The Cease-fire Shakes; “Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation” by Harling

Qatar’s Emir has attacked the UN as immoral for its stand on Syria. The UN’s efforts in Syria, led by Kofi Annan, have “no more than a 3 percent” chance to succeed, the emir said at a press conference in Rome today.

Meanwhile U.N. Truce observers arrive in Syria as shelling continues. The contingent is expected to grow to 250 after further negotiations with Syria. Reports suggested that the cease-fire, which went into effect on Thursday, was holding in places, with notable exceptions. Youtube reports from Homs show buildings being bombarded. Government sources have claimed violations by opposition members. Government forces have been striking out at Khirbet al-Jouz in the north.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a force within the Syrian National Council, the main umbrella group for the opposition, issued a statement saying the Annan plan should not be open-ended but rather require a timetable for the political transition it envisions. “We stress that continuing to carry out Annan’s plan without a time limit while the other side maintains its killing and violations will be a means of mocking the lives of the Syrian people,” it said.

At least 17 people were killedacross Syria by midday Monday, according to the Local Coordination Committees. Reported death tolls since Thursday, however, have been lower than those before the deadline. Since April 1, opposition groups have reported more than 50 deaths a day; on four days, they said the death toll was more than 100.

By contrast, the Local Coordination Committees reported at least 37 deaths Thursday, at least 13 on Friday, 30 on Saturday and 28 on Sunday.

How high are the chances that Kofi Annan’s plan will be met? Will Annan’s peace efforts lead to any diplomatic solution? If there is regime change in Syria, who will fill the power vacuum? How fragmented is the Syrian opposition, and will the death toll go up if there’s outside military intervention?

CrossTalking with Diana Johnstone, Joshua Landis and Josef Olmert. is the most important article

News Round Up

Peter Harling’s newest report – Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation –  is superb as always.

He agrees in broad outline with my assessment of Syria’s opposition that I set out last month in my report: Upheaval within the Opposition: Defections, Terrorism, and Preparing for a Phase II Insurgency. He believes Syria is headed for a new “phase of radicalisation,” which is based on the need to develop a new and more violent insurgency to take on the Syrian Army. The Syrian army has become an “occupation force.” Islamiszation, terrorism, and growing hatred will be hallmarks of this new phase.

He fleshes out new trends, in particular, the growing worship of Mahar al-Assad among some regime supporters. The violence is creating a new cult of barbarity and war.

I cannot help but turn back to Khudr’s famous warning that the Alawis would assume fascist characteristics not unlike those of the Germans and Japanese who supported their leaders blindly in WWII. He wrote the following in his article, “The Alawi Dilemma” for Syria Comment almost a year ago in June 2011.

….Baathism, amplified the prejudices of Arab nationalists against local, religious, and cultural peculiarities to an absurd degree. It would have been suicidal during the late president’s rule to establish any sort of gathering or group of Alawis under any cultural, social or religious banner. We couldn’t even mention the name of our communities openly. We lived in a stifling world of taboos and social conformism.

The only meeting ground or assembly point for Alawis, where we didn’t have to pretend that we were something we weren’t, was deep in the inner sanctums of the security state. We found ourselves in the clubby security of the secret services, the Republican Guard, the army officer academies, and the worker and agricultural syndicates in the coastal area. These were all regime sanctioned and established institutions that linked our identity to the security state and Assad rule.

This is where Karfan comes from when he states that we have been systematically deprived of any attachment to our religious, cultural and social identity under Hafiz rule. Thus, you can see where his claim comes from: “We were turned into identity-less supporters of “Asad’s” rule…  meaningless tribes ranked by how much we support “him”.”

The full ramifications of this fact were not visible or even felt among Alawis until the current crisis challenged us with the notion of radical change. Alawis are subconsciously realizing that being an Alawi means nothing outside of Asad family rule. We haven’t much history – at least not that we have documented. We have been too busy pretending that we are no different from Muslims to build our common identity. We suffer from a devastating lack of institutionalized cultural or social institutions and marker apart from those connected to the Assad regime. We don’t even know much about our religion to grasp on to. Alawis have defined themselves over the past 40 years as the rulers of Syria, and not much else.

You can then understand why almost all Alawis, even those who had shown fierce opposition toward the Assad regime, are turning into “Basharists” now that the entire edifice is under attack. A subconscious fear of losing our identity supplied by Assad rule and the security state is consuming us and taking precedence over rational thought.

Again, this is not something new. We saw it in Germany or Japan during WWII. Two very civilized populations turned into blind followers of a crazy elite that committed atrocities and led their nations to destruction. In both cases, the very identity of the nation was linked to the person of the leader, Hitler and Showa. To defend the leader in the minds of the people was nothing less than to defend their own identity.

We should be careful not to compare too closely the situation in Syria to that of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. His Sunni followers certainly identified with Saddam and his rule, but they had a confident Sunni identity to fall back on. The Sunnis have long fashioned themselves as the natural leaders of the Arabs and Islam. They can point to uninterrupted dominance in countries stretching from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. They have an illustrious history and established religion. They did not need to fight to the last breath to protect their heritage and they did not.

Alawis today believe that they are under attack – not because anyone is actually attacking them as a group of people or community; they are not. Rather, they feel under attack because the regime is threatened and may fall. This is tantamount – at least subconsciously – to their identity being shattered. Similar to those German and Japanese who wasted their lives fighting a lost battle street-by-street, the Alawis will fight to the end. It is hard to convince someone fighting for such high stakes to abandon their cause….

Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation
By Peter Harling, Middle East Briefing N°33 10 Apr 2012
International Crisis Group


As the 10 April deadline Kofi Annan (the UN and Arab League joint Special Envoy) set for implementation of his peace plan strikes, the conflict’s dynamics have taken an ugly and worrying turn. Syrians from all walks of life appear dumbfounded by the horrific levels of violence and hatred generated by the crisis. Regime forces have subjected entire neighbourhoods to intense bombardment, purportedly to crush armed opposition groups yet with no regard for civilians. Within the largest cities, innocent lives have been lost due to massive bomb attacks in the vicinity of key security installations. Perhaps most sickening of all have been pictures displaying the massacre of whole families, including the shattered skulls of young children. The first anniversary of what began as a predominantly peaceful protest movement came and went with only scattered popular demonstrations. Instead, there was immeasurable bloodshed….

By Soner Cagaptay, WINEP

It seems a real possibility that the prospect of domestic sectarian unrest could tie Turkey’s hands in devising a policy toward Syria. That said, it’s a problem Ankara could still avoid. The key would be for Turkey to alleviate any concerns that its approach to Syria is meant to serve narrow sectarian interests. …..

…should Ankara intervene in Syria against the Assad regime, some in the Turkish Alevi community might be inclined to view this as a new “Sunni attack” against a fellow minority. That likelihood is further bolstered by many Turkish Alevis’ belief that they actually are the same as the Alawites, though they are not ethnically or religiously related (the Alawites are Arabs and the Alevis are Turks). It is not uncommon to meet Alevis who, due to a lack of religious education, assume that Alawite is just another name for Alevi….

Patrick Seale on Syria: in Guardian

Another way to help is through negotiation with Iran over its nuclear program and that must include Iraq with its new dictator Almaliki who is seen by most as an Iranian puppet.  A solution in Syria requires a regional approach,the the GCC will follow as usual.

Why Religion is Fueling the Conflict in Syria: President Assad’s Religion Problem – Listen – NPR Interfaith Voices with Joshua Landis – Date: 29 March 2012

In Syria, Alawite Muslims are kind of like the Mormons of Christianity: they’re a branch of Islam, but many Muslims, especially the Sunni majority, don’t consider them legitimate. That’s always been a problem for Alawite president Bashar al-Assad. Now that more than 9,000 are dead in a revolt against the Assad regime, we explore why theological differences are playing a huge role.

As Syria Falls, Russia Rises…on Twitter

For this experiment, I utilized DiscoverText – the commercial text analytics solution from Texifter – to capture nearly three months of Tweets containing the word “روسية” (“Russian” in Arabic). I then created a topic model (using natural language processing) to classify the content of those tweets according to their relevance to the Syrian uprisings as well as the presence of Islamist rhetoric.  The following classification charts demonstrate how these trends have shifted between February and April on Twitter…..

حلب – سيف الدولة || هتافات الاحرار إيد وحده 12-4-2012

Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun pushed for intensified Friday protests to “demonstrate even more and put the regime in front of its responsibilities — put the international community in front of its responsibilities.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Whatever Turks&Saudis would like to do re Syria, US should support. Period. Just like supported French&Brits in Libya”

A friend writes:

Dear Joshua

When I read people commenting on your blog about foreign agents providing weapons and training to the rebels, I can’t help but wonder if these people know anything about what is going on in Syria. A week ago ( before the major assault on the northern countryside of Aleppo began ) members of the so called Free Syria Army came to our village and offered people double the normal price for whatever guns or bullets people had. They were carrying no more than old rusty Klashnikoves. The question is if they were really receiving weapons would they roam the area looking for bullets!

With regards

Danger Saudi Will Turn Syria into an Islamist Hotbed, Thursday, April 12, 2012, CS Monitor

A steady stream of firebrand Islamic clerics and senior religious officials took to the airwaves with official Saudi sanction to excoriate the Assad regime and encourage pious Muslims to strive against it. The influence of these clerics and the increasing connection between them and fighters in Syria is evidenced by communiqués from armed groups like the “Supporters of God Brigade” in Hama.

The Saudi decision to endorse such religious statements is a sign that the rulers are once again willing to embrace one of the most potent weapons in the kingdom’s arsenal – state-directed jihad. It is one of the most tried and true weapons the kingdom possesses, having been utilized to fight Egyptian President Gama Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab movement in Yemen, the Serbs in Bosnia, and of course the Soviets in Afghanistan, to name just a few cases.

Independent: Adrian Hamilton: Syria’s opposition can now turn this ceasefire to its advantage

Kofi Annan has been trying to do more than just produce a ceasefire. He has been attempting a diplomatic solution to the growing civil war in the country. He has called his a “peace plan” and bent his efforts – and they are considerable – to try …This is not a fight about democracy in which the ruling regime could, like the generals in Burma or the king in Morocco, give a little in order to preserve themselves in power. This is, like other movements in the Arab world, a revolt against the whole nexus of corruption and internal suppression which keeps the Assad family in wealth as well as power.

Give in with even minor concessions, the regime fears, and the whole edifice will start to crumble as ethnic, religious and regional differences surface. No one need believe for a moment Damascus’s claims that it still has the support of most of the population. But it can, and does, play to fear – fear both of the brutality of the security services and fear of the chaos which civil war and religious conflict might bring.

The adoption of a ceasefire represents not so much a desire for any of the parties directly concerned to stop fighting, so much as a sense of exhausted stalemate.

The authorities have managed to use their heavier weaponry to reduce to ruins the places of resistance. But they have not been able to crush all signs of opposition. Their opponents have failed to set up viable independent centres of power, as the Libyan rebels did in Benghazi, but they have survived the bombardments to fight on. Assad’s hope at this point is that, by stopping the bombardments but keeping his troops in position, he can get the world off his back and starve the rebels into giving up or fading away.

The opposition’s hope is that they can use the period of calm to recuperate, re-supply and bring out their supporters on to the streets in peaceful protest. That is what will achieve their purpose, if anything can. Assad has the upper hand militarily but, if the ceasefire is followed by a resumption of mass and peaceful protest demanding his resignation, what can he do but return to suppression in front of the cameras?

A bit of bad judgement:

This is the house of Syria’s Finance Minister. He built it before becoming minister and from money earned in the Gulf.

What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?
By Pepe Escobar, Apr 12, 2012, Asia Times

There is a video [1] that could be loosely translated as “Terrorist Turkish border opening fire on the Syrian side” that pretty accurately sums up what’s going on at the ultra-volatile geopolitical hotspot of the moment.

The voice over says, “This is the Syria-Turkey border, and this is an operation of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] … The Gate [that would be the Syrian side of the border, housing the Gate checkpoint] is going to be seized.”

What this means is that Turkey is sheltering the FSA right on the border, only a few meters – and not kilometers – away from Syrian territory. Way beyond hosting a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command and control center in Iskenderun

for months now – a fact already reported by Asia Times Online – Turkey has now advanced right to the border, enabling a back-and-forth by heavily weaponized guerrillas/mercenaries to attack a sovereign state.

Imagine a similar scenario happening, say, at a Mexican-US border in Arizona or Texas.

This can be seen as a very peculiar Ankara interpretation of “safe havens” and “humanitarian corridors” as outlined by what can be seen as the prime blueprint for regime change in Syria: a report [2] by the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, authored by the usual cocktail of Israeli firsters and Qatar-affiliated Middle East “experts”.

So expect to see this movie generating countless sequels; the FSA attacking a Syrian border checkpoint, killing soldiers and then retreating under a hail of bullets, which will inevitably hit a nearby Syrian refugee camp.

The border escalation graphically illustrates the wider scenario: civil war.

Comments (192)

Pages: « 1 2 [3] 4 » Show All

101. jad said:

نصر الله بضيافة أسانج: اتصلنا بالمعارضة السورية

حل الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، ضيفاً على مؤسس موقع «ويكيليس»، جوليان أسانج، في الحلقة الأولى من برنامجه الجديد «العالم غداً»، الذي يعرض على قناة «روسيا اليوم». وكشف نصر الله خلال المقابلة أن الحزب حاول التوسط بين النظام السوري والمعارضة من أجل تسهيل عملية الحوار بينهم، إلا أن الأخيرة رفضت، مؤكداً الاستعداد للدخول في أي وساطة لحل الأزمة السورية.

كشف الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، أن الحزب حاول التوسط بين النظام السوري والمعارضة من أجل تسهيل عملية الحوار بينهم، «إلا أن الطرف الآخر رفض التعاون»، مشدداً على أنه لا يزال مستعداً لأي جهد أو مساعدة في سبيل الوصول إلى حل سياسي للأزمة.

وأوضح نصر الله أنه «منذ البداية كنا نتعامل مع نظام على استعداد لإجراء اصلاحات ومستعد للحوار. من جهة أخرى، هناك معارضة ليست مستعدة للحوار، وليست مستعدة لقبول الإصلاحات. كل ما تريده هو إسقاط النظام. وهذه مشكلة».

وأشار نصر الله إلى أن حزب الله يدعو إلى الحوار في سوريا لأن البديل سيكون حرباً أهلية، وهذا ما تسعى إليه أميركا وإسرائيل، مشيراً إلى أن أداء الحزب على مدى الثلاثين سنة الماضية يثبت أننا «أصدقاء سوريا ولسنا عملاء لها».

وفي ما يتعلق بالقتل الجاري في سوريا وأعداد الضحايا المتزايدة، شدد نصر الله على أن الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، «لديه خطوط حمراء، وعلينا جميعاً الالتزام بها».

إلى ذلك، لفت نصر الله إلى أن الكل يعرف أن النظام السوري «دعم المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين بالوسائل كافة، كما أنه لم يتنازل في وجه الضغوط الإسرائيلية والأميركية».

كلام نصر الله جاء خلال الحلقة الأولى من البرنامج الجديد لمؤسس موقع «ويكيليس»، جوليان أسانج، «العالم غداً»، الذي يعرض على قناة «روسيا اليوم»، وهي أول مقابلة لنصر الله مع قناة غربية منذ عام 2006.

وسيكون البرنامج على شكل حلقات حوارية أسبوعية تتألف من 12 مقابلة، وتستضيف ضيوفاً «سيتركون بصماتهم على المستقبل، من سياسيين، وثوار، ومفكرين، وفنانين».

تجدر الإشارة إلى أن الزميل نجم جرّاح تولّى ترجمة كلام السيد نصر الله خلال المقابلة.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 10:40 am


102. bronco said:

#96 Tara

“The international press is not impressed with the odd of success of Annan’s plan.”

How could it be when it has declared its failure before it even started?

In my view the media in general has much less influence on the course of the peace plan than a year ago. Its extreme positions, failed predictions, multiple uncovered disinformation have put doubts about its credibility and lessen its influence.

The crisis is all played diplomatically at the UN and intimately connected with the regional issues, Iran, Egypt, Iraq etc…,

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 10:47 am


103. jad said:

Ex-Aljazeera Manager Speaks About Media Manipulation
“A top ex-manager with the Al-Jazeera news channel says the network has gone through a great change from the flag bearer of objective journalism to what many people consider to be a foreign politics-led news organization.”

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 10:51 am


104. zoo said:

Couldn’t this apply to Syria as well by just replacing “Egypt” with “Syria”

One of the immediate benefits of the revolution has been the exposure of Islamists as politicians who lie and manipulate the public like all others – such as the Islamist MP who lied about his nose job – and thereby damaged their carefully cultivated image as God-fearing do-gooders. It has also made politics very interesting and relevant to people who never bothered before. Under the constant gaze of the media, public figures, including the military, are forced to defend their actions as never before.

Egypt somehow always looks on the brink of one thing or another. Teetering is what old buildings do. And Egypt is a very old place creaking under the weight of a revolution unlike any it has seen before. But people here have grown accustomed to surviving in unimaginable conditions. Egyptians are the ultimate bricoleurs and their fledgling politicians are no exception.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 10:55 am


105. zoo said:

Excellent and certainly controversial online Series from Julian Assange:” The World Tomorrow”

Episode 1 : interview with Hassan Nasrallah

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 11:03 am


106. Mina said:

“The international press” badly needs Gulf money to survive, eventually through the national companies in which the Gulf has now more and more shares.

It is widely known that ALL newspapers are in deep crisis, as the readers prefer to read on line for free.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 11:16 am


107. Mina said:

The “news” as some understand it.

If you are bold enough to read something on Benghazi “saturday night fever,” i. e. speed driving on parkings, (announced on the front page of the website)

you may be informed of the existence of another article published the same day on Libya too, on the kidnapping of ONE HUNDRED Tunisian workers in the region of Zuwiya (not mentioned on the front page)

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 11:30 am


108. zoo said:

Isn’t Qatar and KSA belligerent diplomacy against Syria self-defeating as well?

[blue diamond + Iran’s belligerent diplomacy is self-defeating ]
National Editorial
Apr 13, 2012

It could not have been anything but a deliberate provocation. On Wednesday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, visited Abu Musa, the strategic island that Iran illegally seized from Sharjah in 1971. In response, the UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran yesterday.

Iran has always pursued a belligerent policy in regards to the three occupied UAE islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunbs and Lesser Tunbs, rebuffing every overture of a negotiated, mutually beneficial resolution. However, this latest piece of political theatre by Mr Ahmadinejad comes at a particularly bad time.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 11:59 am


109. Alan said:


when Yusef Stalin wanted to know truth about the army that it always received information from German sources! the American Syrians surround and distant Syrians are put on the Moderation!

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:07 pm


110. Tara said:


Don’t you think that Iran would never dare to attack any state of the GCC? The US will simply not watch silently. It is just theatrical show of muscles that Ahmadinejad does not have.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

April 17th, 2012, 12:13 pm


111. zoo said:

“The Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris: No trumpets, no media predictions. It’s a close-door meeting with a dwingling number of participants ( from 70 to 57) and unknown or lower level of representation ( no word about Clinton attending, Iraq and Lebanon absent). It has a trimmed down agenda.

* Paris holds meeting to evaluate effect of sanctions

* French foreign minister says Syria’s foreign reserves have halved

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – Western sanctions have halved Syria’s foreign reserves and should be stepped up to force Damascus to comply with a U.N.-backed peace plan, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Alain Juppe told officials from 57 countries meeting in Paris to discuss the efficacy of the sanctions that President Bashar al-Assad’s government should not be allowed to continue a 13-month violent crackdown on protesters with impunity.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:18 pm


112. Alan said:


Unless you don’t think that informal Iran and the USA are in work relations and Iran will simply not look silently if to the USA threatens its interests. It is simply theatrical demonstration of muscles which Ahmadinejad has ?

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


113. jad said:

A picture worth a thousand words!

شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
هؤلاء هم أهل حمص العدية ….ستسقطون أيها المجرمون عند صمودنا بوجه ارهابكم

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


114. zoo said:

#108 Tara

Iran will never attack anyone, as historically it never has. But it will not tolerate to get threats or loud voices from any country especially from the GCC that are militarily weak and totally dependent on the US for their defense, despite the billions of dollars of weapons the US and the EU are selling them.

Iran is just putting the GCC in the place they deserve, oil-rich but politically and militarily impotent.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


115. zoo said:

#103 Jad

Are the Russians trying to push the NCBD at the forefront of the opposition in hope of displacing the moribund and discredited SNC?

Syrian opposition pushes for Russian support
Published: 17 April, 2012, 18:42

The Syrian opposition says they sense a shift in Russia’s stance over Syria and are lobbying for Russia to ratchet up pressure on Assad to comply with the UN-brokered peace plan. They emphasized the importance of Russian support in the conflict.

Members of the National Coordination Body for Democratic changes were in Moscow today to discuss a resolution to the conflict.

Hassan Abdul-Azim, the head of opposition group said that Russia’s support was essential in bringing the 13-month conflict to a peaceful resolution.

He called the UN-Arab league peace plan Syria’s “last chance to put out the flames of fratricidal carnage.”

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:33 pm


116. zoo said:

In Moscow, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said the cease-fire was threatened by adversaries, with assistance from unspecified outside nations, who provoked the Syrian military into responding. “There are those who want Kofi Annan’s plan to fail,” Mr. Lavrov said.

“There are countries, there are external forces, that are not interested in the success of the current Security Council efforts, that are trying to replace the Security Council with informal formats such as the Friends of Syria group,” he said.

Mr. Lavrov spoke before meeting with a delegation of Syrian opposition groups, whose members said that Russia’s support for Mr. Annan’s peace plan was essential for it to succeed and that they sensed Russia had become less sympathetic to Mr. Assad’s absolute determination to retain power.

“The Russian representatives discussing the problems of our country with us are no longer inclined to support the continuing existence of a dictatorial regime, but speak of the necessity of democratic change,” said Haytham Manna, a spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights, a member of the visiting delegation. “This is, of course, an important moment for us.”

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 12:49 pm


117. jad said:

Yes, the NCB are doing a good progress with the Russians, for one reason, both sides trust and understand each-other stands, this is why Russia is trying to support them as much as it could, as many of us, the Russians believe that the NCB are a truly national opposition group that needs all the support it can get

مباحثات أولية مثمرة في اليوم الأول لزيارة وفد هيئة التنسيق لموسكو

وصل الأحد والإثنين إلى موسكو وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطنية المكون من الأستاذ حسن عبد العظيم المنسق العام لهيئة التنسيق الوطنية والدكتور عارف دليلة نائب المنسق العام والدكتور هيثم مناع نائب المنسق العام والأستاذ صالح مسلم محمد نائب المنسق العام والأستاذ طارق أبو الحسن عضو المكتب التنفيذي والدكتور عادل اسماعيل مسؤول هيئة التنسيق الوطنية في موسكو، ويلتحق بالوفد مساء الإثنين الدكتور عبد العزيز الخير رئيس مكتب العلاقات الخارجية.

وقد التقى الوفد بعد الظهر السيد ميخائيل بوغدانوف نائب وزير الخارجية والممثل الخاص للرئيس الروسي في الشرق الأوسط. استمر الاجتماع ضعف الوقت المتوقع وكان الحوار باللغة العربية بحضور فريق عمل وزارة الخارجية المختص بسورية وشؤون العالم العربي.

كان اللقاء أولا فرصة تعارف هامة لتبادل وجهات النظر حول الأوضاع في سورية، وقد لاحظ الطرفان وجود نقاط تقاطع وتوافق أساسية خاصة فيما يتعلق برفض التدخل العسكري الأجنبي ومحورة الصراع على سورية على حساب نضال الشعب السوري من أجل التغيير الديمقراطي ومخاوف الطرفين من فشل مساعي الحل السياسي والإنتقال السلمي للديمقراطية أمام وجود معارضين متسترين أو واضحين لإيجاد حل سياسي سلمي يبعد أهوال العنف والصراعات الأهلية والإقليمية ويفتح الطريق للخيارات السياسية. وجرى النقاش مفصلا حول خطة عمل كوفي عنان ووسائل إنجاحها على الأصعدة الدولية والعربية والسورية. كذلك السيناريوهات المحتملة للخروج من حالة الإنسداد السياسي الحالي.

بعد ذلك التقى الوفد السيد ألكسي بوشكوف رئيس العلاقات الخارجية في الدوما الروسية وجرى استعراض المستجدات منذ آخر لقاء لمكتب العلاقات الخارجية مع هيئة التنسيق الوطنية في دمشق عند زيارتهم الأخيرة لسورية. وتم مناقشة مواضيع مركزية مثل أهمية صلابة وقف إطلاق النار وعدم جدوى الإنتخابات المعلنة من طرف واحد أو أية إجراءات أحادية من أي طرف كان في هذه المرحلة التي تحتاج توافقا وطنيا كبيرا على خطوات التغيير والإنتقال. كذلك ضرورة وجود أرضية مشتركة وطنية ديمقراطية ومدنية قوية تجمع أطراف المعارضة في أية عملية تفاوض محتملة في المرحلة الثانية لخطة كوفي عنان.

ويتابع الوفد زيارته الثلاثاء 17/4/2012 بلقاء وزير الخارجية السيد سيرغي لافروف ومؤتمر صحفي تنظمه وكالة الأنباء الروسية.

They also did another sit-in in Aleppo and again, the police or the security didn’t attack them
بيان صحفي

تلبية للدعوة التي وجهتها هيئة التنسيق الوطني ونداء حلب ولجان احياء المجتمع المدني تم تنفيذ اعتصام بالقرب من النصب التذكاري للجندي المجهول بدءا من الساعة العاشرة من يوم الثلاثاء الواقع في 17/4/20122 رفعت فيه الشعارات المطالبة بالحرية والديمقراطية ونبذ الطائفية والعنف وغيرها من الشعارات الوطنية الجامعة. هذا وقد وضعت اكاليل الورد باسم الهيئات الداعية للاعتصام على ضريح المجاهد ابراهيم هنانو والزعيم سعد الله الجابري، وضريح الجندي المجهول واختتم الاعتصام بالنشيد العربي السوري

الحرية لسورية وشعبها والمجد والخلود للشهداء والشفاء العاجل للجرحى والحرية للمعتقلين والعودة الكريمة للمنفيين..

مكتب الاعلام في هيئة التنسيق

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


118. Antoine said:


Can you show me a video of a proregime demonstration in Salamiyah in Hama province ?

Also what about pro-regime rallies al-Bab, Manbij, Deir Hafir, Khanasir, and al-Safirah in Aleppo Province ?

I am counting on you to post these videos here.


Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


119. Alan said:

113. ZOO
who wants to agree with Russia should know Russian! F.Roosevelt, U.Churchill studied Russian!

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


120. Alan said:

Syrian opposition pushes for Russian support

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 1:01 pm


121. Syria no Kandahar said:

Syrians (thanks to Alaaroor and HBJ) are on their way to become malnourished .

Alan Jupieh and Syrian traitors with fat bellies in SNC are happy that half of Syrian reserve is gone. HBJ(الفيل ابو شنب) is turning Syrians into hungry people, how can you be free if you can’t stuff a falafel in your stomach and homs in your kids stomachs?. Syria is not the mother of the poor any more, the only cheap thing in Syria these days is the human being. Thank you so much Dumbo Syrians for destroying your country, thank you for one million Syrian refugees in and out of Syria, Thank you free world hypocrats for making Syrians not able to afford hommus or falafel. WE HAD OUR HOMS AND HUMMUS BEFORE, NOW WE ARE COMPLETELY FREE WITH NO HOMS OR HUMMUS,AWAITING KSA AND HBJ BRUSTED CHECKEN.

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 1:11 pm


122. zoo said:

” HBJ and his clique have too much oil, gas and grease”

Qatar named as the fattest nation on earth where HALF of all adults are obese
17 per cent of the population suffering from diabetes

By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 17:59 GMT, 14 April 2012

Read more:

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 1:19 pm


123. jad said:


Thank you very much for the link.

killers and terrorists reputations can’t be changes in one article against hundreds of articles telling the truth about them
I’m not sure if anybody posted this article yet, it actually answers JL previous post of ‘clearing’ the image of the ‘poor’ armed militias (AKA Killers), maybe ‘Abdo’ can learn something too.

Syrian activists to rebels: Give us our revolution back

Many of the activists who began the uprising in Syria more than a year ago feel their peaceful push for change has been hijacked by the rebel Free Syrian Army. They’re meeting in Cairo today.

Syrian activist Mohamed Alloush has fled his native country for Lebanon, but it wasn’t President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that drove him away. It was the rebels of the Free Syrian Army who ran him out of his hometown of Homs.

“In September last year I had been arrested again by the regime for organizing protests,” says Mr. Alloush, speaking on a cafe terrace in Beirut. “After they released me, I ran into a group of men I knew as members of the Free Syrian Army. I walked up to them and screamed: “You guys have stolen our revolution! You are just as bad as the shabiha,” the pro-regime militia in Syria.

The rebels kept Alloush for four days, after which they told him not to show his face in Homs again.

Alloush is part of the movement of young revolutionaries who began the protests against the Assad regime in March last year in the wake of similar uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. They feel sidelined by the violent turn the conflict in Syria has taken since the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed last summer. An armed group comprised mainly of former Army soldiers who defected from the regime, it is also reportedly cooperating with Sunni jihadis from abroad and many brigades have adopted an increasingly sectarian tone.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 1:24 pm


124. zoo said:

German ship firm says no arms on Syria-bound vessel
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) April 16, 2012

A German shipping firm on Monday dismissed reports one of its vessels was carrying Iranian arms bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Respected news weekly Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that the ship, the Atlantic Cruiser, owned by German firm Bockstiegel but chartered by a Ukrainian firm, had been stopped on the high seas with Iranian weapons on board.

But Bockstiegel said: “According to the description of the goods in our documents as well as their appearance, the firm has no indication that they are weapons, ammunition or heavy military equipment, as stated in the press.”

“The firm is in constant contact with the company that chartered the ship, which for its part stresses that the shipment for Syria did not contain weapons or military equipment, but exclusively legal goods for civilian use,” it added.

The containers currently on the Atlantic Cruiser were loaded in the Indian port of Mumbai, Bockstiegel said. According to the shipping firm’s documents, the equipment bound for Syria consisted of parts for a thermal power station.

Nevertheless, the firm acknowledged that “the crew only has access to the container stacked at the top”. This was being inspected and appeared to consist of wires and cables, the statement said.

The firm has ordered the ship not to continue its journey until the facts are established and has agreed with the German government that the vessel would not dock in Syria until the cargo could be checked at a safe third-country port.

Bockstiegel did not say where this could take place, nor did it indicate the current co-ordinates of the vessel.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10

April 17th, 2012, 1:27 pm


125. Uzair8 said:

Heard journalist Paul Conroy on Hardtalk on BBC World Service last night. Later in the interview he was asked whether Assad will be able to restore his will and authority over Syria. He replied:

“No. I think the genie is out of the bottle now. And I think regardless of the strength of his military, I think as in Libya they reached a tipping point. The people of Misrata were under siege for months and I arrived, you could see these people were prepared to die than go back under that.”

Listen from 18:25 till 19:22

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

April 17th, 2012, 1:29 pm


126. Tara said:


Don’t you agree that real men should not be measured by their physical attributes?

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

April 17th, 2012, 1:30 pm


127. Uzair8 said:

120. Zoo

Yes. Once the syrian situation is resolved, the Qatari authorities really must address the obesity issue.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

April 17th, 2012, 1:35 pm


128. Aldendeshe said:

@115. jad said: ….

Why not be upfront and say the truth about this “Tansiq” front: “OLD COMMUNISTS” that Russian Communists feels sympathy for them, the least is for abandoning them for a decade and more, now they may have some value to keep a toe in Syria, should things go the wrong way for Russia in the country.

Knowledge is power. Arabs and Russians lack a lot of it. Arabs thought in Syria, Islamist, will rule the day, they are joined with Landis in that flawed assumption, they picked up the losers. So as Russia, picking up old clients and communists and holding on to them in desperation. My Russian wife is right when she says: Nothing good will come out of Syrian Baathists and their old mentors the Russians, who are basically inwardly hardcore communists since teen and are now operating outwardly under new label, you do not know how these people think and do, because to you, it will all be strange and weird, that is how they are, their nature, you know Americans, they will always be a winners, they will do something, somewhere to stay on top of it.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

April 17th, 2012, 1:39 pm


129. jad said:

Dear SNK
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is a Barrel of Zift*
HBJ is a Barrel of (you fill the blank)

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10

April 17th, 2012, 1:39 pm


130. Afram said:

MR.100%: Abu William

The3% Fatso, who Dragged the uprising through Zift

Abu William knows more syrian Social Sciences than Barmeel qatar

Ahlan jad

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

April 17th, 2012, 1:59 pm


131. jad said:

Mr. Moutaz,

I’m not hiding anything, yes, many of the NCB are communists, I’m not a fan for communists, however, I can’t but to support those who are using the language of reason in the middle of this ugly reality.

Why do you think that supporting the NCB is a sign of ‘desperation’ by the Russians?


Is Madam ‘Banana’ wearing the Libyan flag in one of those picture and the flowery duvet in the last one?

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

April 17th, 2012, 2:01 pm


132. Mina said:

Zoo #109
It is the farewell meeting: Sarkozy should get ousted according to all the polls. Sunday is the first tour and the 6th may the second of the presidential election.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 2:20 pm


133. SANDRO LOEWE said:

“The ceasefire is a farce and the whole Annan mission was dead on arrival from the beginning. Not one of its points have been implemented and not even the ceasefire is working. The next phase – if the UN is able to send 30 unarmed observers to Syria – is not going to change anything. The regime has made it very clear that its point of view is that it is being attacked by terrorists who are Islamist and Salafist jihadist and it is going to pursue a military solution, a military victory and engage in its own reforms on its own timetable. They are not interested in dialogue, they are not interested in any of the six points of the Annan mission. They will treat all of this as a very useful diplomatic game that they will spin out as long as possible for their own purposes. But nothing is going to happen to change things in Syria until the balance of power on the ground changes.”

Hussein Ibish, a contributor to Foreign Policy and The Atlantic

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 16

April 17th, 2012, 2:22 pm


134. Mina said:

Jad #130
You’re right, it is an allusion to the Libyan flag, no? How gross!

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

April 17th, 2012, 2:33 pm


135. jad said:

Hussein Ibish, what a coincidence!

Hussein Ibish: the Zionist-Enabler/Zionised Intellectual

[Ikhras Note: We found this response to Hussein Ibish after he wrote the article in which he explains why he’s not a Zionist. We’re reproducing it below. Notice how Ibish is described at the very outset. Ikhras was the first to coin the term, but it seems to be gaining traction.]

House Arab, Hussein Ibish (Senior Research Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine) insists he is neither a collaborator nor a Zionist, in his piece: “No, Of Course I’m Not” :

“Since the emergence of the one-state movement, I’ve been routinely described by the pro-Palestinian far right and ultra-left as a “Zionist,” and even a “traitor” and “collaborator,” because I remain committed to ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”

But then he proceeds to prove exact opposite by:

disparaging the one-state solution

“For some, the term “Zionist” is simply a useful pejorative to attack the reputation of Arabs who seek peace, or who deviate from the increasingly intolerant one-state dogma.”

insinuating that non-Jews can’t be Zionists:

“So, of course I’m not a “Zionist.” Whether or not to define oneself as a Zionist is really an issue for those who identify themselves as Jewish.”

arguing that Zionism does not equal racism and injustice

“However, as many Jews of varying backgrounds and perspectives have demonstrated, one can be staunchly pro-Israel, and in that sense “Zionist,” without supporting occupation, settlements or racism against Palestinians.”

calling for our “understanding” and “respect” for Zionism as an ideology and political identity

“Zionism remains the dominant Jewish national narrative, and this narrative can and should be understood, by others, especially in the interests of peace. All present-day national narratives and identities are ultimately based on fantasies about the past, present and future. From a historical, intellectual and philosophical perspective they are as firm and fixed as children’s sandcastles. But they serve the immediate needs, aspirations and yearnings of their constituencies and, as political realities, they must be respected, despite their well-concealed hollowness.”

These and other excerpts from his article (not to mention his other utterances and work in general) expose Ibish’s attempts to not merely normalize Israel as a state, but Zionism as an ideology. If we are to take the standard definition of Zionism, or the “lowest common denominator” of most definitions of Zionism as Gideon Shimoni terms it—the Jewish right to national self-determination in Eretz Israel—then Ibish at very minimum represents a Zionist-enabler, if not an outright Zionised [and not merely colonized] intellectual, in light of his above rationalization of Zionism.

Here are a collection about Hussein Ibish, enjoy:

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 3:12 pm


136. zoo said:

#127 Tara

But when neither is here… “3%” is not a demonstration of mental quality, in the contrary.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

April 17th, 2012, 3:14 pm


137. jna said:

re: 138. jad.
Sharmine Narwani on twitter put it simply: “House Arab Hussein Ibish calls Annan Mission “dead on arrival,” but thinks Pal-Isr Peace Process still has “possibilities.””!/snarwani/status/191324815255281664

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm


138. zoo said:

#129 Uzair8

“Once the syrian situation is resolved, the Qatari authorities really must address the obesity issue.”

No need to, Qatar has much more important things to do: They are bidding for 2020 Olympic games and they’ll push for “Sumo wrestling” to be included in the Olympic games.

As you are a fan of Qatar, maybe you wish to support Qatar’s 2020 Olympics Bid

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 3:24 pm


139. Jad said:

Thanks Jna
That is so telling about who this guy is, another barrel 😉

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 3:32 pm


140. Tara said:


You do not like 3% odd? I think he was generous…

Sumos are cute..aren’t they. Imagine what would happen when you tickle one of them while wrestling.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

April 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm


141. zoo said:


Qatari have generous genes…

Try to imagine HBJ and Thani in Sumo wraps. They’ll be cute?

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 3:43 pm


142. Tara said:


Thanks, but no thanks. Not exactly my preferred mental imagery..

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

April 17th, 2012, 3:53 pm


143. zoo said:

#145 Tara

More of a Godzilla movie..

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 4:15 pm


144. zoo said:

Alawites for Assad
Why the Syrian Sect Backs the Regime
Leon Goldsmith
April 16, 2012
Since the start of the revolt in Syria, the country’s Alawites have been instrumental in maintaining President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power. A sect of Shia Islam, the Alawites comprise roughly 13 percent of the population and form the bulk of Syria’s key military units, intelligence services, and ultra-loyalist militias, called shabiha (“ghosts” in Arabic). As the uprising in Syria drags on, there are signs that some Alawites are beginning to move away from the regime. But most continue to fight for Assad — largely out of fear that the Sunni community will seek revenge for past and present atrocities not only against him but also against Alawites as a group. This sense of vulnerability feeding Alawite loyalty is rooted in the sect’s history.

The Alawites split from Shia Islam in ninth-century Iraq over their belief in the divinity of the fourth Islamic caliph, Ali bin Abi Talib, a position branded as heresy by the Sunnis and extremist by most Shias. The community began as a small collection of believers, and over the following centuries it suffered almost constant discrimination and several massacres at the hands of Sunni Muslims. In 1305, for example, following a clerical fatwa, Sunni Mamluks wiped out the Alawite community of the Kisrawan (modern Lebanon). As late as the mid-nineteenth century, in retaliation for the rebellion of an Alawite sheikh, the Ottomans ruthlessly persecuted the Alawites, burning villages and farms across what little territory they held.

The fall of Assad presents several possible scenarios for the Alawites. It could launch a comprehensive reconciliation process, drive them back to their mountain refuge in northwestern Syria, or lead to open conflict with the Sunnis. No matter what, the Alawites face a dilemma. If Assad collapses, the community will have to fend off the criticisms of supporting the regime for this long. Sticking with Assad may increase the odds of an unforgiving Sunni retribution, but it at least keeps the sectarian conflict at bay — that is, as long as Assad remains.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

April 17th, 2012, 4:21 pm


145. jad said:

An excellent comment about the ridiculous call to Asma to ‘stop your husband’ by no other than the wives of two criminal NATO countries Britain and Germany at the UN, in a pathetic emotional message, why don’t those two women stop their husbands?

They just ‘forget’ to put the ‘armed children’ and the pictures of many other children massacred by the terrorists those two country support in Syria:

[ From Your Comments On: Ambassadors’ wives urge Syrian president’s wife to ‘stop your husband,’ lobby for peace ]


12:00 PM PDT
How pathetic can NATO leaders reach asking wives of their reps at the UN to record such a plea? Why not send them at night to some rich real dictators they support to pass some deals for selling weapons? That makes much more money for the West and they so often do this.

When their men were dwarfed by one single ambassador, the Syrian ambassador to UN because he was righteous and because he stood to them, they use their wives. What official post do these ladies have beside being wives to ambassadors of fading colonial powers?

Why doesn’t the wives of the German and UK ambassadors to UN plea to their own leaders to stop supporting israel with 6 nuclear powered submarines and occupying Argentine’s islands, respectively? Withdraw from Afghanistan? Get better jobs in their own countries? Fight famine caused by the US, their main ally in NATO in Somalia? Call on the US authorities to hand over the criminals at large George W. Bush and Cheney the Dick wanted for the International Criminal Court for authorizing policy of torture? Call on the French losing president Sarkozy to allow foreign observers to monitor the coming presidential elections and install CCTV cams at poll stations to ensure transparency? Call on their NATO stooge the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood fanatic government to stop droning Kurdish villages in their pursue of oppressing their own citizens? Call on the same Turkish government to free some of the journalists it imprisons for voicing their opinions that lead Turkey to be the country with highest number of journalists in prison in the world? The list never ends.

Last word: such acts of begging sympathy doesn’t work any more, might work with some ignorant Sheeple crowds but didn’t and would never work with the people that invented the Alphabet, the Syrians, who discovered the plot from the very beginning and are still fighting to fail it.

They fool you, they keep fooling you and they enjoy fooling you, not because they’re smart, it’s just because you’re ‘Foolable

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

April 17th, 2012, 4:43 pm


146. jad said:

السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد في ملعب الفيحاء كامل

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

April 17th, 2012, 4:48 pm


147. zoo said:

Al Assad unbowed by Annan plan

Pounding of homs by forces sign of leeway international community has given regime

The behaviour of the regime in the past few days suggests the plan is likely to unravel well before any political talks could begin.

Since a truce formally took effect on Thursday, Syria has violated key provisions. Tanks, troops and widely feared plain clothes security agents continue to patrol the streets to deter anti-regime protests, despite Annan’s demand that the army pull back to its bases.

And while there’s been a sharp drop in violence since last week, the regime resumed its assault on rebellious Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, over the weekend, after only a brief lull.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon hinted on Monday he’s ready to overlook Al Assad’s transgressions for now. He said the truce is “very fragile” but essential for getting to political negotiations, suggesting Ban is willing to stretch the definition of a cease-fire to salvage Annan’s plan.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

April 17th, 2012, 4:50 pm


148. Afram said:

“Hussein Ibish: the Zionist-Enabler”

Hi Jad:
he is not,Ibish that is,I know him,I did volunteerism at American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee:

I travelled 6 times to Occupied Palestine during the intifada,took non-governmental organization (NGO)groups to be Eyewitness to life in Occupied Palestine under Israel.I spent 6 weeks total back and forth
went to/EastJerusalem -Bethlehem- Ramallah- Jericho&I swam the dead sea.
he was-Ibish- official spokesperson for the organization
he is a kurd- Not like there’s anything wrong with it

Ibish/had business interests in the arab world like Dr.James Zogby:the founder of the Arab American Institute (AAI)

old jerusalem is fantastic..same like biblical times

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

April 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm


149. Tara, said:


I share your opinion in regard to Mr.Ibish. Thanks.

Can people remain silent when they know nothing about a subject. They look bad when they don’t

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

April 17th, 2012, 5:16 pm


150. Tara said:

#152 Afram

I share your opinion in regard to Mr.Ibish. Thanks.

Can people stay silent when they know nothing about a subject. They appears smarter if they would.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 19

April 17th, 2012, 5:19 pm


Pages: « 1 2 [3] 4 » Show All

Post a comment