Is the Free Syrian Army Real?

Is the Free Syrian Army real?

It is now being claimed that the video which surfaced yesterday of the seven officers who claim to be the commanders of the Free Syrian Army is not what it seems to be. The video I have posted above claims to demonstrate that different officers are wearing the identical uniform. Presumably, the makers of the videos are dressing up different men in the same Colonel’s uniform so they can pose as high ranking officers.

A second video uploaded to youtube on 5 July 2011 shows the same officer who spoke in yesterday’s video (see the top of my last post). Some have suggested he is speaking from a foreign country. This makes sense because young babies are clearly audible in the background. It would be too dangerous to do this from one’s home. In another video of Shaykh `Ar`our on Wisal TV, Colonel Ahmad Hijazi calls in. He is one of the seven soldiers. He has babies crying in the background, as well. One could not phone in from Syria without the Mukhabarat potentially listing to the phone call. Certainly, one would not risk this with his baby children in the back room. This would suggest that the leaders of the Free Syrian Army are in Turkey, Jordan or Saudi Arabia and not in Syria.

syau writes in the comment section:

Watch out Syrian Arab Army, 7 so called defectors have formed their own army to fight you. The desperation of this ‘revolution’ is hilarious.

Aboud Responds:

@2 Your nervous laugh is understandable. That was a colonel in the video, who probably has under him any number of majors, who also command captains, who also give orders to lieutenants. Care to hazard a guess how many conscripts those lieutenants command?

(Of course, none of the Baathists want to mention Abukamal, and the way the whole garrison there defected two weeks ago)

It takes an enormous amount of guts to defect from the Syrian army. There is no going back, if caught they will be executed on the spot. They will be risking everything to defend their neighborhoods, families and friends, and they won’t even have the benefit of a fake amnesty.

The fact that any soldier or officer at all would think of defecting is remarkable. The fact that so many have in increasing numbers is nothing short of miraculous.

The courage and resilience displayed by the Syrian people has been truly remarkable. It puts to shame those other nations and peoples who gave up or compromised for less of an excuse.

Ya Mara Ghalba

See the video uploaded to youtube on 5 July 2011, which shows the same purported army defector as the one who’s speaking in the video linked to by Joshua. This purported traitor looks so relaxed, here, I’m willing to bet he’s in a far-off foreign country:

Joshua’s video should be presumed by every sensible person to be fictitious and foreign-produced, with none of the seven people in it being residents in Syria in recent years.

Abu Umar said:

It’s clear that these menhebek thugs support the slaughter, jailing and torture of tens of thousands of Syrians. Do you expect those who have been oppressed to be killed by your regime and for them to smile at you? Be careful what you wish for and you will remember the days of Ar’oor fondly.

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Where is this army located?? Is it in Syria or in dreamland?? How many tanks and planes does it have??

Who told you the regime can’t survive if the rebellion spreads to Aleppo and Damascus?? Who told you these two cities are “silent”?? Do you think the rebellion has not spread to Damascus yet??

I stopped taking this blog seriously long ago because it has become too absurd.

Majed97 said:

Assuming those officers are true defectors, does that legitimize this chaos that is destroying the country?! Should we now abandon all peaceful and gradual reform efforts, and instead join those defectors and expand this conflict to a full blown civil war?!

In a country like Syria with deep sectarian and tribal divide, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a handful of the 500,000 military personnel may have their loyalty lies elsewhere. It happens in every country during conflicts, where some soldiers/officers disobey orders. The question should be asked: how does any government in the world treat defectors? They arrest them and try in a military court. The military establishment is not a democratic institution…

Abu Ghassan writes:

This group of seven is a pathetic political stunt and a clear indication of the confusion that dominates the situation in Syria.
I learned that none of the officers were from the Alawi sect, not that it makes any real difference,and none of them held a position of any significance. Those officers may, and they have the right to be, unhappy with the regime like most Syrians, but their action will reduce them to a toy in the hands of bigger and more sinister players. Any effort to divide or harm the army is a blow to the country’s unity and safety. Those of you who are cheering this theatrical move are in need of a heavy dose of Syrian tea on top of a loaded Falafel Sandwich.

The regime is obviously trying to buy time now, and what was supposed to take place in September is now pushed to the end of the year. the only language this regime understands is pressure but not the type of pressure armed thugs are applying. It is the civil political pressure that will help keep this movement on track. People who kill, destroy and terrorize must be condemned and isolated by the opposition, and the lack of that condemnation and isolation is very harmful to the credibility of the opposition. New propaganda coming from albaath dinosaurs who are starting to feel the heat and want to preserve article-8 and prevent open elections. We will be watching!

Tara Asked:

We discussed Al Buti on SC a day or 2 ago. Is he still giving sermon in Umayad mosque? Some of my relative are/were established Sunni “figures” and I bet they think like Buti (and I have no respect for them) . I do not like the way Muslim figures dress. I want to have a dress revolution too. They all should wear a suit if it was up to me.

Tara said:

I just watched Aljazeera. There were massive demonstrations yesterday. The footages are coming now. Altabaqa joined in. Douma is amazing as ever. Bzourieh in Damascus demonstrating too. Looks very uplifting.

N.Z. said:

Baathist and non-Baathist,

I urge you all to see this interview with Muhammad Aref Kayali, an insider from the onset of the Baathist Syrian Party. A man of substance, a realist. Archive quality. Worth watching.

Ya Mara Ghalba writes:

Joshua likes to report what’s being said in the New York Times and doesn’t like to report what’s being said in Al-Watan. That is, the blog is skewed towards quoting sources that don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to Syria. One result is the illusion that Syrian society hasn’t yet overwhelmingly rejected all anti-regime alternatives — the illusion that the society hasn’t yet proven itself immune to the germs.

Over the past four months, conscious support for the Assad government has increased substantially. Among the educated and more liberal-minded Syrians right now, it is only a tiny minority of dissident cranks who do not consciously and positively support the government. The outsiders who think those dissident cranks are virtuous are ignorant bigots.

Ammar Abdulhamid in the LA Times

“I think the month of Ramadan will indeed be a turning point for the revolution,” said Ammar Abdul-Hamid, a Syrian opposition activist and dissident in the United States. “During Ramadan, every day will likely be a Friday, and Assad’s security forces, army troops and death squads will have tremend..

One dead, 500 arrested in Damascus roundup, Agence France-Presse, Jul 30, 2011

NICOSIA // Security forces shot dead one civilian and arrested more than 500 people in the Qadam district of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

“Soldiers and a large number of security agents entered Qadam at 3:00 am on Friday (0000 GMT) and cordoned off the area,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based rights group.

“More than 500 people were arrested during the operation, and one young man was killed at a security roadblock,” he added.

Abdel Rahman said the authorities also banned public funerals in the district, and said the young man was quickly buried in the presence of security officials to forestall any demonstrations.

“The army put up barricades at all entrances to the area, and heavily armed members of the security forces carried out searches and made arrests,” he said, adding that they had lists of names of people hostile to the regime.

“Security forces broke down doors when they weren’t opened quickly enough, and then they posted people on the roofs of houses during the four-hour operation, he said.

Minister of Environmental Affairs: Bombing of Oil Pipeline Damages Economy, Harms Public Health and Environment Cham Press, Jul 30, 2011

HOMS, (SANA) – State Minister of Environmental Affairs Kawkab Dayeh on Saturday affirmed that the bombing of the petroleum pipeline by terrorist groups which took place on Friday near Tal Housh dam targets national economy, damages the environment and hams public health and livelihoods.

Deir ez-Zor bombing of oil pipeline claimed by opposition on a Facebook page

Open Letter from a Syrian Arab priest to Alain Juppe, France’s Foreign Minister

LETTRE OUVERTE D’UN PRETRE ARABE DE SYRIE A ALAIN JUPPE, MINISTRE DES AFFAIRES ETRANGERES DE LA FRANCE,

Monsieur le Ministre,
Prêtre arabe de Syrie, je viens d’apprendre à l’instant votre déclaration aux États-Unis, touchant la légitimité de notre Président de la République.
En tant que syrien, je ne puis rester silencieux face à une telle ingérence dans les affaires de mon pays.
Professeur d’Université, vous n’êtes pas censé ignorer que la légitimité d’un Président de République, dépend du consensus de son peuple uniquement, et non de l’arbitraire d’une puissance quelconque.
Ministre des Affaires Étrangères d’un pays comme la France, vous êtes censé savoir que la Syrie est un État Souverain, membre fondateur des Nations-Unies.
Mais, porte-parole grisé de certains maîtres du monde actuel, vous croyez pouvoir décider à volonté du sort des autres pays, dont la Syrie.

….
Pr. Elias Zehlaoui

PERE ELIAS ZEHLAOUI EST LE FONDATEUR ET DIRECTEUR DE LA “CHORALE DE LA JOIE” qui compte 500 choristes et il est très actif dans le domaine du dialogue islamo-chrétien


Women and the Syrian Protests: Chanel 4 BBC

CNN: Human rights group: 7 deaths in Syria violence

“Journalist Alexander Page, who said he was with protesters who were marching from Damascus’ Midan neighborhood to Zahera, reported that he saw three people shot when security forces aimed into the crowd and

fired. Four buses carrying “regime thugs and riot police” had arrived on the scene, and security forces were stopping cars and beating people, Page said.

The wounded were picked up by security forces and taken away in buses, Page said.

He said a man on a motorbike filmed the faces of protesters as he drove past them. They chased and beat him, Page said.”

Opposion seeking to prepare the Syrian youth to rule” – Syrian activist, 29/07/2011

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Syrian academic and political activist Najib Ghadbain, who is also a member of the Syrian Opposition Consultative Council, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Syrian opposition has “entered a new phase of operations, within the framework of preparing the Syrian youth for leadership following the collapse of the regime.”

Ghadbain attended the recent meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Istanbul earlier this week, and he stressed that “the objective of the previous meetings that were held in Turkey [e.g Anatalya summit] was merely to bring together Syrian political activists abroad to find a way of supporting the revolution and to allow the Syrian voices to be heard by international public opinion.”

He added “as for the Istanbul meeting, its objective is to bring together a large group of Syrian youth, from inside Syria and abroad, and prepare them [for rule], by enrolling them in intensive training courses focusing on several subjects, including legal issues, international relations, media, as well as defining concepts such as citizenship, minority rights, and others.”

He also stressed that “the Syrian youth activists require such training, for one of the jobs of repressive regimes is to kill the youth’s interests in politics” adding that “it is essential for the Syrian youth to gain these basic skills, particularly as a broad section of this youth will be leaders in the forthcoming stage; therefore it is our duty to prepare the youth in this regard.”

Ghadbain also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the youth who have undertaking these training courses will be working to share what they learn with their colleagues [who could not attend the summit], particularly as there is a lack of political awareness amongst the Syrian youth in general.” However Ghadbain acknowledged that the Syrian youth had “learnt a lot by organizing and participating in the demonstration [against the Syrian regime].” He added that “the forthcoming stage is extremely sensitive and we must be ready to meet any challenges.”

As for differences of opinion between the Syrian youth on the ground and the Syrian political opposition, Ghadbain said that “there can be no doubt that the Syrian elite, or the so-called more traditional Syrian political opposition, is not capable of leading the street protests. However both sides have recently discovered that they need one another, for the youth need the expertise of the traditional political opposition, whilst the opposition is in need of the youth’s enthusiasm.”

He also revealed that “the Istanbul meeting was held at the request of the youth, who wanted to develop themselves.”

Ghadbain stressed that “the [Syrian] opposition is seeking to show the world’s leaders that there is an alternative to the al-Assad regime that is capable of filling the vacuum in the forthcoming stage.” He added that “as for the rumors of the establishment or formation of an [opposition] national salvation or transitional government, there can be no doubt that we would support this when the time comes.”

The Libyan rebels’ military commander was killed by his comrades Huffington Post

while in custody after he was arrested by the opposition’s leadership on suspicion of treason, witnesses said Friday, in a sign of disarray that posed a major setback for the movement battling Moammar Gadhafi.

The slaying of Abdel-Fattah Younis raised fear and uncertainty in Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital. Thousands marched behind his coffin, wrapped in the rebels’ tricolor flag, to the graveyard for his burial, chanting that he was a martyr “beloved by God.” Troops fired a military salute as the coffin arrived, and angry and grieving supporters fired wildly into the air with automatic weapons.

At the graveside, Younis’ son, Ashraf, broke down, crying and screaming as they lowered the body into the ground and – in a startling and risky display in a city that was the first to shed Gadhafi’s rule nearly six months ago – pleaded hysterically for the return of the Libyan leader to bring stability.

“We want Moammar to come back! We want the green flag back!” he shouted at the crowd, referring to Gadhafi’s national banner.

Younis’ slaying appeared to shake both the rebels’ leadership body, the National Transitional Council, and its Western allies, who have heavily backed the rebels controlling most of eastern Libya.

Fighters from a rebel faction known as the February 17 Martyr’s Brigade came to the operations room and demanded Younis come with them for interrogation…. Younis trusted them and went alone.”… they killed him.”

The February 17 Martyrs Brigade is a group made up of hundreds of civilians who took up arms to join the rebellion. Their fighters participate in the front-line battles with Gadhafi’s forces but also act as a semi-official internal security force for the opposition. Some of its leadership comes from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Islamic militant group that waged a campaign of violence against Gadhafi’s regime in the 1990s….

France’s Le Monde newspaper took a harsher view, warning that the rebels’ version of events “is hardly reassuring” and gives reason “to doubt the capacity of the council to exercise power.” “This risks reinforcing Tripoli’s hand,” Le Monde wrote.

Turkey’s failure in Syrian crisis

One should always keep this statement in mind: “the Kurds always look upon Turkey with suspicion.” This consequently leads to: “The Turkish involvement in any issue leads to the Kurdish distancing from it.”

Substantiating such a conclusion might require plentiful evidence, but one cannot disregard the fact that Abdullah Ocalan, the Leader of Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey, lived in Turkey for years. This didn’t imply the proximity of Syria to the Kurds, because Damascus was reluctant to grant Syrian citizenship to northeastern Kurdish settlers and would only reconsider the matter in the face of the pressure of the current wave of demonstrations.

A conference hosting the adversaries of Bashar Assad, the Syrian Prime Minister, was held in Turkey some time ago with participants who ran the whole oppositional gamut. A similar meeting was due in Damascus and the two assemblies were supposed to nominate 75 people to the Syrian Transitory Council, similar to the Libyan Transitory National Council. The Damascus meeting was not held and 25 nominees were chosen in Istanbul. But this could not conceal the fragility of and the internal divisions among the Syrian regime’s opposition from sight.

The fact of some of the participants warning against the presence of the Islamist Majority (Akhvan al Moslemin) aside, the Kurdish figures decided to walk out of the meeting since they were against the phrase: the “Arabic” Republic of Syria. It lighted upon other oppositionists too that the cost of a consensus among all opposition groups exceeds their imagination. This discord came to a head when the Kurds hoisted Kurdistan’s flag in the Istanbul summit and in response to protests from others said that you, too, have raised the Turkish flag!

One of the causes of Syria’s Kurds continuing in their cooperation with the other opposition groups can be seen to be Turkey’s policy with regard to Syria’s revolts. From the very outset Turkey’s senior officials expressed their lack of patience with the slowness of the reforms process in Syria and voiced their extreme displeasure of suppressing the opposition. Every time the Syrian Presidency made a speech on the implementation of reforms, voices were heard from Ankara crying out that Bashar Assad is short of time and will have to capitulate to the demands of the opposition within a few days.

It goes without saying that the rigid and robust body of Syria’s politics has not exhibited much flexibility for reforms and softness against the demands of the opposition. Some trace this to internal disputes within the Syrian regime on the execution of reforms and contend that on the expansion of reforms Bashar Assad is facing greater pressure from internal opposition than the streets and public demonstrations.

According to reports the Syrian government is observing the developments in its Kurd-settled regions, especially in Qamishli, very keenly. There hasn’t been much conflict between the police and the military and the public in the Kurd-settled regions. Some negotiations have been made with the Kurdish parties, such as Kurdistan Workers’ Party – the Syrian branch, and the conclusion has been that the military wing of this party to take up security in Kurd-inhabited areas. This was a clear message to Turkey that Damascus, too, has some cards up its sleeves that it can play with inside Turkey.

Following Turkey’s blatant intervention in Syria, Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani, two Iraqi Kurdish leaders, vehemently supported Syria and Iraq’s Prime Minister also refused to go along with Turkey’s intervention and even signed an agreement to send 150,000 barrels of oil to diminish Syria’s economic plights and received a group consisting of 150 Syrian businessmen to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries. This comes at a time when only a while back Nouri Almaleki accused Syria of sending saboteurs and weapons into Iraq.

An important factor inside Turkey also deserves mention: the approximately 20 million Alawis who can’t bear to witness their government imposing pressure upon Syria’s Alawis. The continuation of the interventions of America, France, Turkey, and Qatar in Syria’s current issues might cause a rerun of the incidents of the city of Homs, but on a larger scale, a city which witnessed for the first time a religious conflict between the pro- and anti-government people where both sides attacked each other with firearms which claimed the lives of 30 people. This incident induced Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to state that the national unity of his country has been targeted.

Militarily speaking, the entrance of the Syrian army into areas close to Turkey’s border, particularly Jisr al Shughour, is a step further than Syria’s internal incidents. Syria executed the “precipice” policy with regard to Turkey and sent special units of its army to its border with Turkey. Ankara’s calculations for inciting division and split in Syria’s army failed and Ankara gradually cut down on its propaganda assaults upon Syria. For the first time in 17 years Syria’s army entered into regions, which based on agreements with Turkey on Ocalan, were considered arms-free regions.

Based upon what was stated in propagandas and by some Arabic news networks, the Syrian regime deploys the Alawi units of its army to cleanse the border regions and the Fourth division of its Army has been dispatched to the border regions, but the reality is that the Fifteenth Division entered the fray, most of whose commander and soldiers are Sunni Syrians.

As was the case with Libya, not only Turkey, but also France will have to reconsider its policies towards Syria. Sarkozy was the first western Prime Minister to officially recognize the Libyan Transitional National Council and assumed the commandership of the assault against Gaddafi, but France’s Defense and Foreign Secretaries openly say that Gaddafi’s opponents should not expect a military triumph and should yield to a diplomatic solution instead. This solution, the responsibility of whose marketing has been bestowed upon the Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, has proved so shocking to the Gaddafi opposition that they have threatened to charge this international organization with failing to remain impartial in the Libyan crisis.

Daniel Levy, “America’s Attempted Quartet Sophistry,” Foreign Policy, July 22, 2011.

BILAL Y. SAAB AND NICHOLAS BLANFORD, “Seeing Red Along the Blue Line: Five years after the end of the Israel-Hezbollah war, both sides are furiously preparing for another round.” |JULY 29, 2011, FOREIGN POLICY

Comments (152)


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1. Abughassan said:

We do not need a new army,we need a new regime.

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July 30th, 2011, 4:58 pm

 

2. louai said:

‘Is the Free Syrian Army Real?’

Dear Joshua

I think the designer of the Syrian revolution is a Nigerian fraudster ,there is nothing real about this revolution ,only the country destruction is real (but not if posted by the revolutionists) ,

the motto of this revolution must be ‘fake it till you make it’ .

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July 30th, 2011, 5:43 pm

 

3. Tara said:

I am very annoyed with the fabricated free Syrian army video. While the baby noise background does not prove anything to me, the uniforms look indeed identical and indeed would cast a doubt in my mind on any future videos/ links. While I remained proud of the Syrian revolution and our fight to achieve freedom and dignity, I am very taken back with the lies and fabrications. This in my view is a noble revolution which has been paid for by sacred Syrian blood. I very much condemn the use of lies and fabrication no matter what the intent and the cause are. I am truly saddened by this.

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July 30th, 2011, 5:53 pm

 

4. Aboud said:

@2 *groan* Lame line is lame.

And were the defections at Abukamal faked? Ah right, the Baathists don’t like to talk about that one. Nothing must ever be allowed to pierce the bubble of fiction junior and his sycophants have trapped themselves in.

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July 30th, 2011, 6:14 pm

 

5. Aboud said:

Must I really play the part of Captain Blindingly Obvious? Anyone who defected, and lived long enough to talk about it, most definitely dumped their uniforms first chance they got. Dunno, that’s what I’d have done if I wanted to get away. But that’s just me.

Did those officers display their military IDs? If so, then too bad, and better luck with your next conspiracy theories.

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July 30th, 2011, 6:32 pm

 

6. MM said:

All I can say is الله أكبر

For some men, shooting at their own people is not an option in their mind. And not shooting results in death. The next logical conclusion is to fight those who are fighting you. They’ve made a noble choice.

While the center of mukhabarat is working overtime to squash dissent and have several individuals with the various handles they use on this website posting constantly, playing the psychological games that they do, I think the time has come for they – those agents to also reassess their lives. What are you doing? What are you working for? Let’s turn this black page of history called Assad.

As I have commented before, the “tree of liberty is sometimes watered by the blood of patriots.” I will not elaborate further as I was moderated the last time.

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July 30th, 2011, 6:42 pm

 

7. Tara said:

Aboud

Elaborate further. I am not really wired for conspiracies. Yes you can call me naïve or whatever. So the defectors having dumped their uniforms for safety reasons are using the same uniform for a photo-op? I guess that is possible.

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July 30th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

8. louai said:

Aboudi ,
‘groan’ ! thank you for the new word ,I will add to my dictionary and use it every time I see a fabricated video uploaded from this revolution ,as return to the favour ,I will direct you to another fake video about army defection in Bab elsbaa :)
when the army entered the neighbourhood and people were cheering the soldiers, ,Aboudi was there filming and he uploaded to youtube as army defection !! but it was so lame and ‘blindingly obvious’ (thank you for this one as well) so it didn’t get good audience (apart of gullible Al Jazeera’s audience) ,there are some tanks and machine guns as well .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXK8b25o828

Albukamal : you did not tell us yet ,where are the soldiers in your video ! all what we saw is tow tanks and people cheering them ,no solders in uniforms nothing ..so show us the solders and then we can talk about it

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July 30th, 2011, 6:53 pm

 

9. Aboud said:

Tara, what *idiot* would walk around in an army uniform so far away from his unit, and in all likelihood in civilian transport, unless they could prove they were on a legitimate trip.

Soldiers who broke away could be wearing Smurf uniforms for all we could care. If they show their military ID, then they are the real deal. If no ID was shown, then the video should not have been taken seriously in the first place.

I just saw what is supposed to be a video of defections in Dayr El Zour this very evening, but the quality was not good at all, so I’ll let someone else post it.

@8 Learn to take your time when writing. Don’t worry, we are not in a race, and it will prevent you from sounding so muddled next time.

“you did not tell us yet ,where are the soldiers in your video ”

You got me there. The soldiers just parked their tanks and APCs there and went out for lunch. The crowd took the chance to jump and cheer on the armored vehicles, which two weeks later still have not been returned to the army for some reason. Duh.

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July 30th, 2011, 6:56 pm

 

10. louai said:

Dear Tara ,
The famous defector AL qah3ami , first appeared in uniform from the regular army but later when people laughed at him ,because he claimed he was from counter terrorism unit (who were black uniform) he made another video wearing the black uniform :)

Aboudi , unlike you I have a busy life ,I wished I was less busy to expose all this revolution fabrications ,but ,there are too much to start with .

the point is about Albukamal , the soldiers most likely were murdered by your friends or the crowds were just celebrating as the one in Babel sbaa .

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July 30th, 2011, 7:01 pm

 

11. MNA said:

Ladies and gents,

Don’t waste your time on discussing this mute subject. 5 months on and there has not been a single proof of any defection. You know why? B/c there wasn’t and there isn’t any. In some cases you have army deserters and not defectors.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:12 pm

 

12. Aboud said:

@10 “,because he claimed he was from counter terrorism unit (who were black uniform) ”

“Wear” black uniforms. And no, those are the Air Force Intelligence, who until this revolution were running around chasing smugglers, not “counter terrorism”. But then I shouldn’t expect too much from people who haven’t even heard of the badal. Geesh, every Syrian over the age of 18 knows the exact amount in dollars that needs to be paid. Except, apparently, the Baathists here.

“the soldiers most likely were murdered by your friends ”

Yes, of course, why didn’t that occur to me! You are an absolute genius! In half a day, the entire garrison at Abukamal was overrun, and the tanks fixed and patched up from any signs at all of having been in a battle. It makes perfect sense….in Menhebakstan, maybe.

If that was the case, why has the regime been trying to negotiate its way back in? You don’t negotiate with such a ruthless, cold blooded enemy. But you do if you know your entire garrison has defected, and the town can rely on their brethren over the Iraqi border.

Is your strategy to clutter up this forum with obviously ridiculous claims that a 10 year old can shoot down? Because that’s the only explanation I can find for how anyone can say the things you do with a straight face.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

13. Tara said:

Louai and Aboud

In all honesty it makes sense to defect. And I am surprised that there were no more defections than what we have seen already. I personally will teach my own kid if he was ever put in a situation where he is ordered to shoot on his own unarmed people or any unarmed people for that matter, of not to do it even if that means losing his own life.. And if he is ever told to kneel to anyone except God, to never do it even if it means losing his own life. I know I may sound unreal and I may be but that is how I feel at least now.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:19 pm

 

14. beaware said:

Tough bipartisan questioning by Congress of U.S. policy on Syria

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-us-syria-20110728,0,5960400.story

Republican and Democratic members of a House panel complain that the effort to calibrate a message on Syria has failed to make it clear the U.S. stands with protesters against an oppressive regime.
By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2011
Reporting from Washington—

Senior State Department officials came under tough questioning from lawmakers Wednesday over the Obama administration’s reluctance to call for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s departure.

Despite the Assad government’s bloody crackdown on demonstrators, U.S. officials have shied away from calling directly for his ouster. They worry that the United States would end up looking weak if Assad managed to hang on in the face of popular pressure. And with American leverage limited in Syria, they also have been reluctant to raise expectations about what the administration might be prepared to do to unseat the regime.

At Wednesday’s hearing, an unusual coalition of Republican and Democratic members of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee complained that the effort to carefully calibrate a message had failed to make it clear that America stands with pro-reform protesters against an oppressive regime.

“How many must die before we have the courage to stand up and say that Assad is illegitimate and he must go?” asked Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the subcommittee’s chairman. He noted that the death toll in Syria over the last four months was more than 1,600 demonstrators.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) accused the administration of holding off on its strongest language until it was clear that Assad would actually fall. “We’re hedging our bets here on the odd chance that he’s going to be able to hang on,” Ackerman said.

The lawmakers’ complaints again illustrated the challenge the administration has faced in trying to craft a consistent message about American intentions as pro-democracy movements have swept through the Middle East and North Africa this year.

Administration officials insisted that they have left no doubt that the U.S. deplores Assad’s brutal tactics and wants him to go. And they suggested — as administration officials have privately done in recent days — that the White House may yet deliver the definitive message that the lawmakers were demanding.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say we’re standing still and hedging our bets,” said Michael Posner, assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, adding that the U.S. government had “absolutely lost faith” in the Syrian government.

Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, noted that when U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford visited a Syrian city in the midst of a demonstration recently, he was showered with flowers.

“People know where we stand,” Feltman said.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:24 pm

 

15. beaware said:

Armed groups attack law-enforcement members in east Syria: report

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-07/31/c_131020085.htm

DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) — Armed groups attacked law- enforcement members and a police station in the northeastern city of Deir al-Zour and stole some weapons and ammunitions, the official SANA news agency reported late Saturday.

Armed groups cut off and barricaded some roads in the city to terrorize residents, said SANA, adding the law-enforcement members encountered these groups and exchanged gunfire with them.

It said law-enforcement members are still hunting these groups down and using the right methods in dealing with situation there, adding the residents of Deir al-Zour expressed their worries of the groups’ acts and stressed their refusal of any acts that would harm the country in general and Deir al-Zour in particular.

Meanwhile, the Syria-News, local news website, cited witnesses as saying that the city of Deir al-Zour is witnessing a proliferation of armed men and that the situation is so intense, as the water and electricity were cut off since Friday noon. It said there are large numbers of arrests in the nearby al-Bukmal city as well.

Security forces are conducting a large-scale house raids and arrests especially those whose ages range from 15 to 40, said the report, adding the families there don’t know where the detainees are taken to.

“There is a shortage of food and the families there are helping one another by exchanging what they have of food and water,” The website cited an unnamed journalist in the area as saying.

Activists said Deir al-Zour witnessed a large anti-government protest on Friday, as part of other protests that took to streets across the country, to press demands for the downfall of the leadership.

Local Coordination Committees (LCC), which tracks the protests in Syria, said the Syrian army had bombarded al-Jawza neighborhood, west of Deir al-Zour, with artilleries which left many injuries.

The city of Deir al-Zour has witnessed a large turnout since the eruption of protests more than four months ago.

Activists said the unrest in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 1,400 civilians, while the government disputed the toll, blaming the crisis on armed and extremist groups that aim to sow a sectarian rift in the country.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:27 pm

 

16. aboali said:

defectors in Qorieh, Dier Ezzour. with military transports and weapons visible:

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July 30th, 2011, 7:31 pm

 

17. beaware said:

Ivashov: Syria Experiencing Wide Scale Campaign Targeting Its Independent Policy and Support for Resistance

http://sana.sy/eng/337/2011/07/30/361225.htm

Jul 30, 2011

MOSCOW/BELGRADE, (SANA) – Vice President of the Academy on Geopolitical Affairs Gen. Leonid Ivashov said on Saturday that what is currently taking place in Syria is a wide scale campaign carried out by Israel’s Mossad and western countries – particularly the United States and France – in an attempt to fragment Syria due to its independent policy, support for resistance against Israel and establishing strong relations with Iran.

In an interview with SANA’s correspondent in Moscow, Ivashov said that the west is also targeting Syria because of its position in the Arab world and its unique style of development that can serve as a role model of Arab people, noting that the international financial circles that organized the campaign against Syria don’t want the Syrian model to succeed and continue its independent policy.

He pointed out that the third stage of the U.S. plan to destabilize Syria is taking place, and that this stage consists of carrying out sabotage and assassinations, causing bloodshed, and taking the situation from a political track to a combat track.

Ivashov explained that the second stage consisted of inciting armed confrontations with the army and law-enforcement forces, while the first stage involved amassing funds and weapons, carrying out a strong media misdirection campaign, and organizing armed terrorist groups.

In this context, Ivashov criticized the intense media and psychological war waged by some mass media establishments and satellite channels against Syria to cause chaos, fear and panic. He also lauded the Syrian media which is confronting the media weapons and uncovering its lies and misdirection to the public opinion.

Ivashov voiced confidence that Syria will emerge from this crisis stronger and more resilient due to the initiatives of President Bashar al-Assad, and that Syria will succeed in foiling the acts of terrorist and sabotage planned by the Mossad and western intelligence agencies.

He also condemned the acts of sabotage that targeted a passenger train between Aleppo and Damascus and an oil pipeline in Homs.

On a relevant note, Ivashov pointed out that the U.S. organized a training course in a neighboring country for Syrian opposition, providing them with instructions and directions to carry out acts of terrorism and sabotage in Syria and exploit the just demands of some Syrians, adding that the Syrian leadership began finding solutions to these demands by issuing a number of legislations and reform laws.

Resisting Pressure and Foreign Interference the Only Way Out for Syria

In an article published recently in Serbia’s Novi Standard newspaper, Ivashov said that resisting pressures and foreign interference is the only way for Syria to emerge from its current situation.

Ivashov said that Syria works with a stable foreign and internal policy, and that President Bashar al-Assad’s political strategy is based on tackling the issue of defense and security on the bases of national, social and political unity of Syrian society, creating an independent policy that doesn’t appeal to the United States and its bid for controlling the world.

He pointed out that the U.S. uses all methods to fight the countries it labels as enemies, including revolutionary technology and military force, along with international organization, in addition to using the resources of countries under U.S. and NATO influence to form clandestine units of extremists and mercenaries to fight countries that attempt to follow and independent and free policies.

Ivashov said that mass media opposed to Syria try to pass criminal acts as protests, and that the arrests of gang members are repression of political rights and liberties, with the U.S. truing to push through with a Security Council resolution to impose a blockade on Syria. However, after the experience in Libya, Russia and China thwarted these attempts.

He added that U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are in a delicate situation, as they must go into elections after suffering one defeat after the other; first in Libya and now in Syria.

Ivashov concluded by saying that Syrians must either resist western pressure or end up like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:36 pm

 

18. beaware said:

Rights group says 20 protesters killed across Syria

http://www.turkishweekly.net/print.asp?type=1&id=120415

Fighting erupts between military forces, residents in Deir al-Zor; several injured as forces open fire on anti-Assad demonstrators in Deraa; saboteurs target oil pipeline in Homs.

AMMAN- Syrian forces shot dead at least 20 civilians in attacks on pro-democracy demonstrations across the country on Friday, the Syrian human rights organization Sawasiah said.

Syrians in their thousands took to the streets nationwide for the 17th consecutive Friday to demand an end to President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-year rule, activists said by telephone, defying an intensifying military crackdown on an uprising for political freedoms.

“The security forces are continuing violent repression against peaceful demonstrations demanding freedom and the downfall of the regime, firing live ammunition at most protests all over Syria on Friday,” Sawasiah said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Sawasiah said it had the names of 20 people killed in the cities of Latakia, Hama, Homs, Deraa, Kiswa, Deir al-Zor and in and around the capital Damascus.

Residents said armed resistance erupted on Friday against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in several neighborhoods of Deir al-Zor after the killing of five protesters, shot dead by Syrian security forces in a new effort to try to crush widening Sunni Muslim unrest against Assad.

Thousands took to streets across the country after Friday prayers to demand the downfall of President Bashar Assad, witnesses and activists said. Several other people were injured during the clashes.

“They are firing at demonstrators in alleyways and people are running for cover. Protesters have been trying to avoid heavy security in main streets,” a resident of Deraa, a technician who gave his name as Ayman, told Reuters by phone. Security forces also used tear gas to try to disperse demonstrators in Deraa, witnesses said.

Also on Friday, saboteurs “targeted” an oil pipeline near the central city of Homs, the official Syrian news agency said, without giving details of the nature of the attack.

Homs is home to one of Syria’s two oil refineries and has seen large protests demanding the toppling of president Bashar Assad whose forces have deployed tanks in the city.

On Sunday Assad, from Syria’s minority Alawite sect, replaced the civilian governor of Deir al-Zor province with a secret police officer, two days after the biggest pro-democracy demonstrations in the province so far in the uprising.

Arrests continued across the country in the last two days, rights campaigners said, including hundreds of people in Damascus, where they said Republican Guards deployed in force in the central Maidan district on Friday to prevent protests.

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July 30th, 2011, 7:39 pm

 

19. MNA said:

Tara @ 13

“In all honesty it makes sense to defect. And I am surprised that there were no more defections than what we have seen already. I personally will teach my own kid if he was ever put in a situation where he is ordered to shoot on his own unarmed people or any unarmed people for that matter, of not to do it even if that means losing his own life.. And if he is ever told to kneel to anyone except God, to never do it even if it means losing his own life. I know I may sound unreal and I may be but that is how I feel at least now.”

Tara

You are right 100% and I believe most people including those in the army believe in what you stated above, and some how you answered your own question to why hasn’t been more defections.

The reason is b/c the army, for the most part, has not been involved in any indiscriminate killing of unarmed civilians.

I second AbuGhassan, we have to be very careful about delegitimizing the army. It is the only safety net that Syria will have in any event or outcome.

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July 30th, 2011, 8:07 pm

 

20. Dale Andersen said:

The Syrian Army is not to be trusted. For the past 40 years, it has been the willing instrument of the Assad Mafia. After Bashar is gone, many senior Army commanders will have much to answer for.

As for the soldiers, they now have another Syrian Army to join. A real army, not a tool of a mafia.

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July 30th, 2011, 8:35 pm

 

21. syau said:

The ‘Free Syrian Army’ is nothing but another fabrication by the Syrian revolution 2011 that has been exposed.

On the report from channel 4 news, at minute 2:13, the reporter interviews a so called female activist described as 21 year old Zayda, who claims she was tortured by police. She continues on to claim she was arrested and jailed for five days, beaten, humiliated and tortured. The reporter is then shown footage of her ‘arrest’. This is the same female that had made a number of fabricated clips where she is apparently protesting and is arrested by mukhabarat, who, as she, were the same people in the previous clips.

The reporter was duped. Had he done his homework prior to interviewing her, he would have found a number of similar videos with ‘Zayda’ and her partners in the fabricated videos.

Tara’s right, it doesn’t make sense to defect. I very highly doubt any of the defection claims are actually legitimate.
A video has surfaced, which was taken prior to the massacre of the security personnel in Jisr Alshughour. It was taken by one of the martyred officers on the rooftop, before they were murdered. They had a golden opportunity to ‘defect’right then and there. It would have been very easy for the soldiers to surrender to their killers and announce that they will stand with the revolution, therefore, saving their lives, but they didn’t. They were shoulder to shoulder, side by side, saying they are Assad’s men (rjal Al Assad) in the face of their imminent murders and mutilations. I’ll link it. but it’s quite graphic towards the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVtHk3wozGQ&feature=channel_video_title

The Syrian army stands united with President Assad. They will not defect and they will continue fighting the armed elements in this revolution and protect the country and its people from their malicious acts, and, the memory of the murdered soldiers in Jisr Alshughour will not be forgotten while they are fighting the terrorists of this revolution, the terrorist revolution that robbed the country of 120 of its security personnel during one hateful massacre.

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July 30th, 2011, 8:43 pm

 

22. Syria no kandahar said:

Chanel 4report:
Manal is مناضله مشخلعه :سيكاره وقطه ونصف ستيان
What more freedom she wants?0%ستيان or may be a sigar
شي مسخره

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July 30th, 2011, 9:11 pm

 

23. Tara said:

Syau,

See aboali post # 16. Looks very real to me.

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July 30th, 2011, 9:29 pm

 

24. Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, the claim made by SNN that the group of the seven officers of the FSA are fake is like all regime media claims; surreal.
The arguments driven had to do with uniform and a baby cying in the background.

First, the original video of Officer Hijazi had a metallic noise in the background. It was not a baby crying.

Second, the baby babbling sound in Officer AlAs3ad is a clear dubbing on the original one. The baby babble sound was even higher than the Officer’s. Had it been recorded in a house as claimed, the interview could have easily been done in a different quiet room.

Third, the uniform! Nothing new here. This argument was used against the first defecting soldier AlQash3ami in March!

Here are my arguments to those who doubt the genuine claim of these officers:
First:
None of the General commander of the army (Jr), the defense minister, or chief of staff of the army have issued a statement denying the true membership of any of the scores of YouTubed defectors, including As3ad and company in the Syrian Army.

Second:
The officers who have founded thye FSA are not kids. They are grown ups. They are presenting their real names, units, and numbers that can be easily checked by authorities.

Commenters on this forum have a choice to believe the stories of either:
Grown up Officers risking their lives in seeking to defend their civilian countrymen,

or

Pubescent narcissistic politician Jr, his serial muderer brother, and mafioso cousin.

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July 30th, 2011, 9:38 pm

 

25. ss said:

The opposition is running out of fuel. They are going crazy and trying to do something hoping it may turn the course. They started to realize that their time is running, and if they cant bring the regime down, they are rest assured that it is gone for another 40 years. They know that this is their last chance and they know that by doing nothing they are in big loss. The revolution has no support internationally. USA, UK, and France barely condemning Syria. I think the international community in agreement that what is going on in Syria is a terrorist act. 5 months pssed and the opposition repeating the same words, the media making more fabricated videos, aljazeera getting slammed left and right. The opposition ship is sinking, sinking, and sinking.

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July 30th, 2011, 9:40 pm

 

26. Syria no kandahar said:

Any one who is hoping that the Syrian army will be divided is practically hoping for Libyan style Syria,which will be a disaster.historically,in similar situations,it is always anticipated to have isolated incidents.you can’t support detections abd claim to be a pro-united Syria,because that is contradiction.if the sectarian virus invades the army,we are going into libanese style gurella war.
So hands off the army,or your hands will be off.

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July 30th, 2011, 9:42 pm

 

27. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

The Syrian Establishment is going to remain politically a one-party Establishment: there are no disagreements within the Syrian Establishment on any major policy issue.

As recently as four months ago many pro-regime Syrians thought that retaining Article 8 of the Constitution would be okay. Today, with hindsight, pro-regime Syrians are unanimous that Article 8 should be repealed and that it was a mistake to have not repealed it earlier. Acknowledging that mistake in no way hinders anyone from supporting the regime. At the Syrian National Dialog Meeting, 12 July 2011: “Some participants characterized the recent crisis in Syria as caused by a compound between a conspiracy and the government’s mistakes of the past. Participants also called for not wasting time on discussing the mistakes of the past and focusing on the future….” http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/07/12/357937.htm

One problem I have with this blog is that it doesn’t admit, or deny, or entertain, the idea that there is such a thing as “the Syrian Establishment”. So when I say “there are no disagreements within the Syrian Establishment on any major policy issue”, that statement must be read by at least some people as a nonsense statement, or as a controversial or very presumptuous statement. I don’t demonstrate that a Syrian Establishment exists, nor what its features are, because it would take pages and pages to do it. This blog, with its focus on dissident activities, leaves readers blind as to the Establishment’s sociological extensiveness (most important), and the Establishment’s moral values and spirit. Western information sources are the foundation, and the bulk of the content, of this blog. That is why this blog is assuredly very bad on the whole. Its resulting blindness means it’d be more productive for everybody who wants to understand Syria — including the already knowledgeable HSYRIAN | HS — to be at a blog whose foundation is Syrian information sources. There are several such blogs. Their foundation is that they mostly duplicate what’s put out by SANA. Which is inadequate of course. But it’s a good start.

Here’s a piece of information from a Syrian source: “It is a great honor to raise the flag of my sacred homeland in gratitude of all it has offered us,” said engineer Amal Abu al-Izz in a pro-regime rally in Sweida, 20 July (SANA). From innumerable bits of information like that, it’s clear to me that most Syrians love Syria. It is equally clear that the Syrians who love Syria are never going to buy into the negativity of the political dissidents (no matter which species of dissidents). Joshua says: “Without dealing honestly with the failings of Middle Eastern nation states and societies, solutions … will be elusive.” Politically speaking, that sort of attitude is dead on arrival in Syria because of its negativity. (Comparable criticisms aimed at the broad society are also dead on arrival in most of the West too, as is well-known, as Western electorates always prefer positive, constructive themes).

Joshua’s full sentence is: “Without dealing honestly with the failings of Middle Eastern nation states and societies, solutions to dictatorship will be elusive.” If a free and fair election were held in Syria today the Assad government would be elected by a landslide. The government has achieved that wonderful feat in no small part by finding out what Syrians want. Therefore Syria does not have a “dictatorship” problem. Syria is fine.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:13 pm

 

28. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

The Syrian Establishment is going to remain politically a one-party Establishment: there are no disagreements within the Syrian Establishment on any major policy issue.

As recently as four months ago many pro-regime Syrians thought that retaining Article 8 of the Constitution would be okay. Today, with hindsight, pro-regime Syrians are unanimous that Article 8 should be repealed and that it was a mistake to have not repealed it earlier. Acknowledging that mistake in no way hinders anyone from supporting the regime. At the Syrian National Dialog Meeting, 12 July 2011: “Some participants characterized the recent crisis in Syria as caused by a compound between a conspiracy and the government’s mistakes of the past. Participants also called for not wasting time on discussing the mistakes of the past and focusing on the future….” http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/07/12/357937.htm

One problem I have with this blog is that it doesn’t admit, or deny, or entertain, the idea that there is such a thing as “the Syrian Establishment”. So when I say “there are no disagreements within the Syrian Establishment on any major policy issue”, that statement must be read by at least some people as a nonsense statement, or as a controversial or very presumptuous statement. I don’t demonstrate that a Syrian Establishment exists, nor what its features are, because it would take pages and pages to do it. This blog, with its focus on dissident activities, leaves readers blind as to the Establishment’s sociological extensiveness (most important), and the Establishment’s moral values and spirit. Western information sources are the foundation and the bulk of the content of this blog. That is why the blog is assuredly very bad on the whole. Its resulting blindness means it’d be more productive for everybody who wants to understand Syria — including the already knowledgeable HSYRIAN | HS — to be at a blog whose foundation is Syrian information sources. There are several such blogs. Their foundation is that they mostly duplicate what’s put out by SANA. Which is inadequate of course. But it’s a good start.

Here’s a piece of information from a Syrian source: “It is a great honor to raise the flag of my sacred homeland in gratitude of all it has offered us,” said engineer Amal Abu al-Izz in a pro-regime rally in Sweida, 20 July (SANA). From innumerable bits of information like that, it’s clear to me that most Syrians love Syria. Here’s a lovely example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJrRY8SkoQY#t=92s. It is equally clear that the Syrians who love Syria are never going to buy into the negativity of the political dissidents (no matter which species of dissidents). Joshua says: “Without dealing honestly with the failings of Middle Eastern nation states and societies, solutions … will be elusive.” Politically speaking, that sort of attitude is dead on arrival in Syria because of its negativity. (Comparable criticisms aimed at the broad society are also dead on arrival in most of the West too, as is well-known, as Western electorates always prefer positive, constructive themes).

Joshua’s full sentence is: “Without dealing honestly with the failings of Middle Eastern nation states and societies, solutions to dictatorship will be elusive.” If a free and fair election were held today the Assad government would be elected by a landslide. The government has achieved that wonderful feat in no small part by finding out what Syrians want. Therefore Syria does not have a “dictatorship” problem. Syria is fine.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:17 pm

 

29. Syria no kandahar said:

Dear Joshua
Just to support Revlon statement ,this army offers free baby sitting services,in case you were interested.
In the future any Revlon vidio ,forward to Aljazera.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:19 pm

 

30. Tara said:

I think regime supporters are running out of arguments. First, they told us it is a US conspiracy. Now, they say the USA is barely condemning the regime. Then, they told us, the demonstrators are all MB followers, and now they critique female demonstrators of wearing revealing cloth. Someone told me here that important people in Syria read this blog. Sooo, to the important people in Syria:

Please recall all your supporters. Please send them to Turkey for training class. You can have it in the same town where the youth activists are holding their training sessions. Please train them to come up with a new plausible conspiracy theory as they appear a bit confused issuing contradictory statements that are weakening their stand.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:22 pm

 

31. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Ramadan, “when every day is a Friday”, starts on 1 August. In a speech on 21 July the Syrian Government Minister for Religious Endowments said “the heavenly religions do not call for division and hatred, but they are force for love and peace.” He said mosques are places for call to goodness, and not for gathering of saboteurs.

Over the past few months, the “overwhelming majority” of practising Muslims went home from the mosques on Fridays without accepting the invitation to join the protests against the regime. I looked for a reliable statistic about the percentage of Syrian adult males who go to a mosque on Friday. I didn’t find it. In the Christian countries, it is ridiculously unreliable to seek a statistic about church attendance by polling people about how often they attend. That’s because Christians intentionally exaggerate and unintentionally overestimate how often they attend, fooling the statistics collectors and themselves in a major way (ref). I don’t know if that’s also true for Syrian Muslims (and I wouldn’t be surprised if no one else knows either). In a survey questionnaire result I saw on the Internet for Jordan, about 75 percent of Jordanian males said they regularly attended prayers at a mosque on Fridays — I decline to believe it — it seems too high. From what impressionistic information I could find, I feel it’s very safe to believe that at least twenty percent of Syrian adult males attend Friday mosque prayers. Which means that the percentage in attendance at Friday mosques is at least 20 times higher than the percentage in attendance at Friday anti-regime demonstrations, and the actual figure might be over 40 times higher. The great preponderance of non-dissidents among the mosque attendees means that the mosques are effectively pro-Establishment social environments. The Minister for Religious Endowments can relax.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:28 pm

 

32. ss said:

Coment 29.

Example of an angy opposition fellow who is running out of fuel. The opposition people are realizing their fate and the dismal future ahead of them

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July 30th, 2011, 10:31 pm

 

33. Norman said:

Tara,

The US administration is taking it’s clues from Syria comment and they are in as much limbo as we are , ah rd to know sometimes what is going on.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:34 pm

 

34. Tara said:

# 31

When people have no argument to make, they resort to subjective descriptions, a well known And tried tactic to Mnhebaks. It simply does not work. Argue the point. The fate of this beloved regime will be a re-run of history.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:36 pm

 

35. Tara said:

Hey Norman

How are you?

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July 30th, 2011, 10:40 pm

 

36. Mick said:

Revlon,

Is the video fake? Depends on what you mean.

Are there military members that have family ties that overcome the military ties? Yes. So far, the number is at the .01% rate. Not anything one would call a problem four months into a supposed massive social uprising where troops are ordered to blindly shoot into crowds.

Are there members of the Idlib/Jisr Ash Shaghur/Ar Rastan crowd in Turkey, including a few military family members, making videos for propaganda? Yes. This does not equate to a split in the military. Senior military leaders are not about to coup against the regime. When you see military leaders argue, like you have in Turkey, that is a serious problem. A few medium ranking officers from small towns making a video in a foreign country is not a threat to the regime.

Do these forces represent a military force? No. Just juicy video meat for people sitting in a bathtub to talk about.

I see the false claim that the 4th div was involved in every military operation has suddenly dropped from the opposition’s lies. So now it the ‘security forces’ and ‘shabiha’ forces that are to blame.

Tara,

Would the military still be together if they were either ordered to, or forced to watch, blatant killing of their own civilians? You answer your question by asking it. And if you bothered to read the news, you would find that quite a lot of soldiers were shot. So many that there is no way the force would still be together if they were all shot by their own troops for not obeying orders to shoot. We are talking hundreds dead and thousands wounded. Not half a dozen folks from towns that had no problem slaughtering 120 people.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:49 pm

 

37. Norman said:

Tara,

I am OK, Thanks for asking, how do you think what is going in Syria will end up or should end up.

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July 30th, 2011, 10:50 pm

 

38. Syria no kandahar said:

29.tara
بذمتك هادا منظر وحده مناضله او وحده رفيقة نضال معك
او وحده بتحترم حالا.يعني بالشام كلا مافي ثورجيه غير هامشخلعه
والتانيه ام النظارات السود.يعني بدك تبعتينا عتركيا مشانهيك والله حرام

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July 30th, 2011, 10:50 pm

 

39. beaware said:

Iraqi government is partner is Syrian bloodshed
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=26075
30/07/2011
By Tariq Alhomayed

On the eve of the Friday of “your silence is killing us” protests in Syria, the Iraqi government signed a number of agreements with the Syrian regime in the capital Baghdad. These agreements were signed in the blood of the Syrian victims who have been facing continued suppression since the beginning of their peaceful uprising.

At the same time that the Syrian people are telling the Arabs that “your silence is killing us”, Nouri al-Maliki’s government is providing support for the Bashar al-Assad regime, clearly disregarding the blood of the unarmed Syrians. This means that Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, has publicly added himself to the list of the friends of the Syrian regime, which also includes Hezbollah and Iran. Of course, Iraqi interests, at all levels, do not require the Nouri al-Maliki government to support the al-Assad regime in this manner, so we cannot say that Baghdad is acting realistically in this regard, or is serving its own priorities. The new Iraqi regime was supposed to be the spearhead of the democratic process in our region, according to what the Americans were saying, and what has been repeated by the [political] symbols in Iraq today, however what we are seeing is unfortunately the complete opposite of this.
For Iraq today, and particularly the current Iraqi government, is a purely sectarian regime. It was the current Iraqi regime that raised its voice in defense of Bahrain’s Shiite community, and denounced the Gulf rulers, and made a huge fuss in this regard. Whilst its allies are the ones who incited its supporters to take to the street in Iraqi cities to denounce the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the GCC Peninsula Shield Force. However today, it seems that the Baghdad regime now think that the right to demand freedom is too much for the Syrian people, despite all the blood that has been shed in Syria by the Damascus regime. Therefore the Baghdad regime decided to support its Syrian counterpart for purely sectarian reasons; how can this not be the case when the only allies of the Bashar al-Assad regime today in our region are Tehran, Baghdad, and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. Could there be a greater example of sectarianism than this?

The Nouri al-Maliki government signed these agreements with the Bashar al-Assad regime at the same time that the rest of the world is cutting its [diplomatic] ties with Damascus and imposing sanctions on the al-Assad regime, and at the same time that the Syrian people are calling on the Arabs to stand with them in this unprecedented situation. All that the Syrian people are demanding is freedom and dignity, for is it reasonable for any state to act in this manner [and suppress its own people], particularly when that state claims to respect international conventions, democracy, and human rights? Unfortunately, it seems that our region has moved away from stability and respecting human rights, and we have returned to square one, where states and politicians are ruled by a sectarian logic, rather than the logic of development. For if we believe that Hezbollah, by supporting the Syrian regime, is acting with the logic of a militia that is loyal to Iran and is carrying out Iran’s agenda in the region, then what can we say about the Iraqi government which claims to be democratic but supports a regime that is brutally and violently suppressing its own people?

As we have repeatedly stated, one of the advantages of the political earthquake that is reverberating across our region today is that this has brought an end to the era of false slogans, including “the resistance”, “democracy”, “Arabism” and others. This earthquake has not just exposed individuals and groups, but also states, including the Iraqi government. Therefore all the cards have now been exposed, and we can see Iran and its followers in Iraq and Lebanon openly standing with the al-Assad regime that is brutally repressing its own people; this is all part of a blatant equation, namely Shiite vs. Sunni. So what will the Arabs do today? What will the influential [Arabs], and even those Arabs who have been targeted by this exposed sectarian tripartite alliance do now? Or do you still doubt this?

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July 30th, 2011, 11:21 pm

 

40. Tara said:

Norman,

There is no come back.  I am sure every Syrian knows that.  How should it end?  Bashar needs to declare a timetable of 6 to 18 months after which free election should be held where he will not run again.  This will give enough time for a political process to take place and will avert a “civil war”.  He must anounce he is not running again otherwise, he would not be believed.

How do I think it is going to end up is different.  Basahr is a dictator and has a dictator psychology.  Watch the link Josh posted yesterday about the Arab Awakening.  It gives you a glimpse into the psychology of a dictator.  Dictators think they are the only ones who can take their country forward.  They lose touch with reality from political standpoint.  Bashar will not proceed with real reforms.  What happen is, demonstrations will continue and will become more widespread.  People will demonstrate every Friday and also during weeknights whenever they have a chance.  They are not phased by the arrest and the killings anymore.  It becomes an enjoyable act for them.  It just feels good.  The regime on the other hand will be exhausted on the long range.  The regime can’t handle a long protracted dissent where massive amount of security forces, shabbiha and the army are constantly deployed.  It then may disintegrate from within.. And Besho will fall.

     

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July 30th, 2011, 11:24 pm

 

41. louai said:

Lets keep ignoring them , lets ignore they were ever existed , lets ignore their families and children ,
We came to time that we only count our martyrs as numbers ,names are not important any more ,any one who keep telling us that there are no armed terrorists ,what do you tell yourself when you hear such news? At least admit and condemn the terror ,let us no partner the killer with our silence .

Five Martyrs Escorted to Final Resting Place

Jul 31, 2011

DAMASCUS, DEIR EZZOR, (SANA)- Five members of the army and the security forces on Saturday were escorted from Tishreen Military Hospital in Damascus and the Military Hospital in Deir Ezzor to their final resting place in their villages and hometowns after they were targeted by armed terrorist groups in Deir Ezzor and Damascus Countryside.

Solemn processions were held for the martyrs as they were carried up on shoulders while the Military Band was playing the music of the “Martyr” and the “Farewell.”

The martyrs are:

- Volunteer Sergeant Major, Mohammad Jawdat Abdullah from Hama.

- Volunteer Corporal, Ismail Jara’atli from Homs.

- Conscript Corporal, Hashim Yusuf Mohana from Lattakia.

- Private, Majed Mohsen Hassan from Hama.

- Conscript, Hamed Hamid al-Zagh from Idleb.

Suleiman Jara’atli, brother of martyr Ismail, expressed pride in his brother’s martyrdom who sacrificed his soul for the sake of preserving the security and stability of the motherland.

R. al-Jazaeri

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/07/31/361273.htm

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July 30th, 2011, 11:34 pm

 

42. Tara said:

Kandahar,

Come on now. Syria is diversified and that is why it has its own distinctive taste. From the niqab to the bikini. Underneath the surface is what matters. I can see underneath the surface and I am sure lots of people can too. And honestly, I would be honored if I can measure up. She is the real hero. I am nothing.

And what is wrong with Turkey? We will ask the important people to have the training session for supporters in a first class hotel on the beach. You may run into Angelina and Brad.

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July 30th, 2011, 11:39 pm

 

43. ss said:

Comment 39 by Tara,

The regime, its supporters, and the majority of honest opposition do not want the road you and your criminals are drawing to Syria. Your thugs of MBs have no role in determining the fate of 98% of the Syrian people. Of course you will come out and say that the majority of Syrians are afraid. This is typical opposition defense. Same boaring logic. 5 months passed abd your boaring plans going no where. I heard your argument before but I am sorry to say: It is not working. It looks that the world is not supporting you either, they were at first, but it seems that they realized how empty the opposition is and they simply cannot gamble with you guys. So the future of Syria will be determined after your opposition, i.e. the terrorist criminal alah wa akbar people are crushed, the order is restored, every syrian person must feel in peace, then the honest opposition will determine along with the goverment the next phase of transition. Until then there should be no discussion with terrorists and corrupt people who wants to drive the country into hell, you tried, but you failed so far. I see no signs of success on your part.

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July 30th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

44. beaware said:

Syria army deploys in restive eastern oil hub
(AFP)
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=middleeast&xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July629.xml
30 July 2011, 11:26 PM
DAMASCUS – Syrian troops shot dead three people who stoned a massive military convoy Saturday as it headed to quash growing anti-regime dissent in the eastern oil hub of Deir Ezzor, an activist said.

Meanwhile a man identifying himself as a Syrian army colonel told AFP in Nicosia that he had defected and has “hundreds” of troops under his command ready to confront the regular army in Deir Ezzor.
…..

Riad al-Asaad, who identified himself as a colonel who defected from the Syrian army, warned authorities against carrying out any operation in Deir Ezzor.

“I warn the Syrian authorities that I will send my troops to fight with the (regular) army if they do not stop the operations in Deir Ezzor,” Al-Asaad said.

“I am the commander of the Syrian Free Army,” he said, adding that he commanded “hundreds” of troops and was calling from inside Syria “near the Turkish border.” The claim could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile an opposition figure who declined to be named told AFP that 15 conscripts broke ranks from the troops who entered the city on Saturday and fled. “They have sought protection with residents,” the source said.
…….

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July 30th, 2011, 11:53 pm

 

45. ss said:

“The regime on the other hand will be exhausted on the long range. The regime can’t handle a long protracted dissent where massive amount of security forces, shabbiha and the army are constantly deployed”.

LOL……As far as I can tell only branch 4 of the army has been deployed. There are many lines of defense and the structure is much more complex. The regime has a plan and specific one of taking radicals, terrorists, armed gangs, alah wa akbar gangs from the streets similar to the US war against terror. I thing they both share the same objectives. The regime sent special forces to take care of that. The army has many branches, the security has many branches, and the system is so strong and well built. I would say good for you the new army of 7 soldiers, this is what going to save you.

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July 31st, 2011, 12:00 am

 

46. louai said:

“I warn the Syrian authorities that I will send my troops to fight with the (regular) army if they do not stop the operations in Deir Ezzor,” Al-Asaad said.’

so as i thought, they know that they can not control nor hide the armed terrorists in Deir Ezzor ,that’s why this video above was needed ,to blame all the killings they intend to do and doing on supposed army defectors , nothing new ,thye did the same in every single city the army entered so far .its not working

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July 31st, 2011, 12:02 am

 

47. Tara said:

SS,

I thought he won 99.8 percent… Now it is 98 percent? He lost 1.8 percent? I feel too bad for Besho.

I told you before, your statements are similar to “religious convictions” and I have no interest in arguing religious convictions. You may try someone else but Tara has no interest. Tara prefers people whose minds are not enslaved.

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July 31st, 2011, 12:03 am

 

48. NK said:

Syria no kandahar

احترنا يا أقرع من وين بدنا نمشطك
If the women were veiled they are Talibani terrorists, but when you see one in a tank top you suddenly turn into Arour!.

I know a good psychiatrist for (DID), give it a thought.

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July 31st, 2011, 12:23 am

 

49. Syria no kandahar said:

DairAlzoor is totaly different game,it is almost syria falluja,dealing with disorder in that part of the country is very challenging :
-Ther should be No Killing,period.this is very very tribal area,and one dead person will light up all the tribe.
-A lot of Syrian army soldiers are from Alder.
-Tribes extend beyond the providence and the border which can have implications.
-if order is lost in that part of the country,you will for sure see Iraq style civil war,which will be vee ugly.
-it is so astonishing to see Islamic uprising in dairalzor,it seems that Islam is the exit and the fashion all over the middle east.20 years ago these tribes were never like that,this phenomena is worth full evaluation .
-Any movement in that part of the country is being wached very carefully by the Kurds,the Kurds in Syria will be the king or the prs maker in any future deals,they will be tipping off any other balances.They are not a fan of Turkey,and that is a big reason why they are staying on the fence.Kurds has lost trust in MB because they are acting like Turkey’s puppet.Kurds will not stay quiet if they see that the situation in DairAlzoor is going to be against ther interests.from a point of view :the enemy of my enemy is my friend,Kurds and Assad has unofficial alliance .
-The weather is a major factor this time of the year in that part,with temp around 45 going on with this is not going to be a walk in the park fir any one.

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July 31st, 2011, 12:37 am

 

50. Syria no kandahar said:

NK
مقبوله وحلوه
بس والله عيب فلتانات يكونو ثورجيه
الاخوان احسن

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July 31st, 2011, 12:44 am

 

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