Military Casualties Rise; President Spreech; Houla

Syrian military casualties rose in May while death toll overall dropped

The United Nations observer team based in Hama, Syria, met with rebel leaders Thursday in Latamneh. The team’s commander, Danish Lt. Col. Peter Dahl, expressed frustration with the lack of a cease-fire.
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Despite the international outcry over recent massacres allegedly committed by backers of President Bashar Assad, statistics compiled by human rights activists show that violence in Syria has dropped since a United Nations peace plan went into effect in April and is down sharply from its peak in March.

One measure of violence, however, seems to have increased appreciably: More Syrian soldiers were killed in clashes with rebels in May than in any month since the 14-month-old uprising began.

There were also reports that arrests by Syrian security forces have increased, a violation of the U.N. plan that appears to be a major factor in the violence.

“Every day the Free Syrian Army is becoming stronger,” said Alaa Kaikooni, a fighter who referred to the rebels by the name for most of the loosely organized groups that have taken up arms against Assad….. violence is off 36 percent from its peak and has dropped in each of the months that the plan has been in place.

Those numbers are still incredibly high – the Syrian Network for Human Rights recorded 1,344 deaths in May, including 55 noted after the report was posted on the network’s website Tuesday. Still, that’s far fewer than the 2,101 deaths the network tracked in March or the 1,610 it recorded in April. It’s lower than any month so far this year – with the exception of January, when the network reported that 1,179 people were killed – and below the monthly average of 1,616 deaths from January to May……

Syria President Bashar Assad denies role in massacres
By Rima Marrouch and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

… “We are facing a real war from outside,” Assad told the Syrian people. “Everyone is responsible for defending the homeland.”

Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than 40 years, mocked opposition calls for democracy, declaring: “This democracy that they talked about is soaked with our blood.”

The president, formerly a practicing ophthalmologist, invoked the metaphor of a surgeon in the operating theater as an apparent justification for harsh counterinsurgency tactics in a brutal conflict that has cost more than 10,000 lives.

“Who is the wise man who loves blood?” Assad asked. “When a surgeon enters the operating room and opens a wound, it bleeds. He cuts and extracts. Do we tell him: ‘Your hands are cursed as they are contaminated with blood?’ Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

…. The Syrian leader assails what he calls a ‘foreign war with internal tools’ and offers no new initiatives to revive the U.N. peace plan.

a majority of 58% in France want to see UN military intervention in Syria. 50% want France to take part. Both figures are significantly higher compared to results of a poll published last February.

I saw massacre of children, says defecting Syrian air force officer

Houla Massacre of 108 Marks New Low in Syria
By: Liz Sly and Joby Warrick | The Washington Post

In a speech Sunday, Assad denied that his government was responsible and blamed the massacre on his opponents, saying it was unimaginable that security forces could do such a thing.

“Whoever did this in Houla could not be a human being but a monster. And even a monster could not carry out such an act,” he told a session of the nation’s newly chosen parliament….

“The people want to execute Bashar,” they chanted, according to a video of one demonstration. Held above the crowd was a big black banner, emblazoned in white with words that are chilling in light of what unfolded later in the day. “Let the world know we die with a smile on our faces,” it said.

And, as was typical on a Friday here and in many other parts of the country, shortly before 1 o’clock in the afternoon, as the protests began, Syrian troops positioned around the area began firing artillery and heavy machine guns to break up the demonstrations.

What happened next is murky, but according to at least two activists in Houla, rebel fighters attacked a Syrian army position overlooking the area. Nine soldiers were killed, including three officers, according to Ahmad Qassem, one of the activists, who said he was given the number by the local hospital. The government, in its account of the killings that day, has said that “several” of its troops were killed in an attack on a checkpoint. The rebel force also suffered casualties, Qassem said….

Houla residents give a very different account. They blame the Syrian army and the loyalist militias known as the shabiha, which they say came from surrounding villages inhabited by members of Assad’s Shiite-affiliated Alawite sect. It is also clear that many questions remain unanswered.

The day began, as is typical on a Friday, with the men of the town gathering after prayers in at least two locations to hold demonstrations against the government. They left Away from the shelling, on the southwestern edge of Houla, a more sinister development began to unfold. A 25-year-old woman who gave her name as Fatima said she saw men in uniforms arriving in the late afternoon in a nearby street where members of the extended Abdel-Razzaq family lived.

Fatima said she assumed that the soldiers were conducting a routine raid, but then she began to hear shooting, which continued for at least an hour.

According to the videotaped testimony of the few survivors, the soldiers were accompanied by irregular shabiha militiamen from surrounding villages and moved through the homes shooting everyone they found…..

A suicide car bomber targeted government offices in the Iraqi capitol of Baghdad at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, killing up to 23 people, and injuring more than 100. The explosion blew up the facade of Iraq’s main religious affairs office for Shiite Muslims,…

Calls for Jihad Split Salafist Movement
By Mona Alami, IPS, AMMAN, Jun 3, 2012

The Arab Spring brought a host of new actors to the political stage. In Jordan, it pushed the Salafists to the fore, where some of the group’s more radical elements are now calling for holy war in neighbouring Syria.

… Jihadist-Salafists, a loosely structured faction who only number around 1,500 in Jordan, have recently begun to stage several demonstrations, the largest of which was held on Apr. 15 this year in the city of Zarqa and drew around 350 protesters. The protest resulted in a violent clash with the police, leaving dozens of wounded policemen and numerous civilian causalities.

In response, the Jordanian regime unleashed a harsh crackdown on the community, raiding several Jihadists’ homes in Zarqa and nearby towns and charging 146 with terrorist activities.

…”Reformers are coming to understand that the community has a greater role to play, whether politically, economically or socially,” said Ibrahim Hamad, himself a Salafist reformist.

The Salafist reformists have also begun coordinating aid to Syrian refugees who have fled the ongoing violence in their country to Jordan.

“They (reformists) are growing in areas where Syrian refugees are present. Up until now they have distributed about five million dollars in aid, 60 percent of which is provided through countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait,” Smadi explained.

Alain Gresh sums up the debate on Syria on his blog at Le Monde Diplo. Andrew Tabler outlined five steps the US should take against the Assad regime. Henry Kissinger raised his concerns for military intervention in Syria. ”In Syria, calls for humanitarian and strategic intervention merge …On the other hand, not every strategic interest rises to a cause for war; were it otherwise, no room would be left for diplomacy.” Randa Slim argued that military aid would prolong the fight, while Zbigniew Brzezinski said the crisis “is not as horrible or as dramatic as it is portrayed.”  [from Pomed]

Patrick Cockburn: Why war is marching on the road to Damascus
Sunday 03 June 2012, Telegraph

Damascus feels like a city expecting the worst to happen and seeing no way to avoid it. War is spreading across the country and is unlikely to spare the capital. Rebels speak of stepping up attacks in the city and could easily do so in the next few weeks.

I spent the last week in Damascus and the atmosphere reminds me of Beirut in 1975 at the start of the 15-year civil war. Again and again in conversations, people realistically laid out for me the nasty things that are all too likely to happen, but few were able to produce plausible ideas on how disaster might be averted.

“I wish people abroad would stop talking about a civil war starting here because it is still the people against the government,” said one committed member of the opposition as we sat in a café in Damascus (everybody I spoke to has to be nameless, for obvious reasons). She believed that it was only the heavy presence of the security forces that were suppressing mass popular protest in the days after the Houla massacre.

She may have been right, but in practice not a lot was happening. There was less traffic on the streets and foreign TV stations made much play of YouTube postings showing merchants shutting their shops in protest at the Houla slaughter. But, driving around Damascus, the strike’s success was difficult to judge since so many shops and restaurants are shut anyway because of the lack of tourists and the impact of sanctions.

Ibrahim Saif wrote about the economic agenda of the Islamist parties across the region.

They do not call for the nationalization of industries or the renationalization of privatized state-owned enterprises and demonstrate respect for private property rights. All of the parties welcome partnerships with the private sector to implement their proposed projects, particularly when it comes to public utilities and infrastructure. They consistently agree on the need to combat corruption, strengthen the foundations of good governance, eliminate financial and economic waste, and enact socially just policies. And all demonstrate a commitment to international economic agreements, with Morocco and Tunisia in particular focusing on relations with Europe….. Some gray policy zones still exist, in three areas in particular: the role of the state in the economy, which proposals will be prioritized given limited time and resources, and the timetable according to which the parties will deliver promised economic results to the public. And overall, Ennahda, the Freedom and Justice Party, the Justice and Development Party, and the Islamic Action Front all fall short of presenting comprehensive and integrated programs that can realistically transform these states’ economies. Lacking experience, clear priorities, and ways to build and finance ambitious growth plans, all four will face serious challenges in translating their generally reasonable and well-intentioned economic agendas into results….

Rebels kill 80 Syrian soldiers at weekend: watchdog
BEIRUT | Mon Jun 4, 2012

(Reuters) – Syrian rebels killed at least 80 army soldiers at the weekend, an opposition watchdog said on Monday, in a surge of attacks that followed their threat to resume fighting if President Bashar al-Assad failed to observe a U.N.-backed ceasefire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said local doctors had confirmed the names of 80 dead government soldiers.

Insurgents told the group they had killed more than 100 soldiers and destroyed some tanks in clashes across Syria, including Damascus and Idlib province i rebel Free Syrian Army had announced they would be “free of any commitment” to international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan if Assad did not end violence by Friday.

of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children, in the Houla area of Homs province dealt a possibly fatal blow to Annan’s proposed ceasefire, which was supposed to take effect on April 12, but never did.

Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Observatory, told Reuters that many army checkpoints were destroy in heavy clashes overnight in Idlib province, where many rebels operate.

“A minimum of 4 to 6 checkpoints in the village of Ariha were attacked and destroyed in the last 24 hours,” he said.

The 15-month-old uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule began with peaceful protests, but Syria is now slipping into civil war as rebels fight back against a violent government crackdown.

As UN envoy warns of all-out war, a major has provided crucial evidence on the Houla killings
Martin Chulov, Guardian, Saturday 2 June 2012

Les Français favorables à une intervention militaire en Syrie – Le Monde

Une majorité de 58 % de Français se déclarent favorables à une intervention militaire des Nations unies en Syrie, soit 7 points de plus que lors d’une précédente enquête réalisée en février dernier (51 %), selon un sondage Ifop pour l’hebdomadaire régional Dimanche Ouest France.

Cette hausse a “sans doute un rapport avec la multiplication des crimes de guerre attribués au régime de Bachar Al-Assad, et leur médiatisation ces derniers jours”, analyse l’institut.

Les hommes (65 %) se déclarent davantage favorables à l’intervention que les femmes (52 %). 70% des partisans de la droite l’approuvent, devant les sympatisants de gauche (65 %). Les sympatisants du Front national, le parti d’extrême droite, se disent majoritairement (55 %) contre une intervention des Nations unies en Syrie.

A la question de savoir si la France doit s’engager dans cette intervention militaire, les Français semblent également partagés : 50 % pour et 50 % contre, note l’Ifop. “Ces résultats assez mitigés témoignent néanmoins d’une hausse de 12 points en faveur de l’engagement de l’armée française en Syrie sous l’égide des Nations unies, comparé à février dernier (seulement 38 % des Français se disaient alors favorables à cette proposition”, selon l’Ifop).

Le président français, François Hollande, a déclaré mardi ne pas exclure une intervention armée en Syrie à condition qu’elle soit décidée dans le cadre de l’ONU.

Comments (261)


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52. zoo said:

Will Egypt have only one candidate for its first free election, just like Yemen?

More Protests Loom in Egypt, Targeting Candidacy of Mubarak’s Prime Minister
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: June 4, 2012

CAIRO — The presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood and two popular rivals eliminated before the runoff called on Monday for further street protests until Egypt’s current military rulers enforce legislation disqualifying the other remaining candidate, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik.

….

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June 5th, 2012, 12:11 am

 

53. Juergen said:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/analysis-of-the-aftermath-of-houla-massacre-in-syria-a-836848.html

Interview in Germany with Samar Yazbek
“You are an Alawi Muslim. This group makes up the governing elite in Syria, doesn’t it?

Samar Yazbek: No! The Alawites are not the governing elite – that’s a historic error. It’s one family, the Assad family, which has taken this ethnic group hostage. The Alawites suffered repression for many years – and they became a part of the regime in order to re-establish their identity. But the regime only exploited the Alawites – and now the Alawites support the government, because they are frightened they’ll be massacred by the Sunni when Assad falls.”

“Has the revolution lost its innocence?

Samar Yazbek: No, it’s lost its peaceful methods. And that means that the level of violence and repression against ordinary people is increasing – after all, it’s a people’s revolution; it’s not just the elite. They’re using the Shabihah – Alawite mafia types in black Mercedes with shaded windows – to kill Sunnis.”

http://en.qantara.de/The-Syrian-revolution-has-not-lost-its-innocence/19215c20291i1p497/index.html

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June 5th, 2012, 12:32 am

 

54. Juergen said:

Assad’s 5th speech since the start of the revolution: The following words he used quite frequently:

Terrorism, 38 times
Dialogue, 31 times
Crisis, 26 times
Political solution, 11 times

In the first speech he was applauded 44 times
In the second, 20 times
In the third, 17 times
And in the fifth,7 times

I think if he would read the Damascus telephone book he would still get standing ovations, calls for world presidency and 2 songs would be performed for his honor.

Just found out, due to sudden self modesty the time for clapping was limited, so the statistic with the rounds of clapping isnt really an expression how much the members of parliament love their supreme and eternal leader.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:51 am

 

55. Juergen said:

SYRIA’S SPIRAL
Posted by Jon Lee Anderson

“In Syria, the Houla massacre took place under the noses of everyone. Despite the regime’s denials, it seemed obvious to most, including the U.N.’s observers—all of whom came from nations that were pre-approved by the Assad regime—that the killings were likely carried out by the Alawite paramilitary thugs known as the Shabiha, possibly acting in concert with regular army forces. On Sunday, in an appearance before Syria’s parliament, President Assad condemned Houla in the kind of terms we might expect from a president. He called its perpetrators “monsters” and rejected the notion that they might be Syrian army soldiers. He appeared to be sincere.
Is it possible, after all, that Assad really doesn’t know who is doing the killing? Or is it a performance? In his speech yesterday, Assad also said, “When a surgeon in an operating room cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him ‘Your hands are stained with blood’? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/06/syria-spiral-jon-lee-anderson.html#ixzz1wtMhwSof

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/06/syria-spiral-jon-lee-anderson.html

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June 5th, 2012, 1:00 am

 

56. omen said:

50. GHUFRAN said:
My point,for the sixty times I might add,is that this vicious cycle of violence is not helping Syria as a whole,the country will be in ruins before the armed rebels declar “victory”.
12:02 am

do you honestly want the regime to go? how do you propose for this to happen when you keep arguing for the fsa to be dissolved? ask basher nicely to leave?

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June 5th, 2012, 1:41 am

 

57. Alan said:

‘Clandestine intervention fuels Syrian conflict’
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-intervention-don-debar-986/
Syrian rebels are committed to taking up arms once again after moving to pull out of Kofi Annan’s UN-backed truce. But anti-war activist Don Debar told RT that without a peaceful solution, the bloodshed in Syria will make Libya “look like a picnic.”
The announcement made by a Free Syrian Army spokesman Monday that they were no longer bound to observe the ceasefire follows a spate of weekend attacks which reportedly left at least 80 government troops dead.
Following the May 25 Houla massacre which left 108 dead, almost half of them children, UN-Arab league envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan appears to be in tatters../../..

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June 5th, 2012, 2:27 am

 

58. Alan said:

http://whatreallyhappened.com/ru/content/wests-syrian-narrative-based-guy-british-apartment
West’s Syrian Narrative Based on ‘Guy in British Apartment’

Opposition propagandist in England apartment is, and has been, the sole source cited by the Western press.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

The “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” has been cited by the Western media for over a year in nearly every report, regardless of which news agency, be it AFP, AP, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, BBC, or any of the largest Western newspapers. One would believe this to be a giant sprawling organization with hundreds of members working hard on the ground, documenting evidence in Syria with photographs and video, while coordinating with foreign press to transparently and objectively “observe” the “human rights” conditions in Syria, as well as demonstrate their methodologies. Surely that is the impression the Western media attempts to relay to its readers…

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June 5th, 2012, 3:06 am

 

59. Amjad said:

Bronco

“but at least Erdogan has accepted fleeing refugees, why KSA and Qatar do not?”

Um, excuse me? There are more Syrians who fled to the Gulf than there are refugees in Jordan and Lebanon combined. Before the revolution, you’d have needed a stack of paperwork to join a relative in Saudi Arabia. But since then, while the embassy was open, they would just take your word for it that you had a relative in Saudi and give you a visa.

Saudi has stopped the deportation of Syrians under any and all circumstances. It used to be that when a work permit expired, or someone committed a crime, they would be deported from the country. But now there are numerous Syrians who have overstayed, with the blessing of the Saudi government. Syrian students are now allowed to study at government schools, which previously was exclusively for Saudis. Overstayed your umra visa? No problem. Overstayed your visit visa? No problem. Lost your job? No problem, stay and find another one.

There isn’t a single Syrian man in Syria, who wouldn’t prefer that his wife, daughter or sister was in Saudi right now instead of Syria. Except maybe Bashar.

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June 5th, 2012, 3:36 am

 

60. Amjad said:

“When a surgeon in an operating room cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him ‘Your hands are stained with blood’? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

When the patient could have been treated with medicine, but the incompetent surgeon went ahead and performed clumsy major surgery instead and hired his inept relatives as the surgery support team, then what do we do? Revoke the surgeon’s medical license and sue him for malpractice.

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June 5th, 2012, 3:40 am

 

61. Amnesia said:

Bronco, Amjad is right about Saudi. These are not neighboring countries mind you, but there are refugees present in both places.

Also, don’t for second think that Iraqis were allowed in Syria without reason.

Bashar knew he could play both sides of the conflict. His father had a habit of doing that.

The Iraqis were not allowed to work. Those that needed to work often went back to Iraq for better pay. Those that could emigrate elsewhere always jumped to do so. Those who had the money spent it, boosting the Syrian economy. Assad welcomed the tourist money the Iraqis brought with them.

Iraqis eternally grateful to Syrians? Yes. To Assad? Not at all.

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June 5th, 2012, 5:12 am

 

62. Karabennemsi said:

The “Friends of Syria” now have an office in Berlin, which is equally funded by UAE and Germany.

In the comment section of the Spiegel, somebody postet this great analysis of the German intentions in Syria, wich can only be recommended:

http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/58308

“Market Economy for Syria2012/05/30
DAMASCUS/BERLIN(Own report) – Berlin is preparing for Syria’s transformation to a liberal market economy. Under German leadership, a multinational “Working Group” began its work late last week. Immediately following the overthrow of the Assad regime, this “Working Group” is planning to launch urgent economic measures, including the coordination of aid projects and the implementation of economic reforms. Together with the United Arab Emirates, the German government is establishing a “secretariat,” under the leadership of a German with Afghanistan experience. In cooperation with the Assad regime, Berlin had already promoted the Syrian economy’s privatization. However, the nascent liberalization drove sectors of the population into bankruptcy, thereby contributing to insurgence against the regime. Berlin has already received first drafts for Syria’s new economic order. They were written by an activist of the Syrian National Council (SNC), which is under strong criticism by a large part of the opposition because of the pre-eminence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington-based Syrian exile politicians hold leading positions in the SNC. They are demanding a Kosovo-style western intervention and consider Kosovo’s KLA to be a model for the Syrian opposition.
Self-Empowered
Late last week, a multinational “Working Group,” co-chaired by Germany, met for the first time in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of launching urgent economic measures for immediately following the overthrow of the Assad regime. The “Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Friends of the Syrian People” was established April 1 in Istanbul by the “Group of Friends of the Syrian People,” an alliance of western and pro-western countries, which support the Syrian opposition in the civil war and are cooperating mainly with the exiled Syrian National Council (SNC). The UN Security Council has neither legitimized the “Group of Friends of the Syrian People” nor this “Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Friends of the Syrian People,” which has empowered itself to serve as a “central forum” for launching necessary economic measures.[1]
Germany in Charge
According to German diplomat, Clemens von Goetze, who, along with a colleague from the United Arab Emirates, had co-chaired the meeting last week, the “Working Group” not only has plans for emergency aid for the immediate aftermath of the regime change, but he finds “it is a good time already to start now for a long-term perspective of the country once change comes in Syria.”[2] The Marshall Plan, implemented by the United States after World War II, to provide the material foundation for the establishment of the Western alliance, serves as a model. The “Working Group” set up several sub-committees along the lines of special issues. The member countries have officially agreed on an international division of labor, with Germany in charge of “economic policy and reform.” According to reports, the explicit goal is a “long term strategy” [3] for the transition “from a centralized economy to a market economy.” The “Working Group” will set up a secretariat, with Germany and the United Arab Emirates each providing 600,000 Euros. It will be headed by Gunnar Wälzholz, of Germany, who had been the director of the Afghanistan branch of the German Development Bank (KFW).”

The analysis continues furtheron, i’m not sure about copyright and stuff, so i just posted the first half or so to give you an impression.

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June 5th, 2012, 5:18 am

 

63. ann said:

Ann I have never deleted any of your posts just cropped them when you copied and pasted entire news article.

SC Moderator

Do NOT delete my post please. Thank you

No talks between Moscow, US on Al-Assad ouster – Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia is not in negotiation with the US on the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday. “No, we are not conducting such negotiations”

Bogdanov also said that the issue of turning the UN observer mission in Syria into a peacekeeping mission is not on the agenda.

http://www.rt.com/news/line/2012-06-05/#id32063

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June 5th, 2012, 6:40 am

 

64. ann said:

Beijing, Moscow ‘on same page’ regarding Syria – China

Both China and Russia are against foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Tuesday. “Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role in the Syrian issue.”

http://www.rt.com/news/line/2012-06-05/#id32059

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June 5th, 2012, 6:43 am

 

65. ann said:

‘China, Russia united against Syria intervention’ – 06/05/2012

Both Beijing and Moscow oppose foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says, adding that parties in Syria must solve the problem.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=272729

BEIJING – China said on Tuesday that both Beijing and Moscow oppose foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived for a security summit.

“Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force,” Liu said.

“We believe ultimately the Syrian issue should be properly addressed through consultation among different parties in Syria. This is in the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role on the Syrian issue.”

[...]

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June 5th, 2012, 6:59 am

 

66. ann said:

Syria: The Dangers of One-Sided Reporting – May 28, 2012 – By Russ Baker

http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/05/28/syria-dangers-of-one-sided-reporting/

The news out of Syria gets more and more appalling. But so does the quality of the journalism. Here’s an example, from the BBC dated May 26:

At least 90 people, including many children, have been killed in Syria’s restive Homs province,
[ opposition activists say ], calling it a “MASSACRE”.

They said scores were wounded in the violence in Houla, as government forces shelled and attacked the town.

Shocking footage has emerged of the bodies of children killed as part of one the bloodiest attacks in one area since a nominal truce began in April.

The UN said international monitors were heading to the area.

BBC then quotes the wire service AP:

[ An activist] in Houla told the Associated Press news agency that troops began the assault on Houla after an anti-regime demonstration following Muslim prayers on Friday.

The assault began with artillery shelling which killed 12, he said – but scores more were [ butchered when pro-regime thugs ] known as “shabiha” then stormed the area.

And here’s UPI:

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 26 (UPI) — At least 88 people, many of them children, were killed in a town in the restive province of Homs in Syria in an attack by government forces, [ activists said ].

All these reports were based almost entirely on the word from activists on one side in the conflict, not from journalists or neutral observers. That is not journalism. Why are there not more journalists actually in these places reporting? In the past, reporters always managed to get into conflict zones. And, notwithstanding Syrian government controls on access to these areas and the obvious physical dangers attendant to work in such places, news organizations should be able to hire Syrians who will be diligent, careful and precise.

This fast-moving story has already led to a follow-up from BBC here that raises questions about the earlier assertion of culpability:

The village of Taldou, near the town of Houla in Syria’s Homs province was the scene of one of the worst massacres in the country’s 14-month-long uprising on Friday.

United Nations observers on the ground have confirmed that at least 108 people were killed, including 49 children and 34 women. Some were killed by shell fire, others appear to have been shot or stabbed at close range.

But at whose hands they died remains a matter of contention. Anti-government activists and eyewitnesses interviewed by a limited number of journalists and human rights groups at the scene point the finger at the Syrian army and the shabiha, a sectarian civilian militia that supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The government however denies all responsibility, saying its soldiers were attacked and armed terrorists went on to shoot and stab civilians.

[snip]

The picture being pieced together by activists, survivors and the limited number of international journalists and human rights organisations in Syria is of an attack that began with the army shelling the town and ended with militiamen killing people house-by-house late into the night.

Reports suggest that at about 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Friday, just after midday prayers, soldiers fired on a protest in Taldou in the Houla area to disperse the crowds.

Some accounts say that opposition fighters then attacked the Syrian army position where the firing was coming from.

According to Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi, “hundreds of gunmen” armed with machine guns, mortars and anti-tank missiles attacked soldiers, killing three.

[snip]

Alexei Pushkov, chair of the international affairs committee of the Russian parliament, the Duma, was more explicit: “We have very strong doubts that those people who were shot at point blank [range] and were stabbed, that this was the action of forces loyal to President Assad,” he told the BBC.

“The shelling was probably the responsibility of the troops of Mr Assad, but the stabbing and point blank firing was definitely from the other side.”

Notice how BBC is backing off somewhat from its earlier report that seemed sure who was responsible for the civilian killings—only the one side. This is commendable as far as it goes.

But BBC jumped the gun, so to speak, in other ways. For example, it published a horrifying photo of scores of bodies lined up, purportedly victims of government violence in Houla. It later had to apologize and explain that it was really a 2003 photo from Iraq. Read more about that here, and be sure and scroll down to see the photo.

[...]

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June 5th, 2012, 7:23 am

 

67. majedkhaldoun said:

Kofi Annan plan is failing, there is no chance of success, after the three months pass,there has to be another plan
1) Arm and support the FSA
2) convert the UN mission to armed mission.
3)Intervene militarily by Nato and US.

Do nothing and admit failure,and delare the end of effort, this choice is impossible.
Depend on Russia and China to change their mind,NO CHANCE>
The first three choices mean war, I think every one agrees that the regime was given enough time,he did not do the demanded reform,he gave no compromise, he continued the brutal criminal sectarian fight.
I blame the long time, the revolution is taking to win,I blame it on those who call for Silmiyeh,Peacefully,and I call on them to appologize to the Syrian people,they and the criminal regime are on the same side, they failed miserably, It is TIME for arming the Syrian people and strongly support the FSA,many will die,but the regime is to blame and the cowards who call for Silmiyeh is to blame too.

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June 5th, 2012, 7:27 am

 

68. ann said:

SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria

US military doctrine envisages the central role of “massive casualty producing events” in which innocent civilians are killed.

The killings are deliberately carried out as part of a covert operation. The enemy is blamed for the resulting atrocities.

The objective is to justify a military agenda on humanitarian grounds. The doctrine dates back to 1962: Operation Northwoods.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31122

[...]

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June 5th, 2012, 7:42 am

 

69. Alan said:

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_05/77098162/
Secretary’s Special Advisor on Syria, Fred Hoff
US delegation to discuss Syria in Moscow
A delegation of the US Department of State headed by the Secretary’s Special Advisor on Syria, Fred Hoff, is coming to Russia this week to hold Syria talks, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has said.

He also mentioned a phone talk that American and Russia foreign ministry officials had had recently, adding that negotiations are underway on other levels.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has stressed Moscow wasn’t discussing ways to promote Bashar al-Assad’s ouster with Washington.

“We aren’t holding any such talks,” Bogdanov said, answering a journalist’s question at a briefing today.

Previously, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the Syria issue.

The delegation is to arrive in Moscow in three days.
——————
here is witchcraft and magic!
By George Friedman
The End of Counterinsurgency and the Scalable Force
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/end-counterinsurgency-and-scalable-force?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120605&utm_term=gweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=b21794ecec5948baa0835165cee49a1c
——-
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_04/77039340/
Fighting continues in Syria
Syrian troops are waging fierce battles against rebels around Damascus, Aleppo and Hama.
According to a Lebanese news agency, over 80 servicemen have been killed or injured over the last two days.

The rebels are using new kinds of weapons, such as grenade launchers. In this connection, the independent Syrian newspaper The Al-Watan has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of stirring up a military conflict in Syria.

The newspaper has information that those two countries are sponsors of the irreconcilable Syrian opposition which provide its armed groups with weapons. They also send mercenaries to Syria across the border in the north of Lebanon where they ‘are establishing a springboard for an armed intervention’.
———–
Syria declares Western envoys personae non gratae
Syria declared on Tuesday that the ambassadors of several Western countries were personae non gratae, in an official statement from the foreign ministry.

“Some states recently informed heads of our diplomatic missions and embassy staff that they are unwelcome,” the statement said, adding Syria was now designating the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, among others, as personae non gratae.
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_05/77122464/

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June 5th, 2012, 7:45 am

 

70. Karabennemsi said:

@67 Majedkhaldoun:

You seriously advocate Nato-boots in Syria?

That is very unrealistic, and even if it would happen, please consider what the consequences are.
The only countries capable of conducting such a mission in the Nato would currently be the US, Turkey, Britain, France, Germany and Poland. Germany wouldn’t be able to actually take action simply because the parliament wouldn’t allow that; Poland has made very bad experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq and therefore might refuse.
I can not believe that the Syrian people would willingly accept a coalition between the US, the former Ottomans, and the -legally and emotionally speaking- heirs of Sykes and Picot.

Such a mission has to fail not even considering the role of the militias or the regular army.

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June 5th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

71. Alan said:

The spiral is in the back of planners Kosovo Scenario
In Syria, the planed Houla massacre took place under the noses of everyone !
Comment ID: 312517
Comment ID: 309189
Comment ID: 309103.
Comment ID: 302861
Comment ID: 302765
Comment ID: 299450
Comment ID: 295637

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June 5th, 2012, 8:09 am

 

72. DAWOUD said:

http://aljazeera.net/news/pages/e16fbebe-abfb-43e1-92a6-d021c6d9ca5d?GoogleStatID=1

صورة بثها ناشطون عن تشييع جنازة قتيل سقط أمس برصاص الأمن في حي القابون بدمشق (الفرنسية)

قتل 13 شخصا اليوم بنيران القوات النظامية في مناطق متفرقة من سوريا، في وقت شنت فيه القوات النظامية هجوما على إحدى البلدات في اللاذقية، كما اقتحمت هذه القوات النظامية بلدة في ريف حماة وسط البلاد بعد ثلاثة أيام من القصف العنيف.

ووفق الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية فإن معظم قتلى اليوم سقطوا في محافظة إدلب، بينما أفاد مراسل الجزيرة أن ثلاثة قتلى سقطوا اليوم في هجوم للجيش النظامي على بلدة الحفة بريف اللاذقية على الساحل السوري.

وكانت لجان التنسيق المحلية ذكرت قبل ذلك أن قتيلا وعدة جرحى سقطوا في قصف على هذه البلدة.

من جهته قال العقيد مالك الكردي نائب قائد الجيش الحر، في تصريحات للجزيرة، إن مجموعات من الشبيحة هاجمت بلدة الحفة باستخدام قذائف الهاون انطلاقاً من القرى المحيطة بالبلدة.

وأضاف الكردي أن مروحية للنظام قصفت قرى طعومة ودويركة والسرمانية والكبانة القريبة من اللاذقية.

من جهته أفاد المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان، في بيان إنه بعد ثلاثة أيام من القصف والاشتباكات، اقتحام قوات نظامية سورية تضم دبابات وناقلات جند مدرعة بلدة كفر زيتا في ريف حماة، وبدأت حملة مداهمات وإطلاق رصاص كثيف. وأشار المرصد إلى انسحاب الثوار من البلدة.

وفي تطور آخر، قالت شبكة شام الإخبارية إن الجيش النظامي بدأ حملة عسكرية على سقبا في ريف دمشق بعد اقتحامها، مشيرة إلى أن هناك مداهمات للمنازل والمحلات في البلدة.

وفي إدلب تحدثت الشبكة عن مقتل المواطن ثائر معروف من بلدة دير سنبل متأثرا بجراحه التي أصيب بها جراء نيران الجيش السوري، كما تحدثت عن مقتل مواطن برصاصه قناص في رأسه أثناء استهداف قوات الأمن حي القصور في حمص.

وفي اللاذقية تحدثت شبكة شام عن إطلاق نار من الرشاشات الثقيلة من قبل قوات الجيش السوري النظامي على المنازل في منطقة سلمى والقرى المجاورة.

استمرار المظاهرات
[...]

Salute to Palestinians who invented “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

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June 5th, 2012, 8:13 am

 

73. Dawoud said:

We need Palestinian infiltrators from occupied Palestine, who are “armed” only with STONES, to enter Syria and help their Syrian brothers/sisters!

These Palestinain “armed groups” are ONLY armed with STONES!

Salute to Palestinians who invented “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

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June 5th, 2012, 8:21 am

 

74. DAWOUD said:

Although Bashar (War Criminal)al-Assad has perfected the “art” of oppression and murder, there are still a few tactics that he could learn from the Israeli occupiers. For example, please see the following news story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/israel-airport-email-search_n_1569163.html

Israel Airport Email Searches Inspect Suspected Pro-Palestinian Activity

JERUSALEM — When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport, she received an unusual request: A security agent pushed a computer screen in front of her, connected to Gmail and told her to “log in.”

The agent, suspecting Tamari was involved in pro-Palestinian activism, wanted to inspect her private email account for incriminating evidence. The 42-year-old American of Palestinian descent refused and was swiftly expelled from the country.

Tamari’s experience is not unique. In a cyber-age twist on Israel’s vaunted history of airport security, the country has begun to force incoming travelers deemed suspicious to open personal email accounts for inspection, visitors say.

Targeting mainly Muslims or Arabs, the practice appears to be aimed at rooting out visitors who have histories of pro-Palestinian activism, and in recent weeks, has led to the expulsion of at least three American women.

It remains unclear how widespread the practice is.

However, asked about Tamari’s claims, the Shin Bet security agency confirmed she had been interrogated and said its agents acted in accordance with the law.

Israel has a long history of using ethnic profiling, calling it a necessary evil resulting from its bitter experience with terrorist attacks. Arab travelers and anyone else seen as a risk are often subjected to intense questioning and invasive inspections, including strip searches.

The security procedures appear to be getting stricter: Recent searches of journalists at official events have been invasive enough to create a series of mini-uproars and walkouts – a situation that has dovetailed with increasing concerns that the government is trying to stifle dissent.

Diana Butto, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said the policy of email checks, once used sporadically, appears to have become more widespread over the past year.

Butto said she has led three tour groups to the region over the past year, and in each case, at least one member of the group was asked to open their email. She said Muslims, Arabs and Indians were typically targeted, and in most cases, were denied entry.

Butto said agents typically want to see people’s itineraries, articles they have written or Facebook status updates.
[...]

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June 5th, 2012, 8:37 am

 

75. majedkhaldoun said:

Karabennemsi
I never advocate foreign troops ,from Nato or USA in Syria, I am strogly against it,
What I called for is for Arming the Syrian people and the FSA,with enough power to create Balance so the regime accepts to negotiate exit

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June 5th, 2012, 9:01 am

 

76. Tara said:

Syria declares Western ambassadors unwelcome
Syria has declared as unwelcome the ambassadors of several Western states, a week after governments around the world expelled its top diplomats.

The US, UK, French and Turkish envoys were among those designated “personae non gratae”. Many have already left.

More..
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18330403

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June 5th, 2012, 10:24 am

 

77. Mina said:

Syria’s neighbours: pick up the model you wish to follow.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/43850/World/Region/Israel-forces-Arab-visitors-to-log-in–to-email-ac.aspx
“Israeli airport security force travellers to log in to their Gmail and facebook accounts to determine whether a “suspect” is involved in pro-Palestine activity with deportations as punishment…”

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/43857/Egypt/Politics-/Shafiq-accuses-Brotherhood-of-killing-protesters-d.aspx
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/shafiq-steps-attacks-against-muslim-brotherhood-says-they-killed-tahrir-protesters-news-1
Presidential contender Ahmed Shafiq continued his fierce attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood Monday, accusing the group of killing protesters during the 25 January 2011 uprising.

“A military official told me during the [18-day uprising] that he had asked Brotherhood member Mohamed al-Beltagy and pro-Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazy to order the ‘bearded’ snipers killing protesters from the roofs of buildings to get down, to which Hegazy agreed,” Shafiq told television host Khairy Ramadan on CBC satellite channel.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/mubaraks-have-40-villas-and-le1-bln-egyptian-banks-illicit-gains-authority-reveals
Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained details of the investigations conducted by the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) into the wealth of Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and their wives Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga al-Gammal, which confirmed that they have 40 villas, more than US$147 million in an account that Mubarak can deposit into or withdraw from, LE140 million in an account belonging to Alaa, and LE100 million in an account for Gamal. (…)
They also have US$352.5 million in Switzerland, which is more than LE2 billion, and shares in companies in Cyprus, London and the United States, and have syphoned money abroad through off-shore companies, which IGA representatives are trying to repatriate. (…)

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June 5th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

78. Antoine said:

Today there were violent 12 hour long clashes between FSA and the Army in al-Hiffeh in Latakia Countryside. 4 BMPs and 1 T-62 Tank was destroyed. FSA is still occupying 3 Police Stations in the region.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

79. zoo said:

China & Russia firm: No foreign intervention. No regime change by force

China and Russia: Keep faith in Annan peace plan
Daniel Bardsley
Jun 6, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/asia-pacific/china-and-russia-keep-faith-in-annan-peace-plan

Despite the escalating violence, Liu Weimin, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told journalists yesterday that both China and Russia “oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force”.

“We believe ultimately the Syrian issue should be properly addressed through consultation among different parties in Syria,” he added.

“This is in the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role on the Syrian issue.”

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June 5th, 2012, 12:28 pm

 

80. zoo said:

Israel worries now about the security of the region or its own?
Containing Syria
By JPOST EDITORIAL
06/04/2012 21:51

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=272672

There is real danger that loose weaponry and WMDs might fall into the wrong hands, endangering not just Israel’s security, but the security and stability of the entire region.

In times of insurgency when regimes are in varying stages of collapse, there is a real risk that unsecured weaponry – including weapons of mass destruction – will fall into the wrong hands. Militias and insurgents who are more likely to be ruthless power-seekers than enlightened proponents of human rights exploit these situation to grab caches of weaponry by the tons.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:33 pm

 

81. Antoine said:

224. SALAH ADDIN said :

“That is why the revolution is bogged down. The Syrian communities would have rallied, in a heart beat, around a truly representative and semi competent opposition.”

___________________________________________________________________

Okay , Salahaddin ( a.k.a Aldendeshe ), please tell us what the Local Coordination Committes did in those first days of 15 March 2011 in Daraa, that made them “not truly representative”.

Please tell us what the LCC did in the last 14 months which makes it “not truly representative”.

Please enlighten us, and if you do not, then you are simply acting Pricey.

Also please tell us how the LCCs has to offer is worse than what the regime has to offer.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

82. bronco said:

Amjad #59

You say:”There are more Syrians who fled to the Gulf than there are refugees in Jordan and Lebanon combined.”

I say:
You mean that these poor peasants in Daraa and Houla Edlib must have a relative to go to Saudi Arabia and must get a visa?
Who are you fooling? That’s what you call accepting refugees? with a visa? It’s only the well off and probably connected to the regime that went there, not the poor people who are under physical threat.

As Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey published the number of Syrians “refugees” in their country, please provide the same for the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Exclude the businessmen who are not what I call ‘refugees’.
Otherwise your affirmation is unfounded.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:45 pm

 

83. Antoine said:

The famous school teacher from Al Qouriyah, Deirezzor, who defected openly last December, is seen meeting wuth UN Obsrevers today in the town :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiQJUJa8Occ&feature=plcp

Again, I cannot hide my amazement at this funny person for joining the FSA. Then again, he had no other choice, he had openly insulted Bashar inside the school in full view of the Camera and in presence of all students and staff. If he stayed inside his home he would have been hunted down like a dog.

But what amazes me more is that the regime has still not managed to arrest him or kill him in the last 7 months. I mean he is not even a trained fighter, he is just a educationist with no military training, and he is STILL in al-Qouriyah, yet the regime has not managed to scratch him.

Till today, the regime has not managed to arrest or kill even 1 prominent commander of the FSA anywhere in Syria.

The regime is so incompetent.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

84. bronco said:

76. Tara said:

“Syria declares Western ambassadors unwelcome”

It was high time…

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June 5th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

85. Karabennemsi said:

@81. Antoine:

“Also please tell us how the LCCs has to offer is worse than what the regime has to offer.”

Are you familiar with the situation in al Quasyr?

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=31626&lan=eng

What have the LCCs done to prevent this situation? What are they doing to ensure it doesn’t worsen?

Sharmine Narwani, a Senior Associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, describes in the following piece en detail why the farouq guys are at least as bad as the regime itself:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=22361

Once again, what have the LCCs done to prevent this situation? What are they doing to ensure it doesn’t worsen?

Since the LLCs are not able to control or rather suppress such groups, they can not be an alternative to the regime.

It’s that easy.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

86. irritated said:

Karabennemsi

One is calling Palestinians, the other NATO, the other one God, to rescue the crumbling FSA.

What the FSA is getting instead are Al Qaeeda jihadists, criminals, and everyday a ‘new unified front’ popping up in Turkey.
It is now claiming 20,000 “soldiers”, paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Soon it will reach 100,000 they say
If it was not very sad to see the civilians Syrians hijacked and killed by these ‘unified fronts’, the FSA, like the defunct SNC, would appear like a very bad joke.

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June 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

87. Karabennemsi said:

@83 Antoine:

“But what amazes me more is that the regime has still not managed to arrest him or kill him in the last 7 months.”

Unlike some rebel forces, who are really efficent with the whole assassination thing, right?

I bet Dr. Adnan Wahbi could say a lot about this topic – oh wait, he was shot, although curing rebels, “activists” shot him inside his clinic in Duma the day after he called for an immediate ceasefire.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:01 pm

 

88. zoo said:

The media is desperate to pick any sign that Russia will dump Bashar al Assad

“We have never said or insisted that Assad necessarily had to remain in power at the end of the political process,” said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov.

Translated by the media into a blunt:

“Russia says Assad may go as part of Syria settlement”

http://news.yahoo.com/deadly-clashes-syria-eu-russia-seek-solutions-040441153.html

The “end of the political process”? in 2014, at the end of Bashar’s term?

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June 5th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

89. Antoine said:

Antoine, Do Not use Racist, sexist, obscene, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language; This is your final warning.

SC Moderator

KARABENNEMSI,

Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Can you show us interviews of Syrian citizens living in the town of al-Qusayr, and hwat is their feedback about the LCC ?

IRRITATED,

FSA is more than able to throw its hold, even the forces from the 14th Airborne Division Special Forces were not able to defeat the FSA in Rstan, Qusayr, and Binnish.

I say bring up 2 or 3 SF regiments from the al-Qutayfeh Garrison and tell them to fight the FSA like men, and see who wins.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

90. zoo said:

That’s good news, the armed rebels will soon be left on their own to fight, as it should be, and not hide behind the civilians.

Turkey says over 2,000 Syrians flee in 3 days

ISTANBUL – Agence France-Presse

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-says-over-2000-syrians-flee-in-3-days-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=22433&NewsCatID=341

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June 5th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

91. irritated said:

Antoine

“Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Your vulgarity reflect the level of your brain.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

92. Amjad said:

“Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Add to that an attentionw***e, a shallow excuse for an “intellectual”, and someone who shamelessly lifts passages from Professor Landis’ posts without crediting him. It’s a reflection of the how bankrupt and hallow the intellectual base of the regime is that its supporters are made up of such personalities.

Narwani once said that no army could survive if it executed its own officers. The imbecile obviously had never heard of how the Soviet Army maintained discipline during the darkest days of WW 2. Tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers were executed during Stalingrad. Hitler threatened to shoot any officer who so much as moved a sentry from the door to the window. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi republican guards were deliberately placed in the rear lines to “discourage” any retreats.

Shooting your own soldiers en mass to keep others in line is a time honored practice of despicable dictatorships.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

93. Alan said:

French Bishop: Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, and Militants
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/06/french-bishop-syrian-soldiers-face.html
—————-

‘US intervention in Syria underway since uprising began’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w1dgQBIPN4

The opposition’s Free Syrian Army says it’s no longer commited to the UN-backed peace plan. Instead, it wants foreign states to impose a no-fly zone to help oust President Assad. The rebels’ decision to quit the UN-backed truce was largely motivated by the behaviour of the U.S. and its allies. That’s the view of anti-war activist Don Debar, who’s extensively covered civil conflicts in Arab countries.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

94. Karabennemsi said:

@89 Antoine:

Although, just as “Irritated”, I am disgusted by your comment about the journalist i cited, I will hereby present to you the interview you asked for:

http://www.news.va/en/news/asiasyria-minorities-and-civilian-victims-of-armed

However I am not aware of any interviews with inhabitants of al Qusayr particularly regarding the LCC, but since the place is basically divided into two parts, which are both controlled by military forces, one being controlled by the army, the second controlled by rebels, being divided once again between FSA and Farooks, and considering the significant blowback civilian life had in Qusayr, I am confident in saying that the LCC does probably not play an important role in the urban warfare, and that most likely a huge majority of current and former inhabitants are rather unhappy with the way the situation played out.

Maybe you could present some positive voices on the work of the LCCs of Duma, Rastan, Arbeen, Khaldiyieh, Qusayr, etc?

You also might want to elaborate on your problem with the professional work of Ms Narwani.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:40 pm

 

95. Amjad said:

Narwani had also once said that the sight of UN peace keepers buying DVDs meant that things had returned to normal in Homs. Would even the regimists describe Homs as “normal”?

Describing her as a “senior fellow” very generously grants her more intellectual credibility than she has so far displayed.

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June 5th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

96. Alan said:

spiral planers ! for spiral intervention !
Arab Yugoslavia: Massacre fallout fuels Syria intervention

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June 5th, 2012, 1:44 pm

 

97. Tara said:

Bronco

Tit-for-tat does not impress me. Only original contributions…

Can the regime get any more isolated? It really is a pariah regime and is well deserved. Looking forward when Putin dumps Bashar…when the right price comes along of course…

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June 5th, 2012, 1:52 pm

 

98. Amjad said:

85. Karabennemsi

Narwani’s entire article is based on an email from an account that the regimists claimed to have hacked. You and I both know how much the regime loves to copycat others. Look at how Al-Dunya displays alternative satellite frequencies in case their broadcast is interfered with, even though not a single instance of anyone interfering with Al-Dunya’s broadcast was ever recorded, unlike the feeble and pathetic lengths the regime went to to block Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

Witness also the regime’s infantile play acting at “observers”, as it dressed its mukhabarat in yellow jackets to take “testimony” from fellow mukhabarat-posing-as-ordinary-towns people, in order to mimic the Arab League observers mission.

And finally, you have the infamous hacking of the eye doctor’s emails, which blew the lid on the whole can of worms and put a stake in the heart of the lie that was Asma “rose of the desert”. Sanctions against her highness swiftly followed, to be followed also by claims that Burhan Ghalion’s emails had been hacked. The veracity of those emails has not be established.

And now, we have the juvenile “expelling” of ambassadors who haven’t set foot in Syria for months. Does the regime have a single adult running things?

And you wonder why Narwani is regarded with such scorn? Was she ever published anywhere outside of Hizbollah’s Al-Akhbaria?

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June 5th, 2012, 1:57 pm

 

99. Mina said:

Or maybe some admire the Danish “model”? In the name of freedom of speech, praise the massacre of 70 teenagers who have nothing to do with Islam!

“Defence witnesses from the far right in Norway have backed Anders Behring Breivik’s views on Islam in court on Day 31 of his murder trial.

They said Norway was threatened by Muslim immigration, an argument used by Breivik in an attempt to justify massacring 77 people and injuring 242.

Breivik’s defence said the extremists’ testimony proved he was not insane because others shared his views.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18332442

Insanity rules everywhere these days.

However, the speakers did not condone Breivik’s attacks.

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June 5th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 
 

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