Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
The Syrian pound is trading at 59.4 to a dollar today. It has lost 25% of its value since March, when the per-revolution equilibrium was maintained at 47 per-dollar. Only a week ago, the pound was at 54 to a dollar. The Arab League announcement of its possibly stiff sanctions has taken much of the remaining wind out of the Syrian economy. In talking to Syrians over the last two days, I have heard everyone say that a very somber mood of isolation prevails among Syrians. Many of the minorities claim that Syrians are evincing a spirit of solidarity in the face of the latest round of sanctions, but that the general mood is one of profound isolation. Businessmen will be counting the days until change. In the meantime, most will be hemorrhaging money.
Arab Airlines have not been completely banned from landing in Syria yet. The resolution says a committee headed by Qatar with Saudi, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Oman as members will decide in a week on the date of the flight ban and other details, include what to exempt from sanctions.
An Anbar Faction in Iraq for support of the Syrian revolution has been announced. This militia has been supposedly been formed with to object of targeting buses that carry Shiite militiamen from al-Mahdi, Sadr’s militia, to Syria. We are told that Sadrists have been flocking through Deir Azzour- Anbar border point to support the Assad regime. Many videos were propagated showing the Anbar Faction targeting passenger buses protected by the Iraqi Army.
Turkey to impose ‘step-by-step’ sanctions on Syria
29 November 2011, Tuesday / SERVET YANATMA
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attended the Arab League meeting on Syria in Cairo on Sunday. (Photo: Today’s Zaman, Mehmet Ali Poyraz)
Turkey has opted to impose step-by-step sanctions on Syria over its brutal crackdown on eight-month uprising that claimed thousands of lives as the Arab League endorsed a set of sanctions on Sunday to push Syrian regime to stop its bloody clampdown.
Turkey says it will follow the Arab League sanctions but it failed to deliver its own sanctions despite Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s promise in September that Turkey will press ahead with sanctions on the Syrian regime.
Arab states agreed on Sunday to impose economic measures – the toughest against a member state – that include a travel ban on top Syrian officials and a freeze on assets related to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
“Turkey has taken up the issue of sanctions in line with the decision made by Arab League on Sunday. We have been working on our own measures for a while. Our priority at this stage is that these measures are implemented as soon as possible,” İbrahim Kalın, Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy adviser told a Turkish network on Monday.
Muallem Says Sanctions Have No Impact on Day-To-Day Life
2011-11-2, By Shaji Mathew
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said Arab League sanctions on the country will have no impact on day-to-day life, though they may affect some luxury goods. He said Syrians should trust their economy.
Russian Mediterranean Navy Mission Not Linked to Syria, RIA Says
2011-11-29, By Henry Meyer
Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) — Russia’s dispatch of warships to the Mediterranean is part of planned exercises and isn’t linked to the unrest in Syria, RIA Novosti reported, citing Nikolai Makarov, the head of the Russian military’s General Staff. Izvestia reported yesterday that Russia will send three warships to its naval base in Syria next month, including the country’s only aircraft carrier. The naval mission to Syria, which has been an ally since the Soviet era, will prevent NATO military involvement in the Middle Eastern country, the newspaper cited former Russian naval chief Victor Kravchenko as saying.
Isolating Syria, Arab League Imposes Broad Sanctions
NEIL MacFARQUHAR and NADA BAKRI
The sanctions against Syria, backed by 19 member states meeting in Cairo, reflected widespread frustration among Arab governments that Damascus has refused to put in place a peace treaty it accepted three weeks ago as the toll from its crackdown on antigovernment demonstrators continues to mount.
“The position of the people, and the Arab position, is that we must end this situation urgently,” said Sheik Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar and the league’s current chairman. “It has been almost a year that the Syrian people have been killed.”
The immediate catalyst was Syria’s refusal to admit Arab civilian and military observers to oversee the peace agreement, ending a military crackdown that the United Nations says has claimed more than 3,500 lives since March.
The stated aim of the sanctions was not regime change, but to press Syria to comply with the peace plan it had ostensibly accepted.
The league “is trying its best to get the Syrians to accept the political solution that it is offering them,” said one diplomat involved, speaking anonymously in line with his government’s guidelines. “But the Syrians keep maneuvering and haggling, and it is just not going to work. They don’t get it. They still want to play as if they are in the driver’s seat.”
The sanctions include a travel ban against scores of senior officials, a freeze on Syrian government assets in Arab countries, a ban on transactions with Syria’s central bank and an end to all commercial exchanges with the Syrian government.
They carve out an exception for important consumer goods, to try to lessen the impact on ordinary Syrians, although those exceptions were not yet spelled out. A ban on all flights from Arab nations will not be enforced yet because of objections from Algeria, diplomats said. The league said it would reconsider that measure in a week.
The sanctions are due to take effect immediately, the Qatari foreign minister said, and the resolution encouraged similar action by the United Nations.
Turkey also threw its support behind the sanctions. “Nobody can expect Turkey and the Arab League to remain silent on the killings of civilians and the Syrian regime’s increasing oppression of innocent people,” said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who attended the Arab League meeting.
But two other neighbors, Iraq and Lebanon, two of Syria’s largest trading partners, signaled that they would not participate, opening potentially significant gaps in the restrictions.
Iraq abstained from the vote and Lebanon “disassociated” itself from the resolution.
Economists estimate that about 50 percent of Syria’s exports go to the Arab world and 25 percent of its imports originate there, much of that from its immediate neighbors. Iran and Russia would also probably provide aid to Syria to compensate for lost government revenues.
Libya to arm rebels in Syria
November 27, 2011, sydney morning herald
MISRATA, Libya: Syrian rebels have held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, it has been revealed.
At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested assistance from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms and, potentially, volunteers.
”There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” a Libyan source said, on condition of anonymity. ”There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
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Demonstrators, draped in white cloths with red colouring symbolizing blood, hold a placard during a protest against the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in front of the Syrian consulate in Istanbul November 25, 2011. Turkey said on Friday it could tolerate no more bloodshed in Syria and it was ready to take action with Arab powers if President Bashar al-Assad failed to take steps towards ending the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. The placard reads, “We condemn the attack on our pilgrims”.
It has also emerged that preliminary discussions about arms supplies took place when members of the Syrian National Council – the country’s main opposition movement – visited Libya earlier this month. ”The Libyans are offering money, training and weapons to the Syrian National Council,” said Wisam Taris, a human rights campaigner with links to the council.
The ministry of economy and trade and also finance had their websites suspended today. SANA’s website is down as well. (were hosted in canada)
وانتقد حيدر دور الجامعة العربية منذ دخولها على خط الأزمة السورية ،ودعا الى مقاطعتها معلنا رفض “الاستقواء بالخارج أو فتح الحدود لأيً كان تحت أية ذريعة كانت “.
دعا الحزب القومي السوري الاجتماعي الرئيس بشار الأسد إلى تحمل مسؤوليته التاريخية في حل أزمة البلاد التي دخلت شهرها التاسع، وقال إن الحل لا يبدأ إلا بإجراءات جراحية عاجلة .
و نقلت وكالة (يونايتد برس انترناشونال) عن رئيس الحزب علي حيدر قوله إن “المسؤولية الأساسية تقع على عاتق السلطة بصفتها الحاضن للوحدة الاجتماعية والراعي لشؤون المواطنين والحامي من الخطر الخارجي “.
وطالب حيدر في مؤتمر صحافي عقد اليوم الأحد بدمشق لمناسبة العيد الثمانيين لتأسيس الحزب “بإعفاء الحكومة الحالية من مهامها”، موضحاً “بأنها لم تستطع أن تتحول إلى حكومة إدارة أزمة وطنية، بل حصل العكس في الكثير من المواقع “، داعيا إلى “تشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية تشارك فيها مختلف القوى”.
ومن الواضح أن العقوبات لاتشمل وقف التبادلات التجارية مع القطاع الخاص، بل تشملها مع الحكومة فقط، كما تنص على وقف رحلات الطيران من وإلى سورية (وهنالك تفاصيل للتطبيق تجدونها في الملف).
كما تنص على وقف التعامل مع مصرف سورية المركزي والمصرف التجاري السوري، ومنع تمويل المشاريع في سورية، مما سيؤثر بحسب المحلل الاقتصادي لموقع الاقتصادي على احتمال انسحاب شركاء من مصارف ومشاريع استثمارية كبرى في سورية.
economic sanctions on Syrian regime’s internal structures of power.
Armand Hurault argues that sanctions will destroy regime patronage structures and hasten its fall.
The BBC’s Paul Wood was smuggled into Homs were he met military defectors
“They’re asking for RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) in al Bayadah,” said the young fighter, naming another district in Homs.
“Assad’s armoured vehicles are coming and they have nothing to stop them.”
“Give them five or six of ours. God willing we will find some more,” replied the man in charge, sitting cross-legged on the floor.
This conversation took place in the Bab Amr quarter of Homs.
The man giving the order for the RPGs to be sent had an M-16 automatic rifle, complete with sniper sight. The weapon did not have a scratch on it. It was brand new, just smuggled from Lebanon, they said.
We had entered Syria the same way the M-16 had, from Lebanon, with men running guns to what is a growing insurgency.
Passage was arranged for us by the Free Syrian Army, or just “Free Army” as it calls itself, a force comprised of defectors from the government forces.
DOHA, Qatar, November 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Motion: This House believes that President Assad must resign – passed by 91%
The reputation of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad came under sustained attack at the latest Doha Debate, where more than 90 percent of the audience called on him to resign.
The session provoked tense and often bitter exchanges between panelists, who argued that Assad should stay and reform, and young, predominantly Arab debaters who repeatedly condemned the killing of more than 3,500 people at demonstrations in Syria and the wide-ranging abuse of human rights.
In response to suggestions that the uprising was initiated by foreign powers – a version of events, touted widely by the regime – one female audience member
declared: “This is a Syrian revolution and it’s insulting to keep insisting that it was inspired outside.”
At the end of the session 91 percent voted for the motion: “This House believes that President Assad must resign” – the single, highest margin of victory in the seven-year history of the debates…..
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood to Follow Turkish Model, Shun Iran’s
2011-11-28, By Massoud A. Derhally
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood would follow the quasi-secular Turkish republic were it to gain power should President Bashar al-Assad’s regime fall, said Mohammad Shafka, the exiled leader of the outlawed Syrian group. “We are impressed with the Turkish governance system and we are not keen on the Iranian model,” Shafka said in a telephone interview from Turkey today. “We don’t want to impose anything on the people.”….“This regime is stubborn and it knows that any step toward reform will mean its end,” Shafka said. “We want protection for the civilians, though we prefer it from the Arabs. If that’s
not possible, then from the international community.”
November 28, 2011 by sks
Filed under News, Syria, Syrian Revolution
Agreement has been reached between the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change [NCB], the Syrian National Council [SNC] and individuals to form a preparation committee that will draft a common political framework for a Syrian Conference that it is proposed will be held under the auspices of the Arab League in the coming days.
22 November 2011
The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change – NCB reports that it has been following with great interest the recent statements by French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, and in particular those made on Wednesday, 23 November 2011. The NCB said that while it appreciates the position of the French government and the leftist French parties which is supportive of the Syrian people, reports suggest that the French Foreign Minister shows limited knowledge of the Syrian reality and the political map of Syria, for example comparing the situation to that in Libya and talking about creating a human corridor. The NCB was surprising to learn that one opposition group – the Syrian National Council, was identified to be the negotiators on behalf of the Syrian people, when this does not reflect reality. This approach contradicts the European and international approach which aims to work with all democratic Syrian forces. The NCB notes that this approach by Alain Juppe has come at a sensitive time as the opposition is trying to form one umbrella group through dialogue in order to represent an inclusive and more credible front. They call on the French government to take a responsible position and constructively listen to all the forces of democratic opposition, and avoid creating obstacles to unity.
The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change is communicating with all those concerned with the Syrian situation, with parties and non-governmental organizations, and governments. It has thanked the French left parties whose position supports the revolution of the Syrian people in its rejection of external military intervention, and which is eager to communicate with all Syrian Democrats, without exception.
Damascus. 24 November 2011, http://www.ncsyria.com
The Arabs Gang Up Against Syria: Stop the Killing or Foreigners May Intervene
By: Rania Abouzeid | Time
Syrian Pound Falls to 56 per Dollar
As Banque Saudi Fransi announced that it was quitting the Syrian market, Al-Baraka Bank said that it was planning to expand its presence in the country. [From Syria Report]