Dera’a is Falling

Matthew BarberDera’a is Falling
by Matthew Barber for Syria Comment
March 29, 2013

According to an article published yesterday by al-Quds (نائب سوري: مقاتلو المعارضة يسيطرون على اجزاء واسعة من درعا), Syrian MP Waleed Zoubi has asserted during a session of parliament that large areas within the muhafiza (governorate) of Dera’a have fallen under the control of rebels, and that the presence of regime forces is dwindling. His remarks indicate that Dera’a is in the process of falling, and served as a wake-up call to the Syrian parliament about the shift of control in that region. Zoubi countered reports that the highway (which runs from Damascus to the Jordanian border, through Dera’a) is still secured by the Syrian military, declaring that much of it is under the control of armed militants, who also control much of the Syrian-Jordanian border, including near the Golan. He also said that a number of military positions in the muhafiza have been emptied of regime forces for “unknown strategic reasons.”

Waleed Zoubi – Captured image from al-Quds

After the “retreat” that Zoubi alludes to, he said that these positions have been replaced with forces of Jabhat al-Nusra. Though we already knew that Syria near the Golan was under rebel control, Zoubi stated before the parliament that the highway is completely under rebel control from Kherbet Ghazalah to Jordan. He said that the loss of the highway involved the fall of the most important military site in Dera’a (which he wouldn’t name, knowing that the session was being broadcast on live TV), leaving only the 61st Brigade to provide “western cover”—it’s unclear whether he means the entirety of the western muhafiza, or the western highway, since two parallel highways run from Damascus to Jordan through the muhafiza of Dera’a, Kherbet Ghazalah being located on the eastern highway.

Furthermore, today rebels have announced that they have taken Dael, a town north of the city of Dera’a on the western highway. This means that both highways are likely now under rebel control, which would effectively cut Damascus off from the city of Dera’a and the most important stretch of the Jordanian border. Rebels claim that the three checkpoints that secure the center of the town of Dael and its northern and southern entrances have been overrun by militias.

The liwa that Zoubi refrained from mentioning in the parliament’s televised session was the 38th Brigade which was besieged for 15 days by Jabhat al-Nusra and FSA forces, finally being taken by the rebels 6 days ago. This brigade was located in Saida.

Daraa - fall of Dael map

On the map image, the blue and red indicate the western (old) highway and eastern (new) highway, respectively. Kherbet Ghazalah is at the top right, to the east of Dael. Traveling down the eastern highway brings one to Saida, the (former) location of the 38th Brigade (green star) and the point one must turn west to reach the city of Dera’a. MP Zoubi’s concern regarding the fall of Saida to rebel control is easy to understand, since the site can allow or block access to nearby Dera’a from the primary highway. As of today, however, it seems that both of these thoroughfares are in opposition hands. See this stream of latest videos  from Dael, and this stream of videos from Kherbet Ghazala.

The end of the following video shows a tank in the possession of al-Nusra being shelled by regime forces in the vicinity of the 38th Brigade.

Another video shows an interview (Arabic only) with an al-Nusra fighter after they finally won the siege of Saida; a third from Saida shows fighters celebrating; a fourth includes some leaders of the offensive. Now for Dael: Released just a few hours ago is this video in which rebels announce victory in the operation dubbed “The Mother of Martyrs Battle”-”معركة ام الشهداء”; in this one a rebel shows viewers how regime forces blew up one of their own trucks full of ammo with an RPG when defeat drew near, so that rebels wouldn’t have the benefit of using them.

Other Arabic websites have said that MP Waleed Zoubi is from Dera’a. In the session of parliament, he stated that 20 days ago he alerted the presidency and government to the presence of armed militants who were taking control of specific locations, but that no responsive action was forthcoming. His words before the parliament were not framed as a protest but as an alert to Syrians, yet such honesty in the parliament is still uncommon. Zoubi presented his remarks as one concerned about seeing the muhafiza overrun by insurgents. Nevertheless, his open acknowledgment of loss of both territory and the morale of regime forces in Dera’a elicited objections from other MPs who tried to silence him, whereupon he demanded that they not interrupt him.

   Photo from Sana

What remains fascinating is the dance that must be performed around the reality of events on the ground. It’s permissible to say that foreign terrorists are causing havoc in Syria, but it’s not acceptable to acknowledge that the uprising includes Syrian participants, let alone that the uprising is primarily Syrian—that’s been the case from the beginning. But that other MPs would try to prevent Zoubi, even at this late hour, from merely discussing in parliament the practical problem of a very real loss of territory is a telling reminder of the persistence of the Ba’athist cult of unreality. How can the regime fight its war without acknowledging its battles? Is it loyalty to mention terrorism, but treason to admit losses? Is patriotism the acknowledgment of conflict with “unknown” assailants coupled with a simultaneous pretending that no failure is occurring? Zoubi mentioned the descent of Syria into a state of war and warned that “if terrorists prevail, chaos will prevail,” yet apparently, even if an area is falling out of the regime’s control, it is still taboo to acknowledge it directly.

Subsequent Syrian news coverage of the parliamentary session made no mention of Zoubi.

This article was prepared with assistance from Syria Video, a project related to Syria Comment to be unveiled soon.

 

Rebel Mortar Attack Kills Students at Damascus University

 

Today I spoke by phone with the director of the university’s architecture department, a personal friend. Yesterday’s mortar attack hit a cafeteria located just outside the architecture building. The death toll is between 15 and 20, all students, with more than 30 injured. 12 of the dead were architecture students, all studying together in the same department. Mortars have become quite common in eastern Damascus, where attacks launched from Jobar and Qabuun regularly hit the Christian neighborhoods of Bab Tuma and Qasaa’. (In fact, the mortar that killed the university students was only one of at least 6 mortars in Damascus yesterday: friends reported 3 in Qasoor [north of Abbasiyiin] and 2 in Qasaa’.) But for shells to touch down in Baramke (where the university is located) is an emerging phenomenon. (Less than three weeks ago one hit the football stadium in Baramke killing 6 civilians and injuring near 30.) As rebel activity has moved inward into neighborhoods like Yarmouk, the number of areas from which mortars can be fired into the center of Damascus has increased. It is difficult to say exactly where the mortar that killed the students yesterday was launched from, since they supposedly have a range of about 8km. –MTB

Photo from NBCNews

Photo from NBCNews

The story from Reuters  and  BBC

 

The Irresistible Call of Jihad

 

A former U.S. soldier has been arrested and charged with illegally using a weapon on behalf of an al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria.

Eric Harroun, 30, of Phoenix was arrested Tuesday night by the FBI at a hotel near Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. A Justice Department official tells CNN that FBI agents questioned Harroun at the hotel, then took him into custody.

Harroun appeared Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and was charged in connection with his alleged use of a rocket-propelled grenade in Syria.

The law used to charge him states, “Any national of the United States who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens, attempts, or conspires to use a weapon of mass destruction outside of the U.S. shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or if death results, may be punished by death.”

… The organization he allegedly fought with, al-Nusra Front, is one of several aliases used by the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist organization. The organization claims responsibility for nearly 600 terrorist attacks in Syria, the Justice Department said.

An FBI affidavit says Harroun crossed into Syria in January 2013 and fought against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. He posted photos and videos of himself on the Internet handling RPGs and other weapons, it said.

The Pentagon declined to comment on Harroun’s arrest. However, “It’s always a concern when terrorist networks in that part of the world and elsewhere seek to recruit Americans, whether they’re in the military or not,” spokesman George Little told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

No, Islamists will not dominate in Syria by Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

“The fast pace of developments in and around Syria in the past week has pushed the country more quickly toward the end of Bashar Assad’s regime, a situation many of us thought was imminent last autumn. He did not fall then for reasons that are evident today. The first is that Assad’s strategy from the start of the uprising against his rule two years ago this month turned out to be that he would, first, bludgeon into submission civilians who demonstrated against him (as his father had done in Hama 30 years earlier). And when that failed he would cede territory to them, but continue to hit their areas hard using air power and missiles. The Syrian government that ruled nationally has disappeared, to be replaced by fortified military bases tightly controlled by Assad loyalists, cousins and desperado fellow Alawites who are prepared to destroy Syria to save themselves.

The second is that this is a losing strategy, because the regime’s circling of its wagons in a few areas makes it more vulnerable than ever to the continued successes of Islamist rebels and the enhanced strengthening of the secular rebels (thanks to aid and training from Arab and foreign powers). As both prongs of the armed opposition advance on the regime’s isolated strongholds, and rockets fall in the center of Damascus, Assad’s constricted bases will panic, and ultimately collapse.” …

Syria could turn into a large Lebanon, should current trends continue for a year or more.

If, on the other hand, the Assad regime falls quickly and is replaced by a legitimate government that receives substantial foreign assistance during the transition and reconstruction period, I would expect two important developments to occur: Syria’s traditional secular nationalism and cosmopolitanism will reaffirm themselves, and this will reduce the influence of those Islamists whose sudden prominence – Presto! Meet the Nusra Front! – is due to their military actions…..

 

Minority Report: Shiites and Druze

 

Syria’s Shiites offer different picture of war – LA Times

Shiite Muslims who fled Syria for Lebanon tell of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign by rebels intent on creating a Sunni-run Islamic state.

Each evening, Ali Jamal and other men in this border town grab their Kalashnikov assault rifles, jump on their motorbikes and ride across the irrigation canal into Syria to protect their homes.

The enemies are Sunni rebel “terrorists,” he says, who target Jamal and his neighbors because they are Shiite Muslims.

“Imagine, these people used to be our neighbors,” said the 40-year-old farmer, perplexed by the transformation. “Now they want to kidnap and kill us.”

Tensions gripping the villages along the border here between northeastern Lebanon and Syria illustrate the increasingly sectarian nature of the 2-year-old Syrian conflict and the risks it poses for the entire region.

The predominant narrative of the Syrian war is that of a tyrannical government largely run by members of a Shiite sect, the Alawites, brutalizing a people yearning for freedom.

However, in the largely Shiite towns and villages of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, people who have fled Syria tell a different story. They speak of an “ethnic cleansing” campaign carried out by rebels intent on creating an Islamic state run by Syria’s Sunni majority.

In the face of rebel attacks, Shiites in dozens of villages just inside Syria have fled here to a part of Lebanon dominated by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, the villagers and Hezbollah representatives say. Those who have been displaced credit Hezbollah, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., with providing shelter and security.

… In the adjacent town of Hermel, Ali Haydar Kheyr Din, 46, recounted how he was kidnapped by rebels on a Syrian road and held for four days. His captors went through his cellphone contacts one by one and accused him of being a Hezbollah operative, said Din, who says his family owns a factory in Homs.

“You’re Shiite, of course you’re Hezbollah,” said one of the captors, according to Din. He said he was blindfolded for most of the time he was captive. “Tell us how you get the arms into Syria,” the rebel interrogator demanded at the home where he was held. …

In Swaida, Kidnappings and Extremists Finally Lure Druze into Conflict – Syria Deeply

Swaida, the Druze-majority province that borders Daraa, has escaped much of the violence in Syria’s brutal conflict, serving as a haven for refugees and a source for humanitarian aid. But a spate of kidnappings, and the rise of jihadist groups such as Jabhat Al Nusra, have left residents to fend for themselves as Syria transforms into a failed state.

And it’s the traditional leaders of society, religious men and prominent civilians, who are stepping in to ease ethnic and sectarian tensions. Swaida’s dignitaries have taken up this role, much as their fellow peacemakers are intervening in conflicts between Arabs and Kurds in the north and east, Alawites and Sunnis in Homs and Hama, and Shiites and Sunnis in Aleppo and Idlib.

The Druze of Syria have largely rejected the movement to topple the Assad regime, but the province of 400,000 people has accepted internal refugees and was a source of aid to besieged neighbors in Daraa. They have also defied repeated requests from one of the sect’s top leaders, Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt, who has urged the Druze to collectively join opponents of the Assad regime.

Swaida’s protest movement has grown in recent months.

Rima Flihan, a member of the National Coalition and a Druze from Swaida, said the province was “the lung [for Daraa], and used to regularly sneak humanitarian aid to Daraa, including medicine and bread through secret routes.” The provincial capital, Swaida, had its first protest on March 25, 2011, and a large protest in Sultan al-Atrash Square in April 2011, but the opposition’s activity was limited there and was instead centered in the smaller city of Shahba, she added.

… Swaida’s meager participation angered Assad loyalists in the province. Supporters of the Assad regime in Swaida mobilized around the government, responding in part to a fear campaign that painted the uprising as a radical Islamist movement that was hostile to minorities such as the Druze, which many Muslims consider a heterodox sect.

“The regime used sectarian language to terrify the Druze about the Salafi threat, using its tools such as [Lebanese Druze pro-Assad politician] Wi’am Wahhab and others” to deliver the message, Zoabi said. This divisive rhetoric was fueled by the scant coverage that Swaida’s opposition activists received from “pan-Arab satellite channels such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, which only concentrated on the Sunni areas that rose up against the regime,” he added.

Animosity between the sects increased and turned violent, starting with kidnappings between armed groups in Swaida and Daraa. On May 25, the Mu’tasim Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), based in neighboring Daraa, kidnapped 14 Druze soldiers from Swaida who were heading to a prison in Daraa. The act was seen as a sectarian provocation in Swaida, and militants there responded by kidnapping over 60 people from different areas in Daraa. …

… The interregnum created by a receding government in Syria forced civilians to act, or risk a spiraling of these types of hostilities. This danger is heightened as the rebellion approaches regions where religious and ethnic minorities are local majorities, such as Swaida, the Mediterranean coast and mountain range, Kurdish majority cities, and Salamiyeh in Hama, and the only answer so far has been for civilian leaders to stem the cycle of violence.

But the introduction of a new element, the jihadist Jabhat Al Nusra in Daraa, has added another layer of complexity to the conflict. In December, Nusra fighters attacked a checkpoint near Swaida but weren’t able to make a clean getaway. Swaida’s pro-regime popular committees, a euphemism for shabiha, killed two Nusra fighters and detained some of its fighters.

Nusra responded by kidnapping 17 people from Swaida including Sheik Abu Khaled Jamal Iz al Din, a respected Druze leader, and refused to release them until its fighters were freed. This YouTube video from Dec. 27 showed the hostages held by Jabhat Al Nusra pleading for Druze religious and tribal leaders, including Sheik Hanaoui, to cut a deal with the group.

Sheik Hanaoui said he led a delegation from Swaida and met with four Nusra fighters in Om Walad village in Daraa province. After hours of talks, the delegation came to an agreement with Nusra to release the hostages, Hanaoui said, but added that Nusra then broke the agreement for unknown reasons.

Nusra hasn’t commented on the incident.

“Solving problems between Swaida and Daraa has become difficult. Our mission has gotten more complicated because of Jabhat Al Nusra. They won’t listen to anybody,” said Ayham Haddad, a political activist based in the U.S. and a member of the first mediation committee.

“Jabhat Al Nusra sees the Druze as infidels, therefore they see attacking and kidnapping them as justified,” said Zoabi, the Daraa activist. The group “has no local reference here, and their excommunicating ideology is catastrophic in societies like Syria.”

 

Opinion

 

Reasons to remain optimistic about Syria by Leila Nachawati Rego for al-Jazeera

… The attempts to push the country toward a self-fulfilled prophecy of sectarianism are extremely dangerous. The fact that the Assad administration has survived this long in its crusade against its own people, and continues to destroy every inch of life and ancient history, is excruciating. The daily loss is unbearable.

While all of this is true, there are many reasons to remain optimistic considering what Syrians have accomplished in two years under extreme pressure. The reasons are related to the internal dynamics of a people desperate for free expression, association and communication after decades of terror and isolation.

… Despite the fact that the regime has not been able to produce any non-violent response to citizen demands, non-violent protests continue to take place all over the country on a weekly basis.

Demonstrations are not the only manifestation of peaceful resistance and civil disobedience. From the strikes to the sit-ins, from the “peace brides” to the celebration of Women’s Day through countless citizen mobilisations, daily resistance against oppression has not stopped.

It is important to be aware of these initiatives, which co-exist with the militarisation on the ground and do not usually receive international attention.

… Much like the emergence of theatre during the army coups of the 50s and 60s, new manifestations of creativity and artistic expression are flourishing in the region in this period of uprisings, regime change and transition.

There is a constant and increasing production of music, graffiti, independent films, poetry, cartoons, video-art, puppet shows and all forms of free expression after decades of art serving the power structures.

These independent, often collective productions are part of a new Syrian reality that has flowered without the regime’s consent, and it survives every attempt to silence its expression. Mostly uncovered by mainstream media, it constitutes in itself a ground for optimism. …

 

Comments (167)


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151. revenire said:

LOL @ Bashar is dead. Josh should run that as a headline next to the one saying Bashar is living on a Russian ship.

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March 30th, 2013, 5:36 pm

 

152. Syrialover said:

What do we have here, the Dirty Old Mens Club, whose taste in female beauty is based on porn images?

I think the behaviour of those bare breasted protesters is a bit extreme and likely to cause public offense, but I would not class them as physically ugly – they are just normal, healthy young women.

There are some lovely Iranian actresses and Egyptian women who have posted naked pictures of themselves to protest against religious extremism, so you would you also have to call them “ugly” and make racist remarks about them. Or would they pass your fantasy image test?

In many senses, they are more normal, sophisticated and healthy in their attitude to their bodies than women who go around trussed up in hijabs to avoid “inflaming men”. Which I guess is the protesters’ theatrical point.

Things are very screwed up and confused in the Middle East. Only there do we see young women with their hair modestly covered but wearing pants and tops so tight fitting and revealing they look like they have been sprayed onto their bodies.

As the story points out, women have gone topless for many different public issues – so it’s just one currently popular way of getting attention for a cause. One I don’t agree with, but I am not going into condemning normal-looking women for the way God made their bodies.

A secondary point, the Iranian people are not “physically ugly” – in many cases you could argue the opposite. The ugliness is with their Government NOT the people.

PS If any of you guys have normal daughters under 30 who are living in the west or influenced by modern popular culture, I can imagine your life is likely to be one big round of yelling threats and pleadings about “shame”. And sons of the same age who don’t know what you are carrying on about.

Here’s the link again:
http://rt.com/news/femen-iranian-topless-protest-stockholm-767/

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March 30th, 2013, 6:31 pm

 

153. Tara said:

Syrialover,

In my opinion, there is nothing normal about women going topless to protest something. It really is very abnormal.

And in our defense, judging Iranians not to be beautiful in general is a matter of taste not a matter of racism. Really!

I have said before, I once watched an Iranian movie and the only attractive man among all the actors happened to be an Arab. It was perhaps a reflection of may own taste but there is no racism about it. It is just how I perceive the physical beauty of a man or a woman.

And by the way, I think Afghan women are very beautiful.

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March 30th, 2013, 6:56 pm

 

154. Syrialover said:

Maybe Bashar is not yet dead or hiding on a ship, but he’d be infinitely better off being either of those things than tied on a leash and guarded by Iranians to who he’s handed control of Syria.

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March 30th, 2013, 6:57 pm

 

155. Syrialover said:

TARA, the frustrating news is a lot of people these days who are younger than us don’t think going topless in a protest is “abnormal”. Ask around.

Nor do many young ME women think covering their hair while flaunting their bodies in skintight lowcut clothing is “abnormal”. Look around.

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March 30th, 2013, 7:04 pm

 

156. Syrialover said:

New thread started

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March 30th, 2013, 7:12 pm

 

157. Syrialover said:

There’s a new thread started

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March 30th, 2013, 7:14 pm

 

158. Tara said:

Syrialover,

Yes, I noticed that when I visited Syria.

We were having dinner in a restaurant in old Damascus when a hijabed young woman in very tight jeans started dancing solo. It was on Um Kalthum tunes and she was a master.. The dance was very seductive and left the whole audience quite. I was kinda stunned. I thought it was very different from when I first left Syria. I am convinced that this young woman was forced into wearing hijab and her dance was a way to express her individuality. I am against forcing women into hijab. It must be a choice. But at the same time I do not believe that a woman with a normal psych can go topless to protest. It is like prostituting one’s body for a cause.

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March 30th, 2013, 7:22 pm

 

159. ghufran said:

women rights is a crucial issue that will determine whether new regimes are an improvement over secular dictatorships or not.
women status in arab countries where islamists are either in charge or gaining influence:

Egypt:
Women stood shoulder to shoulder with men in Tahrir Square in 2011. Now they are back on the streets, opposing a new constitution that sweeps away their rights and opens the way for girls of 13 to be married. And in Cairo’s slums, life grows harder as the gulf between the sexes widens

Libya:
A guarantee of equality has been removed from the new constitution written after the revolution in 2011. There has been a rise in sexual assaults on the streets. Amnesty International claims discrimination against women “remains in law and practice”.

Yemen:
Women were prominent during the 2011 uprisings but demonstrators today segregate themselves by gender. Discrimination is still enshrined in law. A quota of 30% for women in jobs in state agencies has been proposed but not yet debated. Child marriage remains legal with 52% of women marrying under 18.

Morocco:
Reforms promised by King Mohammed VI are inching forward. A law that allows rapists to escape jail if they marry their victim is expected to be amended this year. Child marriage is illegal but has been on the rise over the last two years and there are moves to reduce the legal age from 18 to 16. There is only one female minister.

Tunisia:
Women’s legal rights have not changed since the revolution in 2010-11 but it took street protests before the new constitution was rewritten to enshrine full equality. The ruling Islamist Ennahda party has 42 women among its 89 MPs and only 3% of teenage girls are married. Some are worried about a rise in hardline conservatism
(The Guardian)

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March 30th, 2013, 9:14 pm

 

160. zoo said:

Hundreds of Israeli Druze said anxious to join the fight against rebels in Syria

IDF veterans in the community determined to defend their coreligionists against al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels, Maariv reports

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-druze-said-set-to-join-the-fray-in-syria/

With rebel forces having consolidated control over much of Syria’s border with Israel, hundreds of Druze IDF veterans reportedly wish to cross the border into the war-torn country to defend their brethren against the anti-Assad forces that have attacked them in recent weeks.

Members of the Druze community in Syria are seen as largely pro-Assad, like their coreligionists in Israel. Last week, rebels from the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front targeted the Druze village of Khadr, near the Israeli border, and killed seven villagers, a member of the Druze community was quoted by Maariv as saying on Sunday.

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March 31st, 2013, 9:10 am

 

161. zoo said:

Any update from the “Martyrs”? Are all your sources as accurate?

146. Visitor said:

The Martyrs of Douma Brigade announced that they killed Bashar in one of his palaces over ten hours ago, and challenged him to appear in public,

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March 31st, 2013, 9:47 am

 

162. zoo said:

Arab tourists will soon compete with Israelis tourists for hotel rooms in Turkey

After Israeli apology, Turkey dreams of new tourism boom

Published: March 31, 2013
http://tribune.com.pk/story/529120/after-israeli-apology-turkey-dreams-of-new-tourism-boom/

ISTANBUL: The air-clearing apologies were both made and accepted.

Now, Turkey’s tourism industry is holding its breath and hoping that Israel’s apology for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla will translate into a new love affair that will bring Israeli holidaymakers back to its beach resorts.

“After the apology, I think we’ll reach 500,000 (Israeli) tourists this year,” said Timur Bayindir, the president of the Association of Hotel Owners in Turkey (TUROB), convinced that any grudges between the two allies were erased thanks to last week’s diplomatic breakthrough.

And he is not the only one who is optimistic.

“Before the apologies, we pushed very hard (for) Greece and Bulgaria, but since last week we try to do our best to push Turkish products,” Eyal Kashdan said, the chief executive of Flying Carpet Travel, one of the market leaders in promoting Israeli tourism in Turkey.

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March 31st, 2013, 9:57 am

 

163. revenire said:

Syrialover Bashar is doing fine. He is relaxed and enjoying the day with his beautiful wife and family. He isn’t sitting on an web forum, on his knees, begging NATO to attack his country like you.

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March 31st, 2013, 10:54 am

 

164. AIG said:

Zoo,

And tourism is bad because??? It is quite difficult to understand your demented mind. I have vacationed in Turkey in the past. It is very nice and the Turks were great hosts. I would certainly consider going again now.

By the way, do you know that Israel is a popular destination for Russian tourists? Almost 500,000 came in 2011:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Israel#Foreign_visitor_arrivals_in_2011

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March 31st, 2013, 10:56 am

 

165. AIG said:

“He isn’t sitting on an web forum, on his knees, begging NATO to attack his country like you.”

Assad does not need to beg anybody to bomb Syria. He does it himself. That is very true. What an idiot.

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March 31st, 2013, 11:00 am

 

166. Dolly Buster said:

This is the latest Democracy Index list.

http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=1080324092

Number 1 is Norway again, and Syria is 164th.
That is the abysmal leadership of the criminal Shiites.

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March 31st, 2013, 11:20 am

 

167. Dominique said:

From al-Jazeera:

“The attempts to push the country toward a self-fulfilled prophecy of sectarianism are extremely dangerous. The fact that the Assad administration has survived this long in its crusade against its own people, and continues to destroy every inch of life and ancient history, is excruciating. The daily loss is unbearable.

It continues:

“While all of this is true, there are many reasons to remain optimistic considering what Syrians have accomplished in two years under extreme pressure. The reasons are related to the internal dynamics of a people desperate for free expression, association and communication after decades of terror and isolation.”

al-Jazeera is, yet, another Anglo-American tool, owned by Qatar, the 55th state of the US, behind Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Israel.

In 1949, the CIA backs the first coup. Then, the US puts the senior Assad in power in Syria, and, now, this tool from al-Jazeera tells us how bad it has been, and is, under the two Assads?

Now, the US supports another overthrow of a Syrian government. How bad will the next regime be, if it succeeds?

And this piece-of-garbage propaganda piece tries to illicit sympathy for the Syrian people (which they deserve) by citing other trouble in the region. How many CIA operatives were behind those troubled spots? Israel? Iraq, going back to the 1950′s, and Iran, with the installation of the Shah. Saudi Arabia’s regime is the most oppressive, yet no mention of that US state.

If anyone wants peace in the region, don’t count on the US to provide it; the situation just turns into revolving oppressive regimes, as long as these puppets comply with US wishes, of course. Hussein and Qaddafi both made the mistake of planning to ditch the US dollar as payment for oil–the petrodollar scheme. The Libyan gold-backed dinar and the Iraqi plan to drop the US dollar as payment for Iraqi oil brought US proxies into those two countries.

Now, the US wants Iran. But before Iran, Iran’s no. 1 ally, Syria, must fall. Download, “Which Path to Persia?” another masterpiece from the Brookings Institution.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2009/6/iran%20strategy/06_iran_strategy.pdf

According to Brookings, Iran is a PROBLEM. How would the US react to Iran installing a puppet in the US for Iranian interests? And Iran is the problem, according to the fine prostitutes at Brookings.

Tell al-Jazeera that you know it’s a propaganda rag for US interests, as well. Never mind telling everyone how bad Assad is. Of course, he’s no fine fellow, but who put him there? How about the superpower imperialist piece-of-garbage of “freedom,” the US? It’s the problem, not Assad; he’s a US dog. Don’t blame a dog for its master’s mistakes.

Google US involvement in military coups and juntas; it’s fascinating reading. And Hugo Chavez was THE bad guy in Venezuela? Pinochet in Chile was a fluke?

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

Add Syria 2013 to the list on Wiki.

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March 31st, 2013, 10:14 pm

 

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four − = 2