Flood of Refugees Underlines the Spreading Sectarian War

Record Number Of Syrians Fled Country In August
Listen to the Story on NPR Radio, All Things Considered [4 min 33 sec]

Activist groups are reporting that more than 5,000 people died in Syria in the month of August. Along with the death toll, the number of Syrians fleeing their country is also on the rise. Melissa Block talks to Joshua Landis about the bigger picture in Syria and what happens next…

LANDIS: The Syrian army remains very strong. Even though it’s losing ground, it has strong backing in Iran and Russia, and its got a command and control, which is what the opposition – although it has numbers, the opposition, and it has a lot of international support, it does not have good command and control. And it doesn’t have the kind of weaponry that the Syrian army has.

BLOCK: How resilient would you say the Syrian army is? How much can it take?

LANDIS: It can take a lot. This is the problem, is that the Syrian army is transforming itself. As the Sunni Arabs defect from the army, and increasingly, the Sunni elements in the army are not trusted, the army has been remaking itself as an Alawite militia, increasingly. And we’re seeing this war devolve into a civil war between Alawites, the Shiite heterodox group – 12 percent of Syrians – and the Syrian Sunni Arabs who are 70 percent of the population roughly. And that’s why things are becoming increasingly more brutal, but it’s also why the Syrian army will not likely give up.

If they were to give up, the leadership in the army will be killed. And many Alawites believe that they would be marginalized in society as the Sunni Arabs take over. So they’re fighting a very brutal war, and it’s hard to see how this comes to an end anytime soon…..

Syrian Children Offer Glimpse of a Future of Reprisals
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, September 3, 2012, New York Times

ZAATARI, Jordan — Like all the small children in the desert refugee camp here, Ibtisam, 11, is eager to go home to the toys, bicycles, books, cartoons and classmates she left behind in Syria.

But not if that means living with Alawites, members of the same minority offshoot of Shiite Islam as Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. “I hate the Alawites and the Shiites,” Ibtisam said as a crowd of children and adults nodded in agreement. “We are going to kill them with our knives, just like they killed us.” ….

“We hear it all the time from the kids, but also from the parents — that this is not political at all, and not a call for democracy, but is about people fed up and angry at rule by a minority, the Alawites,” said Saba al-Mobaslat, director for Jordan of the nonprofit group Save the Children, which provides toys to refugee children and tries to teach them understanding. “There is a concern that this is a whole generation that is being brought up to hate, that can’t see the other’s side.”

The roots of the animosity toward the Alawites from members of Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, who make up about 75 percent of the population, run deep into history. During the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, the two groups lived in separate communities, and the Sunni majority so thoroughly marginalized Alawites that they were not even allowed to testify in court until after World War I.

Then, in a pattern repeated across the region, said Joshua Landis, a Syria scholar at the University of Oklahoma, French colonialists collaborated with the Alawite minority to control the conquered Syrian population — as colonialists did with Christians in Lebanon, Jews in Palestine and Sunni Muslims in Iraq. The French brought Alawites into the colony’s military to help control the Sunnis. And after Syria’s independence from France, the military eventually took control of the country, putting Alawites in top government positions, much to the resentment of the Sunni majority.

“Now the Alawites believe — possibly correctly — that the Sunnis are going to try to kill them, and that is why the Alawite Army now is killing Sunnis in this beastly way,” Professor Landis said. “The Alawites feel justified in brutality because they fear what may be in store for them if they lay down their guns.”

“I don’t see any way out of that,” he said, “except to say that we are in for a long, difficult ride, and you pray that the Syrians are going to get over this somehow.”….

Inside Syria’s Fracturing Rebellion
Sarah Birke and Katie Paul, August 30, 2012 | New Republic

JEBEL ZAWIYA, SYRIA—The unglamorous municipal building, on which black daubs evince graffiti wars between the regime (“Bashar Assad or the country burns!”) and the opposition (“Leave, oh Bashar!”) did not look fit for a king. But it was immediately obvious when the man in the pressed green khakis strode in that we were in the presence of a leader. Men who had been sitting around in the room chatting fell silent. The leather chair behind the desk was seamlessly vacated. A bulky companion, who appeared to be a bodyguard, took the chair nearest the door; the American-made weapon laid across his knees stood out against the Kalashnikovs we had seen slung over shoulders for the last few days.

We had sat waiting for two hours in Serjeh, a village perched on a ridge in the mountainous Jebel Zawiya region of Syria’s northwestern Idleb province, and were about to give up hope when Ahmed Abu Issa, the head of Saqour al-Sham (the “Sham Falcons”; Sham refers both to Damascus and Greater Syria) appeared. The 40-year-old cut a striking figure, with his bushel of thick hair and grey eyes that betrayed no emotion; a holster was strapped across broad shoulders and he trailed a waft of cologne. The enormous turquoise rock adorning his right ring finger was conspicuously displayed as he clamped his hands on the table.

As head of a group of some 4,000 or so fighters that operates out of Serjeh, Abu Issa is one of the most influential men in the province—and he knows it. Within two minutes of our arrival, intelligence networks had clicked into action, as a gun-toting teenager rode up to inquire as to the nature of our visit. Elsewhere around his territory, he runs three field hospitals, a court based on sharia law, and a prison. (He refused to show us the prison, though YouTube footage later revealed a less savory side of his outfit: some captives have been sent off in booby-trapped cars to be blown apart at army checkpoints.) His immediate motivations are the same, he tells us, as that of other rebel groups: the ouster of Assad. But in the longer-term he wants an Islamist state: “Not as the West understands it: one not too far to the left, and not too far to the right.”

The source of his authority derives neither from military prowess nor local prominence, but rather from a peculiar collection of personal attributes. Abu Issa has charisma by the bucketload: a spellbinding way of orating in flawless formal Arabic and, when addressing issues he deems unpleasant, one side of his upper lip momentarily curls up into a snarl. Rebel fighters have flocked to his side, he says, because of the “rectitude” of his vision and because “Syrians need someone to lead them.” Like many men in his brigade, he is also driven by personal scores to settle with the Assad family. His father was killed in the notorious Tadmor jail in the 1980s; he too spent time in prison in 2003 because the regime didn’t much like his sharia studies nor his “voluntary work” mediating disputes between local families. Sixteen relatives have perished in the current conflict, including two brothers and his sixteen-year-old son (after which he donned a more overtly religious tone.)

Money and weapons help draw followers as much as personal authority, of course. Asked how a small-town religious scholar is able to amass the military might to challenge the army, he is coy. “Need,” he says, with a sly smile, “is the mother of invention.” In fact, swashbuckling performances in videos have made Saquor al-Sham a name on forums outside the country and with it income from private Gulfi backers. Serjeh was something of this year’s Ramadan rebel financier hotspot.

This support leaves him better placed than most rebel groups. It also allows him to dismiss with the flap of a hand the floundering myriad opposition institutions—the Free Syrian Army, Syrian National Council, Muslim Brotherhood—who might want to have a say over his plans. Despite this independence, Abu Issa says he will not fight to impose his vision on Syria: “The political field is a market: you offer your goods and I offer mine,” he told us. “People will come to me because mine are clean.” But the spirit of cooperation many only extend so far: should there be any attempt to “force me to close my store,” he says, then “the sword will be the judgment.”….

the men in Jabal Zawiya offer an insight into the evolving power structures in Syria as Bashar al-Assad’s regime contracts. The groups are currently bound together by a common aim to rid the country of Assad and strive not to act like his regime, but the seeds of struggles are being planted—aided by the brewing geopolitical reckoning. Rather than build the united country once imagined by protesters, rebel warlords are each taking their own bit of land and implementing their own vision—though militarily coordination continues. ….

Turkey’s Anti-Assad Policy Ricochets Back:
Public Opinion Shifts Against Ankara As Conflict in Syria Crosses Border


ISTANBUL—The Turkish government, which is spearheading efforts to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, is facing public skepticism over its Syria policy as the civil war next door increasingly spills across the border.

Developments in recent weeks have magnified Turks’ unease over Syria’s 18-month uprising.

More than 82,000 Syrians have now sought refuge in Turkey, at a cost of around $300 million to the Turkish government, Ankara said Tuesday, as Turkish border towns that relied on trade with Syria have seen economic activity wither and unemployment rise. Turkish television is showing footage of the country’s nationals, which have been …

Iran Supplying Syrian Military via Iraqi Airspace
By MICHAEL R. GORDON, September 4, 2012

WASHINGTON — Iran has resumed shipping military equipment to Syria over Iraqi airspace in a new effort to bolster the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to senior American officials.

The Obama administration pressed Iraq to shut down the air corridor that Iran had been using earlier this year, raising the issue with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq. But as Syrian rebels gained ground and Mr. Assad’s government was rocked by a bombing that killed several high officials, Iran doubled down in supporting the Syrian leader. The flights started up again in July and, to the frustration of American officials, have continued ever since. ….

Assad assures Red Cross on aid operations
The Peninsula – 05 September, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad promised yesterday to allow the Red Cross to expand its humanitarian operations in his country which is gripped by a 17-month insurgency that forced more than 100,000 people to flee last month alone….

 Some 100,000 refugees fled Syria during August making it by far the highest monthly total since hostilities began, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

The tide in people fleeing the civil war, a figure that includes both refugees who are registered and those awaiting registration with the Geneva-based U.N. refugee agency, underscores the intensifying violence between the regime of Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, and the armed anti-government groups.

The August total represents more than 40 percent of the 234,368 Syrian refugees who, as of the last count on September 2, had fled for surrounding countries since the uprising began 17 months ago.

The Making of a Syrian Rebel: The Saga of Abboud Barri
His callousness is more pronounced than most, but the story of Abboud Barri reflects the universal struggle to preserve humanity in the face of the exigencies of war
By Rania Abouzeid / Jabal al-Zawya | September 4, 2012 | 1

Free Syrian Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, Sunday, June 10, 2012

Abboud Barri jiggles the dog tags as if they belonged to animals being raised in a puppy mill. “I have a lot of these,” Barri says. “Any buyers?” He is joking. The tags belong to human beings, soldiers of the hated Assad regime now held captive or killed by Barri, a local commander of one of the franchise groups of the rebel Free Syrian Army. Unlike some other militia leaders, Barri says he isn’t interested in ransoming his captives from their families. He says he keeps the ID tags so that those families know “to look for them in hell.”

He keeps the eight military-issued dog tags in the right pocket of his sand-colored desert camouflage cargo pants; they are war booty from his unit’s recent assault on a loyalist checkpoint in Kfranbel in Idlib province….

The fighter was extremely troubled as he recalled the incident. “See this blood,” he said pointing to a patch on the knees of his jeans, “it’s Alawite blood.” He held his head in his hands, asking God for forgiveness. “What are we becoming?” he said. There was no way to verify his account….

U.S. Hones Plans for Big Bailout of Egypt – WSJ

CAIRO—American diplomats are closing in on an agreement to dole out $1 billion in debt relief to Egypt, part of a gilded-charm offensive that Washington hopes will help shore up the country’s economy and prevent its new Islamist leadership from drifting beyond America’s foreign-policy orbit.

A team of senior State Department economic officials have spent the past week in Egypt’s capital completing the terms of an aid package that President Barack Obama first announced last year after Egypt’s pro-democracy uprising rattled the country’s once-promising economic future.

The money has since sat in policy limbo as Egyptian and American diplomats disagreed

Muslim Brotherhood establishes militia inside Syria

The Muslim Brotherhood has established its own militia inside Syria as the country’s rebels fracture between radical Islamists and their rivals, commanders and gun-runners have told The Daily Telegraph.

Who Will Govern Syrian Kurdistan?
By Giorgio Cafiero, August 31, 2012

Last month, as the Free Syrian Army took over areas of the Syrian-Turkish border, a power vacuum emerged in northeastern Syria. It was not the Free Syrian Army that filled the vacuum, but instead the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the most heavily armed Kurdish faction in Syria. In early August, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Kurdish political parties and paramilitary groups have almost completely usurped the Syrian state apparatus,” taking over municipal buildings and vital infrastructure, providing security, and controlling the distribution of resources.

Egypt President Slams Syria in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran—Egypt’s new president described the Syrian regime as “oppressive” and called for it to transfer power to a democratic system during a visit to Syria’s key regional ally Iran on Thursday.

President Mohammed Morsi’s visit to Iran is the first by an Egyptian leader to the Islamic Republic in decades. It represents a major thaw in relations between the two regional powerhouses following Mr. Morsi’s election win in June in the aftermath of the country’s 2011 uprising. But the two countries remain deeply divided over the situation in Syria.

Tehran cut ties with Egypt following Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. …

CBS News: Bosnians who fled Syria describe a hellish war

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina &#8212 A Bosnian woman who fled Syria says the war in the Arab country is worse than the fighting in her homeland 20 years ago. A group of 35 Bosnians landed at the Sarajevo airport Thursday, flying in from Istanbul …

Reuters reports: France plans to channel aid to rebel-held parts of Syria so that these “liberated zones” can administer themselves and staunch an outflow of refugees, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

He said France and Turkey had identified areas in the north and south that had escaped President Bashar al-Assad’s control, creating a chance for local communities to govern themselves without feeling they had to flee to neighboring countries.

“Maybe in these liberated zones Syrians who want to flee the regime will find refuge which in turn makes it less necessary to cross the border whether in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan or Iraq,” Fabius said after a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday.

However, civilians in rebel-held parts of Syria have suffered frequent deadly air strikes from Assad’s forces.

It was not clear how Fabius’s promise to allocate much of its future 5 million euros ($6.25 million) aid for Syria to these areas would protect civilians and deter them from fleeing.

The Associated Press reports: Turkey appealed to a reluctant U.N. Security Council Thursday for a safe haven for thousands of Syrians facing a “humanitarian disaster” as Britain and France said they would rule out no options — including a no-fly zone — to aid residents fleeing an escalating civil war.

But Turkish leaders held out little hope for the endorsement of a deeply divided council that has been paralyzed on taking action to stop the 18-month uprising that has killed more than 20,000 people.

“How long are we going to sit and watch while an entire generation is being wiped out by random bombardment and deliberate mass targeting?” asked Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “Let’s not forget that if we do not act against such a crime against humanity happening in front of our eyes, we become accomplices to the crime.”

Davutoglu, whose country is hosting more than 80,000 Syrian refugees, said he came to the council with hope that its members would take “long overdue steps” to help suffering people and establish camps inside Syria for those forced to flee their homes.

“Apparently, I was wrong about my expectations,” he told the council. “This meeting will not even end with a presidential or press statement, let alone a robust resolution.”

The path to the council’s agreement on a safe zone for Syrians is fraught with obstacles, headed by the reluctance of Russia and China, Syria’s most important allies. They have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions in the Security Council seeking to pressure President Bashar Assad’s government with the threat of sanctions.

Comments (73)

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51. mjabali said:

Mr. Darryl:

Uzair6 Allahu Akbar was talking yesterday how he hates those with blood on their hands while he calls for the spilling of Syrian blood day after day. He has violent dreams as his companions.

As for his sidekick Visitor I wish he could answer your question because I and many would love to know the answer. It shows you that those who talk about religion really do not know that much about it. It is a very hard task to know all the answers. The dude talks as if he the head scholar in Umm al-Qura or al-Azhar.

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September 5th, 2012, 8:20 pm


52. Ghufran said:

“This is a corrupt, undemocratic police state, but what is going on is not a war in Syria but a battle by outside players for Syria,” he said in an August interview in an office at the Writers Union building in Amman.
Mr. Muwaffaq Mahadin, a prominent opposition figure who writes for the independent Jordanian daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm, has extensive pro-democracy credentials. He was arrested several times for his political views and was even forced to flee the country for a decade, living in exile between Beirut and Damascus.
These days some revile him as a conspiracy theorist while others call him courageous. Regardless, his columns fuel heated debate among Jordanian intellectuals.
Over the years he spent in Damascus, Mr. Mahadin built strong ties with the Syrian opposition. He says the revolt in Syria was initially a spontaneous uprising of the street but was later hijacked by international powers.
Mr. Mahadin is just one of a number of leftist, anti-imperialist intellectuals who believe that the Syrian rebellion is being led by Islamists aligned with the West, manipulated by Gulf states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the behalf of the United States and Israel, in order to gain dominance in the region.
A group of 230 influential figures have signed an open letter in the press demanding that Jordan stand with Syria in the face of a global conspiracy.

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September 5th, 2012, 8:21 pm


53. Richard said:

1. Visitor said:
“I only hope that the Sunnis wiil exact retribution in the name of justice and not as pure revenge.

There is no end without such retribution. Human nature DEMNANDS it.”

Good Lord. Human nature doesn’t demand retribution, human stupidity does. South Africa is example where human intelligence triumphed over human stupidity.

I hope for the best case for Syria, which would be massively unanswered injustice.

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September 5th, 2012, 8:32 pm


54. Ghufran said:

بعد البيان الذي أعلنته تنسيقيات قدسيا ودومر والهامة حول قبولها بالتفاوض دون شروط مسبقة شهدت مدينة قدسيا جهوداً استثنائية لتجنيب المدينة وحشية القتال وما يمكن أن يترتب عليها من دمار وسفك للدماء يدفع المواطنون وحدهم ثمنها وتبعاتها المادية، خاصة وأن الأهالي يعانون الأمرين بعد استنزاف مدخراتهم بدفع إيجارات باهظة في المناطق التي نزحوا إليها وفقدان مصادر أرزاقهم نظرا لإغلاق محالهم وتعطل مصالحهم، ولم يعد بإمكانهم تحمل المزيد.
جهود المصالحة التي قادها وجهاء المنطقة قد أسفرت عن التوصل إلى اتفاق تقوم بموجبه المجموعات المسلحة بمغادرة المدينة لتجنيب قدسيا معركة بين هذه المجموعات وبين الجيش السوري. وبالمقابل تقوم اللجان الشعبية بإزالة كافة حواجزها وخاصة حاجز الصفصاف بشكل نهائي وإعادة فتح الطرقات المغلقة إضافة إلى العمل على عودة النازحين عن قدسيا إلى بيوتهم وأعمالهم بأسرع وقت ممكن.
ومن ثم يجري العمل على إعادة مؤسسات الدولة الخدمية إلى قدسيا ( مدارس -بلدية – هاتف – مياه – كهرباء -مستوصف – إطفاء – شرطة مدنية – شرطة مرور – محكمة ) وتشكيل لجنة من الأهالي في كل منطقة للتنسيق بينها لمتابعة ملفات المفقودين والمعتقلين والمطلوبين لتسويتها والعمل على محاصرة ووأد الخروقات الفردية في حال حصولها. بالإضافة إلى تشكيل لجنة لمتابعة أوضاع المتضررين بممتلكاتهم وحصر هذه الأضرار وتقديمها إلى الجهات الرسمية لتعويض الأهالي وفق التعليمات النافذة في هذا المجال.

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September 5th, 2012, 8:37 pm


55. Richard said:

32. zoo said:
“I am sure that if the FSA is able to penetrate the areas where most Alawites villages loyal to the regime are, they will be ruthless: Just hear the hatred and calls for bloody revenge pouring from young sunni kids in the refugees camps.”

The longer the war goes on, the worse it all gets.

A stalemate will not lead to a resolution, it will lead to more parentless children.

Until one side demonstrates that they will prevail, there is no reason for either side to negotiate. The loser-lose-all psychology is not going away.

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September 5th, 2012, 9:04 pm


57. Tara said:

Turkey accuses Syria of ‘state terrorism’
By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY | Associated Press – 6 hrs ago

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey accused Syria of “state terrorism” Wednesday after a sharp spike in the death toll from the Syrian civil war, and Iran came under new scrutiny with the U.S. alleging that Tehran is flying weapons to President Bashar Assad’s regime across Iraqi airspace.
With violence escalating in the nearly 18-month-old crisis, strains rippled across the region as Egypt’s president urged Assad to take a lesson from the Arab Spring uprisings that deposed other leaders and step down.
“The regime has become one of state terrorism,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Syria is going through a huge humanitarian saga. Unfortunately, as usual, the international community is merely watching the slaughter, massacre and the elimination of Muslims.”
Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council spokesman at the White House, said Tehran “will stop at nothing to support a Syrian regime that is murdering its own people,” adding that Iraq, like all other nations, must block Iran from exporting arms.

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September 5th, 2012, 9:20 pm


58. Ghufran said:

تعهَّد الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي بحماية الخليج ضد أية محاولة للسيطرة أو الهيمنة، مشددًا على رفض التدخل في شؤون أية دولة عربية أو المساس باستقرارها.
وقال مرسي أمام اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب اليوم بمقر جامعة الدول العربية في القاهرة: “أرحب بالدعم الذي قدَّمه الأشقاء في السعودية لليمن الشقيق فهم أخوة، ونحن نقدِّر ونثمِّن دورهم ونقف دومًا إلى جوارهم في السعودية والخليج، ونسعى لدرء أية محاولة للتدخل أو الهيمنة في مقدراتهم أو شؤونهم، في إطار من الالتزام المصري التاريخي بالعرب أينما كانوا”.
Money talks..
Morsi, has a lot to worry about at home, nobody will argue against Egypt’s weight and potential, but I would like Morsi to use both eyes to see the whole picture, I guess the color green coming from those Qatari deposits is a tongue booster.

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September 5th, 2012, 9:50 pm


59. Ghufran said:

قال البنك المركزي الليبي الأربعاء إن قيمة أصوله تصل إلى 121 مليار دولار, مؤكدا من جهة أخرى أن القطاع المصرفي في ليبيا ممتاز.
وأضاف البنك في بيان لوكالة يونايتد برس إنترناشونال أن الأصول التي في حوزته هي في شكل احتياطيات ومشاركات, مشيرا إلى أن مدخراته من العملة الأجنبية تغطي واردات البلاد من السلع والخدمات لمدة خمسين شهرا (أربع سنوات وشهرين).
Libya has less than 7 million people.

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September 5th, 2012, 9:56 pm


60. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Many cut and paste pieces without any mention of sources.

Please tell us from where you’re getting your little snippets of information, thanks.

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September 5th, 2012, 11:01 pm


62. Syrain said:

تسجيل واضح يرصد لحظة سقوط مئذنة في حي الاذاعة بحلب

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September 5th, 2012, 11:21 pm


63. zoo said:

50 Ghufran

Thank God, some enlighted people are waking up to the vicious, devoring and destructive monster that this ‘revolution’ has turned out to be.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia are feeding the monster in the name of a democracy they don’t even have and a freedom they don’t even give to more than half of their population.

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September 5th, 2012, 11:56 pm


64. zoo said:

Fierce debate in Turkey about Syria’s policy while Erdogan is in a hurry to be in Syria so he can pray near Saladin grave… if Allah wants it.

Premier vows to pray in Damascus mosque ‘soon’


…But we will go there in the shortest possible time, if Allah wills it; and embrace our brothers. That day is close. We will pray near the grave of Salahaddin Ayyubi and pray in the Umayyad Mosque. We will pray for our brotherhood freely in Hejaz Railway Station,” Erdoğan said,
Kılıçdaroğlu for his part continued to criticize the government’s foreign policy regarding Syria, suggesting that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has used the U.N. as a “wailing wall,” and indicating that the government is not capable of dealing with the Syrian crisis.

“They pompously said that Turkey is the leader of its region. But look at our situation. Our foreign minister has turned the U.N. into a wailing wall. Does this befit the foreign minister of Turkey? I cannot accept this. The people do not accept this either,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, in a speech delivered at a meeting of the heads of provincial CHP women’s branches.

The CHP has been critical of the government’s Syria policy since the very beginning of the conflict, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “We prepared a resolution project and drew a roadmap [for ending the Syrian conflict] but they accused us of acting unethically. We urged them to correct their mistakes, but they did not.” k HDN

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September 6th, 2012, 12:06 am


65. zoo said:

Is Turkish camp the Syrian rebels’ HQ? Is the Turkish government lying to its own people?

Thomas Seibert
Sep 5, 2012

ISTANBUL // Turkey is offering more support for Syrian rebel fighters than the government in Ankara is ready to admit, opposition politicians say.
Turkish legislators visited a special camp for Syrian military deserters in Apaydin in the southern border province of Hatay yesterday. This camp, two kilometres from the Syrian border and closed to the media, is widely believed to be the headquarters of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) that is fighting to topple Bashar Al Assad’s regime.

Although Turkey hosts leaders of the main body of the political opposition, the Syrian National Council, the Turkish government insists that it is not giving military support to the rebels fighting Mr Al Assad’s security forces.

Turkish opposition leaders have pointed to the Apaydin camp as evidence to the contrary, claiming it houses about 300 Syrian ex-soldiers and policemen, including about 30 former generals, according to Turkish officials.

Riad Al Asaad, the FSA commander, is also believed to be in Apaydin.

“Apaydin is an illegal military base on Turkish territory,” Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an opposition legislator from Hatay, said yesterday. “There are five or six other places in Hatay with weapons and training facilities” of the FSA, he added. “People in Hatay know the naked truth, but the government keeps telling lies.”

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September 6th, 2012, 12:16 am


66. Ghufran said:

How many people here are willing to believe alarabiya without cross checking its claims?
أعلن المجلس العسكري الأعلى للجيش السوري الحر، انشقاق العميد عوض أحمد العلي، رئيس فرع الأمن الجنائي في دمشق، مشيراً إلى أنه وصل إلى تركيا، بحسب ما أفاد مراسل “العربية” من الحدود التركية–السورية.
Those individual defections have proven ineffective so far,however, any effort to stop blood shed must be encouraged, the question is : does it really change anything if one guy leaves and another takes over?

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September 6th, 2012, 12:17 am


67. zoo said:

A Kurdish Spring in Turkey and Syria?

Ioannis Michaletos
September 5, 2012

The uprisings of the Arab Spring are spilling over into an awakening of Kurdish people and their national self-definition. The Kurds number some 30 million people scattered around Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Caucasus. The civil war in Syria has provided certain Kurdish armed groups with the opportunity to further arm themselves and enact a round of attacks against the Turkish Army, hoping to create a second autonomous Kurdish region in the Middle East, the first being Northern Iraq. Characteristically, Massoud Barzani, current president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, said, “The Kurdish nation will be united and the day of self-determination is coming.”

Since the end of 2011, as the war in Syria was building, Kurdish guerilla groups in Turkey, such as PKK, intensified their attacks. Turkish officials at that period frequently commented in the press that Northern Syria was becoming a de facto autonomous Kurdish region, from where guerillas would supply themselves with arms and launch attacks. Turkish Defense Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, “A plan to create a string of autonomous Kurdish states will set pace for the creation of the great Kurdistan that will eventual carve the Turkish territory.”

The major fear in Ankara is a prolonged civil war in Syria that will completely free the 2 million Kurdish minority from Damascus control, driving them toward an ethnic Kurdish hub and emergence of an all-out war in the whole of southeastern Turkey. The Kurds in Syria remain neutral in the fight between Assad’s government and its opponents, weighting the situation as to when it would be suitable to proclaim their own independence. Turkey on the other hand supports the Syrian National Council, which is under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and is being financed mostly by the emirate of Qatar. Thus Turkey is pursuing the ousting of Assad in order to forge closer ties with Qatar (and Egypt) and gain a leading role in the Islamic world, while also fueling the ambitions of the Kurds to dismember Turkey.

The Kurdish Democratic Union, or PYD, controls most of the 900 kilometer border line between Syria and Turkey. Should it decide to fully support PKK—who engages from the Turkish-Iraqi border—it will bring about a major military headache in Ankara, which will have to transfer military units from central Turkey in order to withstand the pressure.

The Kurdish uprising and rebel activity seems to be gaining momentum, and any developments will be critically linked to the eventual resolve of the Syrian crisis.
Syria and Iran ‘backing Kurdish terrorist group’, says Turkey
Turkey has accused Syria and Iran of backing Kurdish terrorist attacks on military outposts in the south-east of the country that left 30 dead.
Syria and Iran ‘backing Kurdish terrorist group’, says Turkey
By Damien McElroy, Sherween, Aleppo

8:30PM BST 03 Sep 2012

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September 6th, 2012, 12:24 am


68. Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

Homs: What Barrel Bombings Look Like

Thanks for the quotes from Sh. Hamza’s speech Uzair and Syr. Expat, I added them to the post:

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September 6th, 2012, 12:35 am


69. Juergen said:

Syrian girl talks about how she was used by the regimes media to lie in tv

I hope those signs will all end up where they belong!


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September 6th, 2012, 12:37 am


70. Syrialover said:


I’ve responded to your response at the end of the last thread. Thanks.

Though discussing Zoo is really wasting time splashing around in the shallows.

For those who missed it, here’s a cute Zooism, nested among his camouflage cliches:

“Unfortunately the opposition and the FSA have shown to be even more totalitarian than the regime they criticize. They put their ego and the foreign interests before the interests and the lives of the Syrians.”

(Zoo, previous thread – September 5th, 2012, 12:07 pm)

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September 6th, 2012, 12:44 am


71. Visitor said:

These Alawites who according to this report are active participants in the Revolution should fear nothing as they will be treated as full fledged Syrians when the Revolution takes over Syria. They will have the same rights and duties as all other Syrians.


Shabbiha however will have to be severely punished regardless of their affiliations. They have to pay the ultimate penalty for their atrocities and crimes against Syria and its people.

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September 6th, 2012, 12:46 am


72. Syrialover said:

New thread started

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September 6th, 2012, 2:20 am


73. Nouchik said:

The Syrian people should not have to flee their homes because of a man who doesn’t want to step down from his so called “elected” position. Syria should have a fair election where there is more than one candidate and where the people can vote for who they think is right for their county! The world needs to step up and stop the killings of the Syrian people especially the killings for innocent children. We need the world, not just one or two countries, to step up and stop the unfair treatment of the Syrian people. We need to find a solution for a fair and just Syrian that can thrive in the 21st century. Thank you for posting these updates and letting people say what they feel about the situation.

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September 7th, 2012, 12:32 am


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