“Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody,” by Joshua Landis

Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody
Joshua Landis
For Bitterlemons
January 26, 2012 Edition 4

The Syrian regime headed by Bashar Assad is doomed in the long run, but is likely to last longer than most believe. In December, the leader of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood stated that President Assad would fall “in the next few months”, the US State Department proclaimed Assad to be a “dead man walking”, and Israel’s defense minister insisted that Assad would fall in a matter of weeks. This has turned out to be wishful thinking.

The Assads stand atop the last minoritarian regime in the Levant and thus seem destined to fall in this age of popular revolt. When they do, the post-colonial era will draw to a final close. Following World War II, minorities took control in every Levant state thanks to colonial divide-and-rule tactics and the fragmented national community that bedeviled the states of the region. Unique in this was Palestine, for the Jewish minority was able to transform itself into the majority at the expense of Palestine’s Muslims and Christians. Neither the Christians of Lebanon nor the Sunnis of Iraq were so lucky or ambitious. Nevertheless, both clung to power at the price of dragging their countries into lengthy civil wars. The Alawis of Syria seem determined to repeat this violent plunge to the bottom. It is hard to determine whether this is due to the rapaciousness of a corrupt elite, to the bleak prospects that the Alawi community faces in a post-Assad Syria, or to the weak faith that many in the region place in democracy and power-sharing formulas. Whatever the reason, Syria’s transition away from minority rule is likely to be lengthy and violent. Levantine history suggests this as a rule.

There are three main reasons why the Assad regime is likely to last well into 2013–if not longer–despite Syria’s rapidly deteriorating economic and security conditions.

The first is the strength of the regime compared to the opposition. The military has not turned against Syria’s president. It is a professional army, which so far has a monopoly on heavy weapons in Syria. Important government officials have not defected in significant numbers. This loyalty is due in no small part to the fact that the Assad family has prepared for this moment of popular, Sunni revolt for 40 years. It has packed sensitive posts with loyal Alawis and Baathists. Some analysts estimate that 80 percent of Syria’s officer corps is Alawi. The main strike-forces, such as the Republican Guard led by Bashar’s brother, is Alawi to the man. An ambassador in Syria’s Foreign Ministry recently claimed that 60 percent of Syria’s Foreign Service officers are Alawi and only 10 percent Sunni. The sectarian nature of the elite elements of the security forces ensures a high degree of loyalty and willingness to fight. The broader Alawi community is also likely to remain loyal to the regime, even as the economy deteriorates. Almost all Alawi families have a least one member in the security forces as well as additional members working in civilian ministries, such as education or agriculture. Most fear collective punishment for the sins of the Baathist era, whether this means trials, the loss of jobs, or even worse (one irresponsible Sunni sheikh threatened that the Alawis will be ground into mince meat when defeated).

The second reason the Assad regime is likely to survive into 2013 is the disorganization and factionalism of the opposition. Through much of 2011, the Syrian opposition hoped that by remaining leaderless, as had revolutionaries in Egypt and Tunisia, the regime could be brought down largely by peaceful means: either because Bashar Assad would surrender power, a coup would dislodge him, sanctions would cause elite defections and collapse, or growing demonstrations would achieve a Tahrir square moment. By the end of 2012, these scenarios seemed ever more unlikely, and the opposition has been forced to think seriously about developing a trusted leadership, unifying its ranks, and coming up with a realistic military option to defeat the Syrian army. These objectives still seem far off

The Syrian National Council, Syria’s leading opposition coalition, remains highly factionalized and has found it difficult to unite with other opposition parties. The mere fact that the SNC membership has felt compelled to limit its leaders to a three-month term testifies to the high level of internal dissent. Burhan Ghalioun, the capable and savvy secular leader, is distrusted by many Islamists in the SNC as well as younger activists who are leading the struggle on Syria’s streets. Only recently was he denounced by members of his own party for being a traitor and dictatorial when he prematurely announce a unification plan with the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, a coalition of leftist parties led by Haytham Manaa.

Just as important as the opposition’s political weaknesses, however, are its military limitations. The Free Syrian Army being assembled in Turkey under the leadership of Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad is no match for the Syrian army. Although armed opponents of the regime are an important development, their size, structural limitations, lack of heavy weapons, and limited command and control mean they do not yet present a real danger or alternative to the Syrian military. In fact, many analysts insist that most fighting is being done by small units organized on the local level that do not take orders from Col. Asaad or other leaders, even if they call themselves members of the Free Syrian Army. What is more, many Syrians still do not accept the notion that the regime should be brought down by military means.

The third reason that the Assad regime is unlikely to be deposed soon is that foreign powers are not eager to intervene militarily in Syria. US President Barack Obama and European authorities would find it difficult not to support military strikes on the Syrian army if they were led by Turkey or the Arab League, but neither has shown an inclination to undertake such a risky adventure.

So long as the Syrian military leadership remains united, the opposition remains fragmented, and foreign powers remain on the sidelines, the Assad regime is likely to survive, but all three of these elements are changing, even if gradually, in the favor of the opposition. The predominant role of minorities in the governments of the region, which was universal at the end of the colonial period, is being brought to a violent conclusion.

-Published 25/1/2012 © bitterlemons-international.org
Joshua Landis is associate professor and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

See the other three essays on Bitterlemons’ site

“The regime’s prospects are better than two months ago but remain dim,” Karim Emile Bitar

The Syrian revolution is now entering a new, more ominous phase. The regime has been considerably weakened and isolated. The Arab League’s mission has ended in a fiasco. The economy is in tatters. The opposition’s protests continue unabated. But the main pillars of President Bashar Assad’s support are still holding on. ….

A militarization of the revolution would empower the most radical elements, as it did in Libya, and render future democratization much more difficult. A foreign intervention would open Pandora’s box.

Those who would like Assad to fall are now confronted with the old Machiavelli vs. Kant philosophical dilemma: does the end justify the means or do the means determine the end? A comprehensive study, published by Columbia University Press and analyzing dozens of past cases, suggests that the latter is true. It indicates that if a dictator is overthrown through peaceful struggle, there is a 51 percent chance of a successful democratic transition after five years. In case of an armed struggle, the chances are only three percent.

The Syrian opposition is understandably impatient to bring Assad down and breathe freely. It should nonetheless meditate on these figures.

“Yes and no,” by Elias Samo

Can the Syrian regime survive? That is a question only a crystal ball can definitively answer. My analysis of the two primary components of the Syrian regime–a pyramidal political leadership under President Bashar Assad and a one-party political structure under the Baath party–leads me to believe the answer is “yes and no”. Yes, Assad will survive, and no, the political structure of one-party Baath rule will not….

“A sinking ship,” by Michel Nehme

Domestically, the mutiny in the Syrian army is slowly accelerating. It is beginning to pose a tangible threat to ! the military establishment, despite tight control by Baathist officers. The economy is gradually deteriorating–an indication of a long process that ultimately will topple the regime. The issue now is not whether the regime has been able to withstand or escape the storm, but rather the sense that the regime is slowly and daily getting weaker. Yet when it will finally collapse is not something that can be predicted, due to a variety of regional and international considerations….

Comments (724)


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451. ann said:

Rep. Diane Black, other congresswomen get undignified Saudi welcome – Jan. 29, 2012

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120129/NEWS02/301290044/Rep-Diane-Black-other-congresswomen-get-undignified-Saudi-welcome

WASHINGTON — Rep. Diane Black got an up-close look at gender segregation in Saudi Arabia during a trip to the Middle East earlier this month.

When the lawmakers asked to use the bathroom after a lengthy visit to the Saudi Defense Ministry, they ran into an unexpected challenge: no women’s restroom.

“It was kind of like, hmm, OK, I’ve heard about oppression, but really there are just some things that are natural and biological,” Black, a former nurse, said with a laugh in an interview last week.

The World Economic Forum 2011 Global Gender Gap Report ranked Saudi Arabia 131th out of 135 countries for gender parity, ahead of only Mali, Pakistan, Chad and Yemen. It was one of four countries, including Belize, Brunei Darussalam and Qatar, to score a zero for political empowerment of women.

“This just goes to show the extent to which the Saudi government doesn’t have women in mind,” she wrote in an email. “Not only are women invisible in their architectural plans, but also as full members in society.”

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January 30th, 2012, 12:55 am

 

452. ann said:

447. jad said:

Al Abbasyeen Plaza
العباسيين
http://youtu.be/GV32yjH8ldE

All is well once you expose their propaganda machine

Thank you JAD

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January 30th, 2012, 1:00 am

 

453. ann said:

Pro-government hactivists deface Al Jazeera coverage of Syrian violence – 8 hours ago

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/pro-government-hactivists-deface-al-jazeera-coverage-of-syrian-violence.ars

The Al Jazeera English website was attacked and defaced on January 29 by hackers supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Targeting the news organization’s “Syria Live Blog,” which has been providing ongoing coverage of the Arab League’s observer mission to Syria and developments in the ongoing unrest in the country, the hacker group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army posted pro-Assad and pro-Syrian government images to the site.

The relationship of the Syrian Electronic Army to the government itself is unclear. However, the group’s domain was registered in May of 2011 in Tartous, Syria, and its site is hosted on servers maintained by the Syrian Computer Society—a group Assad was the head of before assuming Syria’s presidency, and introduced the Internet to Syria in 2001.

The attack started at about 2:30 PM Central Time, just after Al Jazeera posted a report on casualties reported by the Local Coordinating Committees, an activist network in Syria. On their own site, the Syrian Electronic Army announced the “code re-penetration” of the site by a “professional Syrian battalion” of hackers, denouncing Al Jazeera for broadcasting “false and fabricated news” to “ignite sedition” among the people of Syria and achieve the goals of “Washington and Tel Aviv.”

This is the second attack against Al Jazeera this month claimed by the pro-Assad hacktivist group. In September, the group attacked Harvard University’s site, and keeps a graphic from Harvard’s site on its homepage as a trophy of that exploit. In August, the group attacked the Tumblr site set up by YourAnonNews in response to Anonymous’ attacks on Syrian government sites.

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January 30th, 2012, 1:16 am

 

454. ann said:

Syrian army retakes control of Damascus suburbs – Jan 30, 2012

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/30/64906563.html

The Syrian troops are retaking control of Damascus suburbs, an army source said on Monday, citing dozens of tanks and armored vehicles that have entered suburban areas which were earlier held by rebels.

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January 30th, 2012, 1:30 am

 

455. jad said:

My pleasure Ann!

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January 30th, 2012, 1:34 am

 

456. jad said:

أطفال سورية … إلى أين ؟!
في كل يوم نسمع نبأ استشهاد أطفال في سورية ونرى بأعيننا صور جثامينهم , باتت صورة الأطفال وتواجدهم مألوفا أكثر مما يجب في الساحة السورية اليوم ,

الأمر منذ البداية تجاوز حدود الوجع والألم و أصبح انتهاكا للطفولة واستغلالا لها من كل جانب .

أشاهد نشرة الأخبار على أحد القنوات المعارضة فأرى بروشور النشرة , طفلة بعينين واسعتين لم تتجاوز العاشرة من عمرها كتب على جبينها كلمة ” الحرية ” , و حين أتابع الأخبار في القنوات المؤيدة أرى طفلا يحمله والده على كتفه ليهتف باسم الرئيس رغم عدم اتقانه للكلام بشكل جيد بعد !

أرى صور الأطفال في المواقع الالكترونية وفي القنوات التلفزيونية في المسيرات والمظاهرات , أراهم ببراءة عيونهم , أراهم , أحياء أو أموات, بطفولتهم أيقونات يستغلها الآخرون بقصد أو بدون قصد .

منذ البداية قلت أن الأطفال خط أحمر لا يجب إقحامه في السياسة أيّا كان توجهها .

لم الأطفال خط أحمر ؟

- لأنهم لازالوا في مرحلة الطفولة , في المرحلة التي يحتاجون فيها الى الكبار ليرعوهم ويعتنوا بهم وبالتالي ليبعدوهم عن ساحات الخطر .

بالتأكيد , المجرم هو من يطلق رصاصه نحو الطفل . المجرم خارج عن امكانية تحكمنا بأفعاله , وأحيانا مهما فعلنا لا نستطيع ردعه . ولكن من مسؤوليتنا أن نحاول بإبعاد الأطفال عن ساحات الخطر .

- ومن جهة أخرى فبالإضافة لأن إبعاد الأطفال ضرورة لحماية حياتهم , فهو ضرورة أخلاقية أيضا تجاههم وتجاه أفكارهم التي لم تتبلور بعد , فبأي حق أطلب من طفل لم يتقن الكلام جيدا بعد أن يهتف بشعار ما ؟

كم منا في المرحلة الابتدائية خرج في مسيرات وهتف بهتافات لا يفهم معناها ولا يعي إلا أنه كان يقوم بذلك خدمة للوطن ؟

هل نريد لأطفالنا أن يعانوا مما عانيناه , أو أن يسيروا في توجهاتهم ؟

و للتوضيح ما أقصده بالأطفال كل من هم دون عمر الثامنة عشر , وأما ما أقصده بإبعاد الأطفال عن ساحات الصراع

فهو بإبعادهم جسديا وعدم تسيسهم فكريا ,كما يحصل في المدارس اليوم ,

وأيضا بعدم انتهاك حقوق طفولتهم بسبب الصراعات التي تحدث .

فالأطفال من حقهم أن نحتضن مخاوفهم لا أن نعمقها , من حقهم أن يلعبوا بألعابهم ويدرسوا بكتبهم , أن يفرحوا بالأعياد

من حقهم ألا يشاركوا في أي إضراب , أو في أي مسيرة أو مظاهرة أو إعلان سياسي .

إذا …

هذا هو المبدأ , ولكن , كم هي المسافة بين المبدأ والتطبيق ؟ وكم نقدر أن نتحكم بتلك المسافة ؟

الكلام بالمبدأ , والمبدأ بحد ذاته يصبح تنظيرا إن لم يصل لحدود التطبيق ,وليس التطبيق سهلا دائما حتى لو وافقنا جميعا على المبدأ. ولكن هذا لا يمنع أن بإمكاننا تقصير المسافة باستمرار وبإمكاننا فعل ذلك الآن فالآن وقته رغم آلاف الهموم الأخرى . بإمكاننا التطبيق ولو بحيز صغير كي لا يبقى المبدأ تنظيرا ,

على عاتق من تقع المسؤولية . ؟

المسؤولية تقع على عاتق أطراف الصراع , على عاتق المجرم الذي يوجهه فوهة سلاحه تجاه طفل

على عاتق الدولة و القوانين حين لا تحمي الأطفال ,

على عاتق الأهالي ,ولنذكر هنا أن الأطفال ليسوا آلات جامدة لا تشعر أو لا تفكر , هم يتأثرون بما يدور حولهم , بما يشاهدونه , بما يسمعونه من أهلهم من معلمهم , و للأطفال أعمار مختلفة فهم ليسوا بعمر واحد يستطيع الأهل السيطرة عليه دائما ومنعه من الخروج أو من التدخل .

تقصر المسافة هنا مثلا حين يسيطر الأهل على الأطفال الصغار ولا يخرجوهم معهم للساحات حتى ولو لم يستطيعوا السيطرة على الأطفال الأكبر عمرا

والأهالي أيضا ليسوا بقالب تفكيري واحد , البعض يفخر بابنه الذي يخرج بمظاهرة أو بمسيرة ويرى كم ابنه بطل يحب الوطن.

وأيضا تقع المسؤولية على عاتق وسائل الاعلام التي تستخدم صور الأطفال , وتحمسهم وتشيد ببطولتهم , والتي تستغل قصة استشهاد طفل ما لتدافع عن قضيتها وتخترق خصوصيته , وتلك التي تعرض صور الجثث و الأشلاء .

وعلى عاتق كل واحد منا من منبره الخاص , حين لا يدين كل مجرم يقتل طفلا و حين لا يدافع عن الطفولة أمام كل أب وأم ووسيلة إعلام .

بالنهاية ..

أنا , نعم أريد حريتي ولكن ليس بدماء الأطفال وليس بانتهاك طفولتهم وحقهم باللعب أو بالتعلم أو بالابتسام أو بالحياة !

ليسوا هم من يجب أن يصنعوا لي حريتي , بل أنا من يجب أن أفعل .

http://dmdoom.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/%D8%A3%D8%B7%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A3%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%9F/

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January 30th, 2012, 1:42 am

 

457. ann said:

Twitter is platform for lies: Saudi Mufti – Sunday, January 29, 2012

http://www.emirates247.com/news/region/twitter-is-platform-for-lies-saudi-mufti-2012-01-29-1.439921

Sheikh Abdul Aziz urged Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police– the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice– to crackdown on users of Twitter website, adding that there are several other “good and useful” websites which can be seen by Muslims.

Twitter has been at the centre on controversy after it announced last week that it would begin restricting Tweets in certain countries, marking a policy shift for the social media platform that helped propel the popular uprisings recently sweeping across the Middle East.

Twitter’s decision to begin censoring content represents a significant departure from its policy just one year ago, when anti-government protesters in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries coordinated mass demonstrations through on the social network and, in the process, thrust Twitter’s disruptive potential into the global spotlight.

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January 30th, 2012, 1:50 am

 

458. Juergen said:

Interview with Hamid Dabashi, Professor for IRANIAN STUDIES AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7853

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January 30th, 2012, 2:18 am

 

459. Juergen said:

Thank you Agatha to share the swiss tv interview with Rafik Schami.
Unfortunatly most Syrians will have to wait until the end of censorship in Syria to read from his books. In his interview he said some remarkable things:

Asked why he has gone into exile leaving his hometown, homecountry aside he said: ” In Syria i could not have written what i wrote, i liberated my tongue in exile. I was writing an children story back in Damascus, and the censorer declined 1/3 of my book. He thought when i wrote about an donkey i actually meant the President. Our Presidents always think when we talk about donkeys and dogs we talk about them.”

“Assad is lying not because he has the lust in lying, he must lie. If he would really shut down the 15 secret service agencies he is a dead man, if he would pull out the snipers we would see that Homs is within 2 hours an liberated city. Those dictators are prisoners of their own system, sooner or later they live in their own place, on their own planet, and they would still think that the people love them.”

“Assad and his family came from an village.They act like they have always lived in Damascus. They have forgotten that, the revolution did not start in the cities where the people are forced to bribe and get bribed, where the security apparatus has a tight control. It started in the rual areas because those people living there got neglected and were left alone with their problems. Now we see that the intellectuals, the writers, actors are trying to understand this we can say analphabetic revolution.”

“We arabs have brought the world prophets, but we can not fix a gutter. We can not unite and get rid of one dictator.”

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January 30th, 2012, 3:31 am

 

460. Juergen said:

Baba Amr Homs
field hospital

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January 30th, 2012, 3:36 am

 

461. Dale Andersen said:

Rumors abound that Bashar has bailed out.
Looks like spring is in the air….

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January 30th, 2012, 4:26 am

 

462. Ghufran said:

ونقلت صحيفة (الحياة) اللندنية في عددها الصادر اليوم الاثنين عن الدابي قوله “جئنا لنراقب الأعمال التي يقوم بها الجانبان الحكومة والمعارضة, ولكن للأسف الشديد، وجدنا عدم رضا من المعارضة، هي لا تريدنا ان نعمل، كي يذهبوا بالملف الى مجلس الأمن وينهار النظام”
)يريد البعض راس الناطور و ليس العنب)

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January 30th, 2012, 6:44 am

 

463. Ghufran said:

جاء في بيان للرابطة السورية للدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان صدر أمس الأحد أن كتيبة من عناصر المخابرات الجوية نفذت حكم الإعدام رمياً بالرصاص بحق المنشق عن النظام السوري المقدم حسين هرموش.

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January 30th, 2012, 6:52 am

 
 

465. Ghufran said:

وأوضح شهود عيان لـ”العربية.نت”، أن أصوات إطلاق نار كثيفة سمعت في شارع بغداد وساحة التحرير وسط العاصمة خلال يوم أمس، فيما أكد عنصر من الجيش الحر أن الاشتباكات جرت في جوبر وامتدت إلى ساحة العباسيين وسط دمشق.
I called my relatives in Damascus, they are not sure about Jobar but the “news” about Baghdad st and Tahrir square are not true as of now.

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January 30th, 2012, 7:00 am

 

466. majedkhaldoun said:

The meeting at UN will be attended by several foreign ministers in cluding Hilary Clinton ,and Alan Jupai,this gives the meeting more importance.
The regime is severely escalating its terrorist solution,2000 soldier from republican guard are used to quell the Ghouta revolution,
Major Maher Nu3aimi said the fighting is close to Damascus(8-12Km) but not in Damascus.The FSA is more defiant.This is what is called Karr and Farr,the purpose is to weaken the Thuggish Assad criminal army.
GOD BLESS FSA

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January 30th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

467. irritated said:

442. majedkhaldoun

Do you mean that the British proposition will be close to the Russian resolution, that means will NOT request the step down of Bashar al Assad?

That will be a very good resolution with a high chance that Russia and China will accept it

“I expect England to introduce a resolution about Syria
Immidiate halt to violence by the regime
immidiate release of all prisoners
followed by starting negotiation between the regime and opposition.”

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January 30th, 2012, 8:04 am

 

468. SANDRO LOEWE said:

There are many posts here in SC related to Russian and Chinese press agrencies. I observed that there are some names I associate with Russia, Ukranie, and the mafious post-communism world. Is it really possible that decaying paranormal russian secret services have people working on this kind of forums? I notice they are interested in promoting conspiracy theories, terrorist pulp fictions, and so on.

I imagine rumors about someone trying to control the airport in Damascus are all but a lie for psychological war on Assad.

Sure, all photos and videos about people of every age and sex hurted by bullets are being done right now in Hollywood.

Russian secret services should control Putin, because the are theories that say Putin is an alien from Mars who came to control the Vodka market.

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January 30th, 2012, 8:07 am

 

469. zoo said:

An annoyance for HBJ: Russia asks to hear Al Dabi report before any UN discussion.

http://news.yahoo.com/assads-forces-regain-damascus-suburbs-activists-000119502.html

“On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov Moscow first wanted to hear directly from the observers whom the Arab League sent – a move likely to delay any vote:

“It would be logical, considering the complexity of this issue, for Security Council members to be able to study the recommendations and conclusions of the observer mission in detail,” the Interfax news agency quoted Gatilov as saying.

“Only after that would it be possible to count on a substantive discussion of this issue in the Security Council.”

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January 30th, 2012, 8:12 am

 

470. zoo said:

In the Gulf, allegiance is the issue for Muslim Brotherhood
Hassan Hassan
Jan 30, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/in-the-gulf-allegiance-is-the-issue-for-muslim-brotherhood?pageCount=0


“Despite alliances with powerful individuals in Gulf countries, alliances that survived the crackdown since the 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood has not established an unfettered presence in the region. Experience has created a deep distrust between the Gulf states and the organisation.

In Kuwait, where the group has a relatively strong presence, Sheikh Soud Al Nasser Al Sabah accused it of conspiring with Saddam Hussein after the Iraqi invasion. In 2004, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz (now the crown prince) described the organisation as the “source of all problems”. Many Gulf intellectuals have also been critical of the organisation for its shifting relations with countries in the region.

The organisation is witnessing a sharp decline in the Gulf as countries follow more systematic regulations to prevent its spread and to monitor financial flows. But its political presence in Egypt may lead the Brotherhood to seek better relations for pragmatic reasons rather than attempting to spread its ideology.

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January 30th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

471. Tara said:

Russia wants to slow the progress of a UNSC vote to gain more time to negotiate a price for Assad’s head

“Russia seems to have begun its moves to block or slow the progress of a UN security council vote on the Arab League plan for Bashar al-Assad to step down as Syria’s president, Reuters reports.

Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said that recommendations from the Arab League monitors in Syria should be presented to security council members, including Russia, before there was a “substantive discussion of this issue” by the security council.

Gatilov said:

It would be logical, considering the complexity of this issue, for security council members to be able to study the recommendations and conclusions of the observer mission in detail. Only after that would it be possible to count on a substantive discussion of this issue in the security council.

Nabil Elaraby, the chief of the Arab League, is due to brief security council members tomorrow to seek support for the league’s plan. Britain and France want the security council to vote next week on a draft resolution supporting the plan, which would see Assad step down in favour of his vice-president and allow free and fair elections.

On Friday, Gatilov said the draft resolution was unacceptable in its current form and an attempt to rush it to a vote would fail, suggesting Russia might veto it. Assad’s resignation must not be a precondition of a peace process in Syria, he said.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jan/30/syria-army-retakes-damascus-suburbs

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January 30th, 2012, 8:38 am

 

472. Ghufran said:

Rumors about the execution of Harmoush are waking up again, I think they are spread to incite fear and rage. The guy is most probably alive and may be used in the future as a bargaining chip.
Copying the news as published which most of us do is not the same as analysis or personal opinion.
The FSA is more of a political tool than actual fighting force. Most armed anti regime groups are not part of the FSA, they are locally created and led,and many are infiltrated by thugs.

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January 30th, 2012, 9:04 am

 

473. Revlon said:

Poetry break: Let it be, Daraa! Let it be!
by
Horan Poet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJW4J4NPkkw&feature=related
………
Don’t shed a tear,
Let it be
………
He will fall
N’
We shall live

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January 30th, 2012, 9:11 am

 

474. zoo said:

Breaking news: Bashar al Assad accepts to meet the opposition in Moscow

Question: Which opposition?

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January 30th, 2012, 9:35 am

 

475. majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo
there is one opposition only and that is SNC SNC SNC
However he must stop the brutal terrorist murders and must release all prisoners and must hold internationally monitored election.

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January 30th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

476. norman said:

AL Maleh refused talking with the government, talking for himself or the opposition, the government in Syria needs to move on reform and let the others catch up.

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January 30th, 2012, 9:59 am

 

477. jad said:

There are more than 6 main opposition groups in Syria:
-SNC aka MBs including the LCC, (No independent agenda, Syrian version of 14th of march)
-NCB, Nationalists, Leftist (the most respected)
-Kurdish union (the main Kurdish parties)
-Independents (individual) mainly intellectual figures like (Kilo, Husein…etc)
-The third way (Domestic) they are the least aggressive (regime-friendly)
-Salafis/Alqaeda light, the followers of Arour and his lunatic likes.
-And the military opposition wing, the terrorists FSA (Paid militias run by international powers, Turkey, Gulf states and the west)

As expected the SNC refused the Russian proposal:
المجلس الوطني السوري: سنرفض الدعوة الروسية للحوار مع النظام
اعلن المجلس الوطني السوري أنه سيرفض الدعوة الروسية للحوار مع النظام. وفي هذا الإطار أكد عضو المجلس سمير نشار أنه “لا حوار إلا بعد تنحي الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد”.

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January 30th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

478. Revlon said:

Assad authority in restive cities and towns is now limited to when and where his heavy armored divisions move to.

Otherwise, FSA forces have been able access these areas, thanks to the support of their inhabitants and the retreat of the once extensive and fearsome security forces.

إدلب كفرنبل كتيبة شهداء كفرنبل تسيطر على وسط المدينة لفترة من الزمن 29 1 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Eizv97vigPA
Uploaded by SYR4ALL on Jan 29, 2012

وغاريت الرستن حمص , هاااام , الجيش الحر يسيطر على عدد من الحارات والحواجز الأمنية في وسط المدينة, الملازم اول
28 1 2012 Al Rastan, Homs

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January 30th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

479. jad said:

The retaliation barbaric crimes in Homs continue, this time a whole family where executed including 4 children by the terrorist armed militias of fsa:

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
خاص شبکة أخبار حمص الأولی
http://www.facebook.com/HNN.SYRIA

- مجموعات مسلحة تتحرك بشکل علني بواسطت سيارات من نوع بيك آب مجهزة برشاشات في حي جب الجندلي بالقرب من مسبح الجلاء
وعملت هذه المجموعات علی اطلاق الرصاص عشوائيا باتجاه حي الزهراء وعلی شارع الستين
ويجري الآن التعامل معهم من قبل الجهات المختصة
ومازالت الاشتباکات مستمرة هناك بشکل عنيف

- قام بعض المسلحين بسرقة سيارة سيراتو لأحد المواطنين علی شارع الستين

- ووجود قناص غادر بالقرب من دوار فدعوس في الشارع المؤدي إلی جب الجندلي يعمل علی استهداف المواطنين الأبرياء

- ووصل إلی المشفی الأهلي ما يقارب العشر إصابات توزعت ما بين مدنيين وعسکريين

- مجموعة مسلحة تغتال المدرسة ربا ابراهيم بالقرب من جامع خالد بن الوليد
والشهيدة حملت في أحشائها شهيد آخر لکونها کانت حاملا

- تم العثور اليوم علی عائلة مقتولة في حي النازحين مکونة من 6 أشخاص حيث تم قتل الأب والأم بالرصاص فيما لقي الأطفال حتفهم ذبحا وهم
الأب: محمد المحمد
الأم: سناء الخضر
الأطفال :
أمجد المحمد
تحيات المحمد
تسلين المحمد
ابتسام المحمد

- کما قام إخوان الشياطين باغتيال الدکتور مصطفی سفر أمام منزله في حي الشماس

- انفجار عنيف في حي الحميدية علی حاجز السوق المسقوف

- تصفية 140 مسلح في أحياء الشماس وباب عمرو والخالدية والقصير وجب الجندلي

خاص شبکة أخبار حمص الأولی
http://www.facebook.com/HNN.SYRIA

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January 30th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

480. Revlon said:

«السوري الحر» يحبط محاولة لتهريب زوجة «الأسد» ووالدته وأبنائه من مطار دمشق
FSA fails an attempt to smuggle Jr’s wife and entourage through Damascus international airport.
The interception was lead by recently defected, brigadair General Mohammad Khallouf.

Egyptian Today News Paper
28/01/2012
http://all4syria.info/web/archives/49300

2012/01/29نشر فى: أخبار محلية

صحيفة المصري اليوم

أكدت مصادر سورية مطلعة، مساء الأحد، أن قوات الجيش السوري الحر أحبطت محاولة تهريب أسماء الأسد، زوجة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، وأبنائها، ووالدته أنيسة مخلوف، وابن خاله رامي مخلوف، وأبنائه، إلى خارج سوريا عبر مطار دمشق.

وقالت المصادر لـ«المصري اليوم»: «إن موكب سيارات رسمية شوهدت متجهة إلى مطار دمشق»، قبل أن يعترضها أحد اللواءات المنشقين عن الجيش النظامي، المنضم لـ«الجيش السوري الحر«، حيث جرى تبادل كثيف لإطلاق النار، وقصف بالهليكوبتر، قبل أن يتمكن أمن الرئيس من تهريب الموكب وإعادته إلى قصر الرئاسة.

وأوضح المصدر أن المعارك الضارية التي اندلعت، صباح الأحد، بين قوات الجيش السوري الحر المنشق، والقوات النظامية، في محيط مطار دمشق، جرت أثناء مطاردة قوات المخابرات السورية للواء المنشق محمد خلوف، رئيس فرع فلسطين السابق في المخابرات السورية، الذي انشق في وقت سابق الأحد.

وأوضحت المصادر، أن اللواء «خلوف» كان يتنقل من مدينة إلى مدينة في ريف دمشق، هرباً من القوات الحكومية التي كانت تطارده، إلى أن وصل إلى منطقة الغوطة القريبة من مطار دمشق.

وأضاف المصدر، أن اللواء «خلوف»، الذي كانت «المصري اليوم» تحتفظ باسمه، خوفاً على أمنه الشخصي، ومجموعته العسكرية المكونة من 300 جندي، التي انشقت معه، فوجئوا بالموكب العسكري، فاعترضوه، يقينًا منهم بأنها محاولة للهروب.

وجرى إطلاق النار بين قوات الأمن القائمة على حراسة الموكب، وقوات «خلوف»، قبل أن تتدخل الطائرات الهليكوبتر بغطاء جوي لحماية الموكب، مما أدى إلى تكثيف عملية القصف، في محيط المطار، لاسيما في قرية رنكوس القريبة من منطقة الزبداني.

وقال عبدالحليم خدام، النائب السابق للرئيس السوري، والمقيم منذ سنوات في باريس: «إن المعلومات الواردة إليه من سوريا، تفيد بأن عمليات القصف حول المطار أدت إلى إيقاف حركة الملاحة الجوية».

وأضاف «خدام» أن المخابرات السورية قامت بقطع الطريق المؤدي من مدينة دمشق إلى المطار في وقت سابق.

وأكدت مصادر من المعارضة السورية أن المعارك مازالت تدور، مساء الأحد، في محيط مطار دمشق الدولي، وامتدت إلى ساحة العباسيين في العاصمة وفي شارع بغداد.

كانت سوريا قد شهدت، الأحد، أحداثًا ساخنة مع تواتر أنباء عن

»محاولة انقلاب عسكري»، وتزايد أعداد المنشقين عن الجيش، وهو ما أدى، حسب مصادر، رفضت الإفصاح عن هويتها، لـ«المصري اليوم»، إلى محاولة تهريب أسرة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

كانت «المصري اليوم» قد انفردت في وقت سابق، الأحد، بنشر أنباء عن اشتباكات مطار دمشق، دون أن تفصح عن اسم اللواء محمد خلوف، الذي اعترض موكب أسرة بشار الأسد، المتجهة إلى مطار دمشق، خوفاً على أمنه الشخصي، حسب طلب مصادر «المصري اليوم».

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January 30th, 2012, 10:36 am

 

481. annie said:

Addounia TV referendum

29 Sunday Jan 2012

Posted by Zak in Arab Spring, Syria

If there is any joke in the Syrian revolution, it’s the Addounia TV, the private channel linked to the Syrian regime. Addounia was always the masquerade of all the [state] media reporting on the uprising since its start in March 2011.

Its latest is a live poll, or a referendum as they call it, where they call its audience to show their ‘popular support’ for the army crackdown on the armed gangs. The audience can do that by sending an empty text or email message!

So it’s not a ‘yes or not’ type question, there is no opposite view (not part of the reforms), and there is no benchmark at which we can know the answer is SUCCESS. Addounia already assumed the soundness of the military option, and they just want people to sign up to it. Irrespective of the number of the votes (they need two votes only to win), the results will be to their side because they are counting the messages received, and NOT the messages that were NOT sent!

What’s funny is that they give us (or to themselves) confidence in the process by promising that they will pass on the results to the Syrian defence minister. Oh yes! His army’s shelling is waiting…

source : http://lebanonspring.com/2012/01/29/addounia-syrian-tv-poll-referendum-state-propaganda/#more-3840

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January 30th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

482. irritated said:

#479 Annie

“If there is any joke in the Syrian revolution, it’s the Addounia TV”,

The other one is you.

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January 30th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

483. Tara said:

Irritated,

Your post is disappointing!!

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January 30th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

484. Syria no Kandahar said:

10080 virgins(or grapes according to Juergen friend)to be distributed over 140 Terrorists just checked into Hell today.

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January 30th, 2012, 10:59 am

 

485. Revlon said:

إنسحاب الدكتور أحمد فائز الفواز من هيئة التنسيق
Another withdrawal from NCB: Dr Fawaz AlFawaz, President of the Human Rights Society in Syria.

Being a veteran leading communist and a potential beneficiary of any future Russian sponsored deal, His withdrawal at this time may point to evolving loss of confidence in the ability of Russian mediation to prop up the falling regime!

2012/01/30نشر فى: أخبار محلية
http://all4syria.info/web/archives/49370
احمد صلال : فيس بوك

إنسحاب الدكتور أحمد فائز الفواز-رئيس جمعية حقوق الإنسان في سوريا,والقيادي البارز في الحزب الشيوعي السوري-المكتب السياسي سابقاً,من هيئة التنسيق.

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January 30th, 2012, 10:59 am

 

486. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

No wonder the junta is demoralized
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNXZxL2zarY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIiZF8sl_Gk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2v653ItRA8

Couldn’t they learn from the Israeli experience that tanks are useless, not to say death traps, in an urban environment?
.

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January 30th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

487. jad said:

A new competition to the FSA, another militia is formed called the Syrian national army….as if we need another one of those…

اليوم السابع: الإعلان عن الجيش الوطني السوري لحماية المدنيين خلال أيام

علم “اليوم السابع”، من مصادر مطلعة أنه في غضون أيام قليلة جداً سيتم الإعلان عن تأسيس “الجيش الوطني السوري”، المقرر أن يضم مجموعة من الضباط من الرتب العالية ومجموعة كبيرة من صف الضباط والمجندين.
وأضافت أن “مهمة الجيش الجديد ستكون مقتصرة فقط على حماية المدنيين دون استهداف الجيش السوري التابع للرئيس بشار الأسد، وأنه لن يتعرض لقوات الأسد إلا في حالات الدفاع عن النفس وفق منهجية عسكرية وخطط إستراتيجية واضحة، وسيكون له قيادة ميدانية واحدة، وهذا ما يختلف فيه الجيش الوطني السوري عن الجيش السوري الحر الذي يتألف من عسكريين منشقين ومدنيين يعملون وفق منهجية غير واضحة ولا يملكون قيادة حقيقية”.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:03 pm

 

488. ann said:

484. jad said:

A new competition to the FSA, another militia is formed called the Syrian national army SNA….as if we need another one of those…
.
.
They’re all united under the order of DOI (Donkeys Of Israel) :D
.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:08 pm

 

489. irritated said:

Tara #480

This is the least of my concerns.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:10 pm

 

490. Syria no Kandahar said:

Trying to make Wahhabis more disappointed:

قتل 4 واعتقال 20 إرهابي لبناني بحمص أمس.. «الأخبار»: 100 وهابي لبناني يقاتلون بسوريا
نقلت صحيفة “الأخبار” اللبنانية عن مصادر أمنية سورية، أن هناك أكثر من 4 إرهابيين لبنانيين قد سقطوا على الأراضي السورية أمس. وأشارت المعلومات نفسها إلى أن عشرين شخصاً كانوا بصدد القيام بأعمال إرهابية داخل حمص، وقعوا في عملية نوعية للجيش العربي السوري. وذكرت المعلومات أن جميع أفراد المجموعة سقطوا بين قتيل وجريح ومعتقل.

من جانب آخر نقلت الصحيفة اللبنانية عن مصادر لها داخل عصابات رايض الأسعد الإرهابية وجود نحو 100 إرهابي من الحركة الوهابية اللبنانية منضوين في صفوف عصابات «الجيش الحر». وتؤكد المعلومات أن هؤلاء يشاركون في أعمال إرهاب ضمن الأراضي السورية، تتراوح بين نقل السلاح وصولاً إلى تنفيذ عمليات عسكرية في العمق السوري، ويتولى التنسيق بين المقاتلين شخص لبناني يُعرف بـ«المهندس وائل» حسب “الأخبار” دائما.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:14 pm

 

491. Syria no Kandahar said:

Surgery continue.god willing all Alaaroori cells will
Be removed:

مقتل 140 مسلحاً بينهم جنسيات عربية بحوزتهم قواذف «شيبون 300» الإسرائيلية في عدد من أحياء حمص
قالت مراسلة شوكوماكو في حمص أن مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة أقدمت على اقتحام منزل المواطن محمد تركي المحمد في حي النازحين وأقدمت على قتله وقتل زوجته ابتسام الخضر وأطفاله الأربعة ابتسام وتحيات وأسينات وأمجد المحمد الذين وجدوا مذبوحين.

كما وأقدمت مجموعة مسلحة على اغتيال المدرسة ربا أحمد في مدرسة المتميزين وذلك عند إشارة الخالدية، وقبضت الجهات المختصة على المهندس البتروكيميائي المدعو أبو مرعي في حي باباعمرو وهو الذي صنع قاذف مدفع بطول مترين ليستخدمه المسلحون في استهدافهم للمدنيين والعسكريين.
وأشارت مراسلتنا إلى مقتل 140 مسلحاً منهم جنسيات لبنانية ومصرية وتونسية وسعودية، وضبطت الجهات المختصة بحوزتهم على أنظمة إرتباط أمريكية وإسرائيلية متطورة، إضافة إلى قذائف نوع شيبون 300 وذلك في أحياء مختلفة من حمص منها الإنشاءات والنازحين وباب السباع وباباعمرو والقصير والخالدية والشماس وديربعلبة.
كما واختطف مجموعات مسلحة المدني كنان حيروقة “20 عاماً” من أمام مبنى إدارة النفوس، وسطت على ميكرو باص وشاحنة تحت تهديد السلاح.
وقال مراسلنا أن حي القصور والقرابيص وشارع البرازيل شهد اليوم ظهوراً علنياً لبعض المسلحين، فيما حاول آخرون منهم اقتحام بعض الاحياء وخاصة الزهراء والأرمن وعشيرة.
هذا ولاتزال المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة تستهدف المشفى الوطني بحمص من أربع جهات.
 

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January 30th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

492. Tara said:

Bashar sending Asma and the kids abroad? 
Too good to be true?

“The Syrian opposition has claimed that Bashar al-Assad’s British-born wife Asma, tried to flee the country with help from the security forces. 

From the Jerusalem Post:

The sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “a convoy of official vehicles was seen heading to the airport in Damascus”, before they were intercepted by brigades of army defectors.

According to the source, there was a heavy exchange of fire, which prevented the family’s escape, who then returned to the presidential palace.

We cannot confirm this report.

Mrs Assad has been criticised by many for staying silent during the bloodshed in Syria, while Vogue magazine was also condemned for a gushing profile of her – later taken down – entitled “A Rose in the Desert”, which praised the Assads as “wildly democratic”.

She made a rare public appearance with her children at a rally in Damascus earlier this month.  But in today’s Times, Martin Fletcher says her views on what is happening in the country remain a mystery (paywall).

A Saudi newspaper recently claimed that she had intervened to help some employees of one of her charities who were arrested for joining an anti-government demonstration. In September she reportedly summoned some aid workers to find out what was really happening in Homs, although she apparently remained expressionless when they told her. A family friend told a Syrian source based in London that she “wasn’t sleeping at night because she’s so worried”.

Of course, it is possible that living in relatively peaceful Damascus and being surrounded by regime stalwarts, Mrs Assad really believes the regime’s propaganda about the opposition being a bunch of armed terrorists. It is possible that she is in denial, especially as she appears to be devoted to her husband and may well believe that he alone can hold his disparate country together. But neither scenario seems likely. “She’s too clever — too smart — for that,” the Arab commentator says. “She knows everything. She’s fully aware,” says her former Syrian colleague, who insists that she has full access to the internet and western media. “She’s highly intelligent and worldly wise. I find it very difficult to imagine she shares the view that this is a conspiracy of saboteurs and al-Qaida,” says a friend of her father’s.

Everyone agrees, however, that if she is appalled by the crackdown there is little she can do except plead with her husband in the privacy of their home.”

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January 30th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

493. Tara said:

Irritated

Your response @486 is quite helpful…in no uncertain way.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:25 pm

 

494. irritated said:

The more desperate the opposition becomes, the more absurd rumors appear, happily carried by idiotic media.

Escaping by car? Are the all army helicopters down?

Report: Assad’s family attempts to escape Syria
By JPOST.COM STAFF 01/30/2012 03:45
http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=255681

Syrian security forces attempted to smuggle President Bashar Assad’s family out of the country, sources from the Syrian opposition told Al-Masry-Al-Youm Sunday evening, according to a report published by the Egyptian daily.

According to the report, security forces tried to aid the president’s wife Asma Assad, to escape via Damascus, along with his sons, mother and cousin.

The sources told Al-Masry-Al-Youm that “a convoy of official vehicles was seen heading to the airport in Damascus,” before they were intercepted by brigades of army defectors.

According to the source, there was a heavy exchange of fire, which prevented the family’s escape, who then returned to the presidential palace.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:25 pm

 

495. irritated said:

#489 Tara

The more desperate the opposition becomes, the more rumors appear, happily carried by idiotic media, where is Radio Free Annie?

Escaping by car? Are all the army helicopters down?

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January 30th, 2012, 12:28 pm

 

496. ann said:

At UN on Syria, “No Vote Tuesday,” S. Africa Says, On AU Post, Ban’s Bilats

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria3lasau013012.html

UNITED NATIONS, January 30 — As the UN Security Council convened Monday morning about South Sudan, most of the talk by Ambassadors at the stakeout was on Syria.

The outgoing President of the Council Baso Sangqu of South Africa told Inner City Press that the agreement last week was to have a meeting this afternoon at the experts’ level on the draft resolution(s), then to have Permanent Representatives meet on Wednesday.

So there’s no way a vote on Tuesday, he said.

Tuesday afternoon’s session, he also said, will be open: briefings by Arab League Secretary General Al-Arabi and “the Qatari minister” HBJ, statements by Syria and then the Council’s 15 members. “It will be open” to the press, he said, but closed as to other countries speaking.

Asked which countries’ ministers would be coming to what’s billed as a ministerial meeting, he listed the US, UK and Portugal. The French Mission to the UN has already announced Alain Juppe will come, and speak to the media.

One wag has already dubbed it the Council’s “Syria Superbowl.”

Germany’s foreign minister, it’s said, is traveling in the Middle East, as will be UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after his stops in Davos and at the African Union summit in Davos.

Full English text of AL Monitors report on Syria:

http://www.innercitypress.com/LASomSyria.pdf
.
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January 30th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

497. irritated said:

Tara #489
The more desperate the opposition gets, the more they spread rumors.

By car to the airport? what happened to the Army helicopters?

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January 30th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

498. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..As expected the SNC refused the Russian proposal:
المجلس الوطني السوري: سنرفض الدعوة الروسية للحوار مع النظام
اعلن المجلس الوطني السوري أنه سيرفض الدعوة الروسية للحوار مع النظام. وفي هذا الإطار أكد عضو المجلس سمير نشار أنه “لا حوار إلا بعد تنحي الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد”…..”

I don’t blame them, who would want to negotiate now after all the killings and iron fist. But dessolution of the Baath party ( the Mafia) is even more important than the Shia backed mafia puppet removal.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:39 pm

 

499. Aldendeshe said:

The Russians are a step behind. Instead of arranging Opposition-Socialist Mafia talks in Moscow, they should be arranging Mafia surrender terms, that is the right negotiation now.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

500. irritated said:

#493. Syrian Nationalist Party

For the sake of saving lives, one would accept to negotiate with the devil.

All wars that get into a stalemate end necessarily with negotiations between parties whose hands may be full of the blood of innocents.

After 10 months, is Ghalioun still hoping for a victory? He is wrongly advised and has an ego issue. He should step aside and let the negotiations happen as they will sooner or later with or without him.

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January 30th, 2012, 12:55 pm

 

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