Homs: The Capital of Syrian Uprising

Homs: The Capital of Syrian Uprising

By a Syrian expat originally from Homs for Syria Comment
Posted by Camille Otrakji.

This article is an attempt to provide a brief synopsis of the history and the socio-economic fabric of the city. This will help explain why Homs is the center of anti-government demonstrations and potentially the future site of intense sectarian violence.

Homs before the 1900s
Homs was a small city with less than 50,000 inhabitants (Now around 1 million) . The city was largely homogenous (Sunni Muslim) albeit having an affluent Christian minority (<10%). The city and its neighboring countryside was under the Ottoman rule which was facilitated by cooperation between the city’s religious and commercial elite on one hand, and Ottoman governors and garrisons (mostly Turkmen and in general foreign to the city) as well as countryside Aghas and their men (The Dandachies in Talkalakh and the Sweidans in Hesyieh) on the other hand. Intermarriages between the two groups helped diminish conflict between them.

Homs from the Arab Revolt through independence
Upon the great Arab Revolt, the city’s local and traditional leadership broke away from the Ottoman patronage. Families that once represented religious leaderships (most notably the Atassis) allied themselves with Sharif Hussien and recruited the tribal strong men of Dandachi and Bani Khalid to their cause. The same commercial and religious elite thrived. Affluence was largely a family business while social mobility was achieved though public office and/or marriage among landowning, religious and commercial families. This continued to be the case through the French Mandate and early independence years and the city social and power makeup remained unchanged. Economically, the city was largely a market to the surrounding countryside.

The Arab Socialist era and the new social fabric
The creation of the Syrian army by the French, which was made up mostly by minorities, the advancement of Arab socialist ideologies, and the creation and expansion of government bureaucracy and civil servant class, helped weaken the traditional social order in the city. An alliance was forged between low-level civil servants, army officers, and countryside peasantry (from all sects), all under the umbrella of socialism, helped create a hybrid socialist-military rule.

People from the countryside flooded the city creating new neighborhoods. The Alawis occupied the south-eastern quarters. Christian newcomers occupied large parts of the old city and the Sunni settled west, north, and east of the old city walls. Civil service and access to education became the new vehicle to social mobility (for example a teacher’s salary in the 60s-70s was enough for a family to live a middle class life).

Sectarian Tensions
Things changed in the late 70s aspower became more and more concentrated in the hands of minority army officers and it became evident that minorities and Baathists were favored for government jobs. This and other factors of regional politics created sectarian tensions in the country and the city and the clashes between the Mulsim Brothers and the government were largely sectarian and very violent.

The defeat of the Muslim brotherhood in 1982 in Hamah, and the government’s retaliatory policies that followed, created a sense of defeat in the Sunni community. Also, the economic collapse 1980s facilitated the return of traditional social dynamics in the community: commerce, marriage, and working abroad (mostly in the Persian Gulf States) became the vehicle for social mobility in that community. The traditional Sunni community was punished and was no longer an active participant in the state.

Homs in the last 20 years
Sunnis from the countryside who had occupied the vast poor neighborhoods east and north of the city integrated well into Homsi society. They quickly adopted the city’s social norms and developed antipathy towards the state for the same reasons that the indigenous inhabitants of the city’s core had. This created a unified “Sunni” identity across all city neighborhoods whether rich or poor, religious or not.

Alawites on the other hand didn’t integrate as well. They retained their distinct accent and their links to their home villages, and are active participants in the hated government agencies (Army, Mukhabarat, and civil service).

Feelings of deep mistrust characterize the relationship between the Sunni and Alawi communities.

The risk of Civil War
Unlike the events with the Muslim Brotherhood in the 80s, the demonstrations in Homs are not fueled by religious hatred or Salafi extremism; instead it’s fueled by the desire for a more political participation in the country and equal opportunity. All said, the brutal crackdown on demonstrators is intensifying resent in the Sunni community and its putting it at odds with the Alawi community that largely supports the regime. As a result, Homs is the likely candidate for neighborhood-to-neighborhood civil war similar to that of Lebanon’s civil war.

Comments (396)

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201. SYR.EXPAT said:


Can you please elaborate on what is meant to say to someone “We will not forget?”

When someone is actively supporting a criminal regime that is killing and torturing people, telling him/her that we’ll not forget means that he/she should expect to pay a price for his/her support. It doesn’t imply a grudge. It’s not personal.

Now when “we” have the upper hand, we can choose to forgive, which is my own preference, if people show remorse. However, some will have to be tried in court. For example, torturers will most certainly need to be tried and punished for their crimes. Those who stole money and made fortunes illegally like Rami Makhloof will also have to be tried and their wealth forfeited.

“and that that person whom you will not forget will be looked upon with suspicion and possibly treated as an outsider.”
If the person does not show remorse and admits his/her mistake, they will most certainly be looked down upon. However, that does not mean treating him/her unjustly. If someone commits a horrible crime, spends 15 years in prison, and then goes out and doesn’t show any remorse, would you not look down upon him. Highly likely, you would look down at that person, but the law won’t allow you to mistreat him.

“How is this going to create unity in your new Syria?”
If there is justice and mercy in the new Syria, there will be unity.

“Treating someone fairly is not equivalent to being treated equally.”
I am not sure I understand this statement. To me, treated fairly means treated justly. I’ll be very happy if people treat me fairly. If you prefer to use he word equally, then fine.

I am happy with the following:

“Being treated fairly and with dignity

At the heart of human rights is the belief that everybody should be treated equally and with dignity – no matter what their circumstances.
This means that nobody should be tortured or treated in and inhuman or degrading way.

It also means that nobody has the right to ‘own’ another person or to force them to work under threat of punishment.

And it means that everybody should have access to public services and the right to be treated fairly by those services. This applies to all public services, including the criminal justice system. For example, if you are arrested and charged, you should not be treated with prejudice and your trial should be fair.

UK law includes a range of human rights which protect you from poor treatment and prejudice, and which require you to have equal and fair treatment from public authorities.”

“If you were trying to get as many Christians, Alawites, Druze from Syria to support you and as you have written to Mr John Khouri, frankly I would have expected a response from you more along the line what the Messiah Son of Mary”

Few points:

Mercy and forgiveness is my preference, but it is meaningless when you are on the receiving end. Imagine yourself in prison in Damascus being tortured, would telling the torturer that you’ll forgive him make any sense?

When I said “we,” I meant all Syrians regardless of their religious or ethnic background who oppose this criminal government and agree with my point of view.

When I refer to regime supporters, I know that I am referring to a cross-section of the Syrian society that represents all sects. In other words, I don’t use a sectarian prism when looking at people, I just look at the actions.

If people switch sides, they have nothing to worry in the new Syria. Those who remain silent have nothing to worry. Those who oppose bringing down the government, but are vocal in denouncing the government’s abuses have nothing to worry. It’s only those die-hard supporters who fail to bail out from the sinking ship who will pay the price.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:05 am


202. Son of Damascus said:


You sometimes have coherent arguments, but they will always be out shadowed by your sexist, derogatory, and sad attempts at trolling.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:05 am


203. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Oh yeah Congrat to Sakozy, Suggest he call here ZIOPEDIA, it is a nice name, eternal.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:06 am


204. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@157 KRIKORIAN , nice to hear from you again, disagree strongly with your comment here, you say:

“…..Some of the Homsiot Atassis played a political role in Syria. Hashem Bey was the most famous. Some others like Faisal, Louay or Noureddine had a lesser impact on the politics of Syria, but had nevertheless their role in shaping up the future of the country….”

In response to your comment #157, I may have failed to explain this for you Mr. Kikorian but I disagree with you on lumping Hashem Beik with someone as lowlife as Louai and NourAlddine.

Hashem Beik had a positive impact on Syria. He unified Syrians and offered outstanding leadership after independence. His son Faisal was not as highly educated as his father Hashem and was persuaded by Arab Nationalists to become a trouble maker for Syria, he was in fact the one that opened the door for Louai and his cousin Jamal, the information minister, to launch his fit on March 8, 1963. Atassi’s comprised 4 clans the affluent land and real estate owning one of Hashem clan down to the penniless Louai and Nourdeen clan, also thug Zuaiin was married into this lower echelon of Attassi’s.

At the funeral تعذية of Hashem, as a teenager I was already very angry with the Attassi’s, so when I forced to go and give condolences to Faisal, I confronted him with his deed that was written about in a book, pretty much put him in the blame for starting the mess in Syria. He was visibly upset and became irritated, wants to know about what the book is and totally denied that he was responsible for Louai, and he stated equivocally that what Louai did is out pure Jealousy for not having the wealth the other Attassi owned, and that his clan is in fact not Attassi’s but people who claim such on distant lineage to gain respect.

I disagree that the other clowns had any significant impact on Syria except in very negative ways and for brief time or in limited capacity. Louai, which I met daily practically was broken person who lived on small pension, and Nouraldeen was nothing more than Salah Jadid front and stooge اجر كرسي that is all, he had absolutely no power whatsoever, he even needed Jadid approval to hold a birthday party for his son, which he gave, but limited the attendance to small group of kids only.


Let’s see robots ANN and TARA finding couple dozen lengthy articles to drown the comment section not with something intelligent, an opinion, a facts, but some dimwitted meaningless articles found on rags all over the universe, vey lengthy ones designed to fill pages of commercial newspapers to make them looks professional talking heads, but chosen specifically to drown the comment section, most of the article contains about 2 lines of news that anyone interested in Syria is already receiving on RSS or email to his laptop and mobile. Someone needs to programs these 2 robots to leave links please. See it is called “comment section” meaning you use your head, education, experiences and communication skill to state an opinion so others can be persuaded to your argument. Now you girls TARA and ANN really giving women a bad brainless image you know. It is called “comment Section” not “cut and paste section”. If that is all you can do, you cannot even write 2 lines of opinion about or intro to an article you are pasting above the URL link, then fine, just paste the URL, it is so simple. Otherwise, I have to spend firkin hours, flicking my finger scrolling down my dam IPHONE screen to get to the bottom of the comment section. Do you know how to get to the bottom of the screen in one action on IPHONE; I would appreciate your robotic help.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:07 am


205. jad said:

It seems that ‘Fear’ and ‘خوف’ is ‘THE’ word on twitter and FB today, almost everybody is talking that the ‘Fear’ the majority of Syrians have is the only reason for them not to join the uprising.
I think that we will read many articles about this ‘Fear’ soon.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:11 am


206. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Son of Genghis Khan how do you know you are not? You know what Homsi say about Shami’s BANADIK, and they are right, they know better.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:12 am


207. Son of Damascus said:

@ Darryl
I won’t speak on SYR.EXPAT’s behalf but I will never forget.
I will never forget EVERY Syrian that has died, I will never forget the torture the innocent have suffered through, I will never forget the blind hatred a Syrian has shown to his “Family”.

I can forgive, but I will NEVER forget

Son of Damascus

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October 20th, 2011, 1:15 am


208. majedkhaldoun said:

Not forget also means that if some one was paid money to defend the regime,he will be exposed publicly,and if his is to witness in court,it will not be granted to him for long time,as he is not to be believed.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:20 am


209. NK said:

Norman #174

Since you practice medicine in the U.S I find it mind boggling that you would say something like, “in contrast to the US where there is no objective way to get in a school.”
Getting into med school in the U.S is actually pretty hard, having a high GPA while in college, having a high MCAT score and doing well on your interview with school faculty prior to admission. That’s superior to having an extremely high score on your baccalaureate. Can you tell me who will make a better doctor, a guy who scored 95% or a guy who scored 93% ? the guy with 93% scored better on all categories except on Arabic where he scored poorly, the American system allows both students to apply and American schools will admit the guy with 93%. In Syria the guy with 93% doesn’t even have a chance. In fact Syrian med schools admit very bad students due to this failed system, some of whom I wouldn’t even trust to treat my neighbor’s dog. Here’s an example, during my internal medicine interview (graduation test), they asked a guy in my group how many nephrons were their per kidney and he answered 10 … freaking TEN, anyways our professor amazed by such an answer he asked him (sarcastically), where is your liver son ? but to a bigger surprise the guy didn’t even know were his liver was! Now you would think this guy would fail the interview and will not be allowed to graduate (personally I would have expelled him), not in Syria! … he graduated with the rest of us and now have a clinic where he treats many victims, sorry patients, daily.

Please come back from la la land, you are better than this.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:23 am


210. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Of course, that is all it is when it come to Syria “FEAR”, fear of Islamic extremist taking over, fear of Iraqization of Syria, fear of getting under occupation by Turkey, Israel and others, fear of losing independence, fear of breaking a nation to sectarian states, fear of NATO bombing, fear of DU, fear of Civil War, fear of incompetent new administration, and of course fear of ruling regime retribution. All these are valid fears and there are plenty of real world evidences around them that not only support their fear but convinces them of it being an assured consequence one.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:31 am


211. jad said:

Could you please cool down, no need to be angry at Tara and ANN alone, I do the same, I cut and paste articles/news some of them are very long but I find them interesting, besides, if anybody reading from Syria they may not be able to get to the article’s link because the site/blog might be blocked, you never know, this is why I tend to put the whole article.
I may not necessary agree with every word written in the article I linked but in times when nobody is interested in a dialogue I find it the best way, better than engaging in a nonsense argument and get cursed or attacked every time you state your opinion.
You’ve bee too harsh on Tara, I may disagree with her views but I don’t think that she links that much, actually almost all of her comments are her own words, and rarely she cut&past, don’t you think that you’ve been too quick in your attack on Tara and ANN for no real reason?

Regarding the IPhone, if you get the mobile version of SC on your IPhone, instead of scrolling down to the last comment which is so annoying, go to the main page of Syria Comment and scroll down until you read “Most Recent Comments by Post”, click on it and it will take you to the latest comments left under every post, simply click on the comment you want to read and it will immediately take you there, no don’t need to scroll any more 🙂

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October 20th, 2011, 1:35 am


212. Son of Damascus said:


Why do you resort to insults?
If I have offended you in some way for you to react in this way, I am sorry.
I was merely trying to make constructive criticism of you posts, if you would prefer for me to skip your post from now on I will.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:36 am


213. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@Jad, thank you my man, where is the mobile version of SC?

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October 20th, 2011, 1:40 am


214. SYR.EXPAT said:


The reason why he/she resorts to insults is because this is how he/she was raised.
كل إناء بما فيه ينضح

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October 20th, 2011, 1:47 am


215. jad said:

It should automatically open on your IPhone Safari when you go to Syria Comment page, if it didn’t, you can go there by clicking on the ‘Mobile Edition’ under META on the bottom right corner of the page immediately under Past Archive.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:48 am


216. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@SOD, call it even, forget it, now hoping for Jad help, I will be in lala land if he get me to solve this annooooying issue that is making me gurrrrrrrritated.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:48 am


217. Mina said:


People who have I-Phones don’t have brains. In addition to your I-Phones, your sexist comments probably won’t get you too much support (not a good idea for someone who claims to be a genuine political activist). Reading this, it will be easy for some MBs to boast that they are certainly less backward than most of your generation’s guys. It is sad to say, but endogamy is a clue problem in the Middle East.

I enjoy a lot reading articles here, because it is impossible to check 50 websites a day. Thanks to everybody who post links and articles!

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October 20th, 2011, 1:55 am


218. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@JAd, thanks, but sorry can not figuer this out, it is opening right away to the list of posts then when I click on the post arrow to teh right, it is opening the whole post and below it all section pages of teh comments are also open, it takes long long time to get to the bottom.

clicking on the ‘Mobile Edition’ I don’t see this option
I don’t see meta?
Help JAD

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October 20th, 2011, 1:56 am


219. jad said:

when you go to Joshualandis.com on your iphone what do you see?

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October 20th, 2011, 1:57 am


220. Darryl said:

200. SYR.EXPAT said:

“When someone is actively supporting a criminal regime that is killing and torturing people, telling him/her that we’ll not forget means that he/she should expect to pay a price for his/her support. It doesn’t imply a grudge. It’s not personal.

So anyone who is taking orders falls under this “unforgettable box”?

“Treating someone fairly is not equivalent to being treated equally.”
I am not sure I understand this statement. To me, treated fairly means treated justly. I’ll be very happy if people treat me fairly. If you prefer to use he word equally, then fine.”

If you eventually establish an Islamic Shariaa, then Alawites, Christians and Druze etc, presumably will be treated fairly but they will not be equal. This is what I meant.

Overall, I have a better understanding where you are coming from now.

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October 20th, 2011, 1:59 am


221. jad said:

before you click on any post scroll a little bit down, can you see
greatest hits
landis in the news


Click on Most Recent Comments by Post.

If you scroll even further to the end you will read this

Exit the Mobile Edition
Click on it and you will see the normal page as you see it on your desktop/laptop computer.
If it didn’t work, I’ll explain it again tomorrow.

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October 20th, 2011, 2:01 am


222. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Thanks for your patience @Jad and sorry for the others enduring this. When I type in the address bar the URL, it get immediately to a title page syria comment with a home sign to the left, underneath are the listing of posts, all the posts, at the bottom there are right arrow to these pages: Greatest hits, Landis in the News, Links, Oooh, I got it, way on the bottom.. okay ,, reading latest post, being assaulted, fine , who care… now how can I enter comment from this shortcut?

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October 20th, 2011, 2:11 am


223. Mina said:

It’s not on Twitter, it’s not on Facebook it starts in your neighborhood, where money is:


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October 20th, 2011, 2:13 am


224. Jad said:

Click on
Most Recent Comment by Post
It’ll take you to a page with comments on, just click on any comment you want.

I think it will be easier to click on
Exit Mobile Edition

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October 20th, 2011, 2:19 am


225. Syrian Nationalist Party said:


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October 20th, 2011, 2:27 am


226. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Thank you for the help, at least now can read latest comments quickly, but it appear that when you need to leave a comment you are back to square one, having either to scroll all the way for half hour or as you said better exit mobile edition, then select last page, just made test it is fast. Thank you.

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October 20th, 2011, 2:29 am


227. Son of Damascus said:

If my Iphone is jailbroken does that make me a little smarter? 🙂
This is a funny clip about blackberry and apple, hope you enjoy it if you have not seen it!

@ Alex
It would be nice if one would be able to change the font (to italic) in order to be able to quote other commentators in a different font. I believe it would be an added tool that can facilitate discussions.
I appreciate the work you and others are doing in keeping this site open (while Dr. Landis is other wise occupied), we might not agree politically but at least we have a venue to discuss our differences in relative safety, for that I must thank you.

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October 20th, 2011, 2:39 am


228. SYR.EXPAT said:

219. DARRYL said:

“When someone is actively supporting a criminal regime that is killing and torturing people, telling him/her that we’ll not forget means that he/she should expect to pay a price for his/her support. It doesn’t imply a grudge. It’s not personal.

So anyone who is taking orders falls under this “unforgettable box”?”

If a soldier is ordered to kill civilians, he should not obey. If he obeys, he should expect to pay the price.

Back in the fifties, Syria had a vibrant democracy. We want to go back to the way it used to be. We had a Christian PM. The people did not revolt against him.

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October 20th, 2011, 2:47 am


229. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

To all those assaulting, mostly Israeli and foreigners It is called middle finger. But for Syrians I say this:

Do you really think that in this life time we will have a chance to run for election in Syria and get votes! I tell you, if you can do that, I promise not to personally run, fair deal, be happy, now go do it please, as fast as you can. Will find then some young gal in Syria to run for office as SNP candidate, when Assad will be generous and kind to permits that, Revlon #502 blond is available in Syria. And If Moslem Brotherhood mange to get Assad out with bare dust left in Syria, will get Abdul with long fake beard and a 100’ rag wrapped around his head LAFFI to represent us as well. Don’t worry about SNP, you just go ahead and die first please. I am sorry, Martyred , Shahid, will built Shahid walls for you and water fountain in your honor and memory for the great sacrifice you made. There are more options, but will discuss those when you throw the towel.

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October 20th, 2011, 2:52 am


230. Khalid Tlass said:

Alawi scum go to hell.

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October 20th, 2011, 3:05 am


231. Mina said:

Just target the head of you’ll get nowhere:
Or, how come any normal citizen putting millions on a Swiss bank account would have to show where it comes from, but not heads of states?

Thanks SOD for the youtube video. It’s hilarious. It takes some of its inspiration from this one (monty pyhton):

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October 20th, 2011, 3:18 am


232. Mina said:

Tara thanks for posting that

Qatar lender starts talks for buying Dexia’s Turkish arm

Qatar National Bank (QNB) is eyeing Denizbank , the fast-growing Turkish arm of eurozone debt casualty Dexia, in a deal potentially worth up to $6 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

This is the answer to the question What was the price asked by the Turks (and the Europeans) to follow blindly in the Lybian adventure.
Dexia is not at all a “eurozone debt casualty”, it is precisely the European Lehman Brothers, who got bankrupt because it speculated with money it didn’t have and bought rotten bonds.

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October 20th, 2011, 4:23 am


233. Ali said:

@229. Khalid Tlass

That’s the most disgusting thing I have ever heard. There is NO place for you in secular Syria. For all you who support this revolution of murders and mutilations, we now have proved, due to the stupidity and foul mind of Khalid Tlass, this is what the so called opposition stand for and this is what they have wanted from day one. Well I have news for you. This sectarian war that all of you have been striving to achieve will fail and fail miserably. We SYRIANS stand hand in hand, no matter what religion, color or sect we belong to, and support our great leader with dignity and pride. Unlike the rest of you who have nothing on your minds but killing and torturing. This is the true face of the “revolution”.

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October 20th, 2011, 5:25 am


235. Habib said:

Don’t worry, people like Khaled won’t have a place in Syria (or anywhere else outside the Gulf) once America and its allies go down and are replaced by Russia and China as superpowers. Bye bye Wahabism/Zionism!

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October 20th, 2011, 6:56 am


236. Mohamed Kanj said:

KHALED TLASS – UR A FILTHY CANNIBAL. You are the reason why extremists dirt like urself will never get the support of the damascus and aleppo sunni’s in syria. We live side by side with all sects and will never let cavemen like urself get between us TRUE SYRIANS.

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October 20th, 2011, 7:21 am


237. Mohamed Kanj said:

KHALED TLASS ( ABOUD ) – You need to watch this video and learn.

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October 20th, 2011, 7:24 am


238. Samara said:

Khaled Tlas,

You are as dirty and filthy as the ungroomed moustacheless beardbearded donkeys…actually, you clearly are one. You are a shoe filled with snot, go drink out of a toilet you scum. Ya 3aybeshoom. That is exactly what the Islamist Fundamentalists stand for.

You clearly fell on your head when you were born.

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October 20th, 2011, 7:51 am


239. Akbar Palace said:

The wonderful news this morning is that ANOTHER self-appointed leader of the Arab world has been captured:

President “Sun Glass”.

The time for celebration has arrived: lululululululu


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October 20th, 2011, 7:53 am


240. Akbar Palace said:

Now they’re reporting Colonel Gad-fly is dead.

Next stop: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi

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October 20th, 2011, 8:05 am


241. N.Z. said:


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October 20th, 2011, 8:07 am


242. Akbar Palace said:


I didn’t see anything mentioned on the informative JewWatch website concerning the capture of Colonel Gad-fly of Libya. Was Gad-fly deposed by the Zionists or by the brave fighters of Libya?

I think we should get to the bottom of this.

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October 20th, 2011, 8:23 am


243. N.Z. said:

“Someone get some presidential-sized diapers to Damascus, Assad needs them now.”

From Twitter.

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October 20th, 2011, 8:30 am


244. majedkhaldoun said:

Belhaj said Gaddafi has been KILLED

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October 20th, 2011, 8:35 am


245. majedkhaldoun said:

Next to be killed is Bashar

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October 20th, 2011, 8:39 am


246. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

At the end of September Erdogan said he was planing to introduce additional trade sanctions against Syria. The Turkish newspapers at the time said it’d be happening in early October. Today we still haven’t heard any further announcement about that. The silence sounds like Erdogan is having second thoughts about it.

Meanwhile on 18 Oct 2011 unnamed Turkish foreign ministry sources close to Today’s Zaman newspaper said that the recent meeting in Turkey between the foreign ministry officals of Turkey and the anti-regime Syrian National Council should not be taken as a sign that Turkey is planning to recognize the Council as representative of anything. The sources stressed that recognition is a “legal issue which will remain out of the question for now.” Instead, the meeting was designed to foster “important political contact” with the group. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Selim Yenel told Today’s Zaman: “The ministry has been in contact with members of the Council. We have listened to them in order to understand who they are and what their aims are.” Today’s Zaman reported another Turkish foreign ministry spokesman saying that the ministry advised the members of the Council to work in a peaceful manner for democratic transformation in Syria. http://newsfromsyria.blogspot.com/

A London-based member of the Syrian National Council said: “We are asking to be recognized not as a political umbrella for opposition groups, but as the legitimate alternative to the regime.” He contends that the Council represents over 80 percent of opposition groups in Syria and should be considered as the legitimate government of Syria given Assad’s continued use of violence against his own people. http://newsfromsyria.blogspot.com/ My comment: That sort of attitude from the Syrian National Council is inconsistent with a peaceful manner. Therefore I must expect the Council won’t be getting clearcut moral or other support from the Turkish foreign ministry.

Meanwhile 20 Oct 2011: a Syria-based opposition figure, Samir Hawash, declared that the national opposition in Syria is going to establish political parties in accordance with this year’s new parties and elections laws and the impending revised Constitution. He re-iterated the national opposition’s rejection of foreign interference. http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/10/20/376658.htm

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October 20th, 2011, 8:50 am


247. N.Z. said:

Will it not be better if Qaddafi handed over Libya to Libyans, willingly?

How did all the money he stole from his people served him?

All the lies and fear he instilled in the hearts and minds of the people did not stop them from their goal.

His sons are being captured like flies, his entourage, one by one.

A great day, another victory.

Their is a lesson to be learned.

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October 20th, 2011, 9:09 am


248. N.Z. said:

How will Syrian TV cover the death of Libyan tyrant?

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October 20th, 2011, 9:54 am


249. bronco said:

Ya mara Ghalba

Very interesting post that dispells all the anti-regime illusions that Turkey is ‘recognizing’ the SNC

Erdogan said he wanted to visit Hatay’s camps before announcing sanctions. Then he was delayed by his mother’s death and also by the escalation of the war against the turkish kurdish rebels

By meeting the SNC, I think Davutoglu only wanted them to agree to the dialog with Bashar al Assad and I think it has been rebuffed.

Obviously the SNC’s only strategy is to lobby the international community to support them to become the only “political alternative” to the present regime, a sort of governemnt in exile. Then they’ll move on to the UN to be recognized as such.
Until now they have been recognized only by the Libyan shaky TNC, (in retaliation for Syria’s support for Qaddafi). The AL seems to have snubbed them during the last session. My opinion is that Ghalioun leadership is a liability. They have a long way to go.

In Syria, if the local opposition succeeds in creating parties, they would make the SNC obsolete and they will offer a national and democratic ‘alternative’ chosen through elections by the people of Syria, not just by demonstrators. The struggle is going on, but it is hopefully moving to the political ground.

Any sanction imposed by Turkey will be retaliated by cancellation of trade agreements that benefit much more Turkey than Syria.

The regional players ( including Qatar) are re-assessing their moves and Turkey now seems to move closer to Syria, in waiting for other moves.

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October 20th, 2011, 10:00 am


250. Tara said:

I am pretty annoyed with myself attributing good qualities to people who do not have them. I do need a rehab class.

Thank you Jad, Mina, Haytham, SOD, and Syrian Expat. The last thing I worry about is sexual fantasies uttered by deranged incoherent despicable being, yet it feels good to hear your protest.

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October 20th, 2011, 10:13 am


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