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

nationalism1

Comments (84)


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51. 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

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December 21st, 2013, 11:51 am

 

52. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 12:13 pm

 

53. Mjabali said:

Tara:

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 12:53 pm

 

54. 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?

http://www.presstv.com/Program/332412.html

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December 21st, 2013, 12:54 pm

 
 
 

57. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 12:59 pm

 

58. Brad said:

Final UN report says that in 3 out of 5 chemical weapons attack sites, REGIME SOLDIERS were the victims:
http://levantreport.com/2013/12/14/confirmed-in-mainstream-sources-syrian-rebels-possess-and-have-used-chemical-weapons/

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 12:59 pm

 

59. 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 ?

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December 21st, 2013, 1:01 pm

 

60. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 1:11 pm

 

61. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 2:13 pm

 

62. 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’.

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December 21st, 2013, 2:17 pm

 

63. Matthew Barber said:

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

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December 21st, 2013, 2:55 pm

 

64. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

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 -

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December 21st, 2013, 3:02 pm

 

65. Uzair8 said:

Wow!

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.

http://www.iranmilitaryforum.net/military-conflicts/updates-on-military-action-in-syria/msg227191/#msg227191

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 3:07 pm

 

66. 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.

http://www.iranmilitaryforum.net/military-conflicts/updates-on-military-action-in-syria/msg227189/#msg227189

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December 21st, 2013, 3:12 pm

 

67. ALAN said:

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

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December 21st, 2013, 3:18 pm

 

68. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

UZAIR8
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.

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December 21st, 2013, 3:38 pm

 

69. Tara said:

Alan,

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 3:39 pm

 

70. Tara said:

Mjabali

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.”

Thoughts?

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 4:14 pm

 
 

72. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 4:24 pm

 

73. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 4:39 pm

 

74. 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.”

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/12/21/for-peace-in-syria-will-assad-have-to-stay/a-cease-fire-is-the-best-hope-for-syria

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December 21st, 2013, 5:00 pm

 

75. 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.
.

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December 21st, 2013, 5:37 pm

 

76. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 5:56 pm

 

77. mjabali said:

Tara:

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.

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December 21st, 2013, 6:27 pm

 

78. 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’.
http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=115946

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December 21st, 2013, 9:00 pm

 
 

80. 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.

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December 21st, 2013, 11:10 pm

 

81. 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.”

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/security-arc-forms-amidst-mideast-terror-0

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December 22nd, 2013, 12:06 am

 

82. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

AMIR
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.

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December 22nd, 2013, 4:31 am

 

83. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

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.

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December 22nd, 2013, 4:36 am

 

84. Andrew said:

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

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/18/patrick_cockburn_us_turns_blind_eye

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December 22nd, 2013, 9:54 am

 

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