Liwa Usud al-Hussein: A New Pro-Assad Militia in Latakia

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

LiwaUsudHussein
Original emblem of Liwa Usud al-Hussein.

The province of Latakia has seen a variety of militias operate in its territory in the bid to drive out rebel forces entirely from the coastal front, including the Muqawama Suriya, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party’s Nusur al-Zawba’a, and Suqur al-Sahara’. Foreign Shi’a militias have also participated in Latakia battles, the most notable recent case being the Iraqi group Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib, which, according to one of its members I have spoken with, has some Syrian members and has personnel playing an advisory role in Suqur al-Sahara’. The links between Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib and Suqur al-Sahara’ are borne out in recent social media output by the former, as per below as an example:

SuqurSaharaLiwaAssadAllahGhalib
From the Latakia front: note the Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib flags and the Suqur al-Sahara’ arm-patches.

Unlike the formations mentioned above, Liwa Usud al-Hussein (The Lions of Hussein Brigade) is a much newer militia based in Latakia, having been formed approximately 7 months ago (i.e. around late June-early July 2015), according to a media representative for the group. The formation of Liwa Usud al-Hussein thus came soon after the creation of Coastal Shield, a local militia affiliated with the Syrian army’s Republican Guard that reflected a regime strategy at the time of both dealing with manpower shortages exacerbated by conscription avoidance and focusing on defending areas deemed strategically vital.

However, unlike Coastal Shield, Liwa Usud al-Hussein does not appear to claim affiliation with the Syrian army. The leader of the brigade- originally from Qardaha– is one Hussein Tawfiq al-Assad, undoubtedly part of the larger al-Assad family that is in Qardaha. One can understand the name of Hussein in the brigade’s name in two ways: not only can it refer to the leader of the group, but also to Imam Hussein. Indeed, in an early video posted by Liwa Usud al-Hussein showing the group’s presence in the Homs desert area near Palmyra, the accompanying soundtrack is the song “Salam Allah ‘Ala Sawtak Habibi Ya Hussein” (God’s peace be upon your voice, my beloved Hussein”). These data point to the Alawite background of the militia (for more on the status of Imam Hussein in Alawite theology, see this book by Yaron Friedman). This observation should not come as a surprise. Another militia in Latakia province, the Katibat al-Jabal, affiliated with the National Defence Forces and primarily based on the Nabi Yunis summit, has also made its Alawite affinities clear.

The main operations publicly claimed to date have been participation in the fighting in the Homs desert area near Palmyra against the Islamic State in July 2015, combat in the Sahl al-Ghab in the late summer of 2015, the offensive to take Marj al-Sultan airbase in the Damascus area towards the end of 2015, and most recently the new offensives in north Latakia province that have gone decisively against the rebels, who have suffered high attrition rates partly on account of the intense Russian airstrikes. Specifically in the most recent Latakia initiatives, Liwa Usud al-Hussein took part in the capture of Rabi’a, rather than the rebel stronghold of Salma. Over the course of all these campaigns, Liwa Usud al-Hussein has publicly claimed 3 ‘martyrs’, two of whom were claimed to have been killed in the operations near Palmyra, and one in the Sahl al-Ghab battles.

However, it should be noted that discrepancies exist in the data for the two supposedly killed fighting for Liwa Usud al-Hussein near Palmyra: Nader Saleh Douba, originally from the village of al-Boudi to the southeast of Qardaha, and Rami Aboud Muhammad, originally from Bashnana in Tartous province. Rami is agreed by multiple sources to have been killed in the Aqrab area in Hama governorate, while Nader is variously said to have been killed either in north Homs or Jobar in Damascus. In fact, the media representative for Liwa Usud al-Hussein affirmed to me that only two ‘martyrs’ for the group are confirmed since the founding of the brigade, though names were not specified.

HusseinAssadRabia
Militia commander Hussein al-Assad claimed to be posing in Rabi’a (Latakia) following its capture from rebel forces.

LiwaUsudHusseinHomsdesert
Screenshot from a video advertising the group’s participation in operations near Palmyra, set to the soundtrack of “Salam Allah ‘Ala Sawtak Habibi Ya Hussein.”

UsudHusseinTayfouzairport
Screenshot from a video showing Liwa Usud al-Hussein fighters posing over the corpse of a dead Islamic State fighter apparently in the T4 airbase area in the Homs desert. Note the distinct Liwa Usud al-Hussein arm-patches on two of the fighters (centre and right). For the soundtrack, see this video.

UsudHusseincarPalmyra
From a video posted by Liwa Usud al-Hussein, advertising a convoy as heading off to fight in the Palmyra area. Close-up of a car with the group’s logo.

UsudHusseinPatchCloseUp
From the same video as the previous photo: Liwa Usud al-Hussein arm-patch.

As of now, the Liwa Usud al-Hussein media representative asserted to me that the brigade has undergone a reformation and reconstitution, now using the name “Quwat Humat Souriya- Usud al-Hussein” (Guardians of Syria Forces- Lions of Hussein). The precise reasons for this development were not made clear.

QuwatHumatSouriyaUsudHussein
The new emblem of Liwa Usud al-Hussein under the name of Quwat Humat Souriya- Usud al-Hussein. On bottom, a familiar slogan: “Watan, Sharf, Ikhlas” (Homeland, Honour, Sincerity).

Like many other pro-Assad militias such as Liwa Khaybar, the number of ‘martyrs’ claimed by Liwa Usud al-Hussein suggests a very minor role in the overall conflict, but the group provides another interesting case study of militias on the regime side of the conflict.

Comments (45)


1. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

“… I can denounce bin laden in a split second. Can you denounce the Israeli culture of Arab hatred?! (…) Now be a man ( or a woman) and face the truth once”.

Truth is, that you know very little about the Israeli culture and society. There is no “Arab hatred” per se in Israel. There is a vocal tiny minority which makes a lot of noise, that’s it. Arabs are 20% of Israel. It’s like there were about 75 million Arabs in Amrica. How many anti-Arab hate crimes in Israel, can you remember in the last 70 years?

You continue with your refusal to take responsibility and to blame others. No, it’s the Jews, not us.

No Tara, it’s you, not others. Muslims cannot / refuse to live in peace with others. This is the Muslim culture manifested in your Islamic writings. Be a woman and face it.

The Jews made peace with the Germans, who gased and burned 6 million of us. What greater froof you need to accnoledge that the Jews seak peace not hate?

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February 19th, 2016, 9:34 am

 

2. Hopeful said:

#1 AMIR

I agree that there is no Arab hatred in Israel, but I believe there is Arab hatred in the settlements among settlers. The tiny minority you talk about is mostly concentrated there. Although the comparison is not fair, but the settlers are your ISIS. They embarrass you as much as ISIS embarrasses the Sunnis. ISIS is a sunnis problem and the product of sunni culture – sunnis have to own it and deal with it. The settlers are an Israelis problem and the product of the Israeli culture – and you have to own it and deal with it.

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February 19th, 2016, 9:57 am

 

3. Akbar Palace said:

The difference is that most Muslims do not identify with Islamic terrorists but most Israelis do identify with Israeli terrorists who hate Arabs.

Tara,

As much as I respect your opinions, on the Israel issue, you just have it wrong. Since Israel’s birth, 68 years ago, Israel has been in a state of war with several arab and muslim states that still call for Israel’s destruction and ACT on that premise. At the same time, Israel is holding together a rather robust democracy with a large minority of arabs and muslims.

Despite the constant state of war, arab-jewish relations are improving every year. I find that amazing. Go to Israel and see for yourself how arabs and jews work, study, and live together. It isn’t perfect, but it is not nearly as bad as the rest of the middle east, where muslims are killing muslims on a daily basis.

If Arab and Muslims treated their own as well as Israel treats her minorities, we wouldn’t be crying on Syria Comment…

A few examples:

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/p/eoz-posters-for-apartheid-week.html?_sm_au_=iVVwsZtR61v6vFk4#.VscRBeb9w-I

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February 19th, 2016, 3:57 pm

 

4. Observer said:

Much better than JL in its analysis in my opinion for there is no conflict of interest

http://www.cfr.org/syria/cease-fire-agreement-bring-syrians-relief/p37542

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February 19th, 2016, 4:13 pm

 

5. Ghufran said:

Isis is out of Hasakah province for now after Kurdish forces stormed the terrorist group last stronghold, Isis may still try to come back but this victory is a major achievement for the Kurds and another blow to erdogan’s uthmani mafia.

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February 19th, 2016, 6:25 pm

 

6. Ghufran said:

There is a major political storm in Lebanon after the thugs of Banu Saud decided to break a public pledge made by the late King Khalid who promised to give $1 billion to the Lebanese army. Ksa not only broke its official promise to Lebanon but also declared that it will stop providing any assistance to Lebanese security forces. Hariri and other political pimps in Lebanon used the pledge to illustrate how generous and wonderful the saudi big brother is and when the money was gone and the Saudis made a U turn the same clowns blamed hizbullah for the unfriendly move which made them look like fools and deprived them from an opportunity to fill their pockets with saudi dirty money.
.

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February 19th, 2016, 7:10 pm

 

7. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Hopeful #2,

There is hatred towards Arabs in Israel, but it’s not as common as Tara and others claim it is. And I would call it suspicion and mistrust, rather than pure hate.

From a Muslim point of view, we are all settlers, in the west bank AND in Tel Aviv. The Muslims, Sunni and Shia, to this day, didn’t accept the idea of a Jewish sovereignty in any part of the HolyLand. For them, every IDF soldier is from the army of occupation, and all Israeli citizen – mustautinin.

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February 20th, 2016, 7:31 am

 

8. Observer said:

No comment from Faysal Kassem

الطريق إلى الحرية في سوريا سيكون عسيراً جداً، خاصة بعد الاحتلال الروسي للبلاد. لقد ظن السوريون عندما بدأوا ثورتهم المباركة قبل حوالي خمس سنوات أنهم يواجهون نظاماً غاشماً سيسقط مهما كان وحشياً وهمجياً وفاشياً، فقد علمنا التاريخ أن قوتين لا تُقهران: قوة الله وقوة الشعب. لكن والحق يُقال، لا الشعب السوري، ولا حتى النخب السورية ولا غيرها توقع للحظة من اللحظات أن كل حثالات وضباع وذئاب وأنجاس الأرض سيجتمعون على الشعب السوري وثورته. لم يحدث في تاريخ الثورات أن ثورة تكالب عليها القاصي والداني لإجهاضها وتهجير شعبها وتدمير وطنه، كما حدث مع الثورة السورية.

بعض التافهين يلوم الشعب السوري، ويلوم مثقفيه وإعلاميه لأنهم غرروا بالسوريين، ودفعوهم باتجاه الثورة. ويرى هؤلاء الناعقون أنه كان من الأفضل للشعب أن ينتظر، ويصبر عقوداً وعقوداً على الظلم والطغيان والذل والهوان، لأن النظام سيفعل المستحيل للقضاء على ثورة الشعب. هذه النغمة البائسة بتنا نسمعها كثيراً هذه الأيام على ضوء تعاظم الكارثة التي حلت بسوريا والسوريين على أيدي النظام الفاشي الغاشم وحلفائه. لا بل إن بعض الأقذار يلقون باللوم على الشعب الذي طالب بأبسط حقوقه، ويحملونه المسؤولية، بينما لا يلومون النظام الهمجي الذي لم يترك سلاحاً إلا واستخدمه ضد شعب مسالم. وبالمناسبة هذه النغمة ليست كلاماً عابراً، بل لها أساسها أصلاً في أدبيات النظام المخابراتي.

ويذكر أحد الإعلاميين السوريين في هذا السياق أنه التقى بعد شهرين على الثورة مع ضابط أمن سوري كبير، فسأله الضابط: ” كم برأيك سنستغرق من وقت للقضاء على المؤامرة؟”، فرد الإعلامي: “ربما عشر سنوات”، فقال الضابط: “أحسنت. فعلاً سنحتاج إلى حوالي عشر سنوات لنعيد المتآمرين إلى زريبة الطاعة. وبعدها سنلاحق كل من وضع “لايك” في الفيسبوك ضدنا، فما بالك بمن شتمنا أو حمل السلاح ضدنا. سنحمّل هؤلاء كل تبعات الكارثة، وسنحاكم عسكرياً عشرات الألوف من المتآمرين، لأنهم هم المسؤولون عن خراب سوريا. وسيكون حساب المتآمرين عسيراً جداً. فهؤلاء هم رأس المؤامرة.”

لاحظوا أن هذا الكلام الذي كانت تفكر به المخابرات السورية قبل خمس سنوات بدأ يطفو إلى السطح الآن في الخطاب الإعلامي للنظام وحلفائه وأعداء الثورة. راحوا يلقون باللوم على السوريين وعلى كل من ثار ضد النظام المجرم، وكأن النظام كان بريئاً كبراءة الذئب من دم يوسف، بينما المجرم الحقيقي هو الشعب الذي طالب بقليل من أوكسجين الحرية، بالإضافة طبعاً كل من ساند ذلك الشعب ولو بكلمة تأييد ودعم.

لا عجب أبداً أن يخرج علينا رأس النظام قبل أيام فقط ليكرر نفس الكلام المخابراتي آنف الذكر بابتذال شديد، عندما قال إن سوريا لم تشهد ثورة، وإن المتظاهرين الذين كانوا يخرجون إلى الشوارع في بداية الأزمة كانوا يتقاضون ضعف رواتبهم من جهات خارجية. تصوروا أن أكثر من ستمائة ألف شخص في مدينة حماة وحدها فقط تظاهروا ذات يوم في ساحة المدينة، ثم حصدت رشاشات المخابرات المئات منهم بلحظات. تصوروا أن كل هؤلاء تقاضوا رشى ليخرجوا ضد النظام. هل سمعتم أتفه من هذا الكلام الذي لا يمكن ان يقوله معتوه صغير، فما بالك بشخص يدعي أنه رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية.

ليس هناك جديد في خطاب النظام المخابراتي البائس الذي مازال يكرر الأسطوانة المشروخة نفسها منذ اليوم الأول للثورة. وكلما حرر النظام قرية بقوة القصف الروسي والميليشيات الطائفية وحثالات الأرض والمرتزقة الذين استقدمهم لذبح الشعب السوري من شتى بقاع الأرض، كلما عاد ليردد نغمة “المؤامرة الكونية” التافهة التي لا تنطلي حتى على تلاميذ المدارس. بدل أن تغطي يا بشار الأسد على خيانتك العظمى بحق سوريا والسوريين بالحديث عن المؤامرة وتحميل الشعب وزرها، كان بإمكانك أن تتقاسم سوريا مع السوريين المفترض أنك من أبناء جلدتهم، لا أن تستنجد بكل وحوش الأرض على شعبك. ألم يكن من الأفضل لك ولنظامك أن تتصالح مع الشعب، وتلبي أبسط متطلباته وحقوقه، بدل أن تتحالف مع القاصي والداني على الشعب والوطن؟ هل يرضيك مشهد الطائرات الروسية وهي تعيث دماراً وخراباً وتشريداً في ربوع سوريا التي حرقتها بغبائك ورعونتك ووحشيتك؟ هل تشعر بالسعادة وأنت ترى مئات الألوف من السوريين وهم يتكدسون على حدود الدول المجاورة بسبب القصف الروسي الذي يهلل ويطبل ويزمر له إعلامك ومؤيدوك؟

سيتذكركم التاريخ، شئتم أم أبيتكم، على أنكم من فصيلة نيرون وأبي رغال. أما الشعب السوري فيقول لكم ولعصابتكم: “مهما فعلتم وستفعلون، فإننا باقون. أما أنتم فعابرون في كلام عابر سيظل التاريخ يلعنه إلى أبد الابدين.”

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February 20th, 2016, 9:56 am

 
 

10. ALAN said:

GHUFRAN said:
/Syria are willing to sell the kurds for the right price/.
قل لي يا شاطر كيف راح يصير هذا المزاد؟
وعليه سورية ستبيع الأرمن و الشركس …. و بعدها من ستبيع ؟
نحن مكون رئيسي للجبروت السوري كنا و ما نزال !

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February 20th, 2016, 11:27 am

 

11. ALAN said:

Turkey’s policies have become increasingly unhinged, due to oppressive policies of Tayyip Erdogan. According to the American political scientist David Goldman, in the nearest future Turkey runs the risk of becoming a “failed” state. This is the direct result of misguided Turkish authorities and the oppression of the Kurdish people, which started with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and is being carried on to the present day. And Erdogan’s recent actions can be labeled as a veritable genocide that should be condemned by the international community. Western military analysts also believe that, if there is no change in the political leadership of the country, in the medium term, Turkey won’t be able to preserve its borders, and Kurdish separatism will become the start of an end for it.

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February 20th, 2016, 12:26 pm

 

12. mjabali said:

Observer:

Faysal al-Qasim is a joke on his best day. The article you linked proves it. It is naive, lies and emotions…typical of Faysal al-Qasim. What is missing from this article is the regular usage of Faysal al-Qasim of the word “monkey” to refer to the Alawites. How can you respect a thing who think like this while pretending to have a doctorate?

He is talking exactly like al-Assad propaganda outlets. You know…when someone flatly deny obvious things while talking with high emotions and less rational…the others are traitors….who talk like this….?….people from the stone age if you ask me….

He is one of the reasons al-Assad had stayed in power, I am convinced.

If Bshar al-Assad have to create a secret agent/Clown to make people rally around him: Faysal al-Qasim proved to be one of them….

….Faysal al-Qasim does not think he was and is doing al-Assad favors….what a joke…

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February 20th, 2016, 1:21 pm

 

13. Observer said:

That is why I have no comment to make.

Just as I have no comments to make on Ghufran who continues to denigrate the people of Syria. Just as I have no comments to make regarding Alan’s posting of the grandiosity of the regime.

In the end the place is broken beyond repair. You cannot put it together. There is I agree with you not only sectarian hatred but now ethnic and racial hatred as well.

And Putin wants to put Humpty Dumpty back again. What a joke that is the real issue today

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February 20th, 2016, 1:30 pm

 
 

15. Akbar Palace said:

And Putin wants to put Humpty Dumpty back again. What a joke that is the real issue today

Observer,

No, Putin just wants to lead the anti-west wesistance/despot movement of Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah.

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February 20th, 2016, 3:27 pm

 

16. Tara said:

Akbar,

Have you seen the clips of the israeli wedding where the theme was celebrating the burning of an Arab toddler alive with prior approval of Bit Shin ( sp?). Isn’t this hatred similar or worse than ISIS?

Please do not tell me this an aberrancy. It is a culture of hatred not any different than the culture of Samir Quntar smashing the head of an israeli toddler.

While I do not expect any better from Amir, I expect you to be able to see what I see too. It is not uncommon however for people not to see what they do not want to see no matter how glaring the evidence is

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February 20th, 2016, 4:05 pm

 

17. Tara said:

Amir ,

your insistsance of not being able to understand my views of the world, my upbringing and my muslim’s culture, and how I understand Islamic teaching despite my best effort over the years to demonstrate how an average woman that belong to the Muslim ‘s faith is an enough evidence that Arab hatred is rampant in Israel..

And kid yourself not. I am not attacking your religion. I am attacking your actual Israeli identity . While most American Jews are able to see the difference between the mass Muslims and ISIS (who are given same exposure to us) but you just can’t . Not because you don’t want to, but because you unherently can’t . It is visceral hatred at this point ..sadly as when we first interacted I started at point zero . I did not pre-judge you despite all the baggage I carry watching massacre before and after 1948…. I just observed you..

This ain’t personsl. This is not about you per se. It is about the generic you.

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February 20th, 2016, 4:26 pm

 

18. ALAN said:

Asghar Palace
Should you forget that Jabhat al-Nusra (in the south) is also supported by Israel and usa/nato supporting al qaeda ?
——————–
The U.S. Senate is poised to give President Obama and the next president unprecedented war powers that amount to declaring martial law upon the entire world.

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February 20th, 2016, 4:29 pm

 

19. ALAN said:

BBC REPORT EXPLAINS HOW US & UK WEAPONS FLOW TO AL-QAIDA & OTHER EXTREMISTS IN SYRIA
https://shadowproof.com/2016/02/20/bbc-report-explains-how-us-uk-weapons-flow-to-al-qaida-other-extremists-in-syria/

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February 20th, 2016, 5:00 pm

 

20. Akbar Palace said:

Tara,

Amir knows a lot about Israel. He lives there. I lived there for 2 yrs and I follow the news there daily. I did not see the wedding you are referring to. Feel free to send a link.

What Amir and I are trying to get you (and others ) to understand is that you can always find Arab haters in Israel. But they are a small minority. Why are you discounting the Israeli Left which has done MUCH to help Israeli-Arabs? The Left represents at least a third of the electorate. My wife’s cousin lives in Efrat and I know he and many other “settlers” work daily with Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. He doesn’t hate Arabs but he wisely carries a gun due to the wave of violence.

The good Arabs have in Israel far outweighs the bad. Then there’s Syria….

Tara, did u c the clip I linked to showing many successful Israeli Arabs? What did u think?

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February 20th, 2016, 6:38 pm

 

21. Ghufran said:

Another proposal for a cease fire is coming after the US and Russia agreed on a set of principles. Some opposition sites said the proposal excludes isis but mainstream sites added that Nusra is excluded too. This exclusion was not publically accepted by the GCC and Turkey which is a problem by itself since Nusra is a terrorist organization and an essential part of the rebel force in at least 12 syrian provinces.
Most Kurds want an independent state and my personal opinion is that this is a legitimate demand but so is Palestinian demand for an independent state which was ignored since 1967 despite two dozen UNSC resolutions. I said the Syrian regime will sell the kurds for the right price and I stand by my statement. Even the USA is not ready to lose Turkey to please the Kuds, many rebels are now fighting the Kurds but not Nusra. International politics is not about justice it is about who has the upper hand, this is why israel could not care less about the unsc resolutions.
Faisal alqasim is a clown and a sellout, I stopped paying attention to his writings a long time ago.

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February 20th, 2016, 8:11 pm

 

22. Phil said:

Hi Everyone. We are a team of Stanford students trying to measure more effective ways of helping out refugees and others in conflict areas, such as Syria. Please take a moment and visit http://bit.ly/1PAy4w4 and donate. Every dollar will be sent to help out Syrians in need. Thanks!

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February 20th, 2016, 10:30 pm

 

23. Ghufran said:

A political solution can not be implemented without international guarantees that prevent the regime from taking punitive measures against its enemies and protect a process where officials are directly elected by Syrians. In return the only armed force allowed in Syria should be a Syrian national army which must be inclusive and under civilian leadership. That should have been the framework since 2011 but idiots and greedy wolves never put Syria’s interests first and that has not changed today but there is a consensus among powerful players that this war is getting to the point where it is becoming a threat beyond Syria’s borders. Major hurdles remain including a stubborn regime and opposition and dishonest neighbours. For any plan to succeed Russia and the U.S. need to get something out of any agreement. I am afraid that such an agreement may not lead to justice because the goal is to end the war even if that means ignoring legitimate rights for many Syrians. You do the math, this war should not have started in the first place.
When this is all done and Syrians have a chance to look back they will discover that they and not Assad or Erdogan regimes are the ones who paid the price. If you are thinking the world will pour $ 300 billion to rebuild Syria you must be watching too much TV, Syrians may not have been the only ones who destroyed their country but they will be the ones expected to pay,again, the problem is that there is no money, Syria’s “friends” know that and they want a piece of Syria in return for any “donation”.
كل ثوره و أنتم بخير

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February 20th, 2016, 10:42 pm

 

24. Hopeful said:

#7 Amir

I think you are avoiding my point.

This is not a competition on “who is worse than the other”. Extremists are a product of a culture and an atmosphere. White supremacy culture created the KKK in the US. Germany’s race superiority culture produced Nazism. Sunni culture enabled ISIS to emerge. And Israeli culture paved the path for the radical settlers in the West Bank.

Peace will come if 1) these cultures deal with and defeat their OWN extremists, and 2) these cultures evolve to become more tolerant so that no more radicals emerge from within.

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February 21st, 2016, 3:40 am

 

25. Hopeful said:

http://all4syria.info/Archive/293837

Why is the word “terrorist” not appearing anywhere in this article!!!! Where is the opposition leadership’s condemnation?

Make no mistake – This is a cowardly terrorist act. Borrowed straight from the regime’s books.

God help whatever is left of sanity in Syria.

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February 21st, 2016, 5:29 am

 

26. Observer said:

I am disappointed that the arguments made by Faisal Alkassem are not being addressed on their merit. Just insulting him and calling him a sell out or what not does not cut it.
Bashar by this argument is the greatest sell out:
1. He sold the country to a foreign power two of them as a matter of fact
2. He used a sectarian discourse from the outset
3. He destroyed any area that is not under its control
4. He exiled millions
5. He imprisons thousands
6. He Never Never Ever responded to any Israeli attack since 73
7. He gave up the chemical weapons the only deterrent agains nuclear attack to stay in power
8. His cousin wrote an op-ed saying that the stability of Israel rests on his regime
9. He was humiliated and expelled from Lebanon as he used it as a colony

So if one is to bring selling out this or that we are again falling into the trap of the regime that has used sedition talk to exclude any arguments or any dissent

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February 21st, 2016, 8:39 am

 

27. Majedkhaldoun said:

Erdogan is popular among Arab, anyone who attacks Erdogan does not represent the majority of Syrians, Erdogan popularity among Syrians is what scares US and Israel, and it is the reason why US is not supporting the revolution in Syria , US used Gulen to defeat Erdogan in the Turkish election and failed , US now supports Kurdish PYD , and provides them with weapons , in order to weaken Erdogan , US supported the coup in Egypt because Mursi began to establish good relations with Erdogan ,here US succeeded, now US support to PYD is threatening US relations with Turkey, if Russia ends fighting Turkey , US will not defend Turkey , however such war will weaken both Turkey and Russia , , that is what US likes to see, Putin sent his defense minister to Tehran to encourage Iran to attack Turkey , KSA alliance with Turkey is meant to neutralize Iran
The question if war erupts between Turkey and Russia using traditional arms who will win , ? This depends on many factors but there is serious doubt that Russian army can defeat Turkish army, as the Russian economy is weak. Such war also have effect on the Syrian regime, , and Pakistan will help in preventing the use of nuclear weapons by Russia
Those who support Assad , wether openly or not openly, should not celebrate soon

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February 21st, 2016, 9:04 am

 

28. Ghufran said:

I lost count of the number of car bombs that targeted Homs attacking mostly parts where alawites and Christians live. Thawrajiyyeh responses ranged from supporting the terrorist acts to accusing the regime of doing it !!
The old song about isis being behind every car bomb does not convince people anymore, isis is becoming a convenient way to hide the identity of people committing crimes all over Syria. Assad supporters are focusing on removing top officials in the city, some are openly accusing security officers of taking bribes to smuggle cars inside Homs. Things will not improve until the war is put to an end and concessions are made by both sides. The fact that there is no appetite to compromise should worry you more than car bombs.
Erdogan can not come up victorious after he made more enemies than any Turkish politician in recent memories and his only response is to bomb the Kurds and try to kiss israel’s behind, Israelis will only do what is in their best interests and are not likely to ride a tired and sick horse.

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February 21st, 2016, 10:17 am

 

29. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Hopeful,

I understand your point and fully agree!

Tara,

The video from the “wedding of hate” (as it is being called here), was taken by the Shin Beit. A Shin Beit (Israel’s FBI) agent took it and it was published in the Israeli media, for Israelis to see how dangerous this very small ultra-religious far right group is becoming. One of the guys “celebrating” there is the suspected killer of the Arab family in Douma. He’s now under arrest, waiting for his trial, and a life in prison.

This is the kind of fighting extremism from within, that I don’t see happening among Muslims.

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February 21st, 2016, 11:01 am

 

30. ALAN said:

New US Syria Strategy Aims to Con Russia
Months of Russian air power and rejuvenated Syrian ground forces making significant gains against ISIS and other terrorist groups got Washington to change strategy.
Wanting to avoid direct confrontation with Russia, it relies on deception – conning Moscow to cease bombing terrorist infested northern Syrian areas where US special forces are deployed, claiming cutthroat killers they’re supporting are “moderates.”
Moscow knows none exist. Agreeing to the Pentagon’s request directly aids the scourge Putin and Assad want eliminated, vital in the campaign to liberate Syria.
On the phony pretext of modestly increasing military-to-military communication and cooperation beyond last October’s “memorandum of understanding,” relating to safety protocols for Russian and US warplanes operating in Syrian airspace, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s spokesman Peter Cook said:
The Pentagon “provided a geographical area that we asked (Moscow) to stay out of because of the risk to US forces” on the ground – to protect their safety “in a dangerous situation.”
So far, Russia “honored this request,” he explained. It’s a thinly veiled con, a ruse, hopefully Moscow will see through and reject.
Washington wants to give terrorist elements it supports (falsely called “moderates”) breathing space, a chance to rearm, regroup and add new fighters to their ranks.
Turkey provides them safe haven, aids their movement cross-border into Syria while continuing to shell northern Syrian-based anti-terrorist Kurdish YPG forces, OK’d by Washington.
Fact: US policymakers pretend to want peace. They intend endless war to accomplish their objective – eliminating sovereign Syria, replacing it with US-controlled puppet governance.
Fact: Diplomatically negotiating with Washington assures disaster. Terms agreed on are systematically breached, negotiating partners irresponsibly blamed.
Fact: US imperial aims are pure evil, wanting all independent governments eliminated, especially Russia and China.
Fact: Its aim for dominion over planet earth depends on it.
Fact: Its strategy relies on endless wars, raping and destroying one country after another – Syria in the eye of the storm.
If Putin goes along with the Pentagon’s request to cease bombing areas infested with US-supported terrorists, everything
Russian air power and Syrian ground forces accomplished so far will be jeopardized.
Washington will be in a stronger position to turn things around in its favor – perhaps able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Establishing a safe zone in northern Syria will become a platform for US-supported continued war while talking peace – strengthening terrorist forces, aiding their advance into other areas.
The most fundamental rule to follow in dealing with Washington is knowing it can’t be trusted – not ever. Hegemons yield nothing.
They want things entirely their way, letting nothing interfere with their imperial aims.
Defeating America’s objective depends on Russian air power and rejuvenated Syrian ground forces maintaining unrelenting pressure, continuing their effective campaign, rejecting the Pentagon’s thinly veiled scheme to undermine it.
Preserving Syrian sovereignty depends on it – along with foiling Washington’s pure evil Middle East agenda, part of its grand plan to rule the world unchallenged.
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sobjd2
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sobk5n

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February 21st, 2016, 1:49 pm

 

31. mjabali said:

Observer:

Faysal’s al-Qasim’s article is a joke for these reasons:

It is composed in my opinion of three parts:

1- Cliches about dictatorships we all know. Remember Faysal al-Qasim lives and works in Qatar, also paid by Qatar. Faysal al-Qasim TV show is the mouthpiece of the Dictatorship of Qatar.

2- Flat denial of the existence of international plotting against al-Assad. Only idiots, and Faysal al-Qasim insist on this till this day. Let us not go far: do you think Qatar is involved in the Syrian Crisis?

3- His personal message to Bashar al-Assad.

AS for al-Assad and Israel: Can Faysal al-Qasim tell us about the relations between Israel and Qatar…this could make a very good segment…

So when Faysal al-Qasim shames al-Assad for reaching out to Israel while the station Faysal al-Qasim works for has an office in Israel, all I have to say about this thing Faysal al-Qasem is that he is nothing but a joke.

Faysal al-Qasem is a joke, a bad one.

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February 21st, 2016, 2:57 pm

 

32. Hopeful said:

From day one of the revolution, I had zero sympathy for the regime. I supported the revolution 100% and had 100% sympathy for the people who went onto the streets demanding freedom and justice.

Five years later, I now have even less sympathy for the regime. Not only did it cause this mess to start with, but it also so mismanaged it that the country is in total ruins today, physically and morally.

But unfortunately most of the people on the other side whom I supported and sympathized with are dead, exiled, captured (by either the regime or the radicals), or they moved to the dark side of radicalism, or abandoned the cause all together. I do not recognize the Syrian Revolution anymore. I am sure honorable people are still fighting the good cause, but we do not hear their voices anymore.

I do not want the regime to win, for obvious reasons. But, at this point, I also do not want the rebels to win either. I do not want shady militias backed by Erdogan to become the new dictatorship of Syria. People did not go on the streets to replace one authoritarian regime with another. For the Syrian Revolution to win, we must all hope that a compromise is reached to allow the UN to manage a healing process – no matter how long it takes, which leads to fair and free elections. I hope that the US and Russia use their military power to force all sides to stop fighting. This is the only thing left to hope for.

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February 21st, 2016, 4:31 pm

 

33. Ghufran said:

The rebellion lost support when it occupied towns and forced harsh laws on people under its rule but could not defend people as promised. Rebels committed war crimes and did not allow dissent, they also killed or impridoned every Shia and alawite they put their hands on and now they are fighting the Kurds and siding with Nusra.
Of course we do not want the rebels to win, we want pressure to be applied on the regime so people in custody are freed and humanitarian aid reaches civilians and elections are held. For justice to be served people, from all sides, who committed documented war crimes should be put to trial, I am doubtful we will get to this point. The idea that you can change a regime by killing soldiers, demonizing people based on the faith or sect they inherited from their parents then allowing 1200 militias to replace regime forces was sick and rather dumb and it only prolonged the war and invited Russia, Iran and islamist thugs from dozens of countries to came to “bless” the land of Bilad Al-sham.

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February 21st, 2016, 9:07 pm

 

34. Ghufran said:

The tragedy in Syria is not limited to areas under rebel control, Al-Zahra district in Homs witnessed 20 car bombs in the last 4 years and most of the victims were civilians. Locals demanded the removal of Homs governor but the problem is much deeper than that, it is related to support for Isis from some Syrians who easily infiltrate the city and probably pay bribes to security officers. Car bombs rarely receive any condemnation from anti regime crowds who consider those terrorist acts as proper punishment to civilians who support the regime.

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February 21st, 2016, 11:09 pm

 

35. Hopeful said:

#33 Ghufran

You are right, so for this to stop, we must find a way to 1) eliminate support for ISIS among the common masses, and to 2) eliminate corruption within the security apparatus.

This can only be accomplished if there is a process to put an end to this regime. Many people hate the regime more than they dislike ISIS, and the corrupt violent security apparatus is the cornerstone of the regime.

Of course Syria’s problems will not just end if and when the regime leaves, but if the regime stays, there is no hope to even try to solve the problems.

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February 21st, 2016, 11:27 pm

 

36. Observer said:

It does not matter to me that he is paid by this or that entity. Does he have a point or no?

Qatar does not pretend to be an axis of resistance. An office in Israel has been able to shed a light on Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. After all Palestinians signed a deal with Israelis so let us not be more catholic than the Pope

Yes there are people interfering in Syria on both sides but in the end none of this would have happened if the stupid had done half of his promised reforms in 2001; even you can concede to that.

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February 22nd, 2016, 7:57 am

 

37. Ghufran said:

The regime can not reform itself and must be challenged in elections and in the court of law, if that does not happen the country can not heal.
Using violence by the opposition was a wish came true for the regime, it does not matter if it was a trap or not but the opposition fell into it like a dumb rabbit. I was against regime change using violenence but it took some people five years to understand that it was a mistake. Now, I would not trust the regime if I was a rebel supporter but I would sign a cease fire agreement as long as there are guarantees that prevent the regime from using the cease fire to round up opposition and punish those who stood against the regime. The main problem for the opposition was that they did not have reliable friends and they took islamists and terrorists as “brothers” in arms, that ended any hope for them to receive support from moderates and international powers, that support was crucial to win the battle for a regime change in Syria.
كل ثوره و أنتم بخير

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February 22nd, 2016, 11:52 am

 

38. ALAN said:

it is time for the Turkish evacuation of Cyprus to Greece. Eastern Turkey to the Kurds and Armenians. and If the Turks resist, let Russians occupy the whole country.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Saturday the deployment of a new batch of fighter jets and combat helicopters to an air base outside the Armenian capital, Yerevan, 25 miles from the Turkish border.

Russia’s sanctions affect Turkey’s economy, which hits fears of instability. The sanction is due to the downing of a Russian plane in November on Turkey territory.
Who also wants to invade the Syrian territories?

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February 22nd, 2016, 2:54 pm

 
 

40. ALAN said:

.

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February 22nd, 2016, 3:42 pm

 

41. Ghufran said:

The U.S.-Russia agreement is a test for rebels as much as the regime but it is particularly difficult for the opposition to accept if rebels refuse to divorce Nusra. As of today Nusra is fighting alongside “moderate” rebels in at least three provinces. Rebels are doomed if they say yes and doomed if they say no. The U.S. is effectively giving in to Russia’s demands and giving the syrian army a green light to attack any area that has Nusra bases.

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February 22nd, 2016, 7:48 pm

 

42. Hopeful said:

#39 Ghufran

I think (hope) Alnusra will disintegrate. Some fighters will go join ISIS and others will join the other “acceptable” rebel groups to position themselves for the new phase. Alnusrah was the single most important reason behind the failure of the opposition and rebels to get the US and the west to be more heavily involved in the conflict, leaving the door open for Russia to come to the regime’s defense and turn things around.

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February 22nd, 2016, 11:28 pm

 

43. Observer said:

Excluding Nusra and IS should also have been met with excluding HA and Iraqi and Afghani militia.
How about the elections in April? Which of you is going to vote that day? That tells me more than anything the degree of support. Cheers

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February 23rd, 2016, 7:47 am

 

44. Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL, TARA, OBSERVER, MJABALI and others

Put everything aside. Here is the guts, the core, the crystallized truth of what’s happened to Syria.

It is an eyewitness account of the Assad regime’s attack on Homs in early 2012 written by British war correspondent Marie Colvin a few days before she was killed in a regime bombardment there.

With her died reporting like this that gave the world a clear, immediate picture of the mass death and destruction in Syria inflicted by Bashar Assad. This account was well before militant islamists in the conflict were even invented, and ordinary Syrians were simply fighting back to save their lives, homes and communities.

Multiply the raw terror, shock and destruction she describes here hundreds of thousands, no, millions of times, and you then understand (or are freshly reminded of) what has been done to the population of Syria. And who has done it.

“Final dispatch from Homs, the battered city”
By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times (UK) 19 February 2012
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/news/article874796.ece#page-1

Posted in memory of Marie Colvin, killed by Bashar Assad in Homs February 22 2012.

She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes – and died for this.

May her words live on forever in history books.

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February 24th, 2016, 3:15 pm

 

45. Syrialover said:

MAJEDKHALDOUN #26

You can see how spam infected and trolled this once quality forum has become when an informed comment from you gets an instant 16 (!) thumbs down and zero thumbs up (except one from me), and similar for OBSERVER and HOPEFUL.

Please keep posting. Your voice is appreciated.

The basic truth and reality of what happened in Syria has been obscured black toxic dust, propaganda, corpses and rubble. It’s depressing comparing the reporting of someone like Marie Colvin (above) with so much confused, ignorant and shallow commentary on Syria we are left with after her death when foreign journalists were stopped from going inside and many local journalists were targeted, arrested and killed by Assad.

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February 24th, 2016, 3:43 pm

 

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