Posted by Joshua on Friday, July 29th, 2011
Seven Syrian officers announce the formation of a Free Syrian Army
Revlon posted this in the comment section.
The announcement of the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the presence of seven defecting officers:
Some observations on the the officers appearing in this video:
- First: Their uniform tells that they are either special forces or Republican guards. If so, the prediction that Qasha3ami made in his last video, that I linked was true.
- Second: The name of the appointed acting commander in chief tells that he is very likely a 3alawi officer.
[J.L. As`ad can be both an Alawi or Sunni name. There is no indication that the commander is Alawi by his name or his accent. If I had to guess, at the end, he slipped with one word in colloquial that gives away that he is Homsi. When he pronounced the name of al-Naqiib Ayham al-Kurdi, he said "al-Kurdeh" with a "dummeh"on the "K" instead of a kasra and a long mimicking "eeeeh" at the end instead of a "yah". This tells us nothing about his religion, as Alawis live in Homs alongside the Sunni majority and Christian minority. ]
- Third: here is a summary of the announcement:
- To work with the people to bring down the system.
- To protect the people from the armored killing machine of the system
- - Call all members of the Syrian army to defect and join the FSA
- - We hereby declare that all security forces attacking civilians are from now on justified targets to be neutralized by FSA.
- - We call all opposition forces to unite
- The statement is hereby Signed by
- Acting Commander in Chief of the FSA: Colonel(3aqeed) Riyad AlAs3ad
- Deputy of Acting Commander: Colonel (3aqeed) Ahmad Hijazi
- Commander of 7amza AlKhateeb Phalange: Colonel (Muqaddam) AbdelSattar Yoonso
- (Naqeeb)Ibrahim Majboor: Commander of Al7urriyi Phalange
- (Naqeeb) 3ala Eddin: Commander of Salah Euddin Phalange
- Ayham AlKurdi: Commander of AlQashoosh Phalange
- (Naqeeb) Qays
- (Mulazem Awwal) Tayseer Yoonso
- (Mulazem Awwal) Ahmad AlKhalaf
- (Mulazem Awwal) Mazen AlZein
اعلان تشكيل الجيش السوري الحر
The Last Tourist in Syria: This is a lovely piece. Emma Sky is charming and smart.
In search of old friends and new realities in a surreal and empty Damascus.
BY EMMA SKY | JULY 28, 2011, Foreign Policy
…. As I sit in the beautiful courtyard of Beit al-Jabri in the old city, eating my last plate of fuul before I depart, I feel sad. Damascus is perhaps the most beautiful city I have visited in the Middle East. Syrians are the friendliest and kindest of people, as Palestinian and Iraqi refugees attest. Will the Syrians be able to prevent their country deteriorating into a bloody civil war, along the lines of Iraq? I hope so. But I really am not sure.
Tahrir Square in Cairo Today as Muslim Brothers and Salafis Chant “there is no God but God”
Islamists Flood Square in Cairo in Show of Strength,
By ANTHONY SHADID, Published: July 29, 2011
CAIRO — Tens of thousands of Egyptian Islamists poured into Tahrir Square on Friday calling for a state bound by strict religious law and delivering a persuasive show of force in a turbulent country showing deep divisions and growing signs of polarization.
The shape of Egypt five months into its revolution remains distinctly undecided, and Islamists have long been the best organized political force in this religiously conservative country. Some activists speculated that their show of strength would serve as a jolt to the secular forces who helped to start the revolution but who remain divided, largely ineffectual and woefully unprepared for coming elections.
Others speculated that it might force groups to pick sides in a country where the glow of unity after President Hosni Mubarak’s fall in February has dimmed amid recriminations over the pace, style and substance of change.
“Islamic, Islamic,” went a popular chant. “Neither secular nor liberal.” …..
Malek Jandali’s parents harassed in Syria and locked in the baathroom
We wrote last month about the attempts by an Arab-American group with ties to Syria’s regime to drop a performance of a pro-freedom song by a well-known Syrian-American singer.
The family of the singer, Malek Jandali, were attacked last night, according to a Facebook account which was confirmed by a source familiar with the event. Regime security forces apparently attacked Jandali’s father and mother, wrecked their home in Homs, and locked the couple in the bathroom.
The attack came after Jandali performed at a demonstration outside the White House. The MBC reporter who interviewed him there, Nadia Bilbassy, told me she’d been told the security forces warned his parents that he should stop speaking out.
Bilbassy asked State Department spokesman Mark Toner about the incident at today’s briefing; he said wasn’t immediately familiar with it.
Jandali wasn’t reachable for comment on the incident, but I’m told he’s canceled a performance scheduled for Orlando this week.
The incident offers a glimpse of the high stakes even for American opponents of the Syrian regime, and the context of the move by the American group, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, to cancel Jandali’s performance.
Indeed, two board members of the ADC reportedly recently traveled to Syria to meet with, and express their support for, the embattled President Assad.
Reports: Turkish Military’s Top Brass Has Resigned Due to Tensions With the Government
By Associated Press
July 29 (Washington Post) — ANKARA, Turkey — Reports: Turkish military’s top brass has resigned due to tensions with the government
Tens of thousands of people have packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square, after the first call by Islamist leaders for nationwide demonstrations since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.
Many protesters – dominated by Muslim Brotherhood supporters – are calling for an Islamic state and Sharia law.
Correspondents say the rallies will be a worrying development for secularists.
The Brotherhood is the most organised political force in Egypt, although it was not prominent in the revolution.
Tensions have been running high between Egypt’s Islamist and secular groups, who are at odds over the transition to democracy in the Arab world’s most populated country.
Turning point? Liberal groups first want guarantees of a constitution that will protect religious freedom and personal rights, whereas Islamists want speedy elections and a recognition of Islam – in one form or another – in the new Egyptian state.
Now, the Islamists want their voice to be heard and are showing their muscle for the first time since Mr Mubarak stepped down on 11 February, says the BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood can turn out huge crowds by rallying its supporters at mosques, it does not necessarily represent the majority of Egyptians and is predicted to win around 20% of the vote in an election, our correspondent says…. There was little sign of any secular groups at Friday’s rally, he says, adding that it will be interesting to see how they re-group after today’s events…. with Islamists and the more conservative Salafist groups now filling Tahrir Square, it could mark a turning point in Egypt’s post-revolution period, our correspondent says.
CAIRO (AP) — Ultraconservative Muslims turned out in force Friday as tens of thousands filled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square in a rally marked by a growing rift in the protest movement.
South of the capital, gunmen fired on a car carrying Christians, killing two. While the motive was unknown, similar events have sparked religious violence in the past.
In one of the largest crowds to fill the square since the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, Salafis chanted for the implementation of strict Islamic law — spurring accusations that they violated an agreement to keep the rally free from divisive issues.
The decision by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized political force, and other Islamist groups to participate significantly boosted the turnout. These groups stayed away from recent demonstrations that sought to keep up pressure on the military council that took power after Mubarak’s fall, leading to smaller crowds.
But the Islamists’ participation also highlighted the growing rift between them and liberal activists. Some Islamist groups rallied their members to the square to oppose the adoption of a set of guidelines for drafting a new constitution after parliamentary elections later this year.
Unrest in Syria Tests Turkey’s Role as Regional Power: Vali Nasr
By Vali Nasr Jul 13, 2011
Turkey was quick to cheer the Arab Spring, when hopeful protest seemed to promise a democratic Middle East in Turkey’s own image. But the momentum for reform has stalled, and if developments in Libya, Yemen and Syria are any indication, the Arab world is headed for protracted conflict and instability. That worries Turkey.
However, it is in the interest of both Turkey and the world that the government in Ankara plays an engaged and constructive role during this trying period. …
Turkish officials expect trade with Syria to drop sharply this year. The cross-border commerce — formal and informal — benefits largely the restless Kurdish corner of the country, in southeast Turkey. A revenue decline could upset the fragile lull in hostilities there. …
If protests escalate and the Assad regime responds with increasing violence, Syrian state institutions may collapse. The situation might devolve into a civil war between Sunni Muslims, who are a majority in Syria, and minority Alawites, who control the regime. The Turkish government is hoping that officials in Damascus will avert this outcome by accommodating the protesters through reforms, but so far Turkey’s ability to affect Syria’s byzantine politics has been limited. Still, the dialogue between the two countries is an asset to the international community that the Turks should continue to use in order to press for reform in Syria.
Equally important, before Syrian unrest leads to a Kurdish- refugee crisis, the government in Ankara should take meaningful steps to resolve its own festering Kurdish issue. Many Turks are hesitant to make the concessions necessary to mollify the country’s Kurds, for instance direct talks with the PKK and an amnesty for its fighters, including those in custody. But given the Syrian crisis, Turkey can’t afford complacency. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should take advantage of the impressive mandate he won at the polls on June 12 to tackle this difficult matter. Doing so would strengthen Turkish democracy and protect Turkey from any fallout from next door. …