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)

Pages: « 1 [2] 3 » Show All

51. mjabali said:


How come dragging people dead and naked down the street in a “liberal” town is a “good message?”

You can not have this type of lynching take place: things will get very messy fast.

Street justice is not good for anyone in this conflict except for the vindictive elements which can not control their deeds. This is scary for all.

How long Yabrud would stay liberal with people being dragged in the street like that?

As for why Yabrud is considered “liberal?”

Yabrud originally is a Syrian Christian town, Muslims became a majority of late. Christians from Yabrud emigrated in large number over a long span of time.

As for how liberal Homs’ countryside? the Alawi, Christians, Murshidi, Shia, Ismaili areas are ok I think.

As for Idlib: that area is a big conservative block.

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April 25th, 2012, 6:07 pm


52. Antoine said:


Zabadani, Madaya, Rankous, etc. have also rebelled, and all of them are in the Qalamoun mountains ( last stronghold of Aramaic language in Syria).

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April 25th, 2012, 6:11 pm


53. Uzair8 said:

Latest tweet from Sh. Yaqoubi:

The History of Syria is being rewritten by the martyrs’ blood; how much can you contribute to it to make the change and deserve victory?


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April 25th, 2012, 6:34 pm


54. Halabi said:

I don’t know if this is real, because it hasn’t been confirmed by Bandar and Hamad yet, but it falls within Assad supporters’ call to “persecute” the opposition.

No blood here, but it’s still a difficult scene for people with souls.

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April 25th, 2012, 7:14 pm


55. omen said:


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April 25th, 2012, 7:42 pm


56. zoo said:

Syria faces neo-mujahideen struggle
By Victor Kotsev

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have won a battle earlier this year (as the retreat of the Free Syrian Army from the ruined city of Homs testifies), but he is nowhere near winning the war. The uprising is quickly turning into a full-scale insurgency – a foreign-sponsored insurgency, to be more precise, which some analysts term a “neo-mujahideen strategy”.

After Saturday’s unanimous vote, the lines at the United Nations Security Council have blurred somewhat: Resolution 2043, introduced by Russia, authorized the sending of 300 unarmed military observers to supervise the implementation of the latest peace plan spearheaded by United Nations peace envoy and former secretary general Kofi Annan.

By most accounts, however, this is no more than a token gesture, which will not stop the bloodshed, but may win some time for all
sides to regroup and to shore up their strategy. The status quo is clearly unsustainable, but an ominous silence, at least as concerns the next big moves, has set in.

On the ground, state lines have blurred as well – although not officially, at least not yet. The powers with the greatest stakes in the Syrian conflict look at the map and increasingly appear to see networks of ethnic and religious groups scattered across a number of countries, rather than the traditional state borders that nominally define the space.

If a regime is too strong militarily to be defeated from the outside, it can be torn apart from the inside – yet this is a game that requires great skill and caution, as well as the micromanagement of an enormously complicated web of regional relationships and rivalries.
Neighboring countries, whose populations have participated in these networks for many years, typically have an edge in this game over distant superpowers, but they also have a lot more at stake in it. A mistake can cost them dearly and can set the fire of identity conflict to their own proverbial houses.

This logic fits the situation Turkey finds itself in with respect to Syria. The two countries were bitter rivals for decades, though in the past years – until last year’s uprising – Ankara sought to reassert itself on the Middle Eastern political scene, and seemingly perceived Assad’s regime as its prized instrument for channeling influence into the Arab world.

The Arab Spring put paid to that, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan adjusted quickly and tried to champion the cause of Syrian freedom, ostensibly in hopes of winning even greater clout among the Arabs in this way than his relationship with Assad could ever have afforded him.

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April 25th, 2012, 7:54 pm


57. Tara said:

Final body counts for Wednesday. 100 killed by the regime today including dozen women and dozen children.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:02 pm


58. Syria no Kandahar said:

April 25th, 2012, 8:02 pm


59. Afram said:

55. omen said:
Nov 17, 2009 – Recruits being ‘hardened’ by Jordanian army sergeants

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April 25th, 2012, 8:05 pm


60. Tara said:

This is a magnificent explanation of the Armenian genocide.  The ethnic cleansing of Armenians was part of of secular Turkish nationalism’s onslaught against Islam.  Islam was the very reason why Armenians had lived safely under Ottoman rule.

Armenian ethnic cleansing as ‘de-Islamization’

Yesterday was the 97th anniversary of what Armenians call the “Great Catastrophe,” or the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Armenians from Anatolia, their historical homeland, in 1915. Those who commemorated the tragedy included some Turks, such as the group that gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. 

With the slogan, “Let’s meet with the common hope that comes out of common sorrow,” these were a group of liberal activists who defy both the anti-Armenian enmity of Turkish nationalists, and the anti-Turkish bias of the Armenian Diaspora. And, most notably, they included not only secular liberals, who have always been at the forefront of “revisionism” on “the Armenian issue,” but also some Islamic figures. 

One such figure was Hilal Kaplan, a young veiled lady who has degrees in sociology and writes an influential column in Yeni Şafak, a mainstream Islamist daily. She not only joined the Taksim commemoration, but also called on fellow Muslims to do the same in a significant piece she wrote the day before. 

Titled “1915 as a move of de-Islamization,” Kaplan’s piece defined the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Armenians as a part of secular Turkish nationalism’s onslaught against Islam. Islam, she reminded, was the very reason why Armenians had lived safely under Ottoman rule for centuries, for Islamic law had defined Christians as “People of the Book” with inalienable rights. That is why in 1915, when the nationalist Young Turk government decided to expel almost all Armenians to Syria, some Islamic opinion leaders, such as the famous mufti of Boğazlıyan, Abdullahzade Efendi, defied Istanbul’s orders and tried to protect the Armenians.


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April 25th, 2012, 8:20 pm


61. Bronco said:

#57 Tara

The killed syrian army officials, the red crescent employee, the security officers and the anonymous civilians killed by terrorists attacks do not deserve a prayer?

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April 25th, 2012, 8:39 pm


62. Bronco said:

Tara #360

What a weird theory: Christians were slaughtered to prevent Islamism to take over Turkey?

With the AKP in power, it could very well repeat itself soon.

Thank God, Armenians are in safety in Syria under a secular regime that protect them from Turkish weird adventurism.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:46 pm


63. Tara said:


With the exclusion of the red crescent employees and the anonymous civilians, do terrorists deserve a prayer upon their death?

In Islam and Christianity, yes.

I told you I am not religious.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:48 pm


64. omen said:

ty afram, now we know where the regime picked up the idea.

here is something to soothe your soul:

oh, i forgot. afram, you are probably opposed to terrorist children.

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April 25th, 2012, 8:53 pm


65. Tara said:


My family has a strong favorable history with an Armenian family. I met once my “would be brothers” in Montreal many years ago. All what in their mind was ice hockey and nothing but. I was forced to watch the game for 2 hours and to smile too.

In any case, the writer made an excellent point. Armenians were protected under the Islamic Ottoman empire. They were the people of the book. The genocide occurred as the Turkish nationalism took over. The Islamic mufti then defied the government trying to protect the Armenians. Can you deny it?

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April 25th, 2012, 8:56 pm


66. Tara said:

The regime wants to play Salwa ya Salwa choosing * Helweh* from Russia, China, and the Brics, and labeling * Beshaa* all observers from the western and Arab countries.  Is Bashar going to prevail in this one too?

France warned on Wednesday that Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria was “seriously compromised” and said it wanted UN monitors deployed within a fortnight and not in three months.

UN-Arab League envoy Koffi Annan had urged a rapid deployment of the full, 300-strong observer team agreed by the UN Security Council, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said they should be on the ground in a fortnight, not three months.

“We need eyes and ears on the ground, able to move freely and quickly, and to engage all parties — something which must be guaranteed by the Syrian authorities,” he said.

But UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said it would take at least one month to get the first 100 into Syria.

He told the Security Council Damascus was refusing to accept monitors from the Western and Arab coalition of countries in the so-called Friends of Syria group that has backed the Syrian opposition.

Addressing the UN Security Council via teleconference, Annan said he was “concerned” about the violence surging after observers visit individual cities.

The former UN chief said Assad has still not fulfilled a promise to end violence and said the situation was “bleak” and “unacceptable.”

Annan said he was “particularly alarmed” at reports that government forces had entered the city of Hama after a visit by UN monitors and killed “a significant” number of people.

“If confirmed this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he told the council.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said “things are not going well; the Annan plan is strongly compromised but there is still a chance for this mediation, on the condition of the rapid deployment of the 300 monitors.”

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April 25th, 2012, 9:14 pm


67. Afram said:

64. omen said:
oh, i forgot. afram, you are probably opposed to terrorist children
I oppose,pedophilia!!!

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

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April 25th, 2012, 9:22 pm


68. Ghufran said:

I have to admit that I knew very little about Hamadyn Sabahi of Egypt until today,he looks like a serious contender in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections.
Here is a short bio of the man:

My Egyptian friends, and I have a number of them, still think that Amr Mousa and Abu Alfutouh have a better chance than Hamadyn, I would love to see him win and would love more to see a genuine secular Syrian running for office in Syria, we should not be expected to choose between an Assadist and an Islamist, a third option is crucial, and is good for Syria.

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April 25th, 2012, 9:30 pm


69. Ghufran said:

The FSA denied report about Dayr Azzour

[ blue diamond ]

نفت مصادر قيادية في “الجيش السوري الحر” المعلومات التي تناقلتها وسائل الإعلام وتحدثت فيها عن سيطرة “الجيش الحر” على 70% من محافظة دير الزور، وقالت المصادر لـ”الشرق الأوسط”: “هذه المعلومات غير دقيقة ولم تصدر عنا كما أنها قد تصب في مصلحة النظام الذي قد يخترع ذريعة لاقتحام مناطق في دير الزور”.

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April 25th, 2012, 9:37 pm


70. bronco said:


In any case Armenians hate Turks and they have no problem with ‘moderate’ moslems

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April 25th, 2012, 9:50 pm


71. zoo said:

Ahmad Shafik is the “USA-EU-Israel” candidate

Egypt’s electoral commission on Wednesday went back on a decision to bar ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister from running in the May 23 presidential election.

“The electoral commission… has decided to give its green light for Ahmed Shafiq’s candidacy in the presidential election, having accepted his appeal,” the official MENA news agency reported.

The election panel on Tuesday had barred him from running to comply with a bill adopted by the Islamist-dominated parliament earlier this month banning the candidacies of all senior Mubarak-era officials.

Shafiq, a general and former civil aviation minister, had been named premier in the final days of Mubarak’s three-decade rule last year as he battled an 18-day popular uprising.

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April 25th, 2012, 9:53 pm


72. bronco said:


I am ignoring the last minute gesticulations of Juppe hopefully on his way to the garage.

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April 25th, 2012, 9:55 pm


73. Darryl said:

Dear Tara,

That post in 60 made me laugh so much that I now have tears in my eyes and I thank you for the joy.

Having said, now I am wondering what would be the explanation for when the Messenger of Allah was on his death bed, he cursed the Jews and Christians which lead Khalifah Omar ibn Al=Khattab to expel all Jews and Christians from Arabia and now the Grand Mufti of KSA wants all churches destroyed?

Any thoughts, were they attempting to have a secular system too?

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April 25th, 2012, 10:14 pm


74. Syria no Kandahar said:

Welcome to the new Syria’s body parts: Wester Kurdistan, capital: Efrin. Thank you so much killerutions for liberating Syria from Syria:

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April 25th, 2012, 10:16 pm


75. Tara said:


Prophet Muhammad did not curse the Jews pan the Christians in his death bed. I never heard of that before. I do not know why a demented Sheikh want churches destroyed. May be he needs Aricept?


I am writing a comment to you and it keeps going into spam. Hopefully we will not wake up tomorrow with 4 same comments released from spam. It is about the Turkish series Harem al Sultan. Did you watch it?

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April 25th, 2012, 10:25 pm


76. omen said:

Vive la Liberté!

BEIRUT (AP) — France raised the prospect of military intervention in Syria on Wednesday, saying the U.N. should consider harsher measures if an international peace plan that has been shaken by violence ultimately collapses.

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April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm


77. Syria no Kandahar said:

For Syria news sources haters, this article goes beyond SANA’s position in accurately diagnosing
The conspiracy against Syria: “Activists” cited are stooges for power. Throughout the conflict, Times articles, op-eds, and editorials shamelessly blamed Assad for Western generated crimes. Ban Ki-moon does the same thing. Kofi Annan did it before him. 

Both have shameless records of failure and betrayal. Assurance it would turn out that way got them their jobs. Only imperial loyalists qualify. Only media scoundrels claim otherwise or say nothing about their support for lawless wars and inaction to stop them.

Although Western generated violence displaced thousands of Syrians, no one has precise counts how many. ICRC officials report Assad cooperates delivering aid. Only areas plagued by insurgent violence makes it hard. When security forces quell it, residents thank Assad. They’d be helpless without him.

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April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm


78. Ghufran said:

May be the abuse of women in the Middle East is done to liberate women the same way as killing Armenians was supposed to fight Islamists.

Here is a serious article from a western perspective about sexism in the Middle East:

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April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm


79. omen said:

ghufran, there is no excuse for it.

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April 25th, 2012, 11:02 pm


80. Tara said:


Thank you for the link.

Now we know why Middle easterners don’t smile and why they beat their wives.  It is lack of democracy.  The Arab men, being humiliated by the Mukhabarat day in and day out, take it out on their wives.  Sound plausible?  We also now know why Asma said to wear the pants in the Assad family… There was no mukhabarat to harass Bashar growing up so he did not have that specific psychological complex and hence…Interesting! 

“Arabs have endured centuries of brutal, authoritarian rule, and this could also play a role. A Western female journalist who spent years in the region, where she endured some of the region’s infamous street harassment, told me that she sensed her harassers may have been acting in part out of misery, anger, and their own emasculation. Enduring the daily torments and humiliations of life under the Egyptian or Syrian or Algerian secret police, she suggested, might make an Arab man more likely to reassert his lost manhood by taking it out on women.

The intersection of race and gender is tough to discuss candidly. If we want to understand why an Egyptian man beats his wife, it’s right and good to condemn him for doing it, but it’s not enough. We also have to discuss the bigger forces that are guiding him, even if that makes us uncomfortable because it feels like we’re excusing him. For decades, that conversation has gotten tripped up by issues of race and post-colonial relations that are always present but often too sensitive to address directly. ” 

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April 25th, 2012, 11:03 pm


81. bronco said:

#75 Tara

I read about it on Turkish news it but I have not seen it.

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April 25th, 2012, 11:27 pm


82. zoo said:

No string attached?

Qatar offers $1bn loan to tide over battered Tunisian economy, says govt spokesman

By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2:33 PM
TUNIS, Tunisia — Qatar has offered Tunisia a $1 billion low interest loan to bolster the North African country’s battered economy, Tunisia’s presidential spokesman announced Wednesday.

The tiny gas-rich Gulf monarchy has also offered 20,000 job openings to Tunisia’s myriad unemployed university graduates, added spokesman Adnan Mancer in remarks to journalists.

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April 25th, 2012, 11:31 pm


83. zoo said:

Mood is back

Norwegian general Robert Mood to lead UN Syria mission

Agence France-Presse Apr 25, 2012 – 2:49 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Friday will name Major General Robert Mood to head the Syria ceasefire observer mission that is struggling to get monitors into the country, diplomats said.

UN member states have so far offered only 100 military officers for the unarmed force given the risky mission of checking a cessation of hostilities that has barely held in Syria since April 12. A total of 300 observers has been proposed, accompanied by about 90 civilian support staff and experts.

Mood is expected to be in Damascus as early as this weekend. Diplomats said no objections were expected before a formal announcement on Friday after UN leader Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council he plans to name the Norwegian general.

The 54-year-old general negotiated sending of the advanced party of monitors with the Damascus government.

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April 25th, 2012, 11:34 pm


84. zoo said:

The yoyos again…

Iran will not build a nuclear bomb, says Israel military chief

Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz offers rare optimism by a top Israeli official, saying sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Tehran were bearing fruit.

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April 25th, 2012, 11:37 pm


85. zoo said:

Jordan is the place for macho men to live as 91% of the women feel that wife-beating is justified. Maybe it seriously lacks democracy.

UNICEF: 50 per cent of female in developing countries accept wife-beating
Posted on 26 April 2012 – 05:36am

“In India, 57 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women felt that wife-beating was justified.

Among the 74 countries surveyed, women from Jordan had the highest percentage of sharing similar views, at 91 per cent, while the highest percentage of men who held these views was reported from the Solomon Islands, at 73 per cent.”

The UAE is another candidate for softer machos

Men ALLOWED to beat their wives and young children (as long as they don’t leave any marks), rules UAE court

By Dan Newling
18 October 2010
Read more:

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April 25th, 2012, 11:57 pm


86. omen said:

zoo: Iran will not build a nuclear bomb, says Israel military chief

maybe it doesn’t need to.

does this sound plausible?:

having breakout capability (ie ability to quickly build nukes if required) is sufficient to achieve the effect of deterrence, no actual building required.

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April 26th, 2012, 12:10 am


87. omen said:

what happens to syria if iran is bombed?

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April 26th, 2012, 12:13 am


88. Syria no Kandahar said:

Aljazera wil put nails in the tires of any thing which
Might make Syria stable:

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April 26th, 2012, 12:34 am


89. Syria no Kandahar said:

Today’s demonstration in Homs demanding applying Alsharia law and Alkelafa. Any one having any hope that this craplution is going to produce any good outcome is a traitor or day dreamer:

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April 26th, 2012, 12:53 am


90. Aldendeshe said:

89. Syria no Kandahar said:
Today’s demonstration in Homs demanding applying Alsharia law and Alkelafa. Any one having any hope that this craplution is going to produce any good outcome is a traitor or day dreamer:


Who else to blame other than the bizarre love triangle dictator.

He should’ve handed power to the Syrian Nationalist Party boss and the Syrian Social Nationalist Parti(es) of Syria’s and Lebanon a year ago. None of this will have transpired. It is too late now. It is his mess, clean it up. But if he will hand over his conventional and unconventional weapon to SNP control, that and a billion dollar, will take over security of Syria with the rest of the snpiers in Syria and Lebanon and soft land the country into quick complete reforms.

Otherwise, keep on it until the inevitable end as Saddam and Gaddafi.

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April 26th, 2012, 1:13 am


91. Syria no Kandahar said:

Edlib, Benash
Islam is the solution
Alkelafa is our demand

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April 26th, 2012, 1:21 am


92. omen said:

(Reuters) – When the aspirin and alcohol swabs fell from under her clothes at a Syrian army checkpoint, Rania stood petrified, looking first down at her fallen contraband and then up at the soldier who stared straight back at her.

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April 26th, 2012, 1:36 am


93. Syria no Kandahar said:

These are Islam deformers and destructors:

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April 26th, 2012, 1:37 am


94. Darryl said:

80. TARA said:

Dear Tara, according to Sheikh Arafat in the linked video, wife beating is a privilege and honor that Islam provides for the exclusive benefit for women.

Lastly per comment 75 above, if a person has not heard of September 11 incident, that does not mean it did not occur.

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April 26th, 2012, 1:37 am


95. Syria no Kandahar said:

Revolution Autopsy:

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April 26th, 2012, 2:02 am


96. Syria no Kandahar said:

Alqaeda declares responsibility for Aleppo’s suicide bombing. Any one supporting this insurgency is a friend of Alqaeda :

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April 26th, 2012, 2:33 am


97. Juergen said:

Halabi, Omen

thank you for sharing, the videos are most disturbing and after watching such atrocities one wonders why there are still people on this earth, may be because of women?

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April 26th, 2012, 2:34 am


98. Shami said:

Exactly Tara,

The sad events that erased the armenian presence in anatolia is a repercussion of the war of nationalities that were driven by western nationalist ideologies.

Prior to this, the muslim populations of the northern caucase have been anhilitated by the russian empire forces.

Many people ignore that Moscow and a large part of eastern Europe had been ruled for centuries by the islamized mongols of the golden horde with a great sense of religious tolerance.

The religious tolerance of the muslims (in general) had no equivalent in the world prior to our modern era.

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April 26th, 2012, 2:40 am


99. Uzair8 said:

Syria’s economy and currency are sinking

April 25, 2012

Syria’s remaining cash reserves are quickly dwindling as the country’s anti-government uprising marks its 13th month, according to intelligence officials and financial analysts who describe a steady hollowing-out of the country’s economy in the face of sanctions.

The financial hemorrhaging has forced Syrian officials to stop providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country, and has prompted the government to seek more help from Iran to prop up the country’s sagging currency, the analysts said. Revenue from Syrian oil, meanwhile, has almost dried up, with even China and India declining to accept the nation’s crude, they said.

At the same time, President Bashar al-Assad appears to have shielded himself and his inner circle from much of the pain of the sanctions and trade embargoes, which are driving up food and fuel prices for many of the country’s 20 million residents, U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts and financial experts say.

Read more:

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April 26th, 2012, 3:04 am


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