Syria Accepts the Annan Plan if the Opposition Remains Quiet and UN Observers Follow Strict Rules

Syria has accepted the Annan plan in principle and claims that its guns will fall quiet tomorrow – Thursday April 12, 2012. It is difficult to see how a truce can hold for long, but one must give Annan his due. He has worked hard to get both Russia and China to back the plan and placed considerable pressure on both sides to go along with his six points, at least on the face of it.

The problem with the plan is that it resolves none of the political demands of the revolutionaries or the Syrian regime. Both sides continue to believe that time is on their side and that they can only win this struggle on the battle field. For this reason the renewal of the conflict would seem to be only a matter of time. But no one has a better plan to avoid Syria’s downward spiral toward greater levels of violence and civil war.

In the following video, Syrian opposition members demonstrate in the heart of Damascus in front of the Four Seasons Hotel. They denounce Assad’s crimes and vow to defeat him.

Clashes between Arab tribes and Kurds in Northern Aleppo
Relation between the two have always been tense but as the regime gets weaker clashes break out.
Written by a Friend in Syria on Syria Comment

In Shak Maksoud and Ashrafia areas north of aleppo city, clashes between kurds (PKK affiliates) and arabs (Bakkara tribe) have erupted for the second time in less than a month. The clashes began when a member of the Bakkara tribe allegedly killed a journalist affiliated with the PKK and the tribe refused to hand him over to the Kurds The Shak Maksoud and Ashrafia areas have a majority Kurd population and a minority arab population (most of them belong to the Bakkara tribe). The PKK has a strong influence among kurds while the Bakkara has strong connections to the regime In the first occasion the clashes started withd light weapons but when the Kurds succeeded in driving the Bakkars out of the area it turned into vandalism. Kurds started burning the houses of the defeated Bakkaras but spared the houses of those who did not fight.

Regime forces didn’t intervene because they didn’t want to take sides (since they have good relations with both sides) but rather tried to reconcile them. The situation is calm now but it could erupt at any moment.

Syria says it will comply with truce deadline – Al-Jazeera English

Damascus agrees to “cease all military fighting” as of Thursday, but reserves right to respond to “terrorist attacks”….

We asked the Brookings Institution’s Daniel Byman, director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Here’s what a blown deadline can mean:

Increased American involvement First off, the authorization for Annan’s U.N. mission in Syria doesn’t talk about specific consequences if Syria doesn’t cooperate but that doesn’t mean there won’t be indirect geopolitical ramifications. One of these is the U.S. playing a greater roll in supporting the Syrian rebels. “We’re almost backing into this,” he said. “Initially it was diplomacy, then a concerted diplomatic campaign and now humanitarian aid. Each step is an escalation.” Already, the U.S. has given the rebels $25 million in humanitarian support, satellite communications equipment and night-vision goggles. “The next step is military aid,” said Byman. “You can see the progression moving here.” The Los Angeles Times has indicated that the implementation of a no-fly zone or “pinpoint airstrikes on Syrian artillery” are both possibilites….

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Syria is committed to the peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.

“We are fully committed to have a successful mission for Mr. Annan, but at the same time people should know that I can say optimistically that 40% of the keys to solve the crisis is in our hands as government but the other 60% is in the hands of those who are harboring, channeling weapons, instigating in the media, against Syria,” said Makdissi.

Makdissi also said it will take more than Syrian forces to stop the violence, adding the presence of United Nation observers on the ground will be essential to verify the cessation of violence. “If you read thoroughly the plan of Mr. Annan you will find out there will be observers, military unarmed observers sent to Syria these observers will be operating according to a protocol that we are now negotiating with the technical team of Mr. Annan. Those people will be telling you the truth as other observers did before and nobody believed them. We are not afraid of the reality of the Syrian story,” he said. “We want them to be on the ground and see for themselves who is violating this.

GORANI: So you think in a few days, and you’re being optimistic, your own words, that a UN observer team will be on the ground to observe the cessation of violence across Syria?

MAKDASSI: No, Hala, I am very accurate in what I am saying. I am saying that the Syrian team is ready to finalize the protocol that we have already begun negotiating. But it’s not up to us, it’s UN observers. I can’t tell you when they will come. What I can tell you is that they are very essential to monitor any violations.

GORANI: Alright well let me ask you then about what is going on today. This is a few hours before this agreement with the Annan plan that you say will lead to the cessation of military activity at 6am Damascus time on Thursday. We are hearing reports there are tanks in the center of Hamas today. That there has been shelling in Hamas province as well today. Can you confirm that?

MAKDASSI: I can’t verify anything. What I can verify to you Hala, you have to know that my hat is foreign ministry spokesman. What I can tell you is that there is a clear instruction to be on the defensive mode by our  army what I can tell you is even according to the Annan plan…

GORANI: Yes, but in the end it’s the Syrian army, Jihad Makdissi, against opposition, some of whom may be armed, but then you have peaceful demonstrators as well as the shelling of civilian areas. Has that not happened?

MAKDASSI: You are simplifying. You are simplifying the crisis in Syria, Hala.  If you read very well the Annan peace plan you will notice that the cessation of violence by all parties, so not the cessation of violence by the Syrian government, by all parties. That’s why I’m telling you the problem part in the hands of Syria we are committed to solve this part, but the other are in the hands of those people who have for geo-political reasons, for sectarian reasons, for I don’t know which reasons they call on themselves in destabilizing Syria.

National Jrnl: Syria’s Consequences for Blowing Tomorrow’s U.N. Deadline, 2012-04-11

All eyes will be on Syria tomorrow as the country promises to “cease all military fighting throughout Syrian territory as of 6 a.m.” If the pledge is broken, it will be mean the collapse of the United Nations peace plan brokered by special envoy …

U.S. discusses possible buffer zone for Syria, By Elise Labott for CNN

With the Syria deal in jeopardy and questions as to whether Syria will truly cease its military operations, particularly after Syrian troops fired across the border into Turkey, discussions within the Obama administration about creating a Syria-Turkey border “buffer zone” have intensified, State Department officials tell CNN.

“It would be correct to say this idea is getting another look in the last week or so,” one official said about the buffer zone.

WINEP recommendations by Tabler

Third, Washington should immediately expand contingency planning… supporting the creation, with allies such as Turkey, of safe havens inside Syria.

Non-Syrian Islamists have Growing Influence over the Process of Naming the Syrian Revolution’s Fridays

A friend writes: “islamists around the world are now voting (with a large margin) for the name of this Friday in Syria to be “Armies of Islam save Cham”! The naming is an media process that takes place on Facebook that feeds into policy making. It is representative of Syrian wishes. It’s a weekly process that can have devastating results for the revolutionaries of Syria because every week the naming process is being hijacked by Islamists (mostly non Syrians). Here is the Facebook page

With Syria peace plan in disarray, what next?

The failure of President Bashar Assad to abide by the U.N.-backed plan will force the international community to reconsider more aggressive options.

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times


April 11, 2012,


Der Spiegel: Siemens Allegedly Sold Surveillance Gear to Syria, 2012-04-11

German engineering giant Siemens and a spinoff company allegedly sold surveillance technology to the Syrian regime, according to a German television report. The government could be using the equipment to crack down on opposition supporters, human ..

133 killed as Yemen troops battle Qaeda, Gulf Times – 11 April, 2012

At least 133 people were killed in 48 hours of clashes pitting Yemeni soldiers backed by tribesmen against Al Qaeda militants, officials said yesterday, as the extremists vowed to retake a strategic town.

Iran oil flow to top Asia customers slows as US, Europe tighten curbs, Gulf Times – 11 April, 2012

….China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, is Iran’s largest trading partner and biggest oil client that buys up 20% of Iran’s total crude exports. Iran is China’s No3 supplier after Saudi Arabia and Angola.

Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, said that as more insurers confirm they will soon halt or sharply reduce coverage to tankers operating in Iran, China’s government may need to step in and take the risk to get contracted crude supplies from Tehran.

The EU sanctions on Tehran will close off the European re-insurance market for all tankers carrying Iranian oil anywhere in the world. Reinsurance helps spread the risk when the coverage surpasses what commercial insurers can handle.

Japan and South Korea have lobbied for exemptions to the EU sanctions, but insurance and shipping executives say a complete ban looks likely.

Omen writes in the comment section:

There is something weird going on. i tried to pull up a cnn segment from jan 24th where anderson cooper interviewed former cia agent bob baer. mr. baer said he talks to the syrian faction of Muslim brotherhood frequently. They ask him why the US doesn’t do more to help. Mr. Baer asked in return what the Muslim Brothers planned to do with Bashar Assad? The Syrian Brothers said they would kill him.

But that’s not what the transcript says. (the original video i tried to pull has been “expired” when other videos in a similar timeline are still active.)

Here is the CNN Jan 24 transcript:

BAER: Absolutely. Well, you know, I talk to the Muslim brotherhood a lot. And I ask — and they ask me. They say why doesn’t the United States do something? And I said, they’re worried about the sectarian problems. And I said for instance, what are you going to do about the — and the Syrian brothers say we’re going to kill them. What do you think? And I said, well, what do you expect?

See the dash in the paragraph? Baer asked what are you going to do about “Assad” in the live segment but in the transcript, Bashar’s name got blanked out. I know Baer said Assad and that the brotherhood would “kill him” because i was skeptical of the claim at the time and tweeted about it.

A few days later, in a separate ABC write up, this Baer account of a promised Brotherhood reprisal against a singular figure turns plural:

Baer says the situation in Syria can be illustrated by a conversation he had recently with a Syrian Muslim brother who wanted to know why the U.S. won’t do more to help. Baer told him it was because the U.S. fears a civil war in Syria.

“And he said, ‘Well you know just get rid of the regime and everything will be OK,’ and I said, ‘What are you going to do with the minority ruling sect,’ and he said, half jokingly, ‘We’re going to kill them,’” Baer said.

Also interesting from the ABC piece cited above was this admission from Bob Baer:

“Let me put this very cynically, it’s probably in America’s interest that the current [assad] government subdues a rebellion and a civil war,” Baer said.

It’s not at all like Libya, where most Libyans are Sunni Muslims and getting rid of Muammar Gaddafi didn’t lead to a Sunni-Shia divide.

Who do Egypt’s villagers vote for? And why?
Yasmine Moataz Ahmed, Tue, 10/04/2012

……Rural dwellers constitute a large proportion of Egyptian voters; the majority of which are illiterate and poor. In the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, they appeared as strong supporters of the Islamic parties mentioned above.

Why do rural dwellers vote for Islamic parties? Do they vote through coercion or incentives? Do they differentiate between different religious groups — in that case the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis?

Arab League’s Syrian Policy, Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Müjge Küçükkeleş
SETA Policy Brief, No : 56, April, 2012

Policy Brief : Arab League’s Syrian Policy

Comments (280)

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151. ann said:

Russian ships to patrol Syria’s coast – Apr 13, 2012

Russian military ships will constantly patrol Syria’s coast, a representative of the Russian Defense Ministry recently said.

He said that at present, one Russian vessel already patrols Syria’s coast.

In winter, a group of Russian ships headed by the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” was present in the Mediterranean Sea, but it left in February.

After the situation in Syria deteriorated, the US, France, the UK and several other countries sent more military ships to its shores banks.


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April 13th, 2012, 1:21 pm


152. ann said:

Army major assassinated in central Syria, anti-gov’t protests on – 2012-04-13

DAMASCUS, April 13 (Xinhua) — Syria’s official media said ” armed terrorists” assassinated an army major in the central Hama province on Friday, just hours after the killing of a brigadier in the capital Damascus.

Major Musa Yusuf was killed when two “terrorists” ambushed his car while he was en route to work, said state-run SANA news agency.

Earlier on Friday, Brigadier Walid Joni was gunned down in his house in the Jaramana area in Damascus. Joni is the third senior officer to have been killed in three days.

Meanwhile, SANA said “terrorist groups” threw dynamite sticks at law-enforcement patrols in Sabunia neighborhood in Hama, causing no casualties. While in the northern Idlib province, authorities blocked an infiltration attempt by gunmen coming from Turkey’s territories through Khirbet al-Jouz town in Idlib, SANA said, adding that some of the gunmen fled back to Turkey after the confrontation.


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April 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm


153. ann said:

Syria ceasefire ‘relatively respected’ – Annan’s spokesman

A ceasefire in Syria has been “relatively respected,” Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for international mediator Kofi Annan said on Friday. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution to send an advance team of 10-12 observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire. A larger mission of up to 250 observers will be sent later, Reuters quoted Fawzi as saying. Syria has reportedly given entry visas to journalists from 74 news organizations in the past days.


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April 13th, 2012, 1:27 pm


154. Alan said:

VIDEO: Seymour Hersh on US Training of Iranian Terrorist Group MeK

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April 13th, 2012, 1:34 pm


155. ann said:

Truce under threat: Clashes near Syrian border with Turkey – 13 April, 2012

Syrian troops are reportedly clashing with rebels near the border with Turkey in what appear to be the first serious violation of the ceasefire introduced just a day ago. It comes as Damascus and Ankara traded accusations and threats of war.

­The clashes are taking place on the outskirts of the northwestern village of Khirbel el-Joz that borders Turkey, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group also says the Syrian army deployed tanks in the area before the clash.

Meanwhile Damascus’ spat with Ankara over a cross-border raid by Syrian troops reached a new height on Friday, when the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem accused Turkey of plotting against his country.

Turkey has a strategy to shelter “terrorist groups that enter Syrian territories, attack civilians and destroy the infrastructure,” Muallem said in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said Turkey was harboring terrorist and turning a blind eye to the attacks they launch across the border to “terrorize civilians at the borders and force them to flee into Turkey so as to create a refugees’ crisis and then request human corridors and a buffer zone be implemented.”


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April 13th, 2012, 1:36 pm


156. Alan said:

VIDEO: US, NATO HAVE BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS. Syrian ‘Opposition’: West-controlled Proxy Paramilitary’
With Syria halting military operations as part of a UN-brokered ceasefire, Western powers have been saying they do not trust the government to uphold the armistice. Experts believe the US and its allies are pursuing their own agenda: regime change.

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, noted that Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, was wrong in saying that Russia and China had blood on their hands.

[ + … ]

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April 13th, 2012, 1:45 pm


157. Alan said:

SYRIA: US conspires with Turkey over militarized buffer zone following Syrian ceasefire

Washington has made clear that the ceasefire implemented Thursday is only a staging post in its plan for regime change in Syria.

Using the G8 foreign ministers summit as its platform, the Obama administration demanded that the government of Bashir al-Assad comply with all United Nations proposals to end conflict with western-backed insurgents. On the very first day of the ceasefire, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that Assad was not complying with other parts of the six-point plan drawn up by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. “The Annan plan is not a menu of options, it is a set of obligations,” she declared.

[ + … ]

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April 13th, 2012, 1:48 pm


158. Juergen said:


Its may be a german issue also. We never had good journalists covering this part of the world. The usual correspondent would get his stories at the hotelbar while his arabic cameramen would cover the intifada.Needless to say that our biggest journlists in the Middle East dont speak a word of arabic. Even after 9/11 the quality didnt change, only since then we have a variety of islam and terrorist experts. Germans seem to like those often selfproclaimed “experts” and their expertise. I think that in France and England such experts would may be just good enough for the tabloids and not for the mainstream media.

What i find questionable is not that talking you mentioned by this FSA fighter, its his attitude. If he knows Syria so well he should be aware that every move, every step he makes is controlled by the regime. Its not that by pure chance he was able to visit Homs, the regime wanted him to go. Anyone such a journalist meets may come from the regime, or is subject to regime “debriefings” after such interviews. If you ask a simple Syrian on the street what he thinks of his President, you may expect an honest answer if you are naive, but you can put this man in real danger by questioning such. He simply blends that reality away. No words about the atrocities the regime has committed, just the equalisation of the crimes some FSA members do with those committed by regime forces.

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April 13th, 2012, 1:51 pm


159. zoo said:

#149 Tara

I think there should a courageous woman to write the women version of the pleasures in Heaven.
It will also be a blockbuster but the writer may not live long enough the get the Nobel prize.

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April 13th, 2012, 2:01 pm


160. Juergen said:

interesting view on the involvement of Turkey by Timothy Garton Ash

Europe has left Syria to a distinctly Ottoman fate
On Syria there’s a moral case for intervention – but with the west reluctant, Turkey and other powers will be the ones to decide

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April 13th, 2012, 2:02 pm


161. jad said:


You might find this article interesting:

Turkish Foreign Policy Has Gone Bankrupt

Our foreign policy has sunk. What dreams we had. We were in the midst of creating a “new Ottoman empire” and ruling the region. We were to become a grand state whose words were obeyed. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was put in charge of this policy.

What were his words again? “Zero problems with neighbors.” First, zero problems. Then, a new Ottoman whose words were to be respected. But everything turned out to be the other way around. Turkish foreign policy has gone bankrupt.
Look at Syria: Until a short time ago, Assad was our friend. We even convened joint cabinet sessions. How did Assad and Damascus now become our enemy?

Is it because America and Israel wanted it so? Is this their way to cripple Iran? If a sectarian civil war breaks out in Syria, will it not affect us? How could those who once resisted engaging in Iraq, and who denied the US transit through Turkey for their operations there, now advocate intervention in Syria? Isn’t the purpose of the US missile shield at Malatya is to defend Israel?

Was it not Israel that refused all Turkish requests, raided its ships and killed its people? Did it not denigrate its ambassador without apologizing? Is Israel about to be defended by a radar system based in Turkey? Doesn’t all this show how pathetic Ankara has become?

Our border with Iran has been the same for years. We have had no problems. We became friends and despite everything, we were able to keep it that way. We bought their oil and their natural gas. We expanded our own industries, heated our homes and drove our cars thanks to Iran. However, these relations soured due to Iran’s nuclear projects and US disapproval.

We are now taking legal action for natural gas. At first, Iran even rejected the Istanbul meeting. Prime Minister’s visit to Tehran was no success either – just listen to the statements that followed it. And why? Because of our misguided foreign policy.

We are not exactly on good terms with Armenia, and are only so-so with Azerbaijan. If northern Iraq gets the chance, we will see its real colors. The same goes for Baghdad. Our problems with southern Cyprus persist. We think Israel doesn’t exist and vice versa. With Greece, you know how it is – we have never managed to become good friends. For Bulgaria, it is as if Ankara doesn’t exist.
Is this really our zero-problems policy with neighbors?


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April 13th, 2012, 2:13 pm


162. bronco said:


“Erdogan is to hold talks with King Abdullah in Riyadh today, with Hurriyet reporting that Erdogan will tell Abdullah that Arab countries must take the lead in coordinated international measures against the Syrian government.”

KSA is trying to push Turkey to start military operations on Syria while it is promising to provide the financial cover and a discreet political support.

The Saudis are and have always been cowards. They prefer others to do their dirty works so as not to soil their white dishdasha and anyway they have the money to buy people so why bother?

Erdogan will be a fool if he accepts that role. At the first problem, the Saudis will dump him and he may find himself in a deeper mess. KSA is jealous of Turkey’s Sunni influence in the region and will turn against it if it sees it has no need for Turkey anymore.

KSA is too fearful of Iran’s reaction should it openly take the leadership of the campaign against Syria and Qatar is too small to have a military credibility.

I think KSA will simply give a tap on Erdogan’s back and that’s all. Erdogan is now facing a quagmire in Turkey over Syria of his own making and Turkey is finding itself increasingly isolated.

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April 13th, 2012, 2:16 pm


163. Alan said:

History of Saudi Drummers in air poisoning between Saddam and Iran today stupidly repeat with Turkey! it seems Saddam’s example indicative for Erdogan!

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April 13th, 2012, 2:24 pm




To: Mr. Shami
RE: Your public park proposal
Decision: Request rejected
Reason for Rejection: Potential risk to minors

Dear Mr. Shami
The citizen committee of Alsabeel Park, Aleppo, has considered your request, and based on the clarity of evidence, and the potential risk of vulgarity and obscenity, the committee decided to reject your request. While the committee understands your motivation, the park is frequented by minors who should not be subjected to the hazard posed by your proposal.

Appeal will not be entertained.

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April 13th, 2012, 2:37 pm


165. Mawal95 said:

Today’s Friday anti-government protests in Syria were branded “Friday of revolution for all Syrians” which in Arabic is جمعة ثورة لكل السورين . If you do a search for that Arabic text string at Youtube, Youtube will give you a list of videos of protests from around Syria today. Here it is:

There were no large crowds anywhere.

Everywhere, today’s turnout was smaller than it was early last summer.

In many locations, today’s turnout was a pale shadow, a huge decimation, of what it was last year.

The meagre size of the protest demonstration crowds is excellent evidence (if not definitive evidence) that the uprising does not have a broad base of support. But the fact that anti-government crowds turned up today at all, after all the violence the rebels have done against the security forces in recent months, is a good indicator that the uprising isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

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April 13th, 2012, 2:45 pm



Non Violence
Assad and co are creative in their use of non-violence. Here is an example (Dear moderator: the source, “Alquds” does not allow permalink easily, so I apologize for the cut-paste)

Green Update Symbol اعتقال سوري حاول تسميم لاجئين في الأردن

اعتقال سوري حاول تسميم لاجئين في الأردن

عمان ـ د ب أ: اعتقلت السلطات الأردنية مواطنا سورية يشتبه في محاولته تسميم لاجئين بالقرب من الحدود بين البلدين امس الخميس، وسط تقارير متزايدة عن محاولات من جانب أنصار نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد لاستهداف نشطاء المعارضة في الأردن.

وأفاد نشطاء ومصادر أمنية بأن السلطات الأردنية اعتقلت مواطنا سوريا بعد أن ضبطته وهو يعبث في إمدادات المياه لمجمع سكني في مدينة الرمثا شمال الأردن، تستخدمه السلطات لإيواء اللاجئين.

وقال محمد وهو ناشط سوري يقيم في المجمع السكني إن اللاجئين استيقظوا فوجدوا أحد القادمين الجدد يحاول تلويث خزانات المياه.

وتابع أن هناك مخاوف مؤكدة من أن يكون النظام السوري قد أرسل أشخاصا بين اللاجئين من أجل قتلهم.

وأكد مصدر عسكري يتمركز في المنطقة الحدودية نبأ الاعتقال، مشيرا إلى أنه تم نقل المواطن السوري إلى مركز اعتقال للاشتباه في محاولته تسميم حوالي 2000 سوري يقيمون في المجمع.

يذكر أن هذا الحادث امس هو الأحدث في سلسلة من الاعتقالات بحق مواطنين سوريين يعتقد أنهم عملاء أرسلوا من أجل اختراق مجتمع اللاجئين الذي يضم 100 ألف لاجئ وتقول السلطات الأردنية إن عدد هؤلاء المعتقلين وصل إلى العشرات في الشهر.

وزعمت الجمعيات الخيرية الأردنية أن تدفق الآلاف من السوريين على مدى الشهرين الماضيين كان مصحوبا بزيادة في عدد من تتبدى عليهم ملامح تدعو للاشتباه بهم.

وقال زايد حماد، رئيس جمعية الكتاب والسنة وهي من أكبر المنظمات غير الحكومية في الأردن التي تقدم المساعدة للاجئين السوريين إن العاملين في مجال الإغاثة راودتهم شكوك إزاء وافدين جدد لأنهم كانوا يحملون عدة جوازات سفر ويطرحون أسئلة عديدة حول عدد وطبيعة اللاجئين.

وصرح حماد بأنه لا يوجد شك في أنه قد تم إرسال عشرات من العملاء للتجسس على أنشطة الجمعية ومجتمع اللاجئين.

Now we understand the non-violent supporters of the Assad Mafia

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April 13th, 2012, 3:03 pm



Funny, one hates the K-town, one uses K-town’s name derisively in their own pseudonym, and one ends being called Haji K-town…. ooops, ……….boomerang.

Isn’t it Irritating

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April 13th, 2012, 3:09 pm


168. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

I would like to congratulate SC Admin for the new selection of anti-spam words.

The one I am entering for this comment is “respect”. Right on, I say. But unfortunately there are many posting here who have not taken the hint: they continue to display very little respect for the intelligence of the readers of this blog. Just look at all the cut and paste drivel [rt/press tv/xinhua/syr. truth (!), etc.] they dredge from around the Web.

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April 13th, 2012, 3:43 pm


169. Jad said:

The Syrians are helping eachothers:

الشباب السوري المتطوع  يجهزون المساعدات الغذائية

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April 13th, 2012, 3:58 pm



Don’t Trust Your Shabee7 –Interviewee
Speaking of the usual “respectful” sources of news whose fans continue to bombard us with Check this one out. They can’t even trust their Shabee7a to declare the love to the Mafiosi in chief. This is your “spontaneous regime supporter.”

Possible Explanations:
1. The man is reading what they told him to say, which he could not memorize…

2. The man is sneaking a look at someone else paper, making him a snooping, yet trustworthy!” representative of the Syrian public….

Either way, it is bad. But wait until regime supporters herein compose lengthy legalese interpretations, which will include speeches and interviews of the mafiosi in chief, not to mentioned links again, to SANA and the list of “trustworthy” sources used herein.

How “Pizzaironic”

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April 13th, 2012, 4:04 pm


171. jna said:

Security Council draft resolution on advance mission in Syria.
This is a revised draft.

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April 13th, 2012, 4:06 pm


172. Hopeful said:

RE: Mawal95 #160

“The meager size of the protest demonstration crowds is excellent evidence (if not definitive evidence) that the uprising does not have a broad base of support.”

I have a different hypothesis on why the demonstrations are smaller:

1. Many of the demonstrations’ organizers have either been killed, jailed, threatened or are on the run. Movements need leaders, and the regime has been intelligently targeting and hunting them down.

2. After all the violence of the past few months, people are frightened.

3. People are tired and many are losing hope and are simply leaving the country. They feel that the opposition leaders failed them and the world abandoned them.

4. People lost faith in the concept of peaceful uprising and are not willing to try it all over again.

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April 13th, 2012, 4:10 pm


173. Afram said:



Do U LIKE extra cheese on UR Pizzaironic?

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April 13th, 2012, 4:21 pm


174. jna said:

Juergen, I find it disturbing when comfortable foreigners preach an escalation in warfare for Syria, especially at a time when the UN, the regime, and the opposition are working on sustaining a ceasefire and when the UN plan is for “facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system”.

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April 13th, 2012, 4:28 pm


175. Tara said:


I find it uncomfortable to harass Jurgen In regard to his opinions after he shared with us personal info.

Have you noticed none of the regime supporters or anti revolution shares any info with us. Doesn’t that tell you anything?

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April 13th, 2012, 4:58 pm


177. Afram said:

[Green Update Symbol Afram, thank you. I have answered you via email.]

Dear Moderator:

simply asking you,can we criticize and judge wahabi saudi arabia?
saudi F.minister is shouting day in and day out on every media channel to arm evil doers,what to do.fold our arms and say nothing!?

please reply


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April 13th, 2012, 5:20 pm


178. jna said:

[Green Update Symbol JNA, I have sent a note to Tara and you via email.

Warnings have been issued over the past month that deal with needless personalizing discussion. Some commentators are unable to separate a person and his/her opinions from a national or ethnic or citizenship group. At times, gross and offensive national stereotypes have been assigned to individuals who post here. This is not acceptable in any circumstances.

In the recent past, Juergen has been accused of being Mossad, a friend or direct enabler of terrorists, a Nazi, an IDF plant, an ignorant German who exhibits the gross national characteristics of Germans. All of this is intolerable, and many comments have gone to Trash.

The rules clearly state that SC will not tolerate equating individuals with the actions or policies of national actors. Snide, sniggering asides, coded language -all of these things will be and are trashed without notice. Warnings may or may not be issued.

Thank you for expressing your concerns. Complaints, questions, and other notes on moderation are best addressed directly:]

Tara, harrass Juergen? See

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April 13th, 2012, 5:26 pm


179. Norman said:

In the beginning, i had doubt but now i feel that the moderator is teaching us how to function in a democratic society and that is something we did not grow up with and for that i appreciate his efforts.

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April 13th, 2012, 6:18 pm


180. Norman said:

176. Tara said:


I find it uncomfortable to harass Jurgen In regard to his opinions after he shared with us personal info.

Have you noticed none of the regime supporters or anti revolution shares any info with us. Doesn’t that tell you anything?

Yes they are afraid, welcome to the new Syria, Syrians used to be afraid from one bogyman, now they are afraid of two.

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April 13th, 2012, 6:24 pm


181. Tara said:


Is it fear or unconscious discomfort with their moral stand?

If anything, it is us the pro-revolution who were tortured, disappeared, and slaughtered around?

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April 13th, 2012, 6:42 pm


182. Tara said:

The demonstrations reached their greatest number since the beginning of the Revolution…on the “Revolution for All Syrians” Friday

The LCC documented 771 demonstrations on “Revolution for all Syrians” Friday. Most of these demonstrations took place in the governorate of Idlib, which experienced 157 demonstrations, followed by Hama with 125 demonstrations, and Aleppo with 96 demonstrations.

The rest of the demonstrations were distributed as follows:

In Damascus Suburbs: 76; Deir Ezzor: 71; Daraa: 71; Homs: 52; Damascus, the capital, 43; Hasakeh: 33; Lattakia: 31; Raqqa: 11; Tartous: 2; Sweida: 2; and Qunaitra: 1.

The number of demonstration points reached 569 all over Syria. The largest number of demonstration points was documented in the governorate of Idlib, where demonstrations set out in 152 points, followed by Hama with 109 points, then Aleppo and Aleppo Suburbs with 63 points. In Daraa, 54 demonstration points were recorded; 50 points in Homs; 44 in Deir Ezzor; Damascus with 42 points; Hasakeh with 26 points; and Lattakia with 24 points.

In Damascus, the capital, 20 demonstration points were recorded, followed by Raqqa with 5 points.

Two demonstrations took place in two different points in Tartous; two in Sweida; and one demonstration in the governorate of Qunaitra in Majdal Shams

[blue diamond + ]

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April 13th, 2012, 6:47 pm


183. Tara said:


For your eyes only:  here is the source
On a side note, if you forget my name, you will cease of becoming my best friend and I would never play Salwa ya Salwa with you ever again.  Just saying…

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April 13th, 2012, 7:05 pm


184. jad said:

Dear Norman,

You are absolutely right about your notice, and to make things worse Syria Comment is apparently not safe either.

I advise you and every commentator on SC to keep his/her own personal information as discreet as possible and from now own to be very careful of sharing any kind of personal information with anybody on SC, it may be used against you later.

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April 13th, 2012, 7:12 pm


185. Tara said:

It looks pretty grim for Bush bush today, 771 demonstrations today and the international observers are not there yet. When the observers arrive, the demonstrations will all coalesce in few massive demonstrations across the countries instead of 771.

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April 13th, 2012, 7:13 pm


186. Syria no Kandahar said:

[ blue diamondSyria No Kandahar, please provide a link for off-site material, per the Syria Comment fair-use guidelines.]

If This party opens branch in Syria I know many potential members(from pro and against government ):

janan kawaja
عضو فعال جدا

غير متصل

رسائل: 873

رفع الستار عن تمثال حمار بربطة عنق بالسليمانية وحزبه يؤكد: رأس الحمير ارتفع اليوم عاليا
« في: 09:10 12/04/2012 »
   رفع الستار عن تمثال حمار بربطة عنق بالسليمانية وحزبه يؤكد: رأس الحمير ارتفع اليوم عاليا

  السومرية نيوز/ السليمانية

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April 13th, 2012, 7:14 pm


187. ann said:

U.S., Russia offer rival draft resolution on Syria observers – 2012-04-14

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 (Xinhua) — The U.S., together with its allies, and Russia on Friday tabled rival draft resolution on the authorization of an advance team of unarmed military observers for Syria in order to monitor a ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and armed opposition fighters.

The U.S., Colombia, France, Germany, Morocco, Portugal and the United Kingdom jointly submitted a draft resolution while Russia put forward a rival one, likely putting off the council vote, which is expected late Friday, until Saturday.

The 15-nation Security Council began its meeting behind closed doors on Syria at around 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Friday, and the meeting is still going on, UN officials said.

The two sides agreed to the council’s approval of the advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers for Syria, where a ceasefire is reportedly honored by both the government forces and armed oppositions, according to the two drafts obtained by Xinhua.

They also both supported the good offices of Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, and its six-point plan to end the year-long crisis in Syria, which has been plunged into violence since March 2011.

The two drafts also reaffirmed the council’s “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the (UN) Charter.”

However, the rival drafts argued over whether Syria should give immediate guarantees of freedom of access to the mission and whether the council should warn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of further measures if he does not keep commitments.

The U.S. draft “demands” the Syrian government “implement visibly its commitment in their entirety,” while the Russian version “calls upon” Damascus to do the same thing.

The Syrian government said it accepted Annan’s peace plan and pledged to comply with the ceasefire deadline.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who spokes to reporters on Friday after the council’s closed door discussions on Syria on Friday morning, criticized the U.S. draft for asking too many work to be done, saying, “We have put together a shorter version of ( the U.S.) text.

“We had this understanding yesterday that it should be to the point, pragmatic, specific about putting in boots on the ground, ( an) advance party of the monitoring team,” Churkin said.

The two drafts were presented to the council in response to a request by Annan to send the UN observers to monitor compliance with the truce. If the ceasefire holds, a larger mission with up to 250 members could follow.


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April 13th, 2012, 7:26 pm


188. jna said:

To be fair to Juergen, I don’t remember him ever calling for an escalation in warfare in Syria.

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April 13th, 2012, 7:39 pm


189. Juergen said:

Well there might be some commentators here or one in particular who would argue that Arabs never can deal with democracy or can enjoy the civil liberties we have in the west. Such things are nonsense and close to racism in my eyes.


by posting that i expect more and more Syrians to demonstrate and cities falling into the hands of those protesting is that an call for violence? I never was a friend of any military intervenance. The longer this regime is resisting and firing on their own people the more brutal the more violent things get. You can count how many times the word sabr is used in the Quran, that might give you an indication how much sabr the arabs have in general when God almighty has used this word and islam more than others.

Here is an example how state TV, Al Dunia work with people on the street. The guy on the picture is reading from an card the reporter shows him what to say. That regime is what it was from the beginning: pathetic.

Here is a video of that scene:

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April 13th, 2012, 7:42 pm


190. Juergen said:

Alarabiya travels through the town of Taftanaz in Idlib

Israel demonstration in support of the Syrian people

I think Mawal was pointing out that the number of protesters out on the streets get lesser, well i heard that 3 million Syrians were out demonstrating today, that might be exagerated. See how millions flock out today in support of the beloved leader:

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April 13th, 2012, 7:54 pm


191. Afram said:

Karl Marx said:
“Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval.Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex/female sex,the ugly ones included.”

It’s time for middle eastern women to have their own arab spring.
c’mon ladies,out off the kitchen hit the more bab al-hara days.

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April 13th, 2012, 8:20 pm


192. Juergen said:

Afram you are so right, the other day i read an comment that women are wanted in the time of rebellion and unthinkable without the support, but when its done they should go back to the kitchens.

AJ has written an article about the Names of the Fridays and how much this voting is causing tensions.

Ir7al Yabachar

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April 13th, 2012, 8:31 pm


193. bronco said:

#183 Tara

The LCC opposition PRs are not doing a good job. The “771” demonstrations did not make it to the headlines of the international media. Even Al Jazeera did not mention any massive demonstrations. It seems they were “demonstrationettes” with a few hundreds here and there. I can hear Ghaliun and Basma’s teeth grinding and Erdogan’s colon showing signs of nervosity.

Of course you can always invoke the ‘fear’ factor, even though it was claimed a long time ago that it was not effective anymore.

I think it is the “desillusionment” factor that is at work now.

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April 13th, 2012, 8:32 pm


194. zoo said:


Assad’s opponents had called for mass rallies on Friday to test whether the authorities would tolerate a return to peaceful protests, as Annan’s six-point plan said they should.

But rallies filmed by activists were far smaller than the huge, chanting crowds seen in major cities at the start of the uprising 13 months ago and on several occasions in 2011.

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April 13th, 2012, 8:38 pm


195. zoo said:

As the ceasefire seems to hold, is Syria gradually implementing the points of Annan plan?
Damascus has told Annan’s team that they have already begun granting visas to media, Fawzi said.

“We have been receiving assurances from the government that they are indeed granting numbers of visas to numbers of journalists,” said the spokesman.

“The last letter we received this morning listed 53 journalists who had been given visas by the Syrian authorities.

“A previous letter we received three or four days ago listed 21 organisations that had been granted entry visas.”

He added that there were round-the-clock efforts to find the necessary number of troops — likely to be up to 250 — in the event of a full observer mission being approved.

Fawzi said he was not able to list the potential countries involved, but that they had been discussed with the authorities in Damascus during last week’s assessment.

“They could come from Asia, Africa, from Latin America, South America,” he said.

In Oslo, (Norwegian general Robert) Mood said the ceasefire appeared to be largely holding.

“The fact that one is seeing today a near total cessation of combat operations is a sign that parties are indeed ready to choose a course” other than violence, he said, although voicing concern about reports of unrest in Homs and near the border with Turkey.
“If the parties continue to observe the ceasefire, it is extremely important to open the way as soon as possible to massive humanitarian aid,” Mood said, adding that those in need of aid were short of food, water and basic essentials.

“But there is also a need for reconstruction. Destruction in some towns is so widespread that schools, hospitals and public institutions are totally destroyed and must be rebuilt,” he said.

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April 13th, 2012, 8:46 pm


196. Tara said:


It doesn’t matter if it reached the media or not. It matters that it happened and it will only get emboldened by the arrival of the international obsevrers.

I did not check the international media yet. I was waiting for Zoo to do “some work”. Bronco, I hate it when people think they can slack off, and come and go whenever they wish. Zoo has been getting “Cs” lately. I just want to give him a chance to improve. 😉

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April 13th, 2012, 8:55 pm


197. Juergen said:

Interesting read Zoo. Sounds like the eyedoctor wants to make sure the “best” are coming to do this job.

I have an example how much quality you get from some countries. In Bosnia there was a UN led police training programme.The aim was to train the local police in democratic and anti rascism policies. The boss of the unit an Irish told me: “They must have a lot of humor in the headquarter,they send chinese police to train here, obviously chinese police is known for their democratic attitudes.”

He told me then the story of an Burundi police officer who was out in the countryside near Srebrenica. The farmers there stack their hay in triangle forms on the fields. This highly decorated UN police officer went to a farmer with money to purchase one of those huts he has seen…

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April 13th, 2012, 8:57 pm


198. ann said:

Syria Draft Doesn’t Call for Withdrawal to Barracks, Requires Assad Consultations

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 — The revised Syria draft resolution produced late April 13, and obtained by Inner City Press, does NOT as proposed stress “the importance of the withdrawal of all Syrian government troops and heavy weapons from population centers to their barracks.”

Nor does it made “demands” on Syria’s Assad government. Rather, in Paragraphs 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 it “calls up” the government, and where applicable “all parties,” to perform certain acts.

It “decides to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers… to begin to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence.”

The full mission, it acknowledges, would be “subject to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties” and only “after consultations between the Secretary-General and the Syrian government.”


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April 13th, 2012, 9:10 pm


199. Observer said:

I sent Dr. Landis the latest ICG report on Syria dated April 10th

I hope he will post it. It is clarifying and it shows in the posts of the pro regime supporters on this blog a tendency to explain the positions they adopt

The hard liners will destroy the whole country and to them the opposition is one hegemonic conspiracy to destroy the regime and any measure is justified in crushing it.

Some pro regime moderates are desperate for an opposition that would at least discuss the reforms because they know and they are panicking at the future of Syria that they see ( and that the hard liners are either blind or oblivious to ) of a completely isolated and destroyed country.

The people on the ground lost faith in the exiled opposition and this is understandable as their performance left a lot to be desired.

The average Syrian has written off the regime as being capable or even worthy of reform and the ruling family has sacrificed many of its bridges and its cards and is left with the hard line security services on the one hand and the sects hostage to the potential for major revenge should it be defeated. The worst to come off of this conflict are those sects that have been passively supportive or actively on the side of the regime for they will inherit a Syria devoid of any institutions.

The report clearly shows that Russia has made a huge gamble as its only legitimacy to play on the international arena rests in the performance of the regime.

The massacres described in the report with the skulls of infants and children deliberately crushed has actually resulted in a reign of terror for both sides with the people become radicalized and the Alawite community now deeply tied to the fate of a single family.

I hope the report will be posted. I do not have the link but will try to get it

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April 13th, 2012, 9:19 pm


200. zoo said:

#196 Juergen

You’re right. Abu Ghraib was a good example of “liberators” coming from a ‘democratic and human rights promoting’ country

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April 13th, 2012, 9:19 pm


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