Syria’s First High Ranking Defection or a Forced Confession? The Taped Resignation of Hama Attorney General

Hama Attorney-General Adnan Bakkour

Three Provocative Videos make the rounds today. Again It is hard to know what is true. I leave it to readers to assess them.

  • A video clip purportedly recorded by Attorney General of Hama City shows him reading a resignation letter in protest of government atrocities against Hamwi civilians. حماة_استقالة.المحامي الاول عدنان محمد البكور 31/8/2001   The opposition distributed this video on Wednesday to argue that the Attorney general was not kidnapped but defected. Sana had written on Monday that the Attorney General had been kidnapped by 7 gunmen on his way to work.

The BBC report on this is circumspect. It explains, “In a video statement, Hama governorate attorney-general Adnan Bakkour said he had evidence of more than 70 executions and hundreds of cases of torture. It is not clear when he was filmed…. In his statement, which was posted online on Wednesday, he said he was resigning because of the “al-Assad regime and his gangs”….

Reuter’s  Khalid Oweis is not circumspect. He writes: “Attorney general of Syria’s Hama defects.” Oweis quotes Attorney General Bakour: “What Syrian television is broadcasting about me being kidnapped by armed groups is totally false. I am in the protection of rebel inhabitants and in good health, today, Wednesday, 31 August. I will give live statements once I leave Syria soon,” he said.

Syrian government sources claim that he was forced to read a statement in front of the camera. Hama Governor Anas al-Naem said in a statement to SANA:

“The Attorney General has been forced by his kidnappers to give false information in the framework of the media camping goals, this indicates that those channels became partners in the crimes perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups against innocents in Syria,” .

The New York Times’ Nada Bakri reports that “Syrian security forces conducted house-to-house raids in the central city of Hama on Wednesday, hunting for activists involved in the country’s uprising, residents and activists said.” Perhaps they are looking for the Attorney General?

French 24 – Debate – Watch the second part, here
Does the Opposition need unity?
Who does it represent?

  • Joshua Landis
  • Jonathan Paris (London)
  • Shevan, Syrian Kurdish activist;
  • Fouad AL OBAID, Columnist, Kuwait times;

Here is a list of the 94 members of the Transition Council led by Bourhan Ghalioun
looks like eu has agreed on the embargo after all the arguments. it seems that it will become effective tomorrow and will offer a temporary exception till november 15 (italy’s issue)
EU Set To Broaden Syria Sanctions, Impose Oil Embargo By
2011-08-29, By Laurence Norman, DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–The European Union is set to move ahead with an oil embargo on Syria but is likely to leave a possible ban on European investment in the Syrian energy sector for a future round of measures, E.U. diplomats said Monday. Dow Jones Newswires reported last week that the oil embargo was on track to be approved, as was a change broadening the legal basis of the current sanctions against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to people who support or benefit from the regime. Until now, an asset freeze and travel ban could be placed only on those who ordered, helped with or carried out Syria’s violent crackdown on protestors.

Syrian Activists: Tanks, Troops Raid Hama, Make Arrests, 3 August 2011

Syrian rights activists and residents say government tanks and troops have entered the central city of Hama, making arrests in a renewed crackdown on the hotbed of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

The activists and residents say gunfire was heard in Hama on Wednesday, as tanks and military vehicles drove into the city. They say hundreds of Syrian security forces also emerged from buses parked on the city’s outskirts and entered on foot, searching for activists involved in a five-month pro-democracy uprising.

Syrian security forces withdrew from Hama earlier this month following a weeklong siege of the city, which has seen some of the country’s biggest protests demanding an end to Assad’s 11-year autocratic rule.

Syrian Forces Turn Focus to Activists
By NADA BAKRI, NYTImes

Syrian security forces conducted house-to-house raids in the central city of Hama on Wednesday, hunting for activists involved in the country’s uprising, residents and activists said….

Syrian businessmen fear slow economic death
By an FT reporter in Damascus

With fresh European Union sanctions against Syria looming, anxiety among the country’s powerful business elite is growing.

Sanctions targeting Syrian oil exports may be announced by Brussels as early as Friday, and businessmen fear it will be just the start of a wider process to isolate the country economically.

The US, which has fewer economic links with Damascus, has already announced wide-ranging sanctions against the Syrian regime.

Western diplomats in the Syrian capital say broader sanctions in the pipeline will target individuals and businesses deemed supporters of the regime, while there is also talk of banning European countries from investing in Syria.

Syrian businessmen say that could spell disaster for their businesses and the Syrian economy, already on its knees after five months of protests and violence.

“The effect of sanctions will be dramatic,” says one leading business figure in Damascus. “Business is already basically zero; this is just going to mean a slow death for the economy.”

Another person in the business services sector agrees, arguing that relations with Syria’s biggest trading partner are crucial. “[Syrian allies] Russia and China are no substitute for the EU,” he says. “Losing it will be disastrous.”

Many businesses are already feeling the impact of international isolation. Dollar transactions into and out of the country stopped last week, with the regime blaming tighter US sanctions.

That has made it almost impossible for import and export companies to pay suppliers and invoice customers overseas, businessmen complain. Wealthy merchant families who in recent years have secured licences to distribute foreign cars and clothing fear losing their livelihoods.

Foreign banks are also becoming uneasy about doing business as an indirect result of sanctions, with several closing accounts of Syrian residents, according to diplomats.

But while the government is keen to focus anger towards the US and Europe, at least some of the blame among businessmen is being laid at the regime’s door.

“The regime has sacrificed the economy for its own survival,” complains the leading Damascus businessman.

No member of the business elite has publicly denounced the regime. But while the elite is regarded as a crucial pillar of support for Bashar al-Assad, the president, there are signs it is becoming increasingly sympathetic to the protesters’ cause.

Ausama Monajed, a Syrian opposition figure and activist now based abroad, says some businessmen in the capital are even providing financial assistance to the protest movement.

“Millions of Syrian pounds are coming from these people,” he claims. “If a protesting community needs something, the money gets to them very quickly.”

Activists such as Mr Monajed are hoping to press more businessmen to turn their backs on the Assad clique, particularly as sanctions take hold.

Despite the economic strain, the willingness of the business elite to defect is unclear.

Many owe their fortunes almost entirely to the regime, and know that its demise will spell the end of their own business empires.

Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s most powerful businessman and the president’s cousin, is accused by his critics of using his family connections to secure his commercial empire.

Many other business figures are former security, military or party officials who have also used connections to advance their business interests.

“Those who have made their money through corruption or because their fathers are former generals will probably stay with Assad until the end,” admits Mr Monajed.

But there is a bigger question over how long the government can depend on the wider business class, particularly the merchant families in Damascus and Aleppo who may have less to lose from regime change, despite being traditional Assad supporters.

Steven Heydemann, a Syria analyst from the US Institute of Peace in Washington, says the traditional Sunni merchant families are more likely to turn against Assad as a result of a decade of economic liberalisation that has benefited regime favourites such as Mr Makhlouf at their expense.

“In the last 10 years there has been a very clear narrowing of the circle of corruption around Rami Makhlouf and other regime insiders, and that has alienated the larger Sunni elite,” he says. “That can have very powerful effects.

“In Tunisia the regime lost the support of its key business allies because the Ben Ali family monopolised the wealth. Assad could have made the same mistake.”

He is not surprised that no businessmen have publicly denounced the regime. “It’s a survival strategy,” he says. “So long as the fate of the regime is uncertain, they are hedging their bets.”

The Evolution of Kurdish Politics in Syria,” in Merip, By Christian Sinclair

Syrian dissident: Peace with Israel possible, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Syrian Kurdish opposition leader has told the Jerusalem Post that peace between Israel and Syria would be possible in a post-Assad era.

“We have a new vision for Syria – a federal Syria, a just Syria – not an Arab republic – that is inclusive, whether you’re Kurd or Arab, Christian or Muslim,” said Sherkoh Abbas, president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria (KNAS).

He said a country as homogeneous as Syria is best suited to a federal model, in which areas with high minority populations enjoy certain powers not wielded by the national government.

The new Syria that Abbas envisions would be at peace with all of its neighbors, including Israel.

“Many Syrian religious and tribal leaders who are now part of the Syrian Democracy Council have no problem recognizing Israel and making peace,” he said. “They want to focus on Syria, and they have problems replacing one dictator with another – whether that’s Islamists or another group.”

Abbas dismissed the notion that because Assad has kept the Syrian-Israeli border largely quiet during his reign, the Syrian president is somehow a force for regional stability.

“Look at Hamas and Hezbollah.

Is Israel more stable today, or its borders more secure?” he said. Syria is a major sponsor and arms supplier for both radical groups, and a close ally of Iran.

“The only people who benefit from this regime staying in power are Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and other organizations that promote terrorism. Everyone else will win by removing this regime,” he said.

Of all Syrians, he said, Kurds are among the most favorably inclined to Israel. “Kurds in general have absolutely no problem with Israel. Israelis don’t kill us; they don’t take our land or oppress us. Why would we have a problem?” he said. “As for Kurdish religious leaders, they often say that the Koran says Israel belongs to the Jews, who are God’s chosen people, so why we should fight them? Even atheists say why should we fight the fight of Arab nationalism, which uses Islam to serve its own needs? We don’t want to fight – Jews are God’s people as well.”

SARKOZY SAYS SYRIA’S ASSAD IS `BEYOND REPAIR’, 2011-08-31  By GREGORY VISCUSI

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “can’t expect protection from his own people” and France will do everything “legally possible” to seek his ouster, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said. Speaking to French Ambassadors at their annual meeting in Paris, Sarkozy said he regrets that the Security Council still hasn’t imposed sanctions on Syria.

Russia opposes West-drafted UN resolution on Syria: diplomat
2011-08-29 23:11:52

MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Russia stands against a West-drafted UN resolution on Syria, said Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitali Churkin on Monday.

“The draft resolution on Syria is completely non-objective and it envisages pressure on the Syrian authorities only,” Churkin told the Russia Today television channel.

“We are afraid that the resolution could push the most radical Syrian opposition forces to more active operations to topple the government. Just because of that, we categorically do not accept the aims our Western colleagues try to attain with that resolution. We offer the alternative,” the Russian diplomat said.

He stressed that the draft resolution does not contain a single word about political dialogue between the Syrian opposition and the government.

“The UN Security Council should not stay aside but it must act in a positive way,” Churkin stressed.

Also on Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, via his envoy Mikhail Bogdanov, announced the Kremlin.

Medvedev urged Assad “to stop immediately and completely” any violence from either side.

The Kremlin also stressed that the opposition should not dodge participation in a dialogue proposed by the authorities, saying dialogue is the only way to the restoration of social order and a democratic transformation of Syria.

Haytham Khoury published on (كلنا شركاء),

The West’s four military options in Syria by Michael E. O’Hanlon Special to CNN

He runs through America’s military options on Syria. As he says, “it is worth surveying the tools at our disposal to contemplate what might come next – if not immediately, then perhaps down the road.”

WSJ [Reg]: Iran Feels Heat Over Support for Damascus, 2011-08-30

BEIRUT—Iran’s steadfast support for Syria’s regime has rapidly eroded Tehran’s credibility among Arabs, leaving the country with a foreign-policy dilemma as popular uprisings mount across the region. Supporting President Bashar al-Assad will …

Turkey, Syria Approaching Diplomatic Rift, 08/30/11, VOA

Turkey’s prime minister and its president have announced they have lost confidence in the Syrian leadership, while the foreign minister warned that Ankara will side with the Syrian protesters against Damascus if forced to choose. The statements are seen as a possible final diplomatic breaking point between the former close allies.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in an interview over the weekend, described the government gestures in Syria as too little, too late as the Syrian crackdown against opposition continues. That message was followed up by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a TV address to the nation Sunday in which he strongly attacked Damascus.

He said a government cannot survive by force or brutality or by shooting and killing unarmed people taking to the streets. He said the only solution is to silence arms immediately and listen to the demands of the people. Mr. Erdogan said the world saw the end of those who did not choose this way in Tunisia and in Egypt, and now observes with sorrow what is being lived in Libya.

Weekly Standard: A ‘Model’ Nation for Syria?
by Lee Smith

A national flag hangs on a statue of Syria’s late president Hafez Assad at the entrance of the city of Homs on Aug. 30, 2011. Rights activists reported widespread anti-regime protests across Syria.

A national flag hangs on a statue of Syria’s late president Hafez Assad at the entrance of the city of Homs on Aug. 30, 2011. Rights activists reported widespread anti-regime protests across Syria.

Earlier today, Syrian security forces arrested the brother of a Syrian opposition leader in exile, Radwan Ziadeh, who is now a George Washington University visiting scholar. 37-year-old Yassin Ziadeh was at a demonstration after prayers (for the Eid al-Fitr holiday), Radwan told me on the phone. “The security forces attacked the demonstrators,” says Radwan. “[Yassin] was running away and got swept up by Syrian air force security”—which is historically one of the regime’s most active security branches, in large part because former president Hafez Assad,…

Sanctions, as I’ve argued before, may not be enough to accomplish the goal the Obama administration has now set for itself—for Assad to leave power. And yet it seems the Syrian opposition is more willing to entertain the possibility of armed assistance than the White House has let on.

…..”We demand international community to intervene for the protection of the Syrian people from genocide.”

In other words, the Syrian opposition has taken note of what worked for the Libyan rebels—how they got the international community on their side, and how that pushed Gadhafi to the brink. …

U.S. Sanctions Syrian Foreign Minister Muallim and Assad Adviser Buthaina Shaaban, Wall Street Journal

At UN on Syria, UK Says Its Email Trumps Russia’s Oral Request, P5 Blues

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 — Amid a Security Council split between dueling Syria resolutions introduced by Russia supported by China, versus the Council’s four European members and the US, a side fight about which draft first went “into blue,” and thus could be called for a vote first, has been joined.

Russia steps up UN battle over Syria

Russia on Friday stepped up UN Security Council hostilities over Syria by proposing a resolution without sanctions to rival a Europe-US call to directly target President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s ambassador Vitaly Churkin accused the Western allies of “stirring up the opposition” in Syria with their call for an assets freeze on Assad and his entourage and an arms embargo against Damascus.

Sinking the Mavi Marmara - 30 Aug 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the Israeli murder of nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara was in accordance with international law

The release of the findings of the UN panel of inquiry into the May 2010 Israeli attack on the Turkish Mavi Marmara, part of the Freedom Flotilla endeavoring to deliver aid to besieged Gaza, was recently delayed for the fourth time since the originally scheduled release date over three months ago….

Ankara censures Israel for its attacks on Gaza, but does not hesitate to bomb the Kurdish PKK movement in much the same manner. Perhaps some UAVs will help them warm up to Jerusalem. By Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz

CFR: Syria: How To Avoid Civil War, And What To Ask Ambassador Ford., 2011-08-04 by Elliott Abrams

I’ve recently written two articles on Syria. In The Wall Street Journal, I discussed what actions might be taken to help avoid sectarian conflict. The longer the current violence continues the …

Analysis: EU oil jolt may not be enough to rock Assad
by Dominic Evans
BEIRUT | Mon Aug 29, 2011

(Reuters) – Oil sanctions which the European Union is expected to impose on Damascus for repressing protests would be a significant blow to Syria’s economy but it may take more than that to hasten the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

Five months of protest and government reprisals have undoubtedly inflicted economic damage. Even before the likely EU embargo on Syrian crude exports, tourism, trade, manufacturing and foreign investment have all collapsed, reversing a decade of steady growth, starting to drain the country’s financial reserves and forcing many Syrians out of work.

One industrialist said some were losing patience with the worsening economic outlook.

Yet the wealthy business classes in Damascus and Aleppo have so far remained loyal to Assad and months of high global prices for Syria’s oil exports mean his government still has substantial foreign exchange reserves to fall back on.

EU diplomats confirmed on Friday plans to sanction imports of Syrian oil, saying the embargo could be imposed this week. The loss of European oil sales will interrupt a crucial flow of foreign currency and force Syria to offer its oil more cheaply to new customers further afield.

Syria produces around 385,000 barrels per day of oil, exporting around 150,000 bpd, most of which goes to Europe.

“Syria will have to sell oil at a more discounted price,” said Eurasia Group analyst Ayham Kamel. “It’s important, though it’s not going to bankrupt the regime.”…

Achy said trade with Syria’s neighbors had fallen off, probably around 30 to 40 percent. The collapse in investment and tourism meant that oil and remittances from Syrians working abroad were the only sources of income holding up so far.

Indications were that the government had already halted investment spending in infrastructure, schools and hospitals to focus on more immediate needs, he said. Any interruption to its $2.5 billion a year oil exports “will have an immediate impact on current spending as well … this means probably the government will not be able to pay civil servants.”

“Thirty percent of the labor force is in the public sector and this means the economy will feel the effect because these people also consume, pay rent, buy food and clothes,” he said.

That kind of disruption would be likely to fuel more dissent against Assad, and Achy said the financial cost of unrest could ultimately bring down his rule. But Ayham of Eurasia Group said it was unlikely the immediate impact would be so severe, and that only a broader EU trade embargo would really squeeze Syria. “(EU oil sanctions) are not going to be a significant impediment in terms of financial constraints on the regime in terms of hard currency,” he said….

Syria Spent USD 2 Billion Defending Currency – Syria Report

Syria has spent USD 2 billion since mid-March defending its national currency, according to Adib Mayaleh, the governor of the Central Bank, who denied rumours of Iranian help to support his country’s economy….

Economy Syrian President Enacts Decentralisation Law

On August 23, the Syrian President issued a decree granting more powers and duties to regional councils in a move aimed at encouraging decentralisation.

Iran: US, Israeli plot against Syria failed – 2011-08-29 – China Daily

“A plan by the American-Zionism axis aimed at creating a sectarian war in Syria is defeated,” Amirabdollahian was quoted as saying. TEHRAN – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the US and Israel plot to trigger a sectarian war in Syria has failed, the local satellite Press TV reported on Monday.

He called on “the people of Syria (to) pursue their legitimate demands through democratic way and believe in the reforms plan of (President) Bashar al-Assad,” said the report.

The Syrian nation is proud of its “presence in the front line of resistance and support of the oppressed people of Palestine,” he added.

On Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi warned against “dire consequences of change in Syria’s government.”

Guardian (GB): Syrian businessmen signal revulsion with President Assad’s regime, 2011-08-28, Nour Ali guardian.co.uk

A Syrian in Istanbul registers his protest against President Assad of Syria. Dozens of Syrians living in Turkey demonstrated.

A Jonathan Guyer cartoon about Ali Farzat

National Co-ordinating Body in Syria:

This body condemns the Syrian authorities who have prevented three national figures of democracy in Syria from travelling. Michel Kilo, Louay Hussein, and Fayez Sara Member are members of the organisation’s Executive and were stopped during their way on an overland crossing to Lebanon on the pretext of this being dangerous for them. The Co-ordinating Body states that this flies in the face of transparency and reform, and it is illegal, and calls for these practices to stop.
Professors Michel Kilo, Louay Hussein, Fayez Sarah have been prevented from traveling

Syria lifts censorship
Aug 28, 2011 17:58 Moscow Time

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has approved a law which abolishes censorship and lifts restrictions on spreading foreign media in his country.

US: Libya death toll could be at 30 000

Washington – An Obama administration official says estimates of the death toll in Libya after more than two months of violence could reach as high as 30 000.

Assad: Strong but Encircled and Vulnerable
by Rami G. Khouri Released: 31 Aug 2011

BEIRUT — The signs are not good for the Syrian government and regime headed by President Bashar Assad and his tight knit network of family members, security agencies, Baath Party members and business associates that dominate the country. In the past week, a steady stream of incidents and signals all add up to strengthen the trend that has pertained for several months now: The regime is increasingly isolated at home and abroad, but remains bunkered down and ready to fight to the end. The exact nature of that end scenario is not clear, but seems imminent now, especially in view of just the past week’s events…..

Many, including myself, have argued for months that the Syrian government is strong in its immediate moorings and support bases, and enjoys legitimacy among many Syrians. The problem that Assad and his system now face is that he has wasted much of that support and legitimacy, and is now ‘strong’ in a very different and much more vulnerable manner. ….

Syria is likely to — and is able to — persist in this mode for months, until either the pressures against it subside or its own ability to resist cracks. Neither of these is imminent today, but one of them will happen as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. If the Syrian regime can break its isolation from the encircling forces that now pen it in, it might have a chance to orchestrate a gradual change to a more open and liberal system of governance. The likelihood of that happening is now zero.

How Saudi Arabia can contain Iran – and other benefits from Syria’s turmoil
Saudi Arabia is facing its biggest foreign policy obstacle (and opportunity) yet – one whose outcome matters deeply to the US. How the kingdom handles Syrian turmoil will determine its leadership standing in the region and its containment of Iran.
By Bilal Y. Saab IN CSMonitor

All of a sudden, Saudi Arabia finds itself facing a historic opportunity to greatly enhance its strategic position in the Middle East and perhaps even assume an undisputed leadership role in Arab politics.

And this is hardly just an internal Saudi matter.

The regional status of the kingdom is a matter of some importance to the United States and its policies in the Middle East. Given the (still solid) strategic alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia, it goes without saying that a more influential and assertive Riyadh helps Washington achieve its overall foreign policy goals in the region, most urgent of which is checking Iran’s power and preventing it from becoming a nuclear power state.

So what is this new Saudi opportunity all about? It starts in Syria

Comments (235)


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201. Akbar Palace said:

Facts, Circumstances and Context of the Incident

The Panel finds:

i. The events of 31 May 2010 should never have taken place as they did and strenuous efforts should be made to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future.
Strictly Confidential

ii. The fundamental principle of the freedom of navigation on the high seas is subject to only certain limited exceptions under international law. Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

iii. The flotilla was a non-governmental endeavour, involving vessels and participants from a number of countries.

iv. Although people are entitled to express their political views, the flotilla acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade. The majority of the flotilla participants had no violent intentions, but there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH. The actions of the flotilla needlessly carried the potential for escalation.

v. The incident and its outcomes were not intended by either Turkey or Israel. Both States took steps in an attempt to ensure that events did not occur in a manner that endangered individuals’ lives and international peace and security. Turkish officials also approached the organizers of the flotilla with the intention of persuading them to change course if necessary and avoid an encounter with Israeli forces. But more could have been done to warn the flotilla participants of the potential risks involved and to dissuade them from their actions.

vi. Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable:

a. Non-violent options should have been used in the first instance. In particular, clear prior warning that the vessels were to be boarded and a demonstration of dissuading force should have been given to avoid the type of confrontation that occurred;
b. The operation should have reassessed its options when the resistance to the initial boarding attempt became apparent.

vii. Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara requiring them to use force for their own protection. Three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers. Several others were wounded.

viii. The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable. Nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces. No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths. Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.

ix. There was significant mistreatment of passengers by Israeli authorities after the take-over of the vessels had been completed through until their deportation. This included physical mistreatment, harassment and intimidation, unjustified confiscation of belongings and the denial of timely consular assistance.

My Conclusion: The IDF should have used proportional force to protect their lives and should not have “mistreated” the passengers. In fact, they should have offered turkish coffee and baklawah.

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September 2nd, 2011, 7:46 am

 

202. Aboud said:

“Also, pls be careful abt a possible military assault with artillery on Homs from tomorrow onwards.”

Khaled, do you have so much free time that you’d pay attention to the same menhebak who spent two months screaming and pissing his pants about a Turkish invasion that never came? Or the same guy who swore to heaven and down that Besho would launch a war of “liberation” on the Golan in June? If I had a dollar for every wrong prediction that guy made, I’d be able to buy out Rami Makhlouf.

Syrian Commando does not have access to privileged information, he’s a nobody who’d like people to think he does. When his credibility is shot to hell like it was on Syria Comment, he’ll move on to another menhebak friendly website. Meantime, he scrambles for attention on shiachat by claiming to have knowledge of an impending military operation *which he clearly does not have and has proven time and again never to have had*. Every single time, his “predictions” have turned out to have been pulled out from his ass.

An RPG was fired at a checkpoint? What, is that supposed to be news? SANA is claiming such things every other day. It’s propaganda, not news.

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September 2nd, 2011, 8:07 am

 

203. Revlon said:

198. Dear Chris W,
You said:
“What on earth is the problem you guys have with Ann…??
While you spend your time cracking wise and stroking each others egos, she actually tracks down and posts reports from many angles relating to goings on in and around Syria.
Her posts are VERY INTERESTING”

First, I would agree that someone may have found ANN posts in the previous page very interesting; You did!

Second, based on a survey of all of ANN posts in that particular page, I note the following:
- None of ANN posts had anything to do with current or past events in Syria
- 3/8 covered Turkish relations with other Middle eastern countries (177, 178, and 180).
- 2 out of 8 covered the same event; a Kurdish demonstration in Istanbul (181 and 182).
- 2 out of 8 also covered same event; security forces clash with demonstrators in Manama (184 and 187)
- 1/8 covered NATO-Libyan relations.

Posting reports with tangential relevance to current events in Syria, might still be useful.
Providing a title and a link would be sufficient to draw the needed attention.
Posting the entirety of such marginally irrelevant articles would raise questions about the poster’s real motives.

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September 2nd, 2011, 8:31 am

 

204. hsyrian said:

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/09/02/367067.htm

GOVERNORATES, (SANA) – Lt. Col. Fidaa al-Sheikh was martyred by an RPG hit by an armed terrorist gang in Talkalakh, Homs on Thursday.

Three martyrs from the army and police personnel were escorted to their final resting place in their home cities and towns.

Second Lieutenant Dr. Khaled Taher al-Sheikh, Policeman Hassan Mahmoud Hamdan and conscript Akeel Hussein Nasir were killed at the hands of armed terrorist groups in Idleb, Deir Ezzor and Homs.

Solemn processions were held for the martyrs, as they were covered with the Syrian flag and held up on shoulders while the Military Band played the music of the “Martyr” and “Farewell”.

Families and relatives of the martyrs expressed their pride in the martyrdom of their sons, emphasizing that Syria will overcome the crisis thanks to the unity and solidarity of its people and their readiness to provide more sacrifices.

Disclaimers
This is consistent with a report from a foreign free press journalist that I read on Internet:

In Homs , the protesters are directed by a Muslim Brother sheikh well versed in media propaganda
they are in contact with the Damascus Brothers
The protesters are armed
Some protesters assaulted and killed security personnel ouside demonstrations

Large amount of heavy arms like RPG are stored in the Homs neighborhood

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September 2nd, 2011, 8:35 am

 

205. Haytham Khoury said:

برهان غليون يكشف عن رغبته في تحويل المجلس الوطني الانتقالي لجبهة معارضة حقيقية ضد نظام حزب البعث

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=data\201199-011qpt956.htm

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September 2nd, 2011, 8:38 am

 

206. Tara said:

I agree Ann’ posts are spam and make the site unattractive especially to people who browse SC occasionally and do not actually participate. It distracts attention and confuses people in regard to the main issue by overwhelming the site with irrelevant topics.

Ann, please stop.

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September 2nd, 2011, 8:43 am

 

207. Tara said:

Beaware,  sorry but I wanted to beat you to this news and link it first.  Had my Coffee and enjoying watching the demonstrations 

EU imposes Syrian oil import ban

By the CNN Wire Staff
September 2, 2011 — Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/09/02/syria.unrest/

(CNN) — The European Union imposed a ban Friday on the import of Syrian oil, the latest diplomatic move against the Bashar al-Assad regime.
“The prohibition concerns purchase, import and transport of oil and other petroleum products from Syria. No financial or insurance services may be provided for such transactions,” the European Council said in a statement issued in Brussels, Belgium.
The action was expected. The EU has been a top market for Syrian oil, and the group said it intended to make the move which will have a detrimental impact on the Syrian government’s oil revenues.

more…

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:02 am

 

208. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Revlon
Well done, nice translation.

of Quixotic Guy
Aboud

Remember Commando’s warning about WW-III if protest did not stop in Syria.

But the poor fellow can still do some minor damage by inciting another crazy Quark or Bozo-n of the electronic army to issue a death threat or two as we sow here on Syria Comment. Like i said before, and physicists physicians at the University of Oklahoma would agree, these guys are nothing more than spontaneous mass-less excitations .

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:11 am

 

209. Syrialover said:

Yes, Ann (and other offenders) please stop the data dumps.

It is irritating and time-wasting to have to scroll through acres of readily available news stories in a comments section.

Just keep it to a link and quick note on what the story’s about – if it interests us we can choose to follow it up while appreciating you drawing it to our attention.

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:41 am

 

210. beaware said:

More huge demonstrations in Syria
From: AFP
September 02, 2011 10:25PM
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/more-huge-demonstrations-in-syria/story-e6frf7jx-1226128479660

HUGE demonstrations have rocked Syria, including a rally urging Russia to stop arms sales to the regime and another in support of an official who resigned in protest at the government’s brutal crackdown, activists say.

The protests came as the European Union adopted a ban on crude oil imports from Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its brutal repression of protesters, diplomats told AFP.

The embargo will take effect on November 15 for existing supply contracts, after Italy demanded a delay, the diplomats said.

The protesters across Syria were responding to calls posted on the internet for nationwide anti-regime demonstrations after the weekly Friday prayers under the banner of “death rather than humiliation.”

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said demonstrators rallied outside the home of the attorney general of the flashpoint rebellious province of Hama in support of his reported decision to resign.
more..

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:45 am

 

211. Chris W said:

Well, frankly, Tara and others, you would think Ann’s posts are spam; because you seem to think this site is a private chatroom.

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:49 am

 

212. Syrialover said:

Akbar Palace, beavering away there, earning his commission.

OK, yawn, you’ve done your job, let’s get back to the main subject of this discussion group.

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:51 am

 

213. beaware said:

Oil firms bet on survival of Syria’s Assad
Thu Sep 1, 2011 7:52am EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/01/syria-oil-idUSL5E7JV2QY20110901
…..
By Jessica Donati and Dmitry Zhdannikov

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Oil companies in Europe are betting on the survival of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, in sharp contrast to their support for Libya’s opposition six months ago, even while the European Union is expected to soon slap oil sanctions on Damascus.

Several tankers are sailing to Syria this week to either deliver fuel or pick up crude, which may suggest that oil companies believe the rebellion in Syria will fail to overthrow Assad’s government.

The same companies, including Swiss-based trader Vitol, made the opposite bet when it came to trade in Libya. They agreed to supply opponents of Muammar Gaddafi with fuel in the hope their support would be rewarded at the end of the war.

“What oil firms are currently doing does really look like they believe Assad will win, and they will have to deal with him again,” said a Western diplomatic source.

“The big difference that they all see with Libya is that in Syria you don’t even have a location where the opposition can get together like Benghazi,” he added.

Royal Dutch/Shell (RDSa.L) is expected to load its Neverland Star tanker with crude oil cargo in the port of Banias over the weekend. The tanker was in Alexandria in Egypt on Thursday, just a day away from the Syrian port.

The company operates a joint venture with Syria’s state oil company and a Chinese-Indian firm to produce Syrian Light. Traders said the tanker was likely to load oil from Shell’s ownership share.

Industry sources say that even if oil exports from Syria are banned by the EU this week , Shell plans to continue operating within the country’s borders. It would keep that up until the EU imposes sanctions on cooperation with Syrian firms, which so far appears less likely.

Swiss-based trader Vitol, which played a central role in the war effort in Libya, was due to deliver 70,000 tonnes of gasoil to Banias on Thursday, indicating it has a different game plan in Syria.

And a third tanker, the Altesse, was headed for the Syrian port from Naples and was expected to arrive this week, satellite tracking information showed.

It was not clear whether the 70,000 tonne tanker was due to deliver or load at Banias, but at least two cargoes of gasoline are expected to be delivered to Syria in early September by trading houses Trafigura and Vitol.

Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) said last week it had canceled a deal to load naphtha in Syria due to U.S. sanctions.

Looming sanctions on Syria have had a very limited market on oil markets so far as the country’s exports of 150,000 barrels per day and imports of products are only a fraction of Libya’s pre-war shipments, the loss of which six month ago rocked the oil markets.

SAFE BET?

Five months of protests have failed to unseat al-Assad, who inherited power from his father and retains the loyalty of the core of his armed forces comprised mostly of members of the Alawite minority, the same sect as the president.

Analysts say that even a wider EU embargo on trade will not necessarily fully squeeze the economy.

“The sanctions are definitely important but won’t bankrupt the regime,” said Eurasia Group analyst Ayham Kamel, adding that an EU embargo was likely to be part of a first round, which could be expanded if violence in Syria escalated.

“The sanctions are just on oil imports (into the EU) and do not target companies operating in Syria … The EU is wary of one package and likely to take an incremental approach to match the rise in violence in Syria.”

But even if the prospect of wider-reaching sanctions on Syria’s oil business looms, the EU is not expected to rush in with very severe measures.

“With the regime so entrenched, tougher sanctions will soon start hitting the population too broadly, starting to look like Iraq in the ’90s, and memories of that mistake are still too strong,” said analyst Samuel Ciszuk of IHS Global Insight, adding it was likely Assad’s regime would hang on to power for some time yet.

For a FACTBOX on Syria’s energy sector (additional reporting by Ikuko Kurahone, editing by Jane Baird)

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:53 am

 

214. Tara said:

More demonstrations

Love it!

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September 2nd, 2011, 9:54 am

 

215. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Turkish move to sever military ties with Israel, and to expel the ambassador, looks as something bigger than simply that. Now when Turkey bashed Israel (To the cheers of Muslims), it has the legitimacy, and is ready to bash one of them. Meaning, Syria.
.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:08 am

 

216. Akbar Palace said:

Akbar Palace, beavering away there, earning his commission.
OK, yawn, you’ve done your job, let’s get back to the main subject of this discussion group.

Syrialover,

OK;)

How do you feel about the EU sanctions, etc. Positive, Neutral, Negative?

Just my observation, but the mood here is a bit negative. I do not think Syria is comparable to Libya and Iraq. There are a lot of highly educated Syrians, and I think the opposition can form political parties and call for an election. There is relatively little outside interference inside of Syria to muck things up worse than they are.

The question is: what will it take to bring down the regime and get the army to support the opposition so that peaceful elections can be held.

Amir,

If Turkey “bashes” anyone, it will be defenseless Kurds.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:09 am

 

217. norman said:

Amir,

you are starting ti think like me.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:12 am

 

218. Tara said:

Chris,

Nothing wrong in having small cultural conversations about Syria and SC personalities as it makes it more interesting to be part of it. Ann however is overwhelming the site to create a background noise and diffuse the issues at hand.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:15 am

 

219. Aboud said:

“Lt. Col. Fidaa al-Sheikh was martyred by an RPG hit by an armed terrorist gang in Talkalakh, Homs on Thursday.”

Tell me something, how long has your pathetic army and the shabiha turds been in Telkelakh? Since early May. And yet someone can apparently waltz right in, and kill a senior officer *sarcastic clap* Bravo, Besho brigades. What an efficient fighting force junior has created.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:15 am

 

220. Revlon said:

In a bold move, Officer Tlass, who newly defected and joined the FOM appears in public and in the middle of the day to salute and cheer a massive crowd of demonstrators in Rastan today.

Die or stand tall Friday
02-09-2011 Ar Rastan, Homs.
أوغاريت الرستن حمص , تحية الملازم أول محمد طلاس إلى الجماهير , مظاهرات جمعة الموت ولا المذلة

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:34 am

 

221. Mina said:

Watched the Emir of Qatar unable to articulate proper classical Arabic yesterday in Paris (where he has bought a huge house on Ile Saint-Louis with a little few corrupt officials helping in making it ‘constructible and extendable’ while it was officially part of the historical monuments and not constructible anymore for this reason).
Well, I wonder why anyone would hope that what the US-UN-NATO have failed in Iraq, they would succeed in Lybia.
Also, could anyone here with an experience in the Gulf tell me the difference between Qaddafi’s Lybia and the Gulf states? They all have personality cult and use foreign workers as slaves with no rights whatsoever, no?
Disclaimer: to those who think this is not related to Syria, just admit we are still taking abuot reshaping the Middle East, making a model democracy somewhere in it (not Iraq, why not Jordan? why then Lybia?)

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:37 am

 

222. beaware said:

Syria witnesses new protests amid mounting int’l pressure.
2011-09-02
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/02/c_131094792.htm

DAMASCUS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Hundreds of Syrians took to the streets in a new weekly episode of protests titled “death rather than humiliation” as the European Union approved Friday an embargo on oil imports from Syria as part of sweeping new economic sanctions against the Syrian leadership.

Syria’s state TV said armed groups attacked Friday a law- enforcement checkpoint in the town of Talbiseh near central Homs province, injuring a number of its members. It said around 50 people in al-Hasan mosque in al-Midan neighborhood in the capital of Damascus, tried to ignite protests but dispersed quickly because their attempt wasn’t heeded by the worshipers.

The private Sham FM radio station said limited gatherings were seen in the northern province of Idlib and dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV, airing live footage of what it claimed as large protests in several Syrian cities calling for the downfall of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, citing activists as saying six people were killed in several areas, including eastern Deir al-Zour province, the Damascus suburb of Arbeen and Hammorieh.

The video picturing large crowds chanting a rhyming phrase ” death rather than humiliation.”

The contents of al-Jazeera videos or the activists’ accounts couldn’t be verified as journalists are banned from heading to the restive areas.

Syria accuses al-Jazeera and other media of ignoring the facts on the ground as well as incitement and fabricating events in their coverage of the protests.

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September 2nd, 2011, 10:54 am

 

223. EHSANI2 said:

MINA,

Gulf Monarchs are friendly with the U.S. Both parties benefit from this arrangement. This is neither charity nor love from first sight.

Countries that take it upon themselves to take on the U.S. and oppose her interests and hegemony are certainly free to do so. Those that do so will have to live with the consequences. It’s a risk-reward calculation that countries make. The Gulf monarchs made their choice long ago and stuck with it.

Since the union with Egypt and then the Baath takeover, Syria decided that it was not in her national interests to align herself with the U.S. Again, it’s a risk-reward calculation that the country’s leadership has made and stuck to for nearly 5 decades. Syrians have been programmed to carry on this distrust of the U.S. It is part of the national psyche.

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:00 am

 

224. beaware said:

Syrians of all faiths meet to express fear of sectarian violence
Agence France-Presse
Sep 1, 2011
http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/syrians-of-all-faiths-meet-to-express-fear-of-sectarian-violence
DAMASCUS // A group of Syrians from different faiths and different political leanings have met every Sunday since anti-regime protests erupted in March to exorcise the fear that haunts them all.

“The paradox is, everyone is scared in Syria,” says Rafa Nashed, a psychoanalyst and one of the organisers of the gatherings at a Jesuit home in the centre of Damascus.

“Why does the regime use violence and repression? Because it is scared of losing power. And the people who protest, do you think they are not scared? They are very scared, but they are still going.”

The meetings always begin the same way: six of the 50 participants sit in the middle of a room to start off the debate.

This week, the topic would be religious fear.

“After the attack against the Rifai mosque, I began to fear for me and my children,” says Fadi, who shifts uncomfortably in his chair, referring to when club-wielding security forces attacked a group of people leaving prayers at the Sunni mosque in west Damascus on August 27, according to a rights group.

One demonstrator was killed and 10 were wounded, including the imam of the mosque, Osama Al Rifai.

“Me, as an Alawite, I am scared of what might happen. There are many dangerous events that have a sectarian dimension in Syria,” he adds.

“I was also scared that people with strong views would escalate the situation, but luckily that did not happen.”

Syria is a multi-confessional country with a Sunni majority, a substantial Christian minority and Alawite Shiites, who rule the country.

more…

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:02 am

 

225. ann said:

Turkey expels Israel ambassador over flotilla raid – 46 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-expels-israel-ambassador-over-flotilla-raid-122327948.html

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and said Friday it is cutting military ties with the country over its refusal to apologize for last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine people.

Turkey’s move came before the anticipated publication Friday of a U.N. report on violence aboard a Gaza-bound protest flotilla, further straining a relationship that had been a cornerstone of regional stability.

The report, obtained by The New York Times and posted on its website, said Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is a “legitimate security measure.” But it also said Israel’s use of force against the flotilla was “excessive and unreasonable,” according to the newspaper.

An Israeli official said the report showed Israel’s naval blockade was in keeping with international law. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the report had yet to be officially released. He said Israel expected it to be made public by the U.N. later Friday.

Turkey has made an Israeli apology a condition of improving diplomatic ties. Israeli officials say the report does not demand an Israeli apology, establishing instead that Israel should express regret and pay reparations.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the government was downgrading diplomatic ties with Israel to the level of second secretary and that the ambassador and other high-level diplomats would the country by Wednesday.

He said all military agreements signed between the former allies were also being suspended. In other measures, Davutoglu said Turkey would back flotilla victims families’ court actions against Israel and take steps to ensure “free navigation” in the eastern Mediterranean. He did not elaborate but some analysts suggested Turkey could send navy vessels to escort aid ships in international waters in the future.

“The time has come for Israel to pay for its stance that sees it above international laws and disregards human conscience,” Davutoglu said. “The first and foremost result is that Israel is going to be devoid of Turkey’s friendship.”

“As long as the Israeli government does not take the necessary steps, there will be no turning back,” the minister said.

Asked to comment on the fact that the U.N. report does not recommend an Israeli apology, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said: “To be frank, the report is null and void for us.”

Davutoglu said the report “displayed the violence committed by the Israeli soldiers,” but also criticized it for describing Israel’s naval blockade as a legitimate security measure and in line with international law.

“Turkey does not recognize the Israel’s embargo on Gaza,” Davutoglu said, adding that Turkey would take steps to have the International Court of Justice and the United Nations to look into its legality.

Relations between Turkey and Israel, once close, have soured in recent years as Turkey has tilted away from the West. They deteriorated sharply after the flotilla bloodshed.

The U.N. report says “Turkey and Israel should resume full diplomatic relations, repairing their relationship in the interests of stability in the Middle East and international peace and security,” according to the copy obtained by The New York Times.

Turkey announced the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and suspension of military cooperation hours before the report was to be published, the most significant downgrading in ties between the two countries since the bloody flotilla attack last year.

The Turkish decision increases Israel’s isolation at a sensitive time.

The collapse of Israel’s relationship with Turkey comes as it faces turmoil in ties with another longtime regional ally, Egypt, where longtime leader Hosni Mubarak was deposed earlier this year and where there have been growing calls to revoke the three-decade-old Egypt-Israel peace agreement.

It also comes as Israel seeks to muster international support against an attempt by the Palestinians to have their state recognized at the U.N. later this month.

Israeli officials would not immediately comment on the Turkish decision.

In Gaza, Hamas applauded the Turkish move.

“This is a natural response to the Israeli crime against the freedom flotilla” and to the continuation of the naval blockade, spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

There had been debate in Israel’s government over an apology that would placate Turkey and salvage ties, but the final decision was not to apologize.

A senior Israeli government official who had seen the report told the AP earlier this week that Israel has come to believe that Turkey is intent on worsening ties with Israel in order to bolster its own position in the Arab and Islamic world. While Israel does not rule out quiet talks with Turkey on an expression of regret and reparations to families of the dead activists, the report does not ask for an Israeli apology and there will not be one, he said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed aboard the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, after passengers resisted a takeover by Israeli naval commandos. The flotilla was en route to Gaza in an attempt to bring international attention to Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory. Each side blamed the other, claiming self-defense.

The fatalities included eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish-American activist.

After the violence triggered an international outcry, Israel eased restrictions on goods moving into Gaza overland but left the naval blockade in place.

The activists charge the blockade constitutes collective punishment and is illegal. Israel asserts that it is necessary to prevent weapons from reaching the militants who regularly bombard Israeli towns with rockets from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas.

The U.N. committee established in the aftermath of the incident was made up of two international diplomats — former leaders of New Zealand and Colombia — one representative from Israel and one from Turkey.

Participants in the flotilla, the committee wrote, “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.” Most passengers were peaceful, according to the report, but a small group was prepared for organized resistance. These passengers were “armed with iron bars, staves, chains, and slingshots, and there is some indication that they also used knives.”

After soldiers rappelled onto the deck from helicopters, according to the report, “three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers. Several others were wounded.”

“No satisfactory explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths,” according to the report as quoted by the paper.

The committee noted “forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range.”

The senior Israeli government official said those hit in the back were attacking soldiers when they were shot from behind by other soldiers acting to save their comrades.

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:02 am

 

226. Mango said:

221. MINA
يحب يتعلى حتى و لو كان على خازوق !!!

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:36 am

 

227. Haytham Khoury said:

Ambassador Ford is praised by the French media for his support to the Syrian revolution.

http://www.cyberpresse.ca/chroniqueurs/agnes-gruda/201109/02/01-4430931-les-bouchers-de-damas.php

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:37 am

 

228. Tara said:

There is more… to Beaware’s article in post 224 that I like to highlight which I believe is the most importanr part of the story. Here it is:

“Alaa, also Christian, recounts his own experience as the room listens patiently.

“I was prejudiced through my education against Muslims, because my family had always said that we should not receive them at home,” he tells the group.

“I used to support the regime, but after all these deaths, I have gone to protest.”

The 20-something continues, speaking quickly, that he took to the streets in Duma, a suburb of Damascus, “and these men, who have been presented as scum, they helped me hide from the security forces. I was afraid to fall into their hands”.

Tara’s opinion: The destiny of Assad’ s reign of terror has been sealed. It my take time but nothing can be done to resurrect it from death. Minorities need to cure themselves from “minorities”s complex disorder” and stand by their fellow Syrians to shape the new Syria as secular free society. Minorities should “cut their loss”, and voice support of the revolution so they can actively participate in making the drawing of new Syria.

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:39 am

 

229. Mango said:

طالب الموت يجده، و طالب الحياة يجدها !
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, by Dr. Joseph Murphy
http://www.remoteviewinglight.com/html/murphy-subconscious-mind.html

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:44 am

 

230. Haytham Khoury said:

Syria’s surge of deaths in detention revealed
by Amnesty International

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/syria%E2%80%99s-surge-deaths-detention-revealed-2011-08-30

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:44 am

 

231. Haytham Khoury said:

@228

” Minorities need to cure themselves from “minorities”s complex disorder” and stand by their fellow Syrians to shape the new Syria as secular free society. Minorities should “cut their loss”, and voice support of the revolution so they can actively participate in making the drawing of new Syria”

Fully agree. Most of the Syrian political opposition have no sectarian sensitivity, although a small percentage still have. Among the population, the situation is a little bit different. While the young people are easy to handle regarding overcoming the sectarian sensitivity. The older ones are much harder, but we will work on that. It is part of our plan to promote the social cohesiveness in Syria.

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September 2nd, 2011, 11:55 am

 

232. Abu Umar said:

” 179. True said:

In 1978 Alsadr disappeared but his influence was still the drive in 1948 when the Palestinian refugee camps were besieged by the Shi’a Amal militia and Nabih Berri used Alsadr’s fatwa to justify the partaking in killing. The fatwa was (Tha2ro Allah Li Maqtal Al-Hussien) which means (Killing Palestinians is the Lord’s avenge to the killing of Al-Hussien)”

I think you got the date wrong. Is it true that Israel supported Amal in the War of the Camps? Do you have any source for the fatwa? Are there any books which talk about the Palestinian-Amal conflict?

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September 2nd, 2011, 12:07 pm

 

233. Khalid Tlass said:

No, Abu Umar, I don’t think Israel supported Amal in the War of the Camps. But Israel sure wasn’t going to cry salt tears for the Palestinians, either, I’m sure Israel was pretty happy to see ‘Arafat’s back.

In the War of the Camps, only 2 groups stood with the Palestinains – Al-Murabitoun which was a secular Nasserist organization of Beirut Sunnis; and strangely enough, Hezbollah.

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September 2nd, 2011, 3:37 pm

 

234. OFF THE WALL said:

Norman and Haytham
Kilo is a politician, he is the type of person whose skills will be essential during the rebuilding of Syria. At this point in time, with a conference being planned in Damascus for the opposition, Kilo and his colleagues must claim some relevance to the street, which is rather evident in his interview. However, even when he advocates dialog he is not talking about a power sharing with the regime, but rather a dialog leading to complete abdication of the Assads, but with with the least possible blood being shed and with preempting chances for military interference from any side.

Today was a bloody day. Protests have spread further, more deaths (22+) and many many wounded. Bashar continues to follow his plotted path to a miserable, well deserved end.

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September 2nd, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

235. MNA said:

Ann,

I find your contribution to this form to be very valuable!
Please continue to post.

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September 2nd, 2011, 7:20 pm

 

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