Battle in East Ghouta, Damascus: Rebels Claim to kill 800 Syrian Army Soldiers

The Rebels Announce Major Battle in the East Ghouta, a region on the outskirts of Damascus

  • Over 800 Syria army soldiers killed (the videos and photos do not show near 800 bodies)
  • Rebels have 204 bodies including officers and multinational experts.
  • Numerous villages liberated in a 40 square km region of the Ghouta among other achievements

Rebel Announcement of Completion of 1st Phase of East Ghouta Offensive

بعد التكتم الإعلامي عن معارك كسر الحصار الذي هو جزء من استراتيجية هذه المعركة التي فرضناها صباح الجمعة الموافق لـ 20 محرم 1435 هـ.
لقد نفذ العدو عملية عسكرية خطط لها بإحكام هدفها حصار الغوطة سياسياً وعسكرياً واقتصادياً على مدى ثمانية أشهر لم يدخر العدو جهداً أو سلاحاً إلا واستخدمه بما في ذلك السلاح الكيميائي المحرم بزعم العالم.
لذلك قرر المجاهدون: جند الملاحم – جيش الإسلام – الاتحاد الإسلامي لأجناد الشام – فيلق الرحمن – كتيبة نور الغوطة – كتيبة جند الحق بالتعاون مع سرايا الرباط الالكتورني خوض هذه المعركة التي خططتنا لها بالتنسيق مع بعض الجنود داخل خطوط العدو بدقة عالية أذهلت النظام وأعوانه.
هنا نقف على نتائج المرحلة الأولى لهذه المعركة المستمرة:
1. تحرير العديد من البلدات التي تمتد على مساحة أكثر من 40 كيلو متر مربع في الغوطة الشرقية.
2. ضرب خط الدفاع الأول للعدو الممتد على طول ثمانية كيلو مترات.
3. ضرب مقرات القيادة والسيطرة في وقت واحد مما أرعب العدو وأربك قواته.
4. تم تدمير واعطاب 23 مجنزرة وآلية ثقيلة.
5. تكبيد العدو خسائر فادحة في الأرواح والعتاد فقد رصدنا مقتل ما يزيد عن ثمانمائة جندي لدينا 204 جثث بينها ضباط وخبراء من جنسيات مختلفة.
6. اغتنام 44 آلية بينها 9 مجنزرات و4 دبابات بالاضافة للذخائر والاسلحة المتوسطة والخفيفة.
أخيراً: نؤكد للعدو وأعوانه أن قواعد المواجهة لم تعد حكراً عليه وأنا سنقطع كل يد تحاصرنا وتقتل أطفالنا.
ونحن اليوم اذ نعمل على افشال مخطط أعدائنا نعاهد الله أن نبقى على درب الجهاد والثورة حتى يتم لنا النصر والتمكين.
حرر في 12 صفر 1435 هـ الموافق 15 كانون الأول 2013 م.
0:00 In the name of God the most gracious, the most merciful. 0:04 The general leadership for the battle of ‘God is the highest and most honorable’.
0:12 Quran quote.
0:22 After the media silence on the battle for breaking through the siege that is part of the strategy of this battle that we have assumed Friday morning of the 20th of the holy month of the Lord the year 1435 of hijrah.
0:43 The enemy has implemented a military action that he has carefully planned for. 0:49 Its goal is the siege/blockade of Ghouta politically, militarily, and economically over the period of 8 months.
0:59 The enemy did not have an effort or a weapon that it did not employ which included chemical weapons, which is forbidden by human rights.
1:11 Because of that, the mujahidoon: Jund Al Malahim, Jaysh Al Islam, Al Ithad Al Islami Li Ajnad Al Sham, Faylaqo Al Rahman, Kateebati Noor Al Ghouta, and Kateebati Jund Al Haq decided to work with Saraya Al Ribat Al Electroni (1:33) to wage this battle that we have planned for by allying ourselves with some soldiers inside the enemy lines.
1:41 With great precision, that stunned the regime and its supporters. 1:46 Here we stand at the results of the first phase in this continuous battle.
(1:52)1-Liberate many towns that are stretched over an area of 40 Km (1)
(2:43)2- Killing 800 of Assad forces & allies 204 bodies of them in hand of rebels (which include leaders of different ethnicities).
(2:13)3-Destroy the control HQs at one time which frightened the enemy
(2:24)4-Destroy 23 armed veichle (2)
(2:06)5-Destroy the first defense line of Assad forces & al. in Ghouta that is stretched over 8KM
(2:54)6-Seize 44 armed vehicles incl. 4 Tanks (3) And some other light weapons
3:10 Finally, we assure the enemy and their supporters that the rebels no longer are monopolized and (3:19) that we will cut every hand that surrounds us and kills our children.
3:26 Then some closing words and the date 12/15/13.
The listing of groups is interesting:
  • Jund al Malahm جند الملاحم
    • The Ghouta Joint operation room of Ahrah Al-Sham, Nusra, Habib Mostapha, Shabab AlHoda, Katibat Issa ibn Mariam. The room was created back in June. The guy making the battle video announcement appears in this video announcing the creation of this room
  • Jaysh al Islam جيش الإسلام
  • The Islamic union of Sham soldiers الاتحاد الإسلامي لأجناد الشام
    • Announced Nov 30, the coalition included Shabab al Hoda, Habibi Mostapha, Amjad al Islam, Al Sahaba, Dirii al Asima
The overlap in the groups and the recent announcement of the coalition, Jund al-Malahm seems to refer to the union of Ahrar al-Sahm and Nusra in the Ghouta.
No mention is made of the newly announced Islamic Front. In this major battle driving regime forces from a large part of the Ghouta Ahrar al-Sham, let by Hassan Aboud is identified with Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaida affiliate. Jaysh al-Islam, which is led by Zahran Alloush is identified independently of Ahrar. This suggests that the Islamic Front alliance announced in November has not taken root, at least not yet.

Videos from “Allah is the Most High and the owner of Majesty” Battle

Some cameramen refer to the battle as “The Battle to Break Rawafidis (Rejectors or Shiites) معركة كسر الروافض. They repeatedly announce that the dead soldiers are “rawafid” and “mercenaries” despite their common appearance as Syrian Army soldiers
      • Soldier executed

      • Piles of dead soldiers

More videos are available at Syria Video Eastern Ghouta page

The Events in Adra

The 3 groups listed above (Jabhat al-Islam instead of Jaysh al-Islam) also issued a joint statement, claiming responsibility for the capture of Adra. The statement says its part of an attempt to break the siege of the Ghouta and establish a food route for starving people of the Ghouta who the regime is blocking from reaching the Mills of Adra a few hundred meters distance.

Russian TV on Adra

The statement denies the massacres, which are now estimated to have killed over 90 pro-government civilians, and claims that Syrian Army forces backed by Hizbullah left the city when the mujahiddin attacked. The mujahidin then secured the city and tried to move the inhabitants to basements after the army started shelling the city. The groups say they welcome families to come and check on their loved ones but beware that the regime is killing anybody that goes towards it and blames on the mujahidin so its best for everybody to remain in their homes until we’ve been able to secure roads.
Notice the Jund al-Malahm logo next to the logo of Jabhat al-Islam. So Ahrar al-Sham is in two coalitions: Jund al-Malahm, which includes Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic Front which does not include Jabhat al-Nusra

Donation campaign claims responsibility for rocket attack on Qardaha

The “Do Jihad with your Money” campaign. This is a donation campaign that announces the targeting of “Bassel al-Assad” airport with 3 Grad rockets and Qardaha (the home town of the Assads) with 4 grad rockets. The operation was in cooperation with Katiba Suqour al-Izz and with Ahrar al-Sham. In retaliation for the Nabak massacres.

Yet another Islamist coalition annoucement

Also worth noting is the formation of a new and large militia in teh Hama region – Liwaa al-Fatihin (Brigade of the Conquerors) – out of several smaller militias: Liwaa Jund al-Rahman, Liwaa Jund Allah, Liwaa ibn al-Khatab, Liwaa Ahrar Hilfaya, Kataeb Moawya,  Liwaa Sayf Allah

Comments (59)


habib said:

Why is Syriacomment spreading unconfirmed, partisan rumours?

December 16th, 2013, 6:46 pm

 

Shogun said:

Sorry Sir, but what is in the videos can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rif_Dimashq_offensive_(September%E2%80%93November_2013)

It is the failed campaign of last month.

December 16th, 2013, 7:48 pm

 

zoo said:

No news outlet have confirmed this scoop.

Is it real or it’s Baby Bandar’s propaganda in full swing with videos, twitter, facebook claiming the victory of the Sunni Islamists head choppers?

December 16th, 2013, 8:24 pm

 

zoo said:

Historic meeting between Israeli and Saudi diplomats in Monaco

http://tehrantimes.com/world/112846-historic-meeting-between-israeli-and-saudi-diplomats-in-monaco

Israel’s official state radio has reported that a “historic meeting” was held between Israeli and Saudi diplomats on the sidelines of the World Policy Conference in Monaco.

According to the report, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence minister who previously served as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, shook hands with Israel’s former ambassador to Washington Itamar Rabinovich and Knesset member Meir Shitrit.

Prince Faisal has urged Israel to accept the Saudi peace initiative, but reportedly declined an invitation from MK Shitrit to deliver a speech before the Knesset, saying that such a move is futile as long as Israel refuses to adopt the peace initiative.

who was the then head of the kingdom’s National Intelligence Agency, meeting a senior “Israeli” official, in the presence of a professor from the Department of Islamic Studies at U.S. George Town University.
….
According to the previous reports, Saudi Arabia has given a green light to the “Israelis” in order to use its airspace in any military strike Tel Aviv decides to wage against Iran.

December 16th, 2013, 8:34 pm

 

Norman said:

The Syrian government should use the announcement to retaliate with massive artillery and aerial attack on the whole area, do not leave any building standing. I just do not understand what they are waiting for.

December 16th, 2013, 9:06 pm

 

zoo said:

The Syrian army’s responsibility in the chemical attacks put again in doubt by Russia who accuses Washington of deliberately concealing information

U.S. ignored appeals for Syria chemical arms proof – Russia
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/uk-syria-crisis-un-idUKBRE9BG02A20131217?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=401

Reuters) – Russia on Monday accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s appeals for proof of Syrian government involvement in chemical weapons attacks in Syria during the country’s more than 2-1/2-year-old civil war.

“Our requests for additional information which could prove the Syrian government involvement in the use of chemical weapons were ignored by Washington,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting on chief U.N. chemical arms investigator Ake Sellstrom’s final report.

…”The lack of any proof (about Syrian government use of chemical arms) was particularly strange because as the public learned from the media reports based on Edward Snowden’s materials the United States had powerful intelligence assets in Syria,” Churkin said.

December 16th, 2013, 10:02 pm

 

kis em abdel wahab said:

So far the kill ratio is about 150 to 1 salafist vs Hezbollah.
The biggest mistake the salafist did was to provoke and threaten Hezbollah. Ever since Hezbollah joined the war all we have seen is defeat after strategic defeat.
The Israeli hospitals are going to have a lot of work harvesting organs.

December 17th, 2013, 2:49 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Russia’s obsession with muddying the facts about dog-poop’s use of chemical weapons tells a lot about their own culpability in this crime against humanity.

December 17th, 2013, 3:08 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Norman, there are five children left alive in Salah El Deen neighborhood in Aleppo, how about you volunteering to finish the job as a brave baathi pilot throwing barrels of death….I heard dog-poop running out of pilots. Why leave the job to Iranian pilots.. Syrian children should be murdered by Syrians… this is dig-poop athad senior teaching… follow your leader….

December 17th, 2013, 3:13 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

5. NORMAN

Your words are criminal. Your words talking about the destruction of whole áreas and neighbourhoods without any building standing are simply criminal. I do not understand why and your absolutist beliefs do not go to Syria to fight with iranians and hezbolahis.

December 17th, 2013, 3:31 am

 

ALAN said:

3mir in occupied Palestine
/ To the regime stooges, Zoo Alan and others /
keep the distance!

December 17th, 2013, 4:55 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Hamster & Tara,

You keep on stressing the issue of the released Jihadies from Syrian prisons by the Assadists. Let me remind you that Israel released over 1000 Palestinian MB (Hamas) members for one Gilad Shalit. You don’t know the exact circumstances in which this release was done (exchange of POW; prisoners for bodies, etc).

Any way, the release of some small number of Jihadies doesn’t explain the Jihadi tsunami that engulfs Syria right now. This cannot possibly be regime made. It is too big to be something that was conspiratorially pre-planned.
.

December 17th, 2013, 5:28 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

AMIR
You logic is correct, it does not explain everything, but the number that was released is far more than that. It was in the thousands. Not only of Jihadis but also of many violent criminals, who either joined Shabbeeha forces or the radical jihadis forces.

There is no doubt in my mind that the regime has infiltrated opposition forces on multiple levels. First infiltrating existing units, and then also establishing or supporting the establishment of units that are tied to it.

There is also a very fertile ground for the spread of radical ideas inside Syria brought on by the abject failure of dog-poop on educational, social, economic, and financial fronts. This not to mention that conflict has always been a intense at tractor for all types of what I would call jihad tourists, who remind me of the old “hunting safari tourists” in Africa. Needless to say, one of the attracted insect is no other than nus-lira and his backers in Iran.

December 17th, 2013, 6:44 am

 

Tara said:

Norman

You are pathetic criminal!

December 17th, 2013, 6:49 am

 

Tara said:

Amir

I think “jihadi tourist” phrase coined by our brilliant own hamster is an accurate description.

I am not saying that all jihadis are regime made. All what the regime needs to do is to release few leader jihadis and give them a free hand to reach their contacts and sponsors and voila: a cause, a leadership, a structure, a sectarian rhetoric, and a home (Raqqa ) makes a great tourist jihadi attraction.

December 17th, 2013, 7:30 am

 

Observer said:

Norman the regime does not have the means to do what you are asking for. Regardless of your statement, the REALITY is that it is slowly and surely being completely destroyed and no amount of money weapons and men from its allies is going to be able to keep it in place.

You know an Egyptian General complained bitterly to a Russian Diplomat in 67 that the weapons of the former Soviet Union were terrible and complained that the defeat was due to such poor weapons. You know what the Russian Diplomat responded? He said to the stupid Egyptian General: we gave the same weapons to the Vietnamese!!!!!! Once a people decide to get rid of a regime it is done for and finished. It is only a matter of time and sacrifice.

The strategy Athad or we burn Albalad has turned on the regime If Athad we burn Albalad. He is not leaving the revolution anything to lose so they will go on to fight to the end.

Again I start my day by visiting the regime news outlets: Alalam Manar Mayadeen and RT and Ikhbaria. The regime is in deep dodo

December 17th, 2013, 7:56 am

 

zoo said:

The joke of the day

Turkey admits export of rifles to Syria ‘for sports’

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-admits-export-of-rifles-to-syria-for-sports-activity.aspx?pageID=238&nid=59712&NewsCatID=338

47 tons of weaponry

Turkey has sent over 47 tons of weaponry to the Syrian rebels since June, according to documents filed by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) and also filed under the United Nations trade records, despite repeated denials from government ranks, daily Hürriyet reported over the weekend.

In September alone, 29 tons of military equipment was sent to opposition fighters, according to the same documentation.

December 17th, 2013, 7:56 am

 

Norman said:

Tara, think, i told from day one that there is no chance for the army and Baath party to relinquesh power, you insisted that it was a matter of days if not weeks, now 3 years later Syria is distroyed and the people hate each other and being killed for their religion, you do not deserve Syria.

December 17th, 2013, 7:57 am

 

zoo said:

Amir

Wild conspiracy theories are now elaborated to deny a reality obvious to the whole world: the opposition mismanaged the embryonic revolution and turned it into a uncontrollable and Syrians devouring monster.

December 17th, 2013, 8:00 am

 

zoo said:

Norman

It has never been easy to target and dislodge Sunni Islamists terrorists who are using the civilians as human shields.

That is what the USA has been facing in Afghahistan for the last decade trying to dislodge the same Sunni Islamist terrorists hidden in villages. We know the number of civilians casualties that have occurred regularly. many unreported. In populated cities, it is even more difficult and may cause much more civilians death.

As the Sunni Islamist rebels have consistently refused peace talks, they bear the whole responsibility of any death in areas that they occupy. They know exactly what to do to avoid civilians death and they are refusing to do it. As they keep praising martyrdom, they probably consider that ‘martyrdom’ is a gift they are offering to the civilians who should rejoice for that fate.
And wish for more…

December 17th, 2013, 8:13 am

 

zoo said:

Hysterical and enraged Baby Bandar is emptying Saudi Arabia’s prisons and sending the criminals to Syria

‘Suspension of military aid to Syrian rebels is pure rhetoric’
http://rt.com/op-edge/atrocities-in-syria-rebels-376/

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization,

The suspension of military aid to rebels is pure rhetoric. We now have evidence that in the face of the defeat of rebel forces by the Syrian government forces and the pacification of large parts of the country the western military alliance and its Persian Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are now envisaging the recruitment of a new wave of Al-Qaeda brigades which they are sending in.

There’s a very disturbing report from Saudi Arabia to the fact that prisoners in Saudi Arabian prisons who are charged with criminal offences are being released on condition that they join the mercenary forces going into Syria. So in fact what’s happening is that the rebels have in large part been defeated but they are now being replenished by a new influx of rebels that are being recruited, trained and sent into it to commit atrocities.

And we cannot under any circumstances dismiss the role of the Western military alliance, NATO, Turkey, the United States and Israel in supporting these so-called freedom fighters. We know even that Israel has provided a safe haven in the Golan Heights for the Al-Qaeda affiliated

December 17th, 2013, 8:25 am

 

zoo said:

US seems failing to find a force in Syria, other than the Syrian Army, ready to fight Al Qaeda. A evidence they will have to face sooner or later

Syria: Islamic Front denies meeting US ambassador
Spokesman says group will not fight Al-Qaeda-linked militants

http://www.aawsat.net/2013/12/article55325407

….
Meanwhile, an official of the Islamic Front’s political bureau, Abdallah Al-Hamawi, denied the reports and said they were “lies, and their objectives were clear, and we will not allow them to cause sedition”.

He added on his Twitter account that the Islamic Front “will not fight the Al-Qaeda organization because it [Islamic Front] was founded to form a link for jihadists”, and that it would not fight a proxy war or cause division between the jihadists.

Opposition sources said the Islamic Front was faced with two difficult options—if it accepted dialogue with the Americans it would put itself in confrontation with the extremist forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front, which would accuse it of being an agent of the West, while if it rejected dialogue, it would become distant from the international community.

December 17th, 2013, 8:33 am

 

zoo said:

EU calls for release of abducted activists in Syria
17/12/2013 | 04:22 PM | World News

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (KUNA) — EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton Tuesday expressed “great concern” about the abduction on 11 December of four human rights activists including Razan Zeitouneh from the Damascus suburb of Douma.

December 17th, 2013, 8:37 am

 

zoo said:

“the FSA is an instrument of the West set up to serve its goals”

Syrian fighter defects to Qaeda-linked group

Once-powerful Free Syrian Army commander Saddam al-Jamal has pledged allegiance to ISIL fighters.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/12/syrian-fighter-defects-qaeda-linked-group-201312158517493207.html

In the 32-minute-long recording, titled “Revealing the biggest conspiracy targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”, Jamal – who has now grown his beard – discussed at length how Arab and Western intelligence services dictated to the FSA how to fight and which battles to fight in Syria.

“As days passed we realised that it was a project that was funded by foreign countries, especially Qatar. But in general, the whole world’s intelligence participate in the project,” he said. “The Jordanian intelligence, the Saudi, the Emirati, the Qatari and obviously the West [the Americans, the British, the French]. In the meetings of the military command and the military councils, they all attend,” he said.

December 17th, 2013, 8:45 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Zoo #18,

I can agree with that.

December 17th, 2013, 8:50 am

 

zoo said:

Under Siege in Damascus: An Activist Speaks Out

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/luke-mcmanus/damascus_b_4457332.html

What do you make of reports that foreign extremist groups are operating alongside opposition fighters?

These people are mainly in the north of the county; we don’t see them here in the Damascus suburbs. But if their participation helps topple Assad, then let it be! It’s not a big deal to have fighters from the Al-Nusra Front, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and other Al-Qaeda sympathisers. After Assad is gone, we can decide through democratic vote who will rule the new Syria.

December 17th, 2013, 9:41 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

This is not to be a judgemental reviw but rather one way of describing what has been taking place in especially in Syria.

1] Thousands of men women and children have becme homeless.

2] Cities destroyed and the UN has not done a fri**ing thing to stop the killings.

3] A member of the socalled Arab league is financing the military effort to force a regime change in another Arab league member country.

4] And who is judged responsible for this mess is still considered a member in good standing of the Arab league.

5] And the Palestenins still are not recognized as a people and the Israelis still control the Golan.

6] So much for peace and goodwill.

December 17th, 2013, 9:46 am

 

zoo said:

@2 Shogun

Thanks for pointing out that Joshua’s post is old news of a failed campaign, already available Wikipedia.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/battle-east-ghouta-damascus-rebels-claim-kill-800-syrian-army-soldiers/#comment-403323

December 17th, 2013, 9:57 am

 

zoo said:

While the “tenors” of the Sunni Arab dominated opposition are desperatly struggling to form some sort of a “delegation’ to the Geneva conference that was forced into their throat, the Sunni Kurds are getting ready to come in in full force and united.

Kurds reconciling?

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/dogu-ergil_334239_kurds-reconciling.html

A new aura of reconciliation seems to be emerging among the Kurds of the Middle East. As the conflict (civil war) unfolds in Syria towards a settlement between the Assad government and the rebel forces, Kurds need to settle accounts among themselves to be in a better position than before.

One of the basic reasons why such a rapprochement is due emanates from the endurance of the Assad government, and the second from the growing power and influence of jihadist groups on Syrian soil with a contamination effect in the region

December 17th, 2013, 10:02 am

 

zoo said:

India-Origin British Doctor Dies in Syrian Custody

http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=821327


Another brother of Abbas, Shahnawaz Khan, also a doctor, has said that the family had little choice but to attribute the lack of progress in securing his release to the fact he is a Muslim of Indian descent.

“There is a creeping sensation that, had my brother been John Smith, there might have been more action by now,” Dr Khan, a research fellow at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, northwest London, told The Times last month.

December 17th, 2013, 10:10 am

 

zoo said:

The polished alterago of Headsup?

Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone

By MOHAMMED BIN NAWAF BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-will-go-it-alone.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

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

December 17th, 2013, 10:30 am

 

zoo said:

300 lashes, four years in prison and a travel ban… for calling for democracy in Saudi Arabia

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2524721/300-lashes-years-prison-travel-ban-calling-democracy-Saudi-Arabia.htmlB
By Matt Blake
16 December 2013

A Saudi judge has sentenced a political activist to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia, his rights group said on Sunday.

Omar al-Saeed is the fourth member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) to be jailed this year after the group issued statements attacking the ruling family over its human rights record and calling for democracy.

Saeed, who has also been issued with a worldwide travel ban for his so-called transgressions, did not have legal representation at the secret hearing when he was sentenced, ACPRA said in a statement on its website.

December 17th, 2013, 10:40 am

 

zoo said:

The fight for power has started in Turkey, Gulen vs Erdogan?

37, including sons of Turkish ministers, detained in fraud and bribery probe

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=59697&NewsCatID=341&op=sent

December 17th, 2013, 11:07 am

 
 

Uzair8 said:

Gaza fighters head to Syria as refugees flow in

By Yolande Knell

BBC News, Gaza City

15 December 2013

Recent videos posted on the internet show Palestinian militants doing target practice with rifles and training to storm buildings while Islamic music plays.

They come from the Gaza Strip, where Islamist groups are committed to armed struggle with Israel.

But the fighters in this footage are different. They joined rebel forces in Syria’s civil war.

[…]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25362202

December 17th, 2013, 11:15 am

 

zoo said:

Three years on, Tunisia uprising marked by muted demos

We have gained nothing from this revolution. I have friends in prison for drugs, others who have died trying to reach Italy illegally, and some who have died fighting (with jihadist rebels) in Syria,” said Bilel, a young protester from the poor Enoor neighbourhood of Enoor.

“Three years have gone by and nothing has changed. The social and economic situation is still difficult and the region has plunged into misery,” activist Mondher Chaibi said ahead of Tuesday’s demonstrations.

Marzouki and Larayedh took part in a discreet ceremony at the presidential palace, according to photographs distributed by the presidency.

“We have the right to be proud of what we have achieved,” Marzouki said in a speech published by his office.

He highlighted the “freedom of expression and opinion” among the revolution’s gains, and the fact that Tunisia has not succumbed to the violence plaguing other Arab Spring countries.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-17/241426-three-years-on-tunisia-uprising-marked-by-muted-demos.ashx#ixzz2nkaG0HT6
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 17th, 2013, 11:31 am

 

zoo said:

A happy jihadist family touring Syria at Saudi Arabia’s expenses

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02758/jihad_2758366b.jpg

Moroccan father who reportedly took his five sons to wage jihad in Syria Photo: @REYADIRAQ

December 17th, 2013, 11:36 am

 

Uzair8 said:

British Doctor dies in regime custody.

Britain will want answers.

Zoo goes and selects an Indian (related) site to share the story (angle). Perhaps an attempt to play down the seriousness* and avoid consequences vis a vis the British context?

I hope the UK demands answers and makes an issue of this.

* It is serious no matter what the background of regime victim, however, the regime would be more concerned about British anger and backlash than Indian.

December 17th, 2013, 11:51 am

 

zoo said:

#37 Uzair8

Few medias reported he was an British Indian Moslem and that maybe was the reason the UK government did not put enough effort to have him released and maybe also why he was considered as suspicious by the Syrian authorities, in view of the number of jihadists who came from the UK.

December 17th, 2013, 1:14 pm

 

Observer said:

Does anyone read Don or Ann or Zoo’s endless posts about everything and nothing?

There is no intelligent form on this blog lately.

Mjabali where are you to save me from Donazoo

Syrian Hamster I can use all the hot air where I live these days from pro regime propagandists.

I went through the pro regime sites nothing about the glory of the SAA.

December 17th, 2013, 1:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

BBC News.

British doctor Abbas Khan has been “in effect murdered” by the Syrian authorities just days before his expected release from jail, Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson said.

[…]

“There is no excuse whatsoever for the treatment that he has suffered by the Syrian authorities who have in effect murdered a British national who was in their country to help people who were injured during their civil war.”

The Respect MP George Galloway, who has liaised with the Syrian authorities and was due to collect Dr Khan on Friday, said the death was “murder most foul” and it was “inconceivable that he committed suicide”.

The MP for Bradford West said he believed somebody within the regime killed Dr Khan to defy President Assad’s decision to release him.

[…]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25420945

December 17th, 2013, 2:03 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Can Mr Galloway not get himself to hold Assad responsible, instead blaming someone else in the regime. BBC’s Paul Wood seems to speculate along the same lines as Mr Galloway.

I don’t know, perhaps there is a power struggle within the regime as they suggest?

December 17th, 2013, 2:08 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

The MP for Bradford West said he believed somebody within the regime killed Dr Khan to defy President Assad’s decision to release him.

It seems that he already collected something….What a tyrant brown nose this buffoon is.

December 17th, 2013, 2:18 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

OBSERVER
PgDn and ↓ kyes are both wonderful inventions, aren’t they?

December 17th, 2013, 2:24 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Amir,

It seems to me the regime supporters/Baathists and the jihadists are merely squeezing the Syrian people like an “Oreo cookie”.

A curse on these murderers.

Bashar Assad and his family should be hung for their crimes. He failed to bring democracy and freedom, and he selfishly stayed in power. He also failed to protect his country. Despots need violence and chaos to stay in power, which is why he had his goons fire bullets into crowds of unarmed protestors.

December 17th, 2013, 2:35 pm

 

Tara said:

60 civilians among them 15 children were killed today by barrel bombs in Aleppo.

The good Christian Norman should go to church on Sunday and praise The Lord for Jesus has listened to his wishes in #5

This is the real face of lots of minorities for Middle East. Exactly the face of Norman. And if I am told they want to immigrate to the west. Please do. I ain’t gonna miss you. Please leave no trace.

December 17th, 2013, 2:43 pm

 

Tara said:

Didn’t they tell us that HA knows how to fight. They lied. The rebels are advancing in Ghouta.

تقدم بدمشق
من ناحية أخرى، قالت مصادر من قوات المعارضة المسلحة إن كتائب للمعارضة أحكمت سيطرتها على منطقة المرج في الغوطة الشرقية بريف دمشق.

وأضافت المصادر أن الكتائب سيطرت على مسافة أربعين كيلومترا مربعا وسيطرت على مقرات قيادة قوات النظام في المنطقة، وأعطبت 23 آلية عسكرية وسيطرت على قرابة أربعين آلية أخرى مع قتل حوالي 200 جندي من قوات النظام أثناء المعارك التي اندلعت قبل نحو عشرة أيام. وقد شاركت في هذه المعركة التي أطلق عليها “الله أعلى وأجل” قوات مختلفة من المعارضة.

December 17th, 2013, 3:13 pm

 
 

zoo said:

It is unfortunate that this young British Moslem died just before being released in dubious circumstances. Yet, after 120,000 Syrians dead, some in the most horrible way, I wouldn’t certainly go in deep mourning for a young British, or German or French or any foreign idealists who sneaked in illegally in the country, claim he/she came to help and end up in a jail or kidnapped.

The lesson to Westerners is clear: Respect the country laws or stay home and mind your own business.

December 17th, 2013, 4:44 pm

 

zoo said:

Debunking the “Debunker” about the ‘staged’ chemical attack

An Awkward Silence: Burying the Revelations of Obama’s Syrian Deceit

by Media Lens / December 17th, 2013
http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/12/an-awkward-silence-burying-the-revelations-of-obamas-syrian-deceit/

“All governments lie”, the US journalist I.F. Stone once noted, with Iraq the most blatant example in modern times. But Syria is another recent criminal example of Stone’s dictum.

December 17th, 2013, 4:53 pm

 

norman said:

The Christians are staying not just because GOD is on their side but also the Prophet Muhammad , In early Islam the Christians were the majority in greater Syria, you destroyed Islam , and i pray for Syria and for people like you Tara to have the brain to understand what you will never reach and accept what you can.

December 17th, 2013, 4:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Britain’s ‘impotent rage’ over surgeon’s death in Syria

John Ray: Diplomatic Correspondent
http://www.itv.com/news/2013-12-17/britains-impotent-rage-over-surgeons-death-in-syria/

More than 100,000 men, women and children have been killed in Syria’s civil war. It seems perverse to suggest that one more should make things even harder.

But as peace talks approach, the torture and death of Dr Abbas Khan poisons the well at a crucial moment.

It seems certain that President Bashar al-Assad had taken a personal interest in his case.

It would make sense for him to want the British surgeon free – as a gesture of goodwill to Britain, and to the West more widely – to at least warm the atmosphere ahead of Geneva.

We might never know why Dr Khan ended up dead in his cell rather than home safely with his family, but many in Damascus and beyond will suspect there are forces within the regime that want to thwart any prospect of a rapprochement.

From the point of view of Britain, the accusation of murder today sounds like the rage of the impotent.

Ours is a government that has spent three years backing the rebels and demanding Assad’s departure.

Now we are worried about the rebels – dominated increasingly by Islamist hardliners and by al Qaeda – and there are some who argue, with increasing force, that if the West is not going to war with Assad then it needs to start talking to him again.

But at the moment, Britain has drifted into a diplomatic no man’s land – close to none of the most important players in this conflict.

Some might think that’s precisely where Britiain and the West should have been all along.

But governments in London and Washington are not there by choice. They have little leverage with Damascus and little idea of what is really going on inside the regime.

December 17th, 2013, 5:29 pm

 

Syrian said:

From the nytimes about Dr surgeon Abbas Khan
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/world/middleeast/syria.html?from=global.home
“When his mother saw him in prison on an earlier occasion, the family said, he weighed around 70 pounds, could hardly walk and said he had been tortured.”

That is why he was killed, because he is a credible witness to the situation in the Assad mafia dungeons and how another k100000 prisoners are being treated.

December 17th, 2013, 5:41 pm

 

Tara said:

May Allah curse Batta and any one defending Batta’s crime torturing and slaughtering the orthopode. May he rest in peace. May Allah blood boils and his anger unravels and befalls on these murderes and those cheerers.

I have nothing but disgust to you people.

December 17th, 2013, 5:58 pm

 

zoo said:

The family of Dr Khan blames the British government for dragging its feet in calling for his release .

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2525221/British-doctor-Abbas-Khan-jailed-volunteering-Syria-dies-prison.html

Dr Abbas Khan, 32, from Streatham, south London, was seized in the rebel-held city last year accused of entering the country without a visa.

For several months his family was unaware of his plight, and it was not until his mother travelled to Damascus this summer that the father-of-two was found, having lost half his body weight, and showing evidence of physical abuse.

In a letter addressed to William Hague ( carried by the mother Dr Khan described his time jail as one of torture and hellish living conditions.

‘I have been violently forced to beat other prisoners, kept in squalid conditions, denied access to toilets or medical treatment,’ he wrote. refuse to grant their camps official recognition

After eight months in an underground cell, his mother Fatima Khan managed to track him down in Damascus.

‘He was like a skeleton and could barely walk,’ she told the Mail on Sunday.,
‘He told me that he had been through eight months of hell and at times had simply wanted to die. He was getting trouble from both sides.

‘As well as the guards, other prisoners turned on him just because he is British. He told them that he was there to help their mothers and children.’

Dr Khan’s family say William Hague and the Foreign Office ‘betrayed’ them by failing to secure his release.
….

December 17th, 2013, 6:01 pm

 

zoo said:

I wonder why is the opposition bothering to show up in Geneva. Their preconditions were ignored, they primary goal ignored and they don’t even have a delegation ready.

West signals to Syrian opposition Assad may stay

[ 18 December 2013 03:49 ]
http://en.apa.az/news/204474

Baku-APA. Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition sources said, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The message, delivered to senior members of the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting of the anti-Assad Friends of Syria alliance in London last week, was prompted by rise of al Qaeda and other militant groups, and their takeover of a border crossing and arms depots near Turkey belonging to the moderate Free Syrian Army, the sources told Reuters.

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

Noting the possibility of Assad holding a presidential election when his term formally ends next year, the Coalition member added: “Some do not even seem to mind if he runs again next year, forgetting he gassed his own people.”

The shift in Western priorities, particularly the United States and Britain, from removing Assad towards combating Islamist militants is causing divisions within international powers backing the nearly three-year-old revolt, according to diplomats and senior members of the coalition.

December 17th, 2013, 7:28 pm

 

zoo said:

Contrary to the US, France and UK accusations, for the UN, there is be no conclusive evidence about the culprits of the chemical attacks. Another investigation is deemed necessary

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The chief U.N. chemical weapons investigator in Syria says there should be an investigation to determine who was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in the country.

Sellstrom said his team gathered many facts but not enough to determine “the guilty party in this.”

December 17th, 2013, 7:37 pm

 
 

Jamil Hanna said:

It is a weak story. 40 sq kms where?what are the names of villages occupied in this attack?they should not released this story because it caused loss of their credibelety.

December 17th, 2013, 11:31 pm

 

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