The Annan Peace Proposal

President Assad walked around Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs in this video. He promises to make it “better than it was previously” and demands a timeline for the completion of repair work. Al-Jazeera reports that his motorcade was sniped at during the trip.

The Syrian military is carrying out “mopping up” operations in the A’zaz, Hamadan, and Khraytan area, the poor industrial suburbs and towns north of Aleppo. Here is a video of an Mi-2 helicopter that fires a rocket, reportedly over A’zaz (Aleppo) (Thanks Thomas Pierret). Since Monday morning I have been receiving calls about the fact that the roads to the north are closed because of military action. Turkey has shuttered its embassy  and Turkish airlines is pulling its flights to and from Syria, which is causing panic in Aleppo, where no open access to Turkey remains open. Businessmen are despondent about being able to keep business going between the two neighboring countries.

Annan says Syria accepts his UN peace plan which Annan insists is an “important initial step”.

Annan said the plan deals with “political discussions, withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, humanitarian assistance being allowed in unimpeded, release of prisoners, freedom of movement and access for journalists to go in and out.”

“So we will need to see how we move ahead and implement this agreement that they have accepted,” said Annan.

Annan’s six point plan and its likelihood of success:

President Assad is looking for a way to end the uprising against his regime without stepping down or turning over power to the revolutionary forces. He believes that the Annan plan can be a step towards regaining international acceptance of his government.

Both sides believe that time is on their side. The Syrian government believes it has the revolutionaries on the run and is carrying out “mopping up” exercises in all the main centers of revolutionary action: Homs, Idlib, and the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.

The opposition equally believes that time and the world is on its side. It has refused to negotiate with the regime, believing that it will prevail because of international support, international sanctions against the regime, which have pushed the economy into a tailspin, and because both the Arab World and West have stated repeatedly that the Assad regime is finished and is a pariah to the international order. They await arms shipments, money and widespread defections to tip the balance of power against the Syrian Army. The opposition believes, correctly, that President Assad will not carry out reforms that will lead to his ouster. The new UN peace plan does not insist on Assad handing over power to the revolutionary leadership, which is why Assad finds it acceptable and why the opposition has denounced it.

Prohibiting Males of Military age to leave the Country

The Syrian government is prohibiting males aged between 18-42 from leaving the country before receiving clearance by the Military Conscription department. Many upper-class Syrians are leaving the country. Most with children have made arrangements to leave when the school year finishes in order not to disrupt the education of their young. Anyone with a child over 18 will now be stuck.

Economy

One Christian industrialist from Aleppo whom I know is telling his friends that he is leaving Syria. His factory in the northern suburbs has been shut down by the opposition and he is unable to travel there any longer because of military operations. He will abandon his property and has already informed his workers that he cannot keep the factory open and that they must fend for themselves.

Another factory owner, whom I know, organized a meeting with opposition leaders in A’zaz, where his factory is located. He could not travel there himself, but delegated a factory administrator who knows the opposition leaders of the town to carry out the talks on his behalf. The factor has already had 300,000 Syrian pounds requisitioned. The opposition agreed to allowing him to keep the factory open. I do not know what further arrangements were made in order to keep its doors open.

Landis and Bassma Kodmani, spokesperson for the Syrian National Council, discuss the state of the Syrian opposition and the Istanbul meeting with Sophie Claudet
Reporter for Al-Monitor

Also see this discussion of Syria with Robert Wright

Robert Wright and Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma, Syria Comment) Discuss the situation in Syria

Alawites: the Mormons of Syria 7:23
The byzantine ideological backdrop to the revolts 9:57
Joshua: Mistrust could lead to a failed state 7:16
The available ideology for young rebels is jihad 8:20
For the West, another multibillion-dollar swamp? 10:52
Joshua: Intervention could make the chaos worse 3:03

News Round Up

Homs: A request for information about why it became a center of the Syrian revolution

My name is Jordan Cannon and I am a student at Oklahoma University putting together a research paper on the topic of why Homs became the capital of the Syrian Revolution. I am trying to gather a history of the city and insight from native Syrians to write the real story.  Anyone willing to provide me assistance would be contributing to getting the word out as I plan on publishing this paper. Thank you.

Jordan Cannon
(580) 262-0112

“L’islam dans la révolution syrienne : 3 questions à Thomas Pierret,” La revue Politique étrangère.

Eating Cinnabon in Damascus
Why are foreign brands like KFC, the Four Seasons, and Cinnabon still trying to make a buck in Syria?
BY KATIE PAUL | MARCH 26, 2012

With insurance rates soaring, logistics risky, and the plummeting Syrian pound making import purchases increasingly expensive, the cost of doing business in Syria has skyrocketed. As business owners raise prices to compensate, middle-class customers with shrinking purchasing power are increasingly staying away, even from previously insulated retail spots like the Cham City Center, a mall that brought in foreign brands like Cinnabon and United Colors of Benetton when it opened in 2007. “It was very puzzling to me, but until the last week of December, Cham City Center mall was packed whenever I went, even during the middle of the week,” said one foreign banker based in Damascus until last month, when his bank closed up its Syria office.

The strain has not gone without notice in the Assad regime’s propaganda department, which has tried to convince consumers they can do just fine without the rest of the world. All over downtown Damascus, added the banker, billboards are preaching self-sustainability as part of a governmental public awareness campaign to put a euphemistic spin on things: “Let us wear what we weave,” the billboards tell Damascenes. “Let us drink what we squeeze.” “Let us eat what we grow.”…

Costa has been putting into storage the equipment and furniture for its seven shuttered shops, hoping for a brighter day, according to a franchise manager. He added that KFC, which the franchise runs as well, closed two locations in Aleppo and two in Damascus, after members of its management staff came under a hail of bullets while driving on the country’s main north-south highway past Homs last April. Employees from both brands have been re-assigned to office work or to one of the safer KFCs in Damascus. One KFC remains in Aleppo, since, unlike Costa’s coffee, chicken can be sourced locally, thus avoiding the now-treacherous highway route.

All Syrian businesses are being forced to scrimp, save, or close up shop, not just those with foreign goods. Though the government has not provided any economic indicators for months, some estimate that after years of 5 percent yearly growth, gross domestic product may have shrunk by up to 15 percent over the past year — a downturn that affects all types of businesses, most severely, of course, in restive areas like Homs. The closure that probably had the biggest impact on the population was the recent announcement by major foreign airliners like Air France that they were stopping flights to Syria, a move that has increased the sense of isolation, says Yazigi of The Syria Report. And with the 12-hour power cuts and fuel shortages now common in Damascus, even for the well-off, the idea of hopping a flight to Paris seems like a world away….

NOT SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION “WITHIN SYRIA” IS SUPPORTING ASSAD
By Andrew J. Tabler and David Pollock

Failure to support the opposition “within Syria” — armed and unarmed — would allow Assad to stay in power for much longer.
******************************
During their March 25 meeting, President Obama and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed that part of the agenda of the April 1 “Friends of Syria” summit in Istanbul will concern “nonlethal assistance” to the opposition “within Syria.” This indicates that the administration is beginning to accept a “tragic truth”: without much greater U.S. support for the opposition on the ground, Bashar al-Assad’s regime will certainly massacre many more civilians all over Syria, and Assad himself will almost certainly remain in power for the foreseeable future.

Egyptian liberal bloc walks out of Islamist-dominated parliament

Lawmakers from the liberal bloc walked out of an Egyptian parliamentary vote deciding on the composition of a 100-person panel tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution. The bloc, which includes three liberal parties that hold nine percent of seats in Egypt’s lower house of parliament, cited differences with the Islamist parties, which hold a majority in both houses of the legislature. The constituent assembly will be comprised of 50 sitting politicians and 50 members of trade unions and civil society. Forty of the 50 parliamentarians are expected to come from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party or Salifist al-Nour party. Naguib Sawiris, founder of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, said: “It’s ridiculous: A constitution being written by one force and one force alone.”

Comments (268)


Pages: « 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 » Show All

101. ann said:

Syrian Rebels Caught Embellishing on Tape – Mar 27, 2012

A new documentary provides an intimate look at Syria’s video activists—and reveals how they staged a report to appear more dramatic. Mike Giglio gets an exclusive preview.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/27/syrian-rebels-caught-embellishing-on-tape.html

It’s through people like Omar Tellawi that scenes of the bloodshed in Syria have reached the rest of the world.

Tellawi is part of a small, tightly knit group of Syrian video activists who have embedded themselves inside Homs, the center of a brutal crackdown by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Foreign journalists are barred from the city—and if they manage to sneak in, they can become targets, as happened when photographer Rémi Ochlik and legendary war correspondent Marie Colvin were killed recently.

Tellawi and his fellow activists document the regime’s atrocities with low-tech video dispatches, often reporting via Anderson Cooper–like stand-up reports. They post their work on YouTube, and it spreads globally via social media and the international press. Some of the so-called vee-jays—such as 23-year-old Danny Abdul Dayem, whom the Western press has dubbed the “voice of Homs”— feature regularly on networks such as Al-Jazeera and CNN and have become unlikely media stars in the course of the conflict.

A new report, airing tonight on Britain’s Channel 4 News, shows the video activists in a new and intimate light. In it, Tellawi and his colleagues scramble to confirm death tolls, brave bomb blasts, and duck sniper fire.

They also, it turns out, embellish.

Channel 4 News gave The Daily Beast an exclusive look at the upcoming documentary, shot by an up-and-coming photojournalist named Mani, who goes by only one name, in order to avoid compromising future trips to Syria.

Over the course of several weeks in January and February, Mani embedded himself with Tellawi and his colleagues to witness some of the toughest days of Syria’s ongoing conflict. Mani, 40, hails from France but once studied in Damascus and is fluent in Arabic. A primary-school teacher less than two years ago, he left his job to pursue a passion for photography and gained worldwide attention with his inaugural video report last month, a gripping account of the fighting in Homs. Nevine Mabro, Mani’s editor at Channel 4, called it “the best combat footage I’ve ever seen in 12 years of looking at this stuff.”

[…]

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March 28th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

102. Ghufran said:

This is a web poll from the SNC official site:
Do you think the international community should:
Select Poll

Do you think the international community should:
Arm the Free Syrian Army immediately before organizing it because the situation on the ground is very dire.
110  41.7%
Organize the units and ranks of FSA then arm it. Otherwise it is a waste of resources without a plan.
77  29.2%
Never arm the FSA as this will create chaos in the country after Assad.
77  29.2%

Number of Voters  :  264
First Vote  :  Monday, 27 February 2012 16:11
Last Vote  :  Wednesday, 28 March 2012 06:28

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March 28th, 2012, 12:31 am

 

103. Syria no Kandahar said:

Islamist trying to apply Sharia in Brussels !
What are they going to do in Syria ?شواطئ عراة?

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March 28th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

104. chris said:

103. majedkhaldoun

syria is one of a few MID EAST countries where majority and minority live in peace. the only thing missing is sharia law.

why dont people realise they will not get the freedom they ask for they will only get what the rest of the mid east has and what the arab league wants. that is to be 100%muslim and if not under sharia law.

this is what the revolution in syria will bring. again christians will be on the run.

How can we allow qatar and ksa to dictate what should happen in syria yet they still stone people for anything that is against their belief. where women driving is punishable!

this is what we want for syria?

if anyone loves syria they would want both parties to run for a party and people to vote.

it seems the oppostion wants to win by their own terms, how democratic!

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March 28th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

105. ann said:

104. Ghufran said:

Number of Voters : 264
.
.
Wonder how many times sheik Humpty Dumpty (ruler of qatar) voted :D
.

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March 28th, 2012, 12:47 am

 

106. CHRIS said:

[Red alert Edited to sentence-case from ALL-CAPS.]

80. majedkhaldoun

So do you think the opposition going to comply?

Another time waster on sc with thumbs down!

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March 28th, 2012, 12:48 am

 

107. chris said:

[Red alert Edited to sentence-case from ALL-CAPS.]

TARA @81

Those leaked emails just show how freedom roams in Syria!

So what if he mocks people, we all do. pick up any paper, magazine or watch any tv show. we thrive on this information.

I guarantee you if we search anyone’s email we will find something to laugh about.

Why are you wasting time on SC? U have the most thumbs down!
Do you not get the message.

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March 28th, 2012, 12:48 am

 

108. majedkhaldoun said:

Chris
This is your prejudice opinion, this is not true, None of the foreign country can decide things for Syria, what you want is equality, christians and Muslem, what you are supporting, is one sect, Minority, 6-7% to subjugate 80% of the people, it is a big prison, this can not last, people do not get used to injustice.

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March 28th, 2012, 12:55 am

 

109. ann said:

UN Leaves Child Soldiers in Syria & Jonglei Unaddressed, In Myanmar Counts on Ban

http://www.innercitypress.com/caac1mysyss032612.html

Likewise earlier in March Inner City Press sent to Coomaraswamy at her Office a picture from the March 3 New York Times, of an obviously under-aged fighter with the Free Syrian Army.

Coomaraswamy finally commented on it, when asked again by Inner City Press on March 26, and said that she, the UN has “received allegations” of the recruitment of child soldiers by the Free Syrian Army.

But what is being done about it? For example, Paulo Pinheiro of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has not mentioned it. Pinheiro told Inner City Press it is “not useful” to compare, even on number of dead, Syria to Myanmar, which he previously studied.

[…]

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March 28th, 2012, 1:15 am

 

110. ann said:

Annan and Syria need time – 2012-03-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2012-03/28/c_131493679.htm

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhuanet) — Premier Wen Jiabao met Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria, in Beijing on Tuesday, and pledged China’s full support to Annan’s six-point plan to end the bloodshed in the Middle East country.

Wen said the Syria issue has now entered a critical stage and Annan’s mediation efforts “will lead to progress”. These remarks bear emblem to China’s consistent efforts to promote peace.

One day earlier, in his meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, President Hu Jintao emphasized that China takes a responsible approach toward peace in Syria.

[…]

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March 28th, 2012, 1:19 am

 

111. chris said:

110. majedkhaldoun

thats right no country can help syria!

this we can agree upon. for and against any country will only get involved because it will be of some benefit to them!

i want equality but i cannot foresee it with the opposition.

they have killed more than the army !

we need real politicians, real laws, real democracy! but i want the world to know the MB AND FSA dont stand for democracy. they are just as the regime and if we have no choice then let bashar stay because no one else can do better. until some party steps in and gets the peoples vote

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March 28th, 2012, 1:32 am

 

112. Mina said:

Ghufran #97
And this is indeed the biggest victory of Syria’s enemies: that a few extremist Homsis were convinced someone was going to come to their help. Now they will blame the Turks, the Iraqis, whoever. But at least they’ll stay divided and easy to be monitored.

While in Egypt, epidemics and no political agreement on the constitution.
http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/734916
http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/734551

But the good news is that the Salafis+MB (Muslim Bro) and JB (Jewish Bro) have now a common platform of discussions:
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/ultra-orthodox-jews-increasingly-refuse-to-sit-near-women-on-el-al-flights-1.420298

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March 28th, 2012, 1:59 am

 

113. Juergen said:

Chris
It looks like that folks like you run from one workstation to the other to thumb comments, have fun. But let me tell you, most of us dont care at all about what the approval rating says.

Sheila

Its an important subject you raised. I have dear friends who were in prison, who still support the idea that only with regime there can be reforms.
I think all of us have lost other good friends, some may even have disputes within their families. I have this dear friend in Qatar who is from Damascus. He has a brilliant job there and is quite an intelligent guy. I know the family, they are christians. The other day i saw that he posted on a regular basis comments on proregime FB sites, and especially one comment in which he called Bashar to come and clean up the mess and get rid of some unworthy creatures outraged me deeply. I called him up and asked him about it. He told me basically that he does not like the regime, but as a Syrian working in Qatar he is suspicious to the regime, and because he wants to go back now and then, he tries to write his way back by such comments. He added that many of his friends who are on FB have similar somments and he is afraid that they would think he is an oppositioner. Isnt that strange that the typical syrian order of conduct is evident even on FB?

I think noone can say that he or she does not know about the abuses and the crimes against humanity. I was lucky when the communist regime collapsed i was still a young person. So i could adapt to the new order easily, many older folks ( 40+) had difficult times, most got unemployed and many i suppose would have agreed when you say it was better in the regime than after for them. You know its hard for people when others tell them the way they lived, the system they backed was wrong or criminal, in that sense their life became senseless. I always asked myself what would I have done when i was older in this regime, would I talk openly against the brutality and the crimes or would I be among those who adapted to the regime. I found the other day an essay I wrote when I was 9 years old. It was about the love of the children for the communist party and its officials. I wrote a pathetic piece, and i know that i could have written a much less adulant text, the idea that i was misguided does not count for me. I do believe that not everyone is a rebel, not everyone is brave enough to bear the consequences of opposing evil. But you can be sure when the tide is gone, no one was ever for the regime, thats also a truth, most people want to in the winning team afterall.

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March 28th, 2012, 2:18 am

 

114. NASA said:

84. SHEILA
With all due respect, your list is short & for the minority of supporters, from our inside Syria friends and relatives, the following can be added to your list:

1. No trust for majority leaders at SC or opposition since they depend on outside countries whom have spl benefits using Syrian people as excuse.

2. Bad examples around us: Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan …etc.

3. Democracy will not fall over-night & you can’t change things 360 degrees. At our case; step by step peacefully is the way. Syrian Gov. can’t deny changes anymore like before; the whole world is watching.

4. Without blindly following conspiracy theory, it is thru that other agenda are valid, so mine, yours and Syrian peoples goal is different that others.

5. How can you follow the advice of whom don’t have it? (Saudi & Qatar!!?)

6. and many other reason …. I encourage watching our great Adonis over spl interview program with Ziena at Dubai Channel last week. (I regret not having the like)

Finally, and for all opposition supporters pls … Listen to Syrian young people at diff. Colleges and Universities in Syria.

Thx …

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March 28th, 2012, 2:30 am

 

115. jad said:

What really happened at the Syrian-Lebanese borders today:
قصة القصف السوري في القاع – غدي فرنسي

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March 28th, 2012, 2:41 am

 

116. jad said:

The ‘revolution’ singer I linked his ‘amazing’ song couple days ago is also an ‘outstanding’ actress….sorry, actor playing as a woman, have a laugh!
حمصية علويه تشكي همها للعالم عن طريق حمصي وشايف حالي

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March 28th, 2012, 2:47 am

 

117. Syrialover said:

#84. SHEILA

Thank you, thankyou. And thank you again.

A good question.

You’ve covered most of the reasons some inside Syria are not opposing Assad.

But the expats – that’s a different story!

I know Syrians living comfortably in the west who are stubbornly defending Assad while they are personally enjoying a life with rule of law, economic and educational opportunity, freedom of speech and information, welfare systems, public accountability, protection from corruption, first-rate infrastructure, absence of fear, endless choices, rights and freedoms – and so on and so on.

It doesn’t matter what these expats are doing – whether they are in business, academia, the professions, the civil service or anywhere, they and their families are in PARADISE compared with their Syrian counterparts.

Which is why they have left.

They have lives which an overwhelming majority of Syrians would give anything to experience. But bizarrely, not only do these privileged expats take for granted what surrounds them, and are oblivious to how it works, they are often furiously indignant and critical of the west.

You see this syndrome demonstrated daily on SC.

It shocks me that they apparently do not feel that the 20+ million people in Syria with no hope of a new life elsewhere are WORTHY OR ENTITLED to have the same things they themselves have pursued and are nesting comfortably with.

Worse, I see callousness and contempt for the Syrian people in these expat Syrians’ shallow thinking and self-protective fantasies.

What’s good enough for them is far too good to want for people living in Syria, who should not be ranked with the rest of humanity in their needs, rights, dreams and expectations.

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March 28th, 2012, 2:53 am

 

118. jad said:

Addounia, Syrian TV and Alikhbarya viewers are up while Aljazeera, and CNN are loosing theirs, it must be the Syrian Electronic Army!

Aljazeera R.I.Hell
http://www.al-akhbar.com/media
“ما همّ؟ صار للعرب محطّة تضاهي
الـ CNN، وتنظر إلى الأحداث من زاوية أخرى. من الحرب الأميركيّة ـــ البريطانيّة على العراق إلى العدوان الاسرائيلي على لبنان ثم غزّة… وصولاً إلى الانتفاضتين التونسيّة والمصريّة، كان التاريخ يتشكّل مباشرة على «الجزيرة». ثم اكتشف النظام القطري هواية جديدة، وقرّر أن يصبح سبونسور «الثورة» العربيّة. مرّت المحطّة فوق ربيع المنامة مثل الدبابات السعوديّة، لـ«تقود» حركة التغيير في سوريا. بسرعة بدأت الزلات المهنيّة التي تحوّلت انحرافات متعمّدة، فتزييفاً منهجيّاً للحدث كما تثبت الوثائق والتصريحات التي تسرّبت في الأسابيع الأخيرة. ليس أن النظام السوري بمنأى عن الاستبداد والقمع، لكن «فجور» الخطاب الاعلامي جاء يسرق من الشعب انتفاضته. على صخرة المأساة السوريّة تكسّرت مملكة الوهم، وعادت المحطّة إلى حجمها الطبيعي. فجأة انتبه المشاهدون إلى أنّهم أمام اعلام رسمي يشبه ما نراه في سائر الأنظمة الشموليّة، بل يفوقها خطورة بحكم التجربة والصيت وادعاءات الاستقلاليّة والموضوعيّة. اليوم تتواصل الفضائح والاستقالات، ليبقى في ذاكرة الاعلام العربي المعاصر، جرح غائر اسمه «الجزيرة».”

CNN R.I.Limbo
Wait, Did CNN Just Lose HALF Of Its Viewers?
“As TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reported today: “CNN bore the brunt of the downward trend the news networks experienced this month and for much of the first quarter, when compared to the busy first few months of 2011. For the month of March, CNN was down -50% in total viewers and down -60% in A25-54 viewers (Total Day). The net was down -21% in Total Viewers and down -26% in A25-54 viewers (Primetime) compared to March 2011.”
http://www.businessinsider.com/wait-did-cnn-just-lose-half-of-its-viewers-2012-3?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=main-contributor

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March 28th, 2012, 2:57 am

 

119. NASA said:

I have no doubts that most if not all participants on this blog love Syria and wish for the best. It is not a matter of diff. views anymore, IT IS WAR & KILLING yes we should listen to each other, but now Syrians inside Syria are looking for peace, they want to stop killing and the way the what so called revolution turned wrong!
Therefore, once again our young educated and academic Syrians are our assets & our future; not OIL … not Western Gov.[not Mr. Zibala at SC] but young Syrians the future Syria … try to reach them and listen to them.
Thx

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March 28th, 2012, 3:06 am

 

120. jad said:

I like the ‘virtual’ rebels’ high moral charade, let me put it to them in a very simple equation so they stop this fruitless mission:

When a ‘revolution’ like ‘this’ made the majority of Syrians defend a regime like ‘that’ you should know how bloody, ugly, sectarian, bankrupt, radical, criminal, corrupted and disgusting that ‘revolution’ has become.

Cheers!

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March 28th, 2012, 3:09 am

 

121. jad said:

Bronco, Zoo, Irritated,
I guess throwing eggs and tomato on Ford made him wake up, it only took him a year to tell us about what is really happening:
‘Even you Fordy’

السفير الامريكي يقول ان لديه تقارير عن انتهاكات للمعارضة السورية
{…}
وسئل فورد في جلسة في الكونجرس عن بيانات صدرت مؤخرا عن منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش المعنية بحقوق الانسان ومقرها الولايات المتحدة أفادت بأن جماعات المعارضة المسلحة في سوريا ارتكبت انتهاكات خطيرة لحقوق الانسان. وقالت ان من بين هذه الانتهاكات الخطف والاحتجاز والتعذيب لافراد من قوات الامن ومؤيدي الحكومة.
وقال “كان لدينا تقارير مثل هذه العام الماضي عندما اضحى بعض القتال في حمص خطيرا حقا.”
وأضاف قائلا “أثرنا (هذه التقارير) حتى في سوريا عندما كانت السفارة مازالت مفتوحة. بحثناها مع بعض ممثلي مجلس الثورة المحليين -وهم انفسهم ليسوا اعضاء في المجموعات المسلحة لكنهم بالتأكيد على اتصال بها- وأكدت لهم انهم سيحاسبون وفقا لنفس المعايير اذا كانوا يرغبون في الحصول على دعم من الدول الغربية.”
وقال فورد ان الولايات المتحدة أثارت الموضوع مع المجلس الوطني السوري واشار الى انه في الاسبوع الماضي أصدر المجلس بيانا جاء فيه ان مثل هذه الانتهاكات تتناقض مع ما يناضلون من اجله.
ولم يذكر فورد تفاصيل التقارير التي تلقاها بشأن انتهاكات حقوق الانسان التي ارتكبتها قوات المعارضة.
وقال “لكن يتعين علي أن أقول … كلما استمر العنف لفترة أطول في سوريا كلما أصبح أسوأ وكلما شاهدنا عددا أكبر من المتشددين في الجانبين الذين هم ليسوا بالضرورة من المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان .. يكسبون نفوذا وهذا يمثل مشكلة حقيقية وهذا هو السبب في اننا نحتاج الى التحرك بسرعة أكبر.”
وفي تعليقاته الافتتاحية امام لجنة توم لانتوس لحقوق الانسان اتهم فورد الرئيس السوري بارتكاب انتهاكات “ضخمة” لحقوق الانسان. وقال انه أثار القضية باستمرار مع الاسد عندما كان سفيرا في سوريا بدءا من أول اجتماع معه قبل 13 شهرا.
وقال “في تلك المناقشات لم يبد الاسد اهتماما يذكر بحقوق الانسان بل في الحقيقة غضب من أنني أثرت هذا الموضوع. وتدهور تجاهله القاسي على مدى العام المنصرم الى انتهاكات ضخمة لحقوق الانسان يمكن ان ترقى الى جرائم ضد الانسانية.”
{…}
http://www.swissinfo.ch/ara/detail/content.html?cid=32373020

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March 28th, 2012, 3:24 am

 

122. Syrialover said:

Syria authorities target children, say UN rights chief

The Syrian authorities are deliberately and systematically targeting children, the United Nations’ human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has told the BBC.

She said she was deeply concerned about the fate of hundreds of children being held in detention.

Ms Pillay said President Bashar al-Assad could end the detentions and stop the killing of civilians immediately, simply by issuing an order.
—-
Navi Pillay told the BBC that the Syrian leader would face justice for the abuses carried out by his security forces.

Asked if President Assad bore command responsibility for the abuses, she said:

“That is the legal situation. Factually there’s enough evidence pointing to the fact that many of these acts are committed by the security forces must have received the approval or the complicity at the highest level.

“Because President Assad could simply issue an order to stop the killings and the killings would stop.”

She listed what she called “horrendous” treatment of children during the unrest.

“Children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information.”

She added that people like President Assad “can go on for a very long time but one day they will have to face justice.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17532966

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March 28th, 2012, 3:32 am

 

123. Adam said:

\”Another factory owner, whom I know, organized a meeting with opposition leaders in A’zaz, where his factory is located. He could not travel there himself, but delegated a factory administrator who knows the opposition leaders of the town to carry out the talks on his behalf. The factor has already had 300,000 Syrian pounds requisitioned. The opposition agreed to allowing him to keep the factory open. I do not know what further arrangements were made in order to keep its doors open.\”

So, am I to believe that the opposition will respect the property rights of general population if Assad falls? If the opposition doesn\’t respect the basic right of a factory owner to keeps his doors open (and people employed), what does this show us? To me, I have to wonder if they are simply another group of opportunists, just like the Assads, that will take what they want by force. What\’s the difference? Except that minority groups can\’t be sure their rights will be protected, despite the (possibly) new found respect for freedom of the brotherhood. Confusing.

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March 28th, 2012, 3:32 am

 

124. jad said:

Is 6ar6our going to fulfill his promise?
قسم العرعور قبل زيارة الرئيس الأسد لحمص بابا عمرو

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March 28th, 2012, 3:57 am

 

125. Syrialover said:

#96. JERUSALEM

Your point?

Are you telling us that the rural poor in Syria who protested were cleverly manipulated as part of an external master plan to bring down Assad?

I guess these master string-pullers also arranged for the violence against the children in Daraa and the escalation of the situation by the regime’s attacks on unarmed demonstrators.

What next? I am tired of the people of Syria being depicted as confused, easily pushed around pawns who can’t think or do anything on their own account.

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March 28th, 2012, 3:57 am

 

126. Badr said:

Clinton to Assad: Prove peace commitment

Clinton told reporters in Washington, “Given Assad’s history of over-promising and under-delivering, that commitment must now be matched by immediate action.

“We will judge Assad’s sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not by what he says,” she said. “If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria’s history to a close, he can prove it by immediately ordering regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from populated areas.”

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March 28th, 2012, 4:37 am

 

127. Antoine said:

Do not take seriously the assessment of a man whose three brothers-in-law are serving officers in the Syrian Arab Army and whose father-in-law is a retired Admiral in the Syrian Arab Navy.

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March 28th, 2012, 6:13 am

 

128. Juergen said:

shocking video of a burning pipeline in Homs

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March 28th, 2012, 6:20 am

 

129. Juergen said:

Destruction at Qualaat Al Madeeq/ Hama province
english:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BCKvVx7wkDE

arabic:

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March 28th, 2012, 6:26 am

 

130. Uzair8 said:

#81 TARA

Omen, I think you may be right about the internal colonialism.

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March 28th, 2012, 7:12 am

 

131. Uzair8 said:

Heard some Syria news on BBC RADIO 4 last night and I was reminded of the declaration/celebration of ‘victory’ I was witnessing yesterday on a former SC users twitter.

The World Tonight is a 45 minute news round up broadcast at 10 pm every weekday night.

Listen from 32 min. Fawaz Gerges from a little before 35 min 30 sec.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dtvlv

At first I felt this Annan plan could be a good thing if it allows the people to come out and protest. However, yesterday evening fear descended on me as a thought crossed my mind. As Fawaz Gerges said, the regime may not have changed its position but only agreed to the Annan plan due to pressure from Russia and China. About Assads visit to Bab Amr, Gerges said this was a declaration of victory and a message to his supporters that the worst is behind them.

My fear: Assad may pull his troops from the cities and towns then cue the oh so conveniant ‘armed gangs’ attacking minority areas as well as peaceful protests. Add some car bombs. The regime will then be able to turn to Russia and China and justify redeploying its thugs in the cities and towns. Remind yourself of Algeria.

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March 28th, 2012, 7:30 am

 

132. Uzair8 said:

Correction:

– Fawaz Gerges didn’t say the Bab Amr visit was a declaration of victory. He said the regime had gained the upper hand and weathered the storm….

– Listen to him from 35 min 30 sec.

Moving on.

Was it in the leaked emails that someone advised the Assad regime to talk ‘big’ and use violent language as well as to play up their military capabilities? Something along those lines.

Isn’t that exactly what Assad did when he previously declared how Syria would be strong in space and yesterday declared that he would rebuild Bab Amr and it will be better than before?

They say the bigger the lie the more chance it is believed. Perhaps this is because due to the enormity of a lie it simply doesn’t compute hence isn’t immediately dismissed as a lie which it is. I don’t know.

Put the space project to one side, how is he going to rebuild Bab Amr better than before. Where are the funds?

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March 28th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

133. Tara said:

Zoo

Regardless of the bickering that may nave happened, it seems that the international media is going to hail  the SNC as the formal representative of the Syrian people.  The opposition is now united.  The Kurds may have alienated themselves by walking out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/mar/28/syria-crisis-live-updates#block-13

11.40am: All but one of Syria’s disparate opposition groups have agreed to unite behind the Syrian National Council, the BBC reports.

A statement issued after a two-day meeting in Istanbul said the SNC would be the “formal interlocutor and formal representative of the Syrian people”.

SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani told the BBC: “We needed to build the confidence of countries around the world who want to support the Syrian revolution that this is the organisation that can channel support to the population inside.

“I think this now has been achieved.”

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March 28th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

134. DAWOUD said:

Ahmadinijad, as the Arabic news story below discusses, is “pleased” with al-Assad’s handling of the Syrian Revolt!

I guess it’s not very painful for Iranians to see an Alawi dictator kill Sunni Muslim Syrians!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/28/203723.html

أحمدي نجاد “سعيد” بتعامل الأسد مع الثورة السورية
اتهم الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالنظام السوري لتعزيز وضع إسرائيل

العربية.نت

أشاد الرئيس الإيراني محمود أحمدي نجاد بالطريقة التي اتبعتها القيادة السورية في التعامل مع الانتفاضة التي بدأت قبل عام وقتل فيها الآلاف، معربا أثناء محادثات مع فيصل المقداد مبعوث الأسد عن سعادته البالغة بتعامل المسؤولين السوريين مع الأوضاع في بلادهم .

وأضاف نجاد- حسب وكالة “رويترز”- لوسائل إعلام إيرانية أن طهران ستبذل كل ما في وسعها لدعم أوثق حليف عربي لها. واتهم الرئيس الايراني الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالقيادة السورية وتعزيز وضع إسرائيل في المنطقة.

وساندت إيران انتفاضات شعبية أطاحت بزعماء تونس ومصر وليبيا واليمن لكنها حافظت بثبات على دعمها للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الذي ينتمي للطائفة العلوية، وهي إحدى الطوائف الشيعية.
إن الامريكيين يريدون السيطرة على سوريا ولبنان وايران
أحمدي نجاد

وقالت الأمم المتحدة إن أكثر من 9000 شخص قتلوا في الحملة التي تشنها الحكومة السورية لقمع المحتجين والمسلحين المعارضين للأسد، بينما ألقت السلطات السورية بالمسؤولية على إرهابيين يتلقون دعما من الخارج في العنف، وقالت إن 3000 من أفراد الجيش وقوات الأمن قتلوا.

وقال أحمدي نجاد إنه لا توجد حدود لتوسيع الروابط مع سوريا، وإن إيران ستفعل كل ما في طاقتها لمساندة هذا البلد.

واتهم الرئيس الإيراني الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالقيادة السورية وتعزيز وضع إسرائيل في المنطقة.

وأثارت الحملة التي شنها الأسد على معارضيه غضب دول عربية من بينها قطر، وهي حليفة سابقة لدمشق، والسعودية اللتان طالبتا بدعم المعارضة السورية.

وقال أحمدي نجاد إن الامريكيين يريدون السيطرة على سوريا ولبنان وإيران ودول أخرى ويجب علينا أن نكون على وعي بمخططاتهم، وأن نتصدى لهم بقوة.

ولم يشر الرئيس الإيراني إلى خطة السلام التي ترعاها الأمم المتحدة والتي تدعو إلى حوار وطني دون تنحي الأسد. وقال المبعوث الدولي كوفي عنان يوم أمس الثلاثاء إن سوريا قبلت الخطة.

واتهمت الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا الأسبوع الماضي إيران بإرسال أسلحة إلى سوريا لدعم حملتها لإخماد الانتفاضة، في
[…]

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March 28th, 2012, 8:17 am

 

135. DAWOUD said:

#62

I disagree with Mr. Camille Otrakji’s view, which he expressed in his interview with Putin’s “Russia Today,” that Anan’s efforts will fail because of Mr. Erdogan. These peace efforts will fail because of Bashar’s and his supporters’ attitudes and slogan: “Bashar or NO one!” بشار أو ولا حد!

Blaming Erdogan, Saudia Arabi, and Qatar because of sectarian/religious/historical motivations will not distract from the fact that the root cause of Syria’s ongoing and legitimate revolution is Bashar’s illegitimate and brutal dictatorship!

Unlike Mubarak’s Egypt during the Gaza war of 2008-09 (which was complicit with Israel and closed its borders to fleeing Palestinians), Erdogan’s Turkey has opened its borders and heart to terrorized and fleeing Syrians. This is a fact, regardless of what pro-regime editors, bloggers, scholars, fellows, Hizballah supporters/researchers, et al. say!!

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March 28th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

136. Tara said:

Chris@109

I sure get it.

It is so retarded to assume that anti regime commenters care about the number of thumbs down they get from the pro regime. The regime’s retardation is rubbing off. I now actually bestow on you the award of the least intelligent comment of the month. Sorry Mina, you lost your award.

You should continue though writing your first grade – level arguments. The more you read and write, the better you get.

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March 28th, 2012, 8:34 am

 

137. zoo said:

Syria to reject any Arab League initiative to end crisis
AFP – 13 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-reject-arab-league-initiative-end-crisis-003234743.html

Damascus will reject any initiative stemming from this week’s Arab League summit to end the year-long crisis in Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Syria will not cooperate with any Arab League initiative at any level,” spokesman Jihad Makdissi said in a statement to AFP.

“Since its suspension from the Arab League, Syria has been dealing with member states on a bilateral level,” he added.
(..)

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March 28th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

138. zoo said:

Iran hopeful?

Peace envoy Annan to visit Tehran next week
http://news.yahoo.com/peace-envoy-annan-visit-tehran-next-week-001425029.html

The UN and Arab League’s envoy to mediate the Syria conflict, Kofi Annan, will visit Tehran next week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday.

“Kofi Annan is probably coming to Tehran on Monday,” Salehi told reporters on the sideline of a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The foreign minister also said “there are some differences between Iran and Turkey vis a vis the issue of Syria.”

“But we are nearing to closing the gap of differences with the mission of Mr Kofi Annan and with the support of Turkey, Arab nations and the UN we hope there will be a way out for the Syrian issue,” he said, speaking to reporters in English.
(..)

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March 28th, 2012, 9:51 am

 

139. zoo said:

A wakeup of the media headlines: reporting Syrian army soldiers death

3 Syrian soldiers die in clashes with rebels

BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/3-syrian-soldiers-die-clashes-rebels-101632935.html
…..
The body (SNC) has limited control over opposition activities inside Syria or over the various armed groups fighting the government across Syria under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.

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March 28th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

140. Son of Damascus said:

An elderly lady is targeted in the face by a regime sniper in Homs.
(Graphic Content)

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March 28th, 2012, 10:00 am

 

141. Syria no Kandahar said:

SOD

Were you there? or did Alarabia or Khaled Abo Salah tell you that? Or may be the Pilot which Alarabia stated that he defected have seen the sniper as he was defecting?

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March 28th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

142. Jad said:

It’s seems that arming kids and using them in the bloody conflict by the terrorists is widespread

تقرير هولندي عن استغلال إرهابيي مجلس استنبول للأطفال

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March 28th, 2012, 10:29 am

 

143. Son of Damascus said:

SNK,

I got it from SHAMSNN who has uploaded over 82000+ videos of Assadist crimes.

Have a look at them, see what Bashar and his cronies like to do to their own people, just for the sake of his bloody throne.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SHAMSNN?feature=watch

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March 28th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

144. Jad said:

Son of Damascus

That is horrible, why they don’t take her to hospital instead of stopping her for a freaking video while every second counts to save her life?

That is heartbreaking, may god save her life.

Here is a terrorist sniper at work in Homs in a residential area while many civilians are standing just meters away from him, so in any retaliation by the Syrian Army an innocent victim will be hurt, that is terrorism:

Homs أوغاريت حمص , أبو حمزه قناص حمص عزرائيل الخالديه

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March 28th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

145. Jad said:

I guess some people still didn’t get the news of who was involved in the terrorist attack on the gas pipelines, here you go again:

Syria Breaking News 23/3/2012 – CNN Crew Linked With Homs Bombings.

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March 28th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

146. Son of Damascus said:

Syria refugee recalls family’s harrowing escape to Jordan

A woman who fled with her four children this month is among a growing number of
Syrians who brave snipers to reach Jordan. About 80,000 Syrians have fled there.

Reporting from Amman, Jordan — Um Eddine shudders as she describes the icy night she and her four children reached the barbed-wire fence that marks the border between her native Syria and Jordan.

She pushed her two youngest children through and continued to run, hoping that the ordeal of leaving her troubled homeland, where her husband had been jailed for protesting against President Bashar Assad, was almost over.

But she soon noticed that her eldest two children, ages 6 and 7, were no longer behind her.

She suppressed a mother’s urge to call out for them in the dark, remembering the family had been warned against making noise during their escape, lest they alert government snipers hiding in the hills who would open fire at any cracking branch. With no choice, she headed back toward the fence, back toward Syria.

She quickly found them, entangled in the barbed wire and too terrified to cry out.

“I’m stuck,” one whispered. “I wanted to call out, ‘Where are you, Mother?’ but was afraid.”

After freeing the children, the family continued. Um Eddine, carrying her two youngest, 4 and 5, was so anxious to reach safety she fought her way up a hill until her hands bled.

[…]

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/26/world/la-fg-syria-jordan-refugees-20120327

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March 28th, 2012, 10:50 am

 

147. Afram said:

Truth alone triumphs:

Last August,I wrote this eloquent Statement on this blog to DR.Haytham Khoury on the Most Urgent Crisis&The State of Siege among the opposition.

I said:

Silly Little opposition couldn’t find their own aRss with both hands and a roadmap.becAuse they are so poisoned by hatred they can’t even think.

He then-Haytham strongly disagreed

Today Doc. Khoury Agrees big time with me?!

he wrote this today….

عجيبة هي المعارضة السورية

http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?aid=301034

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March 28th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

148. Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

I guess you missed the report by Channel 4 news that showed us people being tortured and killed at State Hospitals…

http://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-syrian-doctors-torturing-patients

I sent a message to SHAMSNN asking about her fate and well being, will post the reply and any corresponding video that SHAMSNN will provide.

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March 28th, 2012, 10:58 am

 

149. jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus,
When in that report you saw a woman get hurt or tortured? She is a victim not a ‘sniper’ or an armed man to believe that they will torture her, that doesn’t make sense, it’s obvious that they stopped her to do this clip.

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March 28th, 2012, 11:06 am

 

150. jad said:

بيان الكتلة الكوردية في المجلس الوطني السوري و لجنة العلاقات الخارجية للمجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا

كنا نأمل من مؤتمر المعارضة المنعقد في اسطنبول في 26/27 نيسان الجاري أن يكون خطوة في الاتجاه الصحيح من اجل توحيد جهود المعارضة السورية للسير الى اسقاط النظام الذي يقمع السوريين على مدى 42 عاماً ومن اجل بناء نظام ديمقراطي مدني يساوي بين جميع مكونات المجتمع السوري.

لكن اجندت البعض الخاصة المخالفة للمصلحة الوطنية واصرار البعض الاخر على اقصاء المكون الكوردي وعدم التعامل معه كشريك حقيقي سواء في صياغة ميثاق العهد الوطني لسوريا المستقبل او في اعداد وثائقه والتي لم تتضمن حقوق الشعب الكوردي في سوريا ولكل ذلك قرر وفد المجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا و اعضاء الكتلة الكوردية (اتحاد القوى الديمقراطية الكوردية و ائتلاف شباب سوا وائتلاف آفاهي للثورة و منظمات حقوقية كوردية و شخصيات مستقلة – اتحاد تنسيقيات شباب الكورد في سوريا )…. عدم قبولنا على وثيقة العهد الوطني. ونؤكد أننا جزء من الثورة السورية ونتبنى جميع مطالب الثوار و في مقدمتها اسقاط النظام.

لجنة العلاقات الخارجية للمجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا

الكتلة الكوردية في المجلس الوطني السوري

[ greenlight http://syrianncb.org/2012/03/28/بيان-الكتلة-الكوردية-في-المجلس-الوطني/ ]

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March 28th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

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