News Round Up (5 July 2011)

POMED

On Saturday, President Bashar al-Assad fired the governor of Hama in an effort to calm the protesters, after more than 100,000 protesters gathered.  According to a state-run news agency, SANA,  protesters viewed Assad’s move to fire Governor Ahmed Abdul-Aziz as an attempt to “weed out” weak links in his ruling system. A “better-organized” antigovernment movement dismissed new refroms from the Syrian government, including a national dialogue.

U.S. Urges Change in Syria: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “the Syrian Government is running out of time” for dialogue and reform, the recent opposition meeting was insufficient, and the regime must stop violence and begin reforms. Ambassador Robert Ford described the opposition meeting as “positive.” State Department Spokesman Mark Toner reiterated the importance of Ford’s presence in Syria. In addition, Mark Toner said that the U.S. wants the Assad regime to continue to engage in dialogue with the opposition.  And Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that Turkey should continue to leave its borders open and create a buffer zone for refugees. The Guardian reported the State Department has been “discreetly encouraging discussion” of an unpublished roadmap for reform, circulated at the opposition meeting.

Controversy over Kucinich’s Visit to Syria: The Washington Post and Yaser Tabbara criticized Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) for meeting with President Bashar al-Assad and ostensibly lending his regime legitimacy. Kucinich defended himself, while he appeared to support reforms led by Assad rather than an “unknown, unstable future,” and called for a withdrawal of forces. The White House said Kucinich’s trip was not authorized by the administration, and a State Department spokesperson said his visit was at the invitation of the Syrian government.

Analysts Discuss Syrian Tipping Points: Hugh Macleod and Annasofie Flamand described Aleppo as crucial for the protest movement. Paul Notar discussed the regime’s declining ability to use the Palestinian issue as a vent for domestic political anger. The New York Times described the growing success of youth opposition groups. NPR reported that while Syrians do not want civil war, sectarian tensions are high.

U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear reportedly said that NATO is trying to kill Muammar Gadhafi, and a small force of ground troops may be necessary after his removal.

Israel’s MI chief sees hope for Assad yet – JPost

Military Intelligence chief says Syrian president promoting worthwhile reform packages, retaining loyalty of army; also notes Iranian role in ‘Nakba’, Naksa’ Day border riots as well as Tehran’s influence over Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood
07.05.11

Military Intelligence chief Major-General Aviv Kochavi said Tuesday Iranian influence was growing in Middle Eastern countries experiencing unrest or upheaval – such as Egypt and Syria.

“Assad understands today that his solution cannot only come from military responses, and that is why he is turning to reform,” Kochavi told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, referring to the protest-plagued president of Syria.

In Egypt, meanwhile, Tehran is trying to influence the outcomes of elections by tightening relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, the MI chief added.

“We must not belittle the reform package Assad has begun to promote. These reforms regard the improvement of wages, subsidies, and the opening up of more jobs,” Kochavi said.

He added that Bashar Assad’s army has so far remained loyal because soldiers have retained the belief that the suppression of protests is a legitimate way to prevent total rioting.

‘How the Syrian regime is ensuring its demise’

(Robert Malley & Peter Harling, Washington Post) “The Assad regime is counting on a sectarian survival instinct, confident that Alawite troops – however underpaid and overworked – will fight to the bitter end. The majority will find it hard to do so. After enough mindless violence, the instincts on which the regime has banked could push its forces the other way. Having endured centuries of discrimination and persecution from the Sunni majority, Alawites see their villages, within relatively inaccessible mountainous areas, as the only genuine sanctuary. That is where security officers already have sent their families. They are unlikely to believe that they will be safe in the capital (where they feel like transient guests), protected by the Assad regime (which they view as a historical anomaly) or state institutions (which they do not trust). When they feel the end is near, Alawites won’t fight to the last man in the capital. They will go home. The regime still has support from citizens frightened of an uncertain future and security services dreading the system’s collapse. But the breathing space this provides risks persuading a smug leadership that more of the same – half-hearted reforms and merciless efforts to break the protest movement – will suffice. In fact, that will only bring the breaking point closer.It is, even now, hard to assess whether a clear majority of Syrians wish to topple the regime. What is clear, however, is that a majority within the regime is working overtime to accelerate its demise.”

Syria completes draft law on media freedoms
AFP/ Bulent Kilic, 06/07/2011, DAMASCUS, July 6 (RIA Novosti)

Syria vows to ‘overcome protests’ within two months

A special committee, set up in Syria in late May to draft a law on the country’s media, has finished its work, a committee member told RIA Novosti.

The law will soon be considered by members of the national dialog, and a public discussion will follow. If adopted, the law would make Syria the fourth country in the region where authorities scrapped information ministry, after Iraq, Tunisia and Egypt.

“Up until now, a journalist can be sent to prison for an article, which, for example, is seen by censors as “undermining people’s morale. The new law guarantees media freedom. Its second article states that the media enjoys “independence and freedom.” It [media freedom] is limited only by the constitution,” the source said.

The law will set up a special court to deal with all cases related to the media’s freedom and responsibility.

The media law is part of broad political reforms, announced by the Syrian authorities after protests broke out in the south of the country in early March and later spread to other regions.

Human rights groups say more than 1,350 protestors have been killed by security forces since the uprising began. Official reports, which blame “armed terrorists” for the violence, put the death toll at 340 police and servicemen.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State accused the Syrian government and security forces of “repression and harassment of peaceful demonstrators and opposition members” and called on Syrian authorities to end arrests and withdraw security forces from protest-hit cities.

“We urge the government of Syria to immediately halt its intimidation and arrest campaign, pull its security forces back from Hama and other cities, and allow the Syrian people to express their opinions freely so that a genuine transition to democracy can take place,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

US set to step up Syria sanctions

By Daniel Dombey and Anna Fifield in Washington and Roula Khalaf in London

The US is shifting away from earlier fears that the departure of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad would fan instability across the Middle East and is preparing to ramp up sanctions against Damascus, particularly in the energy sector.

Although the Obama administration has publicly called for President Assad to embrace reform or “get out of the way”, after more than three months of brutal repression of popular protests, officials are signalling that there is no meaningful prospect of the Syrian leader carrying out reforms and that the only solution could be his departure.

They are also putting greater emphasis on the geopolitical benefit of political change in Damascus, which would be a significant blow to Iran, Syria’s close ally. “Clearly the Iranians see Syria as pivotal,” said a senior administration official. “As that regime comes under greater pressure, it leads to greater concern in Iran.”

“It is increasingly clear that President Assad has made his choice,” Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, wrote in a recent article in the Arabic language Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. “But while continued brutality may allow him to delay the change that is under way in Syria, it will not reverse it.”

US officials are seeking to broaden sanctions already in place, highlighting the oil and gas sector as the main target, in the hope of driving a wedge between Mr Assad and the country’s merchant class. The theory is that such measures can demonstrate to Syrian business people, who Washington regards as powerful and well connected to the security apparatus, that Mr Assad can no longer deliver the stability they seek.

This week the US also imposed measures against Syria’s Political Security Directorate.

Still, the Obama administration remains reluctant to declare publicly that Mr Assad has lost legitimacy and should leave office, for fear that such a declaration would cast a spotlight on the US’s limited ability to eject the Syrian leader and so distract attention from human rights abuses.

US officials also privately maintain that countries such as Turkey will have much greater influence than Washington over the final outcome in Syria. They say a pronouncement that Mr Assad should go by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, could have a devastating effect on the Syrian leader.

But while Turkey, which has developed close ties to the Syrian regime in recent years, has become more critical of Mr Assad, diplomats say it is not willing yet to give up on him. Instead it is raising the pressure on him to implement credible reforms.

The hardening of the US position comes as the Syrian regime seeks to regain the initiative, allowing a group of intellectuals and opposition activists to hold a meeting in Damascus this week and insisting in official statements that it is serious about introducing political reforms.

The government has also allowed a handful of foreign journalists into the country and has been putting forward its own narrative of events – that the violence is being perpetrated not by its own forces firing at protesters but by armed groups attacking the Syrian military. Diplomats say there have been armed elements in the uprising but most protesters remain peaceful.

Over the past few weeks, moreover, the Syrian army has been withdrawing from some cities and towns, where protests are continuing. Opposition activists say the government is losing control of these areas, which include the city of Hama. But diplomats say it could be attempting to test the ground and see whether it can tolerate some demonstrations, which would help slow both domestic and international pressure.

Ihab Makhlouf Resigns from Board of Listed Company (Syria Report)

Ihab Makhlouf has resigned from his position as vice-Chairman of the Board of Al-Aqeelah Takaful Insurance, a few weeks after the European Union imposed a freeze on his assets and on those of several other Syrian personalities, as well as on “legal persons and entities associated with them,” according to a filing by the company.

New Board, Sanctions, Raise Questions about Future of Cham Holding (Syria Report)

Yesterday Cham Holding, Syria’s largest corporation, elected an entirely new board of directors. However, the company did not elect a new chairman. The move comes only a few weeks after the company, along with its previous chairman, was put under sanctions by the United States.

Comments (380)


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351. Mawal95 said:

Bassam Al-Qadi agrees with this:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-07/07/c_13971782.htm

The Syrian daily Al-Watan, which is close to the regime, has reported 7 July 2011 that the parliamentary elections that were scheduled to be held in August have been postponed to an unknown date “in order to enable the establishment of pluralistic political life through constitutional amendments and new legislation on elections and parties.”

Here’s another item reflecting current Pro-regime Establishment thinking: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-07/06/c_13969690.htm

Dr. Omar al-Abdullah, dean of the political science faculty in Damascus University, told the government-run al-Thawra newspaper on Tuesday: “In light of the recent developments in the country, there should be a modern constitution that would keep pace with the vision of President Assad and meets the Syrian people’s aspirations.” Dr. Hawash Shahin, a professor of the international law at the faculty of law in Damascus University told the same paper: “If we open the political arena for party competition, this actually means that the constitution must be revised.”

Incidentally, one of Syrian Commando’s cousins is in the Lebanese parliament: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-07/07/c_13969779.htm

The site news.xinhuanet.com, also known as english.news.cn, is more balanced about Syria than the Western press is. I have the following link bookmarked for news about Syria from that site:
http://search.news.cn/language/search.jspa?id=en&t=1&t1=0&ss=&ct=&n1=syria&x=22&y=11

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July 7th, 2011, 4:08 pm

 

352. Jad said:

المسودة الاولى لقانون الاعلام:
http://www.shukumaku.com/Content.php?id=29698

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July 7th, 2011, 4:10 pm

 

353. 873 said:

“349. Akbar Palace said: Zionist Hegemony”

Why dont you answer the earlier quotes, coward?

http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-vp-presents-transition-plan-saleh-stays-130958035.html

“Yahoo news hates jews! Yahoo news is antisemitic and blames all world problems on jews and persecutes them. Yahoo news should be banned or sued into bankruptcy! Yahoo news supports the Holocaust!

YAHOO NEWS IS THE NEXT HITLER!”

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July 7th, 2011, 4:13 pm

 

354. Aboud said:

@350

*facepalm*

You’re still going on about how many demonstrated in Hama? It’s been a week already, that train has loooooong since left the station. Events have gone way beyond that, and you wanna waste your time studying stadiums of….you know, never mind.

Go ahead, study stadiums while the rest of the country goes on strike for the second Thursday in a row, and this goes on in Hama

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July 7th, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

355. Mina said:

Several good extracts in Manning’s chat, including this one:
“(9:57:46 PM) ZJ: man, stay safe in iraq

(10:01:26 PM) bradass87: im an analyst, i shadow a brigade commander… also, the shia majority in the location we are going doesn’t want to screw around with the US… theyre stockpiling fresh weapons… because the moment they leave, they plan on removing sunnis out of the region to the southeast and northeast of baghdad

(10:02:01 PM) bradass87: im trying to figure out a way to prevent a civil war the second we leave

(10:02:47 PM) ZJ: that sounds very bad”

Unrest in Syria as a way to guarantee the Iraqis will beg the US to stay a little longer?

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July 7th, 2011, 4:21 pm

 

356. Simon said:

Dear Prof Landis
I thought that this forum is created to comment on your publications about Syria.
I am so amazed with the diversity of the discussion.
Are we suppose to discuss Hitler , Zionism and anti-Semitism in every single political debate,every day in every single year we live in this world?
The good thing is my repertoire of swear words is rich now.

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July 7th, 2011, 4:27 pm

 

357. Aboud said:

@356

Sorry, but apparently alot of movements are in on the conspiracy to remove The Eye Doctor. All have to be discussed and condemned sufficiently. I really think junior can bring about world peace, since everyone seems united in wanting his downfall according to his supporters.

“The good thing is my repertoire of swear words is rich now.”

Sorry.

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July 7th, 2011, 4:34 pm

 

358. jad said:

Dear Mina,
I’m not following Manning case, what’s the deal with the chat leaks? and how is it connected to the Syrian case?
Thank you

The french ambassador is going with the American in Hama tour.

The Syrians in turkey need to come back home:
معاناه المعتقلين السوريين في مخيمات تركيا -نقص الغذاء
http://youtu.be/1jNcacgFg3M

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July 7th, 2011, 4:37 pm

 

359. 873 said:

MINA,

Not sure if you’ve heard the other side of opinion on Manning, that he is a Monica Lewinsky serving another agenda? Many in the military know that with his very low level clearance he would not have had access (on his own volition) to the millions of documents that he claimed to dump via Wikileaks (itself a CIA-NSA-Mossad front). Alot of inconsistencies there- some of which have been questioned by military veterans in US who at first jumped to support him but have since backed off.

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July 7th, 2011, 4:40 pm

 

360. Observer said:

Hear Hear Simon

The purpose of the electronic Shabiha is to drown the debate into sterile personal attacks and to divert from factual accounting of what is happening and avoid any critique of the regime.

What is disturbing is that the moderator of this site is allowing pure insults to go through

In analyzing the situation on this blog, it is clear that pro regime people have rejected totally any acceptance of any person or view that is not entirely subservient to the dictates of the ruling family. This total rejection of the other is exactly the same approach that the regime has on the ground just as the events in Hama have demonstrated with death and destruction following in the wake of the “insecurity and chaos forces of the regime”.

Meanwhile the monologue continues while the Rats and the Germs of the world are multiplying.

Caucescu, Milosevic, Ben Ali, Hosni, are you there? Can you hear us; Saif in Tripoli do you wish to add your list to a vote by the Rats and the Germs of the people for a free and fair election?

Humbug

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July 7th, 2011, 4:42 pm

 

361. Mina said:

Jad
I agree it is far from Syria Comment concerns, but it gives an idea of how a peaceful kid end up in the army simply because he is good at computers and wants to go to the university. Most soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere on the US bases all other the world are victims of this unfair system where poors cannot study at the same level as the other citizens. It is my contribution to the open debate on democracy and the need to invent a third way where we preserve the equality we enjoy in Europe in terms of school and health (but it is vanishing as days pass, and you can see people demonstrating in Greece, Spain, etc to show that many do not want the continuation of the implementation of the US model which has proved to fail).

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July 7th, 2011, 4:45 pm

 

362. 873 said:

356. Simon said:
“Dear Prof Landis
I thought that this forum is created to comment on your publications about Syria. I am so amazed with the diversity of the discussion.
Are we suppose to discuss Hitler, Zionism and anti-Semitism in every single political debate,every day in every single year we live in this world?”

I guess AIG & AP trotted out a colleague to continue the victim meme when they couldnt take the heat? Or confront the questions?
Oh those poor, poor ever-persecuted jews, every single minute of every single day of every year they are being picked on by the whole wide world – will it ever end??? Oooooohhhh! The wailing and gnashing of teeth is overwhelming.

Israel is the PRIME beneficiary and architect of the Color Destabilizations going on in Syria and across the middle east. They are not uninvolved parties to the tragedy- just strategically silent on it (for now). Dont expect them to be let off the hook. Whine elsewhere and grow up.

What is being lobbed now in the zionists’ direction has been heaped on Muslims by zionists in western media FOR YEARS. Interesting how when the same medicine is dished to them? They dont like it much. As for Muslims/Islam? The defense of their image and interests in US’s zionist -controlled media has been almost non-existent. Its very odd to see anyone evening up the score isnt it???

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July 7th, 2011, 4:52 pm

 

363. jad said:

Mina,
Thank you for explaining.
If equality is indeed vanishing in Europe giving the way for a total capitalist to take over socialism then in few years the west might face another revolution similar to the french revolution, and on a more bigger scale than the Greece one today, no?

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July 7th, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

364. vlad-the-syrian said:

ASGHAR WOKR

as always the same tune : WE WE WE …

The Elected ! haha the big lie again and again

Don’t fool us with your old books. No use to study to realize this evidence.

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July 7th, 2011, 4:59 pm

 

365. atassi said:

NO ASSAD
NO ASSAD
NO ASSAD
NO ASSAD
NO ASSAD
NO ASSAD
Assad regime will be written in history as : Immoral with criminal minds, wicked with awful face

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July 7th, 2011, 5:00 pm

 

366. atassi said:

Opposition Builds in Syria’s Capital, a Key Battleground
By Nour Malas
7 July 2011
14:29
The Wall Street Journal Online
WSJO
The Wall Street Journal – Print and Online
CTGSMFS
English
Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Protests have built up into nightly affairs in Syria’s sprawling capital and activists are pressing boycotts against Syrian insiders, as action against the government moves closer to the political and administrative core of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Protests have started to build in new areas of Damascus and gain breadth across neighborhoods in the city over the past few weeks. Less visibly, young activists started publicizing lists of brands and companies distributed or owned by people they say are close to the ruling regime to boycott.
The boycott list includes brands of cigarettes, canned tuna and dairy products as well as taxi companies and cafes. The list includes several companies linked to Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the president who has been the target of U.S. and European Union sanctions and who last month vowed to retire from business.
“The solution to mobilizing Damascus is to economically strangle the bourgeoisie and business class that benefit from the regime,” said one activist, who was disappointed to learn his favorite milk brand was controlled by Mr. Makhlouf.
Damascus and Syria’s second city, Aleppo, are keys to the survival of Mr. Assad’s regime. Together, they are home to over half of Syria’s population of at least 21 million. Analysts say that should mass protests mobilize there, the two cities hold the potential to tip Syria into what the International Crisis Group has called a “slow-motion revolution.”
But in Damascus, where many remain loyal to Mr. Assad and others are reluctant to join protests that risk destabilizing their country, antigovernment activists have adopted lower-key tactics, like the boycotts, to draw in supporters.
Protests in the capital haven’t exploded like in other large cities Homs or Hama, where tens of thousands have demonstrated around public squares. Tanks surrounded Hama on Sunday, ending a month-long spree of protests free of regime oversight. Security forces continued to press their campaign there, with 24 people killed on Tuesday and Wednesday and over 700 detained on Wednesday and Thursday, according to global campaigning organization Avaaz.
Damascus has seen small protests since the early weeks of the four-month-long uprising, both in the belt of underdeveloped suburbs around the city and in urban neighborhoods aside from the capital’s wealthiest districts. The military has locked down at least nine suburbs at various points and parts of Douma, Daraya and Moadamiyeh remain under a security siege, residents and activists say.
In the past few weeks, protests have become larger, closer to central Damascus and as frequent as nightly. This past week, two separate protests marched through central Baghdad Street, not far from the parliament building.
Violence against protesters is partly what has motivated more people to join protests, as in other spots across Syria, city residents and activists said. In a show of the regime’s willingness to crush dissent even at a centrally located college campus, security forces stormed Damascus University on June 21, killing one student.
Students described thugs breaking down dorm doors and dragging women out of their beds, just a day after Mr. Assad had delivered a speech at the university acknowledging protesters had legitimate demands and promising reforms.
With pervasive security and intelligence surveillance making it difficult to organize, activists have turned to less-overt expressions of dissent. Unlike calls for a nationwide general strike—which have fallen flat in Damascus and Aleppo—they hope boycotting products and places will allow more people to support the protesters.
Some businessmen are already donating money to protesters or families of the injured outside the capital. Activists say some of their laptops have been provided by Damascene businessmen, who they say maintain a public proregime line to protect their business interests.
“Many, but by no means all, Damascenes have the most to lose economically from the collapse of the regime, compared to those outside the capital, so they are likely to be the last to protest en masse,” a senior Western diplomat in the capital said.
Syria’s economy is already sputtering, as a near-total dropoff in tourism leaves hotels deserted and shopper reluctance has stores closing for what has traditionally been busy evening hours. If a targeted boycott of businesses aggravates those woes and protests continue to grow, analysts say members of Damascus’s business community could quickly switch sides to cut their losses.
Protests are expected to grow in August, when people gather at mosques for prayer daily—rather than weekly—during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
For now, protesters have abandoned attempts to gather at the capital’s two large squares, Omayyad Square and Abassin Square, after a march toward Abassin in April was violently dispersed by security forces.
Omar Idlibi, a spokesperson for the activists’ Local Coordinating Committees, said they don’t aim to settle around a public square in the capital, as Egypt’s protesters did. They have avoided overnight sit-ins, hoping instead to wear out the regime’s military and security with the spread of protests across the country.
“Damascus is likely to be the last place where there will be large scale antiregime protests,” the diplomat said. “The regime’s continued strong grip on [Damascus and Aleppo] also sends a powerful symbolic message to Syrians and outsiders that the regime is still in control of the country.”
The capital’s long-held loyalty to Mr. Assad is pronounced in a growing number of portraits and posters of the president around the city. Pro-regime rallies have also grown in recent weeks.
Some say antiregime protesters are still limited to disgruntled residents of cramped, lower-class neighborhoods even when they march through the boutique-lined streets of al-Shaalan.
Others say surprising constituencies have joined. Unable to gather in public squares, secular activists and even Christians have found sanctity in mosques as a place to gather for protests.
“My Christian and Communist friends and classmates come to the mosque with me every week, just to protest after,” a university student said. “They don’t know how to pray, but they ask me what to do when we’re on the way.”
A reporter in Damascus contributed to this article.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:02 pm

 

367. atassi said:

US envoy to observe Friday demo in Syria’s Hama
7 July 2011
15:11
Agence France Presse
AFPR
English
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011 All reproduction and presentation rights reserved.
The US ambassador to Damascus is visiting the flashpoint Syrian city of Hama and plans to observe mass demonstrations Friday against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the State Department said.
Last Friday, an anti-regime rally brought out half a million people in Hama, according to pro-democracy activists. The security services did not intervene and Assad fired the city’s governor the next day.
Syrian authorities have been trying to quell protests in the city, traditionally a center of opposition to central government, and have positioned tanks on the main entrances, except in the north.
Ambassador Robert Ford spent the day in Hama, “expressing our deep support for the right of the Syrian people to assemble peacefully and to express themselves,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
Nuland said Ford had spoken to more than a dozen residents in Hama, and visited a hospital where victims of violence were being treated.
“He is interested in seeing the activity tomorrow,” she said, referring to the latest in a series of planned protests after Friday prayers.
A senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ford was in the city “to make contact” with opposition leaders.
“We need to know who these guys are, we need to know what they aspire to in terms of political process and a different future for their country. We need to make contact and that’s what he’s there to do,” the official said.
Washington acknowledged last week that Ford had met with opponents of the Assad regime.
Nuland stressed that the ambassador had made “his own trip” to Hama, unlike a previous visit on June 21 to a restive town near the Turkish border in which Ford and other foreign diplomats were escorted as guests of the regime.
“We’re greatly concerned about the situation in Hama,” Nuland said. “The situation, he (Ford) says, is tense, a lot of shops are closed, folks are concerned.”
Hundreds of residents have fled Hama in recent hours, fearing a crackdown from the army on the eve of new demonstrations there and across the country voicing opposition to any dialogue with the Assad regime.
Hama has been a symbol of opposition since the 1982 crackdown on a revolt by the banned Muslim Brotherhood against then-president Hafez al-Assad, father of the present leader, in which some 20,000 people were killed.
Rights groups say that more than 1,300 civilians have been killed and 10,000 people arrested by Syrian security forces since mid-March.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Assad that time for his regime is running out but stopped short of directly calling for him to step down.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

368. Simon said:

#357 & #360
Now that is better!!
back to the subject at least!!!
Syria and Syrians are fine and they don’t need your approval.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

369. vlad-the-syrian said:

@873 #362

“Are we suppose to discuss Hitler, Zionism and anti-Semitism in every single political debate,every day in every single year we live in this world?”

“in this world”, you do mean “in this blog” at least ?

well thanks to people like AI(r)G, ASGHAR WOKR and AKIR IN TEL AVIV etc.., unfortunately …

(r) stands for racist but you may notice that all of the bunch is actually racist

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July 7th, 2011, 5:08 pm

 

370. Aboud said:

@369

You forgot ABOUD. I’d prefer to be associated with the people you mentioned, than with your sort.

@366 Thank you for the article Atassi.

“Activists say some of their laptops have been provided by Damascene businessmen, who they say maintain a public proregime line to protect their business interests.”

Yes, I know that part for a fact.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

371. vlad-the-syrian said:

OBSERVER

“for a free and fair election”

i’m not really sure that you wish that

and if a free and fair election is to happen, i bet you’ll be very disappointed

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July 7th, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

372. Simon said:

#362
What are you talking about?
you are twisting my words.
stick to your colour please and preferably the main subject.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:26 pm

 

373. 873 said:

Simon,
Here is SYRIA, all about Syria. The full monty, the comprehensive overview on Syria. Explains all.

http://www.irmep.org/Policy_Briefs/3_27_2003_Clean_Break_or_Dirty_War.html

370. Aboud said:
You forgot ABOUD. I’d prefer to be associated with the people you mentioned, than with your sort.

Why dont you try to get a (non-espionage) job then and work in Israel? Or better yet, let them give you a dual passport? Please let us know how that works out.

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July 7th, 2011, 5:40 pm

 

374. vlad-the-syrian said:

873

thanks for the link in #373

by the way ABOUD is زفت حريري

a different kind with a special mention for different “skills”

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July 7th, 2011, 6:05 pm

 

375. Aqib Bhatti said:

I would like to state that there are men, such as Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi, who are willing to risk their life and oppose the regime openly. Shaykh Muhammad is a well-respected scholar living in Damascus, who held a post as an Imam. He refuted the atrocities taking place in his home land, and addressed the Syrian President to listen to the needs and demands of the masses – before it is too late. He was interrogated and sacked from his post, and banned from making any public speeches.
You can listen to his damning talk, that led to his interrogation and sacking.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQHumyN5kM
This is the same person who delivered a beautiful speech, in New York, on the Rights of Woman in Islam. This speech was an eye opener for me personally, for I did not realise that Islam afforded such rights to woman.
Just listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYslNPLHlns

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July 7th, 2011, 6:34 pm

 

376. vlad-the-syrian said:

SYRIAN COMMANDO

A MARCH STRAIGHT ON HAMA FROM ALL SYRIA

quick let’s show a million asses to Mr Ford … before the final battle

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July 7th, 2011, 6:40 pm

 

377. vlad-the-syrian said:

Mina

“Wikileaks (itself a CIA-NSA-Mossad front)”

i agree with you : the main goal of Wikileaks is to annihilate the WTC 9/11 issue.

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July 7th, 2011, 6:46 pm

 

378. 873 said:

374. vlad-the-syrian said:
873
thanks for the link in #373
by the way ABOUD is زفت حريري a different kind with a special mention for different “skills”

I dont have arabic script on my computer but we also know what sharmut means in latin script… He’s an AIPAC-Arab then? That is grotesque. I feel so sorry for Syria. His family must be dying of shame.

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July 7th, 2011, 10:43 pm

 

379. why-discuss said:

Iran is planning to discuss its natural gas transfer to Europe through Iraq and Syria. Iraq’s Ambassador to Tehran, Mohammad Majeed al-Sheikh said Tehran and Baghdad are set to discuss transferring Iran’s natural gas to Europe via Iraq and Syria.
…Under the deal, natural gas produced in Iran’s South Pars oil and gas field will be pumped through Iran, Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea before reaching Europe, he said.

The construction of the 5,600 km pipeline is estimated to cost 5-6 billion dollars, he added.

http://www.payvand.com/news/11/jul/1069.html

Skipping Turkey?

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July 8th, 2011, 12:32 am

 

380. Hama la rebelle, un dilemme pour le régime syrien « twittermomo said:

[…] les maillons faibles du régime, rapporte l’Américain Joshua Landis, sur son blog Syria Comment. Comme en témoigne un habitant de la ville, sur le blog Arflon net, le gouverneur aurait refusé, […]

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July 11th, 2011, 4:26 am

 

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