Syrian Pound at 90 per Dollar as Government Intervenes

The Central Bank has managed to bring the Syrian pound back down into a manageable trading range. It had plunged to an exchange rate over 100 pounds to a dollar. It is now below 100 to a dollar. How did it do this?

Reports are that the central bank sold only 2 million dollars. Yes, only 2 million dollars in order to calm the market. One friend reported paying 113 pounds for a dollar in Aleppo on Wednesday 7 March. On Thursday morning, the pound had risen to a range between 89 and 91 per pound. Six hours later it hit 103. The rate was bouncing all over the place between 85 to 113 per dollar; there was no real price.

If the Central Bank can hold the price of the pound below 90 per dollar, it will be doing very well. That is where it really belonged before the revolution. Syria had been pursuing a suicidal strong-pound policy for years. The artificially high rate of 47 pounds to a dollar ignored imbalances in the economy. It undercut Syrian exports and inflated the cost of doing business in Syria, which has too many impediments and too few attractions for foreign investment.

Most important, however, was that the strong currency encouraged Syrians to buy foreign goods well beyond their means. In effect, the government was giving Syrians free foreign currency to buy cars and other goods that the country could ill afford. This made Syrians feel good, but it ignored the real costs. The strong currency ignored the decline of oil revenues. The government was ignoring its costs which were rising. The government needed to down size and let go of workers, but it refused to do so, preserving the bloated and inefficient public sector industries.

Government costs of expanding subsidies were also draining the treasury. Fuel and food subsidies were sky-rocketing with the growing population and rising commodity prices.

The government has cut its expenses by half in allowing the currency to fall to 89 pounds to a dollar.

Traditionally economic bubbles are followed by a fall of asset prices by roughly 45%.  The Syria currency has fallen by 45%, should it stay at 89 pounds to a dollar. Of course, Syria is not going through a tradition economic bubble because it has a broad-based social revolution on its hands, but one should not ignore the economic causes of the Arab Spring. Economic failure underpinned this revolution.

If the Syrian revolution succeeds, it will be important for the revolutionary government not to repeat the bad economic choices of the Assad regime. Of course opposition parties have been almost silent on their economic prescriptions and plans, if they in fact have any. The cause of this silence is because most Syrians know precious little about economics, but more importantly opposition parities do not want to tell Syrians the bad news. They will have to cut government jobs and expenses.

If the Assad regime is forced to cut government jobs, stop subsidies, and allow the currency to trade at a more manageable rate, it will be blamed for the collapse. The new government will escape much of the blame for the terrible shape of the Syrian economy and will escape the necessity of imposing an austerity plan, which must be done by someone.

The new Egyptian parliament faces a gargantuan task in dealing with the economic troubles bequeathed it by Husni Mubarak. Few believe that it will be able to swiftly guide Egypt down the road of significant belt tightening and the rationalization of a public sector and monopoly industries that are not competitive.

The Syrian uprising is being driven largely by political factors, but one should not ignore the numbers. Ehasani, who has been writing for Syria Comment for over five years, has consistently warned us that Syria’s economic numbers do not add up. Eventually, reality would mug Syrians.

News Round Up below

Private sector’s hands tied as Syria sinks to its knees,  by Michael Karam, Mar 8, 2012

Syria Opposition Leader Rejects Dialogue
By AP / ZEINA KARAM Friday, Mar. 09, 2012

(BEIRUT) — The leader of Syria’s main opposition group rejected calls Friday by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for dialogue with President Bashar Assad’s government, saying they were pointless and unrealistic as the regime massacres its own people.

As the prospects for diplomacy faltered, Turkey’s state-run television TRT said two Syrian generals and a colonel defected to Turkey on Thursday.

If confirmed, the military defections would be significant as most army defectors so far have been low-level conscripts. On Thursday, Syria’s deputy oil minister announced his defection, making him the highest-ranking civilian official to join the opposition.

In a telephone interview from Paris, Burhan Ghalioun, who heads the opposition Syrian National Council, told The Associated Press that Annan already has disappointed the Syrian people…..

Burhan Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council dismissed such talk as naive. “My fear is that, like other international envoys before him, the aim is to waste a month or two of pointless mediation efforts,” he said. He added: “Any political solution will not succeed if it is not accompanied by military pressure on the regime.” Ghalioun also criticized Annan for not putting the blame for the violence squarely on the regime.

Following yesterday’s defection of a senior oil ministry official, Turkish television today reported that two Syrian generals and a colonel had defected to Turkey.

Islamism and the Syrian uprising
Posted By Nir Rosen
Thursday, March 8, 2012

James Clapper, the United States Director of National Intelligence, warned last month of al Qaeda taking advantage of the growing conflict in Syria. The Syrian regime and its supporters frequently claim that the opposition is dominated by al Qaeda-linked extremists. Opposition supporters often counter that the uprising is completely secular. But months of reporting on the ground in Syria revealed that the truth is more complex.

Syria’s uprising is not a secular one. Most participants are devout Muslims inspired by Islam. By virtue of Syria’s demography most of the opposition is Sunni Muslim and often come from conservative areas. The death of the Arab left means religion has assumed a greater role in daily life throughout the Middle East. A minority is secular and another minority is comprised of ideological Islamists. The majority is made of religious-minded people with little ideology, like most Syrians. They are not fighting to defend secularism (nor is the regime) but they are also not fighting to establish a theocracy. But as the conflict grinds on, Islam is playing an increasing role in the uprising.

Mosques became central to Syria’s demonstrations as early as March 2011 and influenced the uprising’s trajectory, with religion becoming increasingly more important. Often activists described how they had “corrected themselves” after the uprising started. Martyrs became important to a generation that had only seen martyrs on television from Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon. “People got more religious,” one activist in Damascus’s Barzeh neighborhood explained, “they got closer to death, you could be a martyr so people who drank or went out at night corrected themselves.” Some Arab satellite news stations have also contributed to the dominance of Islamists by interviewing more of them and focusing on them as opposed to more secular opposition figures or intellectuals. In Daraa activists complained that satellite networks were marginalizing prominent leftists….

Rosen’s other articles can be found found here:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/insidesyria/

Syria’s Alawite activists stuck in the middle – By Nir Rosen
Despite fears of sectarianism if the regime falls, some in the Alawite minority are speaking out against Assad.

Journalist Nir Rosen recently spent two months in Syria. As well as meeting members of various communities across the country – supporters of the country’s rulers and of the opposition alike – he spent time with armed resistance groups in Homs, Idlib, Deraa, and Damascus suburbs. He also travelled extensively around the country last year, documenting his experiences for Al Jazeera – including articles about the Alawite community.

The Syrian opposition has been stepping up efforts to get religious minorities involved in the year-old uprising. The exiled opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) recently issued a statement announcing that it “extends [a] hand to the Alawite community”, the sect which President Bashar al-Assad belongs to.

Although a minority, Alawites dominate Syria’s various security agencies, its army’s officer corps and key positions in the government. Western backers of the SNC and opponents of the regime often say the Damascus leadership will only fall when the Alawite community is persuaded to abandon it.

An older Sunni opposition intellectual who spent time in prison before and during the current uprising agreed with this analysis when I spoke to him in Damascus. “The system will fall only when Alawites believe they are headed in the wrong direction,” he said, adding that “Alawite intellectuals must realise that if they want to live in this country, they must be against the regime and with the revolution.”

Historically, Alawites have played a prominent role in the opposition. But in the ongoing uprising, there are few prominent Alawite voices. Many members of the community fear they will be marginalised if the Sunni majority gains power. Given their experiences of oppression before the Baath party took over in 1963, some statements by the opposition have only encouraged their fears.

When Maamun Homsi, a prominent exiled opposition figure, gave a rant threatening to exterminate all Alawites, he was not condemned by the SNC. Homsi urged the “despicable Alawites” to either renounce Assad, “or Syria will become your graveyard”. Shortly after his remarks, I spoke to a senior Western diplomat with influence over the SNC. He was outraged and urged SNC President Burhan Ghalioun to condemn the statement.

A recent SNC statement, urging communal tolerance, seems to be a response to pressure from American and European backers of the SNC.

“The regime has tried, since the beginning of the revolution, to fragment Syrian society and drive a wedge within mixed communities by dividing cities along military and security lines,” the February 26 statement said. “The Alawites remain an important component of Syria, and will continue to enjoy the same rights as other citizens as we build one nation of Christians, Muslims, and other sects. The regime will not be successful in pitting us against one another.”….

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: The Perils of Piecemeal Intervention
The New York Times: By JONATHAN TEPPERMAN, March 8, 2012

In Syria, we should go in big or stay home….

let’s not pretend that half-measures are preferable. Choosing policies just because they are cheap, gratifying and politically palatable is rarely a good idea, especially when they could well make matters worse. Those of us unwilling to tolerate more slaughter in Syria must confront the true nature of the military choices facing us.

We must now accept the hard facts and make an honest decision about what standing up for our interests and values will entail. If that means a major armed intervention, we should do it, but with no illusions.

Jonathan Tepperman is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

Out of Syria’s Carnage: A Survivor’s Testimony of Bab Amr’s Last Stand
Time.comBy VIVIENNE WALT | Time.com

….At that instant, a rocket exploded at the front of the building, killing Colvin and Ochlik instantly. The space was filled with dust. In the chaos, Daniels heard Bouvier scream, “William, William! I can’t move!” Her left leg was crooked. He pulled her out by the shoulders. She was bleeding heavily. Carrying his colleague, Daniels staggered to the doorway. As he glanced down, he saw his friend Ochlik, just 28, lifeless on the floor. “Edith,” he gasped to Bouvier, “Rémi is not with us anymore.”

6 civilians killed by armed groups in Syria’s Hama – 2012-03-08

DAMASCUS, March 8 (Xinhua) — Armed groups fired Rocket- Propelled grenades (RPGs) at a civilian bus in central Hama province Wednesday, killing six people instantly, state-run SANA news agency reported Thursday….

Opposition to the Syrian Opposition: Against the Syrian National Council
As`ad Abukhalil

The opposition to the Syrian National Council (SNC) can be predicated on several factors, primarily relating to matters of credibility, consistency, and honesty.

The Syrian National Council has already lied to the Syrian people repeatedly. There are many examples that can be summarized below.

a. It started as a movement that strictly adhered to non-violent struggle and now it has a military council to coordinate the violent overthrow of the regime by force (and this without in any way detracting from the right of the Syrian people—and all other Arab people—to overthrow by any means necessary the regime under which they live and suffer). Worse, the SNC now wants violence to be done by Syrians and by whoever else (Israelis too?) interested in overthrowing the regime.

b. The SNC first categorically rejected any political preferences in the Lebanese political conflict. Burhan Ghalyun famously said: keep us out of your conflicts in Lebanon. Now, the SNC is a close ally of the March 14 movement and it has issued political statements in support of this Hariri movement.

c. The SNC said it strictly opposed foreign intervention while it now begs for foreign intervention from any side—preferably allies of the US and Israel.

d. The SNC leadership said on a few occasions that the percentage of the Ikhwan in the SNC is no more than twenty percent. Yet, Ghalyun in several private meetings (including an off-the-record session with an Arab journalist) complained about Ikhwan domination of the SNC and said that he would not agree to serve as another Mahmud Jibril…..

Head of Israeli intelligence has a message for Syrians – see video

The NeoCon Propaganda Machine Pushing “Regime Change” in Syria – Counterpunch – by AISLING BYRNE

“War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

By December, senior United States officials were explicit about their regime change agenda for Syria: Tom Donilon, the US National Security Adviser, explained that the “end of the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran.”

Shortly before, a key official in terms of operationalizing this policy, Under Secretary of State for the Near East Jeffrey Feltman, had stated at a congressional hearing that the US would “relentlessly pursue our two-track strategy of supporting the opposition and diplomatically and financially strangling the [Syrian] regime until that outcome is achieved”.

What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime “more compatible” with US interests in the region…..

Syrian Kurds Flee Into Iraqi Refugee Limbo – By: Jack Healy | The New York Times

Syria’s Armed Opposition by Institute for the Study of War
Download the PDF

Executive Summary

  • This report provides detailed information on Syria’s armed opposition movement, highlighting where structure exists within the movement and where Syria’s rebels lack organization.  This report does not advocate for or against the policy of arming the Syrian opposition.
  • Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012 about issues that were restraining the United States from supporting the armed opposition in Syria.  “It is not clear what constitutes the Syrian armed opposition – there has been no single unifying military alternative that can be recognized, appointed, or contacted,” he said.
  • The armed Syrian opposition is identifiable, organized, and capable, even if it is not unified.  The Free Syrian Army (FSA), nominally headquartered in Turkey, thus functions more as an umbrella organization than a traditional military chain of command.
  • Three of Syria’s most effective militias maintain direct ties to the Free Syrian Army.  They include The Khalid bin Walid Brigade near Homs; the Harmoush Battalion in the northern Jebel al-Zawiya mountains; and the Omari Battalion in the southern Hawran plain, the name used by locals for the agricultural plateau that comprises Syria’s Dera’a province. Appendix 1 lists biographical details of the insurgent leaders affiliated with many effective fighting units. Appendix 2 provides an order of battle for the armed opposition groups by province.
  • Other large and capable rebel groups do not maintain such a close relationship with the FSA headquarters in Turkey, but nevertheless refer to themselves as members of the Free Syrian Army.
  • Despite the regime’s assault on Homs in February 2012, the insurgency remains capable. The rebels who withdrew from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs at the beginning of March 2012 have demonstrated the tactical wherewithal to retreat in order to preserve combat power.
  • The Assad regime escalated attacks against the rebels after they defended Zabadani against the Army’s offensive.   The affront was probably significant in itself, and the Assad regime could not allow the rebels to hold terrain against the Army.  But Zabadani is also vitally important to the regime and to Iran because the city serves as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force logistical hub for supplying Lebanese Hezbollah.
  • The Assad regime is likely to continue its strategy of disproportionate force in an attempt to end the uprising as quickly as possible. Indiscriminate artillery fire allows the regime to raise cost of dissent while preserving its increasingly stretched maneuver force.
  • The rebels’ resiliency will make the Assad regime’s endurance difficult, but the external support to his regime makes predictions of his imminent fall premature.  The Syrian regime has not yet demonstrated the capacity to conduct enough large, simultaneous, or successive operations in multiple urban areas to suppress the insurgency.   But it is possible that the technical and material support that Iran and Russia are providing will enable the regime to increase its span of control and its ability to fight insurgents in multiple locales without culminating.
  • The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime’s control.
  • The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition.
  • As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase.  Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime’s escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006.  Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend.
  • It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria.
  • American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad’s wake.
  • Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria’s armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.

Read The Struggle for Syria in 2011.

Comments (683)


Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 1114 » Show All

151. irritated said:

#143 Omen

“The Salafi ideology just hasn’t been as important in Syria.”

Who can guarantee that with the money pouring from KSA and/or Qatar in a country stricken by poverty, they would not become much more important?
Who knew they were so important in Egypt and growing?

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 12:02 pm

 

152. omen said:

873 @ 11:09

would a true French lobby to firebomb and flatten Paris? Or a Brit, London?

you’re suggesting a true patriot would allow himself to be slaughtered by the country’s dictator without protest.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:02 pm

 

153. Observer said:

[NOTE: ‘scum’ is on the list of words previous moderators added to exclude the term. Joshua Landis may not have time to read each comment in detail. Please send questions directly if in doubt.]

Today Fredo said that the crisis will not be amenable to a solution as long as there are terrorist elements in the country.

This means that he is not about to back down when it comes to the military security solution. This also means that there is no alternative than to arm and aid the defectors.

On a second note, how ironic that he is saying exactly what the SNC is saying.. There is no solution and no dialogue as long as thugs are running the regime.

On a third note, the announcements by the regime that the situation is getting better and that the crisis will be over in a few days is therefore not true. There is clearly according to Fredo “armed terrorist gangs” and they seem to be increasing rather than decreasing as we see the army being deployed in a variety of places.

Now as I predicted the West is very happy to see Russia carry the Syrian regime in its lap and by so doing weaken its international standing and tarnish its reputation.

Alain Juppe declared today that any resolution that equates between the regime and the opposition is a non starter and therefore the “magic” has turned against the “magician” and it is now the burden on Russia to try and pass a UNSC resolution to save the regime.

Also it is clear that Lavrov went to the AL to get KSA and others not to arm the rebellion and this is clearly a non starter and he failed in this regard. The fig leaf he was given is for all fighting to stop and for neutral observes and for humanitarian
aid to flow immediately and for all parties to abide by the rules and to help Kofi in his bid to talk sense to Fredo.

Now if Fredo is saying no dialogue how come some on this blog advocate dialogue.

After all they are terrorists salafists MB scum bent on bringing firebombing of their own country and they are completely disunited and at the pay of US Qatar GCC etc…. why have dialogue with them unless it is to have a dialogue with oneself or with a “supposed” opposition that is willing to compromise beforehand.

I say no dialogue Fredo, I say cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war and let us see what remains of Somaria Alassad with its barbaric supporters pretending to be modern glamorous Asma-like adoring fans.

One final question to Professor Landis; notwithstanding the open forum for comments aren’t you kind of disappointed at the utter despicable flooding of your comment sections with pure cut and paste in a clear effort to drown debate and silence real argumentation?

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 13

March 10th, 2012, 12:03 pm

 

154. Tara said:

Jeurgen

;)

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 12:08 pm

 

155. irritated said:

141. jad

I can’t believe my eyes. Bigbird look totally beaten up as he is reading the final statement where there is no mention of the defunct AL plan of asking Bashar to resign.
That’s a huge U-Turn.
I wonder if BB did not finally realized that by sticking to his obsession of getting rid of Bashar at any cost, even military, Qatar was been blamed as warmongers and becoming accomplice to further violence. It is also loosing its aura in the Arab countries as a peace maker.
I hope that will materialize with the resignation of Ghaliun, the reshuffling of the SNC and the appearance of the NCC on the foreground, followed by the dialog.

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

156. Observer said:

Fredo said that the crisis is not amenable to a solution as long as there are armed terrorist operating in the country.

Lavrov and AL five points have been announced.

Here are my points
1. Fredo has contradicted his regime’s previous assertion that the situation is getting better and that we are about to finish the armed gangs. Clearly there are more of them as time goes by otherwise why insist on continued action against them

2. How ironic that he is using the same argument as the SNC which has from the outset identified the thuggish regime and its mafia composition and style as the major obstacle to any real reform and to a dialogue for a new Syria

3. Lavrov went to get KSA and others not to arm the rebellion as they have seen the performance of the regime forces to be less than stellar and he got a fig leaf of a five point plan that is clearly nothing more than face saving attempt to get it to put pressure on Syria

4. As I predicted before the Syrian regime has become a burden on Russia and now the magic has turned on the magician with Alain Juppe declaring that any resolution that equates between the regime and the resistance of the population is a non starter. Russia is now in the “driver’s” seat and has to manage stupid Fredo

5. It is clear from the declaration of RT arabic today that Lavrov is also trying to salvage the role of Russia in the Arab world as they see losing all 22 countries for the sake of Fredo

6. Finally, I agree with Fredo, let there be no dialogue and cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war and let us what remains of Somaria Alassad with its adoring fans drooling over the dashing figure with his glamorous married to the mob spouse trailing behind and having to listen to his “lectures”.

From now on I see no reason to have any Fredo supporter on this blog call for dialogue as Fredo himself has joined the SNC in declaring that there is no way forward talking to thugs/MB/Salafi/Terrorist/Armed gangs/World Wide conspiracy Blackwater/CIA/Iranin/HA/Israeli/Russian trained thugs.

Mirror mirror who is fairest among them all?

Any guess what the answer is Fredo?

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

March 10th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

157. irritated said:

#153. Observer

Do you seriously believe that your posts are samples of “real argumentation”?
I prefer a thousand times cut and paste.

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 11

March 10th, 2012, 12:14 pm

 

158. Ghufran said:

Different people read things differently,my own opinion is that the AL heads are backing off,and their new position is a slap on the face of the SNC and all of those who are advocating violence as a solution to the Syrian crisis. Read the joint statement again if you disagree and notice the absence of any calls for Bashar to resign.If this initiative receives the backing of the UN and avoids a US veto,then it will put the regime and the opposition to the test. Those who think that the Russian-AL plan will give the regime a second life are wrong,the regime is unpopular and can not survive any clean election,actually it has a better chance of surviving an armed campaign.
What the US and the EU will ask is adding guarantees and punitive measures against the regime if it does not comply,the Russians will insist that all parties receive the same treatment if they fail to adhere to the plan.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

March 10th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

159. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/95919c62-c6ea-4519-a604-a47a6e804fde?GoogleStatID=1

قتلى بإدلب وإسقاط مروحية وتدمير دبابات

ذكر ناشطون سوريون أن 12 شخصا على الأقل قتلوا اليوم السبت في عملية شنها الأمن في إدلب شمال البلاد معقل الجيش السوري الحر، الذي أكد إسقاط مروحية وتدمير ست دبابات في المدينة التي تتعرض لأعنف قصف منذ تشديد الحصار عليها قبل أيام.

وأضاف الناشطون أن القتلى سقطوا في قصف مركّز من قوات النظام السوري استهدف مدينتي إدلب وسراقب وقرى جبل الزاوية بمحافظة إدلب.

كما أفاد ناشطون بسقوط قتلى وجرحى في قصف من القوات النظامية استهدف بلدتي داريا ومعضمية الشام بريف دمشق صباح اليوم.

وذكر ناشطون أن دبابات الجيش النظامي اقتحمت مجددا منطقة الجيزة بدرعا، وأن مدرعات اقتحمت حي الجبيلة وسط مدينة دير الزور. وفي بلدة تلدو بحمص سقط قتيل وعدد من الجرحى في قصف للجيش السوري.

وفي حمص أيضا تحدث ناشطون عن قصف استهدف أحياء عشيرة وكرم الزيتون والشهداء والرفاعي صاحَبَه نزوح للأهالي، وأضافوا أن الجيش يطبق الحصار على حي الرفاعي.

وسقط ثلاثة قتلى على الأقل في قصف للجيش على داريا بريف دمشق في الساعات الأولى من صباح اليوم، كما قال ناشطون إن قتلى وجرحى سقطوا أيضا اليوم في قصف على معضمية الشام. وفي مدينة دوما بريف دمشق أيضا سُجل إطلاق نار كثيف وعشوائي على المنازل.

وفي درعا جنوب البلاد قرب الحدود السورية الأردنية، ذكر نشطاء أن القوات الحكومية قصفت مناطق حدودية لمنع المعارضين والمنشقين من الفرار إلى الأردن.

وفي هذه الأثناء، اقتحمت مدرعات حي الجبيلة وسط مدينة دير الزور. كما أفاد ناشطون بأن دبابات الجيش السوري النظامي اقتحمت مجددا منطقة الجيزة في درعا، وسط إطلاق نار كثيف مع سماع دوي عشرات الانفجارات.

وفي حماة، دوت عشرات الانفجارات بمنطقة الصابونية والعليليات، تبعها إطلاق نار كثيف من حواجز الجيش والأمن على المنازل.

الجيش الحر أكد إسقاط مروحية للجيش النظامي وتدمير ست دبابات (الجزيرة)
إسقاط وتدمير
وفي تطور ميداني لافت قال قائد الجيش السوري الحر العقيد رياض الأسعد إن قواته استطاعت إسقاط مروحية وتدمير ست دبابات في إدلب، وأفاد بانشقاق ثلاثين عنصرا من الجيش ومعهم دباباتان.

وفي السياق دعا أمين سر المجلس العسكري للجيش الحر النقيب عمار الواوي إلى تصعيد ما وصفه بالعمل الثوري بمناسبة الذكرى السنوية الأولى للثورة السورية يوم 15 مارس/آذار الجاري.

وطلب الواوي من الجالي
[…]

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

March 10th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

160. zoo said:

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad firmly in control, U.S. intelligence officials say

By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, Published: March 9 | Updated: Saturday, March 10, 2:50 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrias-bashar-al-assad-firmly-in-control-us-intelligence-officials-say/2012/03/09/gIQAv7r71R_story.html?hpid=z3

A year into the uprising in Syria, senior U.S. intelligence officials described the nation’s president, Bashar al-Assad, on Friday as firmly in control and increasingly willing to unleash one of the region’s most potent militaries on badly overmatched opposition groups.

The officials also said Assad’s inner circle is “remaining steadfast,” with little indication that senior figures in the regime are inclined to peel off, despite efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to use sanctions and other measures to create a wave of defections that would undermine Assad.

Assad “is very much in charge,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for tracking the conflict, adding that Assad and his inner circle seem convinced that the rebellion is being driven by external foes and that they are equipped to withstand all but a large-scale military intervention.

“That leadership is going to fight very hard,” the official said. Over the long term, “the odds are against them,” he said, “but they are going to fight very hard.”

The comments, provided by three intelligence officials on the condition of anonymity to share candid assessments, were the most detailed to date by U.S. analysts on the status of the uprising, which began last March.

The officials said the regime’s tactics have taken a more aggressive turn, and newly declassified satellite images released Friday show what officials described as “indiscriminate” artillery damage to schools, mosques and other facilities in the beleaguered city of Homs in recent weeks.

Overall, they described Syria as a formidable military power, with 330,000 active-duty soldiers, surveillance drones supplied by Iran and a dense network of air defense installations that would make it difficult for the United States or other powers to establish a no-fly zone.

“This is an army that was built for a land war with the Israelis,” said a second senior U.S. intelligence official. After the regime hesitated to attack civilian population centers earlier in the conflict, its “restraint . . . has been lifted,” the official said.
(..)

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

161. omen said:

irritated @ 12:02

you fear the future. i fear the present. it’s what is happening now that should be addressed. should we turn a blind eye to people being slaughtered because we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow?

qatar is relatively liberal. you probably know this but just to be clear muslim brotherhood are not salafists. the reason MB got more votes for parliament in egypt than expected is because the liberal secularists boycotted the elections.

i don’t know why this is important when innocent children are being slain. must we require a religious/ideological test before offering aid to people suffering?

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

162. jad said:

Irritated
#157 so true :)

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

163. Juergen said:

Irritated

i personally think that this sheikh is just gone nuts and well some make the joke that boxers arent smarter after they quit their profession. But i do think that his ideas and his view on islam is dangerous. We have seen a killing of two american GI at Frankfurt airport, and the young killer( i think he was 21) was one of his fans.

I just found this video showing Abdel Razak Tlass, anyone has an idea if thats a current one? I assume Bab Amr is under regime control nowadays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e7O4GEHu9FM#!

Idleb bombing today

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 12:24 pm

 

164. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

Kuwaiti parliament member is showing a video on Bashar al-Assad’s war crimes in Kuwait parliament:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz-bLRD0-bE&feature=related
جمعان الحربش وعرض بعض الصور والمشاهد عن الوضع في سوريا

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 12:25 pm

 

165. bronco said:

#158 Ghufran

“the regime is unpopular and can not survive any clean election”

I have strong doubts about that. If the regime is able to get the Russian-Al plan as a UNSC resolution, it will be an international acceptance of the Syrian regime narrative, that of disorganized and foreign inspired groups trying to make a military coup.
That would be seen as a victory for the regime and make it more popular.
In an election, the potential candidates, with very few exceptions, are polluted by their foreign affiliations.
Elections could be a huge surprise.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 14

March 10th, 2012, 12:30 pm

 

166. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,
“Does THE opposition really exists? It is serie of fragmented groups, all trying to show they represent THE syrians. They have no serious political, no economical program. If it existed and was united, it would have attracted much more Syrians on their side. In the contrary they have been loosing many. If the international community has not recognized yet the SNC as the representative of the Syrians, why would Bashar?”

The opposition does not equal the SNC alone, I know you think one party and one man can represent the diversity of the Syrian people, I don’t and I am happy that what you call “fragmentation” of the opposition is there because not one party or umbrella group can possibly cover the rich diversity of the Syrian people.

I would like to remind you that even the NCB under Manaa3 is asking for that compromise, no dialogue with the butcher.

The fact that Bashar can only really rely on 10% of the army and the rest is the security service, is an indication he does not trust his very own army.
As for the supposed support he has, you are vastly over exaggerating his support, may I remind you its been a whole year and this so called ‘mouaamara’ was not been crushed. 10000 Dead Syrians (and counting) for the butcher to keep his job.

Irritated at what magic number does Bashar turn to a criminal in your eyes, how many more Syrians need to die for this creep exactly?

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

March 10th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

167. Alan said:

witjout comment !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcLTqo4jEK4
=========================================
Obama Plans More Middle East Wars
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29681
=========================================
The Mother of All Bombs”: a “great weapon” to use on Iran, says US air force chief
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29680

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

168. omen said:

151. irritated said:

nir rosen: “The Salafi ideology just hasn’t been as important in Syria.”

Who can guarantee that with the money pouring from KSA and/or Qatar in a country stricken by poverty, they would not become much more important? Who knew they were so important in Egypt and growing?

you fear coming to the aid of people you suspect as extremists. what if failing to act to help people in need ends up being the thing that triggers the growth of extremism? a people abandoned engenders bitterness and radicalism.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

169. irritated said:

#163 Juergen

Abdel Razak Tlass is as mysterious as Adnan Bakkour.
If he is alive, why doesn’t the FSA announces it as a rebuff to the announcement of his death by the regime?
There has been a recent video showing him that Majedalkhadoon posted, but his real whereabouts are unknown.
By the way God seems to have had an important role in the bombing of the tank, in view of the amount of praise the fighters are yelling.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

170. jad said:

“the Russians will insist that all parties receive the same treatment if they fail to adhere to the plan.”
Could you please tell us how you think the Russians will react when bunch of terrorists armed militias doesn’t listen to the ‘plan’ while being supported, financed and armed by every radical of the region?
It’s way much easier to force the Syrian government to stick to any plan you want and it’s almost impossible to force terrorists to do one item of any plan, especially when they have such support, I wonder if Alqaeda gt such support for it’s work in the States and Europe what the world would look like today.
All these plans means nothing if they don’t get fairly implemented on ALL including the warmongers of Qatara, KSA, France, Turkey, UK, Alqaeda and the rest of the ‘angles’ who are killing Syria.

SYRIE/ Une journée avec les terroristes à Idlib, 07.03.2012

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

171. jad said:

“qatar is relatively liberal.”
LOLOLOL lots of ‘gems’ written today…

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

172. Mina said:

A good place to study if one wants to see how the Wahhabis have destroyed a pluralistic society is Pakistan in the 70’s.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

173. Son of Damascus said:

No Talks With Opposition Groups, Syria Leader Tells U.N. Envoy

By KAREEM FAHIM
Published: March 10, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — High-level diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting in Syria foundered Saturday as President Bashar al-Assad shut the door on any immediate negotiations with the opposition and escalated a new military assault on the city of Idlib.

Mr. Assad told the United Nations envoy Kofi Annan that such talks would be fruitless as long as “terrorist groups” were operating in the country

[…]

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/world/middleeast/no-talks-with-syria-opposition-groups-leader-tells-un-envoy.html

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

174. irritated said:

#166 SOD

“Irritated at what magic number does Bashar turn to a criminal in your eyes, how many more Syrians need to die for this creep exactly?”

The magic numbers are:
– The number of important officials that resign
– The number of generals and soldiers that resign
– The number of Syrians who wants Bashar to resign
– The number of countries that breakup relations with the country
– The number of UN security resolutions that ask Bashar to resign
– The number of popular figures in the opposition that could take over the country

These are some of the numbers that counts to deligitimize Bashar al Assad.
You keep repeating the qualifier ‘criminal, butcher, assassin etc…’ Obviously not everybody shares your opinion, as he is still in power and recognized by the world community as the president of all the Syrians. Bush was called like that too by many people and he stayed in power to the end of his term.
Finally you come up with these absurd numbers of 10% of the army. Haven’t you read ALL the articles that repeat that Bashar is in control of the country even after a year of turmoil and incapacitating sanctions? Do you think you know better?

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

March 10th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

175. jad said:

Exactly Mina, this site will be a great archive of how Syria changed from being a diverse, tolerant and beautiful country to the new Afghanistan of the middle east with the help of delusional Syrians, backward khalijis, fake ‘pro-palestinians’, colonial powers, terrorists groups and Balckwater agents.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

176. Alan said:

174. IRRITATED
فالج و لا تعالج ! الدماغ مسدود !

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 12:55 pm

 

177. jad said:

‘Honest effort’ from Assad, action plan from Russia and Arab league

Syrian President Bashar Assad has told UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan Damascus is ready to make “an honest effort “to halt violence in the country. Russia and the Arab League also agreed on a joint five-point position in support of Annan’s mission.
Speaking with former UN Secretary-General Annan in Damascus on Saturday, Assad said “Syria is ready to make a success of any honest effort to find a solution for the events it is witnessing,” SANA quoted him as saying.
However, Assad asserted “no political dialogue or political activity can succeed while there are armed terrorist groups operating and spreading chaos and instability.”
The high-profile meeting was intended to set in motion a “political process” to curb spiraling violence and prevent further militarization of the conflict.
The talks were underway place amid incoming media reports about fresh clashes in the northwestern city of Idlib. One activist told Reuters by phone that “regime forces have just stormed into Idlib with tanks and heavy shelling is now taking place.”
{…}
http://rt.com/news/anan-assad-syria-ceasefire-247/

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 12:56 pm

 

178. zoo said:

Isn’t too late for these ‘should’ and ‘must’ advices to the opposition?

Syria opposition needs to assure army defectors
National Editorial
Mar 9, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/syria-opposition-needs-to-assure-army-defectors
….
The opposition should grasp this dynamic and reassure Alawite officers, who hold the highest ranks, that they will not face discrimination and will be protected if they defect. Unfortunately, the opposition has so far vowed to uproot the whole of the regime, including all of Mr Al Assad’s Alawite loyalists. Such an attitude means those officers will fight with the regime until the end.

There are also opposition elements that have shown little interest in the defection of higher-ranking officers or officials, to avoid competition. Worse, some Syrian activists reported the systematic killing of Alawite soldiers captured by the Free Syrian Army.

The opposition must send an unequivocal message of a nonsectarian approach to post-Assad Syria. They should follow the example of the 1980s opposition figure Jamal Attasi, whose party affirmed that the regime’s violence must not be seen as sectarian, and warned of a Lebanese-style sectarian conflict.

The opposition must build a political infrastructure within the Syrian National Council to accommodate everyone, regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation. It must also unambiguously distance itself from sectarian violence.
(..)

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

179. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

So he can keep on killing Syrians as long as the UN, and his generals don’t stop him. There is no magic number of people he can kill where he is a criminal in your eyes. I understand.

As for repeating the ‘qualifier’ as you said, he deserves a lot worse than I have ever said about him.

I have read many articles and actual experts (including the good Dr who’s name is on this blog) have backed what I said. Perhaps you should expand your reading from the usual propaganda machines (i.e. Dunnia, Xin Haun, …) and include some of those ‘imperial’ media that is so biased against the boy-king.

Every expert is saying he is doomed, his regime is doomed, it is only a matter of when not if!

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

March 10th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

180. Son of Damascus said:

Alan,

If you would like to call me brain dead at the very least have the decency to address me directly.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

181. zoo said:

Understanding Syria’s Armed Opposition
Download the PDF
Executive Summary

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/syrias-armed-opposition

This report provides detailed information on Syria’s armed opposition movement, highlighting where structure exists within the movement and where Syria’s rebels lack organization. This report does not advocate for or against the policy of arming the Syrian opposition.
..
The armed Syrian opposition is identifiable, organized, and capable, even if it is not unified. The Free Syrian Army (FSA), nominally headquartered in Turkey, thus functions more as an umbrella organization than a traditional military chain of command.

Three of Syria’s most effective militias maintain direct ties to the Free Syrian Army. They include The Khalid bin Walid Brigade near Homs; the Harmoush Battalion in the northern Jebel al-Zawiya mountains; and the Omari Battalion in the southern Hawran plain, the name used by locals for the agricultural plateau that comprises Syria’s Dera’a province. Appendix 1 lists biographical details of the insurgent leaders affiliated with many effective fighting units. Appendix 2 provides an order of battle for the armed opposition groups by province.

Other large and capable rebel groups do not maintain such a close relationship with the FSA headquarters in Turkey, but nevertheless refer to themselves as members of the Free Syrian Army.

Despite the regime’s assault on Homs in February 2012, the insurgency remains capable. The rebels who withdrew from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs at the beginning of March 2012 have demonstrated the tactical wherewithal to retreat in order to preserve combat power.
(…)

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

March 10th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

182. irritated said:

SOD #179

Do you agree that the Washington Post is not ‘friendly’ to Bashar?

60. zoo said:

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad firmly in control, U.S. intelligence officials say

By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, Published: March 9 | Updated: Saturday, March 10, 2:50 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrias-bashar-al-assad-firmly-in-control-us-intelligence-officials-say/2012/03/09/gIQAv7r71R_story.html?hpid=z3

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

March 10th, 2012, 1:10 pm

 

183. jad said:

Mina,
Did you read this article bout the governments war against the public in the backdoors of the media:

The dirty war on WikiLeaks
John Pilger

War by media, says current military doctrine, is as important as the battlefield. This is because the real enemy is the public at home, whose manipulation and deception is essential for starting an unpopular colonial war. Like the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Iran and Syria require a steady drip-effect on readers’ and viewers’ consciousness. This is the essence of a propaganda that rarely speaks its name.

To the chagrin of many in authority and the media, WikiLeaks has torn down the facade behind which rapacious western power and journalism collude. This was an enduring taboo; the BBC could claim impartiality and expect people to believe it. Today, war by media is increasingly understood by the public, as is the trial by media of WikiLeaks’ founder and editor Julian Assange.
{…}
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/09/julian-assange-wikileaks

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

March 10th, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

184. Alan said:

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad firmly in control, U.S. intelligence officials say
http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/syrias-bashar-al-assad-firmly-in-control-u-s-intelligence-officials-say/
washingtonpost.com

A year into the uprising in Syria, senior U.S. intelligence officials described the nation’s president, Bashar al-Assad, on Friday as firmly in control and increasingly willing to unleash one of the region’s most potent militaries on badly overmatched opposition groups.

The officials also said Assad’s inner circle is “remaining steadfast,” with little indication that senior figures in the regime are inclined to peel off, despite efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to use sanctions and other measures to create a wave of defections that would undermine Assad.

Assad “is very much in charge,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for tracking the conflict, adding that Assad and his inner circle seem convinced that the rebellion is being driven by external foes and that they are equipped to withstand all but a large-scale military intervention.

“That leadership is going to fight very hard,” the official said. Over the long term, “the odds are against them,” he said, “but they are going to fight very hard.”

The comments, provided by three intelligence officials on the condition of anonymity to share candid assessments, were the most detailed to date by U.S. analysts on the status of the uprising, which began last March………………….

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

March 10th, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

185. omen said:

@12:52

one can surmise from irritated’s checklist, he doesn’t care how many people assad murders. he’s got every other metric covered except a body count. who knew there were so many people willing to defend dictators.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

March 10th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

186. jna said:

SANA said:

President al-Assad said that any political dialogue or political process can not succeed as long as there are armed terrorist groups that are working to spread chaos and destabilize the country through targeting citizens, both civilian and military, and vandalizing private and public properties.

http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/03/10/405244.htm

Then CNN said:

He also reiterated that “political dialogue or action cannot take place or succeed if there are terrorist armed gangs on the ground that are working on spreading chaos and target the stability of the homeland,” the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/10/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html

Is CNN doing some tailoring to Assad’s remarks?

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

187. Mina said:

Thanks Jad for Pilger’s article.
There is very little people who have time to read the Wikileaks.
I hope when Syria is in peace people like you and many others will have time to dig in the trove and translate the important stuff into Arabic. It is time to educate the teenagers.

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Category:Syria

http://wikileaks.org/gitmo/

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_Red_Cell_Memorandum_on_United_States_%22exporting_terrorism%22,_2_Feb_2010

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

March 10th, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

188. omen said:

irritated: These are some of the numbers that counts to deligitimize Bashar al Assad.

you have a double standard. you give assad a free pass while requiring the opposition to jump through multiple hoops.

how can you confer legitimacy to a mass murderer?

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 1:33 pm

 

189. irritated said:

Omen #186

I was expecting that remark that I have not listed the number of casualties among the ‘magic number’.
One reason is that the body counts are on both side and still debatable.
Secondly, as we have seen in Iraq and Libya, the number of victims do not play a significant role in the international community political and military intervention, or if it does, it is used as a pretext for another political purpose as it was in Libya.

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

March 10th, 2012, 1:41 pm

 

190. omen said:

firms have plotted how to introduce fake memos to wikileaks.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/02/10/143419/lobbyists-chamberleaks/?mobile=nc

i’m not suggesting the syrian memos are fake (is there a way to know for sure until an independent agency has vetted them?) but i have noticed how it’s russia & iran who are pushing the story the hardest.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

March 10th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

191. irritated said:

#189. omen

I don’t confer it, the international community does.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

192. irritated said:

#185 Majedalkhadoon

“The crusaders in Syria are committing crimes as they support the most criminal Bashar”

So does the Kurds, the Druze, the Sunni business community, most alawites, the army. Now they have all become crusaders?

Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

193. omen said:

irritated 1:41 i agree with you we had no business going into iraq. but libyans themselves called for intervention as is syria. not all conflicts can be lumped together as the same.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

March 10th, 2012, 1:50 pm

 

194. Mina said:

How the Wahhabis have destroyed Eritrea (through the Wahhabization of Sudanese Muslim Brothers):
how it was in 2004
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2004/02/04ASMARA192.html#

All the cables on Syria
http://dazzlepod.com/cable/search/?q=damascus

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

March 10th, 2012, 1:51 pm

 

195. jad said:

Bassam AlKadi- بسام القاضي
نصف قرن من العقوبات الإقتصادية على كوريا الشمالية: جاع الشعب، ولم يجع النظام..
أربع عقود من العقوبات الاقتصادية على إيران: خسر الشعب ولم يخسر النظام..
ثلاثة عقود من العقوبات الاقتصادية على ليبيا: تعب الشعب ولم يتعب النظام..
عقدين من العقوبات الاقتصادية على العراق: قتل الشعب ولم يقتل النظام..
عقدين من العقوبات الاقتصادية على سورية (1978 # 2000): جاع الشعب ولم يجع النظام..

الدول التي تفرضها اليوم ضد سورية: تفرضها ضدي وضدك.. وليس ضد النظام..
والذين عملوا من أجل فرضها وما زالوا يعملون من “السوريين” يستهدفوني أنا وأنت.. وليس النظام..

هل من مجرم أو أحمق سيقول اليوم أن هدف العقوبات الاقتصادية على سورية شيئا آخر سوى إجبار الناس على الاختيار: الموت جوعا، أو الموت لإسقاط النظام واستبداله بمجرمين مرتزقة وخونة وعملاء؟!

https://www.facebook.com/alkadi.bassam/posts/406396692710956

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

March 10th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

196. omen said:

irritated 1:43 the checklist you offered were your requirements that needed to be met before you would consider him illegitimate.

you still haven’t answered SOD’s question. how high does the body count have to be before you’d consider intervening? or is more the better?

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

March 10th, 2012, 2:00 pm

 

197. Ghufran said:

The true test for a politician’s popularity is clean elections not what I or anybody else say about him or her. There was little or no violence prior to March,2011 but the regime did nothing to reform the political system or security forces,the concept that a corrupt regime will reform itself is more of a fantasy than a real idea,that is why the regime waited until Syrians rose up and many took up arms before the issue of dialogue and power sharing suddenly becomes sexy.violence can only help thugs and hawks,but everybody else loses,we can see now how violence is helping the regime dodge the issue of elections and power sharing,violence is a wish that came true for those who never believed in democracy and political freedom,it is a vicious
cycle that now has a life on its own.
As for jad’s question of how anti regime forces will be held accountable if they refuse the Russian-AL plan,the answer is exclusion from the political process and the end of political and financial support from neighboring countries,epecially Turkey.
The team around Bashar especially Almouallem,will probably advise him to accept the plan knowing that the other side can not speak with one voice and they are likely to appear as obstructionists and red revolutionists. None of that will stop the regime’s campaign in Idleb and reef Halab which is seen as crucial to securing a strong position at any future negotiation.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

March 10th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

198. Shami said:

irritated ,the first democratic elections in post Assad Syria will tell the size of the shabiha people ,islamophobs and other hezbollahis ,wait and see,your god is not eternal.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 21

March 10th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

199. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

200. SHAMI

I agree with you % 100!

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 17

March 10th, 2012, 2:17 pm

 

200. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

Terrorist Assad is blaming freedom-fighters and unarmed civilians :-)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/2012310133611307206.html
Assad tells Annan ‘terrorists’ block solution

Former UN chief visits Syria as attacks continue, while Russia and Arab nations agree in Cairo on need to halt violence.

President Bashar al-Assad has told Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy, that no political solution is possible in Syria while “terrorist” groups are destabilising the country.

“Syria is ready to make a success of any honest effort to find a solution for the events it is witnessing,” state news agency SANA quoted Assad as telling his guest in Damascus on Saturday.

“No political dialogue or political activity can succeed while there are armed terrorist groups operating and spreading chaos and instability,” the Syrian leader said after about two hours of talks with the former UN secretary-general.

There was no immediate comment from Annan after the meeting, aimed at halting bloodshed that has cost thousands of lives since a popular uprising erupted a year ago.

Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, reporting from Beirut, said observers are eagerly awaiting Annan’s assessment of the meeting.

“As of now, we are only hearing from one side, the Syrian state media. Their descriptions were positive but don’t sound terribly optimistic. It doesn’t sound, from the Syrian side fo things, that very much progress has been made,” Turton said.

[…]

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, who has led calls for Assad to be isolated, and for the Syrian oppositon to be armed, said a ceasefire was not enough.

Syrian leaders must be held to account and political prisoners freed, he declared.

“We must send a message to the Syrian regime that the world’s patience and our patience has run out, as has the time for silence about its practices,” Qatar’s prime minister said.

Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said shortcomings in the UN Security Council, where Russia and China have twice vetoed resolutions on Syria, had allowed the killing to go on.

Their position, he said, “gave the Syrian regime a licence to extend its brutal practices against the Syrian people”.

[…]

Lavrov told Arab ministers in Cairo that a new UN Security Council resolution had a chance of being approved if it was not driven by a desire to let the armed opposition take control of Syria’s streets.

The US has drafted a fresh resolution, but the State Department said on Friday it was not optimistic that its text would be accepted by the Security Council.

France says it will oppose any measure that holds the Syrian government and its foes equally responsible for the bloodshed.

Despite their differences, Lavrov and Arab ministers said they had agreed on the need for an end to violence in Syria.

They also called for unbiased monitoring of events there, opposition to foreign intervention, delivery of humanitarian aid and support for Annan’s peace efforts.

[…]

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 19

March 10th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 1114 » Show All

Post a comment


two − = 0