Round-up: News from the North, Changes to Opposition, Egypt, and a lot of Miscellany

News from Aleppo / Idlib / Homs   Government forces in Syria press on with battle to retake rebel-held areas – WP Syrian government aircraft scattered leaflets over the northern province of Idlib on Wednesday, calling on rebels to hand themselves over and urging foreign fighters to return to their homelands, as regime troops pressed […]

Round Up: Qusayr, Hezbollah, Regional Sectarianism, Ehsani on Economics, Foreign Jihadis Behead & Kill for Blasphemy, US Intervention Proposal

From Our Readers Yamin sent the following in an email: The Syrian Government ignores 70 percent of the Opposition fighters being Free Syrian Army and label all of them as al-Qaeda or Jabhat al-Nusra. To them any fighters, regardless of their just causes, are Moslem fanatics. Hilarious. The Opposition ignores 95 percent of the forces opposing […]

Ayman al-Zawahiri Rants about Syria

by Aron Lund for Syria Comment The al-Qaida emir, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, is a grumpy old man, but who wouldn’t be in his position? Like his late predecessor Osama bin Laden, and indeed many grumpy old men, he has a habit of haranguing the world for its faults while angrily wagging his finger. Today, for […]

Turkey Engulfed in Protests, Syria Conflict Worries Turkish Alevis, Syrian Turkomen Support Opposition

See more photos at the following Atlantic article: Days of Anti-Government Protests and Harsh Crackdowns A protest in Istanbul, Turkey, that began as a relatively small event earlier in the week, erupted into massive anti-government demonstrations across the country following a harsh crackdown by riot police. People had gathered in Gezi Park to prevent the […]

Sheikh al-Yaqoubi Elected to the NC—its first non-Brotherhood-aligned religious figure

The Rise of the Sufis by Matthew Barber—This story first appeared on Syria Comment   Newly-elected to the Syrian National Coalition, Sheikh Mohammad al-Yaqoubi is moderate, influential, and ready to go to work   From the beginning of the uprising, mainstream Syrian Sunni ‘ulema—the traditional scholars who have spoken for Islam for centuries and who […]