Round-up: News from the North, Changes to Opposition, Egypt, and a lot of Miscellany

News from Aleppo / Idlib / Homs

 

Government forces in Syria press on with battle to retake rebel-held areas – WP

Syrian government aircraft scattered leaflets over the northern province of Idlib on Wednesday, calling on rebels to hand themselves over and urging foreign fighters to return to their homelands, as regime troops pressed on with the battle to retake areas they had lost to the opposition. …

President Bashar Assad’s regime has called on opposition fighters in the past to lay down their arms, and it was unlikely Wednesday’s call would be heeded, either by Syrians or foreign fighters battling in the province.

“Abandon your weapons and return to your family,” said one leaflet, aimed at the foreigner fighters. “You have been tricked,” it read, according to a photograph of the leaflet obtained by the Observatory. An Idlib-based activist corroborated the leaflets.

Another leaflet gave instructions to rebels — foreign and local — to approach Syrian government checkpoints slowly and wave the paper in the air in a sign of surrender. …

Children Massacred in a Mosque in Qaterji, Aleppo – Free Halab – Collection of videos related to this incident

Syrian rebels threaten to target Shi’ite villages in Aleppo – Reuters

Syrian rebels in the northern province of Aleppo on Monday threatened to seize two Shi’ite Muslim villages that back President Bashar al-Assad unless they surrendered to the opposition.

Activists say both Nubl and Zahra villages had been reinforced by Assad’s allies in the increasingly sectarian war, among them fighters from Iran and Lebanon’s powerful Shi’ite guerrilla group, Hezbollah.

“We announce our intention to liberate Nubl and Zahra from the regime and its shabbiha (pro-Assad militia), and from the Hezbollah and Iranian elements,” the rebels said in an Internet video. …

Syria’s Rebels in Rift With Aleppo’s Civil Opposition – Al Monitor

The schism between civil activists and armed revolutionaries is at its widest since the Syrian uprising began, and it’s only getting worse. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but the most important one is expectations — what each side hoped the uprising would achieve. For the civil activists, it was the overthrow of tyranny and the establishment of a secular, civil and democratic society. For those who took up arms, it was basically a many pronged power struggle; class, sectarian or opportunistic, depending on which spectrum of the armed groups they belonged to.
The major defining characteristic of civil activists across the country was their insistence on non-sectarianism and an adherence to the higher ideals of justice and freedom. The armed groups morphed like a chameleon changing colors, at the beginning justifying taking up arms to “protect the protesters” from security forces, and later on justifying their violence as a reaction to the regime’s. Any hidden agendas some of those groups may have had initially were carefully kept secret, both from society as a whole as well as media scrutiny — of course some pan-Arab media was actively complicit in this cover up — although there were some troubling tell-tale signs. As the uprising progressed, and some of those groups were armed and trained by regional and foreign powers, they adopted other agendas — usually dictated by whoever was supplying the weapons and the paychecks. They simply no longer cared and transcended the popular uprising and protests that spawned them and gave them their legitimacy, to completely dominate the revolution, and so in essence destroyed it by morphing it into a civil war with visibly sectarian dimensions — as became evident with the deliberate targeting of Shiites and Alawis, regardless of their links to the regime.

And that’s not even mentioning the more sinister of the armed groups, the Islamists, Jihadists and al-Qaeda affiliates who wanted nothing less than to turn Syria into another Taliban-style theocracy. They already have their religious courts and councils set up, dispensing justice via “Sharia law.” The one in Aleppo, for example, is called the “Hai’aa Sharia,” which looks into anything from murder and rape to “morality” crimes such as drinking alcohol or wearing shorts. The worrying trend is that many locals see this as preferable to the rampant crime and lawlessness, and that helps these groups gain traction and support on the ground at the expense of the more moderate ones. That, plus the aid they supply to residents as well as their reputation for not looting private — public- or state-owned is fine, however — property.

In other words, the civil activists wanted to change society, while the armed groups only wanted to change the face of the tyrants ruling it. Another striking difference between the armed and civil sides was the strange way the armed groups used “the ends justify the means” motto to do basically whatever they liked, including looting people’s homes and businesses, execution without trial, kidnapping for ransom, car bombings and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, and even — and this is perhaps what rubs salt in the wound — the torture and killing of several prominent opposition and media activists in Aleppo such as Mohammed al-Khalid and Abdullah Yassin. Both were silenced after they started openly criticizing and exposing the thefts of various rebel factions. The perpetrators of those crimes are well-known, and even now, months later still on the loose and fighting the “good fight” against the regime.

To illustrate more personally what I’m talking about, take the story of my friend, and longtime civil activist, Mustafa Karman, who was tragically killed when a protest he was at in Bustan el-Qasr in Aleppo was shelled. He was there, almost every day delivering aid, organizing a protest or working on his long-term project, a school for the displaced and poor children of the area. He died just before it opened, and it was posthumously named after him. Many don’t know this, but Mustafa was a Shiite, and he often bitterly joked that both sides were after him. One because he was an opposition activist, the other simply because of his sect. This was his dilemma, and it became so dangerous that he was planning to leave the country. Sadly, he was killed shortly before he could do so.

He absolutely detested the armed groups that not only didn’t help with any of the work the opposition civil society was trying to do in the liberated areas but sometimes even actively blocked or disrupted it, fearing that it would cause them to lose influence in those parts. To them, influence and power came from the business end of their guns, not when you helped or made a difference to people’s lives. Many activists tried reasoning or pleading to the armed groups, trying to convince them to leave certain areas so that they wouldn’t put civilians in danger, or explaining to them why it was necessary to set up some sort of civil administration in their areas, but they always came back frustrated. “There’s no hope, you just can’t reason with those people,” one of them told me.

… But perhaps most alarming of all was a distressing message I got a short while ago from an activist I hadn’t heard from in a while. “There are hundreds of starving families in Aquol,” she said. “They need immediate food aid if you can help or know someone who can.” I don’t travel to rebel-controlled parts of Aleppo anymore as the main crossing points have become dangerous sniper zones. I replied, “Wait a minute, isn’t that part held by the rebels? I heard they were getting massive amounts of aid from various groups set up in Turkey.”

“Yes, a lot of aid is getting in to rebel areas, but they just sell it off and buy weapons with it,” she replied. That made sense, I’d seen a lot of cheap Turkish goods on the market with “Aid, not for sale” stamped on them. Well, seems now the rebels can add mass starvation to their list of “achievements” in Aleppo.

And so the rift between civil and armed groups deepened, and many activists felt like they were fighting a futile uphill battle, trying to stop a torrential river with a straw dam. Many of them became disillusioned and frustrated, some just stuck to doing whatever aid work they could, others simply gave up and left the country entirely. To put it mildly, most activists feel betrayed and used by the armed groups.

Fatwa for make-up: Islamists target women in rebel-controlled Syrian territories – RT

Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using make up or wearing “immodest dress” in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. Critics have blasted the move as another attempt by Islamists to impose Sharia in rebel-controlled territory.

The fatwa (an order based on Sharia law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo’s Fardous neighborhood.

Muslim women are banned from leaving the house in immodest dress, in tight clothing that shows off their bodies or wearing makeup on their face. It is incumbent on all our sisters to obey God and commit to Islamic etiquette,” the statement on the Fardous council’s Facebook page says as cited by Reuters, which reports that Aleppo residents have confirmed the news.

Some of the comments showed support for the ruling, arguing there was nothing wrong in requiring that people follow “certain etiquette in public“. Critics lashed out at the Islamist-led rebels for abusing their power. …

A reference in Arabic is here. Fliers were distributed in Aleppo telling Muslim women not to wear tight clothes or make-up. The flyer uses the term yuharam meaning “it is forbidden;” the term comes from haram meaning sinful. In this video, a statement is issued attempting to defend the flyer. The speaker says that the flyer didn’t announce that they would “forbid” women, but that it only points out that wearing tight clothes and make-up is a sin. He’s trying to downplay it following the negative feedback it generated, but he nonetheless highlights that since the beginning of the revolution they called on the name of Allah and they want to implement the rules of Allah in Aleppo, and anyone who doesn’t like it can go knock his or her head against the wall.

Chechen jihadi decapitates prisoners near Aleppo, amidst cheering crowd, children present – see article from RT

A video purportedly showing an extrajudicial public beheading of two Bashar Assad loyalists has been uploaded onto the internet. Its authenticity has been verified by pro and anti-Assad sources, though it remains unclear who is behind the execution.

In the nine-minute clip, a group of several hundred people, including men, women and children stands around a hill, when the sentenced men, bound with ropes and wearing bags on their heads are led out. As the crowd closes in with shouts of Allah Akbar (“Glory to God!”) the two, who are wearing civilian clothes, are laid on the floor, and a bearded ‘executioner’ methodically saws through the throat of first one, then the other with a knife. The heads of the dead men are then placed on top of their bodies as the crowd continues to bay. …

Originally reported that the first man beheaded was a Christian priest, this claim has subsequently been called into question: Custos of the Holy Land denies Franciscans’ beheaded

In a statement to the religious information service SIR, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa has said the news reported by Radio France Internationale on the alleged beheading of three Franciscan monks in Syria is false.

”The monks in the region are all still alive,” said the Custos of the Holy Land. On June 24 Father Francois, ”a Catholic hermit”, had been reported dead. (ANSAmed).

Though the man beheaded may not have been a priest, it seems that the priest in question was killed by rebels all the same, explained in an article by Nina Shea – The Shadow War Against Syria’s Christians:

Francois Murad

On June 23, Catholic Syrian priest Fr. François Murad was murdered in Idlib by rebel militias.  How he was killed is not yet known and his superiors “vigorously deny” that he was a victim of beheading, as some news sources are claiming.  It is apparent,  however, that he was a victim of the shadow war against Christians that is being fought by jihadists alongside the larger Syrian conflict.  This is a religious cleansing that has been all but ignored by our policymakers, as they strengthen support for the rebellion.

Affiliated with the Franciscan order that was given custody of the Holy Land sites by Pope Clement VI in 1342, the 49-year-old priest was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Rosary where he had taken refuge after his monastery was bombed at the outset of the conflict, and where he had been giving support to the few remaining nuns, according to Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custos of the Holy Land. The Vatican news agency Fides reports that “The circumstances of the death are not fully understood,” but, according to local sources, Fr. Murad’s building was attacked by the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.

Fr. Pizzaballa denies that any Franciscans were beheaded last week, as was claimed by several sources. He was quoted in the Italian press, commenting about the video, “it seems like various old news stories have been mixed up.”  The video was “uploaded by al-Qaeda to terrorise Christians,” according to Andrea Avveduto, a writer who works with the Custody of the Holy Land. “The corpse of Murad was intact. The friars in the region exclude [sic] that the priest was one of the people beheaded in the footage.”  Avveduto also writes that “The friars are apparently alive and are currently in the Franciscan monastery of Latakia, where they arrived a few days ago, to bury the body of their brother, Fr. Murad.”

As I testified to Congress last week at a hearing on Syria’s minorities chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.): “Though no religious community has been spared egregious suffering, Syria’s ancient Christian minority has cause to believe that it confronts an ‘existential threat.’”

In fact, this was a finding last December of  the U.N. Human Right Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria. As in Iraq, Syria’s two-million-strong Christian community, the largest next to Egypt’s Copts in the entire region, is being devastated. Targeted by jihadist militias, they are steadily fleeing Syria, and whether they will be able to return to their ancient homeland is doubtful.

Archbishop Jeanbart of Aleppo’s Melkite Greek Catholic Church explained:

Christians are terrified by the Islamist militias and fear that in the event of their victory they would no longer be able to practice their religion and that they would be forced to leave the country. As soon as they reached the city [of Aleppo], Islamist guerrillas, almost all of them from abroad, took over the mosques. Every Friday, an imam launches their messages of hate, calling on the population to kill anyone who does not practice the religion of the Prophet Muhammad. They use the courts to level charges of blasphemy. Who is contrary to their way of thinking pays with his life.

Fr. Murad was only the most recent cleric to be targeted by these militias. The highest profile attack was the kidnapping by gunmen in April of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim. This sent an unmistakable signal to all Christians: none is protected.

Some other examples of Syrian Christians, from various faith traditions, who have been kidnapped and killed or never seen again include:.

27-year-old Father Michael Kayal of the Armenian Catholic Church in Aleppo was abducted in February while riding a bus after Islamists spotted his clerical garb. He has not been seen since.

Greek Orthodox priest Maher Mahfouz was kidnapped around the same time and has not reappeared.

Syrian Orthodox parish priest Father Fadi Haddad was kidnapped last December after he left his church in the town of Qatana to negotiate the release of one of his kidnapped parishioners. A week later, Fr. Haddad’s mutilated corpse was found by the roadside, with his eyes gouged out.

Yohannes A. (whose last name has been redacted by Fides protect his family) was summarily executed.  An Islamist gunman stopped the bus to Aleppo and checked the background of each passenger. When the gunman noticed Yohannes’ last name was Armenian, they singled him out for a search. After finding a cross around his neck, one of the terrorists shot point blank at the cross, tearing open the man’s chest.

A woman from Hassake recounted in December to Swedish journalist Nuri Kino how her husband and son were shot in the head by Islamists. “Our only crime is being Christians,” she answers, when asked if there had been a dispute.

18-year-old Gabriel fled with his family from Hassake after his father was shot for having a crucifix hanging from his car’s rear-view mirror. The son told Kino: “After the funeral, the threats against our family and other Christians increased. The terrorists called us and said that it was time to disappear; we had that choice, or we would be killed.”

Christians and others also have been targeted by the courts of the “Caliphate of Iraq and the Levant,” the name the al-Nusra Brigade and other Islamist rebels use in reference to the Syrian territory under their control.

Muslims are subject to kidnapping too, but the Wall Street Journal reported on June 11, 2013 that often “their outcome is different” because they have armed defenders, whereas the Christians do not.  The Journal told the story of a 25-year-old cabdriver, Hafez al-Mohammed, who said he was kidnapped and tortured for seven hours by Sunni rebels in al-Waer in late May.  He was released after Alawites threatened to retaliate by kidnapping Sunni women.

According to the U.S. State Department, Syria now has scores of rebel militias with new ones popping up all the time.  Many are extremist. Sources told AsiaNews, “[T]he purpose of these groups is not only the liberation of Syria from Assad, but also the spread by force of radical Islam throughout the Middle East and the conquest of Jerusalem.” According to interviews with local church leaders, many fighters do not speak Arabic and do not come from Syria, and are recruited by being told that they are going to “liberate Jerusalem.”

These extremists have wasted no time in establishing sharia courts. In the towns of al-Bab and Idlib and other villages under the control of Islamist groups, sharia has been enforced for the past year. These courts, according to a Washington Post report,  pass sentences “daily and indiscriminately” against Christians and anyone else who fails to conform to Wahhabi Islam. All women are required to cover up with the abaya, a black, full-length gown. It was in Aleppo that al-Nusra executed a 14-year-old Muslim boy last month for insulting the prophet; they shot him in the mouth and the neck.

Syrian Christian refugees told Dutch blogger Martin Janssen that their village of 30 Christian families had a firsthand taste of the rebels’ new sharia courts. One of Janssen’s accounts was translated by renowned Australian linguist, writer, and Anglican priest, the Rev. Mark Durie:

Jamil [an elderly man] lived in a village near Idlib where 30 Christian families had always lived peacefully alongside some 200 Sunni families. That changed dramatically in the summer of 2012. One Friday trucks appeared in the village with heavily armed and bearded strangers who did not know anyone in the village. They began to drive through the village with a loud speaker broadcasting the message that their village was now part of an Islamic emirate and Muslim women were henceforth to dress in accordance with the provisions of the Islamic Shariah. Christians were given four choices. They could convert to Islam and renounce their ‘idolatry.’ If they refused they were allowed to remain on condition that they pay the jizya. This is a special tax that non-Muslims under Islamic law must pay for ‘protection.’ For Christians who refused there remained two choices: they could leave behind all their property or they would be slain. The word that was used for the latter in Arabic (dhabaha) refers to the ritual slaughter of sacrificial animals.

As for the larger conflict, the Christians are caught in the middle.  The churches have not allied with the Assad regime.  They have no armed protector, inside or outside the country, and they have no militias of their own. But they are not simply suffering collateral damage.  They are being deliberately targeted in a religious purification campaign – one that the United States government finds convenient to overlook as it supports Syria’s rebels and praises Saudi Arabia as one of our “closest partners.”

 – Nina Shea is director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

The boy killed for an off-hand remark about God – BBC

Mohammed Qataa’s mother wanders the streets of Aleppo looking into strangers’ faces as she tries to find her son’s killers.

She knows she would recognise them. She was looking right at them when, in front of a dumbstruck and terrified crowd, Mohammed was shot dead, accused of blasphemy. …

He was 14 years old, but with no schooling possible because of the war he was usually to be found on the busy main thoroughfare through Shaar, selling the thick, sweet coffee they prefer here. One day last month, someone asked him for a free cup. “Not even if the Prophet himself returns,” he had replied, laughing. That remark was a death sentence.

It was overheard by three armed men. They dragged him to a car and took him away. Half-an-hour later, a badly beaten Mohammed was dumped back in the road by his cart.

The men, showing no fear that anyone would question what they were doing, summoned a crowd with shouts of “Oh People of Aleppo. Oh people of Shaar.” Their bellows alerted Mohammed’s mother.

Recalling what happened next, she buries her face in her hands and weeps.

“One of them shouted: ‘Whoever insults the Prophet will be killed according to Sharia’,” she told me.

“I ran down barefoot to the streets. I heard the first shot. I fell to the ground when I got there.

“One of them shot him again and kicked him. He shot him for a third time and stamped on him.

“I said: ‘Why are you killing him? He’s still a child!’ The man shouted: ‘He is not a Muslim – leave!'” …

Public flogging

Aleppo’s main Sharia court has taken pains to stress that though Mohammed Qataa’s murderers said they were acting in the name of Islam, the killing was un-Islamic, a criminal act.

But whatever the killers’ real motives – whether a brutal trick by the regime or a cruel and extreme interpretation of Islam by jihadis – it is also true that Sharia is spreading in rebel-held parts of Syria.

A documentary team from BBC Arabic went to the northern town of Saraqeb to follow the work of the Sharia court there, gaining extraordinary access over a period of six weeks.

A prisoner is whipped in the street as punishment for highway robbery under Saraqeb's Sharia law system

Four men convicted of trying to steal a taxi in Saraqeb’s Sharia court were sentenced to whipping using an electric cable

The court is run by a 27-year-old former preacher, Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Ali, who hands out sentences dressed in Afghan-style shalwar kameez, a Kalashnikov at his side.

Four men convicted of trying to steal a taxi driver’s car are brought before him. Although admitting their guilt, they claim to be members of a rebel brigade.

Sheikh Abdullah tells them their weapons will be confiscated and they will not be allowed to be part of any armed group in future.

He swiftly decides that the sentence will be a public flogging. The men are driven to the centre of Saraqeb for sentence to be carried out. The instrument of punishment is an electrical cable.

Sheikh Abdullah takes a megaphone to address a small crowd that has gathered.

“In the name of God,” he says, reading out the names of the four prisoners standing in a row. “Fifty lashes for the leader of the gang. Forty for each of his men.”

He declares: “God’s law is the best protection for the weak.”

The first of the prisoners is forced to his knees, a man on either side of him holding his arms. When it starts some of the crowd chant, “The Prophet is our leader”. Others just count the lashes.

Afterwards, Sheikh Abdullah explains to the documentary crew that the punishment was actually quite lenient. They had been convicted of highway robbery. The normal penalty for that is death, he says.

“In wartime, punishments according to Sharia are suspended until peace returns,” he says.

“Now, we are at war. We must concentrate on fighting the regime’s army. Full punishments will be enforced as soon as the regime falls and an Islamic State is declared.” …

The Syrian Army Renews Offensive in Homs – ISW – Elizabeth O’Bagy

Homs-Update-Map

In late June 2013, the Syrian government renewed its campaign in the central Syrian province of Homs, indicating that it failed to achieve its operational and strategic objectives after defeating the rebels in al-Qusayr. By quickly shifting its efforts to Aleppo in an attempt to force a decisive battle before rebels could reconsolidate troops and acquire promised foreign supplies, the Syrian government failed to consolidate its gains in Homs. Thus, the opposition was able to exploit remaining vulnerabilities, particularly by reopening supply lines from Lebanon, in ways that forced the Syrian army back to Homs province, diverting resources from the offensive the regime planned for Aleppo. The campaign in Homs shows the Syrian government’s difficulty with launching sequential campaigns without operational pause, as well as the challenges it faces from launching multiple, simultaneous offensives in Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus in ways that protract each fight.

WP update on Homs, July 8:

Assad’s forces have launched a major offensive to retake Homs, a transport hub that sits between the capital, Damascus, and coastal areas overwhelmingly loyal to the regime. Rebels seeking his ouster have held on to parts of the city they took more than a year ago, but remain under siege.

Forces loyal to Assad have pummeled their way into the Khaldiyeh neighborhood with constant mortar fire and tanks shelling, allowing them to gain control of eastern parts of the district, said Rami Abdul-Rahman of the British-based Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors clashes. He estimated government forces had seized 11 buildings in Khaldiyeh. Overall, he said the government now controls about 20 percent of the area.

“They are advancing,” Abdul-Rahman said in a telephone interview. He said there were street battles elsewhere in Homs, while the army continued to pound other rebel-held areas with heavy weapons.

A Syrian government official earlier had claimed that the army wrested the entire district and was “cleaning” out rebel-held pockets. He gave no other details and requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Two activists based in the city denied the claim, saying rebels were under heavy fire but still holding on.

Rebels clash with Qaeda-linked opposition group in Syria – Reuters

Rebels clashed with an opposition unit linked to Al-Qaeda in northern Syria, activists said on Saturday, in a deadly battle that signals growing divisions among rebel groups and rising tensions between locals and more radical Islamist factions.

… Assad’s forces on Saturday advanced into rebel-held areas of the city of Homs, pushing into a heavily contested neighborhood after pummeling it with artillery that drove out opposition fighters, an activist said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), the new Al-Qaeda franchise announced by the head of global network’s Iraq leader, has been quickly working to cement power in rebel-held territories of northern Syria in recent months.

ISIS units have begun to impose stricter interpretations of Islamic law and have filmed themselves executing members of rival rebel groups whom they accuse of corruption, and beheading those they say are loyal to Assad.

… The latest internecine clashes happened in the town of Al-Dana, near the Turkish border, on Friday, local activists said. The opposition group known as the Free Youths of Idlib said dozens of fighters were killed, wounded or imprisoned.

A report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group, said that the bodies of a commander and his brother, from the local Islam Battalion, were found beheaded. Local activists working for the British-based group said the men’s heads were found next to a trash bin in a main square.

The exact reason for the clashes have been hard to pin down, but many rebel groups have been chafing at ISIS’s rise in power. It has subsumed the once dominant Nusra Front, a more localized group of Al-Qaeda-linked fighters that had resisted calls by foreign radicals to expand its scope beyond the Syrian revolt to a more regional Islamist mission.

 

Opposition

 

Ghassan HittoSyria Deeply interviews Ghassan Hitto, the Syrian Opposition’s First Prime Minister

The first prime minister of the Syrian opposition, Hitto is a former IT executive who spent much of his life in Texas. He quit his job and joined the Syrian opposition full-time in November. He was elected to his current position in March, after months of contentious efforts by Coalition parties. Critics have long questioned whether Hitto was “out of touch” with Syria after spending much of his life in the United States, and whether he would have the political muscle to unite a fragmented, often-fractious opposition.

This interview was conducted the evening before Ahmad Assi Al-Jarba was elected as the new Coalition President.

Syria Deeply:  What progress has the interim government made since your election in March?

Ghassan Hitto: The interim government, from my perspective, is now ready to start working once it’s ratified by the Syrian opposition coalition. That requires them to meet and allow time to discuss the government and hopefully approve the cabinet. Since I was elected on March 19 and just before the end of April, the cabinet was formed, and since then I have been working through details about priorities for us to work on to serve the Syrian people. I have been ready, and I’m ready now to present the government, and I think it’s of utmost importance that the coalition takes time to discuss this government and approve it so we can get on with business and serve the Syrian people.  This is what the Syrian people are looking for from us.

I think we’ve talked enough and I think we’ve planned enough – I don’t even know how many plans we have. I think it’s time to start working. Today the Syrian people are looking for food security, health security, border control, and our national wealth is being smuggled out of the country because our borders are out of control. We have lost the wheat harvest and we have to save the other harvest that is coming up. We have the oil wealth that we need to organize quickly to benefit from. I see Syria being dependent on international aid for a long time, although we’re used to being independent and being self-sufficient. This state of being completely dependent on aid, while greatly appreciated, is something strange for us, and we need to get out of this state very quickly. We can, but in order to do these things we need to get on the ground and do business.

SD: The coalition has expanded in a bid to be more representative of the Syrian people. How will your cabinet reflect this?

GH: Let me answer this in two sections: firstly regarding the coalition and secondly the government.

The coalition, prior to its recent expansion, had a reasonable amount of representation of the Syrian people. Particularly it had people from the Alawite sect, Kurds, Christians, Assyrians, Turkmanis and representations from various cities and local governments. The recent expansion of the coalition took the membership from 60 to 114 and added another dimension with different schools of thought and different ideologies.

I would say that today the coalition truly represents 99.9 percent of Syrians. I think you would be hard pressed not to find a group of people currently not represented in the coalition. There is a joke going around that even the Assad regime is represented. On the government side, I think it’s too early to pass judgment. After I present the cabinet, you will see Syria truly represented. You will see a woman, a Christian, a Kurd, a Turkmani, conservatives, liberals — you will see Syria.

This wasn’t my intention as I followed a completely technocratic process. I asked for applications, and Syria responded with 1,070 resumes, and from those I selected my cabinet. I stayed away from providing cabinet positions to certain political group representatives within the coalition. I’m being criticized for not doing that, but this is what I promised the coalition and the Syrian people that I would do at the beginning — that I will not use this type of allocation within the cabinet. I focused on abilities, specialties and capabilities, and I came up with a good cabinet that I believe will serve the Syrian people. It’s too early for me to reveal the members of the cabinet now, as that will be presented to the coalition when they allow and make the time for it.

SD: Is the coalition the biggest roadblock to action?

GH: Absolutely. I will not play with words nor dance around the issue. The only entity that can push the button and tell this government, “Go start working,” is the coalition. I could be bad and just declare a government, but that would be irresponsible and does not serve the Syrian people well. I need the legitimacy from the coalition, and it is important that this government is supported by the international community. It is on the shoulders of the coalition to approve this government and let us get down to business. It is completely unacceptable, and Syrians should not accept this status or situation of inaction. It should also not be accepted by the international community. I realize that the international community is extremely frustrated by the state of this organization. Relief organizations all have a mind of their own and focus on different sectors, and they like to work by themselves. …

… Iran is also part of the problem. Hezbollah has 60,000 soldiers in Syria as well as there being thousands of Iranian soldiers inside the country with Russian ships arriving at Syrian ports on a daily basis. Why is nobody asking Iran to leave Syria? Why is nobody asking the Lebanese government to ask the Hezbollah forces to leave Syria? We will not allow people to occupy Syria. We will continue to fight until Syria is free. Iran needs to pull its forces out of Syria and stop its invasion, and the same for Hezbollah.

SD: Do you anticipate this to change with the election of Rouhani?

GH: We are very reasonable people, and they need to show a sign of good faith, and that’s how negotiations start. They are the aggressors and we’re not. Iran should encourage Assad to cease fire and stop killing the Syrian people. We won’t give them a menu of things that we will consider. They are a state who see themselves as playing a major role in the region, and they need to conduct themselves responsibly.

SD: The coalition is also due to discuss their position on Geneva 2. What is your expectation for an international solution?

GH: I’m not against going to Geneva 2, but we’re a long way from that. All crises get resolved around the table, and the solution has to be reasonable. However, we are not the aggressors. The Syrian people spoke up and the response was bullets. We have the right to defend ourselves. There is a lot of precedence that the international community can conduct business outside of the UN Security Council, so maybe it is time to do that and we’ll see.

Ghassan Hitto resigns as Syrian opposition Prime Minister: WP

In a further blow to the opposition fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, opposition prime minister Ghassan Hitto resigned from his post, citing his inability to form an interim government. …

Hitto was little known before he was appointed in March by the Western-backed Syrian National Council opposition group to head an interim government to administer areas seized by the rebels fighting to topple Assad.

In a statement issued Monday, he said he was stepping down “for the general good of the Syrian revolution.”

Hitto is mistrusted by other opposition members who dislike his perceived proximity to the Qatari-backed Muslim Brotherhood. He had been effectively sidelined since his appointment — a result of the rivalry between Qatar and Saudi Arabia who are vying for influence among the Sunni-dominated Syrian opposition. Both countries have been prominent backers of forces struggling to oust Assad.

A former Syrian political prisoner with close links to Saudi Arabia, Ahmad al-Jarba, was elected to lead the coalition Saturday.

Ahmad Jarba is the new opposition president, replacing Mu’az al-Khatib: Syrian opposition chooses Saudi-backed leader – Daily Star

Syria’s fractious opposition elected a new leader on Saturday but rebel groups were reported to be fighting among themselves in a sign of growing divisions on the ground between factions trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian National Coalition chose Ahmad Jarba as its president after a close runoff vote that reinforced the influence of Saudi Arabia over a perpetually divided opposition movement that has struggled to convince its Western and Arab allies that its fighters are ready to be given sophisticated foreign weaponry.

Jarba is a tribal figure from the eastern Syrian province of Hasaka who has Saudi connections. He defeated businessman Mustafa Sabbagh, a point man for Qatar, which has seen its influence over the opposition overshadowed by the Saudis.

“A change was needed,” Adib Shishakly, a senior official in the coalition, told Reuters after the vote held at an opposition meeting in Istanbul.

“The old leadership of the coalition had failed to offer the Syrian people anything substantial and was preoccupied with internal politics. Ahmad Jarba is willing to work with everybody.”

The Muslim Brotherhood, the only organised faction in the Syrian political opposition, has seen its mother organisation in Egypt thrown out of power in Cairo this week along with President Mohamed Mursi.

But the Brotherhood representative, Farouq Tayfour, was elected one of two vice-presidents of the Syrian National Coalition in a sign the group still retains influence in Syrian opposition politics.

The Saudi-Qatari Clash Over Syria – David Ottaway

Saudi Arabia and the United States are now working closely together to bolster Syrian rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, reviving in the process an earlier model of covert military cooperation from the 1980s that successfully drove the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. This time their target is Russia’s last remaining Middle East Arab ally—the Assad regime, whose armed forces are equipped entirely with Russian weapons.

So far, the Obama administration has ruled out providing surface-to-air missiles to the Syrian rebels. But the Saudis are now reported to be going ahead with their own purchase of other non-U.S.-made missiles, apparently with American blessings, as Washington had previously stopped it.

Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Saud al-Faisal, in Jeddah on June 25 to discuss the coordination of U.S. and Saudi arms shipments to the Syrian rebels. “We want to make sure that that’s being done in the most effective way possible,” Kerry said.

The Obama administration’s June 13 decision to provide weapons to the rebels aligns the United States with its two closest allies in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been arming them for over a year now and pressuring a reluctant Washington to follow suit. But the decision also plunges Washington into entangling intra-Sunni Arab disputes, including between these two Arab monarchies, over which Syrian faction should rule in a post-Assad era.

… One little-publicized consequence of the U.S.-Saudi alliance will be to curb the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, a key Saudi goal. This has put the Saudi kingdom at direct odds with its neighbor, Qatar, the Islamic group’s prime Arab protector and promoter.

It has also placed the United States in the awkward position of taking sides between its closest Gulf allies. Qatar hosts the Pentagon’s main forward operations center, while Saudi Arabia is the keystone of U.S. efforts to build an Arab military counterweight to Iran in the Persian Gulf.

In this case, the Obama administration has decided to side with the Saudis to prevent extremist Islamic groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda branch, from dominating a post-Assad government. In return, the Saudi government has agreed to halt its own arms purchases for fundamentalist Salafi groups it favors elsewhere in the Arab world because of its adherence to this same trend of Islam. Instead, according to Syrian and diplomatic sources in the Gulf, it will join the United States in funneling arms through the U.S.-backed Supreme Military Council, made up of secular rebel fighting groups.

Another factor, however, has been the Saudi-Qatari tug-of-war over the Brotherhood’s role within the fractious Syrian opposition, also a central cause of the rebels’ inability to agree on leaders for its National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces or a government-in-exile to facilitate international support.

The Saudi-Qatari conflict is rooted in the two countries’ radically different experiences with the Brotherhood as well their markedly different reactions to the 2011 prodemocracy uprisings across the Arab world. Qatar enthusiastically embraced the changes that catapulted the Brethren to power in Egypt and Tunisia. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, after initially helping to orchestrate the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, has come to view the Brotherhood’s rise with growing foreboding.

The Saudis harbor a strong aversion to the Brethren because of what they regard as their unpardonable betrayal of the kingdom after it harbored thousands of them for decades from persecution by secular Arab dictators, first in Egypt and then in Syria.

… Even so, when the Brotherhood’s party in Egypt won elections after President Hosni Mubarak’s fall in 2011, the Saudis first sought to turn the page in their bitter history, offering nearly $4 billion in financial and economic aid to the new government. They quickly put $1.5 billion in the Central Bank to help Egypt deal with rapidly falling foreign reserves, but the rest is still pending agreement on specific development projects.

By contrast, the Qataris have now poured $8 billion into Egyptian coffers to help the Brotherhood-led government cope with huge budget of foreign-reserve deficits. The then emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, last October became the first Arab leader to visit the isolated Gaza Strip to show his support for Hamas, and he has allowed the group’s officials fleeing Damascus to make Doha an alternative base of operations.

The Saudi-Qatari conflict has opened a wider political fissure among the six Sunni monarchies making up the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. This body is supposed to coordinate a common strategy toward Iran and the Syrian rebels. But both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have become increasingly hostile toward the Brotherhood—the Emirates currently have forty-three Brotherhood members on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the monarchy there—while Qatar remains its primary Arab backer.

Qatar’s incomplete example – Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi

Last month Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani handed over power to his son and Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim. The move became an instant headline grabber with various publications and officials praising the Emir. The Economist called him “remarkable” and “a hard act to follow” while British Foreign Secretary William Hague hailed it as a “historic day”.

In fact it has been quite a year for abdications. Just last April Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicated in favour of her son, and more recently Belgium’s King Albert II announced his abdication in favour of his. Little known is an incident that took place a month before the Qatari abdication in neighbouring Saudi when the leader of the Al Sager clan, the “115 year old” Sheikh Haif Bin Saleem abdicated in favour of his son after eighty years as chief of Sarat Obaida, in Asir province.

Although at face value these abdications may seem similar there is in fact quite a significant difference. Unlike fellow monarchies Belgium and the Netherlands, Qatar does not have a legislative council or an independently elected government. As in its fellow Arab Gulf States, the monarchy solely holds the reins of policy and governance.

… Today there is a six-decade difference between the youngest and the eldest of the Arab Gulf leaders. Qatar media has been reporting on the awkward cables of congratulations that were sent from the Gulf monarchs to their 33-year-old “brother”. One of the highlights of the next Gulf Cooperation Council leaders summit in Kuwait will be to witness the interaction between the young Sheikh Tamim and the other Gulf leaders who are at least twice his age. …

How Syria’s Civil War Became a Holy Crusade – Foreign Affairs – Thomas Hegghammer, Aaron Y. Zelin

Qaradawi

Yusuf al-Qardawi is the most influential cleric in the world of Sunni Islam. Now that he has declared the war in Syria a jihad, a wider sectarian battle may be inevitable.

A Pandora’s box was opened in the Middle East in late May. That was when Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian theologian who is perhaps the world’s most influential Sunni cleric, called on Sunni Muslims worldwide to fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah in Syria. In the weeks and months ahead, Qaradawi’s statement will surely quicken the stream of foreign fighters into Syria. Before long, Syria’s civil war could turn into an all-out sectarian conflict involving the entire region.

The 86-year-old Qaradawi is a religious cleric who left Egypt for Qatar in 1961 and has since become something of a celebrity among Islamic religious leaders. He has authored more than 100 books that are sold across the Muslim world, and his weekly TV show on al Jazeera has tens of millions of viewers. Qaradawi owes much of his influence to his careful balancing of populism and political conservatism. He manages to combine, for example, hard-line views on Israel with vigorous condemnation of al Qaeda. He has built a reputation as someone who speaks truth to power, all the while retaining the privileges — such as a TV program and a professorship — that come with being close to the establishment. In some sense, he is the closest thing that the Sunni Muslim world has to a pope.

Qaradawi’s controversial remarks fell at a Friday rally in Doha on May 31. In an emotional address about the plight of Sunnis in Syria, Qaradawi declared that “anyone who has the ability, who is trained to fight . . . has to go; I call on Muslims to go and support their brothers in Syria.” That’s a remarkable message, precisely because it is one that clerics of Qaradawi’s stature almost never make. Establishment Islamic clerics often declare that a given armed struggle is a legitimate jihad, but they rarely say that Muslims worldwide have a duty to join it. Radical clerics have been known to make this so-called individual duty argument, which consists of saying that all able Muslim men must fight and that declining to do so would be a sin. But mainstream clerics such as Qaradawi usually make the “collective duty” argument, which implies that outsiders can fight under certain conditions but with no obligation. Even at the height of the very popular Afghan jihad in the 1980s, the Saudi Sheikh Abd al-Aziz bin Baz said only that Muslims have “a duty to support” — not “an individual duty to fight with” — the Afghan mujahideen. He left it to more radical figures such as Abdullah Azzam, the ostensible mentor of Osama bin Laden, to argue that all Muslims had to fight.

To be sure, Qaradawi did not use the term “individual duty” (fard ‘ayn in Arabic), and he qualified his call by suggesting that primarily men with military training should go. However, in a region where conscription is the norm, that means practically everyone. By calling on all capable Sunnis to fight in Syria, Qaradawi is not only echoing jihadi ideologues, he is also contradicting his earlier self. In 2009, he wrote a book titled Jurisprudence of Jihad, in which he dismissed the individual duty argument for the jihad in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His willingness to make an exception for Syria today is an indication of how strongly Sunni Arabs outside Syria feel about the conflict.

Other clerics have also made the individual duty call for Syria in the past year, but none of them is nearly as influential as Qaradawi. His statement, therefore, has an important norm-setting effect for other clerics: It makes it easier for them to talk tough on Syria and more difficult for them to act like doves. Accordingly, the month of June saw a string of statements by senior clerics across the region calling for jihad in Syria. For example, just days after Qaradawi’s statement, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, publicly endorsed the part of Qaradawi’s lecture that denounced Hezbollah as the “party of Satan.” The mufti did not explicitly address the issue of foreign fighting but made clear that he approved of Qaradawi’s rhetorical escalation. Similarly, a week later, a group of Yemeni ulama (Islamic clergy) released a collective fatwa calling for the “defense of the oppressed” in Syria. Like the Saudi mufti, the Yemeni clerics did not repeat Qaradawi’s call for even non-Syrians to fight, but they did not criticize it, either. Two weeks after Qaradawi’s talk, the Saudi cleric Saud al-Shuraim declared from the pulpit of the Grand Mosque in Mecca that believers had a duty to support Syrian rebels “by all means.” The following day, (recently deposed) Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi spoke at a rally in Cairo, waving the flag of the Syrian opposition and denouncing both the Assad regime and Hezbollah. The rally was organized by hard-line clerics advocating a tougher stance on Syria, and although Morsi did not explicitly endorse foreign fighting, his appearance at the rally was widely interpreted as a nod to those wishing to engage in it.

Taken together, these statements will also produce more Sunni war volunteers for the battle in Syria — which would be less of a concern if Syria were not already teeming with foreign fighters. According to data that we have collected over the past nine months from hundreds of primary and secondary sources, about 5,000 Sunni fighters from more than 60 different countries have joined the Syrian rebels since the uprising began in 2011. This makes Syria the second-largest foreign-fighter destination in the history of modern Islamism. (In the 1980s, the Afghan jihad drew approximately 10,000 volunteers but over a period of ten years.)

 

Interesting Blog Posts, Miscellaneous Articles

 

العملاق الصوفي ينهض في المناطق المحررة – Article in Arabic about the role of Sufis in the conflict

Thomas Pierret’s Blog: First sightings of non-Russian anti-tank missiles in Syria

Walk-Ins WelcomeWalk-Ins Welcome – U of Southern California grad students fund-raise for documentary film on Syrian refugees, and the barbers whose shops are the center of life in the camps

Robin Yassin-Kassab on Assadist worship and Alawi religionBand Annie’s Weblog

my response to a friend who thinks that assad-worship is part of the alawi religion: was saddam hussain’s regime ‘sunni’ when it murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqis, particularly shia? no, it wasn’t – it was a saddamist regime which had nothing to do with religion but which exploited religion and ignorant sunnis for its own divide and rule purposes. is the bahraini regime ‘sunni’ when it denies democratic rights to its people? no – it’s using religious divisions to keep itself in power. same in syria. i know alawis who are working for the revolution – people like samar yazbek, rasha omran, and so many who are working in silence or in secret to deliver food and medicine to the besieged areas.

it’s true that sunni areas are being hit particularly hard, but there are also thousands of christians, alawis, and ismailis who have been tortured and murdered. I agree that this is a savage regime killing mainly sunnis. but we shouldn’t be helping assad, khamenei and nasrallah to make this a sectarian war.

that’s exactly what they want. why? because assadism has almost no supporters – but there are millions of shia in the world. if they are fooled into believing that the revolution is not one for freedom for all but a war for extermination of minorities, then they will fight to defend assad, we have to fight this discourse, however hard it is.

we also have to show the west – which until now has done everything it can to prevent the syrians defending themselves – that this is not a Muslim civil war, but a popular revolution. let’s not fall into assad’s trap. then, as a matter of plain fact, the alawi religion (i’m not alawi, but i have studied it) is certainly very very far from orthodox Islam, but it does not involve worship of the assad family.

this is a blasphemy against the alawi religion. it is also a fact that the alawi ulema have been assassinated, imprisoned and silenced over the last four decades by the assad regime. this is the problem. the assads have tried to kill the alawi religion and replace it with worship of the assads.

Robin & Joshua debate on Sultan Sooud’s facebook page:

Sultan Sooud: Great read by Joshua Landis on Obama’s three options on Syria. The one, two and three state solutions.

Racan Alhoch: I love orientalist solutions. They are always a modified version of the Sykes-picot. The best solution would be for people like Landis to fuck off.

Joshua Landis: Rocan, I am not sure what is orientalist about these possible outcomes. If Assad hangs on to the south is Syria and the rebels hold the north it will not be because of the west. It will be a Syrian solution. If the rebels are able to conquer Damascus it will probably be thanks to help from the West.

Ruba Ali Al-Hassani: Joshua, a solution and an outcome are two different things. Not all outcomes are solutions to the problems which created them. The current civil war is not an outcome of deep divisions amongst Syrians. Rather, it is an outcome of external meddling in a conflict between the people and their dictator. Foreign militants have been brought in, recruiting a few Syrians, with the funding of external players, pitting them against each other on the basis of sectarianism. This is what escalated matters.
Borders in the Middle East have a long history with being drawn and redrawn by colonial powers, or in resistance to them. Therefore, it is Orientalist to come along and tell Syrians that they cannot solve their problems, and that the best way is to keep them apart from each other through another attempt to redraw their borders. Only when the Syrians ask for that kind of “solution” will it ever be okay…

Robin Yassin-Kassab: this is not at all a great read, for several reasons. the first is that it contains a plain untruth. the coastal region does not have an alawi majority. the mountains of the coastal region have an alawi majority, though there are also christian and sunni communities. the coastal cities have sunni majorities.

Joshua Landis: Robin, so do Lebanon’s coastal cities have a majority Sunni population. I am not sure what your point is. The Ottoman legacy is that there is a Sunni majority in the cities and the plains. In 1920 Alawites and Sunnis shared no town of over 200. Demographic segregation was very stark. There is much greater mixing today. It is hard to see where this bloodshed ends. That is the problem. There are no good solutions. Do you think the US should pump in the weapons until Sunni rebel militias have conquered Damascus and the coast?

Dick Gregory: “Do you think the US should pump in the weapons until Sunni rebel militias have conquered Damascus and the coast?” – I think not calling the FSA a Sunni rebel militia would be a start. I assume the point is that to create a mini-Alawite state would require the ethnic cleansing or cowing of the majority, and so is an even more impractical alternative to a revolution for all Syrians.
The suggestion that Obama could get the F̶S̶A̶ Sunni militias to fight one war against Assad and another against radical Islamists simultaneously is also highly questionable, and that they are likely to massacre non-Sunnis en masse in the event of victory re-writes the history of the conflict. Not a well written article

Robin Yassin-Kassab: i am not sure what landis’s point is. so what if lebanon’s cities have majority sunni populations? i never argued for the separation of lebanon from syria (I wasn’t here, obviously). lebanon is lebanon, with its own sectarian set up, and even with that set up, it isn’t supposed to be a shia or druze or maroni or sunni or alawi state. landis writes in his article that there is an alawi majority in the coastal region. i pointed out that this is not true. that’s my point: the truth. the importance of not twisting facts to fit our poor arguments. beyond that, i do not think that setting up an alawi state is a good idea or an acceptable outcome. it would involve a massive ethnic cleansing of sunnis from tartus, banyas and lattakia, and of alawis from homs and damascus. it would also leave syria without a port. it would also destabilise turkey. if it were under the control of this criminal family, it would be a threat to humanity. so far there has been no mass slaughter of alawi civilians, no ethnic cleansing of alawis to mirror the massacres and ethnic cleansings perpetrated by the regime. yet landis keeps on scaremongering. the revolution certainly has a sectarian aspect now, after the best efforts of assad and his allies, setting up sectarian death squads, attacking sunni heritage, etc. landis has been painting it as sectarian from the very start, however, ignoring the coordination committees in favour of salafists. thankyou, Dick, for your comment. it’s a slander to call the fsa a sunni militia. yes, it has a sunni majority (like syria) and a sunni character. i’ve just been in syria and turkey where i spent time with ismailis and christians amongst others. the ismaili was telling me in detail about the armed struggle (led by ismailis) around selemiyyeh. yes, i think the us, europe, the arabs, japan… should allow the syrian people to arm themselves to defend themselves from genocide and to end this child nmurdering regime. because the child murderers represent a tiny majority of the population, they lose as soon as the other side gets any sort of weapons supply. i don’t agree that it would take forever for the resistance to liberate damascus. or the coast for that matter – but the coast could be ‘won’ by negotiation once the people there see the regime has no future.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: you always say, ‘i don’t know what your point is.’ when you reported hussain harmoush’s tv post-torture ‘confession’ as if it meant something, and even discussed it… ‘hmm, harmoush says he was paid by the muslim brothers, and by the martians… very interesting’, and then i complained, your answer was something like…’everyone who reads syria comment is well educated and they understand that he was tortured and that his words don’t mean much.’ that’s a great response. so when you write that the coastal region has an alawi majority, it doesn’t matter that it isn’t true because you expect your audience to be intelligent enough to understand. you should write that the fsa is a communist organisation backed by nepal, just for fun, because your audience is clever enough….

Joshua Landis: Robin, lots of accusations. Let’s take the first one – the ethnic or religious population of the Coastal region. Can you tell me what the religious make up of the Coastal region is? Until 1960, when the last census was taken that listed Syrians by religion the Coastal region was predominately Alawite. Of course this depends on where you draw the line in the East, but your argument is that the Sunni majority in the coastal cities is larger than the Alawi majority in the Mountains. This has never been true so far as I know, but I welcome being corrected by any statistics you can provide. I quote the following from something I wrote in 1997. I highlight the sentence most important for our discussion:

“Although Alawites constituted roughly seventy percent of the region’s population [The Alawite state created by the French] of 350,000, they held sway over no town with more than 1000 inhabitants. “

“When the French arrived in the Alawite territory in 1920, the separation between the Alawite and Sunni communities could hardly have been more profound, a fact used to justify their policy of dividing the region from the rest of Syria. In the “Dawla al `Alawiyyin” (the State of the Alawites) established in 1922, not one Alawite was registered as a permanent resident of Latakia, the regional capital (26,000 inhabitants in 1935), or in the other Sunni dominated coastal cities: Jablah (6,300), Tartus (4,500), and Banyas (2,170). The only city that permitted Alawites to live within its walls was Safita, a Christian town high in the Alawite Mountains (total population 2,600, with 300 Alawites).

Although Alawites constituted roughly seventy percent of the region’s population of 350,000, they held sway over no town with more than 1000 inhabitants.

The division of urban and rural populations along sectarian lines in the Alawite region was almost absolute. The Sunni population was entrenched in the cities, where it exercised a monopoly on political power, education, and prestige. Sunnis, Weulersse writes, lived like “parasites” off the Alawites who were scattered in small hamlets throughout the countryside and mountains. Even in 1945, the year the muhafaza of Latakia was finally united with Syria, the number of Alawites who lived permanently in major Syria cities was minuscule. Latakia had a population of only 600 Alawites; Aleppo had 480, and Damascus only 40. These numbers indicate the extent to which the Alawite community remained a closed society, inward looking, and cut off from the main currents of Syrian intellectual and urban life right up to independence.

Today, most Alawites over the age of 45 can recount personal stories of Sunni school children throwing stones at Alawites as they walked to or from school. The alienation of Alawites from Sunni society and their bitter experience of persecution made creating a common sense of nationalism particularly difficult following independence. Even within the most progressive political parties which took shape during the 1940s, tension and mistrust between Alawites and Sunnis was never far below the surface and often threatened to rise to the surface.”

Robin Yassin-Kassab: i don’t know why you are telling me about the historical persecution of alawites. as you know, i have myself written about this on several occasions. I have often pointed to this as necessary historical context to the sectarianism of the assad regime. you don’t need to prove yet again your emotional ties to the alawi community. it’s perfectly obvious and always has been. yes, i would presume that an urban majority constitutes more people than a rural majority. that seems like plain logic to me. in any case, you yourself on previous occasions have described the coastal region as having a sunni majority. i’m sure that if you were to draw a line around the mountains you could find an alawi majority, but i don’t think that would be in the interests of alawis, sunnis or anyone else…..it’s always important to recognise past oppressions, but these do not justify present genocides or ethnic cleansings, nor carving up countries on ethno-sectarian lines. the holocaust does not excuse slaughter in sabra and shatila or gaza. the safavids do not excuse saddam hussain. saddam hussain does not excuse the exclusion of iraqi sunnis. ibn taymiyya does not excuse assad.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: in any case, in perfect orientalist style you are ignoring contemporary history in favour of the distant past. ‘alawis’ have been in charge for over 40 years.alawis have been living in the cities, making friends with sunnis, in some cases marrying sunnis. in this time the regime actually oppressed alawi ulama and community leaders and deliberately kept sectarian hatreds bubbling for divide and rule reasons. they had four decades to address the problem, to manage a public conversation and reconciliation. they chose to do the opposite. and when challenged by a democratic movement for secular rights, they deliberately lit the fuse of sectarian conflict by implicating alawis in their death squads and massacres, and by their propaganda.

Joshua Landis: Robin, I couldn’t agree with you more about oppression. I in no way wish to defend the Assad regime, which is guilty of brutal and indiscriminate killing of the worst kind. I have emotional ties to all Syrians. My point is about the demographic realities of Syria. If one draws a line down the Eastern side of the Alawite mountains, where the Alawite majority population gives way to a predominantly Sunni majority and counted the religious distribution of all those to the West of that line, the Alawites would be the majority. That is my simple contention. It does not mean that they deserve a state or could maintain one or that it would be fair for the Sunnis of the coastal cities. I am simply trying to establish some basis for understanding the region. Would you agree to that simple statistic?

Joshua Landis: Robin, You are absolutely correct about the deeply sectarian nature of this regime and its response to the uprising. In fact, my first article for the Economist, dated, Jun 14th 2011, was entitled “Deeply Sectarian.” We are in perfect agreement about the sectarian nature of the regime and ensuing mess it has created.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: joshua, i think of you as a well-meaning person, but i can’t help but think too that your skewed commentary on the revolution has helped assad confuse the issue in the west. no, i don’t think i would agree with your simple statistic. i think the sunni majority in the cities probably outweighs the alawi majority in the mountains – but of course i can’t prove it, and it may be that now, at this precise moment, there is a slight alawi majority because so many alawis from damascus and homs have moved to tartus to flee violence.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: ruth – i very nearly ‘liked’ your comment but didn’t for the simple reason that most alawis have not actually benefitted from the regime. some certainly have, but many more haven’t. they’ve been terrified by regime propaganda and implicated in the regime’s crimes. now they are losing thousands of young men fighting for this monster. most are victims of the regime. if over the last decades the community had been allowed to develop itself, to produce its own leaders, to initiate its own dialogue with sunnis, it (and all of us) would not be in this situation now

Joshua Landis: Why don’t we leave this on the happy note that you consider me “well meaning.” I, of course, do not think my analysis has been skewed. On the contrary, my warning that this struggle would end up much like Iraq or Lebanon — i.e. going sectarian — has proven to be the case. You have argued from the beginning that my commentary has caused this, but I would humbly suggest that is to give me much too much agency and importance. I have simply described what I believe to be the reality of the Syrian situation. I believe that I have been fairly accurate. Of course, I have made my share of mistakes, but not, for the most part, on the big things. I wrote early that this would go sectarian, that the regime was deeply sectarian, and would turn this into a sectarian struggle because Alawites feel persecuted and have a history of being persecuted, which they have not gotten over. I have tried to inject as much history into this as possible – and I think the history is important and not just some distant baggage that should be ignored. The Alawites should have gotten over their persecution and “minority complex” and Assad should have given up power in the first weeks of this uprising in favor of a constitutional convention, but he did not.

So we are where we are, which is very ugly. Sunnis now feel like a persecuted minority, and with good reason, they have been persecuted. I doubt there will be an “Alawite state” – even one with a big Sunni minority residing in it – established on the coast. Most probably the “status quo” will prevail for some time.

The status quo is the division of Syria into a revolutionary forces controlled North and North-East and government controlled South and Southwest. This will leave the Assad government ruling over a large Sunni majority and Damascus, which will be very unstable. I suspect the North will also be very unstable because the FSA and other militas agree on little beyond their desire to rid themselves of the oppression of the regime.

The US and the West wants to hurt Hizbullah and Iran, but I am not sure if it has “Syria’s” interests uppermost in its calculations. My essay about the three possible scenarios is meant to underline this. I try not to pick “a best scenario”, but simply point out the difficulties with each.

Maxwell Ryder: Robin, you are a sharp knife in a drawer full of dull knives. Thank you for each post. I couldn’t agree more, though I did not like the “dick” part.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: of course i don’t think your commentary caused this. i think (like you, it seems) that assad and his allies caused this. i think your commentary (indirectly) helped assad get his sectarian message across to the west from the earliest days. you didn’t so much bear witness to the ways in which assad lit the sectarian fuse as focus on the sectarianism of the opposition, even at the start when the remarkable thing was how a sectarian society was able to produce such a non-sectarian discourse. you focussed on obscure salafists rather than the central local coordination committees. you are probably right about the status quo, which is a disaster for syria and, increasingly, for the region and the wider muslim world. my contention is that the opposition has the vast majority on its side. it has been able to conquer vast swathes of the country for this reason, despite being so poorly armed. therefore i believe that a serious effort to arm the opposition would allow it a reasonably speedy victory. then syria could start the difficult process of picking up the pieces. because commentary like yours is dominant, however, there probably won’t be a serious effort to arm the opposition, and the status quo will continue. even now after hixbullah’s open involvement, the west and the arabs are only talking about ‘restoring the balance’. in other words, let syria bleed. let the wound expand.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: Maxwell – thanks. the ‘dick part’ was not the insult you think it was. i was referring to my friend Dick Gregory, who commented above.

Joshua Landis: I agree that Alawites, to the extent that we can generalize, are oppressed and have little if any freedom of choice. Assad treats Alawites as he treats the rest of Syrians, as his slaves. But I would caution that this does not mean that Alawites will turn against the regime any time soon. They feel like the knife is at their throat. At least that is what many say, now that this struggle has become very sectarian. Almost every Alawite i have talked to gives me a five minute soliloquy on how he or she is not an Assad supporter and how Assad has gotten them to this terrible situation, but then they go on to reproduce the Assad line about Sunni extremism and how they must defend themselves, etc. I think understanding their dilemma is important to any solution. One cannot just dismiss their fears or this war will drag on for a very long time.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: i agree with that. we must also remember the brave minority of alawites who, despite their well-founded fears, are working for the revolution in public or in private. during my recent trip i heard about alawis secretly providing food and medicine to the besieged areas.

Henry Kissinger: Balkanized Syria Best Possible Outcome – Juerriann Maessen

“There are three possible outcomes. An Assad victory. A Sunni victory. Or an outcome in which the various nationalities agree to co-exist together but in more or less autonomous regions, so that they can’t oppress each other. That’s the outcome I would prefer to see. But that’s not the popular view.”

… “First of all, Syria is not a historic state. It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape in order to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after UN mandate. The neighboring country Iraq was also given an odd shape, that was to facilitate control by England. And the shape of both of the countries was designed to make it hard for either of them to dominate the region.”

As a result of Syria’s a-historical origins, Kissinger explained, the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups. As the recent “revolution” is further spiraling into chaos, Kissinger comments on the nature of the current situation:

“In the American press it’s described as a conflict between democracy and a dictator- and the dictator is killing his own people, and we’ve got to punish him. But that’s not what’s going on. It may have been started by a few democrats. But on the whole it’s an ethnic and sectarian conflict.”

“It is now a civil war between sectarian groups”, Kissinger went on to state. “And I have to say we have misunderstood it from the beginning. If you read our media they say: we’ve got to get rid of Assad. And if we get rid of Assad, then we form a coalition government. Inconceivable. I’m all in favour of getting rid of Assad, but the dispute between us and the Russians on that issue, was that the Russians say: you start with getting rid of not just Assad, that’s not the issue, but you break up the state administration and you’ll wind up like in Iraq- that there is nothing to hold it together. And then you’ll have an even worse civil war. This is how that mess has taken the present form.”

June 2013 report from ISPU / New America Foundation – Dissecting an Evolving Conflict: The Syrian Uprising and the
Future of the Country – by Asaad Al-Saleh & Loren White

Game Theory vs. Syria’s Reality – Syria Report – Musa al-Gharbi

The Tribal Factor in Syria’s Rebellion: A Survey of Armed Tribal Groups in Syria – Nick Heras & Carole O’Leary, Jamestown Foundation – very interesting article

Tribalism remains a primary form of communal identity among Arab Sunnis across Syria, regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas. As a powerful source of socio-political mobilization, Syrian Arab tribalism has shaped the conflict since the first demonstrations against the al-Assad government were led by disaffected tribesmen in the northeastern city of al-Hasakah in February 2011. The popular anger mobilized in Dera’a governorate by inter-tribal activist networks of mainly young and displaced tribesmen over the arrest and murder of two tribal youths fueled a national uprising (for Syrian Arab tribal networks, see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012). Currently, Syrian Arab tribal groups are active participants in pro and anti-Assad militias, as soldiers in the Syrian military and as members of tribally-organized militias that are concerned with protecting their tribe and its autonomy from both the Syrian state and the armed opposition.

Of particular concern in the context of Syria’s civil war is the possibility of an alliance, however temporary, between Syria’s Arab tribes and militant Salafist groups such as the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra (Victory Front). In the north-eastern governorates of al-Raqqa, al-Hasakah and Deir al-Zor collectively referred to as al-Jazirah (bordering Turkey to the north and Iraq to the east), the majority Arab Sunni tribal population coexists uneasily with groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra that have a strong presence in the region. A tribal shaykh of a major tribal confederation in the area asserted that, without international support, Syrian tribes would do what they had to do to protect their assets, including working with militant Salafist groups or even Iran. [1]

Syrian Arab Tribes and Tribal Organization in the Civil War

Syrian Arab tribes are divided into qabila (national and trans-national tribal confederations) and ‘ashira (individual tribes). ‘Ashira are further divided into fukhud (clans), khums or ibn ‘amm (lineages) and, at the lowest level, albayt or aa’ila (extended families). Due to the geographically dispersed and localized nature of the Syrian conflict, Syrian tribal armed groups, like other participants in the civil war, generally participate in fighting near their home areas. In spite of the generally localized nature of mobilization of armed groups in the Syrian civil war, there is a clear distinction of scale and group solidarity that differentiates a tribal ‘ashira from a tribal qabila, the main units of organization that tribal armed groups have displayed thus far in the conflict.

Although they may occasionally be referred to as qabila and include fellow tribesmen from Syria’s neighboring countries, ‘ashira are usually present and powerful only in a particular region within Syria. Such ‘ashira include al-Haddadine in the northwestern Aleppo and Idlib governorates, al-Muwali in Idlib governorate, al-Damaakhla in Idlib, Hama, Aleppo, and Raqqa governorates, the Bani Khalid in the central-western Homs and Hama governorates and al-Zoubi in the southern Dera’a governorate and across the border into northern Jordan.

The Bani Khalid and al-Muwali ‘ashira have active fighters in the armed opposition and exemplify the role of a local ‘ashira in the fighting in western Syria. Several battalions of Bani Khalid fighters who are aligned with the armed opposition’s umbrella group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), continue to participate in the fighting for the city of Homs and its suburbs. [2] The ‘Shield Brigade’ of the Bani Khalid in Hama governorate is also a constituent fighting force of the western Syrian umbrella armed opposition group, the Front of Syrian Revolutionaries. [3] Al-Muwali tribesmen are fighting against the Syrian military in the vicinity of the large town of Ma’rat Numan, south of the city of Idlib, where the tribe is present in large numbers. They are active in the fight for the control of the town and the nearby Syrian military base of Wadi al-Dayf. [4]

Three armed opposition battalions that claim to be tribal but are without a specifically stated tribal affiliation have been active in western Syria. One of these groups is called the Battalion of the Free Tribes, which, like the al-Muwali and the al-Damaakhla, is active around the town of Mar’at Numan, participating in the fight for control of Wadi al-Dayf. This group is also associated with the Syrian nationalist, Sunni Islamist umbrella armed opposition group, Alwiya Ahfaad al-Rasul (Descendants of the Prophet). [5] Another tribal battalion, the Free Tribes of al-Sham, was organized in Dera’a in February and claims to have been formed by defecting Syrian soldier tribesmen from Dera’a, Aleppo, al-Raqqa, al-Haskah and Deir al-Zor governorates. The Free Tribes of al-Sham are a battalion of the al-Omari Brigades, an Alwiya Ahfaad al-Rasul affiliate in Dera’a. [6] Another coalition of tribal militias composed of many Syrian army defectors, calling itself the Front of the Syrian Tribes, was formed in Aleppo in April. [7]

Syrian Tribal Qabila in the Civil War

The largest qabila in Syria, particularly the Ougaidat, Baggara and Shammar, are transnational tribal confederations that have constituent clans throughout the country. These qabila are, however, present in the greatest numbers in the Jazirah region. Some qabila in Syria, such as the ‘Anaza of Homs governorate, the Ta’ie of al-Hasakah governorate, and the Na’im are present in Syria in smaller numbers than in neighboring states. Of these smaller qabila, al-Na’im is the largest and some al-Na’im tribesmen have raised an opposition brigade in the Damascus countryside. [8]

The qabila of the Ougaidat is emerging as one of the most active tribally organized, armed anti-Assad coalitions. Ougaidat fighting groups, organized on the local level, are part of a national tribal coalition that calls itself the Ougaidat Tribe Brigades. These brigades are very active in Homs governorate in and around the small city of al-Rastan north of Homs and in Deir al-Zor governorate, where they have particular strength inside and south of the city of Deir al-Zor in a belt of communities that includes the towns of Mayadin and Abu Kamal on the Iraqi border. Ougaidat brigades also participate in the fighting around the northwestern city of Idlib near the Turkish border. [9]

The Ougaidat have also been active participants in an opposition exile group, the Council of the Arab Tribes in Syria. Several prominent members of the Syrian opposition are Ougaidat tribesmen, including Shaykh Nawaf al-Faris, the former Syrian Ambassador to Iraq; Syria’s first astronaut, Major General Muhammad Faris; the Chairman of the FSA Military Council of Aleppo, Colonel Abd al-Jabbar al-‘Aqeedi; and the former Chairman of the Latakia Political Security Branch, General Nabil al-Fahad al-Dundal. [10]

There are also challenges that confront effective intra-tribal coordination and unity in Syria that are caused by geographic dispersal inside the country and internal divisions created by local power realities in a particular governorate. Our research indicates that the most pronounced example of intra-tribal divisions in the conflict occurs within the Baggara tribal confederation. Baggara tribesmen participate in armed activities both in support of and against the opposition. The Baggara were particularly hard-hit by the Syrian Ba’ath Party’s policy of undermining tribal autonomy and the economic deprivation caused by the decade-long drought that devastated Syria’s rural, agriculture-dependent regions.

Baggara tribesmen are also religiously divided by the conversion to Shi’ism of a reported quarter of the Baggara confederation in villages south of Aleppo as a result of Iranian-funded proselytization (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012; September 15, 2011). Tribal leaders from the Shammar and Ougaidat confederations offered a cultural explanation for the Baggara’s lack of internal tribal coherence and Sunni to Shiite conversions by suggesting they were the result of the Baggara’s roots as a sheep or goat-herding tribe and not a “noble” camel-herding tribe. [11] In Aleppo, Baggara fighters are reported to work with the Syrian military to attack opposition controlled neighborhoods in the city, and Syrian opposition fighters also claim to have fought Baggara tribesmen supporting the Syrian military during a battle fought to free prisoners held at the Aleppo Central Prison. [12]

Overall leadership of the Baggara was at one point claimed by Shaykh Nawaf Raghib al-Bashir, the son of the now deceased former paramount Shaykh of the Baggara. Shaykh al-Bashir, who was one of the prominent opposition figures who signed the 2005 reformist Damascus Declaration, was jailed by the Syrian government in 2011 and reportedly forced to issue a statement in support of President Bashar al-Assad (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 18, 2012). Following his defection to Turkey, Shaykh al-Bashir became a prominent leader within the Council of the Arab Tribes in Syria and the leader of the Jazirah and Euphrates Front to Liberate Syria (al-Safir [Beirut], February 21).

The Jazirah and Euphrates Front to Liberate Syria is an opposition organization that, according to Shaykh al-Bashir, consists of approximately 138 armed opposition battalions and brigades in the Jazirah region that coordinate closely with the FSA’s Supreme Military Command but are autonomous from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Syrian National Council (Zaman al-Wasl [Homs], March 23). Shaykh al-Bashir is also said to have personal command of approximately 500 to 3,000 armed fighters organized into fighting groups that are reportedly organized under Alwiya Ahfaad al-Rasul’s umbrella in areas of northern al-Raqqa and al-Hasakah governorates. [13]

Anti-Kurdish Militancy

Shaykh al-Bashir has organized several armed groups that have actively sought to attack Kurds in and around the ethnically mixed city of Ras al-‘Ayn in the northeastern area of al-Hasakah governorate along the Turkish border (National [Dubai], January 30). Pro-government Baggara fighters, without links to Shaykh al-Bashir, are also stated to have participated in attacks against the Kurdish Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (PYD – Democratic Union Party) in the ethnically mixed northern Aleppo neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud (Welati.info, May 11, 2012). The participation of Baggara tribal fighters in attacks against Kurds demonstrates the continuingly fragile state of Kurdish and Arab tribal relations in ethnically mixed regions such as Aleppo and al-Jazirah (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012).

The cities of al-Hasakah and Qamishli in the northeastern area of the governorate of al-Hasakah near the borders with Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan have emerged as a site of conflict between Arab tribes and Kurds. In Qamishli, members of the Ta’ie tribe have been organized into pro-Assad “Popular Committees” under the command of the Syrian MP and Ta’ie Shaykh Muhammad Fares and are reported to have engaged in several clashes with Kurdish fighters from the PYD [All4Syria, November 30, 2012]. However, local Arab tribal leaders and Kurdish notables who grew up together have formed a joint council in Qamishli to avoid such conflict. The conflict on the Kurdish side is generated by individuals and groups linked to the PYD. [14]

Conclusion

Tribal identity is used in restive areas of Syria to mobilize and direct the armed activities of tribesmen in support of both the government and the opposition. Further, tribal identity (even where dormant, as is often the case in major cities) will, as occurred in Iraq, assert itself more prominently among Arab Sunnis across Syria as the country further destabilizes, including in the major urban areas of western Syria such as Aleppo and Damascus. Tribalism is a socio-cultural fact throughout Syria, not just in the less developed eastern governorates of the country. It is an important form of traditional civil society that will help determine the success of local or foreign-supported security arrangements, affect good governance and impact the sustainability of long-term stability operations and economic development throughout the country. As anti-Assad states in the international community debate options for implementing potential post-Assad stability operations, Syrian Arab tribes will be a critical part of this effort.

Carole A. O’Leary is a Visiting Scholar at the Columbus School of Law’s Program in Law & Religion within the Catholic University of America (CUA).

Nicholas A. Heras is an independent analyst and consultant on Middle East issues and a former David L. Boren Fellow.

VIDEO: PKK kills three in protest shooting in Syria – al-Arabiya

Three people were killed and a number of others injured when members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) opened fire on protesters in the Syrian Kurdish-dominated town of Amuda in the Hasakeh district.

People gathered on Thursday night to call for the release of activists who had been detained by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the PKK and has control over most of Syria’s Kurdish areas in the north.

The opposition has repeatedly accused the PYD of collaborating with the Assad regime, however, the Kurdish group has denied such allegations.

There has been an upsurge of protests and demonstrations in the Hasakeh district following the arrest of activists who support the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a conflict that has entered its third year and has led to the death of more than 90,000 people.

Syria’s Foreign Legions – Mona Alami

A lengthy uprising and the growing radicalization of the Syrian street have fueled the rise of jihadi fighters. Over recent years, the al-Qaeda franchise has been bolstered by the ruthless violence used by the Assad regime against what started as peaceful protests. Today, demonstrations have turned into a sectarian war, pitting in some instances a “Sunni Umma” against a “Nusayri” regime. This has strong appeal for jihadi fighters from neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine.

A few months after the beginning of the uprising, bloggers on Salafi websites began asking jihadi scholars for fatwas allowing them to join the protest movement. Sheikh Abu al-Mundhir al-Shinqiti advised bloggers to join the protests as long as they avoided calling for democracy or any other secular slogan. At the end of 2011, Ousama al-Shehabi, a commander in Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, called for armed struggle in Syria on the Shumoukh al-Islam online forum.1 This was followed by a fatwa posted by Sheikh al-Shinqiti on Minbar al-Tawhid Wa al-Jihad, allowing for the use of violence against the Assad regime.

In February 2012, al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on militants in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey to rise up and support what he called “their brothers in Syria.” Around the same time, Jordanian Salafi Sheikh Abou Mohamad Tahawi released a fatwa calling for jihad in Syria. “I called for any man able to go for Jihad in Syria; it is the responsibility of any good Muslim to stop the bloodshed perpetrated by the Nusayri regime,” the sheikh said in an interview.2 Tahawi was arrested a few months ago by Jordanian intelligence.3

Arab Israeli jailed for joining Syria rebels – NOW

An Arab Israeli was sent to jail on Monday for more than two years for going to Syria where he joined rebels battling against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hikmat Massarwa, from Taibe village in Galilee, was given 30 months in prison by Lod District Court as part of a plea bargain in which he admitted contacts with an enemy agent, illegally leaving the country and infiltration.

Israel is technically at war with Syria and it is illegal for its citizens to travel there.

Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in Raqqah: Demonstrations and Counter-Demonstrations – Jihadology – Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

In a previous post for Jihadology I documented how looking at evidence from Raqqah Governorate basically illustrates that the designations of Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN) are interchangeable in that area. The latest controversy that has emerged in the city of Raqqah itself further demonstrates this conclusion. … Good discussion follows, with links to videos

Face-to-face with Abu Sakkar, Syria’s ‘heart-eating cannibal’ – BBC

Cannibal

… “I really don’t remember,” he says, when I ask if it was the man’s heart, as reported at the time, or liver, or a piece of lung, as a doctor who saw the video said. He goes on: “I didn’t bite into it. I just held it for show.”

The video says otherwise. It is one of the most gruesome to emerge from Syria’s civil war. In it, Abu Sakkar stands over an enemy corpse, slicing into the flesh.

“It looks like you’re carving him a Valentine’s heart,” says one of his men, raucously. Abu Sakkar picks up a bloody handful of something and declares: “We will eat your hearts and your livers you soldiers of Bashar the dog.” Then he brings his hand up to his mouth and his lips close around whatever he is holding. At the time the video was released, in May, we rang him and he confirmed to us that he had indeed taken a ritual bite (of a piece of lung, he said).

Now, meeting him face-to-face, he seems a bit more circumspect, though his anger builds when I ask why he carried out this depraved act. “I didn’t want to do this. I had to,” he tells me. “We have to terrify the enemy, humiliate them, just as they do to us. Now, they won’t dare be wherever Abu Sakkar is.”

He is 27, a stocky, tough-looking Bedouin from the Baba Amr district of Homs, with a wild stare and skin burned a dark brown by the sun. He tells me the story of his involvement in the revolution, leading to his current notoriety. …

Syria Baath party leadership replaced, including VP Sharaa – Daily Star

Syria’s ruling Baath party, headed by the country’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad, announced on Monday that its top leadership would be replaced, including Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa.

The party’s central committee “held a lengthy meeting… on Monday morning,” at which “a new national leadership was chosen,” the Baath party website said.

It published the names of the new leadership, which included none of the party’s old chiefs with the exception of Assad.

Egypt

 

The argument over whether what happened in Egypt on Wednesday, July 3, was a coup or a revolution is really an argument over the legitimacy of the actions taken. If it was a revolution, it was perhaps a manifestation of the popular will, and so would have a sort of Rousseauan legitimacy. If it was merely a military coup against an elected president, then it lacks that legitimacy.

In fact, there certainly was a popular revolutionary element to the events, with literally millions of protesters coming out on Sunday and after, in the biggest demonstrations in Egyptian history. You can’t dismiss that as merely a coup d’etat from on top by a handful of officers.

But on Wednesday there was also a military coup, provoked by the officer corps’ increasing dissatisfaction with President Muhammad Morsi as well as a determination not to stand by as the country threatened to devolve into chaos, as rival street crowds confronted one another.

… In the end, the revolution and the coup worked in tandem. They were a “revocouption.” Such a conjunction is not unusual in history. The American Revolution against the British was a war before it issued ultimately in a Federal government, and the first president was the general who led the troops. Likewise, the 1949 Communist Revolution in China was not just a matter of the civilian party taking over; there had been a war of liberation against Japan and a civil war between Mao Ze Dong’s Communist troops and the Guomindang, and Mao’s leadership of the Red Army was central to the revolution. …

Muslim Brotherhood site says Egypt’s new president is secretly Jewish – WP

IkhwanOnline, the official Web site of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, posted an article on Thursday asserting that the country’s new interim president, Adly Mansour, is secretly Jewish. The article, since taken offline, suggested that Mansour was part of an American and Israeli conspiracy to install Mohamed ElBaradei, a former U.N. official and  Egyptian opposition figure, as president.

Mansour, the supreme justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim president on Thursday after the military announced that President Mohamed Morsi was no longer in charge. Morsi was a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has held large demonstrations protesting his ouster. That the Muslim Brotherhood would be suspicious of Mansour, and of the military that toppled Morsi to install him, is not surprising.

Still, the IkhwanOnline article suggests that some elements of the Muslim Brotherhood may be indulging in conspiracy theories that ignore their own role in public outrage about Morsi’s rule and may be promoting the anti-Semitic ideas that engendered so much international skepticism of their rule. There is no indication that there is any truth to the article.

The article cited as its source the purported Facebook page of an al-Jazeera Arabic broadcaster, although it’s not clear whether the Facebook page is real. The article claims that Mansour is “considered to be a Seventh Day Adventist, which is a Jewish sect” (in fact, Seventh Day Adventism is considered part of Protestant Christianity). It further claims that Mansour tried to convert to Christianity but was rebuffed by the Coptic pope, a major Egyptian religious figure, who supposedly refused to baptize him.

Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader arrested hours before Egypt’s interim president sworn in – NY Daily News – Collection of Photos

Mohammed Badie was arrested Wednesday night in a coastal resort city of Egypt only hours before the country’s military-appointed interim President Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in Thursday.

The leader of the Egyptian Coptic in Britain has expressed hope for the future of Egyptian after President Mohamed Morsi was removed in a coup yesterday. …

“Persecution has increased exponentially since the uprising [in January 2011]. There have been more deaths in two years than in the last 20 years, due to the lack of law and order

While the bishop emphasised Coptic Church is neutral in Egyptian politics, “does not back any movement, we are not players”, there were obviously deep concerns among Egyptian Christians about the direction the Muslim Brotherhood government was taking the country.

“It is not a Christian-Muslim issue. The government has taken a line that excludes a large proportion of the population,” Bishop Angaelos said, and the economy was falling to pieces. “I hope this new development brings a new era. The country needs to be rebuilt.”

Although the Egyptian Army was responsible for a massacre of 28 Christians in Maspero in October 2011, the Bishop said it had “acted with integrity” by swearing in the chief justice, Adly Mansour, as acting president. He said the problem was with the leadership, and that there should have been an inquiry into Maspero.

The problem, he said, was “a lack of political integrity and experience. Lots of promises are being made and not been kept. Morsi promised to have a woman and Christian as vice-presidents, but then he was told that according to sharia law we couldn’t have women or Christians ruling.

With fall of Muslim Brotherhood, is Hamas at risk? – LA Times

As the sudden fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood reverberates through the Middle East, perhaps nowhere are events being watched more anxiously than in Gaza Strip, the seaside enclave controlled by the Islamist group’s Palestinian spinoff, Hamas.

Seeing its Egyptian mentor swept from power after only one year has unnerved many Hamas leaders, despite the group’s tight political and security control over Gaza.

… Like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas has struggled to balance its Islamist and militant roots with the realities and responsibilities of governing. And like its Egyptian brethren, Hamas has been criticized for failing to deliver. Gaza’s 1.5 million residents remain locked in poverty and isolation, in part because Hamas is widely labeled a terrorist organization and isolated by Israel and the much of the West.

Already some Hamas rivals from the Palestinian secular faction Fatah are predicting that Gaza residents also will rise up. Hamas spokesman Ihab Ghussein insisted the group is not worried, labeling talk of a revolt “ridiculous.”

… Emboldened by Morsi’s rise, Hamas over the past year had attempted to impose stricter Islamic laws in Gaza, moving to segregate schools by gender, cracking down on women smoking or wearing low-cut jeans and forcing young men into barbershops to change their Western-style haircuts.

Before he was replaced, Morsi was also criticized for spending too much time pursuing a conservative Islamist agenda that did nothing to alleviate economic problems and alienated much of Egypt’s secular and non-Muslim population — just the accusations that could eventually undermine Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Outrage: Protests and Gunfire Follow Morsi’s Ousting – TIME

To bar entrance to the stretch of Nasr Road where several thousand diehard Muslim Brothers have established a makeshift protest camp, the Egyptian army parked a line of armored vehicles, evenly spaced and impossible to miss — standing as they are between the grave of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the reviewing stand where the Egyptian president was assassinated by Islamist extremists.

A couple of long blocks further on, bearded men stand behind homemade shields at a checkpoint of their own. The street beyond is crowded with a fraction of the millions who lifted the Brotherhood to power in every election since the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Some sit dejected on curbs. A few arrange piles of broken concrete – first gathered as weapons – into swooping Arabic letters that might be read from the air: “Legitimacy is the source,” reads one. Most, however,  stand quietly in small groups, keen to articulate both their acute sense of betrayal and a determination that has been a hallmark of the Brotherhood since it was founded 80 years ago, though now expressed in more apocalyptic terms.

“The veil of democracy has been removed,” says Ali Holayel, 37, of Suez City. “We adopted peacefulness. We adopted democracy. They have used democracy against us.

“The end of it,” he says, “will be our souls, our deaths. The whole Islamic movement will join.”

The Brothers are scrambling for footing in a world suddenly turned upside down.  Until Wednesday afternoon, they held the presidency, the cabinet, the upper house of parliament, and the prospect of months before being called to account by voters in the next election.  Then President Mohamed Morsi was taken into custody by the army, arrest warrants were issued for 300 others and the armored personnel carriers moved into place.

“How is the democracy game played?” asks Sayeed Mohammad, a towel around his neck to cut the heat from Thursday’s afternoon sun. “Majority and minority, right? Fifty-percent plus one, majority rules. We’re not cutting anyone out of the process. We’re just asking people to respect the rules of the game.”

… “The thing that upsets me right now is they’re making us feel like we don’t really belong to the country,” says Hassan Ahmed, 47, and leaning on a car listening to speakers outside the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque, ground zero for the encampment. “I don’t really care about political Islam. I’m not here about political Islam. I’m here as a regular person who voted. If it was [Mohammad] El-Baradei who was president and he was removed by force, I would be here all the same,” Ahmed says, naming the liberal Nobel Laureate who heads a secular liberal party.

Ahmed, an engineer, said he voted for Morsi but is not himself a member of the Brotherhood. “I elected Morsi because he had an institution that would work with him, spread out all over Egypt and they knew the problems of the population.” He said he found himself weeping after the coup, and made his way to the encampment, one of two in Cairo. “I came here only a few hours ago, but I came here to die,” he says, and chuckles.

No confrontation appeared imminent at the time, but on Friday afternoon Brotherhood supporters marched from a mass rally at the Nasr Road encampment to the army installation where Morsi is thought to be held. Gunshots were heard, and journalists saw at least one body. Reuters reported three killed. A military spokesman insisted soldiers fired only blanks. Before the march, Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said in a Tweet that the struggle against the coup would take place only through “peaceful means,” through a National Coalition. “Any violence is rejected.”

It seems too early to tell which way things would go. In Egypt’s largely lawless Sinai peninsula, where groups affiliated with al Qaeda have taken root,  attacks on the military put the region under an official state of emergency. But there were also signs that other Islamist groups were continuing to invest in politics, evidently happy to capitalize on the Brotherhood’s woes: The Salafist Nour party was represented on the podium Wednesday where Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced Morsi’s removal. And the Islamic Group, which throughout the 1990s carried out terror attacks aimed at bringing down the Egyptian state, called for “a comprehensive reconciliation.” Why? “To open a bright future for our dear Egypt.”

The little-known jurist who was appointed interim president, Adli Mansour, professed that the Brotherhood would be welcome to participate in the elections he vowed were forthcoming. But it was unclear whether the Brotherhood could be lured back into the process. Their urban encampments amounted to an expression of the politics of protest that have held sway in Egypt – the one straddling Nasr Road in many ways a mini-Tahrir, with its makeshift tents and tea vendors and nonstop speeches.

At one point Thursday, there was even a phalanx of clerics from Al-Azhar University, their distinctive red and white hats bobbing in formation as they arrived from a side street, chanting “Illegitimate.” The University’s chief cleric supported the coup, but the school’s faculty includes a good number of Brotherhood supporters. …

The darkly funny joke that sums up Egypt’s crisis – WP – Max Fisher

Before the joke, the set up: Since the Muslim Brotherhood was first founded in Egypt in 1928, it has been severely persecuted, including by the three Egyptian presidents who ruled from 1956 through the 2011 revolution: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. After Mubarak fell, Muslim Brotherhood members swept the country’s first elections, even taking the presidency, although President Mohamed Morsi’s one year in office has been extremely controversial, culminating in mass protests this week, with many calling for him to step down and the military hinting it might step in.

Now the joke, told by a spokesman for Egyptian opposition figure Amr Moussa and relayed by Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid: “Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak tried to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Morsi succeeded.”

Muslim Brotherhood key to Mursi’s rise and fall – al-Arabiya – Octavia Nasr

The Muslim Brotherhood had the chance to govern Egypt after winning elections fair and square a year ago. But instead of governing and protecting all Egyptians as their civil responsibility and civic duty dictate, the Muslim Brotherhood divided, polarized and proved beyond any doubt that political Islam – just like militant Islam – will never be inclusive. As a consequence, it will never be accepted in the mainstream without major concessions and multiple metamorphoses.

… Political Islam is fundamentalist and exclusive by nature. It survives and thrives on animosity and persecution. It feeds off of the underdog sentiment and it attracts certain masses around it, controls them and directs them any which way it wants: To the streets when needed or to the ballot boxes.

On this historic juncture for Egypt, let us remember this:

The Muslim Brotherhood had no significant role in Egypt’s revolution in 2011 and the fall of Hosni Mubarak that ensued.

The Muslim Brotherhood has said early on that it will not seek political representation and that it will not run in elections.

Mohammed Mursi ran for the highest office on the promise to listen to the people and allow them to express themselves and to have a constitution and congress that represent them and protect them. He even said in a TV interview once, perhaps a premonition of what is to come, “No president of Egypt will remain in office if the people are not satisfied with him,” and called on Egyptians to demonstrate against him if he does not abide by the constitution and the law. …

Why the Western Media are Getting Egypt Wrong – Khaled Shaalan

Western media coverage of the massive waves of protests in Egypt over the past two days is revealing of a number of problems that plague knowledge production about the Arab world.

As crowds across the country were just warming up for the historic protests, around midday on 30 June, reports from Cairo appearing on Western broadcast and online news outlets focused on projecting an image of “polarization.” Rallies opposing the Muslim Brotherhood were represented as being balanced out, and in some cases even outnumbered, by the demonstration in favor of President Mohamed Morsi. The likelihood of violent clashes were carefully embedded within the news as a main characteristic of the current political situation in Egypt.

As the day went by, the 30 June anti-Morsi demonstrations turned out to probably be the largest ever in Egyptian history, with Egyptians from all walks of life peacefully, yet audaciously, denouncing the Brotherhood’s rule. In time for the evening news cycle in Europe and morning newscasts in the United States, editors of printed and online news outlets in the West started playing down their initial “polarization” message and began to recognize the size of dissidents as being truly unprecedented and in the millions.

The Egyptian people’s defiance of Brotherhood rule is a serious popular challenge to the most significant strategic reordering of the region perhaps since the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. …

Prosecutors have begun on Monday afternoon an investigation into the bloody clashes between the Egyptian army and pro-Morsi protesters at the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo earlier in the day.

The clashes  left at least 42 civilians dead and 322 injured.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian army said one officer died and 40 soldiers were injured, including seven in critical condition. …

Contradictory stories

Conflicting reports have emerged on how the clashes started on the fifth day of a Muslim Brotherhood spearheaded sit-in at the army facility to demand the return of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

In an official statement published by Al-Ahram Arabic news website, the army said an “armed terrorist group” attempted to break into the Republican Guard headquarters in the early hours of Monday and “attacked security forces.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s FJP, however, issued an official statement saying “peaceful protesters were performing the Fajjr (dawn) prayers” when the army “fired tear gas and gunshots at them without any consideration for the sanctity of prayers or life.” …

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Post-Coup World – New Yorker – Rania Abouzeid

… So far, General al-Sisi, who was appointed by Morsi last August, has announced that the constitution has been suspended, that the chief of the Constitutional Court would temporarily assume the President’s duties (assisted by an interim council and a technocratic government) until early presidential elections could be held, and that parliamentary polls would follow. Islamist-run television channels were taken off the air shortly after the conclusion of Sisi’s short statement. Morsi was placed under house arrest, where he remained on Thursday. Saad el-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad el-Bayoumi, one of the Brotherhood’s deputy leaders, were being held in Torah prison, the Egyptian state news agency MENA said Thursday—the same place Mubarak and his two sons are jailed. By Thursday afternoon, the Brotherhood’s supreme leader had also been arrested, according to press reports.

Being in opposition can be simpler than governing; the Brotherhood’s experiment exposed what many Egyptians perceived as its incompetence and inexperience. Morsi was increasingly seen as an Islamist autocrat in the making, especially after he effectively placed himself above the law in November, 2012, by decreeing that he was immune from judicial oversight.

Still, almost as dramatic as the swift downfall of an elected president is the rehabilitation of the military in the eyes of Egyptians. …

 

Lebanon / Hezbollah

 

Lebanese army fires shots to break up Sidon protests – al-Arabiya

Lebanese soldiers opened fire to break up a protest outside a mosque in the southern port of Sidon on Friday, days after the army fought Sunni Islamist militants there and seized control of the area.

The fighting earlier this week was the deadliest outbreak of violence in Lebanon to be fuelled by the two-year conflict in neighboring Syria. Some 18 soldiers were killed and dozens of supporters of firebrand cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir also died.

Al Qaida-linked Nusra Front rebels blamed for bloody fight against Lebanese army in Sidon – McClatchy

The worst fighting in Lebanon in years, which wracked this coastal city one hour south of Beirut this week, was touched off by an influx of foreign fighters from Syria, Palestinian camps and other Arab countries into the compound of a radical Sunni cleric, according to knowledgeable people on both sides of the conflict.

The foreign fighters included members of Jabhat al Nusra, a Syrian rebel group also known as the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with al Qaida, according to the accounts, including that of a Lebanese military official. Nusra is considered the most effective rebel group fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its presence inside Lebanon, if confirmed, would provide evidence not just that the Syrian conflict has spread, but that Nusra fighters have extended their influence outside Syria and Iraq.

A worker for a non-governmental organization in the Ein al Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon told McClatchy that the fighting was sparked when a group of Syrians fresh from that country’s battlefields, as well as fighters from other Arab countries, on Sunday attacked a Lebanese armed forces checkpoint near the mosque and apartment of controversial Sunni cleric Ahmad al Assir. At least three soldiers were killed.

“At least 60 Syrian guys from Jabhat al Nusra had joined with Assir in the last few weeks,” said the worker, a well-known aid official who identifies himself as Abu Hussein, a nickname that means father of Hussein.

Abu Hussein said Assir also had received support from “at least 30 Palestinians” affiliated with Jund al Sham, a terrorist organization whose name has been shared by a variety of al Qaida-linked groups and that is influential in the Ein al Hilweh camp, as well as what he called “jihadis from other Arab countries that had been fighting in Syria.”

Abu Hussein credited the Nusra fighters for the strong military performance of Assir’s followers in the clashes, which killed about 18 soldiers and wounded scores more.

“These Assir guys had no experience or training, so there was a military commander who had come in to help, I think he was from Nusra. This is why so many soldiers died,” Abu Hussein said.

As many as 300 fighters were in the compound, according to Abu Hussein, about 100 of whom were unaccounted for on Tuesday, including Assir. The whereabouts also were unknown of a former pop star turned Islamist militant, Fadel Shaker, who took time during the siege to record a morbid video released online in which he claimed that he personally killed two soldiers. …

Radical Sunni current gaining ground (in Lebanon) – NOW – Mona Alami

The post-2005 years have ushered in an unraveling of the moderate Sunni street, and the start of the protracted Syrian war and Hezbollah’s involvement is increasingly defined as a sectarian regional conflict. This has caused a dangerous shift on the Lebanese Sunni street, one with possible disastrous long-term consequences.

The assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, followed by the killing of March 14 figures and the decampment of former prime minister Saad Hariri, combined with political mismanagement – have resulted, over time, in the crippling of Lebanon’s main Sunni political faction, the Future movement. Lebanese Sunnis disenchanted with the political elite feel misrepresented and sidelined from power. This worsened significantly after Hezbollah’s unilateral decision to fight alongside the Assad regime in Syria, especially the border Qusayr region.

Hezbollah, the main Shiite party, already has a bad reputation among many members of the Sunni community. Four Hezbollah members have been accused of the killing of PM Hariri alongside 21 others. Fingers were also pointed at Hezbollah after the assassinations of two Sunni notables: police investigator Wissam Eid and ISF’s General Wissam al-Hassan.

A 2008 government decision to shut down Hezbollah’s telecommunication network and to remove Beirut’s Rafiq Hariri airport’s security chief, Wafiq Shoucair, over alleged ties to Hezbollah sparked clashes between Sunni and Druze militants and fighters affiliated with the Party of God. Tripoli‘s burning front, pitting Sunnis supporting the Syrian rebellion against Alawites aligned with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, has not calmed Sunnis’ resentment toward Hezbollah – which is perceived as adding fuel to the sectarian fire.

Whether these accusations are justified is not what matters. Instead, it’s the growing feeling of marginalization experienced by many Sunnis in Lebanon. This has led to a slow but certain radicalization of some members of these communities, particularly around demarcation lines where Shiites and Sunnis co-exist such as in Tripoli, the Beqaa, Sidon, and certain neighborhoods of Beirut.

While most Sunnis still follow mainstream political factions, radical currents are gaining ground. Several concerning developments have marked recent months. Islamic groups, which used to be on the margin of the Lebanese political scene are consolidating and gaining strength, such as the Lebanese Salafi movement, which has formed the “Tayyar ahl Sunna,” the movement of the Sunni community.

The exodus of Sunni youth to the Syrian battlefront has increased significantly in recent weeks. While Salafi sources in Tripoli previously estimated the number of Lebanese jihadis fighting alongside the Syrian rebels to be around 100, they now say the number has dramatically risen. “About 80 Tripoli Sunnis have gone to fight with the rebels in Qusayr in recent weeks,” says one Salafi source from Tripoli who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons. The son of Dai Islam al Chahal, Lebanon’s highest authority in the mainstream Salafi current, is fighting with his cousin in Qusayr. He is said to have been injured in a battle last week in which five other Lebanese fighters were killed. Tripoli fighters battling in Qusayr had responded to the call for jihad launched by Sheikh Salem Rafei last month. The enrollment of traditional Sunnis and mainstream Salafis (who do not generally advocate jihad) in the Syrian “holy war” is an indicator to be handled with care.

Hezbollah and the army of 12,000 – NOW

… Given the huge discrepancy in these numbers, questions emerge: are the figures real, or are they mere guesswork? And are they deliberately inflated for propaganda reasons from both camps? … In reality, most of these figures are grossly overinflated. Hezbollah’s deployment in Syria is probably in the hundreds, rather than thousands. …

Hezbollah supporters urge leadership: Stop sending our sons to die in Syria – JP

Amid the mounting death toll of Hezbollah operatives in Syria, a delegation of Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon has asked the Shi’ite group’s leadership to stop sending operatives to fight for Syrian President Bashar Assad, pan-Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat reported Sunday. …

 

Opinion / Intervention

 

Obama needs to act now on Syria: Column – Michael Doran and Michael O’Hanlon

By all accounts, President Obama reached his recent decision to supply arms directly to Syrian opposition groups with great reluctance. The president clearly understands that while getting into a war is easy, getting out is hard. The example of Iraq no doubt weighs heavily on his mind. But he also learned the lesson firsthand in Libya. After signing on to a limited mission, he was quickly forced to increase the level of U.S. participation or face the prospect of a rebel defeat.

Nevertheless, the delay in committing the United States to the success of the Syrian rebels is regrettable. More lives have been lost, and battlefield gains the insurgents enjoyed six months ago have been squandered. Regaining the momentum will take more than just the limited outside intervention currently contemplated. And even if it were possible to achieve the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad on the cheap, his departure would no more guarantee peace in Syria than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 brought stability to Iraq.

The fundamental point is this: A peace deal is not feasible under current conditions. It will require greater military effort up front and it will also require, in the end, international peacekeepers to implement it.

Moreover, U.S. troops in modest numbers must be part of that force. No other country has the necessary military enablers and the political clout to provide the glue in a multinational military coalition.

Benefit of delay

In this respect, the president’s reluctance to get involved has actually had a beneficial effect. It has dramatically demonstrated to America’s allies that the U.S. is indeed the indispensable nation. In one way or another, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar — to name just six states — have all urged Obama to play a more robust leadership role.

This clamor for U.S. intervention is an entirely new factor in Middle Eastern affairs. It is also one that gives America much more opportunity to manage the risks of military intervention. …

Obama Succeeded in Libya; He’s Failing in Syria – Atlantic

Why did the administration’s response to the chemical weapons use not involve either punishing the commanders in charge or a strategy to secure the weapons?

President Barack Obama made his first call for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down on Thursday, August 18, 2011 and then proceeded to enjoy a private 10-day vacation with his family on Martha’s Vineyard. Nearly two years later, Assad is still in power, and it seems clear today that Obama’s posturing nearly two years ago was unattached to an action plan to achieve Assad’s ouster.

At the time, liberal interventionists and neoconservative hawks pommeled the White House for dragging its heels in finally calling for Assad’s ouster, and many of these critics claimed credit for Obama’s eventual statement that the United States government favored regime change in Syria.

Perhaps Obama believed that Assad’s position would crumble like that of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who did relinquish power after President Obama called for him to step down. In the Egypt case, then-Senator John Kerry called for Mubarak to step down on Tuesday, the February 1. The following day, Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain “broke with the President” and joined Kerry’s call to Mubarak for the President to step down. …

Faisal Mekdad: ‘The US has no control over the rebels it is arming – and if Cameron and Hague think weapons can force Assad’s departure, they are stupid’ – Patrick Cockburn

Syria is convinced the US cannot control the rebel groups it is arming and will be unable to get them to declare a ceasefire that would be central to any successful peace talks, says the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister. This puts a further obstacle in the way of negotiations in Geneva proposed by the US and Russia which seem the best chance of ending the Syrian civil war. It now appears they will either not take place, or if they do, they will achieve nothing.

Faisal Mekdad says in an interview with The Independent in Damascus that the Americans “provide arms and money but they have absolutely no control. Nobody will listen. The US has been trying to unify this opposition for two years and you can see the results: more disintegration.” Mr Mekdad has been at the centre of Syrian foreign policy at a time when the country has been progressively isolated, while still managing to retain crucial allies.

Mr Mekdad looks more confident and relaxed than he did six months ago, probably reflecting a Syrian government belief that it has survived the worst of the crisis. A dapper, fast-talking man, Mr Mekdad comes from Daraa in southern Syria where the uprising began two years ago.

The cavernous Syrian foreign ministry feels insulated from the war, yet Mr Mekdad has not escaped the stresses of the conflict. His 84-year-old father was kidnapped and held for 14 days by rebels and he says he no longer goes to his family home because he wants to avoid further troubles. …

At the end of the interview Mr Mekdad commented that six months earlier Damascus had been resounding with the sound of artillery fire while now it is much quieter. In reality, this is not quite true and there is the constant boom of outgoing artillery and the occasional sharper crack of incoming fire from rebel mortars. …

Mr Mekdad does not look overly concerned by the postponement of the Geneva II peace conference, saying that Syria had always been ready and willing to attend without preconditions. But he goes out of his way to refute the idea that, if the US and its allies could make the rebels a bit stronger on the battlefield, “they can force the government to give more concessions. This is completely wrong,” he says. …

Qatar: Friends of Syria agree on ‘secret’ measures to arm rebels – al-Arabiya

Western and Arab countries opposed to the Syrian regime agreed on “secret” measures to change the military balance in Syria in favor of the rebel forces, Qatar’s prime minister said on Saturday.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani spoke at the end of a “friend of Syria” meeting of “secret decisions about practical measures to change the situation on the ground in Syria,” AFP reported.

“Most countries, except for two, are agreed on how to provide assistance to the rebels through the Military Council,” he said, without naming the two dissenting states.

The 11 main countries which form the “Friends of Syria” coalition agrees “to provide urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment to the opposition on the ground, each country in its own way in order to enable them to counter brutal attacks by the regime and its allies,” according to Reuters.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius the meeting called on Hezbollah and Iran to immediately end their intervention in Syria.

GCC calls for urgent U.N. meeting to prevent Homs massacre – al-Arabiya

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called for an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting to prevent a massacre from taking place in the Syrian central city of Homs.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, have been battling rebels – most of whom are Sunni Muslims – for the past three days in Homs, which is a strategic center point as it is on the road linking Damascus to the coast.

“Considering the Syrian regime’s insistence on ethnic and sectarian cleansing, as recently happened near Homs, and its use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the continued siege of Homs is inhumane and threatens a massacre,” said a GCC statement.

“The GCC calls on the Security Council to convene on an urgent basis to lift the siege of the city of Homs,” added the statement by the GCC, which is made up of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The Gulf Arab states said they were particularly worried about the presence of Hezbollah on the side of President Assad – who is an Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The GCC said it was concerned about Hezbollah fighting “under the banner” of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

On Sunday, GCC foreign ministers met with Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign representative, and urged European countries to arm the rebels immediately.

Taking Outsize Role in Syria, Qatar Funnels Arms to Rebels – NYT

As an intermittent supply of arms to the Syrian opposition gathered momentum last year, the Obama administration repeatedly implored its Arab allies to keep one type of powerful weapon out of the rebels’ hands: heat-seeking shoulder-fired missiles.

The missiles, American officials warned, could one day be used by terrorist groups, some of them affiliated with Al Qaeda, to shoot down civilian aircraft.

But one country ignored this admonition: Qatar, the tiny, oil- and gas-rich emirate that has made itself the indispensable nation to rebel forces battling calcified Arab governments and that has been shipping arms to the Syrian rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.

Since the beginning of the year, according to four American and Middle Eastern officials with knowledge of intelligence reports on the weapons, Qatar has used a shadowy arms network to move at least two shipments of shoulder-fired missiles, one of them a batch of Chinese-made FN-6s, to Syrian rebels who have used them against Mr. Assad’s air force. Deployment of the missiles comes at a time when American officials expect that President Obama’s decision to begin a limited effort to arm the Syrian rebels might be interpreted by Qatar, along with other Arab countries supporting the rebels, as a green light to drastically expand arms shipments.

Qatar’s aggressive effort to bolster the embattled Syrian opposition is the latest brash move by a country that has been using its wealth to elbow its way to the forefront of Middle Eastern statecraft, confounding both its allies in the region and in the West. The strategy is expected to continue even though Qatar’s longtime leader, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, stepped down last week, allowing his 33-year-old son to succeed him.

“They punch immensely above their weight,” one senior Western diplomat said of the Qataris. “They keep everyone off balance by not being in anyone’s pocket.”

“Their influence comes partly from being unpredictable,” the diplomat added. …

The Obama administration quietly blessed the shipments to Libya of machine guns, automatic rifles, mortars and ammunition, but American officials later grew concerned as evidence grew that Qatar was giving the weapons to Islamic militants there. …

Comments (447)


don said:

Murdered Syrian priest’s friend feels closeness of martyrdom

Rome, Italy, Jul 8, 2013 / 10:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Franciscan Friar Ibrahim Alsabagh says that remembering the June 23 killing of his friend, a Syrian priest, at a Mass in Rome made him feel “bitter, happy, and a little bit of envy,” as well as “how close martyrdom is.”

“My first reaction was of bitterness because I had met him personally and I know how much good he did,” said Father Alsabagh, a Syrian Franciscan of the Custody of the Holy Land. “Also because it made me realize how close martyrdom is.”

“But on the other hand, I also felt joy and a little bit of envy,” he told CNA July 4, following the memorial Mass for Father François Mourad, held in Rome.

The evening Mass was celebrated by Bishop Matteo M. Zuppi, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome, at the Church of Saints Fabian and Venantius.

During the Mass, which was held to pray for the priest and all of the victims of the conflict, Fr. Alsabagh spoke about the war, the growing faith of young Christians in Syria and about Fr. Murad’s death.

“He was gentle and docile, he was a Franciscan that always aspired to initiate a monastic path,” he said.“He always helped in our mission, and we always considered him as one of our brothers.”

Fr. Murad initially wanted to open a monastery close to Aleppo and base its spirituality on Saint Siemon the Stylite.

But Fr. Alsabagh said that because of “many difficulties,” Fr. Murad went to live in the monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua in Ghassanieh, which is where he was killed.

“We, Franciscans of the Holy Land, are also always called to testify to our faith in the Middle East, even to the point of martyrdom,” he remarked.

Fr. Alsabagh, who was studying for a doctorate in Rome, traveled to one of the three Franciscan monasteries in Damascus on July 5 “to help and support his brothers in the mission.”

“I’m returning there to be with my brothers and to live the testimony,” he said. “There are probably so many dangers; there is no security in the capital, on the streets, not even in the monastery.”

“One can be killed in any moment but so many people expect our strength, our bravery, our prayers and our homilies,” he stated. “They expect words of faith, as well as the sacraments.”

He underscored the Franciscans’ mission in Syria is to be “brothers of the people, to be with the people, and to serve the (Syrian) people.”

http://www.dfwcatholic.org/murdered-syrian-priests-friend-feels-closeness-of-martyrdom-71984/.html

July 8th, 2013, 1:26 pm

 

revenire said:

Matt Hitto is “Hitory” now. Resigned.

Why aren’t the terrorist atrocities included on Syria Video? God knows they’ve made enough video footage of them beheading people. It isn’t like the reason they aren’t included is because they are too gruesome – there are plenty of gruesome videos of surgery being performed etc. Is there some way to *fix* Syria Video to include the many public beheadings committed by the “revolution generation”?

July 8th, 2013, 1:41 pm

 

omen said:

i’ve been guilty of this myself. and i’m not telling anyone what to do, but it’s bad blog etiquette to immediately post your own piece without first remarking on the collected material posted on the main of the blog.

July 8th, 2013, 1:53 pm

 

jo6pac said:

2. revenire

My thought also, thanks.

July 8th, 2013, 2:05 pm

 

Dominique said:

REVENIRE said:

” Why aren’t the terrorist atrocities included on Syria Video? God knows they’ve made enough video footage of them beheading people. It isn’t like the reason they aren’t included is because they are too gruesome – there are plenty of gruesome videos of surgery being performed etc. Is there some way to *fix* Syria Video to include the many public beheadings committed by the “revolution generation”? ”

Revenire, executing a successful US-planned divide-and-conquer strategy by using atrocious methods works quite well. I’m so glad you fall for this nonsense of he-did-that-to-me. Of course, both sides are committing nasty acts. But, the bottom line is: the US is behind all of it. All roads lead to Iran. And to think people worry about the US government switching off the Internet. Why? It’s quite an efficient propaganda medium to reach people like, should I dare say, you!

July 8th, 2013, 2:18 pm

 

revenire said:

Jo6pac it strikes me as censorship.

Syria Deeply is notorious for it to the point of turning itself into a caricature.

Thing is, the level of war crimes committed by the terrorists in the so-called opposition are so rampant that it is very hard to not mention them at all so the crimes are now are coming with apologies: apologies for beheadings, apologies for cannibalism, apologies for suicide bombings.

Everything is Assad’s fault. Assad made them kill civilians. Assad made them behead Christians. Assad Assad Assad.

It reminds me of a rapist saying the way a woman dressed made them rape her.

July 8th, 2013, 2:19 pm

 

Tara said:

“As I testified to Congress last week at a hearing on Syria’s minorities chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.): “Though no religious community has been spared egregious suffering, Syria’s ancient Christian minority has cause to believe that it confronts an ‘existential threat.’””

Overrated and overstated. Does not stand scrutiny. How many “christians” were killed out of the 100,0000 despite their vigilantes carrying weapons distributed by the regime to turn them intoo tashbeeh? If Islamists to rule, the Sunnis will suffer more than the Christians whose faith is protected by the Quraan.

I am sick and tired of some Syrian Christians Preists manipulating facts to make it sound they are going to be annihilated should the revolution becomes victorious. I as a liberal Sunni woman will suffer more than any Christian woman should the Islamists rule. It is against Christ to have the majority enslaved because of their perceived fear

July 8th, 2013, 2:26 pm

 

revenire said:

How can anyone say that they, as an American woman living in the US, will suffer more than a Christian priest, who lives in Syria if the FSA extremists come to power in Syria? His life is threatened. Theirs isn’t. This defies logic.

Sunnis will not agree to being ruled by extremists. That is why most of them back President Assad. According to NATO 70% of all Syrians back the government.

Nonetheless, if these Nusra FSA savages come to power in Syria there will be mass genocide against minorities. That is what they’ve threatened.

The 100,000 number is a red herring. According to the SOHR, and other sources, most Syrians killed were either Syrian soldiers, or Syrian civilians that support the government.

July 8th, 2013, 2:35 pm

 

Badr said:

I liked this article – The crime of killing a boy in the name of a religion – so much that I could not help cutting and pasting the whole thing, sorry.

جريمة قتل طفل باسم دين

ياسين الحاج صالح

جريمة قتل محمد قطاع، الطفل الفقير من حي الشعار بحلب (9 حزيران 2013)،>باسم الدين الإسلامي، وعلى يد مجموعة لا اختصاص لها، ليست شيئًا عاديًا، ولا هي «خطأ» من أخطاء الثورة أو «انتهاك» حقوقي ارتكبته جماعة محسوبة عليها؛ إنها جريمة مطلقة يهتز لها ضمير الإنسان، وتدفع إلى مساءلة ضميرنا عن تكوينه وعن عدالته.

لا يكفي أن ترفض هذه الجريمة أو تدان، بل ينبغي التساؤل عما جعلها ممكنة. وإذا كان لا ريب في أن جرائم النظام الأسدي وعنفه المتوحش طوال عامين و3 شهور قد وفّرت الشروط النفسية لارتكاب جرائم من هذا النوع، وإذا كان هذا العنف اليومي والردّ عليه قد طبّع العنف وجعل القتل من مألوف الوقائع والأفعال والكلمات، فإن في التفكير الديني الإسلامي المعاصر ما يسهّل ارتكاب مثلها، وتحديدًا التكفير المرسل والشائع، واعتبار القتل فعلًا عقابيًا عاديًا، والربط الشائع بدوره بين الدين والعنف. وهذه أمور لا يتوفر عند معتدلي الإسلاميين ما يحول بين متطرفيهم وبين ممارستها، بفعل الوهن الفكري للاعتدال الإسلامي وغلبة التأويل السلطوي والعقابي للتعاليم الإسلامية. ولذلك لم تُسمع أصوات إسلامية قوية تدين هذه الجريمة المسيئة للإسلام، وللثورة، فوق كونها جريمة قتل ديني لطفل، يندر أن يجد المرء مثلها في تاريخ الأديان. هذا السكوت علامة غير مشرفة على حال الضمير الإسلامي المعاصر.

الواقعة هي الأبشع بين وقائع كثيرة تستوقف الحريصين على الثورة، وعلى البلد، وعلى كرامة الإسلام ذاته؛ وقائع اقترن فيها الدين بالعنف، وقامت بها جهات إسلامية متنوعة، يبدو أنها تشترك في الاعتقاد بأن التزامها بطاعة الله يُغنيها عن احترام البشر، ويعطيها حرية تصرف مطلقة حيالهم، الضعفاء منهم بخاصة. وبمجموعها تطرح هذا الوقائع أسئلة فكرية وسياسية وأخلاقية على عموم المسلمين المعاصرين، والإسلاميين منهم على نحو خاص؛ أسئلة تتمحور في النهاية حول نقطة جوهرية واحدة، هي العلاقة بين الدين والإكراه: هل الإكراه أداة عادية في خدمة الدين، أم الدين أداة إيديولوجية في خدمة الإكراه والسلطة الإكراهية، أم أن الدين شيء والإكراه شيء آخر مناقض؟

الدعوة العملية التي تبدو لنا مركز كل جهد إصلاحي على المستوى الإسلامي تتمحور حول الفصل القاطع بينهما، بحيث لا إكراه في الدين ولا دين في الإكراه.

والإقرار الحاسم والنهائي بهذا المبدأ هو ما يفتح أوسع أبواب السياسة أمام أي إسلاميين محتملين، وليس هو الذي يُغلقها. إن تطور سياسة إسلامية معاصرة مفتوحة الآفاق رهن بتحريم العنف الديني أو أية ممارسة العنف باسم الدين. بل إن تطور أخلاقية إسلامية معاصرة متسقة وفاعلة رهن أيضًا بالقطيعة الكاملة والنهائية مع العنف، ورفض اعتبار العنف أداة مشروعة في خدمة الدين. في حين أن اعتبار العنف أداة مشروعة وعادية يحول دون نموّ الضمير، ويبقيه قزمًا غير فاعل. هذا فوق أن الإيمان الديني ذاته لا يستقيم على أرضية من الإكراه. والروح، التي هي «عضو» الإيمان، تجفّ وتيبس إن كان الإكراه مباحًا ووسيلة عادية في خدمة الدين.

حيث الإكراه، لا دين، بل دولة أو جيش أو عصابة عنيفة…، وحيث الدين لا إكراه، بل إيمان وانشراح صدر وارتباط بالله وبجماعة المؤمنين.

نرى أيضًا أن أكثر مشكلات الإسلام المعاصرة متولدة عن اعتبار الارتباط بين الإسلام والإكراه أمرًا عاديًا وضروريًا وشرعيًا، أو اعتبار العنف أداة مشروعة وعادية من أدوات الدين. هذا يولد إيديولوجية إسلامية انقلابية وتسلطية، وحزبية أو حزبيات سياسية إسلامية متطلعة إلى السلطة المطلقة، وهو أحد المنابع الكبرى للعنف في حياتنا السياسية والاجتماعية في بضع العقود الأخيرة. المنبع الآخر، المعلوم، هو سلطة الدولة، التي لم ننجح بعد في ترويضها وأنسنتها، والتي لا تستطيع الثورات المضادة للطغيان أن تكون خطوة في اتجاه الأنسنة إن لم يجر قطع الرابط بين الدين والعنف. ذلك أن من شأن إبقاء هذا الرابط أن يغيّر سند الطغيان والعنف ضد المجتمع، من الوطنية أو غيرها إلى الدين، دون أن يطال روح الطغيان ذاتها. هذه الروح الشريرة، التي لم تكفّ عن ارتكاب الجرائم كل يوم منذ 30 شهرًا، هي ما ينبغي الخلاص منه بكل نسخها وتناسخاتها، إن كان لإنسان أن يكون كريمًا في بلدنا يومًا.

وخلافًا لما يبدو أن أكثر الإسلاميين يعتقدون، فإن من يستفيد من ارتباط الدين والعنف ليس الدين، ولا عموم المؤمنين، بل الأقوياء، المتحكمون بالسلطة التي يدرّها العنف. المستفيد هو العنيفون العامون أو إداريو العنف، وستتحول إدارة العنف العام وتوجيهه ضد المجتمع إلى غاية، بينما ينقلب الدين إلى أداة تضفي عليها الشرعية، بل القداسة، وتحميها من الاعتراض الاجتماعي، وتسوغ قمع المعترضين أو استئصالهم.

إن كان لجريمة قتل طفل باسم الإسلام أن تُطوى، وتذكر في حوليات التاريخ كواقعة عارضة، وإن تكن مخجلة، فينبغي أن يمتنع كل قتل باسم الدين. وإلا كان محتملًا أن تكون جريمة قتل الطفل سلمو حلقة واحدة في سلسلة متصلة الحلقات من القتل الديني، لا يُعرف، إن كانت هذه من بداياتها، ماذا يحتمل أن تكون النهايات.

July 8th, 2013, 3:08 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#8 Rev

Yes, Sunnis will NOT agree to being ruled by extremists, but that does NOT mean they are backing Assad.

Like in Egypt, Syrians will overthrow both the dictator and the extremists.

July 8th, 2013, 3:11 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Matthew

Mr. Landis understands the situation in Syria very well, he admits Assad has been very brutal,and deeply sectarian, and understands that the coastal cities are majority Sunni, and he does not believe an Alawi state can survive,
and finally he agrees that Syria may well be divided into north and south.
The status of Damascus Deraa and Homs and Hama was not discussed, I believe the war will not end with the division of Syria to north and south, but this status will lay down the case for Geneva 2.

Did Assad use all the forces he could used and available to him? He got help from HA and Iraqi Militia and Persia financial help has reach its maximum,the watershed is if the rebels obtained anti aircraft weapons,this will turn the tide against Assad permanently, after that the rebels will seperate Damascus from Tartous
I don’t believe HA can fight long war, once their losses reach 7000 soldier they for all practical purpose will be easily defeated.

July 8th, 2013, 3:14 pm

 

Citizen said:

5- DOMINIQUE
/the bottom line is: the US is behind all of it. All roads lead to Iran/
Rely principle: the end justifies the means! and the others are mired in hypocrisy

July 8th, 2013, 3:26 pm

 

Citizen said:

/I don’t believe HA can fight long war, once their losses reach 7000 soldier they for all practical purpose will be easily defeated/.
This can be a valuable advice paid by the Israelis planners! Grab the opportunity! 🙂

July 8th, 2013, 3:31 pm

 

revenire said:

Hitto said there were 60,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria! Is he nuts??

“Hezbollah has 60,000 soldiers in Syria as well as there being thousands of Iranian soldiers inside the country with Russian ships arriving at Syrian ports on a daily basis.”

July 8th, 2013, 3:43 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

michaeldweiss ‏@michaeldweiss 6 Jul
Qusayr bit of a Pyrrhic victory for regime, now moving Alawis into homes abandoned by Sunnis:
http://t.co/UYfx3PUybA

The ISW (Institute for the Study of War) article Wiess links to. [I’m reading through it right now and I’m on paragraph 9]:

The Syrian Army Renews Offensive in Homs

Jul 5, 2013 – Elizabeth O’Bagy

Key Takeaway: In late June 2013, the Syrian government renewed its campaign in the central Syrian province of Homs, indicating that it failed to achieve its operational and strategic objectives after defeating the rebels in al-Qusayr. By quickly shifting its efforts to Aleppo in an attempt to force a decisive battle before rebels could reconsolidate troops and acquire promised foreign supplies, the Syrian government failed to consolidate its gains in Homs. Thus, the opposition was able to exploit remaining vulnerabilities, particularly by reopening supply lines from Lebanon, in ways that forced the Syrian army back to Homs province, diverting resources from the offensive the regime planned for Aleppo. The campaign in Homs shows the Syrian government’s difficulty with launching sequential campaigns without operational pause, as well as the challenges it faces from launching multiple, simultaneous offensives in Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus in ways that protract each fight.

[…]

July 8th, 2013, 3:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

This regime is as sectarian as they come. The ISW article only reinforces this reality.

Is it not endangering the lives of Alawites by relocating them like this? Using them as a tactical tool in the hope of preventing parts of the countryside falling back into opposition hands?

Disgusting.

What a despicable regime.

If it’s supposed to be so strong militarily why does it have to resort to such desperate and lowlife tactics?

July 8th, 2013, 3:56 pm

 
 

revenire said:

Weiss is an utterly discredited neocon.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/01/neocon-israel-mouthpiece-writes-syrian-opposition-policy-paper.html

Michael Weiss is Director of Communications and Public Relations for the Henry Jackson Society, a British neocon organization which patrons include the U.S. neocons Richard Perle, William Kristol and James Woolsey. He also has a blog at the Telegraph website.

Michael Weiss is also executive director of Just Journalism a “pressure group whose stated goals are to focus “on how Israel and Middle East issues are reported in the UK media.” Critics characterize Just Journalism as a “privately-funded mouthpiece for Israel”. Until the end of 2009 Weiss published a blog for the Jewish magazine Tablet.

Recently Weiss wrote a policy paper Safe Area for Syria – An Assessment of Legality, Logistics and Hazards (pdf) which is an amateur attempt (Weiss is, as far as can find out, neither a lawyer nor does he seem to have military experience) to write a playbook for military intervention in Syria:

“In the interest of assessing all suggested options for hastening the end of a totalitarian dictatorship and/or averting a mass humanitarian catastrophe, this paper examines the way in which foreign military intervention could work for Syria.”

July 8th, 2013, 4:05 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Here’s a good piece from that article:

‘That the Syrian government shifted its focus of operations to Aleppo before consolidating its gains in Homs allowed the armed opposition to capitalize on remaining vulnerabilities and reestablish supply lines, minimizing the overall impact achieved by the regime in its takeover of al-Qusayr. The Syrian government was thus forced to redeploy troops sent to Aleppo back to Homs in order to ensure that its recent military gains in the province were not threatened.

July 8th, 2013, 4:08 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I tend to agree with the last paragraph from the article. The international opposition to Assad cannot get their act together. Ironically it may well take the ‘increasingly naked sectarian path of the Syrian government’, as the ‘chains of command and command and control become less directly tied to the Syrian government and Assad himself’, to provoke the international community into finally getting it’s act together.

July 8th, 2013, 4:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I must confess I don’t know anything about the ISW, however, their name suggests an expertise in analysis of war situations.

July 8th, 2013, 4:24 pm

 

revenire said:

Pro-opposition Tweeps admit FSA riddled with criminals. Big Al is in Homs. Dark in Aleppo.

“Big Al ‏@BigAlBrand 1h
I won’t say #TruthAboutFSA because I don’t feel like lying. Enough said.”

“Racan Alhoch بو صخر ‏@Racanarchy 1h
@BigAlBrand you going all edward dark on us?”

“omen ‏@omen_99 6m
@Racanarchy come on,calling him ed? thats low. he should be able to say his piece w/o u jumping out w/knives out. 1 note of criticsm doesnt”

“omen ‏@omen_99 8m
@Racanarchy merit this level of defensiveness.”

July 8th, 2013, 4:31 pm

 

revenire said:

Uzair that piece you posted from ISW, go to the bottom and look at their sources. Says it all.

July 8th, 2013, 4:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrian author Samar Yazbek says the only way forward for her country is for Bashar al-Assad to go.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/ways-with-words/10164340/Ways-With-Words-2013-Syrias-unending-agony.html

The Syrian journalist, filmmaker and prize-winning novelist Samar Yazbek offered a bleak vision of the future of her country in a talk at the Telegraph Ways With Words Festival.
“What is coming is going to be dark, painful and bloody,” she said. “There is no avoiding that now.” But she added that in a “choice between what is bad and what is worse”, it was imperative that the regime of Bashar al-Assad was ended. “If he is forced out at least we stand a hope of trying to rebuild the country.”

Speaking in Arabic through an interpreter, but with enormous passion, Yazbek described the progress from a civil uprising where people were making peaceful demands for reform to the current state of “chaos” with a regime engaged in acts “of cruelty and brutality beyond what you read” against its own people, as well as outside jihadists flooding into the country to take advantage of the strife.

She firmly lays the blame for the course events have taken at Assad’s door, saying he has succeeded in his aim of creating division, anger and fear among the Syrian people.
But her anger with the West’s stance was also palpable. “It is the responsibility of the West that somehow we got to this position,” she said. By failing to support moderate groups at the right moment, governments have allowed the situation to develop.

July 8th, 2013, 5:22 pm

 

apple_mini said:

The travel restrictions on Syrians to Egypt were intended to stop Syrian MB instigators and sympathizers to get into Egypt, according to Egyptian government. They found Syrian MB members among pro-Morsi protesters and believe them to provoke the strife as well.

From the news we can sense the animosity against MB from the new Egyptian government and the army, especially if they are non-Egyptian.

Syrian opposition can kiss goodbye to their old ally in Egypt now. If their tie with Turkey can be weakened, then we might see eagerness from the opposition to go to Geneva.

Also since now the Syrian opposition are exporting “revolution”, Jordanian king better takes notes.

July 8th, 2013, 5:42 pm

 

zoo said:

The Devil is now the opposition: Women and Wine signal the coming collapse of the armed opposition

Opposition in Syria Continues to Fracture

Islamist fighters said recently that they had driven a rival rebel brigade out of Raqqa, a rebel-held provincial capital in northeastern Syria, because they had found some of its fighters drinking wine and consorting with women, and because they considered brigade reluctant to fight.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/opposition-in-syria-continues-to-fracture-694720/#ixzz2YUp64rvH

July 8th, 2013, 6:37 pm

 

zoo said:

Is Erdogan on drugs or just another hysterical tantrum?

He has failed in Syria, now he calls for reversing the ‘coup’ and putting back Morsi in power and he calls on the UN to help.

Two failures in a row are hard to swallow but a third one is coming soon.

July 8th, 2013, 6:41 pm

 

revenire said:

Shameful. Just shameful.

July 8th, 2013, 6:41 pm

 

zoo said:

Any opposition leader who publicly takes a hard line against negotiating with Bashar al Assad is shown the exit door. Sabra, Sabbagh, Hitto and Ghaliun have no position anymore in the SNC leadership for that reason. Jarba should watch what he is saying

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/another-leader-quits-post-in-syrian-exile-group-694711/#ixzz2YUrv0Hv2

It was not immediately clear why he resigned

Mr. Hitto had taken a hard line against holding any talks with the Assad government, a stance that posed difficulties as the United States and Russia tried to organize peace talks in Geneva.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/another-leader-quits-post-in-syrian-exile-group-694711/#ixzz2YUrAQPWF

July 8th, 2013, 6:46 pm

 

zoo said:

Vodak and women are the new soft weapons that Russia should be sending to weaken and divide further the opposition.

July 8th, 2013, 6:51 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey Gezi park saga is not over

Harsh police crackdown empties Istanbul’s Gezi Park, Taksim Square

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/harsh-police-crackdown-empties-istanbuls-gezi-park-taksim-square.aspx?pageID=238&nID=50303&NewsCatID=341

Riot police used tear gas, water cannon, and plastic bullets to disperse people who had arrived at Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square tonight, despite the park earlier being officially opened to public.

A 17-year-old boy was severely injured in the head by a gas canister today on İstiklal Avenue, daily Hürriyet reported. A quarrel had occurred between the protesters and business owners when the police intervened with tear gas.

During the police crackdown, around six gas canisters were fired into the garden of the British Consulate off a sidestreet near İstiklal Avenue tonight. British Consul-General Leigh Turner tweeted a picture showing a gas canister wi

July 8th, 2013, 6:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Selim Idriss’s urgent shopping list is on hold

Congress delaying U.S. aid to Syrian rebels, sources say

Posted: 07/08/2013 03:36:40 PM PDT

http://www.paradisepost.com/news/ci_23621179/congress-delaying-u-s-aid-syrian-rebels-sources

Congressional committees are holding up a plan to send U.S. weapons to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because of fears that such arms deliveries will not be decisive and might end up in the hands of Islamist militants, five U.S. national security sources said.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees have expressed reservations behind closed doors at the effort by President Barack Obama’s administration to support the insurgents by sending them military hardware.

None of the military aid that the United States announced weeks ago has arrived in Syria, according to an official from an Arab country and Syrian opposition sources.

July 8th, 2013, 7:01 pm

 

zoo said:

Homs campaign almost done…

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces made significant progress Monday in recapturing Homs from the rebel forces that have held the country’s third largest city for more than a year, according to rebel commanders and military officials in neighboring Lebanon.

In its ninth day, the siege began by pounding the rebel-controlled Old City and Khaldiyeh neighborhoods with airstrikes and artillery before ground units began to advance slowly into the dense urban maze where rebels have been preparing defenses for months.

“The vicious campaign has been going on for nine days and the regime has entered into parts of Khaldiyeh, but the aim is to take over all of Homs,” said Abu Rami, a rebel activist with close ties to the rebel factions under siege.

Attempts to contact Syrian officials about the offensive either failed or were ignored.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/08/196101/bashar-assads-forces-chip-away.html#storylink=cpy

July 8th, 2013, 7:04 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@30

So you are saying Russian women are valued so cheaply in their home land that Putin can send them when he wishes as “soft weapons”?

And any update on Buthina’s attempt to blackmail the gulf royalty exposing their sex scandals in Syria? Was that just cheap shot? Did she have anything in hand?

July 8th, 2013, 7:08 pm

 

Majed97 said:

Current events in Egypt are exposing the western countries for their hypocrisy and double standards. From day one of the Syrian crisis, Western Europe and the U.S. were very quick (not to mention eager) to make the argument that the majority of the Syrian people were against Assad, citing few sizeable and well organized protests concentrated mainly in few smaller cities against the regime as evidence. Of course, the much larger demonstrations in much larger cities in support of Bashar somehow went unnoticed, or were labeled as “orchestrated”. Their quick conclusion was: “Assad must step down” and weapons to fight him must flow to Syria quickly. A more reasonable assessment would have concluded that the country at that time was divided at best with half the population for Assad, and the other half supporting various other groups. An election under that scenario would have most likely gave Bashar the victory, considering how fractured the opposing groups are. Knowing that reality very well, none of the western countries called for free elections to determine the true wishes of the Syrian people, fearing an embarrassing confirmation of Assad’s popularity, not unlike what happened few years earlier in the Gaza elections when Hamas won.

Now Egypt…As much as I dislike seeing Islamists in power, an argument can be made (under the rules of democracy) for the Egyptian MB’s legitimate right to govern Egypt until the next election. As such, they are far more deserving of international support than their Syrian counterparts because they have won in a free election, unlike the Syrian MB who have only won the support of Syria’s traditional enemies. Yet, the west has been very understanding and apologetic in rationalizing the Egyptian military’s coup against the will of its people, citing the large street protests and petition to remove Morsi as a justification for his removal, even though such rational doesn’t hold water under the rules of democracy. It’s Gaza all over again… None of the western countries made any efforts to convene to at least discuss the legitimacy of the new Egyptian appointed government, let along asking it to “step down”. The contradiction in their attitude toward the Syrian and Egyptian crisis is beyond absurd.

Of course, the western media is marching in lock steps with their governments’ agenda by completely disregarding the rules of law and common sense. No one is asking Mr. Obama to draw any red lines for Egypt’s appointed leaders, nor are they calling for arming the Egyptian oppositions, or establishing a no fly zone. None of them is considering forming a “Friends of Egypt” (FOE) coalition to help “liberate” it. No one is calling for economic sanctions against Egypt, or freezing the coup’s leaders’ assets or imposing travel ban on them!?! Instead, they treat them as dignitaries and interview them respectively by throwing soft questions at them.

Again, I shed no tears for the MB’s losses, and I’m glad to see them ousted, but I think the irony here is tragically comical for those who believe in fair play.

July 8th, 2013, 7:24 pm

 

Ziad said:

The conflict in Egypt does not seem to be resolved any time soon. Events there bear an eerie similarity to the beginning of the Syrian uprising. It seems likely that it is going to grow to a full scale civil war parallel to the Syrian one. Not that I wish a civil war upon the Egyptians, yet it might force those who are supporting the Syrian revolution, meaning Qatar/Turkey/KSA to divert significant resources to the Egyptian revolution bringing some respite to the Syrian Army.

July 8th, 2013, 7:26 pm

 

omen said:

congress once again is siding with the regime:

Congress delaying U.S. aid to Syrian rebels, sources say

ironic on the heels of this news:

Jahat Al Nusra carried out 2 martyrdom operations after infiltrating the regime areas in #Akrama and #Nuzha with two car bombs!! #Homs.

what else are rebels supposed to do when the rest of the world has abandoned them?

July 8th, 2013, 7:27 pm

 

Alan said:

“Did We Implement Universal Background Checks On The Violent Criminals We Armed In Syria?”
http://youtu.be/-SO0fUnXsNU?t=3s

July 8th, 2013, 7:29 pm

 

Alan said:

Act of War: Israel Attacks Syrian Weapons Depot Containing Advanced Russian Arms
http://www.globalresearch.ca/act-of-war-israel-attacks-syrian-weapons-depot-containing-advanced-russian-arms/5341940?
————-
EGYPT BECOMING SECOND SYRIA?
http://investmentwatchblog.com/egypt-becoming-second-syria/

July 8th, 2013, 7:32 pm

 

omen said:

US officials know very well the regime’s background which includes a legacy of killing americans.

July 8th, 2013, 7:33 pm

 

revenire said:

Capt. Omen in the US they they have this thing called “law” and the president sometimes has to obey the law so yeah, some weapons have been held up but don’t worry Obama will find a way to send death to Syria.

July 8th, 2013, 7:33 pm

 
 

revenire said:

Egyptian Al-Jazeera Reporter Hagag Salama Resigns Live on Air: al-Jazeera Incites Civil War in Egypt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na_kGkXw8ok

Published on Jul 8, 2013
Hagag Salama, al-Jazeera correspondent in Egypt since 2003, has resigned live on air on Dream TV channel, stating that the lack of professionalism by al-Jazeera and its incitement for civil war among Egyptians are the main reasons why he decided to end his career with the Qatar-based network.

July 8th, 2013, 7:45 pm

 

omen said:

37. oops, make that congress = US.

July 8th, 2013, 7:46 pm

 
 

Citizen said:

As previously reported, the head of the National Coalition of Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces (NKSROS) was a former political prisoner Ahmad Al-Jarboe. And here’s his photo before and after the high purpose.LOL 🙂
http://anna-news.info/node/11963

July 8th, 2013, 7:56 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

CITIZEN #45 must read

The Washington Times reports that Obama met the inner circle within the National Security Team but clearly they haven’t learnt anything. After all, Egyptians across the religious and political spectrum will be alarmed that John Kerry, the Secretary of State, conferred with Benjamin Netanyahu who is the leader of Israel. Likewise, Susan E. Rice spoke with Yaakov Amidror who is the Israeli National Security Adviser. However, the crisis is in Egypt and not in Israel and this is the problem with America because this nation will protect Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia at all costs.

July 8th, 2013, 7:58 pm

 

revenire said:

46 Citizen LOL

July 8th, 2013, 8:01 pm

 

AMEERA said:

يلا و هاي مصر سكرت حدودا على السوري. الظاهر مو مكتوبنا نطلع برا البلد يلا شكلنا رح نصفي معترين اكتر من الفلسطينين بالسفارات

July 8th, 2013, 8:05 pm

 

AMEERA said:

على سيرة الفلسطينين ليكا النروج بدا تاخد ٧٥٠ فلسطيني سوري من يلي هربو على لبنان بالقرعة. يعني كانو ياخدولون كم سوري ولا هيك العنصرية عيني كنت عينك

July 8th, 2013, 8:09 pm

 

Dominique said:

REVENIRE said:

” Hitto said there were 60,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria! Is he nuts??

‘Hezbollah has 60,000 soldiers in Syria as well as there being thousands of Iranian soldiers inside the country with Russian ships arriving at Syrian ports on a daily basis.’

My pal, REVENIRE, doesn’t get it, and it is okay. Syria is a critical nation on the road to Iran. Syria is the line in the sand between the US and Russia/China. Russia will pull out the stops to stop US hegemony of the Middle East. And if you understand the role of the US dollar as the honey pot for the Defense Department, it all makes sense. Iran and North Korea are the remaining holdouts, with these two countries playing similar role as the one played by Israel for the West. Proxy wars are a must, today. Too much can be made of overt aggression. See US foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Central and South America and Eastern Europe.

I would suggest lowering the volume of your input in favor of increasing the quality of your participation to this forum. Matt and the boys do a great job serving up the pearls. Don’t ruin it with the noise pollution of a swine mind.

And to retort the notion that Hitto is crazy. Maybe he is, but commenting about details of a US slaughter isn’t worthy of anyone’s time. But, I’ve made an exception in your case because I’m terribly bored with what I’m doing at the moment. Take it as a stroke of luck.

July 8th, 2013, 8:18 pm

 

don said:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

46. Citizen said:
As previously reported, the head of the National Coalition of Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces (NKSROS) was a former political prisoner Ahmad Al-Jarboe. And here’s his photo before and after the high purpose.LOL 🙂 http://anna-news.info/node/11963

July 8th, 2013, 8:20 pm

 

revenire said:

Thanks Dominique.

July 8th, 2013, 8:21 pm

 

zoo said:

@24. Tara

“Syrian author Samar Yazbek says the only way forward for her country is for Bashar al-Assad to go.:

Funny, nobody said that before, she really has original ideas.
I don’t think I’ll read the rest.

The same way I skipped the post mortem Hitto interview and the absurd and boring arguments of Robin Yassin-Kassab: they are just noise.

July 8th, 2013, 8:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Dominique

“I’m terribly bored with what I’m doing at the moment.”

That’s why you attempt to bore us too?
Don’t worry you succeeded. The patronizing tone helped a lot.

July 8th, 2013, 8:36 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@ 55 &56

Laugh out loud.   You really sound terribly bored…  Let’s me give it a shot:

Egypt practicing collective punishment on Syrians.  

Egypt begins imposing travel restrictions on Syrians as civil war continues

Veteran Syrian opposition figure Haitham Maleh said he was held up for several hours at the airport in Cairo Monday before he was allowed entry — an exception made only “after several political sides intervened with Egyptian authorities” on his behalf.

“This Egyptian decision is a reward to Bashar Assad for all the Syrians he has killed,” Maleh said from the Egyptian capital Monday night. Dozens of Syrian families with no money were denied entry, he said, and two planes carrying Syrians were returned to Syria and Lebanon, where they originated.

“I have been living in Egypt for two years. I have an apartment and I have a bank account in Egypt,” he said earlier from the Cairo airport.

Egyptian airport officials said the new measures followed reports that a large number of Syrians in Egypt were backing the Muslim Brotherhood and took part in violence after the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The airport officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

In response, the Syrian National Coalition said it regretted any crimes committed by Syrian nationals in Egypt and said Syrians “must not be punished for individual criminal acts.”

,…
http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-official-says-assad-forces-retake-rebel-held-khaldiyeh-district-in-homs-rebels-deny/2013/07/08/229bfd5e-e7ab-11e2-818e-aa29e855f3ab_story.html
 

July 8th, 2013, 8:49 pm

 

Mick said:

I rather enjoyed reading Robin Yassin-Kassab, in a sick sort of way.

I would like to know what color the sky is in his world. The SNC elects a tribal polygamists and we are to believe they are going to bring modern thinking into Syria.

If this London born blogger wants to actually change the way the so-called FSA is viewed, maybe he could do at least one thing, one minor thing, to combat the various aspects of it that people in and out of Syria don’t like. Blaming Bashar doesn’t make the so-called FSA something I want to support.

Do they agree or disagree on Shari’a law? Do they agree or disagree on killing someone solely because a phone number in their cell phone? When called on to condemn (because they do NO self-criticism), all that exists is a “that’s bad, but… BASHAR!”

The so-called FSA hasn’t exactly won many battles either. Every battle has had Nusra Front or other fierce Islamic groups as the fighters. This imaginary FSA controls nothing. Has won no battles.

Maybe he can enlighten me on the FSA joint Christian/Ismaili/Alawite battalions and their massive conquests? Or does this bloke talking to another young kid equate to massive social change in his little world.

And given the composure of the external support for the external opposition (which is nothing but window dressing), it is nothing but a tag team between Saudi and Qatar, I don’t see a lot of progressive values spewing forth from them either (see polygamist tribal leader as leader above).

But hey, he writes ‘convincingly’.

And as someone that was born in London, he calls others Orientalists! How cute. I guess since Paula Abdul has ‘Arab’ genes and Landis does not, she wouldn’t look at the Arab world in the same was as us non-genetically Arab folk?

July 8th, 2013, 8:53 pm

 

Ziad said:

The Untold Story‏@HibaSyriana10h
Egypt. Fabricated photos of children killed by Egyptian Army are from Syria; most probably fabricated by MB/ alNusra supporters #Syria!!!

Hala Jaber‏@HalaJaber10h
#Egypt Army spox says no childlren were killed today, #Syrian pix used, & surprised at idea that young kids would be there at tt early hour.

July 8th, 2013, 8:54 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria reply to Jarba’s request: A permanent ceasefire at the Geneva conference or nothing

UNITED NATIONS — Syria is rejecting the idea of a cease-fire with the rebel opposition during the holy month of Ramadan, which is due to begin Tuesday.

Syria’s U.N. ambassador says “We need a full end of violence, not a partial one.”

Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said Monday that the Syrian rebels would have to be fully engaged in the peace talks and commit to a U.S.-Russian sponsored round of talks in Geneva.

He was responding to a report in The Independent newspaper quoting the new head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba, as offering a Ramadan cease-fire.

The Syrian National Coalition said recently it will not attend the Geneva talks unless they are about President Bashar Assad handing over power.
– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/international/Syria_spurns_Ramadan_cease-fire_idea.html#sthash.CO8iad7p.dpuf

July 8th, 2013, 8:59 pm

 

Tara said:

Ah…

Those were Syrian children killed by the Syrian regime.

Shouldn’t you guys feel ashamed of even reporting it.

July 8th, 2013, 9:01 pm

 

zoo said:

Mick

“But hey, he writes ‘convincingly’.”

He convinced me not to read the rest of the interview. Even Landis sounded exasperated..

July 8th, 2013, 9:03 pm

 

zoo said:

Ziad

The dead children and dead adults photos and videos of Iraq, Libya, Syria are now recycled in Egypt. I wouldn’t be surprised that the “art department” of the Syrian opposition is proposing portfolios of photos and videos to the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt for their anti-army propaganda.

Remember BBC used an ‘esthetic’ photo of dead Iraqis and labelled it Syrian civilians massacre.

July 8th, 2013, 9:08 pm

 

zoo said:

#57 Tara

I posted that before.

You should send a thank letter to Jarba so he can transmit it to his colleagues al Nusra and the Moslem Brotherhood: Now any Moslem Syrian traveling anywhere is suspicious.

Expect soon special treatment at USA, EU, GCC, Arab countries, Asia and Australia aiports for Syrian moslems.
An advice: Avoid any vocal or visual display of sympathy for the Syrian rebels.

July 8th, 2013, 9:15 pm

 

zoo said:

61. Tara said:

Ah…

“Those were Syrian children killed by the Syrian regime.

Do you mean that the photos of the children killed by the armed rebels should be used in Egypt instead?

July 8th, 2013, 9:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@64

And I posted#26 last night on the previous thread.

Zoo, how would they differentiate Syrian Muslims from Syrian non-muslims in airports? We will be all treated equally good. Sorry, you too!

July 8th, 2013, 9:37 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Obama Doctrine is that he does not have one, he sees little value in spending US money and risking American lives to stop third world countries people from kiiling each other . He believes that US soft power is more effective than fire power especially when there are plenty of pimps like the GCC who are eager to do the dirty work and waste oil money on internal conflicts and on buying weapons they will not use. It is a crystal clear case on why those countries have earned a third world status. Obama talks tough but does not follow up with actions, he is in bed with republicans who are uncomfortable supplying weapons to a rebel group that will undoubtedly turn against America at the earliest opportunity. Libyan rebels in particular were a great help to secular or semi secular dictatorships when they bit the hand that fed them and started exporting terrorism while their country was deteriorating in every aspect.
You know how bad the violent champions of the Arab spring are when people looked at the days of dictaroships as the ” good old days”.

July 8th, 2013, 9:39 pm

 

revenire said:

“I wouldn’t be surprised that the ‘art department’ of the Syrian opposition is proposing portfolios of photos and videos to the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt for their anti-army propaganda.”

You might be onto something. I’ve left a message with Juergen to see if this is done by the artists of Kafranbel.

July 8th, 2013, 9:45 pm

 

don said:

Syria claims discovery of enough chemical weapons to “destroy a country”

UNITED NATIONS, July 8 (Xinhua) — Syria has invited the United Nations top Syrian chemical weapons investigator and the UN high representative for disarmament to Damascus following the discovery of enough rebel-held chemical weapons to “destroy a whole country, ” the Damascus envoy to the world body said on Monday.

Bashar Ja’afari, Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told reporters the head of the team, Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom who has been waiting to enter Syria to investigate the use earlier this year of chemical weapons by both the government and the opposition, was invited along with UN High Representative for Disarmament Angela Kane.

“This invitation proves once again the openness of the Syrian government with regard to cooperation with the United Nations in revealing the truth behind the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria,” he said. “We as always have dealt with transparency in dealing with the UN and its agencies.”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-07/09/c_132523266.htm

July 8th, 2013, 9:47 pm

 

revenire said:

These “revolutionaries” have no shame at all do they?

July 8th, 2013, 10:12 pm

 

Ziad said:

The only revolution in human history where rebels deliberately starve & shell the citizens they’re supposed to be liberating; Aleppo Syria.

edward dark‏

July 8th, 2013, 10:27 pm

 

Ziad said:

مفاجأة .. تحقيقات النيابة تكشف وجود عناصر من حماس بين قتلى أحداث الحرس الجمهورى

فجرت النيابة العامة المنوطة بالتحقيق فى واقعة الحرس الجمهورى التى حدثت, صباح اليوم, بعد إعتداءات معتصمى جماعة الإخوان المؤيدين للمعزول على قوات الجيش المكلفة بحراسة دار الحرس الجمهورى .

وقد انتقلت النيابة لمكان الحادث و باشرت تحقيقاتها التى تمكنت من رصد عدد من الخفايا منها وجود عدد من القتلى تابعين لحركة حماس الفلسطينية , إضافة إال ضبط كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة والمتفجرات بمقر اعتصام معتصمى الإخوان.

http://new.elfagr.org/Detail.aspx?nwsId=379129&secid=1&vid=2

July 8th, 2013, 10:39 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The violence in Egypt is a powerful reminder that the slogan of a Shia-Sunni war is as empty as a Baathist political dictionary. Sectarianism is synically used by oppressive and exclusionary powers as a tool to recruit foot soldiers. The losers are ordinary people and the winners are the kings of corruption who have no allegiance to their countries. Iran in particular was better served by Morsi than a secular army dictatorship in Egypt despite Morsi’s latest show of ignorance when he stepped on a hot button that burnt him.

July 8th, 2013, 10:41 pm

 

Ziad said:

GHUFRAN #73 said:

“Iran in particular was better served by Morsi than a secular army dictatorship in Egypt despite Morsi’s latest show of ignorance when he stepped on a hot button that burnt him.”

How so?

July 8th, 2013, 10:48 pm

 

don said:

West applies double standard on Syria: Russia

MOSCOW, July 8 — Moscow expressed regret on Monday that Western countries apply double standards when it comes to the Syria crisis.

“We regret that our Western partners in the UN Security Council continue to apply double standards during discussions of the Syrian problems,” the Foreign Ministry said in an on-line comment.

Moscow highlighted it was not the first time when the West demonstrated biased approach to its estimation of the Syria situation and attempted to whitewash the rebels’ actions.

Last week, Australia and Luxembourg circulated a draft press statement calling on the Syrian government to allow “immediate, safe and unhindered access” to 2,500 civilians trapped in the city of Homs amidst clashes between government forces and the opposition.

The statement went abortive as Russia proposed an alternative statement calling for immediate access to Homs as well as the predominantly government-controlled towns of Nubul and Zahra, which the opposition is seeking to take.

Russia said the statement submitted by the UN Security Council’ s non-permanent members was “biased and one-sided,” as it only called on the government troops to cease fire while turning a blind eye to the rebels’ actions.

“The Russian side proposed making the text more balanced by expressing concern over the fate of the locals in Nubul and Zahra towns in Aleppo countryside — that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon spoke about — who are now under siege due to the armed opposition acts,” the comment stressed.

Also on Monday, Moscow expressed readiness to cooperate with the new leadership of the Syrian opposition.

“Moscow is ready to set up contacts with the new coalition leadership in order to end the destructive conflict and sufferings of the friendly Syrian people,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.

http://english.eastday.com/e/130709/u1a7508789.html

July 8th, 2013, 10:48 pm

 

Mick said:

For those Princess Bride fans….

They keep using that word ‘Liberate’. I Donna think it means what they think it means.

Like ‘liberating’ Nubl and Zahrae. It sounds just a tad more like ethnic cleansing that ‘liberating’.

July 8th, 2013, 10:58 pm

 

Ziad said:

Congress delaying U.S. aid to Syrian rebels – sources

(Reuters) – Congressional committees are holding up a plan to send U.S. weapons to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because of fears that such deliveries will not be decisive and the arms might end up in the hands of Islamist militants, five U.S. national security sources said.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees have expressed reservations behind closed doors at the effort by President Barack Obama’s administration to support the insurgents by sending them military hardware.

None of the military aid that the United States announced weeks ago has arrived in Syria, according to an official from an Arab country and Syrian opposition sources.

Democrats and Republicans on the committees worry that weapons could reach factions like the Nusra Front, which is one of the most effective rebel groups but has also been labeled by the United States as a front for al Qaeda in Iraq.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/08/us-usa-syria-arms-idUSBRE96713N20130708

July 8th, 2013, 11:04 pm

 

Ziad said:

Tony Blair calls for intervention in Syria

Tony Blair has criticised the “inaction” of governments that have failed to intervene in the conflict in Syria as he called for a no-fly zone in the region and said Britain should consider arming the rebels in the country.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10165984/Tony-Blair-calls-for-intervention-in-Syria.html

July 8th, 2013, 11:14 pm

 

Mick said:

From which Saudi yacht did war criminal Tony Blair bellow this statement from?

July 8th, 2013, 11:28 pm

 

Sami said:

Hopeful and Tara,

What happened in Raqqah with the public executions of the three alleged shabiha’s by JAN was horrendous to say the least.

As one Raqqan said: “They turned our liberty squares to execution squares” well this Raqqan and his fellow activists decided to take that same exact square back and held a mock funeral for the country:

What is even greater about this whole thing is them painting the Shahada on different coloured flags (anything but black) to also take back their religion.

I highly recommend you looking into the Activist group called Haquna حقنا, below is one of their members talking about what they do:

There is more to Syrians than the false labels that Mickey Mouse and other Orientalist’s would like to bestow upon us…

July 8th, 2013, 11:34 pm

 

revenire said:

Honestly, Blair makes me want to puke. He isn’t satisfied with killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. He wants more blood.

July 8th, 2013, 11:36 pm

 

Sami said:

Mick,

Do you show the same indignation towards the Assadi militia as you do the islamists militias or do you like to cherry pick your rage?

July 8th, 2013, 11:39 pm

 

don said:

Here comes that old bag servant of Israel. Does this sound familiar to you? Haven’t we seen this movie before? hehehehe!

Human rights official calls for investigation

As Egypt’s crisis continues, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has said she is “going to look into the situation again and make some urgent calls” following Monday’s clashes, which claimed more than 50 lives. She made the remarks on the sidelines of a International Criminal Justice Day conference in The Hague, Netherlands.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, “I think that every act of violence requires investigation, a proper investigation. Here definitely, if nothing is done then I will follow with a call for an international investigation.”

http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20130709/101010.shtml

July 8th, 2013, 11:42 pm

 

Sami said:

Using Israel as a political scapegoat for anyone you find that does not agree with your views is a clear sign of a minimum use of intellectual capacity or the complete lack of it.

Navi Pillay has condemned Israel on more than one occasion aaaand wait for it has been labelled: “Meet the UN’s anti-Israel ‘anti-discrimination’ czar, Navi Pillay”

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/meet-anti-israel-anti-discrimination-czar-navi-pillay-article-1.945254#ixzz2YW5VAY7x

Here is another one just from last year:

Israel joins UN list of states limiting human rights organizations
UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay lists Israel along with countries such as Belarus, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia and Venezuela.

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/israel-joins-un-list-of-states-limiting-human-rights-organizations-1.427184

If she is an Israeli agent she must be really terrible at it…

July 8th, 2013, 11:49 pm

 
 

revenire said:

Just read the Egyptian army opposed any action against Syria. That is what caused Morsi to go down in flames.

I had forgotten Morsi called for a no-fly zone a week or so before they arrested him.

July 8th, 2013, 11:56 pm

 

Ziad said:

ميللييت: أردوغان حرّض مرسي على العناد

كشفت صحيفة “ميللييت” التركية أن الرئيس المصري المخلوع محمد مرسي رفض أي شكل من أشكال تقاسم السلطة مع المعارضة، وجاء الرفض قبل أسابيع من يوم “30 يونيو”، بتحريض من رئيس الحكومة التركي رجب طيب أردوغان.

وقد قام بالوساطة من أجل تشكيل الحكومة وزير خارجية عربي، ربما القطري أو الأردني، وبالتنسيق مع الولايات المتحدة ومستشارة الأمن القومي سوزان رايس تحديداً. وكانت الخطة تقضي بتشكيل حكومة جديدة تضم الجميع مع نقل صلاحيات رئاسية إلى رئيس الحكومة.

ولكن رفض مرسي، كما تنقل الصحيفة، كان نتيجة نصيحة من حكومة “حزب العدالة والتنمية” في تركيا، بأن يصمد ولا ينحني مهما كلف الثمن، وأن يتمثل بموقف أردوغان الرافض لمطالب المحتجين على سياساته في “ميدان تقسيم”. وهو ما حصل.

وبحسب الصحيفة، فإن الأمر المؤكد أن جماعة “الإخوان المسلمين” لم تكن تعتقد أن انقلاباً سيحدث، وهو التقييم الذي نام عليه مرسي وأردوغان، فكان قرار قيادة الجيش مفاجأة كبيرة لكل منهما.

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=2508&ChannelID=60481&ArticleID=864

July 9th, 2013, 12:10 am

 

omen said:

iyad busts a poser:

Dude, you’re Sri Lankan. MT @shukrysir: Dr. Morsi is our president. #Egypt

maybe whatshisface is related to him.

July 9th, 2013, 12:19 am

 

omen said:

7. Tara said:

“As I testified to Congress last week at a hearing on Syria’s minorities chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.): “Though no religious community has been spared egregious suffering, Syria’s ancient Christian minority has cause to believe that it confronts an ‘existential threat.’””

Overrated and overstated. Does not stand scrutiny. How many “christians” were killed out of the 100,0000 despite their vigilantes carrying weapons distributed by the regime to turn them intoo tashbeeh? If Islamists to rule, the Sunnis will suffer more than the Christians whose faith is protected by the Quraan.

I am sick and tired of some Syrian Christians Preists manipulating facts to make it sound they are going to be annihilated should the revolution becomes victorious. I as a liberal Sunni woman will suffer more than any Christian woman should the Islamists rule. It is against Christ to have the majority enslaved because of their perceived fear

eloquently stated.

July 9th, 2013, 12:51 am

 

Juergen said:

First of all, Ramadan kareem to all who celebrate it.

New Qatari Emir Dumps Muslim Brotherhood, Banishes Qaradawi, Hamas

“Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa second, the Emir of Qatar, on Tuesday evening, ordered Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to leave the country, and ordered the withdrawal of Qatari nationality of it, and the closure of all offices of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to conform to state policy of not choosing a faction or political trend.

Tamim confirmed, in an interview, we are all Muslims, but not the Muslim Brotherhood, and dealing with a diameter of State and Government and not with the political faction., Al-Nahar reported that Tamim gave Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, 48 hours to leave the country.”

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/new-qatari-emir-dumps-muslim-brotherhood-banishes-qaradawi-hamas/

July 9th, 2013, 1:12 am

 

omen said:

i want to build from tara’s point.

from NR nina shea listed above:

Muslims are subject to kidnapping too, but the Wall Street Journal reported on June 11, 2013 that often “their outcome is different” because they have armed defenders, whereas the Christians do not.

i’ve been hearing this talking point repeated a bit. on this board and elsewhere. the suggestion gets built that christians are just a helpless minority.

but they are not helpless. they’ve been armed by the regime.

Inside Syria: Aleppo’s Christians arm against Islamists

In interviews with more than a dozen Qseir residents, a Wall Street Journal reporter recently discovered a vicious cycle of murder and kidnap between Sunni and Christian families, triggered by claims that Christians were acting as regime spies. Almost all Qseir’s Christians have now fled, with many taking shelter in makeshift tents in the northern Bekaa valley.

“I used to work as a legal consultant, but now I live like a beggar here in Lebanon,” said a woman who gave her name as Marta and who said her husband had been kidnapped. She said her home in Qseir had been taken over by rebels and destroyed.

Abu George, from Aleppo, said officials from the ruling Baath Party had offered prominent Christians in Aziza and other Christian-majority areas of Aleppo “AKs and pistols” late last year. The weapons, they were told, were to protect themselves against the “armed gangs” the regime claimed to be fighting.
For the first year of Syria’s uprising, Aleppo remained largely untouched by the mass protests seen in opposition strongholds like Homs and Hama.

article goes on to point out that a sunni brigade in aleppo goes out of their way to accommodate the christians.

Today, however, Abu George sees the regime’s control over Aleppo as slipping, directly threatening his community.

“The armed fighters took over the Midan police station, very close to the Christian quarters. There are no police there now, so how can we live? We see on TV armed young men with beards shouting, ‘God is great!’ and calling for jihad. We have the right to defend ourselves.”

The exact number of Christians in Aleppo, a city of three million people, is not known but estimates vary between 100,000 and 250,000.

Like Abu George, Abu Omar al-Halaby was a shopkeeper who has taken up arms. But Abu Omar is a Sunni, a fighter with the Brigade of Unification, one of the largest rebel groups holed up in Aleppo’s Salah Adeen quarter.

Speaking to GlobalPost, Abu Omar said his unit had deliberately not deployed in Christian areas in order not to inflame communal tensions. “We are very concerned for civilians and have been working to get people out and to safety,” he said.

Abu Omar said he wanted the right “to go to a mosque, have a long beard and practice my Islamic duties freely” and said much of his motivation to fight stemmed from the religious persecution he saw his father suffer under Hafez al-Assad, Syria’s former dictator.

“My father was arrested for 15 years just because someone who hated him wrote a report to the security services, accusing him of being a member of the (banned) Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.

“He was not, but he was a religious man who spent time at the mosque. A piece of paper took him away from us. Three months after he was released from prison, he died.”

July 9th, 2013, 1:17 am

 

omen said:

hey, juergen, long time. did you hear what the stasi had to say about obama? that was priceless.

July 9th, 2013, 1:22 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Great to see how much the Professor respects the commenters on his own blog. The only intellectually stimulating debate he has in years, a debate that carries some substance, is conducted on someone else’s blog.

This of course was reinforced by Matthew’s own words not long time ago in a rather short debate about the value of the comment section.

July 9th, 2013, 1:29 am

 

Citizen said:

In Aleppo, at the entrance to the eastern part, where entrenched armed groups, in particular in Bustan Al Qasr quarter, the terrorists have hung out just such a banner on which is written: “It is strictly forbidden the export of food, medicine, petroleum, oil, baby food and items needed for children, milk and dairy products, vegetables, meat and bread. “So they banned the supply to Aleppo areas, which are controlled by the government, food and basic necessities, hoping to take residents of attrition.

July 9th, 2013, 1:42 am

 

ghufran said:

Egypt under Mubarak was more hostile to Iran than Morsi’s who except for his last miscalculated play at Cairo’s stadium was more “understanding” of Iran’s needs and the similarities his group and the mullahs have, the fact that one is sunni and the other is shia does not mean much in the world of “theopolitics”.
Acknowledging Iran’s role in strengthening Hizbullah and Hamas deterrent abilities against Israel does not mean that Iran’s political system is a good model, the mullahs in Iran are as corrupt as Baathists in Syria, it is common knowledge that they steal public land and that they have a monopoly on trade and dealership contracts (Iran has a Persian version of Makhloufs too)
The tragedy in Syria is that the class of Syrians that has the best intention and the best chance to save the country is like a goat with scabies, left with no support and no friends, the reason is simple: those people who believe in true freedom and democracy are not servants of the big players (Iran, Russia, GCC and the EU/USA), look at who is receiving money and political support in both camps and you will understand what I mean. My support for keeping the Syrian army as a national institution has nothing to do with my position about the regime, Syrian soldiers are used and abused, no makhlouf or assad will carry arms and fight the “terrorists”, they will use poor alawites to do the job, their kids are either hiding or are already out of Syria, ironically many thawrajyyeh here and elsewhere are doing the same !!
wake up and smell the truth.

July 9th, 2013, 2:28 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Greed endless, war profiteer extraordinaire and d-p athad money launderer rami makhlouf continues its “support” of the Syrian Currency.

Today, 1 US Dollar= 280 Syrian Lira

July 9th, 2013, 4:32 am

 
 

Akbar Palace said:

58. Mick said:

How cute. I guess since Paula Abdul has ‘Arab’ genes and Landis does not, she wouldn’t look at the Arab world in the same was as us non-genetically Arab folk?

Mick,

Read a little bit more about Paula Abdul and her “genes”, since that seems to be important to you. You may want to skip to “Personal Life”, “Religion”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Abdul

84. Sami said:

Using Israel as a political scapegoat for anyone you find that does not agree with your views is a clear sign of a minimum use of intellectual capacity or the complete lack of it.

I see Sami understands the main arab and muslim MO in excuse-making. Oh well, there’s another 1.5999 billion we can try to fool…

July 9th, 2013, 7:06 am

 

Citizen said:

http://anna-news.info/sites/default/files/2011/u511/Al-Jarba_0.jpg
LLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!MMMAAAAAAAA3333333333333 🙂

July 9th, 2013, 7:09 am

 
 

zoo said:

#90 Juergen

Funny, some illuminated here said that Tamim will continue HBJ policy. For me it looks like a huge U-Turn:
The Moslem Brotherhood are now banned, jailed and boycotted all over the GCC and it is reaching the Arab countries.

I guess Erdogan, the Syrian opposition, Hamas and Tunisia are having goose pimps…

July 9th, 2013, 8:33 am

 

zoo said:

If implemented, it looks like a full democratic system
Egypt’s constitutional declaration issued, defines transitional period

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76065/Egypt/Politics-/UPDATED-Egypts-constitutional-declaration-issued,-.aspx
….
The declaration states that the Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic system based on citizenship, Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Sharia law derived from established Sunni canons is its main source of legislation.

The people are the source of all authority. Its economic system is based on social justice. People are equal in front of the law, have equal rights and duties and are treated without discrimination based on gender, language, religion or faith, and the state guarantees equal opportunities.

A citizen’s privacy is protected by law. Communications cannot be confiscated or monitored except by a court order and for a limited period of time.

Personal freedoms are guaranteed. No one can be arrested, searched or detained except by a court or prosecution order and according to the law.

Freedom of expression is guaranteed. A person can say, write, film or use any other method of self-expression within the limits of the law. The state guarantees the right to religious practice of the three Abrahamic religions.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed and censorship is prohibited except in cases of emergency or war when limited censorship may be applied to issues of national security and only in accordance with the law.

Citizens have the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and unarmed in accordance with the law.

Citizens can establish organisations, syndicates, unions and parties in accordance with the law. It is prohibited to form organisations which engage in activities that are against society’s system or are secret or of a military nature.

Political parties cannot be based on gender, race or religion. Parties cannot be dissolved except by a court order.

Public property has a sanctity which citizens have a duty to protect in accordance with the law. Private property is guaranteed and cannot be confiscated except for public benefit and with compensation in accordance with the law.

Any violation of personal freedoms is a crime that does not expire and the state has a responsibility to compensate victims. No citizen can be exiled or banned from entering the country.

Defending the state is a sacred responsibility. Military service is compulsory in accordance with the law. Protection of the homeland and maintaining its secrets is a duty.

No punishment can be applied except in accordance with the law and by a court order.

Law is the main basis for governing. The constitutional declaration guarantees the independence of the judiciary.

The military’s judiciary is independent and is the only body that can rule in cases related to the armed forces and its personnel, and the law dictates its other authorities.

The National Defence Council is headed by the president and is responsible for security, discussing the budget of the armed forces and any laws related to the armed forces.

July 9th, 2013, 8:39 am

 

zoo said:

While the army invokes armed provocations, the Moslem Brotherhood musketeers, Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia and Hamas condemn the “massacre of innocents”

http://www.aawsat.net/2013/07/article55308983

London and Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Muslim Brotherhood called for an ‘Islamic uprising’ in Egypt amid scenes of violence yesterday, which resulted in 51 deaths, and more than 400 injuries.

The army said the deaths occurred when protesters approached the Republican Guard compound, where protesters suspect deposed President Mohamed Mursi was being held.

Armed forces’ spokesman, Col Ahmed Mohammed Ali, said an “armed terrorist group” attempted to storm the Republican Guard compound using live ammunition. “They killed an officer and injured 42 others, eight seriously,” he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, said the deaths were caused when the army attacked protesters at a sit-in for Mursi.

Meanwhile, Turkey, Qatar and Tunisia, have all condemned the killing of civilians in Cairo.

The government of Turkey, which condemned the toppling of Mursi as a military coup, described the events in Cairo as a “massacre”, and called on the EU to take action regarding events in Egypt.

Qatar said it “strongly condemned the regrettable incidents which lead to the killing of innocent people,” and called on Egyptians to find a political solution to the crisis.

Tunisian Islamic Ennahda party, which governs the country, has also condemned the “massacre” of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and called on the world to stand in solidarity with legitimacy.

Iran said “the interference of the armed forces in political affairs was not acceptable and caused concern,” adding that “the division of the Egyptian people is dangerous.”

In Gaza, a Hamas spokesman said the movement “condemned the massacre which killed dozens of Egyptian civilians yesterday morning and expressed its sorrow and pain for the deaths.”

July 9th, 2013, 9:18 am

 

omen said:

98. Akbar Palace, did you see my final response to you in our exchange two threads down? the one about israeli tradition of working towards social justice?

zoo, you were right. i shouldn’t have held you responsible for al qaeda. don’t be smug. i stand by everything else.

July 9th, 2013, 9:32 am

 
 

Ziad said:

JURGEN #90

“some illuminated here said that Tamim will continue HBJ policy”

The evil duo’s (Hamad & Hamad) support to MB was unshakable. The Emir’s abdication appeared voluntary. Any sane person would think that the abdicating Emir would take all necessary steps to ensure the continuation of his policy. Further events however indicate that the US decided to throw the MB under the bus and the abdication is not voluntary but through a Diktat from the head master.

July 9th, 2013, 10:16 am

 

revenire said:

Omen don’t you know when someone dies of old age anywhere in Syria it is Assad’s fault? Come on. Get with the rebel program. We’re fighting for freedom.

July 9th, 2013, 10:18 am

 

revenire said:

Today’s Dahyeh bombing and the difference between Hizbullah and March 14

When one compares the statements made by Hizbullah officials and its allies in government on today’s terrorist attack in Dahyeh, with those made by their political rivals in the March 14 camp, my fears of sectarian civil war are assuaged (even if my fear of terrorist bombings has increased). Despite widespread outrage among Dahyeh’s Shia residents, not a single official has blamed Assir or Jabhit al-Nusra or any other Sunni takfiri group for the bombing— a bombing, which could easily have been a massacre had the two explosions been spaced apart as originally planned. Officials have either pointed fingers at Israel or have refused to speculate on the identity of the culprits before the investigation into the bombing reaches its conclusion. Contrast this with March 14’s knee jerk reaction to every single bombing in Lebanon since 2005, where fingers were immediately pointed at the Assad government or Hizbullah. Such accusations were not only made in the absence of any hard evidence, but oftentimes, in the absence of any logical rationale or reasonable motive for their alleged involvement. And herein lies the reason for this difference between the two camps: while the resistance camp sees sectarian tensions as an obstacle to its regional liberationist project, the Saudi-Qatari-imperialist backed M14 movement without a cause, has no other project but sectarian agitation.

July 9th, 2013, 10:20 am

 

Majed97 said:

Zoo (102),
The proposed Egyptian constitution falls well short of a democratic system. It is the same old backward document that continues to appease religious groups, particularly Islamists. It’s hard for me to interpret the following principles as democratic principles:

“…the principles of Sharia law derived from established Sunni canons is its main source of legislation.” (Have we not learned anything from the current religious inspired chaos!?!)

“A person can say, write, film or use any other method of self-expression within the limits of the law.” (We’re talking Sharia based law here, so how free could a person possibly be!?!)

“The state guarantees the right to religious practice of the three Abrahamic religions.” (There are a lot more religions in this world than just three).

“It is prohibited to form organisations which engage in activities that are against society’s system” (is that the Sharia based system!?!)

“Political parties cannot be based on gender, race or religion” (so how do you deal with the MB and other Islamist parties!?!).

Until religion and state are completely divorced from each other, democracy in the Islamic world is an oxymoron (i.e. Islamic democracy).

July 9th, 2013, 10:30 am

 

Ziad said:

ZOO #103

Yesterday’s violence in Egypt netted 51 dead and over 400 injured. Each side tells a different story and blames the other side for starting the violence. That bares great resemblance to the beginning of the Syrian civil war. My mother who witnessed the Lebanese civil war told me similar stories.

What about the possibility that both sides are telling the truth and a third party is igniting a civil conflict?

July 9th, 2013, 10:34 am

 

revenire said:

I am happy to report that Al-Khalidiya is now 100% under the control of the SAA and NDF.

Analysis: Confident Assad sees Syria tide turning

(Reuters) – The road to Bashar al-Assad’s palace on the edge of Damascus has four checkpoints manned by Republican Guards and plain-clothed police which guests must pass before they reach the main gate.

Inside the People’s Palace, in the hills overlooking the Syrian capital, visitors who have seen the Syrian president in the last month say security is surprisingly light for a man who has lost control of half his country to a rebel uprising.

Assad’s air of confidence – a constant through more than two years of conflict – appeared almost delusional when rebel mortars and bombs were tearing at the heart of Damascus and fighting closed its airport to foreign airlines late last year.

But after weeks of counter-offensives by Assad’s army in the south of the country – against rebel supply routes east of Damascus and most recently in the border town of Qusair – that optimism looks less irrational.

The fall last week of President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt prompted a defiant Assad to proclaim the defeat of political Islam. The Brotherhood’s Syrian branch, already under pressure from more radical opposition groups, was dealt a psychological blow that comes on top of delays to promised supplies of weapons from Washington.

Congressional committees are holding up a plan to send U.S. arms to the rebels because they doubt the deliveries will be decisive in the war and they fear the weapons might end up in the hands of Islamist militants, U.S. national security sources have told Reuters.

In an interview in May with Al-Manar, the television station of his Lebanese militant ally Hezbollah, Assad said the tide had turned on the battlefield and repeated an assertion he has made since protests against his rule first erupted in March 2011.

“We are confident and sure about victory,” he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-syria-crisis-assad-analysis-idUSBRE9680L520130709

July 9th, 2013, 10:54 am

 
 

Ziad said:

After the Shooting In Cairo

“I saw that the Army retreated about ten metres and began to fire tear-gas cannisters, about ten or fifteen of them,” he said. “I couldn’t see if the other side [the protesters] was shooting, but I heard people through megaphones encouraging jihad. Then I saw four to six motorcycles coming from the direction of the Rabaa intersection to the Republican Guard barracks. Some people were still praying, some were not, because the dawn prayer had finished by then. The men on the motorcycles were all masked, and it was hard to see them through the dark and the tear-gas smoke, but they seemed to be shooting, they were coming from behind the protesters, so they were shooting toward the protesters and the Army. Then the Army started firing. And the protestors were firing. I saw firing from both sides.” As for details, though—what they were firing, whether it was one or two protesters or something more organized—he said that it was dark and that he couldn’t exactly tell.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/07/after-the-shooting-in-cairo.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

July 9th, 2013, 11:45 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

30. ZOO said:

Vodak and women are the new soft weapons that Russia should be sending to weaken and divide further the opposition.

is zouzou insinuating that putin is a pimp and that Russian women are call girls

how shameful ….
with friends like that who needs enemies.
and what on earth is Vodak?

July 9th, 2013, 11:46 am

 

don said:

[12:17:26 PM]: Al Arabiya Breaking ‏@AlArabiya_Brk 32m View translation
العاهل السعودي يأمر بـ 5 مليارات دولار حزمة مساعدات لمصر
Retweeted by Reuters Insider

Qatar bought $1 billion worth of Egyptian bank notes yesterday

July 9th, 2013, 12:37 pm

 

Ziad said:

طرد طاقم قناة الجزيرة من مؤتمر القوات المسلحة – 8 – 7 – 2013

July 9th, 2013, 12:49 pm

 

Mina said:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/76115/Business/Economy/Saudi-Arabia-to-give-Egypt–billion-in-aid.aspx

Coherence is not part of the vocabulary of Arab journalists, so I’m sure al Hayat and others will find some way to explain KSA and Qatar policies… I hope Hollande and Cameron feel the heat.

July 9th, 2013, 12:59 pm

 

don said:

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 3m
Russian analysis indicates Syrian rebels, not army, carried out chemical weapons attack in Aleppo on March 19: Moscow’s U.N. envoy
#breaking news

July 9th, 2013, 1:09 pm

 

Syrialover said:

For a poignant reminder of the former standard of discussion on this forum, see the exchange of posts between Joshua Landis and Robin Yassin-Kassab in the lead post above.

That’s how SyriaComment used to be in the years before it was mass-infested and destroyed by Assadist professional vermin.

I wonder if it will be rebuilt in the post-Assad era when ZOO, REVENIRE and the other fake personas have crawled back under their rocks.

July 9th, 2013, 1:09 pm

 

Ziad said:

هكذا أبلست القنوات العـربية «حزب الله»

في 5 حزيران (يونيو) الماضي، دخل الجيش السوري بلدة القصير. كانت تلك اللحظة إيذاناً لانطلاق حملة إعلامية وسياسية وحتى عقائدية غير مسبوقة ترمي إلى أبلسة «حزب الله» وتشويه صورته. ماكينة ضخمة قادتها أبرز الفضائيات العربية و«توّجتها» بعض القنوات المحلية وما زالت مستمرّة حتى اليوم. «الأخبار» رصدت عشرة أيام بعد الجيش السوري القصير التي شهدت ذروة هذه الحملة، محاولة استقصاء هذه الماكينة، والخطاب والمعايير اللذين اعتمدتهما.

عشرة أيام (من 5 الى 15 حزيران/ يونيو) غطّت ثماني قنوات: «الجزيرة» (حصاد اليوم)، النشرات المسائية لكل من: «العربية»، «sky news عربية»، «bbc عربي»، «المستقبل» (7:30)، lbci ، mtv، و«france 24» (نشرة «باريس مباشر»). تفاوتت ضراوة الحملة المؤبلسة بين قناة وأخرى، لكن لا شك في أنّ الثنائي «الجزيرة» و«العربية» شكلتا منبراً أساساً في التحريض والتهويل وبث الفتن والاتهامات المفبركة. ولا شك أيضاً في أنّ قناة «المستقبل» كانت «رائدة» في إدارة حملتها الخاصة ضد الحزب التي تجاوزت كل حد بقلب الحقائق وبث الأحقاد.

بداية مع «الجزيرة» التي اتكأت على عناصر عدة لإدانة واتهام الحزب بارتكاب المجازر ومحاصرة المدنيين هناك مستعينة بالأطباء الذين أكّدوا أنّ أكثر «من ألف جريح يحتاجون لعناية مستمرة» ولم يكتف هؤلاء بمهمتهم الأساسية أي المعالجة الطبية بل راحوا يسيّسون الواقعة عبر القول بأنّ النظام السوري يهدم أماكن تواجد الجرحى. وفي تقرير لمراسلها رائد فقيه (6/6) حول الصواريخ المنهمرة على بلدة عرسال (قضاء بعلبك) جنح التقرير الى عرض آراء قوى 14 آذار التي قالت «إن الخلاف مع «حزب الله» سيحدث حرباً أهلية»، لتنتقل بعدها الموجة الى ما يسمى «المثقفين الشيعة» الذين هوّلوا بخطورة «انحلال الدولة» بسبب استباحتها من قبل الحزب ليختم أحدهم بالادعاء بأنّ «الطائفة الشيعية مخطوفة من قبل الحزب».

في العاشر من حزيران (يونيو)، كانت إجراءات خليجية تتخذ بحق الحزب والمنتمين اليه في البلدان الخليجية. هنا، برّر عضو مجلس الشورى السعودي زهير الحارثي ذلك بحرص هذه الدول على «حقوق الإنسان» لتمتد التغطية في اليوم التالي وتنصبّ على الكويت مع إفراد مساحة كبيرة لمقاطعة البضائع الإيرانية احتجاجاً على دخول الحزب في المعارك السورية «والمجازر التي يرتكبها هناك وقتله للأبرياء» على حد تعبير احد الكويتيين المعتصمين أمام السفارة اللبنانية. التهويل لم يقف هنا، بل دخل الاقتصاد كعامل ضغط مؤثر عبر الإيهام بأنه سينهار جراء هذا التدخل العسكري. مثلاً، دعت قوى 14 آذار الى انقاذه «خشية تأثيره على الشارع اللبناني» بالإضافة الى «نصف مليون لبناني يعيشون في الخليج»، لينتهي التقرير باستصراح آراء المارة والادعاء بأنّ هناك مخاوف من عودة الحرب الأهلية من جديد لا سيما بين السنة والشيعة.

http://www.jpnews-sy.com/ar/news.php?id=59736

July 9th, 2013, 1:12 pm

 

Syrialover said:

It takes a particularly desperate and primitive animal to destroy its own habitat.

A sample of urbicide committed by the Assad regime, this time in Damascus.

The beauty of Midan https://twitter.com/ranoosh726/status/352535841261899776/photo/1

And what Assad’s forces have done to it (series of pictures) http://www.demotix.com/photo/1346506/midan-heavily-damaged-assad-forces

July 9th, 2013, 1:16 pm

 

revenire said:

Russian inquiry to UN: Rebels, not Army, behind Syria Aleppo chemical attack
http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-attack-rebels-848/

Samples taken at the site where the chemical weapons were allegedly used indicate that it was rebels – not the Syrian army – behind the attack, Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin has said.

Russia has handed over the analyzed samples to the UN, he added.

“I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon),” Churkin said on Tuesday.

Evidence studied by Russian scientists indicates that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, Churkin stressed.

“It was determined that on March 19 the rebels fired an unguided missile Bashair-3 at the town of Khan al-Assal, which has been under government control. The results of the analysis clearly show that the shell used in Khan al-Assal was not factory made and that it contained sarin,” he said.

July 9th, 2013, 1:35 pm

 

Mina said:

اتهم مندوب روسيا الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة فيتالي تشوركين المعارضة السورية باستخدام أسلحة كيماوية في حلب، مؤكدا أن بلاده قدمت إثباتات حول ذلك للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون. وقال تشوركين للصحفيين الثلاثاء 9 يوليو/تموز :”لقد سلمت منذ لحظة للأمين العام نتائج تحليل عينات أخذها الخبراء الروس في مكان سقوط القذيفة في خان العسل.. وأريد أن أشدد على أننا حصلنا عليها مباشرة ليس من خلال جانب ثالث.” وأشار إلى أن “العينات تم تحليلها في مختبر روسي مؤيد رسميا من قبل منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيماوية.. وتم التخليص بالدقة أنه في التاسع عشر من مارس/أيار الماضي أطلق المتمردون قذائف غير موجهة من طراز بشائر ثلاثة باتجاه خان العسل الخاضعة لسيطرة الجيش السوري.. نتائج التحليل أكدت بشكل واضح أن الذخائر التي استخدمت في خان العسل، تم إنتاجها على نطاق غير صناعي..”.

http://arabic.rt.com/news/620741/ :روسيا اليوم

Hollande, Cameron, when is your spring coming?

July 9th, 2013, 1:38 pm

 

revenire said:

You mean this? The foul language and disrespect toward Dr. Landis reminds me of how terrorists act.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/some-kind-of-round-up/

Robin & Joshua debate on Sultan Sooud’s facebook page:

Sultan Sooud: Great read by Joshua Landis on Obama’s three options on Syria. The one, two and three state solutions.

Racan Alhoch: I love orientalist solutions. They are always a modified version of the Sykes-picot. The best solution would be for people like Landis to f_ck off.

Joshua Landis: Rocan, I am not sure what is orientalist about these possible outcomes. If Assad hangs on to the south is Syria and the rebels hold the north it will not be because of the west. It will be a Syrian solution. If the rebels are able to conquer Damascus it will probably be thanks to help from the West.

July 9th, 2013, 1:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The Egyptian MB in its ignorance and incompetence sure changed things.

Twice the number of people poured into the streets to demonstrate against it as voted for it.

And now we see the UAE and Saudi Arabia putting in $8 billion to assist the interim government – more than MB Egypt got from the US and Qatar combined.

July 9th, 2013, 1:47 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The MB lacks the brainpower to comprehend what’s happened.

Article: Morsi’s ambition hit all the wrong notes

EXCERPT:

There is, however, little in the way of thoughtfulness from Brotherhood members about how the organisation managed to fall so low in the course of a few months. The removal of Mr Morsi from power was unexpected, but it was not sudden.

“They feel like they went along with the democratic process and when they won, other groups denied their victory,” said Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the head of the Ibn Khaldun Centre for Development Studies who was imprisoned alongside Mr Morsi during Mubarak’s regime for criticising the government.

“Of course, at the same time, they do not engage in any self-criticism or reflect on their performance in power.”

From the perspective of the army, the Brotherhood’s political blindness was confirmed by Mr Morsi’s final defiant speech. Waving his hands angrily and using the word “legitimacy” more than 70 times on July 2, he called on Egyptians to resist a conspiracy by remnants of the Mubarak regime and anti-democratic forces.

Twenty-four hours later, television screens across the nation were displaying an extraordinary press conference. Gen Abdel Fatah El Sisi, the defence minister, speaking in grave tones, announced that Mr Morsi had been deposed and the constitution suspended.

The fact that Ahmed El Tayyeb, the grand sheikh of Al Azhar, Egypt’s highest religious authority, and a representative of the ultraconservative Al Nour party were by Gen El Sisi’s side showed that the Brotherhood had gone so far as to alienate just about everyone in the political scene.

The popular anger against Mr Morsi was rooted in a series of poorly thought-out decisions, but most resonant across Egypt’s spectrum of ideologies and beliefs was the simple complaint that he had not made any progress in improving daily life in Egypt.

Protesters in 2011 cried “Bread, Justice, Freedom” in their chants. Yet, instead of addressing these core issues, Mr Morsi instead responded by consolidating power, interfering with the judiciary and rushing through a vote on a constitution designed by Islamists to curtail freedoms demanded by the masses.

The deadlock caused by these actions hamstrung the economy, leading to further joblessness, higher food prices and chronic fuel shortages.

The Mubarak regime managed to survive for nearly three decades, thanks to a strong security apparatus, but also to an unwillingness to undertake dramatic reforms. Mr Morsi’s presidency fell apart in a single year because it was ambitious in all the wrong ways.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/morsis-ambition-hit-all-the-wrong-notes#full

July 9th, 2013, 2:01 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Your effort in #124 is weak, REVENIRE, weak. It looks like that conversation was way over your head. Is reference to “orientalist solutions” too deep for you?

July 9th, 2013, 2:31 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Here’s a refreshing reminder of what the FSA is really all about, and how much of this reality is being obscured by the toxic black smoke of propaganda.

July 9th, 2013, 2:34 pm

 

revenire said:

SL all I did was copy the nasty language you said was a high mark of discourse. You’ve always acted arrogant and better than others. Big deal.

Everyone can see you defend terrorists and their atrocities. The FSA is no more than a pack of murderers.

July 9th, 2013, 2:38 pm

 

revenire said:

Fabled US weapons not showing up. Terrorists are crying.

“samer ‏@samersniper 1m
Statement in #PRT says: No weapons, ammunition, or equipment, were received in #Homs from the #FSA’s chief of staff, who claimed otherwise!!”

July 9th, 2013, 2:43 pm

 

zoo said:

#110 Ziad

Some Arab countries having a geographical strategic position are exposed to all kind on foreign intervention any time there is crack in the cohesion of their citizens. It could be ethnical, religious, or social.
The foreign countries have a variety of agendas from bad to worse.
Whatever way it is is handled, any crack will be exploited. It may start small but it can grow fast and trigger a disaster.
Egypt (and Syria) are full of these cracks, and there are may groups who try exploit them.
No one knows the outcome as the dynamic is complex.

July 9th, 2013, 3:06 pm

 
 

revenire said:

Truth of FSA comes out

Leaflets have been handed out in Aleppo stating that any attempt to distribute food or medicines to areas of Aleppo where Government support is high (most of the city’s two million inhabitants) is punishable by death. Two million people are being starved, their babies are being deprived of milk, their sick deprived of medicines by these monsters – and the west sniffs, whistles a tune, looks sideways or else becomes suddenly fascinated by its fingernails.

The leaflets are provided by Jabhat al-Nusra and other factions of the so-called “Free” Syrian Army, a motley collection of lunatics, fanatics, murderers, rapists, torturers, arsonists, thieves, looters… the faces of sheer evil, faces which the west claims it is going to arm. It already is, through its channels in the collaborationist Arab states in the Middle East, bed-boys Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the ever-ready Turkey, big on words but which folds like a house of cards when called upon to do the dirty work or else hide behind the scenes like a coward and harbor terrorist groups on its territory.

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/09-07-2013/125063-syrian_opposition-0/

July 9th, 2013, 3:25 pm

 

Citizen said:

Dear Mr. Putin!
How much time you need to resolve the issue of Syria?

July 9th, 2013, 3:36 pm

 

Citizen said:

Israel accused of false flag terror car bomb in Beirut by Lebanon’s former PM
http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/07/09/car-bomb-rips-through-south-beirut-former-lebanese-pm-blames-israel/

July 9th, 2013, 3:58 pm

 

zoo said:

Satisfied by the fall of its foe the Moslem Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia is pouring billions of dollar in Egypt to consolidate the new “non-islamic government”.
It seems that KSA much prefer Arab countries to be ruled by moderates, christian or moslems with an islamist opposition party than the other way around.
They prefer not to see any successful Arab Islamist Sunni that could become an example of democracy and tempt the Saudis to throw the Saud family out
In my view, in Syria they are working to establish a liberal government in power and an islamist opposition.
Egypt is the new model, not Turkey
Erdogan is boiling of rage. Egypt tells him to mind his own business

Turkish ambassador summoned over Ankara’s calls for UN intervention in Egypt
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76132/Egypt/Politics-/Turkish-ambassador-summoned-over-Ankaras-calls-for.aspx

July 9th, 2013, 4:15 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

Ramadan Mubarak to all muslims! 🙂

Ramadan message, in english, from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scjb0PNGlQA

I believe the Shaykh is in the UK currently for a couple of speaking events. This message may have been on Islam Channel going by the studio background.

July 9th, 2013, 4:43 pm

 

Citizen said:

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim sacked former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, not only from public office, but also as head of the Qatar Foundation investments. In his place was appointed 37-year-old Ahmad Mohammed al-Sayed. Previously, he held positions in the less significant financial institutions in the same field – was the head of the Qatar Exchange, Qatar-Oman Investment Fund, an investment company Qatar Holding LLC. In fact, al-Sayed – a professional in the field of investment, as in politics – almost a complete zero.

Thus begins a new emir politics of division of politics and economics. Mix these two concepts together is too expensive and dangerous.

The initial strategy of the Emir Hamad, from which he received the endorsement of the Qatari elite coup in ’95, was the fact that Qatar has to make money by selling the gas (and this part of the strategy has been given to Mohammed Al-Attiyah, who created the project for the construction of the gas industry, oriented LNG), and the money to invest around the world. Is responsible for the direction of the investment fund Qatar Investment Authority and its leader Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.

However, slender and largely logical model of modernization was broken shale boom in the United States, which forced Qatar to solve the problems of the gas industry through the implementation of policies already on the divided gas markets. What led him to the ideology of funding the Arab Spring.

(Collapse)
It seems that at this stage of the failure of this policy is fixed, and Qatar will solve the problems of the economy through economic solutions. Investment fund must then get a new guide that is not able to pursue an independent policy. To do this, and there is a change of the second impact and importance of the monarchy in the person of professional, but it is not influential manager. Now the fund will have to push the interests of the gas industry of Qatar, and not as a tool attachments windfall emirate. Most likely, the now non-core assets that are not related to the gas industry, will be dropped and certainly not acquired. Some image projects will have to drag and then – as the World Cup, but now Qatar as меgа sponsor of everything brilliant is likely rooted in the past.

The war in Syria, in this case becomes more an image project of Qatar, which he will try to shove on the Saudis, even at the cost of loss of face. This does not constitute a waiver of Qatar on the support of the militants – but after the date of the Muslim Brotherhood had virtually no tools, you can conduct the political struggle in the region. Grow new – it’s expensive and time consuming. Qatar becomes a substitute player, sitting down firmly on the bench. Required – will release on the field, but for now let others run.

This, incidentally, speaks to the fact that Qatar has long-term plans of the West plays a significant, but it is possible that the main role. Complete disintegration of the space in the Middle East is not in the plans of the United States. Some loci must remain orderly, and most likely, Qatar selected as such. For him, it at least looks like salvation – is too high probability that the collapse of the usual processes of regional order and will walk on the emirate. A small area and the smallest population become the Achilles heel of the monarchy. Money and Al-Jazeera did not leg it. Moreover, that Al-Jazeera, if necessary, quickly turn off the game – as the Egyptian military today in rough form TV correspondent expelled from his press conference.

July 9th, 2013, 4:48 pm

 

don said:

The World Food Program released a detailed study about Syria along with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; it said “Vaccines are in short supply and evil unilateral sanctions prohibit importing them”

http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp258332.pdf

July 9th, 2013, 4:50 pm

 

AMEERA said:

ريفرن

مرتك بتعرف تساوي كنافة ناعمة ولا عنكم بتاكلو حلوى بالزعفران؟

July 9th, 2013, 4:50 pm

 

don said:

Going by the studio background I say he’s in Tel Aviv.

138. Uzair8 said:
I believe the Shaykh is in the UK currently for a couple of speaking events. This message may have been on Islam Channel going by the studio background.

July 9th, 2013, 4:55 pm

 

AMEERA said:

يئطع عمرون البنات الروس تركوا كل رجالون و لحقوا العرب قال شو بحبو السمر لانو دمون حامي

July 9th, 2013, 5:02 pm

 

Citizen said:

138. UZAIR8
I congratulate the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan – Obedience and worship and reverence to God! With Ya’qubi or Without Ya’qubi, with Uk or without UK, with Islam channel or without Islam Channel these issue is not related to Ramadan!

July 9th, 2013, 5:04 pm

 

Citizen said:

143. AMEERA
عم بتغاري؟؟ طبعا الحصان العربي أصيل و كل الدنيا بتحاول استحواذه! 🙂

July 9th, 2013, 5:06 pm

 

AMEERA said:

سيتيزن

يبعتلك حمى الهي طبعا غيرانة يعني شو بتغيم عنا و بتشتي عند غيرنا

July 9th, 2013, 5:10 pm

 

zoo said:

Ramadan Kareem to all..

July 9th, 2013, 5:12 pm

 

zoo said:

UAE to help rebuild Egypt with Dh11bn aid package

Bradley Hope
Jul 10, 2013
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/uae-to-help-rebuild-egypt-with-dh11bn-aid-package

CAIRO // The UAE approved a massive Dh11 billion aid package for the people of Egypt yesterday.
The move was a show of support for the interim government’s attempts to restore stability after the removal from office of the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

July 9th, 2013, 5:15 pm

 

AMEERA said:

ينعاد علينا و عليكم بالصحة و السلامة و الامن والامان

رمضان كريم للمعارضين و المؤيديين و الحياديين و عديمي الرأي و كل اجهزة المخابرات التي تراقب هذا المندى

July 9th, 2013, 5:15 pm

 

Citizen said:

146. AMEERA
طولي بالك ! راح تغييم عند الكل ان شاء الله غيمات على كيف كيفك!

July 9th, 2013, 5:19 pm

 

zoo said:

#139 Citizen

The fall of HBJ and the take over of the Arab Spring by the Saudis from the Moslem Brotherhood is opening a new phase in the region reshuffling. Let us not forget that Saudi Arabia supported Mobarak until the last minute and wants him out of jail.

The Saudi can’t stand Turkey for several reasons, historical, ethnical and religious.

They are doing all they can to decrease their influence in the Arab world.
As for Syria, they hope to build up an acceptable opposition with all groups represented with the hope that in the 2014 election, Bashar al Assad may not be elected.
Alternatively and contrary to HBJ, I think the Saudis could very well tolerate Bashar in power as long as he fulfills some conditions in relation to Iran and to Israel.
Time will tell

July 9th, 2013, 5:29 pm

 

ghufran said:

Aksalser (opposition)is now adding segments on a daily basis on rebels and their behavior, this is the latest:
شهد معبر بستان القصر اليوم الثلاثاء مظاهرة حاشدة معظم من شارك فيها من الإعلاميين العاملين في المناطق المحررة طالبت بفك الحصار عن المناطق الغربية التي يسيطر عليها النظام.
وقال مراسل عكس السير إن المظاهرة بدأت احتجاجاً على ضرب أحد الإعلاميين وإهانته من قبل حاجز بستان القصر لتتحول إلى مظاهرة مطالبة بفك الحصار.
وأضاف المراسل أن المتظاهرين رددوا شعارات “الشعب يريد فك الحصار” وأيضاً “واحد واحد واحد الشعب الحلبي واحد”.
وروى أحد المتظاهرين لـ عكس السير أن الرد كان من حاجز “الزير” بإطلاق الرصاص في الهواء لتفريق المظاهرة بالإضافة لاستعمال مدفع “دوشكا” و 23مم، كما حاولوا اعتقال كل من يحمل كاميرات تصوير.
وأضاف: هناك من تعرض للضرب بعد الجدال الذي حدث مع عناصر الحاجز حيث قال أحد العناصر: “روحو فكو الحصار عن حمص” فرد عليه أحدهم “انتم الجيش الحر وأنتم من يجب ان يفك ذلك الحصار”، فما كان منه إلا أن صاح “شبيح مسكوه” حيث تم ضربه بأخمص البندقية والرفسات.
وتقوم إدارة معبر بستان القصر (المعبر الوحيد بين المناطق المحررة وغير المحررة) بمنع خروج المواد الغذائية بشكل كامل بالإضافة إلى مواد المحروقات وحليب الأطفال بحجة المحافظة على أسعار السلع في المناطق المحررة.
وتعاني الأحياء الغربية من مدينة حلب من حصار خانق فرضته الاشتباكات من مدخلها الجنوبي الغربي (الاكادمية العسكرية) لتأتي خطوة الجيش الحر في منع المواد من المرور من معبر بستان القصر لتحول الأحياء الغربية إلى أحياء جائعة وصلت فيها أسعار السلع إلى عشرة أضعاف خاصة الغذائية منها الأمر الذي أصبح لوجهة نظر ناشطين عملية “تجويع” ممنهجة
سوى أن نسبة كبيرة من الثوار ما زالوا يبررون عملية الحصار بـ جملة “خلي يحسّو فينا شوي”، إلا أن عملية الحصار باتت اليوم مستهجنة بشكل كبير من قبل الثوار، خاصة بعد مشاهدة جموع المدنيين جلهم من النساء والأطفال يحملون موادهم الغذائية المتمثلة بـ “كيلو بندورة، وكيلو خيار” ينتظرون فرجاً من الله.
This is the video:

the truth is, rebels are very unpopular in Aleppo, it was Aleppo that opened the eyes of many people and clearly showed that this is not a popular revolution but rather an armed rebellion that can not and will not earn the support of enough Syrians to topple the regime, people in their natural sense of wisdom realized that they are up to two evil group of thugs, the first group: a regime they know well, the second group: rebel factions they are starting to know. Two years later, the second group failed to provide what it promised and actually made life harder for a lot of people under their rule.

July 9th, 2013, 5:34 pm

 

don said:

Russia gives UN evidence ‘Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas’ – but US rejects claims

NEW YORK // Russian experts have determined that Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas and used it in an attack outside Aleppo in March, but the US has rejected their claims.

Samples taken on site at the invitation of the Syrian government showed that the sarin gas was “not industrial” quality, but rather produced recently in “cottage industry” conditions, Mr Churkin said after delivering an 80-page report to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/russia-gives-un-evidence-syrian-rebels-made-sarin-nerve-gas-but-us-rejects-claims

July 9th, 2013, 5:36 pm

 

don said:

Egypt Upheaval Deepens Turkey’s Regional Isolation

The bottom line is that Turkey is no longer seen as a neutral force in the region. Instead it is seen as a power taking sides in disputes that have flared dangerously due to developments in Iraq and Syria, to promote its own brand of Sunni Islam, to the detriment of Shiite powers and secular elements of society. Turkey’s opportunity to play a positive role in efforts to reduce sectarian tensions and promote genuine democracy in the Middle East seems all but lost today.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/turkey-isolated-over-egypt.html

July 9th, 2013, 5:43 pm

 

revenire said:

Has Yaqoubi condemned the FSA using chemical weapons? He did call for the West to attack Syria.

Russia: Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons in Aleppo
http://www.voanews.com/content/russia-syrian-rebels-used-cyhemical-weapons-in-aleppo/1698281.html

Russia claims Syria rebels used sarin at Khan al-Assal
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23249104

July 9th, 2013, 5:44 pm

 

AMEERA said:

لك دخليك خليها تغيم و تشتي و تغرقني كمان لك نشف قلبي من جوا و انا عم استنى هالشتوة

July 9th, 2013, 5:56 pm

 
 

AMEERA said:

يا جماعة حدا عندو برنامج المسلسلات لشهر رمضان؟

July 9th, 2013, 6:00 pm

 

revenire said:

Syria: Nobel Peace Laureate Tells Her Account of What She Witnessed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsbvnpx2Fzo

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire tells her account of her visit to Syria. While Maguire was in Syria, she discovered that the people the U.S. is funding are violent groups and do not want peace in Syria. Her her view is that Syria is being used as a proxy war by the U.S., Great Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

July 9th, 2013, 6:17 pm

 

Ghufran said:

How did a zero mashakel policy became a zero sum disaster ?
الخارجية المصرية تستدعي سفير تركيا وتبلغة رفضها تدخل بلاده في شؤون مصر
This time, the money promised to Egypt seems to be real and not just another Arab promise. A new Egypt-UAE-KSA alliance being formed, the losers are Erdogang and Qatar. Where does Syria fit into all of this?
Zero sum unless a cease fire is reached.
$ above 300 Liras , Ramadan Kareem.
Aleppo is being starved by rebels who want to liberate the city by imposing the freedom of hunger.

July 9th, 2013, 7:08 pm

 

AMEERA said:

الهي يا رب بجاه الساعة الفضلية والشهر الفضيل تمحي و ما تخلي حدا من هدول الجهاديين عباد الفرج المعقدين جنسيا و المغتصبين في طفولتهم.

July 9th, 2013, 7:21 pm

 

Ziad said:

AMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN

July 9th, 2013, 7:26 pm

 

omen said:

67. Ghufran said: Obama Doctrine is that he does not have one

corporate power controls this white house, whether it be dem or con.

if US doesn’t want to intervene, it’s because it doesn’t serve corporate interest to do so.

people need to stop pretending as if obama is some kind of leader. he never wielded executive power before becoming president. traits of leadership needs to be burnished through long years of experience. it doesn’t just magically flower out of the blue. the man never stands on principle and is constantly rolled by republican and lobbyist pressure.

that photo taken of obama during the bin laden raid told it all. did you see the body language? he was the smallest person in the room. he was practically hiding under the chair. obama has zero command presence indicative of a leader and of someone in charge.

i’ll give him points for having a nice golf swing though.

July 9th, 2013, 7:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Saudi Arabia hitting at Syrian Islamists?
Kingdom ‘will not tolerate extremism’

http://arabnews.com/news/457597

Saudi Arabia yesterday urged the international community to play a decisive role to end the bloodbath in Syria, giving ethics priority over politics.
“If it fails to do so, then the history will record that it had participated in the killing of innocent people,” said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, in a Ramadan message.
The message, which was delivered on Saudi Television by Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja, emphasized that Saudi Arabia would not tolerate extremism.
“We’ll not allow extremists to misuse religion in order to realize their vested interests.”

July 9th, 2013, 7:48 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #128 said:

“Here’s a refreshing reminder of what the FSA is really all about,”

The video depicts how the FSA ought to be. To know how it is in reality read 152. Ghufran.

July 9th, 2013, 7:49 pm

 

omen said:

95. ghufran said: Egypt under Mubarak was more hostile to Iran than Morsi’s who except for his last miscalculated play at Cairo’s stadium was more “understanding” of Iran’s needs and the similarities his group and the mullahs have, the fact that one is sunni and the other is shia does not mean much in the world of “theopolitics”.

isn’t that interesting. plus, you add qatar throwing MB (also hostile to iran) to the sidelines. before that, US giving up iraq & refusing to intervene in syria.

what do we have? yet another sign to add to the pattern of the US bending over backwards to appease iranian interests – allowing iran to grow stronger in wielding regional influence.

why would the US intentionally weaken itself like this? i can only think it’s trying to curry iranian favor, in attempt to bring it out of the cold, and return it yet, once again, to be a western ally.

p.s. yes, the US is enforcing harsh sanctions, but that’s par for the course in the perennial carrot/stick approach. it’s trying to force iran to accept the carrot.

am i wrong?

July 9th, 2013, 7:50 pm

 

Ziad said:

اي نوع من الثوار ولاد القحبة ولاد الزنا بيجوعو مليونين مدني من شعبون بشهر رمضان؟ هدول كلاب الجيش الحر في حلب. هدول ثورجية حلب لا تقرفو

edward dark‏

July 9th, 2013, 7:57 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

142. Don said:

‘Going by the studio background I say he’s in Tel Aviv.’

That’s something Ann would say.

Hmmm…

July 9th, 2013, 7:59 pm

 

Ziad said:

pic: how rebels fire their inaccurate mortars & rockets in Aleppo. from inside a school & into civilian areas

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=496442963766862&set=a.377077645703395.90191.377060269038466&type=1

July 9th, 2013, 8:02 pm

 

AMEERA said:

فلماذا أدخلتم كل زناة الليل إلى حجرتها ؟؟

ووقفتم تستمعون وراء الباب لصرخات بكارتها

وسحبتم كل خناجركم

وتنافختم شرفا

وصرختم فيها أن تسكت صونا للعرض

فما أشرفكم

أولاد القحبة هل تسكت مغتصبة ؟

أولاد القحبة

لست خجولا حين أصارحكم بحقيقتكم

July 9th, 2013, 8:07 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Apparently Tariq Ramadan believes the Egyptian coup was planned a year ago.

Egypt: Coup d’État, Act II

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

For two years now I have often been asked why I have not visited Egypt, where I had been forbidden entry for 18 years. Just as often I repeated that on the basis of the information I was able to obtain—confirmed by Swiss and European officials—the Egyptian army remained firmly in control and had never left the political arena.

I never shared the widespread “revolutionary” enthusiasm. Nor did I believe that events in Egypt, any more than in Tunisia, were the result of a sudden historical upheaval. The peoples of these two countries suffered from dictatorship, from economic and social crisis; they rose up in the name of dignity, social justice and freedom. Their awakening, their “intellectual revolution,” and their courage must be saluted. But to accept or justify a simple-minded, linear explanation of the political, geostrategic and economic issues would have been totally unconscionable. Nearly three years ago, in a book and then in a series of articles, I alerted my readers to a body of troubling evidences, and to the underlying geopolitical and economic considerations that were often missing from mainstream political and media analyses, and that insisted on submitting the euphoria that accompanied the “Arab spring” to critical analysis.

[…]

July 9th, 2013, 8:13 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Ramadan coming to Damascus :
http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/07/09/the-high-cost-of-ramadan-in-damascus?videoId=243866025&videoChannel=117760
This is the time to send money to needy Syrians
تفو ع شرف كل سوري و غير سوري شارك في إذلال و تجويع السوريين

July 9th, 2013, 8:14 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@164

I thought Islamic terrorism is made in and exported by KSA? The KSA should first reign in all those fatwa-issuing sheikhs before even trying to weight in on that subject, no?

July 9th, 2013, 8:21 pm

 

AMEERA said:

لك دخيل الله على صوت المسحر ابن ابو عبدو الخضرجي اهلين برمضان و اجواء رمضان مع صوت الرصاص و الطاخ و الطيخ

يلا يا جماعة تفضلوا على السحور يعني مافي من واجبكم من حواضر البيت فطاير جبنة و مناقيش زعتر و صحن بيض مقلي عيون و اجبان و مكدوس و زيتون معطون و زيتون اخضر و مربى مشمش و تين مع صحن مسبحة و زبدية فول. وبعدين عندك قطايف بالجوز لتشطف تمك و طبعا شربة قمر الدين.

July 9th, 2013, 8:23 pm

 

Ziad said:

Russian inquiry to UN: Rebels, not Army, behind Syria Aleppo sarin attack

Samples taken at the site where the chemical weapons were allegedly used indicate that it was rebels – not the Syrian army -behind the attack, Russia’s UN envoy Vladimir Churkin has said.

Russia has handed over the analyzed samples to the UN, he added.

“I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon),” Churkin said on Tuesday.

Evidence studied by Russian scientists indicates that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels, Churkin pointed out.

“It was determined that on March 19 the rebels fired an unguided missile Bashair-3 at the town of Khan al-Assal, which has been under government control. The results of the analysis clearly show that the shell used in Khan al-Assal was not factory made and that it contained sarin,” he said.

Churkin added that the contents of the shell “didn’t contain chemical stabilizers in the toxic substance,” and therefore “is not a standard chemical charge.” The RDX – an explosive nitroamine commonly used for industrial and military applications – found in the warhead was not consistent with what the armed forces use.

According to Moscow, the manufacture of the ‘Bashair-3’ warheads started in February, and is the work of Bashair al-Nasr, a brigade with close ties to the Free Syrian Army.

http://rt.com/news/syria-chemical-attack-rebels-848/#.Udxt6t3271M.twitter

July 9th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Hello!

I’m listening to Prof Landis right now on BBC Radio 5 on my little portable radio on the topic of the Russian claims of rebel chemical use.

A very interesting listen.

‘Murkying up’..lol. A good description.

I’ll post it tomorrow when it become available. In Sha Allah.

July 9th, 2013, 8:29 pm

 

Tara said:

What I don’t understand is that they initially come to fight a brutal dictator.  What happen to them afterward to want a caliphate, no make -up, no tight jeans, flogging and stoning and worse of all beheading ? 

They come from the suburbs of Paris, from the East End of London, from the cities along Germany’s Fulda River, and even from the small towns of Ireland: a small army of up to 1,000 European irregulars joining the Syrian civil war to help rebels topple President Bashar al-Assad.

But while ministers from these irregulars’ governments say they too are in favor of toppling Assad, these same officials are doing everything they can to stop these fighters — or at least develop new laws to criminalize their activities. The reason: fear that these irregulars will one day return to Europe, equipped with deadly military skills, trained in the tradecraft of international terrorism, and steeped in the extremist anti-Western ideology of al Qaeda and its Syrian brethren, the al-Nusra Front. On a single day in April and in a single country, Belgium, the authorities launched 48 raids on suspected jihadi recruiters believed to be luring Belgians to fight in Syria.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/07/09/european_fighters_jihadists_syria

July 9th, 2013, 8:32 pm

 

Ziad said:

أميرة أنت تأكل كل هذا الطعام في السحور وهناك حرب في سوريا؟

July 9th, 2013, 8:32 pm

 

AMEERA said:

نعم انا اكل الطعام ولا لازم اكل هوا و …. يعني شو بدك يانا نموت من الجوع كمان لك و ضريب على هيك عربي مفشكل متل حكايتك

July 9th, 2013, 8:46 pm

 

Ziad said:

أميرة أنا آسف لقد تحدثت إليكم. اعتقدت أنك كنت فتاة لطيفة.

July 9th, 2013, 8:54 pm

 

AMEERA said:

شكرا جزيلا لك انا فعلا فتاة لطيفة و انت كذلك
هل انت متزوج؟
ما هي جنسيتك؟

July 9th, 2013, 8:58 pm

 

Ziad said:

Must see video

Dirty Saudi Royal Family Making Mockery of Shariah Law Completely Exposed

July 9th, 2013, 9:14 pm

 

omen said:

what an atrocity, ziad. where is the humanity??

July 9th, 2013, 9:19 pm

 

don said:

hahahahahahahaha!

179. AMEERA said:

نعم انا اكل الطعام ولا لازم اكل هوا و …. يعني شو بدك يانا نموت من الجوع كمان لك و ضريب على هيك عربي مفشكل متل حكايتك

July 9th, 2013, 9:26 pm

 

Ziad said:

FSA Place Food Embargo on West Aleppo – Interview with an Aleppo man

Famine feared as FSA and Alqaeda block food from being transferred to government held parts of Aleppo . Western Aleppo Suffers as Food Embargo Enters 4th Day

July 9th, 2013, 9:37 pm

 

don said:

I’d like to meet and shake hands with this Ann. She obviously knew how to keep you in-line and always on your toes!

168. Uzair8 said:
That’s something Ann would say.

July 9th, 2013, 9:40 pm

 

don said:

Egypt summons Tunisian ambassador over “interference in internal affairs”

TUNIS, July 9, Egypt’s deputy foreign minister in charge of Arab affairs, Nasser Kamel, has summoned Tunisia’s ambassador in Cairo, to express “surprise” at Tunisia’s statements about the situation in Egypt, Shems FM reported late Tuesday night.

“These statements are not in line with the privileged relations between Tunisia and Egypt,” Kamel said, adding that his meeting with the Tunisian ambassador is in the framework of Egypt’s refusal of any interference in its internal affairs.

July 9th, 2013, 10:22 pm

 

don said:

Egypt summons ambassador in Turkey over “interference in internal domestic affairs”

CAIRO, July 9, Egypt has summoned its ambassador in Turkey over interference in it’s domestic affairs, official news agency MENA reported Tuesday.

July 9th, 2013, 10:28 pm

 
 

don said:

Good riddance and don’t let the door hit you in the back

Turkey ready for possible evacuation of citizens from Egypt

ANKARA – July 8, Turkish citizens have become the target of anti- Morsi groups in the country.

The Turkish Embassy in Cairo has started preparing for a possible evacuation of Turkish citizens from Egypt as clashes between security troops and pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters continue to escalate, sources said Monday.

Turkish foreign missions in Egypt would be prepared to take security measures, including evacuating citizens, in case of ” critical conditions,” according to sources from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The Turkish embassy in Cairo has started to collect information on the number of Turkish citizens in Egypt and their whereabouts, although an evacuation is not yet underway, according to the sources.

Turkish reporter Bilge Egemen said on Twitter late Sunday that she was assaulted by a group of anti-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo’ s iconic Tahrir Square after describing the developments in Egypt as a “coup d’etat.”

July 9th, 2013, 10:41 pm

 

don said:

Egypt’s foreign reserves down by 1.14 bln USD

Cairo – July 7, Egypt’s foreign reserves fell from 16.04 billion U.S. dollars in May to 14.9 billion dollars at the end of June, the Central Bank of Egypt said in a report released Sunday.

In February, Egypt’s foreign reserves dropped to an alarming level of 13.5 billion dollars. But thanks to aids from Qatar, Turkey and Libya, the reserves went up to 16.04 billion dollars at the end of May.

Egypt’s foreign reserves stood at about 36 billion dollars in January 2011, right before the eruption of protests that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, and have been on a drastic decline since then.

July 9th, 2013, 11:02 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

The sudden rise of Dollar,and Drop of lira is causing the syrians to complain bitterly,$=315
The lira dropped 60% this month, the salaries were raised 10-40%
The average income of a family in Syria is 60 dollar a month

In Egypt US supported and engineered the military coup

July 9th, 2013, 11:10 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Anyone hear about a Syrian naval base that was hit last week?

July 9th, 2013, 11:11 pm

 

don said:

When the going gets tough, the coward runs out of the country

Border closed after Muslim Brotherhood head tries to flee to Libya

http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/07/04/border-closed-after-muslim-brotherhood-head-tries-to-flee-egypt/

July 9th, 2013, 11:21 pm

 

don said:

Ya’alon dismissed accusations that Israel attacked ammunition depots in the Syrian port city of Latakia last Friday, where powerful blasts caused a number of deaths and injuries.

“We repeatedly say that we don’t intervene in the Syrian bloodshed. Israel has drawn red lines regarding its interests sticks to them. Every time there is an attack or an explosion there, we are mostly always accused,” he said.

July 9th, 2013, 11:44 pm

 

don said:

UN Security Council condemns terrorist attack in Lebanon

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned a terrorist attack in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which injured dozens of people.

Calling the blast an “heinous act,” the council reiterated their determination in a statement to combat all forms of terrorism and stressed the need to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The UN Security Council appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability.

Derek Plumbly, UN special coordinator for Lebanon, said earlier in the day that such “cowardly acts of violence” aim at destabilizing the country and spreading fear and are completely unacceptable.

Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel condemned the car bomb as “an attempt to create Sunni-Shiite strife”.

July 10th, 2013, 12:02 am

 

ghufran said:

Egypt’s political crisis took a grim turn in the early hours of June 8 when protesters supporting ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s leading Islamist organization, faced gunfire from army soldiers outside a barracks in Cairo. According to the Associated Press, at least 54 have been killed, with both the army and the pro-Morsi camp blaming the other for provoking the violence. Fears of greater civil strife are growing now after the military removed Morsi from last week, shut down Islamist-sympathetic media stations and rounded up other prominent Muslim Brotherhood members (Time-USA).
(notice the almost mute response to the killing of more than 50 protestors in Egypt)

July 10th, 2013, 12:47 am

 

don said:

Tunnels in Al Kabun. Syria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaUZlzDJqaE

00:18 before our departure with advanced reporting the discovery of the underground fighters chord.
00:25 filming a group of ANNA News sent to Al-Kabun, which produces cleaning and inspection of the liberated territories.
1:48 devastation everywhere. partly the result of fierce fighting, but more often burned and blown by terrorists.
2:40 observed a man hiding in the house.
3:07 suspicious citizen arrested and his identity is found out.
3:40 soldiers found an underground passage. after checking Samer go investigate it.
4:25 Marat – Al-Kabun discovered an underground cold that leads to ARBIGNY.
5:15 that’s one of the exits to the outside, that’s such a thin hole, it is easy to hide.
5:28 such outputs exits allow militants to suddenly appear in different places, and in the case of danger to immediately hide under the ground.
5:40 – sources of electricity supply.
6:05 Marat – go almost to full height.
6:18 – that’s the drill and compressors.
6:25 – that’s the way out.
6:30 on dangerous grounds. Soldiers flag us away.
7:08 – end of the tunnel is directly under the strategic highway.
7:20 – engineers immediately cut the wire.
7:50 – now look the other way.
08:10 – from right to left – Zamalka, ARBIGNY, with Harasta to the left.
8:27 – what a surprise, we uncover a camera filming us! Cut it, the movie is over.
08:45 – wires coming into the command center.
9:05 – maybe our presence is known, in order to avoid mortar strikes we are being asked to go back.
9:43 – pointing to remote surveillance.
10:00 – you Russian? can you read what is written on the wall here?
10:12 – What is it? Chechen writing? Translation “ChechDom” – Chechen House.
10:23 – These bas$%#ds.
10:48 – inscription “ChechDom” and a swastika.
10:58 – continue to survey areas.
11:13 – engineers are asking us to leave this place so they can destroy it.
11:21 – we uncover a terrorists field hospital.
11:33 – dressing material. packages for applying splints, saline solution. gloves.
12:38 – a hidden generator with a layer of ground insulation.
12:58 – tunnel is blown up. Al-flecked Kabun Tunnel dug by terrorists to allow them to change their bases. and re-strengthening and the flooded entrance to tunnel.
13:22 – studded missile infantry fighting vehicles, which was not able to withdraw. Fortunately the Equipment was saved, vehicle commander seriously wounded.
13:40 – it’s time to go home. Again and again we see the consequences of coming to another battle front in Syria where Wahhabis Al Nusra are entrenched.

July 10th, 2013, 1:20 am

 

ghufran said:

AB Atwan is leaving. Some of you do not like him, I have a lot of respect for the man, I disagreed with him on occasions but I never doubted his sincerity:
ليس هناك اصعب على المـــرء من لحظات وداع قرائه المحبين، خاصة على كاتب مثلي كان ولاؤه دائما لهم طوال رحلة صحافية امتدت لما يقرب من ربع قرن، وعلى صفحات ‘القدس العربي’، لم ينقطع خلالها عن الكتابة يوما واحدا.
لم اكن اتمنى مطلقا ان تأتي لحظة الوداع الاخيرة في اليوم الاول من شهر رمضان المبارك، الذي انتهز فرصة قدومه لاهنئ جميع ابناء الأمتين العربية والاسلامية، ولكنها الظروف ومتطلباتها، خاصة عندما تكون هناك اطراف اخرى لعبت دورا بالدفع باتجاه هذا القرار.
اليوم تنتهي علاقتي كليا كرئيس مجلس ادارة ورئيس تحرير ‘القدس العربي’، الصحيفة التي اعتز بها لوقوفها ومنذ اليوم الاول لصدورها في خندق امتنا وعقيدتها، وخاضت معارك شرسة في مواجهة الاحتــــلالات والهيمنة الاجنبية والديكتاتوريات القمعية الفاسدة، وانتصرت دائما للمظلومين والمضطهدين.
كل رحلة لها نهاية، بما في ذلك رحلة الانسان في دار الفناء، ومن الطبيعي ان يصل قطاري الى محطته الاخيرة، وان اترجل منه مرهقا من وعثاء سفر لم يكن مريحا او سلسا في معظم مراحله.
تلقيت تهديدات بالقتل، من اجهزة انظمة بوليسية عربية واجنبية واسرائيلية، وخضت حربا شرسة ضد انصار اللوبي الاسرائيلي في اوروبا وامريكا قبل ان تمنعني من زيارتها، الذين حاولوا وما زالوا تشويه صورتي وكتم صوتي، ومنع ظهوري على محطات التلفزة العالمية، والقاء محاضرات في الجامعات الغربية المشهورة، حتى ان احد الملحقين الاعلاميين الاسرائيليين تباهى في حديث ادلى به الى صحيفة ‘جويش كرونيكل’ اليهودية البريطانية ان ابرز انجازاته في لندن هو تقليص ظهوري في المحطات الشهيرة مثل ‘سي.ان.ان’ والبي بي سي’ و’سكاي نيوز′ كخبير في شؤون الشرق الاوسط، وهذا هو الوسام الوحيد والرفيع الذي تلقيته في حياتي.
‘ ‘ ‘
تعرضت لحملات تشويه شرسة وما زلت، من مخابرات عربية، فقد صوروا مبنى ‘القدس العربي’ كناطحة سحاب، وهو شقة صغيرة، اذهلت في تواضعها الكثير من زوارنا من وزراء اعلام وخارجية وسياسيين وزملاء، حتى ان الشاعر الكبير محمود درويش اصيب بالصدمة عندما عرج علينا للقائنا، وقال كلمته الشهيرة ‘صحيفة كبيرة تصدر من كهف صغير’، ولكنه استدرك وقال ‘انكم لستم من اهل الكهف وانما اصحاب رسالة حضارية’!
اغادر ‘القدس العربي’ اليوم مرفوع الرأس، فقد تحولت من صحيفة هزيلة ضامرة مصابة بفقر دم في ايامها الاولى، الى واحدة من اهم الصحف العربية والعالمية، تترجم افتتاحياتها الى معظم اللغات، ويحج اليها الكثير من طالبي المقابلات والاستفسارات والتعليقات.
نفتخر بأننا، ورغم الحجب في عدة دول مثل المملكة العربية السعودية وسورية (مفارقة غريبة) والبحرين، اصبحنا الاكثر انتشارا وربما نفوذا، ونتقدم في هذا المضمار على جميع منافسينا من حيث عدد الزوار، فنحن نُقرأ في 208 دول وكيان على طول العالم وعرضه، ونحتل المرتبة 4500 تقريبا على مستوى العالم على الانترنت، حسب احصاءات وكالة اليكسا وغوغل.
هذا النجاح الكبير ما كان ليتحقق لولا اسرة هذه الصحيفة الصغيرة في عددها (18 شخصا من السكرتيرة حتى رئيس التحرير)، الكبيرة في امكانياتها وعزيمتها، وقدرتها على مواجهة التحديات. فالصحافة بالنسبة اليهم كانت دائما رسالة قبل ان تكون من اجل لقمة العيش، ولهذا رفض معظمهم اغراءات مالية كبيرة للانتقال الى مؤسسات اخرى، رغم ازمات مالية حرمتهم من رواتبهم لبضعة اشهر في بعض الاحيان.
هذه الكوكبة الصغيرة من الزملاء الصحافيين والكتاب والمراسلين صنعت معجزة في عالم الصحافة، عندما استطاعت، بميزانية صغيرة ان تحافظ على الحد الادنى من المهنية والموضوعية وعفة القلم، والاستقلالية في الطرح، والاصرار على نشر الحقيقة كاملة.
آمنت دائما، وطوال مسيرتي الصحافية ان الحياة ‘وقفة عزّ’، لم اتردد مطلقا في اتخاذها، فلم أساوم مطلقا على ما اؤمن به، وتربيت عليه من قيم ومبادئ وقناعات سياسية، ودفعت بسبب ذلك، وما زلت، وسأظل، اثمانا باهظة ربما يأتي يوم لذكرها اذا طال بنا العمر.
اعترف بأنني اجتهدت، اخطأت واصبت، ولكنني ظللت دائما اتعلم من اخطائي، واعتذر عنها دون خجل، فلا احد يحتكر الحقيقة، ولكل قضية وجهتا او عدة وجهات نظر تجاهها، ولهذا حرصت دائما ان لا احجب رأيا مخالفا طالما التزم صاحبه بأدب الحوار وابتعد عن القضايا الشخصية، واتهامات العمالة والتخوين، وما اكثرها هذه الايام.
‘ ‘ ‘
ربما يسأل قارئ محب بكل براءة ويقول والآن ما هي خطوتك القادمة يا ابن عطوان؟ جوابي وبكل بساطة الى بيتي لأقضي وقـــتا اطول مع اســـرتي الاصغر (الاكبر هي ‘القدس العربي’)، واتعرف مجددا على ابنائي الذين سرقتني الصحافة منهم، فأطول اجازة سنوية قضيتها معهم لا تزيد عن عشرة ايام.
لم امتهن مهنة اخرى غير الصحافة بعد دراستي لها، ولم اجمع بينها وبين اي مهنة اخرى، ولم احاول مطلقا الدخول في ميدان ‘البيزنس′ رغم العروض الكثيرة، فالصحافة هي ‘ام المهن’ واكثرها رقيا واشباعا في رأيي الشخصي، ولو عاد بي العمر الى الوراء فلن اختار غيرها.
لدي مشروع واحد في الافق ربما اعكف على انجازه في ايام التيه الاولى بعد خروجي من ‘القدس العربي’، وهي ايام ستكون صعبة وطويلة حقا، هو تأليف كتاب جديد باللغة بالانكليزية تعاقدت عليه مع دار نشر اوروبية، وافكر في الوقت نفسه في استمرار التواصل مع القراء من خلال كتابة مقالات عبر التويتر والفيس بوك. الكتابة هي ادماني الوحيد، واكبر فرحتين في حياتي هما مولد طفلي الاول وصدور كتابي الاول.
اتمنى لـ’القدس العربي’ في مرحلتها الجديدة، والزميلة سناء العالول رئيسة التحرير بالوكالة التي ستقود سفينتها في هذه المرحلة كل التقدم والتوفيق والنجاح.
واخيرا اكرر شكري المفعم بالمحبة والعرفان لكل زميل في اسرة ‘القدس العربي’، الاسرة التي ساندتني دائما وتحملتني في اوقات صعبة، كما اشكر امبراطوري الاول والاخير، اي انت قارئي العزيز الذي لا اخاف من احد غير الله الاّ انت، ولا اطيع الا رغباتك، وبوصلتي دائما متجهة اليك، واقسم بالله انني لم اسع مطلقا الا لرضائك بعد الخالق جلّ وعلا.
وداعا.. والى اللقاء.. وحتما عائدون بإذن الواحد احد.
Twitter:@abdelbariatwan

July 10th, 2013, 1:23 am

 
 

don said:

Tanks and infantry formation executing mop up operations in Kabun – Damascus suburb

July 10th, 2013, 1:46 am

 
 

don said:

WOW! You’ve got to watch his video! Wonder what sheik Yacoubi will say about this man?!

General Issam Zahreddine has replaced Mohamed Khaddour as the SAA commander in Aleppo

The Tremendously Heroic and Incredibly Successful Republican Guard Commander General Issam Zahreddine has replaced Mohamed Khaddour as the SAA commander in Aleppo. Issam Zahreddine success rate in his Command on the battlefield is 100% – no kidding. He’s extremely popular among the troops in the SAA and the FSA fears him so much that they have reported his alleged ‘death’ as ‘100% confirmed’ on several occasions in a desperate attempt to boost morale.

Needles to say… FSA and al-Qaeda are now officially kissed in Aleppo.

General Issam Zahreddine belong to the Druze sect.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=995_1373422934

July 10th, 2013, 2:07 am

 

Citizen said:

أميرة لاتزعلي من الروسيات ! أخدوا ابنا و سكنوا معنا كل هالسنين و
تقاسموا معنا الحلو و اللفان يعني بيضل قلبون علينا و على ياسمين الشام !

The U.S. Congress has blocked the decision on military aid to the Syrian opposition
http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Frus.ruvr.ru%2Fnews%2F2013_07_10%2FKongress-SSHA-blokiroval-reshenie-o-voennoj-pomoshhi-sirijskoj-oppozicii-1931%2F

July 10th, 2013, 7:35 am

 

Syrialover said:

This is stunning.

Hear this 12-year-old discuss what is happening in Egypt.

They should make him leader-in-waiting for Egypt. Or even the Arab world.

July 10th, 2013, 8:11 am

 

Jasmine said:

‎from the Facebook today:
إذا مااختلطت الأصوات وضاعت مدافع رمضان مع الهاون
سنقرع أجراس الكنائس إيذانا بالإفطار ………..
ليكن صياما مقبولا ………..
ولتكن رمضان الكرم والعطف والرحمة ………….

Happy Ramadan to all.

July 10th, 2013, 8:15 am

 

revenire said:

Because good news is worth repeating:

US Congress Intelligence panels restrict funds to cut off aid to Syrian rebels

The House and Senate Intelligence panels have placed severe restrictions on funding to block President Obama from arming Syrian rebels. The decision was prompted by fears that the Administration plan would let weapons fall into the hands of terrorists groups, with many of those known to be linked to Al-Qaeda.

Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_07_10/US-Congress-Intelligence-panels-restrict-funds-to-cut-off-aid-to-Syrian-rebels-4069/

July 10th, 2013, 8:32 am

 

revenire said:

Watch the FSA murderers disperse a demo against them in Aleppo (these killers have no support in Aleppo).

July 10th, 2013, 8:46 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

AMEERA

أنت تكتبو الأرابيا
أناأهلامو أيداً

هيك بيحكي زياد الظاهر

July 10th, 2013, 8:51 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

205. Syrialover said:

SL,

I enjoyed the YouTube clip and that cute kid. With kids like that, we Zionists are in trouble!;)

July 10th, 2013, 9:35 am

 

revenire said:

Lebanese Court Calls for Fadl Shaker’s Execution

The Lebanese Military court named singer Fadl Shaker among those who are sentenced for execution. After admitting murdering two military members on a video earlier, Shaker is now sentenced to death!

The court ordered the capture of 27 convicts involved in violent events in Lebanon including Fadl Sahker’s brother Abdel Rahman for forming an armed militia committing crimes of terror against the country and its army.

The judge stated capital punishment for all 27 including the popular ex- singer.

http://www.anayou.com/index.php/en/enmusic/item/5528-lebanese-court-calls-for-fadl-shaker%E2%80%99s-execution

July 10th, 2013, 10:05 am

 

revenire said:

“Dylan ‏@ProSyriana 14h
4 truck drivers defied the siege, went to the countryside & brought vegetables. Before entering #Aleppo, #FSA stopped them & beheaded them.”

July 10th, 2013, 10:06 am

 

revenire said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmApY8qd2-I&feature=youtu.be
FSA Place Food Embargo on West Aleppo – Interview with an Aleppan

===

Of course, this is a war crime. You will hear nothing from the “opposition” condemning it. Obama won’t mention it. I doubt Syria Comment will cover it either.

The war continues.

July 10th, 2013, 10:11 am

 

Ziad said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER #209

My Arabic is better than Ameera’s. Try to look up
يئطع عمرون
in Lissan Al Arab or any other dictionay.

July 10th, 2013, 10:53 am

 
 

revenire said:

Syrians returning home…

The Lebanese border was unusually crowded with Syrians on their way to Damascus.

One 47-year-old grandmother, Lamia, said she and her husband and young daughter were returning home from Cairo via Beirut “for good”.

“We hear things are calm now, so here we are. We’re back.”

Others flew direct from Cairo to Damascus just in time for Ramadan. Many arrived late at night, forcing family members to make the arduous trip to the airport to pick them up.

One such passenger, Fatma, 70, said she was well aware of the risks, but she had to come home no matter the cost.

“I’ve had enough of exile. It’s time for me to be home.”

July 10th, 2013, 11:31 am

 

Ziad said:

Yesterday Hariri, and all other March 14 pillars, condemned the car bomb attack on Daheyeh in southern Beirut. Hariri blamed, Israel which angered the United States. Although he did not have any proof for his allegation, he might be right in his intuition. Another possibility is that in doing so he was trying to dampen the anger of the Shia’s, and their urge for response which might come with a huge vengeance.

Whether Israel is directly responsible for this attack or not, there is not the slightest doubt that it is the main beneficiary of it. Israel, Zionist US, and its GCC stooges have been encouraging and feeding sectarian discord for many years in an attempt to counter the ascendancy of Hezbollah, which is without a doubt the most ferocious enemy of Israel. Israel is the main winner, and Muslims in the Arab world are the dumbest people by willingly fighting an unnecessary war on her behalf.

July 10th, 2013, 12:17 pm

 

Syrialover said:

REVENIRE #216 spins a fake tale (without sources) about Syrians returning home.

Including this statement: “Others flew direct from Cairo to Damascus just in time for Ramadan. Many arrived late at night, forcing family members to make the arduous trip to the airport to pick them up.”

FACT: The nightmarish truth is this:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/76072/World/Region/Egypt-deports–Syrians-from-Cairo-airport-after-en.aspx

EXCERPT:

Syrians entering Egypt deported from airport

Cairo International Airport authorities deported 276 Syrians arriving from Beirut and Damascus Monday night, citing they were missing security permits and proper entry visas.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic website, Egyptian authorities laid down new conditions for admission into the country within a few hours before their arrival.

While Syrians were unconditionally allowed entry before Mohamed Morsi’s removal, a visa and a security permit are now mandatory.

An airport official said that 200 passengers arriving on a flight from Damascus were deported, along with 76 others from Beirut.

The deportees were not given a grace period and were shocked to find that they would be sent back upon their arrival.

COMMENT: REVENIRE will be wetting his pants as usual giggling at the sick joke he made of this story.

July 10th, 2013, 12:36 pm

 

Syrialover said:

AKBAR PALACE

Yes, that kid in the video in #205 is so amazing and inspiring.

It gives me great pride and faith in such Arab youth and those rearing and teaching them.

July 10th, 2013, 12:42 pm

 

Syrialover said:

What Syrian-hater Bashar Assad has done to ordinary Syrians – thin, ragged Syrians sleeping in the street in Beirut.

https://twitter.com/bmroue/status/353809704981499905/photo/1

July 10th, 2013, 12:46 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

It gives me great pride and faith in such Arab youth and those rearing and teaching them.

SL,

For sure. His parents must be special people.

July 10th, 2013, 1:02 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #220

Blaming Bashar Al Assad for people sleeping on the street defies any logic. It comes only from minds fogged and blinded by excessive hate that makes them incapable of reasoning cause and effect.

I lived my first 17 years in Syria. Not once I saw a person sleeping on the street. The first was in the US.

July 10th, 2013, 1:04 pm

 

apple_mini said:

Al-Qaida in Syria is most serious terrorist threat to UK, says report

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/10/al-qaida-syria-terrorist-threat

Those international terrorists could be valuable to punish the west for their immortal proxy war against Syria.

I hope SAA can spare their lives if they are caught in Syria and send them back safely to where they are from. Just need to be cautious to prevent them come back to Syria again.

July 10th, 2013, 1:05 pm

 
 

Citizen said:

/Al-Qaida in Syria is most serious terrorist threat to UK/
what you sow, so shall you reap

July 10th, 2013, 1:10 pm

 

don said:

About time

Egypt orders arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader

http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20130711/100084.shtml

The Egyptian prosecutor’s office has ordered the arrest of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie.

Badie is accused of inciting Monday’s violence in Cairo, in which at least 55 people were killed. Several leading Brotherhood figures are already under arrest and warrants have been issued for hundreds more.

July 10th, 2013, 1:15 pm

 

Citizen said:

The US strategy in Egypt: support both sides so that deadly conflict continues for as long as possible such as the Iran-Iraq war scenario. They want both sides to lose.

July 10th, 2013, 1:22 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Here’s a a blaze of clean sunlight to cut through the dark hyena calls, lies and junk from REVENIRE, ZOO and their regime-linked teammates here.

Article: “Syria’s communal tensions are fuelled by politics not theology” by Robin Yassin-Kassab

EXCERPT:

Syria’s Alawites are usually largely secular and ignorant of their own sect’s theology – at least they were; a war-driven religious revival is touching them as well as the Sunnis.

Over the last four decades, Alawite religious scholars have been assassinated or otherwise silenced by the Assad regime as it sought to render the community entirely dependent on the Baathist state.

Most Alawites – but by no means all – continue to support Bashar Al Assad because they have no community leadership.

Also, many have relatives working in the security forces and so they fear a loss of privileges and even violent revenge when the regime falls. Alawites also remember their historical marginalisation by the Sunni majority and, therefore, fear majority rule.

As in the conflicts in Iraq, Palestine, Israel or Northern Ireland, the conflict in Syria is not about theology but about group fears and resentments. Ultimately, it’s about power. Communal tensions are the result not of ancient enmities but of contemporary political machinations. And nothing is fixed in time.

Syria’s supposedly “Sunni rebellion”, which in fact contains activists and fighters of all sects, becomes more or less Islamist in response to rapidly-changing political realities.

A few months ago, for example, Islamist black flags dominated demonstrations in Raqqa, in the east of the country; now, Raqqa’s demonstrations are as likely to be against Jabhat Al Nusra, the extremist militia which nominally controls the city, as against the regime. This is not an Islamist rebellion but a popular revolution. As in Egypt, if Islamists oppress the people or fail to deliver, they too will be rebelled against.

There’s certainly a sectarian problem in Syria. From the revolution’s first days, the Assad regime instrumentalised the sectarian fears it had carefully kept bubbling over the past decades.

It did so through propaganda and false-flag operations, by releasing extremists from prison while targeting secular activists, and by establishing sectarian death squads.

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/syrias-communal-tensions-are-fuelled-by-politics-not-theology#ixzz2YfF4K4Zy

COMMENT: The article goes on to deliver some well-deserved punches to certain western media.

It also puts a scorching spotlight on sectarian stirrer Hazbollah’s Nasrullah, a political actor not a spiritual leader “beholden financially and ideologically to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.”

July 10th, 2013, 1:25 pm

 

don said:

Syrian Opposition in Disarray hehehehehehehe!

After 28 months of conflict, Assad defeated Washington’s best laid plans. Its Syrian National Coalition (SNC) opposition lacks effective leadership. It lacks legitimacy.

It’s an artificial construct. It operates extrajudicially. It resembles a gang that can’t shoot straight. On July 8, another leader resigned.

After four months, self-styled prime minister Ghassan Hitto announced he won’t “continue in (his) capacity as prime minister tasked with leading the interim government, though (he) emphasize(s he’ll) ‘continue working for the interests of the revolution and towards achieving its objectives.”

Washington’s war on Syria’s no “revolution.” There’s nothing civil about it. It’s US proxy aggression. Foreign death squad invaders want Islamofacism replacing Syrian sovereignty.

Hitto’s resignation came two days after SNC members elected Ahmad Asi-al Jarba president.

The post’s been vacant since Mouaz al-Khatib resigned in April. He cited frustration over lack of enough international support, internal divisions, and disarray among “rebel” factions.

Washington hoped he’d become Syria’s Hamid Karzai. Maybe Obama has similar aspirations for al-Jarba.

Repeated changing of the guard shows SNC ranks in disarray. Al-Khatib and Hitto couldn’t resolve SNC divisions. Don’t expect al-Jarba to fare better.

Just causes close ranks effectively. Rogue operations feature self-aggrandizing, power-hungry opportunists. They face overwhelming Syrian opposition.

Most Syrians support Assad. They do so for good reason. They alone want to decide who rule them. They deplore outside intervention.

Disorganized “rebel” ranks are no match for Syria’s superior military. It continues making impressive gains.

Regular Syrian National News Agency (SANA) reports repeat what the July 9 one said. It headlined “Army eliminates Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in several areas.”

Army units inflicted heavy losses on “armed terrorist groups” in and around Homs, Hula and other areas.

“Leader of an armed terrorist group, Obeid Hassan Obeid, nicknamed Abi Allaith, and terrorists Mossa al-Khaled, Mustafa Shamir and Osama Zabateh were identified among the dead.”

Read more here

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/07/09/18739593.php

July 10th, 2013, 1:35 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD #222

You make no sense – probably didn’t read what I wrote. Those are desperate Syrians sleeping in the street in Beirut because we can assume they no longer have homes in Syria.

Your first 17 years in Syria – but why not the rest of your life? Found somewhere better?

Somewhere with conditions that millions of less privileged Syrians obviously don’t deserve in your mind.

CITIZEN #227

Hey, give us a break and please stop parading your lack of understanding, reasoning and information with comments like that. Ignorance about the west is fatal ignorance about the world in general.

July 10th, 2013, 1:41 pm

 

revenire said:

HNN Homs News Network
RAMADAN KAREEM ALEPPO !!!

Two Truckloads of flour, and four diesel tanks have now safely entered the “Al-Assad Academy” in the “Hamdania” neighbourhood of Aleppo …

WONDERFUL NEWS AND A LITTLE RELIEF, INSHALLAH MORE BLESSINGS FROM THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN FOR SYRIA
… – J

ShamFm

July 10th, 2013, 1:47 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Wow, scorched earth and wasteland on SyriaComment today.

Apparatchiks REVENIRE, DON, ZIAD and CITIZEN and APPLE-MINI are busy dancing with and serenading each other in an echo chamber.

July 10th, 2013, 1:48 pm

 

revenire said:

SL the reason any Syrian is sleeping on the street is because of the terrorists you support. It’s that simple.

July 10th, 2013, 1:48 pm

 

revenire said:

Has Yassin-Kassab condemned the starvation of two million Aleppans at the hands of the murderers in the FSA? Or, does he say “yeah, that’s bad, but what about Assad?” like all the apologists for cannibalism, beheadings, rape, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other war crimes do?

July 10th, 2013, 1:50 pm

 

annie said:

Qunfuz

Robin Yassin-Kassab
Politics not Theology

This was published by the National. If you’d prefer to read my tense choices, before the subediting process, read this version here.

I live in Scotland, where I am witness to the continuing legacy of Protestant-Catholic communal hatred, despite the theological indifference and general irreligiosity of the populace.

The hatred is most commonly activated by the Rangers-Celtic football game. (In his great novel “Kieron Smith, Boy”, James Kelman brings it viscerally alive through the mouth of a Glaswegian child.) It is manifest too in Orange Order marches and schoolyard slurs. It intersects with the gang violence of the ‘schemes’. Most of the time, of course, it’s absent, or it emerges as friendly competitiveness rather than actual conflict, but you can bet your last communion wafer that it would blossom into something much fiercer if, in the event of political crisis, a divide-and-rule tyrant were to send Catholic militia in to pacify restive Protestant areas, or vice versa.

Like Scotland’s sectarians, Syria’s Alawis are usually largely secular and ignorant of their own theology (at least they were – a war-driven religious revival is touching them as well as the Sunnis). Over the last four decades Alawi religious scholars have been assassinated or otherwise silenced by the Assad regime as it sought to render the community entirely dependent on the Ba‘athist state. Most Alawis (by no means all) continue to support Assad because they have no other community leadership. Add to this that many have relatives working in the security forces, and so fear a loss of privileges and even violent revenge when the regime falls. Alawis also remember their historical marginalisation by the Sunni majority, and therefore fear majority rule.

As in Iraq, Palestine-Israel, or Northern Ireland, the conflict in Syria is not about theology but about group fears and resentments. Ultimately, it’s about power. Communal tensions are the result not of ancient enmities but of contemporary political machinations. And nothing is fixed in time. Syria’s supposedly ‘Sunni rebellion’ (which contains activists and fighters of all sects) becomes more or less Islamist in response to rapidly-changing political realities. A few months ago, for example, Islamist black flags dominated demonstrations in Raqqa, in the east of the country; now Raqqa’s demonstrations are as likely to protest Jabhat an-Nusra, the extremist militia which nominally controls the city, as the regime. This isn’t an Islamist rebellion but a popular revolution. As in Egypt, if the Islamists oppress the people or fail to deliver, they too will be revolted against.

Yet much of the rightist, leftist and liberal media choose to understand the revolution in the terms of 19th Century orientalism, as if Syrians are fated by culture or race to follow ancient, unchanging patterns. Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian of May 28th, illustrates the approach perfectly.

First he expresses the weird, counter-factual belief that Britain destroyed “secular politics” in Libya (where Islamists lost a democratic election, somewhat unexpectedly, after Qaddafi’s tyranny had given ‘secularism’ such a bad name). Then he fits Syria neatly into the Sunni-Shia box, and tells us, “these disputes are intractable… For Sunni to accept Shia and vice versa is for each to deny the faith.” His sweeping generalisation fails to account for the fact that a third of Iraqi marriages before 2003 were mixed-sect, or that non-Sunnis and secularists are fighting al-Assad, or that al-Assad’s Alawi sect was traditionally considered heretical by Shia as well as Sunni authorities.

Or take the case of Patrick Cockburn, a journalist who rightly questioned Bush-era propaganda that the War on Terror was a war for Western freedom, but who takes at face value (in the London Review of Books, June 6th) Hassan Nasrallah’s ‘conviction’ that the Syrian war is an existential one for Shia survival. The ‘existential’ excuse is at least the third justification for Hizbullah’s invasion of Syria: first it was because Syria’s was a “resistant” regime; then to defend “Lebanese citizens living in Syria”. Now comes fear of Salafist extremists, who Nasrallah pretends represent the majority of revolutionary forces. Yet Nasrallah cooperated with Jabhat an-Nusra’s Iraqi base during the American occupation. He’s worked with them before and could so again, if politics would allow him. Obviously, an easier way to solve the Salafist threat would be to support the Syrian people against their tyrant and thereby win back their devotion (because Syrian Sunnis loved Hizbullah when it was fighting an Israeli occupation).

But Nasrallah is not a spiritual leader; he’s a political actor, and he’s beholden financially and ideologically to Iran’s Khamenei. Those who would ascribe 9th-century motives to his moves (or those of the Syrian resistance) are engaging in absurdity as surely as those who would analyse a Martin McGuiness speech in terms of the transubstantiation of the body of Christ.

By now, there’s certainly a sectarian problem in Syria. From the revolution’s first days the Assad regime instrumentalised the sectarian fears it had carefully kept bubbling over the past decades. It did so through its propaganda and false flag operations, by releasing Salafists from prison while targetting secular activists for assassination, and by establishing sectarian death squads. By backing the tyranny, Iran and its ‘Shia’ clients seemed to confirm the worst of Sunni conspiracy theories. A Sunni backlash is well underway in Syria and beyond.

The longer the regime lasts, the more time it has to make good on its promise to regionalise the conflict. But the revolution continues on the ground, and this provides reason to hope.

In Kafranbel, in liberated (but still shelled) Idlib province, I met Abu Yusuf, who’d been a policeman for twenty six years. His words voice a sentiment shared by the Syrian mainstream.

“I don’t fast in Ramadan. I pray when my mind isn’t busy. I’m a Muslim, but my first religion is humanity. I don’t care about the religion of the president. But I’ll fight to the death to not be ruled by a murderer.”

I’m sure Scottish citizens would share his passion. Human beings are human beings.

July 10th, 2013, 2:07 pm

 

Syrialover said:

REVENIRE, you’re showing us that Yassin-Kassab’s comments are above your fighting weight in reasoning and knowledge.

Come on, try harder. Comment properly instead of auto-recycling that same old empty junk script.

July 10th, 2013, 2:07 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #230

I read your comment. I do not dispute that many people became homeless as of late. I disagree with you blaming Bashar Al Assad for it. I consider it as illogical. Before the revolution there were no homeless in Syria. Take a look at the photo of the poor “homeless” young guy in the main thread that Matt took before the revolution. The fact that he is clean and properly dressed tells me that he is not homeless without access to a shower or bath. To know how a homeless man looks like look at one in any American city.

The fact that I left Syria to study abroad has nothing to do with this issue. I presume you also don’t live in Syria. Did Bashar Al Assad kick you out or you left voluntarily?

July 10th, 2013, 2:08 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Prof. Landis on BBC Radio 5 last night responding to Russian claims of rebel chemical use.

Listen from 21:44 till 26:45

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036l089

July 10th, 2013, 2:11 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Egypt without the Muslim Brotherhood: Kuwait has just offered $4 billion in assistance. That’s $12 billion from the Gulf in 24 hours.

I think we can look forward to a similar scenario when we have Syria without Assad.

July 10th, 2013, 2:13 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

From AJE Syria Blog twitter wall:

Zeina Khodr @ZeinakhodrAljaz 4h
Rebels now surround #Allepo city and control all routes leading to govt controlled west including the main highway from the south

July 10th, 2013, 2:22 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#237 ZIAD

No, I am not living outside Syria because I want to. And I have close family inside living in dangerous hell and fear from Syrian army attacks.

Your comments on that photo of desperate Syrians in Beirut are nonsense.

I honestly cannot fathom your motives and reasoning on this forum.

Although you quit Syria at the first chance you have something clearly invested in the Assad regime. And amazingly no shame or concern at what it has done to the country.

July 10th, 2013, 2:27 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ANNIE, #235 I had already posted excerpts of that article in #228 but it’s worth repeating. However, we should try not to fall into the cut-paste ways of certain others here.

July 10th, 2013, 2:32 pm

 

revenire said:

At the end of the day Assad is president. Traitors have no say.

July 10th, 2013, 3:12 pm

 

revenire said:

Inquiry on Aleppo chemical attack met int’l standards, unlike West’s – Lavrov

Russia’s inquiry into the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory was carried out in full accordance with international standards, unlike a similar evaluation by Western countries, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

On Tuesday, Russia submitted to the UN its analysis of the samples taken at the Syrian town where chemical weapons were used. Evidence studied by Russian scientists indicates that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal, west of Aleppo, by rebels, rather than government forces.

Russia “guarantees” the quality of the analysis, which fully complies with the requirements set by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Sergey Lavrov told a media conference on Wednesday, following talks with his Belarusian counterpart.

In response to US doubts regarding the results of the analysis, Lavrov underlined that the samples of the chemical weapons had been taken at the very place where they were used and were delivered by Russian experts rather than passed through third-party hands.

“We submitted a full set of documents [to the UN]. That’s over 80 pages, including photographs and precise geographic coordinates [of places where samples were taken], procedures and results,” Lavrov pointed out. “We also guarantee that the samples were taken by experts who did not let go of them till they were delivered to the laboratory,” Lavrov said.

The evidence of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime – which was provided by the US, Britain and France – does not provide information on where and when the samples they used for analysis were taken, Lavrov noted.

http://rt.com/news/lavrov-syira-chemical-weapon-895/

July 10th, 2013, 3:48 pm

 

don said:

is this Ann you’re all paranoid about?

235. annie

July 10th, 2013, 3:50 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Some kills Assad son please. Syria is near to disappear thanks to this Assad bastard.

I have been informed that Deir el Zawr has disappeared and only 1000 out of 50.000 people is living there. Can anyone confirm?

July 10th, 2013, 4:17 pm

 

revenire said:

Hey JOSH LANDIS and MATT BARBER,

Calls to murder people from SANDRO LOEWE at 246?

That OK?

July 10th, 2013, 4:28 pm

 

revenire said:

Don no, that’s the Nusra troll “Annie” – Ann was someone banned for telling the truth.

July 10th, 2013, 4:30 pm

 

don said:

Thank you Revenire

July 10th, 2013, 4:40 pm

 

apple_mini said:

I guess the truth hurts. Especially, when those opposition members find out that even MSM is reporting that the mood in Damascus this year is better than last Ramadan and many Syrians come back to Damascus for holiday.

Sorry for the distressing news hurting the revolution spirit. But look at the bright side: Syrians are enjoying a better Ramadan with a little more sense of security. Isn’t the Syrians what the opposition have been claiming they are fighting for?

So let all of us give an applause to the opposition to generously bestow blessing to all Syrians.

July 10th, 2013, 4:49 pm

 

Syrian said:

Last Ramadan a dollar was worth 70 SP
This Ramadan it is 300 to the dollar
What an improvement?
At 150 sp to 1 $ you had to give up fruit and coffees,what are you giving up in this “better than last year Ramadan”?

July 10th, 2013, 5:01 pm

 

revenire said:

Hey “sonny” what do you expect during a war?

What a joke.

July 10th, 2013, 5:41 pm

 

Ziad said:

This is an interesting article by Michael Young, a right winger neocon who is no friend of Syria.

The Lebanese mood shifts on Syria’s war

In Lebanon, the mood is changing decisively against the Syrian uprising – not because of sympathy for Assad, but because there is a perception that the war next door may spread to Lebanon. Making matters worse, the Sunni community, outraged by the way the Army allowed itself to be manipulated by Hezbollah in Abra, is increasingly isolated, as its narrative of events there is in stark contradiction to that of other communities in the country – who believe a radical Salafist provoked the Army and paid a price for his recklessness.

The involvement of Hezbollah in the Syria conflict, while a source of sectarian tensions in Lebanon, has become a fait accompli. The threats by the Syrian opposition to strike back against the party inside Lebanese territory are viewed with alarm by many Lebanese who refuse to be drawn into the fighting next door. Hezbollah benefits from this uneasiness, and some have speculated that the party, realizing this, was behind the recent rocket attack against Shiyah.

Assir’s championing of the armed uprising in Syria, combined with the alarming statements of Syrian rebels on Hezbollah and the fears that Lebanon may be heading toward a sectarian war, has damaged the Syrian opposition. Moreover, arms supplies across the Syrian-Lebanese border have been hindered by the takeover of Qusair and Tal Kalakh and Hezbollah’s effort to break the geographic link between Lebanese Sunni areas and rebels inside Syria.

We got a good sense of the thinking in Hezbollah when its secretary-general, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, recently invited the party’s Lebanese adversaries to fight Hezbollah inside Syria, not in Lebanon. This was seen at the time as a provocation, a way of daring the Sunni community, who Nasrallah unwisely and insultingly associated with “takfiris.” But in fact it was an accurate reflection of the party’s desire to avert a debilitating civil war in Lebanon.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2013/Jul-04/222452-the-lebanese-mood-shifts-on-syrias-war.ashx#axzz2YfEqKzCy

July 10th, 2013, 5:48 pm

 

Syrialover said:

If APPLE_MINI #250 can smugly say that Ramadan is going well this year for people in Damascus, we obviously have a REVENIRE-style jokester here or someone drinking heavily from the same cup as the shrinking minority of regime-protected species.

Check and you’ll learn that what’s happening is many in Damascus are starving, not fasting.

But to quote the strange APPLE_MINI cyber creature, “I guess the truth hurts”

July 10th, 2013, 6:14 pm

 

annie said:

242. Syrialover said:

Syrialover;sorry about that. I had checked if Qunfuz was mentionned. I have no time to read everything but I could have quoted excerpts, true.

July 10th, 2013, 6:26 pm

 

Damascusrose said:

We have family in Aleppo, all quarters, conditions are horrific. They’re completely fed up with both sides. The Rebels are not winning any hearts (or minds) of anyone including those against the regime. People also believe the Army is intentionally not interfering in Aleppo to stoke sentiment against the rebels inside the country and in the international community. Wait until they show pictures and videos of starving kids and the elderly dying because of no food or medicine. This regime are masters of propaganda and the rebels are playing right into their hand.

With every passing day, we become bigger and bigger monsters, I feel ashamed to be Syrian.

July 10th, 2013, 6:42 pm

 

Syrialover said:

DON “ANN” is the Assad News Network, a multi-person poster who specializes in 50-paragraph junk cut-pastes.

How cute of you pretending not to know.

But it’s heavy-duty grind for you being assigned to spend so much time pushing the Syrian regime online. You and REVENIRE need your little jokes and fun.

July 10th, 2013, 6:51 pm

 

apple_mini said:

Syrialover, please do not twist my posts. That will only weaken your argument. I was comparing the mood this year to last year. Thanks to rebels and armed activists, Damascenes have not been living well in 3 years.

For Syrians who are struggling to feed their families, they blame the revolution, the west and Syrian expats who are behind the embargo and sanctions. They also blame the profiteers.

We have seen through the hypercritical and sinister words and acts of the opposition. No need to provide us more of that kind of material to support our conclusion.

July 10th, 2013, 6:55 pm

 

AMEERA said:

عملنا شاكرية و شيشبرك على الفطور مع السلطات و المخللات و زبدية التسيئة بسمن عربي مع ابريقين عرقس سوس تمر هندي.
يعني قلنا نبلش الشهر الفضيل بالاكل الابيض مشان الله يبيضا علينا

و بعد التراويح حطينا دولة القهوة و صحن الاشاطي يعني والله اشتهيناكم معنا.

July 10th, 2013, 7:02 pm

 

AMEERA said:

زهرة دمشق

انت بنت؟ من وين من الشام؟

July 10th, 2013, 7:04 pm

 

Hopeful said:

The Syrian regime is gleeful that the Egyptian regime overthrew Mursi because of his association with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Iranians are backing the Syrian regime.

But the Iranians, who were cozying up to Mursi are not happy about the Egyptian army overthrowing him, and the Egyptian army just told Iran to mind its own business.

I cannot wait to hear what the conspiracy theorists would say about the role the US is playing in all of this. Are the American backing up Mursi & the Muslim Brothers, or the Egyptian Army? This better be good!

July 10th, 2013, 7:30 pm

 

revenire said:

“You and REVENIRE need your little jokes and fun.”

SL everyone needs a good laugh. I laugh every time I hear someone say say Assad will be overthrown.

🙂

July 10th, 2013, 7:36 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Excellent insight into the Gulf states support for post-Morsi Egypt. This has positive implications for international help to post-Assad Syria.

Article: Gulf States Embrace Post-Brotherhood Egypt

EXCERPTS:

One of the Brotherhood’s rare successes was the speed in which it alienated the Gulf Arab states.

The Brotherhood’s overtures to Iran, culminating in a February visit by outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, raised alarm bells in Gulf capitals.

Less than a week after Morsi’s ouster, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the same day offered Egypt assistance totaling $8 billion [then Kuwait another $4 billion]. Al-Monitor was informed firsthand that the UAE’s assistance to Egypt, announced July 9, is merely the “first step.”

Saudi Arabia’s assistance to Egypt will likely go beyond this individual aid package. The kingdom is a member of the G-20 club, representing the world’s 20 largest economies, and can influence the International Monetary Fund directly as well as via contacts in Washington to finally extend a much-sought $4.8 billion loan for Egypt.

This step could not come sooner. Upon former president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Egypt had $36 billion in foreign currency reserves. Two and a half years later with Morsi’s ouster, the country has $14.9 billion in reserves. The situation is even more serious when one considers that the previous sum is only sufficient for three months’ worth of imports, with Egypt’s total import bill for 2012 standing at $58.6 billion, according to the country’s Central Bank figures.

Qatar, which had invested a great deal financially, politically and media wise in supporting the Brotherhood, risks having all its investments turn sour. Despite some expectations to the contrary, Qatar issued a press statement the day after the ousting of its close ally “praising the Egyptian army’s role in safeguarding Egypt’s national security” and adding that it “respected the will of the Egyptian people.”

The statement also said that Qatar will continue to support and [Qatar] is also expected to soon offer Egypt another aid package, in part to quell any assumptions that its only intent had been to assist a Brotherhood government.

PUNCHLINE: Only with improved education, social development and job creation will the influence of political Islam be eliminated or at least minimized significantly in the Middle East.

If the Gulf states are indeed keen not to have Egypt turn back the clock, they should support it beyond mere financial assistance and bank deposits. Helping Egypt improve its broken transport and logistics infrastructure, invest in a better education and medical systems and support small and medium-sized entities with targeted loans will enhance Egyptians’ lives and avoid the mistakes committed by the Mubarak regime.

In addition, the Gulf states should urgently establish a free trade zone with Egypt, originally planned more than a decade ago, and immediately exempt Egyptian goods from taxes and bureaucracy.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/gulf-states-egypt-muslim-brotherhood.html

July 10th, 2013, 7:45 pm

 

revenire said:

Oh yeah, great idea – a free trade zone that uses slave labor to extract raw materials. Brilliant.

July 10th, 2013, 7:59 pm

 

Syrialover said:

No #258 APPLE_MINI. I did not twist your post that claimed that things were better in Damascus this Ramadan. And now you’re trying distraction tactics to wriggle off the hook.

Like everyone else I rely on information I get from people with family in Damascus and comments like that of DAMASCUSROSE in #256 instead of the weak propaganda you dutifully recycle from SANA or wherever.

What is your game anyway? You’re as confusing as ZIAD.

July 10th, 2013, 8:06 pm

 

revenire said:

Given the SAA is winning things have to be better. What was the alternative? Cannibals come to power? Beheaders? You want Damascus to become like Aleppo? All Syria? How many have to die? 500,000? Two-plus years in and Assad is stronger than ever.

Keep dreaming of rebel victory.

July 10th, 2013, 8:11 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER 265 said:

“You’re as confusing as ZIAD”

Would you please show me some statements I made that were ambiguous, unclear, or perplexing that confused you?

July 10th, 2013, 8:17 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Hello there HOPEFUL, always good to read your comments.

You say in #261:” I cannot wait to hear what the conspiracy theorists would say about the role the US is playing in all of this. Are the American backing up Mursi & the Muslim Brothers, or the Egyptian Army? This better be good!”

You don’t have to wait for fun, (Soviet-employed) CITIZEN has already made a couple of bizarre statements in posts #12 and #227.

Also, the article I posted in #263 on post-Morsi aid for Egypt highlights the futility and stupidity of Assad’s cowardly strategy to cling to power through Iran.

July 10th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#268. ZIAD

Yes, glad to oblige. Everything you said above about the desperate Syrians sleeping on the streets in Beirut was confusing and beside the point.

But the agenda you are pushing here is the most confusing thing of all.

PS Including the instant multiple thumbs up you seem to give yourself.

July 10th, 2013, 8:33 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The weary and stale regime team on this forum aren’t bothering to hide their tactics corrupting the voting system here.

Every time they post something against the Muslim Brotherhood their posts get a quick mass thumbs up. But if I put anything critical of the MB I get the quick same number of mass thumbs down.

Very interesting.

It shows their playbook and scripts aren’t sophisticated enough to deal with the discussion here.

July 10th, 2013, 8:46 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #270

There is nothing confusing in stating that you cannot blame Assad for people sleeping in the street. You could disagree with it, argue against it, and I would respect that.

It seems that you find any statement you disagree with confusing, and you think any one who disagrees with you is a paid Assad propagandist with an agenda. Now I know for sure that you are clueless and confused and my comments have nothing to do with it.

July 10th, 2013, 8:51 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#272, ZIAD. Yeah, I know, I know, I and everyone else sickened, shocked and angered by the Assad regime can’t match you here for sophistication, subtlety, knowledge and depth.

But you need to do yourself a favour and demonstrate that in your posts.

For example, if you never encountered poverty in Syria in your first 17 years there (before clearing off to enjoy life in the west), you need to say something to indicate you weren’t hothoused in a privileged regime-linked enclave.

Because your comments sure read like that.

July 10th, 2013, 9:08 pm

 

Ilya said:

Nobel Peace Prize laurete, Mairead Maguire tells her account of her visit to Syria. While Maguire was in Syria she discovered that the people the U.S. are funding are violent groups and do not want peace in Syria. Her her view is that Syria is being used as a proxy war by the U.S., Great Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

July 10th, 2013, 9:30 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #273 said:

“if you never encountered poverty in Syria in your first 17 years”

You see this is the perfect proof of your confusion. Saying that there are no homless people in Syria does not implay in any way that there is no poverty.

Believe me I have encountered poverty in Syria more than I like to, and probably more that you did. I come from an average middle class family. We were neither poor nor rich, but within my greater clan there are very many poor families. A clan based charity made sure that no one went hungry, and every one had a roof over his head.

July 10th, 2013, 9:33 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD, You seem to be more interested in the people you saw sleeping in the street in the west than Syrians sleeping in the street in Beirut.

You might be interested in the story behind it. Well over 90% of those people sleeping rough in the west have mental illnesses or severe drug or alcohol problems.

Until a few years ago you didn’t see them because they were looked after in institutions. But the decision was made across the west to close down all those institutions because they were criticized for taking away the inmates freedom and human rights and separating them from the community.

This was a disastrous mistake now widely recognized and worried about. But few clear alternative solutions have emerged. Do some reading, it’s abundantly documented and discussed.

Meanwhile you might also do some reading about the very high likelihood of those thin, ragged Syrians sleeping rough in Beirut being there because they were forced Syrian by army actions to flee their homes in Syria.

July 10th, 2013, 9:37 pm

 

revenire said:

Keep sending weapons, we love them!

U.S. arms showing up in hands of pro-Assad militias
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/10/us-weapons-syria-shiites/2503953/

July 10th, 2013, 9:38 pm

 

revenire said:

Syrians sleeping in streets were forced out by the war not by the government. Is anyone so naive to believe the government would just surrender?

July 10th, 2013, 9:41 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD

You should have taken an early morning walk around Aleppo pre-2011 and you’d have seen child workers forced by poverty to migrate from the countryside sleeping rough in hotel and shop yards.

The security services would make sport roughing up and harassing anyone caught sleeping in public spaces.

I assume your clan will be too proud and independent to accept any recovery help post-Assad. Because that is the bar you are setting for them with your Assad regime excusing and boosterism here.

July 10th, 2013, 9:57 pm

 

Ziad said:

SL

Every one who sleeps on the street anywhere in the world fills me with sadness. I consider myself a global humanist.

I totally disagree with your premise that they do so because of the Syrian army. It is the revolution sponsored and supported by you know who made them sleep on the street. The army was forced to bomb and destroy many houses because the terrorist rebels hide in unban areas to use civilian population as human shields. The alternative that you like is for the army to surrender the cities to the terrorists. Fortunately the consequence of this is evident in the so called liberated areas.

It is indisputable that once an area has been cleansed from terrorists, the army invites and helps the civilian population to return.

July 10th, 2013, 9:59 pm

 

Syrialover said:

To quote from the excellent article on aid to Egypt I posted in #263 above:

“Only with improved education, social development and job creation will the influence of political Islam be eliminated or at least minimized significantly in the Middle East.”

QUESTION: And this is now going to suddenly happen under the Assad regime (when it didn’t in 40+ years)?

Or maybe we’re waiting for all the Iranian and Russian development aid and investment to pour in?

July 10th, 2013, 10:15 pm

 

revenire said:

Wonder why they worship Brit Robin Yassin-Kassab so much?

July 10th, 2013, 10:17 pm

 

Ziad said:

SL said

“You should have taken an early morning walk around Aleppo pre-2011 and you’d have seen child workers forced by poverty to migrate from the countryside”

Funny you say that. In 2008 I took many walks in the poorest haras in Aleppo, also Homs, Hama, Tartous, and Latakia.

I left Syria 1993. From 1997 till 2008 I visited Syria six times during the summers. Every time I visit I feel half native half tourist. I walk many miles and observe people. When I walked in Hamidiye in 1997 all I could see were people with unhappy unshaven long faces wearing rags. During my next visits I could see the faces gradually got more relaxed and happier, their attire got cleaner and nicer. Without a doubt a significant improvement in the standard of living happened between 1997 and 2008.

Unfortunately you are right about the “child workers forced by poverty to migrate from the countryside”.

You know there were four successive years of draught in Syria, and many villagers were forced to migrate to the cities and live under miserable conditions. It is unfair to blame the draught on Assad.

I blame Assad by giving in to the pressure of the globalizers, and listening too much Dardary which resulted in increasing the gab between rich and poor.

July 10th, 2013, 10:33 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD,

The Assad regime has CREATED a failed state. The inevitable seeds were sown and today’s outcome pre-determined the day Hafez Assad seized power.

This blaming “you-know-who” for what has happened while Syria’s destiny has been treasonably and weakly handed to Iran is going to require thought adjustment at some stage – maybe when you read the post-Assad school textbooks instead of the junk you were fed growing up.

I am always surprised and suspicious when an educated person moving from Syria to the west doggedly ignores the overwhelming comparisons with the wretched corrupt system back home and limitations for young people facing a future in Syria.

July 10th, 2013, 10:34 pm

 

Ziad said:

REVENIRE #282 said:

“Wonder why they worship Brit Robin Yassin-Kassab so much?”

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a fiction writer. He is a master of vacuous eloquence, and likes to construct lengthy arguments. But if you read him carefully it is easy to see that he builds his argument backwards starting with what he wants to prove and inventing the supporting factoids.

July 10th, 2013, 10:44 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD #283

We could hit this tennis ball back and forth all day.

The drought in Syria was made all the more catastrophic by the Assad regime’s idiotic and corruption-driven water policies and projects (well documented).

And the spread and depth of rural poverty in Syria has been exacerbated by the demographics created by lack of social development and economic opportunity.

The evidence is now starkly there in the refugee camps with women in their twenties there commonly having families of 8 or more children.

That is clearest indicator of an underdeveloped, desperate and backward slipping country in the 21st century.

July 10th, 2013, 10:47 pm

 

Ziad said:

SL

“The Assad regime has CREATED a failed state.”

That is your opinion. I disagree with it. In my opinion the Syrian government made many mistakes, but Syria is not a failed state. It will become one if the terrorists win.

There is always more than one narrative.
We will not come to any agreement, yet I enjoyed this exchange. Let’s end it here.

July 10th, 2013, 10:53 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD and REVENIRE, Robin Yassin-Kassab is a very bright and highly respected guy who writes and thinks and understands Syria much better than you or any sources you guys post here.

He’s only written one fiction book, but a very heavy body of widely published other writing. I have been reading his blogs for years, and I can’t spot what you base your throwaway criticism on.

He clearly bothers you. A good sign.

And it’s also good that you’re reading him.

July 10th, 2013, 10:56 pm

 

Dawoud said:

I guess that now Bashar Assad, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States are ALL on the same side supporting the military coup in Egypt. This reminds me of what Mothafar al-Nawab’s poem about Jerusalem, which he compared to an Arab woman being raped while Arab leaders are disgracefully listening behind the door and asking the woman to lower her voice or screams. Palestine, Egypt, and Syria are all now being raped by forces of evil-who don’t believe in democracy. Being complemented by the Saudi, Emirati, and Iranian dictatorships is a badge of dishonor!

القدس عروس عروبتكم – مظفر النواب

القدس عروس عروبتكم
فلماذا أدخلتم كل زناة الليل إلى حجرتها ؟؟
ووقفتم تستمعون وراء الباب لصرخات بكارتها
وسحبتم كل خناجركم
وتنافختم شرفا
وصرختم فيها أن تسكت صونا للعرض
فما أشرفكم
أولاد القحبة هل تسكت مغتصبة ؟
أولاد القحبة
لست خجولا حين أصارحكم بحقيقتكم
إن حظيرة خنزير أطهر من أطهركم
تتحرك دكة غسل الموتى أما أنتم
لا تهتز لكم قصبة

July 10th, 2013, 11:12 pm

 

Syrialover said:

DAWOUD #289,

Was it you who said you’d done a PhD on some topic related to Egypt?

I am interested on your views on what you would have liked to have seen happen, with the MB facing twice the number of objectors in the street as voted for them (in a premature election without real choices).

Also, what was the likelihood of this ever happening under the MB: “Only with improved education, social development and job creation will the influence of political Islam be eliminated or at least minimized significantly in the Middle East.” (from #263 above)

I keep getting overwhelmed by the bottom line on the ME being populations where more than 70% are under the age of 30 and a high percentage of all ages are not in meaningful employment. And where they have to import food despite having plenty of arable land.

I think we are seeing an evolutionary process with no precedent much to draw on.

Anything, anything is worth a try. Which is why the MB was allowed to have a run.

July 10th, 2013, 11:37 pm

 

Ziad said:

SYRIALOVER #288 said:

“He clearly bothers you. A good sign.”

A good sign for what? He does not bother me in the least bit. I read him only when he commented on SC and now in this thread. I disagree with his views. I don’t read him.

July 10th, 2013, 11:41 pm

 

dawoud said:

My reply to 290. SYRIALOVER:

Yes, My thesis was about Egypt. I diagree with you because only elections can decide the fate of a president, who neither committed treason nor killed/banned anybody. I am sure that the Tea Party can gather millions of U.S. demonstrators unhappy with Obama! Does this mean that we need a military coup? Of course, not! Morsi never really had a chance because from day one al-Foloul or remnants of the “deep state” in military, media, judiciay started plotting against him. They were aided by billions of dollors from reactionary/authoritarian Arab governments in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait-which are now pledging billions of $ to the coup leaders.
Now, regarding the number of anti-Morsi demonstrators, they were large-although Morsi’s supporters were larger despite what Alarabiya (the mouthpiece of the anti-Arab Spring old order) says. Although Coptic Christians are,and should be, equal to Muslim Egyptians, the Tahrir Square was disproportionatly full of Coptic Egyptian, who were heeding the call of their anti-Morsi Pope Tawardres (who issued his own version of “fatwa” calling for anti-Morsi demonstrations). With all due respect to Copts, they are only about 5% of Egytians. Had Mubarak era foloul so-called “high court” refused the electoral law, parliamentary elecitons would have been held last April. Had Morsi not been overthrown by a military coup, parliamentary elections were expected to take place in a few months. Why didn’t Sabahi, ElBaradei, and the rest of the anti-Morsi camp think that they couldn’t win these elections and needed a military coup? It is the hypcrisy and shamefulness of the so-called “liberals?”

July 11th, 2013, 12:00 am

 

revenire said:

“Robin Yassin-Kassab is a very bright and highly respected guy who writes and thinks and understands Syria much better than you or any sources you guys post here.”

I know you’re a fan SL. That’s nice. We all need heroes. You feel he is “bright” and “highly respected” but that is only your opinion. That opinion, and a few thousand Syrian lira, might get you a cup of coffee but that’s about it.

I don’t really read Yassin-Kassab. I see his name sometimes here at SC and have looked over one, or two, things he has written and dismissed them as British falderal. For example, he claims this war on Syria is a popular revolution but that is wrong. No popular revolutions are backed by the USA and the UK. No popular revolutions rely on foreign jihadis. They have local support. They have local leaders not Texas puppets that are here today, gone tomorrow.

Perhaps you see Yassin-Kassab as enlightened. I don’t know your opinion because you really never talk but are always posturing (when not looking for your silly Commando foil) and always on the defensive here.

If you’re arguing that is is easy to rouse a mob out of Hellish poverty I agree but the cause of that poverty is another matter altogether. The poverty of Syrians is not Assad’s fault.

You strike me as British, or American, SL.

July 11th, 2013, 12:21 am

 

Ziad said:

Syrian rebel group claims responsibility for Beirut suburb blast

A little known Syrian rebel group has claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack that hit the southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday, wounding 53 people.

It also claimed it was behind an attack on a Hezbollah convoy in eastern Lebanon on June 28.

The group, named the Special Forces 313 Brigade, uses the black, red, green and white colours of the flag of the Syrian opposition, and Islamic terminology.

It describes itself as “an independent military formation, that fights in Syria for the victory of God’s word.”

“Special units from the 313 Brigade staged an attack using a car bomb in the Bir al-Abed area of the southern suburbs,” the group said on its Facebook page.

“We warned again and again against (Hezbollah’s) intervention in Syria,” the brigade added.

It cited “the failure of Lebanese politicians to control” the party as one of the reasons for the attack.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-rebel-group-claims-responsibility-beirut-suburb-blast?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlAkhbarEnglish+%28Al+Akhbar+English%29

July 11th, 2013, 12:24 am

 

Ilya said:

Dawoud
There is more to democracy than elections and staffing ballots on elections day.
So lets say country have free elections but then continuously abuses people rights,elections after elections, is this democracy?
Democracy does not mean oppression of minority by majority ,what happened in Egypt under MB.
Democracy means people have same basic rights and they don’t get persecuted because of their religious beliefs.
Dont act like it was only Copts who protested MB rule,it was ordinary Egyptians who were fed up with their autocratic rule and inability to govern the country.
How could you get PHD on Egypt ? when you don’t know simple fact that Copts represent at least 10% of population.
Good night

July 11th, 2013, 12:37 am

 

Ziad said:

People in Tartous have lit Syria’s name with candles. That’s just beautiful

https://twitter.com/Souriyaa_/status/355078707737681920/photo/1

July 11th, 2013, 12:39 am

 

Syrialover said:

#292 DAWOUD, thanks for your response.

I have come to understand that democracy is a lot, lot more than elections. And elections following quickly after dictatorships are doomed to be flawed, inadequate and disastrous in many other ways.

I’ve posted comments and articles here on this in the past. I often look at the African experience after military dictatorships, since there is not much to draw on yet in the ME. (There are possibly also lessons from Latin America though I know less about it).

I don’t think anyone had control of the street upswelling in Egypt. Waiting for some sort of due process under the MB didn’t seem to be an option. I know of too many Egyptians who raced back home from abroad to be part of the recent demonstrations, they felt so strongly. Some of the most radical Egyptians I know also expressed trust and faith in the army.

There was a lot of urgent stuff under the MB that was boiling to bursting point, particularly economic. For example, it would have been the simplest and most obvious thing to focus on reviving the Egyptian tourism industry, yet incredibly the MB took measures that disabled and penalized it as well as failing to restore and facilitate the basics.

(And also, the fact that Coptic Christians in Egypt increasingly felt they were fighting for their lives is very revealing of the absence of any democratic principles and vision).

I recently posted the following article from the Financial Times which I feel makes some good points:

EXCERPT

“The mistake on all sides in the Middle East has been to confuse democracy with the ballot box. It is not enough that leaders submit themselves for periodical elections. Democracy demands a commitment to pluralism, the submission of the powerful as well as the weak to the rule of law, protections for minorities and respect for cultural and ethnic difference. None of these was in plentiful supply during Mr Morsi’s year-long presidency.

Egypt needs two things to build a democracy. Tunisia, and any other Arab state seeking to make the transition, need the same. The first is massive aid – technology as well as money, trade access as well as educational assistance – to modernise the economy, and to keep people off the streets while constitutions are written and institutions built.

The second is expert advice and powerful incentives to create the political ecosystem in which opposing political forces can flourish. Dictators operate zero-sum regimes. Democracy demands positive sum outcomes that safeguard the interests of minorities as well as majorities.

Tunisia should by now be a role model for the region – testimony to Europe’s capacity to export prosperity and stability. Instead, as in Egypt, society and politics have been polarising.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d52b1fae-e3c8-11e2-91a3-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2YJstQro3

July 11th, 2013, 12:48 am

 

damascusrose said:

أميره
من المزرعه,انتي من وين؟
شرفي القهوه عالنار

July 11th, 2013, 12:50 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Revenir
Your opinion is nonsense
مجنون يحكي و عاقل يسمع

عم تزت و تلحش

I don’t think you understand what I wrote in Arabic

July 11th, 2013, 12:51 am

 

revenire said:

“Egypt needs two things to build a democracy. Tunisia, and any other Arab state seeking to make the transition, need the same. The first is massive aid – technology as well as money, trade access as well as educational assistance – to modernise the economy, and to keep people off the streets while constitutions are written and institutions built.”

In the orbit of the US, this will never be allowed to happen. Egypt will not be allowed to become a modern economy.

July 11th, 2013, 1:36 am

 

don said:

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Report: Russia Could Suspend Syria S-300 Sale for Golan Role

Russia badly wants its soldiers on the Golan as peacekeepers – and is willing to cancel its missile deal with Syria to do so, a report said

Israel may drop its opposition to stationing Russian troops on the Golan Heights as members of the UN peacekeeping force there – if Moscow halts its shipments of S-300 missiles to Damascus. Such a deal could be in the works, the London-based Arabic-language a-Sharq al-Awsat said Wednesday.

In June, Russia expressed interest in stationing its troops on the Golan, where they would take the place of Austrian troops who had left their posts as fighting between rebels and Syrian Army troops rocked the UN base at Quneitra.

Russia applied to have its troops join the patrol, called UNDOF, but according to UN rules, Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, cannot include its troops in the Golan peacekeeping force, as per the UN-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Syria establishing UNDOF after the Yom Kippur War.

Russia had proposed sending 380 troops to join the peacekeeping force.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169794

July 11th, 2013, 1:39 am

 

don said:

Do we revoke Israeli diplomats visa when their Apartheid regime continue to assault the Palestinian people?!

US revokes Syrian diplomat’s visa

“We can confirm that his visa has been revoked,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, also confirming his identity.

“Given the Syrian regime’s continuing assault on its own people… we have taken steps to further restrict entry of even the few remaining Syrian officials.”

http://www.authintmail.com/news/north-america/united-states/us-revokes-syrian-diplomats-visa

July 11th, 2013, 1:49 am

 

Juergen said:

very artistic short film by Rohan Houssein

Syria

July 11th, 2013, 2:00 am

 

Syrialover said:

Words of a classic nutty conspiracy theorist:

“In the orbit of the US, this will never be allowed to happen. Egypt will not be allowed to become a modern economy.” (#300)

Pull your pants up REVENIRE, your backside is exposed and smouldering.

You’re revealing more about where you are coming from than we want to know.

July 11th, 2013, 2:13 am

 

Hopeful said:

#269 SL

Thank you for pointing out those two entertaining posts. Of course the US is behind everything. It is an almighty all-capable nation full of powerful and secretive people. Kinda like how the Greek Gods were responsible for all natural phenomena!

July 11th, 2013, 2:18 am

 

revenire said:

My ideas aren’t secret. I don’t hide them.

Egypt has been used as cheap labor. There is no real industry to speak of.

July 11th, 2013, 2:25 am

 

Hopeful said:

#300 Rev

“In the orbit of the US, this will never be allowed to happen. Egypt will not be allowed to become a modern economy.”

Of course, because the US does not like competition from the 80 million people nation of Egypt. Never mind that the US has been working proactively to help build the economies of the 1+ billion people nations of China and India.

What nonsense!

July 11th, 2013, 2:29 am

 

revenire said:

The economy drove the unrest in Egypt. I am sure any new monies from the Gulf will go to servicing Egypt’s debt and not to the people.

“The canceling of subsidies requires sacrifices from the public and therefore necessitates their acceptance. It is crucial that they understand the scope of the danger that the current size of subsidies impose on Egypt’s economy, and they must also feel that its rationing is done in a way that guarantees social justice.” – Hazem el-Beblawi

Bebiawi is just another puppet. He will open Egypt up for rape.

July 11th, 2013, 2:37 am

 

revenire said:

I would not agree that the US has helped build the economies of China and India. That is not correct.

Egypt is looked at as “dirty” Third World nation by the US and as long as it plays ball it will get loans and be kept on a short leash. The people will suffer.

July 11th, 2013, 2:39 am

 

Hopeful said:

#309 Rev

No? I know the Chinese would disagree with you. Without the US market, could the Chinese have done it? I remember learning in high school in Damascus how the imperialist countries invaded others because they wanted their colonies to become “markets” for the goods they manufacture. So now all the sudden opening up the US market to Chinese goods is not even “helping”?

I am not suggesting that the US did it out of the goodness of their hearts. But I am suggesting that the US is somehow scared of other economies developing is pure nonsense.

July 11th, 2013, 3:29 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

I am not suggesting that the US did it out of the goodness of their hearts. But I am suggesting that the US is somehow scared of other economies developing is pure nonsense.

Of course USA (and EU) is scared (almost in panic). It is nonsense to deny that. Developing economies in raw materials exporting countries would make those materials more expensive or even unavailable for US companies. For what reason do you Hopefull think USA has hundreds of military bases around the world and has actively made countless interventions and invaded countries? To bring democracy everywhere? If for example Saudi Arabia would suddenly get a nationalistic government, which would favour China and end the petrodollar circus, US (and multinational companies’) leaders would wet their pants.

Before USA and EU were the almost only big customers with ability to pay. Today it is not any more so and the developing nations have real options to get “new friends”, finance and technology. 200 years of “co-operation” with USA did not make Latin America rich, educated and prosperous. It made USA rich.

July 11th, 2013, 5:43 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Batman & Robin

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a very bright and highly respected guy…

Qunfuz (Robin Yassin-Kassab) is bright and articulate, but he was also a carbon-copy of the arab street. He put up with Assad and his terrorism just fine before he turned on his own people.

MOST arabs (but not all) are fine with their leaders and their “methods” as long as they focus on Israel and Jews and just a “few” arabs and muslims. Then, after several thousand of their own get murdered, then these self-appointed “leaders” get re-evaluated.

Sorry, that’s how I feel.

July 11th, 2013, 7:23 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

We are nearing the stage when Chinese (and Indian) companies have the financial ability to buy away large amounts of core western companies. Some weeks ago there were rather credible rumours that Huawei would make an offer of Nokia. It would have meant if accepted that thousands of core telecom patents and large part of mobile telecom industry would be controlled by China making US and other western forces very “unhappy”.

Some years ago the Finnish government had the policy that everything in Finland was on “free markets”, meaning, that they did not care when important companies were sold abroad. Before those buying Finnish companies were western companies. Then the Russians, Chinese and Indians begun to “land” buying some smaller and medium sized high tech companies. In rather total “silence” the government changed policy and activated its investment funds and legislation to protect “own” industries and knowledge.

Finns like most of other western had the naive assumption, that transporting manufacturing to China is profitable and without dangers, because the RD and other planing stays here. In the 60’s “we” were laughing to cheap low quality Japanese products, in the 70’s the laughing stopped and in the 80’s “we” begun to look at Japan as the industrial and technological role model. Same happens now with China and with greater speed. And that makes the west nervous.

July 11th, 2013, 7:29 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Once upon a time in Damascus

Vidiad is “loyal to her Syrian identity”. It’s good someone is.

“Vidiad is a Jewish woman opposing Jewish immigration to Palestine and the foundation of the State of Israel. She is loyal to her Syrian identity and later she refuses to travel to Palestinian, refusing to live in a house which is not hers on a land which is not hers.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4403822,00.html

July 11th, 2013, 8:16 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Akbar

You gotta look forward.

The operative word is “was”.
but when the stance was really challenged, what “was” is no longer “is”. This is what counts.

Then you have those that really weren’t.. and all of a sudden now “are”. They also count.. but it is for them a count-down.

July 11th, 2013, 10:59 am

 

Ziad said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER #315 said:

“what “was” is no longer “is”. This is what counts.Then you have those that really weren’t.. and all of a sudden now “are”. They also count.. but it is for them a count-down.” and There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

This depends on what the meaning of is is.

July 11th, 2013, 11:14 am

 

mjabali said:

Robin the Qunfuz Yasin Qassab always repeats the same sentences, and takes the same positions. Sometimes he makes outlandish claims like al-Assad killed Alawi Sheikhs, or the Coast has a Sunni majority.

First: Qunfuz and co. always deny the traditional hate the Sunni are fed towards the Alawis and other non Sunni groups. For example: Qunfuz and many Sunnis like him doe not tell us that they always had fatwas in every decade and for every generation. From Ibn Taymiyah and till today the Sunnis has dominant Sheikhs to say that the Alawis and Druze and Christians and Jews are not equal to them. As for the case of the Alawis: they are to be killed, men and women. The boys they will keep. They have fatwas regulating how to sell the Alawi captives.

From: Ibn Taymiyah to Ali al-Muradi, to Abd al-Rahman al-Imadi, to Abd al-Rahman al-Ieji, to al-Kardari, to al-‘Asqalani, to al-Qari to al-Kitani…to and to toooooo

The list goes on and on of the Sunni Sheikhs from every generation that made the Alawis killed and their kids sold to slavery.

Up to this day this Fatwa is alive. They publish it and distribute it. How do you want to establish a Syrian identity with a group like this?

Second: Qunfuz always repeats the cliche that the Coast is Sunni. This is not true. Read Ibn Battuta for example, or read the history of the wars in the area. Plus go and look at the census the French, or the Ottomans did. You will find a sea of Alawis and Christians. The Sunnis lived in the cities and were what the Ottomans had brought. They are mostly Kurds and Turkmen. Arabs or Syrians amongst the Sunnis in the coast are a rarity, except for those who emigrated recently.

Tartus has two Sunni small neighbourhoods. How can you call Tartus a Sunni Twon: Yes it was s Sunni Town when it was just the Castle, and the few Christians who were there. The Sunnis of Tartus, Banyas, Jableh and Lattakia came with the Ottomans. Before that the Alawis like Ismail Ibn Khulad and the Tanukhis ruled the coast. There were few Sunnis then.

The coast changed hands many times.

Third: The Qunfuz talks about the Alawis who were kicked out of their homes in the interior of Syria and went back to the Coast: But, he always ignore the Sunnis who escaped the hell of the war and came to the coast to live. Many of them will settle in the coast. Why do Qunfuz always pick the Alawis who came? Why doesn’t he or others speak about what these Alawis had been through recently?

If I have more time I will write more about this important matter.

July 11th, 2013, 11:23 am

 

Ziad said:

بيان من عدسة شاب حلبي حول اعتقال (زيد محمد) أحد مصوري الفريق:

قامت الهيئة الشرعية في حلب باعتقال الإعلامي والثّائر زيد محمد دون أي تهمةٍ واضحةٍ “قانونيا ً “، وذلك لدى مراجعته الهيئة الشرعيّة للنّقاش حول فك الحصار عن المعبر، وذلك بعد أن عبّر زيد لعناصر الهيئة أنه “يرغب بدولة علمانية ديمقراطية “، وقد صرّح عناصر الهيئة أن هذا الطلب يعتبر بحكم ” المرتد ” وأمهلته ثلاثة أيام للتوبة عن مطلبه ..
وإننا كثوار وناشطين نطالب الهيئة الشرعية بإطلاق سراح زميلنا زيد فورا ً والتوقّف عن الاعتقالات التعسّفية بسبب الاختلاف بالرأي لأنّها تكرّر جرائم النظام وأقبية الفروع الأمنية ..

وإننا إذ ثرنا لأجل الحق والحرية .. وليس لأجل تبديل قمع الرأي وتكميم الأفواه واحداً بآخر ..

ولأجل ألا ننسى ما ثرنا لأجله، فإننا نطالب من اليوم بعدم اعتقال أي شخص دون مذكّرة اعتقال واضحة .. وبتهم محدّدة لا تندرج ضمن التهم التلفيقية التي اعتاد نظام البعث اختراعها سابقا .. وحتما ً فإننا نرفض أي اعتقال على أساس الرأي والفكر فقط ..
الحرية لزيد محمد .. ولكل معتقلي الرأي في سوريا

Lens of a young Halabi

July 11th, 2013, 11:54 am

 

Ziad said:

” الدولة الاسلامية في سوريا و العراق” تصادر مولدات في مدينة تل أبيض .. و تعتقل أعضاء المجلس المحلي لاعتراضهم !

اعتقلت “الدولة الاسلامية في سوريا و العراق”، فرع تنظيم القاعدة في سوريا، أعضاء المجلس المحلي لمدينة تل أبيض، على خلفية اعتراضهم على مصادرتها مولدات كهربائية تبرعت بها منظمة انسانية نرويجية.

و أفادت مصادر المعارضة في المدينة بأن “الدولة الاسلامية ” أفرجت عن بعض أعضاء المجلس و أبقت 4 منهم رهن الاعتقال.

و كان المجلس المحلي قد أصدر بيانا صحفيا علق فيها أعمالها احتجاجا على مصادرة المولدات، و تدخل “الدولة الاسلامية” في العمل الخدمي الذي تقوم به.

و ذكرت أن المجلس أن المنظمة النرويجية أرسلت خبراءها بغرض تحديد مكان تثبيت المولدات، على أن يؤمن تغذية أكبر عدد ممكن من التجمعات السكنية.

و ازداد في الأشهر الأخيرة تدخل “الدولة الأسلامية في سوريا و العراق” في الشؤون العامة للسوريين، و ذلك بعد اعلان القيادي في تنظيم القاعدة “أبو بكر البغدادي” انضمام “جبهة النصرة” إلى “الدولة الاسلامية في العراق”.

http://www.aksalser.com/?page=view_articles&id=131b1bc8d6c6e8710f77fea35289812a&ar=673479992

July 11th, 2013, 12:02 pm

 

Ziad said:

US and Syrians Protesting in NY Yesterday

July 11th, 2013, 12:10 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#313 Simohurtta

So the US saw that happening with Japan but still went ahead and did the same with China? Why? Why did the US have an active policy since Nixon of brining China out of its economic slump and building a co-dependent economic system with it?

And do you believe China could have done it without the US market opening up to its goods?

Hopefully the answer is not that they are so stupid and naive, because if these stupid naive western people keep playing with us like that, what does that make us?

BTW, the South Koreans figured that out as well. The truth is that the smart nations are the ones figuring out how to partner with the US, take advantage of its open trade system, huge market, and very lean protectionsim national policies, to advance their nations.

I hope Arab nations like Egypt and others can figure that out as well.

July 11th, 2013, 12:19 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Wrong, it depends on what is was.

July 11th, 2013, 12:36 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

You gotta look forward.

Dear President Hamster,

Yes, I am looking forward. I only linked to this story since it seemed a little “creepy” from my POV, and it fared well as regime “hasbara”.

I have seen some remarkably intelligent youngsters during these dark days that leave me quite hopeful. I am specifically thinking of a YouTube video that SL linked to yesterday of the cute Egyptian kid, and on Fox last night, an Egyptian opposition leader was interviewed who was also very articulate and well-meaning.

Syria doesn’t seem to have the opposition leadership Egypt does.

In any case, I’m rooting for the “good guys”!

July 11th, 2013, 12:46 pm

 

Ziad said:

Lexical smartassity

July 11th, 2013, 1:14 pm

 

Ziad said:

Israel among most corrupt of OECD countries

According to the numbers, Israeli political and cultural institutions are among the most corrupt of the OECD member countries – but Israelis are more willing than their international peers to take the fight against corruption into their own hands.

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2013 gathered its data on Israel based on 1,004 online responses to a battery of questions about perceptions of corruption, experiences of bribery, and opinions about political institutions and the effectiveness of civic participation

Israelis, like most around the world, report that corruption has worsened over the course of the last year. This accords with Israel’s recent and steady slide in global corruption rankings, from 30th in 2007 to 39th in 2012. In a hallmark feature of corruption, over 80 percent of Israelis believe that personal contacts are important or very important for getting things done in the public sector – with only Lebanon, Ukraine and Russia reporting equally high results.

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Israel-among-most-corrupt-of-OECD-countries-319315

July 11th, 2013, 1:30 pm

 

Ziad said:

Tightening Siege by Syrian Rebels Stirs Anger

Syrian rebels have tightened their siege on government-held districts in the divided city of Aleppo, choking supply lines and depleting staple foods at the onset of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, traditionally a time of festive meals to break the daily fast.

The tactic is controversial enough among supporters and opponents of the rebels that residents of the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood staged a protest on Tuesday at a rebel checkpoint. Rebels shot in the air to disperse the protests, local activists said.

“This is not a revolution,” a sheik shouted at rebels in a video posted online. “This is injustice.”

The Aleppo food shortage is just one episode in one of many war-torn cities across Syria. But it highlights how some elements of the armed opposition — especially in areas they control — are seen as oppressive even by their friends. Support for the rebels has frayed across Syria, and their battlefield successes have stalled, as President Bashar al-Assad has seen his position bolstered with help from Iran, Hezbollah and Russia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/middleeast/tightening-siege-by-syrian-rebels-stirs-anger.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

July 11th, 2013, 1:40 pm

 

Ziad said:

U.S. arms showing up in hands of pro-Assad militias

U.S. and Western weapons have been reaching Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting to keep Bashar Assad’s forces in power in Syria.

Analysts say it’s unclear if the weapons were captured, stolen or bought on the black market in Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Libya. Propaganda photographs from Shiite militias posted on dozens of websites and Facebook pages show the weapons were acquired in new condition, said Phillip Smyth, an analyst for Jihadology.net, a site affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Many of the weapons are things the militias “shouldn’t really have their hands on,” Smyth said. Iranians love to show “they have weapons and systems that are very close to the Americans.”

The ability of Assad’s allies to obtain U.S. weapons is one of many reasons the United States should not supply Syrian rebels with weapons, which President Obama said he would start to do last month, said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., former chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Syria is “already overflowing” with weapons being supplied to the Assad regime and to the rebels “that could one day be turned against the U.S.,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/10/us-weapons-syria-shiites/2503953/

July 11th, 2013, 1:57 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

Hatay’dan, Alevilere Açık Katliam Tehdidi Yağdırdı (Türkçe Altyazılı)

July 11th, 2013, 2:37 pm

 

Badr said:

Democracy or disorder? The four lessons of the Arab Spring

By Roger Hardy
Middle East analyst

1. It was never going to be quick or easy.
. . .
2. There is no fixed pattern.
. . .
3. The Islamists are at a crossroads.
. . .
4. People power is not enough.
. . .
The longer-term challenge is to translate popular protest and popular anger into real and lasting change.

July 11th, 2013, 3:22 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

321
So the US saw that happening with Japan but still went ahead and did the same with China? Why? Why did the US have an active policy since Nixon of brining China out of its economic slump and building a co-dependent economic system with it?

And do you believe China could have done it without the US market opening up to its goods?

Japan was/is a US colony and under full US control, so it was and is not a real economical/industrial challenger for USA. Japan for example pays USA more for its “defence” than it costs for USA. USA earns with Japan and Japan is a vital instrument for USA in trying to control Asia.

China did not rise because USA wanted or specially allowed it to happen. China itself decided to open their economy in the end of 70’s (Nixon was then long gone) under Deng Xiaoping. China offered Europe and USA cheap well educated labour and industrial capacity for Europe and USA in the late 80’s. Gradually they begun to transport production to China making it possible for China to develop and make money. The western powers underestimated badly the consequences of this development. The last decade has filled China’s financial coffers and transferred the latest technology to China. USA state economy has already long functioned with Chinese capital – not vice versa.

You Americans are interesting people. What ever others do and succeed you take the credit of that. In your minds the rise of China is your achievement, the serious stagnation and underdevelopment of Arab countries not despite the extreme active US intrusion in the area. Well explain why Latin American states remained poor and uneducated under US “protection” during the past 200 years. Or Philippines etc. South Korea begun its economical “journey” when they got rid of the US installed generals.

July 11th, 2013, 3:28 pm

 

Citizen said:

Levin Says US Should Consider
Limited Military Strikes on Syria
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/carl-levin-military-strike-syria-us.html

F**k you Carl (D-Mich.)
Do you not understand that any overt attack against the SYRIAN ARAB ARMY forces will translate into a war between the US and Russia?
I cannot possibly believe that this maniac is naive enough to not recognize that this will be the outcome of an overt US military strike against Syria.
http://youtu.be/1CqGdLmrgJ4?t=10s

July 11th, 2013, 4:03 pm

 

Juergen said:

Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, Rabbana- his unique dua was banned after this influental iranian singer declared his solidarity with the green revolution in 2010.

this dua was broadcasted over 30 years in Iran just moments before iftar

July 11th, 2013, 4:06 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#331

“You Americans are interesting people. What ever others do and succeed you take the credit of that”

First you assumed I am an American. Not sure why.

Second, if you read my posts carefully, I am not claiming that the US should take credit for anything. I explicitly mentioned that the US is not doing what it is doing for the good of their hearts. They benefit from the bilateral trades as much as anyone else.

The US opened its market to China. China benefited. The US benefited. It was a good partnership. In the long run, it proved to be more useful for China than for the US. These are facts. China deserved it success. But to say that the US tried to “block” or “prevent” it is not based on any facts. China did a great job taking advantage of the US systems and institutions. I say “bravo!”

I am suggesting that nations should learn how to take advantage of the US systems to advance and benefit their people. It is not that difficult. There are many useful models around. But first one has to rid himself of all misconceptions and conspiracy theories.

July 11th, 2013, 5:30 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Those demonstrators in NY (Ziad comment#320) they are few they are less than 50, most demonstrations against Assad are by hundreds.

Assad is blocking the food and medicine from residents of Homs,,why the pro Assad don’t speak on their behlf,and they only want the blockade in Halab to be lifted, those are people and these are people. I think the blockade in Halab is not right, but it has to continue till Assad thugs allow food and medicine to reach Homs people

BTW Revenir told us three times that Assad criminals now has complete control of Homs, but what we hear the opposite, I wish Revenir stop dreaming, and stop his fabricated news.

July 11th, 2013, 5:31 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

assad army has lost over 90 tank in the last week, what is left is less than 1200,

July 11th, 2013, 5:39 pm

 

Tara said:

Reve,

I have done some self reflection. I feel the need to apologize. I assumed you are someone based on a heresy and was vicious in attacking you. I was wrong. I crossed a redline. I do not own the truth and I am sorry.

July 11th, 2013, 5:46 pm

 

revenire said:

Tara thank you. I want to apologize as well. I didn’t mean to ride you over the FSA air force etc. I won’t do it any longer. I am sure you’re a fine person that believes very much in your cause. We might not agree on how to do it but I am sure we both want peace for Syria.

Sorry.

July 11th, 2013, 5:59 pm

 

AMEERA said:

يلا حبو و بوسو بعض

و عاش الامير و الاميرة بالرفاه و البناه و خلفو صبيان و بنات
و توته توته خلصت الحتوته

July 11th, 2013, 8:04 pm

 

omen said:

/eye roll

July 11th, 2013, 8:05 pm

 
 

omen said:

238. UZAIR8 said: Prof. Landis on BBC Radio 5 last night responding to Russian claims of rebel chemical use. Listen from 21:44 till 26:45.

gracias, uzhair. i used to never listen to bbc before i started following this board.

“there had been video of rebels eating the heart of one of their opponents.”

the professor refers to “rebels” as being cannibals. plural with an S. when anybody only half paying attention knows this was only one man.

also winds up lending credence, rather than discounting, the idea that rebels were guilty of launching chemical attacks.

landis keeps handing out permission slips that excuses the west from intervening.

disappointing.

July 11th, 2013, 8:34 pm

 

omen said:

khaldoun, somebody pointed out if the butcher gave a damn, he’d use his planes to drop food into aleppo.

July 11th, 2013, 8:43 pm

 

omen said:

oops, forgive error in name. unintentional.

July 11th, 2013, 8:53 pm

 

Ziad said:

Syrian Rebels Facing Defeat in Key City of Homs

A sustained attack by Syrian government forces over the last 10 days has recaptured most of the strategic city of Homs.

The struggling rebels increasingly feel abandoned by the outside world.

The BBC’s Paul Wood in Beirut has been in touch with rebels in Homs says some have shared pictures of themselves wearing suicide vests, saying this is all they have left.

Wood says it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Homs is taken by the government of Bashar al-Assad, which seems to be gaining momentum in the civil war, while the rebels are increasingly divided.

http://www.theworld.org/2013/07/syria-rebels-homs/

July 11th, 2013, 9:08 pm

 

apple_mini said:

So we have members here on SC ask why SAA has not used airplanes to drop food to besieged Aleppo area.

Yet they know too well just about a week ago, their beloved rebel thugs shot down a civil helicopter which was used to transport exam papers, killing everyone onboard including people from ministry of education.

Instead of demanding their rebel thugs to lift the siege to let food go through quickly via ground transportation, they make sinister accusation.

The opposition and their mouthpieces outdo themselves everyday to reach new low.

July 11th, 2013, 9:31 pm

 

omen said:

apple, i don’t support starving ppl out. did you ever call for the regime to lift their multiple sieges? did you ever call for the UN to intervene? when i think of all the children who have died from starvation in the last two years with the so called international community refusing to lift a baby finger. did you look into their sunken eyes? or did you turn your head? i don’t recall your crying then.

why do you consider the well being of your sect more important than those of sunnis?

July 11th, 2013, 10:13 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mini apple
I dare you to call that thug Bashar to allow food and medicine to reach the people of Homs, I like to remind you that your thug bashar did the same for people of Qusair,people like you talk in two tier, This mentality is sickening,disgusting, may I remind you that if you don’t believe in equality, you don’t deserve equality anymore.

July 11th, 2013, 11:07 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Try to look up
يئطع عمرون
in Lissan Al Arab or any other dictionay.

I know, i know, nor can you find فوتتكون بالحيط in these dictionaries or on google translate.

July 11th, 2013, 11:53 pm

 

don said:

Egypt: Staging a “Democratic” Military Coup

Morsi’s election not only interrupted Washington ’s efforts to replace Mubarak in spite of his close cooperation with Washington (specifically in cutting ties with Syria ). Morsi presented Washington with many challenges. Not only was he reported to have called “Jews descendants of pigs and apes”, but his election into office was warmly welcomed not only by HAMAS, but also by the U.S.-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called Morsi “the choice of the great people of Egypt” while one of his senior aides, Saeb Erekat, said the democratic vote for Morsi “meant the Palestinian cause was the Number One priority for all Egyptians“. Washington was not in the business of making Palestinians jubilant, or contradicting Israel ’s demands. .

Regardless, Morsi dug in deeper. Soon after taking office, Morsi forced NGO’s out of Egypt, raising the ire of Freedom House (NGOs were referred to as force-multipliers by Colin Powell, and have been instrumental in executing US policies around the globe). Additionally, Morsi forced out powerful military figures in order to reclaim the military power the army had seized. As Juan Cole put it, ‘a coup against the generals’. Israel called the move “Instability in Egypt to threaten Israel ,” and “Muslim Brotherhood on our doorstep.” However, Morsi made the mistake of appointing Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as military chief – a man with close ties to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia .

Perhaps his most serious offense was his opposition to a dam which both Israel and Saudi Arabia favored as they had plans to divert water from the Nile . In 2012, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had claimed a stake in the Nile . Israel ’s ambitions went much further back.

First initiated by Theodore Herzl in 1903, the diversion plan was dropped due to British and Egyptian opposition to it only to be picked up again in the 1970s. At that time, Israeli’s idea was to convince Egypt to divert Nile water to Israel . In 1978, President Anwar Sadat “declared in Haifa to the Israeli public that he would transfer Nile water to the Negev . Shortly afterward, in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Sadat promised that Nile water would go to Jerusalem . During Mubarak’s presidency, published reports indicated that Israeli experts were helping Ethiopia to plan 40 dams along the Blue Nile .”

July 12th, 2013, 12:22 am

 

don said:

Ramadan kareem indeed

Al-Qaida kills Free Syrian Army commander

BEIRUT — Militants linked to al-Qaida in Syria killed a senior figure in the Western- and Arab-backed Free Syrian army on Thursday, an FSA source said, signaling a widening rift between Islamists and more moderate elements in the armed Syrian opposition.

Kamal Hamami, a member of the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, known by his nom de guerre Abu Bassel al-Ladkani, was meeting with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the port city of Latakia when they killed him, Qassem Saadeddine, a Free Syrian Army spokesman, told Reuters.

“The Islamic State phoned me saying that they killed Abu Bassel and that they will kill all of the Supreme Military Council,” Saadeddine said from Syria.

“He met them to discuss battle plans,” Saadeddine added.

Read more here

http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_23643278/al-qaida-kills-free-syrian-army-commander

July 12th, 2013, 12:22 am

 

omen said:

i wanted to post this during the earlier discussion regarding the bigotry the regime plays into – aimed at a western audience – that favors christians as being more valuable than other human beings. a queerly unchristian attitude, as tara pointed out.

the idea that some lives matter less
is the root of all that is wrong
with the world. ~ dr. paul farmer.

July 12th, 2013, 1:01 am

 

omen said:

193. AKBAR PALACE said: Anyone hear about a Syrian naval base that was hit last week?

.

what about it? do you think it was an israeli strike?

July 12th, 2013, 1:13 am

 

omen said:

sign number 463,567 that unspoken US policy is to appease iran. yet this reality remains the elephant in the living room nobody addresses.

Mike Doran ‏@Doranimated:
US is supplying 2 militaries directly penetrated by Iran: the Leb & the Iraqi.

July 12th, 2013, 1:41 am

 

Ziad said:

Sign number 463,568 that US policy is to appease Iran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._sanctions_against_Iran

July 12th, 2013, 2:02 am

 

omen said:

you didn’t see my acknowledgment of american reliance on the carrot/stick approach, zaid? sanctions are the stick to motivate iran to accept the carrot.

i’m open to other interpretations. why do you think the US is arming iran by proxy?

July 12th, 2013, 2:14 am

 

omen said:

6. UZAIR8 said: This regime is as sectarian as they come. […] Is it not endangering the lives of Alawites by relocating them like this? Using them as a tactical tool in the hope of preventing parts of the countryside falling back into opposition hands? Disgusting. What a despicable regime. If it’s supposed to be so strong militarily why does it have to resort to such desperate and lowlife tactics?

this has happened before. in iraq:

from the 1970s onwards, successive Iraqi administrations have forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Kurds, Turkomans (a Turkish-speaking Iraqi minority), and Assyrians from northern Iraq, and repopulated the area with Arabs moved from central and southern Iraq.2 This policy, known as “Arabization” (ta’rib) was conducted in order to consolidate government control over the valuable oil resources and arable lands located in northern Iraq.

homs is a tactical, i’m told, as a supply route but there are other considerations. i’m guessing most forced displacements are usually a fight over natural resources.

there are pipelines scheduled to go under homs. plus, new reserves discovered?

In 2011, Syria announced it had discovered a promising gas field in the city of Homs, which would later see some of the fiercest battles between Assad’s forces and the rebels.

July 12th, 2013, 2:54 am

 

apple_mini said:

Guess those opposition people have not got the idea how much the majority of Syrians hate them and their rebel thugs.

They invaded Aleppo and started brutalizing population right after they got there. Same to many areas including Homs.

Apart from moral deficiency on those thugs, militarily those rebel thugs are lunatic. Unlike SAA conducting siege following by leaving safe passage to civilians get out before launching major assault, the rebel thugs do not have means, strength or support to fully occupy Aleppo, so they decide to starve two millions of Aleppens during Ramadan.

BTW, my previous comment was about the hypocrisy of those opposition mouthpieces who never cease to pretend standing on moral high ground. We have a duty to expose them.

July 12th, 2013, 4:33 am

 

Citizen said:

Russia slams West’s ‘propaganda storm’ on Syria chemical arms
http://news.yahoo.com/russia-slams-wests-propaganda-storm-syria-chemical-arms-181703688.html

July 12th, 2013, 7:08 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

what about it? do you think it was an israeli strike?

From this Reuters article, it seem that it was an Israeli strike.

Nice to put Putin in his place without speaking and shaking hands.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/syria-crisis-israel-idUSL6N0FF32920130709

July 12th, 2013, 7:24 am

 

don said:

It’s going to be a HOT HOT HOT Ramadan hehehehehehehe!

New front opens in Syria as rebels say al Qaeda attack means war

(Reuters) – Syrian rebels said on Friday the assassination of one of their top commanders by al Qaeda-linked militants was tantamount to a declaration of war, opening a new front for the Western-backed fighters STRUGGLING against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“We will not let them get away with it because they want to target us,” a senior FSA commander said on condition of anonymity after members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant killed Kamal Hamami on Thursday.

“We are going to wipe the floor with them,” he said. (hehehehehehehe!)

Hamami, also known by his nom de guerre, Abu Bassir al-Ladkani, is one of the top 30 figures on the FSA’s Supreme Military Command.

His killing highlights how the West’s vision of a future, democratic Syria is unraveling. (hahahahahahahahaha!)

Louay Mekdad, FSA Supreme Command Political Coordinator, said Abu Ayman al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s Emir of the coastal region, personally shot dead Hamami and his brother at the roadblock.

He said a fighter who was travelling with them was set free to rely the message that the Islamic State considers the FSA heretics and that the Supreme Command is now an al Qaeda target. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAAA!)

LAUGH MORE HERE

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/12/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE96B08A20130712

July 12th, 2013, 8:55 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Apple Mini
It is OUR duty to expose you and the rest of thugs in SC and this criminal regime that you support, as this regime is starving not only Homs people but also the whole Syrian people, including the Alawis, the prices of food in Syria are skyrocketing, the price of meat is over 2000 lira, it has become out of reach to large percentage of Syrians, the destruction of Syria by the criminal Bashar and his mafia is well designed to weaken Syria for the next 50 years, there is no way Syria can face Israel ,all because of your tyrant thug wants to keep his seat and to give in the future to his son, I can Assure you that his son will never see that chair, none of his family will, and they all will be dead and you and your likes will feel sorry that you ever supported such criminal evil wicked thug

July 12th, 2013, 9:04 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

The regime is planning to create the Alawi state, which is Assad owned area, It is unfair to call it Alawi state,, there are two types of Assadistans, one is small include the coastal area, which is not survivable,,,,,,,,, and the other one is the greater one which extend to all Homs province, that they hope to connect with Anbar area in Iraq and all the way to include southern Iraq, to be connected with Persia, and in the west to include Hermel and southern Lebanon, the advantage is to keep connection with the criminal Persia. This we will fight to prevent, but that is why Assad is fighting hard to take over Homs, it is not only to maintain continuety with Damascus

July 12th, 2013, 9:13 am

 

omen said:

it’s because i mentioned finkelstein, isn’t it. ppl are sensitive!

July 12th, 2013, 9:17 am

 

Ilya said:

Hassan Hassan حسن ‏@hhassan140 17m
Arab Afghans help to set up Taliban base in Syria, according to a Taliban official speaking to the BBC
Ouch looks like all criminals and terrorists want to set up bases there,situations getting complicated.
don’t believe rift between FSA and AL Qaeda could be plot to convince west to send weapons to FSA …..ASAP

July 12th, 2013, 10:33 am

 

don said:

362. majedkhaldoun said:

“It is OUR duty”… OUR?! Are you posting here on behalf of an organization?

“It is OUR duty to expose you and the rest of thugs in SC and this criminal regime that you support… You and your likes will feel sorry that you ever supported such criminal evil wicked thug”…

I don’t think Mr. Landis appreciate you, or the organization you represent trying to silence other posters by issuing blatant threats against them on his blog!

363. majedkhaldoun said:

“This WE will fight”… Again, who is “WE”?! It’s one ID one poster here!

July 12th, 2013, 10:39 am

 

Ilya said:

Pakistan Taliban ‘sets up a base in Syria’
BBC Urdu
The Pakistani Taliban have visited Syria to set up a base and to assess “the needs of the jihad”, a Taliban official has told the BBC.

He said that the base was set up with the assistance of ex-Afghan fighters of Middle Eastern origin who have moved to Syria in recent years.

At least 12 experts in warfare and information technology had gone to Syria in the last two months, he said.

Their presence in the country is likely to have a sectarian motive.

Taliban factions feel that Sunni Muslims, who constitute a majority in Syria, are being oppressed by Syria’s predominantly Shia rulers.

Thousands of people have died in the year-long armed conflict in Syria between loyalists of the ruling Baath Party and those who want to overthrow it.

The Pakistani government has not commented on the allegations.

‘Joint operations’
Free Syrian Army fighters (July 2013)
The cell is in Syria ‘to send information back to Pakistan’
Mohammad Amin, a senior Taliban operative and “co-ordinator of the Syrian base”, told the BBC that the cell to monitor “the jihad” in Syria was set up six months ago.

He said that the cell has the approval of militant factions both within and outside of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organisation of militant groups fighting the Pakistani forces.

The cell sends “information and feedback” on the conflict in Syria back to Pakistan, he said,

“They were facilitated by our friends in Syria who have previously been fighting in Afghanistan,” Mr Amin said.

Their job is to “assess the needs of the Jihad in Syria, and to work out joint operations with our Syrian friends”.

“There are dozens of Pakistani hopefuls in line to join the fighting against the Syrian army, but the advice we are getting at the moment is that there’s already enough manpower in Syria.”

In the past, militant fighters from Pakistan have often gone to fight in Central Asia and the Balkans.

In the 1990s, militant group Harkatul Mujahideen, was known to have sent a large number of men to fight in the Bosnian civil war of 1992-95.

Many Afghan and Pakistani fighters also fought on the side of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1988-94.

A number of Taliban groups in Pakistan have sectarian leanings, and resent the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – having a Shia background – over Sunni Muslims who constitute about three-quarters of the Syrian population.

Sources say that anti-Shia groups in Pakistan have access to considerable charity funds raised in some Middle Eastern sheikhdoms that see their domestic Shia populations as a problem.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23285245

July 12th, 2013, 10:48 am

 

don said:

352. OMEN… Your repeated hatred towards Syrian Christians is duly noted. You don’t understand Arabic, and you’re not Muslim. What does that make you?!

July 12th, 2013, 10:49 am

 

Ziad said:

“The struggle now is between those who are ignorant and those who are aware, between the patriots and the collaborators, between extremists and moderates.” (President al-Assad)

July 12th, 2013, 11:09 am

 

don said:

Celebrating Ramadan in Irvine, California

Saudi Royal Princess Arrested for Human Trafficking Charges in U.S., Promptly Posts $5 Million Bail

A Saudi royal princess, one of the six wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud, was arrested on Wednesday for her alleged role in human trafficking. She is facing one felony count of human trafficking charges for allegedly keeping her Kenyan domestic servant against her will at her condo in Irvine, California.

The Kenyan woman, 30, has been identified as Jane Doe in the court. She is a mother of a 7-year-old ailing daughter. As per employment agreement, she was promised $1,600 a month for eight hours of work every day, five days a week. However, she was made to overwork on a measly pay of $220 a month. According to an AP report, she was forced to cook, clean and do other household work for 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Saudi princess, identified as Meshael Alayban, also had taken away the Kenyan woman’s passport. The woman managed to escape on Tuesday and flagged down a bus in Orange County City of Irvine. A passenger of the bus helped her after hearing her tragic story.

“This is certainly an example of forced labor,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters as cited in the AP report. “It’s been 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, and slavery has been unlawful in the United States, and certainly in California, all this time, and it’s disappointing to see it in use here.”

Ms Alayban, 42, promptly posted $5 million bail and was released from Orange County jail on Thursday. She is not allowed to leave Orange County without the court’s permission and will have to wear a GPS tracking device. AP reports that the court has barred her from contacting the Kenyan woman. If convicted, Ms Alayban faces a maximum sentence of 12 years.

Read more here

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/489433/20130712/saudi-princess-arrested-human-trafficking.htm

July 12th, 2013, 11:15 am

 

apple_mini said:

We were at a vegetable market in Al Amarah after Friday’s prayer. A mortar shell fell and exploded just a block away.

Strange sound, a dull thud with sound of smacking objects like glass and tiles.

During that round of shelling, six civilians died and another forty were injured. There are now many families going to endure an excruciating and painful Ramadan.

Al Amarah is a mostly Sunni working class neighborhood. Nowadays, rebels shelling becomes more indiscriminate.

If there is a lingering support for the rebels in urban areas. It is dissipating fast.

We have Syrian expats here on SC advocating more violence. It is a national shame for what the opposition have been doing to our country. Syrians who are suffering will not forgive them.

July 12th, 2013, 11:15 am

 

Ilya said:

Great speech by Malala girl who was shot by Taliban( student)
What kind of student are against education?
In her first speech since the Taliban in Pakistan tried to kill her for advocating education for girls, Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday on Friday at the United Nations, appealing for compulsory free schooling for all children.
Wearing a pink head scarf which had belonged to the murdered Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto – the country’s first female Prime Minister – Yousafzai told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and nearly 1,000 students from around the world attending a Youth Assembly at UN headquarters in New York that education was the only way to improve lives.
“On the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullet would silence us.
“But they failed.
“And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, courage and power was born,” she said.
The Taliban have failed’, brave schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai tells UN
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/10175821/The-Taliban-have-failed-brave-schoolgirl-Malala-Yousafzai-tells-UN.html

July 12th, 2013, 11:16 am

 

Ilya said:

http://webtv.un.org/watch/malala-yousafzai-addresses-united-nations-youth-assembly/2542094251001/
here is full Malala speech iam amazed by this girl …
God bless her world would be much better place if we had millions of Malalas.

July 12th, 2013, 11:47 am

 
 

majedkhaldoun said:

The regime of this thug Bashar is bombing Homs and all of Syria, with burning bombs from aircrafts, with artillaries and canons, with huge fire from tanks, all are indiscriminately, what do you call this, every reasonble person calls these violence, criminal brutality, except you.

Time for political solution is long gone, we were forced to defend ourselves, we have not gotten good weapons yet, once we do your time is over

Don
Your thug bashar killed my brother and over 100,000 of my fellow Syrians, when you lose a family you will talk like me

July 12th, 2013, 12:06 pm

 

omen said:

358. apple_mini said: my previous comment was about the hypocrisy of those opposition mouthpieces who never cease to pretend standing on moral high ground. We have a duty to expose them.

what is it you want? these recriminations (including mine) help no one. you want me to lobby for the lifting of the seige in aleppo? i’ll do it. will you help me lobby for the lifting of the seige at homs?

July 12th, 2013, 12:15 pm

 
 

don said:

For your information I lost 2 members of my family so far and I refuse to talk like you!

375. majedkhaldoun said:
Don
when you lose a family you will talk like me

July 12th, 2013, 12:21 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Don
I am sorry for your loss,
While you don’t have a feeling I do

July 12th, 2013, 12:26 pm

 

revenire said:

371 Apple_Mini well said. It is hard to disagree with what you are saying. Thank you for being here.

July 12th, 2013, 12:26 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Ok. Enough!

It’s time for a no-fly-zone in the north and the south. The people’s struggle can build from there.

We’re asking too much of the revolution though no doubt they’ll determinedly struggle on. I for one haven’t got their staying power. For many outside observers It’s probably exhausting just following the situation. I know, a shameful thing to say given the real suffering and sacrifices of the syrian people, however, it has to be said to highlight the legendary staying power of the brave Syrian people. Ma Sha Allah!

God be with you oh oppressed people of Syria.

July 12th, 2013, 12:30 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

We don’t know what the west has planned. Are they really reluctant to get involved?

Perhaps they are waiting for the right time to intervene along with regional countries. Waiting for Hezbo and Iranian fighters to get embroiled a little more so as to do them as much damage as possible during any intervention?

July 12th, 2013, 12:43 pm

 

Citizen said:

230- SL
/Ignorance about the west is fatal ignorance about the world in general./
Western world has entered a crisis with its architecture, composition and now wants drag the world into the abyss!Do you think that the Soviet Union was must do something similar?
As for the comparison between the West and the whole world where a lot of hyperbole and arrogance!
three years (three shift working a day) for us and your west Will unfold and remains without cover!
take care!

July 12th, 2013, 12:45 pm

 

omen said:

bashar has killed tens of thousands of malalas. taliban went after the girl for going to school. the regime targets you for being alive.

July 12th, 2013, 12:48 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

It may an idea to invest in the funeral/coffin business in south Lebanon. When the intervention comes Hezbo bodybags will return in droves. Business will boom.

Dear Mr Hariri, you’re a prominent business family aren’t you? There’s an idea for you.

Now there’s a thought. Hezbo buried in Hariri coffins!

Ratchet up their price. Exhaust their finances too.

July 12th, 2013, 12:49 pm

 

Citizen said:

382. UZAIR8
any gross violation of international human sovereignty of SAR by external parties, to try to show the kind of stupid, or a stranger, and as a result the whole world will suffer!

July 12th, 2013, 12:55 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Btw, with what face is the regime going to represent the resistence? How will they go about highlighting Isreali crimes and behaviour?

PS: This comment after coming across something about a 5 yr old boy arrested by Isreal for throwing stones. Haven’t looked into it.

July 12th, 2013, 1:00 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

Citizen

‘…gross violation of international human sovereignty of SAR by external parties…’

That’s what happens when you grossly violate the lives, rights, welfare, security etc of the (Syrian) population.

July 12th, 2013, 1:10 pm

 

don said:

You’re correct, I don’t have feelings of hate like you.

Those terrorists you support for the last few years need to grow up and realize they’re nothing more than a disposable tool in NATO’s hands.

379. majedkhaldoun said:
Don
While you don’t have a feeling I do

July 12th, 2013, 1:15 pm

 

don said:

Saudi prince spends €15m on Disneyland trip

A young Saudi prince treated himself to a particularly memorable visit to Eurodisney, it emerged on Monday, spending €15 million for just 72 hours at the theme park near Paris.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20130709/saudi-prince-spends-15m-on-disneyland-paris-trip

July 12th, 2013, 1:25 pm

 

Citizen said:

/That’s what happens when you grossly violate the lives, rights, welfare, security etc of the (Syrian) population./
Do witted betrayed Mr UZAIR to look behind the scenes? you did not naive!
enjoy watching!
http://youtu.be/nntB872pJ20?t=11s

July 12th, 2013, 1:51 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

From Yalla Souriya about 15 minutes ago:

tks to jobahout
hezbollah burried a 4th combattant within 48 hours – Rida Ali Qansu from Hermel.
“لبنان الحر”: علم أن حزب الله نعى قتيلا رابعا خلال 48 ساعة يدعى رضا علي قانصوه من بلدة الهرمل. – Al Kalima Online

http://t.co/OFG88go9F1

July 12th, 2013, 3:20 pm

 

don said:

Meet the Syrian Islamic Front, an alliance of eight jihadist groups!

Money, guns flowing from Kuwait to Syria’s most radical rebel factions

BEIRUT – Syrian rebels have a new source of weapons and cash from inside Kuwait, and their benefactors in the oil-rich state are sending the aid to the most militant and anti-West factions involved in the fight to topple Bashar al-Assad.

The role of Saudi and Qatari governments and individuals in the funding and arming of Islamist fighters in Syria has been well known since the civil war began more than two years ago. But now, guns and money are flowing from private sources and Salafist-controlled NGOs based in Kuwait, and they are going to rebel factions aligned with Al Qaeda.

“We are collecting money to buy all these weapons, so that our brothers will be victorious,” hard-core Sunni Islamist Sheikh Shafi’ Al-Ajami announced on Kuwaiti television last month, listing the black-market prices of weapons, including heat-seeking missiles, anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Days later, Al-Ajami addressed a small throng outside the Lebanese Embassy in Kuwait and gleefully described slitting the throat of a Shiite Muslim in Syria.

“We slaughtered him with knives,” Al-Ajami said to shouts of “God is Great.”

Among the groups receiving money from Kuwait is the Syrian Islamic Front, an alliance of eight jihadist groups, which while ready to conduct joint operations with Western-backed rebels, has refused to join the Free Syrian Army. SIF leader Hassan Aboud Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi has admitted publicly the alliance has received funding from the al-Ajami network of donors.

Read more here

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/11/money-guns-flowing-from-kuwait-to-syria-most-radical-rebel-factions/

July 12th, 2013, 3:25 pm

 

Citizen said:

Who would doubt. Looks like they Alah Akbar in the wrong tone of screaming. Idiots and the end they all have the same.

A member of the so-called Syrian commanders Free Army (FSA) Kamal Hamami killed by militants Islamist group “Daoula Islamiyah Iraq and Sham”, a branch of” Al Qaeda. “This news has spread Reuters agency , provide commentary about the escalating split – now in the ranks of the opposition.
As the representative of the FSA Qasim Saadeddin, attempted Hamami (better known by his nickname Abu-Bassel Al-Ladkani) was committed when he arrived for talks with the group “Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham”, which includes “Dzhebhat An-Nusra” . After extremists called the FSA and stated that after Hammami will kill all the members of its supreme council, as they, according to the Islamists, “there is no place in the province of Latakia.”

According to information from other sources, Hammami had been killed at a checkpoint SAA, and his brother was seriously wounded in an attack on his fighters, “Al-Qaeda”

July 12th, 2013, 3:50 pm

 

don said:

Obama and Germany wants Morsi free to resume his Jihad against Syrian people

Egypt Morsi: US seeks end to ex-president’s detention

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23296463

July 12th, 2013, 4:17 pm

 
 

Citizen said:

Israel tests rocket system
Israel on Friday staged what it said was a planned test of a rocket propulsion system at a military base on the Mediterranean coast. The test appeared to be of a version of the Jericho ballistic missile with a range of at least 5,000km, easily capable of hitting Iran, AFP said, citing local media. The Israeli Defense Ministry said the country conducted a “launching test from the Palmachim base of a rocket propulsion system.”

July 12th, 2013, 4:49 pm

 

Observer said:

The events on the ground are moving much faster than the posting and comments on this blog.

I would invite JL Ehsani and Syrian Hamster to read Alan Gresh on Syria in Le Monde Diplomatique.

I am sorry I cannot bring the article to post here but it clearly shows that the regime wanted violence from the get go. Now the genie is out and there is no stopping it.

This post while Syria is disintegrating is meaningless Sorry Joshua to deflate this post in my opinion.

July 12th, 2013, 5:37 pm

 

don said:

Pro Morsi Islamist protest today was dubbed “First Ramadan Friday”

Egypt: Islamists mass to renew call for restoration of Mohammed Morsi as US calls for his release

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10177049/Egypt-Islamists-mass-to-renew-call-for-restoration-of-Mohammed-Morsi-as-US-calls-for-his-release.html

July 12th, 2013, 7:19 pm

 

Ilya said:

Giuliani: War on Terror Hampered by Political Correctness

Political correctness is getting in the way of the war on terror, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani charged on Friday.

Appearing on Fox & Friends, the man in charge of New York on 9/11 said that calling violence what it is may have prevented incidents such as the Fort Hood massacre or the Boston Marathon bombings.

“I see it as a problem that affects the bureaucracy. In other words, it becomes an issue where not everyone, but too many people who are doing these investigations become nervous,” Giuliani said.

“We have all these euphemisms that we come up with. We’ll never talk about a war on terror even though they’re at war with us?”

Giuliani said the U.S. has been facing this danger for some time, yet he believes President Barack Obama’s administration is reluctant to voice and identify the threats.

“We have a president who never uses the words ‘Islamic extremist terrorist,'” he said.

Speaking of a conversation he had in 2007 with then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, Giuliani said Christie told him the big threat facing the country was domestic-inspired Islamic extremism. Christie, now governor of New Jersey, played an instrumental role in making arrests in the attack at Fort Hood and a planned attack at Fort Dix.

“The fact is we’ve been facing this danger for some time, and political correctness gets in the way of handling it because if you can’t properly identify the characteristics of a serial killer, you can’t catch a serial killer,” Giuliani said.

“These Islamic extremist terrorists are ideological serial killers.”

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/giuliani-war-terror-politics/2013/07/12/id/514788?promo_code=125BD-1&utm_source=125BDTelegraph_Media_Group&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1#ixzz2YsQHDpj1
Giuliani for president there are still people in USA who speak truth like him and Ron Paul!!!

July 12th, 2013, 7:28 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

Brainless French Jihadist calls upon Hollande to convert to Islam.

Un djihadiste Français en Syrie appelle le président Hollande à se convertir à l’islam et les musulmans français à rejoindre le djihad en Syrie…

“O mes frères de France, mes frères d’Allah de France, d’Europe, et du monde entier, Inch’Allah, le djihad en Syrie est obligatoire, le djihad en Syrie est obligatoire pour restaurer un Califat afin que la parole d’Allah soit la plus élevée, Inch’Allah..”

July 12th, 2013, 8:39 pm

 

Ziad said:

Syrian rebels will return arms at end of uprising, says minister

Alistair Burt has told the Commons that the Syrian National Coalition had made a commitment to stop arms falling into the wrong hands

Britain should not worry about sending weapons to Syrian rebels because they have promised to give them back when they are no longer needed, a Foreign Office minister suggested yesterday.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3814566.ece

July 12th, 2013, 8:50 pm

 

don said:

Egypt: Sinai unrest spiraling out of control

Army spokesman says terrorist attacks seek to undermine Egyptian national unit

http://www.aawsat.net/2013/07/article55309437

July 12th, 2013, 8:57 pm

 

don said:

With Egypt divided about its future, US government emerges as a common foe

Conflict in the streets boils down to supporters of deposed President Morsi versus supporters of the military that removed him from power.

Many on both sides think they see President Obama behind the scenes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/groundtruth/egypt-united-states-government-obama-coup

July 12th, 2013, 9:02 pm

 

don said:

Those who say arm Syria’s opposition are making a dangerous assumption

Assad’s regime won’t be compelled to negotiate by force: any firepower the rebels gain will be more than matched by its allies

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/12/arm-syria-opposition-dangerous-assumption

July 12th, 2013, 9:08 pm

 

Ziad said:

اسمع جيدا، وبلا رتوش:

إن كنت تعتقد أن طائفتك العلوية هي “الفرقة الناجية”، وأنها تستحق اي امتياز عن أي سوري/ة لأنها كذلك، أو لأن بعضا من معتقديها فعلوا أيا أمر، وأنها “كتلة” يجب أن يكون لها رايتها وقوانينها ومؤسساتها التي تسيطر من خلالها على حياة الناس…

إن كنت تعتقد أن طائفتك السنية هي كذلك،

او طائفتك الدرزية، أو الشيعية، أو الاسماعيلية، أو الكاثوليكية، أو الأرثوذكسية، أو المارونية، أو… هي كذلك،

فأنت لست سوى “اخونجيا” مجرما آخر من اخوان الشياطين..

بدك شرح اضافي؟!

العار لكل طائفي أينما كان ومهما كان اسمه،
والمجد للجندي السوري سوريا فقط، يعلو على كل عال، ويسمو على كل سام

https://www.facebook.com/bassam.alkadi.100/posts/485941024816938

July 12th, 2013, 9:12 pm

 

Ziad said:

Homs – Bombardement du Krak des Chevaliers حمص قصف قلعة الحصن 12 07 2013

July 12th, 2013, 9:35 pm

 
 

Ziad said:

A month after U.S. pledged more help, Syrian rebels in worse shape

A month after the Obama administration pledged stepped-up support for Syria’s armed opposition, the government of President Bashar Assad’s position has improved, with U.S. assistance to the rebels apparently stalled and deadly rifts opening among the forces battling to topple the Assad regime.

Government forces appear close to forcing rebels from the key city of Homs after a 10-day offensive, while an al Qaida-linked rebel group on Thursday assassinated a top commander from the more moderate, Western-backed Supreme Military Council, signaling what one British newspaper dubbed a “civil war within a civil war.”

And that’s only some of the recent setbacks for the Syrian opposition’s two-track struggle toward improved fighting capabilities and greater political legitimacy.

In the United States, political and logistical snags are preventing the distribution of promised military aid, while in Turkey, the exiled civilian Syrian Opposition Coalition remains mired in organizational turmoil.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/12/196581/a-month-after-us-pledged-more.html?storylink=addthis#.UeC2A8mQFZk.twitter

July 12th, 2013, 10:15 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

SKT Welfare – #LittleAsma

In April 2013, SKT Welfare sent a team to Syria. During this time, the team was introduced to an exceptionally talented and special little 6-year old girl, Asma, a beacon of light in a country blighted by so much darkness. We hope she inspires you the way she inspired us, as she came to represent something which transcends the viciousness laying siege to Syria.

July 12th, 2013, 11:08 pm

 

Ziad said:

ZOO Where are you???????

July 12th, 2013, 11:14 pm

 

Ziad said:

BREAKING NEWS

Aleppo shatters siege, and vegetables are its first guest.

The besieged neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo have received news shipments of vegetables, after an imminent human catastrophe was on doors as “Free Army” militia prevented food supplies from entering the area for more than 10 days putting the lives of more than 3 million people at risk.

Breaking News Network correspondent stresses that vegetables shipments arrived to the areas secured by Syrian Army, and that Syrian Army itself distributed the supplies in order to prevent any price manipulation.

The correspondent maintained that shipments entered the areas of al-Aziziah, al-Sulaimaniah, Halab al-Jadidah (New Aleppo), al-Furqan, and al-Jamilieh and other army-controlled areas as well.

Finally, Breaking News Network correspondent reported a military source saying that food supplies delivery process was accomplished through safe and secured roads that the army cannot disclose due to security reasons.

http://www.breakingnews.sy/en/article/20995.html

July 12th, 2013, 11:29 pm

 

Badr said:

Observer wrote: “I am sorry I cannot bring the article to post here but it clearly shows that the regime wanted violence from the get go.”

Why can’t you Observer? But don’t worry, ! ألف طلب مثل هالطلب

Syria’s proxy war

By Alain Gresh
Le Monde diplomatique

It is different in Syria. From the start of the conflict, unrestricted use of force by the intelligence services gained the regime precious months in which to organise. The regime encouraged the militarisation of the opposition, escalation of the conflict, and even sectarianism, in order to scare large sections of the population; minorities, the bourgeoisie and the urban middle classes were already frightened by the extremist language of some opposition groups and the influx of foreign fighters reported by the regime.

July 13th, 2013, 4:08 am

 

Citizen said:

For you behind the scenes!!!In order to see your loved ones loyal!
Let’s Cut ‘Em Off at the Knees and Let Allah Sort It Out!”
http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2013/07/aipac-ofac-ratchet-up-us-sanctions-targeting-syria-and-irans-populations/
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Assets Control (OFAC), since March of 2012, is directed by Mr. Adam J. Szubin who more than once has boasted on the sidelines of a Congressional Hearing on Iran and Syria and at last March’s AIPAC’s national conference, that he fancies himself a modern day Inspector Javert. Choosing the Dickens
character, according to one Congressional source, as a kind of role model because of Javert’s focused and relentless obsession. Szubin has pledged the same with pursuing the financial interests of anyone on the planet that in any way violates the massive and still growing US-led economic sanctions that are targeting the civilian populations of Syria and Iran. For last fall’s Halloween party on the Hill, Mr. Szubin came dressed up as, yep, Jean Valjean’s nemesis.

Reportedly a pleasant fellow, Mr. Szubin works closely with his mentor, David S. Cohen, a bit less so, some say of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The two gentlemen often work together, and sometimes with friends located less than a 20 minute walk across the Mall below the US Capitol buildings at the AIPAC HQ. It is with selected AIPAC staff, sometimes over a catered lunch, that they dream up and craft ways to cut off the financial legs and the lines of banking support for all “terrorists”. They also enforce US-led politically motivated civilian targeting economic sanctions against rogue nations (read: the civilian populations of Syria and Iran), and even sometimes combat the financial support of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—the latter only with respect to ‘bad’ countries like Iran, as opposed to ‘good’ countries like Israel.

OFAC has been accused of taking orders from AIPAC, who takes orders from the Israeli Embassy, while for some reason is not required to register and foreign agents, and whose offices reportedly flood Szubin and Cohen with memoranda on how to, as a sign two weeks ago above the printer in AIPAC’s library read, “cut em off at the knees and let Allah sort it out!”

AIPAC, as one to the two pillars working feverishly on adding more layers of civilian targeting sanctions against Iran and Syria, does its part mainly with Congress. This week it drafted and circulated to Congressional offices yet another Congressional letter to the White House. In a broad show of bipartisan support for’ containing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran’, all but one member of the house foreign affairs committee signed, at AIPAC’s urging, a letter to President Obama. The 7/8/13 letter petitioned the President to increase pressure on the Islamic republic. The AIPAC letter also notably arrives on the heels of Iran’s presidential election and is only the latest of a growing volume of sanctions the Obama administration has levied against Iranian and Syrian citizens. One Congressional source emailed that the timing of this most recent letter was meant to support the chorus of messages from the US Zionist lobby that Mr. Hasan Rouhani’s election will not bring any positive changes on the nuclear file………..

July 13th, 2013, 4:24 am

 
 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

zeezee continues the propagation of BS propaganda in 414,
trucks came, and instead of unloading in distribution centers, a few boxes were distributed in certain neighborhoods with the media whore Almanar TV cameras taking shots and the shabee7a mistreating Aleppans using a combination of physical and verbal abuse. The trucks then left, with barely one percent of load distributed to hungry Aleppans and the rest going for security, shabee7a, and the mafia gang calling itself syrian army.

This has been witnessed even by regime-loyalists in Aleppo. So zeezeee stop lying.. you know better.

The thing that the regime propagandists and d-p athad boot lickers don’t recognize is that this stupid regime has just proven that d-p athad and its hyenas are the ones who are besieging Aleppo and preventing food from getting in. It was so easy for them to introduce these trucks, so why not a regular distribution.

The crossing, and that is another story showing that alnusra and its tentacles are identical to the criminal regime, can only allow individuals to go through carrying barely enough for a family. And even then, when the buffoons of jihad relented under pressure, criminal d-p athad snipers were there to maintain Aleppo in hunger.

What a criminal regime. And everyone supporting it, regurgitating its lying and deceitful propaganda is simply part of the crime syndicate.

needless to say, evidence are mounting every day showing that most of the radical jihadi groups can be traced to d-p athad house of security cards and are simply parts of that filthy house.

July 13th, 2013, 7:19 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

BADR

unlike d-p athad boot licker, who are used to theft even of intellectual properties, decent people, who are on the side of this revolution respect copyright notices.

July 13th, 2013, 7:30 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

OBSERVER
One of the notes I disagree with in Alain’s good article is the notion that the west should have been more sensitive to Russia. Russia has and continued to enjoy prominence larger than its real capabilities. It does that in the same manners Iran, and before it, thug senior, the dead athad did, and as nus-lira does, by blackmailing and holding regions hostages.

Can you imagine the world today had mafia-based russia retained control of a sphere of influence in Hungary, Poland, and some other states.

Russia’s time is gone, at least for the next two generations. What Putin is doing in Syria will not improve its positioning, rather, it will weaken it and make many countries leery of prospects for further cooperation.

July 13th, 2013, 7:41 am

 
 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

cici
what’s the matter upset about russia?
Don’t you wish you can dislike multiple times?

July 13th, 2013, 8:17 am

 

Citizen said:

Syrian revolution: Iraq 2.0?
http://youtu.be/srdOyUgPJ0Q?t=1m29s

July 13th, 2013, 8:22 am

 

Citizen said:

Haou Haou ! find another buddy! I do not want to talk with you about anything!

July 13th, 2013, 8:28 am

 

Citizen said:

Russia is working hardly on their program’s three shifts per day! soon it will say bye bye for all!

July 13th, 2013, 9:07 am

 

Observer said:

well well. I agree with you Syrian Hamster. The inferiority complexed house elf called Putin wants Russia to play with the big boys. Except for his old nuclear weapons he has nothing to show for it. He exports gas and second rate weapons and unfortunately and very sadly women for the sex trade.

On a different note RT arabic is stating that Israel hit Latakia as an explanation for the huge explosions witnessed lately. The Israelis denied it. The retard is silent about it. But according to RT US sources say it is Israel.

Here it is

http://arabic.rt.com/news/621066-مسؤولون_أمريكيون_غارة_إسرائيلية_استهدفت_صواريخ_ياخونت_في_اللاذقية_في_5_يوليو/

July 13th, 2013, 9:13 am

 

Juergen said:

Noam Chomsky: “Israel has done nothing to indicatethat it is trying to bring down the Assad regime. There are growing claims that the West intends to supply the opposition with arms. I believe this is quite misleading. The fact of the matter is, that were the United States and Israel interested in bringing down the Syrian regime there is a whole package of measures they could take before they came to the arms-supply option. All these other options remain available, including, for example, America encouraging Israel to mobilize its forces along the northern border, a move that would not produce any objections from the international community and which would compel the regime to withdraw its forces from a number of frontline positions and relieve the pressure on the opposition. But this has not happened, nor will it, so long as America and Israel remain unwilling to bring down Assad regime. They may not like the regime, but it is nevertheless a regime that is well practised in accommodating their demands and any unknown alternative might prove worse in this respect. Much better, then, to watch the Syrians fight and destroy each other.”

http://lb.boell.org/web/113-1317.html

July 13th, 2013, 10:15 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

@425
Good for Russia, for I harbor no ill feeling towards Russians, and do like them a lot. But Russia needs workers, and workers must be born or imported. Russians are not having enough babies, thank’s to Putin’s and policies of ignoring the youth and reversing the high birth rates the country had during the time of the great visionary Gorbachev, who realized that too much vodka (or as zouzou likes to call it Vodak) is inconsistent with progress.

July 13th, 2013, 10:18 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Dear JUERGEN
Chomsky is great, but he has just illustrated that he is, like many other intellectuals, a little divorced from realities and too much into theories. Can you imagine the regime shrill propaganda if Israel moved forces. Even when Israel is doing nothing, the regime and its propagandists, as you can clearly notice here on “d-p athad comment” are already shrieking about Israel. Sorry, but the option presented by Chomsky is the last option anyone seriously interested in bringing down the filth called athad would like to entertain. I see it as the opposite. Having not moved forces yet, israel is saying that it has not, officially, made a choice about retaining d-p athad, because it it does, it will provide a cover for a lot more interference in the regime’s advantage, and for a lot more damage to the revolution that would equal the dammage athad owned jihadis have managed to inflict on the revolution.

July 13th, 2013, 10:24 am

 

Citizen said:

enjoy the show! Russian babies !
http://www.youtube.com/user/SpetsnazSystema

July 13th, 2013, 10:28 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Not enough to guarantee necessary growth. not enough. Head in the sand, once mehebbakji of athad, easily menhabbakji of putin. And even worst, doesn’t work after a couple of Vodak.

July 13th, 2013, 10:48 am

 
 

Ziad said:

SYRIAN FARTALOT

This morning you are more petulant than usual. What did you eat yesterday?

July 13th, 2013, 11:25 am

 

omen said:

93. SYRIAN HAMSTER said: The only intellectually stimulating debate he has in years, a debate that carries some substance, is conducted on someone else’s blog.

are you talking about the facebook debate?

July 13th, 2013, 11:36 am

 

don said:

Here comes the Neo-Cons Al-Qaida man hehehehehehehehee!

American al Qaeda Adam Gadahn Says Syria Is Next Terrorist Target
Al Qaeda spokesman says Syria next target for terrorist jihad

“My brothers in Syria must realize and be certain that their battle is basically and fundamentally with the Jews and those who support them from the states of the Crusader West and their agents like the Syrian regime and similar parties,” Gadahn said.

Gadahn said Syria’s Islamist rebels must “place Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Hebron, the Golan, and Haifa before your eyes, and hold on to the weapons and munitions which are in your hands, and do not hand them over to anyone, even after the fall of the regime, for the fall of the regime will be followed by battles and victories. And do not put aside your weapons until you have liberated all of Palestine from the sea to the river and made the banner of Islam fly high over all of the countries of the Levant.”

“Therefore, I call on all of the armed brigades, local coordination committees, revolutionary councils, and noble individuals in the political opposition to make it a sweeping revolution against the resolutions and interferences of America and its international community and to make their movement an Islamic jihad” to build a Muslim state, he said, adding that the rebels goal should be “the setting up of the Islamic state in the country of the Levant.”

“A little patience and a few sacrifices, and then the war will come to an end, the dust of battle will lift, the clouds of smoke will disperse, the rivers of blood will recede, and you will see your country pervaded by security, peace, and the justice of Islam—God permitting—in direct opposition to the desires of the Crusaders and Jews,” he said.

LAUGH MORE HERE

http://freebeacon.com/american-al-qaeda-adam-gadahn-says-syria-is-next-terrorist-target/

July 13th, 2013, 11:39 am

 

Ghufran said:

It seems like rebels may have to abandon Homs in the next few days. That will bring the battle to other areas.
Sheikh Ayrout from Banias wants to bring violence to the coast to make ” alawites feel the pain”. Nobody is talking about a cease fire.
Ayrout was in prison and was let go by the regime who is only interested in arresting peaceful political
opponents, Ayrout and his likes plays in the hand of the regime .

July 13th, 2013, 12:00 pm

 

apple_mini said:

According to this article,

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/07/west-saudi-arabia-efforts-arm-syrian-rebels.html

Jordanian government has a change of heart regarding their involvement in Syria conflict. As long as US administration does not give executive order, Jordanian government might just keep the status quo in the south.

The benefits of this for SAA is obvious. This also explains why we have not heard anything more other than the rebels blowing up two buildings in De’raa.

The north is getting messier for the rebel factions competing for power and dominance.

July 13th, 2013, 12:28 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

This is what it is all about

Douma today
after the cowardly bombing.

July 13th, 2013, 12:40 pm

 

Citizen said:

Do not make silly facial expressions ! will be (PIZDETS) !
BREAKING: Russia Mobilizes 160,000 Troops After US Officials Confirm Israel Took Out Russian Missiles At Latakia Arsenal in Syria, The Most Ambitious Since 1991 Military Exercises In The Far East!!!!

July 13th, 2013, 12:40 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Citizen
Stop telling us lies, The revolution started peaceful and was peaceful for very long,six months and Assad thugs the criminals you are defending,they killed and killed Syrians,,they ,the Syrians has to defend themselves.
Another lie is the statement that majority side with Assad, this is vagrant lie.
Now you are telling us Russia is mobilizing its army, it is very stupid to say that as Russia can not do anything militarily other than send weapons to Assad to kill Syrians, ships and airflights can easily be destroyed, Russia will suffer humiliating defeat, you talk bombastically about Russia, Russia needs to learn the truth, Russia is taking revenge from their defeat in Afganistan.
The fact is if the US wants to interefere in Syria Assad would have been history long time ago, US is prolonging Assad life,Turkey and KSA are friends of US they want to get rid of Assad, US is just giving lip service to them but US wants to keep assad.

Today we heared Zibary saying Iraq can not prevent Persia from sending arms and soldiers to Syria, Iraq can prevent Persia, this is clear admition that Iraq is helping Assad

July 13th, 2013, 1:20 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

There are two reports from Syria about supporting the Lira, one says the goverment will support lira by 3.5 million Euro, the other mentioned 50 million Euro,
3.5 million Euro will do nothing,

July 13th, 2013, 1:33 pm

 

revenire said:

From Ziad at Syrian Perspective:

AMERICAN DISINFORMATION IS IN FULL SWING; NO ZIONIST/ISLAMIST JETS FLEW NEAR LATAKIA

The war against the Syrian government and people, motivated by a desire to stanch the growth of Iranian influence and to block the evolution of a true “Opposition Front” in the war against the Zionist cancer, has taken on some very subtle characteristics, some of which are anchored in reality and some in a fantasy world where human perception acts like flypaper, catching absurdities and digesting it. In the beginning, the CIA psyops people and MI6 psycho-babble wordsmiths disseminated a string of adjectives and adverbs which were all designed to “create” an “atmosphere”. It was not very different from Poe’s style: not much substance, but great atmospherics.

“He is illegitimate”; “He has lost his legitimacy”; “He has only a few weeks before his regime collapses”; “A major defection took place today”; “12 Syrian officers crossed the border into Turkey”; “He is embattled”; “He is surrounded”. “He is now living on a Russian ship off the coast of Latakia”. “He has sent his family to Russia.” “His inner circle has been decimated”. “He cannot count on party regulars any longer”. And the list goes on and on, ad nauseam. The masculine third person pronoun refers to, naturally, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad. But the expressions, unleashed so blithely by the Western media, were well-studied symbols designed to be absorbed subliminally by an ovine population. The idea was to prepare Americans and Brits for another foreign imbroglio. It just couldn’t work. No matter how sophisticated the technique, people, weary of diplobabble and Pentagon gibberish, could not be convinced to take the plunge into another Wonderland.

But more than mere preparation of a people for increased misery, the propaganda had the natural effect of buoying up the sagging morale of the terrorist mercenaries, many of whom obtained their daily field reports from disjointed Western reports, some spouting pure nonsense from Amman or Beirut, with language that seemingly placed the writers at the scene of the event. In truth, reports from AP and Reuters, especially those by Khaled Oweiss, a Qatari-paid catamite loser and Al-Qaeda sympathizer whose own sister (or wife) was just gang-raped by Qatar’s Al-Qaeda heroes in Syria, quoted consistently discredited, nay, humiliated news sources such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a creation of the British Foreign Office, operating out of Coventry, England, of all things, or the non-existent Local Coordinating Committees who claim to have sources inside Syria.

Both SOHR and LCC have absolutely nobody! We now know how Rami Abdul-Rahman, a non de plume for a Syrian convict, gets his news. He has no sources in Syria. I know this because people involved in security have told me that nary a soul will speak to him out of fear of being exposed as Quislings or snitches. All telephonic communications, e-mails, wire contacts, and the like, are monitored by MI and GS. The system in place today in Syria is top-of-the-line software that SOHR cannot evade.

Instead, SOHR receives deliberately skewed data from both the FSA in Apaydin or Guvecci and from MI6 terrorist-enablers in Incirlik. The news is intentionally designed to boost FSA and J.N. morale, cast aspersions on the SAA while causing the Syrian government to expend time and effort to brace against a canard or red herring. And so we come to the so-called 4th Zionist air raid on Latakia.

The reports make no sense. The American disclosure is even less rational. Let it be known, once and for all, that Syria has had both the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles (Pantsyr, too) and Yakhont anti-ship missiles for at least 8 years. No secret here. According to the reports being lobbed at us at by (guess who) Reuters, the attack was on a Russian ship delivering Yakhonts in Latakia for eventual transfer to Hezbollah. But, the Lebanese organization has anti-ship missiles from Iran already. They have used them successfully in Lebanon during the July 2006 war with the Zionist enemy! And since when does Russia deliver Russian-manufactured missiles to Hezbollah? This is all beginning to smell as badly as 20 year-old Camembert cheese. Smells almost as bad as Wahhabist “thawbs”.

All our readers should be made aware that the U.S. is constantly trying to belittle the Syrian defense systems, be they ground-to-air or ground-to-sea. General Dempsey hasn’t fallen for the nonsense, why should we?

ZAF

July 13th, 2013, 1:47 pm

 

Badr said:

Syria Weighs Its Tactics As Pillars of Its Economy Continue to Crumble

By ANNE BARNARD
The New York Times

On Wednesday, amid a flurry of panicked dealing, the Central Bank tried and failed to strong-arm traders into selling the Syrian pound at a higher, preset price. Dealers said Central Bank officials offered to guarantee a tiny profit if they would sell the pound at a rate of 250.
The traders refused, several said. The government, they said, lacks the power to impose its will, in part because a few wealthy businessmen influence the dollar rate and corrupt officials profit from the trade.

July 13th, 2013, 3:33 pm

 

omen said:

is this aleppo?

July 13th, 2013, 3:44 pm

 

omen said:

new thread.

July 13th, 2013, 3:44 pm

 

omen said:

disinfo? in 2011, the regime argued footage of peaceful protesters killed were the result of hollywood special effects. imbeciles swallowed that lie.

July 13th, 2013, 3:48 pm

 

omen said:

21. Uzair8 said: I must confess I don’t know anything about the ISW, however, their name suggests an expertise in analysis of war situations.

the fake thinks if he can “discredit” the source, he can get away without bothering to tackle the merits of the argument offered.

July 13th, 2013, 5:09 pm

 

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