‘Don’t Drag our Revolution through the Mud!” Farouk Brigade Commander Denies Claims of the self-proclaimed “Executioner of Homs”

The Commander of the Farouk Brigade of Homs denies the claims of the self-proclaimed Executioner of Homs.  made in the article, “The Burial Brigade of Homs: An Executioner for Syria’s Rebels Tells His Story”, published on 29 March 2012 by the German news magazine SPIEGEL online.

A German reporter friend asked me to post the following interview with Abdel Razaq Tlass, commander of Al Farouk brigade (FSA, Homs) which was published by Qantara. The reporter writes:

Today, Syria´s Ambassador to the UN (Jaafari) referred in his speech to this article (minute 6´50) wrongly citing, the important article of the German magazine DER SPIEGEL“ – it was SPIEGEL ONLINE which is independent of DER SPIEGEL). Many Syrians feel that this uncritical report destroys the overall image of the Syrian revolution.

We all know that executions of Shabbihas take place, especially in places like Homs. But the answers of Tlass suggest that there is no systematic system of judging and killing that is being controlled or ordered by the FSA-command. This is, as you know, very important. And for me as a colleague of Ulrike I consider it unprofessional not to doubt any of the descriptions of her witness in Tripoli and to not even try to check these allegations with somebody in Homs.

You know how difficult it is to interview Tlass, the interviewer had to stay anonymous but I know that the interview was properly conducted, translated and authorized.

Unfortunately SPIEGEL ONLINE didn’t see any reason for publishing the interview with Abdel Razaq Tlass. The editors comment:

We carefully investigated the story of the executioner of Bab Amr. Our correspondent as well as several other colleagues of our editorial staff have been following the developments in Syria with accuracy and detailed knowledge for years. I can´t find any sensationalism in our reports. We don´t see any reason to deviate from our reporting.“

Please note that the criticism explicitly refers to the work of SPIEGEL ONLINE, not to the reporting of the news magazin DER SPIEGEL which works independently of SPIEGEL ONLINE.

‘Don’t Drag our Revolution through the Mud!”

In an article entitled “The Burial Brigade of Homs:”, the German news magazine SPIEGEL online asserted that the Free Syrian Army has been responsible for the systematic sentencing, torture and execution of militiamen, soldiers and supporters of the Assad regime.

In an interview with Sakr El Horea, the commander of the Al Farouk Brigade in Homs, Abdel Razaq Tlass, denies the accusations

Have members of the irregular state Shabiha militia group been executed by the Free Syrian Army (FSA)? If so, were these isolated cases or are executions a regular occurrence, for instance, after guilt has been proven?

Abdel Razaq Tlass: From the very start, the task of the FSA in Homs has been to protect the demonstrators and to support the work of activists on the local coordination committees in Homs. This cooperation has allowed us to provide the world with information on the massacres committed by the regime. The Al Farouk Brigade has not conducted any executions of Shabiha militiamen or any captured soldiers. The brigade does not see itself as a court.

The SPIEGEL online article describes an organization that consists of a summary court, interrogation brigade and burial brigade. Does such a structure exist in Homs?

Tlass: No. There is neither an execution brigade nor a summary court brigade. The Al Farouk Brigade interrogates prisoners without resorting to psychological or physical torture. There is no interrogation brigade, as interrogations are usually conducted by the leaders of the brigade.

Abdel Razaq Tlass, one of the first deserters and the nephew of the long-serving Syrian Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass, is regarded as an important figure within the Free Syrian Army

How many soldiers from the regular Syrian Army, how many Shabiha militiamen and how many Assad supporters have been killed?

Tlass: You have to differentiate between two things: many regime soldiers were killed during the fighting between Assad’s troops and the FSA in Homs, during the defence of civilians by the FSA, and as a consequence of FSA attacks on military bases. Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with an exact number. However, the FSA has never conducted any executions or the targeted killing of individuals.

The witness in the SPIEGEL online article describes how a member of the burial brigade cut the throat of a prisoner condemned to death by the FSA.

Tlass: We categorically reject such a form of killing. No executions are carried out on behalf of the FSA.

How does the FSA determine the guilt of prisoners? Does the FSA use torture during interrogation? If so, what form of torture?

Tlass: We do not employ any form of torture during our interrogations.

Is there any cooperation between the local coordination committee and the Al Farouk Brigade when sentencing of prisoners?

Tlass: There is no sentencing of prisoners. The purpose of interrogations is to gain information and to gather evidence. Videos are made in which the prisoners describe their actions. In exchange, we release them. Convictions, however, do not take place….. [continue]

Comments (118)


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1. SC Moderation said:

48 hour moderation notice Alan is under 48 hour moderation, after repeated warnings to abide by Syria Comment Rules and Regulations on hateful language and fair use.

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April 14th, 2012, 11:07 pm

 

2. Ghufran said:

Did anybody expect Tlas to admit any wrong doing and repent?

The guy is speaking like a politician and his testimony means nothing to the families of those soldiers and security officers who were executed.

The policy of an eye for an eye is well and alive in Syria, and anybody who tries to saintify violence is only kidding himself.

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April 14th, 2012, 11:57 pm

 

3. Ghufran said:

هيثم مناع

للرد على سياسة السلطة في شيطنة الحركة الثورية السلمية باختزالها بالمؤامرة والسلفية والجهادية… الخ، دخلت بعض القوى والشخصيات السياسية المعارضة في لعبة التصعيد المفتوح في الخطاب مع كل ما هو غير مندمج عضويا في تجمع المصلحة الأمني العسكري المالي الحاكم، فصار بث الكراهية للجيش باعتباره جيش الأسد، وإباحة ضرب ما بني من دم الشعب وضرائب المواطن، والخلط بين تحطيم الدولة وتحطيم السلطة الدكتاتورية. ولم يخل ذلك من خطاب مزايدة في الأرقام والمعطيات كأننا في معركة مزايدة مفتوحة.. لكن الكلمات تقتل، وعندما يقال «الجيش الأسدي» عن كل مجند، يهجم جمع من المراهقين على حاجز لا أهمية له ولا تأثير لمن عليه فيقتل مجندا من هنا ورقيبا من هناك في عملية يسميها ثورية. ولا نجد سياسيا واحدا يملك الجرأة على القول هذه جريمة تعمم وتكرر جرائم القتل التي يقوم بها النظام.

[blue diamond + الحقيقة.. أكرم خلق ثوري
هيثم مناع – 07/04/2012 – 00:02:00
منذ أسابيع توقفت عن الكتابة. لم يكن السبب مقاطعة وسائل الإعلام المكتوبة أو السمعية البصرية وهي كثيرة (الجزيرة، العربية… وحتى روسيا اليوم التي يقول السيد فيصل القاسم انني أتحدّث عليها سبعين مرة في اليوم وأنا لم أتحدث مرة واحدة عليها في 2012). لم تكن المشكلة أبداً تغييباً إعلامياً.. فليس بالإمكان محاصرتي مهما دفع من مال أو مورس من ضغوط. لكن المشكلة تكمن في حالة الوجع، حتى لا أقول أكثر من ذلك، من الوضع الذي آلت إليه الأمور فيما أعطى الثورة المضادة مواقع متقدمة في محافل ومجالات كثيرة، باسم الثورة، وعلى حساب قيمها ومبادئها.

… ]

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April 15th, 2012, 12:16 am

 

4. Hans said:

I second Ghufran

It is a joke to believe anything comes out of Syria.

it is too more complicated than believing such non sense.

FSA can’t denies that the bombings in Damascus and Aleppo to incite more violent is not financed and supported by the same parties who are paying the FSA salaries.

The west doesn’t want to admit that Russia said NO about Syria and still trying to manipulate the situation.

I said it before Syria is for Russia and USA has no say in the inside politics of Syria.

Otherwise, get ready for a larger war all over the ME.

Democracy, can’t come on a tank such case in Iraq and for sure won’t come to Syria in the hands of the dictators of GCC.

Democracy is born within and as someone said Arabs are not ready for true democracy and respect to minorities, women, others regardless of race, religion, ethnicity etc…

We the people = I am the next dictator that’s what is very every Arabic spring country, time will tell that this is true.

it took USA 200 years to emerge as a superpower it may take the Arabs another 1000 years to respect the others. Moderate and radical Arabs live in the west free, it could be the time to return the radicals back home to destroy the progress made in the last century.

as long as people are leached with backward ideas about life, sex, religion, democracy can’t be born.

Father, wife are not free therefore kids are not free result no democracy in the society.

Killing people based on sect, religion, ethnicity is well known practice all over the ME.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 45 Thumb down 11

April 15th, 2012, 12:20 am

 

5. jad said:

Let me understand this, JL was so busy when bombs went off in Damascus and Aleppo to even write ONE line about a week later, but he is not busy hurrying to publish this meaningless writing from an anonymous ‘German friend’ on a Sunday just to whitening a terrorist reputation?

Besides, when you have too many accounts from different sources in the media about the exact same systematic killing, one anonymous ‘German reporting’ can’t change a thing about reality, and to make it even worse, the reporter is asking the killer to deny his crimes, I’m not sure how is that even believable or worth a full post for it.

And the youtube have plenty of Civilians and Military men who were kidnapped to make a statement before they were killed but Tlass own groups, including the kidnapping of 7 Iranians engineers killing two of them before Turkey forcing this exact same killer to deliver them, should we also deny that?

Here is another account by a very respected German writer, (not anonymous) Jurgen Todenhofer, he is talking about fsa terrorists and how they were killing civilians, including women and children because of their sect:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=10150662643600838&id=12084075837

Die Rebellen von Homs (erschienen in der F.A.Z. am 13.04.2012) Syrien im April. Omar ist Rebell der „Freien Syrischen Armee“ (FSA). Mein Sohn Frédéric und ich treffen ihn in Damaskus in einem dunklen Hinterzimmer. Am 27. Febru…
By: Jürgen Todenhöfer

In Alakhbar

في الأرض السائبة: السفّاحون ومجــرمو الحرب ضيوف الدولة
زياد الزعتري

كلامهم لا يخلو من «قطع رأس أو نحر رقبة». تسأل عن سبب اختيار الذبح وسيلة للقتل، فيأتيك الجواب بأن «الرصاصة خسارة في الكلاب الشاردة». هكذا هم دوماً، يتحدثون عن الآخر بشبق الدم. يفاخر أحدهم بذبح من هو من طائفة أخرى وعن غارات ليلية ينفّذونها دورياً للخطف، فضلاً عن الحواجز التي تفصل بين القرى لاصطياد «الدخيل».

في محلة أبو سمرا في طرابلس، ثمة مستشفى يشغله بأكمله جرحى سوريون، يُحضرون إلى لبنان بطرق غير شرعية. معظمهم مقاتلون أصيبوا في معارك مع الجيش السوري. يُنقلون إلى هنا حيث الأمن والأمان، فالمستشفى يحظى بحماية أمنية معلنة. يتولّاها أربعة مسلّحين، بورديتين صباحية ومسائية. لا يقاس الزمن بالأيام هنا، بل بأعداد الجرحى الذين يُدخَلون. لا يكاد يمر يوم من دون إدخال 4 أو 5 جرحى. أحياناً يصل الرقم إلى 25 جريحاً. المستشفى المذكور ليس الوحيد الذي يستقبل الجرحى السوريين، لكنه الوحيد الذي يحظى بـ«سيطرة» الجيش السوري الحر.
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/61641

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 21

April 15th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

6. jad said:

“Tlass: We categorically reject such a form of killing. No executions are carried out on behalf of the FSA.”

Sure, they are all ‘Angels’
الارهابيون يجهزون سيارات مفخخة تسير بالتحكم عن بعد

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 20

April 15th, 2012, 1:00 am

 

7. jad said:

What about fsa arming children and throw them in the battle field, to die so they can use them as propaganda?

Exclusive: Interviews With Wounded Teenage Free Syrian Army Fighters
http://www.policymic.com/articles/6975/exclusive-interviews-with-wounded-teenage-free-syrian-army-fighters

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April 15th, 2012, 1:17 am

 

8. Mohamed Kanj said:

What a disgrace and shameful article this is. Not a single comment/video or article was posted out of the 10,000+ which proves the FSA are responsible for murder and executions. But one article written by an unkown is deemed to be significant enough to contradict the Spiegel online article on executions. This further proves JL has lost all credibility and has become another outlet for the media war propoganda.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 20

April 15th, 2012, 1:30 am

 

9. Syria no Kandahar said:

Abdel Razzak Tlass is a terrorist, this is a public knowledge, and JL with his deep and broad scope on Syria knows that very well. We all know that Katebat Alfarook and FSA are criminals and the reports of burial brigade are very consistent with the nature of this terrorist Taliban style movement. JL watch what Tlass friends are doing in this clip with innocent kids and women, Tlass and FSA are Enemies of Syrians, all Syrians, with or against Bashar:

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 20

April 15th, 2012, 2:10 am

 

10. Alan said:

Obama’s Friday Afternoon Document Dump for this Week: US Begins Overt Aid to Syrian Death Squads After 13 Months of Covert Support

http://tarpley.net/2012/04/14/obamas-friday-afternoon-document-dump-for-this-week-us-begins-overt-aid-to-syrian-death-squads-after-13-months-of-covert-support/

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April 15th, 2012, 3:07 am

 

11. marinella correggia said:

Mr. Tlass can deny BUT there are many evidences of executions and behadings hanging of “shahiba” made by “Fsa”. Even the Bbc’s corresponsant from Homs Paul Wood was shown on a mobile phone some behading proudly carried on in the name of God. Read here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16984219:

The BBC’s Paul Wood has spent harrowing days under fire in the Baba Amr area of Homs and here reports on citizens subjected to a relentless artillery barrage by government troops.

Most of the people in the makeshift field hospital in Baba Amr did not want to be filmed.

They were too afraid of being arrested to show their faces. But not Abdel Nasr Zayed.

“I have lost 11 already and now I am willing to sacrifice everything for God,” he told me, a large, bearded man, his voice booming down the hospital corridor.

Of the 11 members of his extended family who had been killed – by shells or sniper fire – five were children under 14.

It was a typical story. Often people would tell you they had lost not one but many of their relatives

Why any news coming from the opposition is taken as true but when there is any bad news about the opposition’s acts, it has to be proven 100%?

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April 15th, 2012, 3:22 am

 

12. Juergen said:

Hans

I love it sometimes you have moments in which you reveal to us some genuine truth:

“It is a joke to believe anything comes out of Syria.”

I assume you include Sana, Al Dunia, and state TV right?

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April 15th, 2012, 3:25 am

 

13. Mina said:

Everybody is allowed to play fool, but in the first place, the Spiegel-on-line article had gaps. I. e. can anyone imagine that suddenly on his hospital bed, a brainwashed butcher decides that he may soon meet his Creator and decide to speak, of all people, to a Western journalist?

So obviously, the “confession” had to have followed another path. We’ll never know which, and it does not really matter because there are plenty of evidence. Basically the extremists are overwhelmingly occupying Youtube anf Gulf satellite channels so one has only to search to find.

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April 15th, 2012, 3:46 am

 

14. Juergen said:

Marcel Khalife

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April 15th, 2012, 4:58 am

 

15. Mina said:

Sorry,
How can you recommend this pale remixed copy?
Always get the original!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZE5pPeZ0Po&feature=related
(Marcel Khalife)

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April 15th, 2012, 5:26 am

 

16. Alan said:

Unwelcome to Palestine: Israel to bar entry to pro-Palestinian activists
http://rt.com/news/palestine-israel-activists-letter-081/

FSB charges top terrorist with conspiracy to kill Putin – report
http://rt.com/politics/fsb-kill-putin-report-957/

Saudi Arabia: Dancing To Israel’s Tune – OpEd
http://www.eurasiareview.com/14042012-saudi-arabia-dancing-to-israels-tune-oped/

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April 15th, 2012, 5:33 am

 

17. Khalid Tlass said:

Abdel Razzaq Tlass is very clever and diplomatic.

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April 15th, 2012, 5:47 am

 

18. Tara said:

The world is taking notice of Bashar continued violence..until the cease fire is declared a failure. But, have they UNSC established how many dead per day before they call it a failure.  Bashar will take on the opportunity to continue low level killings under the disguise that “breaches of cease fire are not uncommon during the early days”.  The FSA therefore should reserve the right for self defense and respond to the regime in a similar fashion.  The SNC should highlight in an intense campaign the regime continued killings to discourage orders to kill.   

Opposition: Syrian forces pummel Homs from the sky
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 15, 2012 — Updated 0951 GMT (1751 HKT)

(CNN) — Government helicopters pounded the besieged city of Homs from the sky, opposition activists said Sunday, three days after a so-called cease-fire in Syria.

In addition, “one bomb is being shelled every 10 minutes from the military academy, aiming at al-Wair neighborhood in Homs,” said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

At least nine people died across Syria on Sunday, including six in Homs, said the opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights. Two died in Aleppo a day after they were injured when regime forces opened fire at a funeral procession, the group said.
….
“There have been too many casualties, too much suffering to befall the Syrian people,” Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.
He also said that his government has been discouraged by a lack of objective information and has called on Syria to allow in international journalists.
….
Rice, the current Security Council president, pointed to reports of ongoing violence, which are already “raising renewed doubts about the sincerity” of Syrian authorities to end hostilities.

Renewed shelling on Homs on Saturday “absolutely” constituted a violation of the current cease-fire, she said.

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April 15th, 2012, 8:04 am

 

19. Tara said:

The UN has warned it will “consider further steps” against the Assad regime if Syria does not end the violence and comply with Annan’s ceasefire and six-point peace plan.

Syrian forces pound Homs as first UN monitors set to arrive
Sunday 15 April 2012 04.39 EDT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/syrian-forces-pound-homs-monitors

Syria’s four-day-old ceasefire was sorely tested on Sunday as the army repeatedly shelled the central city of Homs and rebels attacked a police station near Aleppo, compounding the job of a group of six UN observers en route for the country.

The advance party of a 30-strong mission of unarmed observers was set to arrive late on Sunday night and deploy on Monday. But William Hague, the foreign secretary, said there were limits to what the group could achieve given the fragility of the truce established last week.

“This number of people cannot possibly effectively monitor what is happening in the whole country,” Hague told Sky News. “The plan will be for a much larger [team], more in the hundreds, of monitors to follow them provided the [ceasefire] plan is being implemented by all concerned,” he said.

The observers will have much to inspect. In Homs on Sunday, Walid al-Fares, an activist living in Khalidiya, one of the neighbourhoods where mortar bombs have landed, said: “Early this morning we saw a helicopter and a spotter plane fly overhead. Ten minutes later, there was heavy shelling.”

Another resident said that government loyalists were using heavy machine guns to shoot into the area. Rami Abdelrahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said shells were being fired at a rate of one a minute.
(….)

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April 15th, 2012, 8:25 am

 

20. Tara said:

I don’t like how Abdel Razaq Tlass looks with the beard. He looks better without it.

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April 15th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

21. SANDRO LOEWE said:

14. Mina

It is always the same story. Old revolutionaries like you that have become middle classes or maybe even high class but still use the same old years icons. Even to attack the revolution they use the revolution icons like Marcel Khalifa. Revolution is simply change. Revolution is not red or blue, not secular or anarchist, not east or west. Revolution is change and your old icons are not revolution anymore. You have lost contact with the revolution´s actors. Your have lost contact with those peasants in Homs, Al Badia, Hama, Maarra, etc who are the core of this revolution. And you have lost even contact with young revolutionaires in Damascus universities and suburbs.

They are the change. They are the future. Sorry Marcel, you played a role one day, now you are just a part of status quo culture.

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April 15th, 2012, 8:44 am

 

22. Juergen said:

Ulrike Pütz has published an article in DER SPIEGEL on the upcoming observer mission.
Interestingly the number of observers as proposed by Annan was 250, the regime has bargained it down to easy controlable
30 observers in the beginning, with 24 more to come.

“Although the government is Bashar al-Assad called the UN resolution to give the envoys of the United Nations “unrestricted freedom of movement and access,” however, it is entirely on the leadership in Damascus, if they keep to it. That the observer to “speak freely and without interference with individuals in Syria, without that person may be punished for their interaction with the mission”, as required by the resolution is wishful thinking.”

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2F0%2C1518%2C827637%2C00.html

funny picture from Facebook:

Annan and Ban spoke of relative calm in Syria. The reason is that Assad’s troops use silencer!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=408082025887618&set=a.201716413190848.57037.201686009860555&type=1&theater

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April 15th, 2012, 9:05 am

 

23. Uzair8 said:

1) The syrian tourism minister must be under immense pressure to address the tourism situation fearing calls for his/her resignation.

Do you think Assad accepted the previous and current monitor missions partially on the advice of the tourism ministry? The hotels will finally get some business.

[Edit: It took a while to write this comment and in the meantime Jeurgens comment (#19) has negated this humorous suggestion…LOL].

________________________________________________________________

2) It’s reassuring to see the Economy Minister on top of things. Naturaly one has sympathy for anyone faced with an unenviable task.

As Syrian forces destroy homes, minister builds luxury house
Sunday, 15 April 2012

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/15/207827.html

________________________________________________________________

3) Analysis: With echoes of Saddam, Syria’s Assad may endure

By Alistair Lyon
Fri Apr 13, 2012

(Reuters) – Having crushed a popular uprising, he rules by force over an Arab land shattered by conflict and sanctions, his people too exhausted and cowed to resist.

Is this the fate awaiting Syria under Bashar al-Assad?

Saddam Hussein lasted for 12 years after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War until a U.S.-led invasion unleashed chaos and carnage from which Iraq, for all its oil, has yet to recover.

[…]

“But if Turkey launched some full-frontal assault using air power on Syrian military bases, Bashar might be concerned about his own military turning on him and saying, ‘We’re going to be destroyed by this, it’s time for you to go’,” Phillips said.

Read more:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/13/us-syria-assad-idUSBRE83C0VY20120413

__________________________________________________________________

4) Some comments on the Reuters article above.

There are differences between the Iraqi scenario and the potential syrian scenario. Saddam had oil wealth. Yes the Iraqi Shia, encouraged by Bush Senior, took a fatal gamble and rose up but had they really shaken off the cloud of fear like the Syrians have done?

About the unity and cohesiveness of the regime. Is it in essence a military dictatorship? The civilian front just a facade? Has the crisis forced it to reveal its true face? The primary and over-whelming response being military (security).

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April 15th, 2012, 9:05 am

 

24. Uzair8 said:

We are sometimes told that the majority of Syrians are opposed to arming the opposition.

So have the ‘silent majority’ finally broken their silence? Some may wonder why now?

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April 15th, 2012, 9:23 am

 

25. Norman said:

Kidnapping and murder done by both sides, when done by the Sunni, they called the Alawat Shabiha, and when done by the Alawat they called the Sunni, peaceful demonstrators, shame on both, hate is hard to get rid of especially in our society,because it is a revenge driven society,

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April 15th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

26. habib said:

“I consider it unprofessional not to doubt any of the descriptions of her witness in Tripoli and to not even try to check these allegations with somebody in Homs.”

LOOOL!

Double standards?

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April 15th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

27. Hans said:

A deal looming between USA and Iran, the USA presidential election on its way to high speed.

Syria is definitely put on the back burner therefore if a deal with Iran signed than Syria won and the terrorists will pay a heavy price at the end of the day.

the GCC will follow as someone said that earlier and I agree.

BTW JAD yes I second you JL is becoming more as a spokesman of the state department here, not as neutral he use to be at the beginning of the turmoil I won’t call it revolution bc it is acts of terrors against many of the innocent.

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April 15th, 2012, 10:10 am

 

28. Ghufran said:

Annan’s plan will be difficult to implement because concerned parties are reluctant participants at best, especially those who feel cheated after they were made to accept the participation of the regime in any future settlement, this makes the goal of an immediate toppling of the regime unattainable for the time being. The regime is also uneasy about allowing demonstrations and free elections because this will undoubtedly means a regime change. However, this plan is by far the best solution to Syria’s crisis if the goal is preserving lives instead of preserving egos.

I do not take seriously any claims that the breaches of the cease fire are unilaterally done by the regime, assassinations of army officers and soldiers have not stopped since Thursday and are unlikely to stop, the regime also will be pressured to respond and has not stopped arrests and counter attacks, there is even reports of attacks on opposition forces that are also a violation of cease fire. However, the cease fire is still holding and the monitors will be in Syria today with more to come in the coming weeks.

Russia and China are also trying to reduce tension on the Iranian side to the dismay of war mongers. It is a race between advocates of violence and supporters of dialogue.

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April 15th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

29. Uzair8 said:

Related to Ghufran’s comment @28 the following is a Channel 4 video and text report. Fawaz Gerges gives his analysis.

Why Syria’s peace plan is destined to fail
Thursday 12 April 2012

The Kofi Annan-brokered ceasefire in Syria will fail because of irreconcilable ambitions within the country, regionally and internationally, Middle East and security experts tell Channel 4 News.

Read more:

http://www.channel4.com/news/why-kofi-annans-syrian-peace-plan-is-destined-to-fail

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April 15th, 2012, 10:30 am

 

30. bronco said:

#28 Ghufran

“The regime is also uneasy about allowing demonstrations and free elections because this will undoubtedly means a regime change”

Demonstrations are of no threat anymore, “too little too late”.

If on a Friday, just after the UNSC vote, the number of protesters was a few thousands, it does not seem to present any serious threat in the near future. Where are the ‘million’Tahrir square predictions that the anti-regime and the Turkish media predicted?

It is obvious that with new Constitution the political system will change to be more open and democratic. If this what you call ‘regime change”?

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April 15th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

31. Tara said:

Bronco

Why do you hold on every single hope to preserve the regime? Why does it hurt you too much when anyone mentions regime change?

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April 15th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

32. Ghufran said:

A report from Trablos – Lebanon on Syrian children
http://www.syriandays.com/?page=show_det&select_page=73&id=31032

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April 15th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

33. bronco said:

#19 Tara

Allow me to correct what you wrote:
(UN to) consider further steps” against the Assad regime

The resolution does not say ‘against Assad regime’ . This is what it says:

“12. Expresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate;”

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April 15th, 2012, 10:44 am

 

34. Amnesia said:

“It is obvious that with new Constitution the political system will change to be more open and democratic. If this what you call ‘regime change”?”

–What is obvious is that until the regime is changed, the constitution of Syria means absolutely nothing. The mukhabarat and corrupt officials have always operated outside the constitution, and will continue to do so.

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April 15th, 2012, 10:47 am

 

35. Ghufran said:

Bronco,

Demonstrations are still a threat to the regime, we both know why the number of demonstrators went down, however, I think the opposition should be more focused on the political track. Elections if held freely will ensure a regime change without blood shed but the best Syria can achieve is a relatively clean election process, both sides will use intimidation and political money to win, the GCC in particular will dump a huge amount of money in those elections, assuming that we will actually have elections.

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April 15th, 2012, 10:49 am

 

36. bronco said:

31. Tara

Why hurt? I need clarification on terms used that seems to mean something different to each one.

Maybe you can clarify to me what is meant by ‘regime change’ now that a new political democratic system in the making.

Is it reduced to ‘Bashar al Assad resignation”? or what?

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April 15th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

37. Valerya said:

34-
the situation inside Syria is not siutable for any good working of new constitution ! it is dident take time to go up !

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April 15th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

38. Tara said:

Bronco

I did not make it up. It is in the article.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

39. Uzair8 said:

Although Damascus and Aleppo haven’t risen up, with some suggesting this is because they are saturated with Mukhabarat/Shabeeha and also due to fear of repercussions, we are told the cities are, under the surface, boiling with anger.

Assuming we had free and fair elections, free from falsification of results, would this ‘anger’ translate into an anti-Assad vote?

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April 15th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

40. Afram said:

Save the evil doers….C’mon Be a hero,Adopt one!

For $20 a month,your gift can go 4X as far…

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April 15th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

41. bronco said:

#35 Ghufran

We will see about demonstrations. My hunch is that the opposition is even more divided now as the UN has approved unanimously Annan Plan, sending the hardline inspired AL plan to the dustbin.

Now the hardliner Turkey and Qatar are been watched for any attempts to inflame the uprisings.

I really wonder what would be the slogan of the demonstrations now that the hopes of a quick regime change with the resignation of Bashar Al Assad have faded away. The Opposition, in my view, will start to move the streets on the political arena, if they are able to.

Do you think the elections in Egypt and Tunisia are immune from the money power of the GCC?

By disallowing religious parties, the Syrian election law is trying to limit such interference.

In any case all the money GCC poured into the SNC and the opposition failed to change the course of the Syrian government. Addtionally the GCC is itself divided, some favouring the Salafists, some the MBs, some are neutral.

Look how Egypt’s SCAF has simply kicked out the MB and the Salafi candidate, the GCC favorites, setting a precedent that Syria could use.

The struggle will be long, but the most difficult part is hopefully behind us.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:09 am

 

42. Tara said:

Bronco

Yes, regime change means vanishing of Assad family and the inner circle with blood on their hands from the political process in Syria. Then, gradual process to full democracy, remnant of the “regime” and MB included.

That is at least what I would be happy with and what I perceive the SNC wants too.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

43. bronco said:

37. Tara said:

“I did not make it up. It is in the article.”

A typical Western media subtle disinformation. You see now why you shouldn’t trust them blindly.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

44. Afram said:

Bahrain Protestors Clash with Police at Citizen Journalists Funeral….Ismael rest in peace

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April 15th, 2012, 11:23 am

 

45. zoo said:

The New Power in the Middle East
Syria’s Fate Will Be Determined By Turkey

By Maximilian Popp
Syrian refugees in Turkey: Ankara is now defending European values.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,827480,00.html

Europe and the United States are delaying action in the Syria conflict — yielding the field to Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan is presenting himself as a crisis manager, organizing aid for refugees and threatening to invoke NATO’s mutual defense clause. By doing so, Ankara is cementing its status as a major regional power in the Middle East.

After his election victory last June, his third in a row, Erdogan announced that it wasn’t just a victory for Istanbul and Ankara, but just as much so for Beirut and Damascus. In this crisis-riddled region, Erdogan, like a sultan, is increasingly setting the agenda.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

46. Tara said:

Bronco

Misinformation or the writer’s interpretation of the text?

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April 15th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

47. Alan said:

34. AMNESIA
according to you the newborn rises at once and goes independently without taken the time?
Q: tell me pls whether you that consider a mode in Saudi Arabia dictatorial and spoiled?

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April 15th, 2012, 11:40 am

 

48. Amnesia said:

Studies a few years ago proposed that while Bashar’s policies succeeded in partially tackling lower-level corruption, his inner circle more than offset that with large monopolies on services, large bribes they demanded from businesses, and the siphoning off of some 85% of oil revenue according to some insiders.

From what I have seen, corruption on the lower levels may have actually gotten worse. In the 90s shadowy mukharabat type officers stamped my passport at the airport upon entering, without taking money. With Bashar in power, those officers in the airport were replaced with young soldiers whom openly request $10, and smiled and made sure you got through the next guarded doorway without being stopped only upon paying up.

Entering Syria through Jordan by road is an embarrassment. There is no clear system. One must go to four or five different lines, with no direction and guidance as to where one should go. Many take money from everybody, without posting the amount clearly. They are not operating transparently. The money they collect is a big collection for the higher-ups, and they do collect a lot. In my experience, the border with Syria is the most expensive, corrupt, disorganized, and time-consuming border in the middle east.

I am merely pointing out that despite high hopes for Bashar before the current crimes against humanity, he failed miserably at doing what he stated he wished to do upon taking power, on so many levels. Those that blindly support him have no argument whatsoever. Bashar needs to go, and may those that follow him always uphold transparency and rule of law.

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April 15th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

49. Syria no Kandahar said:

Corruption is not a reason to burn a country. Many American embassies overseas would not look at an application without 100$ bill inside it. Did you ever hear about Madof who made many many Americans poor?

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April 15th, 2012, 12:09 pm

 

50. ann said:

Syria accuses armed opposition of escalating assaults after cease- fire deadline – 2012-04-15

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/15/c_131528226.htm

DAMASCUS, April 15 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Ministry of Defense said Sunday that “armed terrorist groups” have ramped up assaults on government troops since the army observed the UN-backed cease-fire, and stressed that it will prevent those armed groups from carrying on with criminal acts.

Since the army declared the cease-fire last Thursday, the attacks by armed groups have ramped up, targeting civilians, army personnel as well as public and private properties, the defense ministry said in a statement carried by state-run SANA news agency.

The ministry said the assaults also coincided with the latest UN resolution to dispatch international observers to Syria to monitor the cease-fire, which was brokered by the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan.

The attacks have marked numerous violations to the cease-fire truce, said the ministry, adding that it resulted in many human and material losses.

The ministry stressed that out of the government’s sense of responsibility toward protecting citizens and preserving the country’s security, it will stop “those terrorists from practicing more murders and sabotage acts.”

The Syrian official media has recently reported that since the UN-backed cease-fire deadline came into effect at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Thursday, a number of army officers were killed and some others were kidnapped in different parts of the country.

[…]

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April 15th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

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