Minorities

From the Comment section:

Majedkhaldoun

Out of 220,000, the Syrian army has 140,000 Alawite soldiers. They are paid by the Syrian people to defend them against Israel, instead they are attacking and killing the Syrian people,… How could we be proud of such an army? I am ashamed of such army, whose sole job is to defend Assad not the people. Those who defend such an army are traitors.

the security of minorities in the post Assad regime must be the responsibility of the security forces. In democracy we must respect rule of law.

I am not for revenge, by killing. I am for compensation financially to the victims of Assad clan, and yes we must try the officers who participated in the killing, all of them not the high ranking one only, and those who were involved in corruptions must pay back everything they benefited from.

Tara

Majedkhaldoun, The Syrian army is sectarian army. The low ranking Sunnis do not count. It’s sole purpose is to defend one sect. It is not going to protect the people or to defend the borders. I share your contempt. In free Syria, it should be dismantled and reconstructed physically and ideologically, such that the main purpose of it is to protect the people.

Khalid Tlass

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a few Shabeeh myself. I don’t smoke, but I like the cigarette becoz it would help in burning their devilish skin. And somebody should nuke Iran. Nahj al Balagha should be banned. Al Qardaha should be leveled with cluster bombs, SyAF should do the job.

Amir in Tel Aviv,

Kindly do us a favour and take out Hassan Nasrallah and the entire Hizbullah leadership with laser-guided missiles. Don’t tell me you guys don’t know his exact location. What’s stopping you, if you could do it with such noble leaders like Sheikh Yassin, whats stopping you guys from doing the same to these dirty faggots from Jnoob ?

Haytham Khoury

We should know we are Syrians above all. Even if we disagree with the regime politically, all the citizens of that country including, Bashar and Maher, are our compatriots. Hopefully, justice will prevail with no revenge (and particularly for Bashar, because I think he still has a good element in him). Even if we disagree with the regime, all the cities and towns of Syria, including Querdaha, are our cities and towns.

A reporter sent me this question:

I’m writing an article about why (some) Syrians are still supporting Bashar al Assad despite his brutality and violations (of Ramadan, for example)?

Landis Answers:

The minorities are fearful of any Islamic tinged government that might take the place of the Assad regime. The Christians have been squeezed out of most countries in the Middle East. Anatolia used to be 20% Christian, but by 1922, Turkey have either killed or deported its Christians. Iran has few Christians left since the Islamic Republic was established. Palestine used to have a large Christian population. No more. Caught between Zionism and Islamism, most decamped for less hostile homes. In Lebanon, the Christians took a beating during the civil war and lost their commanding influence in the Lebanese state. In Saudi Arabia, Christians are forbidden from permanent residence or citizenship. Most recently, Christians in Iraq have been preyed upon, causing many to flee; in Egypt, Christians are tasting the lash of Salifist anger; yesterday another church was burned. Christians see the authoritarian regime of the Assads as a last hold out for them in the region. Many are talking about not having anywhere left to run to in the Middle East. They are planning how they might escape and where they might escape to. Alawites are thinking in a similar vein. Of course, much of this fear may be imagined, but as the bloody repression of the uprising continues, the real specter of retribution grows among the average Christian and most particularly, Alawite.

The Reporter responds:

Thank you so much indeed. I thought these sentiments had disappeared after the crackdown but here is what a Christian friend told me, after I mentioned your response to him:

“What the American expert says is 100% true, and i think of my christian and Alawite friends who support the regime. and that exactly what they think. We, as Christians, are always prosecuted in the middle east and i think most of us would rather live under this bloody regime than to throw ourselves into the fire. in addition to that (and that’s my opinion) if the regime fell, there will be chaos, anarchy and civil war. people will pick up arms to take revenge for their dead and people will pick up arms to defend them selves. civil war, like the Iraq one is not far away from us. The only difference is that in Iraq they are roughly 40 – 60% so a bit more fair. in Syria it’s 70 against 10 10 5 5 % and the Christians will flee the country because they don’t have ties in this country anymore they feel it’s not theirs. No one wants them in the region.”

“Please mark the difference when i talk as a christian and when i talk as a Syria citizen. not every reason that i gave is related to my religion. we are Syrian citizens above all, then Christians, but when our existence is in danger, we only look out for ourselves. It hurts every time I say that I don’t want the regime to fall, because, deep down, i know it should go, but survival instinct tells me to support it.”

Currency flight fears mount in Syria
By an FT reporter in Damascus

Fears over the flight of foreign currency and a collapse in investor confidence are increasingly affecting Syria’s struggling economy amid the continued uprising against president Bashar al-Assad, now entering its sixth month.

In a sign of the regime’s concern over the supply of foreign currency, Syria’s central bank this week announced further restrictions on its sale, with Syrians now allowed to buy a maximum of $1,000 no more than twice a year, unless they give an “economic justification”.

Syrians travelling abroad are able to buy currency, but this has now been limited to three trips a year, and the currency must be bought the day before travel, with plane tickets in hand.

The official exchange rate remains at S£47.5 to the dollar, but the black market rate is persistently higher, with dealers asking S£52.5 to the dollar on Tuesday. They maintain they are doing brisk business despite recent attempts by the government to shut them down.

Adib Mayyaleh, Syria’s central bank governor, last month admitted the pound had come “under pressure” as a result of the crisis, while diplomats in Damascus have been among those suggesting that the regime’s foreign currency reserves are depleting rapidly.

Analysts say that growing calls for an embargo on Syria’s oil and gas industry is only increasing the regime’s currency concerns. Oil and gas exports account for up to a third of state revenues and is its single biggest provider of foreign currency.

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, has already called on European countries to consider ending its imports of Syrian oil, a call backed by advocacy group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists say they plan to put pressure on western oil companies still operating in Syria. The two biggest are Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total.

Some analysts agree that an oil embargo will put pressure on a regime that is counting the financial costs of its expanding campaign of repression against anti-government protestors.

“Crackdowns are expensive, you need fuel and you need equipment,” said one analyst in Damascus, who asked not to be named. He also said the regime needed to continue paying the irregular pro-regime gangs, known as “Shabiha”, who take part in the crackdowns, as well as the army and security forces.

“They are not coming out to beat up protesters out of loyalty alone,” he sad. “When the money disappears, so will they.”

But others worry that such measures are not sufficiently targeted, and will damage the wider economy further, harming ordinary Syrians who are already struggling.

“What you are seeing is a lack of investor and consumer confidence, and there is a fear that things can only get worse,” said one local economist. “Investment is down tremendously, spending is down, and these are the biggest contributors to GDP.”

Figures released on Tuesday by the Syrian Investment Agency suggest a dramatic slump in investor confidence in the country. Just 131 private investment projects were licenced in the first half of this year, down more than 40 per cent on the same period in 2010.

The state-run agency oversees investment in Syria’s infrastructure, transport and agriculture sectors, and is seen by local economists as a good indicator of broader investor confidence.

Meanwhile, Syria’s five largest banks saw their assets decline by nearly 17 per cent during the same period, a further sign of the deteriorating business environment. Lebanese banks operating in Syria also report that deposits in their Syrian businesses are down 20 per cent from 2010, as Syrians worried about the impact of the unrest pull their money from banks.

Omar Dahi on Chicago Public Radio today: He gives us a sense of the mood on the ground and whether Syrians will continue to risk their lives for democratic reforms. His lengthy article was published on Syria Comment this weekend.

Emboldened by uprising, Syrian clerics speak out
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi, AMMAN | Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:53am EDT

(Reuters) – Inside an old Damascus mosque, Sheikh Sariya al-Rifai departs from state-sanctioned sermons to warn President Bashar al-Assad that the whole country will rise up against him if he does not halt a bloody clampdown against protesters.

“Beware … all of Syria will erupt if you don’t stop. I hold the leadership responsible for every drop of spilled blood,” Rifai said in a sermon marking dawn prayers on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, just as tanks rolled into the Sunni Muslim bastion of Hama.

“I never imagined that the leadership of this country would give such a gift to its people and country … blood spilling into the streets of Hama and other provinces.”

Rifai’s comments earlier this month inside the Zaid bin Thabet mosque were seen on an Internet video and confirmed to Reuters by worshippers who attended the prayer service.

A pillar of a conservative religious establishment linked to the state, Rifai comes from a long line of Koran scholars who have taught generations of devout followers and refrained from challenging the iron rule of the Assad family.

But as the civilian death toll from a crackdown on five months of protests rose past 1,700, Rifai joined 19 leading clerics to sign a rare petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, blaming Assad for wreaking carnage on the eve of Ramadan, “the month of mercy and compassion.”

The onset of the holy month on August 1 coincided with the start of the bloodiest week in the uprising, helping drive some clerics to break their silence, clerics and analysts say.

Their new boldness could pile more pressure on Assad and give extra momentum to protests against Assad’s minority Alawite rule over the mainly Sunni Muslim country.

Clinton defends Syria policy
By Joby Warrick, Wash Post, 08/16/2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday strongly defended her department’s incremental response to the slayings of protesters in Syria, arguing that demands for the ouster of Syria’s president would accomplish little without the support of key allies in the region.

Clinton also sought to portray the Obama administration’s policy in both Syria and Libya as examples of “smart power,” an approach she said emphasizes collective action and international consensus over unilateral solutions that rely disproportionately on American troops and treasure.

“It’s not just brute force, it’s not just unilateralism, it’s being smart enough to say, ‘You know what? We want a bunch of people singing out of the same hymn book,” said Clinton, who appeared with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a national security forum at National Defense University.

In some of her bluntest language to date on the administration’s relatively cautious response to the Syrian uprising, Clinton acknowledged the limited U.S. ability to directly influence Syria, a country with few economic or political ties to the United States. And she struck back at critics who have accused the United States of failing Syria’s pro-democracy movement by refusing so far to publicly call for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. Administration officials said last week that such a call might come within days.

“It’s not going to be any news if the United States says ‘Assad needs to go.’ OK, fine, what’s next?” asked Clinton, who spoke before a room packed with service members, academics and journalists. “If Turkey says it, if [Saudi] King Abdullah says it, if other people say it, there is no way the Assad regime can ignore it.”

Clinton pointed to fresh successes in building a “chorus of condemnation” against Assad, noting strong statements last week by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states as well as by Turkey, Syria’s neighbor and major trading partner.

Clinton was questioned about Syria during an hour-long discussion that focused heavily on declining U.S. influence during a time of military draw-downs and shrinking budgets. Clinton was asked by one audience member whether the more limited U.S. responses to recent Middle East unrest suggests that the United States is no longer prepared to preserve stability in troubled corners of the globe.

Clinton insisted that Americans would still lead, but she said the administration’s message to the world was that the United States would not consent to carry the burden alone.

“It’s a message that the United States stands for our values, our interests and our security, but that we have a very clear view that others need to be taking the same steps to enforce a universal set of values and interests,” Clinton said.

Both Clinton and Panetta warned of furthering shrinking of U.S. influence and weakened U.S. security if Congress enacts even deeper cuts to the budgets for defense and diplomacy. Noting that both the State and Defense departments already face billions of dollars in cuts….

Clinton says more international pressure needed on Assad
2011-08-16, From Lalit K Jha

Aug. 17 (PTI) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today asked the international community, particularly countries having economic ties with Syria, to act against the authoritarian regime of Bashar-al Assad, though she stopped short of asking the Syrian President to leave power. Clinton said the “international chorus of condemnation” against Syria was growing and pointed out that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries had also joined in the chorus against Assad.

“I am a big believer in results over rhetoric. I think what we’re doing is putting together a very careful set of actions and statements that will make our views very clear….

US Urges Turks, Saudis To Press Assad To Step Down
2011-08-16 17:44:39.935 GMT

WASHINGTON (AFP)–A call by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down would be more effective than one from the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

Before canceling Article 8, the Baath Party plans to ‘purchase’ its real estate
By Sami Moubayed, in the Forward

According to media sources, an unannounced Baath Party meeting took place in early August, aimed at taking pre-emptive measures to solidify the party’s standing in the future, once it is no longer “leader of state and society.” That status, after all, is given to the Baath by Article 8 of the Syrian Constitution, which is expected to be canceled soon. Once it does, the party’s privileged status in society will also be canceled, meaning, the Baathists will have to secure land, real estate, and income for their party—whose membership will likely drop from the current 2.8 million.

One measure is to purchase all property that the party currently holds free-of-charge, which was given to it by the Syrian government since the Baathists came to power in March 1963. This would apply to the party headquarters in Mazraa in the heart of the Syrian capital, and the 14-floor building that houses the party daily al-Baath, along with the Ministry of Information on the Mezzeh Autostrade. Other buildings that would be bought by the party are the offices of its Regional Command in the posh Abu Rummaneh district, and headquarters of its National Command in Baramkeh.

Additionally, media sources said that the Baath Party recently bought a plot of land in rural Damascus, with the aim of establishing a university that would generate revenue—and help the Baathists recruit members and indoctrinate young people with their trinity of “Unity, Freedom, and Socialism.” That property cost 150 million SP ($3 million USD). Finally, the Baathists toyed with the idea of establishing a satellite channel carrying their name, al-Baath, aimed at reaching a wider Arab audience with Baathist ideology.

‘Rebels want no talks with govt in Syria’ – expert
Aug 16, 2011 16:58 Moscow Time

Information warfare in Syria has reached its peak, Mr. Oleg Fomin, deputy chief of the Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria and Libya, said during a conference held by the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Mr. Fomin stressed that western media focus more on details rather than the roots of the crisis in Syria.

He warned against the Libyan scenario in Syria.

Many experts who took part in the conference agreed that armed gangs now active in Syria are not interested in dialogue with the authorities…..

Saudi Arabia Moves to Take Down Syria, Iran and Hezbollah
By: Bruce Riedel | The National Interest

After months of protests and regime violence, King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia, one of the last absolute monarchs in the world, has called on Syria?s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, to stop the ?killing machine? …. The Saudis sense a strategic opportunity has opened in Syria, a unique chance to deal a mortal blow to one of their enemies, the Shia terror group Hezbollah, and a serious blow to their regional adversary Iran. Since Israel’s foolish invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Syrian regime of Hafez and Bashar Assad has been Iran’s key partner in creating Hezbollah, arming it to the teeth with thousands of rockets and missiles and sending it to create terror throughout the region. For decades Damascus has allowed Tehran to use its airports and ports to transfer arms to Hezbollah, and more recently it has provided much of its own equipment directly to the Shia group. Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been based in Syria and thousands of Iranian tourists and spies have come to worship at Damascus’ Sayyidah Zaynab mosque, a traditional Shia holy site and an excellent place for extremists to get together under the protective eye of Syrian intelligence.

Iran banks all on Assad’s survival
By Mahan Abedin

The continuing unrest in Syria presents Iran with multiple challenges straddling the strategic, political and ideological spheres. While officially Iran is committed to the survival of the Syrian regime, the perceived gravity of the situation has led an increasing number of former Iranian diplomats and academics to voice concern over the Islamic Republic’s failure to hedge its bets in Syria.

The fear – expressed in its most extreme form – is that the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad may lead to the collapse of the Iranian-Syrian strategic alliance, thus undermining the “resistance axis” in the region.

While these fears are exaggerated, nonetheless there is a widespread feeling in the country that the lack of nuance in Iran’s

position – and specifically the absence of any contact with Syrian opposition groups – is not configured to protect Iran’s interests in what is by all accounts a highly significant political and strategic moment in the region.

Nevertheless, the Iranian government is confident that the Syrian regime can weather the storm, and that the situation is being deliberately exaggerated by Western media and intelligence services, who hope to extract strategic concessions from Assad further down the road.

Iran is also concerned by regional reactions to the crisis, especially by the pro-active Turkish position, which from an Iranian point of view is exploiting a putative humanitarian crisis to expand Turkish influence in the region. The real fear is not so much centered on Turkish influence (which is viewed as relatively benign) but that Turkey is working at the behest of Washington and key European states to re-align Syria away from Iran.

CFR: Cranking up Pressure on Syria
2011-08-16, Interviewee: Andrew Tabler

…He says that at this point, any gestures Assad makes toward reform are no longer credible, and the international community should invoke tough sanctions against Syria’s oil exports, 96 percent of which are purchased Europe. He also notes that the Saudis, in particular, are concerned about the potential for Iran to increase its backing of Assad against the opposition…..

Irony of Iraq: American ‘Ally’ Supports Bloody Syrian Repression

The grim realities of the Iraq war, from its multi-trillion-dollar expense to its awful cost in American and Iraqi lives, was supposed to be mitigated by progress toward democracy in the Mideast – or so the neoconservative politicians and pundits who promoted the invasion have long told us. Now the credibility of that argument, which was never very persuasive, has been decisively undermined by the latest developments in Baghdad, where President Nouri Kamal al-Maliki is lending support to the Assad regime’s bloody repression of non-violent democracy protesters in neighboring Syria. Troubling questions about the nature of the Shia parties that came to power following the fall of Saddam Hussein – and especially their relationship with the Iranian government — have long been voiced by critics of the war. Yet today, as Maliki and members of his ruling party openly attack the Syrian protesters while promoting economic deals with both Iran and Syria, those questions seem to have been answered. The Iraqi regime has at last delivered a verdict on the neoconservative justification for the war – and that verdict could scarcely be more negative. READ MORE

Slain Syrian protestors are Martyrs – Al-Obeikan
15/08/2011
By Mohamed al-Qushairi

Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sheikh Mohamed Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan, a renowned Saudi scholar, has put an end to the controversy over whether or not the slain Syrians protestors who were killed during anti-government demonstrations can be generally considered as “martyrs”. He deemed that they could be considered as “martyrs” because “they were killed unjustly”. The statement was made amidst a state of controversy among sheikhs and scholars, with regards to the status of the dead Syrian protestors. Some have labeled them as martyrs, whereas others have declined this description because their demands are material and have caused internal conflicts”.

Sheikh Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan, a consultant at the Saudi Royal Council, told Asharq al-Awsat in a telephone interview that “judging whether someone will go to heaven or hell is impermissible, except those who have already been designated by God and his prophet (PBUH). As for those who have died as a result of what is happening in Syria, they are martyrs, God willing, because they were killed unjustly.” He added that “without a doubt, they were killed unjustly and without committing a sin; they were killed only because they demanded their rights.” Al-Obeikan believed their killers were tyrants and corrupt.

When asked about the Syrian army’s practices against its own people, tightening its security grip, and preventing them from going to mosques to perform religious rituals during Ramadan – especially the Taraweeh prayers – with the aim of preventing gatherings, al-Obeikan said, “this is one of the most dreadful crimes, because Allah said “And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah’s name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment”, Surat al-Baqara; Verse 114.

The incidents in Syria have indeed sparked a lively debate about whether those who protested against the Syrian regime should be called protestors, terrorists, martyrs, or any other name. The internet websites of some sheikhs and scholars have posted numerous reactions about whether or not the slain Syrian protestors should be considered martyrs, in view of some claims that the state of tension there has revolved around material demands, whereas others have said that the protestors, by taking to streets, have caused a state of sedition.

Renowned Muslim scholar Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni had previously urged Muslim scholars everywhere to issue a statement to the entire Muslim nation, to emphasize that “Jihad and the act of deterring a tyrant are both legitimate duties”. He said that “what is happening in Syria is unprecedented; the regime is bombarding mosques, and the prayers inside supplicate assistance from God to protect them against the deeds which even Zionists would not dare commit.” Sheikh al-Qarni described what the protestors are suffering at the hands of the regime as “no less brutal than the crimes committed by the Mongolian leader Hulagu Khan.”….

IRAQ DUE TO EARN $80 BILLION IN OIL EXPORT REVENUE THIS YEAR, 2011-08-16

Christian Sci Mn: Seize the sanctions moment in Syria
2011-08-16

When the United Nations Security Council meets on Thursday to discuss Syria, it should seize the moment to impose multiple sanctions on the Assad regime and its network of support. Such measures would be consistent with past council sanctions aimed …

DJ US Urges Turks, Saudis To Press Assad To Step Down
2011-08-16 17:44:39.935 GMT

WASHINGTON (AFP)–A call by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down would be more effective than one from the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday. U.S. officials said privately last week that the United States was preparing to explicitly urge Assad to quit power over his regime’s deadly crackdown on protests, but Clinton suggested Washington was now not ready to do so. “It’s not going to be any news if the United States says Assad needs to go. Ok, fine. What’s next?” the chief U.S. diplomat told an audience at National Defense University. ” If Turkey says it, if King Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia] says it, if other people say it, there’s no way the Assad regime can ignore it,” Clinton said in a conversation with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta moderated by CNN.

Church burning deepens tumult of Egypt transition
CAIRO – The Associated Press

Egyptian Army soldiers stand guard outside the burned Virgin Mary church in the Imbaba neighborhood of Cairo. AP photo.

Relations between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians have degenerated to a new low after riots left 12 people dead and a church burned, adding to the disorder of the country’s post-revolution transition to democracy.

The attack on the church was the latest sign of assertiveness by an extreme, ultraconservative movement of Muslims known as Salafis, whose increasing hostility toward Egypt’s Coptic Christians over the past few months has met with little interference from the country’s military rulers.

Salafis have been blamed for other recent attacks on Christians and others they don’t approve of. In one attack, a Christian man had an ear cut off for renting an apartment to a Muslim woman suspected of involvement in prostitution.

The latest violence, which erupted in fresh clashes Sunday between Muslims and Christians who pelted each other with stones in another part of Cairo, also pointed to what many see as reluctance of the armed forces council to act. The council took temporary control of the country after President Hosni Mubarak was deposed on Feb. 11.

Syrian troops withdraws from E. province,
2011-08-16 21:20:52

DEIR AL-ZOUR, Syria, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — Syrian army troops started a full withdrawal Tuesday from the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, which has become a flashpoint of the five-month protests in the country.

During a trip organized by the Syrian Information Ministry for Arab and foreign correspondents to Deir al-Zour, a Xinhua reporter witnessed the withdrawal of the troops amid cheerful mood of the residents as security and stability have been restored to the province.

“The situation in Deir al-Zour was difficult and disturbing until the army entered the city and carried out a number of missions to restore tranquility and security,” the reporter cited some local residents as saying.

Army troops entered Deir al-Zour on Aug. 8 for what the authorities said as “hunting down armed groups that terrorized people and committed atrocities in the city.”

Syria blames the five-month unrest on foreign conspiracy and armed groups.

However, opposition activists said the army was entering some restive cities nationwide to back the security apparatuses in cracking down anti-government protests.

Deir al-Zour, some 432 kilometers east of the capital Damascus, is known for its well-armed clans and tribes that have connections in neighboring Iraq. The area has been a scene of anti-government protests over the past weeks.

Iran is using the PKK to trap Turkey – Zaman

…. First, by launching an operation against PJAK, which had declared a cease-fire long before Iran’s offensive, Iran was hoping to ensure that PJAK will not be used as a destabilizing element in the coming months, because Iran calculates that if the Syrian regime falls, the next stop for the “Arab Spring” is Tehran.

Secondly, and most importantly, Turkey is distancing itself from the Assad regime, which Iran supports, and is getting closer to the West. Iran doesn’t like this because it considers Turkey a gateway to the rest of the world. By launching a military operation against PJAK and circulating the idea that it may have captured one of its leaders, Iran could be seeking to stir up the Turkish public’s anxiety against the PKK and create a political climate that would force the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to conduct its own cross-border operations against the PKK.

If the AK Party government were to launch a cross-border operation targeting the Kandil Mountains and PKK camps in northern Iraq, Iran is well aware of the fact that the Kurdish population in Turkey would organize large public demonstrations in the streets, which in turn would force Turkey to launch a massive crackdown against Kurds and in the end have to potential to bring Turkey down to level of the Iranian regime and the Assad regime in Syria.

Unfortunately, the tone of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government seems to suggest that Turkey may make the mistake that Iran is excitedly waiting for.

Even Former Friends Abandon Syria’s Regime, Mideastwire.com, August 16, 2011 8:45 AM

Aug. 15, 2011 (Bloomberg) — As the death toll from unrest in Syria mounts, with perhaps as many as 2,000 killed in the past five months, Mideast commentators who support the Syrian regime have become increasingly rare.

Even the publications of Syria’s traditional allies, such as the Palestinian Hamas movement, whose top leadership is based in Damascus, are giving space to harsh indictments of those loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In the pro-Hamas, Gaza-based daily Al-Resaleh last week, columnist Moumen Bseiso wrote that the Syrian regime “is extremely hostile to the aspirations and rights of its people” even though it enjoys “an honorable record at the foreign level” as a leader of resistance to Israeli and Western agendas in the region.

In an unsubtle reference to Assad’s confident pronouncement to the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of the year that Syria was immune to the uprisings in the rest of the Arab world because of its foreign policy, Bseiso concluded that coexistence between the “course of domestic tyranny and foreign dignity … cannot last forever.” The values of “freedom, dignity and justice are absolute values and strategic principles that cannot be traded.”

Some of the strongest criticism has come from Saudi owned media, especially in the wake of Saudi King Abdullah’s recent call for Assad to “stop the killing machine” followed by Saudi Arabia’s recall of its ambassador to Syria.

In the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, one of the most widely circulated Saudi-owned dailies, 15 of the last 19 opinion pieces focused on Syria, with almost all arguing that the Syrian regime was unambiguously evil and would inevitably fall…

Comments (278)


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101. Revlon said:

Asad special forces are moonlighting by breaking in shops and looting!
This practice is sanctioned by the Asad army.
It is used both as a reward for those who carry orders better and as punishment to civilians.
It was practiced on a large scale in the aftermath of Hama massacre and destruction of its old quarters.
Asad Sr’s forces moved truck loads of looted funiture and bags full of jewellery looted or snatched from dead and evicted victims to their bastions in the mountains.

Earlier on this blog, a poster named Mr. President justified such practice as unavoidable in wars!

سورية – جيش ابو شحاطة

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August 17th, 2011, 1:26 pm

 

102. ann said:

5 DANCING SHLOMOS, I have that Wesley Clark comment on video:

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August 17th, 2011, 1:38 pm

 

103. 5 dancing shlomos said:

the zionized empire and its water carriers (many at SC): lies, lies, and more lies.

http://empirestrikesblack.com/2011/08/uscentcom-buys-software-to-impersonate-social-networkers-blogosphere-shows-tell-tale-signs-amid-war-on-libya/

USCENTCOM buys software to impersonate social networkers & bloggers; blogosphere shows tell-tale signs amid war on Libya
(and syria)

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August 17th, 2011, 1:49 pm

 

104. 5 dancing shlomos said:

even as the zionized empire and its flunkies lie there is a grain of truth to be got to be followed by more lies.

“Two days ago Al Jazeera reported that Syrian naval forces had opened fire on the port city of Latakia, killing civilians. As usual, absolutely nothing to corroborate these grand claims was offered, except the customary “activists said” disclaimer:

Activists say 25 people killed as warships and tanks reportedly shell the northern port in an ongoing assault … At least 25 people have been killed and many others injured after Syrian warships and tanks opened fire on the port city of Latakia, activists said.

This is reminiscent of the almost identical lies told about Libya; we were told that Gaddafi’s forces had strafed and shelled protesters from the air. As it transpired, these claims were utterly demolished when the Department of Defense admitted to only having seen press reports of this, and having no confirmation whatsoever:

Q: Do you see any evidence that he actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent?

SEC. GATES: We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that.

ADM. MULLEN: That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.

Even the Russian Military came out to say that it simply did not happen.”

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August 17th, 2011, 1:52 pm

 

105. 5 dancing shlomos said:

92. ann

unable to hear video. if it re the 7 countries to be taken down in 5 yrs (syria being one), thank you.

i posted some of the text earlier. so far hasnt appeared.

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August 17th, 2011, 1:55 pm

 

106. Aboud said:

Hey menhebaks, did the MB buy out the Tunisian government? LOL!

I just heard that Washington has put Imad Mustapaha on a very, very short leash.

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August 17th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

107. ann said:

5 DANCING SHLOMOS: you are the only real enlightened poster on this board!

Thanks!

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August 17th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

108. 5 dancing shlomos said:

“The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26043

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August 17th, 2011, 2:03 pm

 
 

110. beaware said:

Resistance Transforms a Once Mute Syrian City
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/world/middleeast/18homs.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print
This article was reported by an employee of The New York Times from Syria, and written by Anthony Shadid from Beirut, Lebanon.
August 17, 2011
HOMS, Syria — The narrower the streets of this city, a caldron of revolt and resistance against four decades of rule by the Assad family, the blunter the graffiti becomes. It is scrawled on walls, garbage bins, phone booths, doors and even tree trunks, as a city that was long quiescent declares these days that it will no longer stay quiet.

“We won’t bow to anyone but God,” says one slogan.

The sentiments are echoed in the streets, most remarkable perhaps for the simple notion that no one — not young men filming, not fathers hoping for a glimpse of defiance and not grandmothers chanting from their balconies — seems ready to give up.

“Syria wants freedom,” goes their cry.

Syria’s uprising has entered its sixth month, as protesters defy an escalating crackdown that has killed hundreds this month in cities like Hama, Deir al-Zour and, now, Latakia. International condemnations have mounted, even as diplomats acknowledge a paucity of tools to determine the uprising’s outcome. But daily life in Homs underlines the degree to which the uprising has already transformed life in a country once remarkable for its dearth of politics.

Dissent and defiance in Homs, its residents say, have become knitted into the city’s fabric, signaling to the government that however ferocious the repression, it will face a resilient opposition for the foreseeable future.

Each night, in Homs, the battle begins anew.

On a recent Sunday, 200 protesters marched in front of the Safir Hotel, the city’s most famous, carrying banners and signs calling for the fall of the government and showing solidarity with Hama, a neighbor to the north that was stormed on July 31.

The demonstrators walked slowly, led in the chants by a man whose face was concealed with a scarf. “Hama, we are with you until death,” they cried, with a few of the protesters in back filming the crowd with their cellphones. Cars drove unhurriedly behind the demonstration with their lights turned off, so as to conceal the identity of the protesters. As they passed, women on balconies cheered, shouting “God is great!”

“We’re not worried about the security,” said one of the protesters. “We will be done anyway in half an hour.” Since it was a small protest, he said, they would disperse by the time the buses carrying members of the security forces arrived. The protesters had lookouts near security stations, and they sent signals when the buses left. The main purpose of this protest was symbolic, he explained: they wanted to upload new videos on YouTube.

As the protest ended, distant gunfire could be heard. Residents in their homes strained their ears toward the window, trying to guess the direction from which the shooting came. Months ago, firing in the streets panicked residents. Now it often provokes only curiosity.

“We’ve gotten used to it,” said Umm Khaled, a 53-year-old homemaker.

more……….

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August 17th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

111. sheila said:

To all,

“Bern had already blocked assets worth 27 million francs ($31.7m) belonging to Assad and 22 other individuals. On Wednesday it added several others, including the president’s cousin and head of presidential security, Zulhima Shalish, and former defence minister Ali Habib Mahmud, to the embargo list”.

I do not understand why you are all complaining about Syria and why so many people leave the country claiming that there are no opportunities for advancement. From the previous post you can see clearly that even a government employee in Syria can open a bank account in Switzerland and have a substantial sum of money in it. What more do you want people?????????

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August 17th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

112. Revlon said:

A recorded message to AlArabiya
By Activist Suhair Atassi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCsHMBhbWKI&feature=player_embedded

She calls for bringing Jr to Justice,
the international community for an unwavering stand and sanctions against jr’s regime,
and the grey-zone Syrians to join the Revolution.

شام – العربية : الحرة سهير الأتاسي – بانوراما 16\8\
2011

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August 17th, 2011, 2:40 pm

 

113. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

AlJezeera used to broadcast Nasrallah’s speeches in full and live. No more, apparently. LOL.
.

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August 17th, 2011, 2:46 pm

 

114. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Dear Aboud,

You’re wasting your time trying to prove to the mn7ebaks that the Syrian army and shabbi7a are shooting people on the streets. The mn7ebaks know it, and they don’t deny this. The problem is that the mn7ebaks justify the shooting and the carnage.
.

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August 17th, 2011, 2:50 pm

 

115. 5 dancing shlomos said:

as with libya, so too syria:

“The battle for Libya continues. Overwhelming numbers support Gaddafi and want their country free from imperial control. They’re also prepared to fight for it, knowing the unacceptable alternative – colonization, pillaging, loss of freedom, and perhaps their lives.”

“Falsified Major Media Reports on Libya”

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/falsified-major-media-reports-on-libya.html

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August 17th, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

116. SYR.Expat said:

76. JAD said:
“حماه: ضبط كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة المهربة
http://youtu.be/iKHgWOfivfg

For those who want the truth and nothing but the truth, turn to the Syrian media.

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August 17th, 2011, 3:13 pm

 
 

118. SYR.Expat said:

Syria: Dozens Detained In Overnight Raids

BASSEM MROUE 08/17/11 03:00 PM ET
React
BEIRUT — Turkey’s prime minister compared Syria’s president to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday, as Damascus defied international calls to end the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising.

President Bashar Assad has unleashed tanks, ground troops and snipers in an attempt to retake control in rebellious areas. The military assault has escalated dramatically since the start of the holy month of Ramadan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

“We made our calls (to Gadhafi) but unfortunately we got no result,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday. “The same thing is happening with Syria at the moment.”

The conflict in Libya, which began a month before Syria’s unrest, has descended into a civil war as Gadhafi defies calls to end the bloodshed.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said he personally spoke to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but “despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians.”

Turkey, a neighbor and former close ally of Syria, has been increasingly frustrated with Damascus’ crackdown. But Turkey, Syria’s most important trade partner, has not joined the U.S. and Europe in imposing sanctions.

With tension rising, the U.N. said it has temporarily withdrawn about two dozen “nonessential” international staff from Syria because of security concerns. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq also said some family members of U.N. staff have been relocated to other countries.

The government insists its crackdown is aimed at rooting out terrorists fomenting unrest in the country. In comments carried on the state-run news agency, Assad appeared to lash out at the international reproach, saying his country will not give up its “dignity and sovereignty.”

Human rights groups and witnesses accuse Syrian troops of firing on largely unarmed protesters and say more than 1,800 civilians have been killed since mid-March.

In Latakia, a Mediterranean port city that has been subjected to a four-day military assault, security centers were overflowing with detainees Wednesday, forcing authorities to hold hundreds of other prisoners in the city’s main football stadium and a movie theater, said Rami Abdul-Raham, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Detentions centers are packed,” he said.

A woman in Latakia died of her wounds Wednesday, two days after she was injured, according to the observatory and The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group. The LCC said a man was killed in the city late Tuesday.

In the northwestern Idlib province, a bullet killed a man as he stood on his balcony, according to observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of people on the ground. Troops were carrying out raids in the area at the time.

The regime’s recent military operations have also targeted the central city of Homs, where security forces shot dead one person and wounded three during raids Wednesday, according to the observatory.

In Damascus, the regime focused its raids on the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Rukneddine, where security forces detained dozens after cutting electricity in the area, the observatory said. The neighborhood has witnessed intense anti-regime protests in the past weeks.

Amateur videos posted online showed Syrian soldiers in SUVs and pickup trucks as they drove down a street, apparently in Latakia. The troop were greeted in the al-Ramel neighborhood by Assad supporters chanting “our souls and our blood we sacrifice for you Bashar.”

Another video showed a military helicopter flying over the coast.

Al-Ramel is home to a crowded Palestinian refugee camp where many low-income Syrians also live. The U.N. says some 10,000 Palestinian refugees living in al-Ramel have fled the violence.

The Associated Press could not verify the videos. Syria has banned most foreign media and restricted local coverage, making it impossible to get independent confirmation of the events on the ground.

Tunisia’s foreign ministry said Wednesday it has recalled its ambassador to Syria because of the “dangerous” developments in the country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain also have recalled their ambassadors as Arab states joined the chorus of condemnation in recent weeks.

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Jordan renewed their call on Damascus to immediately end its crackdown.

In a joint news conference held on the sidelines of an Islamic nations’ meeting to discuss famine in Somalia, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “The bloodshed must stop, all soldiers must be withdrawn from the cities and life in these cities must return to normal.”

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August 17th, 2011, 3:26 pm

 

119. Aboud said:

“The problem is that the mn7ebaks justify the shooting and the carnage.”

I disagree Amir. I’m sure that once the menhebaks know all the facts, they will condemn junior and support the revolution…sorry, can’t keep a straight face anymore hehehehehehe. If they insist on going down with him, then I won’t deny them the pleasure.

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August 17th, 2011, 3:38 pm

 

120. Tara said:

I am glad that Aljazeera did not broadcast Nasrallh life if that was true. He like others should understand there are ramifications when one choses to support a tyranny. He lost huge popular support not only in Syria but across the Arab world.

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August 17th, 2011, 3:48 pm

 

121. Tara said:

Aboud

It is amazing how passionate Mnhebaks are to Gaddafi too. Isn’t that striking? Who in his/her right state of mind supports Gaddafi. That tell you how mnhebaks are incapable of free thinking. I wish them emancipation soon.

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August 17th, 2011, 3:53 pm

 

122. Aboud said:

Eight people were killed tonight after the shabiha turds fired on people praying at the Fatima mosque in Al-Wa’er, Homs.

Are you proud of yourselves, menhebaks? Are you proud of your loathsome president who sends thugs to kill people who pray at night? I sincerely hope, that 10 shabiha get their throats slit for every person killed tonight.

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August 17th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

123. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara #120,

“… He [Nasrallah] lost huge popular support not only in Syria but across the Arab world”.

He lost some of Tara’s support. I’m not sure he lost huge popular support. Opinion polls indicate that he still enjoys quite big popularity among Arabs, despite some tactical mistakes, like the support of the Assadian junta.
There’s no stronger glue that unites the Arabs, but the glue of rejecting Israel. The Arabs cannot agree on a thing, but the hate to Israel. One of the reasons why I’m pro the Arab awakening, is that I hope that this “hate” becomes institutionalized. By institutionalized, I mean, that instead of a domain of dictators and sheiks, those “hate” and ‘rejection’ will be discussed in a free press and in free and democratic houses of representatives. Only then we’ll be able to challenge the hate and the rejection, and hopefully find solutions (a just peace).
.

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August 17th, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

124. SYR.Expat said:

بيان حركة الضباط الأحرار عن ما حدث في جبل الزاوية 17-8-2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6Pg0D17Yqk

If this is true, then this is a serious development. It’s a big mistake to take up arms. The uprising must remain peaceful. As much as I detest the criminal shabiha and security forces that are brutalizing people in Syria, the uprising must reamin peaceful. Resorting to arms is exactly what the government wants.

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August 17th, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

125. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

PLEASE fix the Spam filter. It’s annoying!!!
.

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August 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

 

126. Aboud said:

From the SNN Facebook page

شام – حمص – باب السباع : وصول سيارة اسعاف إلى حاجز الأمن المتمركز عند القلعة من جهة الوادي وبدون أضاء في السيارة والأنباء تقول عن اصابة عدد من الشبيحة على يد عناصر الجيش التي انشقت قبل ساعة في حي الخضر

Now THAT’s what I call REAL soldiers!

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August 17th, 2011, 4:59 pm

 

127. Akbar Palace said:

Arab Street/Zionized West Update

In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years

5 Dancing Ahmads,

It looks as if the Arabs are doing what the “zionized west” couldn’t do themselves.

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August 17th, 2011, 5:06 pm

 

128. Abu Umar said:

Menhebek majaneen, let Saddam be a lesson for you. Saddam had his pro-Saddam Shi’ites who benefitted from his regime, yet when the opportunity presented itself, they turned against him. Saddam won many battles, but he lost the war against his enemies in the long run because the numbers weren’t on his side and the demographics of the Asad mafia is worse than Saddam’s. The pro-regime Sunnis will eventually turn against the Asad mafia just like the pro-Saddam Shi’ites and Bashar, Maher, and the rest of the gang will be forgotten in a few years. You can squeal and bay all you want, but your regime will fall.

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August 17th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

129. SYR.Expat said:

“121. TARA said:

Aboud

It is amazing how passionate Mnhebaks are to Gaddafi too. Isn’t that striking?”

الطيور على أشكالها تقع

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August 17th, 2011, 5:13 pm

 

130. amal said:

SO, how is the independent islamist emirate of HAMA doing now Mr. ambassador?!

:D

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August 17th, 2011, 5:17 pm

 

131. amal said:

OH! Did anyone hear from Turkey lately?!

Anyone?!

:D

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August 17th, 2011, 5:19 pm

 

132. amal said:

You know! Turkey the big bad wolf! :D

Anyone?!

:D

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August 17th, 2011, 5:29 pm

 

133. Tara said:

Amir,

Hi. Can you share some info about you with us? Your continent of birth, your age group, your occupation or your educational background Can be very general if you wish.

Wouldn’t be offended if you choose not to and I hope you do not consider my question rude.

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August 17th, 2011, 5:36 pm

 

134. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

5 dancing shlomos

mate, you sound ridiculous. Why are you trying to deny the fact that hundreds of innocent people have died at the hands of a brutal and illegitimate regime? My guess as always is that you have a vested interest in the regime and its survival. So go on, tell us, what are your business links to Syria? Do you do business with any of the board members of the Syrian American Business Council? Do either you or members of your family work for SyriaTel, Cham Holding or companies like them (i.e. those that give out jobs to regime supporters)? Are you one of the guys that has a ‘special’ import licence? Enlighten us.

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August 17th, 2011, 5:47 pm

 

135. jad said:

“شبكة أخبار حمص
خبر تم تأكيده :
تم إلقاء القبض على المسلحين الذين قاموا بترويع أهالي الوعر منذ قليل و عددهم 20 مسلح.
كما تم إلقاء القبض على 4 مسلحين الذين قامو بالهجوم على جامع فاطمة الذي اسفر عن اصابة 6 من المصلين حيث قام المسلحين بالهجوم على مقى أنترنت في مجمع الوعر و قامو بسلب اجهزة الخليوي منهم و عند هروب صاحب المحل إلى جامع فاطمة قامو المسلحين بملاحقته و إطلاق النار على المصليين (نوع السيارة التي كانو بها المسلحين سيارة عمومية بدون لوحات و بدون فانوس)”

“حمص : سيارة بداخلها مسلحين يطلقون النار على الصيدلاني معد الحافظ صاحب صيدلية معد على خط النزهة وتصيبه برأسه حيث تم نقله الى مشفى النهضة و فارق الحياة في المشفى تعازينا لأهل الشهيد.”

“تم إلقاء القبض على المسلحين الذين أغتالوا الصيدلاني معد الحافظ”

“السيارة التي تم تفجيرها في اللاذقية حي الاوقاف تعود للسيد ياسر بسمة وهو أحد الشباب الذين شاركو بتنظيم المسيرات ضد المعارضه في انطاليه في تركيا و أخ السيد فراس بسمة نقيب صيادلة اللاذقية ولا وجود لأصابات والحمدلله”

“تفكيك عبوة بوزن 5 كيلو ديناميت في مشروع الزراعة باللاذقية”

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August 17th, 2011, 5:59 pm

 

136. jad said:

Middle East News Network-English
Update on Syria’s events this evening:

Deir Ezzor: an anti- regime protest of 250 people was dispersed within minutes in Altakaya neighborhood, no security incidents were reported.

Latakia: in addition to the explosion in Alawkaf that resulted in no casualties, several dynamite explosions were heard and clashes erupted in Alheresh, Bustan Alsaydawi and near the train station.
Alawkaf area is being sweeped by army units right now in search of terrorists.

Daraa: sources speak of a close end to troubles there.
Protests were spotted in Alsanamein, Hreik, Mseifra an Sheikh Mesquin.

Damascus suburbs: The number of protesters in Duma reached 300.
Clashes erupted in Alkiswa between army forces and armed terrorists.

Homs: witnessed a bloody day, the result of the clashes mentioned in previous posts were 6 civilian martyrs killed by terrorists in front of Fatima mosques, and 7 insurgents killed by army and security forces.’

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August 17th, 2011, 6:07 pm

 

137. abughassan said:

this forum is being used to spread rumors,obituaries, assassination lists,fear and broadcast unsubstantiated news and at times fabricated videos,and on top of that we have the daily dose of intra-blog shouting matches.
I do not know about you,but I much prefer to add to the knowledge of others by commenting on events instead of trying to create events or inflame an already dangerous situation. The country will not be able to withstand this crisis much longer,there will either be a political breakthrough or internal infighting on a larger scale.
A group of friends and I have decided to double our annual Ramadan Zakat sent to Syria for this year and send half or all of it to areas outside our immediate circle and our designated sect. in my case,I naturally split charity money in half between two cities that are diverse and different but both in need. I hope you consider doing the same.There was a Syria before Alasad and there will be Syria after him unless we destroy it with our own hands.

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August 17th, 2011, 6:09 pm

 

138. William Scott Scherk said:

For the poster known as Aboud, and the questions regarding Najati Tayara, two items:

First, Tayara appears on the The Plot Against Syria website, as an enemy terrorist; he joins such other stellar figures as Michel Kilo and Suhair Atassi as begrimed evul monsters opposing The Lord Of Syria. Read and weep at the intensely crazy and hateful collection:
http://plot.vsyria.com/najati-tayara

Secondly, another polyp on the reef of anti-terrorist operations, the site known as “The Syrian Intelligence System.” Here are collected some internal documents supposedly tied to Tayara’s detention and charge. I have copied it to my own site.
http://wsscherk.host-ed.net/syria/najati.html

I am by no means a pallid ‘neutral’ on events in Syria, but lately I have been struck by what seems to be a headlong retreat from reality by some of the regimist/reformer activists online. Today it was reported on Twitter by the regimist squad that I have/had an office in the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, from which I purportedly recruited agents to destroy Syria. Some former SC commenters dropped in to reinforce my membership on a circulating enemies list.

I don’t know just what to think about these odd outbursts of accusations . . .

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August 17th, 2011, 6:14 pm

 

139. Gus said:

The revolutionists seem to be blinded by hate, frustrated by their lack of success .
They need to blame themselves before they blame other people. They needed to distance themselves from the criminal elements and by not doing that they alienated the majority of syrians.

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August 17th, 2011, 6:23 pm

 

140. abughassan said:

Latakia did very little in the 1980s to rise with Hama.Back then there was a heavy reliance on common thugs and assassins to do the dirty work while most of the city watched and did not do much to support the uprising. This time,resentment against Alasad is more than in the 1980s and more people are involved ,and the desire to change the regime is stronger but the rebels are still dominated by people from poor SES and are heavily infiltrated by trouble makers and thugs. Latakia will be the last to rise in masses against the regime. Whoever put that bomb in Latakia either could not bring it closer to heavily populated areas or did not want to kill a lot of people,but the purpose is clear: to scare the public,warn the regime and erode confidence. One guy suggested that this is the work of almukhabarat,that does not make sense to me,I do not know about others.I hope nobody will ask me for a youtube video to support my story :), I am glad that nobody got hurt, I am upset but not surprised,after all,we lost thousands of Syrians since March. I just hope this mess comes to an end soon.

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August 17th, 2011, 6:30 pm

 

141. Aboud said:

Thank you Mr Scherk. That list contains some of the most honorable and finest people in Syria and the region. I’d consider it an honor if I was important enough to be on it.

So the reason Najati Tayara is in jail, is because he dared tell the world about junior’s crimes.

His son gave an interview to Al-Arabiya, and rightly pointed out that Mr Tayara would have easily been eligible for bail under Syria’s laws. But of course, we all know that Besho, the so called First Judge, suspends laws at whim.

After he loses his job, maybe junior can be a panelist on “Menhebaks Got Talent!”. I’m sure No Klue will torment the audience with one of his terrible stories.

“Homs: witnessed a bloody day, the result of the clashes mentioned in previous posts were 6 civilian martyrs killed by terrorists in front of Fatima mosques, and 7 insurgents killed by army and security forces.’”

Yes, terrorists…shabeha terrorists, as witnessed by everyone in Al-Wa’er. It is no surprise that the menhebaks would be so ashamed by this disgraceful act of murder, that they would disown the turds who carried it out.

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August 17th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

142. True said:

@ ALL

Minorities of Syria weren’t all that bothered by the whole concept of earning FREEDOM, they enjoyed playing the followers instead. They did not, or only superficially, recognised the legitimacy of protesting to earn some dignity. Instead they were deeply entrenched in the political and social traditions of glorifying and sucking for the regime i.e. Weekly celebration nights @ Bab Tomma.

Relations between minorities and Sunnis were largely harmonious even after Besho’s inauguration, there were only a handful of documented episodes involving any serious physical clashes between minorities and their Sunni counterparts. Compared to the communal violence between similar groups in other countries such as Iraq or Lebanon.

Thus, the roots of the Syrian modern-day Minorities-Sunni antipathy lie not in the distant past, but a mere 40 years back, give or take, when Assad (the father) started knitting his “for-ever” regime and adding this minority fabric at every level of his temple. After the failed rebellion trials in 80s, this became more imposing and he began introducing a greater number of totalitarianism driven concepts which were rotating around one single ideology of “minority rule”. This fact suddenly awakened the other minorities to a stark reality which they had simply not been aware of or even dream of it, consequently a long term strategic alliance started amongst these minority groups till our current days.

For all those who suffer and hide behind this minorities-complex disorder (Tara©), c’mon till when do you want to keep playing the “victim”? It’s just about time to come out clean and break-up your unethical alliance with such a regime.

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August 17th, 2011, 6:42 pm

 

143. beaware said:

Turkish jets bomb PKK bases in Iraq
Thursday, August 18, 2011
ANKARA – The Associated Press
Source: Turkish Air Forces website
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-associated-press-2011-08-18
Turkish jets launched air raids on suspected bases belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq on Wednesday, Turkish media reported.

The raids came hours after eight soldiers and a village guard were killed in an ambush by PKK members.

Some 15 warplanes took off from a Turkish base to strike at bases which the PKK use as a springboard to attack targets inside Turkey, according to a report on the NTV news channel.

CNNTürk television said Turkish F-16s were involved in the raids.
more….

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August 17th, 2011, 6:58 pm

 

144. beaware said:

US to Turkey: We know when to say bye to Assad
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This file photo shows Clinton (L) reacting at a meeting with Davutoğlu in Istanbul. Reuters photo
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=us-to-turkey-we-know-when-to-say-bye-to-assad-2011-08-17
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other governments should call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, declining to make that call herself, but Turkey is not willing to be the leading country in that role. Ankara does not rule out that option, but says it’s too early to call for Assad’s departure.

It was crucial to develop a common regional attitude toward Syria, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters on Wednesday in response to a question recalling Clinton’s remarks.

“We’ll extend contacts in our region to develop a joint attitude on Syria. We’d do the best for timing and for what to say,” the minister added.

“If there will be call on Assad to step down, it should not be Turkey to make the call, but everyone, first of all Syrian people should say that first,” a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey does not rule out the option but also is not considering it at the moment, another Turkish official told the Daily News.

“It’s not going to be any news if the U.S. says Assad needs to go,” Clinton said, suggesting the world’s reaction to such a move would be, “Ok, fine. What’s next?” “If Turkey says it, if King Abdullah says it, if other people say it, there’s no way the Assad regime can ignore it,” she said Tuesday.

When asked whether the Obama administration should demand that Assad step down, Clinton said: “I am a big believer in results over rhetoric.” She said the U.S. diplomatic approach toward Syria amounts to “smart power,” noting such an approach is an alternative to using brute force and unilateralism.

Ankara has not indicated willingness to lead an international coalition to conduct coercive diplomacy to push drastic measures on the Syrian administration, but instead it is seeking coherence with regional countries. Along with Western actors, Turkey has been discussing the situation with regional countries such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey does not favor military intervention, Davutoğlu said late Tuesday, but added that the Syrian army’s military operation against civilians was not acceptable. “We are determined to take every necessary measure to make sure the operations stop. This is for us an issue that closely concerns our own stability.”

Turkey will continue to discuss with Syria, as it would do with other countries, Davutoğlu told reporters in a joint press appearance with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh on Wednesday.

Although Ankara might have not succeeded with its preventive diplomacy on Syria, since Assad has not taken steps to end the violence or implement urgent reforms, Turkey prefers diplomatic ambiguity before applying isolation policies to Damascus. A limited engagement policy could continue for the Syrian administration, the diplomatic source said.

Turkey is considering developments in Syria putting two threshold points to take further measures. The crisis in Syria is at the level of human rights violation, but it could lead to a crisis on Turkey’s border, the diplomatic source warned. The next level of threat could be a regional crisis, the source added.

Davutoğlu denied claims that Turkey was establishing a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. “We are talking about a 900-kilometer border. We cannot talk about such a development right now,” he said, adding however that the possibility of a safe heaven is on the agenda.

If thousands of people gather on the Turkish-Syrian border, Ankara could take security measures and set up a safe haven, the diplomatic source said.

‘Kılıçdaroğlu must apologize’

Davutoğlu also slammed the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for his criticism of the government for not informing the opposition regarding the developments in the foreign policy.

Davutoğlu said Kılıçdaroğlu should first apologize to him for calling him a “subcontractor” regarding Turkey’s Syria policy.

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August 17th, 2011, 7:04 pm

 

145. True said:

So it seems Menhebeks are fighting back fiercely these days (pushing dislike button)!! I really can’t get down to it, is it a new set of orders they received? Or it’s just the last kick before death?

ABOUD, how dare you to be an educated man from Homs? Lol
I’m amazed how much “Menhebks” love to investigate your identity mate!!

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August 17th, 2011, 7:06 pm

 

146. Tara said:

Another child killed today by Bashar.

Bashar should never be granted exile. He should be tried for crime against humanity.

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August 17th, 2011, 7:14 pm

 

147. ann said:

9 killed in rebel attack in Turkey

http://news.yahoo.com/9-killed-rebel-attack-turkey-152339193.html

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels ambushed a military convoy near Turkey’s border with Iraq on Wednesday, killing eight soldiers and a village-guard, the prime minister said.

Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz vowed tough response, as the military launched an air and ground offensive in the largely Kurdish Hakkari province where the attack happened, Turkey’s state television reported.

More than 30 Turkish soldiers have died in intensified rebel attacks since July, including one that killed 13 service members in July, leading to a major military offensive in southeastern Turkey.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said armored personnel carriers in the convoy came under rocket fire after being attacked with roadside bombs.

The Hakkari governor’s office said the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, detonated four bombs as the unit passed by.

Eight soldiers and a government-paid village guard who was helping troops fight the rebels were killed in the attack that also wounded 11 other soldiers, Erdogan said.

“What is it that they are doing? It’s oppression, it’s threats, it’s terrorism,” Yilmaz, the defense minister, told reporters. “The retaliation they will find will be manifold stronger.”

Dismayed that attacks are continuing during the holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan this week also hinted at tougher military action against the rebels after the end of the month of piety for Muslims, saying Turkey is at the end of its tether.

Some news reports speculated that Turkey is considering renewed cross border incursions into northern Iraq where the PKK maintains bases. Turkey has frequently launched air strikes or sent soldiers across the border to fight the rebels.

Asked Wednesday about the possibility of a cross-border offensive, Erdogan replied: “These things are not talked about they are done.”

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, is fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador issued a message of condolence for the soldiers and said the United States stands “with Turkey in its fight against the PKK.”

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August 17th, 2011, 7:16 pm

 

148. beaware said:

Young Egyptian activists sent to prison
http://news.yahoo.com/young-egyptian-activists-sent-prison-194327129.html
CAIRO (AP) — A military tribunal sentenced two young Egyptian activists to six-month prison terms after convicting them of insulting the army, a court official said Wednesday.
more…

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August 17th, 2011, 7:18 pm

 

149. jad said:

«يديعوت أحرونوت»: «مهر» أميركي لتركيا بغية إنهاء نظام الأسد

ذكرت صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت» الإسرائيلية اليوم، أن الإدارة الأميركية تمارس ضغوطاً كبيرة على حكومة إسرائيل كي تعتذر لتركيا على أحداث أسطول الحرية، لأنها ترى أن استمرار الأزمة في العلاقات بين الدولتين يمس بالمصالح الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط.
وقالت الصحيفة إن دبلوماسيين إسرائيليين في الولايات المتحدة نقلوا أخيراً رسائل إلى حكومتهم، تضمنت مطالب واضحة من وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، وبينها مطالب مباشرة من وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون جاء فيها أن «استمرار تدهور العلاقات بين إسرائيل وتركيا يمس بالمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة».
وأضافت الصحيفة إنه «من أجل التعامل مع الأزمة في سوريا تسعى الإدارة الأميركية في هذه الأثناء إلى توثيق علاقاتها مع الحكومة التركية.. للولايات المتحدة وتركيا هدف مشترك هو إنهاء حكم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد وصعود شخصية معتدلة لتخلفه في الحكم وإعادة الاستقرار إلى سوريا ومنع تفككها»، موضحةً أن «المهر» الذي تريد الولايات المتحدة تقديمه إلى الأتراك في إطار توثيق العلاقات هو موافقة إسرائيلية على الاعتذار أمام تركيا عن الأحداث الدموية التي رافقت أسطول الحرية لكسر الحصار عن غزة في أيار/مايو من العام الماضي، والتي قتل خلالها 9 نشطاء أتراك.
وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن رسائل مشابهة استمع إليها وزير الدفاع الإسرائيلي ايهود باراك، خلال زيارته واشنطن قبل ثلاثة أسابيع، حيث طالبت كلينتون في حينه بأن تبذل إسرائيل كل ما في وسعها من أجل إنهاء الأزمة الإسرائيلية ـــــ التركية لكونها تلحق أضراراً مباشرة بالمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة.
ونقلت «يديعوت أحرونوت» عن مسؤولين في وزارة الخارجية الأميركية تلميحهم بصورة غير رسمية إلى أنه سيكون من الصعب على الولايات المتحدة إقناع دول صديقة، أعضاء في مجلس الأمن الدولي، بمعارضة المسعى الفلسطيني إلى نيل اعتراف دولي بالدولة الفلسطينية في أيلول/سبتمبر المقبل إذا لم تستجب إسرائيل للطلب الأميركي بمصالحة تركيا.
وأضافت إن تركيا، المطلعة على هذه الضغوط الأميركية، تسعى إلى إقناع لجنة تقصي الحقائق الدولية بإرجاء نشر تقريرها إلى حين موافقة إسرائيل على الاعتذار.

(يو بي آي)
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/19198

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August 17th, 2011, 7:29 pm

 

150. True said:

I’d rather to send Besho “the criminal” to Iran so he can see Syria flourishing while he’s WANTED!! but hey it’s the people’s on the ground call if they wanna send him to the court then will do as he does fit the description

Accroding to the Article 6.C of the Charterc, Crimes Against Humanity defined as
“Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated”

@ Menehbeks it’s a shame you would not have fancy cars to cruise around while Besho in the cage!!

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August 17th, 2011, 7:30 pm

 

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