Aymenn al-Tamimi Speaks to Ali Kayali and Profiles “The Syrian Resistance,” a Pro-Assad Militia Force

A Case Study of “The Syrian Resistance,” a Pro-Assad Militia Force

Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimiby Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi for Syria Comment

Much has been written of the variety of factions and fragmentation on the rebel side of the Syrian civil war, but comparatively little analysis exists of the various pro-Assad militias, commonly known as shabiha, who as Aron Lund notes can be Sunni, Alawite, Kurdish, or Christian. Here, I intend to examine one such group called al-Muqāwama as-Sūrīya (“The Syrian Resistance”—TSR), under the leadership of a Turkish-born Alawite by the name of Mihrac Ural, also known as Ali Kayali. (Previous posts on Syria Comment dealing with Ural/Kayali include those found here and here.)

TSR had prior to the uprising and civil war operated under the name of “Popular Front for the Liberation of the Sanjak of Alexandretta,” referring to the strip of land around Hatay in southern Turkey with a substantial Alawite population, the loss of which has never truly been accepted by Syria. Since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, however, the group adopted TSR as interchangeable with its original name, and is confining operations entirely within Syria, with headquarters in Latakia.

Ostensibly, in line with many other self-declared liberation groups (e.g. the Basque Country’s ETA, and the early Kurdish PKK which established links with Hafez al-Assad through Kayali), TSR’s ideology is Marxist-Leninist, with particular reverence accorded to the symbol of communist resistance, Che Guevara.

Screenshot of a speech by Kayali on the anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacres

Figure 1: Screenshot of a speech by Kayali on the anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Note the background portrait featuring Bashar al-Assad, Che Guevara, and Kayali himself.

 

Photo of Kayali with Che Guevara in the background

Figure 2: Photo of Kayali with Che Guevara in the background.

The concept of Syrian nationalism also features heavily in TSR’s public discourse and rhetoric, tied in with the Assad regime’s promotion of ‘resistance’ to Western imperialism. Thus, in a statement to me from TSR’s press office, I was told that TSR does not get involved in “internal politics, the penal code, disputes or disagreements.” Rather, “our problem is with the foreign enemy and with the terrorists who want to destroy our nation.”

Concomitant with the Syrian nationalist image is the claim from the press office that “our members are from the various fabrics of Syria, from all the religions, sects and ethnicities. We fight together.” Similarly, in an interview with me, Kayali emphasized that TSR supposedly has supporters among “Ahl as-Sunnah” and Christians.

In the context of messaging, songs unique to TSR—with lyrics featuring distinctive Syrian dialect—have played a key role. For instance, one song recently released to the accompaniment of oud includes the lyrics: “We are the men of Muqāwama, we are not content with bartering…we want to uproot terrorism.” At the same time the group has not forgotten the aspirations for the liberation of Alexandretta, as this song also features the line: “Antioch is resting in my heart.” Here is another song released by TSR combining motifs of protecting the waṭan of Syria while referencing Alexandretta. Further, here is a TSR song entitled “We are the men of the Syrian Resistance.” Opening lyrics include, “We are the men of the sun. We are from the people….Your people, Syria, are resistance.” Many of these songs feature a familiar slogan from Kayali: “Syria will never bow.”

However, beneath this image of Syrian nationalism and leftist ideology lies a more narrow sectarian emphasis on defending the Alawite and Twelver Shi’a communities. Despite the admiration shown for the atheist Che Guevara, Kayali himself cares deeply about his religious heritage and is in this respect similar to most Turkish Alawites who have generally clung to their religious traditions in contrast to the multi-faceted nature of Alawite identity in Syria (see my articles here and here on this matter). Indeed, in his interview with me, Kayali spoke at length of Alawite reverence for the ‘Ahl al-Bayt’: that is, the household of Prophet Mohammed and his descendants.

Besides the widely circulated footage of Kayali from earlier this year in which he apparently calls for the necessity of cleansing Sunni areas on the coastline (most notably Baniyas), Kayali is also frequently shown in TSR media output appearing with Alawite sheikhs, one of whom was the well-known Muwaffaq al-Ghazal, who enjoyed close ties with Kayali and was later killed by Jabhat al-Nusra as part of the “Eye for an Eye” revenge operations announced by Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Jowlani against Alawite villages in retaliation for the chemical weapons attacks in East Ghouta.

Kayali, an unidentified Alawite sheikh, and Ali Haider

Figure 3: From left to right in a recent meeting at TSR’s Latakia headquarters: Kayali, an unidentified Alawite sheikh, and Ali Haider, who heads the government-aligned Syrian Social Nationalist Party and current minister for National Reconciliation.

Looking at TSR’s range of operations is also relevant here. In fact, it is sometimes thought that TSR is not a meaningful military force on the ground in Syria, but this perception must be corrected. According to Kayali and one other TSR fighter, TSR has participated in operations against rebels in Latakia, the Homs area (where sectarian warfare has played a key element in the fighting), the al-Ghab plain (an area of fertile land east of Latakia and covering parts of Hama and Idlib governorates), Jisr ash-Shughur in Idlib, and the two Twelver Shi’a villages of Nubl and Zaharā in Aleppo Governorate, from which TSR has also drawn recruits.

Of these areas of operation, Latakia is of course the most relevant. Here is a video from last month of Kayali rallying TSR fighters in rural Latakia. Kayali addresses his fighters as “the true Syrians” and speaks of their opponents- from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Army- as “foreigners,” who have “no religion, faith, book, or Lord.” Rather, they are “these kuffar [Islamic term for disbelievers], these takfiri Salafists.” These remarks, in pronouncing takfīr on the Salafi militants, clearly frame the struggle in religious terms. Kayali also speaks of the necessity of defending the women and the elderly.

 

Ali Kayali rallies his men in rural Latakia

Figure 4: Ali Kayali rallies his men in rural Latakia last month.

As Kayali put it to me, the fighters leading the rebel offensive on Latakia in the summer were primarily from Chechnya, Afghanistan [i.e. Afghan Arab veterans and the like], the Maghreb, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf area. Kayali’s testimony is corroborated by examination of the claimed mujahideen martyrs during the Latakia offensive, whose sole aim was to score a psychological victory against the Assad regime by ethnically cleansing Alawites and capturing Assad’s ancestral village Qardaḥa by Eid (as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham’s [ISIS] leader had hoped).

Despite the mujahideen’s initial successes in capturing numerous Alawite villages and apparently being only several miles away from Qardaḥa, pro-Assad forces ultimately pushed back and by mid-August, jihadi circles began circulating messages to pray for the mujahideen as the offensive ultimately failed, with fighting now confined to the Jabal al-Akrād area. Below is a list of claimed jihadi martyrs from the Latakia offensive (‘Liberation of the Coast’), which Kayali tells me also cost hundreds of Alawite lives (not necessarily in large-scale massacres of villages).

Abu Ashraf al-Tunisi, a Tunisian fighter for ISIS

Figure 5: Abu Ashraf al-Tunisi, a Tunisian fighter for ISIS.

 

Libyan fighter for ISISFigure 6: Abu Rahmat al-Lībī, a Libyan fighter for ISIS.

 

Abu Ayyub al-Tunisi, a Tunisian fighter for ISIS

Figure 7: Abu Ayyub al-Tunisi, a Tunisian fighter for ISIS.

 

Abd al-Hakim al-Alaiwi, a Saudi fighter for ISIS

Figure 8: Abd al-Hakim al-Alaiwi, a Saudi fighter for ISIS.

 

Abu Turab al-Lībī, a Libyan fighter for ISIS

Figure 9: Abu Turab al-Lībī, a Libyan fighter for ISIS.

 

Abdullah ash-Shishani, a Chechen fighter for ISIS

Figure 10: Abdullah ash-Shishani, a Chechen fighter for ISIS but also claimed for the ISIS front-group Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa Anṣār.

 

Abu al-Waleed al-Tunisi, Tunisian fighter for ISIS

Figure 11: Abu al-Waleed al-Tunisi, Tunisian fighter for ISIS.

 

Two Libyan fighters in the lush forests of rural Latakia

Figure 12: Two Libyan fighters in the lush forests of rural Latakia as part of the mujahideen offensive. According to Anṣār ash-Sharī’a supporters from Tripoli (Libya), the two men are from the northwestern Libyan town of Zāwīya.

 

Photo of Latakia forestry taken by the Libyan Shari’a official for the ISIS-front group Katiba al-Muhajireen

Figure 13: Photo of Latakia forestry taken by the Libyan Shari’a official for the ISIS-front group Katiba al-Muhajireen: Abu Ṭalḥa al-Lībī.

Nubl and Zaharā are also relevant in this context because both towns have come under bombardment at the hands of ISIS mujahideen. Following the ISIS-led capture of Mannagh airbase in August, a video emerged showing a large convoy of ISIS fighters preparing to head out to besiege Nubl and Zaharā.

ISIS convoy on its way to Nubl and Zaharā following the capture of Mannagh airbase

Figure 14: The ISIS convoy on its way to Nubl and Zaharā following the capture of Mannagh airbase.

This month, another video emerged showing the ISIS banner flying on a barren outpost in the Nubl area. The area itself looks deserted, and one might feel tempted to conclude that ISIS has conquered the village. However, Kayali tells me that this is not the case.

ISIS banner on an outpost in the Nubl area

Figure 15: The ISIS banner on an outpost in the Nubl area.

The claimed numbers of both TSR members as well as martyrs still need to be scrutinized. The fighter for TSR whom I interviewed claimed that the group has “thousands” of members. This figure may invite doubt, but the number of claimed martyrs—as conveyed to me by both this fighter and Kayali—seems relatively modest and reasonable: 30. In fact, Kayali sent me his database of martyrs for TSR so far. I reproduce it below:

    Name Marital Status Number of Children Parents Still Living Date of Death Location of Death
Maher Ali Zaini Married 3 1 17 September 2011 Al-Janudiya Road (Jisr ash-Shughur)
Maṭī’ Mohammed Ghandur Married 7 Deceased 23 February 2012 Jisr ash-Shughur
Thā’ir Abdullah Abd al-Man’am Married 1 2 7 July 2012 Al-Qasatil Road (Jabal al-Akrad, Latakia)
Reyhan Abdullah Abd al-Man’am Married 1 2 7 July 2012 Al-Qasatil Road
Nawar Adil Reyhan Unmarried 0 2 7 July 2012 Al-Qasatil Road
Rumayl Fu’ad Debo Married 2 1 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera (Latakia)
Namir Aṭa Gharib Married 3 1 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera
Hisham Adeeb Ismail Unmarried 0 2 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera
Adnan Ibrahim Ismail Married 4 1 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera
Sumar Izz ad-Din Hurmuz Married 0 2 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera
Shadi Yunis Mansur Unmarried 0 1 11 August 2012 Bayt Sabera
Osama Medhat Manā’ Unmarried 0 2 3 September 2012 Al-Kandisiya (Latakia)
Haitham Mohammed Ma’ala Married 1 1 21 September 2012 Bayt Fāris (Jabal Turkoman, Latakia)
Imad Yasin Masṭo Married 4 1 24 October 2012 Jisr ash-Shughur
Ayham Mahmoud al-Bahrī Married 0 2 19 November 2012 Al-Midan (Homs)
Suhail Saleem Feham Married 2 1 19 November 2012 Al-Midan
Mohsen Saleem Feham Married 3 1 19 November 2012 Al-Midan
Kenan Ibrahim Feham Unmarried 0 2 19 November 2012 Al-Midan
Salim Ali Kusa Married 4 2 21 November 2012 Tarīq Fasṭal al-Ma’āf (Latakia)
Wael Mahmoud Ghandur Married 1 2 21 November 2012 Tarīq Fasṭal al-Ma’āf
Majid Ahmad Qarifli Married 1 2 21 November 2012 Tarīq Fasṭal al-Ma’āf
Kamal Ahmad Ghandur Unmarried 0 1 21 November 2012 Tarīq Fasṭal al-Ma’āf
Ibrahim Malik Suleiman Unmarried 0 1 21 November 2012 Tarīq Fasṭal al-Ma’āf
Milad Rajab Said Unmarried 0 1 16 December 2012 Al-Midan (Homs)
Aamer Mumtaz Zanbili Married 0 2 17 December 2012 Manṭaqa al-Tanaf (Latakia)
Man’am Mohammed Hurmuz Married 0 2 21 January 2013 Darayya (Damascus?)
Basil Salah Nasir Unmarried 0 2 30 March 2013 Bayt Yashout Road (Latakia)

The above list comprises 27 martyrs for TSR: the casualties are largely concentrated in the defense of Alawite areas of Latakia. A more recent martyrdom was announced this month for the group (see photo below with further images).

Martyr of the Homeland and the Syrian Resistance, Aamer Mahmoud Ṭaha

Figure 16: “Martyr of the Homeland and the Syrian Resistance: Aamer Mahmoud Ṭaha.” His death was announced on 9 September 2013. He was killed while fighting rebels in the Jabal Arbaeen area of Idlib. His brother Ibrahim was wounded in the same clashes and subsequently taken to a hospital in Latakia.

 

27 martyrs

Figure 17: Portraits of the 27 martyrs from the above database.

 

Basil Nasir

Figure 18: Close-up photo of Basil Nasir, from the opening of a lengthy video of his funeral that was held on 31 March, the day after his death.

 

Mourners hold Basil’s portrait and wave the flag of Syria

Figure 19: Mourners hold Basil’s portrait and wave the flag of Syria.

 

Nawar Adil Reyhan Syrian rebel

Figure 20: Close-up photo of Nawar Adil Reyhan from a video made by a TSR supporter.

As Syria continues to fragment, one can expect that a breakdown in centralized command structures will also happen on the regime side, allowing for the continued growth of groups like TSR. Indeed, anecdotal evidence already suggests the possibility that shabiha figures are managing imports through the Mediterranean coastline for distribution among the populations in pro-Assad areas. Examining in greater detail the activities of the pro-Assad militias is therefore more important than ever.

 

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University. Follow on Twitter at @ajaltamimi

Comments (197)


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151. Heads-up said:

Just so you know, we always rely on very well informed and very reliable sources who work really hard, behind the scenes and around the clock. Our mission is to bring you the news before it becomes news. The following heads up is very important but it is not of the same level importance as yesterday’s heads up with regards to the extremely important National day of the guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which every Syrian rejoices at every year the same day.

Today’s important heads up is brief and to the point. It falls in the same category of the continuing evolving saga of sell outs. Today’s sell out is an auction at the UNSC: Russia just sold out serpent head and agreed to Chapter IIV on the upcoming resolution of Serpent-head Destruct.

Since yesterday’s heads up is of such extereme importance, and since it will take another year for its return, then we ask from now until then that Syria be soon blessed with a personality exactly like the late King Abdu Al-Azeez Ibn Saud who will succeed in liberating Syria from the Criminal Perverts of the Serpent Head and in transforming it into an exact copy of the great Kingdom to the south.

We also pray that His Royal Highness Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan be protected and be given very long life so that he may complete the destruction of the criminal pervert, B. Assad (pronounced Ass-head).

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September 24th, 2013, 9:01 am

 

152. Syrian said:

#144
Here is the reason from the Al Quds Alarabi news paper editorial yesterday,
An obvious attempt to divert attention from his failures , and a way to score cheap political points against the SalaSalafis in his own country.
الهدف الواضح للقصة هو حرف الأنظار عن الأزمة السياسية الطاحنة والتملص من هجمات المعارضة المتلاحقة على وزارة الداخلية ومنها مثلا اتهامها باتلاف وثيقة أمنية تتعلق بتحذير المخابرات الامريكية لتونس من احتمال اغتيال محمد البراهمي، الشخصية المعارضة التي اغتيلت قبل شهور، وكذلك اتهامها بأنها تدار من قبل رئيس الحكومة.
الاثارة الصحافية المتولدة من تصريح ‘جهاد النكاح’ هذا تهدف ايضاً الى مزاودة الداخلية التونسية على مناوئيها اليساريين في التشنيع على ‘السلفيين الجهاديين’ وهو أمر يزيد في رصيد المناوئين لأنه يستخدم دعايتهم نفسها وينقص من مصداقية الحكومة التونسية ككل ومن شعبيتها أمام جمهورها.
باللجوء الى هذه الحجة تجري وزارة الداخلية التونسية، وهي وزارة حكومة الثورة التونسية، مجرى زميلاتها من وزارات الداخلية في الأنظمة العربية المستبدة التي اعتادت الاستهانة بالأعراض والكرامات والشعوب، وخصوصاً احتقار المرأة واستخدامها في معارك السياسة، ومن باب ادعاء الحفاظ على حقوقها.
http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=86584

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September 24th, 2013, 9:01 am

 

153. Syrialover said:

TARA #145 the Tunisian government has good reasons for seizing on things to discredit its local “export jihadists”, stir up public opinion against them and show they are not on side with them (as many claim they are).

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September 24th, 2013, 9:06 am

 

154. Heads-up said:

Just to prove our commitment to keeping you informed. News at position number 149 do not get delivered properly.

149. HEADS-UP said:

Just so you know, we always rely on very well informed and very reliable sources who work really hard, behind the scenes and around the clock. Our mission is to bring you the news before it becomes news. The following heads up is very important but it is not of the same level importance as yesterday’s heads up with regards to the extremely important National day of the guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which every Syrian rejoices at every year the same day.

Today’s important heads up is brief and to the point. It falls in the same category of the continuing evolving saga of sell outs. Today’s sell out is an auction at the UNSC: Russia just sold out serpent head and agreed to Chapter IIV on the upcoming resolution of Serpent-head Destruct.

Since yesterday’s heads up is of such extereme importance, and since it will take another year for its return, then we ask from now until then that Syria be soon blessed with a personality exactly like the late King Abdu Al-Azeez Ibn Saud who will succeed in liberating Syria from the Criminal Perverts of the Serpent Head and in transforming it into an exact copy of the great Kingdom to the south.

We also pray that His Royal Highness Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan be protected and be given very long life so that he may complete the destruction of the criminal pervert, B. Assad (pronounced Ass-head).

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September 24th, 2013, 9:09 am

 

155. Tara said:

Heads up,

I think it will be the opposite. The west appears to have sold out Syrians and will not press on chapter IIV resolution. France foreign minister has backed down.

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September 24th, 2013, 9:47 am

 

156. Heads-up said:

Just so you know, our sources are very reliable, very well informed and work hard behind the scenes and around the clock. They always provide accurate news before they become news.

Firs we’d like to like to apologize for the typo in the previous heads up. It is Chapter VII and not IIV.

Secondly, our sources confirm Russia agreed to mention Chapter VII in the resolution with the condition that it will apply only in the case when Serpent-head plays with its tail and tries to deceive.

As long as the article is mentioned there will be mountains of interpretations to enforce it when the need arises.

We also learnt that the Russians faced the dilemma of choosing either to be actors or reactors. In the first case they would agree to the article and appear to be in control of events. In the latter case they would continue to object and obstruct, but in the end of the day if a strike is to happen with or without their agreement then it will happen under the stated conditions.

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September 24th, 2013, 10:01 am

 

157. Hopeful said:

#147 Syrian

Can anyone explain to me why Mr. Haytham Mana’a has such a bad reputation among the Syrian opposition activists?

I have listened and watched tens of his interviews and never figured out why he is so misunderstood. Yes he has always been consistent with his principles (peaceful rebelious, no to foreign intervention, no to accepting funds from GCC, no to foreign jihadis), but doesn’t he have the right to express his opinion on how to fight dictatorship? I may not agree with everything he says, but I have always found him to be intelligent, patriotic, and generally a decent individual.

Why is he so disliked?

Why doesn’t the opposition leverage people like him instead of fighting him and constantly bad-mouthing him?

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September 24th, 2013, 10:02 am

 

158. Tara said:

Hopeful,

In regard to Haytham Manaa

I think part of the problem is that we have a “trust crisis”. We were lied to and spied on all our lives. The sheeps among us turned out to be wolves in disguise. Everyone and his brother took advantage of us. We hosted many refugees from Shiaa HA, Iraqis, Armenians, etc but we were always betrayed. We always thought that Syrians are valued in the ME and look how regugees are being treated in Lebanon, Jordan, or Iraq. Our own fellow citizens cheered our children slaughter while Assad militia killed, raped, and displaced us with impunity.

And I too do not trust him. I do not trust Jarba, or Idriss, or.. Or. It is becoming a mental problem.

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September 24th, 2013, 10:19 am

 

159. Syrialover said:

Not everybody thinks Bashar has earned points for pretending to play along with the CW handover.

“But we can hardly be satisfied with destroying chemical weapons while the wider war is still destroying Syria.” Ban-Ki Moon in an address to the UN today

(http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/68/SG_en.pdf)

AND

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has reiterated that the U.S.-Russia agreement over Syrian chemical weapons is not the ultimate solution to the ongoing crisis and President Bashar al-Assad must go.

When asked if Bashar al-Assad was left in power by the chemical agreement, Gül said, “That’s not something we can live with. We have to remember that when these events broke out, there was a lot of hope given to the Syrian people. The rhetoric was high, but the actions did not match the rhetoric. So far more than 100,000 people have been killed, and almost half of the population is in a refugee status. If today we say this is not our job, it is people fighting in that country among themselves, then we have to question the rhetoric at the beginning. If we leave things on their own, there is a danger that what is happening in Afghanistan will happen on the shores of the Mediterranean, and no one can tolerate that,” the president said.

“How could one contemplate him staying against the backdrop of such a bloodbath?” Gül asked concerning the fate of the embattled Syrian president.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-chemical-deal-not-ultimate-solution-to-crisis-says-turkish-president-gul.aspx?pageID=238&nid=55048

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September 24th, 2013, 10:22 am

 

160. zoo said:

Let God protect Syria from this catastrophe!

The Wahhabi parrot:..

” Syria be soon blessed with a personality exactly like the late King Abdu Al-Azeez Ibn Saud who will succeed in liberating Syria from the Criminal Perverts of the Serpent Head and in transforming it into an exact copy of the great Kingdom to the south. Syria be soon blessed with a personality exactly like the late King Abdu Al-Azeez Ibn Saud who will succeed in liberating Syria from the Criminal Perverts of the Serpent Head and in transforming it into an exact copy of the great Kingdom to the south.

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September 24th, 2013, 11:40 am

 

161. ziad said:

في زمن المحن الكبرى، لا تظهر “معادن الرجال”، بل تظهر عقول الناس على حقيقتها العارية،
تنكشف عقول فارغة لا محل فيها لأي نشاط،
وتنكشف عقول محنطة لم يعد فيها أي حياة،
وتنكشف عقول منحطة تحولت إلى ماكينة إرهاب وإجرام،
وتنكشف عقول مسطحة تحولت إلى ماكينة تبرير وتضليل،
وتنكشف عقول جبارة تستنفر كل طاقاتها من أجل فهم المحن وأسبابها وتغيراتها وما يحتاجون للخروج منها..

في زمن المحن الكبرى، لا يلعب “قدر” الناس بمعادنهم أي دور،
بل فقط اختيارهم التام والعاقل هو الأول والأخير، الأساس والرأس فيما يكونون عليه..

فصباح الخير لمن اختار/ت عقله سيدا أعلى، ومرجعا وحيدا، وأساسا ورأسا،
وصباح الخير والمجد لمن اختار/ت وطنه انتماء وحيدا، وهوية وحيدة.

بسام القاضي

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September 24th, 2013, 12:12 pm

 

162. Heads-up said:

Just so you know, our sources are very reliable, very well informed and work hard behind the scenes and around the clock. They always provide you with accurate news before they become news. Our sources just provided us with the following very very important heads up worthy of your full attention.

Our sources have learnt that Serpent-head and its proxies are in a state of total panic, disarray and despair following the latest developments of impending sell-out by their most important deceptive partner in its eternal quest to murder mankind wholesale and retail. We can see it clearly happening on this site by the obvious disorientation of its widget mouthpieces.

However, our benefactors tell us that this state of affairs is usually the forerunner for new schemes of deception and contrivance characteristic of the well known behaviour of the Serpent, arch-enemy of mankind since time immemorial.

At the same time, our benefactors assure us that His Royal Highness, Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan, may he be protected and given long long life, is more resourceful and has tremendous capabilities and determination than the pathetic Serpent, and that the Prince will eventually complete the destruction of the Serpent-head once and for all, and rid the humanity of its evil, following which Syria will be blessed with an era of success preceded only by the success of the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in which case Syria will also become the envy of its neighbors, particularly those to the east, the mullahs of the mullahcracy of Iran, from which we ask that Syrians and mankind in general be protected of their evil designs, insatiable envy and limitless backwardness.

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September 24th, 2013, 12:25 pm

 

163. syrian said:

Future Syria TV channel on its Syria today program at 8PM Damsucsus time,will make an intrview with the mother of the minor Rowan Kaddah live on the Air to tell the true story of her daughter with live call form her family and eye witnesses,titled
“Rowan Kaddah,on the air assassination of a child by regime’s media’
برنامج سوريا اليوم ..
يستضيف والدة الطفلة روان قداح لتروي القصة الحقيقية للطفلة روان قداح في حوار ساخن على الهواء باتصالات مباشرة مع ذويها والشهود العيان .
روان قداح جريمة اعدام على الهواء قام بها اعلام النظام بحق طفلة . سوريا اليوم يأتيكم الثامنة مساء بتوقيت دمشق على قناة سوريا الغد نايل سات 11555 عامودي

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September 24th, 2013, 12:49 pm

 

164. zoo said:

Headsup the Wahhabi parrot

zzzz …. zzzz…

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September 24th, 2013, 12:56 pm

 

165. William Scott Scherk said:

Those who are following the saga of Bandar/Joo/Muppet responsibility for the chemical attack on August 21st will have read the Narwani and Mortada article in Al-Akhbar, “Questions Plague UN Report on Syria.”

The article’s most important point came in examination of the UN Report’s annexes, which (in #7) contained a table of findings related to environmental samples.

These are the “money quotes” from the Al-Akhbar piece:

The most stunning example of the UN’s misrepresentation of facts inside Ghouta is displayed in its findings on environmental samples tested for traces of Sarin nerve gas.

On page 4 of the Report, the UN clearly states that environmental “samples were taken from impact sites and surrounding areas” and that “according to the reports received from the OPCW-designated laboratories, the presence of Sarin, its degradation and/or production by-products were observed in a majority of the samples.”

[...]

But in Appendix 7, an entirely different story emerges about the results of environmental testing in Ghouta. This section of the Report is filled with charts that do not specify the towns where environmental samples were collected – just dates, codes assigned to the samples, description of the samples and then the CW testing results from two separate laboratories.

Instead, a closer look at the charts shows a massive discrepancy in lab results from east and west Ghouta. There is not a single environmental sample in Moadamiyah that tested positive for Sarin. [emphasis in original]

This is a critical piece of information.

In a series of exchanges on Twitter between Narwani and her new nemesis Brown Moses, a subtle misdirection in reporting becomes apparent. As our old friend Qifa Nabki writes:

I have no way to verify this claim, but it has the virtue of sounding reasonable. On the other hand, when we look closely at the Appendix they are drawing this conclusion from, it turns out that while none of the 13 Moadamiyah environmental samples tested positive for sarin, five of them did test positive for either isopropyl methylphosphonate (IPMPA) or diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), the chemical substances that sarin degrades into.

So here’s a question: does anything else degrade into IPMPA or DIMP?

So, the interpretation given by Narwani and Mortada of the lack of ‘environmental traces’ of Sarin is sneaky (or principled, depending on your perspective): their article failed to note the decomposition by-products of Sarin in the same tables they cited.

Bottom line: at least on of the questions “plaguing” the UN Report is based on sloppy, amateur cherry-picking of data in service of a ‘rebels-did-it’ counter-narrative. A nasty regimist confection, snide and self-important, not truth-seeking.

Of note in the QN comments is this puckish summary by someone called AIG:

Oh great, political journalists trying to be scientists & ballistics experts. What an insult. If anyone wants to denigrate the integrity of a UN report by arguing against the scientific investigation written by real experts, that person should be an expert too, not someone who has heard of IMPA for the first time this week…

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September 24th, 2013, 1:04 pm

 

166. zoo said:

“The threat of US intervention against Syria has opened deep divisions among rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime. ”

http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/34473/Rebels+take+on+the+regime+-+and+its+fifth+column+in+Syria

The threat of US intervention is opening up divisions in the opposition even as the regime admits it has reached stalemate, warns Simon Assaf

The threat of US intervention against Syria has opened deep divisions among rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS), an organisation allied to al-Qaida, has used the threat of intervention to declare war on rebels.

And those inside the mainstream opposition who welcomed Western intervention have become widely discredited among those fighting on the ground.

There is mounting disillusionment with the Syria National Coalition’s (SNC) strategy of courting outside help. Rebels fear that Western military posturing, and a deal struck with Russia over chemical weapons, is part of a renewed drive for a “Yemen-style solution” in Syria.

That means a negotiated settlement that would end the fighting but keep the regime intact.

The SNC has backed talks sponsored by Russia and the West in Geneva. The “Geneva initiative” came as Syria’s deputy prime minister admitted the regime can’t win.

He confirmed that its summer offensive has run out of steam and the civil war has reached a bloody stalemate. The war has now become a three-way battle, with increasingly desperate rebels fighting both regime forces and ISIS militants.

For most rebels, ISIS was welcome at first. Its members had proved effective in fighting US occupation in Iraq. But the organisation has little popular support, and faces an increasingly hostile population in liberated areas.

Negotiate

Senior rebel commanders now complain that they often have to negotiate with Iraqi, Kuwaiti and other foreign Islamists who control the organisation.

In the week following a gas attack on eastern Damascus, ISIS militants abandoned the frontlines. They believed that the US military strike would target them alongside regime forces.

As the threat of intervention subsided, its militants have not returned to the battle. Instead they are trying to take control over rebel areas. ISIS militants are slipping into towns and villages after local fighters moved out to join battles against the regime.

The organisation has declared its opposition to revolution, targeting leading rebel commanders and activists. This has earned it a reputation as a “fifth column” inside liberated areas.

ISIS has also been heavily criticised for striking deals with the regime—often trading oil with Assad’s forces—and laying claim to property against locals’ will.

It is now at war with Kurdish rebels in the north, free army brigades (FSA), and mainstream Syrian Islamist organisations

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September 24th, 2013, 1:05 pm

 

167. Alan said:

The United States is behaving like an insane power, like the threat of the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s. It’s out of control, and it’s engaging in war after war, violating international law and considers itself to be above the law. It is also the richest country in the world but it’s having trouble feeding its own citizens while preparing for yet another war. Dr. Edward Herman spoke to the Voice of Russia stating that and more, he also said it is time that the international community rose up and brought the US under control and has to take much more vigorous, hostile actions against the US war threats. He also called the Secretary General of NATO and NATO a menace and part of a US program for global domination. The world has to wake up and stop it!
http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_09_24/The-US-is-an-insane-power-like-the-Nazis-Dr-Edward-Herman-7741/

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September 24th, 2013, 2:30 pm

 

168. Alan said:

It should be remembered
Israel, attacked Iraq in 1981, bombing the power station at Osirik, claiming it was a clandestine weapons factory. Subsequent examination of the ruins following the 2003 invasion proved Israel had lied. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. This led to the Massacres at Sabra and Shatilla. In February 2003 Israel staged incursions into Gaza and Nablus. In September 2007 Israel bombed Syria, again insisting they were destroying a clandestine weapons laboratory. Again there was no evidence to support Israel’s claims. In 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, killing 1200, mostly civilians, several UN observers, and littering the landscape with land mines on their way out. In February 2008 Israel again raided Gaza, killing over 100. HAMAS agreed to a cease fire and kept it for 6 months until November 4, when Israel again attacked without warning, killing 6 HAMAS members, and launching operation CAST LEAD. 1300 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel lost 13 soldiers. Violations of international law included the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs against civilians and non-military targets. The United Nations investigated, but Israel refused to cooperate. In May 2010, Israel attacked an international aid flotilla bringing food and medical supplies to Gaza in international waters. 9 people were murdered including an American from New York.

The United States, attacked El Salvador (1980), Libya (1981), Sinai (1982), Lebanon (1982 1983), Egypt (1983), Grenada (1983), Honduras (1983), Chad (1983), Persian Gulf (1984), Libya (1986) , Bolivia (1986), Iran (1987), Persian Gulf (1987), Kuwait (1987), Iran (1988), Honduras (1988), Panama (1988), Libya (1989), Panama (1989), Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru (1989), Philippines (1989), Panama (1989-1990), Liberia (1990), Saudi Arabia (1990), Iraq (1991), Zaire (1991), Sierra Leone (1992), Somalia (1992), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993 to present), Macedonia (1993), Haiti (1994), Macedonia (1994), Bosnia (1995), Liberia (1996), Central African Republic (1996), Albania (1997), Congo/Gabon (1997), Sierra Leon (1997), Cambodia (1997), Iraq (1998), Guinea/Bissau (1998), Kenya/Tanzania (1998 to 1999), Afghanistan/Sudan (1998), Liberia (1998), East Timor (1999), Serbia (1999), Sierra Leon (2000), Yemen (2000), East Timor (2000), Afghanistan (2001 to present), Yemen (2002), Philippines (2002) , Cote d’Ivoire (2002), Iraq (2003 to present), Liberia (2003), Georgia/Djibouti (2003), Haiti (2004), Georgia/Djibouti/Kenya/Ethiopia/Yemen/Eritrea War on Terror (2004), Pakistan drone attacks (2004 to present), Somalia (2007), South Ossetia/Georgia (2008), Syria (2008), Yemen (2009), Haiti (2010), etc.

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September 24th, 2013, 2:44 pm

 

169. Akbar Palace said:

The United States is behaving like an insane power, like the threat of the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s.

Alan,

I think you’re confusing the US with Syria.

BTW – in which free country do you live?

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September 24th, 2013, 2:53 pm

 

170. Alan said:

AP
Will never surprised your return to the country in which your parents lived by before 1948!

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September 24th, 2013, 3:10 pm

 

171. Alan said:

Obama, Kerry, Al Qaeda, and Al Shabaab: One big happy family
The attack by a cadre of Islamist Al Shabaab gunmen on the Israeli-owned Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi has focused attention, once again, on American and British links to Muslim terrorist groups, from Al Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists fighting the Bashar al Assad government in Syria to the Somali government of Hussein Sheik Mohamed, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer in a country where Al Shabaab has its political and religious roots…
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/09/24/obama-kerry-al-qaeda-and-al-shabaab-one-big-happy-family.html

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September 24th, 2013, 3:42 pm

 

172. Alan said:

Terrorism in Syria – Funded by the United States and the Persian Gulf
http://journal-neo.org/2013/09/24/rus-terrorizm-v-sirii-finansiruetsya-iz-ssha-i-persidskogo-zaliva/

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September 24th, 2013, 3:51 pm

 

173. Alan said:

http://youtu.be/UdZqolxoBHo
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Barack Obama has defended America’s foreign military interventions, and stressed that Washington must remain heavily engaged in the Middle East. That’s after his Brazilian counterpart took the chance to criticise the US for the recent global spy scandal.

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September 24th, 2013, 4:13 pm

 

174. ziad said:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad working as professor again

A situation where the highest state official and a man who wielded enormous power subsequently returns to his humble position as a university professor job is hard to imagine.

However, the former Iranian president now takes the a bus to work every day and, judging by the photo, looks content.

http://inserbia.info/news/2013/09/mahmoud-ahmadinejad-working-as-professor-again/

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September 24th, 2013, 4:37 pm

 

175. Alan said:

Damascus is Burning

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September 24th, 2013, 4:46 pm

 

176. ziad said:


“I had five sons, now I have four”: Syria’s senior cleric pardons the rebels who killed his son

The Grand Mufti of Syria preaches a message of forgiveness

‘I met those men who assassinated my own son – and they told me they didn’t even know whom they were killing.” Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria, sits in a straightbacked chair, his immaculate white turban atop a narrow, intelligent and very troubled face. His son Sania was a second-grade student at Aleppo University when he was shot dead getting into his car. “I went to see the two men in the court and they said they’d just been given the number of the car’s registration plate, that they didn’t know whom they had killed until they went home and watched the news on television.”

“All the men involved were Syrians, from the countryside of Aleppo. They said they received their command from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, that they were each paid 50,000 Syrian pounds. This shows that my son’s killing was not out of doctrine or belief. The two men were 18 or 19 only.”

So each man was paid the equivalent of £350; Saria Hassoun’s life was worth a total of just £700. “I had five sons,” the Mufti says. “Now I have four.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/i-had-five-sons-now-i-have-four-syrias-senior-cleric-pardons-the-rebels-who-killed-his-son-8835441.html

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September 24th, 2013, 4:49 pm

 

177. Uzair8 said:

Lurking with intent…

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September 24th, 2013, 5:06 pm

 

178. Uzair8 said:

#174 Ziad

I read a thread earlier on Deenport on the Fisk article. It is entitled ‘Fisk at it again’. Of course some on there disagree and counter. However I’m with Faisal Raja:

Why would Turkey and Saudi target Hassoun’s son and not Hassoun himself? What could they possibly gain out of such a futile operation?

Has Fisk gone completely mad when he says “The Grand Mufti of Syria preaches a message of forgiveness” when it was Hassoun who went to Qusayr and welcomed Hizbollah (something that Fisk was opposed to)? Or what about this for a message of forgiveness:

And:

I can’t decisively say they {the alleged killers on Saudi/Turkish payroll who allegedly confessed) were lying, but there is a pattern in Fisk’s writings which have led most Syrians to question the credibility of his reporting in Syria, particularly when he is very close to the regime, and its spokespersons (Hassoun included).

Under ‘messages’ click on the thread and read it on the right hand side column.

http://www.deenport.com/#Rise&Shine

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September 24th, 2013, 5:14 pm

 

179. Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya over 3 hours ago:

#Syria, #Hama: FSA targets electricity tower inside Hamamyat barraks that led to electricity blockout inside, along with fierce shelling targeting the barraks surrounding villages from Hamamyat checkpoint

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September 24th, 2013, 5:18 pm

 

180. Uzair8 said:

Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi ‏@Shaykhabulhuda 15 Sep
The harm of the Syrian regime is far more than the harm of removing him; therefore, we still insist that he be removed by any means.

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September 24th, 2013, 5:21 pm

 

181. Syrialover said:

The guy in charge of Iran’s global terrorist activities. Lives at home like a normal bureaucrat.

Article: The Shadow Commander

Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/30/130930fa_fact_filkins?currentPage=all

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September 24th, 2013, 5:33 pm

 

182. ziad said:

Myths About the Syrian “Revolution”

There was a violent plan for Syria long before the Syrian uprising began. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel all had their favorites and their agents inside Syria and were ready to strike. It is to be remembered that all three states have a heavy presence in Lebanon and would have had an easy time (especially through the sinister Intelligence branch of Lebanon, which answers to Saudi and American intelligence services) to fund and smuggle fighters into Syria.

No, the Syrian uprising did not start peacefully and then suddenly degenerate into one of the most violent and vicious and sectarian conflicts. It is demeaning to the Syrian people and to the motives of the early demonstrators to believe that. There was an armed rebellion or movement that started very early on and which ran parallel, or in opposition to the peaceful protest movement. The armed rebellion basically gradually and steadily hijacked the Syrian uprising and diverted it according to the wishes of foreign intelligence services. This scenario is more plausible than the fictional story peddled, almost word for word, in all Western media accounts.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/myths-about-syrian-%E2%80%9Crevolution%E2%80%9D

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September 24th, 2013, 5:37 pm

 

183. Syrialover said:

ZIAD #180

Cling to all the conspiracy theories you like.

But you should try to present some that are better than this one.

The joke is that the article is claiming to dispute “myths about the Syrian revolution” by pushing a monster paranoid myth itself.

It makes the alleged “myth” it’s attacking look all the more sane and credible.

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September 24th, 2013, 6:28 pm

 

184. Syrialover said:

People here commenting on the US’s attitude to Syria should be reading and responding to this – instead of pushing junk hearsay and conspiracy theories.

It’s a transcript of Obama’s speech to the UN yesterday. Do a search to get to the bit on Syria.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-speech-at-the-un-general-assembly/2013/09/24/64d5b386-2522-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_print.html

COMMENT: Especially good for pro-Assad people living in the US. It alerts you to how far off the planet you are with your fantasies about Obama giving in to Assad and being indifferent to Syrians situation.

It also gives you a clue about what the modern world now expects in standards of speeches and ideas from political representatives, and what lowgrade rubbish Iran and Russia are delivering by comparison.

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September 24th, 2013, 6:43 pm

 

185. Syrialover said:

WSS #163

The witty AIG you quote used to contribute a lot to this forum.

Yet another one in the long list of quality long-term contributors who’ve quit Syria Comment.

They can’t be bothered with a forum that’s become clogged with mountains of trash from Team Assad.

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September 24th, 2013, 7:06 pm

 

186. Syrialover said:

Sounds like Obama has been reading this forum.

From his UN speech yesterday:

“…the situation in Syria mirrors the contradiction that has persisted in the region for decades. The United States is chastised for meddling in the region, accused of having a hand in all manner of conspiracy, at the same time the United States is blamed for failing to do enough to solve the region’s problems and for showing indifference towards suffering Muslim populations.

“I realize some of this is inevitable, giving — given America’s role in the world. But these contradictory attitudes have a practical impact on the American people’s support for our involvement in the region and allow leaders in the region, as well as the international community sometimes, to avoid addressing difficult problems themselves.

“So let me take this opportunity to outline what has been U.S. policy toward the Middle East and North Africa and what will be my policy during the remainder of my presidents….”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-speech-at-the-un-general-assembly/2013/09/24/64d5b386-2522-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_print.html

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September 24th, 2013, 8:01 pm

 

187. omen said:

163. William Scott Scherk said: Those who are following the saga of Bandar/Joo/Muppet responsibility for the chemical attack on August 21st will have read the Narwani and Mortada article in Al-Akhbar, “Questions Plague UN Report on Syria.”

figured out some of the continuing skepticism isn’t driven just by regime supporters but also racists eager to finger islamists for chemical attacks.

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September 24th, 2013, 8:12 pm

 

188. omen said:

184. Syrialover:

i do not understand this blind spot you continue to hold for obama. from his speech:

the world is more stable than it was five years ago.

!

I do not believe that military action by those within Syria or by external powers can achieve a lasting peace.

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September 24th, 2013, 8:30 pm

 

189. Ghufran said:

Rebels in Aleppo refuse to recognize the NC and its new PM:
دعت القوى والفصائل العسكرية المقاتلة بحلب اليوم جميع الجهات إلى التوحد ضمن إطار إسلامي واضح، ينطلق من سعة الإسلام ويقوم على أساس تحكيم الشريعة وجعلها المصدر الوحيد للتشريع.
وجاء في البيان الذي وقّع عليه كبرى الفصائل والألوية أن كل ما يتم من التشكيلات في الخارج دون الرجوع إلى الداخل, لا يمثلها ولا تعترف به ، وبالتالي فإن الائتلاف والحكومة المفترضة برئاسة أحمد طعمة لا تمثلها ولا تعترف بها.
ودعا البيان ” جميع الجهات العسكرية و المدنية الى وحدة الصف ووحدة الكلمة ونبذ التفرقة و الاختلاف وتغليب مصلحة الأمة على مصلحة الجماعة “.
الموقعون على البيان :
جبهة الـنـصرة ، وحركة أحرار الشام الإسلامية، ولواء التوحـيد، ولواء الإســلام، وألوية صقور الشام ط8،  وحركة فجر الشام الإسلامية، وحركة النور الاسـلامـية،  وكـتـائـب نور الدين الزنـكي، ولـواء الــحـــق في حــمــص،  وألـويـة الـفرقان في القنيطرة،  وتجمع فاستقم كما أمرت في حلب، والفرقة التاسعة عشر لـواء الأنـصـار.
(source: aksalser)

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September 24th, 2013, 9:02 pm

 

190. apple_mini said:

Tony Blair warns: Don’t let Assad off the hook on chemical weapons.

The man looks very righteous and determined, a typical look of a westerner who defends human rights and democracy.

Whether Assad is guilty for the CW attack, I am not sure. But when we hear it from Tony, a notorious hypocrite who has committed war crimes resulting tens of thousands of human death, I can’t help rushing to toilet to throw up what I have had since this morning.

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September 25th, 2013, 3:23 am

 

191. zoo said:

After Morsi’s mafia, the collapse of another Turkey-Qatar sponsored political group is imminent

Syria crisis: Coalition of powerful rebel groups reject Western-backed opposition

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-crisis-coalition-of-powerful-rebel-groups-reject-westernbacked-opposition-8839113.html

Blow for Syrian National Coalition which is recognised by more than 100 countries as a legitimate representative of forces fighting Assad regime


A statement signed by thirteen rebel groups based largely in the north of the country – among them the al-Qa’ida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra – denounced the “unrepresentative” Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and called for the opposition to reorganise under “an Islamic framework based on sharia [Islamic law]”.

It insisted that forces fighting on the ground should be represented by “those who suffered and took part in the sacrifices.”

In what may prove to be a fatal blow for the Istanbul-based National Coalition – which already beset with infighting and allegations of corruption – the new coalition includes a number of rebel groups with which it was previously associated, meaning a depletion of its military as well as political strength.

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September 25th, 2013, 8:58 am

 

192. zoo said:

Loud voice of bellicose France becomes dimmer when it has to do with sharing the burden that its mischievous politic toward Syria has created. No surprise coming from an ex-coloniser

France drags feet on accepting Syrian refugees

http://www.english.rfi.fr/france/20130925-syrian-refugees-france

An estimated two million people have fled Syria since the start of the country’s bitter conflict. In early September the United Nations called on European countries to open their doors. France has said it will do its part but the lack of action up until now has humanitarian groups asking questions.

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September 25th, 2013, 9:03 am

 

193. zoo said:

Khan al Assal that France and the UK apparently did not want the UN inspectors to visit is now on the spot.

U.N. Weapons Inspectors Return to Syria

Published: September 25, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/world/middleeast/syria-crisis.html?_r=0
….
The inspectors arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus, after first landing in Beirut, the capital of neighboring Lebanon, news reports and officials said.

United Nations officials said the inspectors’ second mission to Syria would complete their investigation into “pending credible allegations” of chemical weapons use, The Associated Press reported. In a statement on Tuesday, the United Nations said the inspectors would focus on an attack on March 19 on the village of Khan al Assal outside the northern city of Aleppo, which the rebels captured in July, The A.P. said.

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September 25th, 2013, 9:11 am

 

194. zoo said:

The SNC has been submitted to a blackmail from the West: Either you join the Geneva Conference or we withdraw the recognition of your legitimacy. Ahmad Jarba hastily accepted officilally to join Geneva II without conditions. It was a question of political relevance.

The reaction was quick. The forces on the ground, FSA, Al Nusra and company, openly opposed to the West, withdrew their recognition of the SNC as their legitimate representant. (In fact they never realy gave it) .
Now it is clear. For them the SNC is a just puppet of the West and its ‘benefactors’ and it has no legitimacy. The rebels are declaring openly that they are the legitimate representant of the Syrian people and they are opposed to any political settlement of the crisis.
Bashar al Assad has clearly declared that he will not negotiate with armed rebels. He has also expressed that this war is against Islamist terrorists.
Obviously that’s the situation the West will need to deal with: Islamists terrorists using local fighters calling themselves rebels are now trying to take over Syria just like the Talibans in Afghanistan 20 years ago.
What can the West do now if they don’t want to intervene?

They don’t have much choice: They must weaken the rebels and the Islamists as much as they can and re-enforce the Syrian army. As the SNC is dead, they must keep Bashar al Assad in power.
What an irony after 100,000 dead and three years of destruction.

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September 25th, 2013, 9:31 am

 

195. zoo said:

When will the secular FSA fighters and the Kurds join the Syrian Army to fight together against the common enemy of Syria: The Islamists?

Syria’s secular rebels in fierce fights with Islamists

Free Syrian Army was bringing in reinforcements

Reuters
Published: 17:03 September 25, 2013
Gulf News

New York: Moderate Syrian rebels are engaged in their fiercest fighting to date with Al Qaida-affiliated fighters on Syria’s northern and eastern borders, a senior US State Department official said on Tuesday.

“There is a real firefight,” the official said of battles between Al Qaida’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Free Syrian Army led by Salim Idriss, a more moderate group of rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The official said the Free Syrian Army, which receives non-lethal US support, was bringing in reinforcements and he said the State Department was looking at what more it might do to help the group, although he gave no details.

Clashes pitting the Al Qaida-linked ISIL and Nusra Front brigades against less effective but more moderate rebel forces have been intensifying recently, especially in opposition-held territory along Syria’s northern and eastern borders.

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September 25th, 2013, 9:53 am

 

196. zoo said:

Significant headline on CNN
Syrian rebels reject interim government, embrace Sharia
By Ivan Watson, CNN

September 25, 2013 — Updated 1340 GMT (2140 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/world/meast/syria-rebels/index.html

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September 25th, 2013, 10:06 am

 

197. zoo said:

Sex-jihad with Aids

Pregnant with AIDS: Tunisian Girl Recounts Her Sex Jihad in Syria
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/09/25/pregnant-with-aids-tunisian-girl-recounts-her-sex-jihad-in-syria/

According to Al Sharouk reporters, who went to interview Lamia at her home, the young woman began her story by saying that in 2011 she became religious, after watching an Islamic program; among other things, she took to wearing the hijab and came to believe that going out in public was a sin.

Then, “Lamia became convinced that a woman may participate in the jihad to eliminate the enemies of Islam by making her body recreational for the men after each and every raid, so that her body became their possession.”

Finally, released back to Tunisia, Lamia has been to a doctor finding that she is five months pregnant. Both she and her unborn are carrying the AIDS virus.

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September 25th, 2013, 10:09 am

 

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