Raqqa Falls – (4 March 2013) Assad’s Interview with Hala Jaber

On Monday, government forces, backed by pro-regime militiamen, launched a major offensive on opposition held areas in the central city of Homs. Evidently, regime forces are also attacking north of Latakia, in an effort to push back rebels to the north as well. As the government losses territory around Aleppo and to the East around Raqqa and the Jazira, the regime seems to be fattening up the region around the Alawite Mountains.

Dozens of Syrian troops killed in Iraq ambush  – al-Jazeera

At least 42 Syrians and seven Iraqis are killed in Anbar by an attack on a convoy carrying troops who crossed into Iraq.

Syrian Rebels Capture Most of Northern City
2013-03-04 By BASSEM MROUE

Beirut (AP) — Syrian rebels pushed government troops from most of the northern city of Raqqa Monday, and then scores of cheering protesters tore up a poster of President Bashar Assad and toppled a bronze statue of his late father and predecessor, activists said.

Der Spiegel: EU May Provide Weapons Training to Syrian Rebels
2013-03-04

Officially, the statement released by Brussels last week on the European Union’s amended sanctions against Syria referred merely to supplying rebel fighters with “non-lethal military equipment” and “technical assistance for the protection of …

Syria President Al-Assad’s Interview with The Sunday Times
By Bashar al-Assad
The full interview has been copied by Global Research, March 03, 2013, Sunday Times and SANA

Entrevue Assad

Sunday Times: Mr. President your recent offer of political dialogue was qualified with a firm rejection of the very groups you would have to pacify to stop the violence: the armed rebels and the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition alliance.

So in effect you are only extending an olive branch to the loyal opposition, mostly internal, that renounce the armed struggle, and who effectively recognizes the legitimacy of your leadership, who are you willing to talk to, really?

President Assad: First of all, let me correct some of the misconceptions that have been circulating and that are found in your question in order to make my answer accurate.

Sunday Times: Okay.

President Assad: Firstly, when I announced the plan, I said that it was for those who are interested in dialogue, because you cannot make a plan that is based on dialogue with somebody who does not believe in dialogue. So, I was very clear regarding this…..

Hague dismisses Assad as ‘delusional’ -

March 3 (Telegraph) — William Hague described Bashar al-Assad as “delusional”, after the Syrian President accused Britain of funding terrorism inside the country. The Foreign Secretary said the embattled dictator was “presiding over this slaughter” in Syria whilst Britain is “sending food and shelter and blankets to help people driven from their homes and families in his name.”

“This will go down as one of the most delusional interviews that any national leader has given in modern times,” he told the BBC….

Khatib visits Aleppo villages as Syria opponents vote for council

Opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voted on Sunday to elect 29 provincial council members to run rebel-held areas in the northern province of Aleppo, organizers and participants told AFP. “For the first time, Aleppo will have a freely elected provincial … Read More

LA Times [Reg]: Syria’s president says rebels must disarm before talks
2013-03-04

Exposing a rift in policy between US and Saudi Arabia – Wash Post

Kerry met Monday with Saudi diplomats who staked out a more aggressive posture on providing arms to Syrian rebels, exposing a rift in policy between the two regional allies. …“Saudi Arabia will do everything in its capacity. We do believe that what is happening in Syria is a slaughter — a slaughter of innocents,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said during a visit by Secretary of State John F. Kerry. “We cannot bring ourselves to remain silent. Morally there is a duty.”….“There is no guarantee that one weapon or another might not, at some point in time, fall into the wrong hands,” Kerry said a news conference with the veteran Saudi diplomat.

US should focus aid on Syrian refugees
By Juliette Kayyem | Globe, March 04

The numbers of people who have fled to neighboring countries can no longer be sustained, and keeping them safe will pay dividends long after the war in Syria is over.

Ra’s al-Ain and Patchwork Alliances in the Kurdish areas of Syria – BBC

Ras al-Ain – or Serekani in Kurdish – in north-east Syria is an area divided between Arab tribes and Kurds.

There are also other ethnic groups, including a few Chechens and Ingush, whose ancestors migrated there from the North Caucasus in the beginning of the 20th century.

After about four months of absence, Walid Didigov – a Syrian of Ingush origin – appeared suddenly by instant message on my Facebook page.

He popped up a few days after Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia, who have been fighting each other for months in a town near the Turkish border, signed a ceasefire.

I responded immediately. He was using a very slow internet connection and apologised for interruptions, which were also due to frequent power cuts.

“The ceasefire allowed me to reconnect,” he told me. “This time I have joined the rebels, alongside my brothers and relatives. We have to choose between right and wrong and we choose to be on the righteous side: against the regime.”

Mr Didigov says that he and his Chechen-Ingush relatives co-ordinate with “all armed groups in the area that are fighting against Kurdish militants supported by regime”….

Rebels accuse Syria’s Kurds of exploiting the war in Syria to assert control over parts of the north-east.

Mr Didigov says: “We are fighting alongside various groups in Ras al-Ain: the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ghuraba al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham – sometimes we co-operate with al-Nusra front.”…. “Turkey is afraid of Kurdish independence in Syria, and will make allegiances with anyone to stop them, therefore they are supporting the armed groups in Ras al-Ain against Kurdish militias,” he says. The FSA, he says, wants the fighting to continue in Ras al-Ain to keep Turkish support coming….

Al-Nusra jihadists, however, are remaining neutral in this fight in Ras al-Ain. “They are wining hearts and minds by reopening bakeries and providing gas for people,” Mr Didigov tells me.

The leader of al-Nusra in the area is a Kurd himself and Mr Didigov asked him why they are staying neutral. The leader said that they “need Kurds to help us to advance in Qamishli (north-east), which is dominated by Kurds.”

‘Bullying’ Britain fanning the flames, warns Assad; In a rare interview, the Syrian leader says the West is supporting terrorism and vows revenge on Israel
HALA JABER DAMASCUS, 3 March 2013, The Sunday Times

AFTER 23 months of a conflict that has ripped his country apart, the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, was in no mood to contemplate giving up the fight and going into exile.

“No patriotic person will think about living outside his country. I am like any other patriotic Syrian,” he said in an interview last week, when I asked if he would leave to improve the prospects for peace. In any case, he said, it was nonsense to suggest that the conflict was about the president and his future.

“If this argument is correct, then my departure will stop the fighting. Clearly this is absurd, and recent precedents in Libya, Yemen and Egypt bear witness to this.” Assad spoke softly throughout the hour-long interview, his first with a western newspaper for more than a year, but he had harsh words for his opponents. He vowed that Syria would retaliate against Israel for an airstrike on a research centre in Damascus last month.

He accused John Kerry, the American secretary of state, of wasting time by trying to ease him out of power, saying his leadership was an internal matter, “so I am not going to discuss it with anyone who is coming from abroad”.

His most withering criticism, however, was directed at Britain. Instead of pushing for peace talks, he said, David Cameron’s “naive, confused, unrealstic” government was trying to end an EU arms embargo so that the rebels could be supplied with weapons.

This, he said, would fan the flames of war at a time when an al-Qaeda-backed element of the uprising, Jabhat al-Nusra, was already “killing, beheading, torturing and preventing children from going to school”. “We do not expect an arsonist to be a firefighter,” he said, dismissing any suggestion that Britain could help to resolve the conflict.

“To be frank, Britain has played a famously unconstructive role in our region on different issues for decades, some say for centuries … The problem with this government is that their shallow and immature rhetoric only highlights this tradition of bullying and hegemony … “How can we ask Britain to play a role while it is determined to militarise the problem? How can we expect them to make the violence less while they want to send military supplies to the terrorists?” Yet Assad adopted a conciliatory tone towards the Syrian opposition, inviting it to join in a national dialogue aimed at ending the crisis.

“We are ready to negotiate with anyone, including militants who surrender their arms,” he declared. “We are not going to deal with terrorists who are determined to carry weapons, to terrorise people, to kill civilians, to attack public places or private enterprise and to destroy the country.” He concluded: “We have opposition that are political entities and we have armed terrorists. We can engage in dialogue with the opposition, but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists. We fight terrorism.”

I WAS waiting in a first-floor reception room at Al-Muhajireen palace, a relatively modest building where Assad often works, away from the grandeur of the main presidential palace, when I was told to look out of the window. An ordinary black saloon car with tinted windows was coming up the drive. I realised it could be the president but I was surprised to see him emerging not from a rear door opened by a chauffeur, but from the driver’s seat. He was the only person in the vehicle and there was no sign of a security convoy.

It was explained to me that despite regular explosions, Assad insists on maintaining a normal lifestyle including — to his security chief’s dismay — driving to the office in the morning. He has apparently told his security men that if ever he has to wear a flak jacket to move around Damascus, he might as well step down.

We met in a room with artisanal chandeliers and window frames inlaid with mother of pearl. Through the open shutters, one could see residential buildings on the other side of a courtyard. It was a quiet morning, with a lull in the shelling of the suburbs that can be heard daily from the city centre.

More than 3m Syrians have been driven from their homes and, as the death toll soars, barely a family in Syria has been left untouched — not even the president’s.

His brother-in-law, General Assef Shawkat, was blown up last July in a bombing that also killed three other senior members of the security forces. Had this made Assad fear for his own life, I wondered? Did he lie in bed at night, listening to the explosions and worrying about the security of his British wife, Asma, and their children Hafez, 10, Zein, 9 and Karim, 7? “Can anybody be safe, or their family be safe, if the country is in danger?” he replied. “In reality, no. If your country is not safe, you cannot be safe, so instead of worrying about yourself and your family, you should worry about every citizen and every family in your country.”

The interview was timed to coincide with Kerry’s first foreign tour as secretary of state. Kerry met Syrian rebels in Rome last Thursday and announced that £40m of “nonlethal” US aid would go directly to them for the first time.

“The intelligence, communication and financial assistance being provided is very lethal,” Assad countered, pointing out that “non-lethal” technology had been used to deadly effect in the 9/11 attacks. William Hague, the foreign secretary, is expected to announce a package of British assistance this week.

“The British government wants to send military aid to moderate groups in Syria, knowing all too well that such moderate groups do not exist in Syria,” Assad said. “We all know that we are now fighting al-Qaeda, or Jabhat al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, and other groups of people indoctrinated with extreme ideologies. “This is beyond hypocritical,” he added, echoing Hague’s comment about him.

“A recent survey in the UK showed that a good proportion of the British people want to ‘keep out of Syria’ and they do not believe that the British government should send military supplies to the rebels. In spite of this, the British government continues to push the EU to lift its arms embargo on Syria and to start arming the militants with heavy weapons. That is what I call detached from reality — when you’re detached from your own public opinion.”

Today Kerry is due to visit Saudi Arabia before moving on to Qatar. Both countries actively support the rebels, who have seized large swathes of northern Syria and appear to be advancing in parts of Aleppo, the biggest commercial centre, while being beaten back in Damascus.

The best way for anyone to help Syria, Assad said, would be to “go to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and tell them: stop financing the terrorists in Syria”. Support for the opposition could backfire now the extremists were in the ascendant, he warned. Jabhat al-Nusra has been blamed for a series of bombings, including one in Damascus 10 days ago in which the president said 300 people had been killed or injured. The “irreversible” spread of al-Qaeda’s ideology was even more dangerous than its armed attacks.

Describing Syria as “a melting pot of religions, sects, ethnicities and ideologies”, he added: “We should be worrying about the majority of moderate Syrians who, if we do not fight this extremism, could become the minority — at which point Syriawill cease to exist. If you worry about Syria, you have to worry about the Middle East, because we are the last bastion of secularism in the region. If you worry about the Middle East, the whole world should be worried about its stability.”

WITH the conflict about to enter its third year, a change of attitude on both sides towards peace talks has brought a glimmer of hope, albeit a tiny one. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, the president of the opposition alliance Syrian National Coalition, was reported last month to have dropped his insistence on the departure of Assad before any talks could take place.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, said Khatib’s proposal had challenged the government to show it was ready for a peaceful settlement. However, rifts in the opposition have since emerged, with some saying Assad must step down.

Assad himself said he wanted to include many groups in talks. “The dialogue is about the future of Syria. We are 23m Syrians and all of us have the right to participate in shaping the country’s future,” he said.

He criticised the West for promoting the rebel Free Syrian Army as a unified entity when in reality it consisted of “hundreds of small groups”.
I asked whether his demand for fighters to lay down their arms would prevent talks from getting under way. Had this been his plan all along, as his critics suggested, because he knew that negotiations would lead to his downfall? The opposite was true, Assad claimed. “They say that dialogue will bring the downfall of the president and I am inviting them to the dialogue. Why don’t they then come to the dialogue to bring about downfall?” Could there ever be a negotiated settlement while he remained in power? “We have a plan and whoever wants to deal with us can deal with us through our plan,” he replied.

Some of Assad’s opponents want to see him stand trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court as the person ultimately responsible for his army’s actions. I asked if he was troubled by this. “Are they going to take the American and British leaders who attacked Iraq in 2003 and claimed more than half a million lives?” he retorted. “They are not going to do it. The answer is very clear.”

He was equally unhappy with the UN, which has estimated the death toll in the conflict at 70,000. The figures had been manipulated to justify outside intervention, he claimed, just as they had been in Libya before French and British airstrikes two years ago. “You have noted those figures as though they were numbers from a spreadsheet,” he told me. “We see thousands of families who have lost loved ones and who unfortunately will grieve for many years to come. Nobody can feel this pain more than us.”

I recalled meeting a boy aged seven who had lost an arm, a leg and five members of his family in an explosion caused by the Syrian military. What could he say to such a child? “Children are the most fragile link in any society and unfortunately they often pay the heaviest price in any conflict,” Assad replied.

“As a father of young children, I know the meaning of having a child harmed by something very simple, so if they are harmed badly or if we lose a child, it is the worst thing any family can face.

“Whenever you have conflicts, you have these painful stories that affect any society. This is the most important and the strongest incentive for us to fight terrorism.” The fear of many in the Middle East since the conflict began has been that it would draw in surrounding countries. I asked Assad if he would retaliate against Israel for last month’s airstrikes on the research centre.

Some reports have said the dead included an Iranian general working with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Assad said Syria had always retaliated for Israeli actions, “But we retaliated in our own way, and only the Israelis know what we mean. Retaliation does not mean missile for missile or bullet for bullet. Our own way does not have to be announced.” He refused to elaborate. Nor would he discuss claims that Syriahas been moving its chemical weapons, apparently to prevent them from falling into the hands of extremists.

“We have never, and will never, discuss our armaments with anyone,” he said. He denied reports that Russia, Hezbollah and Iran had sent soldiers to Syria, saying: “Russia has been very constructive, Iran has been very supportive and Hezbollah’s role is to defend Lebanon, not Syria. “We are a country of 23m people with a strong national army and police force. We are in no need of foreign fighters to defend our country.”

In conclusion, Assad warned of grave consequences if the West armed the rebels, directly or indirectly. “You know the crime is not only about the victim and the criminal but also the accomplice providing support, whether it is moral or logistical support,” he said. “Syria lies at the fault line geographically, politically, socially and ideologically. So playing with this fault line will have serious repercussions all over the Middle East.

“Any intervention will not make things better. It will only make them worse. Europe and the United States and others are going to pay the price sooner or later with the instability in this region. They do not foresee it.”

My troops did not target courageous Marie Colvin President Bashar al-Assad has said the Syrian state cannot be held responsible for the death of Marie Colvin, the Sunday Times correspondent killed last year when the army shelled a media centre in the city of Homs. Colvin, 56, travelled to the Baba Amr district of Homs with a group of activists to report on the plight of 28,000 civilians trapped there after the rebel enclave came under severe bombardment.

Assad said he regretted her death but denied she had been personally targeted because of her reporting. “When a journalist goes into a conflict zone to cover a story and convey it to the world, I think it is very courageous work,” he said. “If you enter illegally, you cannot expect the state to be responsible.” Paul Conroy, the photographer working with Colvin, said he had no doubt from the pattern of explosions that the media centre had been targeted.

The Syrian Crisis: Can Dialogue Still Prevail Over Violence?
By NIKOLAOS VAN DAM

Syria – A Decade of Lost Chances. Repression and Revolution from Damascus Spring to Arab Spring. By Carsten Wieland, Cune Press, Seattle, 2012, 336 pp.

This is a fascinating and highly readable book, providing one of the most detailed accounts of the dramatic events in Syria over the past decade and before. Carsten Wieland gives an original and critical in-depth analysis of modern Syrian history with a refreshing approach.
Since the start of the Syrian Revolution in March 2011 various other relevant books have been published on Syria, but none of these has thus far dealt with Syria’s past decade so much in detail and in-depth as Carsten Wieland’s “A Decade of Lost Chances”. If you really want to be well informed about why things did not go well, or went wrong, time and again, during the epoch of Bashar al-Asad, Wieland’s book is a must.

….. [Full text available through: http://www.aljadid.com]

This is not only an academic reference work, helping us to better understand Syrian history; it could also be used as a tool for future policy-making, and to help evaluating what foreign governments might have, or should have done differently during this past “decade of lost chances”.

….. [Full text available through: http://www.al.jadid.com]

Wieland ends his book by concluding that “the Syrian people cannot afford and do not deserve another decade of lost chances. If the most grim scenarios unfold, however, the next decade may be much worse for many Syrians than it was, prior to the Arab Spring, under the rule of Asad.” It appears as if these most grim scenarios have already started to unfold. The big question is whether there might still be a possibility to get out of this situation through dialogue instead of bloodshed. The answer is in the hands of the Syrians.

AL JADID Vol. 17, no. 64, pp. 30-31. © Copyright 2013 AL JADID MAGAZINE

Hundreds die in Syria police academy battle

Hundreds of Syrian troops and rebels were killed in a weeklong battle for a police academy in the northern province of Aleppo, with insurgents seizing control of most of the complex, a monitoring group said… “Rebels have seized most of a police academy in Khan Al-Assal in Aleppo province … after eight days of fighting that left 200 troops and rebels dead,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based group said at least 120 army troops were among those killed in the battle for one of the regime’s last remaining bastions in the west of Aleppo province. On Sunday alone, rebels had killed more than 34 troops at the facility.

A police source in Aleppo confirmed that much of the academy had fallen into rebel hands, reporting that 40 troops were believed dead. As many as 300 rebels were among those killed, he said.

Amateur video shot by fighters and distributed by the anti-regime Aleppo Media Center showed a black flag flying over one of the academy buildings, while a large poster of President Bashar Assad had been torn.

Another video showed rebels aboard a captured military vehicle and stashes of ammunition seized from the academy.

Elsewhere, three mortars hit an area near the army general command headquarters and a customs complex in the heart of Damascus, said the Observatory….

Was Syria ever the secular, non-sectarian state we are led to believe it was? February 26th, 2013

SYRIAN REBELS TAKE FULL CONTROL OF AL-RAQQAH CITY: ARABIYA

This Week in Syria, Deeply

Hezbollah, Syrian opposition clashes intensify, raise fears in Lebanon – Wash Post
By Babak Dehghanpisheh,

Comments (435)


Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] Show All

401. Observer said:

SL
In 79 only 20% of women in Iran were literate, today more than 80% are literate.
The country despite the sanctions has done many important projects in irrigation, education, health care, and technology.
It is uneven and with shortcomings but it did achieve a lot of improvements. It has an indigenous weapons industry. It fought Iraq to the teeth despite multiple problems. Now it has come to a situation where it needs to deliver more and is stuck with a power hungry Mullah clique.

Likewise, if you read the ICG report on Syria, the father had actually cultivated the Baath party to allow for the majority rural population to have a stake in the regime in contrast to the retard we have now.

So things are not black and white just as HA started out with doing many correct strategic positions and is now evolving into a a power hungry party bent on retaining power and through sectarian means. All make mistakes. Sending troops to fight the revolution in Syria is extremely detrimental to the party but hey, stupidity and greed are universal.

I enjoy very much reading ALI posts. It is clear that the regime has a mind set that is being explained for all of us to see on this blog.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

March 6th, 2013, 7:48 am

 

402. Dolly Buster said:

397. apple_mini said:

The regime tends displaced people. There are many families in Damascus only having women and children. Their combat age male family members are actually fighting against the regime. Irony, isn’t it?

  
Yeah, it is so sweet of Bashar al-Assad that he didn’t have them executed.

 
 

393. apple_mini said:

So the rich and famous Qatari Emir decided to pay a good sum of money for private islands from to-be-broke Greek government.

 
He lost weight too. I look up to him and Hamad bin Jaasem for their palaces, I am not satisfied with my current pad.
It’s weird how even a 10 square meters apartment can cost $300,000 in a good city, and meanwhile the average Westerner has maybe $30,000 to his name total. The average non-Westerner even less.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 8:04 am

 

403. zoo said:

In Qatar, Kerry talks about Bashar reading tea leaves and going to negotiation table.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/kerry-says-a-lot-of-countries-training-syria-rebels.aspx?pageID=238&nID=42440&NewsCatID=358

“It’s one part of it. But other nations are doing other things. There are a lot of nations working at this. And so I think President Assad needs to read the tea leaves correctly,” Kerry told Fox News during a visit to Qatar.

Kerry did not say which countries were involved in the effort or whether the United States was training rebels.

“There are a lot of countries doing training,” Kerry said.

“What is important is that President Assad needs to understand the re-focus of commitment in order to get him to change his current calculation, and in order to hopefully get his allies to advise him: ‘You need to go to the table and negotiate a peaceful resolution.’

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

March 6th, 2013, 8:55 am

 

404. majedkhaldoun said:

Akbar Palace
If you have been following the news you would not ask for the links, It is your job.
But I will answer some of your comment
You said
I asked:how do you think the future army will arm itself,once Assad is gone?
You answered

Once Assad is gone, the world will quickly recognize a temporary regime to rebuild the country and start FREE ELECTIONS.
Your statement has nothing to do with my question,
You say
Apparently you and others hate the West
You are ASSUMING,you are dead wrong,I love the west,I love the american constitution,Where did you have gotten this wrong idea from, most of your arguement are based on wrong assumption.please do not assume anymore.
You said
Joe Lieberman called for arming the rebels, you know very well Joe is not advisor to Obama,you know many jews lobby advising Obama,Look at Daniel pipe writing, read the Jewish lobby statements, in the future I will send you many jewish statements.
You said this is old history,I am surprised you as a jew saying that, your claim to palastine is based on old old old history.
You say I have prejudice against jews and Israel: I have strong disagreement about the existance of Israel as a zionist entity,but I do not hate jews,you are assuming again, you are wrong, there is Israel Arab conflict you take the Israeli side I take the correct Arabic side, apparantly YOU and You only has prejudice against us.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 8:58 am

 

405. zoo said:

Erdogan’s original notion of freedom of press: It’s free but not when it is against the government. Turkey has one of the largest number of journalist in jail in the world.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imrali-leak-fuels-political-fight-over-press-freedom.aspx?pageID=238&nID=42416&NewsCatID=338

The principle of freedom of the press does not give media the right to “act against the national interest of a country,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said,

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 9:00 am

 

406. majedkhaldoun said:

Akbar Palace
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/israel-lobbies-for-syrian-dictatorship-with-obama-congress.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYipkPIck7E
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy: John J. Mearsheimer …
Stay out of the Syrian Morass :: Daniel Pipes
Syria: Arguing for U.S. Inaction :: Daniel Pipes

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 9:15 am

 

407. Tara said:

SNP,

It looks like you were banned. You have crossed the line,… many times and your banning is well deserved!

Bye Bye.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

March 6th, 2013, 9:26 am

 

408. Visitor said:

Ali @371,

I am deeply ‘sorry’ because I missed paying my daily ‘respects’ to Hafez in the last few days due to shortage of time. But, I assure you I was always paying ‘respect’ in private as well as in meetings with associates.

But now I have to catch up on expressing my respects here on the blog for everyone, including you, to repeat after me,

Lak yil3an rohak ya Hafez wu roh abouk ya Hafez wu roh abou abouk ya Hafez….”

I promise you that I will do my best from now on to continue to express the above ‘respect’ as we all should.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 9:42 am

 

409. zoo said:

Jumblatt, Lebanon Druze chief ‘sides with devil’ against Assad

I support Al-Nusra Front against the Syrian regime, Lebanon’s Druze leader says
AFP , Wednesday 6 Mar 2013

“The Syrian people has the right to side with the devil — except with Israel — against the regime,” said Jumblatt, a fierce foe of President Bashar al-Assad although he was once an ally of his late predecessor and father, Hafez al-Assad.

“I am acting to protect the (Syrian) Druze. The Alawites (Assad’s community) will go back to their mountain, but the Druze live in a sea of Sunnis,” said Jumblatt.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

March 6th, 2013, 9:55 am

 

410. Ziad said:

Jürgen #357

Sorry for the late response, we live in different time zones.

In Venezuela there is Marxian class warfare going on. Anecdotal examples of one or two business people don’t impress me. I myself know a Syrian family in Vnzla who does think much of Chavez. I know where they come from. All I know that he won four elections fair and square. He was not perfect, but he was on the side of the poor, and the poor deserve a break once in a while. I also know a very large number of Venezuelans and their friends are truly saddened by his passing.

To me personally, whoever stands against the Zio-US world hegemony has my heart and its four valves.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 9:59 am

 

411. Uzair8 said:

Syria fired up to 90 Scuds, says Turkish FM

March 6 2013

“The Syrian regime first used snipers, then artillery, tanks and then jets, helicopters. Now it is using Scud missiles. Al-Assad’s forces have fired 85-90 Scud missiles in the last two months,” the foreign minister said in an interview with private broadcaster NTV. “They press a button in Damascus and the missile lands in a residential area in Aleppo and kills civilians.”

=======

From AJE blog yesterday:

22 hrs ago
Syrian warplanes bombarded the city of Raqqa on Tuesday, a day after it was captured by rebel fighters, opposition campaigners and a resident said.

“The centre of the city is being bombarded by warplanes. I counted 60 rockets,” the resident said, adding that hospitals had issued calls to donate blood as casualties mounted.

- Reuters

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 9:59 am

 

412. zoo said:

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 10:07 am

 

413. Tara said:

Jumblatt’s statement reflects the sentiment of the Syrian people. The regime is more evil than any “Islamist” could ever be and therefore any help to topple the regime is welcome at the time being.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

March 6th, 2013, 10:10 am

 

414. zoo said:

….

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

March 6th, 2013, 10:12 am

 

415. zoo said:

Idriss in Brussels: Syrians are baffled by the West’s inaction.

Chief of Syrian rebel army pleads for arms

By DON MELVIN and JILL LAWLESS
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_SYRIA_REBELS?SECTION=HOME&SITE=AP&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of staff of the rebel army pleaded with the international community Wednesday to supply arms and ammunition so the opposition can resist attacks by the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

Gen. Salim Idris, head of the rebel’s Supreme Military Council, said anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles are urgently needed to protect civilians.

Idris, speaking in Brussels, complained that Russia and Iran are helping the Assad regime, while the West condemns Assad but does not supply the rebels with weapons. And the Syrian people, he said, are baffled.

“The people don’t understand why the international community just looks at the news on their TVs,” he said. “They just speak in the media and say, that is not good and the regime must stop and must go, Bashar must go. And they don’t act.”

And he said the weapons would be tracked, kept out of the hands of extremists, and returned after the victory.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

March 6th, 2013, 10:16 am

 

416. Uzair8 said:

#411 continued…

People must take a clear position on the regime’s unacceptable response to lost areas instead of complaining about rebels targeting and capturing those areas.

It reminded me of the statement by Shaykh Yaqoubi after the Tremseh event:

13 July 2012
Finally, One who keeps silent rather than say the truth is a silent Satan. We call for strikes in all cities for three consecutive days, blockades of major roads and to large scale protests. Do not be a devil; to keep silent now is a crime. We call the people to unite and sacrifice everything to bring down the regime with every possible means.

Unless there is good reason (eg. compelled by force, danger or threat) there can be no justification for continued silence, equivalence or support for the regime.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

March 6th, 2013, 10:23 am

 

417. zoo said:

Alawites, From Separatists to Masters

http://www.oasiscenter.eu/en/node/8348

Merely by surveying the events of the last hundred years, we can see just how much is happening today in Syria.
What is going on there in fact is not simply a battle between the Baath Party and its opponents, nor a merely regional conflict, but a settling of accounts that could change the whole international equilibrium.

Territory divided up between numerous vilayet during the Ottoman epoch (1516-1918), and then a region made up of four states during the French mandate (1920-1946), Syria took on its present form only with the Franco-Syrian Treaty that was signed in Paris on 9 September 1936 when the ‘independent State of Damascus’ and the ‘government of Aleppo’, which had already been unified in 1923, the ‘autonomous territory of the Alawites’ and the ‘Jebel-Druze’, were fused into a single entity – the Syrian Republic.

It was with Assad that Syria, up to that time the subject of conflict between the regional and international powers, was transformed into an active regional force which exercised its influence on the Middle Eastern scene.
After establishing a strong central power in Damascus and imposing its authority with all means, including violence, in all the neighbouring regions, the Assads were able to make Syria the central core of a political, military and geo-strategic alliance running from Iran to the Hezbollah in Lebanon, passing by way of Iraq.
The Sunni leaders of the region such as the King of Jordan, ‘Abdallah; the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak; and the King of Saudi Arabia, ‘Abdallah, identified this alliance with Shi’ite Islam and called it the ‘Shi’ite crescent’ (al-hilâl al-shî‘î).
This was condemned by the United States of America which was able to place it in the ‘axis of evil’.
It is in this context of geopolitical rivalry between the United States of America and its allies, on the one hand, and Iran and its allies, on the other, aggravated by Jewish and Sunni and Shi’ite Islam confessional effervescence, that one may understand more effectively what is presently happening in Syria.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

March 6th, 2013, 10:27 am

 

418. Uzair8 said:

270. Zoo said:

Is Raqqa’s loss a planned trap to get the rebels gathered in one location and killed with one piece of cheese?

Ssshhhh… don’t tell that to the mayor and other captured VIP’s.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

March 6th, 2013, 10:30 am

 

419. Akbar Palace said:

404. majedkhaldoun said:

If you have been following the news you would not ask for the links, It is your job.

Just a suggestion, whenever you make a claim, post a link or two showing where your claim came from. For example, I posted two links showing two US senators clamoring for military aide to the Syrian opposition. One of these senators, Joe Lieberman, is a Jewish-American. I know of no organized Jewish organization or Jewish politician who is strongly against arming the opposition. On the contrary, Obama, Clinton and Kerry have so far refused. Furthermore, we now have an anti-Israel Secr. of Defense, Chuck Hagel, who is also an isolationist, and also will not want the US to get involved in Syria.

But I will answer some of your comment
You said
I asked:how do you think the future army will arm itself,once Assad is gone?
You answered

Apparently you and others hate the West
You are ASSUMING,you are dead wrong,I love the west,I love the american constitution,Where did you have gotten this wrong idea from, most of your arguement are based on wrong assumption.please do not assume anymore.

Sorry about that. I am glad you are pro-American. One of the few pro-Americans here on this website. There’s hope! But if you are pro-American why would you make the following accusations against the US government:

From Post #321:

why the US is prohibiting countries like Turkey from delivering specific weapons

This isn’t true.

The turkish army can defeat the Assad thugs in one week,Erdogan has been willing to fight and defeat Assad, US says no,Why?.

Sorry Majed, but no one is tying Erdogan’s hands. If Erdogan had the cohones to defeat Assad in a week, I’d be pissed at him for not doing it. Erdogan doesn’t give a fig about the Syrians any more than anyone else. Before Assad went on his killing spree, Turkey was all so chummy with Iran and Syria. It took him a YEAR to get rid of the Syrian ambassador.

The rebels never asked US to send troops,KSA is willing to pay for anti aircraft missiles and send them to the rebels,US is objecting.

The US may say one thing, and do something else. Politics is full of talk and 150% of it is BS anyway. The rebels have already downed several aircraft and helicopters. Someone is getting anti-aircraft missiles, and no one is stopping the arms flow into Syria except Turkey.

It is clear Israel behind US reluctance to help the rebels,against the interest of US.

It is clear only in your anti-Israel mind. US policy is US policy. I already posted links showing an example of a very important Jewish-American senator, recommending arming the rebels.

You have to get those Jews and Israelis out of your hair as one poster here recommended;) We are powerful enough to defend Israel, but believe it or not, we don’t control everything.

I can go on for long ,but it is to the US interest to help syrian rebels…

I agree!

…but the jewish lobby are the reason that US is not helping the rebels.

Stop it already! Jewish Lobby. The GOI has not made 1 comment about arms transfers to the rebels. The only arms that the GOI is concerned about are sophisticated arms transfers from Iran, across Syria and into the hands of those cute resistance pros in Lebanon (aka Hezbollah)

More links:

http://www.aipac.org/issues/issue-display?issueid={F534C71D-D4CF-478E-89FF-190900F0C6A8}

http://archive.adl.org/PresRele/UnitedNations_94/6355_94.htm

http://www.jinsa.org/publications/jinsa-reports/taking-action-syria#.UTddyTdrRcI

3.) Determine those groups’ immediate needs INCLUDING WEAPONRY, and institute the means to provide for them in cooperation with Turkey, without whose consent nearly all U.S. efforts to aid the anti-Assad forces would fail.

you know many jews lobby advising Obama,Look at Daniel pipe writing, read the Jewish lobby statements, in the future I will send you many jewish statements.

Daniel Pipes is an academic and a republican. He voted Romney. He has no influence of Obama. Obama has a strong character and few people “influence” him, then say, GWB. It is well known Obama has little affinity toward Netanyahu or the GOI. Yes, please substantiate your claim that:

“the jewish lobby are the reason that US is not helping the rebels”

This is patently false.

You said this is old history,I am surprised you as a jew saying that, your claim to palastine is based on old old old history.

Majed,

I am not one who tends to live in the past. Peoples migrate and move from place to place including arabs. Israel was created out of intolerance and hate, and has strengthened herself for the same reasons. The jewish religion considers Israel/Palestine our spiritual homeland. No one put these people in this area. In fact, many were prevented. These people arrived out of their own initiative. I would like to retire there, so that would be my choice.

You say I have prejudice against jews and Israel: I have strong disagreement about the existance of Israel as a zionist entity,but I do not hate jews

Majed,

I’ve heard it all before. Just my suggestion, but don’t waste too much of your energies hating and/or resisting Israel/Zionism. Hate and resistance takes a lot of energy, and it’s really a waste. Take the energy and help build a peaceful existence for your arab brethren.

OTOH, Israelis can accept a two state solution, which is, a Palestinian state. Israelis only want a peace treaty in return. Last time the two parties were negotiating, the Israelis and Palestinians are a few square miles away from signing an agreement.

Certainly, there are more pressing issues in the arab world.

you are assuming again, you are wrong, there is Israel Arab conflict you take the Israeli side I take the correct Arabic side, apparantly YOU and You only has prejudice against us.

I recognize both a Jewish State and a Palestinian State. How does that make me prejudiced? Which states do YOU support?

Best,

AP

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

March 6th, 2013, 10:34 am

 

420. Tara said:

It is March 6. What is waiting for the government in exile? Al Khateeb as a president. Idriss as the army chief. Ghalioun too as a minister of the internal affair, and some few others. Yalla. What is the wait? A woman and a good Alawi or a Christian should also join.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 10:35 am

 

421. zoo said:

What Afghanistan can teach us about arming Syria’s rebels

Some of these weapons will surely be turned against U.S. soldiers one day
By Jeb Golinkin | 10:20am EST
http://theweek.com/article/index/240936/what-afghanistan-can-teach-us-about-arming-syrias-rebels

The notion that the United States can be confident that supplies and weapons are falling into the right “moderate” hands is preposterous.
From our experience in Afghanistan, we know that some of those supplies and some of those weapons will likely be turned against the U.S. one day. That does not mean we should not be assisting the rebels, but if there is an argument for supporting the rebels actively, the argument must be that America has a responsibility to take the side of the people and do whatever it can (within reason) to stop the slaughter in Syria, even if it means that we have to supply some bad guys that we will fight later.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 10:36 am

 

422. Tara said:

(…)

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

March 6th, 2013, 10:38 am

 

423. Uzair8 said:

268. ALI said: (to Syrian)

….did I insult your Muhammad or religion?

‘Your’?

It’s not your Prophet (S) or religion? Your name suggested you were muslim. Just a rhetorical question.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 10:39 am

 

424. Sami said:

The fact the Assadi militia is conducting ariel bombardments as well as artillery barrages against residential neighbourhoods in the heart of Raqqa that are far from the front lines (which are on the outskirts) really shows what kind of filthy regime this is and how disgustingly low their supporters are. These operations are conducted with only one thing in mind, punish the civilian population in hopes that the destruction brought upon by the Assadi militia will help turn the tide against the rebels.

And the genocide enthusiasts cheer this plan on…

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

March 6th, 2013, 10:41 am

 

425. zoo said:

#420 Tara

The “liberated areas’ government election planned for the 3rd march, has been postponed sine die for ‘technical reasons’.

By the way Al Khatib was not considered as a candidate for PM.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

March 6th, 2013, 10:44 am

 

426. Tara said:

Zoo,

It is a mistake that he is not considered a Candidate for PM. His background as a preacher makes him in a good position to influence Islamists and being a moderate Sunni makes him able to influence the masses and the FSA too. I think he is perfect for the job.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 10:55 am

 

427. Johannes de Silentio said:

369. ALI

“Annie, it’s good that you remembered who are your masters and kneed them”

It’s kneel, you illiterate twat. “Kneed” means Annie kicked you in the balls.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

March 6th, 2013, 10:55 am

 

428. zoo said:

Despite the alleged “massive corruption” there are no Syrian listed in the Forbes World Billionaires

http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/

There are Egyptians, Emiratis, Saudis, Lebaneses, Israelis…

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 11:05 am

 

429. Tara said:

Zoo,

“Despite the alleged “massive corruption” there are no Syrian listed in the Forbes World Billionaires”

Because they are thieves so they keep it on secrecy and don’t brag. You know that…

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

March 6th, 2013, 11:15 am

 

430. majedkhaldoun said:

Akbar Palace
Rather than write news paper I like to discuss few things at a time
You said
The US may say one thing, and do something else. Politics is full of talk and 150% of it is BS anyway.
Isn’t this a criticism of US? When I criticise US policy you say I hate US, when you criticize US, you don’t say you hate US, this is hypocracy.
You said
Sorry Majed, but no one is tying Erdogan’s hands
Do you believe what you say?, are you in a different world?,what would US or Israel do if Erdogan sent his army across Syria?
You talk about hate, why dont you look in the mirror, you hate Arabs and Moslems,defending Israel even when Israel was the aggressor,(War against Egypt, invading Lebanon,Taking over the Golan, )
I posted in comment 406 some links to prove my point.
You did not respond to my statement,let me repeat it
how do you think the future army will arm itself,once Assad is gone?
You answered

Once Assad is gone, the world will quickly recognize a temporary regime to rebuild the country and start FREE ELECTIONS.
Your statement has nothing to do with my question,

Now do you find connection between my statement and your answer?

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 11:25 am

 

431. Ziad said:

http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=134076

بدء عمليات تطهير جنوب شرقي مدينة حلب…تعزيزات ضخمة للجيش على مشارف الرقة والقضاء على إرهابيين من «النصرة» بريف دمشق

بعد عودة الاتصالات الخليوية والأرضية إلى الرقة بدأت الحقيقة تنجلي تجاه ما تعرضت له المدينة من غزو مسلح من قبل إرهابيين ومجرمين خلال اليومين الماضيين، إذ أكد أكثر من مصدر أهلي في اتصال مع «الوطن» أن سكان المدينة فوجئوا بالعدد الهائل للمسلحين الذين دخلوا مدينتهم الآمنة ليعيثوا فيها فساداً ويهددوا حياة المواطنين، في حين قالت المصادر ذاتها أن «لا صحة لما يشاع عن سيطرة المسلحين على كامل الرقة إذ لا تزال هناك معارك ضارية تخوضها وحدات عسكرية وأمنية في عدة نقاط من المدينة وريفها إضافة لمقاومة ضروس يخوضها السكان الرافضون لأي احتلال لمدينتهم».
وأكدت المصادر أن «عدداً كبيراً من المجرمين والمسلحين قتلوا خلال الساعات القليلة الماضية»، موضحة أن من دخل الرقة لم يكونوا «ثواراً» كما يشاع بل المجرمون الذين تم تحريرهم من السجن المركزي برفقة أعداد من ميليشيات ما يسمى كتائب «أحرار الشام» التابعة لتنظيم القاعدة يقودهم عناصر من جبهة النصرة جميعهم مدججون بالسلاح والعتاد العسكري، وانضم إليهم عدد من المدنيين (أغلبيتهم من صغار السن) الذين كانوا في ضيافة الرقة بعد أن لجؤوا إليها بحثاً عن الأمن والأمان هاربين من المجرمين ذاتهم الذين هددوا حياتهم وحياة ذويهم في قراهم ومدنهم.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 11:38 am

 

432. apple_mini said:

I am still trying to fathom what is really in US administration’s mind.

They have done some high profile diplomatic maneuver annoucing US is ready to enhance their supports for the opposition and rebels. They openly endorsed Saudi and Qatar for their arming the rebels. They pledged more fund directly to the rebels. They threatened the regime harder to give up their rein. Most importantly, they are getting personal touch with the rebels and making plans to train them.

Those proactive moves are extremely unpopular among average Americans considering the current economic situation in US and anti-war sentiment. So why does US take such kind of risk, especially the outcome might not turn out as planned. Also, if they were so keen to help the opposition by tilting the balance on the battle ground, they ought to send in some serious weapons or at least make GCC do it for them.

It is not happening. It seems the help is halfhearted and quite awkward move.

Is US administration that stupid? Of course not, they must have their hidden agenda. Something very selfish and completely serving their own interests.

Could it be building up relationship with the rebels and exert American influence on them while training them. US is hoping to re-organizing the rebel fighters and make them more formal as part of future Syrian army. This war will of course end through political solution. There is no doubt about it. The question is when. After negotiation with the regime, the ”new” rebel fighters freshly trained and supported by US will become an important bargain chips with the regime to undermine and replace large part of SAA, in return undermine the authority and political structure of the regime.

That will infuse more ”friendly” elements in future Syrian government.

The new policy of US towards Syria has more than killing two birds with one stone. Sending in weapons to the rebels through GCC is hurting the regime but the quantity is certainly not significant enough to turn the table and cause uncertain reaction from Russia. It keeps the rebel fighters going and let them feel they are supported. Of course, those extreme Islamic radicals and Jihadists are left out. They are also the target of US after moderate rebel fighters turn to formal army is ready to take on them.

This whole new approach looks really delicate. But to US, doing nothing is their failed policy if they still have any plans to have any influence in future Syria government.

There, we have the leader of FSA calling for urgent heavy and advanced supply of weapons. Maybe they also know what the US is up to. But they are very impatient.

In any case, if any Syrian still believes US comes with best intention for Syrians, he or she must be willfully blind or monumentally naive.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

March 6th, 2013, 11:42 am

 

433. Akbar Palace said:

Rather than write news paper I like to discuss few things at a time

Probably a good idea.

Isn’t this a criticism of US?

Perhaps we are both sensitive to criticism. I sense a huge focus on the US and Israel by arabs. Most of it negative. That is my sensitivity.

As I stated before, I am against the US policy of NOT supplying weapons to the rebels, and I am more against the US policy of NOT providing a no fly zone. Basically the US is afraid of “going it alone”. This is criticism against the Obama Administration to be sure. However, I would also like to hear criticism of other nations from the arabs on this website. You, as well as I, know this doesn’t happen very often.

Do you believe what you say?

Yes, absolutely.

what would US or Israel do if Erdogan sent his army across Syria?

The US and Israel would do the same thing as Erdogan did when they went into Iraq to kill Kurds. Nothing. Except in the case of Syria, they would probably applaud. What’s the big deal?

You talk about hate, why dont you look in the mirror, you hate Arabs and Moslems

I hate those that can’t accept a Jewish State, Zionism and the right my people have to an independent state. I suspect Palestinians feel the same about those that don’t accept the Palestinian nation. Same deal.

defending Israel even when Israel was the aggressor,(War against Egypt, invading Lebanon,Taking over the Golan

As long as there is a State of War, there is no aggressor. Back when Israel was behind the green line, there was a State of War between Israel and every one of Israel’s neighbors. Today, the situation has changed. There is a peace treaty between Israel, Egypt and Jordan and there have been negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. So I am optimistic.

You did not respond to my statement,let me repeat it
how do you think the future army will arm itself,once Assad is gone?

I guess I’m not understanding your question. Can you reword it somehow? I think the future Syrian army will arm itself like any other nation. I do not know if the “new” Syria will take part in the usual “resistance” against Israel or not, so I don’t know if this is what you were alluding to.

Now do you find connection between my statement and your answer?

Sorry. Please ask your question another way, and I’ll try to answer it to your liking.

Of course, if Syria doesn’t play the resistance game to their liking, Syria could find itself in a proxy war with Iran like Iraq. So the ME will continue to be a Lion’s Den and hell-hole until countries mind their own business and stop exporting their little wars.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

March 6th, 2013, 11:55 am

 

434. Ziad said:

Fighters take UN forces as captives in Dera’a.

Dera’a province: Rebel fighters from the Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk (al-Yarmouk Martyrs) battalion detained members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The Syrian Observatory received a footage reporting that rebel fighters will not released until regular forces withdraw from the area. The Jamla village and its surrounding areas have witnessed violent clashes in the past couple of days. Rebel fighters from several factions took hold of the Mortar division and several checkpoints in Jamla.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQMEtlHAPro&feature=youtu.be

https://www.facebook.com/syriaohr

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

March 6th, 2013, 12:37 pm

 

435. Visitor said:

Lebanon, today, tried to play a dirty game at the Arab League. It requested that Syria’s membership in the League be restored.

The League restored Syria’s membership by granting Syria’s seat to the opposition.

Another master-piece by our great brother HBJ, and the equally great brothers of KSA.

—————————————-

Ghufran,

It has been a long time, and now you deserve it:

Toz feek wulak.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

March 6th, 2013, 12:43 pm

 

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] Show All

Post a comment


6 − = five