Syrian National Council to Create Military Bureau

The Syrian National Council has created a military bureau. The leader, Burhan Ghalioun will hold a press conference tomorrow (Thursday) in Paris,” according to one source.
[Update March 1 Thursday] The BBC reports: Syria crisis: Opposition sets up military bureau: “Mr Ghalioun said the bureau would function like a defence ministry and would be staffed by soldiers from the main armed group, the Free Syrian Army, as well as civilians”

How did this come about? The scuttlebutt is that about 20 members of the SNC leaked the following news of a split within the SNC and defections in order to get their way. It was picked up by Shamlife, Le Point. Reuters and other papers. The principal leaders of the group who want greater militarization are both Islamist and secular: Haitham al-Maleh, Kamal al-Labwani, Catherine al-Talli, Walid al-Bunni and Fawaz al-Tello. See this

Syrie : l’opposition en voie de décomposition ?
Le Point.fr – 29/02/2012

Le Conseil national syrien vient de voir vingt de ses membres faire défection pour créer une organisation concurrente.

Le président du CNS, Burhan Ghalioun, doit faire face à une majorité d’islamistes financés par le Qatar.

…la principale coalition de l’opposition au régime de Bachar el-Assad a vu vingt de ses membres faire défection pour créer une organisation concurrente : le Groupe patriotique syrien. “Le Conseil national syrien s’est formé sans parvenir à obtenir de résultats satisfaisants et sans être capable de répondre aux demandes des insurgés présents à l’intérieur de la Syrie”, indique le groupe dans un communiqué transmis à Reuters.

La création de la nouvelle instance, présidée par Haytham al-Maleh, un ancien juge et opposant de longue date, est le dernier revers en date pour une opposition minée par les désaccords….

Le rôle du Qatar

Si les grandes figures du CNS sont des laïcs, la majorité du Conseil est formée d’islamistes syriens, financés par le Qatar. Ce n’est donc pas un hasard si c’est dans l’émirat que s’est déroulé le 9 février le congrès du CNS, ou encore si c’est Doha qui a financé le sommet à Tunis des “Amis de la Syrie”, où le CNS tenait la vedette au milieu d’une soixantaine de pays. “Le CNS n’est pas l’émanation de l’opposition syrienne, mais un groupe très disparate constitué et financé par le Qatar et appuyé par la France”, affirme pour sa part le chercheur Fabrice Balanche (2). ….”Le CNS, lui, n’est constitué que d’exilés, qui n’ont que très peu de contacts avec la révolte sur le terrain”, ajoute le chercheur. Pour dissiper les craintes, le CNS se livrerait à de la communication en mettant en avant des “costumes-cravates”, explique Barah Mikaïl. Son président, Burhan Ghalioun, vit en France depuis 30 ans. Son porte-parole, Bassma Kodmani, chercheur associé au Ceri (Sciences-Po), a quitté la Syrie il y a 43 ans. “Il existe chez ces personnes une aspiration à la diversité ethnique, religieuse et idéologique, mais elle est bloquée par les islamistes”, renchérit le spécialiste.

L’Iran visé

Malgré des divergences manifestes, la France veillerait à ce qu’aucun autre groupe d’opposition n’émerge à l’étranger. Outre le soutien diplomatique, le Quai d’Orsay se serait opposé en octobre dernier à la tenue à Paris d’une conférence de presse de Syriens de l’intérieur, dont l’opposant historique Michel Kilo. “La France ne veut pas déplaire aux Qataris, avec lesquels elle entretient des liens diplomatiques et économiques privilégiés”, indique Fabrice Balanche. …..

على وقع الحسم الميداني في سورية “المجلس الوطني” المعارض ينشهد اول عملية انشقاق وتشظي وتأسيس مجموعة “العمل الوطني السوري”
شارك |
شام لايف Sham Life
شام لايف : على وقع الحسم الميداني في سورية “المجلس الوطني” المعارض ينشهد اول عملية انشقاق وتشظي وتأسيس مجموعة “العمل الوطني السوري”

شكل أعضاء بارزون من “المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارض، أمس الأحد منظمة منشقة عن المجلس، لـ”طريقته غير المجدية في العمل”، ليكون هذا أول انشقاق في صفوف المجلس الذي أعلن تأسيسه في اسطنبول، منذ أكثر من 3 أشهر.وقال بيان للمجموعة المنشقة، نقلته وكالة (رويترز) للأنباء “لقد مضت أشهر طويلة وصعبة على سوريا منذ تشكيل “المجلس الوطني السوري”، دون نتائج مرضية ودون تمكنه من تفعيل مكاتبه التنفيذية أو تبني مطالب الثوار في الداخل، وقد بات واضحا لنا أن طريقة العمل السابقة غير مجدية، لذلك قررنا أن نشكل (مجموعة عمل وطني)”.وأعلن 20 شخصا على الأقل من الأعضاء العلمانيين والإسلاميين في المجلس المؤلف من 270 عضوا، تشكيل مجموعة “العمل الوطني السوري”، ومن أعضاء المجموعة الجديدة التي يترأسها هيثم المالح، كمال اللبواني وكاترين التللي وفواز تللو ووليد البني.وأوضح بيان المجموعة أنها “تهدف لتعزيز الجهد الوطني المتكامل الهادف لإسقاط النظام بكل الوسائل النضالية المتاحة بما في ها دعم “الجيش الحر”، الذي يقع عليه العبء الأكبر في هذه المرحلة”.وكانت وسائل إعلام عربية وغربية قالت إن “الجيش السوري الحر” هو مجموعة من ضباط وأفراد من الجيش أعلنوا انشقاقهم بسبب اتهامهم للسلطات باستخدام “العنف” ضد المتظاهرين، في حين أشارت فيه وسائل الإعلام المحلية إلى أن هذا الفصيل هو غطاء للجماعات المسلحة التي انضم لها مجموعة من الفارين من الجيش.وصدر بيان هذه المجوعة في تونس، وذلك بعد حضور أعضاء “المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارض مؤتمر “أصدقاء سوريا” يوم الجمعة الماضي الذي شاركت فيه 50 دولة، حيث أوصى المشاركون في المؤتمر، بالاعتراف بـ “المجلس الوطني السوري” كممثل شرعي للسوريين الداعين للتغيير السلمي.ويعد هذا أول انشقاق

The Media leak about defections served as a means to twist the arm of Ghalioun and others who have been reluctant to develop a military strategy. The SNC leadership “freaked out,” according to some. The 20 got what they wanted, which is to take control of SNC relations with the “Free Syrian Army” and to have a bigger say in SNC decisions. The other SNC factions grudgingly gave them the FSA portfolio. “It’s all part of the SNC internal never-ending power struggle,” one friend wrote. “The media is being used as a tool as usual.”

Demonstrators in Aleppo suburb call for a Caliphate and Islamic rule. They chant, “Heros of Islam, No to Bashar and no to Ghalioun. We want Islam to rule.”
أبطال الإسلام:”لا بشار ولا غليون بدنا الإسلام يكون”

الأمه تريد خلافه اسلاميه

If you want to know why the Islamists object to Burhan Ghalioun, watch this video
in which Ghalioun argues that clerics rule the imagination of the Arabs and that 90% of Arabs know nothing else but what imams teach them. They spread authoritarianism, he argues.

Rami Khoury

“What happens after the regime falls? Who takes over power?” This is usually asked with a tone of foreboding, with concern that bad or unknown political forces will assume power. Most worry revolves around the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamists assuming power, on the grounds that they are the best organized political groups.

Sometimes this leads frightened people to conclude that it is better to stick with the governments we have – despite their flaws – rather than risk the unknown or an Islamist takeover of power. We hear the same thing said about Syria these days, as many ponder the possible or, I sense, likely, fall of the Assad family dynasty of 42 years.

It is time for analysts to get over their worries and adjust to the overwhelming lesson from the first year of the ongoing Arab uprisings: The transition from autocracy to democracy, and from authoritarianism to pluralism, in the Arab world must necessarily pass through a phase of Islamist rule or of coalition governments in which Islamists play a role……

The End of Taking the Syrian Revolution at Face Value
Bassam Haddad, Jadaliyya

Those interested in a revolution that would be considered a significant step forward from the existing Syrian regime, might want to take pause as they steadfastly support some of its main anchors. In particular, months after its establishment, the Syrian National Council (SNC) has failed in providing the leadership, autonomy, and consensus necessary to battle the Syrian regime. This much is no longer a controversial remark, even among some of the ranks of the SNC. But there is more that can and should be systematically discussed, not just to point out the divisiveness and counterproductive alliances associated with the SNC, but precisely to understand how might a robust opposition lead this overdue uprising against decades of tyranny.

The fact that the SNC still has a strong constituency domestically is less a function of its representative nature and political efficacy and much more a function of a constellation of factors that leaves little choice for an embattled and isolated protest movement. More critically, some of the expressed strategies of the SNC—e.g., regional/international alliances, intervention, and future plans–converge with a growing conservative and sectarian trend within the internal opposition, a trend that is growing in number and in terms of regional ties. Whether that trend is itself a desperate response to regime brutality and the shabbiha’s sectarianism or an expression of something more cynical, or both, is not the issue.The SNC has so far failed as an anti-dictatorial leadership in asserting the kind of values and strategies that build consensus and attract further support locally, regionally, and internationally. As a result, to simply assume that this uprising will triumph simply because the regime is authoritarian and is killing its own people, is no longer to be taken for granted. The internal opposition is now armed, and we are looking at a different kind of confrontation, even if the upper-hand militarily is on the regime’s side. Read more

Steven Starr – Five Years in Damascus. On leaving Damascus – a beautiful piece by a fine reporter who has spent the last five years learning a lot about Syria and writing many excellent articles. We will miss having him in Damascus.

Syrian capital is a city changed in a year
By ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press – Tue Feb 28

…Similarly, a year ago, you could wait for hours for a table at Elissar, a restaurant in one of the renovated traditional stone houses in Damascus’ old city, popular among Syrians and tourists alike. It was largely empty Monday night as we dined there.

Five star hotels also are deserted, save for a few journalists and the odd couple having breakfast a la carte, because the hotel no longer has enough clients to serve buffets.

Among the Syrian upper and middle classes, there is often disdain for a protest movement they see as largely dominated by lower-class, religiously conservative Sunnis. Assad has retained support among the country’s Alawite minority — a Shiite offshoot sect to which he belongs — but also among secular Syrians of all sects, who do not trust the opposition.

“They want to take us back 100 years,” Maha Shujaa, a 38-year-old interior designer and Assad supporter, said of the protesters.

“Who is going to protect me when the president goes, those bearded guys? No thanks,” said Shujaa, who refused to divulge her religious identity, saying she is “a Syrian citizen.”

Life in upscale Damascus areas like Abou Rummaneh, Mazzeh and the old city seems relatively normal. But lower-class neighborhoods like Midan, Barzeh and Kafar Souseh — dominated by Sunni Muslims who have been the backbone of the revolt — see frequent, small-scale anti-Assad rallies. Activists hold “flying protests,” a sort of flash mob in which several dozen protesters convene suddenly on a street, chant and hold up banners, then disperse before security forces can move in. Activists record the rallies and post the video online.

Eruptions of gunfire are not uncommon, sometimes from security forces shooting at protesters but also reportedly from protesters opening fire on police.

On Monday, I watched busloads of security forces speed by the Interior Ministry, sending motorists fleeing out of their way — reportedly returning from a mission in Kfar Souseh to disperse mourners who turned a funeral into a protest.

Thick concrete blast walls and checkpoints now protect the entrances to ministries, security buildings and other state institutions. Guards check drivers’ IDs….

The community of Mar Musa victim of an armed attack
Press Release: Events of Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at Deir Mar Musa el-Habashi:

On Wednesday evening about 18 pm, the following occurred:

Thirty armed men – all of which, except the commander, had their faces covered – stormed the scene of the fold of the monastery, where there were few employees. They ransacked the premises, looking for weapons and money, wondering where the father was responsible. One of the shepherds had to drive some armed persons to another part of the monastery. There were four sisters sequestered in a room under surveillance when they were preparing to go to prayer. Immediately after, some of the assailants hurried to go to church and entering. The monastic community gathered for meditation, reminded them that this place was dedicated to prayer and deserved respect. The gunmen forced the present as threats to gather in one corner of the church. Subsequently, they intercepted others in the monastery by treating them brutally. Then, without causing major damage, they continued to look, without result, weapons and money, destroying all means of communication they could find. During the attack, the group leader was taking pictures with his cell phone. After allowing the prayer continues, he ordered the present to remain in the church for one hour.

The superior of the monastery was in Damascus, and could not return until dawn on Thursday.

It should be noted that those of the armed people who exercised had declared immediately their intention not to hurt the people inside the monastery, and they actually kept his word during the assault.

Naturally, the question arises about the identity of the armed group. Impossible at present to give a definite answer. What seems certain is that it is men accustomed to the use of arms in order to satisfy their material interests. Also remains unclear why they were looking for weapons in a monastery known for years for his choice and his advocacy of nonviolence.
We thank God for the protection of his angels, and we prayed during the Mass for our attackers and their families. Despite these painful events, we have not lost the peace nor the desire to serve reconciliation.

Nick Heras: “The Syrian Uprising: A Product of High Incipience.” The article analyzes the Arab Spring in Syria, Egypt, and Libya through the framework of a new concept of social mobilization and the evolution of social movements called “incipience.” The article is posted on the International Affairs Forum website.

A Chinese vision begins to emerge
By Peter Lee

The dominant stereotype of Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East is “amoral oil grubbing mercantilists who never met a dictator they didn’t like”.

Perhaps.

But the job of an amoral, oil-grubbing mercantilist has been made much more complicated and challenging as tensions rise in the region and heightened demands are placed on the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Saudi Arabia, China’s largest oil supplier, expects China’s support in its campaign against Iran.

Iran turns to China for help in breaking the sanctions blockade that threatens its oil exports, its access to the global financial system, and its domestic economy.

The United States, the European Union, Turkey, the Gulf States and a big chunk of the Arab League excoriate China for seconding Russia’s veto of an anti-Bashar al-Assad resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

However, contrary to its image as an opportunistic and reactive player in the Middle East, China has not only dug in its heels on Syria; it has stepped up with a diplomatic initiative of its own.

China also voted against the non-binding Syria resolution drafted for the UN General Assembly by Saudi Arabia, the oil baron that is generally regarded as calling the tune for China on Middle Eastern issues.

Comments (141)


Pages: « 1 2 [3] Show All

101. Uzair8 said:

Hey everyone! Assad is rehearsing for liberation of the Golan by practicing on innocent women and children.

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March 1st, 2012, 11:09 am

 

102. ann said:

UN-AL envoy for Syria to begin mission on March 7 – 2012-03-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/01/c_122778697.htm

“Annan’s visit to Syria will be followed by a visit to other countries affecting the Syrian affairs in a bid to find a solution “, he said.

[...]

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March 1st, 2012, 11:27 am

 

103. ann said:

Commentary: HRC resolution only fuels violence, causes more human rights abuse in Syria – 2012-03-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/01/c_122778722.htm

The resolution, which China voted against along with Russia and Cuba, is dangerously lopsided and will possibly fan fresh violence as it only calls on the Syrian government to lay down arms, while turning a blind eye to the violence and severe bloodshed caused by the opposition.

Although the resolution carries no legal weight, it sends a dangerous signal to the opposition that their equally condemnable acts of violence are tolerated and even supported by the international community.

It also paves the way for increased international pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, and fuels enthusiasm for foreign military intervention in Syria.

[...]

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March 1st, 2012, 11:45 am

 

104. Tara said:

Moderator

There was nothing wrong with my comment for you to pull it for moderation. The question is legit. How can you trust your killers? Please review my posts with josh ASAP and release them. I need an explanation for pulling my posts for moderation.

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March 1st, 2012, 11:46 am

 

105. Equus said:

I just read in the Global Mail there is an uprising in Saudi Arabia and no outcry from the mainstream media. It seems they can’t find activists to pay & interview.

The Growing Rebellion in Saudi Arabia

http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/the-growing-rebellion-in-saudi-arabia/84/#

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March 1st, 2012, 11:47 am

 

106. SC Moderation said:

Several posts are under review at the moment. I will release those posts that do not use discriminatory language against a sect, a person, a religion, or a national group.

I encourage every commentator to help keep Syria Comment both civil and open. Do not use these comments for personal attacks, whether open or hinted. Do not accuse other commentators of being paid propagandists, terrorists, ethnic cleansers, or use insulting epithets to denigrate a class of people. We value free and open discussion. We discourage needless provocations and escalation. We hope for the widest possible range of opinion, with the loosest possible restrictions on expression.

Please use the SC Moderation email to alert the moderators to problems, or for answers to questions, concerns or complaints. SCModeration@mail.com

Thank you to all active members of the community: we have increased the readability and civility of our comments.

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March 1st, 2012, 11:52 am

 

107. irritated said:

Uzair8 #97

“The FSA militia is rehearsing for liberation of the Golan and Al Kuds by practicing on innocent women and children.”

and withdrawing ‘tactically’ as they did from Zabadani and other locations where they were about to be annihilated.
I thought they were fighting to the last men. But after 27 days their heart suddenly ached for the remaining civilians and the loss of their satellite phones.
That is so noble.

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March 1st, 2012, 11:59 am

 

108. Tara said:

Dear Moderator

Thank you for releasing my posts. I have specifically said “Christians that support the regime” and did not generalize to a sect. I am well aware of Haytham, SL, kilo, Grorge Sabra, and Samar Yazbek, and other Minorities who are against the regime. I asked how to trust those who killed or cheered for killing Syrians going forward knowing that history can and may replay itself.

I think we as a nation should not have taboos and redlines. Things should come out and be discussed in public. Discussing it loud and clear may.. ( and only may) help with the healing process.

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March 1st, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

109. Equus said:

Nobody expects Bangladesh to interfere in the internal affairs of the United States. Nobody is going to bomb the United States to force it to modify its immigration or monetary policies because of the human consequences of such policies on other countries. Humanitarian intervention goes only one way, from the powerful to the weak.
….
The Libyan adventure has illustrated another reality conveniently overlooked by the supporters of humanitarian intervention, namely that without the huge US military machine, the sort of safe no-casualty (on our side) intervention which can hope to gain public support is not possible. The Western countries are not willing to risk sacrificing too many lives of their troops, and waging a purely aerial war requires an enormous amount of high technology equipment. Those who support such interventions are supporting, whether they realize it or not, the continued existence of the US military machine, with its bloated budgets and its weight on the national debt. ….

Piazza della Carina
http://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/the-case-for-a-non-interventionist-foreign-policy-by-jean-bricmont/#comments

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March 1st, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

110. Uzair8 said:

Firstly I hope Aboud and all Homsis are safe.

As Aboud would say, the whole point of a guerrilla army is to live to fight another day. The regime will have to hold this ground (Bab Amr) and may be easily picked off by hit and run attacks on checkpoints etc. The regime is gonna have to go after other parts of Homs, followed possibly by Daraa, Idlib etc. They will be stretched leaving themselves exposed to guerrilla tactics.

Weren’t the regime forces previously in control of Homs? Did they not withdraw because their checkpoints were being attacked and over run?

Taking control of an area is one thing but holding it is another. FSA is not for holding. It’s strengths will be guerrilla warfare and hopefully now it will come into its own.

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March 1st, 2012, 12:25 pm

 

111. zoo said:

For the ones who miss Robert Ford’s boring and predictable bla-bla

Syrian regime under ‘greater stress’ now: US
AFP – 30 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-regime-under-greater-stress-now-us-165237688.html

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is under “greater stress” than it was just two months ago and it will eventually fall, senior US diplomats told a Senate panel on Thursday.

“The Assad regime is under greater stress than it was even two or three months ago,” said Robert Ford, the US ambassador to Damascus who left his post when the United States closed its embassy there for security reasons a month ago.

Ford told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Syrian military which has led an 11-month bloody crackdown against pro-democracy protesters is “more challenged” as they suffer a “steady stream” of defections.

“The military have so far retained their cohesion, the security services have retained their cohesion, but they are under significantly more stress,” Ford said.

The business community is “very unhappy” and the Assad regime has changed its policies to “placate” them, and the leadership is also worried about their eroding support in the street, he added.

Ford said he believes the regime understands “this is the biggest challenge” to it during 40 years of Assad family rule.
(…)

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March 1st, 2012, 12:27 pm

 

112. norman said:

[Norman, please feel free to address suggestions and concerns directly to SCModeration@mail.com. I have sent you a longer answer privately. In short, your question below is best addressed to Majedkhaldoun; Majedkhaldoun can answer to his meaning of the words 'Purification of Syria']

SCM,
Majed said,(( Arming people will ensure that the different sects will be armed and here the majority will win,but that also ensure that civil war is inevitable, there will be a lot of death, probably one million, and many awful and ugly crimes will be seen.in the post Bashar era there will be chaos,and row bands will control the streets.))

((I fully support arming both the FSA and the syrian people, .
Purification of Syria ensure stability in the future.))

MR Moderator,
What do you call this argument.?

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March 1st, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

113. norman said:

SCM,

I did ask Majed that in 74 and he answered to my satisfaction and that was the end of it,

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March 1st, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

114. zoo said:

Terrorist attack on police in Istanbul, no death

Bomb attack on police bus wounds 16 in Istanbul
(AFP) – 9 hours ago
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hZUw53ylAezyQRXOrkbL7kkkOYOA?docId=CNG.9707fff7bc7b5ac3908f92bb1ccfcda5.661

ISTANBUL — A roadside bomb in central Istanbul wounded 16 people, almost all of them police officers, on Thursday, in an attack near Turkey’s ruling party headquarters, officials said.

The remote-controlled explosive was fitted to a stationary motorcycle and went off in the morning as a police bus carrying 21 officers passed by, authorities said.

The blast hit close to the offices of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who condemned the attack as an “act of terror”.

“The villains that carried out this attack will never reach their ambitions,” he said in televised remarks, without naming any suspects.

Several outlawed armed groups — Kurdish, Islamist and leftist extremist — have carried out bomb attacks in Istanbul in the past.

Erdogan said 15 of those wounded were police officers.

Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said the blast came from a “remote-controlled bomb that went off as a duty vehicle with 21 policemen on board drove by,” the Anatolia news agency reported.

The device was made of plastic explosives, Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu was quoted as saying by the agency.
(…)

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March 1st, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

115. zoo said:

An exclusive inside report from an activist in Homs

Syrian Activist: ‘It’s Snowing And We’re Shaking Here’
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/01/147730155/syrian-activist-its-snowing-and-were-shaking-here?ft=1&f=1001

According to activists inside and outside Syria, the government’s 27-day siege against the opposition stronghold of Baba Amr has now succeeded. Initial reports suggest that forces are entering this neighborhood in the city of Homs, but details are sketchy at best because most of the reporters and citizen journalists covering the story have either fled or died.

One man, though, continues to bear witness. Sami, known as @samsomhoms on Twitter, is one of the last holdouts in Homs continuing to report on the dire situation there.

“I’m now near Baba Amr,” he told us via Skype earlier today. “The shelling had increased yesterday in a very crazy way that was very intensive and concentrated, from morning til sunset… [But] now it’s just shooting by live rounds.”

While the end of the shelling is no doubt a relief to those inside the city, it’s also a sign that the next stage of the army operation has begun: a mop-up operation by ground forces going street by street, door to door. By any reasonable measure, the Syrian opposition’s most symbolic stronghold has fallen.

“Baba Amr is the most powerful center for the opposition — for the [Free Syrian Army (FSA)] and for the peaceful opposition,” Sami explained. “I think we have to remember that Baba Amr has stood against barbaric force by the regime for a continuous 27 days. That’s a very long time…. They are without water, without food and medications – without any support since the 5th of February. I think the next step of the regime, they will invade other areas near Homs where the FSA are. I absolutely hope they don’t do that, but the regime considers this a big, important win.”

“It’s impossible to do anything without the Free Syrian Army,” Sami lamented. “They [the opposition] are protected by them; they were protecting the protesters, even at the sit-ins and the strikes… That was all protected by the FSA. And without them we are unable to do anything.”

“The FSA doesn’t have weapons like the regime – just light weapons,” he added. “They can’t stand [against] the shelling and the mortars of the regime forces.”

While the fall of Baba Amr is a major setback for the opposition, Sami’s greatest concern at the moment is the humanitarian plight of civilians trapped in Homs.

“Water is still shut down by the regime for the third continuous day. And electricity too, for most parts of the city…. It’s a terrible situation in that it’s snowing right now; it’s snowing and we’re shaking here. We don’t have any way to warm ourselves. There’s no fuel, there’s no electricity.”

“The humanitarian situation is going so bad,” Sami continued. “It’s terrible, this military operation. The Free Syrian Army is making a withdrawal… They have withdrawn from the area of Baba Amr and the forces of the regime can enter it at any time.”

“There is no food, no medication, no water. It’s just a terrible situation. We need immediate help and aid, and we need humanitarian organizations to relieve our area soon.”

Just one week ago, Baba Amr was teeming with media. Now, as far as reporting is concerned, it’s a veritable ghost town.

“We’ve had to move our location,” Sami said. “I was very near to Baba Amr; I was so close. In the past few days we had to flee from the area. I went to an area near it that was more safe.”

Now that Homs has fallen, which city, if any, is positioned to become the opposition’s newest symbol of defiance? It could be any of them – Deir Ez Zor, Hama, Idlib… Or none of them. For the moment, at least, Sami is more concerned about what’s happening far from the watchful eyes of journalists and Internet-savvy activists, in villages and towns scattered across the country.

“Some of the small towns of Syria are facing the same situation just like Homs,” he said. “There’s no media concentrating on those areas because they’re small villages…Homs is the third biggest city in Syria – that’s why the media is focusing on it. There were a lot of media activists that were using their online connections to bring their voices to the world — to let the world know what’s going on there.”
(..)

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March 1st, 2012, 1:04 pm

 

116. jad said:

Bronco, Norman
Here is the ‘bright’ future some on this site are shamelessly advocating:

Libya: rebels destroy christian cemetery!

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March 1st, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

117. jad said:

Check out the ‘disappointment’ in Aljazeera presenters’ voice and looks :)
تك تك يا قطرستان الجيش الحر تبهدل بكل مكان

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March 1st, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

118. jad said:

Baba Amr under the Syrian Army control and Riad As’ad publicly rejected the SNC’s ‘military council’

الجيش يسيطر على “بابا عمرو” بالكامل، وغليون يعلن استمرار “الثورة السلمية المسلحة”!؟

الخارجية السورية تكذب ادعاءات وكيلة الأمم المتحدة للشؤون الانسانية بشأن عدم السماح له بدخول سوريا، وبريطانية تسحب بعثتها الديبلوماسية لأسباب”أمنية”!؟

دمشق ، لندن ـ الحقيقة ( خاص + وكالات) : جاء في آخر الأبناء الواردة من حمص ، وبحسب ما كان منتظرا ومتوقعا، أن وحدات الجيش السوري سيطرت على “حي باباعمرو” بالكامل ، ولم يعرف مصير المسلحين الذين كانوا محاصرين في آخر مربعاته الأمنية المسلحة أو /صير الصحفيين الأجانب. وفيما أعلن مسلحو ما يسمى” الجيش الحر” في حمص ، ومعظمهم من عناصر “القاعدة” الذين سبق لهم أن قاتلوا في العراق ، ومن المجرمين الجنائيين والمهربين، أنهم انسحبوا من “باباعمرو” تكتيكيا لتغطية هزيمتهم ، قالت مصادر ميدانية ودولية مراقبة إنهم تعرضوا لهزيمة منكرة في الحي نتيجة التكتيك الذي استخدمه معهم الجيش، لاسيما خلال اليومين الماضيين ، حيث عمد إلى قطع طريق إمداداتهم بالسلاح والمقاتلين من جميع الجهات ، لاسيما مع لبنان بعد اكتشاف نفق طوله حوالي 2.5 كم وتدميره .

وجاء هذا الإعلان ليكشف حجم الأكاذيب والدجل اللذين مارسهما كل من “المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان” ، و”الهيئة العام للثورة السورية” ، وهما أكبر ماكينتين لنشر الأكاذيب وخداع الرأي العام . فقد ظلا يعلنا حتى مساء أمس أن القتال “يدور على مشارف بابا عمرو وخارجه ، ولا يوجد أي عسكري من الجيش النظامي داخل الحي”!!

هذا الوضع الميداني المستجد دفع وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية إلى تخفيض سقف توقاعتها ، والنطق بلهجة مخالفة لما كانت تقوله خلال الأشهر الماضية. فقد أكدت أن ” الوضع في سوريا مختلف كليا عن سوريا ، فهنا (سوريا) الجيش السوري قوي جدا ، ومزود بشكبة قوية من وسائط الدفاع الجوي”، لتضيف ” نحن حتى الآن لا نعرف ما ي المعارضة السورية”، وأن “القاعدة” دخلت على خط هذه المعارضة!

هذه المعارضة عبّر عنها اليوم الناطق “السري” باسم “الطليعة الإسلامية المقاتلة” في الثمانيانيات ، برهان غليون ، الذي كان يكتب بأسماء مستعارة آنذاك واصفا إياها بأنها ” أنبل ظاهرة عرفتها سوريا منذ الاستقلال”، وفق ما كشفه قبل سنوات علي صدر الدين البيانوني للصحفي السوري نزار نيوف الذي نشر شهادة البيانوني له في سياق مقال خاص قبل أشهر.

غليون ، وخلال مؤتمر صحفي في باريس ، وفي واحدة من نوبات هذياناته وجنونه وهلوساته، أعلن عن استمرار ” الثورة السلمية المسلحة”! وقال غليون في مؤتمره إن “المجلس” قرر ” تنظيم تسليم الأسلحة” للمعارضين من خلال «مكتب استشاري عسكري» أُنشئ أخيرا. وأضاف القول إنه «قرر إنشاء مكتب استشاري عسكري مؤلف من عسكريين ومدنيين (…) لمتابعة شؤون قوى المقاومة المسلحة المختلفة وتنظيم صفوفها وتوحيد قواها ضمن قيادة مركزية واحدة»، مضيفاً أن المجلس سيعمل على «توفير كل ما تحتاجه المقاومة والجيش الحر من أجل القيام بواجباته الدفاعية على أكمل وجه وتأمين الحماية اللازمة للمدنيين ورعاية الثوار”.وتابع غليون بالقول: «سيعمل على الحيلولة لمنع حالة التشتت والفوضى في انتشار واستعمال السلاح، ومنع أي اختراقات أو تجاوزات لا تصب في مصلحة الثورة السورية والمصلحة الوطنية العليا”.

غليون يعلن الثورة السورية السلمية المسلحة

إلا أن الرد سرعان ما جاء من العميل رياض الأسعد ، الذي أعلن لقناة”الجزيرة” إن غليون شكل مجلسه العسكري “لحالو”، حسب تعبيره ، مضيفا القول ” “لا نعرف أهداف المكتب العسكري الاستشاري الذي أعلن عن تشكيله غليون”. وتكشف ردة فعل الأسعد ليس حجم الصراعات بين أطراف الجناح الأميركيي ـ الخليجي في المعارضة فقط ، بل طبيعة تبعية كل طرف منها لغرفة عمليات استخبارية ـ سياسية مختلفة عن الأخرى ، على الأقل شكلا.

{…}
http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6844/Default.aspx

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March 1st, 2012, 1:29 pm

 

119. bronco said:

118. jad

I wonder why Al Jazeera is in dismay. It was expected that Bab Amr would fall.
Maybe they were expecting that these militias will stick to their promise of fighting to the ‘end’ and become martyrs, instead of sneaking out and abandoning the civilians they swear to protect to an unknown and dangerous fate.

In any case this painful episode for the civilians is close to be over as the humanitarian aid is coming.

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March 1st, 2012, 1:44 pm

 

120. ann said:

Russia supports justice in Syria, not the regime – Lavrov – 01 March, 2012

http://rt.com/politics/lavrov-foreign-minister-syria-635/

In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Lavrov said, “Today the Arab world is going through serious transformations. People are determined to get political rights and freedoms, social justice and a better life. We have been supporting these demands from the start. And we believe that the Arab people can and must determine their own destiny themselves, without interference into their domestic affairs, or by the imposition of foreign scenarios.”

Lavrov noted that when it comes to the events in Syria, “Russia supports not the regime but justice, sovereignty, the sovereign right of the people of Syria for the democratic choice of the government it wants to have, in full accordance with the principles of the UN charter.”

“In February we came close to agreeing on the text of a resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council. The remaining ambiguities could easily have been eliminated by requesting not only those on the side of the Syrian regime but also the rebels to leave the battle scenes. But our amendments, which I personally presented to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Munich, were not accepted. Our request to postpone voting before all council members could work on the Russian amendments was also ignored.”

He added: “The veto right is one of the basic principles of the UN. The creators of the organization were wise to establish that UN Security Council decisions can only be made with the an agreement of all of its permanent members. It was done especially so that the UN would not the sad destiny of the League of Nations.”

[...]

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March 1st, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

121. jad said:

Bronco,
“I wonder why Al Jazeera is in dismay.”
It’s a big blow to the Khaliji’s multilevel war against Syria, can you imagine how much money, weapons they spent and how much money they are wasting on all those Khalijis’ channels to spread sectarian and hatred messages into our societies.
On top of that, Qataris and Saudis leaderships know very well that if they lose their hideous and bloody war against Syria it’ll be the end of them as a ‘credible’ entities that the ‘powerful’ ‘colonial’ ‘world’ can depend on in any ‘adventure’ in the future..

Do you remember this:

حمد بن جاسم يتعهد لأردوغان بدفع تكاليف الحرب على سورية

(دي برس)

المصدر: http://www.dp-news.com/pages/detail.aspx?articleid=104609#ixzz1ntQGSsEv

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March 1st, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

122. Tara said:

Bronco

I see you have no answer?

How can you care about those who want you dead?

Difficult question. Isn’t it?

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March 1st, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

123. ann said:

‘Obama will have to back Iran strike to get re-elected’ – 01 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/obama-iran-syria-assad-599/

It is not Obama’s choice to side with Israel for a pre-emptive strike on Iran. However Ramsey Clark believes that Obama will have to support the military operation against Iran for fear that “if he does not join Israel, that will be too costly at election, and he will lose it.”

“You have to see the American system – they [the Obama team] are nervous,” explains the peace activist. “If he [Obama] loses this election, he is a failed president. All his major decisions will be primarily conditioned by how they impact on the upcoming election.”

‘Assad is a gentle person’

Asked about the situation in Syria, Ramsey Clark confirmed that “Syria is a part of the effort to eliminate every government independent of US control.” Brutal regimes are perfectly acceptable, if they are dominated by the US.

In any case, the outcome will be very tough for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, predicts Clark.

”I don’t know whether he will make it or not,” he admitted.

“Right now he tries to save his country as he sees it. That is a rough business,” Clark said, calling Assad “a gentle person.”

[...]

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March 1st, 2012, 2:14 pm

 

124. Ales said:

Where there is smoke, there’s also fire. I was skeptical about this news, but did you notice how quiet France has been in latest week. Also, their ambassador has just returned to Syria…

http://wfol.tv/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8179:syria-captured-18-french-soldiers&catid=55:arab-world&Itemid=40

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March 1st, 2012, 2:29 pm

 

125. jad said:

[Edited: please avoid phrases like that deleted below]

Baba Amr rebels leave Metis anti-tank missiles behind

After the flight of 35 military advisers and Western journalists, the 2000 fighters of the Free “Syrian” Army clustered in the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr lost all hope of seeing the promises of the West come true.
{…}
The insurgents gave themselves up, leaving their weapons behind. Their arsenal included shooting stations and AT-13 / 9K115 Metis anti-tank missiles. This Russian equipment being already outdated and quite widespread in the region, it is difficult at this time to pinpoint via which trafficking ring it was actually delivered.

At the start of the Battle of Homs, the rebels were also in possession of anti-tank Milan firing stations.

http://www.voltairenet.org/Baba-Amr-rebels-leave-Metis-anti

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March 1st, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

126. Alan said:

Syria – The CIA and NATO Exposed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnJt-eW5BhY
This is not a pro Assad account. This is just a truthful account. I am pro honesty. The Machiavellian tactics of the Global Elitist need to be exposed so that the world can move towards cooperation and survival of our Earth and Species. It is getting to be sink or swim, extinction or survival, and as I think we are moving towards being a more loving and kind species more spiritually and technologically awake, honesty is essential. Also, this is for educational purposes. Though our culture has forgotten what education is or what purpose it has.

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March 1st, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

127. jad said:

European media (excluding UK, as usual) is starting to ask the difficult questions about the media coverage and how credible it is and who is behind it:

La propagande occidentale est la pire

Face à la couverture biaisée de ces guerres par les médias «officiels», le public occidental se reporte sur des sites d’information alternative
{…}
A l’heure actuelle, la presse occidentale s’épuise sur les «massacres de Bachar» en Syrie, condamnant les crimes contre l’humanité de ce nouveau «dictateur fou». Mais aucun journal n’enquête sur les ingérences occidentales en Syrie: se pourrait-il, comme le suggère la Russie et certains médias chinois, que l’opposition syrienne soit instrumentalisée par l’alliance occidentale? Qu’elle soit armée, financée, entraînée par les services de renseignement américains?
{..}
http://www.bilan.ch/editoriaux/mz/la-propagande-occidentale-est-la-pire

As if it’s not enough that children are used, abused and killed in this bloody struggle, now the terrorists and their ‘reporters’ are using children in the fights, how ethical:

بكاميرا صحفي بريطاني طفل يلقم سلاح برعاية المسلحين

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March 1st, 2012, 2:51 pm

 
 

129. Alan said:

[Link added: http://www.voltairenet.org/France-pulls-out-its-agents

France pulls out its agents ensconced in Syria

The Ambassador of France in Beirut, Denis Pietton, officially visited last week the region of Baalbeck in eastern Lebanon. In fact, he traveled with a French security team to northern Bekaa, a region bordering the Syrian province of Homs.

On the Syrian side of the border, officers and experts from the French military intelligence services, some posing as journalists, were training Free “Syrian” Army fighters. They had all entered Syria surreptitiously.

At an illegal crossing point, Ambassador Denis Pietton and his companions retrieved the French intelligence officers leaving the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr where they had been teaching their techniques in urban combat.

Under the Vienna Convention, diplomatic cars can not be searched. The convoy was therefore able to drop off the French agents at the embassy’s doorstep under the nose of the Lebanese police.

With all the arrogance of the former mandatory power, the French ambassador, once again, interfered publicly in Lebanese affairs by declaring on 23 February to our colleagues from the Daily Star: “Lebanon should keep out of the turmoil in Syria.”

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March 1st, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

130. majedkhaldoun said:

Ann
There are two comments
1- Lavrof indicating that they were close to agreeing to the resolution condemning the syrian regime, I personally do not trust Lavrof, I beleave he wants concessions from the west ,in regard to the missiles shield in europe.

2_ Obama is not going to attack Iran in the near future.
If the regime falls, and I am sure Bashar will fall and the regime will collapse, the HA becomes orphan and will be neutralized, and Iran can easily be attacked. so getting rid of this syrian regime is a priority, the question is how can US remove Bashar and at the same time stop HA from attacking Israel, till that matter is resolved ,the syrian regime will easily be removed, Bashar is a dictator, so he is coward toward the western military power, he is strong against his people only.

I believe that HA can be neutralized by fogging the area,quiet fog bombs can confuse HA and this is under study now.

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March 1st, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

131. Tara said:

I applaud the FSA tactic withdrawal from Baba Amr. They should not be suicidal. Baba Amr may fall but Syria will be eventually free. We then will build up Baba Amr to iconize out freedom struggle and you never know ..the tyrant’s final destination may very well be Baba Amr ‘s underground…

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March 1st, 2012, 3:24 pm

 

132. ann said:

Self-appointed revolutionaries shooting people in the streets – Homs eyewitness – 01 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syrian-witness-report-rebel-crimes-639/

People have been left without water or electricity as rebels destroy water pumps and power converters. Civilians are forced to stay inside as snipers shoot from the rooftops.

­RT in Damascus managed to contact an eyewitness in Homs, who says self-proclaimed revolutionaries are killing civilians in the streets. Galina says leaving home is out of the question, as snipers “can shoot you in the back.”

“They kill both young and old. They steal people from their homes and chop them into pieces, put them in plastic bags and throw them out!”

She claims rumors are spreading of gunmen from France, Lebanon and Tunisia killing Syrians.

“They mostly kill Christians here,” she says.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9WkrEo1O6k&feature=youtu.be

[...]

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March 1st, 2012, 3:32 pm

 

133. Ales said:

Creating a “military bureau”, a lovely french word by French based Syrian expatriates was followed by “tactical withdrawal”.

Disastrous timing.

I hope Red cross and Crescent moving into Homs tomorrow will bring clearer picture of situation there.

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March 1st, 2012, 3:44 pm

 

134. Uzair8 said:

118. jad said:

“Check out the ‘disappointment’ in Aljazeera presenters’ voice and looks…”

It is human nature and an instinctive reaction to express signs of disappointment at injustice or any success for criminals.

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March 1st, 2012, 4:11 pm

 

135. irritated said:

#133 Tara said:

“I applaud the FSA tactic withdrawal from Baba Amr”

Applaud? Tactical withdrawal?
You should be crying for the civilians they have abandoned after swearing they will protect them and fight to the end.

This “tactical withdrawal” is a noble term for running off for one’s life.

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March 1st, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

136. son of Damascus said:

Questioning the Syrian Casualty List?

Every time I discuss the Syrian tragedy with an anti-revolution or pro-Assad person, I would be faced with these questions: how do you know the numbers of killed people are right? Can you verify them? Why not count the killed soldiers too? Obviously, these people try to muddle the core problem and cover (unintentionally sometimes) for the Syrian regime atrocities. This is exactly what blogger Sharmine Narwani did in a long article in Al-Akhbar English. From a previous conversation with her on twitter, Sharmine might not be a pro-Assad person, but she is doing her best to doubt the genuine outcome and intentions of the peaceful uprising (yes peaceful, that’s how started, ok).

[...]

http://lebanonspring.com/2012/03/01/questioning-the-syrian-casualty-list-in-the-uprising-against-bashar-al-assad/

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March 1st, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

137. Tara said:

Irritated

“You should be crying for the civilians they have abandoned after swearing they will protect them and fight to the end.”

Love it. Is that an explicit admittance that Bashar and his thugs are killing civilians… Thanks Irritated, I could’nt have a better admittance of regime’s culpability in killing its own defensless civilians than your above statement. Don’t you think?

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March 1st, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

138. bronco said:

#136 Uzair8

“disappointment at injustice or any success for criminals.”

Rather a disappointment at another failure of the plan Al Jazeera and its owner have been promoting for months. Another slap on their face.
The Syrian army, the government and a large part of the population are united and the opposition is more and more disunited and in a state of decomposition ( as the french Le Point wrote). The international community is scrambling to find a face saving after hammering for the last 10 months that it was a matter of weeks, not months, that the regime will collapse and it is standing firmer than ever.
While the furious Arab hawks are rushing to throw their weight of money to bring in weapons to ‘help’ the opposition infiltrated with Al Qaeeda operatives, the USA and EU are worried that these will end up in the hands that will strike Israel and neighbouring allies.
Ghaliun ridiculous ‘military’ bureau is supposed to filter where the money goes. In the pocket of many for sure.
Another debacle in perspective.

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March 1st, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

139. Uzair8 said:

A new post is up.

@139 TARA

Yes. I noticed that. They (the regime in general) keep shooting themselves in the foot. The Beast-men have many feet*

*A reference to ‘the Godless Beast-men’ threads elsewhere based on former Hama attorney general Adnan Bakkour’s statement.

One thread:
http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showthread.php?t=9503

Recent post on that thread:
http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showpost.php?p=37216&postcount=29

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March 1st, 2012, 5:26 pm

 

140. irritated said:

Tara #139

in next post..

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March 1st, 2012, 5:34 pm

 

141. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Many syrians have fled to Lebanon. Areas around Baalbek city and the city itself is now full of syrians, mostly sunnis. Prices of rent flats haven doubled and now syrians begin to look for another areas like Rayyaq, Barelias, Anjar, etc. I was for half an hour in Dora round point last wednesday and I saw some syrians who came out of nothing. I also saw hurted syrians descending from buses and services taxis coming from the north. One of them could not walk – was being helped by two fellows – while his complete body was full of escamed skin (maybe chemical effects). They held no bags, nothing. I talked to one of them. They have lost everything. Homes, properties, relatives. But the have now what they never had in the past. Dignity. When I took a taxi in Beirut back home and the driver realized I was coming from Syria he began chanting pro Assad slogans I had no patience and I told him to shut up his mouth. He reacted in fear. Maybe this type of street coward moukhabaraat are not used to this kind of reactions. Something is definitely changing. Fear for Assads is gone. It is just a question of time until the regime falls.

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March 2nd, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

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