Friends of Syria Meeting in Tunis Accused of “inactivity”

The Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis is a “challenge” to Assad, not an “ultimatum”, US officials are saying. This means that it will be another exercise in raising the rhetorical bar of condemnation against Syria but will probably not do much damage to the regime or rescue the Syrian opposition in Homs. The Saudi delegation has pulled out of the conference, accusing it of “inactivity.”

Representatives from more than 60 Western and Arab countries are meeting in Tunis, Tunisia today to call for the Syrian government to implement an immediate ceasefire and to allow humanitarian assistance for civilians and people wounded in violence. The group is not expected to discuss military options. They will increase sanctions. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has been appointed as a special envoy by the United Nations and the Arab League to represent them in finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

“One of the things you are going to see coming out of the meeting tomorrow are concrete proposals on how we, the international community, plan to support humanitarian organizations … within days, meaning that the challenge is on the Syrian regime to respond to this,” said a senior U.S. official.

Asked if the group’s call would amount to an ultimatum, a second U.S. official told reporters: “It is a challenge.”

The Syrian opposition council announced it would ask the “Friends of Syria” to prioritize the creation of humanitarian corridors….

News Round Up

NYTimes

….At a news conference on Thursday, Mrs. Clinton moved the United States a step closer to recognizing the Syrian National Council though a formal recognition is not expected in Tunis. She also said later, discussing growing pressure on Mr. Assad: “There will be increasingly capable opposition forces. They will — from somewhere, somehow — find the means to defend themselves as well as begin offensive measures. And the pressure will build on countries like Russia and China because world opinion is not going to stand idly by.”

On Friday, Mr. Hague, the British official, urged Moscow and Beijing to revise their pro-Assad policies. “I think the Chinese government is constantly assessing the position and so I hope they will change their position,” he told reporters.

Foreign Policy

Syrian state TV referred to the conference as a meeting of “symbols of colonialism” and said the countries attending were “historic enemies of the Arabs.” Neither Russia nor China, who vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution based on an Arab League plan aimed to end the Syrian violence, attended the conference. The “Friends of Syria” seem to be favoring the opposition Syrian National Council, but are not giving the group exclusive recognition. The other main opposition group, the National Coordination Committee, is boycotting the conference. They lay out their reasons for the boycott, here.

‘Q&A: Nir Rosen’s predictions for Syria’ (Nir Rosen, Al Jazeera English)

“If the struggle drags on, the local civilian “political” leadership of the revolution will lose influence, and the more moderate Sufi sheikhs who exercise an influence over armed groups will also lose control. The insurgency and its supporters will become increasingly radicalised. They will condemn those leaders who looked to the outside world for support, and those who called for restraint. Those voices who say Islam is the only solution will become loudest; those voices calling for a declaration of jihad will be raised, and they will, in my opinion, target Sunni rivals as well as Alawites and other minorities. This scenario is also possible if the regime kills or captures enough senior leaders of the revolution. On the other hand, even if Assad and his family wanted to leave power – or even leave Syria – how would they explain this sudden about face to their supporters? The regime’s fans, especially its base among the Alawites, may also be radicalised, embracing maximalist violence out of fear. And what happens to the cronies who benefit from the system as it is, and to the security forces who have nowhere to go? Do they just go home — or do they fight to the death out of fear of extermination, and then hang on as some kind of insurgency against any new regime installed with the help of the West, Turkey and the Arab League?…

The insurgency will gradually carve out autonomous zones, from Idlib to Hama to Homs and approaching the suburbs of Damascus. Foreign intelligence agencies will eventually provide covert assistance to the insurgency. But Iranian – and possibly Russian – advisers will likely provide advice to the regime in counter-insurgency. So parts of the country will fall into opposition hands, and parts will remain in the hands of the regime. Alawites in Homs may flee to the villages they originally came from. Christians will flee to their former villages or to Damascus. Both of these trends have already started. Sunni remaining in Latakia will be vulnerable, and in the event of Alawites returning to Latakia’s mountain villages, fleeing from other parts of the country, the region’s Sunni may also be forcibly displaced….

Syria is crumbling before our eyes, and a thoroughly modern nation is likely to be set back many decades.

Human rights in Syria – Commission of Inquiry report published

….20. The activity of the Free Syria Army (FSA) groups resulted in the temporary withdrawal of State forces from cities or areas in the Rif Dimashq, Idlib and Homs governorates. Since December 2011, the army has attacked these areas with heavy weapons, leading to massive casualties and the destruction of homes and infrastructure (see paragraphs 38-46 below).

21. The Government stated that other armed non-State actors not affiliated to the FSA are operating in the country, including Al-Qaida and other religious extremists. In its report, the League of Arab States also makes a distinction between the FSA and “other opposition armed groups”. Numerous sources report the presence of extremist groups in the country. The commission was unable to verify information on the membership, background and operations of such groups.

22. On 23 December 2011, 50 people were reportedly killed in two bombings next to the offices of security agencies in Damascus, which the Government attributed to Al-Qaida. No one, including Al-Qaida, claimed responsibility. In its report, the League of Arab States mentioned that its observers in Homs, Hama and Idlib reported the bombing of a civilian bus (with eight casualties), a police bus (two casualties), a train loaded with diesel fuel, an oil pipeline and small bridges. In other cases, League observers found that alleged bombings were falsely reported. On 10 February 2012, 28 people were reportedly killed and 235 injured in two large explosions at Military Intelligence and police buildings in Aleppo. The Government and other sources attributed these explosions to terrorists. On 14 February, a major pipeline near Homs exploded. The Government blamed “terrorist saboteurs”, while opposition activists attributed the act to State forces shelling in the area.

23. According to all accounts, casualties rose steeply as the violence intensified; thousands of lives have been lost.

24. On 27 December 2011, the Government informed the commission that, according to hospital and police reports, at least 2,131 civilians had been killed in the period from 15 March to 19 December 2011. The Government added that a total of 913 soldiers and 215 police officers (1,128 people in total) were killed during the same period.9 According to the Government, from 23 December 2011 to 10 February 2012, a further 651 members of the army and security forces were killed and 2,292 injured.10 In addition, 519 unidentified bodies were found. On 15 February 2012, the Government provided additional figures, according to which 2,493 civilians and 1,345 soldiers and police officers had been killed in the Syrian Arab Republic in the period from 15 March 2011 to 18 January 2012.

25. The Violations Documenting Centre, affiliated to the local coordination committees, counted 6,399 civilians and 1,680 army defectors killed in the period from 15 March 2011 to 15 February 2012.11 The victims included 244 adult women, 115 girls and 425 boys…..

After a year, deep divisions hobble Syria’s opposition
by Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times, February 24, 2012

“Nearly a year after the uprising began, the opposition remains a fractious collection of political groups, longtime exiles, grass-roots organizers and armed militants, all deeply divided along ideological, ethnic or sectarian lines, and too disjointed to agree on even the rudiments of a strategy to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s government…..

“This is a manufactured problem,” said Burhan Ghalioun, the council president, in a brief interview outside an executive committee meeting last week. “Some independent people don’t want to join the S.N.C., but there is no strong opposition power outside the national council.” …..

Scores killed in wave of al-Qaeda bombings across Iraq – Wash Post (Asaad Alazawi, Ernesto Londoño)

BAGHDAD — A wave of bombings across Iraq killed dozens of people Thursday morning, security officials said, in a grim indication of the strength of the insurgency two months after the U.S. military completed its withdrawal….

Syrian opposition will ‘somehow’ carry out offensive operations against Assad, Clinton says

LONDON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that Syrian opposition forces will become “increasingly capable” of carrying out offensive operations against the government of President Bashar al-Assad….

The Syria Report’s Evelyn Aissa provides a roundup of international reportage and commentary on Syria with close to 100 links! (free access)
UN Accuses Syria of Crimes Against Humanity as Foreign Leaders Prepare for ‘Friends of Syria’ Meeting in Tunisia – Syria Report

Today, a report released by the United Nations and submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, accuses the Syrian government of committing “gross human rights violations” tantamount to “crimes against humanity”. The report, derived from 360 interviews with individuals inside Syria, also charges that security crackdowns constituted state policy from coming from “the highest levels of the armed forces and the government”. The same report, however, also charges the Free Syrian Army, an armed element of the opposition, of committing serious abuses. To that end, as violence continues to deepen across the country, Syrian officials continue to adamantly charge that they are fighting against armed terrorist groups – an allegation now partially echoed in some parts of Washington, as a number of senior American officials claim that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda is behind some of the country’s violence. The same US officials did not publicly put forth related evidence. …

‘How to halt the butchery in Syria’ (Anne-Marie Slaughter, New York Times)

“The key condition for all such assistance, inside or outside Syria, is that it be used defensively — only to stop attacks by the Syrian military or to clear out government forces that dare to attack the no-kill zones. Although keeping intervention limited is always hard, international assistance could be curtailed if the Free Syrian Army took the offensive. The absolute priority within no-kill zones would be public safety and humanitarian aid; revenge attacks would not be tolerated.”

The U.S. and other ‘Friends of Syria’ still search for a strategy to oust Assad
Posted: 22 Feb 2012

Tony Karon writes: “It is time we gave them the wherewithal to fight back and stop the slaughter,” said Senator John McCain on Monday, referring to Syria’s opposition amid the carnage being wrought by the Assad regime’s efforts to quash a year-old rebellion. But McCain’s call is unlikely to be heeded by the Obama Administration or other Western governments as they prepare for Friday’s inaugural meeting in Tunis of a “Friends of Syria” forum established to coordinate an international response to the crisis. That’s because Western decision-makers are not quite sure just who the Syrian opposition would be — there is no single leadership that speaks on behalf of those fighting the regime on the ground in cities across Syria, and there are certainly signs that its ranks may include elements deemed hostile to the West. And also, because it’s far from clear just how arming rebel forces would, in fact, “stop the slaughter” and not intensify it.

The problem confronting international stakeholders as they grapple for a response to the slow-moving bloodbath is that there at least three different narratives playing out at the same time in Syria, each of them complicating the others. There’s the narrative of the brutal authoritarian regime confronted by a popular citizens’ rebellion that it has been unable to crush despite a year of slowly escalating repression — a crackdown that has wrecked the country’s economy and made it impossible for the regime to restore stability, much less regain its legitimacy. (Nobody’s expecting the constitutional referendum to be staged by the regime on Sunday to yield a credible popular mandate for Assad’s rule.)

Then there’s the narrative of sectarian warfare, in which Syria’s ethnic and confessional minorities — the ruling Alawites who dominate the regime and its security forces, but also the Christians, the Kurds, the Druze and smaller sects — shudder in the face of a predominantly Sunni rebellion in which they see a specter of sectarian retribution that prompts many of them to remain on the sidelines or support the regime for fear of the alternative.

And finally, there are the geopolitical stakes, as the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf see an opportunity to hobble their Iranian nemesis by helping their indigenous allies overthrow a Tehran-backed regime. Syria also becomes an arena for China and Russia to block the expansion of Western influence in the Middle East through toppling regimes. [Continue reading…]

New Opposition battalions take on overtly sectarian nature to combat Assad’s shabiha

The Yazid ibn Muawiyah Battalion announces its formation in Biyada, Homs. This video suggests the rise of anti-Shiite militias in Syria.

‘Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya ibn Abī Sufyān: يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيان‎  commonly known as Yazid I, was the second Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate based in Damascus. Many Muslims condemn Yazid’s rule as contentious and unjust because he was appointed by his father, Muawiyah, and because he killed the Imam, Husayn at Karbala in an effort to stamp out the gathering Shiite movement that looked to the house of the prophet for Caliphs as opposed to the emerging Umayyid dynasty that had moved the capital of the Empire to Damascus.

Salafist Muslims, mostly living in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt, in sharp defiance to Shia Muslim belief, maintain that Yazid was a just, noble, religious and administratively efficient ruler.

Husayn ibn Ali, the son of the forth Caliph and grandson of the prophet Muhammad, along with many other sahaba among the Muslims, disapproved of Yazid’s appointment to the caliphate, declaring it a usurpation of power and against the spirit of Islam. They rode forth to contest his rule and were cut down at Karbala.

The dead are regarded as martyrs by Shi’ah Muslims, and the battle has a central place in Shi’ah history and tradition, and has frequently been recounted in Shi’ah Islamic literature.

Mock Homs at Your Own Risk
The epicenter of Syria’s revolt has long been the butt of jokes. But Homs may get the last laugh.
BY OMAR ADAM SAYFO | FEBRUARY 17, 2012

The negative stereotypes about Homsis returned in force during the 11th century, when the Mirdasid dynasty recaptured the city and converted it to Shia Islam. Homsis very soon became victims of the polemical debates between Sunni and Shia clerics. The famous Sunni cleric Ibn al-Jawzi recorded many ironic narratives about the strange habits of Homsi religious officials and the supposed stupidity of their followers.

According to one anecdote, three Homsi religious students were discussing a hadith – a saying of Prophet Muhammad — about the parts of the human body. “The nose is for smelling, the mouth is for eating, the tongue is for speaking,” they concluded. “But what is the ear for?” As the hadith did not give the answer, they decided to ask their sheikh. On their way to the sheikh’s house, however, they saw a tailor patching a cloth. The tailor was cutting pieces of yarn and hanging them on his ear. “God has sent us the answer,” the students concluded, and returned to the mosque.

Homs has long been a bastion of resistance — first as a Muslim stronghold in the efforts to repel European invaders during the Crusades, and then as a base for Mamluk commanders’ war against the Mongols. But such heroism did not rid Homsis of their age-old stigma. Rather, many linked Homsis’ victories to their alleged simple-mindedness…..[This is a lovely article… read it all]

The Ordeal of Syria. Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Now nearly a full year into a terrible struggle between a dictatorial regime and a rebellion determined to overthrow it, what can be done? What follows is a range of opinions and preferences. This is the first of what we envisage to be a periodic online symposium on the contemporary dilemmas of the Greater Middle East. We will draw on the membership of Hoover’s Working Group on Islamism and the International Order….

INSTABILITY IN SYRIA: Assessing the Risks of Military Intervention – CSIS

….A number of countries – including US NATO allies such as France and Turkey – increasingly entertain the prospect of creating a “humanitarian corridor” in Syria, potentially along the border with Turkey, to provide relief to both the Syrian population and dissident groups opposed to the Asad regime. These calls are echoed by Syrian opposition forces both in and outside Syria, including the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC).

These calls do not address the real world challenges of creating such a “humanitarian corridor”: joint and combined military operations to suppress Syria’s air defense network, the need to neutralize the country’s air force, eliminating Syria’s asymmetric deterrence by containing unconventional threats from long range missiles (potentially armed with chemical or biological agents) and instability along the Golan Heights. They also do not address the risk of eventually having to engage loyal Syrian ground forces (including large concentrations of Alawites) that see few prospects in a post-Asad Syria.

Some consider military intervention in Syria to be a potential next step in shifting the regional balance in favor of the US and its allies. There is little question that sustained military operations in Libya would have been impossible without American logistics, targeting, command and control and sheer military capacity. In the case of Syria, military intervention is similarly unlikely to succeed without US involvement. However, military intervention, in the Middle East, let alone near the epicenter of the Arab-Israeli conflict, always involves serious risks and the impact of the law of unintended consequences…..

Washington’s Syria policy is imaginary
February 23, 2012
By Michael Young, The Daily Star

The administration of President Barack Obama has often been ridiculed for what it describes as “leading from behind.” More often than not this has been an excuse for not leading at all, and nowhere has American vacillation been more on display than in Syria.

For instance, it is the United States that has lent credence to accusations by the Syrian regime that Al-Qaeda is assisting the Syrian opposition. Last week, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he believed Al-Qaeda in Iraq had infiltrated Syrian opposition groups, and was behind bombings in Damascus and Aleppo. Clapper needn’t have made that statement publicly. Not surprisingly, the Syrian opposition read it as a sign of American hostility toward its aspirations

Politically as well, Washington has been all over the place. In an interview with France 24 just over a week ago, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said that the Obama administration was looking for a “peaceful political solution” in Syria. “Even the Syrian people do not want a military solution to this crisis,” he said, before adding: “We believe [President Bashar] Assad should step down, but at the end of the day the Syrian people will make the decision, not the U.S.”

A few days later, Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, sounded less affirmative. While also defending a political solution, she observed, “[I]f we can’t get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures.” To many people this suggested that the U.S. might possibly endorse arming Syria’s opposition if that became necessary. Evidently, the Obama administration – amid the carnage in Homs and elsewhere in Syria, and rising calls in the Arab world and even in the U.S. Congress for Assad’s opponents to be supplied with better weapons – feared that it would fall behind the policy curve.

There are no easy answers in Syria, but Washington’s trouble is that it has no strategy for the country. This is proving very damaging indeed, given that the Russians and Iranians do have one, and it can be summarized quite simply: Actively support the repression by the Syrian army and security services, bringing the opposition, or a portion of the opposition, to the negotiating table….

Nikolaos van Dam interview on Syria – “Any Western military intervention will be a disaster”….

…ومع ذلك فإن أي تدخل عسكري غربي سيكون كارثياً كما يرى الدبلوماسي الهولندي السابق ومؤلف الكتاب ذائع الصيت الصراع على السلطة في سوريا نيكولاس فان دام. كسفير هولندي سابق في عراق صدام حسين, يدرك فان دام جيداً مدى قسوة وسوء الديكتاتورية ولكنه يرى أن هناك ماهو أقسى وأسوأ من ذلك وهي الحرب الأهلية كالصراع الطائفي الذي عايشه وخَبِرَهُ في لبنان عندما بدأ عمله بالسلك الدبلوماسي هناك. عندما تتصادم الطوائف ضد بعضها البعض يصبح الجميع معرضين لخطر الموت وفي سوريا المنقسمة دينياً فإن حرباً طائفية تلوح في الأفق كما يرى فان دام. يهمين بعض أعضاء الطائفة العلوية على النظام في سوريا وهم فرقة من الشيعة يشكلون ما نسبته 12% من مجموع السكان بينما تَتَشَكل المعارضة من خليط من جميع الطوائف ولكن السنة والذين يشكلون أكثر من 60% من مجموع السكان يلعبون الدور الأهم داخل المعارضة. يخشى العلويون من العودة إلى فترة الخمسينات والستينات حيث كانوا مضطهدين ومهمشين بينما يتجه الإستياء والسَخط داخل السنة نحو الإنفجار وهذا ما يؤجج الصراع. لا يزال النظام متشبثاً بالسلطة, بدأت المعارضة بمظاهرات سلمية ولكنها مالبثت أن رفعت سقف مطالبها وبدأت ترد على النار بالنار. إذا ما أراد الغرب دعم المعارضة عن طريق تسليحها مثلا فإنه بذلك يكون كَمَن يصب الزيت على النار يخشى فان دام. قد تكون المعارضة أقوى عددياً ولكن النظام يملك وحدات النخبة المسلحة بالأسلحة الثقيلة

وهذا قد يؤدي الى سفك دماء قد يستمر لسنوات وهذا مانراه في العراق. ولذلك لايزال السفير السابق يدعو لحوار مع بشار الأسد. يجب إقناع النظام بالتخلي عن سلطاته ولكن فرصة حوار كهذا تتضائل يوماً بعد يوم يُقر فان دام ولكنه رغم ذلك لايرى بديلاً مباشراً ماعدا استمرار الصراع الدموي والذي سيُخلف نتيجة مغايرة تماماً لما هو مُنتَطر. مايجري في حمص يخلق شعوراً بأن على أحدهم أن يتدخل ولكن يجب عليك أن لا تفكر فقط بأنك تشعر بأنك مسؤول وأن الحالة سيئة وأن عَلَيكَ أن تَتَدخل ولكن عَليكَ أيضاً أن تفكر بما سينتُج عن مثل هكذا تدخل وهنا تكمن المُصيبة. إذا أدى التدخل العسكري إلى حرب أهلية على نطاق أوسع ستقول ” لقد قمنا بالخطوة الصحيحة أخلاقياً ولكن هناك مئات الأف من الضحايا الذين سقطوا نعم للأسف ولكن لم نكن نقصد ذلك   “…..

Comments (450)


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1. Tara said:

I condone KSA pulling out from the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia. The Syrian people are fed up with rhetorics. The world must stand firm against the tyranny. Mass murderers will not stop killing out of sudden benevolence. They should be removed by force. It is time for military intervention to destroy the Assad regime. People including women and children are dying and the world is simply watching. Criminal the second and his thugs are killing the innocent because they simply can….

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 32

February 24th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

2. Tara said:

75 killed by Bashar al Assad in Syria today.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 26

February 24th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

3. Areal said:

With “KSA pulling out from the Friend of Syria meeting in Tunisia” , who is going to pay for the bombs that OTAN planes will use to destroy Syrian towns and to kill tens of thousands of INNOCENT people including women and children (the Libyan way) ?

Remark :
In today’s news round up the link for Syrian Report is broken , it is :
http://www.syria-report.com/blog

[Thanks! fixed – SCM]

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

February 24th, 2012, 1:39 pm

 

4. AlexB said:

If Saudi Arabia wants war for regime change in Assad, then why doesn’t it use its own military to achieve that goal?

[Note: there is another Alex in comments, so I have altered the nickname on this post so this account may also comment — SCModeration]

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

February 24th, 2012, 1:40 pm

 

5. bronco said:

#1 Tara

Do you realize the consequences of what you are asking for?
It seems that you share now the same hatred and dark objectives with a country you claimed you have no respect for.

Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10

February 24th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

6. zoo said:

70,000 syrians refugees ‘thought’ to be in Jordan, but no tents to avoid ‘pitfalls’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17151364

With more than 70,000 Syrian refugees now thought to be in Jordan, it is a heavy burden on the UN refugee agency and the Jordanian government.

Thus far the authorities have been able to house and help most of the Syrian refugees inside existing Jordanian communities, avoiding some of the pitfalls and problems of traditional tented camps.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

February 24th, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

7. zoo said:

Update on #6: Syrian refugees in Jordan.

There are 4,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan as of February 2012. As for the “70,000” mentioned by the BBC in its latest article, this is what the Jordanian governmnt said:

.The Jordanian government, which is planning to open a 30-dunum (30,000 square metre/323,000 square foot) refugee camp to host Syrians near the border, has said more than 70,000 of them fled to the kingdom since March.

“Some of them have returned to Syria, while others left for a third country,” said government spokesman Rakan Majali.

Jordan has accepted around 5,000 Syrian students in public schools.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, has said it is providing aid to 4,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, without providing details.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/24/syrian-survivors-narrate-horrible-tales-of-torture.html

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

February 24th, 2012, 3:00 pm

 

8. jad said:

مصادر فرنسية تربط عودة السفير الفرنسي المفاجئة إلى دمشق باعتقال ضباط مخابرات فرنسيين في حمص
فرنسا طلبت من روسيا التفاوض لإطلاق سراح أسراها ، و تقرير للتلفزيون الرسمي يلمح بطريقة غير مباشرة إلى اعتقال الفرنسيين

دمشق ، باريس ـ الحقيقة ( خاص من : مازن ابراهيم) : حدثان وقعا اليوم لفتا أنظار المراقبين دون أن يجدوا لهما تفسيرا منطقيا، هما عودة السفير الفرنسي المفاجئة إلى دمشق ، و انسحاب السفير الفرنسي في ” مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا ” بتونس من المقاعد الأمامية إلى الخلف ومنح مقعده لمندوب الإمارات العربية . وكانت فرنسا استدعت سفيرها “للتشاور” في السابع من الشهر الجاري ، وهو ما قامت به أيضا دول غربية أخرى.

مصادر في فرنسا ، مقربة من الخارجية الفرنسية، عزت هذين الواقعتين إلى اعتقال عدد كبير نسبيا من ضباط وعملاء المخابرات الخارجية الفرنسية DGSE ، التي تعمل تحت إشراف وزارة الدفاع الفرنسية، في حي ” باباعمرو” غربي حمص خلال الأسبوعين الماضيين. وعلم أن من بين المعتقلين ضابطا برتبة عقيد.
{…}
وبحسب ما قاله ميسان ، فإنه ، وخلال الهجوم على “معقل للمتمردين المتحصنين في منطقة باب عمرو في حمص، القى الجيش السوري القبض على أكثر من 1500 مسلح، معظمهم اجانب، و من هؤلاء اثنا عشر من الفرنسيين الذين طلبوا معاملتهم كأسرى حرب، ورفضوا اعطاء هوياتهم ورتبهم وتفاصيل وحدات مهمامهم، واحد منهم هو كولونيل في الادارة العامة للأمن الخارجي”. وبحسب الصحفي الفرنسي ، فإن فرنسا ” قامت بشن حرب سرية ضد الجيش السوري من خلال تسليح فيالق الوهابيين ومدهم بوسائل استخبارات الأقمار الصناعية،مما تسبب في أكثر من 3000 حالة وفاة في صفوف الجيش، وأكثر من 1500 ضحية من المدنيين في عشرة أشهر من القتال”.
http://youtu.be/4QG4VHmIgB8
{…}
http://www.syriatruth.org/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1/%D8%A3%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%80%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9/tabid/93/Article/6782/Default.aspx

The original report:
France’s secret war against the Syrian people
http://www.voltairenet.org/France-s-secret-war-against-the

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February 24th, 2012, 3:06 pm

 

9. jad said:

Zoo,
Ref#6, Check out this, the Jordanians are saying that only 2000 Syrians did registered as refugees:

وزير الإعلام الأردني يكشف بالأرقام حقيقة الأكاذيب المتعلقة بعدد اللاجئين السوريين إلى الأردن

عمان ، الحقيقة ( خاص) : قال وزير الدولة لشؤون الإعلام والاتصال الناطق الرسمي باسم الحكومة الأردنية ، راكان المجالي، إن ألفي مواطن سوري فقط طلبوا المساعدة الإنسانية في الأردن منذ بداية الأزمة في سورية. وكشف الوزير المجالي في حديث نقلته وكالة أنباء” بترا” الرسمية أن “عدد السوريين الذين دخلوا عن طريق الشيك الحدودي ( الشريط الحدودي ، بشكل غير قانوني) يقدر بحوالي 1500 شخص” فقط ، مشيرا إلى أنه ” تقدم حوالي 2000 مواطن سوري من مجموع الذين دخلوا إلى المملكة بطلبات إيواء ومساعدة للحكومة الأردنية” منذ بداية الأزمة في سوريا. وقال المجالي إن 73 ألف مواطن سوري هو مجموع السوريين الذين دخلوا الأردن بطريقة نظامية ، عبر منافذ الحدود ، منذ بداية الأزمة قبل نحو عام من اليوم. وأضاف القول ” إن الأردن يتحمل تأمين إيواء السوريين الذين يحتاجون إلى مساعدة وإغاثة وتقديم المعونات الضرورية لهم بالتعاون مع الهيئة الخيرية الأردنية الهاشمية والعديد من المنظمات والجمعيات الاغاثية المحلية والخارجية”.

ومن المعلوم أنه لا يعبر الحدود بطريقة غير شرعية سوى المطلوبين والملاحقين من قبل أجهزة أمن السلطة في سوريا، بينما من يعبر الحدود بشكل نظامي يكون وضعه” الأمني ” طبيعيا. وهو ما معناه أن الـ 1500 الذين عبروا الحدود بطريقة غير شرعية هم وحدهم الذين لهم وضع ” أمني” خاص في سوريا ( مطلوبين أو مطاردين).
{…}
http://www.syriatruth.org/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1/%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%89/tabid/94/Article/6775/Default.aspx

Also more details bout evacuating the journalists, this report claims that the armed militias refused to surrender the journalist to the government which lead to a battle between the two sides ended up with killing many gunmen and take the journalist out by force:

استسلام العشرات من مسلحي”بابا عمرو” ، وأجهزة الأمن تصل إلى “عمق ” الحي و تجلي الصحفيين الأجانب

دمشق ، الحقيقة ( خاص) : قالت مصادر ميدانية إن وحدات من القوات الخاصة خاضت خلال الساعات الماضية حرب شوارع ، ومن بيت إلى آخر، مع المئات من المسلحين الأصوليين السوريين والعرب الذين يتحصنون في البنايات والأزقة الضيقة في “حي بابا عمرو” غربي حمص. وجاء في آخر الأنباء الواردة من ساحة المواجهة أن القوات الخاصة اعتقلت وقتلت المئات من المسلحين ، فيما سلم العشرات منهم أنفسهم دون قتال. وكشفت هذه المصادر أن وحدات الأمن السورية تمكنت من الوصول ظهر اليوم إلى عدد من الصحفيين الأجانب في عمق الحي المذكور ، حيث جرى نقلهم إلى مكان آمن خارج الحي. وبحسب مصادر”الحقيقة” ، فإن أجهزة السلطة “طلبت مساعدة وجهاء محليين من أجل إقناع المسلحين بتسليم جثتي الصحفيين ، الأميركية والفرنسي، اللذين قتلا قبل يومين ، و الصحفيين الجرحى ، من أجل نقلهم وعلاجهم في مكان آمن ، إلا أن المسلحين رفضوا تدخل الوجهاء ، فما كان من أجهزة الأمن والجيش إلا أن داهمت المكان الذي يتحصنون فيه ، حيث جرى “تحرير” الصحفيين وجثتي الصحفيين القتيلين بالقوة ونقلها إلى مكان آمن في حمص”. وكان عدد من هؤلاء الصحفيين أصيب بجراح خلال المواجهات بين الجيش والمسلحين المتحصنين في البنايات والمنازل وسط الأهالي. كما أن اثنين من هؤلاء الصحفيين قتلا خلال هذه المواجهات قبل يومين ، وهما ماري كولفن (أميركية تعمل لحساب صحيفة “صنداي تايمز” البريطانية)، والمصور الفرنسي ريمي اوشليك.

http://www.syriatruth.org/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1/%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%B1%D9%89/tabid/94/Article/6779/Default.aspx

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February 24th, 2012, 3:11 pm

 

10. AIG said:

Tara,

I understand what you are saying but have you asked the men in your life to enlist and go fight? Your husband or brother? Would you send your sons when they are old enough?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Assad gone yesterday, but to be honest, I would not risk my life nor my children’s life to fight a fight in which the leaders should be the Syrian diaspora. Organize hundreds or thousands of diaspora Syrians willing to train and then fight in Syria and then I will respect your call. Until then it smells of asking others to do your dirty work for you.

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February 24th, 2012, 3:17 pm

 

11. Alan said:

Syrian Rebels Captured With Israeli Weapons
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgznlLHb-44
of course israel and the west have never supplied arms or expertees
to support uprisings in countries whos regimes are considered hostile to them
but if it was cnn showing you iranian made roket shell found in afghanistan or iraq
it would be ,undeniable proof of state sponsored terrorism
the rebels in syria are backed armed and encourage by israel and the west and this is a fact ,they have helped propagate this civil war to unstablize iran and u know it

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February 24th, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

12. zoo said:

U.S. Pledges $10 Million For Syrian Aid as Evacuation of Homs Begins
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/02/us-pledges-10-million-syrian-aid-evacuation-homs-begins/49145/
After the International Red Cross opened up talks with the Syrian government, aid workers started to evacuate sick or wounded women and children from Homs on Friday, according to Reuters Carla Haddad, chief spokeswoman for the Red Cross, called it “a first step forward.”

The United States is making its own steps to calm down the situation as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced plans to send $10 million in humanitarian aid to Syria. “These funds will help support makeshift medical facilities, train emergency medical staff, and get clean water, food, blankets, heaters, and hygiene kits to Syrian civilians in need,” Clinton said in the release. “This is not the end. The United States will provide more humanitarian support in coming days.”

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February 24th, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

13. Tara said:

Bronco 

What about you?  You have all along supported Assad and his thugs “pacifying” the revolution, mentally giving the regime the right to kill.. whoever,  whatever, whenever, and wherever a dissenting voice is heard.  You all along sheltered your sensitive soul from watching the killing, the humiliation and the torture of innocent Syrians while allowed this same sensitive soul to absorb and behold what fits the regime narrative.    You declined many of my invitations to take a look.

You have not even once, not once, condemned any murder, abuse of human rights, targeting children, targeting women, beating the elderly, or any other atrocious acts that even the most ardent regime loyalists have by now condemned.

You have given yourself the “moral right” of condemning the revolution under a self deceiving imaginary fear of Islamists jihadist taking over, while you are well aware how this all started.   Well, I have news for you,  I am considered more of a target to the Islamic fundamentalists than you can ever be, being the woman that I am, but I would never ever let my imaginary fear or my selfishness blinds my eyes from seeing human suffering.

You have always stated that you have deep affection to Syria.  I did believe you… And I at some point had an affection towards your affection to my homeland.  However over the last several month, reading through your posts, I started wondering to whom really is your beloved?  The land?  The people? The history?  The concept?  Or the man??

I could have been easily blinded by what is blinding most of the supporters.  After all, I come from a corrupt family intimately intertwined with the core inner circle.  I did not inherit any hatred towards the man.  To the extreme opposite, I should’ve been his biggest supporter … Ironically!

It is out of desperation that after living through hell over 11 month watching the unwatchable that I came to a conclusion that Bashar will burn Syria and most Syrians for the throne and that peaceful will only mean more devastation, more killing, more torture, and more inhumanity..and you know, my sensitive soul can not simply tolerate any of this.  I do support the Syrians in their demands.  They are asking for the world to either arm them or protect them and I do too.

And finally thank you for your comment to Norman..I did think you are better than that.

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February 24th, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

14. annie said:

“I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform.” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh”.

THANK U ISMAIL
THANK U HAMAS !

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/24/us-syria-palestinians-idUSTRE81N1CC20120224

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February 24th, 2012, 3:47 pm

 

15. Jad said:

Tsk tsk tsk :) As i have any doubt about this tv network, Aljazeera fabrications exposed through bunch of hacked email by the Syrian Electonic Army

الجزيرة ليكس محطّة الرأي الآخر تزوّر التاريخ
وسام كنعان
دمشق | أول من أمس، تلقى كل العاملين في شبكة قنوات «الجزيرة» رسالة إلكترونية تطلب منهم تغيير كلمات المرور الخاصة بكومبيوتراتهم وبريدهم الإلكتروني. هذه الخطوة لم تفاجئ الموظفين والصحافيين بعد عملية القرصنة التي تعرّض لها الأسبوع الماضي جهاز الشبكة من قبل «الجيش السوري الإلكتروني»، وهي العملية التي أدّت إلى خروج أسرار المؤسسة إلى وسائل الإعلام. التسريب الأبرز كان مراسلة بين المذيعة في المحطة رولا إبراهيم ومراسل القناة في بيروت علي هاشم. وكشفت إبراهيم لزميلها أنها باتت «مرتدّة على الثورة» بعدما اكتشفت أن التحركات الاحتجاجية «ستخرب البلد وتودي به إلى حرب طائفية». ثمّ تطرّقت إلى موضوع «الجيش السوري الحرّ» المعارض ووصفته بأنه «فرع من فروع القاعدة». وانتقلت للحديث عن بعض زملائها في الدوحة قائلةً: «أنا شاهدة على إعلام فاطمة التريكي، وماجد عبد الهادي، ومازن إبراهيم، وبسام القادري، وفراس ناموس، وأحمد زيدان …
(…)
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/35889

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February 24th, 2012, 3:48 pm

 

16. Alan said:

Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey supply arms to the troops of Syrian opposition
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/351209.html

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February 24th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

17. Tara said:

AIG

I am sorry but I think your comment is rhetorical and meaningless… I support the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation even though I am not a Palestinian and I do not have a father, a brother, a husband or a son fighting. Do you get my point now?

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February 24th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

18. AIG said:

Tara,

I don’t get your point at all. Supporting a struggle is one thing, calling for others to risk their life for it is another. I support the struggle of the Syrian opposition, but I would not fight for them. If I am not mistaken, you are calling for others to fight for the Syrians, no?

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February 24th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

19. Alan said:

West Seeks Regime Change in Iran – Putin
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120224/171516114.html

Arab League As An Anti-Arab Weapon
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29478

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February 24th, 2012, 4:00 pm

 

20. Tara said:

AIG

No that is not what I meant. I do not want anyone to fight our fight, nor do I want a foreign boot on a Syrian land. I do not want to hear anymore empty rhetorics. I have heard rhetorics for 30 some years. I do not want to watch dignitaries ranting their placebo support to make them feel good and humane at the end of the day while Syria is being burned. Either help or shut up.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

21. bronco said:

Tara

Sorry, about blindness, I wonder who really suffers of it.
I have been constantly against any violence from any side and more than that, I have been against hatred and revenge as the motivation factors for violence.
I have not seen any pro-regime rally calling for revenge or the death or the blood of anyone. Can you say the same about most of the anti-regime demonstration? Now after you’ve seen hundreds of horror videos, you still call for more violence as a way out and you are just counting the scores on your Ipad abroad! Sorry, we are very afar apart.
In my view the most important need for any human being is security, physical and economical and it comes with a price tag.
For you it’s freedom of expression and dignity whatever it means because you take the others for granted so our priorities are different and therefore our views of the events are different.

Did you notice than even an Israeli commenter AIG replied to you as he was as shocked as I was by your sudden burst of bellicose calls by proxy that justified my spontaneous next comment to Norman.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

22. Jerusalem said:

Barak slams Peres for his objection to possible Israeli attack on Iran
Defense Minister Ehud Barak strongly criticized President Shimon Peres on Thursday, after a Haaretz report revealed that Peres is expected to tell U.S. President Barack Obama that he does not believe Israel should attack Iran in the near future.

Published 02:22 24.02.12

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/barak-slams-peres-for-his-objection-to-possible-israeli-attack-on-iran-1.414500

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February 24th, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

23. bronco said:

21. Tara said:

“AIG

No that is not what I meant.”

I see you are retracting your calls for violence.
Thank you, that’s sound more like you.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

24. Alan said:

Syria: Seeking a Convenient Casus Belli
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30629.htm

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February 24th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 

25. jad said:

I’m not surprised at all of those who keep calling for more violence more blood and begging the NATO to invade Syria.
I’m not sure why people are ‘shocked’, isn’t ‘hatred’ the only message those people master.

صرح وزير خارجية السعودية الامير سعود الفيصل أن تزويد المعارضة السورية بالاسلحة تعد فكرة ممتازة.
ورداً على سؤال في بداية إجتماع ثنائي مع وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية هيلاري كلينتون في العاصمة التونسية عما اذا كان يعتقد ان تسليح المعارضة السورية فكرة جيدة، أعرب الفيصل عن إعتقاده بأنها فكرة ممتازة، معتبراً أنه يتعيّن على المعارضة الدفاع عن نفسها.
وقال مساعد لوزير الخارجية السعودي رداّ على سؤال لوكالة رويترز بشأن التقرير: “غادرنا لحضور اجتماعات ثنائية على هامش المؤتمر”.

http://alkhabarpress.com/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B3%D8%B9-%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%B5%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%AD-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88/

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February 24th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

26. AIG said:

Bronco,

Are you for Arabs and Muslims going through special security checks before flights if Americans think it will help their security? I am just trying to figure out if your position is principled or not.

Regarding violence, you completely misunderstood what I was saying to Tara. I would be fighting much sooner myself, but I would not be sending someone else to do my fighting or hiding behind an autocratic regime that has been dispensing violence for decades while calling for non-violence (which is basically what you are doing).

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February 24th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

27. Tara said:

Bronco

Your definition of violence is contingent upon its target. You have not even once condemned the regime violence against the people. Prove me wrong.. You even kind of blamed the dead journalist for playing with death. Yes, indeed. We are very different and the world apart.

I have not retracted anything. Through peaceful demonstrations 7 k were killed and 30k disappeared. What magic number should we wait for before we armed ourselves? 50k? 100k? The first shabeeh goal is to kill 60 k of us. Should we wait for 60,001 to fight the fight? Bashar need to be removed by force. The FSA should be armed and provided logistical support to end the Syrian slaughter.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:35 pm

 

28. mjabali said:

Here is a link to a video which I just saw and deserves a look.

The video is titled : ” a Present from al-Faruq Brigade, Capturing and killing Shabiha.”

When looking at the video you see that the soldiers captured and killed in it are Sunnis who has nothing to do with any Assad crackdown or Shabiha activity. Their story tells volume about a deteriorating situation where the Government tried to evacuate them. One of them even stated that he wanted to join the Free Syrian Army when his post was attacked. He is from Dara. The injured soldier is from the countryside of Alleppo. The third is from Muarat al-Numan. The dead soldier is referred to as a Shabih and we do not know where he is from. All we know is that he has blonde hair and got mocked for that.

The three do not even have the body armor associated with the fighting forces of al-Assad. None of them looked he is from any fighting unit, especially the soldier in the middle.

The video ends with the killers making fun of the soldier whom they killed in the ambush.

Syria is going to Hell ladies and gents. The vindictive bastards calling for more blood shed are participants in this massive spilling of Syrian blood.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

29. bronco said:

#27 AIG

I am not. These supposed “random’ search in US airports always end up on Arabs or Moslems. It’s disguised discrimination.

I understood that you were shocked that Syrians expats, sitting in the confort of their homes in a western countries, are cowardly calling for other Syrians to fight, instead of going themselves.

I am also shocked by the fact that these expats, blinded by revenge and hatred, stubbornly prefer to call for wider and more violent confrontations and send money to buy weapons instead of trying to promote a compromise where more human lives in Syria could be spared.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

30. AIG said:

Bronco,

I see you are a hypocrite. If security is more important than democracy, why are you against dedicating more efforts to checking Arabs and Muslims? After all, these are the people that are most likely to be dangerous.

I am not shocked by Tara’s position, it is the natural one. I am shocked by your cowardly position in which you support a murderous non-democratic regime that you know has murdered thousands of people. If you want non-violence, let’s hear you say that the regime should take its tanks out of Syrian towns.

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February 24th, 2012, 4:50 pm

 

31. jad said:

Terrorists of the world unite. The ‘humane’ west is already providing advance weapons to the armed militias in Syria, which means that the Syrian Army has the full right to defend the country against those criminals, it’s a legitimate war against terrorists:

Syrian opposition says West is already aiding rebels
Western powers have begun providing military support to the Syrian rebel army, a major opposition grouping claimed today, as world leaders gathered in Tunis to discuss how to end Assad rule in the country.

Bassma Kodmani, a senior figure on the executive of the Syrian National Council, said countries she refused to name were already supplying equipment including military communications technology, body armour and night-vision goggles to the Free Syrian Army.
She was more reluctant to discuss the provision of light arms such as rifles, but she hinted that other allies were beginning to send in lethal weapons.
The rebels have issued desperate calls for weapons to enable them to take on the heavy armour of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
“Defensive and light equipment are what they are doing on the ground,” she said. “It has begun.”
Her claims were immediately denied by western officials. A senior diplomat said that provision of military supplies had not begun nor was even being discussed between them. “There are lots of people saying that the Qataris and Saudis are talking about it, but I’m not even aware of that.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9103759/Syrian-opposition-says-West-is-already-aiding-rebels.html

بسمة قضماني: دول غربية بدأت إرسال “أسلحة فتّاكة” لـ”الجيش الحر”

في تقرير لافت كتبه مراسلها من تونس، نشرت صحيفة “ديلي تيليغراف” البريطانية تصريحات أدلت بها المسؤولة البارزة في المجلس الوطني السوري بسمة قضماني وتحدثت فيها عن “دول غربية تقوم فعلا بتزويد الجيش الحر بمعدات عسكرية بما فيها تكنولوجيا الاتصالات العسكرية، والدروع الواقية، ومناظير الرؤية الليلية، ملمحة “إلى وجود حلفاء أخرين بدأوا بإرسال أسلحة فتاكة”.

وقالت الصحيفة البريطانية إن تصريحات قضماني تم تفنيدها فورا من قبل مسؤولين غربيين، ونقلت عن دبلوماسي غربي رفيع المستوى قوله “توفير إمدادات عسكرية لم يبدأ ولم تتم مناقشته أصلا، وهناك الكثير من الناس يقولون إن القطريين والسعوديين يتحدثون عن ذلك ولكن أنا لست على علم حتى بهذا الأمر”.

إلا أن قضماني قالت أيضا للصحيفة أن “الأمور كانت بالفعل أكثر تقدما من ذلك، ولكن الآن توفير الأسلحة يحتاج توافق في الآراء”.

وأوضحت “هناك شبكات غير رسمية تعمل على الأرض، وتدخل أسلحة كثيرة إلى سوريا”، وأضافت “أن دولا غربية تقوم بتوفير الاتصالات والدروع الواقية ومناظير الرؤية الليلية”.

http://syria-politic.com/ar/Default.aspx?subject=403#.T0gKWIePUsd

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February 24th, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

32. jad said:

Finally! one of the most radical and provocative Zionist Israelis support the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance techniques to free occupied Palestine and the Lebanese lands!

“If they (Palestinians and Lebanese resistance fighters) use the weapons to fight the Israeli army and associated para-military (Settlers) forces, it is not terrorism.”

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February 24th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

33. jad said:

Mjabali,
What a horrific clip, yet the same terrorists in this clip if they were to be killed or captured, every thug will start crying ‘THOSE WERE INNOCENT’…

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February 24th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

34. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

Just to let you know. I don’t share your admiration and fondness towards the KSA and the Qatari monarchs. I think that the Syrian revolutionaries should distance themselves from characters like these, and from the political and religious cultures that they represent.
.

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February 24th, 2012, 5:44 pm

 

35. jad said:

More reports about funding and supporting weapons to get get smuggled into Syria:

Syria: Foreign Countries Allowing Opposition To Buy Weapons – Source

Foreign countries are allowing Syrian opposition supporters to buy and smuggle light arms, communications equipment and night vision goggles to Free Syrian Army rebels inside Syria, an unnamed Syrian opposition source said Feb. 24, Reuters reported. Though no foreign country has made a decision to arm the rebels, weapons are coming from everywhere, including Western countries, the source said. The opposition supporters also hope to smuggle in anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons to the rebels, as well as retired Syrian military officers to help coordinate the opposition, the source said.

http://www.stratfor.com/situation-report/syria-foreign-countries-allowing-opposition-buy-weapons-source

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February 24th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

36. jad said:

Mjabali,
The footage you linked earlier about executing young Syrian soldiers by terrorists, made it to Syriatruth along two other clips revealing the bloody work of the terrorists in Homs:

مزيد من الأشرطة تفضح جرائم الوهابيين في حمص ، وصحيفة فرنسية تكشف المزيد عن عمالتهم

إعدام الجنود المخطوفين بإطلاق النار على ظهورهم بينما وجوههم إلى الحائط ، وسيارات تحمل رشاشات ثقيلة في الزواريب، وسطو مسلح على صوامع الحبوب

دمشق ، حمص ـ الحقيقة (خاص) : سرّب المسلحون الوهابيون من “كتيبة الفاروق” في حمص ، التي يشرف عليها ضباط مخابرات فرنسيون ، عددا من الأشرطة التي تفضح ما يقمومون به من جرائم وحشية تفوق الجرائم التي التي تتهم السلطة بارتكابها ، سواء من حيث القتل الوحشي للأسرى أو السطو المسلح على المنشآت العامة ، علما بان السلطة ـ وباستثناء مذبحة سجن تدمر الشهيرة التي اقترفها مجرمو رفعت الأسد مطلع الثمانينيات ـ لم يسبق لها أن قتلت معتقليها وأسراها عن سابق إصرار وتصميم ، وإن كانت قتلتهم بطريقة غير مباشرة تحت التعذيب.

الشريط الأول يظهر عددا من جنود الجيش السوري من وحدات الاستطلاع وقد صلبوا على الجدران قبل أن يجري إعدامهم رميا بالرصاص بالطريقة نفسها التي مارسها ” سفير” إسرائيل في لبنان سمير جعجع مع عناصر الجيش اللبناني في بلدة “عمشيت” خلال الحرب الأهلية وفي “ثكنة رومية”.وتثبت عملية قتل عناصر الجيش السوري بهذه الطريقة الصهيونية أن استهداف الجيش السوري هو ـ قولا واحدا ـ من بنات أفكار مشغلي ما يسمى “الجيش الحر” ، لاسيما إسرائيل التي تزوده بقذائف مضادة للمدرعات ، والمخابرات الفرنسية التي تزوده بمعلومات عبر الأقمار الصناعية ، كما كشفت وسائل إعلام غربية عديدة خلال الأشهر الماضية ( “لوفيغارو”، تلغراف ، مركز” ستراتفور” الأميركي للاستخبارات ، ثم صحيفة “لوكنار إيشينيه” في عددها الأخير). وقد كشفت ” لوكنار أشينيه” في عددها الأخير الصادر أمس أنه جرى إرسال ضباط “فرع العمليات” من المخابرات الخارجية الفرنسية ومن “العمليات الخاصة” إلى شمال لبنان وتركيا لتدريب وتنظيم وحدات الفارين من الجيش السوري والمنضمين إليهم تحت لواء ما يسمى “الجيش السوري الحر”. ونقلت الصحيفة عن ضابط رفيع المستوى في جهاز المخابرات المذكور قوله لها إن البريطانيين والفرنسيين هم أول من أخذ المبادرة إلى الاجتماع بعناصر “الجيش” المذكور. وكشفت الصحيفة أن قصر الإليزيه (الرئاسة الفرنسية) وحلف شمال الأطلسي يعدان لـ”عملية محدودة” ضد سوريا.

ويظهر الشريط الثاني عملية سطو مسلح على صوامع الحبوب في منطقة “القصير” جنوب غرب حمص وتخريبها ، وهي الصوامع التي تزود المطاحن العامة بالقمح لتحويله إلى طحين يوزع على الأفران العامة والخاصة . وبعد ذلك ييتحثون عن أزمة في الطحين والخبز!!
{…}

مسلحو “كتيبة الفاروق” يطلقون النار من بين الأهالي
http://youtu.be/7RV2QP-nabI

لصوص”كتيبة الفاروق” يسطون بالسلاح على صوامع الحبوب
http://youtu.be/hHv9LyuszUw

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6784/Default.aspx

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February 24th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

37. ann said:

Weapons supply issue splits Friends of Syria – 24 February, 2012

http://rt.com/news/weapons-syria-rebels-supplies-181/

The opposition National Syrian Council has called on the Friends of Syria to provide the rebels with arms. “Excellent idea,” said the Saudi foreign minister, while the US is calling for an end to “supplying weapons to kill civilians.”

­Therefore, if everyone gathered in Tunisia for the Syria conference gets their way, the Syrian rebels will be equipped to fight, while President Assad’s forces will not.

“The Friends of Syria should not constrain individual countries from aiding the Syrian opposition by means of military advisors, training and the provision of arms to defend themselves,” said a member of the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council to the outright approval of the Saudi delegation.

The Saudi stance may well set them at loggerheads with Turkey, who have actually called for an arms embargo to be imposed on the troubled country.

A Friday report by Reuters says the West has been turning a blind eye to weapons purchases made by the Syrian rebels, though international arms contracts should be sanctioned by governments.

“We are bringing in defensive and offensive weapons. It is coming from everywhere, including Western countries and it is not difficult to get anything through the borders,” a source in the Syrian opposition told the news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There is not a decision by any country to arm the rebels, but countries are allowing Syrians to buy weapons and send them into the country,” he added without elaborating on the exact suppliers.

[…]

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February 24th, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

38. jad said:

This is what Syria’s ‘lovers’ want to see happening to Syria…what a disgusting ‘love':

“The opening of the Iraq War.”
Shock & Awe

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February 24th, 2012, 6:18 pm

 

39. zoo said:

How to protect Israel if the Syrian regime collapses? The WMD song.

Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs
Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, February 24, 2012 – 3:03 PM Share

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/24/exclusive_state_department_quietly_warning_region_on_syrian_wmds

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria’s neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad’s extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.

Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.
(…)

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February 24th, 2012, 6:32 pm

 

40. zoo said:

“Skype is the most important program of the revolution”

Deserters Battle Assad from Turkey

By Oliver Trenkamp, on the Turkish-Syrian Border
Photo Gallery: Tackling Assad from Turkey
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,817225,00.html

At first they served the regime, but now they are fighting against it. Operating out of southern Turkey, units of the Free Syrian Army, driven by hatred toward Assad, are infiltrating their home country and fighting soldiers loyal to the dictator. SPIEGEL ONLINE visits the troops.

The FSA also has an image problem, most recently because of al-Qaida’s call for Muslims to join them in fighting the Assad regime. That’s one of the reasons why FSA leaders have stressed that they respect all religions. Doing so might help them gain hoped-for support from neighboring countries and Europe.

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February 24th, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

41. Tara said:

Amir

I have no admiration or fondness towards KSA and Qatari monarchs. My next revolution to support in the Arab spring saga is the KSA’s one. It has to be though one after the other. I can’t support two revolutions at the same time. It tires me.

In regard to the Syrian revolutionaries distancing themselves from the KSA’s and the Quatari’s monarch, is that really an option? I love idealism and perfection too, but Syrians are all alone. They are being slaughtered by the hundreds every day by Damascus butcher. Do I remain romantic to my principals and refuse a helping hand from HBJ? After all the massacre would have been on much more enormous scale had Qatar and KSA remained silent. Don’t you think
———–
No fondness towards HBJ, I linked his pictures once to counteract Zoo’s mesmerization with Emma, (aka, Asma) Assad. I was jealous…

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February 24th, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

42. Tara said:

Mjabali

By the way, there is certain pride to your personality that is admirable…. I have asked you once to not interact with me. You graciously honored my request and I admire this. Some people need to learn from you how to be gracious. You and I have landed on the wrong foot the first post and that escalated later. I now retract my request.

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February 24th, 2012, 6:50 pm

 

43. zoo said:

The first meeting of the Friends of Syria, in a planned series of meetings, did not seem to achieve much.

What happened to the ‘tough message to the Syrian government’? The international call for the resignation of Bashar al Assad? The presence of the FSA at the meeting? The decision to arm the FSA?
All these predictions that the media has been hammering us the last week from anonymous ‘officials’ were just small talk?

The final meeting message sounds empty and weak. The SNC is now stuck with the label ‘ peaceful democratic change’.

Next rendez-vous of the club is in March in Istambul and the next in Paris who knows when.

Syria summit urges humanitarian action
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-summit-urges-humanitarian-action.aspx?pageID=238&nID=14629&NewsCatID=338

World powers emphasize the urgent need for humanitarian access to Syria for civilians, also recognizing the main opposition group as ‘a legitimate representative of the Syrians seeking peaceful democratic change’ in Tunis
[…}

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February 24th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

44. zoo said:

AT LAST?
U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-intel-20120224,0,5827032.story

The latest U.S. intelligence report indicates Iran is pursuing research that could enable it to build a nuclear weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.

A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.

The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.

Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.
..
U.S. spy agencies also have not seen evidence of a decision-making structure on nuclear weapons around Khamenei, said David Albright, who heads the nonprofit Institute for Science and International Security and is an expert on Iran’s nuclear program.

Albright’s group estimates that with the centrifuges Iran already has, it could enrich uranium to sufficient purity to make a bomb in as little as six months, should it decide to do so.

It is not known precisely what other technical hurdles Iran would have to overcome, but Albright and many other experts believe that if it decides to proceed, the country has the scientific knowledge to design and build a crude working bomb in as little as a year. It would take as long as three years, Albright estimated, for Iran to build a warhead small enough to fit on a ballistic missile.

Albright said a push by Iran to build a nuclear weapon probably would be detected.
(…)

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February 24th, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

45. jad said:

10 Alternative Names For The “Friends Of Syria” Conference

The following are ten alternatives for the sarcastically named “Friends of Syria” conference which would be a more honest and accurate description of the American organized, Arab oil-Sheiks funded spectacle in Tunisia.

1. Friends of Israel Conference

2. Balkanization of Syria Conference

3. Colonial Nostalgia Conference

4. Enemies of Syria Conference

5. Iraq: The Sequel Conference

6. Puppets of the Empire Conference

7. Destroy Hizballah Pre-Conference-Conference

8. We All Got Screwed By Russia Conference

9. Join-Us-For-Free- America’s-Barking-Arab Sheiks-Will-Pay-Conference

10. Kofi Annan’s Cameo Comeback Conference.

11. America Al-Qaeda Reconciliation Conference

12. Libya Chaos 2.0 Conference

http://ikhras.com/2012/02/10-alternative-names-for-the-friends-of-syria-conference/

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February 24th, 2012, 8:00 pm

 

46. zoo said:

Difficult negotiations to allow the evacuation of the two journalists ( in custody of the rebels in Homs).

WS/world
ICRC evacuates Syrian wounded, Westerners still in Homs
File – AFP

Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amr on Friday and evacuated seven Syrians wounded in bombardment by regime forces, the ICRC said.

But the ambulances did not evacuate two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two others, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said, adding that negotiations in their case were still under way.
“Three ambulances entered Baba Amr and they have left. They evacuated so far seven wounded Syrian citizens,” Saleh Dabbakeh said.

“Negotiations continue with the Syrian authorities and the opposition in an attempt to evacuate all persons, without exception, who are in need of urgent help,” he added.

[…]

French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy suffered leg wounds in the same attack.

On Thursday Bouvier was seen in a video message appealing for medical evacuation.

“My leg is broken at the level of the femur, along its length and also horizontally. I need to be operated upon as soon as possible,” she said in the video shot by anti-regime activists.

“The doctors here have treated me very well, as much as they are able, but they are not able to undertake surgical procedures,” she said.

“I need a ceasefire and a medically equipped vehicle, or at least one in good condition, that can get me to the Lebanese border so I can be treated in the shortest possible time.”

Earlier Dabbakeh said that the ICRC and the Red Crescent would seek to evacuate from Homs “everyone in need of urgent help,” not just the foreign reporters.

Syria accused rebels in Baba Amr of refusing to hand over Bouvier and the bodies of the two killed Western journalists to rescuers, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

“The concerned authorities in Homs, moved by humanitarian considerations, sent several local officials and Red Crescent ambulances to evacuate the Western journalists who entered Syria illegally,” SANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

[…]

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February 24th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

47. jad said:

tsk tsk tsk….

عضو بالمجلس الوطني السوري: المجلس في أيامه الأخيرة

دمشق ـ د ب أ: قالت عروبة بركات عضو المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض إن المجلس الوطني يعيش أيامه الأخيرة بسبب ‘غطرسة بعض الكتل فيه وأن هناك انتفاضة حقيقية ستحدث بالمجلس قريبا إن لم يغير من مساره’.
وأضافت عروبة بركات، في تصريحات خاصة لموقع ‘سيريا بوليتيك’ السوري الاخباري المستقل الجمعة، أن ‘هناك انتفاضة حقيقية سيقوم بها بعض أعضاء المجلس للتخلص من ديكتاتورية البعض’، مؤكدة وجود انسحابات جماعية من المجلس ستحدث في القريب العاجل.
وأعلن عن تشكيل المجلس الوطني السوري، وهو جماعة سياسية تضم أغلب أطياف المعارضة، في الثاني من تشرين الاول (اكتوبر) 2011 في مدينة اسطنبول التركية.
وقالت عروبة بركات ‘إن برهان غليون (رئيس المجلس) هدد بالإنسحاب من المجلس أو الإستقالة إن لم يتم انتخابه مجددا’.
وأضافت أن العديد من ‘أعضاء المجلس مستاء جدا من سيطرة كتلة دون غيرها على المجلس’، كما أكدت ‘عدم رضاها على السيدة بسمة قضماني في الكثير من الأمور’، وقالت إن ‘الإسلام دين نعتز به ولا يمكن تحت شعار الثورة أن نقزم هذا الدين وأن نقلل من عظمته إرضاء للبعض في المجلس’.
وقالت ‘من يجلس مع الصهاينة ويؤيدهم لا يمكن اعتباره وطنيا وإن كان يتحدث باسم الشعب السوري’.

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=data%5C2012%5C02%5C02-24%5C24z499.htm&arc=data%5C2012%5C02%5C02-24%5C24z499.htm

Zoo,
I read something similar on couple FB pages:
“HNN شبكة أخبار حمص
We found out that the news about taking out the injured ,foreign, journalists from Baba Amr was inaccurate because the news are saying that those journalists refused to join the Red Cross , which tried to help them ,without giving any reasonable excuse”
https://www.facebook.com/homs.news.network.alternative

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February 24th, 2012, 8:11 pm

 

48. zoo said:

ICRC evacuates Syrian wounded, but did not succeed in evacuating the two wounded journalists and the bodies of two others from Bab Amr, Homs
AFP
http://www.ntn24.com/news/news/icrc-evacuates-syrian-wounded-10973

Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amr on Friday and evacuated seven Syrians wounded in bombardment by regime forces, the ICRC said.

But the ambulances did not evacuate two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two others, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said, adding that negotiations in their case were still under way.
..
Syria accused rebels in Baba Amr of refusing to hand over Bouvier and the bodies of the two killed Western journalists to rescuers, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

“The concerned authorities in Homs, moved by humanitarian considerations, sent several local officials and Red Crescent ambulances to evacuate the Western journalists who entered Syria illegally,” SANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

“Despite efforts that lasted several hours, armed groups in Baba Amr refused to hand over the wounded woman (Bouvier) and the two bodies, thus endangering the life of the wounded French journalist,” the official added.

Diplomatic efforts were stepped up on Friday to evacuate the wounded Western journalists and the bodies of their two colleagues, with the French, British and Polish working closely together, a Western diplomat said.
And the French embassy said that Ambassador Eric Chevallier returned to Damascus, more than two weeks after he was recalled by Paris in response to the Syrian regime’s crackdown on dissent.
..
Meanwhile French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, in Tunis for an international “Friends of Syria” meeting on Friday, “solemnly” urged Syria to allow for the evacuation of the wounded journalists.

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February 24th, 2012, 8:21 pm

 

49. irritated said:

Jad #53
Miss Piggy and Gonzo at the Friends of Syria meeting, alias The Muppets go to Tunis.

http://img.allvoices.com/thumbs/event/609/480/90328838-us-secretary.jpg

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February 24th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

50. jad said:

Irritated
Good one! :)

I’m happy to see that there are still some Arabs with honour:
ملخص وقفة الشرف اليوم بقمرت تونس ضد اعداء سوريا.

شرفاء تونس يحاولون اقتحام مؤتمر أعداء سورية

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February 24th, 2012, 8:40 pm

 

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