Readers Letters; News Round Up (January 22, 2013

I begin with letters from three Syria Comment readers:

Reader 1

Dr. Landis,
I have resisted writing to you for a long time. Proud to say that I was born in Aleppo. First thing I do every morning when I wake up is check on the situation of my family in Aleppo. And for the first time today, I feel overwhelming sadness for their situation. The madness, the violence, the hatred are killing Aleppo & the innocent civilians very fast while the world is watching. Five buildings collapsed last night in a very upscale area of Aleppo. The missiles that destroyed them came from عزاز and targeted civilian areas & innocent people. My nephew survived the bombing of the university & had to walk over the bodies of his students to get home, covered with blood.

The city is disappearing & we’re watching. I turned on The Today show at seven this morning and the highlight of the new was the new hair style of Michelle Obama. It was so exciting to watch the list of celebrities descending on the Capital for our celebration of Freedom, Liberty & Justice. They didn’t mention anything about the thousands of people who died this week in Aleppo or just last night. We do not care & the whole world does not care. Human lives are not important anymore.

Why I’m writing to you??? Because I want to know how in the year 2013 massacres & killings like this can happen??? Every country around the globe is responsible. They’re all playing their games. This war is one of the ugliest civil wars in history. Money, power & arms are the winners. All sides are corrupt, evil and yes, Syria is dying by the second. My heart is broken to trillions pieces.

Dr. Landis,
Thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately, I will rather if you do not mention my name because I’m so concerned about my brother …. He’s very outspoken on his Facebook page about the conflict. As you know by now, most Christians support the regime. The regime is protecting the Christian area & the churches in Aleppo ” المناطق الآمنة” they’re surrounded by the government army since July. To go from one section to the other you go through security checks and they search your car. They’re so afraid of the the Free Syrian army & the Jihadists. The safety & security of their daily lives disappeared.  They’re home by 5:00 or 6:00 pm behind their locked doors. My brother George was held hostage by the rebels in July in his business in the Jadiedeh district where everything is burned & destroyed. They let him go free after they videotaped him stepping on Assad’s picture, spiting on it & cursing the president. They let him go & then they destroyed his business & stole everything they could carry. So, can you imagine the fear of the Christians for the day when the Assad army is not protecting them??

Can you tell me what’s going to happen if the jihadists & rebels take control of these areas?? When we call for Assad to step down, do we have a plan for the protection of these innocent people ?? The Aleppo industrial district is destroyed beyond imagination. The equipment & machinery has been stolen & shipped to Turkey. I have members of my family who lost their factories & businesses to the rebels. My niece’s husband was taken hostage and released for 20 millions Syrian Pounds. I can go on & on telling you how much this civil war has destroyed the spirit & lives of many people. I spend big chunk of my time everyday checking on everybody & I honestly can’t find the words to console anybody. I don’t know what to say anymore to my 20 year old niece who wanted to commit suicide so she’ll not hear the bombing night after night.

I live far away from all this madness but I can’t deny the worries & agony I’m going through everyday. The freedom we enjoy in this country works for this society & we can’t impose it on other countries & cultures. Democracy is a process you learn when you’re young & when your thinking is not brainwashed by religion & ideologies. Why don’t we criticize Saudi Arabia or Qatar for their democracy?? Can we tell them to stop their export of arms to Syria??? No, we just want to please our allies. What’s happening in Syria is the war of United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Turkey against Syria and Iran. It’s the war of the Sunni against Shia, the war of hate, greed & corruption. From the Assad family to the Tlass family & all of them, the corruption is destroying them.

The sad reality is they have destroyed the past, the present & the future for generations of Syrians. Thank you for taking the time to read my frustration and despair.

Tara writes:

Josh, Unfortunately the mother of the headless little girl is not sophisticated enough to have known you to write you a letter to express her disgust with the Christians in Aleppo in support of the regime that rendered her little girl headless and dead for the mere reason of maintaining their privileges. They could care less about the headless little girl and I personally could care less about their primitive fears. I call the assortment of the readers’ letters today a selection bias. Sorry for being blunt.

Addendum from Reader 1

The Christians in Aleppo opened their homes & pockets to feed & help the refuges from the destroyed areas. They do not ask them if they are سني، علوي، شيعة، كردي،
or….. My heart is broken for every Syrian, every child & every life. Twelve members of  a Muslim family are staying in my aunt’s house since they lost their house in July. So to say that the Christian deserve this treatment because they support the regime is the reason that Syria will never have democracy…

Reader 3

48 Hours in Damascus – January 9th/10th/11th 2013
By Mohammad D.

Every two weeks my sister used to visit Damascus.  She worked and lived there part time.  This routine stopped about two months when the Battle of Damascus started, or the Battle of the International Airport.  I was surprised last week when I contacted her and found that she was in Damascus.  I was worried about her.  We contact each other one or two times a day through social media, mainly on Facebook or by Skype.   We discuss everything about the situation in in Syria.

I asked her about her every move in Damascus.  She reported back very vividly through an e mail and many chats. This is what she said: ”

You know how much I love this city that I had spent years in… I reached Damascus International Airport around one in the afternoon.

The moment I exited the gate of the airport I heard an artillery discharge.  I thought, jokingly, that this may be saluting me since I have not visited this city that I loved when it was peaceful for two months.

My questions started raining down on the driver from the moment I entered the car about how safe is the road?  Of course, he was not feeling good about my questions, and I was not feeling good about his answer since he said to me that he is afraid of being sniped.

I asked him to drive along with the other cars if he could so we would not be alone for just a second. I asked him, of course, about the dangerous areas in our way to Damascus.  He replied: “all the road is dangerous.” The airport is 25 minutes away from Damascus, about 20 kilometers, if traffic was moving well.

We drove as fast as we could, and when we reached the bridge opposite of Aqraba, the driver pointed to the area where the armed men came out off a month and a half ago and fired at the car he was driving.

They came out from between the trees.  He was driving an unmarked civilian car.  He told me how fast he drove till he escaped.  My husband was with him in the car.

On the road I noticed the destruction of the metal partition of the highway.  I asked him: “Is this because of a storm?.”  He said these are the traces of battles.

The forth bridge on our way in, and the area around it are dangerous to be in.  I saw a tank and a barricade over the bridge.

We started coming up on al-Qazzaz area, where there are two major Mukhabarat stations: Patrols, and the Palestine Branch.  In this area a booby trapped car exploded last year when the area was crowded killing many civilians and soldiers.  Here there is a barricade for the Army.

Stopping on these barricades became the daily routine of Syrians.  You have to leave your house well early enough according to your experience in how much time it takes to go through these barricades.  People bring tools of entertainment to kill time.

It was very cold where the Siberian Storm Olga was closing on Damascus. On this barricade I noticed smoke coming from a structure built on the island in the middle of the highway.  The soldiers of the barricade set up a little enclave composed of stacked cement blocks that has a hole for smoke coming out of.  The walls were few meters each direction.

We heard another artillery piece firing in the distance.  It was about ten minutes from the first shot I heard. We approached the barricade and were checked.  I saw two of the men of the barricade sitting close to the wood stove which has a tube about a meter long taking the smoke not that far away.  They were getting worm circling the stove, smoking; a very depressing scene with temperature well bellow zero.

After this area the road became filled with cars, where I felt relatively safer.  The snow started falling heavy.

I reached my home while the snow was still falling heavy outside.  The house was dark because the sun had went down plus the absence of electricity.  Electricity became the dearest product that is absent from the life of Syrians.  Continiuos deliberate sabotage of Electrical plants plus the absence of fuel amidst sanctions made the Syrian people be deprived of electricity.  Without Electricity there is no heating.  This grueling winter became harder with this Siberian Storm.  There is no Mazot that is the most important product in these days.

Syrians searched for alternatives and they started depending on trees and whatever is growing.  Wood business became a profitable business.  Many unemployed found a new career: wood cutting.  The skill of the wood cutter came back to life after it was almost gone.  One ton of wood is sold for more than ten thousand Liras.  Wood stoves are back .

I remember friends from Alleoppo who visited us.  Of course these days people has to talk about the important issue of heating.  They told us that in their neighborhood in Alleppo there used to be a very big tree that is planted in the sidewalk a long time ago .  Everyone from the hood had played underneath it when they were kids, parked there cars under its shade, and enjoyed its smell and looks.  Now, this tree is gone because the people of the street decided to cut it and divide it amongst each other for heating.  There is no place for memories in times of distress.

The artillery kept on shooting periodically.  They did not use the multiple rocket launchers this time.  The sound of the multiple rocket launcher is like thunder.

In spite of all of this I was able to sleep a little. Damascus was all white the next day.  It was very cold also.

At home I hear the artillery shooting from an area closer to our home.  Shelling continued in spite of the snow.  The intervals between the artilleries discharges varied.   Some time it may be as long as one or two hours, or just ten minutes between two shots.

Getting food is not easy these days in Damascus.  High prices made people not spend to a high degree.  Prices increase weekly, if not daily.  All blame the high prices on the dollar.  These days even that selling parsley takes only American dollars.

This day Damascus was very cold with snow everywhere.

The men manning the barricades were still there.  Someone with us tried to give an apple to one of the soldiers.  The soldier could not accept because his fingers were frozen.  These men are living some horrible condition.  My cousin told me the other day that to boots stuck to the feet of her son, a conscript in al-Zabadani, because he wore it way to many days in the freezing temperatures.

I went out again at night looking for an internet cafe to print a text.  We had no electricity at the house.  I went to al-Mazah Sheikh Sa’ad, where it was very cold, but, what you think, the place was super busy.

There were people everywhere with cars lining up the streets.  Traffic jams were everywhere.

There were people selling things on the sidewalk; turmus, fuul, coffee, Cappiccino.  I was surprised with what I saw for many reasons; the first was the extreme cold.  The second reason is the absence of fear  because of the violence that hit this area many times.  This area was targeted by many booby trapped cars for sectarian reasons because of its proximity to the 86 neighborhood.  The third reason for why I was taken by seeing that many people out in the cold,  is the astronomical high prices that is making the Syrians poor.

Although the Syrian Lira had lost %100 of its value, merchants took advantage of that and increased prices more than triple of that percentage.  This is leading into the spreading of poverty in amongst Syrians.

I entered the first internet cafe where the space was filled with cigarette smoke, although there is a ban on smoking in communal places in Syria.  It looks like every Syrian is taking advantage of this crisis in his own way.  The place was very loud and crowded.

The owner came to me to apologize for not having any empty space for me.  He pointed another cafe that provided the same services.

Of course my luck was not better in the second cafe.  This place was colder, but still it was filled.  The owner of this place also pointed me into a third place, where I found one empty spot.

After two hours, and after the clock was after ten at night, I passed by Autostrad al-Mazzeh to get back home.  I saw the stores open with less than average number of clients.  Damascus is trying to survive.  It is resisting in spite of all of these tragedies.

The next day was my day to go back.  I did not hear the sound of artillery in the morning till 11 am, when I left the house.

I saw many helicopters going back and forth on a route.

Before we left the house we read al-Fatiha many times along with many Du’a after Du’a, because anywhere you go in Damascus has inside a suicidal adventure.  Danger is everywhere.

Stopping on the barricades, stopping at a traffic light, and any type of traffic jam, all of these hold inside the fear of the possibility of a booby trapped car blowing up.  There is fear every where I went.

I asked the driver about every inch of the place.  He is a Damascene born and grew up in al-Midan.  He told me that his parents stayed there till last year when they were forced to leave their homes for sectarian reasons.

We had to cross five bridges till reaching the airport through al-Muhallaq al-Janubi.

In the beginning the traffic was slow and not like normal.  I asked the driver about the reason and he said that these are unsafe area. If you look to the right there is Daria, which is only 3-4 kilometers from the highway.  This area is filled with orchard and agricultural lots.

Moving towards the second bridge traffic stayed sparse, less than normal.  The driver was exceeding 150 km per hour because he wanted to pass the dangerous areas.  Here in front and to the right are the areas of Nahr Aisha, al-Midan and al-Zahira.

Upon reaching the third bridge the left over from the previous battles, or what is called the Battle of the Airport, were everywhere.  You can see the metal partition separating both sides of the road smashed in many areas.

There is an ambulance belonging to the UN burnt and left on the side of the road.  I took a picture of it from a distance. I could not take good pictures because of the high speed we were traveling in, also one should hide the camera when approaching the barricades. Every now and then here you see a tank on either side of the road.

When we got closer to the fourth bridge I asked the driver if we could stay with the other cars.  He replied and said that we passed Aqraba and Bayt Sahm, which are dangerous areas and that now we are in areas relatively less dangerous.

Before the fifth bridge we saw a barricade from the distance.  We also saw a truck that is carrying loose wheat driving sideways.  Behind it there were three or four smaller trucks.  We were stopped for few minutes.  I started to panic.  Traffic was not moving.  I asked the driver whether this barricade belonged to the Army or to any other party.  He said that this is for the regular (Assad) Army, even through you can not distinguish between the different groups since they all wear the same uniforms and erect barricades.

I asked him: Should we go back?  Is there any danger?

Traffic started moving.  We reached the barricade.  It was manned by the army.  The soldiers had also built a little house and put a tent on top of it.   You still see the stove and the smoke coming out. We started getting closer to the airport.  The driver seemed to be at more ease.  He said that we reached the area of al-Jawiyah (The Air Force Intelligence).

We reach the airport.  The parking lot is about 100 meters away for security reasons.

Of course the plane is late because of some mechanical problems.

Syrian opposition failure to form transitional government a ‘big blow’
Reuters, Jan 21, 2013

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said in a statement that a five-member committee would put forward proposals on forming a government within 10 days, after talks in an Istanbul hotel broke up without agreement on an interim prime minister.

Formation of a government is seen as a threat to some members of the SNC, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, which would lose influence if a smaller executive body were elected.

The Istanbul talks, the opposition’s second bid to form a government, have only highlighted divisions in the coalition and risk undermining support for the umbrella grouping, formed two months ago in Qatar with western and Gulf backing.

Power struggles within the 70-member coalition have undermined efforts to agree on a transitional government, even as Syria slides further into sectarian conflict between the Sunni Muslim majority and Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

“This is a big blow for the revolution against Bashar Al Assad,” said a Syrian opposition leader who attended the meeting….

Syrian government has pattern of attacking bakeries, bread lines
By Roy Gutman and Paul Raymond | McClatchy Newspapers

Two Syrian opposition groups say government forces have attacked bread lines and bakeries at least 100 times, causing hundreds of casualties and in most cases destroying the bakeries. A McClatchy investigation found another source for 80 of those attacks, either from videos posted on YouTube at the time of each attack or from subsequent interviews with eyewitnesses, activists and municipal council officials. The attacks couldn’t have been inadvertent: At least 14 bakeries were targeted more than once, in some instances four or five times over months. A spokesman for the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights said the findings suggested a government strategy, and he called for an end to such attacks….

The Syrian Revolution General Commission said 360 people had been killed while standing in bread lines or inside bakeries through late December and more than 500 were wounded…

Jordan Feature: The Kingdom’s “Syria Problem” (Pelham)
by Nicolas Pelham writes for The New York Review of Books:

….One renegade Syrian officer told me in November that a thousand rebels recuperating in Jordan, whom he called mujahideen, had already returned to the front, despite having signed Jordanian waivers stating that they were heading home and would not fight. Since then, the numbers have multiplied as the battle against the Assad regime moves to the southern suburbs of Damascus. And though most of the munitions entering Syria come across other borders, a merchant with ties to the well-established Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is running guns to groups in southern Syria, according to a Western diplomat.

Despite Jordan’s claims that it is vetting the rebels to keep radicals out, the kingdom has become a prime source for foreign recruits. Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, a Jordanian Jihadi preacher from Irbid who was jailed in 2005 for plotting to attack Americans and Israelis in the city, claims his followers have sent some 350 fighters into Syria, including some fifty last month alone. While the numbers cannot be verified, Jordanians were on a list of foreign nationals who have joined the rebel cause and been killed in the conflict, according to a list the Syrian government presented to the UN last fall. A new study by the Quilliam Foundation also suggests that Jabhat al-Nasra is highly disciplined and that “Iraqis and Jordanians constitute the main body of foreigners” who have joined its ranks.

All of this has posed a complicated challenge for Jordan’s King Abdullah. Although the King has called for Assad to step down, he also hopes to maintain a more secular order in a new Syria and has long been wary of how the conflict is giving his own Muslim Brotherhood growing clout. For years the Brotherhood has been one of the most organized political forces in the kingdom. And while the movement has remained loyal to the monarchy and worked within the system, its leaders has shown an increasing readiness to challenge royal authority in recent months, as their counterparts in other countries have swept to power. “If the Middle East is going to be run by the Brotherhood, we’re all screwed, and you can kiss moderate Islam goodbye,” a senior government official recently told me….

In an attempt to prevent Syria from turning Islamist, Abdullah has turned to Western powers for help. Citing concern that Syria’s chemical weapons’ stockpiles could fall into the wrong hands, he has welcomed more than a hundred American, British, and French military advisers into Jordan to address this menace, as well as deal with the influx of refugees and help prevent a spillover of the conflict itself. Meanwhile, Jordanian officials have strongly backed Western efforts to replace the Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council with a mixed-bag opposition that is inclusive of Alawites and other minorities…..

A SYRIA STRATEGY FOR OBAMA - WINEP
By Andrew J. Tabler, January 17, 2013

This piece is part of “Obama and the Middle East: Act Two,” a series of policy proposals for the president’s second term by Washington Institute fellows. To read this and other installments, go to:

A Syria expert offers three bold steps to hasten the end of Assad’s regime.

The Assad regime’s brutal suppression of the Syrian uprising has spurred a humanitarian disaster, with the United Nations now estimating over 60,000 killed and 3 million displaced. Syrians are now dying of starvation and exposure as food and medical supplies run desperately short. The regime continues to escalate its attacks with the use of artillery, combat aircraft, and, most recently, SCUD and reportedly Fatah 110 missiles against the armed and civilian opposition.

The Obama administration has repeatedly voiced its concern that the Assad regime is considering using its chemical weapons stockpile, which includes sarin nerve gas and mustard gas, against its domestic opponents. The U.S. government reportedly even investigated the possible use of a chemical agent last month in Homs. At the same time, Washington has refused to fulfill the opposition’s request for more and better weapons that would help it end the regime’s onslaught, sowing anti-American sentiment that is being increasingly harvested by Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates. There is now a real danger that the regime’s chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militants sworn to destroy the United States and its regional allies……

Obama administration …should now take bold steps to hasten the end of Assad’s regime. … Patriot missile batteries in an offensive capacity against regime aircraft … safe areas would provide a vital place for …Opposition Forces (SOC) to politically organize and provide assistance directly to Syrian civilians. If properly defended, diplomats, officials, and aid representatives from the international community could work side by side with Syrians to help alleviate suffering and build a viable government for post-Assad Syria. ….Such an integrated plan would …provide real inducements to armed groups that will soon take over large …yrian territory to hand over any captured chemical weapons to the United States and its allies. …

Should Obama Have Intervened in Syria?
Or would U.S. military involvement merely have made a disaster worse?
BY MARC LYNCH | JANUARY 17, 2013 – Foreign Policy

….What about arming the opposition? There was a debate to be had there last year, but it’s long since been overtaken by events. The United States wisely resisted sending arms into the fray based on concerns about cutting off its diplomatic options, empowering local warlords, and paving the path toward a longer and bloodier civil war. But others, particularly in the Gulf, were not so restrained, and persistent calls for more money and guns aside Syrian armed groups are now awash with weapons. The worst effects of arming the opposition have now already taken place, and the United States throwing more guns onto the fire would now have at best a marginal impact…..

Don’t Wait for Assad’s Fall to Prepare for Transition
by
Bradley Bosserman, Director of  the Middle East and North Africa Initiative at the New Policy Institute.

….There are fighters outside Aleppo and Damascus giving their lives each day in a grueling battle for a free Syria. Those wishing to support them need to make sure that the tools to build that new country will be ready when those brave revolutionaries call for them…..Yaser Tabbara, a Syrian-American member of the opposition, explains that the SOC has conducted studies that reveal the “cost of the management of the liberated areas” to be “close to the neighborhood of $500 million a month”. The largest donation thus far has been a commitment from Saudi Arabia of $100 million. But even Tabbara’s estimates are woefully low. In reality, a successful Syrian transition will cost billions of dollars. If the United States and the international community wish to see the formation of a democratic, stable, and secure country, they need to plan now for funding the transition.

Jerusalem Post: Over 100 people reportedly massacred in Syria’s Homs
2013-01-17

BEIRUT – More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country. The British-based Syrian Observatory for …

Antoun Issa interview with Ali Haidar:
Syria’s Reconciliation Minister: Turkish Role in Syria ‘Very Bad’
Syria’s Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Aug. 21, 2012.
By: Antoun Issa for Al-Monitor. posted on January 18.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor from his office in Damascus, Syria, Ali Haidar, Syria’s minister of national reconciliation and leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, said that President Bashar Assad’s recent speech consisted of “preliminary ideas” about a transitional phase in Syria and should not be discounted.

About This Article

Summary :

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor from his office in Damascus, Ali Haidar, Syria’s minister of national reconciliation and leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, said that President Assad’s Jan. 6 speech constitutes “a step forward toward solving the crisis” and that Turkey is “supporting some of the Syrian people at the expense of others.”

“We personally think that this is the first time that the president has put forward a set of ideas which constitute a step forward toward solving the crisis,” Haidar said, adding that “the relationship between Assad’s proposal, the Geneva Initiative and Lakhdar Brahimi’s statement was a set of principles to resolve the crisis.”

Haidar, who is an Ismaili originally from Hama, explained that Assad’s proposals lay out a process leading to a referendum on a new constitution.

“This is when the role of this current government will come to an end,” Haidar said, “paving the way for a new government that will be the product of subsequent elections and the national dialogue.”

Haidar described the Turkish role in Syria as “very bad,” adding that Ankara’s “role is based upon a sectarian position, and they are supporting some of the Syrian people at the expense of others.”

In contrast, Haidar praised the roles of Iran and Russia in Syria……

Zarqawi brother-in-law killed in Syria: Jordan Salafist
January 17, 2013, Agence France Press

AMMAN: Two jihadists including a brother-in-law of slain Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have been killed in clashes with Syrian regime forces, a senior Jordanian Salafist said on Thursday. “Adam Abulmutasem and Mohammad Jarad, who are in their 20s, were killed two days ago in clashes with regime troops in the southern province of Sweida,” Abed Shehadeh, known as Abu Mohammad Tahawi, told AFP.

“Jarad was the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Tahawi said Jordanian-born Zarqawi was killed in an air strike by the US military in Iraq in 2006.

The two jihadists who were killed in Syria this week fought alongside the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, according to Tahawi.

Nusra, which first gained notoriety for its suicide bombings in Syria, has evolved into a formidable fighting force leading attacks on battlefronts throughout the embattled country.

Its extremist tactics and suspected affiliation to the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq have landed it on the US list of terrorist organisations

“Twenty-two out of the 350 Jordanian jihadists currently fighting in Syria have been killed,” including the “mufti” of Nusra in Daraa, Tahawi said. Jordan arrested more than a dozen jihadists in April and June as they tried to infiltrate Syria, where insurgents are fighting to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Video appears to show Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiites fighting in Syria
The video’s production and open dissemination highlight how fighters outside Syria are jumping into the fray – and growing more bold about showing it.
By Nicholas Blanford, Correspondent / January 18, 2013 – CSM

growing conviction within Shiite circles in Lebanon that the war in Syria is no longer one between an embattled autocratic regime and a grassroots opposition but a sectarian confrontation against the emerging and increasingly influential Salafi Jihadist groups that view Shiites as heretics and Hezbollah as an enemy.

“I don’t feel that Hezbollah is defending the regime. They are defending themselves because once the regime goes, they are next,” says Ali, a glazier and staunch Hezbollah supporter from southern Beirut.

The conflict in neighboring Syria presents Hezbollah and its Iranian patron with a strategic dilemma. Assad’s Syria represents the geopolitical lynchpin that binds Hezbollah to Iran and is a core component in the “Jabhat al-Muqawama” or “Axis of Resistance,” the pan-regional alliance challenging Israel and Western ambitions in the Middle East. If Assad falls and is replaced by a moderate Sunni regime that turns away from Iran and towards Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Hezbollah could become isolated on the Mediterranean coast and potentially threatened by a Sunni resurgence in the Levant.

Sources in the Syrian opposition, the rebel Free Syrian Army, and Western embassies concur that Hezbollah is participating in some fighting and also training regular Syrian troops in urban warfare tactics and turning the pro-regime Shabiha militia into an effective paramilitary force.

In October, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah admitted that some members of the party were fighting to defend a string of villages just inside Syria that are populated by Lebanese Shiites….

Blast in Aleppo, twin bombing in south cap a week with more than 800 civilians killed in Syria:  Rebels may have more sophisticated weaponry blasting with sometimes inaccurate rockets – washington post

The residential building struck in Aleppo was in a part of the city controlled by regime forces, as was a university hit earlier in the week in an attack that killed 87 people, mostly students. The government accused rebels in both attacks, saying the hit the locations with rockets, a claim the opposition denies.

But if confirmed it would signal that the rebels have acquired more sophisticated weaponry from captured regime bases and are now using them to take the fight more into government-held areas in an attempt to break a monthslong stalemate in the war.

More Information On The Equipment Looted From Taftanaz Air Base, including rockets - Brown Moses Blog - Via Bartolo’s blog

Kurd-Jihadist firefights continue to rage in northern Syria – AP

Bleeding from a triple haemorrhage

VIJAY PRASHAD, January 19, 2013, The Hindu
Syria faces a looming humanitarian disaster and is in the midst of an acute political paralysis, besides being at the centre of a geopolitical standoff
Three heads of the United Nations humanitarian agencies wrote a cri de coeur for Syria on January 11. Antonio Guterres (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees), Ertharin Cousins (World Food Program) and Anthony Lake (UNICEF) noted, “Syria is undoubtedly the most complex and dangerous” of all conflicts for 2013. Inside Syria, four million people are in grave danger — shelter, food, education, clean water, health care and security are no longer available to them. Additionally, two million Syrians have fled the country for Lebanon and Jordan. The most serious danger is posed to children, half of the displaced and refugees, whose well-being is compromised. “Too many have been injured or killed; too many have seen family and friends die, their homes and schools reduced to rubble.”

Syrian opposition failure to form transitional government a ‘big blow’
Reuters, Jan 21, 2013

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said in a statement that a five-member committee would put forward proposals on forming a government within 10 days, after talks in an Istanbul hotel broke up without agreement on an interim prime minister.

Formation of a government is seen as a threat to some members of the SNC, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, which would lose influence if a smaller executive body were elected.

The Istanbul talks, the opposition’s second bid to form a government, have only highlighted divisions in the coalition and risk undermining support for the umbrella grouping, formed two months ago in Qatar with western and Gulf backing.

Power struggles within the 70-member coalition have undermined efforts to agree on a transitional government, even as Syria slides further into sectarian conflict between the Sunni Muslim majority and Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

“This is a big blow for the revolution against Bashar Al Assad,” said a Syrian opposition leader who attended the meeting….

Syrian government has pattern of attacking bakeries, bread lines
By Roy Gutman and Paul Raymond | McClatchy Newspapers

Two Syrian opposition groups say government forces have attacked bread lines and bakeries at least 100 times, causing hundreds of casualties and in most cases destroying the bakeries. A McClatchy investigation found another source for 80 of those attacks, either from videos posted on YouTube at the time of each attack or from subsequent interviews with eyewitnesses, activists and municipal council officials. The attacks couldn’t have been inadvertent: At least 14 bakeries were targeted more than once, in some instances four or five times over months. A spokesman for the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights said the findings suggested a government strategy, and he called for an end to such attacks….

The Syrian Revolution General Commission said 360 people had been killed while standing in bread lines or inside bakeries through late December and more than 500 were wounded…

Jordan Feature: The Kingdom’s “Syria Problem” (Pelham)
by Nicolas Pelham writes for The New York Review of Books:

….One renegade Syrian officer told me in November that a thousand rebels recuperating in Jordan, whom he called mujahideen, had already returned to the front, despite having signed Jordanian waivers stating that they were heading home and would not fight. Since then, the numbers have multiplied as the battle against the Assad regime moves to the southern suburbs of Damascus. And though most of the munitions entering Syria come across other borders, a merchant with ties to the well-established Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is running guns to groups in southern Syria, according to a Western diplomat.

Despite Jordan’s claims that it is vetting the rebels to keep radicals out, the kingdom has become a prime source for foreign recruits. Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, a Jordanian Jihadi preacher from Irbid who was jailed in 2005 for plotting to attack Americans and Israelis in the city, claims his followers have sent some 350 fighters into Syria, including some fifty last month alone. While the numbers cannot be verified, Jordanians were on a list of foreign nationals who have joined the rebel cause and been killed in the conflict, according to a list the Syrian government presented to the UN last fall. A new study by the Quilliam Foundation also suggests that Jabhat al-Nasra is highly disciplined and that “Iraqis and Jordanians constitute the main body of foreigners” who have joined its ranks.

All of this has posed a complicated challenge for Jordan’s King Abdullah. Although the King has called for Assad to step down, he also hopes to maintain a more secular order in a new Syria and has long been wary of how the conflict is giving his own Muslim Brotherhood growing clout. For years the Brotherhood has been one of the most organized political forces in the kingdom. And while the movement has remained loyal to the monarchy and worked within the system, its leaders has shown an increasing readiness to challenge royal authority in recent months, as their counterparts in other countries have swept to power. “If the Middle East is going to be run by the Brotherhood, we’re all screwed, and you can kiss moderate Islam goodbye,” a senior government official recently told me….

In an attempt to prevent Syria from turning Islamist, Abdullah has turned to Western powers for help. Citing concern that Syria’s chemical weapons’ stockpiles could fall into the wrong hands, he has welcomed more than a hundred American, British, and French military advisers into Jordan to address this menace, as well as deal with the influx of refugees and help prevent a spillover of the conflict itself. Meanwhile, Jordanian officials have strongly backed Western efforts to replace the Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council with a mixed-bag opposition that is inclusive of Alawites and other minorities…..

A SYRIA STRATEGY FOR OBAMA - WINEP
By Andrew J. Tabler, January 17, 2013

This piece is part of “Obama and the Middle East: Act Two,” a series of policy proposals for the president’s second term by Washington Institute fellows. To read this and other installments, go to:

A Syria expert offers three bold steps to hasten the end of Assad’s regime.

The Assad regime’s brutal suppression of the Syrian uprising has spurred a humanitarian disaster, with the United Nations now estimating over 60,000 killed and 3 million displaced. Syrians are now dying of starvation and exposure as food and medical supplies run desperately short. The regime continues to escalate its attacks with the use of artillery, combat aircraft, and, most recently, SCUD and reportedly Fatah 110 missiles against the armed and civilian opposition.

The Obama administration has repeatedly voiced its concern that the Assad regime is considering using its chemical weapons stockpile, which includes sarin nerve gas and mustard gas, against its domestic opponents. The U.S. government reportedly even investigated the possible use of a chemical agent last month in Homs. At the same time, Washington has refused to fulfill the opposition’s request for more and better weapons that would help it end the regime’s onslaught, sowing anti-American sentiment that is being increasingly harvested by Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates. There is now a real danger that the regime’s chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militants sworn to destroy the United States and its regional allies……

Obama administration …should now take bold steps to hasten the end of Assad’s regime. … Patriot missile batteries in an offensive capacity against regime aircraft … safe areas would provide a vital place for …Opposition Forces (SOC) to politically organize and provide assistance directly to Syrian civilians. If properly defended, diplomats, officials, and aid representatives from the international community could work side by side with Syrians to help alleviate suffering and build a viable government for post-Assad Syria. ….Such an integrated plan would …provide real inducements to armed groups that will soon take over large …yrian territory to hand over any captured chemical weapons to the United States and its allies. …

Don’t Wait for Assad’s Fall to Prepare for Transition
by
Bradley Bosserman, Director of  the Middle East and North Africa Initiative at the New Policy Institute.

….There are fighters outside Aleppo and Damascus giving their lives each day in a grueling battle for a free Syria. Those wishing to support them need to make sure that the tools to build that new country will be ready when those brave revolutionaries call for them…..Yaser Tabbara, a Syrian-American member of the opposition, explains that the SOC has conducted studies that reveal the “cost of the management of the liberated areas” to be “close to the neighborhood of $500 million a month”. The largest donation thus far has been a commitment from Saudi Arabia of $100 million. But even Tabbara’s estimates are woefully low. In reality, a successful Syrian transition will cost billions of dollars. If the United States and the international community wish to see the formation of a democratic, stable, and secure country, they need to plan now for funding the transition.

Jerusalem Post: Over 100 people reportedly massacred in Syria’s Homs
2013-01-17

BEIRUT – More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country. The British-based Syrian Observatory for …

Antoun Issa interview with Ali Haidar:
Syria’s Reconciliation Minister: Turkish Role in Syria ‘Very Bad’
Syria’s Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Aug. 21, 2012.
By: Antoun Issa for Al-Monitor. posted on January 18.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor from his office in Damascus, Syria, Ali Haidar, Syria’s minister of national reconciliation and leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, said that President Bashar Assad’s recent speech consisted of “preliminary ideas” about a transitional phase in Syria and should not be discounted.

About This Article

Summary :

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor from his office in Damascus, Ali Haidar, Syria’s minister of national reconciliation and leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, said that President Assad’s Jan. 6 speech constitutes “a step forward toward solving the crisis” and that Turkey is “supporting some of the Syrian people at the expense of others.”

“We personally think that this is the first time that the president has put forward a set of ideas which constitute a step forward toward solving the crisis,” Haidar said, adding that “the relationship between Assad’s proposal, the Geneva Initiative and Lakhdar Brahimi’s statement was a set of principles to resolve the crisis.”

Haidar, who is an Ismaili originally from Hama, explained that Assad’s proposals lay out a process leading to a referendum on a new constitution.

“This is when the role of this current government will come to an end,” Haidar said, “paving the way for a new government that will be the product of subsequent elections and the national dialogue.”

Haidar described the Turkish role in Syria as “very bad,” adding that Ankara’s “role is based upon a sectarian position, and they are supporting some of the Syrian people at the expense of others.”

In contrast, Haidar praised the roles of Iran and Russia in Syria……

Zarqawi brother-in-law killed in Syria: Jordan Salafist
January 17, 2013, Agence France Press

AMMAN: Two jihadists including a brother-in-law of slain Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have been killed in clashes with Syrian regime forces, a senior Jordanian Salafist said on Thursday. “Adam Abulmutasem and Mohammad Jarad, who are in their 20s, were killed two days ago in clashes with regime troops in the southern province of Sweida,” Abed Shehadeh, known as Abu Mohammad Tahawi, told AFP.

“Jarad was the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Tahawi said Jordanian-born Zarqawi was killed in an air strike by the US military in Iraq in 2006.

The two jihadists who were killed in Syria this week fought alongside the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, according to Tahawi.

Nusra, which first gained notoriety for its suicide bombings in Syria, has evolved into a formidable fighting force leading attacks on battlefronts throughout the embattled country.

Its extremist tactics and suspected affiliation to the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq have landed it on the US list of terrorist organisations

“Twenty-two out of the 350 Jordanian jihadists currently fighting in Syria have been killed,” including the “mufti” of Nusra in Daraa, Tahawi said. Jordan arrested more than a dozen jihadists in April and June as they tried to infiltrate Syria, where insurgents are fighting to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Video appears to show Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiites fighting in Syria
The video’s production and open dissemination highlight how fighters outside Syria are jumping into the fray – and growing more bold about showing it.
By Nicholas Blanford, Correspondent / January 18, 2013 – CSM

growing conviction within Shiite circles in Lebanon that the war in Syria is no longer one between an embattled autocratic regime and a grassroots opposition but a sectarian confrontation against the emerging and increasingly influential Salafi Jihadist groups that view Shiites as heretics and Hezbollah as an enemy.

“I don’t feel that Hezbollah is defending the regime. They are defending themselves because once the regime goes, they are next,” says Ali, a glazier and staunch Hezbollah supporter from southern Beirut.

The conflict in neighboring Syria presents Hezbollah and its Iranian patron with a strategic dilemma. Assad’s Syria represents the geopolitical lynchpin that binds Hezbollah to Iran and is a core component in the “Jabhat al-Muqawama” or “Axis of Resistance,” the pan-regional alliance challenging Israel and Western ambitions in the Middle East. If Assad falls and is replaced by a moderate Sunni regime that turns away from Iran and towards Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Hezbollah could become isolated on the Mediterranean coast and potentially threatened by a Sunni resurgence in the Levant.

Sources in the Syrian opposition, the rebel Free Syrian Army, and Western embassies concur that Hezbollah is participating in some fighting and also training regular Syrian troops in urban warfare tactics and turning the pro-regime Shabiha militia into an effective paramilitary force.

In October, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah admitted that some members of the party were fighting to defend a string of villages just inside Syria that are populated by Lebanese Shiites….

Blast in Aleppo, twin bombing in south cap a week with more than 800 civilians killed in Syria:  Rebels may have more sophisticated weaponry blasting with sometimes inaccurate rockets – washington post

The residential building struck in Aleppo was in a part of the city controlled by regime forces, as was a university hit earlier in the week in an attack that killed 87 people, mostly students. The government accused rebels in both attacks, saying the hit the locations with rockets, a claim the opposition denies.

But if confirmed it would signal that the rebels have acquired more sophisticated weaponry from captured regime bases and are now using them to take the fight more into government-held areas in an attempt to break a monthslong stalemate in the war.

More Information On The Equipment Looted From Taftanaz Air Base, including rockets - Brown Moses Blog - Via Bartolo’s blog

Kurd-Jihadist firefights continue to rage in northern Syria – AP

Bleeding from a triple haemorrhage
VIJAY PRASHAD, January 19, 2013, The Hindu

Syria faces a looming humanitarian disaster and is in the midst of an acute political paralysis, besides being at the centre of a geopolitical standoff

Three heads of the United Nations humanitarian agencies wrote a cri de coeur for Syria on January 11. Antonio Guterres (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees), Ertharin Cousins (World Food Program) and Anthony Lake (UNICEF) noted, “Syria is undoubtedly the most complex and dangerous” of all conflicts for 2013. Inside Syria, four million people are in grave danger — shelter, food, education, clean water, health care and security are no longer available to them. Additionally, two million Syrians have fled the country for Lebanon and Jordan. The most serious danger is posed to children, half of the displaced and refugees, whose well-being is compromised. “Too many have been injured or killed; too many have seen family and friends die, their homes and schools reduced to rubble.”

Government Increases Mazout Price by 40 Percent

Russia sending aircraft to evacuate its citizens from Syria
By Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterman, Wash Post: January 21

MOSCOW — Russia is sending two planes to Lebanon on Tuesday to evacuate more than 100 of its citizens from Syria, the Emergencies Ministry said, in the clearest sign yet that Moscow may be preparing for President Bashar al-Assad’s possible defeat.

Russia has been Assad’s main foreign protector during a 22-month uprising against his rule, but a diplomat conceded last month that the government had lost territory and the rebels fighting Assad could win the war.

Moscow is also carrying out what has been called its largest naval exercises since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union in the Mediterranean and Black seas, including off Syria’s coast, which analysts say are meant to underscore its interest in the region….

Obama’s failure in Syria
By Richard Cohen, Published: January 21

There are two kinds of wars, we are told — wars of choice and wars of necessity. The former is to be avoided and the latter fought with appropriate reluctance. World War II was a good and necessary war but Vietnam was not. The war in Iraq was a matter of choice (also of imbecility) but Afghanistan was not — although it now may be. Wars can change over time. The one in Syria certainly has. It has gone from a war of choice to a war of necessity that President Obama did not choose to fight. A mountain of dead testifies to his mistake….

Saudi Arabia Sent Death Row Inmates to Fight in Syria in Lieu of Execution

(AINA) — A top secret memo sent by the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia reveals the Saudi Kingdom sent death-row inmates, sentenced to execution by decapitation, to Syria to fight Jihad against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences.According to the memo, dated April 17, 2012, the Saudi Kingdom negotiated with a total of 1239 inmates, offering them a full pardon and a monthly salary for their families, who were to remain in the Kingdom, in exchange for “…their training in order to send them to Jihad in Syria.”

The memo was signed by Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan, the “Director of follow up in Ministry of Interior.”

Todd Fine – the Little Syria neighborhood in Manhattan Video shown on al-Jazeera

We are worried that in the midst of all of the chaos in Lebanon and Syria New York City may allow these last traces of heritage to be destroyed.

Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle – ICG
Middle East Report N°136 22 Jan 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

As Syria’s conflict has expanded, the population in majority-Kurd areas has remained relatively insulated. Keeping a lower profile, it has been spared the brunt of regime attacks; over time, security forces withdrew to concentrate elsewhere. Kurdish groups stepped in to replace them: to stake out zones of influence, protect their respective areas, provide essential services and ensure an improved status for the community in a post-Assad Syria. Big gains could be reaped, yet cannot be taken for granted. Kurdish aspirations remain at the mercy of internal feuds, hostility with Arabs (evidenced by recent clashes) and regional rivalries over the Kurdish question. For Syria’s Kurds, long-suppressed and denied basic rights, prudence dictates overcoming internal divisions, clarifying their demands and – even at the cost of hard compromises – agreement with any successor Syrian power structure to define and enshrine their rights. And it is time for their non-Kurdish counterparts to devise a credible strategy to reassure all Syrians that the new-order vision of the state, minority rights, justice and accountability is both tolerant and inclusive…..

Islamist fighters deploy tanks against Kurds in Serekani/Ras al Ayin – video

Syria and the risk of Somalisation
Haian Dukhan 19 January 2013 – Open Democracy

If the crisis continues, Syria risks not so much division into hostile states as happened in Yugoslavia, but control by warlords who will persecute the Syrian people.

Assad’s overthrow ‘red line’ for Iran according to Ali Akbar Velayati, aide to Supreme Leader. Daily Star

State Dept: U.S. Government Delegation to Travel to Turkey and Jordan
2013-01-22

On January 23-31, 2013, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development will send a delegation of senior U.S. officials to Turkey and Jordan. Throughout the trip, the delegation will meet with senior government and …

Comments (427)


Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] Show All

401. MarigoldRan said:

I said very clearly it was a generation ago.

You were the one who wasn’t reading properly. Go and get your eyes checked before you kill someone with a hit-and-run.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:20 pm

 

402. revenire said:

Madrigoldran no, you – as usual – can’t back up the simplest of claims. There was no civil war lasting 30 years where millions died in the 20th century. None.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:20 pm

 

403. MarigoldRan said:

Revenire, you’re a retard. Go and look it up. Go to google or wikipedia and type it in. “Wars of Liberation 20th century.” And look at the timelines.

You’re a total retard, Revenire. You say shi-. And then you FAIL.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:21 pm

 

404. zoo said:

#syrian

Immortal martyrs? If they are immortal, they can’t be dead, so they can’t be martyrs.
You must have mistranslated the name of the Batallion.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:22 pm

 

405. revenire said:

No need. You’re wrong. What else is new?

You said you were from a country where there was a 30-year civil war where millions died. Didn’t happen.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:24 pm

 

406. zoo said:

MARI

zzzz zzzz…

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January 24th, 2013, 11:26 pm

 

407. MarigoldRan said:

Revenire, you’re an idiot. You say shi- that you can’t back up, and then you try to troll others on it.

Don’t know if you’re honestly this dumb or just acting dumb. Either way, you’re still dumb.

Google it. “Wars of Liberation 20th century.” Do it and see if you have an argument left.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:27 pm

 

408. revenire said:

Marigoldran come on, show us your knowledge. The other clown said the Thirty Years War but he came late to the party so didn’t know what you had said.

You said you came from a country that had millions of deaths, a civil war, and that the revolutionaries won.

There is no way you’re talking about Vietnam.

No need for Google. We both know I am right.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:30 pm

 

409. MarigoldRan said:

Really? I’m curious. When would you say the Vietnamese Civil War began?

EDIT: You’re an idiot, Revenire. You’re so dumb that you don’t even realize just how dumb you are.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:31 pm

 

410. revenire said:

You’re not from Vietnam.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:33 pm

 

411. MarigoldRan said:

Oh? Really? Are you sure? Who knows, you might even be right.

Regardless, you’re an idiot.

The Vietnamese Civil War lasted from 1940s – 1970s. It led to the deaths of millions. From the American perspective, the war started in the 1960s. I’m not saying I’m from Vietnam, but I am saying that Revenire is an idiot who trolls when he doesn’t know shi-.

You’re a failure, Revenire. A failure. You pretend to be dumb because you ARE dumb.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:35 pm

 

412. zoo said:

I guess that for many refugees living in miserable conditions in Jordanian camps or in make shift homes in Lebanon, returning to Syria may be an less painful alternative.
Turkey will probably keeps its refugees forever.

BEIRUT, January 25 (RIA Novosti) – The Syrian Interior Ministry called on all citizens, who fled the country amid the ongoing bloody conflict, to come back and pledged to help with formalizing documents.

“All Syrian citizens, who either fled the country legally or illegally due to the developing events, will receive an all-embracing assistance upon their return,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that all Syrians, including representatives of political opposition parties, can return to their country via border checkpoints at airports as well as via using checkpoints on the borders with Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:35 pm

 

413. revenire said:

You’re comparing Vietnam to Syria? LOLOL

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January 24th, 2013, 11:35 pm

 

414. revenire said:

Who are the Vietcong? The al-Nusra boys? :) Who is their Ho Chi Minh? :)

You’re out of your mind Madrigoldran. I’ve seen it all now. A Vietnamese terrorist supporter who spends hours trolling a forum on Syria.

Now I understand all your analogies with the bombings. You think new terrorists are springing up to replace dead ones. Ha ha. A Vietnamese Salafist.

Everything is filtered through the experience of Vietnam except they are not even remotely comparable. Didn’t take me long to smoke you out did it?

LOL

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January 24th, 2013, 11:37 pm

 

415. MarigoldRan said:

Changing the subject from how big of a FAIL you are, Revenire?

You obviously live in America because you obviously know shi- about the world. And yet you support the regime even though you can’t even understand Arabic and have never been to Syria before?

By the way, I don’t come from Vietnam.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:38 pm

 

416. revenire said:

SURVEILLANCE DRONES NOW AQUIRED BY SYRIAN MILITARY FOR BORDER AND SKY CONTROL !!! ..

A number of Surveillance Drones have now been received by the Syrian Military equipped with vision via remote control, to send photos and information of surveyed sites instantaneously back to Military Command, including being loaded with enough directed missiles to deal with gatherings of Terrorists for an entire day.

Some of the Drones will be sent for permanent Patrol Missions along the borders of Turkey and Lebanon, with any attempts at breaching the Borders, being met with a deadly response.

NOTE: This is a replica of the American Drone that was captured by the Iranian Military recently

HNN

M.D

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January 24th, 2013, 11:42 pm

 

417. revenire said:

Marigoldran you have to watch what you say on forums. People learn things by watching. You said you were from Vietnam. Read above. Your words, not mine.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:43 pm

 

418. MarigoldRan said:

Point proven. You’re a retard, Revenire. And you’re showing it again.

EDIT: I said, “You MIGHT even be right.” I’m trolling you, remember? I’m not going to reveal where I’m from. I’m not dumb like you. Read it again. You can’t read shi-.

And once again, you’re avoiding the question. Let me put it in caps for you:

WHEN WOULD YOU SAY THE VIETNAMESE CIVIL WAR BEGAN?

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January 24th, 2013, 11:43 pm

 

419. revenire said:

Sorry I find the idea of a Vietnamese jihadist allied with Al-Qaeda hilarious. You have to be kidding.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:51 pm

 

420. MarigoldRan said:

Revenire,

You’re a dumb, white American. You can’t speak Arabic, and you’ve never been to Syria. And you support the regime. What does that make you?

And by the way, I’m not from Vietnam.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:52 pm

 

421. revenire said:

LOL keep denying it.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:53 pm

 

422. MarigoldRan said:

And I will, for it is not true. You don’t understand just how badly I’ve trolled you here, do you? Or perhaps you do, which is why you’re arguing so much.

Either way, you’re an idiot. You’re a dumb white college student failing his classes, or an unemployed bastard with no life, trolling continuously on the comments section of a blog for a cause that you don’t believe in.

And you can’t even do that right! What a loser. I’m done for now. Beating you up anymore would be cruel.

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January 24th, 2013, 11:55 pm

 

423. revenire said:

You gave yourself away or were you “trolling” Badr too? :)

310. BADR said:
“It [The regime] lashes out indiscriminately at the guerillas. But with each artillery shell, . . . its enemies grow stronger . . . Having come from a country that experienced this, I would know.”
“By the end of this war there will be no more Syria or the regime left.”
MarigoldRan,
Just curious to know if the country which you hail from, ended up with a similar fate that you’re predicting for Syria.

311. MARIGOLDRAN said:
@ Badr
The revolutionaries won decisively. Took almost 30 years of fighting, though. But the old government had to go. Deaths numbered in the millions.
It was a generation ago.

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January 25th, 2013, 12:03 am

 

424. MarigoldRan said:

Ok, this is too fun. One last comment.

No, Revenire, I was trolling you. I have nothing against Badr.

It was a test of knowledge. I wanted to see who was stupid enough to think the Vietnamese Civil War was ONLY TEN YEARS LONG (the length that America was involved).

That person is you, Revenire. Point proven. You’re an idiot.

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January 25th, 2013, 12:13 am

 

425. revenire said:

Comparing Vietnam to Syria is way off the mark.

And, I never said anything about Vietnam or the length of its war. Go back and look – find me the quote. It won’t be very hard, even for you. :)

I never said one word about the length. I just asked what planet you were on to tell people you were from a country with a 30 year long civil war with millions dead.

Please find me where I said Vietnam was a decade long. I will wait here for your to find me the quote.

I will have a long wait so let me get some coffee.

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January 25th, 2013, 12:19 am

 

426. sahara sand said:

From nowhere a group of people began protesting against legitimate, elekted government of syria, and soon the protester, financed, trained, guided by the west did a quick metamorphosis to armed activist and rebels. Unfortunately NATO is not able to give air support to rebels because Syrian government got support from Russia, China and IRAN. THIS SYRIAN GUERRILIA DIRTY WAR! SET UP BY FOREIGNERS IS GOING TO COST DEARLY EVERYBODY WHOM MES UP WITH A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

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January 25th, 2013, 9:17 am

 

427. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Please never forget. This is how the Syrian Dictatorship dealt with peacefull demonstrators at the beginning by April 2011.

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January 26th, 2013, 6:22 am

 

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