Anthony Shadid Dies in Syria


Anthony Shadid died in Syria today of asthma. He brought out the humanity of the people he wrote about in a way that set him apart.

He was also from Oklahoma City where the Shadid family is well known and respected. He went to the University of Oklahoma for a year and helped establish the Anthony Shadid-St. Elijah Award which is given to our most gifted student of the Middle East each year for travel and study in the region.

Here is his New York Times obit

Comments (93)


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51. ann said:

Gun shots heard in Syrian capital – 2012-02-17

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-02/17/c_131417015.htm

DAMASCUS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — A series of gunshots were heard Friday by Xinhua reporters in the upscale neighborhood of al- Mezzah in the southwest of the Syrian capital Damascus, as other incidents were reported in the central province of Homs.

Police and security agents cordoned off some streets of the Mezzah district, where clashes between government forces and unidentified armed men are believed to have occurred after Muslims ‘ midday prayers.

Xinhua reporters saw police cars and security forces deployed around the area. Also guards of the military hospital in al-Mezzah took up their position to fend off possible assaults.

The crackles of gunfire lasted for around two hours, however, there were neither immediate reports on casualties nor official accounts on the incident.

The Syrian capital has enjoyed relative calm since the 11-month- old unrest erupted in mid-March last year.

Also on Friday, private Sham FM said that two explosive devices went off at Damascus’ suburb of Harasta, which is close to Mezzah, leaving two women injured.

Meanwhile, state-run SANA news agency said that a fresh blast targeted an oil pipeline in central Homs province, the latest in a string of blasts that have intensified against the energy sector in Syria, adding that the pipeline was targeted twice this week.

Recent reports of the existence of al-Qaida in Syria raised fresh fears of a grave development in the months-long crisis in Syria.

[…]

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February 17th, 2012, 1:54 pm

 

52. norman said:

I could not but notice that we have a secret service baby sitter, who is here to help us and protect us, I wonder if that is a full time Job,LOL,LOL

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February 17th, 2012, 2:13 pm

 

53. Mina said:

The Syrian bargain chip is starting to pay with Iran:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB18Ak02.html

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February 17th, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

54. ann said:

NATO to stay out of Syria, even with a UN mandate – 02/17/2012

Sec.-Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen urges Middle East countries to find solution for violence.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=258287

ANKARA – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western alliance had no intention of intervening in Syria even in the event of a UN mandate to protect civilians, and urged Middle East countries to find a way to end the spiraling violence.

Rasmussen told Reuters on Friday he also rejected the possibility of providing logistical support for proposed “humanitarian corridors” to ferry relief to towns and cities bearing the brunt of President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

“We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria,” Rasmussen said in an interview, during a visit to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkey joining the alliance.

While NATO had acted under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians in Libya and had also received active support from several fellow Arab countries, neither condition had been fulfilled in Syria.

Asked if NATO’s stance would change if the United Nations provided a mandate, Rasmussen was doubtful.

“No, I don’t think so because Syria is also a different society, it is much more complicated ethnically, politically, religiously. That’s why I do believe that a regional solution should be found,” he said.

[…]

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February 17th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

55. SF94123 said:

My condolences to Shadid’s family and friends.. I always enjoyed his analysis of the hot spots in the Middle East. On a different note, it is disgraceful to include among others “Article 3” in the proposed new constitution. It shows lack of leadership skill and vision. I am disappointed.

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February 17th, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

56. Tara said:

Jake,

From previous thread, I agree with you. Not enough evidence to prove the IRGC’s involvement, but lack of proof does not rule it out. We just do not know for sure.

It amazed me though how Hassan Nasrallah explicitly expressed loyalty to Wali al Faqih in Iran. I find it disturbing that a citizen of a country expresses loyalty to another country. Does that mean if Iran attacks Lebanon, he will comit treason?

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February 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm

 

57. zoo said:

Who will protect the civilians in Libya from the hands of the militias?

Why Libya Is Becoming More Dangerous After Gaddafi’s Fall
By Vivienne Walt
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2107024,00.html
As Libya marks the first anniversary of its revolution on Friday, the dozens of well-armed militia groups operating across the vast country have slipped well out of the control of the nascent government in Tripoli, making the country ever more fractured as well as dangerous to ordinary Libyans attempting to adjust to the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year dictatorship.

That assessment came on Thursday from Amnesty International, whose latest research on the country documents at least 12 Libyans who have died in militia custody since September, allegedly after being beaten, suspended upside down and given electric shocks. In a chilling 38-page report published on the eve of the anniversary, Amnesty describes a wave of terror and widespread abuse by militia groups, whose members in recent months have dragged hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Libyans from their homes or from roadside checkpoints into makeshift jails on suspicion of being Gaddafi sympathizers or having fought alongside the regime’s forces during the civil war.
{..}

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February 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

58. zoo said:

On March 2nd election, Ahmadinejad out, more sophisticated Velayati or Salehi in. Would it change anything?

Ahmadinejad Seen as Big Loser in Iran’s Election
By Parisa Hafezi
http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2012/02/17/ahmadinejad_seen_as_big_loser_in_irans_election_99908.html

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Loyalists of Iran’s supreme leader, who is implacably hostile to the West and its drive to curb Tehran’s nuclear work, look set to triumph in Iran’s parliamentary poll at the expense of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a contest among hardliners.
…..
A list of qualified candidates will be announced on February 21.

Leading reformists are not taking part in next month’s poll, which they say will not be free or fair. Opposition leaders defeated in the 2009 presidential vote, Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, have been under house arrest for a year.
…..
Ahmadinejad, an engineer and former Revolutionary Guard officer with no clerical background, has implemented populist policies to build his own power base.

Hardline supporters of Khamenei accuse Ahmadinejad’s camp of
pursuing an “Iranian” school of Islam, an ideology which some see as an inappropriate mix of religion and nationalism.
….
Khamenei, who survived an assassination attempt in 1981, may hope to secure the presidency for one of his own acolytes: his adviser Ali Akbar Velayati or Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Velayati was foreign minister during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and shares Khamenei’s policy views, while Salehi has been a driving force behind Iran’s nuclear program

“In major cities, the vote is more politicized. However, I believe the turnout will not be very high as many people are still disappointed over the 2009 vote,” said Farahvashian.

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February 17th, 2012, 3:42 pm

 

59. Tara said:

Leo

From previous thread. Thank you for your nice words.

As if you were reading my mind. I have been thinking about this last night. From now on, I won’t use the term “mnhebaks” anymore. It soils the concept of “love” as I have it in my conscious. “Basharophiles” is much more appropriate term. Brilliant!

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February 17th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

60. irritated said:

Juergen

Bashar vs Wulff?

German president set to resign, in blow to Merkel

Madeline Chambers And Andreas Rinke
http://www.realclearworld.com/news/reuters/international/2012/Feb/17/german_president_set_to_resign__in_blow_to_merkel.html
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president was expected to resign Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone crisis.

The role of German president is largely ceremonial but they are supposed to be a moral compass for the nation and Wulff has in the last few months become little more than a laughing stock in the German media.

A possible successor is Joachim Gauck, an anti-Communist human rights activist in East Germany who ran against Wulff in 2010 and embarrassed Merkel by forcing the election into a third round.

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February 17th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

61. irritated said:

#58 Tara

“Basharophiles”

Sounds like a greek toothpaste, maybe good for grinding teeth.

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February 17th, 2012, 3:53 pm

 

62. zoo said:

Guns & Glory in Syria: Al Qaeda, US recipe for disaster

Edited: 17 February, 2012, 19:20

http://rt.com/news/syria-opposition-al-qaeda-us-567/
The US spy chief has told the Congress President Bashar Al-Assad is fighting against Al-Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper is the first top US official to acknowledge US might indirectly support insurgents.

­Since December there have been Bombings in Damascus and Aleppo that “had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda like attack,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He added that Syrian opposition groups, fighting against the existing regime of President al-Assad may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaida. “However likely without their knowledge”, he said.

Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called “troubling.”

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February 17th, 2012, 4:01 pm

 

63. Tara said:

Irritated,

The term “Baharophiles” implies pathological affection towards a savage who is responsible for killing and torturing his own people, just like the term Pedophiles means pathological attraction to children.

Do not know how the term Basharophiles reminds you with a toothpaste. Sorry irritated, I might not be as sharp as you think I am, but I don’t see the connection.

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February 17th, 2012, 4:11 pm

 

64. irritated said:

Tara #62

Sorry but there is nothing “pathological” in the suffix ‘phile’.

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

“Suffixes with the common part -phil- (-phile, -philia, -philic) are used to specify some kind of attraction or affinity to something, in particular the love or obsession with something. They are antonymic to suffixes -phob-.

Phil- (Philo-) may also be used as a prefix with a similar meaning.

Philia (φιλία) as an ancient Greek word for love refers to brotherly love, including friendship and affection. This contrast to the ancient Greek terms Eros, or sexual/romantic love, and agapē, or detached, spiritual love.”

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February 17th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

65. Tara said:

Irritated ,

Nothing pathological in Pedophilia?

What is “agape” love? I like the concept of spiritual or mental love but do not understand the “detached” part of it..

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February 17th, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

66. Mawal95 said:

In earlier weeks of year 2012 Harasta neighborhood in outer Damascus had a lot of armed rebel activity: A good few security forces men were killed, some schools were closed, shops were shuttered, and residents were staying indoors or staying with friends away from the neighborhood because it was too dangerous. But now here’s footage of Harasta on 15 Feb 2012 showing normal life with supervision of the normality by small numbers army soldiers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWikaialvWM . I got the link from http://www.facebook.com/pages/Syriaonline/112518362169492?sk=wall

That report about Harasta incidentally mentions that the nearby neighborhood of Douma has still not been properly subdued as of 15 feb 2012.

The following uploaders have recent footage of normal street scenes in various neighborhoods in inner Damascus. With these videos you don’t need to be in Damascus yourself to feel the pedestrian feeling:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Syrianeagleswe
http://www.youtube.com/user/syrianeagleswe3

The rebels today 17 Feb 2012 blew up another oil pipeline in Homs. They blew up another one in Homs on Wednesday, and another in Homs on 6 Feb. http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/02/17/401085.htm . This is hard to defend against. But when the army regains and maintains full control of the troublesome residential neighborhoods, and the rebels are reduced to doing no more than sabotage acts against infrastructure, it’ll be a big improvement on the ground. Ongoing sabotage in that context will errode the rebels base of support and sense of purpose.

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February 17th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

67. Mawal95 said:

As of 15 Feb 2012 there are now six recently fully registered new political parties in Syria. They are: The Solidarity Party, The Syrian Democratic Party, Al-Ansar Party, The Democratic Vanguard Party, The Democratic Arab Solidarity Party, and The National Development Party. http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/02/15/400778.htm . One other party is in an advanced stage of the registration process, namely The Democratic National Solidarity Party. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/01/22/395862.htm . Two other prospective parties whose registration applications are in an earlier stage of process are the Syria Homeland Party and the Syria Free Party. http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/01/29/397327.htm

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February 17th, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

68. Jake said:

@Tara

So are you going by donald rumsfeld’s old rule:
‘the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence’?

By your logic are you going to admit that qatar and saudi arabia are financing and shipping arms the the FSA (with backing from turkey) or any other armed groups (i.e. salafists/MB), despite the lack of evidence?
Even if we didnt know for sure, that doesnt give the revolutionaries the right to accuse other countries of direct involvement (assuming they really dont know for sure)

were there iranian weapons used by assad’s army? yes because there are numerous videos showing evidence of iranian markings (although it doesnt implicate the government since it could come through second-hand)

were there iranians advising assad or his military/security? yes because much of the media and even iranian state media gives reports of some irgc officers/leaders coming to damascus/lattakia to advise the army/security or assad.

were iranian mercenaries directly involved in the supression/crackdown/assault? we dont know and i dont believe it (for now). so far the evidences i’ve seen are shoddy videos showing a few bearded ‘army’ people holding guns back in april (revolutionaries claiming that army doesnt allow beard despite other explanations), or videos of people forcing some mercenaries to speak about being hired from iran (while speaking in levantine arabic). the latest video of 5 ‘captured’ revolutionary guards confessing is about as doubtful as assads attempts to show ‘armed gangs’ (both are through confessions and involve setting the stage i.e. guns on background, showing fake or useless papers/id, etc.).

‘It amazed me though how Hassan Nasrallah explicitly expressed loyalty to Wali al Faqih in Iran. I find it disturbing that a citizen of a country expresses loyalty to another country’

last time i heard about wali-al-faqih it was an ideology, not part of a nation, similar to how communism is an ideology and not part of russia. If nasrallah expresses support for wali-al faqih, whats it to you? he’s only supporting the ideology of his party (an ideology which has been in the making for nearly a millenia and still not complete). are you going to accuse secularists and liberals of supporting the west/france/turkey? are you going to accuse the brotherhood of supporting egypt?

what if lebanon attacks iran? first you have to tell me under which circumstance iran would attack lebanon. if a country doesnt threaten iran then it doesnt need to attack/invade it, a stance taken by almost every countries of the world (although america evades it by inventing the ‘pre-emptive strike’). by your logic, what if iran attacks indonesia? what if iran attacks algeria? etc. finally, if you believe nasrallah’s words to be correct, then he would defend his country against any foreign entity (as he has claimed in past speeches), and this should include iran. if he sides with iran then he would be exposed as a hypocrite (like qaradawi) and a coward (like khalifah), and would be cast aside by all the lebanese people (including shiites).

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February 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

69. Mawal95 said:

After doing a bit of surfing on the Internet, I feel the new Constitution is being greeted with a yawn in Syria. In other words I’m seeing no excitement, and not much interest in discussing the details. I can welcome this as a variant of “no news is good news”, i.e. there’s nothing in it to stir up a controversy.

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February 17th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

70. Syria no Kandahar said:

Congradulations to the opposition having Isreal vote in the UN.
Also congratulations to the Revolutionists the support of Ayman Alzoahri,Sorry he could not make it to the UN to cast his Vote.
What kind of ligitimacy did the palastenians get from all the UN votes against Isreal?As we say in Syria بلوا وشربو ميتا That is what Alaaroors should do with the
Oil money bought UN resolution .

Joshua
I think Jad deserves apology,he was one of the best mannered posters here,His
Banning was harsh,did Hamad ask for it?

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February 17th, 2012, 5:11 pm

 

71. zoo said:

Iraq accuses some Arab states of helping fund terror
AFP – 1 hr 59 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/iraq-accuses-arab-states-helping-fund-terror-203328747.html
Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi accused some Arab states he did not identify Friday of helping to fund terrorism, and expressed concern about security at the Syrian border.

“Businessmen from some countries in the region, with the help of their governments, are providing significant funds to terrorist groups in Iraq,” Assadi said in an interview with state television.

“The leaders of these countries say they know nothing about it but the facts prove otherwise.”

There are nearly 300 prisoners from other Arab countries in Iraqi jails, the majority of them Saudis, according to the justice ministry.

Assadi said the worsening security situation in neighbouring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been battling to crush an uprising for 11 months, was a cause for concern.

“What worries us is the deteriorating situation on the Syrian side, because the army is occupied with other problems,” he said.

“There is smuggling and even clashes between the smugglers and the Syrian forces.

“The Syrian army is still at the border but in reduced numbers. It’s chaos and public institutions are being pillaged from near the frontier. We have even seen some soldiers leaving their positions on the border.”

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February 17th, 2012, 5:35 pm

 

72. zoo said:

Tear gas for the Salafists in Tunisia

Ultraconservative Islamists demonstrate in Tunisia
Associated Press – 5 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/ultraconservative-islamists-demonstrate-tunisia-171640950.html
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian police have used tear gas to disperse a demonstration of ultraconservative Islamists protesting against the government in the capital.

Hundreds of Salafists took to the streets after Friday prayers condemning comments by the president that they were an insignificant minority.

The protesters carried signs calling for Islamic law and chanted God is the greatest.
{..}

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February 17th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

73. zoo said:

One of Anthony Shadid’s last articles

Islamists’ Ideas on Democracy and Faith Face Test in Tunisia
By ANTHONY SHADID
Published: February 17, 2012

This article by Anthony Shadid was written before he died on a reporting trip to Syria on Thursday. It is part of a project to assess the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

TUNIS — The epiphany of Said Ferjani came after his poor childhood in a pious town in Tunisia, after a religious renaissance a generation ago awakened his intellect, after he plotted a coup and a torturer broke his back, and after he fled to Britain to join other Islamists seeking asylum on a passport he had borrowed from a friend.

Twenty-two years later, when Mr. Ferjani returned home, he understood the task at hand: building a democracy, led by Islamists, that would be a model for the Arab world.

“This is our test,” he said.

If the revolts that swept the Middle East a year ago were the coming of age of youths determined to imagine another future for the Arab world, the aftermath that has brought elections in Egypt and Tunisia and the prospect of decisive Islamist influence in Morocco, Libya and, perhaps, Syria is the moment of another, older generation.
{…}

[Link added by Moderator ]

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February 17th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

74. Aldendeshe said:

The Democratic National Solidarity Party.
The Democratic Vanguard Party,
The Syrian Democratic Party,
The Democratic Arab Solidarity Party,

I take it these above as democratic as DPRK
——————————————————————-
The Solidarity Party, (this is for solidarity with Baathists)
———————————————— ——————
Al-Ansar Party, ( this is Shia Twelver group)
——————————————————————-
The Homeland Party
( This run by army officers)
——————————————————————-
Syria Free Party
( How could you be free under Batthism and this new rag Constitution)

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February 17th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

75. Tara said:

Kandahar

If an apology is warranted to Jad, it is more warranted to Aboud…

People who do not like the rules established by majority vote, should feel free to go somewhere else. SC before this moderator was an unbearable place. Your request sounds like a bad joke.

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February 17th, 2012, 5:47 pm

 

76. Majed97 said:

I second SNK’s call for an apology for JAD. I never understood why he was banned to start with. He was always respectful of everyone and good contributors. Let’s not over police this blog; unless the plan is to suppress the dialog and cause more good contributors (from both sides) to leave…

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February 17th, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

77. Observer said:

This is very interesting discussion and evaluation of the situation on this youtube video

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February 17th, 2012, 6:26 pm

 

78. Tara said:

Anti-regime, please read:

Computer spyware is newest weapon in Syrian conflict
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 4:41 PM EST, Fri February 17, 2012 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/17/tech/web/computer-virus-syria/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

(CNN) — In Syria’s cyberwar, the regime’s supporters have deployed a new weapon against opposition activists — computer viruses that spy on them, according to an IT specialist from a Syrian opposition group and a former international aid worker whose computer was infected.
A U.S.-based antivirus software maker, which analyzed one of the viruses at CNN’s request, said that it was recently written for a specific cyberespionage campaign and that it passes information it robs from computers to a server at a government-owned telecommunications company in Syria.
Supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad first steal the identities of opposition activists, then impersonate them in online chats, said software engineer Dlshad Othman. They gain the trust of other users, pass out Trojan horse viruses and encourage people to open them.
Once on the victim’s computer, the malware sends information out to third parties.
…. .

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February 17th, 2012, 6:42 pm

 

79. Tara said:

The Syrian government has blocked a premiere live stream website a day after one of its users broadcast images of a bombing believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Bambuser – a mobile live stream service based in Sweden – has been in close contact with activists on the ground in Syria for over eight months. The dissidents use the service to broadcast streaming video of conditions in their country in real time. With foreign media blocked, online citizen journalism has become a crucial medium for telling stories from within Syria’s borders. Bambuser’s executive chairman, Hans Eriksson, says approximately 90-95% of the live video coming out of Syria is streamed through Bambuser.

…. .
The blackout came after a Syrian citizen using Bambuser streamed video of the aftermath of a pipeline bombing in the besieged city of Homs. Archived footage from the scene shows a massive cloud of smoke billowing over the neighborhood of Baba Amr while gun shots and shelling can be heard in the background. Activists claimed the government was responsible for the bombing. The live stream was picked up by several international news organizations including al-Jazeera, CNN, the BBC and Sky News, who referred back to Bambuser.com.


It’s not the first time an authoritarian regime has imposed a nationwide blackout on the site. Shortly before his ouster last year, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak blocked Bambuser. Bahrain, meanwhile, has been preventing access to the site for at least seven months.

…. .
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/17/syrian-government-blocks-bambuser

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February 17th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

80. newfolder said:

FSA executes a security officer in Daraya “AbuJafar”. This is the fate of all Assad’s dogs:

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February 17th, 2012, 7:22 pm

 

81. Ghufran said:

The death of Shadid is starting to sink in,his departure at age 43 is a true loss to anybody who likes to see a decent coverage of the Middle East. Death has a way of targetting talented and brave people beside the usual trend of hitting the poor and the hungry harder than fat cats and thugs,it is a form of cynical revenge or twisted justice.

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February 17th, 2012, 7:36 pm

 

82. Tara said:

It appears that Lebanese shiite are sympathizing with the Syrian revolution to the contrary of Nasrallah’s stand. HA does not actually reflect the sentiment of the Lebanese shiite. It only reflect the militia’s interest.

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February 17th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

83. ann said:

12 people killed across Syria Friday: state media – 2012-02-18

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-02/18/c_122719453.htm

Eight members of the government forces, including a major, were killed when armed groups attacked a police van carrying inmates at the Hussainiah suburb of the central province of Homs, said SANA, adding that a number of “terrorists” were killed in the shooting.

Another law-enforcement member was killed and two others were injured by armed men who opened fire at the national hospital in the Qusair district of Homs, the provincial capital city of Homs and Syria’s third largest city, which has emerged as the hub of armed insurgency against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

In another area of Homs, two civilians were killed and another eight were wounded by the gunfire of a sniper nesting on a rooftop of a building at Iskandaroun street, said SANA.

In central Hama province, armed groups attacked a bus of workers in the Muharda area, killing one and injuring another, according to SANA.

In the Damascus suburb of Darayya, an explosive device went off, leaving a mother and her son, along with a taxi driver, injured.

[…]

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February 17th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

84. Ghufran said:

Tara,
Most Lebanese Shia support Hizbullah and are still loyal to Nasrallah,that does not mean that Wilayat Alfaqeeh is accepted by the majority of Shia. Iran has cynically taken advantage of the impotence of Arabs and the idiocy of the Neocons when they invaded Iraq. As long as anti Israel groups remain friendless and as long as those sheikhs in the GCC remain in power,Iran will stay as an influential regional power with or without Bashar.

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February 17th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

85. Pirouz said:

55. ZOO said:

Zoo, that article is riddled with mistakes.

1) Iran’s nuclear program is supported by an overwhelming majority of Iranians inside Iran. Even the international community that is NAM supports Iran’s nuclear program.

2) Ahmadinejad supporters (which are a majority of Iranians inside Iran) do not consider him a “hardliner”.

3) A number of reformists are in fact seeking to run in the upcoming election.

I could go on, but it isn’t worth putting in the time.

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February 17th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

86. ann said:

*** The man of the moment Camille Otrakji ***

‘US thinks it can use Al-Qaeda temporarily in Syria’ – 18 February, 2012

http://rt.com/news/us-al-qaeda-syria-otrakji-635/

The US and Al-Qaeda are using each other to topple President Assad, believes Camille Otrakji, editor of online magazine Syria Comment.

­US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said Al-Qaeda is working alongside Syria’s armed opposition, while Washington considers extending support to the rebels.

Otrakji told RT that both sides think they are using the other, hoping to control them later.

“For example, the Islamists and Al-Qaeda think, ‘We can have an alliance with the Americans or with any secular opposition forces, but later we will be in power,’ and the Americans think they can use Al-Qaeda temporarily, if they have to, to get rid of the Syrian regime, and they will somehow manage to get rid of them. So, unfortunately they are apparently working together.”

The journalist added that it is important to understand how decision-making takes place in Washington D.C.

“Some people really do not care about what will happen in Syria after. For example, there are factions that just want to punish the Syrian regime – I’ve heard this from someone in Washington – for their help in 1982, when Hezbollah attacked US troops in Lebanon.”

And others, Otrakji said, are optimistic, thinking that there will be elections and that Syria is secular enough that Al-Qaeda factions or other Islamists will not win.

“So, they just want to be hopeful for now, all they want to focus on now is to get rid of the regime – then, they think, they will manage somehow.”

And journalist and peace activist Don Debar said the US have already become some allies with Al-Qaeda in Libya.

“First of all, the US is bedfellows with Al-Qaeda in Libya already. Secondly, if you look at the history of al-Qaeda, actually they are a successive group to the allies the US had in Afghanistan when it was fighting the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and early 1980s.”

Debar also remembered a recent comment by Al-Qaeda that they were backing the Syrian rebels, which he said is “the same group the US is not only backing, but has been arming and training.”

[…]

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February 17th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

87. Ghufran said:

ياسر العظمه و قنوات الكعك

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February 17th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

88. Ghufran said:

تونس ـ موسكو ـ يو بي آي: أكد وزير الخارجية في الحكومة التونسية المؤقتة رفيق عبد السلام، الجمعة، أن مؤتمر ‘أصدقاء سورية’ المقرر عقده في 24 من الشهر الجاري في تونس، لن يحضره ‘المجلس الوطني السوري’، ولا يهدف إلى استنساخ النموذج الليبي
موسكو- (يو بي اي): وصف نائب وزير الخارجية الروسي ميخائيل بغدانوف الجمعة (مجموعةأصدقاء سوريا) بأنها مجموعة “هواة” هدفهم التدخل في سوريا بما في ذلك عسكرياً في انتهاك للقانون الدولي وشرعة الأمم المتحدة.
[ Al Quds link ]

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February 17th, 2012, 10:15 pm

 

89. Ghufran said:

وقال ساركوزي بينما وقف إلى جواره رئيس الوزراء البريطاني ديفيد كاميرون إن افتقار جماعات المعارضة السورية للوحدة يشكل عقبة في سبيل حل الأزمة لا تقل عن العقبة التي تمثلها معارضة إصدار قرار في مجلس الأمن التابع للأمم المتحدة والتي تحول دون اتخاذ إجراء.
وحذر ساركوزي من أن الانتفاضة قد تفشل في غياب بديل يتمتع بالمصداقية.
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today%5C17z500.htm&arc=data%5C2012%5C02%5C02-17%5C17z500.htm

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February 17th, 2012, 10:26 pm

 

90. Tara said:

إذا كنت سورياً فاسمع ما يقال عنك !!! وإذا لم تكن فاسمع ما يقال عنا
– قال الملك عبد العزيز: سوريا لا تحتاج إلى رجال فرجالها أهل ثبات – قال فيديل : الفرنسيون حمقى… لأنهم احتلوا دولة شعبها لا يمل ولا يضعف … – قال صدام حسين : في كل نقطة دم سورية يولد مجاهد … – قال كيسنجر : لا يوجد …. و لم ….. ولن يوجد … أشجع وأجد و أعند من السوريون. – قال الحجاج يوماً عن أهل الشام: لايغرنك صبرهم ولا تستضعف قوتهم فهم إن قاموا لنصرة رجل ما تركوه إلا والتاج على رأسه، وإن قاموا على رجل ما تركوه إلا وقد قطعوا رأسه … فانتصروا بهم فهم من خير أجناد الارض …. . واتقوا فيهم ثلاثاً … 1- نسائهم فلا تقربوهم بسوء وإلا أكلوكم كما تأكل الأسود فرائسها … 2 – أرضهم وإلا حاربتكم صخور جبالهم … 3- دينهم وإلا أحرقوا عليكم دنياكم … – و قال المستشرق و الفيلسوف الفرنسي رينان: لكل 
إنسان وطنان: وطنه الذي ينتمي إليه، و سوريا

[ Added: Posted by NZ on Heetan ]

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February 17th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

91. ann said:

Guns & Glory in Syria: Al Qaeda, US recipe for disaster – 17 February, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-opposition-al-qaeda-us-567/

The US spy chief has told the Congress President Bashar Al-Assad is fighting against Al-Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper is the first top US official to acknowledge US might indirectly support insurgents.

­Since December there have been Bombings in Damascus and Aleppo that “had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda like attack,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He added that Syrian opposition groups, fighting against the existing regime of President al-Assad may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaida. “However likely without their knowledge”, he said.

Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called “troubling.”

His comments confirmed earlier reports that US officials suspected Al-Qaeda’s hand in the bombings last week which left dozens dead.

The leader of Al-Qaeda has voiced his support for the Syrian uprising. In an eight-minute video posted on Sunday on a jihadist website, Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels.

However the US and its allies continue to hold on to a one-sided stance.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly called on Syrian President Assad to step down.

The anti-Syrian government resolution addressed only one side of the conflict failing to condemn the opposition for their part of the violence as it does condemn the government. Washington and mainstream media insist the Syrian government is fighting against peaceful protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently called for “friends of democratic Syria” to unite against the regime. And to convene on February 24th to work out ways to further squeeze the Assad regime and bring Syrian opposition groups inside and outside the country together.

While the White House calls mostly for political and humanitarian support, some of the US politicians propose the direct arming of the opposition.

Republican Senator John McCain has openly called for the supply of guns to Syrian insurgents, urging the White House to take action.

“We should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The blood-letting has got to stop,” he said following Syria’s withdrawal of its diplomatic mission to Washington.

Given the disclosed information, the US Intelligence Chief was more cautious about the possible actions in the region.

He expected Al-Qaeda’s role, rifts within rebel ranks, and the presence of chemical weapons would “affect any discussion [[about]] coming to some assistance” in support of the opposition.

“Arming the opposition in Syria – it has been happening all the time. Upgrading the armament of the rebels is going to lead to ten times the number of people killed. What these people need to realize that there is a large proportion of the people in Syria, of Syrians basically, who do not want the central government to collapse,” Ammar Waqqaf, a member of the Syrian Social Club, a pro-government group supporting reform, told RT.

[…]

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February 17th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

92. jake said:

@tara #82

so if some lebanese shia sympathize with revolution it automatically seems that all the lebanese shia do? where did you get that conclusion? is it simply a statement of your opinion, or a fact which you can back up with sources?

Furthermore, i dont think that anybody stated that hezbollah represents the lebanese shiite, since there are other parties supported by lebanese shiite (amal movement is a prominent one). However it does represent a significant (if not majority) of the lebanese shiite, which im pretty sure you cant deny.

Since you have brought the issue of hezbollah and its involvement in syria, i’d like to present a source that confirms that hezbollah isnt aiding syria or its government, but rather forcusing on lebanon:

‘According to Countryman, the Iranian weapons being funneled through the Syrian government to Hezbollah are NOT being used by Hezbollah inside Syria, but are being transferred to Hezbollah groups inside Syria’s neighbor Lebanon.’

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/15/state_dept_russia_and_iran_still_arming_bashar_al_assad

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February 18th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

93. Roger said:

Please, no more violences in HOMS
http://stop-homs-violence.org

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March 1st, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

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