Kurds; SNC Criticized; Tlas; Aleppo

The criticism of Manaf Tlass by both the opposition and regime supporters raises a few important features of this revolution.

  1. The opposition have criticized every leader that has emerged without giving them even a moment’s honeymoon period. This is most true of their own leaders such as Ghalioun and Basset. Manaf Tlass is easy to criticize because he worked at the heart of the regime for two decades.
  2. Much of Syria’s middle and upper classes have not been heard from yet. many of them may find someone like Manaf Tlass appealing – perhaps not someone so close to the regime, but someone who had a hand in the regime, is secular, has money, has experience with the army, etc.
  3. We are now hearing from Syria’s opposition and rebel commanders, but most middle and upper class Syrians have yet to raise their voices. They cannot speak so long as the Assad regime endures. But when the regime falls and they do find their voice, they are likely to be suspicious of the many militia commanders now holding sway. They will look to people who had some connection to the regime and whom they will trust not to be vengeful against them or against the wealth of the monied classes.
  4. It is easy to forget how many Syrians have been complicit with this regime in some way over the last four decades. Most Syrians want dramatic changes. But many may have found Tlass’s words rejecting revenge reassuring. His message that Syria must protect its national institutions and avoid destroying them, etc. were designed to reassure the silent majority that have yet to articulate their concerns and interests.

Aron Lund on the Kurdish situation in Syria
For Syria Comment, July 27, 2012

The Kurdish action on the ground in Syria is almost all-PYD units, i.e. the PKK’s Syrian wing. They’ve had an ambiguous relationship to the regime, but now seem to have moved firmly into the opposition camp, set on dominating the Kurdish scene. It’s an impressively disciplined and effective group, but totally committed to its own agenda, and absolutely ruthless in carrying it out. I have a section on them in my report on the Syrian opposition, which provides some further background, here.

The recent Erbil alliance between the PYD and the Kurdish National Council (KNC = almost all other Syrian-Kurdish groups) is less an ideological alliance, rather it is basically a function of the latters’ weakness. The PKK/PYD was always the single-strongest group, and it has been growing rapidly during the uprising. It has infiltrated hundreds or possibly thousands of armed members from Iraq/Turkey into northern Syria, and used harsh tactics to suppress rivals, while also long avoiding confrontations with the regime during its build-up phase. Since winter, PYD “popular protection committes” (lijan el-himaya el-shaabiya) have been setting up checkpoints and conducting armed patrols in their traditional areas of influence (Kobane, Afrin, Sheikh Maqsoud and other areas of Aleppo). In the past months they’ve also begun to pop up in Qamishli and other areas where the PYD is considered traditionally weaker. These groups have by now established themselves as the strongest de facto power on the ground in many Kurdish areas.

The regime tolerated this at first, perhaps after some under-the-table deal or perhaps for lack of better options, but now it seems to have been squeezed out by the PYD, and is unable or unwilling to spend manpower fighting back. The other Kurdish groups have also gradually toned-down their criticism of the PYD, which they all tend to secretly hate, and now apparently see no choice but to jump on the bandwagon. So, formally, the Kurdish alliance is a united Kurdish front, but for now, the PYD is clearly in the driving seat. (The deal was struck with Barzani/KRG sponsorship i Erbil, so funding or support from northern Iraq may help other factions preserve some leverage vis-à-vis the PYD, but I can’t see that it would tip the scales.) Formally they’re going to divide power in the local councils 50-50, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Unless the Erbil alliance breaks apart, which it might, or the regime moves back in, which I doubt it will, these developments should also firmly remove the Kurdish community from the Western-backed SNC/FSA alliance. The PYD is extremely hostile to the SNC due to its Turkish sponsorship, and this might have interesting implications for Kurdish relations with the FSA as well. On the other hand, I guess all sides will be interested in finding some kind of modus vivendi…

The big question is of course how far the PYD will want to push their dominance, given the risk of a backlash internally or externally; ow much tolerance will they ave for other political forces in the long run, and how will Turkey respond to de facto PKK control over Syrian border cities? All this talk about “safe zones” and “humanitarian corridors” strikes me as at least partly being Istanbul’s preferred euphemism for preserving the right to unilaterally intervene in northern Syria and rearrange the balance of forces. But we’ll see…

For all Syrian-Kurdish issues, of course, I recommend www.kurdwatch.org, an absolutely invaluable resource.

Trip Report: Meeting the Syrian Opposition in Istanbul and Antakya
by David Pollock – Brookings

Having recently returned from a trip to Antakya and Istanbul, during which a European delegation and I met over 100 Syrian opposition figures, a number of important observations come to mind. First, one of my strongest impressions is that things are not what they seem. It is very difficult on the ground to be sure who it is that you are really talking to and what they represent. Second, Turkish officials maintain a striking degree of control over Syrian opposition forces inside Turkey. Third, the Muslim Brotherhood is pervasive not only within the Syrian National Council (SNC), but among many opposition groups – mostly outside Syria. Lastly, there is a striking cynicism and anger among fighters within Syria toward the outside world for not providing enough practical support.

1. Things Are Not What They Seem

Many times throughout the trip, we experienced people privately telling some of us one thing and others something completely different, and talking about each other in quite derogatory ways behind each other’s backs, while trying to take over meetings from each other.

For example, we met with a Syrian sheikh who runs the Jamiyat al-Shura al-Khairiyah on the Jordanian side of the border, which is supposedly a humanitarian organization. He gave us an extremely long, eloquent, and detailed presentation about the good work he is doing and said that we are all equal and we all believe in the compassionate and merciful prophets. He then asked us to support his good work for the Syrian people. Then after that meeting, he took aside a Palestinian Muslim member of our delegation, and said, “You know, when you talk to these Europeans, you have to be like a fox. You have to say all these nice things, but you know that we don’t really mean any of it.

I was struck by the pervasiveness of this uncertainty and duplicity. Personally, I support the Syrian opposition, but I think we need to be very clear about the pitfalls when we try to pick and choose. So that is my first conclusion: Don’t jump to conclusions. Even about whom you think you are dealing with.

2. Turkish, Not Syrian, Border Controls…  At the same time, what is really striking is the degree to which, even before the bombs went off in Damascus, the Syrians seemed to be losing control of some of their border posts. Syrians of all backgrounds seem to be free to move between Syria and Turkey with only Turkish permission. The Syrian government now seems to have lost control of its borders in every direction. ..

3. Muslim Brotherhood Control of Outside Opposition

It is clear that the MB is trying, as much as possible, to dominate the SNC as well as general Syrian opposition activity. We witnessed this is very practical terms, as they tried to take over meetings we had with other factions, non-partisan groups, and FSA people. We pushed back at every turn, but after some meetings, Syrians would come up to us and tell us “we are sorry if the Muslim Brotherhood got in here and tried to take over part of the meeting, but we are not them and they are not us.” This happened often enough that it was an issue.

Other groups in the Syrian opposition oppose the Muslim Brotherhood for a variety of reasons: they are secularists, they are set on their own political ambitions, or they don’t like Turkish influence on the Brotherhood. An unfortunate paradox has emerged in which well-meaning and well-connected Syrians are setting up new groups every day, saying, “I am going to unify the opposition.” Some of these groups are impressive, but they are quite fragmented, a trend that we see across the region.

As in some other countries, the Islamists tend to be relatively well organized, well disciplined, and unified, even if they do not represent the majority. This is the case in Syria among the outside opposition, but not on the inside, where the MB still has a limited presence. However, these other groups may not be a match for the discipline and unity of the MB in the political battle as the regime collapses.

4. Views of Inside Opposition: What Do They Want from Us?

We met with many people who are fighting and organizing relief work throughout Syria, who came into Turkey for a variety of reasons: for training, to get supplies, to rest, to meet with outside opposition and foreigners. They made it very clear that they want communications equipment, medical supplies, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. They do not want more meetings, political support, training, and declarations.

The extent of cynicism and even anger at the outside world for not doing enough of a practical nature was striking. We heard over and over that “you are complicit in the slaughter of the Syrian people.” It was not that “you are not giving enough support,” but “you do not want Assad to fall” and “you want Syrian people to be slaughtered.”

Sadly, most of these Syrians hold Israel responsible for preventing greater U.S. support. Aside from one exception, this view was nearly unanimous. In spite of, or perhaps because of, this very weird perception about Israel’s power, whenever we asked, “If Israel offered weapons or help, would you take it?” the answer was almost always, “definitely”!

When we spoke about outside help, a very clear distinction emerged:  They do not just want a no fly zone or a humanitarian safe haven, but a no drive zone and safe passage from the borders deep into Syria. Yet what we heard most was, “Give us anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. We don’t even need your air cover or corridors. Give us the weapons and we will do it ourselves.”

WSJ RT Brussels: Syrian Rebel Group’s Star Wanes In Brussels
2012-07-26

By WSJ Staff The Wall Street Jounal reported today that confidence in the opposition Syrian National Council is fading. The Journal said that the U.S. and some Arab and other Western nations are seeking ways to place Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, Syria’s highest ranking military defector and — until now — the centerpiece of transition plans. For Brussels in particular, this marks a significant shift.

Contacts between the SNC and top European officials started early and expanded in November 2011, when an SNC delegation met former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. France was among the first to recognize the group and the EU as a whole said late February that the SNC was a “legitimate representative of Syrians.” Diplomats say the European position remains nuanced.

No one is suggesting pulling the plug on SNC contacts and some say the group may yet have a significant role. One top official here says the events of the past 18 months – from the ballot-box wins for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to the re-emergence of Mahmoud Jibril in Libya – have taught officials to be very cautious about writing anybody off.

But the sense of frustration with the group has escalated significantly in recent weeks and is now palpable.

“People are pretty concerned we don’t have the kind of partner we had in Libya,” the senior diplomat said. The role the SNC should be playing requires “altruism, reaching out to others, broadening the base…They’ve not been able to” do that….

Manaf Tlass -Wall Street Journal

…Efforts to find a transitional figure who is palatable to the Assad regime’s Russian backers and leading Arab states, as well as to the opposition, have taken on added urgency as rebel fighters make gains in major Syrian cities and more high-level officials defect, the officials said…

The officials said Gen. Tlass is one of the few figures in opposition to the regime who could potentially help restore order in Damascus and secure Syria’s vast chemical-weapons stockpile.

A senior Arab official said Gen. Tlass’s trip to Saudi Arabia was arranged by the country’s new head of intelligence, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. Diplomats at Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington weren’t available for comment. U.S. and European officials also hope that a role for Gen. Tlass in the opposition would help win Russian support for a transition in Damascus because of the Tlass family’s long ties to the Assad regime, whose Russian patronage dates to Cold War support of Hafez al-Assad.

Turkey Sounds Warning Over Kurds in Syria
Wall Street Journal

ANTAKYA, Turkey—Turkey warned Thursday that it might take action to stop groups it deemed “terrorists” from forming a Kurdish-run region in Syria, underscoring Ankara’s growing concern that the creation of a Kurdish authority in Syria’s north could provide …”We will not allow a terrorist group to establish camps in northern Syria and threaten Turkey,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Ankara on Thursday ahead of a trip to London. “If there is a step which needs to be taken against the terrorist group, we will definitely take this step.”

 

Should Turkey Be Afraid of the Syrian Kurds? Soner Cagaptay – WINEP

Foreign Policy

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Thursday that his government would not allow the Kurdish terrorist group PKK to operate in Northern Syria. Kurdish groups affiliated with the PKK, which has fought a decades-long insurgency in Southeastern Turkey, has reportedly established control over several northern Syrian towns as government troops have redeployed to Damascus. Turkey has largely turned a blind eye to Syrian rebels operating on its territory and according to reports, has set up a secret “nerve center” near the border with help Qatar and Saudi Arabia to direct aid to the anti-Assad forces.

The Syrian regime has renewed attacks on parts of Damascus as clashes continue in several districts of Aleppo. Assad’s forces appear to be preparing to invade the city. The United States expressed fears of the possibility of mass casualties with a regime invasion of Aleppo. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said there is “concern that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for.” She maintained that there would be no U.S. military intervention saying they didn’t want to pour “more fuel onto the fire.” However, Reuters learned of a presidential directive that would authorize greater covert assistance for the opposition, but still would not supply them with arms. It is not clear if President Barack Obama has signed the document. Meanwhile, Member of Parliament Iklhas Badawi, elected in May to represent Aleppo in what was considered by many to be a sham election, has defected and reportedly crossed into Turkey. She said she defected “from this tyrannical regime … because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding the minimum of rights.” If confirmed, Badawi would be the first parliamentarian to defect.

Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels
By Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr | Reuters

DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) – Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources have told Reuters.

News of the clandestine Middle East-run “nerve centre” working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers – who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – have avoided military involvement so far in Syria.

“It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main co-ordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom,” said a Doha-based source.

“The Americans are very hands-off on this. U.S. intel(ligence) are working through middlemen. Middlemen are controlling access to weapons and routes.”

The centre in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 100 km (60 miles) from the Syrian border, was set up after Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud visited Turkey and requested it, a source in the Gulf said. The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations, he added…..

One of the former officials, who is also an adviser to a government in the region, told Reuters that 20 former Syrian generals are now based in Turkey, from where they are helping shape the rebel forces. Israel believes up to 20,000 Syrian troops may now have defected to the opposition.

Former officials said there is reason to believe the Turks stepped up their support for anti-Assad forces after Syria shot down a Turkish plane which had made several passes over border areas.

Sources in Qatar said the Gulf state is providing training and supplies to the Syrian rebels.

“The Qataris mobilized their special forces team two weeks ago. Their remit is to train and help logistically, not to fight,” said a Doha-based source with ties to the FSA.

Qatar’s military intelligence directorate, Foreign Ministry and State Security Bureau are involved, said the source.

WESTERN CAUTION

The United States, Israel, France and Britain – traditionally key players in the Middle East – have avoided getting involved so far, largely because they see little chance of a “good outcome” in Syria.

“Israel is not really in the business of trying to ‘shape’ the outcome of the revolt,”, a diplomat in the region said. “The consensus is that you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. The risk of identifying with any side is too great”….

Insight: Cautious on Syria, Obama moves to help rebels – Reuters

Syrian Kurdish Ambitions
July 27, 2012 | Stratfor
Summary

Syrian Kurds wave Kurdish and pre-Baath Syrian flags during a protest in Qamishli
The Syrian Kurds’ Democratic Union Party announced July 23 that it had assumed control of the Kurdish towns of Efrin, Kobani, Amuda and Derek. The move followed the Syrian army’s withdrawal from northern Syria. The party also announced its intention to form an autonomous Kurdish state in northern Syria. An autonomous Syrian Kurdish state would border semi-autonomous Kurdish regions in both Turkey and Iraq — an unacceptable outcome for Ankara and Baghdad, as well as for Tehran and Damascus.

However, Syria’s Kurdish population lacks internal cohesion and has little to offer in the way of strategic benefits, so it will be difficult for the Syrian Kurds to form a partnership with a regional government — a necessity for the Kurds to achieve autonomy. Inhabiting the least desirable geographic and economic position of any of the region’s Kurdish groups, Syrian Kurds are unlikely to realize their goal of a legally recognized autonomous region within Syria. But other states in the region with significant Kurdish populations — Iran, Iraq and Turkey — are watching with concern to see if the actions of Syria’s Kurds can inspire similar movements in their territories.

Analysis
The strategic imperative of any Arab Syrian regime, regardless of sect, is identical to that of Turkey, Iraq and Iran when it comes to the Kurds: to prevent the consolidation of an autonomous Kurdish state that can span the Kurdish borderlands. Government policies following this imperative have prevented Syria’s Kurds, even under the Alawite regime, from meaningfully integrating into broader Syrian society.

Damascus has harshly suppressed Kurdish attempts to establish political and economic hegemony within their region. Most recently, the Syrian army put down pro-Kurdish riots in and around the northern town of Qamishli in 2004, 2005 and 2011. Aware of the risk that Turkey and Baathist Iraq might take steps to undermine an independent Kurdish state on their borders, the Syrian government was under additional pressure to prevent greater Kurdish political integration. With geography limiting their prospects for retreat, Syrian Kurdish separatist movements have been unable to reorganize and build up a meaningful support base as Kurds have done in Iraq.

Obstacles to Integration for Syria’s Kurds
Unlike in neighboring Iraq, Kurds make up a small percentage of the population in Syria — prior to the uprising, less than 10 percent of Syria’s population was Kurdish, compared to 17 percent of Iraq’s population. Syrian Kurds are spread thinly across Syria’s northern border region, although the greatest numbers are located in the northeastern Hasakah province. There are no significant urban populations of Syrian Kurds. The largest Kurdish town in Syria, Qamishli, has a population of 185,000, relatively tiny in comparison to the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Arbil, which has a population of 1.2 million.

The geography of Syria’s Kurdish area is also unique in the region. Syria’s Kurdish population is primarily settled on the steppes of the Jazirah Plateau, which differs substantially from the defensible mountainous terrain inhabited by Kurds in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. The broad, flat lands of the plateau extend into Turkey and Iraq, making it relatively easy for governments in the region to roll armor in to crush unrest. A lack of resources and economic potential in northeastern Syria has also hindered the development of strong political groups or local Kurdish authority in the area, unlike in Iraq, whose Kurdish region has the duopoly of the Kurdish Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Despite these obstacles, the Democratic Union Party has emerged as one of the best organized Kurdish political organizations during the 16-month Syrian uprising. Founded in 2003 — the same year as the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq — the Democratic Union Party is a nationalist-socialist group. While its opponents claim the party has connections to either the rebels’ Free Syrian Army or the regime of President Bashar al Assad, the party has thus far shown itself sympathetic to the militant separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known by its Kurdish acronym PKK. The Democratic Union Party also has garnered more support from Kurds in the region than the Kurdish National Council, a collection of 15 local Kurdish groups formed in 2011 and backed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party and by Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani. Both the Barzani clan and the Kurdish National Council have criticized the Democratic Union Party’s relationship with the PKK.

However, reports emerged July 26 that the Democratic Union Party and the Kurdish National Council have formed an alliance, calling it the Supreme Kurdish Council. The Supreme Kurdish Council formed the People’s Protection Armed Forces, which captured the towns that the Democratic Party Union claimed July 23. Barzani purportedly encouraged the groups to unite, despite their ideological differences and mutual distrust, with promises of economic and moral support. But already there are signs of strain within this alliance. Democratic Union Party members still fly their party’s flag — not the universally recognized Kurdish flag. Meanwhile, Kurdish National Council members are voicing their mistrust of their partner’s supremacy, citing the Democratic Union Party’s rumored connection to the al Assad regime. Additionally, the Kurdish National Council’s links with Barzani and with Turkey are still viewed with suspicion by the Democratic Union Party, which has yet to renounce its support for PKK militancy — a fact that continues to give Turkey great cause for concern.

It is imperative for Syrian Kurds to unite ahead of their push for regional autonomy. But the deep-rooted differences and mistrust between the two largest Kurdish groups in Syria are going to complicate the prospect for long-term allegiances between the Democratic Union Party and the Kurdish National Council, while making it easier for outside parties such as Iran to manipulate them.

Exploiting the Uprising
Despite decades of repression under the al Assad regime, Syria’s Kurds have been hesitant to support the Syrian rebels. The Kurds recognize that any Arab government that replaces the al Assad regime will maintain the imperative to oppose Kurdish autonomy. As a result, the Kurds have largely adopted a policy of neutrality, which has allowed northeastern Syria to remain relatively unscathed throughout the uprising.
In light of the recent fracturing of the pillars of the Alawite regime, the Syrian army has withdrawn from northern Syria to focus on more strategic regions held by the rebels, namely Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, the security vacuum in Syria’s Kurdish territories has grabbed the attention of Turkey, which is watching the actions of Syria’s Kurds. With the Syrian regime, the largest obstacle to Kurdish political expansion, focused on suppressing the rebels, Syrian Kurds — specifically the Democratic Union Party — have moved quickly. Kurds have claimed the Kurdish towns of Efrin, Kobani, Amuda and Derek. Though the Kurds are cognizant of the threat the Arab-dominated Free Syrian Army could eventually pose to them, some government offices in these towns are flying both the Kurdish and Free Syrian Army flags, likely in an attempt to win over the Syrian opposition now that the al Assad regime seems to be faltering.

Absence of Foreign Backing
Given the difficult geography of the Kurdish regions and the fact that they are landlocked and surrounded by states that oppose Kurdish autonomy, any Kurdish autonomous movement must have foreign backing to succeed. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq illustrates this perfectly. Even with comparatively established military, political and economic institutions and sizable hydrocarbon reserves, the Kurdistan Regional Government was able to achieve regional autonomy only with U.S. backing, which it received in exchange for Kurdish cooperation in toppling Saddam Hussein.

But Syria’s Kurds, with their small population and lack of strategic resources, military capabilities and economic structures, have little to offer would-be patrons. In fact, it was these limitations that led the Democratic Union Party to accommodate the PKK; the militant guerrilla group offered the best support the party could hope to garner.

Moreover, governments in the region are uneasy at the thought of another autonomous Kurdish state. Indeed, a day after the Democratic Union Party declared an autonomous Syrian Kurdish state, the Turkish National Security Council attempted to downplay the significance of the development. The regional unpopularity of another Kurdish state makes the need for external support even more important. The United States, lacking strategic interests in Syria and unwilling to upset Turkey, is not going to back Syria’s Kurds.

The Kurdistan Regional Government is the mostly likely backer of an autonomous Syrian Kurdish state. As its relationship with Baghdad sours, the Arbil-based Kurdish government has increased its alignment with and economic dependence on Turkey. Turkey’s assistance does not come without a price, however — it is predicated on Arbil’s ability to rein in PKK militancy on both sides of the Turkey-Iraq border. Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani have been instrumental in forging the cooperation with Turkey and have attempted through the Kurdish National Council to link up with the Syrian Kurds. As the Kurdistan Regional Government becomes more economically dependent on Turkey, it will look elsewhere to build leverage in its relationship with Ankara. Syria offers that opportunity because of Turkey’s needs regarding the PKK.

Turkey will doubtless rely on its relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government to pressure Arbil into limiting Syrian Kurdish ambitions, but Ankara cannot be too trusting at this stage. With the Democratic Union Party’s quick move to the forefront of the Syrian Kurdish political front, the Kurdistan Regional Government is now forced to deal directly with its opponent (due to Arbil’s partnership with Ankara) and with a regional supporter of the PKK. Turkey faces two potential outcomes, both of them intolerable: the formation of a PKK haven on the Syrian side of the border, or two neighboring Kurdish statelets that would surely encourage Kurdish separatist movements within Turkey territory. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced July 25 his country’s intolerance for an independent Syrian Kurdish state, signaling that Turkey could intervene militarily across the Syrian border.

Turkey will likely use the Kurdistan Regional Government as a conduit for economic support to Syrian Kurds, echoing its strategy in northern Iraq. Ankara can try to temporarily assuage some key Kurdish concerns and offer development aid, cash subsidies and infrastructure projects to the region — without actually supporting an autonomous state. Such support must run through Arbil, however, because should Ankara publicly assist the Syrian Kurds, it could embolden Turkey’s own Kurdish population to seek autonomy. But rather than genuinely seeking to prop up Syria’s Kurds, through this assistance Turkey will likely be biding its time until an Arab power can consolidate and assert itself within Syria and suppress Syrian Kurdish ambitions for autonomy. While this approach will require careful maneuvering and the cooperation of an increasingly emboldened Democratic Union Party, it carries less risk than a Turkish military intervention against Syrian Kurds harboring PKK militants.
Turkey will also face competition from Iran, whose own Iraqi Kurdish networks — built primarily through the Talabani clan and its political arm, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — are trying to outmaneuver the Barzanis to support the Syrian Kurds. Iran has strong incentive now to use Kurdish militancy and the threat of a Kurdish autonomous state in Syria to undermine Turkish ambitions in Syria. Even with indirect support for the Democratic Union Party and the PKK, Iran can attempt to create a Kurdish insurgency that would undermine both the Barzanis’ attempts to control PKK militancy and the Turkish government’s faith in Arbil as a reliable regional partner. Iran also does not want to see an independent Kurdish state in Syria, but it will encourage militant activity there to undermine both the regime that replaces al Assad and Turkish ambitions in the region.

Syria at the Edge of a New Regional Social Contract
Kamal Al-Labwani
July 26, 2012
by Kamal Al-Labwani
It is impossible to imagine any system of government – no matter how autocratic – without a social, economic, political, and religious foundation that supports it, and from which its dedicated elements are derived and in turn benefit from the regime. In the autocratic Syrian regime, for example, a person or a group presents absolute loyalty to the dictator and, in exchange, the authorities disregard the enforcement of the law upon them, so they benefit by violating laws and by plundering the rights of the country and others; a crony system. Despite the degree to which the people acquiesced and remained subservient to the power of fear, the regime did not trust all of the cowardly beneficiaries who gathered around it, so it tied them to itself with bonds of dirty interests, bonds that quickly changed,…

TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria’s Rebels
As foreign jihadists rally around the cause of Syria’s rebels, TIME meets two factions of Islamist fighters seeking to overthrow the Assad regime and set up a political state in their image
By Rania Abouzeid / Idlib Province | July 26, 2012 |

Rania Abouzeid for TIME

Rania Abouzeid for TIME

The al-Qaeda flag was propped up in a barrel painted with the three-starred Syrian revolutionary banner in the middle of the road at a makeshift checkpoint between the northern Syrian towns of Binnish and Taftanaz in Idlib province. The checkpoint was unmanned — not especially surprising, given the dry mid-afternoon heat and the lethargy sometimes brought on early in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

But what was surprising was how openly the flag was displayed. It was white, unlike the more familiar black monochrome inscribed with “No God but God” in white lettering, above the circular seal of the Prophet Muhammad. But no matter the color, the implications were the same: that elements of al-Qaeda or the group’s supporters were present in this part of Syria.

There has been much speculation about whether Islamic radicals have gained a foothold in the chaotic battlefield that is Syria today. They have, albeit a small one. While there are jihadists, both foreign and local, inside Syria, their presence should not be overstated. At this stage, they remain a minor player in the conflict. But as Karl Vick’s story in the Aug. 6 issue of TIME (subscription required) relates, should the conflict spiral out of hand, their role may grow exponentially.

(MORE:The Syria Crisis: Is al-Qaeda Intervening in the Conflict?)

In late January, the jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl Ash-Sham, or the Support Front for the People of Syria, announced its formation and goal to bring down the regime of President Bashar Assad. In the months since, it has claimed responsibility for many of the larger, more spectacular bombing attacks on state security sites, including a double suicide car bombing in February targeting a security branch in Aleppo that left some 28 dead.

Little is known about the shadowy group beyond that it is headed by someone using the nom de guerre of Abu Mohammad al-Golani (Golani is a reference to Syria’s Golan Heights, occupied by Israel.) Some say the group is a regime creation, to prove Assad’s assertion that he is fighting terrorists, while others say it is an offshoot of the al-Qaeda group the Islamic State of Iraq.

A foot soldier in the movement told TIME that it is neither. “We are just people who follow and obey our religion,” the young man, Ibrahim, said. “I am a mujahid, but not al-Qaeda. Jihad is not al-Qaeda.”

It took weeks of negotiations to secure an interview with a member of the movement, the first time anyone from the group has talked to the media. Higher-ups in the Jabhat declined to be interviewed but agreed to let Ibrahim, a 21-year-old Syrian, be interviewed.

The Jabhat has a presence in at least half a dozen towns in Idlib province as well as elsewhere across the country, including strong showings in the capital of Damascus and in Hama, according to the Jabhat member and other Islamists who are in contact with senior members of the group.

(PHOTOS:Inside Syria’s Slow-Motion Civil War)

Bespectacled, with a wispy beard and thin mustache, Ibrahim said he joined the group eight months ago. He was recruited by his cousin Ammar, the military operations commander for their unit and a Syrian veteran of the Iraq war who fought alongside his Sunni co-religionists against the American invaders. (Ammar declined to be interviewed.)

Dressed in a deep aqua zippered track top and black track pants that were rolled up above his ankles, the young man did not look as menacing as some of his colleagues, with their short pants, above-the-ankle galabiyas and long beards. In addition to his self-identification as a member of the Jabhat, several Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels who know him — as well as townsfolk who know his conservative Sunni family — confirmed that Ibrahim is part of the extremist group.

“Our specialty is explosives, [improvised explosive] devices. Most of our operations are explosions using [IEDs], placing them on roads, blowing up cars by remote detonation,” he said. On the night TIME spoke to him, several members of the Jabhat were in a remote field, in the final stages of testing a homemade rocket devised with the help of Syrian veterans of the Iraq war.

The device was a copper-lined shaped charge that can penetrate armor. When the device ignites, the copper element superheats enough to pierce a tank. “It’s a very simple idea, but it works,” Ibrahim said, adding that the device was the work of the Jabhat’s engineering branch. “There’s a killing branch. I’m in the killing and chemical branch,” he said, explaining that the chemical branch was responsible for obtaining fertilizers and other components of the IEDS.

There were 60 men in Ibrahim’s unit, he said, headquartered in a nondescript building that flew two white flags bearing a stylized Muslim shahada — “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” (Once again, it’s more common to see the shahada printed in white on a black background. The local printer, a sympathizer, said he reversed the colors “so that people don’t think we have al-Qaeda here.”)

Jabhat members maintained a low profile and kept to themselves, townsfolk said, and rarely ventured outside their outpost except to head to battle. “The shabab [young men] prefer to remain in the shadows, unseen. They won’t come forward,” Ibrahim said. Their low profile enabled some members “not known to the security forces” to pass through checkpoints, especially in and around Damascus and the northern commercial hub of Aleppo, which is currently facing aerial bombardment from Assad’s forces as well as encirclement by an approaching armored column. The secrecy extended to the group’s members. “We don’t really like to accept people we don’t know. We don’t need foreigners,” Ibrahim said, although he admitted that there were some foreign jihadists in his group, from Kuwait, Libya and Kazakhstan.

He said he was fighting because he wanted to “live in freedom.” His idea of freedom, however, was an Islamic state free of oppression by members of Assad’s privileged sect, the Alawites. “The Alawites can do what they want and we have no say. That’s why we are fighting, because we are oppressed by them,” he said. “We are nothing to them. They are the head, and we are nothing.”

In another town in northern Idlib, another jihadist — belonging to a different group — shared Ibrahim’s goal of an Islamic state. “Abu Zayd” is a 25-year-old Shari’a graduate who heads one of the founding brigades of Ahrar al-Sham, a group that adheres to the conservative Salafi interpretation of Sunni Islam.

He said minorities had nothing to worry about in a future Islamic state, despite the increasingly sectarian nature of some of the violence that has convulsed Syria. “Let’s consider that Syria becomes something other than Islamic, a civil state,” he said. “What is the role of the Alawites in it? What is the position of a Christian, a Muslim in it? They are all under the law, and it will be the same in an Islamic state. We are just exchanging one law for another.”

The young Syrian, with his neatly trimmed beard, dressed in military pants and a blue T-shirt, looked more like a member of the FSA than a Salafist. His facial hair was not fashioned in the manner of some Salafists, who shave their mustaches. (Interestingly, many FSA members have taken to wearing Salafi-style beards while not adopting the ideology. “It’s just a fashion,” one person told me, by way of explanation.)

(PHOTOS:Escape from Syria)

The Ahrar started working on forming brigades “after the Egyptian revolution,” Abu Zayd said, well before March 15, 2011, when the Syrian revolution kicked off with protests in the southern agricultural city of Dara’a. The group announced its presence about six months ago, he said. Abu Zayd denied the presence of foreigners, even though TIME saw a man in the group’s compound who possessed strong Central Asian features. “Maybe his mother is,” Abu Zayd said unconvincingly. “We are not short of men to need foreigners.”

Regardless, foreigners are coming across into Syria. One prominent Syrian smuggler in a border town near Turkey said that he had ferried 17 Tunisians across the night before. It was a marked uptick in his business. He said he hadn’t seen many foreign fighters for about a month prior to the Tunisians. “Before that, every day there were new people, from Morocco, Libya and elsewhere,” he said. (In the course of several hours of waiting to cross back into Turkey, I

Diary from Damascus,
John Wreford – My Middle East, July 27, 2012

Photographer John Wreford has lived in Syria for many years and still remains in his house in Damascus’ Old City. Here, he gives a very personal account of the last couple of weeks’ events.

e preferred the Jabhat to the “more showy” Ahrar. “If you ask [the Ahrar] for a device, they will give you a camera so you can film [the explosion], and they take credit for it,” he said. Still, he wasn’t really sold on the Jabhat either. “I am one of those people who is afraid of extremism,” he said. “I told [the Jabhat], It’s possible that perhaps one day we will stand armed against each other because of your activities. If they intend to do to us what happened in Iraq, it’s wrong.”

Russia and Syria’s Assad: The End of the Affair?
It has become clear to many officials in Moscow that the Assad regime cannot restore the pre-rebellion status quo in Syria, forcing them to consider backing away from a longtime client
By Simon Shuster / Moscow | July 26, 2012- Time

The phone line from Moscow to Syria is shaky, giving off static and a faint echo, and it does not help that Russian official Andrei Klimov sounds exhausted. He is cagey about his exact location in Syria, saying only that he is “a few kilometers away from the action.” That could mean any of a number of towns and cities where armed revolutionaries have been fighting the forces of President Bashar Assad for almost a year and a half. In that time, thousands of Syrian civilians have been killed, and dozens of Russian diplomats, officials and military strategists have been flying in and out of Damascus on various pretexts — as election observers, as peace-brokers or morale-boosters for the regime. Some Russians even ostensibly enter Syria as holiday makers. “Let’s just say I’m here for myself, in a personal capacity” says Klimov, who is the vice chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s parliament. Perhaps, but the purpose of his trip this week was also to figure out the regime’s options in the conflict, and Russia’s. “There don’t seem to be any good ones,” Klimov says.

Any hopes that Assad’s forces could bludgeon the rebellion into submission have started to look delusional. Even Russia, one of Assad’s oldest and most stubborn allies, is becoming resigned to his downfall. “I don’t think anyone in the world, including Assad himself, seriously believes that he will be able to control the country for years to come,” says Klimov. “In my view, the ideal situation is if Assad gives control over to someone else, who can maintain the secular nature of the regime and make sure Syria will not become a troublemaker in the region.”

If the Kremlin agrees with this assessment, it has not yet made public that conclusion. President Vladimir Putin has stuck consistently to the view that both sides of the conflict need to negotiate a resolution on their own, and he even suggested on July 23 that forcing Assad to step down would only make matters worse. “The opposition and the current leadership could simply switch sides, with one taking control and the other becoming the opposition, and the civil war will continue for nobody knows how long,” he told a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

But a little further down the diplomatic hierarchy, the last few months have brought a significant change in tone. Just take Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the U.N., who in February had mounted a rousing defense of Russia’s refusal to turn its back on the Syrian government. “If you are our ally, we are not going to turn around overnight and say, ‘Well, you know, we’ve had good relations with you over the years, but now, thanks, no thanks, deal with your problems, we are not going to do anything about it,’” Churkin had told U.S. talk show host Charlie Rose. That was a veiled rebuke of Washington’s refusal to prop up its longstanding ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, during the revolution that overthrew him last year. “It’s not our style,” Churkin said at the time. But on Tuesday, July 24, he spoke to Charlie Rose again, and the host pressed him on whether the Russian-Syrian “friendship” had changed in the last six months. This time, Churkin gave a deep sigh before answering. Assad “is not our nephew, you know,” he said. “He’s not related to us, and we’re not attached to his regime in any particular way.”

Like a delinquent younger brother, Syria has nonetheless been causing Russia a great deal of embarrassment. Rarely can a senior Russian official make a public appearances these days, especially in the West, without being grilled on the massacre of civilians in Syria, on Russian arms sales to Assad, or on Russia’s repeated veto of U.N. sanctions against the regime. During a brief press conference on Monday, two of the four questions for Putin were about Syria, and he was visibly annoyed at having to repeat himself, giving his answers in a blunt staccato. On Tuesday, Moscow again had to distance itself from Syrian blunders, after Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman suggested the regime might use chemical weapons, prohibited under international humanitarian law, if it faced attack from abroad. On its website, the Russian Foreign Ministry then gave Damascus a curt reminder to “unwaveringly uphold its international obligations.”

Some Russian military officials have also been annoyed by what they see as Assad’s indecisiveness in fighting the rebels. Konstantin Sivkov, a military hawk who served as a strategist for the Russian General Staff between 1995 and 2007, visited Syria in May, ostensibly to monitor the parliamentary elections but mostly to meet with officials. Sivkov was surprised, he says, with how “gentle” Assad has been in crushing the revolution. “Believe me, some of our guys have told Bashar to adopt much harsher methods, carpet bombing, total destruction,” Sivkov told TIME after returning to Moscow. “If that approach was chosen in Syria, there would be no rebels left after one week, and everyone would be happy.

Instead, Moscow has been put in the awkward position of having to invite the rebels over for talks, which gave perhaps the clearest signal that Russia is looking beyond Assad’s rule. On June 11, a delegation from the Syrian National Council had an audience with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who tried to convince them to negotiate with Assad. But the SNC delegates also felt as if the Russians were sizing them up. “They are looking for partners in the opposition,” Bassma Kodmani, the SNC’s foreign affairs officer told TIME afterward. One of the senior Russian diplomats even tried to express some sympathy with the rebel cause, says Monzer Makhous, an SNC member who took part in the talks. “During one of the breaks, he leaned over to me and said, ‘We know Assad is like Stalin, we know,’” Makhous recalls. To him that only meant one thing: “Some of them are ready, even eager, to abandon him.”

At the very least, Russia is tired of being looked upon as Assad’s protector. When rumors emerged in the Western press last week that Assad and his family might flee to Moscow, the Russian reaction was furious. “That is not on the table,” U.N. ambassador Churkin fumed on Wednesday during the interview with Rose. Russia has in the past given asylum to the families of embattled despots such as former Serbia president Slobodan Milosevic or former Kyrgyz strongman Askar Akaev, but the Assads are clearly too toxic to receive any such invitations

Asked whether Russia might take him in, Klimov, the parliamentarian, finally raises his voice over the telephone line from Syria. “Why not Australia,” he demands. “Why don’t they give their fair contribution to the cause of international peace?” Russia has enough image problems as it is, Klimov says, and granting asylum to Assad’s family now “would be piled on top of Russia’s list of supposed sins.” On top of that, anyone that succeeds Assad “will despise Russia 100 times more if we give [him] safe haven,” adds Klimov.

So, much like the rest of the world, Russia is left to hope against hope that Assad will simply agree to step down. That does not mean, however, that Russia will join the rest of the world in pressuring to do so. The only one who can make such a drastic shift in Russian policy is Putin, and he has not caught the changing winds climbing up through his hierarchy. Last week, Russia and China used their veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block sanctions against Assad for the third time. This brought down another wave of condemnation from the West, but Putin did not give an inch in his rhetoric. “At home, this stand-off with the West is great for his image,” says Nikolay Zlobin, head of the Russia and Eurasia Project at the World Security Institute in Washington. Putin’s core electorate still reveres him as a one-man counterweight to the arrogance of the U.S., Zlobin says, and Putin is prepared to suffer a lot more isolation to maintain that image at home. But putting aside domestic Russian politics, “the hope is that some power vacuum will emerge [in Syria] into which Russia might squeeze,” says Zlobin. “So far, that strategy hasn’t worked out so well.” Not for Russia, and certainly not for Syria.

 

Trip Report: Meeting the Syrian Opposition in Istanbul and Antakya
by David Pollock – Brookings

Having recently returned from a trip to Antakya and Istanbul, during which a European delegation and I met over 100 Syrian opposition figures, a number of important observations come to mind. First, one of my strongest impressions is that things are not what they seem. It is very difficult on the ground to be sure who it is that you are really talking to and what they represent. Second, Turkish officials maintain a striking degree of control over Syrian opposition forces inside Turkey. Third, the Muslim Brotherhood is pervasive not only within the Syrian National Council (SNC), but among many opposition groups – mostly outside Syria. Lastly, there is a striking cynicism and anger among fighters within Syria toward the outside world for not providing enough practical support.

1. Things Are Not What They Seem

Many times throughout the trip, we experienced people privately telling some of us one thing and others something completely different, and talking about each other in quite derogatory ways behind each other’s backs, while trying to take over meetings from each other.

For example, we met with a Syrian sheikh who runs the Jamiyat al-Shura al-Khairiyah on the Jordanian side of the border, which is supposedly a humanitarian organization. He gave us an extremely long, eloquent, and detailed presentation about the good work he is doing and said that we are all equal and we all believe in the compassionate and merciful prophets. He then asked us to support his good work for the Syrian people. Then after that meeting, he took aside a Palestinian Muslim member of our delegation, and said, “You know, when you talk to these Europeans, you have to be like a fox. You have to say all these nice things, but you know that we don’t really mean any of it.

I was struck by the pervasiveness of this uncertainty and duplicity. Personally, I support the Syrian opposition, but I think we need to be very clear about the pitfalls when we try to pick and choose. So that is my first conclusion: Don’t jump to conclusions. Even about whom you think you are dealing with.

2. Turkish, Not Syrian, Border Controls…  At the same time, what is really striking is the degree to which, even before the bombs went off in Damascus, the Syrians seemed to be losing control of some of their border posts. Syrians of all backgrounds seem to be free to move between Syria and Turkey with only Turkish permission. The Syrian government now seems to have lost control of its borders in every direction. ..

3. Muslim Brotherhood Control of Outside Opposition

It is clear that the MB is trying, as much as possible, to dominate the SNC as well as general Syrian opposition activity. We witnessed this is very practical terms, as they tried to take over meetings we had with other factions, non-partisan groups, and FSA people. We pushed back at every turn, but after some meetings, Syrians would come up to us and tell us “we are sorry if the Muslim Brotherhood got in here and tried to take over part of the meeting, but we are not them and they are not us.” This happened often enough that it was an issue.

Other groups in the Syrian opposition oppose the Muslim Brotherhood for a variety of reasons: they are secularists, they are set on their own political ambitions, or they don’t like Turkish influence on the Brotherhood. An unfortunate paradox has emerged in which well-meaning and well-connected Syrians are setting up new groups every day, saying, “I am going to unify the opposition.” Some of these groups are impressive, but they are quite fragmented, a trend that we see across the region.

As in some other countries, the Islamists tend to be relatively well organized, well disciplined, and unified, even if they do not represent the majority. This is the case in Syria among the outside opposition, but not on the inside, where the MB still has a limited presence. However, these other groups may not be a match for the discipline and unity of the MB in the political battle as the regime collapses.

4. Views of Inside Opposition: What Do They Want from Us?

We met with many people who are fighting and organizing relief work throughout Syria, who came into Turkey for a variety of reasons: for training, to get supplies, to rest, to meet with outside opposition and foreigners. They made it very clear that they want communications equipment, medical supplies, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. They do not want more meetings, political support, training, and declarations.

The extent of cynicism and even anger at the outside world for not doing enough of a practical nature was striking. We heard over and over that “you are complicit in the slaughter of the Syrian people.” It was not that “you are not giving enough support,” but “you do not want Assad to fall” and “you want Syrian people to be slaughtered.”

Sadly, most of these Syrians hold Israel responsible for preventing greater U.S. support. Aside from one exception, this view was nearly unanimous. In spite of, or perhaps because of, this very weird perception about Israel’s power, whenever we asked, “If Israel offered weapons or help, would you take it?” the answer was almost always, “definitely”!

When we spoke about outside help, a very clear distinction emerged:  They do not just want a no fly zone or a humanitarian safe haven, but a no drive zone and safe passage from the borders deep into Syria. Yet what we heard most was, “Give us anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. We don’t even need your air cover or corridors. Give us the weapons and we will do it ourselves.”

Michael Young on CFR: Syria’s Shifting Sectarian Sands



Comments (496)


Bruno said:

@Omen

In response to Omen

(even american officials have confirmed the regime has coordinated with alqaeda before (or armed militants hostile to Americans) during the war in iraq.)

Which officials? oh you mean those war mongering republicans? who have been clamming that Assad has ties to alqaeda or the fact that Saddam had ties to alqaeda?

Ah those officials who always go on the FOX News show trying bump up the war mongering.

July 27th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

In Syria these days one can hear “The rich ones to Beirut and the poor ones to the coffin”.

This is a big truth. According to sources these days in Beirut you can find many of the high society members walking through Al Hamra St., Solidere, Raouche and enjoying their miserable corrupt lives at restaurants all around the lebanese capital. Sometimes you can feel yourself as if you were at Damascus down town.

In Lebanon there is a lot of talk, embassies staffs talking about trusty sources informing about Assad going to regain control of Syria and ruling again. Other experienced diplomatic personel talking about the coming end of Assad as something unavoidable.

So, there is a lot of confussion and one only can get conclussions by thinking, but not by listening what is said in the streets. There is fear and it brings confussion. The only place where I did not find confussion is in the FSA determination to bring down the Assad House.

July 27th, 2012, 5:40 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Mr. Landis,

The first part of your today`s thread (1,2,3,4) is obvious plea to support M. Tlass. I would have expected it more subtly .

The fact that majority does not trust the rebelles is good point for Tlass.

July 27th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

“..Much of Syria’s middle and upper classes have not been heard from yet. many of them may find someone like Manaf Tlass appealing – perhaps not someone so close to the regime, but someone who had a hand in the regime, is secular, has money, has experience with the army, etc….”
————————————————————————————————————————————–

Who you talked to “so many” that found him appealing. Not the one I talked to. They have no respect neither for him, his father, nor the Tlass family which provided close to 100 Tlasse’s to serve the Assad’s regime. Everyone knows that his father walked into this regime with pocket inside out, and left it disgruntled as multi millionaire, considering his official salary, where did he get all that hundredth of millions in illicit gain from? It is stolen from worthy poor people in Syria. From drug mafia, a well known fact, from Lebanese BAKKAA drug lords, shady military contracts. Kickbacks and bribes, crimes and crime syndicates, etc. Just the perfect kind of people ALCIADA love to have around, beat on the head, keep cash dangling for them to be obedient. In American culture, that is acceptable, even Al Capone gets respected in that society, but not in Syria. They are looked down on by notable families as well as the poor.

Syrians needs a serious change to the better, after so many decades of rule by the like of Tlasses, after so much impoverishment and sacrifices, the last thing they need is a Tlass corrupt to the bone leadership. Whose idea this is, to take poor Syrians from the drizzling rain to stand under the gutter wash, who is the dummy behind it. When he takes a roll in the opposition, is when SNP and personally, will publicly go on Syrian T.V. asking the people to support Assad and exposing the whole scam run by Bedouin/Zionists. You will see then, not only if Syrian upper classes will listen to low life on Aljezeera, CNN, Turkmen but not even the lower downtrodden ones that were robbed by Tlass and ilk would.

These are not leaders, they are foreigners, serving foreign interests, who hold foreign passports and have acquired foreign Citizenship. They no longer have anything to do with Syria or Syrians.

July 27th, 2012, 6:05 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

But many may have found Tlass’s words rejecting revenge reassuring. His message that Syria must protect its national institutions and avoid destroying them, etc. were designed to reassure the silent majority that have yet to articulate their concerns and interests.
______________________________________________________________

حكي سخيف ماحد يشتري الشعارات من البعثية النصابين . الشعب وعي

July 27th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

omen said:

bruno, if you look back in the archives, even this blog acknowledges assad regime was sending anti-american militants to iraq.

July 27th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Just seen the Syrian team with the Syrian flag at the Olympics.

Great!!!

July 27th, 2012, 6:44 pm

 

omen said:

so far the u.s. has refused to provide the extra little push that would help topple the assad regime – something whose demise would also weaken iran – what does that say, despite the posturing, our real position on iran?

obama did little to support iran’s rebellion. i don’t think the u.s. wants iran’s regime to fall.

July 27th, 2012, 6:45 pm

 

Juergen said:

Tara

here Tlass performes the Umra, see he is continuing the tradition of so many “pious” muslims…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=505638799451006&set=a.271825019499053.88248.261371280544427&type=1&theater

July 27th, 2012, 6:51 pm

 

stick to the truth said:

4. Aldendeshe said:
They are looked down on by notable families as well as the poor.

Somehow I appreciate your Idealism, but its far far from the worlds and Syrias reality.

No even in the clean germany its as clean as one would imagine.

ITS done in a different way.

July 27th, 2012, 6:53 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

By the way Mr. Landis,

when shall we expect your first interview with M. Tlass on SC??
And where is the interview going to take place?

July 27th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

Tara said:

Juergen

Tlass brushing off his Sunni credentials does not impress me. It is a mere act. A role playing. I think he was there to discuss Syria with Al Saud under the cover of the Umrah. I also think he dyed his hair silver…I do not think he would ever do Haj. He will have to shave that dyed spiky hair.

An ex-murderer, son of a murderer…I hope God is not that forgiving…

July 27th, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

Juergen said:

Tara
For umra one has to do the same rituals like during hadj ecept going to Mt. Arafat. Its obligatious for an Umra also to cut the hair after finishing the tawaf and sai between Safa and Marwa.

One does not have to to shave the hair, many who are fussy with their hair just cut a piece of hair out, there is a hadith stating its ok just to cut a piece, surely not what most would do though. Well but you are right, a Tlass without the air of Delon would be more of a joke.

July 27th, 2012, 7:20 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

#12 TARA
…An ex-murderer

What is an ex-murderer? I never heared of this before?
Or do you mean that he is no longer a murderer because he performed Umra???

July 27th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

Tara said:

Stick

Because he defected . Are you OK?

July 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

Tara said:

Jeurgen

Ah… Alan Delon? I was madly in love with him as a teenager.

July 27th, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

because he defected . Are you OK?

Does this mean that all defectores were ex-murderes – including FSA…?

Sorry, but as far as i know a murdere remains described as murderer even after conviction and imprisonment.

BTW, Im fine

July 27th, 2012, 7:40 pm

 

bronco said:

#3 Stick

The fact that majority does not trust the rebelles is good point for Tlass

After the likes of expats like Sayda, Qodmani and Ghaliun, Manaf is the only hope for the desperate West, this is why they are attributing him all the quality of the savior and defending him:
After Umra and kisses with KSA officials, he is their man.

There is one problem is that no Syrians want him, the regime because he defected, the rebels because he is part of regime (remember Hama) and they prefer him dead and the average Syrian despise him because they all know that his family are crooks that became rich by taking advantage of just everybody, including arms dealings.
In my opinion he is just a falling star. He will probably disappear into oblivion after a moment of hope for the Western countries desperately looking for a valid leader of Syria.

July 27th, 2012, 8:03 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Assad still has one card to play.

Where is that 2.3 Kilometre flag?

July 27th, 2012, 8:32 pm

 

omen said:

why haven’t we heard from general sillu, the former head of the regime’s chemical program? is he being debriefed by intelligence agencies? what did the video of his defection say? did he say he defected in protest because the regime planned to deploy its chemical stockpile?

July 27th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 
 

omen said:

uzair, what does that flag mean?

July 27th, 2012, 8:36 pm

 
 

VISITOR said:

The Syrian people know now their friends from their enemies.

Many thanks go to Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the generous and valuable aid in terms of military assisstance they are supplying to the Syrians.

We also must remember to be thankful for the generous people of Saudi Arabia who in the last week only, with a noble initiative from their popular King, provided over $100M to the Syrian people.

Our enemies who will never be forgiven are Iran , Russia, China, and the midget Hizb Zbala of Iran.

July 27th, 2012, 8:47 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Syrian army supply crisis has regime on brink of collapse, say defectors

General who swapped sides says regime can last ‘two months at most’ as troop morale sinks and petrol trucks are ambushed

Friday 27 July

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/27/syrian-army-brink-of-collapse?CMP=twt_gu

July 27th, 2012, 8:57 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Uzair8

(Syrian Ambassador to Belarus defects. Video.)

Question why Belarus? because Belarus is an Russian ally. I doubt he defected on his own.

And just like the Iraqi Ambassador i am not surprised he went in Qatar and to speak with AJ.

@VISITOR

(Many thanks go to Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the generous and valuable aid in terms of military assisstance they are supplying to the Syrians.)

So your actually thanking Qatar and Saudi Arabia two tyrannical regimes who neither have a Democratic system nor any reforms or elections.

So let me get this right your thanking Saudi Arabia for sending in there mujahideen fighters and already two Saudis nationalists were killed in Sryia.

(Our enemies who will never be forgiven are Iran , Russia, China, and the midget Hizb Zbala of Iran.)

Thank for you for that comment it just goes to show i was right.

As long its against Russia,China,Iran its good but if its as long as against Qatar or Saudi Arabia thats bad.

And i would take you support the Saudis mujahideen fighters in Sryia don’t you VISITOR?

I guess some Republicans on here just keep on believing that Iran is our enemy but the reality is that Iran is not our Enemy nor does it have any WMDs.

July 27th, 2012, 9:00 pm

 

Tara said:

The only winner so far has been the Kurds.  It looks like Assad sold part of Syria to the Kurds to extend his reign for few more weeks or months.  

By Ceding Northeastern Syria to the Kurds, Assad Puts Turkey in a Bind
http://world.time.com/2012/07/27/by-ceding-northeastern-syria-to-the-kurds-assad-puts-turkey-in-a-bind/?xid=rss-topstories

The news sparked a Turkish media and political clamor about the imminent rise of a “PKK Republic” or a “Western Kurdistan” on Turkey’s southern flank. Commentators fear that the rise of a second  Kurdish statelet, following the emergence of the one in neighboring Iraq in 2003, would embolden Turkey’s own 12-15 million Kurds to pursue their own dream of autonomy. Worse still, it could potentially provide the PKK — branded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU — with sanctuaries from which to launch cross-border attacks.

Picking up where the media left off, Turkey’s fiery leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, banged the war drums. Though he and his government proclaim the Kurds a “brother nation,” Erdogan told a TV interviewer on Wednesday, a Kurdish state in northern Syria would likely become a “terrorist entity”. If need be, he warned, Turkey would not hesitate to hit the PKK inside Syria, as it has done repeatedly in northern Iraq. “If a formation that’s going to be a problem emerges, if there is a terror operation, an irritant, then intervening would be our most natural right.”

When the sabre-rattling dies down, writes Oral Calislar, a commentator for Radikal, a Turkish newspaper, Ankara will do the same with a Kurdish quasi-state in Syria as it did with the one in Iraq – learn to live with it. “We used to say we’d never tolerate an autonomous Kurdistan on our border,” Calislar writes. “It was one of our ‘red lines.’ And now we’re buddy-buddy with Barzani.”

For the time being, the most that Turkey can do to contain the fallout from Syria is to make amends with its own Kurds, says Hugh Pope, an analyst with the International Crisis Group. If Erdogan wants to ensure Turkey’s security, he adds, his government will have to do so by addressing the Turkish Kurds’ main grievances – adequate political representation, mother tongue education, some degree of devolution, and a partial amnesty for PKK members.

….

July 27th, 2012, 9:05 pm

 

Bruno said:

I see so people and users on here support Qatar and Saudi Arabian Directorships not surprising.

Saudi Arabia has forbidden Women of any rights and freedom, but seeing the hypocrisy here is pretty uncommon.

Thanks for proving my point.

July 27th, 2012, 9:27 pm

 

Tara said:

Syria has expanded chemical weapons supply with Iran’s help, documents show

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syria-has-expanded-chemical-weapons-supply-with-irans-help-documents-show/2012/07/27/gJQAjJ3EEX_story.html

Arms experts say Syria has pursued a two-pronged strategy to build and grow its chemical weapons stockpile: overt assistance and procurement of chemical precursors and expertise from Iran, coupled with the acquisition of equipment and chemicals from seemingly unwitting businesses in other countries, in many cases through a network of front organizations.

July 27th, 2012, 9:31 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

(Syrian Ambassador to Belarus defects. Video.)
_________________________________________________________________

Funny how they all head to Qatar to get paid, Saudi Arabia to get Islamicized and next day to Turkey to get laid and interrogated by Mossad/CIA handler, then they officially sanctioned with Dissident Title. The more these Baathists Murtazaka so call defect, the more I have respect for Baathists that do not.

مهزلة سعودية عربية تركية حقيرة ولا يقع في حضنها الى المرتزقة المأجورين

July 27th, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Joshua is 100% right about the unheard voices of the middle class, professionals, civil servants and non-elite army, etc. The people who keep Syria ticking over. They have to be kept on board, reassured and allowed to do their jobs.

Don’t forget the lessons of Iraq.

And whoever heads things after Assad is going to be only transitional. That’s the normal pattern.

July 27th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

Ghufran said:

I sure hope that Aleppo will be the last major battle where Syians kill Syrians,the city is now surrounded from all sides and whoever made it inside will be part of the final count of armed rebels in Aleppo. Barring any unforeseen circumstances,armed rebels will not be able to hold on the positions they occupied for more than few days,hiding among civilians is the rebels most lethal weapon,this will obviously lead to the death of many innocent civilians,the rebels can now destroy tanks and down helicopters but thatbwill not be enough to save their skin.
Along with a number of regime chiefs who were implicated in the killing of civilians and deserve to be tried,there is little doubt that many rebel chiefs qualify for this honor. Many Syrians,and most foreigners,are treating Syrian blood like a commodity adding more glory to the 48 years of Baathist destructive rule.

July 27th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

irritated said:

28. Bruno

Saudi and Qatar think that with their oily money and their authoritarian, inhuman and hypocritical regime they can buy the soul of the people.
We have an example of one of their success among the SC commenters.

July 27th, 2012, 10:16 pm

 

irritated said:

#31 SL

whoever heads things after Assad is going

Any candidate in mind?
Transitional, sure, probably more than a dozen of transitional “heads” that would not last weeks…
Ghaliun, Manaf, Ryad al Assad, Sayda and then ?

July 27th, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey’s Gul farcical Iftar with ‘Alevis’

Alevis call meeting with president ‘pirate action’
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/alevis-call-meeting-with-president-pirate-action.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26544&NewsCatID=339

“The AKP created ‘fake Alevis’ so they could put them on stage and create an illusion of support. We do not fast at this time of the year; this is a sin for us, and we do not show off our fasts at luxury hotels,” Balkız told the Daily News.

July 27th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey puzzled and furious at Barzani’s actions in re-enforcing Syrian Kurds affiliated to the PKK

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/barzanis-kurdish-initiative-in-syria-takes-turkey-by-surprise.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26497&NewsCatID=352

But what came as a surprise was the fact that Barzani joined hands with the PYD.

When you look at the statements of Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], you can see very strong messages against Barzani. But what came more as a surprise is the fact that Barzani did not inform Ankara that he would take such a move.

Does that mean that Barzani stabbed Turkey in the back or just let Turkey down?

I don’t use such expressions because they are being used in Turkey as part of anti-Kurdish rhetoric. Barzani probably thought he could pull this off. But I think he made a big miscalculation.

Barzani, however, will be told about the consequences of instability in the north of Syria. A state of instability is a situation where anybody can do anything. If the PKK becomes very active [there] and starts hurting Turkey’s interests, [Syrian] groups that are close to Turkey could become mobilize as well. The Free Syrian Army has already stated that it could even fight the PKK [although] the priority right now is [fighting] the al-Assad administration.

July 27th, 2012, 10:35 pm

 

Elian said:

SC commentator!
where is my comment?
deleting comment with no explanation is not appreciated thank you.

July 27th, 2012, 10:39 pm

 

omen said:

fsa free two journalists captured by foreign fighters.

They were definitely quite extreme in their religious beliefs,” he said. “All day we were spoken to about the Koran and how they would bring Shariah law to Syria. I don’t think they were Al Qaeda; they seemed too amateurish for that. They said, ‘We’re not Al Qaeda, but Al Qaeda is down the road.’ ”

[…]

Finally, on Thursday evening, the two men were in a tent, blindfolded, when they heard a group of men come in. “They were shouting at everyone, saying, ‘How long has this been going on; this is outrageous,’ yelling at the jihadis, and then they told us, ‘You are free.’ Our hearts leapt, of course.”

Mr. Oerlemans said he assumed that their rescuers were fighters from the Free Syrian Army. They fired into the air during the rescue but more as a show of force to intimidate the jihadists, rather than as part of a firefight, he said.

Both journalists were escorted back across the border to Turkey.

July 27th, 2012, 10:45 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

I sure hope that Aleppo will be the last major battle where Syians kill Syrians
_________________________________________________________________
You mean Wahabi, African, Paki and other browney Guntanamo University of Terrorism Graduates. There should be no Syrians killed if the regime evacuated the natives. There will be destruction for homes and business for sure,but Bedouins will eventually be forced to pay for all that, or they will starve, eat the dessert sand and bread made out of camel dung.

July 27th, 2012, 10:47 pm

 

omen said:

via aje:

from the towns on the outskirts of aleppo, there is almost no sign of life. here in the town of [sounded like “kareeb”] most of if not all the residents have fled. there has been no water or electricity for five months. this is the work of the regular army we are told [footage of wreckage & graffiti] after they launched dozens of attacks on the town following the news that hundreds of soldiers living here had defected.

and as the battle for syria continues between a professional and well equipped army on one hand and a ragtag group of fighters on the other, there are millions that continue to suffer.

hundreds of soldiers defected?

July 27th, 2012, 10:59 pm

 

Elian said:

I don’t have any doubt that Assad is going to finish this year in power, for him to rule Syria in the future is another question!
The USA and Israel both have decided it is time for him to go, it is matter of time before another bomb or explosion will take a place which will kill more of the leaders in the regime.
Yet, this is not going to be the answer to Syria crisis, it is becoming a proxy war for parties, sectarian killing has not stopped in Iraq even after 9 years of the american invasion. In Syria, there is not going to be an american invasion or any western action for the short time and if it does it won’t be till after the next of the year which is after the american election.
One may argue that Obama is a better bet for Assad than any other of the republican hawks who planned this turmoil in the middle east since the GWB era.
Obama, has not done much to oust Assad and all the Ms. Piggy rhetoric if anything it has helped Assad at least on the internal propaganda.
I doubt that Obama and his hawks don’t understand that radicals are turning Syria into another Somalia, which exactly what is needed to weaken Syria.
The regime has not been a democratic or fair with its population the least to say, but that’s is what the middle east is about.
Reading the first paragraph by David Pollock, prove my point that iron fest is the only way to rule people who are not ready to respect others ideas, values and principles.
Bashar, could have not done much about the regime, you have a mentality in middle east that people take what ever they can get, if you call it greed or you call it uncivilized culture it is what it is and the worst that the next leader of Syria won’t be any much better than Assad in the future, history tells that about the middle east since the Ottaman empire ruled the Arabs, washing people brain with religion works best in the part of the world.
when Arabs rose against the ottaman the only way worked is because many of the christian arabs used nationality as a weapon against the ottaman, otherwise, the ottaman would have ruled the Arabs for many more centuries to come, it is what Turkey is planning on doing at the current time with Syria is to be under its own destiny.
obviously, the west all in with Turkey for same agenda.
Democracy can’t be born unless you have the underlying culture and maturity of a society to harbor and nourish such a basic state of living.
This has been said by many of the people who studied the Arab culture and found that as long as religion is the source of the society nourishment, people can’t be liberated.
it is same what happened to the western civilization through out the last few centuries.

July 27th, 2012, 11:08 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Omar’s (pbuh) scene of conversion to Islam was just aired,I certainly liked it.

July 27th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

Ghufran said:

تجاوزت التبرعات النقدية المقدمة للحملة الوطنية السعودية لنصرة الشعب السوري التي وجّه بها الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود في يومها الخامس والأخير مبلغ ( 271 ) مليون ريال ، إضافةً إلى التبرعات العينية من مواد غذائية وطبية وأدوية وملابس وخيام وبطانيات وأغطية ومجوهرات.
That can buy a lot of guns,not to ridicule the good intention of many average arabs who genuinely want to help.

July 27th, 2012, 11:58 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

4:10 am
Free Syrian Army Update English 2012
2 hours ago.FSA# defections are on the rise, in Daraa and Aleppo and Damascus are reporting to have many Assad forces defecting and joining the FSA .Allahu akbar!

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/free-syrian-army-update-english-2012-2-hours-3/

4:12 am
Free Syrian Army Update English 2012
3 hours ago.Defection of 700 Assad soldiers including 30 officers , FSA has ensured their safety in Homs .

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/free-syrian-army-update-english-2012-3-hours-3/

July 28th, 2012, 12:13 am

 

Ghufran said:

Coming up on Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET: My take on Mitt Romney and U.S. foreign policy; the Syrian crisis; Iran’s future; guns and America and a look at the U.S. economy.
Guests on the show this week include: Paul Wolfowitz, Tom Friedman, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Richard Haass, Paul Krugman and Ken Rogoff.
In our roundtable discussion on foreign policy issues, former U.S. deputy secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, explains why he believes U.S. action over Syria would look very different from that in Iraq.

July 28th, 2012, 12:14 am

 

Observer said:

So I read with interest that the great resistance regime in Syria has essentially gave the Kurds their provinces this is from the Baath party that claims One Arab Nation with an Eternal Message.

Also I read the report from the Russian general a hawk who is surprised at how “gentle” Fredo has been as he advocates carpet bombing and the destruction of the rebels in one week.

I went to Press TV RT Addounia and Manar and Mayadeen and the news are not great. Now we have news of a secret base in Turkey with money and weapons from KSA and Qatar going to the rebels. We also have clear indication that the Russians are tired of Fredo either as too weak or too inept or too problematic or too hot of a potato to carry or to have the image of Russia tarnished for ever over it.

In my opinion Tlass has not really defected he was sent to save the regime structure and to find a safe haven for Fredo but the choice was not the greatest of choices as events on the ground have moved in a life of their own. Neither the SNC nor the West matter any longer. The regime is having now major logistical problems. Press TV talks about the Kurds of Iraq preventing the 10th division from going to the Syrian border. This means that the supply along the Iraqi border is finished. All we have are flights from Iran and ships from Russia and even Russia is not willing to give without money in the bank.

The Kurds are going to have their autonomy in the new Syria there is no escape from that. Therefore a federation is what we need for the ME, let the Sykes Picot artificial borders fade into oblivion.

Again ZOO what do you think? or are you just there to troll for news and posts that suit your conclusions?

It is truly a measure of how self serving the regime and its core support are for they will clearly sacrifice Syria and most of Syrians to remain in power.

The end of the regime from this post is clear. The people of the ME will come out of the ashes of more than 80 years of colonial rule and divisions.

How they will fare and what hey will do will determine the fate of the next generation. The intelligence and vigor and youth and pride that the Arab revolts have unleashed makes an optimist of me.

Cheers for a museum of power abuse in Syria with branches in every city.

July 28th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Syria’s rebel battles rage on as regime goes on offensive

by Simon Assaf
Tue 24 Jul 2012

A devastating bomb attack on Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle has exposed deep fractures and a crisis of confidence inside his regime.

[…]

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is now challenging for control of many of the key roads linking major cities.

The battle was ongoing as Socialist Worker went to press. To lose Aleppo, the country’s commercial and industrial centre, would spell doom for the regime.

Read more:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29192

July 28th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Another Socialist Worker article. An answer to Tariq Ali.

The revolution in Syria is rooted in popular uprising

Alex Callinicos
Tue 24 Jul 2012

The past few days may have seen the balance of forces tilt decisively against Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Paradoxically, a significant section of the Western left seems to have tilted as decisively in their favour.

Take, for example, a widely circulated interview with Tariq Ali, where he claims that the struggle in Syria is part of “a new process of recolonisation”. Although I have great respect and affection for Tariq, I think this is nonsense.

Read more:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29191

Btw, I came across a refutation of Tariq Ali a couple of days ago and I’m not sure if it was the above article. I’ll look into it later.

July 28th, 2012, 12:34 am

 

Bruno said:

@Uzair8
From Uzair8 link

( hours ago.FSA defections are on the rise, in Daraa and Aleppo and Damascus are reporting to have many Assad forces defecting and joining the FSA .Allahu akbar!)

With theAllahu akbar added the end i could easily its nothing more then propaganda on the midst of this battle in Aleppo.

Which in the end it would look like the attack on Damascus

( in Daraa and Aleppo and Damascus are reporting to have many Assad forces defecting and joining the FSA)

I am sorry but unfortunately no one is going to be buying that propaganda, if anyone here cant see what propaganda like then i feel sorry for you.

Just like the lie that somehow that Iran has a Nuke or that its our mortal enemy.

July 28th, 2012, 12:51 am

 

Bruno said:

Sorry again but George Galloway here explains about the FSA he does it pretty well, hate or like George Galloway at least his making senses.

July 28th, 2012, 1:07 am

 

Mina said:

Mistake in the news round-up above: the second paragraph here belongs to the article of the TIME quoted just before:

Diary from Damascus,
John Wreford – My Middle East, July 27, 2012

Photographer John Wreford has lived in Syria for many years and still remains in his house in Damascus’ Old City. Here, he gives a very personal account of the last couple of weeks’ events.

e preferred the Jabhat to the “more showy” Ahrar. “If you ask [the Ahrar] for a device, they will give you a camera so you can film [the explosion], and they take credit for it,” he said. Still, he wasn’t really sold on the Jabhat either. “I am one of those people who is afraid of extremism,” he said. “I told [the Jabhat], It’s possible that perhaps one day we will stand armed against each other because of your activities. If they intend to do to us what happened in Iraq, it’s wrong.”

July 28th, 2012, 1:09 am

 

Mina said:

As’ad Abu Khalil on Tlas’ “defection”

Olympics
I have followed the Olympics only once in my life: in 1972, at age 12.

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
“The dangerous man”
My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: “Habib Shartuni: ‘The dangerous man’ is returning”.

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
From Sharif Husayn to his son, Faysal during the “Arab revolt”
“إلى هذا الحدّ تصل بك القحّة يا فيصل”؟ .”
(To this degree, your insolence has reached, O Faysal).

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
Live from Akram: the many Damscuses
Akram, Angry Arab’s correspondent in Syria, wrote me this account:

“For the first time ever, Damascus is Damascuses (or at least, this is what turned out to be the case). And this depends on who tells.

First of all, the heart of the city, the area not being touched by the ongoing fighting. People come and go, filling the streets trying to recover their lives. Stores are open and hawkers raise their voices in an attempt to promote their goods. Vegetables are available and their prices fell sharply while, in contradiction to what the government announces, gasoline is still rare, something that you may discover, right away, by just taking a look at the long queues in front of gas stations. But you can, easily, realize how false is this image of a city full of life, by looking in the eyes of people or by hearing their discussions. Then only, you can detect the amount of anxiety and uncertainty that fills their hearts.

The second Damascus can be seen in the accounts of the displaced people or their relatives. A huge amount of angry of what they describe as brutal practices of the army in the regions that witness combats. You can hear sad stories about indiscriminate shelling, homes that have been stormed and their poor contents that have been destructed, and mass arbitrary arrests of young men. A Palestinian taxi driver who looked exhausted told me that, since the early morning (Thursday), he was trying to evacuate his family from Al-Yarmouk, a large Palestinian refugee camp located South Damascus, until he succeeded by the noon. Another one, a friend, managed to evacuate half of his parents from Al-Sbeineh, a poor quarter to the south of Damascus that is waiting his turn in the “cleaning” campaign carried out by the Syrian army, while the other half preferred to stay at home because they didn’t want to be “humiliated”. The two men said the military operation succeed only to hit the civilians while gunmen could easily escape waiting for the army to go away before they came back. Increasing tensions are taking place in the regions that received displaced people. In Jaramana, a Damascene suburb, some dislocated people from the stricken city of Douma and who are sheltered in two public schools wrote anti-regime graffiti, something that raised the ire of the residents who are calling for them to be expelled. The same applies on Sahnayia suburb, where some of the displaced people of Al-Tadamoun and Al-Qadam neighborhoods, tried to organize anti-regime demonstrations.

The third Damascus is only seen on TV, in the Ramadan televised series. Damascus of the 19th and the early period of the 20th century, Damascus of the traditional quarters, the gossips of women and their naïve plots, the mannish acts of men with traditional costumes and big mustaches. Or another “modern” Damascus that few know about, Damascus of the villas and large apartments and luxury cars and international restaurants, Damascus of colorful girls and stylish men. The few series that tries to “deal with the situation” are late for at least one year in a manner that makes you laugh loudly.

The fourth Damascus is located in news broadcasts, news tickers and comments of unknown people described as “analysts” (Nasser Qandeel is the brightest star of the Syrian channels) that fill the screen: our brave military forces are still chasing the remnants of terrorists killing and arresting tenths of them, citizens (in this area or that) are grateful to the army for restoring safety and security after the terrorist gangs wreaked havoc in their neighborhoods, the Syrian army is fighting the final battle in Aleppo (earlier in Damascus), the cosmic conspiracy is living its final moments, the BRICS will retaliate, …

Damascus is no more one Damascus, and it this isn’t only because of the sectarian cracks which began to appear on its old face.”

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
Western love affair with Saudi repression
“Still, by sending these two women to London under the guise of progress, Saudi Arabia will indeed be taking a trophy home for once again proving that among its Arab neighbors, when it comes to blatant backwardness, hypocrisy and systemic gender discrimination, it takes home the gold, and then some..Saudi Arabia continues to be the only country in the world to prevent girls from taking part in sport in government schools. Qatar on the other hand is also building a high performance training center aimed to involve women in sport and has boasted a Women’s Sport Committee for over a decade. Saudi Arabia still segregates and oppresses women in society, which includes preventing them from playing sports, not providing any state sports infrastructure for women and marginalizing them from participating in public life..””

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
Watch live: war crimes of the Free Syrian Army

You have to watch this disgusting video. This man’s only crime is that he appeared on Dunya TV (a regime TV). He was asked for his sect, and he said Sunni: and then he was tormented for being Sunni and appearing on Dunya TV and for mocking `Ar`ur speeches. At the end, the “revolutionary” of the Free Syrian Army announces that a punishment will be exacted on this person for his crimes. I have two points: 1) shame on Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for their cowardice and lack of professionalism. They more than ever that they are mere tools of US foreign policy and of the agendas of their funders; 2) I miss the Sufis, liberals, and leftists who are running the Syrian revolution as we read only months ago.

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
Al-Qa`idah in Syria
The correspondent of Al-Quds Al-`Arabi (Qatari-funded) in Jordan (who is very well-informed and very well-connected) writes: “And the battallion of “Ahl Ash-Sham” is practically the new Syrian version of Al-Qa`idah which according to Jordanian sources is numbered around 6000 fighters, among them Asians and Gulf people and even some Europeans, and there are many Pakistanis and Tunisians and Algerians, and specifically Saudis…”

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad

hostages of the Free Syrian Army
Al-Arabiyyah (news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law) hosted a spokesperson of the FSA and announced with great fanfare that the it has captured more than a 100 of Syrian regime army soldiers. Within minutes it announced with great fanfare and drama that it has just received a video of the captured soldiers. All were civilians. So the anchor (who like Aljazeera anchors) often wants to help the propaganda efforts of the guests. So he said rather surprised: but those are in civilian clothes and dont seem like soldiers (many did not even fit the image of the thin mal-nutritioned Syrian soldiers). The FSA guest said something that did not make sense at all, so the anchor interjected and helped him out and said: so they are soldiers but they were in civilian clothes. Kid you not. I switched the channel learning more and more about how the Syrian story is covered.

PS. No worries. In a later broadcast they were all made to be Shabbihah (thugs and the term is now increasingly used to refer all `Alawites, including children and women).

Posted on July 27, 2012 by As’ad
Qatar versus Saudi Arabia
I see many signs of growing rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. I know how the Emir of Qatar feels about the House of Saud. I see the signs of conflict over Syria: Saudi media are now working hard to promote their own version of future Syrian leaders. The Saudis are pushing what they think is their alternative of the bad version that Qatar is promoting (SNC): they are now pushing for former henchmen of the Syrian regime (Khaddam, Tlas, and Rif`at Al-Asad) because they think that this appeals more to Israel and US who worry about disintegration of the repressive arm of the regime. Read the text of Munaf Tlas: this was addressed not to the Syrian people but to the US government at the behest of Prince Bandar who is managing the story.”
http://angryarab.net/

July 28th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

omen said:

Syrian army supply crisis has regime on brink of collapse, say defectors

Bashar al-Assad’s military machine is on the brink of logistical meltdown and collapse, because it lacks petrol and food, and is having problems resupplying its soldiers, according to a Syrian general who has defected to the opposition.

Much has been made of the Syrian military’s supposed superiority over the opposition, but General Mohammad Al-Zobi told the Guardian: “The benzine is nearly finished. They are running out of rockets. There is scarcely any bread or water for the soldiers.”

July 28th, 2012, 1:41 am

 

omen said:

Ambassador Ford’s Address to the Syrian People

I want to address the Syrian people, regardless of ethnicity, culture, community, or background. The crisis that you are facing has seized the attention of the entire world. We are profoundly aware of the sacrifices you are making in your revolution and your courageous acts to speak out in the face of lethal repression.

There are some who are uncertain of the future and fear retaliation because of the community to which they belong. All Syrians must recognize that accountability and transitional justice go hand in hand with reconciliation. Neither a community nor an ethnicity must be blamed for the actions of individuals in the regime. It must be clear that only individuals who committed crimes against humanity will be identified and held accountable for their abhorrent actions.

For that reason, the international community is enhancing the capacity of Syrian and international organizations to document grave abuses. Multilaterally supported initiatives such as the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center ( http://www.syriaaccountability.org ) will coordinate efforts to research and collect evidence of human rights violations for use in future Syria-led transitional justice processes. These include truth-telling, reconciliation, and secure evidence documentation to support potential prosecutions, all bringing to light those who bear responsibility for these acts.

The future will include all Syrians of all backgrounds. The Syrian opposition has enunciated a clear vision that there is a credible alternative to the Assad regime that will end the violence, protect their fundamental human rights, and address their aspirations. We applaud the opposition’s efforts to bring together and unite a broad range of elements, including Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, Druze, and Alawites and others under a common plan. We commend the opposition for committing to this work and look forward to the group’s continued cooperation and efforts to work toward a future democratic state ruled by a new constitution that protects the universal human rights of all the Syrian people.

We applaud the Syrian opposition’s transition that guarantees fundamental rights for all Syrians. This is a critical element of any transition and is a priority for the United States. The international community, including the opposition, has met several times to begin this process and it must continue. We will remain committed to working toward a political transition with a sense of urgency. Far too many Syrians have died for the cause of freedom, and the transition must go forward. We continue to believe that a political transition in Syria, led by the Syrian people and supported by the international community, is the best chance for Syria’s future and for a stable and democratic transition.

July 28th, 2012, 1:45 am

 

Syrialover said:

Observer (#46 said) “the intelligence and vigor and youth and pride that the Arab revolts have unleashed makes an optimist of me”

This video shows what you’re talking about.

Beautiful, strong people with the courage of lions. Syria is a rich country to have them:

July 28th, 2012, 2:23 am

 

Bruno said:

@omen
As you saw in the comment section of the Ambassador a lot of people aren’t buying his statement at all and they have a reason.

From your other link.

(Syrian army supply crisis has regime on brink of collapse, say defectors)

(Bashar al-Assad’s military machine is on the brink of logistical meltdown and collapse, because it lacks petrol and food, and is having problems resupplying its soldiers, according to a Syrian general who has defected to the opposition.)

Really? i am having a hard time believing that claim but since it was posted by and on the Guardian i shouldn’t have expected any better.

Even though washingtonpost posted the following.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-damascus-losing-faith-in-assad/2012/07/27/gJQAmTzTEX_story.html

The Washington post is now admitting that in reality the rebels haven’t gained anything in Damascus. But that hasn’t stopped the propaganda narrative.

(Even as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-
Assad reassert control over much of Damascus, residents of the capital say they feel increasingly distant from the government they have long supported and are confident that it will eventually fall.)

And heres on what i mean by the propaganda narrative the following statement in the same article.

( said a 62-year-old man who owns four houses in the capital but thinks none of them is safe enough to stay in. Like others, he did not give his name because he was concerned about the possible consequences.)

Really so here we have a 62-year-old man, who owns four houses in the capital but thinks none of them is safe enough to stay in. And wouldn’t give out his name? yet CNN and others have been creating fake names for the activists.

But in this article no name was given nor what part of Damascus he was actually from? then unfortunately this person doesn’t exist.

And at the bottom of the article.

(This story was reported by a Washington Post special correspondent in Damascus whose name is being withheld for security reasons.)

a Washington Post special correspondent whose name is being withheld for security reasons?

If thats not propaganda for you then i don’t know what is then. Its pretty clear that the mainstream news outlets are getting desperate with there agenda on Sryia.

July 28th, 2012, 2:25 am

 

Syrialover said:

#34. Irritated

Am I right to assume that you believe there never can be, never will be, and never should be anyone other than the Assads capable of “leading” Syria.

Fine, no doubt you have reasons for thinking that way.

But as the 21st century and reality catches up, how do you think the Assads would perform in a system where the leadership is elected, accountable and representational?

It’s very unfair and unreasonable of you to expect poor Syrian-people-hater Bashar to manage that.

July 28th, 2012, 2:47 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@ AMBASSADOR FORD

Impressive address, it leaves us speechless and scratching our heads, so smooth, so professional, such a diplomatic nicesty to cover up the guilt for sending Guantanamo Islamic University Graduates to commit worst of genocide in Syria. Then have them with corrupt Baathist escapees rule a transitional Government in Damascus, bring enlightened wisdom, Democracy, justice, modernity and rule of Islamic Sharia Law to whatever spot left erect in that land . WHAT AN EVIL PIPE DREAM, why do we see DULL KNIVES nightmare only.

July 28th, 2012, 3:23 am

 

Syrialover said:

The middle class business people and professionals that Joshua Landis says have yet to have their voices heard in this revolution have to be fully respected, consulted and included.

The overwhelming majority of them are not fools or dedicated regime loyalists. Many of us know them as family and friends.

They have liveed in an Assad-ruled Syria without other experiences or options. They have followed the career paths available, built the best lives they can and lived the only way they know in the only system they know.

Syria needs these people on board and en masse if it is to survive as a functioning country. They are normal, skilled, intelligent and decent citizens. Their “ethnicity, culture, community, or background” should be irrelevant.

As a more normal system evolves and competition and merit start to kick in, their “worthiness” to have their business success or jobs will be sorted out.

July 28th, 2012, 3:27 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Maher Al Assad and Bashar Al Assad will get killed sooner or later. Before they die they will probably exterminate 40.000 or 50.000 people and will leave all Syria destroyed like israel left the small quarter of Hara Hreik in 2006 summer war. Harat Hreik was rebuild in some months thanks to iranian money. Syria will cost much more it is has to be rebuild by iranian money.

Iran is now controlling Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Will Iran be able to pay for HA, for the arms and technology and for the rebuilding of whole Syria? Sunni Syria?

Congratulations to US and Israel, who have probed useless to stop Iran. How predominant christian and sunni populations in Syria and Lebanon be controled by Iran?

July 28th, 2012, 3:38 am

 

Mina said:

Omen #53
Was there a press conference? Did anyone ask Ford “and if it doesn’t work, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you have a B plan?”

Sandro
Everything is in what you understand by “controled”. For example, how can you be controled by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants?

July 28th, 2012, 3:47 am

 

Syrialover said:

The regime’s attack on Aleppo has begun

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19025955

July 28th, 2012, 4:06 am

 

Expatriate said:

Turkey sets up secret anti-Assad rebel base with Saudi Arabia and Qatar – reports
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-rebel-base-turkey-qatar-230/
Turkey is directing the rebel fight against Bashar Assad, after setting up a secret base on its border with Syria, with help from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It devises tactics and supplies weapons for the uprising, according to Reuters sources.
It is unclear how long the base, described as the “nerve center” of the anti-Assad campaign has existed, and its location is given only as Adana, a city some 100 kilometers away from the border. Adana is home to Incirlik, a huge air base run jointly by Turkey and the United States, though it is not clear whether it was used for this operation.
“Three governments are supplying weapons: Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said the source, reportedly based in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

July 28th, 2012, 4:29 am

 

Stick to the truth said:

62. Expatriate said:
“Turkey sets up secret anti-Assad rebel base with Saudi Arabia and Qatar – reports

Thats a strong indication that they d not trust that the FSA will win in Aleppo or elsewhere.
Or is his the plan B?

July 28th, 2012, 5:12 am

 

Syrialover said:

# 59 SANDRO LEOWE

Cheer up about Iran.

The mullahs might now have more than they can handle at home.

Excerpt from article on impact of sanctions

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443437504577546900721442644.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Ordinary Iranians are having to tighten their belts since the European Union’s oil embargo came into force on July 1. The decades of economic mismanagement by Iran’s authoritarian leaders have culminated in five years of increasingly stern sanctions that are crippling Iran’s economy. And notwithstanding the regime’s defiant dismissal of their impact, sanctions have left many Iranian families with empty bank accounts and hollow stomachs.

While government fat cats are unaffected, ordinary Iranians must contend every day with a currency devalued by hyperinflation and an official unemployment rate of 29.1% for people under 25. (Some analysts believe the rate is twice as high.) And things are about to get worse. The threat of further sanctions in the wake of the oil embargo, and a new U.S. ban on doing business with Iran’s central bank, won’t only affect Iran’s energy sector.

Meanwhile, the regime’s paranoid obsession with dark international conspiracies continues. Government officials blame “Zionist bankers” for the global economic downturn and impute a fierce drought in the country’s southern districts to a “soft war” waged by the West.

In a functioning democracy, an ill economy and an increasingly disaffected population would trigger a change of government, a drastic reassessment of national priorities, or both. In Iran, the state can only try to pin the blame elsewhere, inventing enemies at home and conspiracies abroad while the abroad while the house burns down around it.

Instead, sanctions serve a better role as a tool to precipitate the regime’s collapse. When the oil embargo was adopted, skeptics both feared a dramatic price hike and doubted that an embargo would work without China and India on board. Six months later and with the help of lower global oil prices, Iran’s oil sales are down by more than a third.

Iran’s automotive industry’s sales are down by 36%, with 500,000 jobs in jeopardy as a result of sanctions. Layoffs at factories are routine. The country’s exports are rapidly declining. Even innocent sectors such as carpet sales are suffering. Sanctions must pile on the pressure—not because the regime will eventually compromise, but because ordinary Iranians will blame their rulers for the suffering they must endure on account of their nuclear follies.

July 28th, 2012, 6:08 am

 

Stick to the Truth said:

The return of the Syrian flag in the European press.

http://www.nzz.ch/aktuell/international/syrische-armee-startet-gegenoffensive-1.17413233

They are talking again about the SYRIAN ARMY and no longer about what they used to describe as ASSADS ARMY?

Any idea what´s behind it?

July 28th, 2012, 6:28 am

 

Syrialover said:

SANDRO LEOWE

Feeling better about Iran?

Well there’s more good news.

The Iranian leadership’s run of fun with the idiot Bashar Assad looks like it’s going to cost them dearly.

Excerpt from Stratfor analysis

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/consequences-fall-syrian-regime?utm_source=fr

Consequences of the Fall of the Syrian Regime

…the Russian and Chinese game was subtler than that. It focused on Iran. As we have argued, if the al Assad regime were to survive and were to be isolated from the West, it would be primarily dependent on Iran, its main patron. Iran had supplied trainers, special operations troops, supplies and money to sustain the regime. For Iran, the events in Syria represented a tremendous opportunity. Iran already held a powerful position in Iraq, not quite dominating it but heavily influencing it. If the al Assad regime survived and had Iranian support to thank for its survival, Syria would become even more dependent on Iran than was Iraq. This would shore up the Iranian position in Iraq, but more important, it would have created an Iranian sphere of influence stretching from western Afghanistan to Lebanon, where Hezbollah is an Iranian ally.

BUT….

It seems the Russians began calculating the end for the [Syrian] regime some time ago. Russia continued to deliver ammunition and other supplies to Syria but pulled back on a delivery of helicopters. Several attempts to deliver the helicopters “failed” when British insurers of the ship pulled coverage. That was the reason the Russians gave for not delivering the helicopters, but obviously the Russians could have insured the ship themselves. They were backing off from supporting al Assad, their intelligence indicating trouble in Damascus. In the last few days the Russians have moved to the point where they had their ambassador to France suggest that the time had come for al Assad to leave — then, of course, he denied having made the statement.

AS A RESULT…

As the Russians withdraw support, Iran is now left extremely exposed. There had been a sense of inevitability in Iran’s rise in the region, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula. The decline of al Assad’s regime is a strategic blow to the Iranians in two ways.

First, the wide-reaching sphere of influence they were creating clearly won’t happen now. Second, Iran will rapidly move from being an ascendant power to a power on the defensive.

The place where this will become most apparent is in Iraq. For Iran, Iraq represents a fundamental national security interest. Having fought a bloody war with Iraq in the 1980s, the Iranians have an overriding interest in assuring that Iraq remains at least neutral and preferably pro-Iranian. While Iran was ascendant, Iraqi politicians felt that they had to be accommodating. However, in the same way that Syrian generals had to recalculate their positions, Iraqi politicians have to do the same. With sanctions — whatever their effectiveness — being imposed on Iran, and with Iran’s position in Syria unraveling, the psychology in Iraq might change.

This is particularly the case because of intensifying Turkish interest in Iraq. In recent days the Turks have announced plans for pipelines in Iraq to oil fields in the south and in the north. Turkish economic activity is intensifying. Turkey is the only regional power that can challenge Iran militarily. It uses that power against the Kurds in Iraq. But more to the point, if a country builds a pipeline, it must ensure access to it, either politically or militarily. Turkey does not want to militarily involve itself in Iraq, but it does want political influence to guarantee its interests. Thus, just as the Iranians are in retreat, the Turks have an interest in, if not supplanting them, certainly supplementing them.

The pressure on Iran is now intense, and it will be interesting to see the political consequences. There was consensus on the Syrian strategy, but with failure of the strategy, that consensus dissolves. This will have an impact inside of Iran, possibly even more than the sanctions. Governments have trouble managing reversals.

July 28th, 2012, 6:32 am

 
 

Expatriate said:

Russia Prepares Armed Forces for Syrian Military Deployment

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32097
Given the worsening crisis in Syria, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported [June 2012] that the Russian army is apparently being prepared for a mission in Syria. Citing anonymous sources in the military leadership, the newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria.
The units being prepared for an intervention are the 76th Division of airborne forces (an especially experienced unit of the Russian army), the 15th Army Division, as well as special forces from a brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus.
The details of the operational plan are being prepared by the working parties of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, to which most of the post-Soviet states belong, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to which China and Russia belong.
According to the newspaper report, deployment depends on the decision of the Russian government and the UN. However, the plans also foresee that the troops might intervene without UN approval. The Russian government has so far not confirmed the report.

July 28th, 2012, 7:14 am

 

ann said:

277. zoo said:

Erdogan falling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFQwo8-Bst4

Must be a Syria Stallion!

Priceless ZOO 😀

July 28th, 2012, 7:16 am

 

mjabali said:

Observer:

The majority of Syrians hated the Alawis way before Hafez al-Assad. The majority of the “Syrians” hated the Alawis even when the Alawis did not have one single person in the government.

The sectarian discourse of al-Maliki, Iran and Nasrallah is expected as well the sectarian discourse of Qatar, Saudi, Turkey…etc.. The whole area is sectarian and thinking in sectarian terms. Do not be surprised.

AS for creating Syria no Kandahar: The coast is a good ground to wash this hate away. The Sunnis, Alawis, and Christians lived together in the coast. I personally grew up in this atmosphere, and know that it works. The Sunnis and Alawis that know each other in my city of Lattakia are a proof of the ability to live together. The Christians are in the heart of this mix. We all grew up together on equal terms. The Bad Alawis who were abusing the powers and the people abused Alawis, Sunnis and Christians. This is a known history.

The hate between the people in Syria need to be confronted heads on. No flip flopping in this issue. Law has to put those who spread the hate in prison. Modern law is the only way to fight this hate.

If there is a state on the coast, it should not take any criminals. Simple. If I am in charge i will detail to you why you need a system like the one in America. I am just an ordinary citizen and has no authority over the number of security branches or the Republican Guards.

AS for correcting you and your readings of the “Alawi Quran” it is very easy.

You claim that there is an “Alawi Quran” and the truth is that the Alawis read the same Quran as the Sunnis, and what you called the “Alawi Quran” belongs to a group called al-
Ali Ilahiyah (العلي إلهية) and this group is totally different from the Alawis of Syria.

The Alawis in Syria read al-Quran and follow the fiqh of al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq.

It is a tragedy when an educated man makes this type of a historical mistake. It is funny a little bit, because it shows that even the learned Sunnis do not know a thing about millions in their country. Not one Sunni, or Alawi, I know is in the know about anything related to the Alawis. The information it right there if you want to know it. But you need an open mind.

It the fault of the years of not letting the people know their real history.

Talking about grudges, it is very obvious that you are holding a huge one against anything Alawi.

July 28th, 2012, 7:17 am

 

ann said:

Jordanians and Syrians living in Jordan rally in support of Assad – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-07/28/c_131744639_2.htm

July 28th, 2012, 7:18 am

 

ann said:

On Syria, Saudi Resolution Cites Chemical Weapons, ICP Obtains Draft

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1chemsaudi072712.html

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 — An hour after Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative Abdallah al-Mouallimi told Inner City Press that the Syria resolution he is drafting will be presented to the General Assembly “next week, Monday,” Inner City Press obtained the draft, and is now putting it online here.

Again, the General Assembly cannot impose sanctions or authorize any use of force. Its credential committee can withdraw accreditation, as it did for diplomats representing Gaddafi’s Libya and the Cote d’Ivoire of Laurent Gbagbo.

In Syria, UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous is already dismantling the observer mission which the Security Council extended for a month back on July 20.

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose former Permanent Representative is now President of the General Assembly, are widely reported to be arming the rebels in Syria. They stand accused, too, of involvement with the extremist who are destroying mausoleums in Timbuktu in northern Mali. Whatever the legality, they now have another GA resolution.

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 7:36 am

 

ann said:

Syrian troops free 2 kidnapped Italian experts – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/28/c_131743910.htm

DAMASCUS, July 27 (Xinhua) — The Syrian troops freed two Italian experts on Friday, who had been kidnapped earlier by armed groups, Syria’s state TV reported.

The two experts work in a power plant in Deir Ali area near Douma suburb of Damascus.

The TV gave no further details about the liberation operation, but the area has witnessed intense fighting between armed rebels and government troops.

Meanwhile, the state media said the army recuperated control of al-Hajar al-Aswad area in southern Damascus after clashes with armed opposition fighters.

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 7:45 am

 
 

ann said:

“Big blast” rocks district of Syria’s Homs: state TV – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/28/c_131743885.htm

DAMASCUS, July 27 (Xinhua) — Syria’s TV said big blast rocked al-Khalidieh neighborhood in central Homs province overnight Friday.

The blast occurred after an “armed terrorist group” booby- trapped al-Shawader street in al-Khalidieh neighborhood of Homs, the report said.

A large number of armed men were killed in the blast, adding that the “terrorists” are pilling up the bodies of their killed comrades in order to portray them as victims of an army-led attack, according to the report.

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 7:48 am

 

ann said:

10 injured in renewed clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/28/c_131744863.htm

BEIRUT, July 28 (Xinhua) — A total of 10 people were injured in gun battles between the rival neighborhoods of Alawite Jabal Mohsen and Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli as sniper fire prevented people from using the Tripoli- Akkar highway, the National News Agency (NNA) reported Saturday.

The NNA said the clashes erupted around midnight Friday and spread to al-Rifa, al-Mankoubeen, al-Shaarani, al-Hara al- Barraniyeh, Souq al-Qamh and Syria Streets in Bab al-Tabbaneh. The Lebanese Army units deployed in the area move to appease the fighting.

A shootout also erupted between young men from Bab al-Tabbaneh and a family in al-Zahriyeh but the army contained the incident and conducted patrols in the area.

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 8:11 am

 

ann said:

Russia opposes Syria sanctions: deputy FM – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/28/c_131743795.htm

MOSCOW, July 27 (Xinhua) — Russia said on Friday that it’s unacceptable to impose sanctions against Syria, and questioned the idea of raising the issue in the UN General Assembly.

“We know that a group of Arab countries has drafted a resolution which, in particular, called for imposing sanctions on Damascus. It is incorrect to raise this issue at the General Assembly, because it is the UN Security Council that deals with problems of sanctions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters here.

Several Arab nations on Wednesday announced plans to turn to the UN General Assembly to seek approval of a resolution calling for a “political transition” and the establishment of a ” democratic government” in Syria, as members of the UN Security Council have failed to reach consensus on the issue.

Russia considers the move unacceptable and the proposed draft document as a whole “visibly unbalanced,” Gatilov said.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that the draft prompts the UN member states to impose sanctions similar to those the Arab League has imposed on Syria in November 2011,” said the senior diplomat. “We believe that debates on this issue and the adoption of such a resolution can only complicate attempts to achieve stabilization in the situation in Syria.”

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 8:20 am

 

Uzair8 said:

A possible theory for the Damascus bombing.

Role of Russia and Iran in Syrian crisis
By Ali Bluwi

Saturday, 28 July 2012

http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/07/28/228798.html

July 28th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Unfortunatelly most of SC posters do not understand German. Its amazing what the vast majority of the commentatores in Germany think of Mr. Westerwelle and his statements about Syria.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/arabische-welt/syrien-aufstaendische-erwarten-mutter-aller-schlachten-11833972.html

One poster describes him as warlord in a Funmobile

http://www.autobild.de/bilder/guidomobil-und-dienstwagen-984054.html

BTW, did you read the licence tag of the mobile

This is the level of Bild, which is the prefered site by some commentors on…….

July 28th, 2012, 8:39 am

 

Observer said:

Sorry Majbali I do not hold a grudge against Alawi, I hold a grudge against those that betrayed their own ideology and the Arab cause. It is clear that a significant number of Alawi leaders are deeply sectarian and have been hiding behind a facade of Arab Baath nationalism.
It is also clear that HA is not a resistance movement any longer but has become a purely sectarian political party that is using the resistance card to escape true participatory political discourse.
It is clear that there is an equal fundamental movements that have wrought nothing but hate and destruction on the Arab people, the one being Wahabi Takfiri and the other is Baathist Takfiri both are twins of the same hatred. The Wahabi one is pure Sunni sectarian hiding behind the purity of Islam and the Baathist are pure secular sectarian hiding behind Arab nationalism. In the case of the Arab nationalists they have also been the natural and logical place for minorities afraid of a Sunni majority and in the case of the Alawi is a nice hiding place where you could claim Arab nationalism while you pursue your sectarian agenda.

Now pray tell me after what happened of 40 years of corrupting repressive sectarian policies of the Alawi based Assad clan and clique how are you going to convince the Sunnis and Christians that they will have an equal footing in your new state?

You clearly want to impose a purely secular state by FORCE. You want laws to outlaw any other political discourse. You are as fundamentalist as the most fundamentalist of Wahabis.

Now why do you want a separate state on the coast? If a purely secular state is what you want why not for all of Syria or the ME in its entirety? This is because you are sectarian and you want a state where the Alawi are a majority just as the Maronite leadership was sectarian and wanted to preserve a majority and if not numerical then in power structure.

Once again like all of the minorities that want the Sunnis to be secular while they retain their special religious status.

You can have your Alawi state but you will have to fight for it and you will have to carve out of Syria by force. I do not say this because I wish conflict, I have advocated many times a peaceful separation of entities. But after 40 years of oppression and corruption, the Alawi community is only now distancing itself from the Assad and Co clan. Now you want your mini state, then go ahead and get it. Show me how you will do it and if you want it why not withdraw the Syrian troops now tormenting the population to that coast instead of pounding Damascus and Aleppo and Homs and all other parts of Syria.

It is also clear that you are afraid of the loss of power by the clique, for you rightly predict that there will be retribution and revenge unfortunately. But this is the dilemma that you are in; you are hostage to the murderous regime policies that have trapped the Alawi sect into either Al Assad or we burn Al Balad and this also means if the regime losse the Alawis will be burned as so many of the regime troops have come from the community. In this the regime successe is complete in dividing the country along sectarian lines and instilling fear in you and others like you be they Christian or Alawi. Heck all you have to do is to read ANN and ZOO posts about the doom and gloom of the new Islamist movements in Tunis and Egypt; but of course they are now silent about Libya that did not go their predictions.

Believe you me I think the greatest threat to the purity of Islam is its politicization with the greatest destructive force coming from the rule of Mullahs in Iran and the Sauds and their Wahabi clerics in Arabia. However, I remind you once again that there is no Syrian national identity and there will be no Syrian No Kandahar national identity to replace the sect based thinking. The void created by the failure of Arab nationalism championed by many has been filled with Islamist discourse and now by sectarian discourse.
You clearly on the other hand hold a huge grudge agains the Sunni version of Islam and once again if you want your Alawi based state please be my guest I am perfectly willing to let you and your sect have your state we can sit down and in a civilized way find borders and set relations and exchange ambassadors but if you unilaterally declare this or that part of Syria as your new state without negotiations then you will have to fight for it. This is reality not your wishful thinking. This schizophrenia of telling us that there is huge hatred between the sects and then in the same vein saying that you wish a coastal state of Syria No Kandahar where it is Switzerland on the Mediterrenian it is pure fantasy.

July 28th, 2012, 8:54 am

 

Amjad said:

“The majority of Syrians hated the Alawis way before Hafez al-Assad”

No, you are mistaking run-of-the-mill discrimination with outright persecution. Different groups have throughout history treated others with scorn and distrust, and nothing in the treatment of Alawis during those years has come close to the butchery and genocide of this regime. Get over it dude, even African Americans got over slavery.

“We all grew up together on equal terms”

Oh yes, let me remind you of how “equally” you spoke of those Latakians who demonstrated against Bashar last year. You chauvinistically called them poor, religious and ignorant. The demonstrations of course stopped after the tanks were sent in and the Syrian navy shelled those neighborhoods. Nice equality.

July 28th, 2012, 9:12 am

 

habib said:

Aron Lund seems to overlook the fact that the Syrian have obviously let the Kurds control the Turkish border to embarrass Turkey.

If the Turks or FSA attack these Kurds, which is inevitable, the Kurds will side with the Syrian government. Don’t forget the PKK-Syria relations before Syria became friends with Turkey, the eternal backstabber.

In other news, what happened to the fall of Damascus and Aleppo? Seems like the FSA was utterly defeated, lool. Now they have so few men that they must import even more Pakistanis and Gulfies, which I’m sure will delight the West.

79. Amjad

Go and read some history books, dude.

July 28th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

Expatriate said:

all in all, Aleppo has not been a revolting city, and the only explanation for the rebels statement that they are “liberating” Aleppo would naturally be that they are planning to liberate it from its own people.
War on the ground, war in the media space, part 2: Who is fighting who in Aleppo today?

http://www.syria-tribune.com/e/index.php/by-syria-tribune/31-aleppo-battle

Liberating a non-revolting city from its own people
Over the past 16 months, Aleppo has proven to be loyal to the Syrian government. Analysts from all over the world have been trying to explain how Aleppo did not join the revolt against Assad, citing different economical, ethnic, and political reasons. Foreign Policy, in this article, tried to reassure readers that Aleppo will be joining the revolt, despite its silence so far. But that was on February 21st, 5 months ago, and we still have not seen the sizable demonstrations the editor talked about. Aleppo has even been mocked by the Syrian opposition, with a banner once reading “Aleppo wouldn’t rise even if it took Viagra.”
Since the beginning of the crisis, Aleppo has failed opposition activists several times. These activists declared June 30, 2011 The “Aleppo Volcano Thursday”, promising they would occupy main squares in the city with protesters. This did not happen, despite getting many activists from other cities to travel to Aleppo that Thursday. Attempts to get Aleppo involved continued, using the city’s university student sometimes, and neighboring countryside areas some other times, but never succeeding in gathering sizable demonstrations, even when they succeeded in organizing onesinside the city itself.
On the other hand, pro-government activists managed to gather huge marches in the city’s main square, Saadallah Al Jaberi, several times. Take a look here, and here (please slide to 0:40) for example.
This situation caused Aleppo to be targeted by the opposition. In this video, the opposition’s prominent sheikh Adnan Al Arour threatens businessmen who “support Shabiha”, i.e., refuse to join the opposition, and he specifies Aleppo in particular. These threats were taken seriously by the opposition rebels, and a few businessmen were assassinated in Aleppo, such as Haytham Khankan (SFA claiming responsibility in this report by Ilaf), and Mahmoud Ramadan, whose death caused a lot of confusion, after SFA claimed responsibility on their Facebook page, then denied. Moreover, The Syrian Grand Mufti, who is originally from Aleppo, was punished for not defecting by the murder of his son, Sarya Hassoun.
So all in all, Aleppo has not been a revolting city, and the only explanation for the rebels statement that they are “liberating” Aleppo would naturally be that they are planning to liberate it from its own people.
Who is the Syrian army fighting in Aleppo today?
Islamic rebel groups
In this video, rebels who attacked the Syria-Turkey border crossing in Baba Al Hawa are declaring their victory under Al Qaeda flag.
This video shows Altawheed Brigade (Unity Brigade), which includes fighters from different groups united under one leadership. Islamic banners are abundant in this video.
Smaller groups can be seen in the following videos here, here, here,here, and here. All with Islamic names and using Islamic language to announce their formation.
Moreover, some opposition Sheikhs have been exploiting Friday prayers to incite violence against the Syrian troops, such as this Sheikh, who did his Friday speech with his gun, calling for Jihad. Not only that, but Sheikhs who refused to join the opposition are being punished, and Sheikh Abdul Lateef Al Shami, a known friend of Syria’s Grand Mufti, who was abducted from the mosque during Al Taraweeh prayers and killed, is not the only example.

July 28th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

irritated said:

81. Expatriate

It’s not ‘liberating’ , it is punishing by destructing.

For the opposition, Aleppo is the main enemy of the opposition, a traitor and the economical lung of Syria: therefore it must be brought to its knees.

July 28th, 2012, 10:27 am

 
 
 

irritated said:

64. Syrialover

Don’t overjoy about Iran’s economical crisis. Look what is happening in Spain, Italy and there are no sanctions on them, and they are not prevented from selling their goods and everybody loves them
Iran will rebound, don’t worry, or rather worry..

July 28th, 2012, 10:37 am

 

zoo said:

Is a tactical retreat too late?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19025982

But the truth is they are outgunned and outmanned.

A regular trickle of trucks and cars packed with civilians has been leaving from Salah el-Din and other areas.
..
It is very hard not to conclude that the firepower they face is so overwhelming and Aleppo so important for President Assad’s government that resisting will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

From the perspective of military tactics, perhaps the rebels decided to strike too soon in Aleppo before they had the kinds of armaments needed to be able to resist the inevtiable counter-offensive.

Having to leave Aleppo would be a setback for the rebels, but they will regroup in the countryside, where they have been skirmishing with the government for months.

July 28th, 2012, 10:41 am

 

zoo said:

The USA ambassador in Russia: Subtle changes of tone.
No Bashar “in a few years’ time” but a dialog and same regime?

Michael Mcfaul: Assad’s fall is a foregone conclusion
July 27, 2012
Interfax

http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/07/27/us_diplomat_assads_fall_foregone_conclusion_16778.html

McFaul said no one in the United States believes Assad will still be in rule in a few years’ time.
….
The ambassador also said the U.S. is not against ordinary Syrians who support Assad. It is the U.S. principle that there must be an evolutionary process based on talks to result in the creation of political institutions that are in line with the people’s interests. It is a matter of rules of the game, and not winners or losers that the U.S. supports, McFaul summed up.

The U.S. does not want Syria to experience the kind of collapse that Iraq or Somalia have suffered, the diplomat said. He said his country shared the Russian government’s goal of helping avoid the collapse of the Syrian state. In rejecting criticism of the U.S. involvement is Syrian affairs, McFaul said the U.S. cannot turn a blind eye to daily killings of innocent people by the regime. He said tens of thousands of people had been slained by government forces.

It would be inhumane of the U.S. to distance itself from this, and, moreover, the U.S. believes that the longer bloodshed lasts the more likely it is that it will result in the collapse of the state and in power going over to extremists, McFaul said. The Great French Revolution of the 18th century and the Russian Bolshevik revolution of 1917 are evidence of this, he said.

July 28th, 2012, 10:53 am

 

irritated said:

@53. omen

Ambassador Ford’s Address to the Syrian People

A new prophet is born: His sanctity ex-ambassador Ford
No more regime change but a “peaceful transition” to a pro-US government?
So why is he not telling his allies Qatar and KSA to stop sending weapons in a quantity not enough to win but enough to be killed and kill Syrians?

Who is fooling with his prophetic and “emotional” words? Who can believe this display of false compassion and corny idealism?
Maybe another prophetess : Hillary…

July 28th, 2012, 11:25 am

 

zoo said:

Observer

ZOO posts about the doom and gloom of the new Islamist movements in Tunis and Egypt; but of course they are now silent about Libya that did not go their predictions.

It’s coming, don’t be too impatient.

July 28th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

Expatriate said:

Juergen your lovly Caricature:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0CGQr0nOAdY/UAul2okdyRI/AAAAAAAACp4/Ay1iNRWsGik/s400/115152_600.jpg
just here :
Syria Under Attack by the Mind Managers: The Dark Satanic Mills of Propaganda
COLOR REVOLUTIONS AND GEOPOLITICS
http://colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.com/
Covering Syria: The Information War
By Aisling Byrne
Originally published in the Asia Times
July 12, 2012
The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.
What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.
The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: “The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad’s ouster” – the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.
But it is a narrative based on distortion, manipulation, lies and videotape.

In the first months, the narrative was of unarmed protesters being shot by Syrian forces. This then evolved into one of armed insurgents reluctantly “being provoked into taking up arms”, as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton explained, to defend peaceful protesters.

It was also a narrative that from the outset, according to a recent report in Time magazine, that the US has facilitated by providing training, support and equipment to Syrian opposition “cyber-warriors”.
Reports confirmed by leading Syrian opposition leaders in April 2011 reveal that in addition to cyber-training, weapons and money from Syrian exiles, as well as from a “major Arab Gulf country” and a Lebanese political party, were being distributed to “young demonstrators”. The former head of Russian intelligence, Yevgeny Primakov, similarly noted that the Syrian conflict “started with armed revolts against the authorities, not peaceful demonstrations”.

Ironically, one of the most accurate descriptions of the sectarian conflict we are witnessing in Syria comes from an assessment by the neoconservative Brookings Institute in its March 2012 report “Assessing Options for Regime Change in Syria”, one option being for “the United States [to] fight a “clean” war … and leave the dirty work on the ground to the FSA [Free Syrian Army], perhaps even obviating a massive commitment to Iraq-style nation-building”.

“Let the Arabs do it,” echoed Israeli President Shimon Peres. “Do it yourself and the UN will support you.” This point was not lost on one leading Turkish commentator, who noted that US Senator John McCain “said that there would be no American boots on the ground in Syria. That means we Turks will have to spill our precious blood to get what McCain and others want in the States.”

In the wake of the failures at state-building in Afghanistan and Iraq, direct intervention, with all the responsibilities this would entail, would not go down well in cash-strapped Western nations. Better to get others to do the “dirty work” – pursue “regime change by civil war”.
“The United States, Europe and the Gulf states … are starving the regime in Damascus and feeding the opposition. They have sanctioned Syria … and are busy shoveling money and helping arms supplied by the Gulf get to the rebels,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in Foreign Policy in June.
../../..
With regional allies prepared to do the “dirty work” of providing increasingly sophisticated weapons clearly geared for purposes other than “self-defense”, and the FSA and its jihadist allies doing the “dirty work” within Syria (their salaries paid by Saudi Arabia), the US and European nations can proffer their clean hands by limiting support to communications equipment, intelligence and humanitarian aid, and of course to providing the moral posturing required to topple the Syrian system and implant a regime hostile to Iran and friendly to Israel. Having “clean hands” enables the US, France and Britain to pose as abiding by UN standards, while at the same time flouting the UN Charter by promoting an attack on a member state.
../../..
A critical piece in the British press by Peter Oborne, The Daily Telegraph’s chief political correspondent, was an exception: “Washington never ceases to complain about the connection between the Pakistani intelligence services and the Taliban. But we never hear a whisper of concern about the connection between Saudi intelligence and Salafi movements across the Middle East, of which al-Qaeda is the best-known offshoot.”
../../..
As Al-Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen, who spent some months embedded with the Free Syria Army, explained: “Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation of the cause of the deaths. Many … reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described … as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes.”
../../..
What we are witnessing is a new generation of warfare – an information war where, by using what is in effect propaganda, the aim is to construct a consensual consciousness to provide overwhelming public support for regime change.
../../..

July 28th, 2012, 11:34 am

 

Amjad said:

“It’s coming, don’t be too impatient.”

Believe me, after waiting for eons for your president to retaliate against countless Israeli attacks, after waiting for him and his wife to show up at just one funeral, after waiting for him to address the country just once, the Syrian people have become the most patient ever. But even the Syrian people have their limits, and it took someone of Bashar’s now legendary ineptitude to stretch even those limits.

@Elian

Usual Islamophobia from someone too chicken to post under his usual name. Antoine Saadi was the biggest political loser in a country full of political losers.

July 28th, 2012, 11:37 am

 

Elian said:

Elian,

I deleted a paragraph attacking and distorting religious beliefs. Attacking any religious belief is not acceptable. SC moderator.
——-

Forget about The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is what the GCC are paying to accomplish through the Arab spring, my only remorse that some of the Syrian Muslims Sunni, reject this in total and don’t agree with the radical salifits, the only problem that this modern Muslim are being swallowed by the radicals exactly what happened in Egypt and the MB won the election!

(deleted for attack on religion)

1- Jihad defined as “to war against all non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.
2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.
3- The head of an Islamic State (Caliph) cannot be charged, let alone be punished for serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape (Hudood cases) – Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 # 914C of and page 188 of Hedaya the Hanafi manual.
4- A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.
5- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.
6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.
8- A Muslim who leaves Islam (apostate) must be killed immediately.
9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of : a) an apostasy b) an adulterer c) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.
10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.
11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. Slavery still exists amongst Arab Muslims.
12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, for sins like killing, adultery, prostitutions; and other Quranic corporal punishments like: amputation of limbs (chopping hands and feet), floggings, beatings and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for the sins like: stealing, sexual promiscuity, robbery, burglary etc.
13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia (pay Zizzya: poll tax) if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their own religious scriptures, or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.
14- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, Muslims can curse, criticize or say anything derogatory they like to the religions of others.
15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.
16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.
17- No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.
18- A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.
19- Homosexuality is punishable by death.
20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.
21- Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.
22- Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.
23- There is no common property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.
24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits. Sister gets half of what brother gets.
25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and wife has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.
26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.
27- A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and also with women captured in battle (concubines), and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.
28- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man; that is, two women equal to one man.
29- A woman looses custody if she remarries.
30- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.
31- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.
32- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”
33-It is obligatory for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is obligatory and is known as Taqiyya (Islamic Deception). That means that for the sake of abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as jihad, a Muslim is obliged to lie and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this kind of lying.
The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life.
34. The perpetrators of genocide, mass rape and plunder will not be punished if they repent – Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 # 13.
35. To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses. Women’s testimony is not accepted – Pakistan’s Hudood ordnance 7 of 1979 amended by 8B of 1980. Thousands of raped women and girls in many countries have been charged with Zena (physical relations outside marriage) and punished by Sharia courts for want of witnesses.
36. All modern music including sexually explicit music of any kind is strictly prohibited and punishable by Islamic Sharia code of justice. Only Islamic songs are allowed.
The above are the most important parts of Islamic Sharia law which were devoutly practiced by the early Islamic rulers (Holy Prophet and his four rightly guided Caliphs) and also by the Caliphs of Ummyad and Abbasid Dynasties ruled from Baghdad (Today’s Iraq) and later by Ottoman Empire with very little variations.

July 28th, 2012, 11:38 am

 

Elian said:

until there is an Arabic society which rejects what i just posted, it is very difficult to have a democracy in the arab world and the arab srping, is an act or at least is hijacked by the CIA and its allies until proven otherwise, probably we won’t know the secrets details for decades to come even if we are not alive by then but the for sure fact that the Arabic society is not ready to accept all as equals in rights and values, it is the main reason why the radical Muslim found safe haven in the west, which they are trying to destroy since they arrived.
Pat Buchanan’s book ” death of the west” explain this theory in details.

July 28th, 2012, 11:40 am

 

zoo said:

64. Syrialover said:

You posted this article about Iran. When you know who is the author, you’d add a box of salt.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443437504577546900721442644.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The author Emanuele Ottolenghi is a notable Zionist

“He has taught at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
He earned a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Bologna.”

Read this article from same author that shows exactly what he stands for:

Anti-Zionism is anti-semitism

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/29/comment

Behind much criticism of Israel is a thinly veiled hatred of Jews
Emanuele Ottolenghi

July 28th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

The majority of Syrians hated the Alawis way before Hafez al-Assad. The majority of the “Syrians” hated the Alawis even when the Alawis did not have one single person in the government.
__________________________________________________________________

That is a total B.S., that is what the Alawi Sheikh with the LAFFEH on his head used to brainwash poor Alawites to keep them under submission to his mini kingdom. Syrians never been sectarian, FITNA always instigated by foreigners and always directed at the gullible poor and uneducated parts of society. Even openly Devil Worshipping YAZIDI never hated and treated equally.

July 28th, 2012, 11:43 am

 

Elian said:

SC moderator.
what you deleted from my post, is not my writing or ideas, or concepts, it is history facts, recorded by many.
If you don’t agree with it, or you feel it is an attack on religion, it is still a freedom of speech issue, I posted historic facts not opinion.
Thanks for moderation.

July 28th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

From what I see on YT, the ‘Grand Battle’ on Haleb that the junta promised us, is not grand. The rebels have the initiative and the enthusiasm, and the loyalists (what is left of the Arab Syrian army) are hesitant and disorganized.

The moral is very high among the rebels, and rocks the bottom within the loyalists camp.
Their days are numbered.
.

July 28th, 2012, 11:50 am

 

Expatriate said:

مكفول!!!! مهندس الثورات الملونة
McFaul on ‘color revolutions’: ‘US used to do it’
http://rt.com/politics/us-revolution-russia-opposition-752/

July 28th, 2012, 11:50 am

 

zoo said:

Erdogan and Ban Ki moon “serious and decisive” actions

“We must do what we can together in the United Nations Security Council, and also in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, to make sure that we can make some important progress in trying to avert this appalling situation,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Damascus not to press ahead with its attack.

“I’m seriously concerned by the escalating violence in Aleppo,” Ban said. “I urge the Syrian government to halt the offensive.”

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-rebels-brace-decisive-battle-aleppo-043606793.html

July 28th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
__________________________________________________________________

Well… That takes most Saudi’s out of the running. For sure BANDAR is of slave stock. Maybe that is why he is fighting with ALCIDA to gain powers over Arabia in the end, NATO/Zionists, rather than Moslems, will give him the Arabian Khalifa position. Most these Islamists fighters trained and used from Iraq to Libya to Syria are obedient to him, and he will eventually use them to control Arabia and remove the Saud’s to the Potomac. Sort of like the Mamluk’s did in Egypt.

July 28th, 2012, 11:54 am

 

irritated said:

57. Syrialover said:

Am I right to assume that you believe there never can be, never will be, and never should be anyone other than the Assads capable of “leading” Syria.

Am I right to assume that you think the Manaf Tlass or Sayda or Ghaliun or Ryad Al Assaad, or Nawaf Al Fares or George Sabra are capable of “leading” Syria?

If not, please present me a candidate.

July 28th, 2012, 11:57 am

 

irritated said:

59. Syrialover

You seem increasingly worried about the “After-Bashar” ….
Well, it was time.

July 28th, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Ghalioun or George can do much better job and are much better candidates than the blue-eyed Batta.

July 28th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

zoo said:

Syrian forces move to retake Aleppo
Associated PressBy PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – 26 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-forces-move-retake-aleppo-141522367.html

If the rebels in Aleppo really try to make a stand against the regime, however, they risk being annihilated by superior firepower and may yet decide to withdraw to preserve their forces as what happened in Damascus last week.

July 28th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

Ghufran said:

قال قائد القوات البحرية الروسية فيكتور شيركوف، يوم السبت، إن بلاده يمكن أن تسحب القوات الروسية العاملة في قاعدة طرطوس البحرية “في حال انتقال الاشتباكات إليها”، لكنه أوضح أن القرار النهائي يتخذه القائد العام الأعلى للقوات المسلحة والقيادة السياسية للبلاد.
This is an invitation,or may be a trap,for armed rebels to attack the navy base. Russia seems to be providing cover for Assad to attack armed rebels in return for future political concessions,many were wrong about when the regime will fall,but I find it very difficult to see the regime staying in its current form beyond 2012. One poster predicted that eliminating Assad will finish the regime,I doubt that,the regime will produce another figure to continue the fight but most people now see Assad family as an obstacle to reaching a solution,other obstacles include armed Islamists and the GCC., Iran wants a continuation of the regime with or without Assad, I think that good relations with Iran is still in Syria’s best interest but not Bashar’s way,Syria should be in the middle,a friend but not a puppet.

July 28th, 2012, 12:10 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Zoo,
The rebels can not withdraw,if the new defense minister has it his way,those rebels will either be killed or captured,if the regime loses Aleppo,it will lose other cities and collapse in a way that puts millions of people’s lives in danger,sending rebels in the thousands to Aleppo was dumb and shortsighted unless the rebels know something we do not know.
Anyway,I stand by my initial prediction that the battle of Aleppo if allowed to go on,I think it will,will be worse than Damascus for the rebels in terms of casualties and moral.

July 28th, 2012, 12:16 pm

 

irritated said:

Is Saudi Arabia trying to synchronize the UN assembly meeting they called for with the ‘looming massacre’ in Aleppo?

Maybe that’s what the rebels are counting on.

July 28th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

habib said:

100. Amir in Tel Aviv

Here we have the Zionist cheerleading again, lol. Didn’t you say exactly the same thing when Damascus was invaded by Salafists? What happened there?

When do you people learn that unfounded hyperbole damages your credibility and cause?

July 28th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

zoo said:

109. Ghufran said:

The rebels can not withdraw,if the new defense minister has it his way
I agree, it don’t think that once they take hold of them, the Syrian army will give them any chance to withdraw and regroup like they did in Baba Amr.

July 28th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey’s ill fated Syria policy has opened the Kurds’ Pandora’s box

Hitting PKK in Syria ‘dangerous for Turkey’
By Nicolas Cheviron | AFP – 1 hr 28 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/hitting-pkk-syria-dangerous-turkey-151526919.html

Turkey this week cranked up its already-heated rhetoric against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, saying it would not hesitate to go after PKK fighters, just as it has in northern Iraq.

Analysts warn such a move would be dangerous for Turkey and further complicate Syria’s deadly conflict and the volatile regional situation.

“If you implement a hot pursuit against the PKK militias in northern Syria, the government in Syria will react very differently from the Iraqi government,” Osman Bahadir Dincer of the Ankara-based USAK thinktank said.

July 28th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

A couple of responses to Tariq Ali’s recent comments on Syria.

A comment sharing one response disappeared into moderation yesterday. The comment has appeared now. In case you missed the Socialist Worker article please see #48.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=15541&cp=all#comment-320843

************************

Another response:

Response to Tareq Ali: What is Really happening in Syria?
July 18, 2012

[Selected quote]

As these words came out from an important figure of the International left, it is necessary to answer and contradict them and for others also on the left to show that this is not an opinion shared by all comrades. This is why I will deconstruct the interview of Tareq Ali and demonstrates not only his wrong analysis and information on the Syrian revolution but his elitism as well.

http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/response-to-tareq-ali-what-is-really-happening-in-syria/

July 28th, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Tara,
The era of dictators in the Arab World is coming to an end,the last countries to join will be the GCC and that can take long years because those countries are servants of the west and they have oil.
Bashar was a terrible leader,he was appointed not elected,he disappointed those who had hopes that he will change the nature of the regime, it was a huge mistake by the Generals and Makhloufs to install him as a king in what is supposed to be a republic,some of you ignore the fact that Bashar is the worst thing that happens to his sect in the last 50 years and beyond. Any elected president will be better than Bashar as long as he or she is bound by a modern set of laws and is subjected to checks and balances to avoid a repeat of Assad dictatorship.

July 28th, 2012, 12:51 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

There have been a couple of responses to Tariq Ali’s recent comments.

I shared one yesterday which went into moderation. It’s at #48 in case you missed it. Another response:

Response to Tareq Ali: What is Really happening in Syria?
July 18, 2012

[Selected quote]

As these words came out from an important figure of the International left, it is necessary to answer and contradict them and for others also on the left to show that this is not an opinion shared by all comrades. This is why I will deconstruct the interview of Tareq Ali and demonstrates not only his wrong analysis and information on the Syrian revolution but his elitism as well.

http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/response-to-tareq-ali-what-is-really-happening-in-syria/

July 28th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

zoo said:

Firestorm hits rebel-held Salaheddin in Aleppo, Syria

Updated Sunday, July 29,
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/international/middle-east/2012/07/29/349191/Firestorm-hits.htm

ALEPPO, Syria — Dawn in the Salaheddin district of Syria’s second city Aleppo brought a firestorm with four buildings quickly set ablaze as rebels and foreign fighters battled a long-anticipated army offensive.

The opposition fighting against regime forces includes both Syrian rebels and foreign fighters, who said they belonged to the Liwa al-Tawhid al-Mujahedeen (United Mujahedeen Brigade).

The foreigners told AFP they hailed from Chechnya, Algeria, Sweden and France. When the correspondent was about to pass the phone to a French fighter, the line went dead.

Women and children have been evacuating the Salaheddin area since Friday, seeking refuge in other areas of the city. Those residents who have opted to stay behind have sought refuge in the basements of houses.

According to the AFP correspondent, there is no electricity and water in the city, and food stocks are so low that it is nearly impossible to find bread supplies.

“There are thousands of people in the streets fleeing the bombardment. They’re being terrorized by helicopter gunships flying at low altitude,” said one activist who identified himself as Amer.

“There’s a large number of civilians who have taken refuge in public parks in safer areas, but most took refuge in schools,” he told AFP via Skype.

“They cannot get out of town and there is no safe place left for them in Syria,” he added.

Until recently, both Aleppo and the capital Damascus had been considered to be relative safe havens.

A Syrian security source told AFP: “Hotspots have been completely blocked off to stop the terrorists from escaping,” the term the regime uses when it refers to the rebels.

July 28th, 2012, 12:58 pm

 

zoo said:

Russia: NIET to new European sanctions on Syria

Russia refuses to comply with ship inspections over Syria
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russia-refuses-to-comply-with-ship-inspections-over-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26558&NewsCatID=353

Russia said Saturday it would not cooperate with a new round of European Union sanctions against Syria and would not consent to inspections of ships flying the Russian flag.

“We do not plan to take any part in measures carrying out European Union decisions directed against Syria,” foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Among other things we will not consider requests and give consent to the search of ships sailing under the Russian flag, nor to the use of other restrictive measures,” said the statement posted on the ministry’s website.

July 28th, 2012, 1:12 pm

 

irritated said:

I suggest a candidate for Syria’s presidency : Rami Abdel Rahman

His name has appeared more than a million times in the media, he is a celebrity and a serious “revolutionary”.
http://previous.presstv.ir/photo/20120225/rasouli_amir20120225082748863.jpg

July 28th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#104 Irritated

You asked me to select a candidate who would do more competent leadership job than Bashar Assad. Right?

Very easy.

ANY of those opposition people you list would be a 1000%+ improvement on Syrian-people-hater Bashar Assad.

In fact, Mickey Mouse would be a massive improvement on Assad. Seriously.

July 28th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

zoo said:

The Realist Prism: Specter of WMD Changes Debate on Syria Crisis
By Nikolas Gvosdev, on 27 Jul 2012, Column

http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/12206/the-realist-prism-specter-of-wmd-changes-debate-on-syria-crisis

Last week, after the United Nations Security Council again deadlocked on the Syrian issue, calls were heard for Western and Middle Eastern powers to pursue a Kosovo-style intervention that would bypass the council altogether to bring about regime change in Damascus. At the beginning of this week, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry, Jihad Makdissi, declared that while the Syrian government would never unleash its previously unconfirmed stockpiles of chemical weapons to suppress the rebellion, it might use them in the event that “Syria faces external aggression.”

July 28th, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#117 Irritated

Sorry, I missed your nominee Rami Abdel Rahman.

Yep. He too would be an exponential improvement on Bashar Assad.

The problem is, we are talking not just about “personalities” but systems.

I get the impression that you feel what Syria has under the Assads is good and should be preserved at all costs.

Which comes down to the idea that Syrians, unlike other people, don’t deserve anything different.

July 28th, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

zoo said:

Back to the Yemen solution for Syria: Manaf Tlass and Nawaf Al Fares

By Peter Lee

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NG28Ad01.html

The question before the People’s Republic of China (PRC) leadership is how badly it misplayed its hand on Syria. Or did it? Certainly, the solution advocated by Russia and China – a coordinated international initiative to sideline the insurrection in favor of a negotiated political settlement between the Assad regime and its domestic opponents – is a bloody shambles.

As articulated in the Annan plan, it might have been a workable, even desirable option for the Syrian people as well as the Assad regime.

But Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey were determined not to let it happen. And the United States, in another case of the Middle Eastern tail wagging the American dog, has downsized its dreams of liberal-democratic revolution for the reality of regime collapse driven in significant part by domestic thugs and opportunists, money and arms funneled in by conservative Gulf regimes, violent Islamist adventurism, and neo-Ottoman overreach by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

But a funny thing happened last week. The Assad regime didn’t collapse, despite an orchestrated, nation-wide assault (coordinated, we can assume, by the crack strategists of the international anti-Assad coalition): a decapitating terrorist bombing in the national security directorate, near-simultaneous armed uprisings in the main regime strongholds of Damascus and Aleppo, and the seizure of many of Syria’s official border crossings with Iraq and Turkey.

The border adventures revealed some holes in the insurgents’ game, as far as showing their ability to operate independently outside of their strongholds to hold territory, and in the vital area of image management.

July 28th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

irritated said:

Syria Lover

I get the impression that you feel what Syria has under the Assads is good and should be preserved at all costs.

I got the impression that you feel that Syria without Bashar is good and should be encouraged at all costs.
Or maybe you are still a bit worried about the costs and trying to reassure yourself that it will be easy and smooth?
Let me have some strong doubts about that.
The easiest is a dialog with the regime for a reasonable transition to more democracy. Now that the opposition is getting in an increasingly weaker position politically and military, they may realize they have no other choices than to accept the Russian and Annan proposition of a dialog supervised by the UN.

July 28th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Syrian TV presenter defects, says Assad trying to provoke sectarianism

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Syrian TV presenter has quit her post in the state TV refusing to serve the regime of President Bashar al-Assad which she described as trying to “awaken the monster of sectarianism.”

Ola Abbas read out a statement in a video aired by Al Arabiya TV saying that for about 40 years the Syrian regime has denied people their full citizenship rights and refused to allow the country to transition into a democracy.

Read more:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/28/228929.html

July 28th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

ann said:

Russia opposes Syria sanctions: deputy FM – 2012-07-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/28/c_131743795.htm

MOSCOW, July 27 (Xinhua) — Russia said on Friday that it’s unacceptable to impose sanctions against Syria, and questioned the idea of raising the issue in the UN General Assembly.

“We know that a group of Arab countries has drafted a resolution which, in particular, called for imposing sanctions on Damascus. It is incorrect to raise this issue at the General Assembly, because it is the UN Security Council that deals with problems of sanctions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters here.

Several Arab nations on Wednesday announced plans to turn to the UN General Assembly to seek approval of a resolution calling for a “political transition” and the establishment of a ” democratic government” in Syria, as members of the UN Security Council have failed to reach consensus on the issue.

Russia considers the move unacceptable and the proposed draft document as a whole “visibly unbalanced,” Gatilov said.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that the draft prompts the UN member states to impose sanctions similar to those the Arab League has imposed on Syria in November 2011,” said the senior diplomat. “We believe that debates on this issue and the adoption of such a resolution can only complicate attempts to achieve stabilization in the situation in Syria.”

July 28th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

ann said:

Aleppo blame game: Conflicting reports from the ground in Syria – 28 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-rebels-government-forces-assad-305/

Syria’s main commercial hub, Aleppo, was rocked with violent clashes overnight, but there are conflicting reports as to who was responsible for the fighting. Mainstream media is siding with the rebels, while witnesses say the rebels are to blame.

­Mainstream media outlets report the Syrian regime is gearing for a “massacre,” as it launches deadly ground and air attacks on rebels.

According to AP, military helicopters pounded the city early Saturday morning, in an effort to clear the area of anti-Assad forces once and for all.

“Helicopters are participating in clashes at the entrance of Salaheddine district and bombarding it. There are also violent clashes at the entrances to Sakhour district,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters.

But others say the clashes began after rebels attacked government buildings in the area.

Sarkis Kassargian, a reporter for Al-Khabar TV, told RT,“Last night, rebels attacked government buildings and police and intelligence centers in Aleppo. But they didn’t succeed to control any of those places. Attacks and clashes then occurred, but the Syrian army was acting in defense.”

But Kassargian says those deaths were due to the rebels’ own actions.

“Any deaths that took place would have been a result of the rebels’ attacking government buildings in the region,” says Kassargian.

It is a far cry from mainstream media reports, which say government troops attacked rebel forces without provocation.

He says rebel forces have now taken control of the neighborhoods of Al Hadi and Al Saher.

While mainstream media reports that residents of Aleppo are fleeing the city in droves, RT’s source maintains this is not the case.

“Right now, there is no movement from government forces. Some families and residents in Aleppo are leaving the city, but most people are just moving to safer areas within the area, such as a local school and university. The Red Cross is standing by to help those seeking shelter,” Kassargian said.

Aleppo is seen as a key city in the rebels’ fight against Assad’s forces.

The city is Syria’s economic hub, and both sides feel they need it to win the fight. All eyes are seemingly on Aleppo, as rebels and forces loyal to Assad struggle to gain the upper hand.

Aleppo sits on the border with Turkey – a country which has shown recent support for Syrian rebels.

With the help of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Turkey recently set up a secret anti-Assad base in Adana, 100km from the border.

The base devises tactics and supplies weapons for the uprising, according to Reuters.

But Turkey is not the only country taking an interest in the fight against Bashar al-Assad, which concerns the Kremlin.

Russia has warned of a “tragedy” in Aleppo, saying international support for the rebels would lead to “more blood.”

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

ann said:

Russia won’t comply with anti-Syrian sanctions, vessel inspections – 28 July, 2012

“Unfortunately, our Western partners prefer to do different things. In fact, together with some of Syria’s neighboring countries, they encourage, support and direct an armed struggle against the regime. The price of all this is more blood” – Lavrov

http://rt.com/politics/russia-vessels-search-sanctions-syria-302/

Russia says it will not cooperate with new EU sanctions which allow searching all vessels suspected of delivering weapons to Syria. Moscow warned it will not consent to inspections of ships traveling under its flag.

­”We will not consider requests and give consent to the search of ships sailing under the Russian flag, nor to the use of other restrictive measures,” the statement released by Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday reads.

The comment by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich comes in response to the EU’s new round of sanction against Syria, which took place on July 23.

On Monday, foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc agreed to tighten arms embargo by inspecting vessels and planes suspected of carrying arms and broaden the list of Syrian officials banned from EU. The diplomats all agreed to freeze bank accounts and assets of 26 Syrians and three firms close to the Assad regime. Previously the list included 129 people and 49 entities.

Russia underlines it considers the implementation of sanctions violate Syria’s sovereignty and the principle of noninterference in internal affairs.

Russia’s resistance to new requirements comes a month after the the Alaed cargo vessel, under a Curacao flag, was stopped in UK waters under suspicion that it was carrying Russia-made helicopters to Syria. Washington requested to search the ship, but was refused. The Alaed was forced to turn back when the British insurer canceled its coverage. The vessel returned to Russia and swapped its flag for a Russian one.

Russia argued that the Mi-25 helicopters already belonged to Syria and were only returned to Russia for upgrades under a 2008 contract signed long before the fighting began and thus it was only carrying out its obligations.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the situation in Aleppo, which has been under fire since last week, is only heating up. He believes that a “new tragedy” in the area is possible soon.

Lavrov said that it is “unrealistic” that the government will accept the situation and step down when “well-armed opposition forces take cities” and does not hide the fact that they plan to launch a transitional government.

July 28th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

bronco said:

With the uncovering of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey military collusion against the regular army of Syria as well as the involvement of Al Qaeeda, the CIA and the Mossad in undercover operations in Syria, I would be curious to know how has the Arabic public opinion evolved toward Bashar Al Assad’s regime
Any polls conducted?

July 28th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

irritated said:

123. Uzair8

A good time to get a better paid job

July 28th, 2012, 2:08 pm

 

ann said:

Replacing government 101: Syrian rebels learn democracy in Germany – 28 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/government-rebels-training-us-301/

A group of top Syrian opposition figures took courses in governing a country in Berlin. The training, partially sponsored by the US State Department, is meant to come in handy after the Bashar al-Assad regime falls.

­The group consisted of over 40 individuals, including Syrian defector generals and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They learned economics, law, security practices and other areas of governance, which would be needed in the transition period.

“We created a framework that basically made it possible for Syrian participants to focus on the kinds of challenges that would emerge in the course of a transition in each of those issue areas,” Senior adviser at the US Institute of Peace, Steven Heydemann told ABC explaining the program.

Part of the training involved a visit to the German authority responsible for the files of Stasi, according to a Haareеtz report. The Soviet-era secret police was dismantled and several of its officials prosecuted after the reunification of the country. The experience may be useful for the Syrian rebels, should they be required to decide how to deal with the numerous secret service organizations currently existing in Syria.

Neither the American nor the German government was directly involved in the secret program called “The Day Thereafter: support for a democratic transition in Syria”. Germany, however, was being kept informed and provided logistical support, while the Americans partially funded the training via the State Department.

Other backers of the program are the US Institute of Peace, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, as well as the Swiss Foreign Ministry and Dutch and Norwegian non-governmental organizations.

[…]

July 28th, 2012, 2:21 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Irritated said: “I got the impression that you feel that Syria without Bashar is good and should be encouraged at all costs.”

You are playing games outside reality.

It is inevitable and there can be no turning back.

Bashar Assad brought it to this and established the costs. He made it impossible in every way at every stage for an alternative or any serious attempt at negotiations. It was never going to happen. His “dialogue” is burning the country.

If we put aside all the delusionary and nonsensical (and coolly lying) claims that he could “reform” and “lead” Syria without state terrorism and dictatorship, there is this inconvenient bottom line:

Syrian-people-hater Assad idiotically and egotistically tried to deliver Syria to Iran, and really stuffed it up.

And it looks like Iran and Hezbollah are going to lose with him and pay a lot for letting little Bashar excitedly climb into bed with them and play at being a Big Boy.

Which would be the one useful thing Assad did for the world, albeit it’s the opposite of what he intended.

July 28th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

zoo said:

With his amateurish actions, a bet is open of how long Mursi will survive as the first democratically elected Egyptian president

Egypt’s president faces backlash from allies
By MAGGIE MICHAEL | Associated Press – 1 hr 57

CAIRO (AP) — An alliance of pro-democracy advocates on Saturday criticized Egypt’s new Islamist president for unilaterally choosing a prime minister with no track record, while leading without transparency and alienating political groups with liberal leanings.

July 28th, 2012, 2:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Bronco #126 said:

“I would be curious to know how has the Arabic public opinion evolved toward Bashar Al Assad’s regime”

Would you really? Honestly?

I suspect it would be disappointingly different from yours.

I think your focus on “the uncovering of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey military collusion against the regular army of Syria” is very small stuff compared with the Iranian, Hezbollah and Russian conspiracy against the people of Syria.

(Regular army of Syria = an army stripped of its honor, internally terrorized, and debased into serving as the tool of a homicidal dictatorship against the people of Syria).

July 28th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Uzair8
(Syrian TV presenter defects, says Assad trying to provoke sectarianism

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Syrian TV presenter has quit her post in the state TV refusing to serve the regime of President Bashar al-Assad which she described as trying to “awaken the monster of sectarianism.”

Ola Abbas read out a statement in a video aired by Al Arabiya TV saying that for about 40 years the Syrian regime has denied people their full citizenship rights and refused to allow the country to transition into a democracy.)

Oh so its now Assad whose trying to provoke sectarianism? really? i highly doubt that claim

(Ola Abbas read out a statement in a video aired by Al Arabiya TV saying that for about 40 years the Syrian regime has denied people their full citizenship rights and refused to allow the country to transition into a democracy)

Funny he claimed that on Al Arabiya TV a news network owned by the Saudi government and regime
which has has denied people their full citizenship rights and refused to allow the country to transition into a democracy)

For more then an 100 years, what kind of hypocrisy eh?

July 28th, 2012, 2:57 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I heard a Russian dignitary on the BBC saying they wanted fighting in Aleppo to stop because there were “thousands of Russian citizens” there.

Oh dear. How awful. Why didn’t Putin think about that before.

Chillingly, he’s also showing that the fate of millions of Syrians apparently isn’t the issue for Russia.

But we know the truth: the welfare of Russia’s citizens at home is no more important to its “leaders” than Syrians are to Bashar Assad.

July 28th, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Sorry Irritated, my latest response to you has disappeared into a black hole. Wait for the moderator to rescue and restore it.

July 28th, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Syrian rebels burn comrades’ bodies in Aleppo to hide nationalities
http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/07/28/253144/syrian-rebels-burn-comrades-bodies/

Rebels fighting against the Syrian government forces in the northwestern city of Aleppo have burned the bodies of their comrades to hide their nationalities, Press TV reports.

The report comes as clashes between army forces and armed gangs rage on in several regions in Syria.

Signs of torture can be seen on bodies found in areas held by the armed rebels, Syrian sources say.

July 28th, 2012, 4:03 pm

 

Expatriate said:

The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the United Kingdom promises to increase its support for the armed gangs fighting the Syrian government.

Interview with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur_-Mt5Be9E
US-backed gangs doomed to fail in Syria: Webster Tarpley

July 28th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

omen said:

61. MINA said: Was there a press conference? Did anyone ask Ford “and if it doesn’t work, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you have a B plan?”

he didn’t call for occupation.

why the pretense? no plan will be good enough for loyalists. they want perfection and guarantees that are impossible to promise or deliver. just admit you want the regime to remain no matter the number of people it kills.

p.s. maybe i overgeneralized on the last part. is there a ceiling loyalists are waiting to hit? how many slaughtered people are too much? 30k? 50k? 100k? give me number.

July 28th, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

Expatriate said:

../../..
The US Code calls “international terrorism” activities involving:

(A) “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;”

(B) are intended to –

(i) “intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States?.”

All definitions reflect longstanding US policy. Blood lust defines it. Serial killing, mass destruction, and unspeakable human misery reveal it. Media scoundrels suppress it.

At issue is either stopping it or perhaps watching it come to a neighborhood near you. When regional wars become global ones using weapons of mass destruction, safe havens don’t exist.

Bertrand Russell once explained two choices. Either we renounce war and live in peace or end the human race. The bottom line’s that simple.
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2012/07/28/preventing-more-middle-east-wars-tops-al#more22223
Preventing More Middle East Wars Tops All Priorities

July 28th, 2012, 4:21 pm

 

Tara said:

What is the point?

5.19pm: The French press is reporting that recently elected president, Francois Hollande has called on the UN security council to authorise intervention in Syria “as quickly as possible” to stop the country from descending into full blown “civil war”

“The role of the countries of the Security Council is to intervene as quickly as possible,” he said warning that failure to do so would mean “chaos and civil war.”

July 28th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

omen said:

anti-imperialists have it all wrong. they are stuck on the iraq model. in this case, the west has decided not to intervene because it advances the interest of empire to allow genocide:


Bashar Assad
received some advice last month from a Syrian with whom he is acquainted: if he ended his strikes against civilians, the Europeans would be content to let him remain in power for at least two more years – because the west wanted direct oil pipelines from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Jordan and Syria to the Mediterranean in order to end Russia’s stranglehold on Europe’s gas and oil.

some of the loyalists already know the anti imperialist arguments are baseless and don’t apply in this case but exploit such arguments anyways as a useful cudgel in attempt to sway the easily manipulated.

July 28th, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

Halabi said:

The desperation of Bashar al Jaafari’s daughter in trying to score a job with the evil western media while working for Assad is exactly like all the hypocrites who support genocide and oppression in Syria while living in the West.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/27/228746.html

The article is an Arabic, but parts of the emails can be viewed in English. A short distraction from the grim news from Aleppo.

Most people in Aleppo know that the FSA didn’t bomb Christian neighborhoods or execute scores of civilians during the past week, and yet the response from Assad’s army is to shell civilians from afar. If the FSA can reach the iron gate they can do drive by shootings in Azizieh, which is what you would expect from an extremist Al Qaeda militia that’s only purpose is to kill Christians, Alawis and Shiites.

The fact is that the FSA came into opposition strongholds to consolidate power and take control of neighborhoods that have been under relentless pressure by the shabi7a (from all sects) and Assad’s army. The fight has always been against dictatorship and will hopefully remain that way. Sectarian bigots focus on the fringe incidents, which are real and should be punished, but ignore what the real issue is.

Thankfully the revolution is generally ignoring the garbage and moving along toward liberating the country, while Assad and his supporters race to find ways to destroy it.

July 28th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

omen said:

135. BRUNO said:

syrians have to die because the world is hypocritical?

July 28th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

Dolly Buster said:

This is how I see it:
Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of countries in the world: Democracies and Dictatorships.

(You can go to the “Democracy Index” wiki, to check the ratings of each country.)

I’ll give 2 examples of democracies: Norway and USA; and 2 examples of dictatorships: North Korea and Syria.

So basically, you have to decide which system you prefer. If you decide you are in favor of democracy, then you have to oppose this barbaric Shiite regime in Syria.

So, that leaves only weirdos on the other side, i.e. people who enjoy Totalitarianism. They are the only ones holding the Bashar/commie side.
 

July 28th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 
 

omen said:

129. BRONCO said: I would be curious to know how has the Arabic public opinion evolved toward Bashar Al Assad’s regime Any polls conducted?

Widespread Condemnation for Assad in Neighboring Countries

wonder why libya wasn’t polled.

July 28th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

omen said:

146. EXPATRIATE

shorter, rick whatsisname:

ignore the regime killing syrians because intervention would serve american interests.

this is the attitude of a sociopath.

you would tolerate genocide just to deny u.s. corporations from making a buck?

July 28th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

Tara said:

Omen@ 147

Did you read the title? All Arabs condemn Assad except Lebanese Shiaa. People who claim to be anti sectarian are sectarian to the bones. Their cover is a very transparent see through veil. They are ugly.

July 28th, 2012, 5:33 pm

 

bronco said:

147. omen said:

Thanks for the poll. But it is was conducted March 19-April 20 before Houla, the Damascus Volcano, the Kurds spring, the terrorist attack in Damascus, the Al Qaeeda appearance etc..

I am certain the public opinion has significantly changed since then.

July 28th, 2012, 5:51 pm

 

Amjad said:

“For more then an 100 years, what kind of hypocrisy eh?”

Hypocrisy is a “westerner” enjoying all the benefits of a free society, while cheering on a bloodthirsty dictatorship.

http://www.london2012.com/shooting/event/women-10m-air-rifle/phase=shw101900/index.html

The “oppressed Gulf women” managed to achieve a very respectable 17th place in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle (out of 56). Alas, Syria’s entry into this event came a dismal 50th. Maybe she should have been “oppressed” a bit more at the hands of the Gulfies.

Qatar, with it’s tiny population of 300,000, sent four female athletes to the games. Syria, with its population of 23 million, sent…four. Exactly the same as Qatar.

The combined population of the Gulf countries is equal to that of Syria, and yet they sent more women athletes to the games than Syria did.

It’s far better, apparently, to be a women athlete in the Gulf than in Assadstan.

July 28th, 2012, 6:01 pm

 

Halabi said:

The sectarians forget what Assad and his fellow racist killers in Lebanon have done. But the Lebanese victims will never forget.

في وقت كان ” رفاق السلاح” يقدمون التعازي للسفير السوري في لبنان بقتلى خلية إدارة الأزمة في سوريا، كانت الزميلة مي شدياق التي بترت رجلها وذراعها، في محاولة اغتيالها تكتب على صفحتها على ” فايس بوك” الآتي:

“أنا مسيحية، ولكن الطبيعة الإنسانية حتى لو كانت تسامح، لا يمكنها إلا أن تبتهج بالعقاب الإلهي. “يقال.نت” نشر أن ساقي ماهر الأسد قد بترتا.أتمنى له أن يكون البتر قد تمّ من فوق الركبة. أن يكون قد احترق. أن تكون ذراعه قد بُترت.أن تُذرع له عظام وأن تُجرى له 35 عملية جراحية!… وأن لا تتوقف الأمور هنا. أن يتعذب حتى لا يعود بإمكانه أن يتعذب أكثر. هل أكون شريرة أن أتمنى أن يحس بالآلام التي تسبب لي بها هو وحلفاؤه!”

July 28th, 2012, 6:12 pm

 

zoo said:

To be confirmed
Syrian army regains control of Bab al-Hawa
Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:24PM GMT

Syrian security forces have regained control of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey in northwestern Syria, Press TV reports.

The Syrian army and armed militants engaged in a battle on Saturday in the area of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, which is located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of the city of Aleppo.

Many militants were killed by the Syrian army and others forced to flee to Turkey.

July 28th, 2012, 6:12 pm

 

zoo said:

Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria’s Conflict
By ROD NORDLAND
Published: July 24, 2012 141 Comments

CAIRO — It is the sort of image that has become a staple of the Syrian revolution, a video of masked men calling themselves the Free Syrian Army and brandishing AK-47s — with one unsettling difference. In the background hang two flags of Al Qaeda, white Arabic writing on a black field.

We are now forming suicide cells to make jihad in the name of God,” said a speaker in the video using the classical Arabic favored by Al Qaeda.

July 28th, 2012, 6:17 pm

 

Ghufran said:

أفادت مصادر إعلام محلية اليوم السبت أنّ الجيش السوري تمكن من السيطرة على معبر باب الهوى الحدودي مع تركيا.
What was the point of occupying that border entry only to leave it few days later?

July 28th, 2012, 6:19 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Druze leader Walid Joumblat spoke clear today:

“Assad must be killed or sent to Siberia or the iranian desert”

I just should add: “… and be reincarnated into a donkey”

July 28th, 2012, 6:20 pm

 

zoo said:

Rebel Captain who “liberated” Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing says will re-establish Khilafah | 19 July 2012

July 28th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 
 

irritated said:

#156 Sandro

Walid Jumblatt does not need to be reincarnated into a donkey, he is already a donkey. Just look at his face and hear him.

July 28th, 2012, 6:24 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

159. irritated

You did not get it, maybe it was too complicated for you to understand that in brackets we are talking about Mr. Assad to “be reincarnated into a donkey”.

July 28th, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

There is something Assad and ignorant supporters of mass murder seem to misunderstand. The syrian people will keep on fighting until Assad is disabled, finished, out of power, killed, history.

July 28th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Tara
I highly doubt and question that video.

(Luke Harding reports from northern Syria, where he speaks to a captured member of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s notorious Shabiha militia. The man, who identified himself as Dawish Dado, 33, was recruited two months ago before being captured by the Free Syrian Army)

First its from Luke Harding and it shouldn’t be to obvious to see as propaganda now as the Luke claims.

(here he speaks to a captured member of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s notorious Shabiha militia)

First he doesnt look like a Shabiha militia member other then possibly a tortured civilian.

Note the scars on his face around his nose, now if he was a Shabiha member they would have held him as a pow and treated him as a Pow.

But to me he looks like a civilian forced to admit that his a Shabiha member.

Dawish Dado doesnt sound like a real name either.

July 28th, 2012, 6:50 pm

 

Tara said:

162. BRUNO said:

@Tara
I highly doubt and question that video.
——–

Please feel free.

July 28th, 2012, 7:02 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Bitter is Better

OMEN @ 148
I think not. They support a genocide so that their masters, buffoon and co (mother teretha makhlouf) continue to make their illegal graft of 50 cents out of that buck. Maye be a couple of cents will trickle their way.

SANDRO @ 161
ignorant, evidence say otherwise. They know what the criminal regime does and they support it. In most countries where they live, this is against the law and would be considered supporting terrorism and genocide. Their cut and pastes from and regime friendly propaganda obliterate their deniability/ignorance defense. They are being malicious as shown by the number of likes they give to articles talking about how terrorized are the people in Aleppo. Only a sick psycho does that. Disgusting.

The above does not apply to those working from dungeons or air conditioned offices in Iranian or Russian intelligence offices. These are autocratic states, promoting genocide is OK for them as long as it serves their own dear leaders.

HALABI @ 144
I am not sure we are ignoring garbage, we still come here and debate the loyalists. May be we should do what the revolution is doing, ignore garbage and not come back here?….

July 28th, 2012, 7:08 pm

 

Bruno said:

For further reading on whose Luke Harding here you go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Harding

The Russian expulsion
(In February 2011 Harding was refused re-entry into Russia. He thus became the first foreign journalist to be expelled from Russia since the end of the Cold War. The Guardian linked his expulsion with his unflattering coverage of Russia, including speculation about Vladimir Putin’s wealth and Putin’s knowledge of the London assassination of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.)

But that hasn’t stopped Luke Harding criticizing the Russian government as he wrote in his book.

(His 2011 book Mafia State discusses the political system in Russia under Vladimir Putin, which he describes as a mafia state.)

Yes a Mafia state just because Putin doesn’t agree with the Americanism agenda in the region and the world.

Seeing Luke write like that in Sryia following the narrative of the western mainstream news outlets is not surprising.

Its one sided journalism.

July 28th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

omen said:

have you seen what putin did to chechnya, bruno?

btw, for some odd reason, you associated the utterance of this phrase with propaganda.

The Takbīr or Tekbir (تَكْبِير) is the Arabic term for the phrase Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر). It is usually translated “God is [the] Greatest,” or “God is Great”. It is a common Islamic Arabic expression. It is used in various contexts by Muslims: in formal prayer, as an informal expression of faith, in times of distress, to express celebration or victory, and to express resolute determination or defiance

July 28th, 2012, 7:29 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Alshaar who was declared dead by the GCC media looks alive and well today.

July 28th, 2012, 7:37 pm

 

Syrialover said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER

I just read your statement on the OTW site.

It was a pleasure to read. Thank you.

I needed a powerful antidote to the bizarre and poisonous attempts at “reasoning” and “facts” pushed by those who clearly have everything invested in the Assad regime and nothing invested in the people of Syria and the country.

http://7ee6an.wordpress.com/

July 28th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

Bruno said:

A french source.

Saudi calls for the formation of an Arab-Turkish army to overthrow Assad

http://french.irib.ir/info/moyen-orient/item/203043-l-arabie-appelle-%25C3%25A0-la-formation-d-une-arm%25C3%25A9e-arabo-turque-pour-renverser-assad

Rough translation.

(The Riyadh-Doha-axis Ankara leads at this time, intense discussions with member countries of OIC to set up an army in ‘Islamic’ and to take military action against Syria, with, aim to reverse or eliminate Assad. the United States have endorsed the plan, which will be implemented under the pretext of “saving the lives of civilians and prevent civil war in Syria.” the ASL is the main ally of Riyadh, in this future war, which will aim, also, “the dismantling of prohibited weapons arsenals of the Assad regime.” the plan will be executed before the end of August, according to Riyadh.)

So Saudi Arabia is asking Turkey to create an Islamic Army in order to remove under the pretext of saving lives but in reality it would be protecting the terrorists.

As the article gets further translated it suggests that America had already endorsed the plan which would be lunched sometime in August.

Well i guess that proves my point that Saudi Arabian Regime has its blood in this one.

July 28th, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

omen said:

Islamist militants are probably active in Syria but they wield less influence on the ground than the other rebel forces fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The main Islamist element is likely being provided by Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), said Defense Department spokesperson George Little.

“I can’t rule out the possibility that there are some extremists in Syria but no one should think that AQI has a significant, major or particularly strong footprint in Syria,” he told reporters in Washington.

July 28th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

irritated said:

#161 Sandro

You did not get it, maybe it was too complicated for you to understand

I’ll ask Jumblatt or another donkey to explain to me

July 28th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Nasrillat’s Shabiha in Aleppo

Aljazeera’s Syrian correspondent in Halab (Aleppo) reported, based Syrian activists’ observation/verification (with leaks from FSA sympathizers within Bashar’s army), the presence of 1500 militia/shabiha from Hasan Nasrillat’s Hizbistan-who are killing Syrian Sunnis on behalf of Bashar, Hasan, and Iran.

Without Abu Bakr (who fought and won حروب الرده after Prophet Muhammad’s death) and Omar, Islam would have NOT left the Arabian Peninsula! Iran would have likely remained with its ancient Persian religions!

Without the courageous revolting Syrians, Syria would remain a hereditary dictatorship! Salute to to them because their revolt-given the regime’s war crimes-is the most courageous in HUMAN HISTORY!

With the imminent departure of Israel’s border guard, Bashar al-Assad the “resister,” Israel is now building a wall in the Golan!

Free Syria & Palestine!

July 28th, 2012, 9:15 pm

 

irritated said:

171. omen

Who is a liberator, who is a terrorist?

The Talibans were liberators when the Russians occupied Afghanistan, they became terrorists when USA occupied Afghanistan.

July 28th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

Ghufran said:

I actually liked Hamster’s piece on heetan,I wish that he posted it here on SC,he started his article by referring to my note when i said that I used to enjoy his comments,then he goes on explaining why this regime is evil and how wrong are those who supported the regime or stayed on the side.
Unfortunately the issue now is not Bashar or even the regime,it is whether Syria can survive as one country and not becoming another Iraq,i peronally think that syria is on a straight path for destruction and failure,all efforts now should be on saving what can be saved not on classifying syrians as pro vs anti,seculars vs religious or arabs vs kurds.
Hamster is right in most of what he said about the regime but he failed to explain why millions of Syrians ,including those in Aleppo, did not hate the regime enough to support armed rebels, the opposition failed so far to lead,ressure and deliver,posts on SC or heetan will not change this fact.

July 28th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

irritated said:

173. Dawoud

Don’t worry they are ghosts that reappear regularly on Al Jazeera when things go really wrong for the rebels.

They already appeared in Baba Amr before the tactical retreat.

July 28th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

zoo said:

Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Mohammad al-Shaar:

I am not dead. Don’t believe foreign media’s propaganda.

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Mohammad al-Shaar said that the Syrian army and law-enforcement personnel will eliminate terrorism in all its forms and restore security and stability to the homeland.

In an interview on the Syrian TV on Saturday, al-Shaar sent a message to the persons who were misled and carried weapons asking them to return to their senses and vowing to help them in this regards.

On the allegations made by some media outlets on his death in the explosion which targeted the National Security Office in Damascus, al-Shaar said that “This is not strange as these news pieces are part of the psychological warfare waged against Syria.”

July 28th, 2012, 9:32 pm

 

Albo said:

Syrian Hamster 165

Very nice narrative, the cliched “land of the free” vs the “axis of evil”. So there still are people adhering to such naive dichotomies. Terrorism and genocide? People in the “free world” are very comfortable with what happens in Bahrein, and their democratically elected leaders support it as well. They also support the KSA which is probably the worst regime in the world, leagues ahead of Iran.

And you, where do you stand? Tell us how Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the last absolute monarchies in the world, will bring democracy to Syria so we have a good laugh.

Hint: singing the praises of their female athletes as Amjad did isn’t cutting it, aside for the great parody value.

July 28th, 2012, 9:35 pm

 

zoo said:

Don’t provoke us, Erdoğan says in stern warning to Syrian Kurds

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-287715-dont-provoke-us-erdogan-says-in-stern-warning-to-syrian-kurds.html

Reply:

National Initiative of Syrian Kurds Denounce Erdogan’s Statements… Kurdish Popular Committees: Syria Will Become a Graveyard for Any Invader
Jul 27, 2012

“Kurds, as an essential component of the great Syrian people, will defend Syria’s northern side, turning these areas into a graveyard for the Turanian Turkish army… we will teach the neo-Slejuk-Turanian Erdogan and his criminal gangs and fascist army – which have been carrying out genocide and massacres against more than 25 million Kurds – a lesson they will never forget, and we will make the ground shake beneath his invading hordes before they sully a single grain of Syria’s sacred soil,” the statement concluded.

July 28th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 

irritated said:

#178 Albo

I couldn’t agree more. Glossy cliches covered by a pseudo-intellectual sauce.

July 28th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

Halabi said:

I come here for you Hamster and to blow off some steam. There is no debate with racists and genocide supporters, but there is some tiny value in exposing and confronting them. That being said, you are right, as usual. There is better use for my time…

July 28th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

zoo said:

The SNC is looking for an “honest and patriotic person… committed to the objectives of the Syrian revolution since its beginning” among the the rebels on the ground(Aleppo or Hatay?)

In other words, forget about Manaf Tllas

http://www.france24.com/en/20120728-syrian-opposition-says-assad-shoud-be-tried-massacres

Syrian National Council chief Abdel Basset Sayda said the council would discuss a proposed transitional government with rebel groups on the ground, adding that its leader should be someone who had been committed to the uprising from the start.

“We are studying the idea (of transitional government) and we will contact all forces on the ground in Syria,” he said.

The leader should be an “honest and patriotic person… committed to the objectives of the Syrian revolution since its beginning,” he said.

He said that coordination would be in the first instance with groups on the ground, including the Free Syrian Army when he was asked about coordination with defector Brigadier General Manaf Tlas.

The former Syrian general is trying to plot the downfall of the Assad regime from a refugee camp in

July 28th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Desperate SNC asking again for promised money from stingy Gulf countries

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-opposition-says-assad-shoud-tried-massacres-213627867.html

He urged Arab “brothers and friends to support the Free (Syrian) Army” saying the support should be “qualitative because the rebels are fighting with old weapons.”
….
Sayda pointed out that the opposition needs a minimum of $145 million monthly to provide basic needs, while it has received only $15 million over several months.

July 28th, 2012, 10:03 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Ghufran said:”Hamster is right in most of what he said about the regime but he failed to explain why millions of Syrians,including those in Aleppo, did not hate the regime enough to support armed rebels”

Well Ghufran, can I have a go at explaining it to you:

People are terrified and want to survive.

People may hate the regime with all their hearts, but individuals will make normal human calculations on whether and when to risk their lives and that of their families.

Nobody wants anybody they know to die or lose their homes. Especially wasted at the hands of Bashar Assad.

What is stunning and revealing is that millions in Syria have decided it is worth it.

July 28th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

Tara said:

Russia has doubts about Syria president’s ability to hold on
A Russian official suggests Moscow could offer asylum to Syrian President Bashar Assad, if he requests it.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-syria-20120729,0,2680215.story

The Kremlin quickly denied such a suggestion recently by its ambassador to France. But the comment was widely regarded as a trial balloon, and a Foreign Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity indicated that Russia could offer asylum if Assad requested it.

“In daily consultations, Assad keeps telling us he is still very much in control,” the official said. “We are trying to ascertain for ourselves whether the point of no return has been reached, and frankly we are not so sure either way anymore.”
….

July 28th, 2012, 10:26 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Albo & associates,

Sorry, I hadn’t been aware that the KSA and Gulf support was a pure democracy sponsorship project.

I thought it might have had something to do with Syrian-people-hater Bashar Assad’s ill-judged efforts to deliver Syria to Iran and Hezbollah.

Also normal human horror at a lunatic “leader” burning a country and support for victimized fellow Arabs.

July 28th, 2012, 10:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrialover

Thank you for #184. Very eloquent.

July 28th, 2012, 10:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Irritated #174 said: “The Talibans were liberators when the Russians occupied Afghanistan, they became terrorists when USA occupied Afghanistan”

Hey, we are talking this century’s history here. My memory isn’t that weak.

The Pakistani-sponsored Taliban had appointed Osama Bin Laden their foreign minister, deemed women sub-human, terrorized Afghans back to the stone ages and started ethnic cleaning of the Hazars before America noticed they existed.

And I also seem to remember the non-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan had a fair bit to do with repelling the Russians.

July 28th, 2012, 10:42 pm

 

Amjad said:

“he failed to explain why millions of Syrians,including those in Aleppo, did not hate the regime enough to support armed rebels”

“Yes” only has any real meaning when “no” is a realistic alternative. Saying “no” means immediate and unrestrained war waged against you by an army that was built for nothing but internal suppression.

“Tell us how Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the last absolute monarchies in the world, will bring democracy to Syria”

Menhebakjis still can’t get out of the “big brother” mentality; that a power greater than them has to arrange every aspect of their lives and society.

The Saudis and Qataris want Bashar gone, in that their interests coincide with the aspirations of the Syrian people, who have beaten all attempts by Russia, Iran, Hizbollah and the junta to subdue them. Menhebakjis seem to think that, just like Iran is running every aspect of Bashar’s war machinery, so too will Saudi and Qatari intelligence officers install themselves in the Presidential Palace and issue commands to a population subservient to Wahabi doctrine. As I’ve said before, it hurts sometimes to have to lower one’s thinking to the menhebakji level.

July 28th, 2012, 10:44 pm

 

Elian said:

Leave it to turkey another 400 years of conquering the arabs land and leaving Arabs behind civilization that’s what turkey will to to Arabs.

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/islamic-nato-as-new-step-toward-ottoman-empire-revival/

July 28th, 2012, 10:56 pm

 

Albo said:

This is like in our last exchange SL.
Who’s responsible for wrecking havoc in Halab right now? You say at the hands of Assad, but who’s to be credited for initiating this mayhem in an otherwise calm city until then? The rebels.

It doesn’t even matter what we think of Assad and the regime methods, this isn’t even the question. The question is, no matter how deep are the grievances of many Syrians, no matter the repression: has armed rebellion been an effective choice to advance their cause?
More effective than trying other, more peaceful and quiet tactics?

I know you’ll answer no, that you were left with no choice etc… but as the country is gradually being destroyed it’ll become more and more impossible to defend your case.

Activism by people like Ghufran and the non-violent opposition, as I see ideas based on compromise and mediation, would have yielded more results than 10000s of your rebels, if frustrating and a long endeavour. And preserving the country in the same time.
Halab will prove me right and you people will have to face your own responsibility, as the rebels aren’t achieving anything there other than chaos.

HALABI> since we’re at it, while you complain about sectarian bigots, would you care to clarify if what you call garbage is what hamster understood? Your language is ambiguous. A majority of Syrians distrusts the rebels in one way or another, I’m confident about this fact, and minority defiance is perfectly valid. Even more so if you confirm us that Hamster’s interprettaion is the correct one

July 28th, 2012, 11:11 pm

 

Syrialover said:

‘Deep alarm’ over Aleppo fighting

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/10358623

Where my heart and mind and soul is.

With millions of innocent people. Their lives suspended in trauma and terror, under savage military threat by their own “government”.

The world shocked and in disbelief.

Sub-species Assad, writing himself into history as a sick homicidal dictator without precedent or equal.

July 28th, 2012, 11:13 pm

 

Elian said:

I have no doubt that Russia, has not and will not ask Bashar to call it quit, in fact, I think Russia asking Bashar to hit back with an iron fest, especially, where it is clear to everyone except the westerners and the arab traitors that many of the terrorists on the ground are foreigners some are Jihadists, others are mercenaries in addition to all the thugs they could collect from anywhere on earth.
I think this is a perfect way for the USA to continue to destroy Alqaida fighters at the expense of the GCC money, give them money for oil and make them pay it back for weapon and everything else. I think the only problem with this theory that it is at the expense of the Syrian blood.
but for the world powers arabic blood is so cheap and can be replaced easily therefore no sorrow at the end.

July 28th, 2012, 11:15 pm

 

Dawoud said:

With the inevitable departure of Israel’s most effective northern border guard, Bashar al-Assad the “resister,” Israel is now building a wall in the occupied/colonized Golan!

Free Syria & Palestine!

July 28th, 2012, 11:24 pm

 

Bruno said:

I think its been proven on here people like Syrialover and Tara only goal is to post until there main objective is completed and that is turning users into free Syrian army supporters and while at it.

Turning them into Saudi Arabian backers as well.

Thats not true eh? well then explain why are two regime countries of Saudi Arabia and Qatar trying to bring democracy to Sryia while knowingly they don’t have any rights or democracy to speak off?

Saudi Arabia is the world’s number one sponsor of terrorists.

July 28th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Albo,

Real world. I don’t know where you are – in Europe or the USA, but if you are enjoying a civilized well ordered environment it will have arrived there through a bitter civil war at some stage.

Illegitimate mafia dictatorships as entrenched and vicious as the Assads have always had to be forcibly pulled out, root and branch.

In this context, your vision of “ideas based on compromise and mediation” and “peaceful quiet tactics” is very naive and er, youthful, to put it very politely.

The FSA, like their counterparts throughout history, are trying to give Syria a chance to have a future. The only way it’s ever going to have one, by releasing the country from the the Assads’ choke hold and engineered death spiral of the past 42 years.

July 28th, 2012, 11:32 pm

 
 

Son of Damascus said:

Albo,

“Who’s responsible for wrecking havoc in Halab right now? You say at the hands of Assad, but who’s to be credited for initiating this mayhem in an otherwise calm city until then? The rebels.”

No Assad is responsible, had he and his cronies addressed the grievances of the people instead of maiming and killing them Syrians would have never had to even pick up a gun to start with. And last I checked it is NOT the FSA that is using artillery, tanks, gunships, and fixed wing planes to attack Aleppo, it is the Assadi army that is doing so.

“has armed rebellion been an effective choice to advance their cause?
More effective than trying other, more peaceful and quiet tactics?”

From day one to this day I will continue to support the non-violent movement, but not even I can deny the fact Assad and his supporters have drowned Silmiyeh in blood long ago. This outcome is a natural progression from the savagery that the regime has shown, you can’t expect peaceful tactics to work when protestors are getting mowed down, arrested, tortured, bombed, shelled, and strafed.

“Halab will prove me right and you people will have to face your own responsibility, as the rebels aren’t achieving anything there other than chaos.”

Again you repeat the mantra that the FSA and the opposition is responsible for making Assad turn his canons, tanks, and airforce against Syrians and Syrian cities, blaming the victim does not really work. Ever wonder if Assad fails to “subdue” Aleppo what he might do to it?
A few hints
for you.

July 28th, 2012, 11:35 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

@194

When I started to learn English properly at a later stage in my youth, one of my English Second Language teachers taught a valuable lesson in basic third grade level grammar:

“The difference between knowing your sh*t, and knowing you’re sh*t is grammar.”

July 28th, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

Halabi said:

Garbage
http://youtu.be/4tuuQ5maNvA

As for “compromise and mediation,” see Atef Najib in Daraa or Bara Sarraj who spent more than a decade in prison without being charged. Or Aref Dalila, Najati Tayyara, Michel Kilo and thousands of others.

People who are “quiet” will never gain their rights. The revolution wants people to break their silence. Those who want us to be quiet wish to oppress the Syrian people in the privacy of the dungeons they built with our sweat and blood.

July 28th, 2012, 11:46 pm

 

Albo said:

So Amjad I just read your very poor answer. It’s been a while I noted you try to use your pseudo-wit to hide generally very shallow ideas.

First off, refrain from calling everyone you’re debating “menhebakji”, that’s as puerile as it is inaccurate. I don’t care about the regime, I wasn’t even raised in Syria. When the small demos started, all my relatives who were borne and spent their youth in Syria were cheerful. They saw Tunisia and wanted the same in Syria. I was perplex. I knew the country was touch and go and I figured that being stuck between Lebanon and Iraq made it very plausible that the same kind of shit that occured in these two countries may finally attain our nation.

Currently, almost all of my relatives share my scepticism and deep resentment toward the rebels (and Tunisia has quite soured).
We rightfully see them as either the fools or the foreign pawns they have become. It easy for you to write off everyone as menhebakji or qardahans, however this pattern of reversal in opinion is real and if you’re really Syrian you must have witnessed it around you as well. Sound politics would be to address these concerns, to disagree as you want but not to use rhetorics that come down to a worthless strawman. There are very valid reason to object the bs that sinister interlopers are fomenting in Syria, foreigners as nationals. But rather than arguing further, I may just as well destroy your point.

The Syrian opposition has been deluded enough to participate in summits called “friends of Syria”. However, as the well known saying goes, countries have no friends, they have interests. Believing otherwise is total delusions and clearly indicates the stupidity or traitorous nature of a great share of the opposition.
And so you think the KSA, Qatar are assisting in this “revolution” for free? That they won’t demand political returns after having invested so much? That Turkey, known for holding Syrian territories worthier than the Golan and threatening its water resources, in other words a national threat to Syria regardless of Syria’s government, is acting out of benevolance and its support won’t come at a price?
After begging foreignees so much to meddle in your affair you may as well kiss national independance goodbye, and with Gulf hyper regressive regimes that’s not a wise thing to do at all.
Someone must be completely deluded not to have figured it.

July 28th, 2012, 11:50 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Son of Damascus

(When I started to learn English properly at a later stage in my youth, one of my English Second Language teachers taught a valuable lesson in basic third grade level grammar:

“The difference between knowing your sh*t, and knowing you’re sh*t is grammar.”)

And now your going into off topic by insulting me by saying that i am sh*t

Don’t worry i am sure a mod will see to your comment and you know what? my English is just fine.

When debating insulting is a usual sign that your opponent doesn’t have any other argument they usual turn to insults.

I actually knew you would reply in that manner.

July 28th, 2012, 11:59 pm

 

Elian said:

Regime change in Iraq cost the USA, through invading the land too many causalities and american blood. It was worth it because Iraq has oil and will pay for the invasion sooner or later, the Israeli bought mountains and so much land in the northern part of Iraq to control the source of oil and uranium in Iraq.
In Syria, regime change is being accomplished through a different mean, this time it is the mercenaries who are killing the Syrians.
Democracy in Syria it is a phony word, it doesn’t have a ring to it.
maybe more of a new dictator or a a new Muslim brotherhood regime similar to Egypt.

July 28th, 2012, 11:59 pm

 

omen said:

178. ALBO said: Tell us how Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the last absolute monarchies in the world, will bring democracy to Syria so we have a good laugh.

albo thinks it’s hilarious that no country is pure enough to stop bashar from committing war crimes.

July 29th, 2012, 12:32 am

 

Syrialover said:

Son of Damascus

Bruno saves his properly written and coherent comments for his own blog, which we have been told exists but never been given a link to.

I often feel concerned he is sacrificing his own blog and his contributions to other blogs when he spends so much time here since he discovered Syria only a few months ago.

(Though he did let slip that he has suffered hurt and injustice on other blogs. Unlike SyriaComment where he gets endless fun runs).

July 29th, 2012, 12:34 am

 

Albo said:

Yes omen, that’s funny. Pure enough isn’t the word, here it’s “quite dirty”. No point in invoking democracy when these two are around, let’s call a spade a spade and just say it’s one of the proxy battles in the wider shia/sunni endless conflict.

Besides my reply to Amjad (amended since it didn’t pass moderation)

-first refrain from calling anyone who debates you menhebakji, that’s puerile and inaccurate
– The Syrian opposition has been deluded enough to participate in summits called “friends of Syria”. However, as the well known saying goes, countries have no friends, they have interests. Believing otherwise is total delusion and clearly indicates a stupid or traitorous nature among a great share of the opposition.
And so you think the KSA, Qatar are assisting in this “revolution” for free? That they won’t demand political returns after having invested so much? That Turkey, known for holding Syrian territories worthier than the Golan and threatening its water resources, in other words a national threat to Syria regardless of Syria’s government, is acting out of benevolence and its support won’t come at a price?
After begging foreigners so much to meddle in your affairs you may as well kiss national independence goodbye, and with Gulf hyper regressive regimes that’s not a wise thing to do at all.
Someone must be completely deluded not to have figured it.

July 29th, 2012, 12:52 am

 

Ghufran said:

 أعلنت لجنة الأمن والدفاع في البرلمان العراقي اليوم الجمعة أن معبر البوكمال الحدودي السوري سقط في يد تنظيم القاعدة.
و ذكرت مصادر في اللجنة، للمركز الخبري لشبكة الإعلام العراقي، أن “معلومات دقيقة وصلت للجنة تؤكد أن منفذ البوكمال سيطرت عليه مجموعة إرهابية يطلق عليها اسم لواء الله أكبر وهو خارج عن سيطرة الجيش النظامي”.

July 29th, 2012, 1:20 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Decided to visit the ‘Syrian uprising’ wiki page.

– Under ‘Belligerents’, on the regime’s column. are listed Iran and Hezb.

– Under ‘Commanders and Leaders’, on the regime’s column, are listed Iranian military chiefs and Hezb chief.

– Under ‘Casualties’, on the regime side, are listed the number of Hezb and Iranian Basij eliminated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_uprising_(2011%E2%80%93present)

July 29th, 2012, 1:22 am

 

Ghufran said:

This mess in Syria would have been fixed or on its way to be fixed if big players wanted it to end,instead,the GCC and western governments had one thing in mind: a total collapse of the regime and the installation of a “friendly” regime in Damascus that breaks the axis of “evil” led by Tehran,that is why those players made sure they only give Assad a proposal they knew very well that he can not accept. Now,any six grader can tell you that Bashar can not rule Syria much longer and that a new leadership needs to replace the current government,but in a typical middle eastern style,fighting factions are refusing to accept the other side,they indeed want to wipe it out of existence.
This crisis will come to an end when fighting factions put Syria’s future ahead of their own hatred and swollen egos,those of you who still think that a military solution is possible are in denial,even after 17 months of intense pressure and virtual war,millions of Syrians,like it or not,want the violence to end,a regime change through negotiation and an end to foreign interference from all sides,the alternative is not acceptable,but that alternative is what is being pursued now.

July 29th, 2012, 1:43 am

 
 

Uzair8 said:

Aleppo crumble and Damascustard

Liberating Aleppo will pave the way for a conclusive move on Damascus.

July 29th, 2012, 1:48 am

 

Ghufran said:

رسالة مؤثرة لرئيس أساقفة دمشق للموارنة المطران سمير نصار وجهها الى أبناء أبرشيته، عبر الانترنت، عكست عمق المعاناة التي بدأت تطال سكان العاصمة السورية بعد انتقال المعارك إليها.
ومما جاء فيها:
أكتب اليكم ما دمت على قيد الحياة.
منذ صباح الثلثاء 17 من تموز 2012 ، وصلت المعارك الى دمشق حيث تستخدَم الأسلحة الثقيلة، الدمار هائل، يا لها من جلجلة.
أضاف المطران نصار: تدور المواجهات في الشوارع، ويستحيل النوم في ظل الخوف ودوي القذائف
الحرارة تتراوح في الصيف بين 42 و 56 درجة ، وانقطاعُ الكهرباء يضاعف المعاناة ، دمشق مقطوعة عن باقي سوريا وتعاني نقصا في مواد كثيرة.
الكل يهرب ، العائلات تغادر احياء دمشق، لتصطف في أرتال طويلة على الطريقِ المؤدية الى لبنان.
المؤمنون القلائل الذين تجرأوا على المجيء الى القداس ، تبادلوا الوداع وانهمرت دموعهم قبل ان يهرولوا عائدين الى منازلهم.
لقد بقيت دمشق طيلة ستة عشر شهرا في منأى عن العنف ، حان دورنا الآن لنعاني ونموت.
 

July 29th, 2012, 1:59 am

 

Juergen said:

Syrialover

Once I was in the sharia Baron area in Aleppo and by passing an alley i saw 4 russian girls, well in Russia they say they were too young to be already a Natasha if you know what I mean. To me such a business in Aleppo or Syria in general seemes unimaginable.

July 29th, 2012, 2:00 am

 

Ghufran said:

“Aleppo is a complex city,” a local rebel supporter identified only as Amir told the Guardian. ”You can see people support the regime, those who are fearful and those who are pro-revolution. The middle and upper classes don’t want the rebels to come in. They want everything to be business as usual. No one can can predict what will happen but there is unhappiness that the rebels have brought all this firepower down on Aleppo.” By that description the rebels may have neither the firepower, nor the consensus within the city, necessary to hold it in the face of the counter-attack expected Friday or Saturday.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/07/27/as-aleppo-braces-for-a-bloodbath-syrias-regime-is-far-from-beaten/?iid=gs-main-lede#ixzz21zNL99CB

July 29th, 2012, 2:08 am

 

Juergen said:

a strong article by Fisk

Robert Fisk: Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy
The West’s real target here is not Assad’s brutal regime but his ally, Iran, and its nuclear weapons

Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war of such cowardice and such mean morality, of such false rhetoric and such public humiliation? I’m not talking about the physical victims of the Syrian tragedy. I’m referring to the utter lies and mendacity of our masters and our own public opinion – eastern as well as western – in response to the slaughter, a vicious pantomime more worthy of Swiftian satire than Tolstoy or Shakespeare.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-syrian-war-of-lies-and-hypocrisy-7985012.html

July 29th, 2012, 2:11 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Bruno,

“And now your going into off topic by insulting me by saying that i am sh*t”

Re-read what I wrote, it was a lesson my ESL teacher taught me that I was passing on to you. Your failure to understand it is your problem not mine.

“Don’t worry i am sure a mod will see to your comment and you know what? my English is just fine.”

I am sure the Mod will see it as well, for I did not write my comment in super special font that is only legible by you. As for your English, I reckon it is on par with your knowledge about my country, you might think it is fine, it really is not, far from it.

“I actually knew you would reply in that manner.”

Please do explain how did you know that I would reply to start with, let alone what I was going to write, when you did not even address me? Did Bathar whithper it to you in your thleep? Or does he send you secret messages through Canadian ducks?

Btw have you figured out the Kurdish flag yet? Will you ever reply about your callous lies regarding Houla? Is the concept of Syrians writing signs in English still a bewilderment for you, or is it just jealousy that a bunch of Arabs have a better grasp of the English language than you do?

July 29th, 2012, 2:38 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Albo,

“traitorous nature among a great share of the opposition.”

So meeting with the West and the GCC is traitorous but killing Syrians is not? That really makes sense.

“And so you think the KSA, Qatar are assisting in this “revolution” for free? That they won’t demand political returns after having invested so much? That Turkey, known for holding Syrian territories worthier than the Golan and threatening its water resources, in other words a national threat to Syria regardless of Syria’s government, is acting out of benevolence and its support won’t come at a price?”

Is this the same gulf and Turkey that this same regime was in bed with not so long ago? Since you bring up the Golan what did Bashar ever do to try to get it back, what about Syrian lands occupied by Turkey that you are so worried about, what did he or his father ever do to gain it back?

You are right regarding Gulf funding, it comes with strings attached, strings which are ugly and in many ways not to the benefit of Syrians but to counter the Iran proxy that goes against the Gulf interests. However what you fail to mention is that the Assad regime is guilty even more so of the exact same outside funding and help that he is receiving from the likes of Iran, HA, Venezuela, and China. To believe that these nations are helping Bashar out of goodwill is delusional and hypocritical to say the least.

July 29th, 2012, 3:02 am

 

Bruno said:

@Son of Damascus
(Will you ever reply about your callous lies regarding Houla? )

What lies? oh you mean the lies that the massacre wasn’t committed by the rebels? no that wasn’t a lie it was a fact and it seems you have a hard time accepting that fact.

(Re-read what I wrote, it was a lesson my ESL teacher taught me that I was passing on to you. Your failure to understand it is your problem not mine.)

As for how i knew? it was a gut feeling.

You haven’t wrote it in that manner as you are now claiming that comment was written by your teacher, when people usual quote people they usual would put something like this.

all wars based deception-Sun Tzu

So what you should have done is something similar to the above quote as an example

Because the way you wrote it seemed very much like an insult then anything else of course unless your defending yourself now with the insult making an excuse for it.

(Please do explain how did you know that I would reply to start with, let alone what I was going to write, when you did not even address me? Did Bathar whithper it to you in your thleep? Or does he send you secret messages through Canadian ducks?)

First off i am not Sryian Nor i am an Agent of Assad where have you seen me praising Assad?

(As for your English, I reckon it is on par with your knowledge about my country, you might think it is fine, it really is not far from it.)

Then i am sure you wouldn’t mind it been controlled by through a proxy alliance of Saudi Arabia,Qatar.

From the way i have been following these uprisings in the med east they are all so how should we say.

Accordingly,surprisingly all timed.

Yemen,Tunisia,Egypt,Libya (Sryia??)

And surprisingly two brutal regimes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia seems to have avoided the arab springs mercilessly.

If you wanted to see how great democracy is please do visit Serbia and Bosnia to give you a dose of taste of reality Son of Damascus.

Or better yet Georgia.

Georgia a country that it to had its own colored revolution provided by the American government in the end result.

It resulted in a creation of an Pro American elite Georgians wealthy class while leaving others into poverty.

The current rate of the Unemployment in Georgia is at 16.3%
Heres a current report of this year please do read it.

http://gbpi.org/report-georgia-taxes-working-poor-further-into-poverty

Speaking of Democracy Hows Iraq doing these days?
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2009/02/iraq-iraq-unemp.html

You keep saying to me that Sryia Under Assad everything is not already yet at the same time i have seen the Unemployment rate, ironically they are way better then what Libya had.

Here you go Son of Damascus the numbers for Sryia but of course my gut feelings you wont believe this.

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=sy&v=74
Yes in 2000, the numbers were a lot worse around 20% but however when you look at the actual you can see over the years there has been improvements in it.

Unlike in Libya with the rate of 30%

If you want to see the current rate numbers from the Balkans please do ask but since the Balkans are seeing the wonders of Americanism and its greatness.

It would be pretty sad to see those unmploment rates.
Again if you want to see them please do ask.

July 29th, 2012, 3:07 am

 

VISITOR said:

We must thank once again our Saudi brothers, both people and government and especially King Abdullah, as well as Qatar and its Emir and FM and Turkey for the invaluable aid they are providing to the Syrian people.

We also must not forget our Libyan brothers who were the first to come to the aid of the Syrian people.

July 29th, 2012, 3:11 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Bruno,

“What lies? oh you mean the lies that the massacre wasn’t committed by the rebels? no that wasn’t a lie it was a fact and it seems you have a hard time accepting that fact.”

What facts? you claimed the rebels dumped the dead bodies into mass graves before the UN observers were able to verify it. I posted pictures that PROVED otherwise. You seem to be having a hard time accepting the facts, let alone grasping the meaning of it.

“You haven’t wrote it in that manner as you are now claiming that comment was written by your teacher, when people usual quote people they usual would put something like this.”

You see in the English language when someone uses the quotation marks as I did it usually strongly suggests that they are quoting someone. Hence why they are called quotation marks!

I don’t really care for the way you have been following this uprising, for your knowledge is flawed, misconstrued and based on lies. Bringing Georgia, Mali, and Sudan into an argument defending Bashar does not really flow with me. For Syria is NOT any of those countries. And last I checked you compared Canadian democracy to Assadi dictatorship, that says it all.

What is your gut telling you about what I am going to do next exactly? If so please ask your gut what the winning lotto numbers are for next week.

July 29th, 2012, 3:21 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

45 Hezballah soldiers detained by FSA in Alepo.

Assad private airplane pilot defected yesterday.

Syrian ambassador in Armenia defected too.

Everything shows that Assad will control Aleppo and will eliminate the whole resistance. But if Assad failed to control Aleppo what would come next….?

Allah ia’tik el ‘afie ya doctor.

July 29th, 2012, 3:26 am

 

Bruno said:

For those people on here asking or are praising democracy this is an interesting did you know.

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has been Running Georgia since 2004? the western officials and Georgian officials have stated he would end his term on 2013.

For the moment the current acting Georgian president is Nino Burjanadze whom selected twice as the head of state.

(She has served as the acting head of state of Georgia twice; the first time from 23 November 2003 to 25 January 2004 in the wake of Eduard Shevardnadze’s resignation during the Rose Revolution)

As in the case of Mikheil Saakashvili, Nino Burjanadze is very pro western.

The Rose Revolution a history background profile.

In July 2003, U.S. president George W. Bush sent former secretary of state James Baker to meet with both opposition leaders and President Shevardnadze. To the latter, Baker delivered a letter from Bush sternly stressing the need for free elections. Baker proposed a formula for representation of the various parties on the electoral commissions at each level. Shevardnadze agreed, but immediately began maneuvering against the Baker formula.

In mid-November, massive anti-governmental demonstrations started in the central streets of Tbilisi, soon involving almost all major cities and towns of Georgia in a concerted campaign of civil resistance.

The “Kmara” (“Enough!”) youth organization (a Georgian counterpart of the Serbian “Otpor”) and several NGOs, like the Liberty Institute, were active in all protest activities. Shevardnadze’s government was backed by Aslan Abashidze, the semi-separatist leader of the autonomous Ajara region, who sent thousands of his supporters to hold a pro-governmental counter-demonstration in Tbilisi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xmwmh9WteY

I think this an interesting piece and should be read by everyone here.
http://gulagbound.com/12652/top-5-revolutions-backed-by-george-soros/#.UBTkVaPgxc8

The top 5 revolutions backed George soros

As in the article reads
4. George Soros: A ‘Founding Father’ of an Islamist Turkey?
It follows to the following article from 2006.
http://www.turkey-now.org/Default.aspx?pgID=544&langid=1

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/ops/rose.htm

Even Global security mentions the following.
Quote.

( International NGOs were deeply involved in Georgian events. Much press and analytical attention has been focused on the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, which funded critically important groups like Georgia’s Liberty Institute, its leading human rights organization. Some Liberty Institute associates traveled to Serbia to study how Slobodan Milosevic had been ousted. Closely allied with the Liberty Institute was the student movement Kmara [“Enough”], which mobilized opposition to vote fraud countrywide. These groups, urged on by opposition politicians, were determined not to let Shevardnadze and Georgia’s entrenched political groups steal the election. “The success in Georgia is a result of the people’s commitment to democracy, but without foreign assistance I’m not sure we would have been able to achieve what we did without bloodshed,” said Levan Ramishvili of the Liberty Institute, an NGO that received U.S. funds since 1996.)

And whose to say that these groups behind the revolutions in Serbia and Georgia aren’t doing it in Sryia?

From the NED own Web site.
http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/middle-east-and-northern-africa/syria

( To improve the ability of independent actors in Syria to present viable alternatives to the status quo. IRI’s program will raise awareness among citizens about how reform would affect them, train independent actors to formulate effective policies on these issues, and produce domestic-focused research analysis.)

(train independent actors to formulate effective policies on these issues, and produce domestic-focused research analysis)

When they state train independent actors to formulate effective policies on these issues i believe its referring to the protests.

July 29th, 2012, 3:27 am

 

Syrialover said:

Bruno,

You should have summarized those 60 paragraphs you just posted and put the full text on your blog with a link.

With the enormity and urgency of what we are facing in Syria, your detailed lectures on other places and topics swamping this forum are not appropriate or likely to be appreciated.

I don’t know what country is your homeland, but I am sure you would feel it was insensitive and rude for someone to jump into a blog discussing that country in the midst of a crisis and post endless lectures on their own pet theories.

Perhaps you’d like to reveal to us which country so we can return the compliment, flooding their discussion forums by cut-pasting your stuff and mentioning you as our inspiration.

July 29th, 2012, 4:16 am

 

Syrialover said:

Sandro Leowe,

Many are expecting Assad to push up the rate of army defections with this Aleppo exercise

July 29th, 2012, 4:48 am

 

Syrialover said:

# 217. VISITOR

And are you thanking Iran, Hezbollah and Russia for the invaluable aid they are providing AGAINST the Syrian people?

I think you are.

July 29th, 2012, 4:57 am

 

VISITOR said:

# 223

If you read and understand what you read you would understand that Iran, Russia, China and Hizb Zbala are our enemies and will never be forgiven.

So do not try to play smart because then you sound otherwise.

July 29th, 2012, 5:08 am

 

Syrialover said:

DEAR VISITOR,

Please accept a sincere big apology. I jumped to the wrong conclusion that you were being sarcastic thanking those who have come to our aid. That is the tone of so many others here.

I am very admiring and heartened at your genuine expression of thanks to the allies of the Syrian people. It is a breath of clean air here.

I am so stressed about the suffering in Aleppo and sick of so many lies and games.

I’m also very delighted you see you state those others are our enemies never to be forgiven. It’s not said enough here.

July 29th, 2012, 5:30 am

 

Amjad said:

So apparently, according to Bruno, George Soros is behind all the revolutions in the world? I seem to recall a feeble attention craving pseudo-“Commando” from days of yore who kept saying the same thing.

Apparently, it is no longer acceptable to go around quoting the Elders of Zion, but fear not, anti-Semites have found that blaming George Soros is a handy alternative. “Blame the dirty rich Jew” has always been the refuge of the morally and intellectual bankrupt. Hitler, in his dying days, also blamed “International Jewery” for the disaster he found himself in.

July 29th, 2012, 5:36 am

 

Mina said:

Now that there is full evidence about who is the “third party” in Syria, and that it is also proven that the FSA has contact and authority on them (since they were able to enter the training camp and take the two journalists who were hostages there), Le Monde and the BBC, the forefront, decide not to report on this story.
The UK can’t pay the Olympiades bills without Qatar? Where is France thinking it is going by supporting Qatar?

July 29th, 2012, 5:38 am

 

Bruno said:

Well i can definitely tell Syrialover that your supporting Saudi Arabia as with the reply of Visitor.

(I am very admiring and heartened at your genuine expression of thanks to the allies of the Syrian people. It is a breath of clean air here.)

Yes your admiring that Saudi Arabia has send its Jihad fighters into Sryia not only but your also thankful for them that they had been supplying weapons for the fighters right.

As for my points on Georgia, they were just points.

But since 224 stated the following.

(If you read and understand what you read you would understand that Iran, Russia, China and Hizb Zbala are our enemies and will never be forgiven.)

So Russia,China,Iran are your mortal enemies following the same narrative of the mainstream news outlets which is not surprising.

Thanks for showing that you actually support the mujahideen and the Islamist agenda in Sryia.

July 29th, 2012, 5:49 am

 

Mina said:

#173
But we have been reading since the beginning of the uprising that Syria is different and that it cannot turn into another Iraq, even if it has the same confessions on the ground?!

July 29th, 2012, 5:55 am

 

Amjad said:

“I am very admiring and heartened at your genuine expression of thanks to the allies of the Syrian people”

God bless the humane people and leadership of Qatar.

God bless the magnificent people and leadership of Saudi Arabia, who have gone to unprecedented lengths to provide Syrians with every form of hospitality.

God bless Ambassador Robert Ford, the finest example of what a diplomat should be, and who risked his life to see first hand events in Syria.

God bless the USA, Britain, France, Germany and all the other nations that stood by the Syrian people at the highest diplomatic levels, while others just cast shameful vetoes in order to sell weapons of death.

God bless Turkey, thank God it’s the Turks who are our neighbors, and not the despicable Iranian theocracy.

God bless Saad Hariri, for sharing the burden of the numerous Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

God bless (most of) the Arab League, who have shown unprecedented initiative in trying to solve the tragic events in Syria, in a civilized and humane manner. Of course, all the good intentions in the world can’t do much if the junta is totally committed to being inhumane.

God bless the BBC, that paradigm of what a news organization should be, and especially the magnificent Paul Woods, who repeatedly risked his life to report from the most dangerous parts of Syria.

And God bless Professor Landis. Without his years’ long experience and studies on Syria, long before it became fashionable and Johny-come-latelies like Sharmine Narwani “yeah-you-can-become-an-expert-on-a-country-just-from-youtube” started crowding the Syrian debate, and without his excellent website, we would have been at a loss to find a platform as hospitable. Sorry about all the moderator troubles professor, it’s like when in Harry Potter they keep killing off their Defense of the Dark Arts teacher.

July 29th, 2012, 5:59 am

 

VISITOR said:

SL # 225,
Glad to know and thanks to you as well.

July 29th, 2012, 6:15 am

 

Mina said:

Instead of inciting sectarian strife, why isn’t the Gulf using its moral authority and satellite channels to fight sectarianism?
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/police-presence-high-around-dahshur-five-arrested-sectarian-strife

“Police imposed tight security measures in the village of Dahshur, Badrasheen, on Saturday in after sectarian clashes between Muslims and Copts the day before.

The clashes started on Friday when a Christian makwagi, a person who irons clothes for a living, burned a shirt owned by a Muslim customer while ironing it.

Muslims later set fire to Christian homes in the village, which is on the southern outskirts of Cairo, and at least one person was wounded as Muslims and Coptic Christians traded fire bombs.

Security forces stopped an attempt to storm the Mar Girgis Church in the village.

Badrasheen prosecution ordered the arrest of five Muslims, while the makwagi and a relative were detained pending investigation on charges of attempted murder and possession of explosives.

Prosecution investigators found that 1,000 Muslims had gathered to set fire to the makwagi’s house, and succeeded in burning it down completely. Damages were estimated at LE200,000.

All those who started the fire or helped start it, as well those who attempted to kill the makwagi and members of his family, were arrested, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Moaz, a young man who suffered 70 percent body burns, told the prosecution that he was walking down the street, unexpectedly came accross the fight, and a member of the makwagi’s family threw a Molotov cocktail at him. Investigations appeared to confirm Moaz’s testimony. (…)”

July 29th, 2012, 6:16 am

 

Expatriate said:

ما وراء الثورة السورية لماذا؟ من؟ كيف؟

July 29th, 2012, 6:48 am

 

Observer said:

According to Peter Harding of the Guardian, Fredo managed to convince his Alawi community that if he is removed a Rwanda will happen to them, that is why some seem to stick with him to the end, while others have joined the revolution and are against him.

Sorry did not have the link handy

July 29th, 2012, 8:39 am

 

Observer said:

Why is the Drum in Teheran? Does anyone know?

July 29th, 2012, 8:40 am

 

Tara said:

Luke Harding from the Guardian: 70-80% want the regime to go!

” al-Assad i saying to his sort of core Alawite base this is almost like a Rwanda moment. You have to fight with the regime because otherwise the Sunnis will take over and kill you all and I think it’s certainly true to a degree that the Alawi comunity has coalesced around this idea, that this has been a sort of existential struggle for them. Having said that I met a fascinating Alawite activist who joined the revolution from Latakia, which is in Assad’s homeland. He said: ‘Actually in Latakia half of the population there don’t support the regime, they’re against the regime.’ There are a lot of Alawite activists who have opposed this regime and suffered for it so the picture is complex. The wider aspect of this is the Free Syrian Army …is almost a sort of peasant army if you like, people from the countryside, people from the cities too, middle classes too but there is bourgeoise, people who have profited from the regime, who are happy with the status quo, who don’t like the fighting, are not especially enamoured with the revolution. The picture is delicate but the overwhelming sense among most Syrians certainly, certainly 70 or 80% is they want this regime to go.”

July 29th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

Amjad said:

“Why is the Drum in Teheran? Does anyone know?”

It’s the end of the month, he’s getting his monthly allowance.

July 29th, 2012, 9:02 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Tourism booming in Egypt,Thanks MB:
وتظهر في الموقع، صورة لسيدة منتقبة تركب الجيت سكى في عمق البحر وهي ترتدي النقاب، بينما تجلس أخريات على شواطئ البحر بالعباءات السوداء، أما الرجال فقد فضلوا أن يسبحوا في حمام السباحة بالتي شيرتات والبنطلونات، على الرغم من أن حمام السباحة مخصص للرجال فقط!
http://www.alarabiya.net/mob/ar/229044.html

July 29th, 2012, 9:18 am

 

zoo said:

Aleppo’s people are selfish. They don’t want to rise. The rebels will bring them into the revolution… by the force of weapons.

http://news.yahoo.com/rural-fighters-pour-syrias-aleppo-battle-105830615.html

“We liberated the rural parts of this province. We waited and waited for Aleppo to rise, and it didn’t. We couldn’t rely on them to do it for themselves so we had to bring the revolution to them,” said a rebel commander in a nearby village, who calls himself Abu Hashish.

The short scrawny man with a drooping grey moustache sits juggling cell phones and a walkie-talkie, arranging for the next convoy to head for Aleppo. Tanks of fuel and homemade grenades for use in rocket launchers are piled up along the outside of his house, ready to be dispatched.

“About 80 percent of the fighters in this city come from the countryside. Aleppo is a business town, people said they wanted to stay neutral. But now that we have come, they seem to be accepting us,” he said.

Outside the city, rebel commander Abu Hashish says more sacrifices are necessary, and that the time has come for his urban brothers to share the burden.

“In Aleppo they only think about trade, about money. They think about their own life, they think about their children’s future. They don’t fight the regime because they care about the here and now,” he said

July 29th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

Tara said:

SNK

So what? Doesn’t your most favorite country (Iran) live that way?

July 29th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

Ales said:

Harding is embedded with rebels. Let’s say his articles and people he interviews are representative of Syrian situation. If that is the case, poor Syrians.
Look at this beaten “Shabiha” interviewed in 1st video. Same person and others are shown bloody and tortured 1min into 2nd video.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/jul/28/syria-member-shabiha-militia-speaks-video

July 29th, 2012, 9:55 am

 

irritated said:

Amjad

God Bless Russia
God Bless China
God Bless the BRICS
God Bless Algeria
God Bless Iran
and God Bless all who oppose foreign colonialism disguised in democracy and humanism

Colonialists and zionists, stay out of Syria.

July 29th, 2012, 10:00 am

 

bronco said:

242. Tara

Iran does not depend on foreign tourism like Egypt and Tunisia.

Egypt in 2010: 12.5 billions dollars from tourism
Tunisia in 2009: 2.5 billions dollars
Iran : 1.2 billions in 2009

In addition Iran tourism is almost exclusively cultural while Egypt and Tunisia aside from specific archeological locations, is mostly beach, restaurants, bars, casinos and entertainments.

July 29th, 2012, 10:10 am

 

irritated said:

Sandro

But if Assad failed to control Aleppo what would come next….?

Keep hoping…and keep worrying.
One SC commenter predicted the end of of the regime in the Damascus battle. Now he is supposedly in Hatay while I believe he is under heavy sedatives to cure his trauma and depression.
Maybe you should ask him for some advices of what to do for the ‘After-Aleppo’ syndrome.

July 29th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

irritated said:

#243. Ales

Harding is embedded with rebels.

Not only “embedded”, but in bed with the rebels.

July 29th, 2012, 10:20 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

@178

And you, where do you stand?

What’s the matter, no pre- “trolling for athad on SC” briefing by the boss! …

Go back to the boss and ask for your whose who and where do they stand briefing. It is unfair to you and us for them to set you up like this.

July 29th, 2012, 10:20 am

 

Norman said:

After a year and a half of death and destruction, isn’t time to political solution , when are they going to recognize that they can have a total win and as in Iraq, Syria knew that it is political solution not military one, the pursuit of total war and apparently both parties think that if they make it bigger they will win is going to destroy the Mideast.Not that it is worth saving in my opinion.

July 29th, 2012, 10:25 am

 

irritated said:

Ghufran

Ref Bab Al hawa

What was the point of occupying that border entry only to leave it few days later?

They got some booze from the duty free shop they rampaged with the nearby villagers and free stuff “made in Turkey” from the lories they looted.
No mention in the foreign media about the recapture of the border.

Why not? It is necessary to keep the impression that ALL borders of Syria have been captured by the rebels and the Syrian government is totally ISOLATED and is LOOSING CONTROL on all the country.
The same keywords…

July 29th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

Tara said:

Bronco,

How is this different from nude beaches? They are privately owned and serve a subset of the population. They don’t adversely affect tourism in a country.

This innovative company is not advertising to make all Egyptians beaches dedicated to women with Niqab. They just serve this subset of the population. Other prople can still enjoy what Egypt have to offer. Women with Niqab like to splash with water too.

July 29th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

@144 … Just irritated Mr. Kim Jong-Un:the second child from the third wife of Kim Jon-il, the Castro brothers, and Chavez. يا للجحود .. No mention of the other “dear leadered” countries…

And where is the blessing for fossilized Arab Nationalist Lefties. Hell, one of them even died in the anchor chair for betho… oops before I forget…. the buffoon.

July 29th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

zoo said:

NATO misled the world on Syria
Published on Saturday July 28, 2012

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1233367–nato-misled-the-world-on-syria

Nation states have always been adept at war propaganda. Modern states have mastered the art.

When NATO intervened in Libya, Stephen Harper could not stop talking about how Canada helped save Libyans from the prospect of a slaughter by Moammar Gadhafi. But with Bashar Assad committing massacre after massacre, Harper and other allies have made a virtue of being silent accomplices to crimes against humanity. They have held fast to their excuses.

July 29th, 2012, 10:47 am

 

Ghufran said:

أعلنت “شبكة حنين” مقتل الوهابي السعودي “محمد سالم الحربي” إمام مسجد بالرياض، من سكان “الجنادرية” في السعودية، خلال مواجهات الخميس الماضي بين المعارضة السورية المسلحة التي كان ضمن صفوفها وبين الجيش السوري على طريق أريحا ـ اللاذقية
It would have been better for the sheikhs to advance the cause of freedom in his own country.

July 29th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

zoo said:

“God Bless Saudi Arabia and Qatar”

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-syrian-war-of-lies-and-hypocrisy-7985012.html

Robert Fisk:

While Qatar and Saudi Arabia arm and fund the rebels of Syria to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite/Shia-Baathist dictatorship, Washington mutters not a word of criticism against them. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan’s dark ages.
Indeed, 15 of the 19 hijacker-mass murderers of 11 September, 2001, came from Saudi Arabia – after which, of course, we bombed Afghanistan. The Saudis are repressing their own Shia minority just as they now wish to destroy the Alawite-Shia minority of Syria. And we believe Saudi Arabia wants to set up a democracy in Syria?

July 29th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

Amjad said:

Irritated, that’s a *very* short list of “friends” you could come up with. And FYI, South Africa abstained from the last UN Security Council vote. But I suppose that’s the most you can expect from your “friends”.

Russia is like a sleazy ambulance chasing lawyer, who will tell you that your dubious law suit has plenty of merit, just as long as you keep writing them “retainers” for $10,000. Yes sir, you are in the right, let me just make sure your credit is good, yep, you got me until the end of the quarter.

Actually, the Russians themselves have admitted that they have less influence in Syria than the guys who sell the now-all-too-rare gas cylinders. Which begs the question, why are we even giving this prima donna Pouting Putin the time of day?

So, Gulf women athletes better represented and far outperforming the ones the Assadians put forward at the Olympic Games. Shocking. What ever happened to the female-empowerement-utopia? I’ll add that to my usual list of questions that the menhebakjis can’t possibly answer (such as why was Najati Tayara thrown in jail, and why were Malek Jandali’s elderly parents beaten up, and why was Ali Ferzat tortured, and why hasn’t your prethident been to a single military funeral yet? Is everyone and everything cannon fodder to him?).

July 29th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

Ghufran said:

كشفت صحيفة “صنداي تلغراف” البريطانية اليوم الأحد أن معسكرات المقاتلين الإسلاميين في شمال سورية الذين يقاتلون ضد الدولة السورية ليس بينهم سوريون وتجمعاتهم تضم رجالاً من باكستان وبنغلادش والشيشان وعددا من الجنسيات الأخرى، مؤكدة أن 40 بالمئة منهم يتحدثون اللغة الانكليزية غير أن جنسياتهم غير معروفة، ولفتت الصحيفة إلى أن وزارة الخارجية البريطانية تحقق في مشاركة مواطنين بريطانيين بعملية اختطاف نفذها مقاتلون إسلاميون في شمال سورية ، مشيرة الى أن المصور البريطاني “جون كانتلاي” وزميله الهولندي “جيرون أورليمانز” احتجزا لدى المقاتلين الإسلاميين لمدة أسبوع حين دخلا عن طريق الخطأ إلى معسكرهم أثناء عبورهما الحدود من جنوب شرق تركيا إلى سورية بطريقة غير شرعية لتغطية الأحداث الجارية هناك.
A friend with the NCB told me privately that if this revolution fails it would not be because of Russia or Iran support,he cited three problems that the NCB talked about from the very beginning:
1. Taking up arms
2. Allowing Islamists,especially foreigners, to join in
3. Not doing enough to win support of Syria’s sizable minorities and people in the middle
He believes,and I agree,that this regime will not last long,but the price Syria is paying was too expensive,many deaths could have been prevented and a more stable and inclusive regime could have emerged.

July 29th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

bronco said:

251. Tara

So you mean segregated beaches: private ones for foreigners in bikini drinking Martini where no Egyptians will be allowed and public ones for ‘locals’ where foreigners will not be welcomed and no alcohol is available.

That’s pure apartheid and it cannot work.

In Iran there are no private beaches for foreigners. They have segregated public beaches for women and children, and it is applicable to everybody, locals and foreigners.
If a country wants to apply strictly islamic rules of gender segregation, clothes control and no alcohol, it might as well forget about western tourism.

July 29th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

bronco said:

Ghufran

He believes,and I agree,that this regime will not last long

It may last at least until the next presidential election in Syria, whenever it will happen.

July 29th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

irritated said:

Amjad

I am glad you admit that Syria has other important friends that I did not mention .
Thanks.

July 29th, 2012, 11:20 am

 

Ghufran said:

أشار رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري المالكي في بيان، إلى ان “نزاعاً كاد يندلع بين قوات البشمركة الكردية والقوات العراقية، على أثر منع الأكراد قوة للجيش من الوصول إلى  نقطة حدودية مع سوريا”، لافتاً إلى ان “تصرفات قوات الإقليم تعد مخالفة للدستور وكادت أن تؤدي إلى حدوث نزاع مع القوات العراقية”.
وأضاف أن “عبور قوات البيشمركه إلى حدود محافظة نينوى والسيطرة على مفاصل إدارية فيها والتهديد بإستخدام السلاح يمثل ظاهرة خطيرة لا تحمد عقباها”، لافتاً إلى ان “قرار نشر قوات الجيش والشرطة الاتحادية على مسافة ستمئة كيلومترم على الحدود المشتركة بين العراق وسوريا جاء لمنع التداعيات السلبية لما يجري في سوريا ولم يستهدف إقليم كرستان”، مشدداً على ان “الاعتراض على وجود قوات إتحادية على الحدود المشتركة مع سوريا وهي خارج حدود الإقليم يشكل مخالفة صريحة للقوانين والإجراءات الأمنية”.
The Kurds are now sure that neither Syria nor Iraq can stop them,the US invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Syria provided the right environment for them to pursue their goals and stretch their muscles,Turkey is left alone in its battle to contain the Kurds,be prepared to see a new situation in Kurdish areas,I personally have no problem with the Kurds struggle to enjoy peace and self governance in their areas especially after the failure of Arab governments and Turkey to reform and provide Kurds with reasonable accommodations.

July 29th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

Ghufran said:

القاهرة ـ قال الشيخ صفوت حجازي أن على هيفاء وهبي أن “تتقي الله وتتوب إليه وتنتهي عن ما تفعله من التعري وإظهار مفاتن جسدها لأن ذلك مما يغضب الله”، مؤكدا في الوقت ذاته أن ما تقدمه لم يعد مرحبا به في مصر وأنها عليها أن تعيد حساباتها إذا أرادت أن تستمر إقامتها في مصر الفترة المقبلة، حسبما ذكر موقع شباب الاهرام.
ما سبق كان ضمن حلقة “زمن الإخوان” مع الإعلامي طوني خليفة والذي وجه للدكتور صفوت اتهاما بعقده صفقات مختلفة يغير على إثرها مواقفه السياسية حتى أطلق عليه لقب “صفقت حجازي” وهو اللقب الذي رفضه حجازي بشدة، أيضا تم مواجهته بإتهام خاص بإهانته لشباب الثورة حينما تحدث عن “شقة العجوزة” والذي قال أن 6 من شباب الميدان ذهبوا إليها وقت الثورة ومعهم خمر ونساء.
I had the pleasure of watching Hijazi,an advisor to Mursi,making a fool of himself on a TV program that is watched by millions. I hope that our Islamist friends keep talking.

July 29th, 2012, 11:37 am

 

Tara said:

Bronco

No. This is not what I said. I am not defending segregation of beaches. What I said is that women with Niqab should have access to beaches too. Some beaches should serve this population regardless of their citizenship. Egyptian family that do not have members with Niqab can go of course to regular beaches where tourists go.

July 29th, 2012, 11:38 am

 

VISITOR said:

Propagandists of the criminal regime now rely on known KKK members and avowed White Supremacists to advance their agenda – the so-called ‘resistance’ of hizbala and Iran mullajis.

Can’t be more bankrupt.

See Kandahar.

July 29th, 2012, 11:44 am

 

Bruno said:

@VISITOR
(Propagandists of the criminal regime now rely on known KKK members and avowed White Supremacists to advance their agenda – the so-called ‘resistance’ of hizbala and Iran mullajis.)

Is that the best argument you got to offer? nothing but insults and accusations?

(the so-called ‘resistance’ of hizbala and Iran mullajis)

And you and other Propagandists on here of the criminal regimes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia rely every news article based from the western mainstream news outlets which have misled the American public on the war with Iraq.

July 29th, 2012, 12:10 pm

 

bronco said:

261. Ghufran

If the Syrian Kurds get more autonomy, they will still remain within Syria until the Kurds in Turkey move to create an independent Kurdish state.

July 29th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Why are the FSA fighters sacrificing themselves?  They should not hold on territories they can’t keep.  They should only attack and retreat.  It becomes suicidal otherwise.  They need qualitative weapons to neutralize tanks and war planes.
—-
Luke Harding, in Aleppo province, has sent through the following update, which provides an insight into the resources on the opposing sides:

One military commander in Aleppo’s rebel-held Boustan Alkasr province said shelling had continued all weekend. The commander – who declined to be named – was relatively pessimistic about the Free Syrian Army’s chances of fending off repeated attacks. “The FSA has several hundred soldiers stationed inside Aleppo, and in total a bigger force in the area of around 2000. The regime has 100 tanks, we estimate, and about another 400 troop carriers and armoured vehicles. They also have 43 buses of Shabiha that have been brought inside Aleppo, with around 1500 soldiers. And the regime has helicopters.”

The commander said that unless the opposition could get access to heavy weapons it would take “two to three years” to defeat Assad’s military machine. But he also said he didn’t think Damascus would carry out a large-scale “frontal assault” on Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city; instead it would bomb rebel-held civilian districts from the sky. He add that the regime had flown fighter jets over the city: not to fire rockets but simply to spook residents – tens of thousands of
whom have already fled.

Four FSA fighters were killed on Saturday in Saleheddin, a southern district that has seen some of the worst fighting, the commander said. The rebels remain in control of a crescent-shaped chunk of the city stretching from the east to the south, but are also encamped in villages just 13kms to the north. They entered the city on 20 July. The FSA has set up a network of checkpoints in the neighbourhoods it controls, run by young militia fighters, many of them extremely nervy.

Different rebel groups inside the city are struggling to communicate with each other. They have walkie-talkies. But the regime has hacked communications in recent days, with the internet and other services erratic.

Inside Aleppo, locals in FSA areas said they supported Syria’s
revolution against Bashar al-Assad. But they complained about acute shortages of bread and fuel, and said they were terrified by the constant presence in the sky of helicopter gunships. In the Boustan Alkasr area at least 100 people queued up on Saturday outside a bread shop. “We have nothing to eat,” one woman said, according to video footage smuggled out by activists.

July 29th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

bronco said:

263. Tara

You mean the no-bikini, no alcohol will be a choice for moslems?

It was the case under Mobarak. It was mostly a class segregation. Well-off egyptians were westernized and would frequent clubs where alcohol and bikinis were allowed. Poor people were in conservative public beaches.

I doubt that the new Islamic and popular based government will tolerate that segregation for long.

July 29th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

VISITOR said:

# 265,

Do you deny that the regime is criminal?

If so, then please refrain from corresponding as in this case there would be a non-reconcilable problem with your moral compass.

By the way, I deny that the fighters of the FSA are criminals but Syrian liberators, and they are the best of the best of the Syrian army (or should we say former Syrian army of thugs?). I also deny that the Saudi and Qatari regimes are in any way criminal. In fact, I believe they are great regimes. There you go… more reasons to not correspond unless you agree to these terms. Then I’ll give you arguments.

………………………………………

The KKK white supremacist in question of # 264 is David Duke who appeared in the video of 234.

July 29th, 2012, 12:29 pm

 

bronco said:

#267 Tara

It becomes suicidal otherwise. They need qualitative weapons to neutralize tanks and war

Because they are subjugated by the media and the fake promises of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and the UK that they will win.
They complain that Qatar and KSA are not sending ‘qualitative’ weapons, but sending just enough weapons so Syrians kill each other for a long time. Instead of sending militaries, Qatar and KSA and Turkey are allowing Islamists to get in and create havock.

Their purpose is obviously not to have the FSA or the SNC win the war, it is to bring the country to its knees. It’s time the idealists who are thanking Qatar and KSA realize what is happening.

July 29th, 2012, 12:30 pm

 

irritated said:

Visitor

I also deny that the Saudi and Qatari regimes are in any way criminal. In fact, I believe they are great regimes.

That’s the best joke of the day… Thanks

July 29th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Kurds are moving…

Northern borders Iraq-Syria in the hands of the Iraqi Kurds

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has deployed 10,000 troops near the Rabia border crossing town between Iraq and Syria after the Iraqi central government attempted to wrestle control of the post away from the Kurds.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/northern-peshmerga-central-iraqi-army-face-off-over-border-post.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26575&NewsCatID=352

July 29th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

Bruno said:

Want to see what pragnnada is like on Sryia? Ok Rebel supporters take a good look.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/s720x720/526431_392187634177046_21720650_n.jpg

In a German news papers on the top of the first page they seems to have added what it seems to look like a very conving photo supposed taking place in Sryia, Wrong the photo on the news paper is not in Sryia but rather its from a another conflict.

Headline translates as “Assads Tanks roll through the streets to the Mother of all Battles”

See the way they added the photoshopping there at the top?

July 29th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

AIG said:

Bronco,

Assad should have thought about the possible scenarios when he decided to make very little reforms in his 11 years and when he decided to make powerful enemies. Do you think that the Saudis were happy to be called “half men”, and do you think they would not forget?

Assad funded Hamas and Hezbollah. You thought that was a great idea. But in fact it just made Syria’s economic situation worse because of the sanctions. And let me remind you that it took years for Assad to admit that the sanctions were hurting.

So over 11 years Assad delivered very little while squashing the hope and dignity of most Syrians. What did you accept would happen? What has brought Syria to its knees is the 11 years of the Assad regime. What we are seeing now is just the inevitable results.

For years I read on this blog how great Assad’s foreign policy is. Well, it is clear now what a huge catastrophe Assad’s foreign policy has been and how it has led to Syria possibly being broken up and divided. Assad was short sighted as a blind man in a chimney, and now Syria and Syrians are paying the price.

July 29th, 2012, 12:42 pm

 

zoo said:

The SNC trying to take the lead in the elusive “Post-Bashar” era

Syrian transitional government ‘weeks away’ from being finalised
Awad Mustafa
Jul 29, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/syrian-transitional-government-weeks-away-from-being-finalised

DUBAI // A transitional government solution for Syria is weeks away from being finalised, according to the chairman of the opposing Syrian National Council.
Related

Abdulbaset Saida, who was in Abu Dhabi yesterday for a meeting with foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, told Sky News Arabia a transitional government proposal was discussed at the Arab Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Doha last week.

“The transitional government has been set as a priority at the last Arab meeting and we will be discussing with all the factions and parties involved in the struggle the criteria for it’s development,” he said.

Among the parties that need to be consulted are the Free Syrian Army and opposition political leaders currently in Syria, he added.

“The time frame set for this government to be formed is the next few weeks,” he said. “This government has to be set up and ready before the fall of the Assad regime.”

July 29th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

bronco said:

AIG

Assad should have thought about the possible scenarios when he decided to make very little reforms

The opposition should have thought about the possible scenarios when they decided to refuse the reforms proposed by Bashar in april 2011.

Now they are stuck and Syrians are dying.

July 29th, 2012, 12:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

The article is about a company that cater to well off conservative families, where the company rent off a whole club or beach and women swim wearing niqab. I do not see class- segregation here unless you say, there is no niqabbed families that are well-off in Egypyt. In that case, this company will just go bankrupt. I just do not know, but I know in Syria lots of women with Hijab or niqab who live in Malki or Mezza.

In any case, to me seeing size 12 and up in Bikinis is as drastic as seeing a female swimming in black niqab, yet I just respect their choice.

July 29th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

Bruno said:

@zoo
(DUBAI // A transitional government solution for Syria is weeks away from being finalised, according to the chairman of the opposing Syrian National Council.)

(“The time frame set for this government to be formed is the next few weeks,” he said. “This government has to be set up and ready before the fall of the Assad regime.”)

Before the fall of the Assad regime? highly unlikely that Assad would even fall, the rebels aren’t gaining any ground, these news outlets are like as if they can see into the future.

July 29th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

Expatriate is not the only person using white supremacists as “proof” of the grand conspiracy, Elian did the same when he/she copied and pasted word for word that whole rant on sharia law (post #95). And then they arrogantly say they are not sectarian…

Rather sick and disgusting to see what level menhibaks will stoop to, to prove a point.

July 29th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 
 

Expatriate said:

maybe the Arab spring must move to Europe! because the back of the Europe is NOW on the soap !

July 29th, 2012, 1:11 pm

 

Ghufran said:

بعد خمس سنوات من الاعتقال والسجن الجائر اطلقت قوات الاحتلال الاسرائيلي اليوم سراح رئيس لجنة تسويق تفاح الجولان يوسف صالح شمس من اهالي بلدة مجدل شمس المحتلة
Some of the Assads political opponents spent more than 5 years in prison without trial.

July 29th, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

Juergen said:

Bruno

Be precise, its a austrian newspaper, a tabloid as some here care alot comparing the “quality” of newspapers.

July 29th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

Amjad said:

“Want to see what pragnnada is like on Sryia”

What in the name of Syrian Hamster’s tail is pragnnada? Sorry, your pic doesn’t do much to illuminate what this new concept is. Guys, let’s all take a guess on what pragnnada is;

1) A Soviet era military medal. Order of the Pragnnada, second class, given for women who have had nine children and bought in the harvest early.

2) Battle of Pragnnada, where glorious Soviet troops defeated a Nazi German offensive of 25,000 men, at the “mere” cost of 250,000 Soviet lives.

3) One of those weird state departments that only socialist countries like “Sryia” has; Ministry of Interior, Department of Pragnnada affairs, Latakia Province.

4) A convoluted misspelling of the word “propaganda”, where the poster screams “conspiracy! I am a westerner! George Soros the Rich Dirty Jew is behind it all!” and offers what he claims is a doctored image, but without citing the name of the original newspaper or the name of the newspaper that doctored the image.

July 29th, 2012, 1:51 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

267. TARA

FSA members are the most courageous people on earth! sacrificing themselves so that the next 43 years in Syrian history would NOT be ruled by a hereditary dictatorship. They know that Bashar’s/Nasrillat’s/Russian/Iranian forces, which they are now facing, are better equipped and more sophisticated. But, life under foreign Russian/Iranian domination and domestic minority/hereditary rule is MORE hurtful and humiliating!
You don’t abandon a just cause just because it seems AT THE MOMENT to be a lost cause! Below is what Edward Said, Palestine’s intellectual, once said (you can find it as a banner on his Website/archives):

http://www.edwardsaid.org/
Edward Said:
“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”

Free Syria & Palestine!

July 29th, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

VISITOR said:

We must tell the White House that their advice is I’ll-conceived. De-Baathification is essential for post-Assad Syria in order to rid the country of its disastrous effects. The White House is perhaps not aware that the so-called Ba’ath has been used over the last 50 years as a vehicle to impoverish the country and rob to legal owners of their properties. There should be accountability and redress. There will be no Ba’ath in post-Assad Syria.

The army on the other hand must be rehabilitated in order to cleanse it of all the thugs that are operating outside military command. Also the command structure must be revamped in order to reflect the population composition more accurately in the senior positions. The fourth brigade will definitely be disbanded and all it’s senior commanders and perhaps some lower ranked must be put on trial and severely punished.

July 29th, 2012, 2:13 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I believe that even the staunchest of acute mnhebaks feels, that when Waleed Mu’alem says that Israel is behind of this “conspiracy”, He is lying.
.

July 29th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

China,Russia,Turkey,The US muscle stretching …..??3rd world war:
• Three Chinese warships crossed into the eastern Mediterranean today, joining 10 Russian warships and three US aircraft carriers, as well as dozens of Turkish military vessels.

5.24pm:
Turkish reporter Mahir Zeynalov, from Today’s Zaman, reports that China is the latest country to send warships to the eastern Mediterranean, near Syria, making for quite a crowd.
One Syria-bound Chinese destroyer ship crossed through Suez today while two Chinese warships passed through Istanbul straits today.
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) July 29, 2012
There are now 10 Russian warships, dozens of Turkish gunboats and warships, thrhttp://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/29/syria-bashar-al-assad?cat=world&type=articleee U.S. aircraft carriers, three Chinese warships in east Med

July 29th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Juergen
(Be precise, its a austrian newspaper, a tabloid as some here care alot comparing the “quality” of newspapers.)

Well that can be said about the Guardian the.

@Amir in Tel Aviv
(I believe that even the staunchest of acute mnhebaks feels, that when Waleed Mu’alem says that Israel is behind of this “conspiracy”, He is lying.)

If Israel isn’t behind this why not just prove it? i already have proven that the Israel government wishes and wants the Rebels to win in Sryia just so Sryia as an ally or as some of you view as an puppet to Iran wants it to fall.

July 29th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

#201 Albo said:

‘And so you think the KSA, Qatar are assisting in this “revolution” for free?’

These countries (esp Saudi) would be under pressure from their populations to do something. They will want to be seen to be doing something about this horror show. Muslims around the world would be demanding from countries such as Saudi and Turkey to act.

Of course they will have their interests too.

Btw I’m no fan of Saudi.

July 29th, 2012, 3:09 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian troops recapture key district in Aleppo: TV – 2012-07-30

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_123489989.htm

DAMASCUS, July 29 (Xinhua) — Syrian troops on Sunday regained their control of Salahuddien neighborhood, a key battlefield in the week-long clashes in northern province Aleppo, according to reports of a state-run TV.

The state TV said Salahuddien has been purged of armed groups, in reference to rebel fighters.

The neighborhood was the first to fall in the hands of the rebels last week, when they announced the commencement of battles in Aleppo to “liberate it” from government troops. The rebels are the ones who have ignited the spark of fighting in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the state TV said that the government forces have also succeeded in freeing kidnapped people from the armed rebels in suburbs of the capital Damascus and southern Daraa province.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

ann said:

Iranian president says West seeks to save Israel, dominate region – 2012-07-30

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_123489620.htm

TEHRAN, July 29 (Xinhua) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that West is seeking to save Israel and to strengthen its dominance in the region, according to Iranian presidential website.

Making the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran, Ahmadinejad stated that “With no doubt, the NATO forces and the countries which do not respect justice and liberty are unable to present them to ( other) nations,” said the report.

Referring to the current situation of Syria, he expressed hope that stability and security be restored in Syria soon with the help of its nation and government.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

Expatriate said:

In Syria, the West is preparing a traditional provocation “chemical weapons stolen.” In the Mediterranean Sea, the Russian squadron moves 3 fleets. Increasing U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf. Iran has called on citizens to prepare for the “last war”. Russia joined the WTO. Why?

“Syria continues to attempt to remove from power Bashar al-Assad through international pressure, attacks and killings of civilians. An unexpected development was the story of a Turkish fighter jet shot down. Turkish General Staff on Saturday, made a sensational statement. First, he officially announced that the fighter was shot down by Syrian and crashed, and then at least formally took back his words. According to the latest version of the Turkish plane was shot down yet Syrians, but an unknown weapon. Why such confusion in the testimony, you ask? And why now?
Perhaps because on the eve of the Syrian security forces have detained 24 Turkish citizen. It is known that they were arrested in a hotel, and, therefore, it is not a simple action movies, but the more important mining. It is so important that Turkey was ready to write off the loss of his aircraft at the accident, but it was time to see hail from the West and took back his words.

Meanwhile, Syria has conducted a large-scale exercises at sea and in air. In the Mediterranean Sea is heading, and the combined Russian squadron led by the large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet, “Admiral Chabanenko”. Formally, for anti-piracy exercises, as well as to ensure the safety of the port of Tartus … ”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzcTvFSvrnI
The global redistribution. Review of the week. Issue 36
—————————————————————
For Syria had the hottest week in recent memory. A series of attacks in Bulgaria, Damascus, and Kazan led us to think about their relationship. A close look at what has happened, has shown that they have much in common. Details in release.

This week was one of the most difficult for Syria. Her enemies are on the eve of the vote in the UN Security Council tried to do everything possible to discredit the peace plan. Hit powerfully and agreed on all fronts: the terrorist attacks in Damascus, the flow of media reports about the successes of the opposition and the flight of Bashar al-Assad. Just like it was a year ago in Libya. However, the attacks were repulsed. The militants were driven from the capital, Bashar al-Assad in Damascus made, dispelled rumors of her escape. The climax took place at the next council meeting, but here with the veto power of Russia and China once again managed to defend Syria. The result was a technical version of the resolution adopted, providing for the extension of the observer mission for another month. The best option for Syria it was hard to imagine.

Meanwhile, more than half of the members of the Iranian parliament supported a bill blocking the Strait of Hormuz. The final decision on this matter should take a spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And he, as you recall, in our previous issue, is set very aggressively. Naturally, this decision has caused an angry reaction from the U.S. threatened to lift the blockade by force. Iran is the same regardless of that, new tests conducted ballistic anti-ship missile, “Khaleej Farce» (Khalij Fars) in the Gulf.

However, the main theme of the week for us was a series of attacks that swept the world and which affected Russia. Almost simultaneously the terrorist attacks took place in the Bulgarian Burgas, Damascus, Syrian and Russian Kazan. Such synchronicity suggested to us that among these tragedies is the relationship.

Judge for yourself, all the attacks carried out successfully and performed by professionals. Such actions do not occur spontaneously, and carefully prepared well in advance of an entire team of specialists of the highest class. It is obvious that no home-grown terrorist organization is not able to meet the challenges of this level.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pejS0Xfd7TM
The global redistribution. Review of the week. Issue 37

July 29th, 2012, 3:59 pm

 

ann said:

U.S. warns Syrian opposition against repeating mistakes in Iraq: report – 2012-07-29

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/29/c_123489299.htm

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Xinhua) — The Obama administration, eager to avoid mistakes made in Iraq, warned Syrian opposition forces against completely disbanding President Bashar al-Assad’s security and government apparatus once he is killed or forced from power, a press report said on Sunday.

The Washington Post said U.S. officials, in increasingly detailed strategy sessions over recent weeks, have urged Syrian rebels and opposition leaders to resist sectarian reprisals if al-Assad’s government falls.

“Officials said they are endeavoring to help the rebels learn from U.S. mistakes in Iraq, where the dissolution of the army and other institutions unleashed further turmoil,” the newspaper said.

The U.S. government has generally avoided public comparisons with Iraq, but urged Sunni-dominated opposition forces to respect minority rights in a post-al-Assad Syria.

The chaos and power vacuum in Iraq, which followed the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003, is a major reason President Barack Obama has all but ruled out direct military help for the rebels, the report said.

“You can’t have a complete dissolution of that ‘system’ because those institutions will be needed in a political transition,” a U.S. official was quoted as saying.

“What you need to prevent is the de-Baathification of the country,” the official said, referring to al-Assad’s ruling Arab nationalist movement.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

ann said:

Iran FM says certain countries to be affected by repercussions of their intervention in Syria – 2012-07-29

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/29/c_131746598.htm

TEHRAN, July 29 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday that certain countries cannot remain unaffected by the repercussions of their intervention in Syrian affair.

Salehi made the remarks at a joint press conference with the visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran.

Iran hopes that some regional countries can act wisely about their measures in Syria, said Salehi, adding that if they continue their wrong policies regarding Syria, “for sure, its repercussions will affect everybody.”

“We even cannot predict precisely its (the intervention’s) severe consequences … Such an incident will affect all the region, even the world,” added Iranian foreign minister.

The thoughts that the Syrian government will change and another government will replace it easily is a “void and fanciful dream,” he added.

“Syria must be given time to implement the reforms,” said Salehi.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:05 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian govt claims victory in Damascus as Aleppo battle rages – 29 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-israel-damascus-iran-aleppo-fighting-333/

The Syrian government has declared victory in Damascus while the fierce struggle for control of Aleppo continues. Meanwhile, the country’s Foreign Minister is in Iran, seeking support from the Islamic state.

According to Reuters, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said, “Today I tell you, Syria is stronger… In less than a week they were defeated (in Damascus) and the battle failed. So they moved on to Aleppo and I assure you, their plots will fail.”

The comment was made during his visit to Tehran, where he met with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi.

Fighting between rebel and government forces escalated in Aleppo on Sunday, just as Salehi expressed doubts that a managed Syrian power transition would ever work. According to Reuters, he called the very idea an “illusion.”

“Thinking naively and wrongly that if there is a power vacuum perhaps in Syria and if there is a transition of power in Syria, simply another government will come to power, that I think is just a dream,” Salehi said.

According to reports from Al Arabiya, Muallem said, “We believe that all the anti-Syrian forces have gathered in Aleppo to fight the government…and they will definitely be defeated.”

Sarkis Kassargian, a local reporter for Al-Khabar TV, told RT, “The rebels were controlling the area of Salaheddine. They’ve moved out of the area, and the Syrian army is in control of the region now.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on regional powers to stop supporting the Syrian opposition, arguing that the power vacuum which would open up should the government in Damascus fall would result in dire consequences for the whole region.

“The blow back for Turkey aiding fighters on its own border is astounding. Parts of northern Syria are already under the control of Kurds. And as for the US, the last time they armed jihadists, we saw the 9/11 attacks,” Rattansi told RT.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

ann said:

BREAKING NEWS: US Supported “Free Syrian Army” Defeated in Damascus, In Retreat in Aleppo – July 29, 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32114

Confirmed by press reports, the US-NATO supported “Free Syrian Army” has been defeated in Damascus.

Government forces are in full control of the nation’s capital. The Syrian government has declared victory in Damascus.

In Aleppo, government forces have regained control of most of the city with pockets of rebel fighters still active in the south-western Aleppo district of Salaheddine.

“The government of Bashar al-Assad declared victory on Sunday in a hard-fought battle for Syria’s capital Damascus, and pounded rebels who control parts of its largest city Aleppo… Helicopter gunships hovered over the city shortly after dawn and the thud of artillery boomed across neighborhoods. Syrian state television said soldiers was repelling “terrorists” in Salaheddine and had captured several of their leaders.” (Reuters, July 29, 2012)

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 

ann said:

Syria lashes out at Saudi, Qatar, Turkey – Jul 29, 2012

http://www.calhountimes.com/view/full_story/19618160/article-Syria-lashes-out-at-Saudi–Qatar–Turkey–?instance=home_news_1st_left

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian regime accused regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of trying to destroy the country and vowed Sunday that it would defeat rebels who have captured large swathes of the commercial hub Aleppo.

Military forces in Aleppo fired tank and artillery shells at neighborhoods as rebels tried to repel the government air and ground assault. According to activists, rebels who launched an operation to take over Syria’s largest city a week ago are estimated to control between a third and a half of Aleppo’s neighborhoods.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, on a visit to Iran, leveled some rare public criticism of Sunni powers in the Middle East, saying Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are supporting a plot hatched by Israel to destroy Syria. The three countries have all been backing rebels trying to overthrow authoritarian President Bashar Assad.

“Israel is the mastermind of all in this crisis,” Moallem told a joint news conference in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi . “They (Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) are fighting in the same front.”

“They mobilized all their armed terrorists and tried to capture Damascus in less than a week,” Moallem said. “They were defeated. Today, they’ve gone to Aleppo and definitely they will be defeated in Aleppo,” he added. The rebels mounted a challenge to the regime in Damascus before the assault on Aleppo, but after a week of intense clashes, they were defeated.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

“Tell us how Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the last absolute monarchies in the world, will bring democracy to Syria so we have a good laugh.”

Not as good as the laugh we’ll have when people talk about one of the most brutal and murderous police regimes in the world and highly corrupt one (129 on the corruption scale) will lead Syria into democracy. At least Qatar is considered to be one of the least corrupt countries in the world (22 on the corruption scale) and the vast majority of Qataris are happy with their government and live like kings.
Even KSA fairs a lot better on the corruption scale (57). So they have something to offer, at least in the area of corruption reduction.

At any rate, we talk the aforementioned quote as a proof that the Syrian regime cannot bring about reforms and it most go.

July 29th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

gk said:

Watch this video guys and laugh!

July 29th, 2012, 4:35 pm

 

ann said:

Pope Benedict XVI renews call for end to violence in Syria – July 29, 2012

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Pope+Benedict+renews+call+violence+Syria/7008087/story.html

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has issued an urgent appeal for an end to “all violence and bloodshed” in Syria.

The pope in his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer called for all parties, including the international community, to spare no effort in seeking peace and a political settlement to the conflict.

Speaking from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict says he continues “to follow with concern the growing and tragic episodes of violence in Syria.”

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 4:43 pm

 
 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

246. irritated said:

“One SC commenter predicted the end of of the regime in the Damascus battle. Now he is supposedly in Hatay while I believe he is under heavy sedatives to cure his trauma and depression.”

Thousands of damascenes and aleppines predicted that demonstrations would end in 2 or 3 weeks and everything was going to be under control. This prediction was done in March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, and so on.

Now many of them have fled to Beirut and one of them is surely dead, his name is Assef Shawkat.

The syrian people, God protects him.

July 29th, 2012, 4:57 pm

 

ann said:

Feature: Syrian refugees flee violence but face new ordeals in Iraq – 2012-07-30

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_123490241.htm

Al-QAIM, Iraq, July 29 (Xinhua) — Syrian refugees and Iraqi officials disclosed the difficulties that the refugees are suffering in Iraq’s border town of al-Qaim after they fled their violence-shattered home country.

“I realized now that the hell of the shelling in my country ( Syria) is better than the promised paradise of living in schools and some government buildings,” Abu Ahmed, 50, complained about the tight security measures in the Iraqi camps that left the Syrian refugees suffer from being treated like prisoners.

However, Abu Ahmed is very grateful to the residents of the city of al-Qaim and some humanitarian organizations, who are ” doing their best to satisfy the needs of the refugees.”

“Resorting to al-Qaim is our best choice because it is the nearest Iraqi city for us and because we have relatives in al-Qaim, ” Abu Ahmed said, adding that he wish that the Iraqi authorities would let him live with his relatives.

Um Sameer, 45, a housewife from the Syrian city of al-BuKamal near the Iraqi border, told Xinhua “when I left my home I didn’t think where I would live with my three daughters in Iraq, who would help us or how. We were terrified if the clash would come to our city, there would be shelling and mass killings.”

“It is very difficult for my three daughters to live in such a way. I really wish the turbulence in my country will be over soon, ” she said.

Mazin, 34, said the situation is unbearable for him as he is sitting at the camp and is fasting for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in which he would have to stop eating and drinking from before the sunrise until the sunset.

“It is hard here to fast in Ramadan for the high temperature and a lack of supplies for other needs,” he said, adding that what makes it worse is that his wife is an Iraqi national and has left him to visit her parents in al-Qaim but he is not allowed to leave the camp.

For his part, Abdul-Basit Eiyadah, supervisor of one of the camps in al-Qaim, said “the security measures by the Iraqi army are so tight that some refugees told their relatives and friends in Syria not to come to Iraq.”

An Iraqi security officer, who works at one of the camps, attributed such tight security measures to the need to prevent insurgents from infiltrating Iraq and that Iraq does not want to be part of the bloody conflict in Syria.

“The goal of such measures is to monitor the crossing of the refugees so that their numbers will be under control to avoid humanitarian crises. In addition, we need to control their movement inside Iraq,” the officer told Xinhua.

According to Maliki’s instructions, the Syrian refugees will be divided into three categories. First, those who have relatives in Iraq can leave the camps after being guaranteed by their relatives. Second, those who carry passports can apply for residence and live wherever they like in Iraq. Thirdly, those who have no passports or relative guarantees will stay at the camps near the border.

The number of refugees who have crossed the border into al-Qaim until Sunday night reached 2,800, Farhan Eftiekhan, mayor of the city of al-Qaim, told Xinhua.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 5:07 pm

 

ann said:

Post 290 and 303 are identical

July 29th, 2012, 5:13 pm

 
 

Aldendeshe said:

Halloween in July

http://www.juancole.com/images/2012/07/kuwatstock.jpg

This picture above alone speaks volume about the creativity, Innovative mind set, Stylish designs and progressiveness of Semite Culture. Anthropologically speaking, about as much Social sophistication you will find in an Ant Colony. Take out the oil and its revenue and what you will be left with? Way less than you will find in a bee hives or ants colny. So much less you need not an Anthropoligist to study it, rather a biologist will do.

July 29th, 2012, 5:50 pm

 

ann said:

Saudis mum on aid center in Turkey for Syrian rebels – July 29, 2012

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/29/13019259-saudis-mum-on-aid-center-in-turkey-for-syrian-rebels?lite

Gulf sources told Reuters on Friday that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar had established a center in Adana, southeastern Turkey, to help the rebel Free Syrian Army with communications and weaponry as it battles in major cities against forces loyal to Assad.

“The very well-known position of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to extend to the Syrian people financial and humanitarian assistance, as well as calling upon the international community to enable them to protect themselves at the very least if the international community is not able to do so,” a foreign ministry spokesman said by text message on Saturday, answering a Reuters query about the base.

The Gulf sources had also said the Adana center, which is near the Syrian border and a U.S. Air Force base at Incirlik, was set up at the suggestion of Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah during a trip to Turkey.

[…]

July 29th, 2012, 5:54 pm

 

Tara said:

Are we missing any German pro-regime

German prosecutors say they have filed criminal charges against a person suspected of spying for Syria, AP reports.

A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors said on Sunday that they have filed charges against a suspected Syrian spy but said she couldn’t give any other details before they have confirmation that the suspect and the defence team have received the indictment.

She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with department rules. The weekly Der Spiegel, which didn’t cite sources, identified the suspect as Akram O., one of two men arrested in Germany in February who authorities have said are suspected of having spied on Syrian opposition activists in Germany for several years.

From the Guardian

July 29th, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Armed rebels lost control of Salaheddin district in Aleppo.

July 29th, 2012, 5:57 pm

 

ann said:

308. Aldendeshe said:

Way less than you will find in a bee hives or ants colony. So much less you need not an Anthropologist to study it, rather a biologist will do.

Great material! Very funny Aldendeshe! Thank you!

July 29th, 2012, 6:01 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Clash of the Titans: Angry Arab vs JL

“…I am sure you heard of Joshua Landis, who is supposed to be a really good “Syria expert” and someone who I used to respect. Here is what he said after the Syrian Army uprooted the terrorists from Midan in Damascus…

This is a renowned “Syria expert”! Since he announced he has a book on the way over the subject, he has been becoming more and more bigoted and narrow-minded”.

http://angryarab.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/syrian-flag-and-bigotry-toward-alawites.html
.

July 29th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

Stick to the truth said:

308. Aldendeshe said:

Halloween in July

I can`t see a single woman.

July 29th, 2012, 6:08 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

308. Aldendeshe said:

Halloween in July

http://www.juancole.com/images/2012/07/kuwatstock.jpg

You mean the HOLLOW WE

July 29th, 2012, 6:43 pm

 

erin said:

ok who is lying the regime or the rebels!
it seems the FSA and its mercenaries are being killed on a daily basis according to the regime news, in tens and the number the human right Abdu Al Rhaman reports is increasing on a daily basis which is most probably are foreign rebels and terrorists.
meanwhile the rebel reports keeping hold of large area.
it seems photoshop dose wonder for the rebels many posted pictures are fake and some don’t belong to syria at all.
regime may last into the 2013 or even 2014 the only difference that more terrorists, mercenaries will die on Syria soil.
the regime lies as well but the regime lies are more predicated.
it is more the regime doesn’t tell the story than lying
for example the regime didn’t report that the interior minster didn’t die on the first day but wait a week to show him out.
tactic or secrecy the bottom line that many news channels reported the person dead.
lying about syria probably has not stopped for the last few thousands of years, exactly like anywhere else, for example the myth that wild wild west was won on horses is a lie, the more truth that native american died more from Syphilis than from the white man and probably there is similar truth to that in Syria.

July 29th, 2012, 6:48 pm

 

Syrialover said:

In Damascus, losing faith in Assad

From article:

Even as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reassert control over much of Damascus, residents of the capital say they feel increasingly distant from the government they have long supported and are confident that it will eventually fall.

“We have feelings of hatred towards the regime now which will never get washed away,” said a 62-year-old man who owns four houses in the capital but thinks none of them is safe enough to stay in. Like others, he did not give his name because he was concerned about the possible consequences.

Some Damascus residents who have returned to their homes have been forced to confront the deadly results of the violence.

In the Midan neighborhood, where government forces took control after nearly a week of heavy fighting, “two whole families were slaughtered” in a public square, said a 30-year-old resident. Homes were demolished, shops looted and his house was broken into by security forces who went door-to-door after the fighting, the man said. “We can’t stay in Midan. There is no life anymore.”

The 30-year-old said he worked as a government servant and had been paid to break up anti-Assad protests by shocking demonstrators with electric prods. But he said any loyalty he felt to the government has disappeared. “How can you work for a government which shelled and destroyed your neighborhood?” he said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-damascus-losing-faith-in-assad/2012/07/27/gJQAmTzTEX_story.html

July 29th, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

Michal said:

I would really like to comment on this site, but the constant stream of pro-regime troll(s) flooding the comment field with brain-dead flood of completely common articles I can find by the dozen elsewhere is greatly discouraging.

July 29th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

irritated said:

#304 Sandro

Thousands of damascenes and aleppines predicted that demonstrations would end in 2 or 3 weeks and everything was going to be under control.

They did not suspect that such vicious enemies of Syria, Qatar and KSA and Turkey were going to pour millions of dollars of weapons to make it last enough to bring the country to its knees with 20,000 killed.
Now they know who are they friends….

July 29th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

316. Syrialover said:

The 30-year-old said he worked as a government servant and had been paid to break up anti-Assad protests by shocking demonstrators with electric prods. But he said any loyalty he felt to the government has disappeared. “How can you work for a government which shelled and destroyed your neighborhood?” he said.

If this is true, then call it crocodile tears

July 29th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrialover

The article you posted is right on the money. Some of my family members who were long term patrons of the regime are now much disenchanted with the regime and finally realizing Batta is the problem not the solution. Snipers are everywhere they say. The only location they feel safe is Malki. Houses in Malki are now resided by extended family members, 13 or 15 in a house. Those of them who are dual citizens are already in the US. I can tell you the regime lost the heart of the Damascene business class. That however was long due.

July 29th, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

erin said:

will the money spent by the GCC dogs support to Syrian economy? it is still hard foreign cash pouring into the country.
too bad it is not more and more every day at the expense of the mercenaries they are sending to Syria.

July 29th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

irritated said:

286. VISITOR

..must.. should.. will ..
Good advices, but who listen to you?

July 29th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

irritated said:

Tara

I can tell you the regime lost the heart of the Damascene business class.

They’ll be back as soon as it calms down whether Bashar is here or not.
Their life in Syria is much sweeter than anywhere else and they know it.

July 29th, 2012, 7:08 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 313. Amir

Angry Arab is no doubt feeling jealous and angry about the wide media presence and respect being shown to Joshua Landis.

It’s a free market, he can compete.

July 29th, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

erin said:

amazing how the western journalists writes articles and news as if they are intelligence officers not journalists.
it seems the psych war has bought the media, that’s called third world media not a free world media.
many or the reporters are just acting on the behave of the state department of their country.

July 29th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Irritated,

I never returned. Could not tolerate the injustices..

Yet, I agree with you, probably they will

July 29th, 2012, 7:13 pm

 

erin said:

Michal said:
“I would really like to comment on this site, but the constant stream of pro-regime troll(s) flooding the comment field with brain-dead flood of completely common articles I can find by the dozen elsewhere is greatly discouraging.”
I don’t think your writing makes sense!
if you don’t like this blog, no one is forcing you to come or write”
If you think the pro regime hijacked this site, there are too many other sites where the rebel supported mercenaries paid by the GCC dogs are available.

July 29th, 2012, 7:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Fight rages in Aleppo, where Arab League chief says war crimes being committed
From Ivan Watson, CNN
updated 5:42 PM EDT, Sun July 29, 2012

 Elaraby, the head of the Arab League, said Sunday in a statement that his group supports calls from the Syrian opposition for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to address the situation in Aleppo.
Elaraby added that the group believes war crimes are being committed in the city.
Officials from the Arab League are planning visits to Russia and China hoping to convince the superpowers, which have vetoed several resolutions over Syria, to change their stance, he said.
The regional group’s statement came hours after Syria’s top diplomat delivered ominous words about the battle for Aleppo, vowing that rebel troops would not gain control of the city.
“Since last week, (opposition fighters) planned for whatever they called the ‘great Damascus battle,’ but they have failed after one week,” Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said during a trip to Iran, one of his nation’s few remaining allies, in referring to a rebel offensive beaten back earlier this month. “That’s why they moved to Aleppo, and I can assure you that they will fail.”

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/29/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html

July 29th, 2012, 7:19 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

324. irritated said:

Tara

I can tell you the regime lost the heart of the Damascene business class.

They’ll be back as soon as it calms down whether Bashar is here or not.
Their life in Syria is much sweeter than anywhere else and they know it.

In US they will discover very soon that they are NO-BODYs.

Congratulation Tara for having your friends soon around you, but do not forget SC, we will miss you.

July 29th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

Aleppo said:

I find it curious that the only argument supporters of the tyrant have is that in his absence Syria would become an Islamic Caliphate. Curious because if you look at history the singlemost important driver of political change is the economic situation. That we know has been a disaster even if a small part of the population got richer. When people don’t have much to lose, guess what? So what if we get a bit more or a bit less religion in day to day life? This has also been a feature in many countries. Some sort of dialectical behaviour of push and pull.

I am not saying by any means that there was not some sharing of enthusiasm with other Arab countries. Yes, but at the heart in Egypt was the economy and the crony capitalism. Not as bad as in Syria but undoubtedly a feature.

In any case it is also a fact that Syria has become more Islamic over the years. It was never a secular republic in any case. Look at the legal system for example. Assad had to give in to demands in that front while splitting the bounty with close associates, another big mistake that antagonized many large and mid-size merchants. They were and are not the opposition but thye just saw something really stupid and unsustainable and that takes it to where we are.

Regardless if Assad finishes up the rebels in Damascus and Aleppo, his days are finished. Firing missiles from helicopters? Bombarding ciites with tanks and turining Homs into an unbelievable war zone? Torturing indiscriminaterly even women and children. And even worse from a realpolitik stand point: Assad has shown that he is a very weak politician both domestically and internationally. He’ll leave sooner or later and I doubt it will be in good terms given what he has gotten himself in. I just hope that Syria is able to get itself together and forget the terrible past. Tall order for this part of the world, I know.

July 29th, 2012, 7:29 pm

 

hamidoh said:

Can someone stop posting anything related to angry arab, he is supposed to be a secular arab, yet he is the biggest supporter of shia theocracy in iran and lebanon.
How can he be neutral about syria given his sectarian background !?

July 29th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

irritated said:

Rumors that Bandar Ben Sultan has been killed in a blast…

Any confirmation?

July 29th, 2012, 7:45 pm

 

irritated said:

Bandar ben Sultan dead?

July 29th, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

308.

‘Halloween in July’

Under this regime it’s like halloween everyday in Syria.

July 29th, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

zoo said:

Is it true?
Blast hits Saudi intelligence building, killing deputy spy chief

http://republican.ie/forum/index.php?/topic/88171-blast-hits-saudi-intelligence-building-killing-deputy-spy-chief/

A blast has hit the builing of Saudi intelligence service in Riyadh, killing deputy of the newly-appointed intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, according to reports.

The explosion took place on Sunday when Bin Sultan’s deputy was entering the building, Yemen’s al-Fajr Press quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

Saudi media have so far refrained from showing any reaction to the blast.

July 29th, 2012, 7:50 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

329. Aleppo said:

I find it curious that the only argument supporters of the tyrant have is that in his absence Syria would become an Islamic Caliphate. Curious because if you look at history the singlemost important driver of political change is the economic situation.

This is not fully valid argument. Look at the KSA. They are not Caliphate, but behave like a Caliphate who want to rule the ME.

I just hope that Syria is able to get itself together and forget the terrible past.

I also hope so…

July 29th, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 318. Michal

Yes, it’s very frustrating. Joshua’s policy has always been to encourage all sides to be in a discussion, but some of those posting here badly exploit this and have polluted the previous high standard of this comments section.

In many cases, they clearly expose their 100% lack of knowledge, interest or stake in Syria, but come here to entertain themselvs and push their own pet agendas and conspiracy theories.

You can pick them as insensitive, unbalanced and offensive people, craving attention.

I have valued the discussions on SyriaComment for 6 years, and I find it shocking and disturbing that they would choose this time of crisis in Syria to play silly personal games on this forum.

It can be hard hanging in here.

July 29th, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

Tara said:

Does the FSA have a strategy? Their military leaders know their weapons are inferior to the regime and that they eventually will lose their strongholds.

What after Aleppo?

Would’ve not been better if they waited a bit to get more quality weapons before launching the battle of Aleppo? Or was the battle itself a mean to get more qualitative weapons, incite more defection, and turn Aleppo against the regime?

What were their goals of launching the battle now? I hope they can eventually retreat without heavy casualties.

We need them around alive and well ….to liberate Syria.

July 29th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

zoo said:

New recruits in the Syrian Army

July 29th, 2012, 8:03 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Aleppo (329)

Spot-on comment. Good to read it, thanks

Stick to the Truth (#331)

You said: “(KSA) are not Caliphate, but behave like a Caliphate who want to rule the ME.”

I’m interested, how would you characterize the mullahs in Iran?

Apart from being hellbent on keeping the Sunni-Shia dispute festering (to the extent of even trying to take over Syria in league with Syrian-people-hater Bashar Assad).

July 29th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

332. Tara said:

Does the FSA have a strategy? Their military leaders know their weapons are inferior to the regime and that they eventually will lose their strongholds.

First place the question shall be: What did they reach except death and destruction on both sides.

What after Aleppo?

If they really love Syria and Syrian then they shall start talking and negotiating before its to late……

I am sure they can reach more than with war.

July 29th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Tara,

The FSA are doing as well as anyone else would in their position. I respect and admire them whatever their tactics, and am not offering them any armchair suggestions. Except to please stay as safe as they can.

As you saw with Damascus, they might lose their strongholds, but they left Assad with a major loss of hearts and minds among the citizens.

July 29th, 2012, 8:10 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I was watching CNN about 4 hours ago (9pm UK time) and they had a large ‘Developing story’ caption as they talked to Ivan Watson. He was talking about rebels besieging an isolated base. If I remember correct he sad about 100 soldiers were trapped in there with 14 tanks. They called for help and the regime responded with firing shells (or similar) from many kilometeres away. 3 hrs later one helicopter arrived but it was too late. By then the rebels had captured or destroyed the 14 tanks and took control of the base.

I’m going by memory so I hope I’m not mistaken in the details.

Ivan Watson said that the regime strategy was flawed by removing troops and sending them to Aleppo it was leaving bases isolated and vulnerable without back up.

From Tara’s link I got this link to an Ivan Watson piece. It is timed at 5.29 European time. The report I heard was at 9pm and was the latest live update.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/29/cnns-ivan-watson-inside-syria-rebels-attack-army-base/

July 29th, 2012, 8:10 pm

 
 

ghufran said:

History will not be forgiving to Bashar,he may be able to say that he is facing armed rebels now,but that was not the case last year or in the 11 years of his rule before the uprising.
the biggest challenge now is not whether the regime can be toppled or not,this is a done deal even if it takes few months or a year,the biggest challenge is for Syrians themselves to come up with a pleural system that can be sustained and not allow their country to become a failed state in civil war,to me that is a harder task than getting rid of the regime.
my memories from Syria and my interactions with syrian expats lead me to believe that eventually Syrians will forgive but not forget,forgiving does not mean allowing big criminal heads to get away with outrageous human rights abuses,but you all need to remember that justice is blind and it must reach all guilty parties pro and anti regime.

July 29th, 2012, 8:16 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Sources: Assad regime has 6 months of funds left

Some inside Syria claim the Assad regime may be broke, but there are also signs it’s not running out of money. Elizabeth Palmer reports there may be enough money left to support the military for another six months of fighting.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7416556n&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%25253A+CBSNewsVideo+%252528News+Video%25253A+CBSNews.com%252529

July 29th, 2012, 8:16 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrialover

I disagree on this one. Collective efforts and collective thinking is a faster way to success. Sayda attempt to mobilize the FOS to provide
qualitative weapons is not an armchair suggestion.

July 29th, 2012, 8:27 pm

 

Stick to the Truth said:

Stick to the Truth (#331)

You said: “(KSA) are not Caliphate, but behave like a Caliphate who want to rule the ME.”

I’m interested, how would you characterize the mullahs in Iran?

Exactly. This shows that economical development is not a drive for democracy in ME.

ME is not ready for democracy despite the vast fortune. And the superpowers do not want reall democracy in the ME. All what they want is to change one ruler with a ruler who is more convenient to them.

Syrians must understand that and work out a solution, otherwise i am afraid we all will be disappointed.

July 29th, 2012, 8:30 pm

 

Syrialover said:

347. Uzair8

The regime might be able to spin out funds for the military, but can they keep paying the huge number of ordinary Syrians who depend on the public purse for salaries and pensions?

Loss of income for those people means further serious erosion of confidence and trust in the regime. Probably even more unmanageable civil unrest and strikes.

July 29th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

Aleppo said:

There is also another simple issue I’d like to address here: it is often mentioned that the rebels, oppostionists, FSA members and the list goes on ALSO commit atrocities. I have no doubt this is the case, it doesn\’t take much imagination and experience to understand what happens in open armed conflict. But how can anybod accept that the legally established government in a country treats its population like both Assads did? Is there any morally defensible argument for the jailing, torturing and killing of thousands of people? For Mukhabarati control of all and any pubic meetings? One doesn’t have to side with the opposition as in any case it is very fragmented but how can anybody support Assad? It is not possible. The

Moreover, let’s go back to an issue that has been somewhat discussed here: how can Assad talk about being the enemy of Israel and fire missiles from helicopters in Aleppo in civilian areas? How many missiles did he fire towards Israel? Israeli planes flew into Syrian airspace detected and they did nothing!The Syrian Army is the instrument of a family and its cohorts being used as they please to kill their opponents and also defenseless civilians. One can watch Asma talking in Paris to an audience of personalities in 2010, even Mme.Lagarde was there. She sounded modern, smart and open minded. Incredible smoke screen while the country was being looted. Again, unacceptable. I firmly believe that Bashar Assad is either one of the greatest fools to rule a country in the ME or a crazy ruthless tyrant. Or perhaps both. One cannot accept this under any circumstance regardless of what the alternative is.

July 29th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Tara,

My point was that we cannot know from outside in detail what the FSA fighters strategy or otherwise is.

But we can be confident their leaders are now getting plenty of highly specialised and experienced advice. How much they are able to carry it out and are curently doing so, we’ll know later.

Whatever they do, they will be heroically doing their best in incredibly dangerous and challenging circumstances.

July 29th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

omen said:

1. Things Are Not What They Seem

a statement dripping with multiple ironies.

July 29th, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

Amjad said:

Tara @339

What we are seeing is Syria’s equivalent of the Tet offensive in Vietnam. Back then, the goal wasn’t to take over a country or hold territory. It was a way for the Vietcong to demonstrate to the United States and the South Vietnamese that despite the massive B-52 bombing campaigns, despite the best efforts of the US military, the Vietcong were still a dangerous and potent fighting force, able to coordinate and launch attacks country wide.

And it mattered a great deal to the Vietcong what their enemies thought of it. Just as in the Syrian revolution, the conventional thinking back then on the part of US military experts was that “Charlie”‘s forces consisted of localized militias, incapable of coordinating with each other and reaching deep into the South Vietnamese strongholds. But the offensive convinced the US of the futility of any further efforts in propping up the South Vietnamese government, and sowed the seeds of defeatism in the ranks of the South Vietnamese military. It also emboldened the rank and file of the Vietcong.

In a war, the state of mind of the opposing forces matters much more than the quality of weapons. The FSA is far, far from being beaten, as the regime’s supporters had been claiming since the junta’s assaults on Baba Amr and Idlib. The purpose of guerrilla warfare is not to hold territory, it is to strike, and live to strike again, and again, and again. If the regime shells an area and moves a few tanks into it, it has not won a “victory” anymore than a starving man has feed himself by inhaling the smell of a steak meal.

July 29th, 2012, 9:06 pm

 

VISITOR said:

This is how popular the criminal son of the criminal is in liberated Syria,

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/29/cnns-ivan-watson-inside-syria-rebels-attack-army-base/

July 29th, 2012, 9:07 pm

 

omen said:

351. another comparison to israel, aleppo.

aje

similar destruction can be seen in the damascus suburbs. activists say these areas were purposely flatten by tanks and bulldozers. a crude way to stamp out rebellious neighborhoods.

July 29th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

Amjad said:

Aleppo

“it is often mentioned that the rebels, oppostionists, FSA members and the list goes on ALSO commit atrocities”

Interesting point. The first Japanese city the US army occupied at the end of WW 2 was Yokohama. US soldiers and sailors acted with impunity, and there were hundreds of cases of rape in the city. A disturbing and outrageous episode in US military history. However, it was an isolated incident, and the American occupation of Japan in general was humane, civilized and helped build a modern society. It did not lessen from the noble and righteous American war against Japanese and Nazi Germany expansionism.

Now compare that to the utterly reprehensible behavior of the Soviet army in East Europe and Germany. Millions of German women were gang raped by the raging Russian hordes. Even Russian female and Jewish prisoners of war were not spared. Russia’s occupation of Germany was characterized by the brutal and savage behavior of its troops. Acts of kindness and humanity were the exception, rather than the rule.

I hope everyone remembers these two contrasts when people like Ass’ad Abu Khanzeer (who is such a failed Marxist that, unlike Professor Landis, he won’t allow a single comment on his eye-vomit of a website) rages and rants against “FSA crimes”.

July 29th, 2012, 9:18 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

As I see it, their strategy is to wear out the loyalists (or what is left of the SyA). And they are quite successful at it. This is a guerrilla war of attrition. Keeping strongholds, or not loosing them, is insignificant. They are like ghosts. The Irony is that the shabbiha, which I understand translates as “ghosts” in Arabic, are now being hunted by the new ghosts – the FSA.

About the regime’s superior arms, this too is an illusion. Yes, they have the tanks and the armored vehicles, but tanks cannot protect you in today’s battle-field environment. The IDF did learn it in 2006. The Syrian loyalists learn it now too.

From what I see on YT, the loyalists are overwhelmed. They are in a state of complete disarray, and in a state of a logistical nightmare.
I give them days. Not even weeks.
=========================

Amjad 354,

I agree!
.

July 29th, 2012, 9:23 pm

 

omen said:

rebels killing regime soldiers on the field of battle gets counted as an atrocity by critics.

July 29th, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

ghufran said:

I am not sure # 357 believes the morbid piece he wrote about the virtues of Syrians killing Syrians and how to defeat your “enemy” without holding ground,etc. no wonder an Israeli fellow liked it.
I hope the guy is not Syrian,if he was,it means that we have reached a new low in our thinking and that the brutality of the syrian army may suddenly be justified if that army is the “enemy” in a war against “occupation”, that post made sick just after I had Iftar,now I need to eat again.

July 29th, 2012, 9:31 pm

 

omen said:

rebels leafleting:

The revolutionaries know that it is essential to win the population. They try to organize the neighborhoods they control, and security. Handing out pamphlets, “The Brigades of the unit to the population of Aleppo and its suburbs,” the text begins. “We had come to Aleppo as quickly as possible to protect the city and its people. Cooperate with us to prevent theft and chaos: the new Syria will be that of honest men. The former regime is to destroy everything. We can save the people that if Syria and the Syrian Army free cooperate. Feel free to contact us in case of problems, 24 hours/24

July 29th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

omen said:

344. UZAIR8 said:100 soldiers were trapped in there with 14 tanks. They called for help and the regime responded with firing shells (or similar) from many kilometeres away. 3 hrs later one helicopter arrived but it was too late.

that’s in keeping with this earlier report:

Some of these government-occupied outposts and bases, the opposition says, are now resupplied almost entirely by helicopter. Government patrols are said to be rare, leaving opposition fighters free to roam, and coordinate attacks, as anti-Assad activists said have been occurring in neighborhoods in the capital, Damascus, much of last week.

use of ieds have a bigger impact than i imagined. regime is afraid to travel by road.

July 29th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

omen said:

oops

link for 361.

July 29th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

ghufran said:

a U.N. official — citing the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent — said that about 200,000 people have fled Aleppo over the past two days.

July 29th, 2012, 10:03 pm

 

Information said:

Erin – The cash the GCC countries poured into the country before the war was stolen by the Assads, Makhloufs, and their minions, so either way, it wouldn’t help the average Syrian economically. They donated plenty.

As for their arming The FSA, as history has shown, arming them won’t neccesarily lead to influencing the direction the country heads in after the war. The FSA wants the guns, the Saudis want Iran to hold less sway in Syria, but beyond that, they won’t get anything. Anyways, as any Syrian will tell you, the khalijis have never shied away from enjoying some of the more liberal aspects of Syrian society. I can’t see why they would even really want a conservative Islamic government in Syria. And to the slaves plowing the fields for Assad, foreigners who are always trying to take a contrarian stance on issues, and ignorant blog trolls, why don’t you stop focusing on other dictatorships, and start focusing on our own dictatorship. When someone has a gun to your head, and another murderer comes to rescue you, you don’t refuse that person’s help just because he’s murdered before.

To quote a member of Hizbullah, “If they’re offering guns, we’ll take them.”

As for the direction this is all heading, it’s obvious Assad is losing. The FSA is winning because they’ve managed to get Assad’s brilliant hawks to make mistake after mistake. Never underestimate how the lack of any sort of meritocracy in government and the military affects the quality of their decisions. Remember when the protests started, and the government announced that it would allow niqabis to teach in schools. I’d love to talk to the brilliant mind that came up with that concession. I’m guessing it was Bouthaina Shaaban. It’s also obvious that the FSA has a significant amount of civilian support because without it they would have been crushed immediately. They not only have a lot of tight lipped supporters among the civilian population, they have a lot of very tight-lipped active supporters among the civilian population and within the government. Luckily, the Assads have spent over 40 years teaching the Syrian population how to lie well and conceal our true beliefs.

July 29th, 2012, 10:15 pm

 

ghufran said:

just in case any of you had any doubts about the influence of islamists in the uprising:

July 29th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

irritated said:

#361 Omen

Did they give a toll number?

July 29th, 2012, 10:47 pm

 

zoo said:

قناة الميادين : انسحاب “الجيش الحر” من حي صلاح الدين بحلب .

July 29th, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

Observer said:

The Drum went to get support at the Mullahs
The Iraqi army is trying to control border crossings but on the Syrian side they may not be able to deliver weapons or fuel to the regime.
The Russians are clearly distancing themselves from the regime; they keep saying we are not wedded to Fredo or his regime. We want to respect sovereignty or so they say. Well the regime lost its sovereignty when it attacked its own people.

ZOO the conscripts that you showed are they going to fight so that Asma can do her shopping while their families live in dire poverty?

I think this You tube is fake otherwise you would have seen it on SANA and Almanar.

So the regime claims a victory in Damascus. The regime can continue to pile pyrrhic victory over pyrrhic victory and can continue to sell us the old song of resistance and imperial hegemony.

Cheers the viruses and the germs have become fully resistant to the antibiotic of fear and intimidation.

July 29th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria says it recaptures Aleppo district after battle

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8610SH20120729

Rebel-held areas of Aleppo visited by Reuters were almost empty. Fighters were basing themselves in houses.

Reuters journalists in the city were not able to approach the district after nightfall on Sunday to verify whether rebels had been pushed out. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human rights said fighting was continuing there.

The government also declared victory on Sunday in the battle for the capital, which the rebels assaulted in force two weeks ago but have been repulsed in unprecedented fighting.

The battle for Aleppo is a decisive test of the government’s ability to put down the revolt after the July 18 explosion killed four of its top security officials and wrecked the Assad family’s image of untouchable might.

It has committed huge military resources to Aleppo after losing control of outlying rural areas and some border crossings with Turkey and Iraq.

July 29th, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

zoo said:

Who is afraid of Syria’s future?

As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role
Bulent Kilic/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/world/middleeast/as-syrian-war-drags-on-jihad-gains-foothold.html?pagewanted=all

A gunman who said he was a member of a jihadist group near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Syria. The signs read “The solution is Islam,” left, and “There is no god but God.”
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and HWAIDA SAAD
Published: July 29, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — As the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government grinds on with no resolution in sight, Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.

The past few months have witnessed the emergence of larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant organizations pushing an agenda based on jihad, the concept that they have a divine mandate to fight. Even less-zealous resistance groups are adopting a pronounced Islamic aura because it attracts more financing.

Idlib Province, the northern Syrian region where resistance fighters control the most territory, is the prime example. In one case there, after jihadists fighting under the black banner of the Prophet Muhammad staged significant attacks against Syrian government targets, the commander of one local rebel military council recently invited them to join. “They are everywhere in Idlib,” said a lean and sunburned commander with the Free Syrian Army council in Saraqib, a strategic town on the main highway southwest from Aleppo. “They are becoming stronger, so we didn’t want any hostility or tension in our area.”

July 29th, 2012, 11:11 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 365. Information

Lots of sharp-edged truths there!

I especially like your point that civilian support for the FSA is being helped through Assadist culture making Syrians good at concealing their real opinions and dodging the radar of authorities.

July 29th, 2012, 11:14 pm

 

zoo said:

#369 Observer

I think this You tube is fake otherwise you would have seen it on SANA and Almanar.

You mean that you trust SANA and Al Manar to show only real videos?
Great compliment you are giving them.

July 29th, 2012, 11:17 pm

 

zoo said:

Deaf ears until the West sees who wins the battle of Aleppo?

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/aleppo-clashes-continue-opposition-demands-un-meet


In response to the attacks, the external opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) called on Sunday for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the fighting, claiming that the regime is planning “massacres.”

“The Syrian National Council calls on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss the situation in Aleppo, Damascus and Homs,” the SNC said, adding that the “regime (of President Bashar al-Assad) is preparing to storm and commit massacres in Aleppo.”

It provided no evidence for the claims that civilians would be massacred.

The UN Security Council should “take action to provide civilians with the needed protection from brutal bombing campaigns,” the SNC statement said.

It also called on “countries which are friendly to the Syrian people to take serious steps towards the establishment of a no-fly zone, and the creation of safe zones where two million displaced people can seek protection.”

Iran, one of the Syrian government’s closest allies in the past year, continued to support the regime on Sunday, with foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi saying the idea of a managed transition of power in Syria was “an illusion.”

“Thinking naively and wrongly that if there is a power vacuum perhaps in Syria and if there is a transition of power in Syria, simply another government will come to power, that I think is just a dream,” Salehi said at a news conference during a visit from his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Mouallem.

“It’s an illusion. We have to look carefully at Syria and what’s happening inside the country.”

July 29th, 2012, 11:27 pm

 

ghufran said:

لقي إبراهيم منافيخي ،الذي اشتهر بدعوته للجهاد من على منبر جامع صلاح الدين بمدينة حلب، مصرعه خلال عملية للجيش السوري
و نشر المعارضون فكتبوا: ” نزف إليكم بكل فخر و اعتزاز أحد أسود كتائب أحرار الشام من كتيبة الشهباء البطل قاهر الشبيحة الشهيد بإذن الله ابراهيم منافيخي أبو ياسر الملقب قسورة الحلبي ( 28 عاما ) “.
وظهر منافيخي قبل أيام وقد اعتلى منبر جامع صلاح الدين بعد طرد إمامه ، بالقوة وتحت تهديد السلاح ، مرتديا جعبة قتالية ولوح برشاش حربي و أعلن الجهاد على الجيش السوري ومن ثم خرج مع أنصاره وقاد مظاهرة “سلمية لكن مسلحة ” هتفت للحرية و جالت منطقة صلاح الدين وتوعدت بالموت جنود الجيش السوري و” الرافضة المجوس” وهي صفة كراهية تطلق على طوائف إسلامية من قبل رجال الدين السعوديين .
the mentioned video was posted on SC few days ago.

July 29th, 2012, 11:44 pm

 

zoo said:

Who died in this “revolution”?

According to the OSDH, based in Britain, the total number of people killed since March 2011 is 20,028 people. It includes 13,978 civilians, and 5,082 members of the army and security services and 968 deserters.
The OSDH records as those civilians who took up arms against the regime without being soldiers.

http://www.lorientlejour.com/category/Derni%C3%A8res+Infos/article/770940/La_moitie_des_20.000_morts_de_Syrie_tues_au_cours_des_4_derniers_mois_%28ONG%29.html

July 29th, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

ghufran said:

القصة ببساطة أنني صرحت بآرائي كلها في دمشق، وقام النظام بمحاربت
وقطع رزقي وفصلي من وظائفي، وحين اتخذت المواجهة طابعاً عسكريا لا أومن به على الإطلاق وحين اشتدت مخاوفي على بناتي من تهديدات جدية لم تتوقف من دعاة العنف وعلى رأسهم شبيحة النظام، قررت أن اوفر لهم ملاذاً آمناً وأبحث عن رزقي وانا الآن أعمل مدرساً بارت تايم في جامعة برستون في الامارات وزوجتي مدرسة في الشويفات، وأنا خرجت من مطار دمشق، وحين يتاح لي من جديد أن أتحدث عن رسالتي في الحب والسلام فساعود أيضاً عبر مطار دمشق.
وإذا كان طرحي مرفوضاً من كل عنيف فهل تظن أن هذا هو رأي الشارع؟ هناك شارع عريض صامت لا يؤمن بالعنف ولا يؤمن بالكراهية، وهؤلاء لم أتغير معهم ولم يتغيروا معي، وهم بالضبط من أعمل لأجلهم وأعيش معهم وأرجو رضاهم
That was Muhammad Habash.
This regime is not interested in friends,it only wants puppets.

July 29th, 2012, 11:54 pm

 

Bruno said:

Well Well looks like i was right.

Looks like the FSA in Sryia really do want to turn Sryia into an another Egypt as reported by Zaid Benjamin.

(EXCLUSIVE: The Free Syrian Army inside #Syria suggests the name of Moulham al-Dorobi (Muslim Brotherhood) to lead transitional government )

I am sure Sryia lover wont have a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood.

As in Egypt the Christians since the MB won the Christians are leaving in large numbers and i am sure Sryia FSA Supporters wouldn’t mind that at all.

But the then is Assad wont to lose to Radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

July 29th, 2012, 11:59 pm

 

ghufran said:

local diplomacy wins
I love to bring a good story from Syria when I find one:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/29/world/meast/syria-prisoner-exchange/index.html?hpt=imi_t4

July 30th, 2012, 12:05 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

“local diplomacy wins”
Nice story. Hope diplomacy wins.

July 30th, 2012, 12:24 am

 

Bruno said:

I see 6 likes for the Muslim Brotherhood on Here.

July 30th, 2012, 12:47 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Video uploaded on 29/7.

Al Faruk liberate several ckpt at Talbiss and destroy several
vehicles and killed many shabbiha

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/al-faruk-liberate-several-ckpt-at-talbiss-and/

On a related note, we can’t know for sure what is happening in Damascus and Aleppo until videos emerge of FSA activities (successes/claims) and for this we wait….

July 30th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

ghufran said:

كشفت صحيفة “ميل أون صندي” البريطانية الأحد، أن المستشار السياسي لرئيس بلدية لندن بوريس جونسون، يقدّم مشورات سرية للمجلس الوطني السوري المعارض في معركته الرامية للإطاحة بالرئيس بشار الأسد.
وقالت الصحيفة إن لينتون كروسبي، المستشار في حزب المحافظين البريطاني الحاكم الذي يوصف بأنه “استاذ في فنون السياسة السرية” والمرشح لتولي منصب في مكتب رئاسة الحكومة البريطانية، يساعد المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض في حشد وسائل الإعلام الغربية وراء قضيته.
وأضافت أن شركة كروسبي المتخصّصة في حملات الضغط والتأثير (سي تي إف) إستهدفت الأثرياء المسلمين في بريطانيا لجمع الأموال لصالح المجلس الوطني السوري، ونشر مقالات مناهضة لنظام الرئيس الأسد في الصحف الغربية، بما في ذلك صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” وصحيفة “لوس أنجلوس تايمز”.

July 30th, 2012, 1:14 am

 
 

Uzair8 said:

I was going to right the following:

___________________________________________

LOL.

I didn’t think some of the presenters on RT (and Press Tv) actually believed in the news they read out. Maybe they do…LOL.

Here is Press Tv presenter Afshin Rattansi, in a personal capacity, as a guest on RT.

29/7/12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMfoRdWIbxY&list=UUpwvZwUam-URkxB7g4USKpg&index=1&feature=plcp

_____________________________________________

He did go on to criticise Assad causing me to cancel the intended comment.

At 3.55 he criticises Assad and at 4:08 there seems to be an edit. If so, I wonder what was edited?

July 30th, 2012, 1:48 am

 

Halabi said:

Garbage
حلب_عملية تشبيح للإعلام الأسدي في صلاح الدين29-7-2012
http://youtu.be/vZdVFket3f0

As for the death of Bandar (reported by the liars at Voltaire), that is a huge blow to the Syrian revolution. I think all the foreign fighters in the FSA will immediately flee the country and the Al Qaeda protesters in Daraa, Idleb, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Damascus will burn their posters and flags and flock to the streets with menhebak signs and dedicate their souls to Bashar.

There is no single person that Bashar can kill that would quell the revolution. Ghalioun, Sida, Sarout, everyone on this blog would be missed but the revolution will continue. Syria, as all nations, is bigger than one man. The regime that genocide enthusiasts support will crumble when their evil lord dies or flees.

July 30th, 2012, 1:58 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Syria Faces Economic Endgame Amid Chaos
July 29, 2012

“The sanctions have strangled us; they’re killing us,” says Sonia Khandji Cachecho, a businesswoman who’s also a board member of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce.

As of July, 65 percent of small industrial enterprises and half of service companies in Damascus and its suburbs had closed, says Cachecho, a perfectly coifed blonde who runs a maker of hair-care and health-care products. Cachecho, the Syrian agent for Wella hair products, says her supplier stopped doing business with her in October because of the EU sanctions.

[…]

As fighting draws closer to Assad’s seat of power in Damascus, his reign is drawing to an end, says Patrick Ventrell, a U.S. State Department spokesman. “We don’t have a crystal ball to know if it’s going to be today or tomorrow or next week or when,” Ventrell says. “But it’s clear that the opposition is going to be unyielding in its demands for democracy and that the people of Syria want to see a new regime.”

Read more:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-29/syria-faces-economic-endgame-amid-chaos-as-sanctions-bite#p1

July 30th, 2012, 3:37 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Is the Rabbit of Golan lasting longer because he is running on Duracell?

July 30th, 2012, 3:40 am

 

Amjad said:

The Syrian Army has acted like nothing *but* an army of occupation since day one. Why has water and electricity been cut to Houla? Why wasn’t there a stream of junta officials going to the town to provide food and shelter to its brutalized inhabitants? Why are the residents of Houla living in schools, avoiding army checkpoints, and seeking protection with the FSA, and not *from* the FSA?

“Is the Rabbit of Golan lasting longer because he is running on Duracell?”

This army “abu shahata” was, from the first day, built and organized for the sole purpose of putting down internal dissent, which they have dismally failed at. It’s like an Olympian hopeful who spends all his time and resources since boyhood preparing for an event, only to come in eighth out of eight competitors.

July 30th, 2012, 4:25 am

 
 

Mina said:

Someone has quoted an As’ad Abu Khalil/Landis fight, while he was actually truncating a quotation. It is a correspondent named Murad who was quoted… By the way, you don’t make a career in the US academy without having fights and enemies (even if they are not so real).

http://angryarab.net/
Syrian flag and bigotry toward Alawites
Murad sent me this:

I would like to point out 2 things:

1) For Akram from Syria, he (and other readers) should be reminded that the so-called “independence flag” was actually adopted in the 1930’s, well before independence. Syrian state TV is actually more correct when it describes it as the “French occupation flag”, because that is what it really is. Also, the current flag of Syria is not the Baathist flag. It is the United Arab Republic flag. Just a fundamental history lesson.

2) This is old, but it related to your series about bigotry against Alawites. I am sure you heard of Joshua Landis, who is supposed to be a really good “Syria expert” and someone who I used to respect. Here is what he said after the Syrian Army uprooted the terrorists from Midan in Damascus (he has an unfinished sentence in there, but the point should still be understandable):

The Midan is a downtown Damascus neighborhood that FSA had taken under its control on Thursday. Government troops now claim that they have The soldiers we made this video seem to all be Alawites based on their accents. Those that speak all pronounce the “qaff” in the manner of the coast. They stick out in the Midan, the heart of Sunni middle-class and religiously conservative, old Damascus. Older Damascenes used to speak of the Alawites who came to Damascus with the Baathist takeover in the 1960s as “muwaffidiin” or alien interlopers. Today, they undoubtedly seem more alien than ever

This is a renowned “Syria expert”! Since he announced he has a book on the way over the subject, he has been becoming more and more bigoted and narrow-minded.

Use the above as desired.”

July 30th, 2012, 5:17 am

 

VISITOR said:

Contrary to the propaganda disseminated by the mouthpieces of the criminal thugs occupying Damascus and some in here, our heroes of the FSA are advancing in Aleppo. All the news about the Syrian army thugs overtaking Salahdin is false. In fact local activists report that the FSA has repulsed the latest attack inflicting much-deserved heavy casualties in life and equipment on these thugs. In addition, the FSA has achieved a great victory overnight by overtaking strategic positions to the north-west of Aleppo after a ten hour overnight fierce battle with the occupation army. The FSA in Aleppo has secure links to Turkey and its supply lines are intact.

On the other hand, a Jordanian military source reported after the skirmishes that took place with the army of occupation that the criminal Assad army suffers from very low morale, acute disorientation and very obvious lack of supplies, especially food. The same source also reported that several posts on the border with Jordan have been overrun recently by units of the Free Syrian Army. It is worthwhile noting that the Jordanian army ranks among the best trained and most professional armies in the Arab world and the Middle East.

July 30th, 2012, 5:33 am

 

Amjad said:

“Murad” is probably a regular menhebakji on this website. Professor Landis has gone out of his way to provide the pro-rregimists with a hospitable environment in which to air their views. I don’t know any other serious Western analyst who quotes so much from SANA and other Syrian government propaganda outlets.

But that isn’t enough for the menhebakjis. They demand that everyone in the world toe the regime’s line, and nothing but flattering news items about Asma’s shoes and Bashar’s medical degree appear in any discussion about Syria. To the menhebakjis, you are a sectarian and a bigot unless you act like the sectarian and bigoted Al-Dunya.

Ass’ad Abu Khanzeer hates success, and adores failure. It eats away at him that Syrian activists have proven so much more sophisticated and resilient than their Palestinian counterparts. Despite the billions of Gulf dollars lavished on the PLO and the PLA, the Palestinians have gotten only what Israel has deigned to grant them, while the Syrian people have paid for every recognition, every freezing of diplomatic ties with the regime, every observer mission and every press coverage with their lives. Palestinians have a history of acting self-entitled, indulgent and self centered, and Ass’ad Abu Khanzeer is the archetypal whining Arab leftist who hates everyone and then wonders why no one likes him.

July 30th, 2012, 6:01 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad is not a bad person. He is a donkey, bad or good, it is up to you to judge, but I think as a donkey he is doing it quiet well.

But international and internal affairs cannot be ruled by a donkey, so the donkey should be sacrificed and converted to Lattakian Basterma.

July 30th, 2012, 6:25 am

 

Juergen said:

Party with the arch-enemy

From Raniah Salloum , Beirut

In their homeland they are at war. But in Beirut, the children of the Syrian elite celebrate together. Assad Assad’s opponents and supporters share the night – and the bed.

“Health, love, money – and wasting time on this,” Dima, laughing and raises her daiquiri cocktail to toast. The Latin American toast is inside at the bar in big letters on the wall. It is Dimas favorite bar.”

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2Fkrieg-in-syrien-assad-gegner-und-anhaenger-feiern-in-beirut-a-847018.html

July 30th, 2012, 7:05 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Transforming minorities meat into basterma is improvement of the spiritual leader
Of terrorists Alaaroor idea of shredding minorities meat,get it a patent.

July 30th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

SYRIAN KANDAHAR,

Basterma’s main factory owner is Mr. Assad, but we are going to transform the producer into a product of its own industry. It will be its last and most perfect product.

July 30th, 2012, 8:35 am

 

Tara said:

This is the FSA strategy.   
——

Abdul Saleh, commander of the Tawhid Brigade, one of the largest groups of rebel fighters in Aleppo, claimed the regime would collapse if it lost Aleppo.

We decided and we promised that we would fight – we will die or we will win. Even if we lose this battle, we control the countryside. This is a crucial battle for both sides. If the regime loses Aleppo then it has lost all together – it will collapse. If we lose, we will withdraw to our posts across the north and stay on the offensive.

Despite these bullish words, he also told Pannell that tanks were 2km away “in every direction”.

July 30th, 2012, 8:39 am

 

Unknown said:

OMG ! very agressive comments here !

July 30th, 2012, 8:47 am

 

zoo said:

Syria opposition chief visits Iraqi Kurdistan
AFP – 15 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-opposition-chief-visits-iraqi-kurdistan-212806510.html

Syrian National Council chief Abdel Basset Sayda is on a visit to Iraqi Kurdistan in a bid to convince Kurdish leaders to join the opposition, an official from a Syrian Kurdish group said.

“Abdel Basset Sayda arrived tonight (Sunday) in Arbil, and he will meet the president of the Kurdistan region, Massud Barzani, and other Kurdish leaders” on Monday, a high-ranking official in the Kurdish National Council (KNC) told AFP.

“Sayda wants to reach an agreement with Kurdish leaders to join the Syrian National Council,” the official said, adding that the meeting will be attended by the Supreme Kurdish Council, which includes the KNC and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan (PCWK).

July 30th, 2012, 8:53 am

 

ann said:

Turkey continues military buildup on border with Syria – 2012-07-30

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_131748764.htm

ANKARA, July 30 (Xinhua) — Turkey sent more troops, tanks and other military equipment on Monday to its border with Syria as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces hit Syrian second largest city Aleppo in air and land attacks, Turkish semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Armored infantry vehicles as well as missile launchers are among the recently-transported equipment deployed in Akcakale town of Sanliurfa province and Kilis province along the Syrian border, according to the report.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 8:56 am

 

ann said:

‘British-born jihadists fighting Assad in Syria’ – captured photographer – 30 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/british-jihadists-fighting-syria-360/

Radical Islamists with “British accents” are among the coalition forces looking to topple Bashar Assad, says Jeroen Oerlemans, a photographer who was held hostage in Syria for a week. The UK Foreign Office has launched an investigation.

Oerlemans, a famous Dutch photo journalist, and John Cantlie, another photographer from the UK, were captured by a group of between 30 and 100 anti-Assad fighters when crossing the Syrian border from Turkey last week. They were then blindfolded.

“One of the black jihadists freaked out and shouted: ‘These are journalists and now they will see we are preparing an international jihad in this place.'” Oerlemans told NRC Handelsblatt newspaper. He said that none of the fighters was Syrian.

“They all claimed they came from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and Chechnya and they said there was some vague ’emir’ at the head of the group.”

About 40 per cent of the militants spoke English. In fact, several apparently talked with recognizable regional British accents, from Birmingham and London.

The two photographers suspected that a ransom would be demanded for their release and tried to escape. Oerlemans was shot twice in the leg during the failed attempt and Cantlie, who has so far not spoken to any media, was wounded in the arm.

The pair’s ordeal ended when the Free Syrian Army, the main anti-Assad force, demanded that their nominal allies hand them over.

“They took us with them like a bunch of gangsters,” Oerlemans said, “Shooting in the air as we rode out of there.”

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 9:01 am

 

irritated said:

#392 VISITOR from Hatay

All the news about the Syrian army thugs overtaking Salahdin is false.

You mean that the western media has changed side and are now lying in favor of the regime? That’s a change..

Maybe the defeat of the rebels in Damascus is also a lie?

Wake up or go back to Hatay , there you will have some who will believe your failed predictions and illusions.

July 30th, 2012, 9:05 am

 

irritated said:

Syrialover

My point was that we cannot know from outside in detail what the FSA fighters strategy or otherwise is.

But we see the results. Nothing for them (or you) to rejoice.

July 30th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

irritated said:

AMJAD

What we are seeing is Syria’s equivalent of the Tet offensive in Vietnam.

It was Benghazi, now it’s Vietnam….
It sounds more like The Bay of the Pigs and we know who the neighboring pigs are and how it ended up.

July 30th, 2012, 9:12 am

 

zoo said:

Finally a voice of wisdom

Syria can be preserved by the subtle route of compromise
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/29/syria-route-of-compromise

The choice confronting the world is not between the Assad regime and the opposition, but between two oppositions

In the past week, Syrian opposition groups have issued two contrasting appeals to the international community. On Saturday 28 July, the Syrian National Council demanded new and better weaponry for the insurgents battling the Bashar al-Assad regime. “We want weapons that would stop tanks and jet fighters,” SNC chief Abdul-Basset Sieda told a news conference in Abu Dhabi. Two days earlier, at the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, representatives of 10 opposition organisations asked the world to assist Syria in another way: forcing both sides to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Their joint statement concluded: “We cannot accept Syria being transformed into a theatre of regional and international conflict. We believe the international community has the strength and the necessary ability to find a consensus that would be the basis of a political solution to the current dramatic crisis, based on the imposition of a ceasefire, the withdrawal of the military, the release of detainees and the kidnapped, the return of refugees, emergency assistance for the victims, a real global negotiation that excludes no one and a process that would be completed with real national reconciliation based on justice”.

One sentence in the Rome statement resonates with Syrians who have been expelled from their homes or seen those they love killed by either side: “The military solution is holding the Syrian people hostage and does not offer a political solution capable of responding to the people’s deepest aspirations.”

July 30th, 2012, 9:28 am

 

zoo said:

Tunisia’s Salafists come to the fore
July 27, 2012 01:27 AM
By Aaron Y. Zelin

The legalization and participation of Salafist parties in the democratic process is one of the recent trends to emerge from the Arab uprisings. Like Egypt, which legalized three Salafist parties for its elections, and Yemen, which recently legalized its own Salafist party, Tunisia licensed the Tunisian Islamic Reform Front (Hizb Jabhat al-Islah al-Islamiyya al-Tunisiyya; Jabhat al-Islah) on March 29, 2012

Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2012/Jul-27/182199-tunisias-salafists-come-to-the-fore.ashx#ixzz2271w6CpY
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

July 30th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

zoo said:

The revolution is not a Alawite-Sunni struggle

“The only truth you can depend on is [that] Sunnis are the majority in the revolution and the regime.”

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/alawites-fear-they-and-not-assad-are-the-target-of-rebels

July 30th, 2012, 9:34 am

 

ghufran said:

علن مسؤولون اليوم الاثنين أن سوريا أغلقت سفارتها في استراليا بعد شهرين من قيام السلطات الاسترالية بطرد السفير السوري في كانبيرا.
وأعلنت السفارة على موقعها على الانترنت أن “السفارة السورية في كانبيرا أغلقت”.
وأكد القنصل الفخري لسوريا في سيدني ماهر دباغ إغلاق السفارة، إلا انه رفض الكشف عن سبب إغلاقها أو مصير موظفيها، الذين ذكرت أنباء أنهم يسعون للحصول على اللجوء السياسي في استراليا،بحسب وكالة “فرانس برس”.

July 30th, 2012, 9:37 am

 

zoo said:

Abdel Basset Sayda: A transitional government within “few weeks” with tough conditions for recruiting.

DUBAI //Iran’s foreign minister yesterday dismissed a Syrian rebel plan for a transitional government in Damascus as a “naive illusion”.
Jul 30, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/toppling-assad-a-naive-illusion-iran-tells-rebels

“The time frame set for this government to be formed is the next few weeks,” Mr Saida said. “This government has to be set up and ready before the fall of the Assad regime.”

Mr Saida was in the capital for talks with the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah, about potential financial and technical support for the opposition from the UAE.

He told an interviewer from Sky News Arabia that the transitional government proposal had been highlighted as a priority at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Doha last week.

“After the failure of Annan’s plan, we will not accept any person from the regime to be in the government,” he said. “The opposition groups in Syria should represent this transitional government.”

Mr Saida added: “We are not going to negotiate with the killers and we will not accept anything but justice against them. However, we are open to discussions with members of the regime who have not participated in the bloodshed.”

He said the SNC’s transition plan would be finalised after consultations with other opposition leaders and officials of its armed wing, the Free Syrian Army.

Future solutions should not include any offer of asylum for Mr Assad, he said, and the president should eventually by tried for “massacres”.

He urged Arab “brothers and friends to support the Free Syrian Army” with weapons. “We want weapons that would stop tanks and jet fighters,” he said.

Last week the SNC said it would accept an interim figure from the current regime, provided Mr Assad stepped down as president.

Hours later it rescinded the offer, saying only “a national consensus figure from the opposition” would be able to lead the country in a transition phase, and such a figure would “not be part of the regime”.

July 30th, 2012, 9:39 am

 

zoo said:

Syrian Army “intact” and strong despite defections.

http://news.yahoo.com/un-says-200-000-fled-aleppo-fighting-132951817.html

On Monday, a Turkish official said a Syrian brigadier general who was deputy chief of police in the Latakia region had defected.

He was among a group of 12 Syrian officers who crossed into Turkey late Sunday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. His defection raised to 28 the number of generals who have left for Turkey since the start of the 17-month-old uprising.

But Syria’s army remains mostly intact and still vastly outguns the rebel forces, who are armed for the most part with assault rifles and machine guns and don’t have the heavy weapons necessary to effectively oppose tanks and helicopter gunships.

July 30th, 2012, 9:43 am

 

ann said:

Medvedev: Libya has influenced our position on Syria – 30 July, 2012

http://rt.com/politics/official-word/russia-medvedev-britain-syria-364/

Last year’s military intervention of Libya by NATO forces plays a large role in determining Russia’s current stance on Syria, PM Dmitry Medvedev told The Times newspaper in an interview.

Q: You mentioned Syria. This is clearly one of the big international worries at the moment. Russia has had a number of initiatives in trying to solve the situation there. I think David Cameron has a very different point of view from your own point of view. But both sides agree that the Annan plan is perhaps the only political way forward. Do you think that plan still has a chance to succeed given the fact that things are moving so swiftly on the ground?

A: I don’t want to be overly optimistic because the situation is very difficult and very complex. But I don’t think that the Annan plan is no longer relevant, and the reason is because it is a political, peaceful plan. In fact, it may seem that the positions of Russia and Britain, or Russia and the US, are vastly different, but actually they are not that different. We all agree that a full-scale civil war in Syria would be the worst-case scenario. And what we have today is, if you will, the premonition of civil war. A huge number of people have been killed. As usual, both sides are to blame, because they would not listen to each other and come to the negotiating table.

I reminded David yesterday that I had told President Assad more than a year ago that he should act promptly and carry out reforms and, most importantly, build a relationship with the opposition, even though it may be difficult for him, even though he belongs to the Alawite minority, and most opposition activists belong to a different branch of Islam. Syria is a very complex state. It’s much more complex than Egypt or Libya because of all the communities living there: Sunnis, Shia, Alawites, Druze and Christians. They will either find a way to get along or civil war and killings will go on indefinitely. So both sides are to blame. They should come to the negotiating table and find a solution to this very difficult problem. I don’t know what the future political situation in Syria will be like, and I don’t know what role Mr. Assad will have in this future arrangement. It’s up to the Syrian people to decide.

The difference between Russia and Britain on this issue is that we believe talks are the only way, and our partners want to take more drastic measures. But the question is – where is the line between resolutions and a military operation? We saw that with the resolution on Libya. It basically led to international intervention. This is a bad way. Both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron assured me this is not what they want. So I think the plan is not over, and we should cooperate and continue consultations.

By the way, I discussed the subject yesterday with the Lebanese leader and the Turkish prime minister. So as you can see, the Syrian issue remains high on the agenda even at the Olympics. And since according to the constitution it is up to the president to shape foreign policy, I think Vladimir Putin will present Russia’s position on this issue.

Q: You were president at the time of the Libyan intervention and the diplomatic proceedings that went before the Libyan intervention. Is that experience actually now influencing Russia’s position on Syria? Did you feel that you were somehow betrayed over the Libya scenario and that you don’t want to see a similar situation in Syria?

A: Of course, this is influencing our position. In fact, when the situation with Syria started, I said from the very beginning that we would adjust our approach because of what happened with Libya. When the resolution on Libya was adopted, we thought our countries would hold consultations and talks and at the same time we would send a serious signal to the Libyan leader. But unfortunately it ended up the way it did. They kept telling us there would be no military operation, no intervention, but eventually they started a full-blown war that claimed many lives. And most importantly, I think it is a bad way to determine a country’s future. We all share democratic values, but imposed democracy usually does not work. Democracy must grow from inside. Only then does it enjoy popular support. So, what happened with Libya has definitely affected my position and continues influencing Russia’s position on the Syrian conflict.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

Aleppo said:

You can read in many places about “salafists”, “jihadists” etc coming to fight in Syria. What does that mean? It means that you have a number of people that motivated by religion or more likely by the dire economic situation thye face in their respective countries, coupled with the habit of using arms, that are looking for a “new challenge”. As most here know, it is not just Syria but it has happened in many different places. Afghanistan was the modern breeding grounds for them, and also the empyrical proof that most of the recruits were either youth misfits in the Western world or clearly disturbed people like the American jihadis with a few hardcore religious elements thrown in. So fear not, these people will show up in Syria, with their banners and their beards but will they be able to take over the government? The answer is a resoundant no. Will they be used as “auxiliary” troops but at the same time be out of control? Most likely. But these are small groups and easily marginalized. The use of the lumpen to do the work of politicians is not new. Shabiha to start with. So this whole issue is blown out of any reasonable proportion by those that have a paranoid behaviour towards anybody sporting beards and an AK. Or those that have a number of other agendas that end up deligitimizing the fight to get rid of the dictatorship in Syria.

Moreover there seems to be a dispute between Egypt and Tunisia on one side and Lybia on the other. One as a proof of the danger of “Islamic” governments and the other as a proof of the possibility of a “liberal”government. I think reality is a bit more complicated. But at the end of the day what matters is respect for basic human rights and economic freedom. Egypt is a much better society today, having ridden itslef of the ossified government of Mubarak. But of course countries don’t go from hell to paradise in a matter of months. Syria will not go the way of Iran (and trust me, most people in Iran are really tired of the mullahs). Much less KSA: Syria has been a much more open society and has the benefit of having Lebanon next door. It will not go that way. Hopefully, and this is all I can say, some degree of consensus can be achieved and hence stability.

Finally on another issue related to Christians: it is true that Copts have been leaving Egypt, that started when populist Nasser took over, both for economic reasons and also because they were being used as scapegoats. They immigrated from Lebanon during the Civil War, they will continue leaving Syria. Actually I think Christianity in the ME has very little future. Christians find it easier to live abroad given more conservative Muslim governments, they adapt easier and benefit in many cases from established networks. In the case of Syria they were left alone, this was perceived as an advantage…
Were it not the case that Europe and the US are under severe economic hardship, we would see mass immigration, one way immigration from Christians from Syria. I am not issuing any judgements about this, it is a fact in my view.

July 30th, 2012, 10:05 am

 

Tara said:

Once the revolution succeeds in downing the regime, will have to kick the foreign ” jihadists” out.  

As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and HWAIDA SAAD
Published: July 29, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/world/middleeast/as-syrian-war-drags-on-jihad-gains-foothold.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=middleeast

July 30th, 2012, 10:11 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad reforms in Homs are going on. Even if nobody believed he was able to change anything, this is the probe he can change things:

http://www.youkal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58718%3A–q-q——&catid=54%3A2011-04-29-12-25-44&Itemid=126

July 30th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

bronco said:

#413. Tara

Once the revolution succeeds in downing the regime, will have to kick the foreign ” jihadists” out.

Who will do that? the 30,000 FSA guerillas, themselves infested by the “jihadists”
You will not be be able to count on the ‘murderous’ Syrian army that would have collapsed together with the regime.

The new ‘revolutionary’ Syrian government would need to ask the USA to come like they are doing in Yemen and Afghanistan. The drones war.

July 30th, 2012, 10:25 am

 

zoo said:

Al Jazeera reporter illegally in Syria?

Al-Jazeera reporter wounded in Syria, taken to Turkey

DOHA – Agence France-Presse

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/al-jazeera-reporter-wounded-in-syria-taken-to-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26670&NewsCatID=352

Al-Jazeera television said today that one of its correspondents was wounded in Syria’s commercial capital Aleppo and evacuated to neighboring Turkey where he is usually based.

July 30th, 2012, 10:33 am

 

habib said:

416. bronco

They’ll be as successful as the Afghans in kicking out foreign jihadis. Afghanistan is still infested with them, decades after they entered!

In any case, they’ll owe it to the jihadis if they win (being such incompetent fighters themselves), so of course they’ll treat them like kings.

July 30th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

habib said:

Hail the Free Kurdish Army!

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/pkk-kill-two-turkish-soldiers-hundreds-flee-fighting

416. bronco

Afghanistan is still infested with foreign jihadis decades after the fact, how the heck will the incompetent FSA be able to do anything to them other than prostrating?

July 30th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

zoo said:

Hiding behind the bush… the new phase of the Tunisian revolution.

In Tunisia, hardline Islam threatens democracy gains

Monday, 30 July 2012
By The Associated Press

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2012/07/30/tunisia_hardline_islam_threatens_democracy_gains/

Thousands of hardcore Muslims chant against Jews. Youths rampage through cities at night in protest of “blasphemous” art. A sit-in by religious students degenerates into fist fights and the desecration of Tunisia’s flag.

In the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the transition from dictatorship to democracy has been mostly smoother than in neighboring countries, with no power hungry military or armed militias to stifle the process. But as a moderate Islamist party rules with the help of secular forces, an unexpected threat has emerged: the increasing boldness of ultraconservative Muslims known loosely as Salafis, who want to turn this North African country of 10 million into a strict Islamic state.

July 30th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

erin said:

at least many of the pro revolution here start admitting that there are mercenaries, jihadists, terrorists, foreign killers motivated by money, or tard ideology, or just for the sake of killing and acting like thugs are taking over the revolution.
Many have said that in the past and it is clear cause why the revolution has not succeded in throwing out the regime.
voila’.

July 30th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

ann said:

Lebanese army chief says not to allow buffer zone in Lebanon – 2012-07-30

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_131748800.htm

BEIRUT, July 30 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji said Monday that his forces will not allow turning Lebanon into a battleground for the Syrian crisis or setting up a buffer zone for Syrian rebels in Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.

“No matter where the situation in Syria leads to, the army will be in utmost readiness to play its role and assume its national responsibilities in accordance with the decisions of the political authority in limiting the repercussions of these events on Lebanon, protecting the residents of border regions and preventing strife,” Qahwaji said on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the army’s founding.

He said the army would stand in the way of any plans aimed to establish a “buffer zone” for Syrian rebels on Lebanese soil.

Qahwaji stressed that the Lebanese army is more “cohesive” and rejected “those who believe that the (military) institution is facing the challenge of preserving its unity under any circumstance.”

“They don’t know that the army is a single entity and all soldiers are loyal only to the nation,” he said.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 11:09 am

 

jna said:

“Another report, so far unconfirmed, indicated that the Free Syrian Army had proposed a senior member of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, Moulham al-Dorobi, lead the transitional government, which would include two ministerial positions for FSA nominees – defence and interior – in the 31-member cabinet.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/deaths-rise-as-assads-army-pounds-aleppo-20120730-239z2.html#ixzz227RPfVBD

July 30th, 2012, 11:14 am

 

Amjad said:

The comparison with the “Bay of Pigs” is faulty. In that incident, you had an exile Cuban force, fully equipped and trained over a period of years, landing on Cuban beaches. That battle was over in one day, and Castro never had to worry about any uprising ever again.

While in the Syrian Revolution, Bashar is at his wits end after more than a year to “decisively” finish off the revolt with yet another “decisive” battle that will “decisively” ensure his reign in order to “decisively” maintain his role as the Rabbit of the Golan. Unlike the Cuban exiles, the FSA has not been trained abroad, and the vast majority of its weapons are from captured stockpiles or what the ex-convict drug addict shabihas openly sell to them. It is a 100% home grown and maintained revolution.

There is no one battle that the regime can wage that will “break the back” of the revolution, despite all the premature gloating the menhebakjis indulged in back in February. It is a concept that the regime’s military planers have failed to understand time and again, to the revolution’s benefit. Comparing the revolution with the “Bay of Pigs” shows just how little the menhebakjis still understand of the kind of war that is going on in Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

irritated said:

#421
The opposition is looking desperately for their last haven:
The No-Fly zone.

All neighbors ( except Turkey) say NO

July 30th, 2012, 11:30 am

 

irritated said:

#423 Amjad

The Bay of the Pigs bears a very good similarity with the ‘assault’ on Syria

Unlike the Cuban exiles, the FSA has not been trained abroad,

You mean the Syrian armed rebels got no training in 15 months in Turkey?
They got no weapons and money from Qatar and KSA?
The SNC is not made of 100% expats with foreign nationalities?

I wonder what is your source of information as even Al Jazeera admits all that.

July 30th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

zoo said:

Despite the war, Syria is present at the Olympics with 10 athletes, 6 man and 4 woman under the Syrian flag

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/syria-olympics-2012_n_1710552.html

Yet ten athletes from Syria have traveled to London to represent their beleaguered country. The six men and four women will compete in seven sports, including high jump, hurdles, swimming, and shooting. So who are the Syrian athletes competing in the Games while their country slips into sectarian civil war?

Syrian International Olympic Committee member Samih Moudallal chose men’s high jump competitor Majed Aldin Ghazal as Syria’s best prospect to take home a medal this year. The 25-year-old reportedly will carry the flag for Syria at the opening ceremony. According to AFP, he says his hope is “to do my best to honor” Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 11:48 am

 

Michal said:

I see the regime supporters are consoling themselves that this is the final victory that is needed to overcome the opposition. The state media is certainly playing its part hyping up the battle for Aleppo by calling it “the mother of all battles”.

What I find strange, is that the rebels play along and make such claims of an upcoming decisive battle too.

It could be that they believe their own statements about logistical and morale decay of government armed forces, however it seems unlikely they are going to win an open confrontation inside a concentrated area against superior firepower. It could be also that army training of FSA generals is at work here – perhaps they’re not used to thinking in terms of guerilla warfare.

However, I think such direction of thinking is misguided. Assad will no doubt capture Aleppo, if not now then maybe a month hence, but it will only serve to decay his regime. More civilians will be killed and upset. More livelihoods will be destroyed and people plunged into poverty with less to lose from rebellion. Taxation income from what is described as a trade hub will be lost and potential conscripts lost to refugee exodus.

I wonder if the government supporters on this blog can think in long term, and whether they truly believe that Assad’s government can somehow shoot its way to victory. It’s been trying that for the past year and a half, yet the FSA marches on and it clearly becomes stronger during each cycle of the conflict.

July 30th, 2012, 11:48 am

 

zoo said:

Jordan feeling the economical pinch

Jordan: Syrian war closes export route to Europe
Associated Press
http://news.yahoo.com/jordan-syrian-war-closes-export-route-europe-144234590–finance.html

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The head of Jordan’s trucking association says that civil war in Syria has closed his country’s main export route to Europe and Turkey.

July 30th, 2012, 11:50 am

 

ghufran said:

قالت وزارة الخارجية البريطانية اليوم الاثنين “إن القائم بالأعمال السوري في لندن خالد الأيوبي استقال”، حيث قالت الوزارة في بيان “أبلغنا السيد الأيوبي أنه لم يعد مستعدا لتمثيل نظام ارتكب مثل هذه الاعمال القمعية والعنيفة ضد شعبه ولذا فلن يتمكن من الاستمرار في منصبه”.
وأضافت الوزارة “أن الأيوبي كان أرفع دبلوماسي سوري في لندن”.

July 30th, 2012, 11:54 am

 

zoo said:

مقتل مراسل العربية في محافظة درعاعمار أبازيد خلال تغطيته لاشتباكات بين وحدات الجيش العربي السوري ومسلحون.

July 30th, 2012, 11:56 am

 

Mina said:

Mali’s Talibans are very happy the “international community” is for the most part on holidays.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/49084/World/International/Islamists-in-north-Mali-stone-unmarried-couple-to-.aspx

Islamists occupying the northern Mali town of Aguelhok stoned an unmarried couple to death in front of about 200 people on Sunday, two local government officials said.
(…)
“The couple was placed in two holes and the Islamists stoned them to death” (…)

Ban was not available for comment?

July 30th, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

Amjad said:

If you want to see what a “manufactured” revolution looks like, then by all means study the Bay of Pigs. The invasion was supposed to touch off a general uprising against Castro throughout Cuba. The invaders were defeated in one battle, and Castro never had to worry about another revolt.

A true, popular, homegrown uprising will sustain itself through the most desperate times. Syrians have been sacrificing everything to win their freedom, so that in 30 years’ time, their children won’t have to revolt against baby Hafiz.

“The SNC is not made of 100% expats with foreign nationalities?”

No, incorrect. The SNC has many members inside of Syria, some of whose names are kept confidential to protect them from retribution. Its members include many Syrian activists that were forced to flee Syria due to the barbaric persecution of the regime.

Mohamad Al-Abdullah for example was jailed for two years just for posting a comment on the Internet. While it has not failed to escape people’s notices that some of the most strident defenders of the regime are disgraceful Lebanese media shabihas, among them Ass’ad Abu Khanzeer.

July 30th, 2012, 12:06 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

420. ERIN

Now it is time for all pro-Assad supporters to recognize that all members of the state institutions are there for stealing and beneffiting from corruptions as much as they can.

This is the difference:

A) Peacefull opposition bulleted and turned violent with the help of some mercenaries.

B) State killing machinery (call it Assad mercenaries or call it Assad Army to the orders of a clan of large scale criminals and stealers who kill their own people with the help mercenaries arrived from Hizballah, Iran and Russia.

Of course I prefer the first and if I was in Syria under siege I would take and pistol and try to kill any of those Assad and russian or iranian speaking mercenaries.

July 30th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

ghufran said:

what Syria needs is a cease fire,anything else is a waste of time and lives. things will start to get better when the desire to live among fighting factions becomes stronger than the urge to get even,we are going nowhere with this endless bloody cycle of violence and counter violence,much of what is being said and what will be said is meaningless now,the country most of you claim to love is being lost.

July 30th, 2012, 12:14 pm

 

AIG said:

Rebels say Syrian soldiers “fled like rats” from checkpoint

http://nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=423706

Looks to me that the regime is going to have a hard time in Aleppo. It seems that the Syrian army is losing its motivation to fight. I think Irritated and Bronco need to go help them.

July 30th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

Expatriate said:

435. AIG
can follow any responses to tell them about your experience!
Ferocity of the soldier at the Syrian-Israeli fighting in Lebanon 82

July 30th, 2012, 12:34 pm

 

AIG said:

Expatriate,

Exactly, while the Syrian army was completely outclassed in 1982, its soldiers were at least motivated to fight. It seems the situation is quite different now. And why would that be surprising to anyone? They are being asked to shoot fellow Syrians who have legitimate grievances.

July 30th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 
 

ann said:

434. ghufran said:

what Syria needs is a cease fire,anything else is a waste of time and lives. things will start to get better when “the desire to live” among fighting factions becomes stronger

Ghufran, these monsters have no desire to live. Motivated by fatwas from saudi arabia, they’ve come to Syria to die and go to paradise.
I’m sorry but you don’t reason with animals.

July 30th, 2012, 1:01 pm

 

ann said:

Panetta and Israel to discuss war plans against Iran? – 30 July, 2012

http://rt.com/usa/news/panetta-israel-iran-plan-417/

A senior US official speaking on condition of anonymity told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper over the weekend that US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon briefed Israeli authorities on an American-penned contingency plan earlier this month. According to those reports, the Obama administration is ready to aide Israel in the event that attempts to lower tensions with Iran cannot be carried out with diplomacy, which could involve attacking Iranian nuclear facilities if authorities there will heed Israel’s plea to end any nuke procurements. Even as tensions heat up between Iran and Israel, though, America’s allies are refusing to confirm the accusations.

“Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran,” a senior Israeli official speaking anonymously to Reuters insists. That denial, published Sunday, challenges the report published by one of the most popular Israeli newspapers, Haaretz, that Donilon presented the plan to Netanyahu two weeks earlier at a lengthy dinner that also reportedly included Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror.

Regardless of which side is in the right, both agree that Sec. Panetta has a busy week of Middle East talks planned ahead, including a guaranteed sit-down with Israel’s top officials. He arrived in Tunisia on Sunday and will make stops in Egypt, Syria, Iran and Israel. And contingency plan or not, the ongoing issue of a potential war with Iran is all too certain to be brought into discussion.

“With Israel, we have achieved a level of defense cooperation that is unprecedented in our history and my goal is to deepen and strengthen that relationship even further,” Panetta told reporters while en route to the Middle East.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

AIG said:

“I’m sorry but you don’t reason with animals.”

Of course not. You just fund them and give them weapons and a place to organize and then send them to kill Iraqis and Israelis. Which is exactly what Assad did.

But of course when Assad supports suicide bombers it is a great thing to do. We understand.

July 30th, 2012, 1:08 pm

 

Expatriate said:

437. AIG for full picture Your planers + Arab money !!

July 30th, 2012, 1:16 pm

 

Tara said:

Amjad

Ann was for long time obsessed by Aboud after his departure. She was imagining Aboud in every new comer to SC.. Aboud used to appear in her dreams..now that Aboud returned, can he have a debate with Mr. Ann to un-terrify her. May be he can explain to her who the real animals are.

July 30th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

Aboud is back with the same nick?
.

July 30th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Assad produced a FAILED state. 70 to 80% of Syrians are against his regime. He ruined the economy. He killed civilians. He killed women and children. He is extremely isolated. Jihadists entered under his watch while he was too busy burning the country. Any legit government in Syria voted by popular vote will be able to have the rebels surrender their weapons and will fight Islamists. Assad ain’t able. He is the problem not the solution.

July 30th, 2012, 1:33 pm

 

Tara said:

Amir

CC: Aboud

It is very clear who Aboud is. I am not revealing any secret. Lots of people noticed it.

July 30th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Hmmm… is it Amjad?
.

July 30th, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

ann said:

This neo-con MONSTER was pleading on the Sunday talk shows for a US invasion of Syria

Does Wolfowitz Actually Believe US Proxy War in Syria Will Bring Democracy? – July 30, 2012

http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/07/30/does-wolfowitz-actually-believe-us-proxy-war-in-syria-will-bring-democracy/

Uh, I think the Post got this all wrong. It’s pretty clear to me that Wolfowitz was not referring to Iran’s support of the Assad regime. Instead, he seems to be saying that we should be arming the Syrian rebels to beat the Saudis and the Qataris to the punch and “shape the political agenda of that future Syria” towards democracy as opposed to Sunni monarchy, or some satellite regime thereof. I think Wolfowitz is the honest type of neoconservative interventionist. It seems he truly does believe we should be going to war in the Middle East to export democracy, as opposed to installing successor regimes equally horrible as their predecessors, just more in line with Washington’s demands. This honesty (read: stupidity) allows him to criticize the venerable US allies in Saudi Arabia the Gulf states, with whom Washington is cooperating to support the rebel militias. Elected officials still refuse to do so, leading to contradictions like the one pointed out by Robert Fisk yesterday:

President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan’s dark ages.

Even on his own terms, experts disagree with Wolfowitz (not that it matters to his impenetrable dogmatism). For one thing, the militias he is arguing for sending weapons to are largely anathema to “democracy.” UN rights chief Navi Pillay last month condemned the continued flow of weapons from foreign powers to both sides in the Syrian conflict. “The ongoing provision of arms to the Syrian government and to its opponents feeds additional violence,” she said. “Any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all costs.”

Marc Lynch, a Middle East expert at George Washington University who has actually consulted the Obama administration on the issue, agrees that arming the rebels lacks foresight and will worsen the conflict.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 1:41 pm

 

AIG said:

Expatriate,

Assad funded jihadists to destabilize Iraq and to commit terror attacks against Israelis. He let this jihad mentality flourish as long as they were useful to him. Why would you complain now that the tables are turned? Suck it up and deal with it instead of whining like a little child. When your country funds jihadist organizations for decades, why exactly are you surprised that they show up at your door? You have only Assad to blame.

July 30th, 2012, 1:54 pm

 

ann said:

After 500 Syrian soldiers enter demilitarized zone near border, Israel complains to UN

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/after-500-syrian-soldiers-enter-demilitarized-zone-near-border-israel-complains-to-un.premium-1.452811

Israel files official complaint to the UN after Syrian security forces came near the Golan Heights border, violating agreement signed in 1974.

Syrian army forces crossed the demilitarized zone near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights last week, a highly unusual incident, on what is considered a quiet border.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

sam said:

hey nobody is talking about that but Youtube is deleting accounts of pro-syria pro-govt accounts! this is the war the is being fought off in the syrian crisis, and media is playing a huge role in this conflict!

Syria: Shameful Performance of Western Media
By As’ad AbuKhalil – Mon, 2012-07-30 19:11- Angry Corner

The performance of the Western media (American, British, French and others) regarding the Syrian conflict has been quite shameful. One does not expect much from American media. Ill-informed foreign editors and correspondents and political cowardice turn American media into tools of US foreign policy.

This is especially true when it comes to coverage of the Middle East, where extra political courage and uncharacteristic level of knowledge and expertise are rather rare even though they are essential in challenging US foreign policy. But when it comes to Syria British media – including the liberal Guardian which has often been brave in challenging Western foreign policies and wars – have been indistinguishable from American media.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/syria-shameful-performance-western-media

July 30th, 2012, 2:12 pm

 

ann said:

U.S. Backs Al Qaeda Death Squads in Syria – Jul 30, 2012 – 12:18 PM

By: Stephen_Lendman

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article35826.html

Washington’s agenda involves death squad diplomacy. Evidence mounts proving it. It’s standard practice in all US direct and proxy wars. It’s how America treats its enemies.

Massacres and unspeakable atrocities are committed. Women are raped. Civilians are treated like combatants. They’re indiscriminately killed.

Others are targeted for opposing US aggression. Children are harmed like adults. Prisoners are tortured. No crime’s too gruesome to commit.

Lies, duplicity, and coverup follow. Media scoundrels bear direct responsibility. Their hands are bloodstained like US officials, forces and proxy killers.

Vietnam’s Operation Phoenix became a prototype for today’s wars. It included intimidation, kidnappings torture, and mass murder. At issue was eliminating opposition elements. Terrorizing people into submission was policy.

Southeast Asia tactics are replicated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Barbarism defines US policy.

On July 11, German writer Jurgen Todenhofer confirmed the presence of Al Qaeda insurgents in Syria. He met with them, he said. He holds them and others like them responsible for mass terror attacks.

He described a “massacre marketing strategy.” He called it “among the most disgusting things that I have ever experienced in an armed conflict.”

He added that Western media distort what’s happening on the ground. Viewers and readers know it’s their stock and trade. They’re paid to lie. Journalists dedicated to truth and full disclosure need not apply.

On July 24, Asia Times writer John Rosenthal headlined “German intelligence: al-Qaeda all over Syria,” saying:

“German intelligence estimates that ‘around 90’ terror attacks that ‘can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups’ were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).”

Die Welt and Bild published similar reports. All three name Al Qaeda behind the May 25 Houla massacre. Russian journalist Marat Musin was there. He said hundreds of “bandits and mercenaries” were responsible.

Washington’s imperial tactics involve cutthroat killer atrocities. Human lives have no value. Only wealth, privilege and dominance matter. US officials don’t keep body counts. Objectives are pursued lawlessly.

Rosenthal cited Die Welt contributor Alfred Hackensberger. Taldo is part of Syria’s Houla region. Insurgents controlled it for months, said Hackensberger. They bear responsibility for Houla killings.

He visited the area. He interviewed an eyewitness. He left him unidentified for his safety. He was at Qara’s Saint James Monastery. Victims were pro-Assad Sunnis, he said. Many people know what happened but won’t say “out of fear for their lives.”

“Whoever says something can only repeat the rebels’ version. Anything else is certain death.”

Hackensberger related similar stories. A former Qusayr resident said Christians and others refusing to “enroll their children in the Free Syrian Army” were shot. He held “foreign Islamists” responsible.

“I have seen them with my own eyes,” he said. Pakistanis, Libyans, Tunisians and also Lebanese. They call Osama bin Laden their sheikh.”

A Homs Sunni resident told Hackensberger he witnessed armed insurgents stopping a bus. “The passengers were divided into two groups: on one side, Sunnis; on the other, Alawis.”

Nine Alawis were decapitated.

Rosenthal said:

“That the German government would cite national interest in refusing to disclose its information (publicly) concerning the circumstances of the Houla massacre is particularly notable in light of Germany’s support for the rebellion and its political arm, the Syrian National Council (SNC).”

It plays a quiet behind the scenes role, he added. Its foreign office is involved in developing “political transition” plans.

So is former US Saudi Arabia ambassador Prince Bandar, reports Haaretz. His close ties to the Bush family earned him the nickname “Bandar Bush.”

For years he’s been involved with Washington’s Syria regime change plans. He now serves as Saudi intelligence chief. He’s also National Security Council secretary-general.

His intelligence appointment involves “preparing for the next stage in Syria,” said Haaretz. His wife has Al Qaeda “connections.” He’s considered “CIA’s man in Riyadh.” He’s “known as a can-do” guy.

He spares nothing to achieve objectives. He participated directly in America’s Contra wars. He helped fund Central American death squads and Afghan mujahideen fighters against Soviet forces.

He’s active in current Washington plans to depose Assad. Like other US allies, his hands are bloodstained.

In her daily press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condoned the murder of Syrian officials. She justified her position, saying they “organize(d) Assad’s military campaign….”

She tried having it both ways, adding “we don’t condone violence of any kind.” She ignored Washington’s direct role in orchestrating it.

US rhetoric about supporting human rights and other democratic values rings hollow.

America is the world’s worst human rights abuser. It spurns democracy. It’s intolerant at home and abroad. It’s hardline, belligerent and repressive.

Saying one thing and doing another is policy. At the same time, it audaciously points fingers at China.

On July 25, Bloomberg headlined “US Finds China’s Human Rights Situation Is Deteriorating,” saying:

According to Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner, conditions in China are worsening. We have human rights issues in America, he added. He left unsaid how US policy spurns them at home and abroad.

Do as I say not as I do is policy. So is practicing wrong over right. Interfering in the internal affairs of other countries blatantly violates international and constitutional law.

Doing it by direct or proxy belligerence adds crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. Justice Robert Jackson called aggressive war “the supreme international crime against peace.”

Convicted Nazis were hanged. America repeatedly gets away with murder unaccountably.

A July 25 Washington Post article provided more evidence, saying:

Free Syrian Army fighters have safe havens in Turkey. In Antakya, they “stride through its narrow streets sunburned and sweaty from the battlefield, hoping to meet benefactors to provide them with money and arms.”

“Salafi Muslims, who have come to offer help from the countries of the Persian Gulf region, huddle over kebabs, their long beards and robes conspicuous in secularist Turkey.”

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 2:12 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

If Assad finds impossible to control Aleppo he will try to divide the country taking Damascus-Homs-Tartus-Latakia. I still cannot believe that Turkey is not sending F-16 to control the syrian army in the north of the country.

WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR?

When someone finally tries to help the insurgency it could be tto late.

July 30th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

ann said:

Syria explicitly accuses Saudi, Qatar, Turkey of supporting armed insurgents – 2012-07-31

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/31/c_123496565.htm

DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) — Syrian Foreign Ministry on Monday overtly accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of rendering financial support and arms supplies to the armed insurgent groups on ground in Syria.

In a letter sent to the chief of the UN Security Council and the secretary general of the UN, the ministry said the “armed terrorist groups” have unleashed assaults on innocent civilians and public and private facilities, particularly in capital Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial hub.

It said the armed groups, “which are overtly supported with money and arms from the Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have committed heinous crimes against the innocent civilians in those cities (Aleppo and Damascus).”

The ministry charged that Turkey has facilitated a safe passage for a large number of mercenaries into Syria, adding that those mercenaries have taken over a number of crowded neighborhoods in Aleppo and shielded behind the people there, killing those who didn’t comply with their demands and forced others at gun point to leave their residents.

The ministry made a connection between the surge of violence by the armed opposition and the latest visit by special joint envoy Kofi Annan to Syria, in which a number of measures have been agreed upon in order to bring back security and stability to Syria.

In the letter, the ministry said it’s unfortunate that some countries, which pretend they are concerned about the Syrians, have not practiced pressures on the armed groups on ground to halt their armed operations and join the political process, which is demanded by the UN and agreed upon by Syria.

It said that the armed opposition’s rejection to embark on a political process is the reason behind the faltering efforts of the UN observers and the Syrian government.

The ministry stressed that the voices from Arab and Western capitals, which are accusing the Syrian government of escalating the situation in Syria instead on calling on the armed groups to halt their assaults, aim “desperately to provide a political cover for the armed groups” and to provide them with financial support and arms supplies.

It said the law-enforcement forces are conducting their duty to protect the citizens in accordance to many humanitarian laws and the initial understanding that have been recently concluded between the UN Supervision Mission and the Syrian government.

The ministry lashed out at some western countries’ calls to act on Syria outside the UN Security Council, where resolutions could be vetoed, saying that such calls aim to conflagrate the Syrian crisis in a bid to impose political conditions that would eventually lead to the destruction of the Syrian state.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 2:58 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@King Abdullah and company

Before you die, have someone knowledgeable in the Bible interpret these Prophetic words from Daniel. Have someone interpret these quotes for you, so before you die, you will know what will end your kingdom and those of your companies.

Daniel 11:13
For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.

Daniel 11:25
With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him.

Daniel 11:40
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south attack him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through.

The end is referring to the end of the cycle when Nibiru returns and starts new cycle of the ages ( Zodiac)

http://www.librarising.com/cosmology/2012.html

July 30th, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

ghufran said:

اغتال مسلحون اليوم الاثنين الطيار المدني “فراس ابراهيم الصافي” عند الجسر الخامس على طريق مطار دمشق.
والطيار “الصافي” هو كابتن طيار مدني، وهو ابن العماد “ابرهيم الصافي” الذي شغل عدة مناصب هامة في المؤسسة العسكرية من أيام الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، كان آخرها نائب وزير الدفاع.

July 30th, 2012, 3:10 pm

 
 

Hammameh said:

Hammameh
Please do not use vulgarity on SC. SC moderator
——–
People keep posting the biggest hypocrite liar in the world as if it is gods truth. Asaad Abu (deleted for vulgarity)is an irrelevant pundit. only immbaciles and fools can take his crap seriously.

July 30th, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

ghufran said:

that is not good for anybody in Syria,pro or anti, or for Syria’s neighbors, I am afraid it is too late to do anything about it:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/al-qaida-rebels-battle-syria

July 30th, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

ann said:

Turkish Armed Forces Press the Button
100,000 troops put on standby, army units moving toward Syrian border

by Claire Berlinski
July 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Although it is scarcely being reported in the formal Turkish media, on Twitter there have been a flood of reports to the effect that massive clashes have been taking place the southeastern Turkish village of Şemdinli, and that the village has fallen under PKK control. There are also reports that thousands of villagers have fled to escape the bombing, that the district is completely cut off from communication, and that BDP deputies have been forbidden to enter. The Turkish media reports that two Turkish soldiers have been killed and ten wounded. The PKK claims that it has shot down a Sigorsky helicopter and killed 49 Turkish soldiers.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3222/turkish-armed-forces-press-the-button

Murat Gurgen, writing for Habertürk, reports that all all units of the Turkish Land Forces’ 2nd Army Command have been put on standby.

Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, responding to Assad’s threat to use chemical weapons and the Kurdish takeover of towns in Northern Syria, has said military preparations are proceeding “full steam ahead.”

The chemical weapons threat and movements by Syrian Kurds close to the PKK have prompted the Turkish Armed Forces to elevate their combat readiness level. The media is showing images of new deployments of military materiel to border cities. [My note: these images are also flooding Twitter and YouTube, for example here.]

PREPARATION OF A BUFFER ZONE

The deployment of troops near the border to counter the threat of chemical weapons took place yesterday along the Sanliurfa-Mardin line. Prime Minister Erdoğan warned the day before that refugee flows might require the establishment of new camps on the Syrian side of the border, forming a buffer zone, without which the security of the region could not be ensured. The Turkish armed forces are preparing to enhance border security and handle the anticipated wave of refugees.

PKK MAY HAVE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

Because the Syrian side of the border has passed under the control of the PYD, which is close to the PKK, there are concerns that the terrorist organization has acquired freedom of movement in the region.

[…]

July 30th, 2012, 3:53 pm

 

zoo said:

Lt. General Babacar Gaye Remarks to Press, Damascus – 30 July 2012

“There is a need of shift of mindset of confrontation to a mindset of dialog”

July 30th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

Tara said:

The regime is running short on generals and on diplomats.  What is a failing regime to do?  Can they borrow diplomats and generals from other countries?  

Syria’s top diplomat in London defects
By Danny Kemp | AFP – 1 hr 47 mins ago

Syria’s top diplomat in London resigned Monday in protest against the “violent and oppressive” acts of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the British Foreign Office said.
The move comes after a series of defections by senior Syrian officials in recent weeks, including diplomats in several countries and top army officers.

The Foreign Office said in a statement that charge d’affaires Khaled al-Ayoubi had informed it on Monday that he had “left his post”, describing it as a blow to the Syrian government.
“Mr al-Ayoubi has told us that he is no longer willing to represent a regime that has committed such violent and oppressive acts against its own people, and is therefore unable to continue in his position,” it said.
Britain expelled the previous Syrian charge d’affaires, Ghassan Dalla, and two other diplomats in May. Syria had earlier withdrawn its ambassador from London.
“Mr al-Ayoubi was the most senior Syrian diplomat serving in London. His departure is another blow to the Assad regime,” the Foreign Office said.
“It illustrates the revulsion and despair the regime’s actions are provoking amongst Syrians from all walks of life, inside the country and abroad.”
It added: “We urge others around Bashar al-Assad to follow Mr al-Ayoubi’s example; to disassociate themselves from the crimes being committed against the Syrian people and to support a peaceful and free future for Syria.”

Syria closed its embassy in Australia on Monday amid reports that some of its staff were seeking asylum.
….
Also on Monday a diplomatic source said that another brigadier general had defected from Syria’s army to join the ranks of opposition fighters, pushing the total number of rebel generals based in Turkey to 28.
,,,,
http://news.yahoo.com/syrias-top-diplomat-london-defects-150220832.html

July 30th, 2012, 3:59 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#413 ALEPPO

Another welcome dose of common sense and reality. Thanks.

I’d like to say one word to those who are barking excitedly about Afghanistan as a warning to Syria about gaining a persistent Islamic extremist presence: Pakistan.

Pakistan, its main neighbour, is the source of a solid stream of recruits and material aid, arms support amd strategy to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Government is apparently unable (many say unwilling) to control it or clean it up at the source. A unique situation, and one that makes any of the alleged KSA “jihadist” efforts look like dust specks.

And Mali also falls over straight away as a comparison with Syria. But I’ll save that for another response, as I don’t want to join the “distraction faction” here filling this forum with non-Syrian matters.

July 30th, 2012, 4:01 pm

 

irritated said:

#428 Michal

However, I think such direction of thinking is misguided. Assad will no doubt capture Aleppo, if not now then maybe a month hence, but it will only serve to decay his regime.

I think it will decay and weaken so much more the opposition that is already struggling with its irreconciliable differences that they will swiftly call on Babacar for a ceasefire and a dialog.

July 30th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

GHUFRAN 459,

Angry Arab predicted that Libya will turn into an AlQaida hub. He was complaining about the western media coverage of Libya, and the global Jihadists in Libya.

The Arab world is entering the democratic age. It will be the people who decide the fate of the country, and it’s future. AlQaida and the MB cannot force themselves on the people. I’m not a bit worried about them.

They are helping to uproot this junta? Great. Thank you and goodbye.
.

July 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I’d like to suggest a new term to replace ny general reference to post-Assad Syria. It’s one I have seen used by analysts.

It’s “legitimate government”

Let’s start talking about “when Syria has a legitimate government”, and “a legimitate government will do…”.

July 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I read earlier on Sky News television text a quote from Tim Marshall responding to the defection of Syria’s top diplomat in London:

***************

Sky News’ Foreign Affairs Editor, Tim Marshall, said the defection was a serious one for Mr Assad.

“It is yet another chip, as they chip away at the edifice of the regime, which now no longer has cracks in it, it has gaping holes in it,” he said

****************

http://news.sky.com/story/966838/syrias-charge-daffaires-quits-london-post

July 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@TARA,
For TARA, SNP is one man show, Assad regime has 8 generals, they all defected and took the cash bait, and 3 Diplomats, now he is running out and need to borrow some from other countries…LOL….Common, get this last battle on and done will ya, so we can start negotiating with the expected winner ad go on with our lives without the Looooooooooooooooooooooooooosers.

July 30th, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

jna said:

“Why Syria is heading towards a vicious civil war, like Lebanon
I said this on Facebook the other day: that one of the ways I can predict that Syria is heading towards civil war is the way young Syrians fight and clash on FB (including on my wall). It is very much like the vicious fights among Lebanese. All that is missing from Western media because they really are under the impression that there is no one who support Bashshar in Syria except `Alawites. The situation is far more complicated–to the benefit and survival–thus far–of the regime.”

Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-syria-is-heading-towards-vicious.html

July 30th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Syria: Rebels Plan Own Assault On Aleppo

Rebels in Syria have told Sky News they are mounting their own assault on Aleppo to try to help their fellow fighters.

Monday 30 July 2012

Syrian rebels have said they will mount their own assault on the besieged city of Aleppo to try to help their fellow fighters.

Free Syrian Army commanders are ordering fighters to infiltrate the city in a bid to rise up and throw out government troops after days of vicious fighting.

Sky News Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay travelled with the rebels in the north of Aleppo and said they are defiant despite the odds against them.

Read more:

http://news.sky.com/story/966624/syria-rebels-plan-own-assault-on-aleppo

July 30th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

irritated said:

Ghufran

That’s the logic prevailing these days among the armed rebels :

If you accept that you are defeated and that saves people lives, you are still a shameful looser. If you die while fighting, you are a proud martyr independently of how many would die because of you.
Its only your personal martyrdom that will send you straight to Heaven.

I think they made they choice.

July 30th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Uzair8
(“It is yet another chip, as they chip away at the edifice of the regime, which now no longer has cracks in it, it has gaping holes in it,” he said)

(said the defection was a serious one for Mr Assad.)
Isnt that what they said about when the Iraq ambassador defected? and when that General defected? that they were all a serious one for Assad.

Yet it clear that they took the cash bait as Aldendeshe said on here.

July 30th, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

irritated said:

#470 UZAIR88

Stuart Ramsay is another imbedded journalist with the rebels.
Do you seriously expect he will say that they are depressed and loosing hopes. They’ll kick him out on the spot or kill him.
They embedded him to boost them in the western media and he is doing just that.

July 30th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

JAD,

Where are you? Are you still defending the use of force to keep in power the illegitimate junta of Assad? Specially when it includes bombing of entire cities like Aleppo (2 million citizens or more)?

Can anyone still defend an ignorant frustated eye doctor that is absolutely uncapable of negotiating with its own people? Uncapable of defending its own junta? Uncapable of being respected by its own neighbours?

Assad please commit suicide, for the good of your sons and the whole Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 4:22 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey is opening the doors of the cage and the FSA is welcoming Al Qaeeda jihadists in Aleppo to achieve “victory”

Syria: foreign jihadists could join battle for Aleppo

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/syria-foreign-jihadists-aleppo-al-qaida?CMP=twt_gu

Jihadists, many with al-Qaida sympathies, are said to be planning to join a decisive battle against regime troops
Martin Chulov in Beirut
guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 July 2012 17.33 BST

Scores of foreign jihadists have crossed into Syria from Turkey in the past two weeks, some of them telling Syrians that they are planning to travel to Aleppo to join a decisive battle against regime troops.

Syrian residents and a Turkish smuggler interviewed by the Guardian say many of the men have come from the Caucasus, while others had arrived from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states.

According to locals who have dealt with them, the new arrivals embrace a global jihadist worldview that sets them apart from most leaders in the armed Syrian opposition and is stirring deep discontent among the rebel leadership.

July 30th, 2012, 4:23 pm

 

Tara said:

Aldendeshe,

لساتك آخِد على خاطرك؟ طيب يا عمي

For you I am going to say, SNP has thousands of members..but could you please stop offending religions.  It is not going to get you anywhere.  Billions of Muslims aren’t going to convert because someone doesn’t like their religion.  People need to to accept and respect other religions.  Don’t believe in it and do not attack it as long as it is not imposed on you.   

July 30th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

zoo said:

A depressing tale of a polluted and greedy opposition

Going Rogue: Bandits and Criminal Gangs Threaten Syria’s Rebellion

In stretches of northern Syria where government control has collapsed and rebel militias call the shots, numerous criminal outfits have come to the fore — and threaten to undermine the rebellion
By Rania Abouzeid / Idlib Province

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/07/30/going-rogue-bandits-and-criminal-gangs-threaten-syrias-rebellion/#ixzz228iRF8x0

July 30th, 2012, 4:28 pm

 

Amjad said:

Cash bait? Seriously people? And what does it say about the quality of the Assadian diplomatic corp if so many of its appointments are apparently willing to jump ship when their country is at war, for the sake of “cash bait”?

Protests all over the country? Cash bait.

Syrians taking up arms to defend their towns and villages? CASH BAIT!

Army defections? PETRO-DOLLARS-CASH-BAIT!

Diplomats and members of parliament defecting? Caaaaaash bait.

Seriously, Norway produced just one Quisling, but according to the menhebakjis, 80% of the Syrian population are Quislings. They think everyone in the world has the mentality of a shabih, a hired goon who can’t be trusted not to sell his ammunition to Ar’or LOL!

Seriously, who is the imbecile who appointed these generals and diplomats if they are all so willing to abandon their country at its most dire moment of need? That person’s judgment clearly disqualifies him from any position of importance. Maybe he should stick to his medical practice.

July 30th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Here’s another nasty one to add to Assad’s strategies of mass homicide and genocide:

Urbicide.

The widespread and deliberate destruction of urban environments as a weapon of terror. Violence against cities – buildings and infrastructure.

It’s highlighted here:

http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/columns/article/urbicide-in-syria_8246

July 30th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 
 

Tara said:

Syria forces attacked observers: UN
(UKPA) – 1 hour ago  

Syrian forces have attacked a convoy carrying the head of the UN observer mission, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has said.
He revealed the attack as he warned the Syrian government to halt its violent crackdown on those fighting to overthrow president Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Yesterday, the convoy of Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye was attacked by armed attacks. Fortunately, there were no injuries,” Mr Ban told reporters.

Read more:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5j8wjGMBENmT1e-G29v3vZtIZAVkw?docId=N0106851343632488083A

July 30th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

Amjad said:

@452

Ass’ad Abu Khanzeer does an injustice to the brave and heroic Western journalists who risk life and limb to report from Syria. Paul Woods of the BBC was there inside Baba Amr as the Syrian army shelled it. A considerable number of foreign journalists have lost their lives to report from inside Syria. Angry Batekh never stepped foot in Syria. The man fled to the USA in 1983, he’s never lived in the Arab world since then. Far better to report from Beirut than spew angry rants from California, while enjoying the comforts and benefits of a society he so openly holds in disdain and contempt.

Ass’ad Abu Khanzer is the archetypal Angry-Leftist-Overinflated-Sense-of-Entitlement-Arab. It’s only a benign and liberal society like the United States that would offer such a despicable individual a place to spew such rants, while making no secret of his hatred for that very society.

And he wonders why no one gives a hoot in hell about Palestine.

July 30th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

zoo said:

Haidar calling on Egypt to take a clear and positive stand about Syria

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs, Ali Haidar, said that the Ministry started its field work and communications with all Syrians to solve main issues including the launch of comprehensive dialogue.

Meeting the Chinese Ambassador in Damascus Zhang Xun, the two sides discussed means of cooperation to speed up the national reconciliation.
In a statement to SANA, Haidar said that the Charge d’affairs conveyed an official letter from the Egyptian government on Egypt’s possible role in solving the crisis in Syria through political solution.

He said that “Our reply was so clear that Egypt could play positive role if it were to adopt a clear and unbiased position and to announce its standing at an equal distance from all political forces in Syria.”

Minister Haidar said “This means to announce clear stance towards those who carry weapons and countries which support them and justify the use of arms and violence inside Syria, in addition to rejecting violence.”

He indicated to the importance of differentiating between the stance of Egyptian state and the Arab League, adding that Egypt’s stance towards countries which support terrorism will be helpful for it to have a role in solving the Syrian crisis in the next days.

July 30th, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Fighting in Aleppo intensifies amid conflicting reports
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-young-fighters-442/

July 30th, 2012, 4:51 pm

 

bronco said:

#481 Tara

The Syrian Army attacks UN convoys with tanks and that’s all what we get out of Ban Ki Moon? Just a short statement that there are no casualties?
No details, where, how, explanation, condemnation etc..

Extremely strange…
I wish we see the full official Ban-ki-moon statement instead of the media incomplete and biased reports.

July 30th, 2012, 4:58 pm

 

zoo said:

France seeks UNSC meeting before the end of this week

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-declares-victory-aleppo-district

France will ask for an urgent UN Security Council ministerial meeting to try to end the diplomatic deadlock over Syria and prevent further bloodshed, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday.

Branding Assad an “executioner,” Fabius said the country was headed for a massacre, and urged the United Nations to do everything it can to stop the crisis.

“We’re going to ask for a meeting of the Security Council, probably at ministerial level, before the end of this week,” he told RTL radio.

Western powers have been at loggerheads with Russia and China over the Syrian crisis, with both sides accusing the other of exploiting the situation to further their interests.

France is due to take over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, and President Francois Hollande has said he will try to convince Russia and China to support further sanctions.

July 30th, 2012, 5:14 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Ban has no spine.. Can a statement of condemnation get any weaker. What Ban have to lose if he just call things by it’s name? Ban may need a complete physical and blood work too. We need Navi to take over. She got what it takes to call things by it’s name

July 30th, 2012, 5:14 pm

 

annie said:

Respect to Homs

July 30th, 2012, 5:20 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Captured photographer returns home

Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans who has been captured and held hostage for a week by “English-speaking jihadists” in northern Syria arrived in Amsterdam on Monday where he was reunited with his family. A family member told Dutch local news channel A5 that Oerlemans still has to recover from his bullet wound and his experiences, and expressed the hope he could do this without media attention.

Several media as well as a “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) terrorist leader reported it has been the FSA who freed the photographer from his captors on July 26. Oerlemans himself however has declared he isn’t sure who his liberators were. (WM)
http://worldmathaba.net/items/1320-syria-real-news-july-30-round-up

July 30th, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

July 30th, 2012, 6:00 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

It’s now a shabbiha hunting season in Syria. I wont post the videos. They are to gruesome to watch.
.

July 30th, 2012, 6:04 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

It’s a matter of days now.
.

July 30th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

Aleppo said:

#463. SYRIALOVER

Thank you dear Syrialover. It may not sound like it but I am realistically optimistic on the outcome for Syria. There is no room for politically correctness in political analysis if one has any hope of coming up with anything remotely coherent.

Part of the ME way of thinking is the belief that almost anything is a conspiracy, especially from “outside”. How about Syrians just getting rid of a bloodthirsty dictator whose family killed tens of thousands of people, imprisoned, tortured and humiliated its citizenry for more than 40 years? How complicated of a concept is that?

I will not comment on As’ad Abu Khanzeer. Amjad and others usiing similar concepts have already done that. How about Antoine Saadeh? Is the worth discussing?

July 30th, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

omen said:

254. ZOO said:
Assad’s Useful (American) Iidots
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/312450/assads-useful-idiots-noah-glyn
How to depose Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in a clean fashion has become a pressing question for the international community. How strange that, not so long ago, the question for them was how to convince Assad to join forces with the West. Along the way, many American policymakers worked strenuously to bring him into the fold, as they heaped praise befitting a statesman on the brutal tyrant.
In a recent column, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens recounted some of the paeans to Assad: In a March 2011 interview, Hillary Clinton implied that Assad was a “reformer.” In 2007, Nancy Pelosi, over strong objections from the State Department, visited Syria, and said, “The road to Damascus is a road to peace.” Senator John Kerry predicted that “Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States.”

sen. kerry still hasn’t been vocal in denouncing bashar.

what kerry is known for is taking to the senate floor to defend bechtel from being held accountable for cost overruns while building the big dig project in boston. at one point notorious from being the most expensive public project in u.s. history costing taxpayers billions more than projected.

what does sourcewatch say about bechtel?


Bechtel Group, Inc.
is the largest contractor in the U.S. The company does construction projects worldwide. It has been involved in such projects as the cleanup at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the construction of Hoover Dam. The company makes most of its money from oil, gas & chemicals and from government contracts. With Chairman and CEO Riley P. Bechtel at the head, the Bechtel family is in its fourth generation of leadership of the company. [1]

Bechtel is a defense contractor with very strong political ties and a long history of doing business in Iraq, including an unsuccessful pipeline deal that at one point involved a meeting between Donald H. Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, and Saddam Hussein. That project later drew scrutiny from a special prosecutor looking into allegations of impropriety involving Edwin A. Meese III, the former White House counsel and attorney general in the Reagan administration. [1]

corruption is bipartisan.

i’m sure they want a piece of that proposed pipeline in syria.

July 30th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

Darryl said:

493. AMIR IN TEL AVIV said:

“It’s a matter of days now.”

Are your cats giving birth Amir?

July 30th, 2012, 6:29 pm

 

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