News Round Up (October 11, 2012)

Arms supplies to Syrian rebels drying up: No sign of heavy weapons to fight tanks and aircraft Regional rivalries hamper struggle against Assad
Martin Chulov and Ian Black – Guardian, 11 October 2012

In the battle for northern Syria the most important front is far from Aleppo. It is across the border in the southern Turkish town of Antakya. Here rebels, who now move around with increasing ease, are engaged in daily bids for patronage with those who keep the insurgency running….

The men with the money and influence in Antakya are envoys sent by the Sunni world’s political elite or business leaders. One name comes up more than any other – a Lebanese MP named Okab Sakr.

“Every time Okab is in town the weapons start to move across the border,” said a rebel colonel from the Jebel al-Zawiya region, who calls himself Abu Wael. “The problem is he is very particular about where those weapons go.”…Sakr is a member of the Future movement of the Lebanese opposition leader, Saad Hariri. According to colleagues in Beirut he has been given the role of gun runner-in-chief…..The US, always jittery about backing the uprising, is opposed to calls by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply rebel groups with equipment needed to combat aircraft and tanks – an issue raised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday. Jordan and Turkey appear to share Washington’s concerns. Confirmation on Wednesday that the US had sent a military mission to Jordan to help build a headquarters on the border with Syria and to improve Jordan’s military capabilities underlines worries about possible spillover.

“It’s about indirect intervention,” said Mustafa Alani of the Saudi-financed Gulf Research Centre in Abu Dhabi. “The money is there, arms can be supplied. But the Jordanians and the Turks are hesitant. Turkey is allowing some weapons in but there are a lot of restrictions. People are waiting for a shift after the US election.”

Another growing problem is a lack of co-ordination between Qatar and the Saudis – the likely subject of Wednesday’s talks in Doha between the Emir and the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar. King Abdullah is said to be growing impatient with the difficulties of the Syrian crisis. According to Syrian opposition activists, the Saudis now sponsor only rebel groups which are at odds with those backed by Qatar and Turkey, which are often linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Qataris are much more proactive than the Saudis,” said one well-placed Arab source. “The Saudis are not interested in democracy, they just want to be rid of Bashar. They would be happy with a Yemeni solution that gets rid of the president and leaves the regime intact.”

Intelligence chiefs from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and France reportedly met in Turkey in early September along with the CIA director general, David Petraeus. But they apparently failed to reach agreement on a co-ordinated strategy….The Americans are especially against handing out anti-aircraft missiles. They will not accept these things falling into the hands of jihadis. Imagine having to do a Stinger buy-back programme like Afghanistan all over again.”

Now the Saudis are signalling that they are reaching the limits of what they will do in the face of US objections, concern about the resilience of the Assad regime, fears that extremists will dominate the opposition – as well as the risks of “blowback” from jihadis returning home…..Now the Saudis are pushing the armed Syrian opposition to form a “salvation front” with unified command and control on the ground and, crucially, an ability to collect weapons once fighting has ended – a lesson learned the hard way from Libya. The Saudis are backing brigadier-general Manaf Tlass,…

But there is little optimism about prospects for any immediate improvement. “It’s all a bit of a mess,” said analyst Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution in Doha. “Everyone is waiting for someone else to do a better job. It can’t be the Saudis or the Qataris or the Turks. It’s got to be the Americans…..

News Round Up by Foreign Policy

The U.S. military has sent a task force of over 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to assist in dealing with the Syrian crisis. The planners’ tasks will primarily involve handling refugee flows, already estimated at 180,000; securing the border to prevent spillover from Syria; and preparing for scenarios including the loss of government control of chemical weapons. The U.S. government has avoided intervening in Syria other than providing nonlethal assistance, including communications equipment. However, the deployment to the outpost near Amman, less than 35 miles from the Syrian border, could play a critical role if U.S. policy were to shift. U.S. Pentagon and Central Command officials have declined to comment on the mission, in addition to a spokesman from the Jordanian embassy in Washington. Meanwhile, Turkey has warned Syria that it will respond with greater force if cross border shelling continues. The statement came about a week after Turkey retaliated after fire from Syrian forces hit the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing five civilians. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the military alliance has plans to defend Turkey if requested. In Syria, opposition forces reportedly took control over Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, a strategic town on the main highway connecting Damascus with Aleppo. If the Syrian army does lose Maaret al-Numan, it will hinder its ability to send reinforcements to aid in the longstanding battle in Aleppo. The jihadist militant group, al-Nasra Front, has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing targeting the Air force Intelligence complex in the Damascus suburb of Harasta. The facility is notorious for its detention and torture of opposition members. Fierce fighting also continued in the city of Homs.

Russia has negotiated a $4.2 billion arms sale to Iraq becoming the country’s second biggest arms supplier after the United States.

Syrian massacre is veiled in silence‘ (Michael Peel, The Financial Times)
“Daraya’s continuing anguish says much about the evolution – or regression – of Syria’s 18-month-old conflict and the world’s attitudes to it. More than a month after what local people say was the massacre of at least 500 people, the town is in a ghastly limbo, still surrounded by regime forces and aware that another blow could fall at any time with hardly anyone watching. When 108 people were slaughtered in the central Syrian district of Houla in May, it was widely talked of as a possible turning point in international attitudes to what has now become a war; when several times that number were reported dead in Daraya over several days in late August, it triggered a brief round of condemnation – and then near-silence. As a diplomat who covers Syria put it: “It’s like the Syrian conflict has become something with which the international community can live.””

In shifting Syria conflict, Assad assumes command of forces – Reuters

….Recent visitors say the 47-year-old president has taken over day-to-day leadership. They speak of a self-confident, combative president convinced he will ultimately win the conflict through military means.

“He is no longer a president who depends on his team and directs through his aides. This is a fundamental change in Assad’s thinking,” said a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician with close ties to Assad. “Now he is involved in directing the battle.”

The endgame may have changed too. “Nobody is now talking about the control of the regime over all of Syria, they talk about the ability of the regime to continue.”

Until recently, the Lebanese politician said, people asked daily who would defect next. But for some time now there had been no significant military defections.

“The fighting nerve is steady. The Iranians and the Russians may have helped them. Their ability to manage daily and control the situation has improved.”

The government has decided to focus its effort on essential areas – the capital Damascus, the second largest city of Aleppo, and the main highways and roads.

Other close observers of the conflict say Assad is deluded if he believes he can prevail.

“The problem is the regime lives in its own world. It is clear the people are rejecting this idea – the regime’s narrative – that it is a secular regime set upon by extremists, a battle between good and evil and Bashar will one day be vindicated. Bashar is not the victim. He is the cause of the violence,” said a Western diplomat.

In the Land of the Free Syrian Army – fascinating article. Must read
October 4, 2012 Ilhan Tanir

Ilhan Tanir writes firsthand on the efforts of Syrian towns to self-govern after driving out regime forces….

Tensions Escalate as Turkey Forces Down Syrian Passenger Jet
By ANNE BARNARD and SEBNEM ARSU, NYTimes

Turkey sharply escalated its confrontation with Syria on Wednesday, forcing a Syrian passenger plane to land in Ankara on suspicion of carrying military cargo, ordering Turkish civilian airplanes to avoid Syria’s airspace and warning of increasingly forceful responses if Syrian artillery gunners keep lobbing shells across the border. ….

Syria’s main opposition bloc to restructure, seek new impetus
by Irish, Oct 10, 2012, Reuters

Syria’s main opposition bloc will restructure itself in Qatar next week to seek fresh impetus, Syrian National Council leader Abdulbaset Sieda said on Wednesday, after months of criticism that it is too fractious and influenced by Islamists….Sieda, who is due to resign from his position next week, said the first step would be a general assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha from October 15-17 to elect a new leadership and increase the numbers of women and young members.

It will also incorporate some 20 new groups into the organization, including local coordination committees, business groups and smaller Kurdish, Turkmen and Syriac Christian representatives.

Sieda, who described himself as secular, reiterated that the SNC favors a secular, democratic Syria that respects minority rights and where power is to given local authorities, away from the centre in Damascus.

Guardian (GB): Prince Bandar bin Sultan – profile
2012-10-10

Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been coordinating Saudi Arabia’s policies towards the Syrian uprising since being appointed intelligence chief by King Abdullah in July. Bandar’s reputation as an inveterate networker and hawk have fuelled anticipation …

Bandar took over the Syria “file” from the king’s son Abdelaziz, a deputy foreign minister. The move also followed rumours of inefficiency at the intelligence agency. Bandar organized the visit of Manaf Tlass, the Sunni general and Assad associate who defected from Syria in July. Shortly after his appointment it was rumoured – evidently falsely – that he had been killed in an explosion in Riyadh. Iranian and pro-Assad media suggested it was retaliation for the assassination of four of Assad’s senior security chiefs in a bomb attack in Damascus a few days earlier.

Veteran Saudi-watchers say that decision-making in Riyadh, where government is highly personalised and the senior royals ageing, is currently in poor shape. The king is 88 and frail, Crown Prince Salman, 76, abroad and the foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, 72, convalescing.

In a rare public glimpse of his movements, Bandar was reported to be in the Qatari capital Doha on Wednesday, holding talks with the Emir, Sheikh Hamad. It would be surprising if the Syrian crisis was not on their agenda. “We need to wait and see what Bandar will do with the Syria file,” said one Saudi source. “People will be watching carefully.

As Assad hangs on, Turkey confronts failure on Syria
by Andrew Parasiliti in al-Monitor

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said this week that Syria is becoming the “worst-case scenario that we’ve all been dreading.”

The shelling across the Turkish-Syrian border, now entering its seventh day, gives further testimony, as if any were needed, that Turkey’s Syria policies have failed and that the civil war in Syria is also a regional, sectarian war, with no end in sight…..

Yes, I was right on Syria. (And what now?)
by Helena Cobban, September 27, 2012, Just World News

from March 2011 until today. And that, at a time when a large majority of people in the U.S. (and ‘western’) political class had a very different analytical bottom line than my own. Their bottom line was, basically, that the Asad regime was weak, hollow, deeply unpopular, and would crumble “any day now.” And since people holding to this belief– which was nearly always, much more of a belief than an analysis– have been extremely strong inside the Obama administration as well as in the western chattering classes (including among many self-professed “progressives” or liberals), their belief in the imminent collapse of the Asad regime has driven Washington’s policy all along…..

[David Ignatius] Face to face with a revolution

If the U.S. wants the rebels to coordinate better on the ground, it should lead the way by coordinating outside help. The shower of cash and weapons coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other Arab nations is helping extremist fighters and undercutting any orderly chain of command through the Free Syrian Army.

Guardian (GB):  Samar Yazbek shares PEN/Pinter prize
2012-10-09

An exiled Syrian author and journalist whose inside account of the revolution drew such ire from Syria’s government that she was forced to flee the country has won a literary award from PEN for her courage. Samar Yazbek was named by poet laureate …

A Guide to the Syria Conflict, A Posdcast by Michael Binyon, who’s ex-Foreign Office and represents a very interesting British establishment viewpoint. (Thanks Sally)

A Third Option in Syria
By Robert A. Pastor | Los Angeles Times

In a Liberated Syrian City, Citizen Government Takes Shape
By: Balint Szlanko | Briefing WPR

With a 48-member council, a city manager and a criminal court, civic government is reasserting itself in Al Bab, a northern Syrian city of about 180,000 people, after rebel fighters pushed government forces out at the end of July. Al Bab is far from peaceful: Government jets bombard it almost every day, and up to two-thirds of the population has fled. But a measure of normalcy has been re-established…..

The U.S. Must Limit Saudi Influence in Syria
By: Frank J. Mirkow | Briefing WPR

As the civil war in Syria becomes more acute, the United States must reassess its strategy toward that key Middle Eastern state, in particular, its stance on the role that Saudi Arabia has been playing in the Syrian conflict. Continued Saudi influence in Syria will only further destabilize the situation on the ground, undermine U.S. interests in the region and dim the prospects for a future democratic Syria…..

Washington Post’s David Ignatius: A revolt’s extremist threat
2012-10-08

ALEPPO, Syria Leading the fight in Sakhour on the eastern side of this embattled city is the Tawafuk Battalion of the Free Syrian Army. It reports to a new coordinating body known as the Military Council, according to Mustafa Shabaan, the acting …

Syria’s Up-and-Coming Rebels: Who Are the Farouq Brigades?
Amid the hodgepodge of groups that make up the armed opposition to Bashar Assad, one organization is coming dramatically to the fore
By Rania Abouzeid / Raqqa province | October 5, 2012 | TIME

CNN: Syrian defector: I worked for ‘butcher’
2012-10-09

Comments (342)


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301. Citizen said:

Turkish Navy put on high alert
Turkey has put its naval taskforce in the Mediterranean on high alert and sent missile-carrying frigates and motor boats to Aksaz, Iskenderun, Mersin, Antalya and other naval bases, the Hurriyet newspaper reports. Earlier, a higher state of alert was announced in the Air Force.
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_14/Turkish-Navy-put-on-high-alert/

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October 14th, 2012, 6:09 am

 

302. Citizen said:

Syria: Russian Journalist about Terrorism and biased Media
Syria: Journalist Anhar Kochneva spoke about her experiences and opinions.
The Russian journalist Anhar Kochneva, who has several times already affirmed in reports and interviews that what is taking place in Syria is an organized terrorism supported by foreign sides and promoted by Arab and also foreign satellite channels to spread fear among Syrians and to spread false information into the world.

That al Arabiya and al Jazeera aren’t credible should be already clear for more and more people who try to follow the events and the coverage about the situation in Syria.

Anhar Kochneva (Kotschneva/Kotschnewa) is living and working in Syria since a long time and often travels through the country. This is no problem for her because the journalist Kochneva is able to speak Arabic fluently, thus the coverage of the events in Syria by her are indeed interesting and are carried out by own experiences and original statements; she doesn`t need a translator, for example.

On Tuesday, at a lecture delivery that has taken place at the Arab Cultural Center in Tartous in the Syrian coast town of Tartous (Tartus), the Russian journalist Anhar Kochneva has again stated that she has accompanied the Syrian Arab Army in several of military operations, e.g. in Damascus and the countryside of the Syrian capital.

She has documented and photographed her experiences. Afterwards, she has reported about these experiences in these the operations of the Syrian Arab Army. Anhar Kochneva has also visited the Syrian city of Homs and reported about the now sadly famous district of Baba Amr (Baba Amro) in June.

The journalist Kochneva has noted at this lecture delivery in Tartous that the Syrian soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army were committed to protecting the journalists who are with them, even if it cost them their lives while they try to protect the journalists.

She has again confirmed that the terrorist groups often try to attack the journalists who accompany the Syrian army and she also has affirmed that these groups of armed radicals have failed to affect the Syrians’ awareness and that is one of the reasons why these armed and Western-backed fighters and Islamists resorted to bombings, abduction, massacres and murder in order to manipulate the public opinion by using false-flag actions and staged videos / scenes, for example.

In addition, the Russian journalist Anhar Kochneva has also pointed out in her visit of this event in the Syrian city of Tartous (Tartus), that the Western main stream media broadcasts false news that are not based on the facts. Like a lot of other people in Syria and some foreigners who have also experienced this, the journalist has herself also verified personally the biased and false reporting by Western media.

Afterwards, Anhar Kochneva called on the Syrian media to continue in their coverage and to be faster with its reports from the ground in order to prevent e.g. the propaganda channels from some Gulf States like Qatar and Saudi Arabia from fabricating information and news again.

It is understandable that the Russian journalist also said that the non-democratic sanctions and the further decisions against the Syrian media confirm the Western hypocrisies and are finally something like a medal of honor for the Syrian journalists.

She also stressed that to emerge from the current crisis in Syria requires sacrifice, confidence, resilience, fidelity, and a lot of work, of course.

At this lecture delivery in the Syrian coast town of Tartous, this Russian journalist also showed some of her footage that she has personally recorded while she has entered areas with the Syrian Arab Army that were previously devastated by the U.S.-supported armed groups of fighters, religious fanatics, and mercenaries.

In further horrible videos, the other guests of this lecture delivery in Tartous were able to see, for example, that these armed groups of terrorists in Syria use children soldiers, even encourage them to wear weapons and to fight against the Syrian Arab army, but the videos also confirmed that these Western-backed terrorists commit massacres against Syrian civilians.
http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2012/10/syria-russian-journalist-about.html

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October 14th, 2012, 7:08 am

 

303. Citizen said:

If information is not available, ask Syrian lovers!
Russian diplomats in Syria verifying reports on newswoman’s abduction
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/544534.html
CAIRO, October 12 (Itar-Tass) – Russian diplomats in Cairo are verifying reports on abduction of the Russian newswoman Ankhar Kochneva.
“We don’t have any concrete data on this issue at the moment,” Dmitry Lebedev, the chief of the Consulate Department of the Russian Embassy in Damascus told Itar-Tass.
“There’s no information on the abduction of any Russian citizens in Syria,” he said.
A number of mass media said earlier that Ankhar Kochneva, born in 1972, had disappeared near Homs. The last time she had a communications session was October 8.
Kochneva, who lives in Damascus and is broadly viewed as an expert on Syrian affairs, has been covering events in various parts of the conflict-torn Arab country. Her reports frequently exposed the crimes committed by the Syrian armed opposition who draw on amassed overt backing from abroad.
Ankhar Kochneva is not accredited with any media outlet and she works as a freelancer.

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October 14th, 2012, 7:31 am

 

304. Observer said:

I have my doubts but this from a sympathetic source to the regime Alquds says that NK pilots are helping Freddo
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=latest/data/2012-10-14-06-48-50.htm

The regime is also using Russian made cluster bombs

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October 14th, 2012, 8:12 am

 

305. zoo said:

Tara

I am moved to tears by Turkey’s generosity to ‘allow’ civilian Syrian planes in its airspace.

“Turkey has not announced such a ban, although it has said it will continue to ground Syrian civilian planes it suspects are carrying military cargo.”

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October 14th, 2012, 8:19 am

 

306. Tara said:

A Suicide bombing in Damascus targeting a balcony

Syria’s state news agency said a suicide bomber attacked a coffee shop in a residential Damascus neighbourhood, causing damage but no fatalities.

Sana says the explosion took place at dawn on the capital’s Masseh road.

An Associated Press reporter at the site says the blast destroyed a balcony and ripped off a building facade.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/oct/14/syria-bans-turkish-flights-live#block-507a802bc0e361310bc6ce4d

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October 14th, 2012, 8:53 am

 

307. zoo said:

#248

“to those who betrayed the trust of the masses and support a dictator against his people to maintain their perceived privileges.”

You are already biased in your question. What percentage of the population you call ‘masses’? Treason? Who repeatedly asked for foreign military intervention? Who makes use of Islamist foreign fighters? Who get weapons from foreign countries? That’s high treason in any country. Privileges? Do you think a simple soldier in the Syrian army has ‘perceived’ privileges? Are the soldiers prisoners of fear? Come on, this argument is dead a along time ago.

In countries like Syria with such a complex mix or ethnicity and religion, and with powerful neighbors who don’t hesitate to intervene to support one religious group against the other, is a 100% instant democratic government possible?
Turkey is in war for decades against its own population, the Kurds, because of their different ethnicity. Turkey has been a ‘democracy’ for 60 years under a authoritarian military regime, and now the AKP is a ‘democracy’ under an authoritarian religious regime. Yet, it is still at war with its own citizens and no one sees an end to it.

And what about the external threat to Syria with the military presence of Israel who has no recognized borders and who have hegemonic designs?

Presenting the situation in Syria in romantic terms of the ‘oppressed’ Syrians seeking their freedom is very narrow and does not reflect the geopolitical reality. Syria is unfortunately not an island.
A gradual move toward democracy certainly needed but not by destroying a country and by throwing the Syrians into a vicious circle of killings and retaliation.
As long as the opposition persists in imposing its conditions to a dialog with the present government, it bears a large part the responsibility of the continuation of the killing, destruction and the displacement of innocents. The FSA betrayal is now widely exposed by their use in the ground of Syria of extremists foreign fighters, suicide bombers and the money of rich Arab countries with a sinister agenda.
If you are looking for ‘traitors’ maybe you are looking at the wrong side?

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October 14th, 2012, 9:19 am

 

308. Tara said:

Zoo,

“moved to tears”?.  I think this will make you toughen up:

Turkey makes new border threat
There’s been more bellicose rhetoric from Turkey, the Turkish daily Zaman reports.

Turkey will retaliate without hesitation if its border with Syria is violated again and if it believes that its national security is in danger, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Zaman quotes him saying:

When it comes to security, Turkey’s border is equal to the Norwegian border as far as Nato is concerned. The security of these borders is the security of Nato. So we believe that this solidarity will continue.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/oct/14/syria-bans-turkish-flights-live#block-507a9e6258f91d7bbadac510

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October 14th, 2012, 9:25 am

 

309. zoo said:

With the collapse of the army and the police, Libya is in the hands of armed militias

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/world/africa/libyan-government-struggles-to-rein-in-powerful-militias.html?pagewanted=all

“No government that is worthy of being called a government would allow this,” he said. “But we have a government that exists only on paper.”

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October 14th, 2012, 9:43 am

 

310. Tara said:

Why can’t Qatar say no to Iran?  They simply can say that they have no influence on the rebels such as the Iranians say they have no influence on Batta?  Shouldn’t it be a tit for tat or does Qatar wants to look like influential?  

• Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi has visited Qatar to discuss the fate of 48 Iranians kidnapped by rebels in Syria, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency. Iran has called on Turkey and Qatar to use their links with rebel groups to help secure their freedom. Last weekend the al-Baraa brigade, part of the main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, said it would start killing the Iranians within 48 hours unless Assad freed Syrian opposition detainees and stopped shelling civilian areas.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/13/uk-syria-crisis-iran-qatar-idUKBRE89C0B820121013

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October 14th, 2012, 9:55 am

 

311. Tara said:

# 305

It is arrogant if intentional and I do not like it.

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October 14th, 2012, 9:58 am

 
 

313. Syrialover said:

ZOO writes (#305):

“You are already biased in your question.”

So ZOO responds by being far, far more biased in his answer.

But then he slips on his own thin ice by (unconsciously?) delivering a explosive backand blow to Bashar Assad with the words:

“A gradual move toward democracy certainly needed but not by destroying a country and by throwing the Syrians into a vicious circle of killings and retaliation.”

That’s exactly what the world’s been chanting to Syria-hater Bashar while he plays out his demented determination to burn the country rather than concede one iota of power.

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October 14th, 2012, 10:34 am

 

314. Norman said:

Only a regional war will end this, It has to get bigger to get smaller.

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October 14th, 2012, 10:45 am

 

315. zoo said:

306. Tara
Turkey’s arrogance threatens “zero problem policy” with Russia.

Analysts: Turkish-Russian Tensions Could Spread to Middle East

Dorian Jones, VOA
http://www.payvand.com/news/12/oct/1110.html
ISTANBUL – Russia pressed ahead with an angry flow of rhetoric Friday, demanding that Turkish authorities reveal exactly what type of munitions they claim to have found aboard a Syrian airliner forced down over Turkey on Wednesday. The incident comes as Russian-Turkish relations grow increasingly tense.

“The Russians are obviously blistering and the Turkish government has the obligation to provide evidence that there was ammunition on the plane. And if they can’t, I am sure the Russians are going to be even more bitter. I am sure they are going to respond to this,” Ozel said.

Relations are already strained, with Moscow strongly supporting the Syrian government and Ankara backing the rebels. But political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Bahcesehir University says powerful commercial interests will contain the latest dispute.

“The two countries are heavily trading. They have become important trading partners over the years. I don’t think the disagreements regarding Syria will affect this trade partnership between the two countries,” Aktar said.

Last year, a Russian company won $1 billion contract to build a nuclear reactor in Turkey.

Ankara, one of the biggest consumers of Russian energy, is lobbying to become an energy hub to distribute Russian energy to the region.

Despite these commercial ventures, Erdogan has recently stepped up his rhetoric against Moscow over its support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Political scientist Aktar says Ankara underestimates the importance of Moscow in the region.

“So far Ankara does not take Russia seriously but maybe it should. Russia is a full partner in the Eastern Mediterranean game and therefore Turkey needs to take Russia seriously,” Aktar said.
….

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October 14th, 2012, 10:51 am

 

316. Syrialover said:

CITIZEN,

You keep telling us in detail about the missing Russian journalist’s active pro-regime stance in the current conflict.

You must also have read the reports of anti-Russian demonstrations and threats against Russians by civilians in Syria, angry at that country’s blatant interference and involvement in the destruction of their country.

As one of the few journalists officially facilitated and permitted to report for the outside press inside Syria, the expectation is that she would have been under government protection.

There have been journalists killed or missing who were far more neutral in their reporting and not connected with any active participating nations.

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October 14th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

317. zoo said:

308. Tara said:

“Why can’t Qatar say no to Iran?”

Because they fear Iran, as simple as that.
Iran has one of the most powerful army in the region, Qatar has gas, malls and bellies.

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October 14th, 2012, 10:59 am

 

318. zoo said:

The Alawites and the Future of Syria

by Harold Rhode
October 12, 2012 at 6:00 am
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3394/alawites-syria

Assad and the Alawites cannot give in. They are fighting for their very existence. The only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny — either as an autonomous region in Syria or as an independent entity.

The Alawites are a small, historically oppressed people, whose political future will determine whether Syria remains united in some form or disintegrates into even smaller ethnic and religious entities.

This is because Syrian Sunnis have historically referred to individual Alawites as “abid” [slave], and treated the Alawites as such. The Alawites were servants in Sunni households. Alawite tradition is filled with horror stories of Sunni abuse, both working in Sunni households and in other areas of as well.

The Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, were terribly discriminated against under Sunni rule. The Sunnis attitude towards the Alawites – and towards the other non-Muslims – was “noblesse oblige,” or an attitude of condescension, if not outright hostility.

Under the French and in the early years of Syrian independence after 1946, wealthy and respectable Sunnis did not want to have their sons serve in the military. Their Alawite servants, however, recognizing the military as a way to advance, persuaded their Sunni masters to sign recommendations to allow the children of their Alawite servants enter the military. Gradually, the Alawites rose in the ranks. Eventually in 1966, they overthrew the existing order to took over the country, and have dominated it since.
..
They only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny – either as an autonomous region in Syria, or as an independent entity. Whatever happens, they will insist that they remain well-armed. They – like other minorities in the Middle East – will continue to live in eternal fear of the Arab Sunnis. As the concept of overlooking past grievances is alien to the culture of that region, true peace between the Alawites and the Arab Sunnis – or, for that matter, Arab Sunnis and non-Arab Sunnis – is sadly out of the question.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

319. Tara said:

Zoo @315

Zoo, fear what exactly? The US will not let Iran do anything to Qatar.

And if true, that Iran is to be feared by the Arabs, then all Arabs should unite to dismantle it’s power, no?

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October 14th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

320. Citizen said:

Washington Plays Hardball With Russia On Syria

If words could kill, America and Russia might be at war. Hopefully it won’t come to that. Given America’s rage to fight, even the unthinkable is possible.

Russia and China represent Washington’s final frontier. Building up around their borders and encircling both countries with US bases makes anything ahead possible.

Prioritizing peace isn’t America’s long suit. Unchallenged global dominance assures war. One country after another is ravaged. Multiple direct and proxy wars remain ongoing. Flashpoints easily shift from one region to another or target several at the same time.
http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.fr/2012/10/washington-plays-hardball-with-russia.html

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October 14th, 2012, 11:06 am

 

321. zoo said:

The Qatari Takeover of France

by Peter Martino • October 10, 2012 at 5:00 am
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3392/qatar-france

French politicians such as President François Hollande hope that Qatari funds will help fight poverty in disadvantaged Muslim neighborhoods, They assume that poverty is the cause of France’s social problems. They should, however, know better. The problems in the suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis and elsewhere are not caused by poverty, but by the unwillingness of many Muslims to integrate into French society.

It is notable that he first foreign leader to be received by French President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace after his election last May was Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar — an event that illustrates the importance to Hollande of this Persian Gulf Emirate that is barely the size of the French province of Corsica.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

322. Citizen said:

Saudi National Guard Officer Killed in NW Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army killed a Saudi national guard officer near the northwestern city of Idlib late Saturday.

The Saudi officer, Salem al-Harbi, was killed during fierce clashes between the army and the terrorists in the suburbs of Idlib, the Iran-based al-Alam news network reported.

Al-Harbi was killed along with five Saudi and Turk nationals in suburban Idlib.

The army also killed 13 armed rebels in Deir al-Zour province.

In a relevant development, the Syrian army killed over 400 terrorists during military operations in the different districts of Aleppo and Homs on Saturday.

The army units conducted extensive operations in Jouret Shiyah region of Homs on Saturday which resulted in the death of tens of terrorists.

Scores of terrorist commanders were also among those killed in both Aleppo and Homs on Saturday. The army killed 25 armed rebels only in Bab al-Hood district of Homs.

The Syrian army killed scores of Saudi and Qatari terrorists in Karam al-Jabal district of Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city which is also its commercial hub.

On Friday, Syrian newspaper al-Baath released the names of a number of the Saudi and Qatari nationals who were killed during the army clashes with terrorists in the city of Aleppo on Friday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

323. zoo said:

#317 Tara

“then all Arabs should unite to dismantle it’s power, no?”

Saddam Hussein, helped by the USA, the EU and the all the Arab countries, except Syria, already tried that with the success we know.

I doubt any Arab country has any power to try again.,

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October 14th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

324. Sami said:

Alawites and Alevis: What’s in a name

By Khairi Abaza and Soner Cagaptay

Tensions are rising on the Turkish-Syrian border, as Turkey recently became the first country to take direct military action against the al-Assad regime since Syria’s uprising began in spring 2011. In response to the Syrian shelling of the Turkish town of Akcakale on October 3rd, an incident which killed 5 people, Ankara began shelling Syrian military targets. What is more, Turkey has issued a number of escalation threats — on October 7th, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that “although Turkey does not want war, it is close to war,” suggesting that Ankara is concerned with the spillover effect of the Syrian conflict in Turkey.

One major concern in this regard is the sectarian dimension of the Syrian conflict. The fighting in Syria is increasingly taking on sectarian overtones as fighting between the Assad regime and the rebels morphs into a conflict between Alawites loyal to Assad and Sunni militants opposing his rule. This is a cause of grave concern for Turkey because it is home to a community of half a million Arab Alawites on its southern Syrian border. Furthermore, Turkey’s Alawites reside predominantly in the Hatay province, which also hosts a large number of Syrian Sunni Arab refugees, and until recently served as a base of operations for Syrian rebel and civilian opposition groups. Reflecting the sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria, tensions have emerged lately in Hatay between Turkish citizens of Arab Alawite origin and Syrian Sunni refugees. Local Alawites, joined by various far-left groups, have staged numerous protests against the increasing Syrian refugee presence in the city. Such demonstrations have called for closing down the “terrorist” camps that allegedly house Sunni fighters.

What is more, Arab Alawites in Hatay also oppose Ankara’s policy of confronting the Assad regime. A local paper in Hatay recently published a column that accused the Ankara government of disregarding Alawite concerns and openly supporting Sunni fighters in Hatay. There have also been significant ongoing demonstrations against supporting the opposition in Syria.

Problems between the Arab Alawites in Hatay and the government in Ankara are leading some to surmise a broader cleavage between Turkey’s Alevis — a community that represents 10-15 percent of Turkey’s 74 million citizens — and the Ankara government. Partly due to their similar names (Alevi vs. Alawite), many commentators appear to be confusing the groups, leading them to the erroneous conclusion that Alevis are close kin to the religious sect that controls Damascus. Alawites and Alevis alike represent non-Orthodox Islam, and the two groups have similar-sounding names because of their shared reverence for Ali, son-in-law of Mohamed. Nevertheless, Alawites and Alevis are in fact different groups ethnically and theologically, and confusing the two would be akin to saying that all Protestants are protestors. Just to name a few, here is a list of five ethnic and theological differences between the Alawites and the Alevis, detailed in length in a recent article published in Turkish daily Zaman:

1. Alevis are Turkish; some are Kurdish, but all of these groups pray in Turkish testifying to the Turkish roots of Alevism — Alevis are uniquely the only Muslims in the world who worship in a language other than Arabic. The Alawites in the Levante, on the other hand, are ethnic Arabs who pray in Arabic.

2. Alevis recognize the Quran, but often do not take its imperatives on worship and rite literally. Alawites reportedly believe that the Quran is distorted and that the original Quran is missing — or that their version is the original one. They also conduct their own rituals distinct from other groups.

3. Alawites view Ali as being divine, whereas Alevis merely respect him, among other reasons, as the first convert to Islam — an attitude not uncommon among many faithful Muslims, including Sunnis.

4. Alawites reportedly believe that Ali is god’s reincarnation, Alevis do not. Also whereas Alawites believe in reincarnation, Alevis think that heaven and hell, or afterlife, might exist, or that these could be allegories, giving the concepts an almost Dantesque flavor for the Alevis.

5. The Alawite faith is not open to women, and it is not traditionally taught to them; whereas Alevi men and women pray together, casting the Alevis unique among Muslims for not segregating men and women during worship.

As such, it would be a grave error to mistake the Turkish Alevi community for the Alawite communities on the Turkish-Syrian border. Confusing the two distinct groups would only serve to stoke sectarian tensions and further divide the Turkish public on the issue of involvement in Syria. Some Alevis, like many other staunchly secular-minded Turks, take issue with the rise of Sunni Muslim Brotherhood-led regimes in Damascus, which they fear might discriminate against or even persecute “non-orthodox” sects. Others, but also many Sunni Turks, are concerned over the security risks for Turkey of becoming more deeply involved on one side of the Syrian civil war. But Turkey’s Alevis as a whole, unlike Syria’s Alawites as a whole, are not predominantly supporters of Assad’s regime.

….

http://fikraforum.org/?p=2764

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October 14th, 2012, 11:15 am

 

325. Syrialover said:

To those who keep posting stories on Russia demanding an explanation of the detention of the aircraft in Turkey, I repeat what I posted in #237. Excerpt:

““…the mystery surrounding the cargo that was aboard the Syrian A-320 airbus that was compelled to land by Turkish jet fighters may have been cleared up, with an admission by Russian arms officials that materials for use in Syrian anti-aircraft radars may have been aboard.

On Friday, the Moscow business daily Kommersant, citing unnamed Russian arms industry officials, said the plane was carrying 12 boxes of electronic components for use in Syrian air defense systems, along with legal documentation for the equipment.”

COMMENT: Stop wasting acres of space here with Putin’s embarrassed propaganda response to leaks and free media in his own country.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:18 am

 

326. Citizen said:

Let the Turkish adminstration Drinks all their three seas!

Turkey bans all Syrian flights over its territory
Syrian planes have been banned from Turkish air space, the Turkish foreign ministry has announced.
The ban follows similar restrictions imposed by Syria, after a Syrian plane alleged to be carrying Russian munitions was intercepted by Turkey.
Turkey’s ban came in on Saturday night and was communicated to Syria, but was only made public on Sunday.
It applies to civilian aircraft, as military aircraft were already de facto banned, a ministry official said.
The Syrian move followed Turkey’s interception on Wednesday of a Syrian jet, which Turkish warplanes forced to land in Ankara….
http://12160.info/page/turkey-bans-all-syrian-flights-over-its-territory

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October 14th, 2012, 11:19 am

 

327. Son of Damascus said:

A really good read.

Alawites and Alevis: What’s in a name?
By Khairi Abaza and Soner Cagaptay

Tensions are rising on the Turkish-Syrian border, as Turkey recently became the first country to take direct military action against the al-Assad regime since Syria’s uprising began in spring 2011. In response to the Syrian shelling of the Turkish town of Akcakale on October 3rd, an incident which killed 5 people, Ankara began shelling Syrian military targets. What is more, Turkey has issued a number of escalation threats — on October 7th, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that “although Turkey does not want war, it is close to war,” suggesting that Ankara is concerned with the spillover effect of the Syrian conflict in Turkey.

One major concern in this regard is the sectarian dimension of the Syrian conflict. The fighting in Syria is increasingly taking on sectarian overtones as fighting between the Assad regime and the rebels morphs into a conflict between Alawites loyal to Assad and Sunni militants opposing his rule. This is a cause of grave concern for Turkey because it is home to a community of half a million Arab Alawites on its southern Syrian border. Furthermore, Turkey’s Alawites reside predominantly in the Hatay province, which also hosts a large number of Syrian Sunni Arab refugees, and until recently served as a base of operations for Syrian rebel and civilian opposition groups. Reflecting the sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria, tensions have emerged lately in Hatay between Turkish citizens of Arab Alawite origin and Syrian Sunni refugees. Local Alawites, joined by various far-left groups, have staged numerous protests against the increasing Syrian refugee presence in the city. Such demonstrations have called for closing down the “terrorist” camps that allegedly house Sunni fighters.

What is more, Arab Alawites in Hatay also oppose Ankara’s policy of confronting the Assad regime. A local paper in Hatay recently published a column that accused the Ankara government of disregarding Alawite concerns and openly supporting Sunni fighters in Hatay. There have also been significant ongoing demonstrations against supporting the opposition in Syria.

Problems between the Arab Alawites in Hatay and the government in Ankara are leading some to surmise a broader cleavage between Turkey’s Alevis — a community that represents 10-15 percent of Turkey’s 74 million citizens — and the Ankara government. Partly due to their similar names (Alevi vs. Alawite), many commentators appear to be confusing the groups, leading them to the erroneous conclusion that Alevis are close kin to the religious sect that controls Damascus. Alawites and Alevis alike represent non-Orthodox Islam, and the two groups have similar-sounding names because of their shared reverence for Ali, son-in-law of Mohamed. Nevertheless, Alawites and Alevis are in fact different groups ethnically and theologically, and confusing the two would be akin to saying that all Protestants are protestors. Just to name a few, here is a list of five ethnic and theological differences between the Alawites and the Alevis, detailed in length in a recent article published in Turkish daily Zaman:

1. Alevis are Turkish; some are Kurdish, but all of these groups pray in Turkish testifying to the Turkish roots of Alevism — Alevis are uniquely the only Muslims in the world who worship in a language other than Arabic. The Alawites in the Levante, on the other hand, are ethnic Arabs who pray in Arabic.

2. Alevis recognize the Quran, but often do not take its imperatives on worship and rite literally. Alawites reportedly believe that the Quran is distorted and that the original Quran is missing — or that their version is the original one. They also conduct their own rituals distinct from other groups.

3. Alawites view Ali as being divine, whereas Alevis merely respect him, among other reasons, as the first convert to Islam — an attitude not uncommon among many faithful Muslims, including Sunnis.

4. Alawites reportedly believe that Ali is god’s reincarnation, Alevis do not. Also whereas Alawites believe in reincarnation, Alevis think that heaven and hell, or afterlife, might exist, or that these could be allegories, giving the concepts an almost Dantesque flavor for the Alevis.

5. The Alawite faith is not open to women, and it is not traditionally taught to them; whereas Alevi men and women pray together, casting the Alevis unique among Muslims for not segregating men and women during worship.

As such, it would be a grave error to mistake the Turkish Alevi community for the Alawite communities on the Turkish-Syrian border. Confusing the two distinct groups would only serve to stoke sectarian tensions and further divide the Turkish public on the issue of involvement in Syria. Some Alevis, like many other staunchly secular-minded Turks, take issue with the rise of Sunni Muslim Brotherhood-led regimes in Damascus, which they fear might discriminate against or even persecute “non-orthodox” sects. Others, but also many Sunni Turks, are concerned over the security risks for Turkey of becoming more deeply involved on one side of the Syrian civil war. But Turkey’s Alevis as a whole, unlike Syria’s Alawites as a whole, are not predominantly supporters of Assad’s regime.

[…]

http://fikraforum.org/?p=2764

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October 14th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

328. Tara said:

Zoo,

I think Iran is already weakened. It did it to itself. Supporting Assad despite their stated “principals” is what will eventually break their back. And just an FYi, I, been a long term admirer, have never wished them so in the past but they did it to themselves and in my opinion, it is well deserved, betraying what they say they stand for..

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=16376&cp=5#comment-331352

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October 14th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

329. Syrialover said:

TARA (#317 and #325),

The world can relax and watch as the mullahs themelves disable Iran’s power. They have locked themselves into a doom spiral, both internally and externally.

Excerpt from article:

Religion — in the form of politicized Islam — is the foundation of the state and the sole source of clerical leaders’ legitimacy. Without a rigid Islamist ideology, the ayatollahs would become irrelevant.

Traditional police tactics have been complemented by purges that are devouring the old guard, the intelligentsia and the technocratic elite. A theocratic state that once featured a diversity of religious factions is being rapidly transformed into a totalitarian state.

And Ayatollah Khamenei and his allies don’t mind being ostracized by the international community; they welcome the isolation.

For now the Islamic Republic endures like other autocracies in the Middle East. But the alienation of the population and the fragmentation of the elite will mean an uneasy future. With its politics so polarized, Iran cannot sustain its legitimacy on the basis of economic performance, backed by oil. The violence of 2009 severed an essential bond between the state and society.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/opinion/why-iran-cant-follow-chinas-lead.html?_r=3&

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October 14th, 2012, 11:34 am

 

330. Syrialover said:

SON OF DAMASCUS (# 324)

A useful read indeed thank you.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

331. Ghufran said:

قرر سلاح الجو الروسي ارسال 30 طائرة الى قبرص لتكون قبالة الشواطئ التركية والسورية واللبنانية والطائرات هي السوخوي 35 احدث نوع من الطائرات المقاتلة الروسية.
وستقوم الطائرات الروسية بحوالي 10 دوريات يوميا في الأجواء قبالة قبرص التركية
الطائرات التركية تخرق كل يوم اجواء قبرص التركية وتمر فوق اجواء قبرص اليونانية ولكن ليس فوق العاصمة انما في أجوائها .
وصرح مسؤول روسي ان موسكو تعتبر اجواء قبرص اليونانية هي اجواء روسيا الاتحادية وهي لا تقبل من الطائرات التركية او غيرها من التحليق فوق قبرص اليونانية .
3 Turkish soldiers were wounded today after clashes with “smugglers” near the Syrian borders, one unwanted result of northern Syria becoming a “free zone” is transforming that area into a free war zone where armed groups from all sides,except the Syrian army, fight over territories and goods,Turkey has the most to lose from this situation as Kurds and non Kurds will try to protect their turf(s) and Turkish alevis will get increasingly agitated at the obvious threat Islamist groups pose to their areas. Turkish alevis are not identical to alawis in Syria but most of the differences between the two groups are due to policies of both regimes in Turkey and Syria, as divisions in the region deepen,alevis and alawis will get closer not the opposite.
Turkey may find itself in a situation where a third of its population feel targeted or marginalized which will leave Anqara with difficult choices if a political settlement is not found,Turkish leaders could conclude that the condition before March,2011 despite all of its flaws was better than this new quagmire, the problem is that the pre March 2011 era is gone for good.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

332. Syrialover said:

Read serious analysis and you’ll find the opinion that if Russia is forced to choose between Turkey and Syria it will choose Turkey.

This is because energy is central to Russia’s economy, and it relies on significant regional oil and gas pipelines and loading facilities that depend on Turkish cooperaton.

Those controlling the wealth in Russia will allow Putin his paranoid defiant swaggering about Syria to go only so far.

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October 14th, 2012, 11:53 am

 

333. zoo said:

Tara

What weakens Iran’s economy is the sanctions imposed on it because if the development of nuclear capacities that may threaten the USA allies in the region, the GCC and Israel.
It is also the ruling of the religion on the country which has turned into a burden for secular oriented Iranians.

Siding on Syria’s legitimate government will not weaken Iran, or Russia or China.
Turkey by its meddling in Syria’s internal affairs is the one who will weaken on medium term, especially if it continues to escalate the tension with Syria, Iran, Iraq and Russia . Turkey has no oil and no gas, therefore totally dependent on other countries to supply it. It is now dependent on Iran, Iraq and Russia and is trying to diversify to make use of Qatar’s gas. Turkey’s problems with the Turkish Kurds (20% of Turks) is far from solved and will continue to poison the country for decades to come.

On long term Russia and China’s value as non-intervening trade partners will be preferred to countries that have political agendas in the region, such as the USA, the EU and Turkey.

Iran needs to move to a more liberal government and this is going to happen gradually with the new generation. Iran is a mine of knowledge, culture and unexploited natural resources and it has a bright future having gone through several dictatorships and religious rulers. It is just a matter of time that change occurs and it will not be bloody or messy.

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October 14th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

334. Ghufran said:

There is a decent summary about alevi Turks from UNHCR, one point to consider is that alevi in the south are mostly Syrians who stayed after Turkey occupied Liwaa Iskandaron.
Syrians from that area who were expelled from Liwaa Iskandaron were typically more religious than other alawis in Syria, their kids,however,are now indistinguishable from other alawis who are mostly non religious. Assads were instrumental in the unfortunate trend where many alawites left the teachings of their moderate teachers and decided to replace that with the teachings of Assads mukhabarati sheikhs or even the teachings of Assads themselves (Jamil in particular posed as Ameer Almumineen).

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October 14th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

335. zoo said:

Turkey was not and will never be a model

By MAGDY AZIZ TOBIA
10/13/2012 22:53
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=287688

A question worth scrutiny is who promoted the idea of a Turkish model to be followed by Arab Spring countries?

The brotherhood includes within its broad Islamic ideology a variety of trends ranging from jihadism to peaceful involvement in democracy. However, it is worth noting that the brotherhood is the mother organization of almost all jihadi movements.

Among members of the Muslim Brotherhood who sought to reach power through violence were those who murdered Egyptian prime minister “El-Nokrashy Pasha” (1948), fired shots at Gamal Abdel Nasser (1954), killed Egyptian intellectual “Farag Foda” and attempted to kill Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz (1993).

The AKP, en route to power, presented a tangible economic program and vowed to finalize the democratic transition. The brotherhood ascendancy is surrounded by question marks regarding electoral bribes, manipulation of religion, receipt of external funds, negative campaigning against liberals, exploitation of illiteracy and a fake renaissance project.

Last but not least, let’s not forget that the AKP is under fierce criticism over violations of freedom of expression, as hundreds of activists and journalists have been imprisoned.

Turkey ranks 148 out of 178 on the press freedom index. The AKP currently appoints its loyal judges to the supreme court. It is crystal clear that the AKP is getting increasingly authoritarian, so why is it a model to be followed?

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October 14th, 2012, 12:22 pm

 

336. Syrialover said:

New thread started

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October 14th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

337. Uzair8 said:

Fresh post up.

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October 14th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

338. syrain said:

328. Ghufran said:

قرر سلاح الجو الروسي ارسال 30 طائرة الى قبرص لتكون قبالة الشواطئ التركي والسورية واللبنانية والطائرات هي السوخوي 35 احدث نوع من الطائرات المقاتلة الروسية.”

وصرح مسؤول روسي ان موسكو تعتبر اجواء قبرص اليونانية هي اجواء روسيا الاتحادية وهي لا تقبل من الطائرات التركية او غيرها من التحليق فوق قبرص اليونانية .”
LOL,Where did you get this one?
the comment section of Bashar’s face book Page?

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October 14th, 2012, 1:33 pm

 

339. Aldendeshe said:

test

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October 14th, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

340. Citizen said:

329. GHUFRAN сказал :
قرر سلاح الجو الروسي ارسال 30 طائرة الى قبرص لتكون قبالة الشواطئ التركية والسورية واللبنانية والطائرات هي السوخوي 35 احدث نوع من الطائرات المقاتلة الروسية.
وستقوم الطائرات الروسية بحوالي 10 دوريات يوميا في الأجواء قبالة قبرص التركية
it’s just a news bomb

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October 14th, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

341. Citizen said:

W. Tarpley: “Erdogan nervous on Syria rebel defeats”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SYxdayCcWo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone hysterical over the defeats inflicted on the insurgents in Syria, a political analyst tells Press TV.

According to public surveys, only 5 to 10 percent of the Turkish people support their government’s policies towards Syria.

This comes as tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey — along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar — of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including large numbers of security and army personnel.

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October 14th, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

342. Citizen said:

Something dramatic may be in the works regarding a potential US attack against either Syria and/or Iran is in the works, and that the final details will be honed in Israel during the last phases of the US/Israeli military exercises here.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-chief-of-staff-to-likely-visit-israel-this-month/
US chief of staff will likely visit Israel this month
Martin Dempsey expected to be on hand for the conclusion of the joint training exercise ‘Austere Challenge 12′

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October 14th, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

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