Syria’s Opposition Develops into a Real Insurgency as Assad Uses More Force. Obama Refuses to Jump In

The Candidates for Parliamentary Elections in Syria have been published – They reveal that Bashar al-Assad’s supposed reforms are the ruse that most thought they would be. The candidates from Latakia are sprinkled liberally with the names of well known crooks and Baathists of the region as well as their sons. There does not seem to be any potential reform going on in Latakia. The Baath may have been disestablished, but its members insist that they will win the upcoming elections to parliament.

Syrian military forces subjected the Arba’in district of Hama to intensive machine gun fire on Monday,

A car bomb in Damascus outside the Iranian cultural center killed and wounded several Syrians. Rebels launched three separate attacks on security forces around Damascus on Tuesday, killing two ranking officers activists and state media said. Satellite images show that the roads going into Idlib are all manned by tanks and road blocks

Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that the situation in Syria is “bleak” and expressed alarm at reports that government troops are still carrying out military operations in towns where U.N. observers are not present.

“If confirmed, this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he said.

Annan told the  U.N. Security Council that the situation in Syria remains “unacceptable” and is expressed particular alarm at reports that government troops entered the central city of Hama firing …

President Obama’s Speech on Syria at the Holocaust museum provoked an uproar from the neoconservatives who insist that the US should bomb Syria and do a Libya on it. Obama imposed some new sanctions on Syria but refused to give the green light to arming the opposition or taking military action. Tamara Cofman Wittes, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs until January 2012, argued at Brookings that the Obama should not try to discourage the growing militarization of the Syrian opposition, but rather to step in a try to direct it toward the opposition members most likely to further US interests in the region.

This is precisely what the US seems to be doing. The model for its actions is Afghanistan of the 1980s, when Washington and Riyadh armed the Mujahedin to take down the pro-Soviet regime. Everyone in the Obama administration is acutely aware of the outcome of that successful campaign: the creation of al-Qaida.  No one wants to repeat that. Hence, Clinton’s insistence that all foreign aid to the Syrian opposition go to Burhan Ghalioun. He looks to the ideals of the French Revolution rather than those of an Islamic revolution as did Bin Laden. Clinton even got the Saudis to publicly sign on to this strategy in Istanbul. where the last “Friends of Syria” meeting was assembled.

Recent reports on the Syrian opposition suggest that it is beginning to score some military successes. They also suggest that the regular pious youth who are doing the fighting are looking to Jihadists who fought in Iraq for their expertise. They will also likely look to the motivational power of radical Islamism, something they are going to need if they hope to defeat the Syrian Army.

News Round Up

Rare inside view of Syria’s rebels finds a force vowing to fight on
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers[photo: Mohamed Idris, shown in Qusayr, Syria, was the leader in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs of the Katiba Farouq, the largest group operating under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army. ]

QUSAYR, Syria — After more than six months of fighting, Syria’s largest rebel group appears to have developed into a resilient guerrilla force, unable perhaps to hold large swaths of territory for very long but still capable of inflicting heavy casualties on the Syrian military and operating fluidly within supportive populations….

What the Farouq fighters have found is that the Syrian army, as a force built for a potential conflict with Israel, is poorly equipped for the type of asymmetrical combat the guerillas engage in. That allows the guerillas to inflict heavy casualties on the military when the two sides engage in close combat. It is one reason the Syrian military prefers launching artillery attacks on rebel-held cities from long distances.

The rebels also have suffered heavy losses. Idris said he had 250 soldiers under his command during the fighting in Baba Amr, and that 114 of those had been killed in the fighting…..

“If the international community really wants peace in Syria, they will help us with weapons,” Idris said, making it clear the group was planning to step up attacks against the Syrian military. He said his fighters would continue to plant roadside bombs to destroy military vehicles outside of populated areas.

“We will attack the Syrian army in their bases and their checkpoints and try to capture their weapons,” he said. “We are also training fighters. We have many new volunteers without military experience.”….

More than a half-dozen fighters, when a reporter told them he had spent time reporting in Iraq, offered that they also had fought there during the U.S. invasion and occupation. Often, their first question was whether the reporter had visited Fallujah,…

Last week, Farouq’s commanders were making preparations to expand their reach into the suburbs of Damascus, which are presently the domain of other rebel groups….

In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist Blows Himself Up
By Aryn Baker

 Lebanese terror leader Abdel Ghani Jawhar detonated himself accidentally in Syria, raising questions about the kind of company the rebels are keeping…

According to Abu Ali and another fellow fighter, Jawhar arrived in Qsair two weeks ago with a group of 30 Lebanese fighters. While many were members of Fatah al-Islam, they were not traveling under the terror group’s banner. Instead they called themselves mujahideen, holy warriors seeking to help fellow Muslims under attack by the Syrian regime. Jawhar, an explosives expert and a charismatic commander, sought to train fellow fighters how make bombs. In the short time he had been in Qsair, says Abu Ali, he was able to set up dozens of improvised explosive devices destined for members of the Syrian security forces. “His aim was to make a tour in all the districts of Syria to teach the fighters on how to fight a guerrilla war.”….

A 30-year-old biochemist from northern Lebanon, Jawhar came of age during the country’s brutal civil war.  First he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, but left over doctrinal disputes—he felt that the group was not strict enough in its interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. He then joined, and left, the extremely conservative Salafis for the same reasons, and finally became a member of Fatah al-Islam in 2008. He was promoted to leader after his predecessor was killed in a 2010 shootout with Lebanese security forces. According to the Lebanese intelligence official, he was a master recruiter, and even managed to induct Lebanese soldiers to his cause. His terror efforts spanned Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, where he is thought to be responsible for several of the devastating explosions that killed international troops.  “He was a network by himself,” says the official. “He had relations all over the region; he was a ruthless killer.”…

Pierret: This is an interesting follow-up to our recent exchange on the FSA and crime. The people on the video present themselves as a kind of “Free Syrian Police” in the region of Idlib:

It’ll be a cakewalk, says Ba’ath Party
2012-04-22 The Hindu:

Even though it is yet to announce candidates for the coming elections to the Syrian Parliament, the ruling Ba’ath Party predicts that it will return to power. “It is mathematically impossible for any other party to win,” claims Speaker Mahmoud …

VOA – Europe and US extend sanctions to include caviar and other luxury products

Luxury goods ban

Meanwhile, the European Union banned the sale to Syria of luxury goods and dual-use items that could be used for repression. The restrictions were adopted at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg Monday. The extent of the luxury ban has yet to be defined but the aim is to deliver a symbolic blow against the posh lifestyle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his British-born wife, Asma The dual-use goods could include anything from vehicles to fertilizers and other chemicals.

Technology sanctions

The United States announced Monday plans to impose technology sanctions on Syria and its ally, Iran. Meanwhile, Lynn Pascoe, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, told the 15-nation Security Council during an open debate on the Middle East that “the cessation of armed violence remains incomplete” in Syria.

Daily Caller: Krauthammer castigates Obama on ‘embarrassing’ Syria policy: ‘Be quiet’

On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked President Barack Obama’s Monday speech at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., where he announced the first meeting of …

I have an effective response: Deployment of the U.S. military to, at the very least, provide, as Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute urged:

  • Safe corridors for Syrians to leave their country.
  • Safe cities for civilians in which they can shelter.
  • Arms for the Free Syrian Army, which is far better organized than many wish to admit.
  • Overt support for the Syrian National Council, including
  • assistance with a transition plan, reconciliation among parties, a new constitution and more.
  • NATO air support.

That would approach doing “everything we can.”

Weekly Standard: Will Obama Help Syria?

Robert Zarate, writing in an FPI bulletin: In a high-profile speech today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, President Obama highlighted new efforts to “prevent and respond to mass atrocities,” including a new Executive Order imposing …


Committee Hearings – The House Armed Service Committee and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discussed the situation in Syria
From Washington – The Obama Administration explored new options in Syria after the ceasefire failed

On Thursday (4-19), the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the situation in Syria. The speakers were Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and General Martin Dempsey. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) chaired.
On Thursday (4/19), the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on U.S. policy options for Syria. The speakers were Murhaf Jouejati, Jon B. Alterman and Tamara Wittes. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) chaired.
U.N. observers arrived in Damascus. Syrian forces shelled Homs. SANAreported two separate roadside bombs killing ten members of the security forces and a civilian.A German-owned ship, suspected of carrying weapons and ammunition heading to Syria, was towed for inspection to Turkey. Der Spiegel reported that the Atlantic Cruiser had been stopped with Iranian weapons on board. Violence ensued in a town outside of Damascus where opposition members reported two activists dead due to indiscriminate shelling. Syrian state-run media reported that the government was fully cooperating with Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Bend Bulletin: In Syria, signs of Islamist influence
2012-04-23, By Liz Sly / The Washington Post

Activists and rebel soldiers based inside Syria say a small but growing number of Islamist radicals affiliated with global jihadi movements have been arriving in opposition strongholds in recent weeks and attempting to rally support among disaffected residents.

Western diplomats say they have tracked a steady trickle of jihadists flowing into Syria from Iraq, and Jordan’s government last week detained at least four alleged Jordanian militants accused of trying to sneak into Syria to join the revolutionaries.

A previously unknown group calling itself the al-Nusra Front has asserted responsibility for bombings in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo using language and imagery reminiscent of the statements and videos put out by al-Qaida-affiliated organizations in Iraq.

Foreign Policy

According to the BBC’s Ian Pannell reporting from northern Syria, helicopters have been firing at villages in Jabel al-Zawiya,

At a “Friends of Security” meeting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of lying, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for “stronger measures” to bolster the ceasefire, such as an arms embargo and the Chapter 7 Security Council Resolution allowing for the use of military force. Meanwhile the U.N. Security Council negotiated terms for the U.N. observer mission with Syria. The mission is permitted to travel to any location in the country by foot or car, but is not allowed control over a private aircraft. While there are currently seven monitors in Syria, the United Nations hopes to have 30 by Monday, and wishes to expand the mission to 300, which must be approved by the U.N. Security Council and Syria.

The Militarization of the Syrian Uprising
Samer Araabi | April 18, 2012 – Right Web

As pressure mounts to arm rebels in Syria, there is need for a sober assessment of the costs and consequences of the increasing militarization of the conflict there. If history is any guide, a foreign-backed armed rebellion will likely not produce the kind of victory—or engender the kind of support—that the anti-Assad fighters will require to usher in a new Syria. Additionally, there is the very real possibility that many of the rebels—as we’ve seen in Libya—will turn out to be little better than the regime they seek to replace….

Tamara Cofman Wittes .US. Policy Options in Syria:

… The United States cannot halt or reverse the militarization of the Syrian uprising, and should not try. What the United States can usefully do is manage this militarization by working with other governments, especially Syria’s neighbors in the region, to try to shape the activities of armed elements on the ground in a manner that will most effectively increase pressure on the regime – to drain the Syrian military’s ability and will to fight, to help induce a political transition, and thereby to bring an end to the violence as quickly as possible. Without a strong lead driven by the strategic logic of weakening the regime’s pillars, disparate actors both inside and outside the region could provide lethal support in ways that would exacerbate spillover effects and increase the damage militarization will cause to the goal of restoring order in a post-Assad Syria. To do this, the United States should drive the international planning and engagement necessary to identify key armed leaders and elements, improve coordination and communication, build effective fighting units, and shape an effective insurgent strategy.

Kurds: Salih Gado, member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria: »Some Kurdish parties are coming up with lots of excuses to avoid joining the Syrian National Council. The truth is they are still afraid of the regime.«

The Kurdish Issue and Syria’s Democracy
by Hassan Saleh [Hassan Saleh is the deputy secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria and a member of the Kurdish National Council and former political prisoner.]

At a moment of uncertainty surrounding the relationship between the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Syrian National Council (SNC), this week’s article by KNC member Hassan Saleh affirms the Kurdish desire for a decentralized federal democracy and their critical role in the future success of the Syrian revolution.

I believe that the federal system is the best way for internal peaceful coexistence. This allows for all peoples and minorities to enjoy their rights and preserve their identities and existence. Federalism is considered a guarantor system for the unity of the state and a way to boost the state’s development and stability….

In Syria, there are contiguous Kurdish areas that the Kurdish community can manage as their own federal region by managing their own legislative, judicial, and executive affairs, but participating in federal authorities, institutions, and councils according to the proportion of their population. If other communities choose to select federalism, it is possible to establish other provinces as well. The Druze reside in al-Sweida province, surrounding the capital city and Jabal al-Sheikh. The Alawites are particularly concentrated in the coastal areas, though there are a number of Sunnis living among them in cities such as Latakia, Banias, and Tartous. The (Christian) Assyrians and Syriacs are spread throughout most of the regions and do not form large contiguous areas. Accordingly, the adoption of a federal system will achieve the wishes of the Syrian people in getting rid of the dominance of the central authoritarian regime and providing real opportunities for the territories to develop their lives and enjoy their share of power and wealth.

It must be noted that due to their bitter experience, the Kurds are determined to manage their own affairs as their interest is in maintaining Syria’s unity. Kurdish nationalism should be respected and the resolution of this issue is considered to be the key to democracy and a guarantee of stability. The Kurdish regions are rich in oil, gas, and agricultural crops, particularly grains and olives, and it is unfair that the central government has taken hold of them while the Kurdish people live poor, deprived, and homeless….

NPR: Journalist: ‘I Should Never Have Gone Near The Assads’

A video appeal to the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad asks her to persuade her husband to stop the killing. The campaign for Asma al Assad to “stand up for peace” was started by the wives of British and German ambassadors to the United …

Counter-revolution — the next deadly chapter in the Arab Spring. (h/t War in Context)
by News Sources on April 21, 2012

Robert Fisk writes: It was my old Jordanian-Palestinian chum Rami Khouri who first spotted what is going on in the Middle East right now: it’s the counter-revolution. Bahrain is crushing dissent. Syria is crushing dissent. Mubarak’s former head of intelligence, the sinister Omar Suleiman, is standing for president in Egypt – the cancellation of his candidacy last week by a dodgy “electoral committee” may well be overturned. Libya is at war with itself. Yemen has got its former dictator’s sidekick back. Sixty-one dead in a battle between soldiers and al-Qa’ida last week – in a single day. All in all, a pretty mess.

But let me quote Khouri. “In Washington-speak, a ‘crisis’ is like love: you can define it any way you want, but you know when it happens to you. So a popular revolt in Bahrain for full civil rights is a crisis that must be crushed by force. But a revolt in Syria is a blessed event that deserves support. Similarly, this peculiar mindset warns against Iranian support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, while accepting as perfectly logical and legitimate for the US and its allies to send arms and money to their favourite rebel groups around the region – not to mention attacking entire countries…”

And there you have it. As Khouri notes, there’s now a new group called the “Security Cooperation Forum” linking the US with the Gulf Cooperation Council. La Clinton turned up to assure the oil states of Washington’s “rock solid and unwavering commitment” to the GCC. Now where have we heard that before? Why, isn’t that what Obama is always saying to the Israelis? And weren’t Bibi Netanyahu of Israel and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia the two guys who called Obama to ask him to save Mubarak.

And in Syria – where the Qataris and the Saudis are all too keen to send weapons for the rebels – things are not going very well for the revolution. After claiming for weeks a year ago that “armed bands” were attacking government forces, the bands now exist and are well and truly attacking Assad’s legions. For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them.

The Hill: Gen. Dempsey: US in for ‘wild ride’ in the Middle East over the next decade

Tweet America is heading into an increasingly tumultuous decade in the Middle East, punctuated by repeated popular uprisings that will continue to dismantle long-standing power structures in the region, according to the Pentagon’s top uniformed …

Films on Syria – reviewed by Rana Khoury

Rana writes: I recently reviewed two Syrian films that were screened at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown. I can’t speak highly enough about the films. Revolving around prisoners of conscience, they are an important window for understanding the unfortunate circumstances the country now finds itself in. Here’s the link:

Brookings: Turkey: The New Model?

The following is a chapter written by Ömer Taşpınar from the book, The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are, co-published by the Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace. In the twenty-first century, Turkey is arguably …

Comments (132)

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1. Ghufran said:

The next 6 months are unlikely to include a major shift on Syria unless the opposition scores a significant military defeat against the regime. This period will be used by both parties to strengthen their position on the ground. The lack of any serious political proposal that adresses the grievances and concerns of the sizable pro regime Syrian forces mean that the only option on the table is to fight and preserve as much as possible of the gains made in the last 2 months. If Syrians themselves are not willing to compromise nobody will do that job on their bahalf.

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April 24th, 2012, 11:45 pm


2. zoo said:

Rice: The “friends of Syria” have been ironically promoted to the “Friends of Democratic Syria” when the most influent members, Qatar and KSA are non democratic countries preaching democracy to others…

U.N. says Syria refusing observers by nationality: Rice
Reuters – 3 hrs ago
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria has refused at least one U.N. military observer because of his nationality and has made clear it will not allow in U.N. staff from any country in the “Friends of Syria” group, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Speaking after U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous briefed the Security council, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Ladsous told the 15-nation panel that Damascus was putting restrictions on the deployment of truce monitors.

“Mr. Ladsous reported that the Syrian government has refused at least one observer based on his nationality, and that Syrian authorities have stated they will not accept UNSMIS staff members from any nations that are members of the ‘Friends of Democratic Syria’,” Rice told reporters.

“He underscored that from the U.N.’s point of view, this is entirely unacceptable,” she said.

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April 25th, 2012, 12:03 am


3. bronco said:

#1 Ghufran

Contrary to you, I hope and expect a major shift of the opposition in the next 2 months as the observers are settling in.
The Syrian government and the secular opposition have now a common enemy whose aim is the take over Syria to make it a military stronghold for Sunni extremists, fighting both the Syrian and the Iraqi government. These extremists are supported by most of the GCC opposed to Iran and to Shia’s influence in the region.
I think Iraq and Syria will soon join military and intelligence forces to counter the Sunni extremists and the USA will be torn between its alliance with Iraq and its alliance with the GCC.
They will be hesitant to participate because they fear that Islamists, if successful, will ultimately target neighboring Israel and they also want peace in Iraq to get the supply of oil they need.

I believe the secular opposition helped by Russia will take a more prominent role. They will realize that Syria could be lost to a third group whose agenda is destructive if they persist seeing the Syrian government as the sole enemy. They can see that it could easily become like Algeria in 1990. Unless they urgently re-establish a communication and trust with the Syrian government, the internal war could last many years as it did in Algeria with hundred thousands death.

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April 25th, 2012, 12:43 am


4. syria no kandahar said:

Alfaarook criminals attacking enemies civilian territories to blame the syrian army with that…klab[?]:

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April 25th, 2012, 12:54 am


5. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Rami Khouri: “…For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them”.

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.

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April 25th, 2012, 1:04 am


6. Nour said:

The blog entry seems to be inciting against the Annan plan and hoping it would fail so that a subsequent phase of possible military intervention may take place. Moreover, the report on the electoral list is misleading and disingenuous.

It links to an article listing the candidates of the Baath Party only, implying that those are the only candidates running in Lattakia, which is not true. Members of other parties as well as independents are running both in Lattakia and across the rest of the country. The Popular Front for Change and Liberation, for example, which includes the opposition SSNP and Qadri Jamil’s The Will of the People Party, has 45 candidates across Syria. Other new parties have also listed their candidates and the ballot boxes will determine who wins the majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly.

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April 25th, 2012, 1:16 am


7. amnesia said:

In comments above I read that the secular opposition will join the Assad government, and that the opposition arming was a mistake. Please make some sense guys for a change. The soldiers who defected did so rightfully, and their willingness to risk their lives to create a challenge for Assad’s remaining forces is applaudable. Anyone who thinks otherwise, and anyone who thinks the opposition they like should split and join the mafia, is being completely disrespectful to millions who have suffered through this past year only standing up for what is right. Your comments are inexcusable. You have been on this forum since the beginning, and you are now effectively defending the atrocities. Shameful

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April 25th, 2012, 3:55 am


8. Antoine said:

Reef Deirezzor, especially parts inhabited by al Dulaimi tribe, have been liberated and the Police Staions are all empty.

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April 25th, 2012, 5:14 am


9. Observer said:

I have been in the ME for some time now.

The regime is losing grip on significant part of the countryside including around Damascus.

Only 15% of new conscripts showed up to be recruited this year.

The number of defectors has reached 100 000

Cham Press announces that the dollar is trading below 70 pounds in a so called sign of improvement therefore countering the official rate of 60

Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge

Russia is proposing 300 families leave the country while leaving the military structure intact to allow for continued alliance with it. This is a non starter from two points of view

The first is the refusal of the people to permit it

The second is hard line second tier commanders who will feel abandoned and are fearful of being massacred and therefore would actually physically attack these 300 families directly

Russia was dealt a terrible card to play with.

The rats of Libya salute the germs of Syria

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April 25th, 2012, 7:46 am


10. Alan said:

Kurds will be with syrian brothers against US plan to dominate the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf !!!!!

Kurds, Syria, and the Chessboard
The Arab Spring made the Kurds a group central to the US plan to dominate the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The Kurds who never dropped their centuries-old independence goal out of sight are eager to seize the arising opportunities and to capitalize on the strategic alliance with the US.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:01 am


11. DAWOUD said:

The Syria Revolution against Bashar’s, and his father’s before him, oppression began as completely peaceful. I has become militarized because of the regime and its allies (Hasan Nasrallah, Iran,…) began to use violence and murder innocent unarmed demonstrators. People have the right to defend their lives, property, dignity, and honor! When the Sebs were raping Muslim Bosnian women in the 1990s, it was rightly an outrage. Now, to see Arab Syrian soldiers and Shabiha rape Syrian women (most of whom are Sunni Muslim women) is a much greater outrage! Don’t Syrians have the right to defend their honor?

Prof. Landis once mentioned (I am paraphrasing his views) that he though the regime would eventually fall because the opposition (with outside help/supplies) would get stronger militarily. I agree. Wait until the anti-tank/warplane missiles begin to flow to the Free Syrian Army. It will be a game-changer!

Free Syria, Free Palestine! Down with ALL Arab dictatorships and Israeli occupation/colonization!

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April 25th, 2012, 8:07 am


12. irritated said:

8. Antoine

You mean Reif Derezzor has become a safe haven for criminals?

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April 25th, 2012, 8:32 am


13. irritated said:


You mean in 2013 or 2014?

“Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge”

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April 25th, 2012, 8:34 am


14. DAWOUD said:

Two points regarding the story about the Free Syrian Army:

1) I disagree with the story that the Syrian army was built primarily to “fight Israel.” The Syrian Army, like all dictatorial Arab armies, was built to fight the population and protect the regime.

2) I agree that the Free Syrian Army is fighting in areas “SUPPORTIVE” of it and opposed to Bashar’s murderous army. Why? Because the overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

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April 25th, 2012, 8:42 am


15. zoo said:

Is it what will happen in Syria whether Bashar stays or not?

“The terror network has taken advantage of the country’s political turmoil of the past year to capture several southern areas, and the Americans are eager to coordinate efforts with the Yemenis to push them back.

An al-Qaida settled and safe in the remote interior of southern Yemen would allow its militants to plan and execute more attacks on Western interests, taking advantage of proximity to strategic shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas through which much of the West’s energy needs to pass.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:46 am


16. irritated said:

#13 Dawood

What proof do you have? If it was true how happen nobody goes on strike when asked to? That’s the least the ‘overwhelming majority’ could do.

“Because the overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha.”

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April 25th, 2012, 8:49 am


17. irritated said:

Dawood #10

Most anti-Syrian government keep repeating “It started peacefully’ trying to elude the issue that ‘it continued violently’ and that it is now made of death squads infiltrated by islamist extremists and criminals.

Shedding tears on what “it could have been if…” is of no use anymore. It’s time to a admit it that the ‘peaceful’ revolution’ failed and that the ‘violent revolution’ is a dead end.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:55 am


18. Juergen said:

News on the german vessel which was secured at Iskanderun harbour.
The turkish officals have not found weapons on board the vessel.

here is the translated article:

dont get confused the translation got mixed up in the headline, it should read: German vessel was not carrying weapons

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April 25th, 2012, 9:10 am


19. Syria no Kandahar said:

Hanging of a Syrian girl by opposition criminals(gross):

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April 25th, 2012, 9:34 am


20. Afram said:

the neocons are maimed and orphaned.Lots of Bark,but DON’T Bite!!!

The American public is fatigued ya obama,they need jobs & bread and not change & hope!!they careless now about a world that is both safe and free.

Obama is very weak In a match of foreign Policy chess game, players seek to win period,not cooperate or negotiate;but to checkmate and defeat one another,Russia moved its pawns permanently into syria,clinton is negotiating Russia about syria,a sign of weakness..Assad knows this so he is safe.

Not:I emailed to White House-State Department-Kerry,s congress this video/Libyan islamists destroy NATO ally war cemetery

Hell of Truth,Obama is insincere about his call for democracy and freedom in the Middle East.
End note:free muslim women NOW

The American public is fatigued and needs to be persuaded that the United States is still the only country that can ensure a world that is both safe and free

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April 25th, 2012, 9:49 am


21. Juergen said:

Syrian writer Rafik Schami on Assad and Jürgen Todenhöfer

“Syria was made ruled like a farm by the Assad clan. The chicken here, the horses there, they could not imagine that their slaves make a rebellion.” The protest is directed against Assad, but also against their own parents’ generation who have come to terms with the circumstances. “You only read about the new fashion of women’s Assad , and that the doctor has studied in London. As if this were an identity for the love of freedom and sophistication. Goebbels had also made his doctor.”

About Todenhöfer he has rendered his verdict: “I can not believe any man who drinks tea with Assad and speaks of the revolutionaries as terrorists, and certainly not when he calls a Syrian National Socialist called Ali Haidar as a moderate opposition figure..”

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April 25th, 2012, 10:09 am


22. Syria no Kandahar said:

FSA criminals and the liar Khaled Abosalah staging another (observers protection show):

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April 25th, 2012, 10:48 am


23. Halabi said:

Karabennemsi said:

“Every country should persecute it’s citizens if they have broken the law. Otherwise there is no legitimate reason for any state to exist, this is very very basic understanding of society.

Mill described very detailed how these things are supposed to happen, if you are interested in liberal theories of social order and government, “On Liberty” can be recommended in this context.”

I think the problem here is that you don’t know the meaning of persecute, which is to “subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.”

I don’t think governments should persecute their citizens. Assad supporters do. Syrians demand their freedom from this oppression.

Thanks for bringing up Mill, that was wonderfully pedantic…

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April 25th, 2012, 11:05 am


24. Mina said:

Where is Ann, denn??
Delay of UN Observers to Syria Called Ridiculous, Unorthodox Ways Sought

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 — After UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the Security Council he would take a full month get only 100 observers to Syria, he was told by at least two Permanent members that that was far too slow.

Inner City Press spoke exclusively with Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong after the briefing by Kofi Annan and Ladsous. Li Baodong told Inner City Press, “I think we should deploy observers as soon as possible. Kofi needs that, the people in Syria need that. Let people go to Syria to monitor the situation.”

Having been told the “one hundred in one month” figure by another delegation, Inner City Press asked Li Baodong what China thought of that pace.

“We believe too slow, ridiculous,” replied Li Baodong, adding that this pace “undermines the mission.”

So what excuses did Ladsous give?

Li Baodong said, “he said they don’t have enough people, troop contributing countries, and also they need training.”

Responding to another question from Inner City Press, Li Baodong concluded, “China would like to send some [observers, to] join that mission.”

Moments later, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the press that, “we need to try to see what can be done in order to deploy the monitors quicker than currently anticipated… So far there are just twelve monitors and I think a number of colleagues including myself simply urged them to look for some unorthodox ways to expedite the process.”

The UN should be able to handle this. Some say that if the observers are deployed it might have the effect of making Assad staying in power more likely. Watch this site.

Plus Annan’s briefing is available here in 5 parts:

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April 25th, 2012, 12:52 pm


25. Antoine said:

Several villages in Deir Ezzor have fallen under the control of local armed revolutionaries.

I would like SNK, who is from North-East Syria, to do an anaylsis.

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April 25th, 2012, 12:55 pm


26. Nour said:

صحيفة: قوى من معارضة الداخل تحضر لإطلاق “ائتلاف قوى التغيير السلمي”

الاخبار المحلية


كشفت صحيفة “الوطن” المحلية، نقلا عن مصادر مقربة من أطياف المعارضة الداخلية أن قوى معارضة بصدد إطلاق تيار سياسي تحت مسمى “ائتلاف قوى التغيير السلمي”، في حين دعت مجموعة من الأحزاب وشخصيات سورية مستقلة، إلى عقد مؤتمر “الوفاق الأول لقوى التغيير السلمي” في الأسابيع القادمة.

وقالت الصحيفة إن “الائتلاف المزمع إطلاقه يستند في طروحاته إلى البحث عن مخرج آمن من الأزمة التي تشهدها سورية يراعي مصالح الجميع ويرفض التدخل الخارجي مع الاستعداد لمقاومته بالإضافة إلى إجراء مصالحة وطنية”.

وكانت قوى المعارضة في سورية، شكلت منذ بداية الأحداث في آذار من العام الماضي، العديد من التيارات والتنظيمات، لم تستطع حتى الآن توحيد رؤيتها تجاه الأوضاع في سوريا، ما انعكس سلبا على وضعها كمكون واحد.

وأعلن شباب سوري ، مطلع الشهر الجاري في دمشق، تشكيل ائتلاف سياسي مدني تحت اسم “شباب التغيير السلمي” يهدف إلى خلق قوة ضغط سياسية باتجاه إيجاد حل سلمي ومخرج آمن يحافظ على مكتسبات البلاد ومؤسساتها ويرفض الانجرار إلى كافة دعوات التسليح التي يرى أنها مقبرة “ثورة الحرية والكرامة” ويدخل البلاد إلى أماكن مجهولة تضر بمصلحة السوريين سواء كانوا موالاة أو معارضة.

وترفض تيارات المعارضة في الداخل دعوات التسليح والتدخل الخارجي في الشؤون السورية.

ورجحت مصادر في “الجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير” أن “تكون الجبهة, التي تضم شخصيات مستقلة إلى جانب حزبي الإرادة الشعبية ويرأسه قدري جميل والحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي جناح علي حيدر جزءاً من هذا الائتلاف المزمع الإعلان عن تشكيله مطلع الشهر المقبل”.

وكان تم إطلاق الجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير في سورية بدمشق، في تموز الماضي، وتضم الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي واللجنة الوطنية لوحدة الشيوعيين السوريين, إضافة إلى شخصيات عامة.

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April 25th, 2012, 1:29 pm


27. Uzair8 said:

17. Irritated

It is strange how Assad supporters have been silent about the regime death-squads but are claiming opposition is made up of death squads.

We see selective vision frequently on SC and in general. I wonder if Optometrist-in-chief temporarily hands out and then withdraws spectacles from his patients? Perhaps this explains it? They see what he wants them to see.

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April 25th, 2012, 1:36 pm


28. Mina said:

If you keep telling people who have been warning since the beginning of the uprising of the probable development into guerilla battles and death squads folllowing the Iraqi model, that they are pro-Assad, I suggest you see an ophtalmologist.

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April 25th, 2012, 1:48 pm


29. Uzair8 said:

Notice the word ‘fatigue’ pop up on SC at least a couple of times this week?

‘Syria Fatigue’ #220

‘The American public is fatigued ya obama…’ #20

It seems the criminal regime is relying on news and international ‘fatigue’ to survive?

Has it lost hope in other strategies?

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April 25th, 2012, 1:55 pm


30. Tara said:


Then admire no one.   Admiring the regime means approval of the way it handled the revolution via brutality and savagery.

I told you I get jealous.

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April 25th, 2012, 2:05 pm


31. irritated said:

#28 Uzair8

Of course the ‘fatigue’ is the best chance for the hardline opposition to start to admit it lost the momentum and that the window of maneuver has narrowed seriously. Syria hardly make news headlines and Youtube has not be updated with gory slaughters and “massive” demonstrations.

If someone has to look for another strategy, it is the opposition. If they keep rejecting the proposed UN plan and continue provocations and terrorist acts instead of a ceasefire, a dialog with the regime and political participation, then it may loose even the narrow window left and find itself discarded from the dialog and made irrelevant.

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April 25th, 2012, 2:16 pm


32. zoo said:

Islamist demonstrations to protest capitalism and abuses in the center of Istanbul 1th May.
Turkey’s ‘Revolutionary Islamists’ to hit streets on May 1

Islamist youth in Turkey are organizing via social media to make an unprecedented appearance at this year’s May 1 rally in Istanbul to protest capitalism.

A group calling themselves the “Revolutionary Islamists” has been making calls on social media and elsewhere with banners and videos containing verses and hadiths from the Quran that can be interpreted as anti-capitalist, İlker Akgüngör of daily Vatan reported today.

The group has rallied around the slogan “Fekku Ragabe” (Freedom to Slaves) which is mentioned in the 13th verse of the Balad Surah of the Quran. They called on people to join them on May 1 with verses and hadiths on hunger, toil, poverty and freedom. The group plans to join May 1 demonstrations with a cortege called the “Fight Against Capitalism.”

“We will be at Taksim Square on May 1 to be the screams of workers burned to death at mall construction sites, drowned in dam lakes and children raped in prisons; to ask why Hrant [Dink], the villagers in Uludere/Roboski, Ceylan [Önkol] and many others were killed.”

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April 25th, 2012, 2:27 pm


33. Afram said:

28. Uzair8 said:
Notice the word ‘fatigue’ pop up on SC at least a couple of times this week?

‘Syria Fatigue’ #220

‘The American public is fatigued ya obama…’ #20

It seems the criminal regime is relying on news and international ‘fatigue’ to survive?

Has it lost hope in other ((strategies?))
Uzair8/U R confusing reality with imagination

you say((strategies?))I say facts on the ground

charity begins at home,Obama has to create jobs Not bombs
there is in America right now 2 million unemployed graduates

How should obama begin to deliver this year’s commencement address to College graduates…Allahu akbarrrrr,lets carpet bomb syria
Hello all…vote 4 me,Im the guy who can find you jobs?

The American public is fatigued for real.

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April 25th, 2012, 2:56 pm


34. zoo said:

UAE cracking down on Islamists

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A member of the ruling family in the northern United Arab Emirates was under palace guard Wednesday in an apparent crackdown on Islamist groups and others viewed as challenging the UAE’s political system, a rights group said.

The London-based Emirates Center for Human Rights said Sheik Sultan al-Qasimi, a cousin of the ruler of the emirate Ras al-Khaimah, was being held after being detained by armed men late last week.
In the opinion piece, Sheik Sultan linked online activism among Emirati youth to the mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which led to the resignation of Egypt’s longtime ruler, Hosni Mubarak. It suggested, at least indirectly, that ripples from the Arab Spring were spreading the Gulf federation, whose leaders have been spared the street protests seen elsewhere in the region.

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April 25th, 2012, 3:12 pm


35. Juergen said:

here is an blog about the question if Atatürk was a islamophobic…

War Atatürk ein Islamhasser?

there is an old US video on the site in english about Mustafa Kemals live, its an nice piece, very old and in the typical late 50s style, nice watch indeed.

here is an DER SPIEGEL article about the UN observer misson, they raised the question what happens to those who spoke to UN observers, there are serious allegations that people who have adressed the UN observers have received “hard debriefings” and detention, in some cases the ones who talked where killed.,1518,829757,00.html

UN mission Blue Helmets  in Homs, Syria

UN observers in Homs, “They have brought death with it.”

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April 25th, 2012, 3:16 pm


36. Mina said:

From the Angry Arab:
“In Damascus, an intelligence officer was shot dead in Barzeh, a northern suburb, according to a statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain. The man was suspected of identifying local protesters for arrest.”
“Three members of the Syrian security services used to suppress antigovernment dissent were killed in and around Damascus on Tuesday, according to the official media and activists”.

No comment.

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April 25th, 2012, 3:18 pm


37. Mina said:

Europe fatigue is real
Economy in double-dip recession

but the French are still barking, although this government has only ten days left.
“France raises Syria use of force”

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April 25th, 2012, 3:35 pm


38. Tara said:

54 were killed by the regime in Hama today including 13 children. Most of those 54 are women.. Alfatiha upon their souls.

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April 25th, 2012, 3:39 pm


39. mjabali said:

Syria now is becoming like Iraq in 2007. Violence is getting out of control from all parties. They can not control it anymore. Moore battles are on the way with more foreign fighters slipping in for sure. al-Assad is still holding and of course he is getting outside help too.

Parts of the country are under the control of the armed opposition that is mostly Salafi Islamists and no one else. al-Assad forces had left lots of little Sunni towns that saw the disintegration of anything related to the central government of al-Assad that, if they want to assert their control, would come back in force here and there and smash these towns in their battles with the armed opposition. Services are cut from these towns. These towns are becoming on their own more and more. Here is a video to show what I am talking about:

Also: now it is the time for assassinations, IED’s and car bombs…the worst video is this one that I saw today for a dead pro Assad man killed and dragged behind a car into traffic and in between civilians close to Damascus.

Warning: very violent and disturbing video:

WARNING: Violent and disturbing images

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April 25th, 2012, 3:53 pm


40. Syria no Kandahar said:

Any opposition supporters has any comment about the girl hanged by their friends in the link I posted

Today ?

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April 25th, 2012, 3:54 pm


41. Tara said:


I have not opened any link you posted. I do not believe the regime fabrications, therefore I do not open any link.

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April 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm


42. Antoine said:

SNK, pls see my comment for you above # 25, regarding Deirezzor.

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April 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm


43. Antoine said:

Thick bearded Salafist terrorists are working within regular Syrian Army units :

Videographic evidence (undeniable) –

I never knew soldiers are allowed to grow full, thick Wahhabi beards in the Syrian Army. It is clear these thugs will be used to launch false flag attacks.

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April 25th, 2012, 4:27 pm


44. Alan said:

[ ARROW Alan, you are now free from moderation. Please observe fair-use and provocation rules that were explained to you. ]

Russian invisible laser bomb detector makes molecular scan at 50 meters

Not even the tiniest of particles will be able to escape the new super-sensitive explosive detecting device created by Russian scientists. Its laser sensor can pick up on a single molecule in a million from up to 50 meters away.

The device was developed over a period of five years by the Siberian branch of the country’s Academy of Sciences. It will undergo full testing this summer and is expected to be put to use by Russian intelligence later this year.

Molecular scanner image

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April 25th, 2012, 4:29 pm


45. Antoine said:

Eh, MJABALI, Huh ??? what sort of a man are you? you have been on this blog for more than 1 year and never linked a video showing the more than 12,000 deaths of anti-regime ppl ( there are thousands of videos) and never expressed your horror, all of a sudden you link a video of a pro-Assad death (no evidence)… are biased.

I am not saying you are pro-Assad, but you are definitely biased in favor of the people who are pro-Assad, that maybe because STOP your origins are in a certain Syrian province known to be pro-Assad.

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April 25th, 2012, 4:31 pm


46. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

40. Syria no Kandahar said:
Any opposition supporters has any comment about
The girl hanged by their friends in the link I posted
Today ?


@SNK…Why are you calling them “opposition” we are one of the opposition groups, none of them we know did any damage or killing. These are Saudi/Qatari paid mercenaries paid to ruin the way ahead for real Syrian opposition, hijack the revolution. By mixing the two together, you are deliberately and knowingly out to ruin genuine Syrian opposition to the oppressive STOP Shia dictatorship in Syria. You are against any reform or progress to Syria and Syrians. Why is that?

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April 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm


47. mjabali said:


I posted videos related to what I was talking about. Also, if you want to direct things into personal insult fest, you should know that I am not into these type of irrelevant talk. But, since you addressed me here is my 2 cents:

First, I was talking about how some little towns are under the total control or the anti Assad forces. The video I linked showed a man behind a desk talking, where he put his black flag behind him. This video is really symbolic and deep, and there is nothing offensive in it, unless you want to hide the existence of these type of elements?

Care to let me know what is wrong with this video?

As for the video with the dead man being dragged by the anti Assad forces it is also to show how these little towns are getting out of control.

AS for my origin please leave that aside

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April 25th, 2012, 5:02 pm


48. Alan said:

🙂 moderator thank you !
Obey The Moderator! – Optimus Rhyme

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April 25th, 2012, 5:05 pm


49. Afram said:

Saudi Grand Mufti authorizes marriage to 10-yr-old girls

syrians…saudis are coming to town to democratize you
where is the UNICEF?kick ksa out of the UN NOW!!! 24 April 2012

By Timothy Whiteman

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, or on formal occasions, Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Lateef Aal ash-Shaikh, has given the official thumbs-up for Muslim men to marry girls as young as 10.

According to the Australian news portal The World Observer, the Grand Mufti also criticized those who desire to raise the minimum age of marriage to 25.

While lecturing at Imam Mohamed bin Saud Islamic University in the Saudi capitol of Riyadh, the Sheikh stated:

“Those who call for raising the age of marriage to 25 are absolutely mistaken.

“Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12.

Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age”

As reported, the above response was from a question asked by a female attendee about marrying minor girls without their consent.

The World Observer also cites:


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April 25th, 2012, 5:11 pm


50. Antoine said:


First the way you titled the second video was incorrect : It was in Yabroud, which is quite a distance from Damascus, high up on the Qalamoun mountains. It is a mixed city of Sunnis and Christians and close to the Lebanese border. It receives lots of tourists in summer (obviousdly not this year) and is comparatively liberal town compared to rural areas of Homs and Idlib.

Dragging dead people with cars shows how much they hate pro-Assad elements.

That is a good message to any Syrian soldier, whatever his sect, who is loyal to the regime and willing to fight for Assad.

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April 25th, 2012, 5:23 pm


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