Mid East Governments Pressure Assad to Stop Killing and Hand over Power

Deir ez-Zor

Activists say 50 people killed in Deir ez-Zor
07 Aug 2011

Syrian forces have launched an assault on two towns, reportedly killing dozens of people in an increasingly violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

According the Local Co-ordination Committees of Syria, an opposition human rights group, government forces killed more than 70 people across several cities.

Activists also told Al Jazeera on Sunday that troops had killed at least 50 people in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor alone. The city was under siege and electricity and phone lines were cut, according to another source. “Shelling has been heard in several areas,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights, told the AFP news agency.

He also said that a sweeping campaign of arrests followed with “dozens” of people being taken into custody. Seven people, including two children, were also reported killed in the town of Al Holeh in the central Homs province. Abdel Rahman said about 25 tanks and troop carriers had entered Hula and carried out military operations.

Syrian Forces Open Fierce Assault on Eastern City, By ANTHONY SHADID, August 7, 2011

Analysis: Syria army keeps cohesion but risks overstretch

WINEP Outline of Key Syrian Opposition Members by Tabler – provides useful map

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s August 2 meeting in Washington with Syrian democracy activists, as well as U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s comments at his Senate confirmation hearing later the same day, highlight the administration’s outreach to the Syrian opposition — a historically divided group that now must come together and prepare for a post-Asad transition. This featured graphic, including the attached descriptive essay, outlines the Syrian opposition and its key players.

Syrian protesters win support of Iraqi kinsmen Reuters

Despite the military siege on their town, some Albu Kamal residents are trying to smuggle their women and children into Iraq for safety while they pursue protests against Assad’s rule.

“My uncle is trying to send his family to Iraq,” said Ahmed Jassim, a Qaim supermarket owner told Reuters by telephone. “But he wants stay there (in Albu Kamal) until there is victory.”

Syrian opposition admits armed insurgents are operating on fringe of uprising against Assad regime
By Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph

Syria’s opposition has admitted that armed insurgents are operating on the fringes of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, raising fears that extremists could take the country into civil war….

Saudi king recalls ambassador and demands end to Syria bloodshed, Guardian

Statement is sharpest criticism yet directed by Saudi Arabia against Arab state since Middle East unrest began

Erdoghan sends Turkish Foreign Minister to up the Pressure on Syria
Sibel Utku Bila, Sunday, August 7, 2011

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News  PM Erdoğan’s statement that Ankara’s patience with Syria is running out draws a harsh response from Damascus ahead of a visit by the Turkish foreign minister. ‘The process from now on will take shape according to the response [al-Assad] will give and the practices on the ground,’ Erdoğan said Saturday.

Turkey is set to deliver a final warning to Syria that it must end the bloodshed sweeping the country and introduce reforms or Ankara will join international measures against the regime, officials said Sunday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will go to Damascus on Tuesday to deliver this warning following the harshest reaction yet from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the deadly unrest sweeping Syria. Erdoğan said Saturday that Ankara’s patience with the situation was running out and that Davutoğlu would convey “a resolute message” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that he risks losing Turkey’s support.

Turkey sends a message to Syria that Britain cannot –
Simon Tisdall: Syrian visit by the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has the appearance of a showdown – but President Bashar al-Assad might listen

The foreign secretary, William Hague, admitted last week there was not much more Britain could do to halt the Syrian crackdown, while his US counterpart, Hillary Clinton, has been reduced to counting the dead.

But Turkey, Syria’s more powerful neighbour, is less supine. It is sending its foreign minister to Damascus on Tuesday to read the riot act to Syria’s gore-soaked president, Bashar al-Assad….

US envoy vows to monitor Syria violence firsthand
7 August 2011
Agence France Presse

The US envoy to Syria has returned to monitor the “grotesque” crackdown there, placing himself on a collision course with Damascus, which has imposed strict constraints on diplomats…..

State Department urges Americans to leave Syria
By MATTHEW LEE Associated Press
Posted: 08/05/2011

WASHINGTON—The State Department on Friday urged Americans in Syria to leave the country immediately and advised those who remain in the country to restrict their movements, as the Syrian government intensified a violent crackdown on opposition protesters. The warning came as congressional calls grew for the Obama administration to impose severe new sanctions on President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Israel mum on Syria, US Jewish groups speak out

American Jewish Committee says resolution not enough, more measures targeting Syrian government, country’s energy sector should be passed.

NEW YORK – Condemnation of Syria in the wake of the crackdown on anti-government movement in Hama that started last weekend has been vocal and near universal.

Israel has been one of the few exceptions. Jerusalem has remained mute on the subject, perhaps because it has been preoccupied by protests at home over the cost of housing. More likely, however, because it does not want to be seen as supporting the movement that Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused of being orchestrated by Israel, in a bid to delegitimize it.

Jewish-American organizations, however, have no such qualms and have been more outspoken in their condemnation of Israel’s northeastern neighbor.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday all issued statements criticizing Damascus.

“The people in Syria have been looking to the West and saying ‘your silence is killing us,’” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents….

“They attack Israel, but when it came to Syria, where the violations are so blatant, they did not and it highlighted the double standard or quadruple standard found in the United Nations,” he said.

The message that human rights violations were unacceptable should be extended to Iran, which “provides weapons and manpower to suppress the popular expressions [in Syria],” Hoenlein said……..

The Anti-Defamation League also said the resolution approved by the Security Council was insufficient and urged the council pass sanctions against the government in Damascus.

“While it is appropriate for the Security Council to be dealing with the ongoing crisis in Syria, the council’s presidential statement condemning the Assad regime’s human rights violations and ruthless use of force against Syrian civilians is a wholly inadequate response,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said. “In light of the regime’s brutality in recent months, particularly its current actions in the town of Hama, we urge the council to adopt a resolution that will make it unambiguously clear to President Assad that unless he reverses course, the international community will impose immediate consequences on his repressive regime.”

Syria expresses dismay over Gulf council’s statement, 2011-08-07

DAMASCUS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — A source in Syrian Foreign Ministry expressed Sunday dismay over the statement issued a day earlier by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council calling for an immediate end of the violence and for a prompt implementation of reforms in Syria.

In a statement faxed to Xinhua, the foreign ministry source said the GCC statement has “entirely disregarded facts presented by Syria, both in terms of slaughter and sabotage acts perpetrated by armed groups that target Syria’s security and sovereignty, or in terms of the package of significant reforms announced by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad” in a speech he made on June 20.

The statement said the Syrian president has underscored, in his speech, the importance of national dialogue as the best solution to the current crisis. But, it added, the “negative” stand showed by the Syrian opposition, in addition to the continued acts of killing and sabotaging, “haven’t prevented the Syrian leadership from working” to put the announced reforms into force.

It said breaking the current cycle of violence requires a call from “our Arab brothers in the GCC to stop all acts of vandalism, denounce armed violence carried out by groups that don’t want welfare for Syria, and give the necessary time for the presented reforms to yield fruits.”

The statement urged the Gulf leaders to reconsider their stands “taking into consideration what the Syrian leadership is doing to bypass the current crisis.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council expressed on Saturday its utmost concern over “the excessive use of force” in Syria, the six-member bloc said in a statement.

The bloc, grouping Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, called for an end to “bloodshed” in Syria, which has been sweeping by pro-democracy protests since March.

The statement came one day after the U.S., French and German leaders vowed to mull over fresh punitive steps on Syria.

Meanwhile, Syrian president’s adviser for political and media affairs, Bouthayna Shaaban, said Sunday that if the Turkish foreign minister is visiting Syria to deliver a “firm message” to Syria, “he would hear stronger words.”

Weapons Smugglers Charged in Beirut as Solidere Says it Doesn’t Have Inspection Duty at Marina
by Naharnet Newsdesk

The military prosecutor general has charged two Lebanese men with allegedly smuggling weapons from the Beirut Marina to Syria, a security source told As Safir daily published Saturday.

Wasim Tamim and Samir Tamim, who hail from the northern port city of Tripoli, are members of the most prominent movements in the former parliamentary majority, sources said in reference to ex-PM Saad Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal movement.

The men were arrested in Beirut last Friday, they said, adding that they have carried out more than 30 smuggling operations from Beirut to the Syrian city of Banias.

Revolution Statistics According to Monajed:

Syrians killed: 2,293
Civilian casualties: 1,906
Army casualties: 387
Missing: 3,000
Banned from travel: 650
Protesters killed by torture: 53
Protesters currently incarcerated: around 15,000
Syrian refugees since the revolution: around 12,577
Refugees in Turkey: 10,227
Refugees in Lebanon: 2,300

Dr. Waleed Al Bunni & his 2 sons (18 & 14) were arrested

WikiLeaks Cables Show US Strategy for Regime Change in Syria as Protesters are Massacred
By: Kevin Gosztola Friday August 5, 2011

In the aftermath of a massacre in Hama, Syria state media broadcasted images of “burnt, buildings, makeshift barricades and deserted streets strewn with rubble,” according to the New York Times and claimed the revolt in Syria has ended. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports tens of thousands have taken to the streets all over the country and are continuing a five-months old uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a press conference and said the Syrian government has killed more than 2,000 people in its brutal crackdown on protests in the past months. She told the press the US was extending sanctions against a “prominent businessman and MP,” who allegedly has close ties to Assad. This marked the “fourth round of US sanctions against Syria aimed at pressuring Assad’s government to ease its bloody crackdown against unarmed protesters,” according to The Guardian. However, numerous Syrian protesters and some US senators are dissatisfied, as the sanctions do not target Syria’s oil and gas sector.

As protests continue and the brutal crackdown on protests wears on, US State Embassy cables released by the media organization WikiLeaks provide a greater understanding of the Washington power politics that have led to this moment.

For the past five to six years, the US policy toward Syria has used what could be called a two-pronged strategy to push for regime change. The US has supported “civil society” activists or external opposition organizations. It has also worked to delegitimize, destabilize and isolate the country through the application of sanctions and various other measures, which could be applied to exploit vulnerabilities.

A cable from December 13, 2006, opens with the conclusion that the Syrian government has ended 2006 “in a position much stronger domestically and internationally than it did [in] 2005.” It features a collection of possible actions that could be taken to undermine the Assad regime.

The vulnerabilities listed include: the Rafiq Hariri investigation and tribunal (Hariri was a Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in a major car bombing); the alliance with Tehran; the regime’s “inner circle”; divisions in the military-security services; the corrupt Baathist elites; previous failures of reform; the economy; the Kurds; extremists and the “Khaddam factor” (Abdul Halim Khaddam is an exiled former Syrian Vice President, whose name appears in a number of the cables released thus far.)

Some of the proposed actions for exploiting these vulnerabilities are outlined in the cable:


The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Khaddam and Rifat Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime,s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.


…We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media outlets, providing him with venues for airing the SARG,s dirty laundry. We should anticipate an overreaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbors…

HIGHLIGHT KURDISH COMPLAINTS: Highlighting Kurdish complaints in public statements, including publicizing human rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.

PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue.

This is clearly manipulative and underhanded. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Assad regime would want to crack down violently on any protests. The shadiness of US relations with Syria is only amplified if you look at the other aspect of the US push for regime change: the public funding of opposition groups.

The US Doesn’t Undermine Countries, It Transforms Them….

Adonis, famous Alawi Poet, Asks Assad to Step Down

Samar Yazbek addresses her ALawite community: Bashar is a killer and his family is criminal – al-Arabiya

Clinton: Syria Death Toll Exceeds 2,000
Friday, 5 August 2011

Secretary of State Hillary said the United States is committed to doing all it can, including additional sanctions, to curb the abuses. But she said the U.S. effort needs help from countries with broader business dealings with Syria.

“But not just U.S. sanctions because, frankly, we do not have lot of business with Syria,” said Secretary Clinton. “We need to get Europeans and others [involved]. We need to get the Arab states. We need to get a much louder, more effective chorus of voices that are putting pressure on the Assad regime, and we’re working to obtain that.”

Syria’s general elections to take place by end of 2011: FM

DAMASCUS, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Saturday that the country’s general elections will take place by the end of this year, adding that it would be “free and fair.”

Al-Moallem made the statement during his meeting with foreign ambassadors in capital Damascus, in which he said the new parliament will represent the aspirations of the Syrian people.

The current parliament’s four-year term has expired earlier this year, and President Bashar al-Assad will set a date for new legislative elections before the end of 2011.

The Syrian leadership is going on with the process of reform, al-Moallem said, adding that all the reform steps announced by the president will be implemented soon.

He voiced the Syrian leadership’s keenness to maintain the security and stability of the country and to put an end to the sabotaging acts.

The Syrian leadership is still affirming that the only way out of the current ordeal is through a national dialogue, Al-Moallem told the ambassadors, adding that in the absence of the national dialogue “because of the negativity of the opposition,” the leadership has to move on with the reform.

The foreign minister’s remarks came as his country is facing an international outcry over the alleged crackdown on anti-government protestors. According to activists, more than 1,700 civilians have been killed since the crisis began in mid-March.

Washington Post:”Bashar al-Assad must step down”

By Robert P. Casey Jr, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian affairs.

Angry Arab,  “The Armed terrorist groups in Syria

Syrian regime TV is quite repulsive. It is a combination of fake religiosity, Syrian chauvinism (a la Lebanese Phoenicianism) and tons of lies. Look at the constant references to “armed terrorist groups”: what are their ideological orientations? I ask because <b>the regime jails people on the left, center, and right and in between</b>. Unless the regime maintains that this bizarre “armed terrorist group” comprises people of different ideological stripes.

The Deir ez-Zor tribal meeting that I posted about last, is provided in greater length here. Thanks to Revlon who also provides as short summary

It shows proceedings of the tribal meeting that came on the heel of the abduction of Sheikh Shuyookh Syrian tribes Sheikh nawaf AlBasheer.بيان العشائر في دير الزور , Aug 3, 2011

Young tribal member (5 minutes)

– Wheather there is dialogue or no diologue – although I am against dialogue with the regime because no regime will negotiate its own suicide. they are merely playing for time.

– I am calling you – al-mujahidiin – and I emphasis the word, “mujahidiin” because this is a jihad and we are a jihadist society. We need to create a generation of Jihadists.

– No regime will sign to its surrender.
– The soldiers, shabbeha and foreign mercenaries besieging our city are terrified of us. They think of us as cannibals. This plays into our hands!
– The city of deirAlZor did not have and now does not have arms, as they claim.

– The regime has succeded in subjugating us because we have lost faith in God and Jihad. We have to regain them back. There is no going back
– Our elements are urged to head to our strategic points in the city. We have selected them so as our spies can provide advance warning for any impending threat from the regime forces.


– A couiple of days ago a group of us, including lawyers and Doctors met with a delegation from the Army
– Our demands were as follows:
o The release of all political prisnors, prior to the arrest of Sheikh Nawaf
o The withdrawal of Army and security forces from the city.
– The army negotiator replied that they agreed with some tribal benefactors on granting the tribes 20 license plates for automobiles and 5000 job opportunities.
– We rejected their offer as silly.
– The negotiating officer telephoned Officer Riadh Shaleesh and informed him of the tribal meeting demands.
– Shaleesh’s response: The army is in a mission and shall not withdraw.
– The Sheikh concluded by saying: By tomorrow, if our demands are not met we will bring our arms and go down to the city.

A religious tribal member:

– A religious prelude
– Jihad is part of the heritage of the Islamic Umma
– Our Sunni brothers make up the majority of the army; We want them out of the army.
– The regime are forcing our Sunni brothers to kill each other by sending Homsi’s to Kill Deiri’s and Hasakawi’s to kill in dar3awi’s. This should stop.
– We want peace. But if Jihad is forced on us so be it!

Sheikh conclusion remarks

– We welcome and respect the statements of the members
– This regime does not appreciate our peaceful stance and is not serious about dialogue.
– We have been pleading for dialogue for the last 5 months! Alas this regime is bent on staying in power.
– Frankly, as for 3alawis, the mind set of their professors and shepards in this conflict are one and the same.
– Notwithstanding, we have a committee to keep the channel of dialogue, while we stay alert with our guns to defend ourselves.
– We either live proud or die martyrs defending our honour and territories.
– We are proud tribes; when dar3a pleaded for help they addressed the tribes of our city first!
– I ask the able to donate for our cause.

Revlon’s impressions:

The speakers were representative of the young revolutionists, religious members, and the the tribal chief.
One of the members had a machine gun strapped to his shoulder. This is nothing recent and has nothing to do with the revolution . They have always been armed. It is part of their way of life.
The speech of all members was defiant, with tribal and religious undertones.
The decision is a declaration of rebellion until the approval of the demands of the tribes.

Establishing Transition Council is important
by Haytham Khoury

The importance of establishment of a transition council in Syria cannot be underemphasised. Here is an excerpt of a paper sent to the Antalya Conference on may 29th, 2011 with title “The Urgency for a Transition Council in Syria”. Unfortunately, the Conference was not able to adopt it because of the lack of preparations and the lack of high-caliber attendees.

Dubious portrayal of Syrian events
Friday, August 5, 2011
Bahadır Dinçer

The biased media coverage of the events in Syria seems to intentionally downplay the real issues at stake by focusing on the claims of conflict between the Shiite and Sunni population.

The military and regime are depicted as the saviors of the people. On the other hand, the Syrian people who have deployed peaceful means of protest with no reference to sectarian ideology are shown as armed gangs. However, the current situation is actually an issue of “victimization.” In reality, the scenario of “sectarian conflict” reflects the attempts to legitimize certain interests rooted in the status quo. The winners and rewards of such a scenario must be analyzed. First and foremost, if a sectarian conflict erupts, the center of the struggle will shift. This will allow time for the Syrian regime to relax.

Moreover, the possibility of a sectarian conflict doesn’t only serve the regional powers, but also certain global ones. When their inaction is questioned, they can justify it by saying “they are struggling with primordial religious problems, they have no legitimate demands.” Furthermore, the rhetoric of “sectarian conflict” that fragments the Middle East can also please those that don’t want the Muslim world to unite. In this sense, the expansionary policies of the Iranian regime can indirectly aid those that have certain interests in the region.

Samir Qantari, the general director of the National Socialist Syrian party,  assassinated: paper, 2011-08-04 16:35:38

DAMASCUS, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — “Terrorist and armed” groups have assassinated a chemist in Syria’s northern province of Idlib, the private al-Watan newspaper reported Thursday.

Chemist Samir Qantari, the general director of the National Socialist Syrian party, was shot in his pharmacy at the northern town of Maart al-Numan on the outskirts of Idlib, the paper said, adding that the killing reflected the remarkable development in the “terrorist groups’ tactics and it seems like an immediate implementation of what was posted on the Facebook of the ‘list of assassinations’.”

The chemist’s name was posted on the Facebook two days ahead of his killing, al-Watan said, noting that the list included more than 100 names, most of them civilians or people working at local municipalities.

In a related development, the Syrian TV said Wednesday that ” armed terrorist” groups in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour had attacked public and private properties and stole their contents before smashing them completely.

The groups killed one law-enforcement agent and burned his body, the TV said, adding that security agents had seized a suspicious car loaded with weapons and Molotov bombs.

It added that gunmen broke into a station for the border guards near al-Furat Oil Company, kidnapped three guards and captured their weapons.

Russia welcomes UN stand against foreign involvement in Syria
English.news.cn 2011-08-04 20:49:06

MOSCOW, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Russia welcomed a UN Security Council call to refrain from external interference in Syria’s internal strife, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“Moscow is convinced that the settlement of the situation in Syria must be conducted by the Syrians themselves without any interference from the outside and be based on the all-Syrian dialogue, which is the only way to resolve the crisis,” a statement on the ministry’s official website said.

Weapons Smugglers Charged in Beirut as Solidere Says it Doesn’t Have Inspection Duty at Marina, by Naharnet Newsdesk

The military prosecutor general has charged two Lebanese men with allegedly smuggling weapons from the Beirut Marina to Syria, a security source told As Safir daily published Saturday.

Wasim Tamim and Samir Tamim, who hail from the northern port city of Tripoli, are members of the most prominent movements in the former parliamentary majority, sources said in reference to ex-PM Saad Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal movement.

The men were arrested in Beirut last Friday, they said, adding that they have carried out more than 30 smuggling operations from Beirut to the Syrian city of Banias.

LA Times [Reg]: City of Aleppo seems in own world amid revolt elsewhere in Syria, 2011-08-07

Two days before black smoke left a pall over Hama, a bloodied symbol of the uprising against the government of Syria, the country’s second-largest city, Aleppo, held a cultural festival featuring a 3,600-foot-long Syrian flag wrapped around its …

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood holds first public vote

CAIRO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The general Shoura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) held a public internal vote over three vacant seats, Egypt’s official news agency MENA reported on Saturday.

The votes ended with the victory of Hossam Abu-Bakr, Abdel-Azim el-Sharqawi and Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim who won the membership of the MB’s Guidance Office.

This historic vote was set to replace senior figures who resigned from the Guidance Office to join the Freedom and Justice Party, which was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood for the upcoming parliamentary elections and approved by the Egyptian Committee of Party Affairs in June.

Three replaced figures were party leader Mohamed Mursi, deputy leader Essam Elarian and secretary-general Mohamed Saed Elkatatny.

The MB, which was officially banned in 1954 and currently the country’s most organized group, has said they would not run for the coming presidential election.

The Freedom and Justice Party aims to contest up to half of the parliamentary seats in the elections due in November.

The “mine field” of Syria unrest
Aug 4, 2011 14:10 Moscow Time

……The UN Security Council statement, which experts see as balanced, may facilitate a peaceful solution to the crisis. A different reaction would be disastrous under the circumstances, says Sergei Demidenko, an Oriental expert from the Strategic Evaluation and Analysis Institute:

“Should the UN choose to impose severe sanctions on Syria, they will rock it. Syria’s multi-ethnic and multi-confessional balance is too fragile to withstand sanctions. If the current government leaves now, the country will plunge into chaos. The opposition has no clear-cut program for getting the country out of the mess. As a result, the entire region may fall into turmoil.”

Iran’s lawmakers must have masters degree
All candidates running for Iran’s parliament must have postgraduate degrees in future, the Guardian Council’s spokesman, Abbasali Kadkhodai, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

The new law has already been approved by the Iranian parliament and is aimed at improving the quality of the country’s lawmakers, he said.

Syrian forces arrest opposition leader Bunni -group

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian forces arrested on Saturday a veteran opposition leader who had called for a national conference to seek a peaceful transition of power after a five-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, a rights group said.

Walid al-Bunni, who has been in hiding, was seized with his sons, 19-year Moayad and 18-year Iyad, by secret police in his hometown of Tel, north of the capital Damascus, the Syrian Human Rights Organisation Sawasiah said in a statement.

A day before his arrest, Bunni told Reuters the uprising must remain peaceful, even as the death toll from a government crackdown rises.

“There will be more martyrs, but the protest movement must remain nonviolent,” he added. He urged rank-and-file soldiers, who he said had begun to defect from the military, not to take up arms against Assad’s forces.

“The best thing these conscripts can do is to go home. Using arms will give an excuse for Iran and Hezbollah and other outside parties to intervene,” Bunni said.

Hezbollah: UNHCR report on Syria false
August 08, 2011,The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Hezbollah has denied reports that its members were involved in the killing of Syrian soldiers who had deserted the regime, the party said in a statement Sunday.

Radio France, citing an as-yet unpublished report from a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees committee, reported over the weekend that Hezbollah members, as well as members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, had killed Syrian Army defectors.

Hezbollah slammed the U.N. study as a fabrication and part of a wider plot against the resistance.

Comments (84)

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51. mjabali said:

Abu Umar comment #22

Abu Umar: again you prove that you are a [Edited for Insult] and have problem understanding, لديك مشكلة واضحة: قلة الاستيعاب

Today there is a battle between the Bedoins of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula vs. the Alawi Bashar of Syria and his infidel sect so I do not have so much time to spend on a trivial battle with you that You already lost and withdrew. If you want my answers for your questions go and read my previous posts.

So, I will be brief while dismantling your feeble logic.

1- Your Hero and Saint Ibn Taymiyah is a proven war criminal and the whole world have the texts to prove this. So during his trial we have a solid evidence about what he taught you in regards to the hatred and disregard you hold against Christians, Jews, and other Muslim Sects like the Alawis.

2- I told you many times that I am not pro Assad so you again display your lack of understanding and you resort to lies and slander. This is a reflection of a troubled soul mr. Abu Umar.

3- As for Ali ibn Abi Taleb, i am still waiting for the texts of his decrees to kill others. You are a liar, plain and simple, and could not produce that text when asked on numerous occasions.

4- AS for your prophet Mohammed and if he is a war criminal or not. I say what do you call a person who ordered the killing of all of the men of the Jewish tribe of Bani Quraydha and took their women and distributed them to himself first (he took the best ones of course) and his men?

Islam produced mostly violent figures and its history was written mostly with violence throughout its history.

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August 8th, 2011, 11:54 am


52. Haytham Khoury said:

I am not sure if Dr. Landis agrees with me that the pressure that Arabic countries and the international community have put on the Syrian regime last week is the precursor of a continuously mounting pressure (that we will see till the fall of the regime). These developments indicate Bashar, unlike his father, lacks the sense of the reality, the resilience and the shrewdness. Although I did not agree with Hafez Assad vision for Syria, I admired his charisma. I admired his strong the sense of the reality, the resilience and the shrewdness. When Salah Jedid was irritating Israel by firing artilleries from the Golan Heights onto the Galilee Valley, which is was one of the reasons for 1976 war, Hafez Assad understood that was a stupid strategy. Hafez Assad stopped these immature acts and developed the so- called “the strategic balance with Israel theory followed by peace negotiations” (I won’t discuss herein what went wrong with strategy thereafter). When Turkey put >30000 soldiers on the Syrian border in 1998, Hafez Assad did not move any. He did not panic. However, he understood that he should hand over Oujlan. As you see from both examples, Hafez Assad had strong sense of the reality, the resilience and the shrewdness. Unfortunately, Bashar has no sense of the reality; he does not know his strength and weaknesses; he does not know what provoke other people anger; he does not understand what could be done what could not. Bashar has no resilience: once he takes a line of actions he is too stiff; he is not able to change or retreat in the right moment. His discourse is the always the same; if people do not respond favorably to his words, it means that they are the one who do not understand (not his words are not the right words). Lastly, for all the reasons mentioned above Bashar lacks the social intelligence and the shrewdness; in other words, he does not understand the signs of the times. In brief, if Hafez Assad had Charisma but lacked the right vision for Syria, Bashar lacks both. For all these reason, the Arabic and International pressure will continue mounting on the regime and Bashar will not be able to deal with it appropriately.

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August 8th, 2011, 11:57 am


53. abughassan said:

There is simply too much blood that was spilled in Syria for this regime to be able to survive long term,and after losing hundreds of soldiers and security officers,there is little desire for any new political initiatives or a dialogue,regime hawks wants Ramadan to be the month when the streets are subdued. I am not sure that is doable,the more people die,the more intense and unforgiving this uprising will become.That leaves us with a bloody Ramadan and an unknown immediate outcome of this destructive crisis.
I have three stories about forced evacuation of three Syrian families because of their religious class,however,the presence of the army and the intervention by community leaders have so far prevented this unfortunate behavior from becoming a major problem.

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August 8th, 2011, 11:57 am


54. Aboud said:

“Islam produced mostly violent figures and its history was written mostly with violence throughout its history. ”

What was it you were saying in a separate post about generalizations? *facepalm*

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August 8th, 2011, 11:59 am


55. majedkhaldoon said:

Can the regime supporters explain the change of minister of defense?

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August 8th, 2011, 12:02 pm


56. NK said:


Go ahead and start a facebook page
American revolution against Barack Obama 2019, 11 years of Obama are quite enough.

Also start another facebook page
American revolution against the Democratic party 2056, we should not tolerate their tyrannous one party rule for more than 48 years.

The good news is you have many years as a head start to gather enough support, chop chop!.

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August 8th, 2011, 12:06 pm


57. N.Z. said:

Aboud, some one already lost it as they say. Your response is classy, I applaud you for taking the higher road.

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August 8th, 2011, 12:13 pm


58. mjabali said:

Mr. about comment #54

Notice that I used the word “mostly,” which shows you that I am aware of the problem of generalization. AS for the history of Islam do you have a different version other than the violent one that we all know?

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August 8th, 2011, 12:26 pm


59. norman said:


I started the work to change Obama, in 2012,
He lacks vision and leadership qualities.

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August 8th, 2011, 12:52 pm


60. Revlon said:

Republican Guard Colonel ZulHimma Shaleesh has been placed uder travel ban.
The order has been communicated to the immigration and passport department and its border checkpoints across the country.

Does anyone know the background of this ban?

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
أموي – #syria : العربية : مصادر سورية : منع العميد في الحرس الجمهوي ذو الهمة شاليش “ابن عمة الرئيس السوري” من السفر
-قرار المنع تم تعميمه على إدارة الهجرة والجوازات وكل المنافذ الحدودية البرية والجوية
-المصدر لم يذكر الجهة التي أمرت بمنع شاليش من السفر
3 hours ago

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August 8th, 2011, 1:06 pm


61. 5 dancing shlomos said:

well, all the belly crawling rats seem to be coming out of their cages to make illigitimate requests of the govt of syria.

these rodents should cut out their tongues since these seem to be used for lying and mouthing hypocracies.

then they should cut off their hands to rid themselves of their master’s strings.

real spines couldnt hurt.

is the russian naval base at tartous mentioned anywhere. the desired replacement of the legitimate govt of syria with a new and spineless, bootlicking puppet will most certainly get rid of the russians.

of course the war theft of the joulan will be made “legal” by the puppet and all syria will be under the heel of the occupiers of palestine.

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August 8th, 2011, 1:22 pm


62. Khalid Tlass said:

Nice to hear the Ministry of Defence website was hacked. Hope SANA and other Govt. websites are next. I’m sure their security is as lousy as theur character.

@ Aboud – You seem to be a clever guy. Do us a favour, and hack the Iranian Government website, can you ? Tell them what Syrians think about them.

@ Abu Ghasan – Care to elaborate about the “forced eviction of families for religious reasons” ? Which city, and what religion were they ?

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August 8th, 2011, 1:24 pm


63. Revlon said:

On CTV, Afra AlJalabi calls on the gevernment of Canada to take a tougher stand on the human right abuses of the Syrian regime.
Friday, August 5th thttp://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110805/mtl_jalabi_110805/20110805/?hub=MontrealHome

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August 8th, 2011, 1:25 pm


64. N.Z. said:

The rope is getting tighter on the inner circle personnel. Suicide, not liquidation will make headlines in the near future.

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August 8th, 2011, 1:28 pm


65. N.Z. said:

Revlon, thanks for the link. Ms. Jalabi is one of many Syrian women who were at the forefront in demanding reforms. Here is a corrected link:


Jad, by calling Aboud a women in disguise..something to that effect, you are complementing him. Certainly you can learn from Afra Jalabi, just by listening to her. This is not the first negative comment you make about Syrian women.

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August 8th, 2011, 1:49 pm


66. Revlon said:

The Syrian Revolution has started a campaign to encourage young people and their families to desert or not to enlist in the national military service.
The flyer linked below, is being distributed in neighbourhoods across the country


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August 8th, 2011, 1:51 pm


67. Revlon said:

65 Dear NZ, you are welcome.
Thank you for providing the correcting the hyperlink.

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August 8th, 2011, 1:55 pm


68. Revlon said:

Dear Joshua, your posts this week carry good news to the Syrian people.

On the ground, the news of the return of Mr Ford is already bringing back with it some calm and much of the interrupted utilities to the week-long-besieged Hama city.
I spoke earlier to some relatives their and felt a sense of renewed relief.
People are still however, reluctant to venture out for fear of being sniped or randomly arrested.

The US appears to be leading an undeclared coalition of influential international and major regional powers to expedite the fall of the Syrian regime.

The rapid sequence of statements of condemnation from the UN, the GCC, the Saudi King, the Arab league, and Mr Erodgan as well as the recall of several GCC ambassadors is anything but a random coincidence.

Mr Erdogan’s stern message to Jr ahead of his FM visit to Damascus might amount to a diplomatic ultimatum.

It will be interesting to see if and what related actions or statements might be issued from Jordan and Iraq in the next few days.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:03 pm


69. jad said:

‘Aboud’ is a female, she wants to deny it, it’s her own problem not mine but I wasn’t in anyway writing that as a negative point as your ilk think of women.

‘This is not the first negative comment you make about Syrian women’

Prove it or apologize.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:12 pm


70. jad said:

Another rail bridge was bombed near Homs, good job!?

خاص شبكة أخبار حمص الأولى

في تمام الساعة الحادية عشر صباحاً
وردني اتصال مفاده أن مجموعة تخريبية قامت بعمل تفجيري
لإحدى جسور السكك الحديدية الهامة في سورية
فتوجهت في الساعة 12 ظهراً إلى موقع الحدث

وأترككــــــــم الآن مع التفــــــــاصيل :

في يوم السبت الساعة 11 ليلاً
سمع أهالي قرية كفرنان أصوات انفجار كبير
فاتجهوا بسرعة إلى مصدر الصوت ففوجئوا بتصاعد دخان كثيف
بالقرب من جسر القطار والذي يقع بالضبط من منطقة /حربنفسه/
والتي تبعد 27 كم عن حمص
والجدير بالذكر أن منطقة حربنفسه تابعة لحمص
ولكن جسر القطار تابع لمؤسسة السكك الحديدية بحماه

وعند معاينة الأضرارة الناجمة عن عملية التفجير
لوحظ تصدع في ركائز الجسر و امتداد هذا التصدع لمسافات بعيدة

و الجدير بالذكر أن أهمية الجسر تكمن في أنه يربط شمال سورية بجنوبها
وبهذا التفجير يكون الارهابيون الكفرة قد فصلوا الشمال عن الجنوب
وبالتالي توقف عمل السكك الحديدية على اعتبار نقطة التفجير مختارة بعناية
بسبب وجودها في المنطقة الوسطى

وكان في موقع الحدث مدير عام السكك الحديدية جورج مقعبري
الذي صرح أن هذا العمل ارهابي وتخريبي من الدرجة الأولى
وعادة لا يتم إلا في حالة الحروب
واستذكر في حديثه أول ما قامت به اسرائيل في حرب تموز
وهو ضرب الجسور لفصل المدن بين بعضها

وقد قدرت حجم الأضرار بالشيء الكثير
والمشكلة الأساسية تكمن في المدة الطويلة التي تستغرقها
عملية بناء ركائز جديدة مدعمة بالحديد

الأمر الذي استدعى مديرية السكك الحديدة إلى استدعاء خبراء سوريين
ومنهم الخبير الدكتور المهندس نزيه بدور الذي صرح
بأنهم سيقومون بدراسات سريعة لايجاد حلول مؤقتة
التي تضمن استمرار حركة السكك الحديدية إلى حين الانتهاء
من إعادة بناء الركائز الجديدة

وطلب المدير العام للسكك الحديدية اختيار أربعة أشخاص من قرية كفرنان
لتوظيفهم كحراس للجسر بورديتين ليلاً ونهاراً

خاص شبكة أخبار حمص الأولى

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August 8th, 2011, 3:27 pm


71. Aboud said:

@68 You really do have a fetish problem LOL!

@69 Why hasn’t your inept president captured the supposed saboteurs behind the “attack” on the military academy? The pipeline bombing? The train derailment? In fact, why aren’t you menhebaks demanding that these people be caught?

I’m guessing the minister of defense was kicked out because he couldn’t even defend his ministry’s website hehehehe.

Khaled, Asma’s website was hacked a few days ago. I still have a screen shot of the hack 🙂

Mjabali, your concerns are what I call utterly irrelevant and unimportant at this point. If you have a chip on your shoulder regarding 1 billion Muslims, then that’s your problem. But I do know that Islam spread to parts of the world no Muslim army touched.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:33 pm


72. Aboud said:

@68 You really do have a fetish problem LOL!

@69 Why hasn’t your inept president captured the supposed saboteurs behind the “attack” on the military academy? The pipeline bombing? The train derailment? In fact, why aren’t you menhebaks demanding that these people be caught?

I’m guessing the minister of defense was kicked out because he couldn’t even defend his ministry’s website hehehehe.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:38 pm


73. Aboud said:

Mjabali, your topic and focus are in my opinion utterly irrelevant and unimportant right now. If you have a chip on your shoulder regarding 1 billion Muslims, then you will have to deal with it on your own for now.

But I do know that Islam spread to regions that no Islamic army ever went near.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:40 pm


74. jad said:

I told you before that I’m not interested in arguing with you, go find someone else to bore with your endless, meaningless, pointless and personal attack arguing method. It’s getting old.
P.S. sorry to blow your cover, I really didn’t mean to, but you are getting annoying and you don’t stick to the rules, whens someone tells you not to engage with him try to listen.

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August 8th, 2011, 3:41 pm


75. Aboud said:

@71 Dear God, why the whine? Didn’t you say “attack the comments not the person”? What, did you back down so quickly hehehe.

I asked a perfectly reasonable question, it’s not my fault they are too hard for the menhebaks. I’ll repeat some of them.

1) Is the Pope a Salafi mundas for taking a stand against junior’s atrocities?

2) If you feel you don’t have to listen to Saudi Arabia because its society is not to your liking, what’s your excuse regarding Italy?

3) How can anyone support a regime that is so feeble, that they won’t withdraw their own ambassadors from the countries that have recalled theirs?

4) How can you support a regime that has completely and utterly failed to bring to justice the supposed saboteurs behind the pipeline attack, military academy attack, and train derailment? The regime isn’t even *trying* to apprehend those “saboteurs”.

See Jad, these are simple questions, valid questions that anyone would ask of their government. How distressful that the combined brain power of the menhebaks here are unable to answer even one. Terrible. Truly pathetic 🙂

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August 8th, 2011, 3:47 pm


76. Jad said:

If your comments weren’t ‘truly pathetic :)’ and you sincerely asking for a serious dialogue I would’ve been serious in talking to you and try to answer each and every question you have, but you proved over and over that you are not looking for that hence many on SC stay away from engaging with you, you can’t blame them, I tried before and I won’t do it again.

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August 8th, 2011, 4:20 pm


77. Aboud said:

@76 OK, maybe the questions were too hard. I know it takes people who are used to living under a system where independence of thought is punished, alot of time to get used to…wait, you people are living in the West. Seems like you didn’t learn anything from your stay there. Not even proper grammar 🙂

I have some other questions that I’d like some insight into. This is after all what this website is supposed to be about

1) How do you explain the sudden explosion of international condemnation all at once? Are all these countries part of a Salafi plot against the eye doctor?

2) Do the menhebaks admit they completely misread the Saudi-Iranian detente?

3) Do the menhebaks even know what detente means? LOL!

4) How can we be asked to trust a government that has proven so inept in managing its international relations, the media, and despite the massive deployment of troops, has miserably and utterly failed to subdue this supposed “salafi insurrection”

5) Can you tell me more about the Pope’s connection to the Salafi movement?

6) Do you agree with the following opinion by Angry Arab

“Let me make this prediction: the cowardly Syrian government would not say one word against Saudi Arabia in this crisis. Bashshar is very scared of Saudi Arabia for its skills in sectarian agitation as if the latter government is not already engaged in sectarian agitation. ”

Looking forward to your (lack of) answers 🙂

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August 8th, 2011, 4:35 pm


78. uzair8 said:

In post 14 I posted the link for the video speech of Shaykh Yaqoubi. I forgot to mention the video has english subtitles.

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August 8th, 2011, 5:20 pm


79. SYR.Expat said:

Moroccans show solidarity with the Syrian people.
يالله إرحل يا بشار‫ من مدينة الخميسات المغربية الى الشعب السوري‬

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August 8th, 2011, 7:10 pm


80. ann said:

Syria’s former defense minister appears in video to prove he wasn’t murdered


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August 10th, 2011, 8:40 am


81. ann said:

Syria pledges to go on with national dialogue, reforms: FM


Brazil, India and South Africa voiced solidarity with the Syrian leadership, stressing that their countries would keep supporting Syria to restore security and stability and against any intervention in its internal affairs.

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August 10th, 2011, 9:12 am


83. ann said:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Britain Wednesday to curb its “savage” treatment of rioters and the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi said Prime Minister David Cameron had lost legitimacy and should go.


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August 10th, 2011, 9:55 am


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