr, was kidnapped this summer by Jabhat al-Nusra, which extracted information from him about other gays before executing him. “Several days later, Jabhat al-Nusra gathered people in the square and denounced another guy as a faggot,” says Amir. “They chopped his head off with a sword.” …

… One morning, pro-regime militiamen stopped him at a checkpoint. Najib recognized one of the men, Kheder, from an unofficial gay park they used to frequent prior to the revolution. The men blindfolded him and brought him inside a building, demanding $15,000 or else they would hand him over to the state security apparatus. “After that they told me to take off my clothes. They took my phone and started to take pictures of me,” Najib says. “Another other guy kicked me in my face and called me a prostitute and cursed at me. Then they sexually molested me.” …

“A gay person in Syria is between two fires — the regime and the opposition,” explains Najib. “The issue is that most people do not see targeting homosexuals as being problematic.” …

And here’s an earlier article with several harrowing accounts of homosexuals being targeted: Gay Syrians Are Being Blackmailed, Tortured and Killed by Jihadists – Vice

Gay Syrians

“I think I was targeted for two reasons: because I’m a Druze, and because I’m gay,” he said. “They told us, ‘You are all perverts, and we are going to kill you to save the world’.”

… Ram is one of seven gay Syrian men who I interviewed in Beirut this September. All of them fled Syria after their homosexuality was discovered and their lives were directly threatened in the chaos and radicalism that has engulfed their country. …

… Patricia el-Khoury is a Beirut-based psychologist who provides counselling to some of the most traumatised gay men to have escaped Syria. She said that it is their isolation that causes the biggest psychological impact and makes them even more vulnerable than the tens of thousands of other refugees who have flooded into Lebanon. “Guilt is everywhere when I talk to these guys,” she said. “They feel that it is their fault that they have lost their families.”

Problems with the various attempts to map the Syrian conflict (French): L’insurrection syrienne et la guerre des cartes – Fabrice Balanche

Syrians living in London beg Prince of Wales to intervene in conflict tearing apart their homeland – Independent

Al Qaeda-Linked Jihadists Are Hunting and Killing Moderate Syrian Rebels – Daily Beast

Interesting conversation between Joshua Landis and Elias Muhanna: Qifa Nabki – The Great Sorting Out: Ethnicity & the Future of the Levant


Comments (84)

don said:

TIME Best pictures of the year 2013

It was the fourth and last execution of the day committed by Al Qaeda-linked ISIS militias, in Keferghan, a town near Aleppo, in northern Syria, Aug. 31, 2013.

December 19th, 2013, 10:37 pm


Syrian said:


“You get the picture. Something horrible is going on in Syria in terms of “identity” formation. Identities are changing like the wind – and not for the better. It is hard to see a “cosmopolitan” outcome to this. Assad may “win” in the short term, but in the long term, he is doomed. So probably – but not necessarily – are Syria’s minorities. If I belonged to a minority community in Syria today, I would consider packing my bags.”

December 20th, 2013, 2:11 am


don said:

West abandoning regime change project in Syria

Acceptance of President Assad’s centrality will mark a dramatic turnaround in the policy adopted by the West and their Gulf partners

The wheels of a western-backed “regime change” project in Syria appear to be falling off as members of opposition signal that President Bashar Assad may be allowed to stay in power and even contest elections in future to steer the country’s political transition.

Reuters is quoting a member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as saying that the group was told in a recent meeting in London of the Friends of Syria — an anti-Assad alliance — that next month’s talks in Geneva may not lead to President Assad’s removal.

On the contrary, Mr. Assad will be a key a player in any transitional administration, and could even run for elections next year. “Our Western friends made it clear in London that Assad cannot be allowed to go now because they think chaos and an Islamist militant takeover would ensue,” Reuters quoted a senior member of the coalition who is close to Saudi Arabian officials, as saying.

December 20th, 2013, 3:14 am


don said:

450,000 Christian Syrians displaced in long-term crisis

Laham said “there is no civil war in Syria.”

DAMASCUS, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — Syria’s long-term crisis has displaced more than 450,000 Christian Syrians and killed more than a thousand of them, Gregory III Laham, Patriarch of the Church of Antioch and all East, told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday.

“As we know, there are 120,000 Syrians killed in the 3-year- long crisis, including Syrian Christians. Maybe the Christians among the killed amount to 1,000. There are also nine million people displaced inside and outside Syria, 450,000 of whom were Christians,” Laham said.

Syria’s Christians, who take up about 10 percent in the country ‘s Sunni-majority population, have felt the pain of the protracted crisis, as their population has been subject to attacks by the radical rebels. The latest incident took place earlier this month, when radical jihadists fully controlled Syria’s Christian town of Maaloula, north of the capital Damascus.

The armed radicals have fully controlled the town and started burning houses, the mainstream media said, adding that the rebels have also kidnapped 12 nuns from Mar Thecla Monastery, the largest monastery in that key historic area, which is one of the oldest cradles of Christianity in Syria.

Aside from the Christians, Syrians from the Druze and Alawite minorities, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, have also been subject to harsher treatment by the jihadi groups, whose leaders contended that they are protecting the majority Sunni population from the crackdown of the Syrian administration, whose top ranks belong to the Alawite minority.

In the interview, Laham said “there are 85 churches that have been destroyed, sabotaged, burnt and subject to systematic desecration by the Takfiri groups.”

“The crisis has tragically targeted all the Syrians with all of their sects,” he said.

Regarding the kidnapped nuns of Maloula and the two bishops, who have been kidnapped since eight months ago in northern Aleppo province, the top Patriarch said there was no news about them or the time of their release.

“Targeting high-profile Christian figures is aimed to disseminate fear among the Christians and push people to leave the country,” he remarked.

Yet, with all of the sectarian tension the crisis has generated, Laham said “there is no civil war in Syria.”

“Talks about the inter-fighting among the Syrians are not accurate. There are external parties that have been running the conflict. Those parties are more stronger than any opposition, so the issue is not purely Syrian but a war against Syria from the outside,” he noted.

December 20th, 2013, 3:24 am


annie said:

Stop Starvation in Syria | End the Blockades

December 19, 2013

Call to Join the International Hunger Strike

Syrians are slowly dying of malnutrition – but not for lack of food. A military blockade surrounds dozens of Syrian towns. This starvation siege prevents 1.5 million Syrians from receiving food or medicine.

Qusai Zakarya is one of them. He is 28 years old. Qusai declared a hunger strike on November 26, to demand food and medicine be allowed to reach civilians across military lines in Syria. “We are all hungry here in my hometown anyway. Let me be hungry for a purpose,” Qusai says.
Our goals:

To call for food and medicine now to all besieged towns in Syria.
To call for a binding resolution from the UN Security Council requiring the regime in Syria and all armed parties to allow humanitarian organizations immediate unfettered access to aid the civilian population without discrimination, including cross-border access and cross-line access (from regime-controlled areas into rebel-controlled areas).
To alert media and political representatives to this situation.
To support this act of civil resistance in Syria.
Can you join us this holiday season in standing in solidarity with Syrians? People of conscience everywhere must act to break the siege that is affecting over a million people.
In Solidarity and Hope,

December 20th, 2013, 4:00 am


don said:

Foreign “Jihadists” [MERCENARIES] in Syria: Tracking Recruitment Networks

Between 3,400 and 11,000 foreign fighters have entered Syria

Monitoring jihadist social-media networks reveals where fighters are coming from, where in Syria they are fighting, and how best to stem their continued recruitment in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Tunisia.

Tracking and analyzing death notices can help broaden Washington’s understanding of foreign recruitment networks, the largest of which appear to operate in Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Tunisia.


Since the Syrian uprising turned into an armed rebellion, jihadists have announced the deaths of more than 1,100 fighters on their Twitter and Facebook accounts and, to a lesser extent, on password-protected forums. Although other foreigners have been killed in Syria, their deaths were reported by non-jihadist rebels, Western media, or Arabic media and are not included in this assessment.

The most striking revelation in the latest data is the huge rise in overall death notices. Previously, jihadist sources had posted only 85 such notices as of February 2013, and only 280 as of June. In other words, the vast majority of the more than 1,100 notices have come in the past half year.


Arabs dominate the list of foreign jihadists who have died in Syria, and nine of the top ten countries represented are from the Arab world.

Death notices have mentioned fifty different nationalities in all, including twenty in Europe or elsewhere in the West.

One of the most important trends in the past half-year is the rise in both the total number of Saudi foreign fighters and the number of Saudis killed (which far outpaces all other national groups). Only some 20 percent of the 1,100 death notices state group affiliation, so this data provides only a small window into which groups foreigners are joining. Of these, however, the vast majority name Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham — the two militant opposition groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United States. Other fighters were also reported to be members of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, Katibat Suqur al-Izz, Liwa al-Umma, and Harakat Sham al-Islam, among others.

More than 60 percent of the notices offered more specific information about the fighter’s town or province of origin, providing insight into certain foreign networks. For instance, fifteen fighters were described as hailing from the Saudi province of al-Qassim, and it is possible that they came from the provincial capital of Buraydah, as the notices for twenty-two other fighters indicated. The largest network in this data set is from Riyadh, however, raising questions about whether the Saudi government is being duplicitous and/or looking the other way regarding significant jihadist activity in its capital.

Unsurprisingly, the next three most-mentioned cities are in Libya, a key hub for many fighters en route to Syria. Groups such as Ansar al-Sharia in Libya have provided training for Libyans, Tunisians, and other North Africans. In addition, many Syrians have traveled to Libya for training, then returned home to use their new skills against the regime.

Fighters from Tunisia, the third-ranked source country, were more evenly distributed among a wider range of towns and provinces than Saudi and Libyan fighters, most of whom hailed from a handful of locations. This suggests that recruitment networks may have penetrated a wider swath of Tunisian territory, and more deeply. It also suggests that facilitation and logistics networks supporting Syria-bound fighters may have been grafted onto the existing rural and urban networks established by local jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia.


Some 760 of the death notices provided location of death. Foreign fighters have died in twelve of Syria’s fourteen governorates; only Tartus and Quneitra were not represented. Some of the biggest losses came late this summer in the campaign called “Cleansing of the Coast,” which was fought in Latakia, part of the regime’s Alawite heartland. Of the eighty-eight foreign jihadists killed in that governorate during the war, fifty died in August alone. Overall, though, the largest death toll occurred in Aleppo governorate, a rebel stronghold and site of some of the war’s fiercest fighting.


A survey of 1,500 media, government, and jihadist sources in multiple languages indicates that between 3,400 and 11,000 foreign fighters have entered Syria since the uprising turned into an armed rebellion.

December 20th, 2013, 4:07 am


everd said:

I also would like to draw your attention to an interesting article by Akram Kachee and Jérome Maucourant on Crisyr a new blog dedicated to the analysis of the Syrian Crisis : Sur la notion de “révolution” en Syrie (2011-2013) at

December 20th, 2013, 4:15 am


don said:

The Syrian Regime’s [GOVERNMENT’S] Military Solution to the War

The war could indeed have a military outcome, and in light of current trends, that outcome could be a regime [GOVERNMENT] victory.


For all the reasons outlined here, assertions that “there is no military solution” to the Syrian conflict should be viewed with caution. While the regime [GOVERNMENT] is not certain to win the kind of victory it seeks, and may have to settle for less, the war is now moving in its favor and prospects for a reversal do not look good.

Barring a sudden collapse of the armed resistance, which for the Islamist core seems unlikely, the regime [GOVERNMENT] will only slowly defeat rebel forces and recover territory. But the regime [GOVERNMENT] is implacable and its allies are steadfast.

Regarding Geneva, the regime’s [GOVERNMENT’S] approach to the war suggests that it will not negotiate seriously with the rebels. And given its increasing success on the battlefield, the continued support of its allies, and a divided and feckless opposition, there is no reason why it should.

December 20th, 2013, 4:22 am


Badr said:

If you’d like, listen to a short story, that exemplifies how complex the conflict is, of a Syrian Ismaili former air force pilot, who was ill-treated three different times, first by the Assad regime, then by Lebanese Shiites, and finally by Al-Nusra.

December 20th, 2013, 5:07 am


don said:


December 20th, 2013, 5:08 am


don said:

Israel more of a problem than Iran

There’s been a welcome outbreak of peace lately. The great powers nearly warred over Syria. Thanks to massive anti-war opinion in the West and skilful Russian diplomacy, the flashpoint was removed when Syria joined the international convention and rid itself of chemical weapons. After decades of friction, Iran and the West reached a temporary rapprochement over Iran’s nuclear program.

In this hopeful context, the letter writer complains the Spec is publishing editorials lauding efforts at making peace. Instead, he urges a pre-emptive strike against Iran.

Mentioning our organization, he asks why we don’t condemn Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The answer is simple: Iran isn’t pursuing nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency monitors Iran’s nuclear production of electricity and medical isotopes but found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Even the annual U.S. Intelligence Reports since 2006 have found no such evidence.

Unfortunately, Israel has ratified neither the NNPT nor the chemical weapons convention. Unlike Iran, Israel routinely attacks its neighbours, bombing Syria several times this year alone. It’s the only regional country to oppose the UN-endorsed idea of a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East.

December 20th, 2013, 6:03 am


don said:

Relic hunters: Islamists in Syria earn their daily bread selling Christian trophies

In Syria, Islamists have again captured the Christian town of Maaloula. They took prisoner 12 nuns two weeks ago and have since held them in the neighbouring town of Yabroud. Meanwhile, Internet antique shops have featured offers to sell Maaloula relics. That’s the way the Jabhat al-Nusra fighters are earning their daily bread.

But clerics in the ancient Christian town of Maaloula continue ringing their church bells despite the ongoing fighting, blasts and the abduction of nuns.

This is actually the only reminder of the once quiet life in the small town. The Islamists, – the Jabhat al-Nusra movement fighters, again occupied the town early this month. They broke their pledge not to harm anyone or damage the town’s sacred sites and took 12 nuns prisoner. The nuns have since been held in the neighbouring town of Yabroud.

It is now clear that the promised respect for the holy Christian places was a lie. Lebanon’s Al Akhbar newspaper reported several days ago that several early Christian crosses, holy vessels and statues from Maaloula have been put up for sale on the Internet. The mediators acting on behalf of An-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are looking for rich customers. Syrian relics have been stolen for more than two years now, with major museums across the world having already drawn up the “red list” of Syrian artifacts that may “accidentally” surface on the market. According to Sheila Canby, the Head of the New York-based Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Islamic Art, the artifacts that can be taken out of Syria are running into danger, namely such small things as vessels and paraments, above all the enamel and glass works.

UNESCO, too, is perfectly aware of the ravaging of Maaloula, as well as Syria’s ancient oasis city of Palmyra and dozens of museums in Syrian cities. In September, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met the UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, to take up the issue. Bokova said the world must react today to save the Syrian heritage, since tomorrow may be too late. According to her, UNESCO does not need to decide whether it should deal with the humanitarian crisis and protect the Syrian heritage or not. The protection of historical heritage is part of the solution for the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

December 20th, 2013, 6:09 am


don said:

Syria’s rattlesnakes commit suicide

The rebel command in Syria is falling apart. This was apparent to anyone who saw the graphic Al-Jazeera published several months ago that claimed to show all rebel groups in Syria. Browsers could click on any area, which would lead to dozens of dots appearing in each town showing the various groups involved. From Kurdish nationalist groups to al-Qaida affiliates, the gaggle of little groups supposedly fighting the regime were endless.

Recently six of these groups formed a new alliance called the “Islamic Front” which has sought to displace Free Syrian Army positions along the Turkish border in order to control the supplies funneled to the rebels. This Sunni Islamist alliance is anti-democracy and anti-secular, but is supposedly made up of “non al-Qaida” affiliates. According to reports, even the al-Qaida affiliated “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” is forced to fight with the “Nusra Front” for the title of who is the “real” al-Qaida. This fracturing of the opposition has resulted in western governments withdrawing aid from the FSA .

When we look at the Syrian rebel experience what is clear is that the increasing Islamisization has put the focus on Islamic purity as opposed to actually fighting the government. Reports are not always accurate, but what is clear is that there is a grotesque underside to these rebels. First there were videos of them beheading and ethnically cleansing minorities. There were also numerous kidnappings of journalists undertaken by them, journalists who were usually there to show the rebels in a good light. One report claimed that radical Islamists were recruiting innocent girls in Tunisia to wage a “sexual jihad” by being mistresses of the “pure Islamic” fighters, who were evidently spending more time raping Tunisian beauties than fighting.

In a recent case Islamists kidnapped a rebel commander and filmed his beheading, only to then issue an apology for having beheaded the wrong person. A more telling story related the experiences of foreign, mostly European-born, jihadists who were transferring through jihad-hostels on their way to loaf around in Syria. “We are all al-Qaida… there are thousands of us, literally from every corner of the world,” boasted the fighters. One former student from France claimed he served with a brigade of 8,000 foreigners.

According to the FSA these foreign jihadists are not very effective fighting Hezbollah or the regime, but are good at sitting behind the lines and murdering FSA fighters.

One commander claimed his unit was captured by members of the Islamic State of Iraq. “They told us we were not true Muslims” he told a BBC reporter. “I saw how they beat my friends with iron bars, smashed their faces with ammunition boxes and then killed them.” The picture painted is of unknown numbers of French students, disaffected British youth and former football hooligans from all over the EU are taking part in the “glorious jihad” of slaughtering actual FSA fighters while ostensibly fighting the Syrian regime.

December 20th, 2013, 6:57 am


Observer said:

السوريون، لا الإرهابيون، خصوم الأسد ونظامه

عبدالوهاب بدرخان *
الخميس ١٩ ديسمبر ٢٠١٣
اصطفّ أخيراً باراك اوباما وفلاديمير بوتين وبشار الاسد وبنيامين نتانياهو للإشادة تباعاً ببطل افريقيا نيلسون مانديلا وادّعاء الاقتداء به وبالمثُل والقيم التي آمن بها، على رغم أنهم لا يطبّقون أياً منها، لا في إنصاف شعب سورية ولا في إنهاء النظام العنصري الذي يضطهد شعب فلسطين. واذا أضيف اليهم علي خامنئي ونوري المالكي تكتمل صورة «أبطال» الجريمة الكاملة التي تُرتكب حالياً ضد سورية وشعبها وضد العرب جميعاً. فهؤلاء يشاركون دان حلوتس (رئيس الأركان الاسرائيلي السابق) ومايكل هايدن (المدير السابق لـ «سي آي إي») في تفضيل بقاء الأسد على وصول الاسلاميين الى الحكم، خصوصاً اذا كانوا متطرفين، جهاديين، ارهابيين…
لكن، من صنع هؤلاء الارهابيين، ومن أفلتهم من سجون دمشق وبغداد، ومن فتح لهم المسالك الآمنة ليصلوا ويتغلغلوا في مناطق المعارضة ويعلنوا «دولتهم» (داعش) ويعتقلوا النشطاء ويحتلّوا المنشآت الحكومية في الرّقة فتتأنى طائرات النظام ومدفعية حلفائه في قصف الأبنية المجاورة وتتجنّب أماكن الانتشار الداعشي؟ هل هو الشعب السوري من فعل كل ذلك، أم «الجيش السوري الحرّ» أم حتى الفصائل المتستّرة باسم الاسلام شكلياً وباسم الغباء فعلياً… أم بالأحرى أولئك الذين تركوا هذا الشعب لمصيره، يتعرّض لأفظع مقتلة في مدنه وبيوته، ويُحرم من أي حماية يقتضيها القانون الانساني؟ ثم يأتون ويتباكون بأن ثمة خطراً هم الذين صنعوه وبات يحدق بهم، فلا بد من القضاء عليه أولاً لئلا يدهمهم في مدنهم ومنشآتهم الآمنة، ولذلك يلوّحون لمن هو جاهز ومستعد لتخليصهم من هذا الوباء بأن جائزة تنتظره وأنهم سيساعدونه على «الانتصار» في هذه الحرب. وطبعاً لم يخرجوا من جولات الثلاثة والثلاثين شهراً إلا بالنتيجة التي حددوها مسبقاً – كما في انتخابات سورية النظام – وهي أن الأسد حلٌّ «سيئ» بل «مرعب» لكنه الأفضل.
مع اقتراب استحقاق «جنيف 2»، تبدو المقدِّمات مقبلة على التحكّم بالنهايات. والمقدّمات أظهرت أن واشنطن لم تعمل ولا في أي لحظة لإسقاط النظام، وأنها تأبطت منذ البداية وصايا اسرائيل، فانتهت الى التفاهم مع موسكو. ولذا جرى التلاعب بالدعم الذي راح السوريون يتسوّلونه، وبالدول الداعمة التي راحت تنفق وتتسوّل بدورها شيئاً من الوضوح في المواقف الاميركية، وهذه اتضح انها تتعامل مع الأرض وتُخضع طموحات الشعب لإملاءات الأمر الواقع الذي يفرضه نظام الأسد. لم يبح الاميركيون الحقيقة كما فعل الروس ويفعلون: فالمسألة عندهم هي القضاء على الارهاب وفي سياقها يجرى البحث عن «الحل السياسي»… اذا صحّت هذه الوصفة لـ «جنيف 2» يكون نظام الاسد قد تمكّن بضربته الكيماوية واستيراده الارهاب الذي كان صدّره، كما استطاع نظام ايران في قضيتي برنامجه النووي ونفوذه العدواني المتمدد عربياً، أن يقودهم جميعاً الى الحال التي رسمها وصنعها، بمن فيهم الداعمون الذين يعتقدون أنهم يفعلون الصواب لكن عدم التنسيق في ما بينهم جعلهم يموّلون الفوضى، وبمن فيهم أيضاً فصائل المعارضة المسلحة بعلمانييها وإسلامييها الوطنيين وبمن يُحسب خطأً على المعارضة من انتهازيين أفسدهم سلاحهم فأصبحوا «أمراء حرب» وقادة ميليشيات يتشبّهون بالنظام وبشبّيحته، فلا يشرّفون شعبهم ولا أي شعب على الاطلاق.
يتبرّع كثيرون بالقول حالياً إن نظام الاسد يوشك أن يحسم المعركة ميدانياً، على رغم اعترافهم بأن القتال لا يزال سجالاً، أي أن الحسم لا يزال بعيداً، وهو كذلك فعلاً. فحيث هناك معارضون حقيقيون، اسلاميون أو غير اسلاميين، لم يسبق لقوات النظام أن كسبت أي مواجهة. ومنذ أوائل السنة الى الآن، باتت الجبهات في أيدي الايرانيين وتوابعهم من ميليشيات «حزب الله» و «أبو فضل العباس»، ولا تجد هذه القوات الأجنبية في مواجهتها سوى عسكريين ومقاتلين سوريين. أما الارهابيون والتكفيريون الأجانب، مثلها، فيمكثون حيث أُمروا بأن يكونوا، ويسعون الى انشاء «إماراتهم» السقيمة مفسدين الحياة الصعبة أصلاً للمهجّرين ولمن تبقى من سكان. ويتضح من سير المعارك، تحديداً في القلمون، أن النظام والايرانيين معنيّون برسم خريطة جغرافية يمكن المساومة عليها اذا قاربت الحلول لاحقاً خيارات التفكيك والتقسيم. أي أنهم غير معنيين بالارهاب ومكافحته، فهم من جاؤوا به ولا يعتبرونه الطرف الذي تجب مقاتلته، بل يمكن أن يشكل في لحظة ما ظهيراً لهم، لكنهم يريدونه الآن حيث هو في مناطق المعارضة للمهمة التي حدّدوها له بتدمير الروح المعنوية للمعارضة ومقاتليها.
هل يعلم القائلون بالاعتماد على الأسد ونظامه ماذا يعني ذلك عملياً؟ قد يظنون أنه ضرب الارهابيين، أما بالنسبة الى الأسد وحلفائه فهو أولاً وأخيراً القضاء على المعارضين الحقيقيين الذين يرغب الاميركيون بتصنيفهم «معتدلين»، فهؤلاء وليس المصنّفون «ارهابيين» هم الذين يقاتلون للتحرر من نظام الأسد، وهم هاجسه الأول والأخير، يمكنه أن يستقوي عليهم بحلفائه المستوردين وأن يستخدم كل سلاح لقتل أكبر عدد منهم، لكنه لم يعد قادراً على إخضاعهم أو إعادتهم الى قمقم الصمت والاستكانة. لذلك اذا كان هناك أي تفكير جدّي في تزكية نظام الاسد وتشريع قتله شعبه، إرضاءً لإسرائيل أو لمقايضة اعادة تأهيله بمحاربته الارهاب، فإن صفقة كهذه لن تعني له سوى ترخيص للقضاء على كل من ثار عليه ونقض سلطته، أما الارهابيون فليسوا خصومه بل عملاء له ولحلفائه الايرانيين. وحتى اسرائيل لا تخشى ارهابيي «القاعدة» لأنهم لم يشكّلوا أي خطر عليها لكنها قررت منذ انتهت حروبها مع الأنظمة العربية أن الخطر يأتي تحديداً من الشعوب.
على أعتاب «جنيف 2» لا بدّ للأميركيين والروس من أن يوضحوا موقفهم من حقيقة أن الخصومة هي بين الأسد وشعب سورية وليست بينه وبين الارهابيين، وبالتالي فإن الحل السياسي المنشود يرمي الى احتواء دولي للصراع لا الى اعادة انتاج النظام باسم محاربة الارهاب. ذاك أن أبواق النظام استعادت أخيراً كل الروايات البائسة التي روّجها منذ البدايات عن العصابات والارهاب، وتحاول الإيحاء بأنه عاد شريكاً للمجتمع الدولي، حتى أن النائب اللبناني ميشال عون سبق وزير اعلام النظام عمران الزعبي الى القول بأن «جنيف 2» يُعقد تحت عنوان «مكافحة الارهاب»، وقد زاد الوزير أن «بقية التفاصيل لا مشكلة فيها… عندما يتم تحكيم العقل والضمير الوطني وتقديم المصلحة الوطنية». لكن، أهو «عقل» مَن يقصف بالبراميل المتفجّرة أم «ضمير» مَن يدمّر المدن أم «مصلحة» مَن يهجّر أكثر من ستة ملايين سوري وينهب بيوتهم؟ فلو ان العقل والضمير والمصلحة الوطنية توافرت لدى النظام قبل أعوام طويلة، بل لو توافرت على الأقل منتصف آذار (مارس) 2011 لما مسّت الحاجة للذهاب الى أي مكان من أجل التفاوض. في أي حال لم يعد مستبعداً أن يعقد مؤتمر جنيف، لكن المستبعد أن يتوصّل الى بناء حلّ، كما استُبعد السعي المسبق لترتيب وقف لإطلاق النار ووقف العمليات العسكرية، فلا النظام ولا معارضوه يوافقون على هذه الخطوة. قد يبدأ التفاوض وقد يستمر، لكن القتال سيستمر أيضاً ويشتدّ.
في هذا المنعطف الخطير وجدت ما تسمّى «الجبهة الاسلامية» أن الوقت مناسب لتحقيق «انتصار» على هيئة اركان الجيش الحرّ واحتلال مقارها ووضع اليد على مستودعات السلاح. ووجدت احدى الفصائل المشتبه بها أن تهاجم بلدة معلولا المسيحية وهي ليست موقعاً عسكرياً للنظام وتخطف راهبات مسالمات لسن ذراعاً ضاربة للنظام، لكن الحصيلة لا تقتصر على تشويه صورة المعارضة فحسب بل تمنح النظام فرصة مجانية لادعاء أنه الحامي الوحيد للأقليات. لا شك في أن بعض المعارضة بلغ به الهوَس حد الاساءة الى الشعب، مثله مثل النظام.

* كاتب وصحافي لبناني

December 20th, 2013, 9:11 am


Observer said:

Here it is with the family saying that they were told he committed suicide.

He did it the old fashion Thouria Althad’s way with four bullets to the back of the head right?

In the meantime, I am back to reading this great book : Travels in the Mountains of the Alawis by a Frenchman in the early 20th Century. Fascinating on the way of life and customs. Great subject for a social anthropology PhD thesis on how these customs have now “invaded” Damascus and Aleppo and Latakkia

December 20th, 2013, 9:11 am


Observer said:

For 50 years they never paid electricity or water fees. For 50 years they got a position in the security services and government posts with barely a high school education. For more than 50 years they have rendered Damascus the ugliest city in the ME. For 50 years they had to work as doubles to every sensitive post or knowledgable post. For 50 years they produced only Adonis and that when he was educated elsewhere. For 50 years maintenance of infrastructure went unanswered.
The Syrian Army has 5000 tanks 10000 canons and 20000 trucks and armored personnel carriers and they have not been able to “liberate “a single neighborhood without destroying it. When it came to defending the integrity and sovereignty of Syria they repeatedly caved in: in 73 when they were pushed back and only a face saving gesture to give them Quneitra lest the father appear to be really what he is a thug and an incompetent fool. For 50 years of calling for Arab unity they managed to fight Iraq overtly and covertly and they managed to colonize Lebanon and to alienate the majority of the people. For that they left in abject humiliation with dilapidated trucks filled to the brim with stolen bathroom fixtures.

As for the past; their leader declared he is a deity and wanted independence. As for the past one of my friends tells me that they were actually brought in by the Crusades to serve them on the way to Jerusalem and it is no coincidence that their locations coincide with those of the Crusades. I am not sure about the veracity of this story the other being that they came from souther Iraq.

As for the more recent history the minorities were given a chance to construct a secular democratic western oriented civil society with institutions and constitutions and laws in the tortured fertile crescent and they all failed miserably: first and foremost the Sunnis who tool over Iraq and botched it; the Maronites in Lebanon; and the Alawi in Syria.

All of them reverted to their ancient hatred; their backward look on a backward distorted view of history; their puffed up sense of importance and superiority.

Then they proved it again and again of how much hatred they have for the others: Look at what Saddam did to the Shia in the south or what the Maronites did in Sabra and Chatilla or what the Alawites did in Houla and Boueida and in Khaldieh and in Daraya and many other places.

As for the death of the hero in the regime dungeons first and foremost in a modern civil society law abiding modern state not in this sectarian barbaric abomination called Thouria Alathad the accused is to have a proper indictment; a proper trial; a proper defense; a proper visitation rights; a proper contact with the consular services; a proper decent humane conditions; a proper medical care; and if ill a proper transfer to a hospital; and then if he died in custody a proper investigation; a forensic autopsy by independent pathologists; and a proper accounting of what happened.

But fifty years of smoking cigarettes drinking Matte and having the children access higher posts beyond their level of education and competence while they race down Mezzeh in their fancy cars has left a mark of impunity that we see demonstrated to this day on this blog.

There is an old Damascene saying: he took off the skin of his behind and put right on his face: Shame on those that have no Shame and no Decency and not an iota of modernity thinking that wearing a Ray Ban makes you modern.

This ilk is still living and thinking and behaving like the cavemen of yonder.

As for free speech on this blog; I would argue that there is none. Once again, the ACLU sued the state of Mississippi when it tried to prevent the KKK from demonstrating in Biloxi.

I propose that the concept of free speech and what constitutes hate speech or call to violence be decided by a panel of outsiders.

The minorities ( lest I am accused of being from the majority ) cannot live with each other: if we accept the premise that we are all minorities imported from Mars and Jupiter then at this stage we cannot live together so let us get out of each other’s hair and each establish a state.

Before we forget; the death of Dr. Khan is but one example of the tip of the iceberg of the atrocities committed daily by this mafia regime and its supporters.

Now, all those that continue to support this stooge will share it his fate.

Bogdanov told him to keep quiet. Just as the flurry of his interviews died down suddenly when orders from the infallible Supreme Jurisprudent came down to tone it down.

If Athad we Burn Albalad as the slogan has turned on its master. This regime is so stupid and these people are so incompetent that they have left the people with nothing more to lose.

I hope that the killing stops immediately but the reality staring us in the face is that there is no country left. The country has ended. Now, any area that the regime does not control is being bombed.

Well, do not run asking for help when the same is going to be meted out to you in the coming months.

What goes around comes around.

December 20th, 2013, 9:12 am


zoo said:

WISHES for 2014, a repeat

To all the hateful, racists, sectarian, arrogant and warmongering pro-terrorists, I wish you a year filled with continuous frustration, hatred, humiliation, failure and despair.
I hope that 2014 will be the worst year of your life.

To the Syrians looking for dialog and peace, I just wish that the path finally reached leads them to the full victory over the dark forces working to bring down Syria. I wish you a year of peace and reconciliation among brothers and sisters.

December 20th, 2013, 10:13 am


mjabali said:


1- There were Alawites in Damascus and Alleppo before the Ottoman Invasion that resulted in your family coming, as employees of the invaders, to Damascus.

2- There were Alawties in Allepo before the invasion that resulted in killing them all in Alleppo. For amateurs Alleppo was a major Alawite center.

3- Before the invasion that resulted in your family coming to Damascus, you were from a village up in the mountains of Kurdistan, so how come you suddenly start seeing yourself as the Gentleman from Paris between the Alawite peasants the Matte drinkers? Does your relatives in the village in Kurdistan drink Matte? Matte is a good drink, or you think that anyone who drinks it is a subhuman?

4- The Alawites produced literary figures in one generation that are the pride of Syria, and the Alawites of course. People like Mamduh ‘Adwan, and Sa’ad Alalh Wannus are worthy of Nobel Prize for Literature. Sa’ad Allah Wannus is Nobel worthy as well as Haydar Haydar. All these Alawite writers are independent. All of them cut there teeth before any Alawite was in Power: For example Mamduh Adwan. Your limited education is showing observercavion.

5- Reading about the Alawite habits is nice. the Alawites are a Sufi oriented creed. Some of them believe that good people are going to be transferred and become Light. The Alawites have zero fatwas to kill others. The Alawite creed is very modern because it is individual.

6- The Alawites who lived around you in Syria, and whom you never mingled with, could have taught you a lot, but since you are from Paris, play piano, drink expensive wine, royal blood, scholar, a poet, and a sage: you refused because they are subhumans.

7- Your texts are long and boring and just words parked next to each others…
صف حكي
ماكل ماصف صواني قلنا عنو حلواني

رحم الله امرأ عرف قدر نفسه فوقف عنده

8- You insulted the Alawites yesterday in a very bigoted term: are you going to be modern and apologize?

9- the history of why the Alawites drink Matte is interesting and points back to the persecution the Alawties went through and how they had to migrate to places, like South America, where they brought back, with the Syrian Christians, who went through the same belligerent attitude that forced them to migrate. Matte drinking amongst the Alawites is a story of oppression. Now the way Sunnis, like observer, use it shows the disrespect these Sunnis always exhibited. The Alawites for the Sunnis are: Majus, Rawafid, Monkies, Peasants, Villiagers, uneducated, and violent.

10- أعلم انني اضيع وقتي الثمين في الرد عليك
مستواك متوسط

December 20th, 2013, 11:12 am


ALAN said:

Syrian Rebel Groups May Join Assad Regime Against Jihadists

With the armed conflict between Western-backed Islamists and the Bashar al-Assad regime still raging, recent reports suggest growing unease among some rebel groups and anti-Assad activists with the surge in influence and power of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists determined to enslave Syria under brutally enforced Islamic law, or sharia. The escalating fears have become so serious that some rebel leaders are reportedly considering joining forces with the SAA to wage war on Islamic fundamentalists.

Shame and disgrace to the Saudi rulers. God will Judge them on their intentions and spend the KSA people‘s money in the Syrian blood.

Are the bloating in the fire helping to extinguish it ? Or the Saudis are lying on God?

December 20th, 2013, 12:12 pm


Tara said:


And I wish you love, and health and happiness in 2014.

December 20th, 2013, 12:26 pm


Uzair8 said:

Robert Fisk usually seems to accept everything regime officials feed him, but not this time. Mr Fisk may be right about the ‘devastating possibility’ of a challenge to authority from within.

Kim Jung Assad may have to order a purge of his own or face more public displays of division and dissent.

December 20th, 2013, 2:50 pm


Uzair8 said:

Iranians and Hezbo seem to be fighting harder than the regime troops, so much so that an outside observer would think they owned the country..oh wait..

December 20th, 2013, 2:54 pm


Observer said:

Mjabali I only know the last 50 years. Instead of becoming sophisticated Damascenes like my ancestors did, the regime rendered Damascus an ugly rural filthy backward oppressive city with millions of parasitic individuals of all sects and denominations in a feeding frenzy.

I do know from my readings that Ottomans oppressed. As for your authors I have never heard of them and willing to read them. Provide me with links.

How about any scientist or famous surgeons or lawyers or judges or innovation leaders or enlightened writers or avant guard philosophers.

You may drink Matte or Tea or Coffee or whatever there is no shame in it. I prefer Chilean wine and Rijoa wine from the Basque country.

I wish you a prosperous and free and safe and independent driven 2014 where you can live in your state with full privileges and without having to hide anything or to having to bow to anyone and to having to follow any creed or to having to please and obfuscate and to write all the incidents and histories of the tortured land of the fertile crescent and to lament the glorious old days and to dream of the sunshine of the bright future.

I do sincerely and I will never feel insulted by anything you say about my ancestors. I and you are not responsible for the deeds and mistakes of our ancestors. In this I am one billion times more modern than anyone focused on the past with such fixation that he/she cannot breathe but resentment.

Nelson Mendela was right: resentment is the poison we drink in the hope of taking revenge on our tormentors.

It is a poison and I see it here every day.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

December 20th, 2013, 3:00 pm


Uzair8 said:

A couple of days ago Syrian Girl’s twitter account was suspended. She had some exchanges with Aboud and others over a couple of days and eventually mouthed off going too far. Can’t remember what she said. Anyway, they reported her and she was subsequently banned.

I was gonna share this news and add that I hoped this period would be a time of reflection for her. I thought I’d better check if she was still suspended first and..well she’s back.

Anyway, while there I noticed a tweet which I may as well share:

Partisangirl ‏@Partisangirl 7h
If the higher ups agreed to #DrAbbasKhan release and the yet couldn’t deliver this shows a lack of control and negligence on their part.

December 20th, 2013, 3:02 pm


Uzair8 said:

21. ALAN said:

‘Syrian Rebel Groups May Join Assad Regime Against Jihadists’

I seriously doubt it. They know what happened to Saddam’s son-in-laws when they agreed to return to Iraq.

December 20th, 2013, 3:12 pm


Observer said:

Also I did not know that Alawis are considered Muslim except that Moussa Sadr did declare them as such in 1972.

I also read with interest that the Muslim invaded these regions and changed populations and oppressed and that the creed is inherently violent and exclusivist.

I do agree on these points it has incredibly similar leanings and very close ties to the world view of the Chosen People in its tribalism and self centeredness and its Us versus Them and Our Way is the Right Way but after all it is another monotheistic religion with its exclusive door to the Heavens.

I do think that the trinity is more colorful and that the Moon is the face of Ali is quite charming but I never knew that Alawis are Muslims.

What a pity, if they are not for the Muslims but for them to be associated with such incredible mumbo jumbo as Islam is being interpreted these days.

December 20th, 2013, 3:14 pm


Uzair8 said:

Saw a couple of posts on Yalla Souriya this morning and made mental note of keywords so I could easily search them later:

Do you know that the barrels of explosives are the invention of thug Bashar al #Assad forces to annihilate the Syrian population? #Freedom


#syria If Iran and Russia escalate by giving Assad bigger bombs, GCC will escalate by giving rebels MANPADS.


December 20th, 2013, 3:28 pm


Tara said:


I do not like Matte either. It tastes yucky.

Could the Alawis ever consider Ayran? It taste good.

How is drinking matte is a story of oppression?

December 20th, 2013, 5:48 pm


ALAN said:

29. Uzair8
/syria If Iran and Russia escalate by giving Assad bigger bombs, GCC will escalate by giving rebels MANPADS/.

Who wrote this speech had no knowledge about the annelid and the mentality of the Russians and their way of thinking? But simply advise to pay attention to the reviews of European rulers for their allies when it comes to acting against Russian interests!

Now when we write here debates ,there are Russian nuclear missiles mounted and ready to carry out any project of any size required!
Enough chatter for the Russians and for Putin! Saudi Arabia and other crazies, who are thinking to do adventure or Gamble , Which violate Russian interests , will be severely punished and then the territory of Saudi Arabia just turn into a big aquarium!

December 20th, 2013, 5:59 pm


ALAN said:

How many more times can the Foreign Office get it so wrong?

This December has seen the final collapse of British and American policy in Syria. David Cameron’s favourite general, Salim Idris, was meant to unify the rebels, bring down Assad, and vanquish al-Qaeda. Instead his Free Syrian Army has taken to its heels, giving up its equipment to its Islamist rivals, while Idris himself has reportedly gone on the run.

Officially, the Prime Minister still insists President Assad must go. Like an old gramophone record, Downing Street was even yesterday stressing the importance of “a political transition… to bring this brutal regime to an end”.

Privately, it is now a different story. The emergence of al-Qaeda and its various allies and associates has led to a sudden change of attitude. At a meeting in London last week, Syrian rebels were informed that removing Bashar al-Assad was no longer the priority. According to the former CIA chief Michael Hayden, speaking in a recent conference in Washington, the survival of Assad, “as ugly as it sounds”, may now be a better outcome than any of the alternatives.

We are supposed to have first-class diplomatic and intelligence services. Yet from the start of the rebellion – and there is no other way of putting this – they haven’t had the faintest idea what was going on.

December 20th, 2013, 6:10 pm


ALAN said:

Kurds must put pressure on everyone in order to be represented independently of an opposition‘s delegation to the Geneva Conference! This will mark them valuable diplomatic victory!!!

December 20th, 2013, 6:33 pm


don said:

Syrian gov’t delegates to peace conference finalized: Brahimi

GENEVA, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — The delegation of the Syrian government to the international conference on Syria planned for next month was formed while that of oppositions was not yet, said the special envoy for Syria Friday.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, made the remarks at a press conference after the trilateral preparation talks on the Syria peace talks between the UN, Russia and the United States and meetings with five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighboring countries, the European Union (EU) and the League of Arab States held Friday.

Brahimi said the Syrian government has officially informed them that their delegation have been formed, and were expected to publicize the name list soon.

As for the Syrian oppositions, the envoy said they met representatives with the Syrian National Coalition and were notified that the coalition were reaching out to others inside and outside Syria, but they would not form their delegation before Dec. 27.

He stressed again that the delegation need to be “credible”, hoping it to be as representative as possible.

Brahimi appealed for the warring parties in Syria to demonstrate their devotion to the upcoming peace talks.

“We hope that now that we have a date for the conference, the parties will unilaterally take a number of decisions as measures to indicate that they are coming to Geneva to end this conflict,” he said.

Other participants to the long-delayed Syria peace-talk have been decided except Iran, whose presence is still undecided.

Brahimi said the United States was still unconvinced that Iran’s participation would be “the right thing to do”, adding there would be further discussions on the presence of Iran to see if an agreement was possible to be achieved.

In addition to delegates of the UN, P5, the League of Arab States, the EU, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, 26 countries including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, the four main host to Syrian refugees, Arabic countries in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, as well as western countries like Germany, Canada and Denmark, will be present at the conference.

Brahimi reiterated that the conference will be held without any prior conditions, saying that the duration of the conference was open-ended.

The upcoming International Conference on Syria, usually dubbed as Geneva II conference, is different from Geneva I, and the Syrians, including the government and the oppositions are going to be well represented, according to Brahimi.

December 20th, 2013, 7:14 pm


ALAN said:

Another confirmation abrupt change geopolitical course Israel appeared in the official blog of the Office of International Trade in Israel. Message , which was written by a senior officer management Idan Posin and is entitled : “The first step towards the signing of a free trade zone between Israel , Russia , Kazakhstan and Belarus .”

The report notes that a week ago in Indonesia met Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett Minister of Economic Development of Russia Alexei Ulyukaev and with the Minister of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrei Slepnevo which ” brought a new level of trade and economic relations between Israel , Russia , Kazakhstan and Belarus . ”
It should be noted that today Israel exports to the Customs Union countries , only 2% of total production sold abroad, and the lion’s share of exports to the vehicle is in Russia , and in monetary amount is more billion dollars. According to the Israeli control of international trade, after the signing of the FTA , Israel will be able to increase its exports to these countries more than doubled .
Recently, Lieberman said that Israel should seek another strategic partner instead of the U.S. .
– Relations between Israel and its main strategic partner of the United States weakened, – Lieberman said , speaking at a public forum in Sderot .
– We need to stop requiring complain moan instead must seek countries that do not depend on money from the Arab or Islamic world and who would like to cooperate with us on the basis of innovation…..

Lieberman and Satanovsky pushing for rapid entry and hold the promising place there!

December 20th, 2013, 7:26 pm


ALAN said:

Video: Israeli soccer fans dance and sing “Gaza is a cemetery”
מה סלים עושה פה לא יודע+עזה בית קברות,בית”ר י”ם בסכנין

December 20th, 2013, 8:07 pm


don said:

Dividing factions add up to total chaos in Syria, with no solution in sight

With the civil war in Syria soon to enter its third year, the situation on the ground is increasingly fractured and hard to read for Western intelligence

“Jabha” is Jabhat al-Nusra (aka the Nusra Front), established in 2012 by a group of radical Sunni rebels and reported, a few months ago, to have joined a branch of Al-Qaida known as the State of Islam in Iraq and Syria. Ahrar, the full name of which is Ahrar al-Tha’ura (the free people of the revolution), is also an Islamist group. It detests Al-Qaida, but also the other religious groups, and is ready to kill the members of the other religious groups with the same enthusiasm as it does the soldiers of the Syrian regime.

Are there good guys and bad guys, or is everybody measured by the yardstick of evil? That is precisely the question that Western intelligence is trying to figure out in seeking possible partners for dialogue among the various Islamist groups. Because when Washington announces that it is ready to negotiate with a group called Jabhat al-Nusra al-Islamiyyah (the Islamic front), toward its joining a Geneva II peace conference and to put it together with the Free Syrian Army as one fighting opposition bloc, it can’t be sure that the front will not also contain Al-Qaida elements or members of the gangs of murderers who, just over a week ago, were involved in beheadings in the town of Adra in the Damascus district.

The map of the Islamic groups operating in Syria is like an amoeba, constantly splitting in chaos and violence, sometimes joining with others and sometimes split from them, leaving behind heaps of bodies of civilians who were unable to flee.

One example is the Islamic Front, a radical religious group that calls itself “moderate” and, until a month ago, part of the Free Syrian Army. But serious disputes erupted when the Islamic groups claimed that the Free Syrian Army leadership had not given them their fair share of money and ammunition donated by Arab countries, the West and Turkey. And so the religious groups decided to leave the Free Syrian Army and establish their own “front.”

The hastily written treaty of the Islamic Front shows that it consists of 11 organizations, but only seven actually joined. What happened to the rest? Some decided to join a new bloc established only two months ago – Jabhat Tha’or Suriyyeh (the Rebels of Syria Front). The new front has 15 groups, including the Islamic Martyrs Brigades of Syria, which is headed by Omar Jamal Maarouf. The Rebels of Syria Front was established on the initiative of the Free Syrian Army, after the Islamic Front took over a Free Syrian Army base near Bab al-Hawa and confiscated its weapons and ammunition.

A war seemed ready to break out between the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, but last Wednesday the Rebels, Islamic Front and Free Syrian Army reconciled and signed an agreement in which the Islamic Front pledged to cooperate with the Free Syrian Army and give the weapons back, but not to disband.

The split among the Islamic groups is based, among other things, on the countries that give them money and logistical support. For example, Turkey supports the relatively moderate Islamic Front and, until recently, Saudi Arabia supported the branch of the Martyrs Brigades of Syria in the city of Idlib and the Free Syrian Brigades in the city of Aleppo. But when Saudi Arabia realized that the brigades Qatar was supporting were more significant, the Saudis started “stealing” Qatar’s brigades and supporting groups like the Islam Brigade in Ghouta, near Damascus, which was attacked with chemical weapons a few months ago.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, associated with Al-Qaida, is fighting both the Syrian regime’s forces and the moderate Islamic groups. For example, the Al-Qaida forces attacked the courts established by the Islamic Front in a few towns and executed dozens in the city of Sarmada, whom they said were working with Assad’s forces (although they were not); some were Christians and others were Sunnis.

A look at the treaty of the “moderate” Islamic Front, which is cooperating with the Free Syrian Army and could become Washington’s new ally, reveals its purpose as the establishment of a state in Syria run by Islamic law. “Our goal is to strengthen religion in the state and the individual, to protect Islamic identity and to build the perfect Islamic personality,” the treaty says. It also states that the status of women and men is equal “according to the woman’s special characteristics in keeping with Islamic Law.” Is this a new version of the Muslim Brotherhood or the twin brother of the Taliban? It seems that Washington will need a powerful magnifying glass to tell the difference.

The Free Syrian Army’s concern is that Washington will decide that the Islamist groups are the real landlords of the campaign in Syria, and turn its back on the Free Syrian Army. After all, that is what the United States already did in Iraq and Afghanistan. This concern is causing some Free Syrian Army commanders to talk publicly about the possibility of cooperating with the Syrian regime’s forces against Al-Qaida operatives and, in fact, against all the religious groups.

December 20th, 2013, 8:27 pm


ALAN said:

Rai al-Youm has learned from senior Gulf diplomats that Oman is currently hosting secret talks
between Syrian regime officials and representatives of some Syrian
factions, under the auspices of the United States.
The talks aim to reach an understanding on the transitional phase, which will be the backbone of
the talks at the Geneva II conference.
The sources added that the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s delegation arrived in Muscat without prior
In the meantime, a delegation from the opposition also arrived in Muscat.
The opposition’s delegation includes ‘independent’ members.
The delegations of the two parties stayed in a hotel in Muscat, keeping a low profile.

December 20th, 2013, 8:58 pm


Syrian said:

81 dead and 15 Assad’s militia prisoners after liberating Kindi medical center that the Assad militias has turned it into a killing center to the surrounding areas.
A clip of the prisoners

December 20th, 2013, 9:06 pm


Syrian said:

Hizbula admits to 4 more of his mercenaries killed in Syria to a total of 29 mercenaries in the month of December, hopefully their dead will surpass the 39 mercenaries killed in Novemberقتلى-جدد-لحزب-الله-صور

December 20th, 2013, 9:40 pm


Syrian said:

A news report by Orient news network from inside Adra, showing a refrigerated truck with what it says 150 of Assad militia to be handed over to the Red Crescent( similar to the Red Cross) plus a wounded Lebanese fighter and captured tanks.

December 20th, 2013, 9:53 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks for posting the Israelis at the soccer game. As Yassir Arafat used to say, “I’m shock-ed, totally, totally shock-ed.”

If only Assad showed the same kindness toward his own people that Israel has showed against self-proclaimed enemies who wish to destroy Israel.

December 20th, 2013, 11:58 pm


Matthew Barber said:

Don’s posting privileges are revoked for continuing to post full-length articles following warnings (both old and recent) to only post links + short excerpt.

December 21st, 2013, 12:04 am


ghufran said:

Landis on BBC:

“Someone has got to bite the bullet and say Assad stays,” says Prof Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern Studies at Oklahoma University whose views are frequently sought by policy makers in Washington.
“We don’t have another game in town.”
Prof Landis has consistently opposed arming Syria’s rebels, a policy which he says “blew up in our face.”
He doesn’t think tentative contacts with the Islamic Front, a recently formed coalition of Islamist groups not aligned with al-Qaeda, are likely to yield better results.

(on a related subject, regardless if you are pro or anti regime, you have to doubt the motivation of those who celebrate rebels advances when those rebels are almost entirely made of Nusra and ISIS terrorists, you can not be pro freedom and pro terrorists at the same time)

December 21st, 2013, 1:23 am



zouzou’s wishes

I wish you a year filled with continuous frustration, hatred, humiliation, failure and despair.

are very effective. This hateful eight (yes 8) years old Alaa’ Yasin is now frustrated, humiliated, and despaired in regime torture dungeons along with her mother, Arab States and Mediterranean Chess Champion Dr. Rania Abbasi, her father Abdel Rahman Yasin, and her Sisters Najah, Intisar, Dima, Rayyan, and their brother Yasin. So this hateful family is right where zoozou wants them to be.

* The photo is three years old, Alaa’ is being carried by her father. Rayyan is not in the photo, because that “hateful” enemy of zouzou and its friends was not born yet. The family were kidnapped by regime goons 9 months ago.

December 21st, 2013, 7:16 am


Andrew said:

Interview with Joshua Landis:

End of the affair: Why US fell out of love with Syrian opposition

December 21st, 2013, 10:08 am


Observer said:

I quote again the discussion with JL posted by Syrian
“You get the picture. Something horrible is going on in Syria in terms of “identity” formation. Identities are changing like the wind – and not for the better. It is hard to see a “cosmopolitan” outcome to this. Assad may “win” in the short term, but in the long term, he is doomed. So probably – but not necessarily – are Syria’s minorities. If I belonged to a minority community in Syria today, I would consider packing my bags.”

Some are still in the mode of thinking that we can run roughshod over the desires and the aspirations of the people on the ground when we pontificate about this leader must go and that leader must stay whether coming from officials or academics that have at the end nothing but contempt for the people struggling daily in this revolution.

I never thought that there would be a revolution in Syria as the security services were and remain horrific on the one hand; the examples of Lebanon and Iraq fresh in the memories on the other hand; and the prolongation of the revolt is the most surprising part of this revolution with staying power and its absolute insistence on a new day no matter what the consequences.

I find this attitude another example of a mirror image of condescendence from post colonial thought process: whether it is Putin pretending to defend international law or Obama saying that Athad must go. Something horrible was happening for more than 50 years something that has poisoned the well and that has corrupted the souls and deprived people of their humanity. It not now that we have something horrible happening. It has been happening a long time ago. It is only because the allies of the regime are paying a price these days that “something horrible” seems to tickle our conscience.

Now my question : where would the minorities go? Are there any countries willing to take them in? What about the millions of internal and external refugees that the regime has created and that are living in tents and in misery? Are there plans for the EU, Russia, or the US to take them in? Are we going to have “Syrian Boat People” exodus? Also, “Athad is the only game in town” as if after what his regime did he is less evil or less despicable and less unworthy of our trust or more cooperative or more responsible than the Islamists that we are afraid of. In designating the opposition as takfiris or terrorists and in jailing and silencing and killing any moderates the regime deliberately upped the ante and deprived the opposition of any moderating influence and like the arsonist father the son burns and then presents himself as the fire brigade to stay in power over millions who have rejected his rule and his sectarian regime rule. They wanted it sectarian and now they are getting what they wish for.

I still think that the NPR interview some time ago nailed the point clearly about not being objective in this conflict. I wish though that we have “disclose conflict of interest” when pontificating about Syria. The entire academic community does so especially in the field of medicine ( where pharmaceutical companies fund research)

This is not talking about American interests. In reality we do not have a bone in this fight. We do not have an interest in saving anybody in Syria. We do not even have the humanitarian duty of saving anyone there as we are forever tainted with our empire policies of alliances with dictators and with “regime change” and “birth pangs of a new ME” and we are “liberating women” and we are “brining democracy” lies and conspiracies. Damn if we do and damn if we don’t so let us stay out of this conflict as a country.

We have been defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan and OBL has won from the grave. We are a shadow of what we were and we are isolationists and we are fully completely and for generations completely alienated from the region its people and its culture and its religions.

The inherent instability of the Sykes Picot agreements have created a miserable landscape and we have been caught in the quagmire and today as Americans we have decided that the Republic is more important than the Empire.

Pox on all of their houses and it is time to gain energy independence and let finally KSA “go it alone” and assume responsibility for their fate and for their future without our boys and girls protecting their banning of women driving and without our boys and girls going to accept dealing with the “only game in town”.

I am sorry, let the regime sleep in the bed it made. I would withdraw from the entire Geneva 1 and 2 conferences and let the Russians and Iranians and Saudis and others deal with it.

I would also let the Israelis and the Palestinians duke it out and sleep in the beds that they made. If Israel wants to become an apartheid state our boys and girls and our tax dollars should not go to its support.

If the Palestinians want an Abbas as their leader then they can have him in full.

December 21st, 2013, 10:26 am


Observer said:

Why should we deal with the “only game in town” when this gamer is doing this?

Is there no decency left in claiming we have to deal with this “only game in town?”عشرات-القتلى-بريف-حلب-جراء-استهدافه-بالبراميل-المتفجرة-.html

December 21st, 2013, 10:34 am


Sami said:

The regime IS NOT the only game in town!

As the regime increased the pressure against the town, arresting renowned peaceful activists such as Ghiath Matar, and shelling the city to silence protests, the Free Women of Darayya continued to develop their work on the ground. During Christmas time, they decorated a tree with the names of detainees in Syrian jails, and gathered letters from their mothers and children to post them on a big banner in the street. They worked on several other grassroots initiatives, from emergency and humanitarian assistance to the publication of the local newspaper The Grapes of My Country (“Enab Beladi” in Arabic)

The group also invited women from other towns, such as Sednaya, to join them and stand together against the regime’s attempts to divide Syrians and ignite sectarianism in their rich and diverse society.

When the city fell under siege, in November 2012, most of the women were forced to leave Darayya. Many returned months later, to find their town devastated and its people massacred. This did not prevent them from resuming their work, focusing on the huge amount of people in need for food and assistance, while several of its members faced detention by the regime.

Today, most of the women are in jail or have been forced to leave the country. However, they continue to work on issues related to women´s rights, whether in Egypt or inside the Syrian regime´s jails, awaiting for the moment where they can return to Darayya, the town that stood against tyranny through nonviolence.

When this revolution succeeds by finally wresting control of the country back to its citizens, Darayya will be celebrated for the heroes it produced.

December 21st, 2013, 11:29 am


ghufran said:

Frankly speaking I can not blame any foreigner including anti regime politicians for not trusting Syrian rebels and Syrians in general. What we have shown the world is that we are a bunch of brutal and savage people who are intolerant, violent and thuggish.
What others see of us is three groups:
1.brutal regime forces and Shabeehas
2.violent Islamist terrorists and common thugs with guns
3.victims of both
the other two groups that are less visible to foreigners are:
1. the hypocrites who live in the west but their brain is still frozen in the middle ages.
2. well intentioned people who are helpless and ineffective

This is why we will end up forcing others to give us a choice between a reformed dictatorship (an oxymoron) or an endless war.
It is obvious that Syrians were not ready for the 21st century when the issue is democracy and religious tolerance. What this crisis revealed can be used as lessons for future generations, but two troubling issues stick out:
KSA, and GCC in general, as a major force for evil
political Islam as a negative and regressive ideology
The third issue related to Assad regime and the thugs running almukhabarat is as old as dirt, but one has to wonder whether Al-Asas (Islamic police) is much better !!
(I always liked Sami’s posts, I hope he is right but I am not sure the little tide of good genuine freedom seekers is strong enough to face the tsunami of terrorism and brutality in Syria today)

December 21st, 2013, 11:40 am


Sam said:

I pray every night, for this tragedy that fell upon our beautiful Syria. My heart bleeds for the innocent. I also pray, that one day, hopefully very soon, that all the oil and natural gas, the Saudis and Qataris have, will just stop flowing!!!! I will never drive a car if I have to, as long as those head shopping cheerleaders and murderes have no more oil or gas to sell. Your status in the world, will be reduced to nothing!! All your money and clout will be gone, and hopefully, there will be a new crusade, when our Christian army’s will annihilate your very existence, and burn the kabba down!! Death to all Saudis and Qataris !!! I hope you and your children die a miserable death, like the poor victims of Arda. One day, king Abdullah, I hope someone puts you in a baking oven , and burns you ALIVE!!! Tah ya Souria

December 21st, 2013, 11:51 am


ghufran said:

An initial estimate of material losses due to Syrian war:
5 million internal refugees, $ 200 billion in direct and indirect loss, 1000 industrial facilities destroyed or damaged, 41 hospitals and 673 health care centers out of service, 21 pharmaceutical factories are gone, 3000 schools damaged, 1000 schools are now used as refugee centers, and an annual loss of over $ 2 billion in tourism industry.

■ ما الأرقام الحقيقية لعدد اللاجئين والنازحين؟
– يبلغ عدد المهجرين داخلياً حوالى /5/ ملايين شخص موزعين على مراكز الإيواء الحكومية وأماكن الإيواء الأهلي،

■ ما هو حجم خسائر البنى التحتية؟
– وصلت قيمتها الإجمالية المدققة لتاريخه إلى حدود مبلغ وقدره 627,3 مليار ليرة سورية، مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أن القيمة الحقيقية للأضرار العامة المباشرة تفوق ما جرى ذكره نتيجة عدم التمكن من إجراء كشوف حسية خاصة في محافظات حلب ودير الزور والرقة. وتشير التقديرات إلى وصول الخسائر المباشرة وغير المباشرة إلى حدود 3000 مليار ليرة سورية.

■ ماذا حصل فعلاً للقطاع الصناعي السوري؟
– تقدر حجم الأضرار المباشرة التي لحقت بالقطاع الخاص الصناعي، والتي جرى إحصاؤها حتى تاريخه من خلال الطلبات المقدمة من أصحاب المنشآت إلى غرف الصناعة بحوالى 231 مليار ليرة لـ1014 منشأة. أما في القطاع العام الصناعي، فقد توقفت 48 شركة ومعملاً، كما تراجعت العملية الإنتاجية في معظم الشركات على نحو ملحوظ، ولم يجرِ توظيف الاستثمارات المرصودة في الخطط الاستثمارية بسبب الظروف الأمنية الراهنة، وتقدر قيمة الأضرار المادية المباشرة وغير المباشرة لغاية 30/10/2013 بحوالى 112 مليار ليرة.

■ القطاع الصحي؟
– قدم القطاع الصحي العديد من الشهداء، بلغ عددهم 136 شهيداً و116 مصاباً، إضافة إلى خطف 30 عنصراً، فضلاً عن الخسائر المادية التي لحقت بالمنشآت العامة، حيث بلغت أعداد المشافي المتضررة 66 مشفى وخرج منها عن الخدمة 41 مشفى، كما خرج عن الخدمة 673 مركزاً صحياً، وجرى تدمير 412 سيارة إسعاف، كما بلغ عدد معامل الأدوية الوطنية المتضررة 28 معملاً و خرج منها عن الخدمة 21 معملاَ.
أمـا النسبة إلى الأضرار المادية، فتشير التقديرات إلى أنها تجاوزت 100 مليار ليرة، هذا باستثناء تكاليف الأضرار التي لحقت بمعامل الأدوية العامة والخاصة، التي تضررت على نحو بالغ، وخرج بعضها عن الخدمة وتقدر خسائرها بالمليارات أيضاً.

■ وماذا بشأن التعليم؟
– بلغ عدد المدارس المتضررة أكثر من 3000 مدرسة، وعدد المدارس التي تحولت إلى مراكز للإيواء 1000 نذكر هنا أن الكلفة التقديرية لأضرار القطاع التربوي بلغت ما يزيد على مئة مليار ليرة سورية.

■ وكيف يمكن الحديث عن القطاع السياحي في هذا الإطار؟
ـــ يعد قطاع السياحة من أكثر النشاطات الاقتصادية التي تأثرت بالازمة، وبلغ التراجع فيه حوالى 95% مقارنةً بما قبل الأزمة، وقدرت الأضرار المباشرة وغير المباشرة في القطاع السياحي بما يزيد على 330 مليار ليرة سورية سنوياً،

Staggering numbers, much of that is due to a war between Iran and KSA and a war to unseat a regime against those who refuse to let go. Most Syrians are helpless victims regardless of what they say.

December 21st, 2013, 12:13 pm


Mjabali said:


Matte was brought to the cost by the migrant Alawites and Christians from South America.

These immigrants left Syria because of the lack of opportunity.

Simple: Oppression: Migration: Matte.

I like Ayran too. See, at last we had one thing we agree on.

December 21st, 2013, 12:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

It seems the facade of regime/Iran/Hezbo optimism (high confidence) regarding the recent offencive is well and truly dead. The internal inquiry has begun after the loss of Kindi Hospital.

[See this page on Iran Military Forum. Source.]

Stinging criticism of the SAA and bitter complaints of loss of ‘too many martyrs’ and their ‘best men’ (likely referring Hezbo).

This is a world away from the certainty of victory and boasts of a couple of months ago.

Let’s go back to that time as a reminder.

The regime offensive, backed by Iran/Hezbo, coincided with the start of the holy month of Muharram (no accident). Initial reports of success came together with a propaganda offensive. A force multiplier, with exaggerations and big boasts (claims of plans to liberate Aleppo).

About that time we had George Galloway on his weekly Press Tv show ‘Comment’, an episode on Nov 1st entitled ‘Syrian militants losing the war’. See link below.

So confident was he in his claims, so much so that there was nothing to discuss. Instead, at the start of the show he asked his audience , now that the rebels are losing, where will they run to? Along them lines. Will they run to Turkey? Qatar?

December 21st, 2013, 12:54 pm


mjabali said:

Qifa Nabki has a weird name.

What is Qifa Nabki? I know where it came from, and know the poem very well.

Qifa Nabki: means let us cry and have no solution….

Every time I read Qifa Nabki, I feel there is no hope.

Professor Landis was a realist in the exchange, while Qifa Nabki just lived up to his name: cry and no solution.

December 21st, 2013, 12:59 pm


Brad said:

Final UN report says that in 3 out of 5 chemical weapons attack sites, REGIME SOLDIERS were the victims:

Why is this not worthy of main page analysis on Syria Comment?

It lends more credibility to Sy Hersh article… it also shows Brown Moses assumptions to be false, esp. his claim that it is not reasonable to think that rebels have significant Sarin access.

December 21st, 2013, 12:59 pm


ALAN said:

50- SAM
/Death to all Saudis and Qataris !!! I hope you and your children die a miserable death, like the poor victims of Arda./
* * *
/ when our Christian army’s will annihilate your very existence, and burn the kabba (الكعبة)/

Eh insane!
Shut up! You need to a psychiatric hospital for incurable!

Administration of the site:
Are we must understand, that the emergence of these abnormal comments that the required is continuously broadcast toxins ?

December 21st, 2013, 1:01 pm


Uzair8 said:

RE. The despicable, dastardly regime barrel bomb onslaught on the people of Aleppo a few days ago.

I have a theory. The regime sensed it’s position weakening in Aleppo and faced loss of territory and control. In panic and desperation it went on a premptive barabaric barrel bomb onslaught.

This theory is backed up by the loss of Kindi hospital a couple of days later. The nearby Aleppo prison may be be the next to fall.

December 21st, 2013, 1:11 pm


ALAN said:

42. Akbar Palace
/If only Assad showed the same kindness toward his own people that Israel has showed against self-proclaimed enemies who wish to destroy Israel/.
This does not relieve of responsibility! Why concealing your head behind the backs of others? Gaza has the people and not just one party! When you called all of them “the enemies” it means you’re a racist! Then that these young Israelis behave racism that you are breeding them since childhood. In all cases: the children sing evil. Who asks the evil, evil will come to him inevitably.

December 21st, 2013, 2:13 pm


Tara said:

من جانبها وصفت منظمة ‘هيومن رايتس ووتش’ الناشطة في مجال الدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان اليوم السبت عمليات القصف العشوائي التي تقوم بها القوات النظامية السورية على حلب منذ فترة أنها ‘جريمة’.

ونقل تقرير أصدرته المنظمة عن الباحث أولي سولفانغ قوله إن القوات الحكومية تقصف الرجال والنساء والأطفال بدون تمييز، واعتبر أن ‘سلاح الجو السوري إما غير كفء إلى حد الإجرام ولا يكترث بقتل أعداد كبيرة من المدنيين، وإما يتعمد استهداف المناطق التي يتواجد فيها المدنيون’.

December 21st, 2013, 2:17 pm


Matthew Barber said:

Sam banned for calling down death and destruction on nations and religions.

December 21st, 2013, 2:55 pm



Poetry of Ahmad Matar is very interesting . He posses skills that seem absent from many of the modern poets, which is the rythm of a modern poem. Most of his poetry can be easily read, and the images he draws are rather easy, popularly based, and can in fact be easily sung. Here is one about how the buffoon became prethident.

أحمد مطر

كيف أصبح ابن الكلب رئيساً

ذاتَ صباحٍ..
كان أبي يستمعُ إلى فيروزَ تغني في المذياعْ
يشربُ قهوتهُ الشَّاميةَ..
و يرُّقص فنجانَ القهوةِ بين يديهِ..
على الإيقاعْ

قُطعَ البثُّ..
و بعد قليلٍ عادَ البثُّ..
و كانَ مذيعُ السُّلطةِ ينبحُ في المذياعْ
( عاشَ الكلبُ زعيمُ الثورةِ..
و ليسقط حكمُ الرجعيةِ و الإقطاعْ )

قال أبي : ضعنا يا ولدي..
و الوطنُ بلا شكٍّ ضاعْ

كانَ الكلبُ زعيمَ الحزبِ
و كانَ شعارُ الحزبِ
الذَّيلُ الأعوجُ و النابُ اللَّماعْ

كانت صحفِ الحزبِ تعضُّ الشَّعبَ..
و غايتها ( الإقناع )

كانَ الكلبُ إذا ما خطبَ خطاباً..
ينبحُ حتى الفجرِ
و كانَ الشَّعبُ يصفِّقُ خوفاً حتى الفجرِ
و يطرَبُ..
و يحيي الإبداعْ

كانَ الكلبُ عدوّ الذئبِ أمامَ الشَّعبِ..
و كانَ يقدِّمُ لحمَ الشَّعبِ له في السرِّ..
إذا ما جاعْ

كانَ الكلبُ و آلُ الكلبِ..
يرونَ الدولةَ مثلَ الشِّاةِ المذبوحةِ..
و اللحمُ مَشاعْ
كلبٌ يلتهمُ الأحشاءَ..
و كلبٌ يلتهمُ الأوراكَ..
و كلبٌ يلتهمُ الأضلاعْ

بعدَ عقودٍ..
مرضَ الكلبُ زعيمُ الثورةِ..
و استبشرنا نحنُ الشَّعبُ أخيراً…
و فتحنا المذياعْ
قُطعَ البثُّ..
و عادَ البثُّ..
و عادَ البثُّ..
و قطعُ البثُّ..
و بعدَ قليلٍ كانَ مذيعُ السُّلطةِ ينبحُ مثل العادةِ في المذياعْ
ماتَ الكلبُ …

زعيمُ الثورةِ..
ماتَ الكلبُ..
و أصبحَ إبنُ الكلبِ رئيساً بالإجماعْ

– الشاعر أحمد مطر –

December 21st, 2013, 3:02 pm


Uzair8 said:


This only gets worse for the the regime camp. Just popped over to Iran Military Forum and what can I say… Them people over there are hardcore and don’t give much away or concede anything. They don’t tolerate the opposing opinion on there. I’m familiar with them. I wish I could make people understand the significance of their words now.

Berislac, main updater of regime progress and successes, posted this:

Kindi Hospital is lost. 80 soldiers were killed some were wounded some are taken as prisoners (those will probably wished they died). Most of soldiers where from Tartous including two high ranking officers. Central Aleppo prison is under attack like those two Shia towns north of Aleppo who are under siege for more than a year. Aleppo offensive is finished I am afraid. The fact that defenders of Kindi hospital as those from central prison where all Shia from coastal areas tells only one thing. SAA is in lack of manpower. Despite I am trying to stay positive the only way to win this war is to Iran engage more directly.

Haman10, another topdog shares his grim view.

We’ve got ’em! They blinked first. The revolution took the suffering but never buckled or lost hope. The revolution doesn’t know the meaning of defeat or defeatest attitude.

December 21st, 2013, 3:07 pm


Uzair8 said:

It may get worse briefly as the regime lashes out in desperation and panic but it’s doomed. Iran and Hezbo won’t be around forever. Too much heat in the kitchen.

Btw, Berislac also posted this a couple of hrs ago:

Unfortunately large number of Iraqis and Afghan fighters from Abu Fadl Abbas brigade was killed today. They were taken in ambush somewhere south of Damascus. There is the video on the net but I want {won’t} post it here. R.I.P brave brothers.

December 21st, 2013, 3:12 pm


ALAN said:

62. Matthew Barber
Thank you for imposing the same conditions for everyone!

December 21st, 2013, 3:18 pm



The Aleppo sectarian offensive is not over. Large herds of nus-lira sectarian drug farming and smuggling cockroaches continue to roam the streets in the regime’s area of Aleppo and invoke provocative sectarian slogans and insult the people of Aleppo. Of course they are also aided by some Aleppans like occupiers always have.

December 21st, 2013, 3:38 pm


Tara said:


You consistently demonstrated a non-sectarian, non-hateful personality and I like that.

You are a decent guy. A rare find among the regimists cohort.

December 21st, 2013, 3:39 pm


Tara said:


I logged on the Iran military forum site linked by Uzair.

Here is how the Iranians talk about Alawis:

“Also, it’s very important to get under full control these alawites and their armed forces, and they (alawites) should gradually convert to normal shia faith and abandon their mushrikist “religion” (using taqiyya, if necessary). So, many challenges we have in Syria in coming years.”


They also talked about recruiting Shiaa from Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan to fight in Syria so they save their own Iranian men…

The Persians will sacrifice Alawis for better choice. There is no doubt about it.
What a filth! More and more Iran is becoming a faith of evil.

December 21st, 2013, 4:14 pm


Uzair8 said:

Syrian Hamster

Yes, of course you’re right. There is the regime side of Aleppo.

What’s significant though is that in regimists own words things are going badly and they can’t get themselves to pretend otherwise.

Once their optimism/confidence is stripped away then, as they say, they’ve (psychologically) lost half the battle. I hope so anyway.

If they express defeatest comments I wouldn’t turn down the chance to sieze on them just to counter some of the western media journalists who write that Assad is winning, and in effect play into his hands.

December 21st, 2013, 4:24 pm


Uzair8 said:

I must add that Iran Military Forum (IMF)isn’t necessarily represntative of all Iranians. It is a hardline forum probably closest to the Iranian regime.

There is the other Iran Defence Forum which has a mixed user base (nationalities). Even Isrealis. Yes you get all sorts and probably some of the same users on both forums. It’s not as bad as IMF.

December 21st, 2013, 4:39 pm


Matthew Barber said:

According to JL’s NYT article today, Assad isn’t “the only game in town” because his actions are somehow better, but because no one is willing to remove him:

“If the United States and the West are unwilling to depose Assad or destroy the Syrian Army, they must come to terms with Assad’s survival. In all probability, he will remain the ruler of a large part of Syria for years to come.”

December 21st, 2013, 5:00 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

the situation as I see it, is a barbaric regime fighting the barbarians. If I have to choose between the devil I know (the barbarians, the Islamists) and the devil I know better (the Assad regime), I choose the regime.

The Syrians are just in their wish to overthrow this barbaric regime. But being just isn’t enough. If this justness is bringing so much misery, chaos and destruction (which I blame on both sides), then the just cause should be postponed, until it can be achieved in a more reasonable price. The destruction of Syria as we see it, is not a reasonable price.

If you care about Syria, you should call for the stopping of this butchery. The only party in this conflict, which can stop this vicious cycle, is the regime (because if the barbarians win, the carnage will even increase, grow and spread).

Let the regime retake control. Then in the future, wiser Syrians will find the right way to get rid of the Assadists in a more reasonable price.

I know that I will not be as popular from here on, but I see no other way to save Syria.

December 21st, 2013, 5:37 pm


Sami said:

“According to JL’s NYT article today, Assad isn’t “the only game in town” because his actions are somehow better, but because no one is willing to remove him”

It is not up to the Western world whether Assad stays or not. It is up to the people of Syria that have defied every odd and have for three years endured one of the hellish criminals and his gang of thugs.

The West have only fed the Syrian people with empty and hallow rhetoric that has brought nothing but false promises.

December 21st, 2013, 5:56 pm


mjabali said:


When the Alawite creed came up Shiism saw it as a threat. The Shia did not like it when Ibn Nusayer went to spread his teachings. They fought him and slandered him a lot in their books.

Alawism is not like Shia in many ways. Alawism stresses individuality, from Sufism, whilst Shiism stresses your allegiance to the scholars that are the descendants of Ali. This is one important difference. Historical realities made Alawism more individual with less role for clergy: unlike Shiism. When the Alawites were kicked out (butchered to be accurate) from cities, like their important base Allepo, that made them less develop a significant clergy order.

The guy you quoted is an idiot as obvious.

AS for the Shia fighters from the other countries: It was obvious from day one that this is going to happen. I am not surprised or find this new.

December 21st, 2013, 6:27 pm


Syrian said:

Sameer Ja’ja, the head of the christian Lebanese forces in Lebanon says Ma’aloula is not more important than Aleppo, and that no one killed and force Christian to emigrate more than the Assad regime.
ومن جهة أخرى أسف رئيس حزب ‘القوات اللبنانية’ سمير جعجع خلال مؤتمر ‘المسيحيون في لبنان والشرق الأوسط تحديات وآفاق’، ‘لادخال موضوع مهم ودقيق كالوجود المسيحي في الشرق في السياسات الدقيقة، وطرح بعضهم لهذا الموضوع هو من أجل إظهار نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد على أنه الحامي للأقليات في الشرق من أجل إطالة بقائه في سوريا’.
وقال: ‘نسمع بعض السياسيين بين الحين والآخر يقومون بدراما كبيرة بسبب مقتل شخص ما في سوريا، وعلى سبيل المثال معلولا، ونحن جميعا معنيون بهذا الموضوع وهناك من يقفون ويقومون بالدراما في كل ما يتعلق بمعلولا لتصوير الصراع بانه طائفي هناك، إلا أن هذا الأمر تزوير للتاريخ’.
واعتبر ان ‘معظم المدن السورية تدمّرت بشكل كامل والقتلى بمئات الآلاف وكل هذا لا يراه بعض من يطرحون موضوع المسيحيين في سوريا، فما يحصل في معلولا مشابه لما حصل في حمص وحلب ودرعا’.
ورأى ان ‘أركان الثورة السورية يطالبون بإقامة دولة مدنية تعددية في سوريا لذلك نحن كمسيحيين لا يمكن إلا أن نكون مع الثورة السورية ضد هذا النظام، مع العلم ان الثورة السورية فيها بعض الفوضى ولكن هذا لا يمنع انها ثورة ديمقراطية لاجل دولة ديمقراطية في سوريا’.
وتابع: ‘لا بد من استعمال بعضهم الوجود المسيحي ورقة لإطالة أمد عمر نظام الأسد’، سائلا: ‘ اين المسيح في حلفنا مع نظام الأسد الذي هو أكثر من قتل وضرب وهجر مسيحيين في هذه المنطقة، يجب أن نتذكر قصف الأشرفية وزحلة وجرود كسروان وبلا وقنات، ومن يتكلم عن حلف الأقليات ماذا بعد هذا الحلف؟ نحن لا نطمح أن نستمر هنا في العيش ككائنات بيولوجية في هذه المنطقة’.

December 21st, 2013, 9:00 pm


Syrian said:

74. AMIR IN TEL AVIV said:
“Let the regime retake control. Then in the future, wiser Syrians will find the right way to get rid of the Assadists in a more reasonable price.”

Amir.obviously you don’t know Syria’s history, what you are suggesting had been tried already, in the uprising of the early 80s the Syrians did not support Hama and Aleppo uprising and let the regime retakes controls, now all of the Syrian are paying the price.

December 21st, 2013, 11:10 pm


Majed97 said:

A new worth reading article by Sharmine Narwani (12/21/13) on the shifting tides in the Middle East and the new tactics in confronting terrorism.

“Security Arc” forms amidst Mideast terror

“In the past few months, Washington has suddenly gone from backing a mostly Sunni ‘rebellion’ in Syria to reaching out to Iran. This about-turn stems from the realization that the US has dangerously overplayed its geopolitical game and allowed religious militancy to swell past the point of no return. Neither Washington nor its NATO partners can reverse this trend unaided. Both failed miserably in the decade-long, superficial “war on terror,” which, if anything, helped sow further seeds of extremism. The US now understands that it needs the assistance of vested regional partners and rising powers that face a more imminent threat from militants – Iran, Russia, China, India, Syria, Iraq, – not just to fight extremism, but to cut off its source…in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and other places.

The Americans are in an extremely difficult position: to tackle the spread of extremists, they will have to support military and security solutions from old foes in the region – Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. For starters, this means that 30-plus years of “policy” will literally be flushed away and Washington risks alienating longtime regional allies. Moreover, a successful outcome, i.e. eliminating extremism, will almost certainly mean the ascendency of Iran and the downfall of US-ally Saudi Arabia – among the many other reverberations throughout the Mideast that this will entail.”

“The fight against extremism will therefore start inside the Security Arc, and will receive immediate support from the BRICS states and non-aligned nations. The West may choose to play key roles behind the scenes instead of unsettling their regional allies – at least for a while. But as confrontation escalates, countries will have to “take clear sides” in this pivotal battle, both in the Mideast and outside. Expect opportunism to play a hand – there may be a point at which a “stalemate” may be desirable for some. Few will dare to support the extremists, however, so also anticipate some serious narrative shifts on ‘good-guys’ and ‘bad-guys’ in the Mideast.”

December 22nd, 2013, 12:06 am



Had the barbaric regime been really fighting other barbarians, you would have seen a different approach to the whole thing. The regime and the radicals seem to have an understanding. There is yet to be recorded a real offensive from either side against the other. ISIS is busy imposing a new hellish religion in areas it forced moderates , who form the real threat to the regime, out or into hiding and exile. ISIS is despised in cities, and tolerated in country sides and among shifting tribal alliances who now ally themselves to ISIS emirs in the hope of deposing them later and hunting them one after another.

The barbarian regime, on the other hand, continues to bombard civilian areas (which are largely outside ISIS control) and avoid any attack on ISIS assets. No one of those defending either side has come up with a reasonable explanation for this well choreographed crime other than blather and blabber.

Joshua landis and his colleagues, have been aiding the regime from day one. They intentionally, and deliberately ignore and in fact carefully suppress any news about the real revolution that has not died yet, and is still surviving, despite of being attacked by two barbarian sides. All of this is in favor of giving the west this vicious, callous, stupid, and historically-criminal, binary vision of hell and worst hell.

December 22nd, 2013, 4:31 am



The Americans are in an extremely difficult position: to tackle the spread of extremists, they will have to support military and security solutions from old foes in the region – Iran, Syria, Hezbollah

These foes have been the primary organizers of the extremist terrorism and are in themselves extremists and terrorists. Akhbar’s attempt to present them as forces of moderation in the region is nauseating and disgusting sophistry.

December 22nd, 2013, 4:36 am


Andrew said:

Patrick Cockburn: U.S. Turns Blind Eye as Saudis Fund Jihadists in Syrian Conflict

December 22nd, 2013, 9:54 am


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