The Kurdish Flag Flies over Parts of Syria as Aleppo Ignites

Many Kurdish towns in the Northeast of Syria are now flying the Kurdish flag as Syrian troops have withdrawn from the region to fight back the offensives in Syria’s two largest cities. BBC reports that fighter jets strafed parts of Aleppo. This seems to be their first use and a clear escalation. Turkey has closed its border with Syria, halting the passage of all commercial vehicles between Turkey and Syria. Only refugees can cross into Syria. The borders are too dangerous.

Liberated Kurdish Cities in Syria Move into Next Phase
25/07/2012 06:05:00 By HEVIDAR AHMED

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Syrian governmental forces have retreated from the Kurdish regions of Syria without a fight; the liberated cities are now being ruled evenly by the People’s Council of Syrian Kurdistan (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC).

According to the information obtained by Rudaw, the Kurdish cities of Kobane, Derek, Amoude, Efrin and Sari Kani have fallen under the control of Syrian Kurdish forces.

The city of Kobane was the first Kurdish city to be liberated last Thursday, 17 months after the revolution against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began.

The KNC and PYD agreed to jointly control the liberated Kurdish cities in a deal made in Erbil on July 11, under the supervision of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani.

“According to the treaty of Erbil which was signed by the KNC and PYD, any administrative vacuum in the Kurdish cities of Syria will be occupied evenly — 50/50 — by these two signatories. These two groups will continue ruling the Kurdish regions until an election is carried out,” said Nuri Brimo, a spokesperson of the Democratic Kurdish Party of Syria

The national flag of Kurdistan and the flag of the PKK – which the PYD is affiliated with — are now being raised over the majority of government and public buildings.

However Abdulbaqi Yusuf, a spokesperson of Kurdish Union Party (KUP), said, “The buildings under the control of PYD are using their own flags, but we as the KNC are using the national flag of Kurdistan. This is a problem because we only recognize one flag and that is the national Kurdish flag, but the PYD does not recognize that flag.”

He added, “For example, in the city of Kobane, we controlled some buildings and raised the Kurdish national flag over those buildings, but the PYD came and forced us out with their guns and removed the national flag of Kurdistan and replaced it with their own flag. We could not do anything because they were armed and we were not.”

Yusuf also had concerns about the quality of life for Syrian Kurds. “People are living in bad conditions and have not received any help,” he said, criticizing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for not coming to their aid.

“We have requested help from the KRG several times but they have not helped. Nobody listens to us,” Yusuf said.

Brimo admits that “Barzani asked the KNC and PYD to rule the Syrian Kurdish cities evenly between them and in return promised financial and moral support.”

Abdulbasit Sayda, the leader of the country’s largest opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), said they were looking for help for people in the region. “As the SNC, we are holding meetings with international actors in order to receive financial and humanitarian aid and save ourselves from the clutches of the Syrian regime. We need this aid because the economic situation of the Syrian people and the Kurds is very bad and they need help,” he said….

Sayda added, “We are constantly in touch with Barzani regarding the situation in Syria and keep each other updated.”

Brimo explained the withdrawal of regime forces from the Kurdish cities. “The Syrian regime is gathering its forces in Damascus,” he said. “Therefore, they are retreating from other regions.”

He also revealed that the Syrian regime informed the PYD about their withdrawal in advance, so that the group knew beforehand which cities the forces would be leaving.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is present in many parts of Syria, but not in the Kurdish regions. “There is a sort of agreement between KNC and SNC. The FSA will not come to the Kurdish regions and the Kurds will not go the Arabic regions,” said Brimo.

Sayda admitted fearing a surprise attack by the Syrian government on these Kurdish regions.

“The Kurds of Syria need to brace themselves for a sudden return of Syrian government forces. It is probable that the regime might return to attack this region again,” he said.

A Friend in Iraqi Kurdistan writes:

Kurdish news here in Iraqi Kurdistan is reporting that Syrian Kurds have taken control of the Kurdish region of northeastern Syria. This has led to a crisis of relations between them and the FSA/rebels, however. Supposedly, some months back there had been a pledge of mutual support between the Kurds and the rebels, regarding resistance against the regime. Now however, the Kurds seem more interested in protecting their homeland than in participating in the nation-wide struggle against the regime. After taking control of Hasake (haven’t verified this), a conflict emerged between them and the FSA that wanted to control the area due to its strategic importance.

Here’s the one decent article (a great one, in fact) that I could find by Aymenn al-Tamimi

Syria’s Kurds stand alone after rejecting rebels and regime
Aymenn Al Tamimi
Jul 23, 2012

Developments in Syria and Iraq have led some to speculate that the birth of an independent Kurdish state might be at hand. A closer analysis shows that a united Kurdistan is still unlikely, although a separate semiautonomous Kurdish community in Syria, with some parallels to the Kurdish Autonomous Region in Iraq, is a growing possibility.

In Syria, Kurds are sitting on the sidelines of the uprising against the Damascus regime. Indeed, the Free Syrian Army has accused members of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of hindering its operations in some areas against the Assad regime, according to the Kurdish website Rudaw.net. Leaders of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the PKK, have made it clear that they will not tolerate the spread of Syria’s conflict into the Kurdish-dominated areas of Syria.

The PYD stands separate from the Kurdish National Council, a coalition of 11 Kurdish parties in Syria that has ties to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. But leaders of the Kurdish National Council have also indicated to Rudaw that they are aiming to keep Kurdish areas free from fighting between the regime and the rebels.

The Kurdish groups are far from united on most issues – the KNC has in the past clashed with the PYD, but since Syria’s unrest began last year, the two factions have “signed an agreement sponsored by the Iraqi Kurdish leadership to prevent intra-Kurdish tensions”, according to Jonathan Spyer, an analyst at the Israel-based Global Research in International Affairs Center.

This, Mr Spyer writes in the Jerusalem Post, ensures “de facto Kurdish control of a large swathe of Syria’s north-east and the placing of this area off limits to the insurgency against the Assad regime for the foreseeable future”.

Syria’s Kurds are not, by and large, supporters of President Bashar Al Assad, but their scepticism about the Syrian opposition is understandable. For one thing, rebel fighters in Syria have the support of Ankara, which has a bad reputation regarding Turkish Kurds in matters of civil and cultural rights.

In addition, whenever Kurdish groups have tried to engage the Syrian opposition about the shape of a post-Assad Syria, talks have always broken down. The main issue is that the opposition refuses to drop the identification of Syria as an Arab nation (as evinced in the country’s official name: “Syrian Arab Republic”) and accept that Kurds are a distinct people. Thus ended the recent Cairo meeting of anti-Assad groups, attended by the KNC.

With Syrian Kurds declining to choose between Mr Al Assad and the opposition, the idea of a de facto Kurdish autonomous area in the Al Jazira area of north-east Syria becomes a possibility.

In the event of Mr Al Assad’s downfall, Sunni groups and others in Syria might be too distracted by infighting to deal with the question of Kurdish autonomy.

It does not follow, however, that the Syrian Kurds will join with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government to form an independent Kurdish state straddling the northern part of today’s Iraq-Syria border.

Turkey Shuts Syria Border
BY JOE PARKINSON AND AYLA ALBAYRAK – WSJ

TURKEY-SYRIA BORDER—Turkey sealed its border with Syria to all traffic except refugees on Wednesday, citing worsening security conditions following escalating skirmishes close to the frontier which last week saw rebel fighters capture at least two crossing points.

Turkey’s economy minister announced the move—which will halt the passage of all commercial vehicles between Turkey and Syria—in a news conference in Ankara, citing “serious concerns” for drivers’ safety and noting that there had already been a 87% drop in trucks traveling to Syria this year. Turkish officials and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Ankara …

Syria Conflict: Aleppo Fighting Shifts Regime Forces, Diplomats Defect
Reuters | Posted: 07/25/2012
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Erika Solomon

AMMAN/BEIRUT, July 25 (Reuters) – The Syrian army turned its forces on Aleppo on Wednesday, ordering an armoured column to advance on the country’s second biggest city and pounding rebel fighters there with artillery and attack helicopters, opposition activists said.

As hostilities intensified near the Turkish border, Turkey said it was closing its crossing posts, although the United Nations said refugees fleeing Syria would be allowed through.

Two top Syrian diplomats, in the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus, have deserted their posts, becoming the latest officials to abandon the Damascus government, rebels said.

The 16-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has been transformed from an insurgency in remote provinces into a battle for control of the two main cities, Aleppo and the capital, Damascus, where fighting exploded last week.

Assad’s forces have launched massive counter assaults in both cities. They appear to have beaten rebels back from neighbourhoods in the capital and are turning towards Aleppo, a commercial hub in the north.

Syrian forces fired artillery and rockets on Wednesday at the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tel in an attempt to seize it from rebels, causing panic and forcing hundreds of families to flee, residents and opposition activists said.

The 216th mechanized battalion headquartered near Tel started bombarding the town of about 100,000 people before dawn and initial reports indicated residential apartment blocks were being hit, they said.

“Military helicopters are flying now over the town. People were awakened by the sound of explosions and are running away,” Rafe Alam, one of the activists, said by phone from a hill overlooking Tel. “Electricity and telephones have been cut off.”

Opposition sources also reported helicopters and machineguns were firing on the neighbourhood of Hajar al-Aswad. The slum lies on the southern outskirts of the capital and has been a haven for rebels sneaking into Damascus from the suburbs.

Opposition activists said thousands of troops had withdrawn with their tanks and armoured vehicles from Idlib province near the Turkish border and were headed towards Aleppo.

Rebels attacked the rear of the troops withdrawing from the north, activist Abdelrahman Bakran said from the area.

Military experts believe an overstretched Syrian army is pulling back to concentrate on fighting insurgents in Aleppo and Damascus, important power centres for the government, while leaving outlying areas in the hands of rebels.

Der Spiegel: The Endgame in Syria Assad’s Bloody Battle to Cling to Power
2012-07-24

The Endgame in Syria Assad’s Bloody Battle to Cling to Power By Christoph Reuter Marcel Mettelsiefen / DER SPIEGEL President Bashar Assad is losing his grip on power in Syria and he has responded by …

US position on Syria directly endorses terrorism – Lavrov

Washington’s reaction to blasts in Damascus is a downright justification of terrorism, slams Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. US State Department announced that terror acts in Syria are not surprising in light of the Assad regime’s actions.

“This is direct endorsement of terrorism. How are we supposed to understand that?” Sergey Lavrov shared his astonishment at a press conference in Moscow. “This is a sinister position, I cannot find words to express our attitude towards that.”

“In other words this means ‘We are going to support such acts of terrorism until the UNSC does what we want’,” Lavrov commented on the US representative’s actions. Lavrov also expressed his surprise that the UN Security Council refused to condemn acts of terror in Syria. The US permanent representative to the UN Susan Rice has stated that terror acts in Damascus contribute to speeding up the adoption of a resolution on Syria according to the Chapter 7 of the UN Statute, which implies harsh sanctions, including resorting to force.

As for the EU unilateral sanctions against Damascus, they contradict the decisions taken by the UN Security Council and agreements reached at the Geneva talks, stated Lavrov.

Comments (303)


1. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad the Donkey, are kurds terrorist islamists organizations too?

Assad is the real terrorist who based all its politics on creating terror between populations of Syria?

It’s time for Assad go, but he does not know. The last thing a donkey knows is that he is a donkey. He needs help. He needs a last push.

Syria must end Assad and Iran rule before the country desintegrates. Anyway if kurds separate from a new post-Assad Syria it will be Turkey and the NATO who will pay the consequences. So, if I was the boring robotic Rasmundsen I would not doubt to act in a way or another.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:23 am

 

2. SANDRO LOEWE said:

AIG

Beautiful, you could not say more in less words (in previous post):

“Assad had 11 years to make Syria better. He couldn’t. The longer he stays the worse Syria gets. But keep supporting him.”

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July 25th, 2012, 9:35 am

 

3. Juergen said:

Aleppo

regime soldier jumps out of burning tank

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July 25th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

4. Aldendeshe said:

6. ANTOINESAID:
ALDENDESHE,
Five people with Al-Dandashi as their surname have been martyred in Telkalakh during this Revolution. They were killed in May 2011 when Assad attacked Telkakalh.
I invite you to join the Revolution, don’t forget 5 al-Dandashi’s have been killed by the regime

________________________________________________________________

Hafez killed my MB cousin Muthanna during the 80’s conflict, and Bashar killed my younger cousin Hammoudi when he took power. I refuse your invitation, because I been in the genuine Syrian Revolution since 1982. To me and SNP members, this is a hostile dismemberment and utter destruction campaign by Syria’s Zionist/Bedouin enemies, no more. Basically we view your campaign as robbing Syrians from victory of a true revolution, deceptively carried out with clear intent plan to accomplish a single goal, destroy Syria. So your revolution is a fraud and your intended goal is delusion.

“…Will you be concerned if Rustum Ghazaleh defects or killed ?…”

I prefer killed than see him in the opposition. So as to all former Baathist escapees with high crimes, low level Baathists should be judged accordingly, the least of which, all Baathism card holder must lose Civil Rights and banned from many functions for life.

“…Btw I I am curious about one thing : Why couldn’t the Syrian
Army defeat the Baathists in 1963 ?…”

A devastating tragedy no doubt, WASP Americans should learn from it, I see this error repeated in America as well. Because elite of Syria and Middle Class families shunned the army service, paid BADAL to let kids AWAL from conscription. So Minorities kids staffed the army since French Mandate. By 1963, the army was basically Alawi-Turkmen-Druze-Circassian, Ismaili and others, with very poor Sunni and some Christians members. The Bastard revolutionaries on March 8, arrested almost all Sunni army higher up @ 5 am, by the time they were released it was too late, the overwhelming majority minorities had taken over.

The elite just packed up and escaped to Lebanon and other places. They did not put a fight.

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July 25th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

5. SANDRO LOEWE said:

4.ALDENDESHE,

Your view is not realistic, you are a theorist. What will you say if Assad falls and Syria does not desintegrate?

There is determination in the fight against Assad’s dictatorship and corruption and when Assad falls there will be determination to accept a new transitory council that will probably offer special conditions to kurdish zone.

The main risk is the unstability that Syria will face in the period between the fall of Assad and the end of prosecutions against old regime’s officials.

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July 25th, 2012, 11:13 am

 

6. Innocent Bystander said:

So the Kurds are claiming autonomy in Syria.

Someone has expansionist ideas.

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July 25th, 2012, 11:30 am

 

7. Ghufran said:

The truth is bitter,this is the truth about the battle of Damascus:
لاتريد المعارضة حتى الآن اطلاع جمهورها على الكارثة التي تعرض لها مقاتلو معركة دمشق وربما اكتفت الدولة بالاشارة الى حجم الخسائر الفادحة وببعض المشاهد السريعة .. لكن حقيقة الأمر هو أن آلاف المقاتلين تعرضوا الى أقسى معركة غير متكافئة على الاطلاق زجهم بها قادتهم كما لو كانوا قرابين رخيصة بلا ثمن من أجل لعبة اعلامية واستعراضات تلفزيونية .. كما يلقي المقامر بأمواله وهو منتش باللعب .. لكنها كانت لعبة الموت.. ولو نظرنا الى ماحدث لوجدنا أن رجال الكوماندوس السوريين فتكوا بالمسلحين بسرعة غريبة في عملية تشبه عملية ابادة شاملة .. ولايزال الكثيرون لايصدقون كيف أن قرابة 3000 مقاتل يماثلون عدد مقاتلي حزب الله الذين واجهوا 30 ألف جندي اسرائيلي لمدة ثلاثة وثلاثين يوما .. كيف أن هؤلاء المقاتلين في دمشق لم يصمدوا الا 72 ساعة مقارنة مع نفس العدد لمقاتلي حزب الله الذين صمدوا وبخسائر قليلة 33 يوما .. حيث تمت عملية ابادة المقاتلينفي شوارع دمشق عن بكرة أبيهم بشكل مثير للدهشة في معظم الأحياء .. فيما استسلم بضع مئات آخرين في سرعة قياسية في البساتين المحيطة تجنبا لهول المعركة التي عصفت بهم كالاعصار ..وتشكل هذه الأرقام مايقارب 25-30% من قوة المقاتلين على الأراضي السورية..ما استدعى عملية تجنيد مباشرة من السعودية وجمع للتبرعات للتعويض عن الدمار الذي تعرض له جسم المعارضة المسلحة..
المسلحون الذين دفعت بهم المعارضة وأبيدوا عن بكرة أبيهم في محرقة دمشق دمهم في رقبة المعارضة وليس في رقبة النظام الذي ليس من المتوقع أن يرحمهم وقد كانوا واضحين في استهدافهم لقلب نظام الحكم وقتل الدولة السورية .. المعارضة يجب أن تتعرض للوم والتأنيب الشديد لأنها وكما وصل من مصادر عديدة لم تسمع لنصائح كثيرين ممن يعرفون بواطن الامور ..فبعض المعارضين قدموا نصائح مخلصة بتجنب هذه المعركة دون غطاء الناتو لما يعرفونه من بأس النظام اذا ماتعرض للاستفزاز في دمشق ولما يعرفون من استعداد الدولة السورية لأية مفاجآت في دمشق ..

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July 25th, 2012, 11:49 am

 

8. habib said:

1. SANDRO LOEWE

I thought you guys were cursing Alawite secession, but this apparently doesn’t apply to Kurds? Why?

The Syrian government should let the Kurds control whatever they want near the Turkish border, this will give Erdogan something to think about, looool.

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July 25th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

9. SANDRO LOEWE said:

7. HABIB,

Greater Syria was as aspiration for the Arabs (christians, druzes, alawis, etc) not for the Kurds. Kurdish people last and ultimate goal has always been a kurdish nation.

Not Nato nor Turkey, Irak or Iran will allow the creation of a Kurdish State but I think, and I am not the only one, the best way to avoid future problems is to recognize their cultural identity inside the Syrian Nation.

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July 25th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

10. Antoine said:

Aldendeshe, you seem to be very proud of your family name, so whats it like to you that 5 Dandashe’s were killed in Telkalakh in 2011 ? Don’t you want retaliation against those who killed them and those who gave the order ? Also there are many Dandashi’s in the FSA and LCC opposition, so why you claim that the Opposition is dominated by low class provincial families and clans ? What about all the Shishakli’s in Hama who are active in the Revolution, don’t you consider Shishakli to be a high class Nobility family ? And speaking of Shishakli, why didn’t Adeeb al Shishakli, when he was the Army Chief, dismiss or arrest the Baathi moles like Salah Jadid, Attasi, Assad and Tlass, ? How did the Baathists in the Army survive his attention ?

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July 25th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

11. Ghufran said:

Ayman Zaidan:
“أعتقد أننا بحاجة لأجيال، لجينات، لمكونات اجتماعية جديدة تماماً، إلى خبرات في الحراك السياسي، وفهم ميداني
وعملي للديمقراطية، أنا أصلاً لست من أنصار الديمقراطية في مجتمع متخلف، فمن أهم شروط وجودها المؤثر هو الوعي الاجتماعي، فكما قال (هنريك إبسن) في ختام مسرحيته (عدو الشعب): ومتى كانت الأغلبية على حق؟ فغياب الوعي وعدم تلازمه مع المسألة الديمقراطية أفرز لنا عبر الانتخابات في كل النقابات والمؤسسات لتي تعتمد الحل لديمقراطي أسوأ الأسماء، لايمكن برأيي أن نتحدث عن التطلعات الكبرى في بلاد تمتلئ جدران مدنها بعبارات مثل (لاترمي القمامة في هذا المكان)، أو (ملعون ابن ملعون من يبول هنا)، فمازلنا نعاني من مشاكل في القواعد الأولية للسلوك الإنساني، وأزمتنا الأساسية هي أزمة القضاء على الجهل.. أنا شخصياً أصبح لدي حساسية من شيء اسمه ديمقراطية، لنرى ما الذي أفرزته الانتخابات المصرية مؤخراً؟، هل ندعو للتخلص من ديكاتورية فرد، لنقع تحت تأثير ديكاتورية حزب أو ثورة، على ما يبدو أن كل ما نفعله في العالم العربي أننا نطيح بديكتاتورية؟ لنأتي بأخرى.”

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July 25th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

12. Antoine said:

FSA cannot afford to fight with the Kurds at this moment, but their attitude is the typical minority anti-Syrian attitude : “We don’t want to be part of Syria if we can’t have our say in the Government “. Btw why is Assad not confronting these secessionists ? By logic and reason, the Syrian Army should be sent to Kobani and Qamishli instead of Daraa and Halab , ofcourse that is not the case, bcz the FSA is threatening Assad whereas these secessionists are not threatening Assad, they are threatening Syria, Assad and his 3 to 5 million supporters never considered themselves Syrian anyway.

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July 25th, 2012, 12:39 pm

 

13. Observer said:

Majbali are you Syria No Kandahar as you would like to call the Alawi state?

It is clear now that there is severe sectarian hatred against Sunnis. I am an atheist and I do not have a bone in this but my observations are that the sects hate each other and when there is strife they revert to their sectarian thinking as evidenced by the HA supporting Bahrain dissent and Iran supporting Eastern Saudi Arabia dissent and the rebellion in Syria invoking Sunni slogans and heroes and what have you.

It is also clear that the Alawi belief that the current leader of Syria is the embodiement of Ali as the God on earth and therefore there is deep fear that his demise would be a demise of the symbol of their ascendency and power.

It is also clear that Alawi have despite their strong early feelings of Arab identity abondaned the Arab national aspirations.

This is really interesting perspective as we have the minorities pushing Arab nationalism to have a place in a society dominated by Ottoam islamic rule then when Arabism fails they push for local national identity politics then when that fails they finally show their fear based desire for protection from perceived or real Sunni potential or real oppression.

I am not objecting to their fears or to their apprehension or their desire for peace and prosperity but it is clear that the masks have fallen and that we are reverting to pure sectarian thinking.

This is religiosity that is coming back full force and its primary mover was and remains the defeat of 67 and the subsequent Islamic revolution in Iran and the defeat of Israel on the hands of HA in Lebanon and the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Clearly Arab and local nationalism is not strong enough and vigorous enough to have liberated anything and clearly the ideology of Islam has achieved results. This is also why in my opinion the secular SNC has no chance in future Syria except as a minor player while the local committees and the FSA which is increasingly more militant will have the upper hand.

Realistically it is impossible for the sect to control all of Syria and the regime is going to collapse. Sorry Ghufran the post you just put up without reference as to whom and from whom and form where it came does not reflect the strategic reality on the ground.

I would love to be a small gnat on the wall in the Kremlin or in Damascus or in Dahia or in Tehran now to hear and see what the supporters of the regime are saying and doing and planning

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July 25th, 2012, 12:44 pm

 

14. ann said:

Russia says US tries to justify terrorism in Syria – Jul 25, 2012

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/russia-says-us-tries-to-justify-terrorism-in-syria/274557-2.html

Moscow: Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to justify terrorism against the Syrian government and berated Western nations it said had failed to condemn a bomb attack that killed senior security officials.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, referring to what he said were comments by US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland indicating such attacks were not surprising, said: “This is a direct justification of terrorism.”

“To put it mildly, we don’t understand the refusal of our partners to condemn the terrorist attack in Damascus,” he said.

He suggested Washington was using the threat of further attacks to push the UN Security Council to place international mediator Kofi Annan’s peace plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

Chapter 7 allows the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention, although US officials have said they would prefer the former course of action.

Lavrov said the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, had cited the July 18 bomb attack in Damascus as evidence that the Security Council should not delay further in adopting a Chapter 7 resolution.

“In other words this means ‘We will continue to support such terrorist attacks until the Security Council does what we want,’” Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.

“This is a terrible position.”

[…]

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July 25th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

15. Aldendeshe said:

@ANTOINE

NOPE. I am not proud it, I am proud of Syria as a country and Nation. In fact made changes to the name as you see. I am very resentful of the fact that they did not carry the gun and fight with other notable Syrian family to repel the Baathist take over. The majority of them simply packed up and left to live luxury life in Paris, Beirut, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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July 25th, 2012, 12:56 pm

 

16. Juergen said:

Jordan prepares to host up to 130.000 syrian refugees

The jordanian government is setting up an new camp near Mafrak which could host up to 130.000 refugees.

The UNHCR counts at least 130.000 Syrians live abroud because of the war. This number seems only to be a modest assumption, many Syrians have fled and live on their own,many did not ask for help.

Some figures of the inner circle dont believe they are in the winning team.

German press service dpa has given this statement:

Istanbul – Some prominent members of the family of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apparently no longer believe in survival of the regime. As the dpa learned in Istanbul from well-informed circles, that his uncle Mohammed Machluf and his sons have tried to establish contacts abroad. They sought refuge, if Assad should perish. Also it was stated that this branch of the family has already asked contacts in Paris and Moscow. Mohammed Machluf is a brother of Assad’s mother.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

17. William Scott Scherk said:

Ghufran, you no longer provide links to the stories you quote from here. No reader can easily find the story or report where it originally appeared.

Can you please give links when you quote Arabic websites, blogs or other media sites?

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July 25th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

18. Halabi said:

Three women in Russia are facing up to seven years in prison for singing an anti-Putin song. They are believed to in cahoots in a global conspiracy that includes the free masons behind 9/11. Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah, Assad’s only friends…

PUTIN’S RELIGIOUS WAR AGAINST PUSSY RIOT

The pretrial hearings in the case of Pussy Riot, a Russian female punk band, are held behind closed doors in a Moscow court. Police have cordoned off not only the courthouse itself but also the street outside to keep the band’s supporters from even coming close to the building. Any attempt to hold a sign or chant is stopped; policemen grab the offenders and throw them into avtozaks(police buses). The three band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, twenty-three; Maria Alekhina, twenty-four; and Ekaterina Samutsevich, twenty-nine—Nadia, Masha, and Katya—are being prosecuted for an unsanctioned “punk-prayer” called “Our Lady, chase Putin out.”

The prosecution of the Pussy Riot women is more than an act of absurd injustice and cruelty; it is a sign that the Russian state is increasingly lashing out against those citizens it sees as overly modernized. Vladimir Putin has often said that modernization is the goal of his regime, but its policy is increasingly slipping toward something egregiously anti-modern, obscurantist, even medieval. The Pussy Riot case is a telling illustration of Putin’s political crackdown—and of his increasing reliance on the Russian Orthodox Church as a resort of the most conservative societal forces.

“The regime is demonstrating an attempt to evolve toward religious fundamentalism,” wrote Nikolai Svanidze, a prominent media figure. He referred to this trend as “a little bit of Iran” in Russia. Piety and faith for their own sake do not appear to be Putin’s concern, however.

Leading members of the Orthodox clergy promptly condemned the Pussy Riot performance as blasphemy and sacrilege. Tellingly, the formal, supposedly secular indictment also drew on clerical language, citing “sacrilegious humiliation of the age-old principles aimed at inflicting even deeper wounds to Orthodox Christians”; “deep offense and humiliation of the religious guides of the believers”; “chaotically waving arms and legs, dancing and hopping… all with a goal to cause a negative, even more insulting resonance in the feelings and souls of the believers”; “desecrating the cathedral, and offending the feelings of believers.”

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/07/putins-religious-war-against-pussy-riot.html#ixzz21ed2VmPv

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July 25th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

19. Aldendeshe said:

why didn’t Adeeb al Shishakli, when he was the Army Chief, dismiss or arrest the Baathi moles like Salah Jadid, Attasi, Assad and Tlass, ? How did the Baathists in the Army survive his attention ?
__________________________________________________________________

You have to ask Landis about this, he is better expert than me on this. My feeling is that Syria, like all other countries then (before Zionists take over) were Civil Right and Constitutional Law abiding countries. I preferred SSNP style. They were perfect match of lawless Baathist.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

20. Uzair8 said:

From Yalla Souriya:

‘Daraa: Ibtaa: The house of Brigadier General Mohamad Dakheel was set on fire after his daughter who is the Syrian ambassador in Cyprus announced her defection’

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/daraa-ibtaa-the-house-of-brigadier-general-mohamad/

‘AJA reporter ; activists ; Aleppo – Hannano; 400 defected at Hannano barracks among them 40 officers of whom 2 colonels with their arms and they have been driven to a safe place.
Ahmadmuaffaq’

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/aja-reporter-activists-aleppo-hannano-400-defected-at/

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July 25th, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

21. Ghufran said:

تعكف مجموعة من خمسين معارضا سوريا في برلين على اعداد دستور جديد لسوريا استعدادا لمرحلة ما بعد نظام الرئيس بشار الاسد، وفق ما أعلنت اليوم الاربعاء مؤسسة علوم وسياسة التي تقدم اليهم المساعدة.
وأوضحت المؤسسة أن هذه المجموعة تضم ضباطا سابقين وخبراء اقتصاديين وقانونيين وممثلين لمختلف المكونات الدينية في سوريا.
واضافت أن هذا المشروع أطلقه المعهد الاميركي للسلام، على أن يعلن المعارضون نتيجة عملهم في بداية اب.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

22. Halabi said:

It will not be Syria no Kandahar. The terrorist state and Shabi7a homeland will be know as the Alawi Hereditary Democratic Republic of Assadistan. Of course it will be the most advanced country in the Middle East and possibly the world. A 1000-year reich!

William – there is a reason why there are no links. Almost all the propaganda comes from mukhabarati sites. When we were recently blessed with Youtube videos on Turkish forces launching tear gas in a refugee camp, those videos were from pro-Assad aggregation sites – almost all the comments were insulting of the refugees (calling them traitors and their women whores) and absolutely giddy at the suffering of the Syrian refugees.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:32 pm

 

23. Halabi said:

FSA takes over a police station in Aleppo and returns a ter-tera (three wheeled vehicle) to its poor owner. I don’t know if this is real, but it’s part of the broader context of Assad’s army destroying poor people’s motorcycles and torching their shops and fields.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

24. habib said:

11. Antoine

The reason is obvious, they’re stirring up trouble for the Turks, which is a very clever move by the government. Erdogan gets a dose of his own medicine.

12. Observer

Loool, who makes this stuff up? Assad is Ali? Just like that weird Salafist myth that Iran and Syria are somehow allied to Israel.

So what exactly is the role of all the Western backed Sunni autocracies? Have any of them done even one eight as much against Israel as Iran and Syria have?

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July 25th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

25. Ghufran said:

Halabi,we both know that the incidents at Turkish refugee camps were real and were posted by both pro and anti regime media sites, your complaint is invalid about this story and most of my comments,if I made mistakes, that was not done to deceive readers or twist the facts,I hope you do the same.
I read and post news from all sources,most are actually anti regime,but unlike some of you,I am interested in hearing both sides and do not want to be a hostage of group thinking or a victim of tunnel vision.
WSS,I have links on most of my posts,sometimes the article is too long and I choose the most interesting part of it,I will add the links anyway.

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July 25th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

26. Bruno said:

From the recent reports rebels are losing in Aleppo.

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July 25th, 2012, 2:18 pm

 

27. Aldendeshe said:

10. SANDRO LOEWESAID:
4. ALDENDESHE

You should control your words. Specially when you are not in Syria. People is fighting against the powerfull status quo and your words are really ofending and despicable. You know very well that if your points of view were openly said in Syria under your name you would be assassinated sooner or later by the popular front. You would not dare to say what you write here on air.

_________________________________________________________________

The Syrians (THE REAL ONES) will appreciate me, what I have to say and my honesty. They have a lot to gain from my ideas and language. The foreigners, Syria’s enemies, who are operating in disguise using impoverished Syrians as front have a lot to lose, may not be happy and would like to assassinate me. The Israelis tried to bad mouth me for a decade. They tried to make false claims and set me up. They failed, and lost big.

SNP has retaliatory policy. There are steps taken to insure upon my unnatural death, certain resources, materials and information’s are transferred to particular set of people and governments that will tip the balance of power devastatingly against an evil doer. If someone bothered by what I have to say, they are going to be much more bothered in detrimental way after my death. Even the smallest of infraction, such as attempting internet hacking of SSNPS website is not forgiven. You would not hear public statements and claims of responsibility, it will just happen and you will be left scratching your head.

@SANDRO.

You should control your words. Specially when you are not in Syria. Very Specially when you are talking to me. I been told, there are young people alive today in Syria that are so technically sophisticated, they can bring down any Arial craft, be it a missile, a bomber, a passenger jet, a Presidential jet, you name it, even satellites and the ISS can be disabled and brought down by them, using nothing more that a 12” parabolic dish and set of digital codes. Some kids said to have the ability to effectively suspend all mode of transportation, except camel/horse back. Even some I heard, have the means to wipe out all worlds oil/gas resources and installation. It is also rumored that some teenagers in Syria to have gps tracked all 1002 Nuclear Power Plants around the world and can use directed energy beam to disable many part of the installation, its mechanical systems and back up safety instruments to malfunctions, causing 1002 Chernobyl on planet earth. So they say disabling little crappy Missile Shield or Arrow crap or what have you, costing hundredth of billions is literally child play for them apparently. And these kids if you to meeting in the streets of Baba Omar I been told, you will think, they are just a marble ball players. BE CAREFUL. You step on their marbles, piss them off, and they go do what they can to get even. Politics and Revolutions are no longer for the disfranchised, sectarian oppressed youth and mercenaries, not for child play for sure. It is for educated, sophisticated brainy strategists, trained and mentally qualified grown ups.

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July 25th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

28. William Scott Scherk said:

Halabi, an interview with Ayman Zaidan appeared at CNN Arabic: http://arabic.cnn.com/2012/enter.celeb/7/19/Ayman.Zaidan.interview/index.html. I think this corresponds to the quoted piece that was posted with any attribution (at #10). The title (translated) of the CNN(AR) story is:

Ayman Zeidan: I have an allergy to democracy and not of its supporters

It is an interesting set of comments. Ayman Zaidan has a wealth of experience in Syria drama, and his comments are best read in context, in my opinion.

I would not say that Ghufran’s excerpts and quotes come from ‘mukhabarat’ media — I always spend the time to (machine) translate and track down the source of these excerpts — they appeaer to come from a wide variety of sources.

There was more to the Zaidan interview, a fuller context to the remarks. That is why I asked Ghufran to please provide a link to the originating story. Without a link we do not know who wrote the piece, whether it was part of a larger story, or from where it came. It seems to me a basic courtesy to readers to tell them explicitly where excerpts come from.

The first excerpt posted without any attribution was at #6. This article was found at Russia Today (Arabic), and it credited to ‘Syria Truth’ ( نارام سرجون ). The author was, apparently, نارام سرجون. I do not know if this Syrian Truth is the same site funded by the Syrian government’s French right-wing allies; more likely it originated on the Facebook page of the author (http://goo.gl/E6NZV), who also has a blog: http://serjoonn.blogspot.ca/

RT: http://goo.gl/els0Q

The third unattributed text posted by Ghufran at #20 appears to come from the Lebanese outlet Al-Joumhouria: http://www.aljoumhouria.com/news/index/20078

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July 25th, 2012, 2:41 pm

 
 

30. zoo said:

حلب 2012-07-25

مصادر إعلامية: الجيش العربي السوري يسيطر على معظم أحياء محافظة حلب ويكبد الميليشات المسلحة خسائر كبيرة ويصادر كميات من الأسلحة.
http://www.documents.sy/news.php?id=3091

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July 25th, 2012, 2:53 pm

 

31. Juergen said:

Syria Leaks: Al Arabiya English Reports On Assad’s PR Firm

Graphic footage of dead children in amateur videos is not the image Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wanted to be associated with his name; furthermore, it is certainly not the image he paid professional public relations consultants to build.

Years before he began his regime’s bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising by the people of his country, Assad launched a charm offensive that aimed to change his image from what many saw as an oppressive dictator who inherited power from his father to a young transformative leader.

To assist with this task, Assad resorted to the services of a top PR agency based in New York; which, in a statement to Al Arabiya English, now claims that despite its advice for the young president to listen to his people; the “regime chose to save itself rather than the country”.

Brown Lloyd James (BLJ) managed to feature the Syrian first lady in Vogue magazine, calling her a “Rose in the Desert” and showing her in all the glamour usually reserved for princesses of fairytales. The interview was conducted by the magazine’s long-time Paris editor Joan Juliet Buck; who since publishing the interview has parted ways with the Vogue after nearly a 40 year-relationship.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/syria-leaks-al-arabiya-assad_n_1701352.html

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July 25th, 2012, 2:55 pm

 

32. Juergen said:

hmm, Assad had the same PR company as the government of Qatar and AJ…

Syria Leaks: Al Arabiya English Reports On Assad’s PR Firm

Graphic footage of dead children in amateur videos is not the image Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wanted to be associated with his name; furthermore, it is certainly not the image he paid professional public relations consultants to build.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/syria-leaks-al-arabiya-assad_n_1701352.html

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July 25th, 2012, 2:58 pm

 

33. Juergen said:

hmm, Assad had the same PR company as the government of Qatar and AJ…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/syria-leaks-al-arabiya-assad_n_1701352.html

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July 25th, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

34. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@SANDRO.

You should control your words. Specially when you are not in Syria. There are young people alive today in Syria that are so technically sophisticated, they can bring down any Arial craft, be it a missile, a bomber, a passenger jet, a Presidential jet, you name it, even satellites can be disabled and brought down by them, using nothing more that a 12” parabolic dish and set of digital codes. Some kids said to have the ability to effectively suspend all mode of transportation, except camel/horse back. Even some have the means to wipe out oil/gas resources and installation by remote control. It is also rumored that some teenagers in Syria to have gps tracked all 1002 Nuclear Power Plants around the world and can use directed energy beam to disable many part of the installation, its mechanical systems and back up safety instruments to malfunctions, causing 1002 Chernobyl on planet earth. So they say disabling little crappy Missile Shield or Arrow crap or what have you, costing hundredth of billions is literally child play for them apparently. And these kids if you to meeting in the streets of Baba Omar I been told, you will think, they are just a marble ball players. BE CAREFUL. You step on their marbles, piss them off, and they go do what they can to get even.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

35. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…You know very well that if your points of view were openly said in Syria under your name you would be a*ssassinate*d sooner or later by the popular front…”

@SANDRO

SNP has retaliatory policy. There are steps taken to insure upon a member unnatural d*eath, certain resources, materials and information’s are transferred to particular set of people and governments that will tip the balance of power devastatingly against an e*vil doer. If someone bothered by what Aldendeshe have to say, they are going to be much more bothered in detrimental way afterward. Even the smallest of infraction, such as attempting internet hacking of official website is not forgiven. You would not hear public statements and claims of responsibility, it will just happen and you will be left scratching your head.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

36. Syrialover said:

The true never-changing story of the Kurds – past, present and future:

“The Kurdish groups are far from united on most issues – the KNC has in the past clashed with the PYD….” (main post above)

A Kurdish guy once told me this is why they do not have a homeland.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:15 pm

 

37. Aldendeshe said:

@SANDRO

We are unable to respond to your threat, the moderator blocking our reply.

S.N.P. has retaliatory policy. There are steps taken to insure upon my unnatural passing away, certain resources, materials and information’s are transferred to particular set of people and governments that will tip the balance of power devastatingly against an assumed responsible set of parties. If someone bothered by what I have to say now, they are going to be much more bothered in detrimental way afterward

Even the smallest of infraction, such as attempting internet hacking of official website is not forgiven. You would not hear public statements and claims of responsibility, it will just happen and you will be left scratching your head.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

38. Aldendeshe said:

@SANDRO
We are unable to respond to you, the mod* blocking our reply.

There is a retaliatory policy.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:22 pm

 

39. bronco said:

There is a lot of speculation on which side the Kurds will go should the military situation gets bad for the Syrian army

If the Kurds must choose between the Syrian government with whom they could negotiate increased autonomy or the SNC manipulated by Turkey and France, we all know what they’ll choose.

While Syria could grant more autonomy to its Kurds, Turkey will never accept that as it will trigger more demands from its own Kurds.

With sufficient guarantees from the Syrian government, the Syrian Kurds can potentially be used as force against the rebels should the balance of power changes. For now, their neutrality is guaranteed.
Therefore the Syrian government is tolerating some manifestation of Kurdish national identity as a way to provoke Kurds in Turkey and weaken Erdogan. We already see increased PKK attacks in Turkey as a by product.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:24 pm

 

40. zoo said:

Another One?

Saudi Arabia seeks new UN resolution on Syria
AFP – 24 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-arabia-seeks-un-resolution-syria-190128755.html

Saudi Arabia is proposing a UN General Assembly resolution which will highlight a Syrian government threat to use chemical weapons, its UN envoy said Wednesday.

The new Arab initiative follows the failure of a western-attempt to get the UN Security Council to threaten sanctions against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad over the 16-month-old conflict, diplomats said. Russia and China vetoed the council resolution last week.

Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi told a small group of reporters the resolution would be submitted in coming days and he hoped for a vote “probably early next week.”

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July 25th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

41. Uzair8 said:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

High-profile Syrian economic delegation in Tehran

25 July 2012

TEHRAN – A Syrian economic delegation, including high-ranking officials headed by Deputy Prime Minister Omar Ghalawanji left Damascus for Tehran on Tuesday to talk with Iran on broadening bilateral ties.

Read more:

http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/99961-high-profile-syrian-economic-delegation-in-tehran

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July 25th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

42. zoo said:

La Tunisie est aujourd’hui islamiste

Le Monde.fr | 25.07.2012 à 09h21

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2012/07/25/la-tunisie-est-aujourd-hui-islamiste_1737600_3232.html

The tourists are boycotting Tunisia where the number of veiled women is increasing. It’s a return to “romantic” Islam

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July 25th, 2012, 3:31 pm

 

43. Uzair8 said:

An alternative source for the same story (#34)

Syria is demanding help from Iran

25 July, 2012

http://www.nationalturk.com/en/syria-is-demanding-help-from-iran-22501

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July 25th, 2012, 3:32 pm

 

44. Bruno said:

Well from the comment section i can tell most of you wont look at the reality.

That is the Rebels aren’t gaining any grounds and the Sryian Army had impacted heavy losses to the mujahideen fighters.

Rebels wont hold out for much yet the western leaders are already thinking about a post Assad Sryia? from the recent again recent reports that i have been seeing Assad forces is retaking the grounds taken by the rebels.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2012/07/in-syria-how-to-liberate-pro-army-city.html

As the article from CNN states.

( A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement. )

If that is not terrorism then i don’t what is justifiable then.

From an CNN article comment.

(If you fight against the US, you are considered a terrorist. If you fight for the US you are a freedom fighter. I hope that clears things up for you.)

Thats pretty much quote for truth. Just like in Kosovo the KLA were internationally know as terrorists, before the conflict but when America got involved they removed from the list of known terrorists.

The same KLA terrorists that the Sryian Rebels went in Kosovo to learn there terror tactics from, if you want a link on that i would link it. If asked.

And no its not an RT news link.

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July 25th, 2012, 3:43 pm

 
 

46. Bruno said:

Breaking update From Sryia, Italian Sources:

About 400 Christian families in the Homs neighborhoods of Hamidiyyeh and Al Bustan Diwan were used as Human Shields.

Christians fear being used as human shields, prelate says

http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2012/07/25/Syria-Militias-rampage-Aleppo-some-al-Qaeda-flags_7236019.html

(Different armed militias are rampaging through Aleppo, some of them flying al-Qaeda banners, the city is ”under siege” and civilians have nowhere to run, Qara monastery Mother Superior Agnes-Mariam de la Croix told reporters here on Wednesday.)

(”The city is now under siege, overrun by militias coming from the northern border with Turkey, the city’s southern exits are blocked and 200,000 civilians have nowhere to flee, except from one neighborhood to another,” )

( The militias are infiltrated by foreigners, directed by various outside players, and ”are fighting each other in the streets)

Peaceful activists aren’t they readers?

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July 25th, 2012, 4:06 pm

 

47. ann said:

Russia denies receiving AL proposals on Syrian transition – 2012-07-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/25/c_131738815.htm

MOSCOW, July 25 (Xinhua) — Russia has not received any official proposals directly from the Arab League (AL) regarding a power transition plan for Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

“We did not receive any proposals directly,” Lavrov told reporters.

He acknowledged that he got information via media that Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani and AL Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Ben Helli planned to visit Moscow to present a Syrian transition plan.

“If they consider it more useful to speak about that publicly but not addressing the country they are going to visit, let’s wait and see,” Lavrov said.

Also on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed doubt on whether the new round of sanctions against Damascus imposed by the European Union (EU) on Monday complied with international law.

Russia described the sanctions as a “maritime and air blockade of Syria.”

[…]

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July 25th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

48. Mina said:

Zoo
Saudi Arabia should explain why it has advised Saleh in Yemen to use nerve gas on the demonstrators, as many videos have shown last year. It is part of WMD.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

49. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Juergen 27,

Amir
is that in Tel Aviv?

Yes it is. It was part of the “White Night” event of 28 June
http://www.touristisrael.com/white-night-tel-aviv-june-28-2012/1147/
.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

50. Aldendeshe said:

test

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July 25th, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

51. Aldendeshe said:

Someone from SNP called me to alert me to @SANDRO comments in previous post (that is in clear violation of SC rules). @SANDRO should be banned, but he did not even been blocked by moderator. The thing is, neither me personally or under SNP posts did we ever called for anyone killing, not even the opposition and mercenaries fighters. All we ever said is that the strategies are flawed. The fighters are a front for a deceptive goal, that Syrians are being cheated like kids. We said you will fail, said it is a waste of valuable resources that can be used genuinely to free Syria, rather than plunder it on a pipe dream.

We never supported the killings by the revolutionaries, nor Assad uncompromising methods and bloody retaliation, destroying lives and cities. I am an outspoken and straight shooter, I am not a diplomat, nor elected official. SNP will never ever compromise on its stand, and those that threaten me or SNP, you can bet that retaliation have been ordered, not against you, the anonymous, but those we assume your backers or your interests. You would not hear public statements and claims of responsibility, it will just happen and you will be left scratching your head.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:35 pm

 

52. zoo said:

Did Assad Win the First Round in the Battle for Damascus?

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/did-assad-win-the-first-round-in.html

….
The regime appears to have won Round 1 in the fight for Damascus, but the war is far from over. The approximately 40,000 FSA fighters and thousands of opposition activists and supporters cannot afford to give up the fight and risk the merciless wrath of the regime thereafter. President Bashar al-Assad has given little indication of a willingness to negotiate a settlement with the opposition or to step down, despite attempts by both the Syrian National Council and the international community to form a transitional government.

Though the past two days have ushered in a cooler breeze and awakened the city from its coma, depression and worry linger in the air with no peaceful end in sight.

“What if after all this time, the regime stays and nothing changes,” asked one disheartened opposition supporter. “What would all that we have endured been for?”

That disenchantment is starting to echo throughout the city.

“Honestly, neither side is a very attractive option for Syria but the FSA won’t win in a 100 years over government forces…they’re beasts,” said a Syrian who was neither pro-Assad nor pro-FSA, but part of a growing, unaffiliated segment of the populatio

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July 25th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

53. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Here it goes again, TRUTH

The truth is bitter,this is the truth about the battle of Damascus:

And your verification method? … an email from SNK or Jad?

This is the most crappy piece of propaganda I have read in a while.

عن بكرة أبيهم …. ؟

LOL, only athad media can write such BS. If you want to dwell on that, go for it, but don’t call it TRUTH when you provide no means of verification except a quotation probably from an athad worshiping media whore or fathebook page. You don’t even give a source.

Another LOL, now Ayman Zeydan, who is well known for being the biggest money slave even among the men7ebbakjies is a measure of intellect.

To MJABALI

a sect-x state
Is by definition a chauvinist state.
A chauvinist state is by definition an anti-democratic state.
A sect-x state can only be undemocratic …

Just look at the counterpoint (Syrian Arab Republic) and be a Kurd for a half an hour.

to the sectarians

NO, sect-x is not more civilized than sect-y and sect-y is as crappy as both sect-x and sect-z and sect-z is no more civilized or better educated than either sect-x, sect-y, or sect-f. Anyone thinking otherwise is a sectarian pig/cow/crocodile/snake/cockroach….. you pick which unholy animal you want and add to the list. And no rodents… for they are holy and clean. … at least cleaner than sectarians.

Now you made me talk sectarian, where is the soap, i need to wash my mouth.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

54. habib said:

32. Aldendeshe

I’ve had the problem too, it’s an automatic spam issue, not mod-related.

53. SYRIAN HAMSTER

Everyone who isn’t secular-minded is sectarian.

In other news, al-Qaeda assistance seems to be the FSA’s only chance for success: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/world/middleeast/al-qaeda-insinuating-its-way-into-syrias-conflict.html?_r=3&src=me&ref=world

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July 25th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

55. zoo said:

Tunisia’s Culture War: Salafists Run Amok

By Rob Prince, July 25, 2012
Tunisia’s Salafists are the brown shirts of the Tunisian Arab Spring

http://www.fpif.org/blog/tunisias_culture_war_salafists_run_amok

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July 25th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

56. zoo said:

Does the CIA really have no idea about the nature of Syria’s rebels?

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0724/Does-the-CIA-really-have-no-idea-about-the-nature-of-Syria-s-rebels

It’s hard to believe, but so say anonymous officials in a Washington Post article published yesterday.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / July 24, 2012
..
The Obama administration is still hoping that Assad will fall soon. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described his fall as “inevitable” today and said the US “has to work closely” with rebels to draw up plans to secure the country’s chemical weapons and to protect against reprisal killings on the day after.

“We’re working across many of these important pillars of a transition that is inevitable,” she said. “It would be better if it happened sooner both because fewer people would die or be injured, but also because it would perhaps prevent sectarian retribution.”

Note the use of her word “perhaps” in that sentence.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:43 pm

 

57. omen said:

so which kurdish faction supports the rebels?

“In some places, the Syrian regime handed over power to the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and withdrew,” Abdelbasset Seida, head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), said after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday.

The assertion of control by the PYD, which denies any association with the PKK, has led to squabbles and even armed clashes with the other main Kurdish political group, the Kurdish National Council, and other Syrian rebel factions.

Syrian opposition figures have accused the PYD of acting as enforcers for Assad, putting down demonstrations in Kurdish areas and assassinating anti-Assad activists, most notably Mashaal Tammo, a charismatic Kurdish leader. He was killed last year as he organized an anti-Assad political coalition.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

58. zoo said:

Where are the washing machines and playgrounds for kids? It needs an urgent visit of Angelina Jolie to shake up Erdogan on mistreating his guests who are not even protected by UNCHR

Syrian refugees simmer in Turkish camps

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/25/us-syria-crisis-turkey-refugees-idUSBRE86O1DS20120725
KILIS, Turkey | Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:44pm EDT

(Reuters) – Tempers are running short in Syrian refugee camps just inside Turkey, where torrid summer heat and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan are compounding complaints about living conditions and perceived mistreatment by the Turkish authorities.

“They have broken our hearts, the Turks. Why are they doing this to us?” sobbed Umm Omar, huddling with her four children after choking on teargas fired by Turkish riot police to quell trouble over food distribution in the Kilis camp on Sunday.

“We are fasting,” she said, complaining there was not enough food for the evening meal that ends the day’s fast during Ramadan.

Fights have broken out in other camps, too, this week, among refugees as well as with Turkish security forces, illustrating one of Turkey’s many challenges in coping with the fallout from the conflict raging in nearby Syria for the past 16 months.

The challenge could get much worse, perhaps forcing Turkey to reconsider its current policy mix of taking in refugees, sheltering Syrian army defectors, promoting unity among a fractured Syrian opposition and quietly allowing foreign funds and weapons to reach rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

59. irritated said:

#57

so which kurdish faction supports the rebels?

None.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

60. omen said:

cia feigning ignorance is only an excuse to stand on the sidelines, giving bashar a freehand to commit genocide.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

61. omen said:

59. irritated, if that was true, the rebels wouldn’t have been able to seize the syria/turkey border crossing without some kind of green light from the kurds to do so.

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July 25th, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

62. zoo said:

Russia moves toward Egypt

Putin has a message for Egypt
July 25, 2012
M K Bhadrakumar
http://indrus.in/articles/2012/07/25/putin_has_a_message_for_egypt_16581.html

Putin chose to underline Moscow’s desire to “strengthen” the bilateral relations between Russia and Egypt and to forge a “constructive partnership and close cooperation” on regional issues with Mursi, which would have “great importance for ensuring stability and security in the Middle East.”

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July 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm

 

63. habib said:

Loool, westerners sure know how to commercialise things:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matthewvandyke/this-is-your-chance-to-become-part-of-the-arab-spr

McRevolution? What a retard.

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July 25th, 2012, 5:04 pm

 

64. ann said:

Russia slams U.S. for “whitewashing” terrorism in Syria – 2012-07-25

“We double-check it now. If the seizure of territories is being supported by our partners, we’d like to demand an answer: What is their position on Syria, and what they attain in that country, in the end of the day,” Lavrov said

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/25/c_131738860.htm

MOSCOW, July 25 (Xinhua) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the U.S. position over the Damascus bombing that killed several top Syrian officials was “a direct whitewashing of terrorism.”

The comment was made in response to U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland’s remarks that the attacks on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s top officials were “not surprising.”

“This is a direct justification of terrorism. How should one understand that?” Lavrov told reporters.

In a July 18 suicide bombing attack, Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajha was killed along with three other senior officials, including Rajha’s deputy, Assef Shawkat, who was also al-Assad’s brother-in-law.

The Russian top diplomat said he was surprised that the U.N. Security Council failed to condemn the attack, which Moscow termed as an “act of terror” and demanded the arrest and punishment of those responsible.

He also criticized Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the UN, who said that the Damascus bombing called for enforcement of the UN Charter chapter that sanctions the use of force.

“This is a terrible position, all in all. I can’t even find words to express our attitude to that,” Lavrov said.

[…]

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July 25th, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

65. Tara said:

I support a no fly zone to be imposed on the regime. The Assad thugs should not be allowed to use war planes to bomb Syrians as they are doing now. The silence of the so called developed world is disgusting. How long can their conscious tolerate? The duty to protect is a human value.

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July 25th, 2012, 5:08 pm

 

66. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

A gift from Zakaria Tamer… you love athad… think which ally of athad are you

Zakaria Tamer
حلفاء الرئيس أجمعون

حلفاء الرئيس السوري في الميدان الإقليمي والميدان الدولي معروفون، ولكنه يملك حلفاء آخرين يحظى بدعمهم وتقديرهم هم الجهل والغرور والصفاقة والتفاهة والبلادة والغباوة.

think, if you really love athad, you may be all

Translation

Zakaria Tamer

All the president’s allies
The Syrian president’s allies in the regional and international arenas are well known. But he has other allies whose appreciation and support he owns: Ignorance and arrogance and audacity and pettiness and stupidity and foolishness.

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July 25th, 2012, 5:12 pm

 

67. omen said:

video: rebels capture boxes of gas masks.

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July 25th, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

68. Observer said:

Haaretz claims that Bandar is now charged with preparing post Assad Syria.

I say after Syria is liberated we should move to liberate Saudi Arabia from the Saudi Royal Family Rule.

I have dilemmas on who I despise more the Republican House of Assad or the Royal House of Saud.

What about the report from Atwan about a Royal Center for Defense and Security in Britain preparing an invasion of Syria to contain the civil war.

Didn’t these stupid people learn that it is easy to get in and very difficult to get out?

Only Russia is more foolish than Britain when it comes to rushing in.

Cheers

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July 25th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

69. SANDRO LOEWE said:

37. ALDENDESHE

I am so sorry if you felt treathen by my words. I hope you accept my sincere apologies. I was not trying to treathen you at all. I did not even know you belonged to SNP and I even don’t care about the SNP at all.

My message was in response of your insulting words towards the FSA guys, most of them regular syrians or defectors from the state or security apparatus. I think this is the fact you still cannot accept, those who are fighting are syrians like you and me. People who were simply workers or students and now have become fighters for what they think is a fair and respected cause, that of the future Syria.

When I tell you that your insults towards them are dangerous I mean that are dangerous, not because I like it. All defectors are suplying the FSA with all names of officials who ordered killing, arrests and massacres. I hope there is no revenge against political enemies but an time of chaos in power changes there will be no legal security. This is something I fear and I would not like to happen but we cannot deny this is a danger.

Of course I think any political expression must be respected but then please respect those members of the syrian society who rallied against the regime but were massacred and then found armed resistance was the only way.

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July 25th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

70. omen said:

video: manaf tlass reading his announcement, calling for a post assad/democratic free syria.

what do you make of his tone/demeanor?

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July 25th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

71. SANDRO LOEWE said:

68. OBSERVER,

Sorry, Lebanon is first in the queue so let Saudis wait their turn. Time will come when people of other countries will say “enough is enough”.

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July 25th, 2012, 6:38 pm

 

72. Tara said:

I have a real fear that the revolution will not win even after the regime in it’s entirety is gone.  I hope someone will emerge from the LCC  

Splits widen within Syrian opposition

Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 July 2012 14.13 EDT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/25/syria-rebels-divided-jostling-power

Syria’s fractured opposition is to meet for what is set to be a bitter internal debate over forming a transitional government to replace the regime of Bashar al-Assad, now fighting hard to reverse rebel advances.

The secretariat of the Syrian National Council (SNC) – the biggest single coalition of anti-Assad groups – is convening in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Thursday where SNC sources say that Riyad Seif, a respected dissident, is a leading candidate to head a “consensus-based” civilian administration.

But Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, the most important member of Assad’s inner circle yet to defect, is also being mooted as the head of an Egyptian-style supreme military council that could keep the Syrian armed forces intact and loyal, according to SNC officials and foreign diplomats.
..
In his first public statement since his defection, Tlass called on Tuesday for the opposition to unite and urged the military to abandon Assad. Tlass has been on a pilgrimage to Mecca, burnishing his Sunni Muslim credentials. Saudi Arabia, France and Russia all want him to play a role.

General Mustafa al-Sheikh, one of the first generals to join the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), said he was backing Tlass. But there were immediate objections that the Republican Guard officer is too closely associated with the regime. “Manaf Tlass was not speaking to the opposition or to the people of Syria,” said the analyst Rime Allaf. “He was placing a call to his peers in the army.”

Forming a unity government is a contentious issue for the SNC. Abdel-Basset Sieda, its Kurdish leader, was forced on Tuesday to deny reports that he agreed to the transfer of Assad’s powers to another regime figure who would lead a transitional period, as in Yemen.
….
The Lebanese columnist Karl Sharro said: “Ultimately, something new will be born out of the LCCs and the FSA and they will provide more credible leadership than anything the SNC can come up with.” predicts the Lebanese columnist Karl Sharro. Others say they expect the SNC to collapse and disappear when Assad goes. 

…more

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July 25th, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

73. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Observer

Speaking of Atwan

Atwan’s concluding paragraph, which reads
” ما يمكن التنبؤ به هو ان شرق اوسط جديدا تتبلور خريطته فوق الارض السورية، فإذا كانت الحرب العالمية الاولى التي وقعت قبل مئة عام تقريبا قد وضعت خطوط الخريطة الحالية، فإن الحرب المقبلة اذا ما اندلعت قد تنسفها توحيدا او تفتيتا، والعرب في جميع الحالات، مثلما حدث في الماضي، سيكونون الضحية الأبرز، بل الوحيدة، والأيام بيننا.

Is nothing but a repetition of the whining, fatalistic Arab from a generation passed. I am tired of him, of his admiration of dictators and thugs, and of his self righteous defeatism and nationalist-cum-islamist mentality that sees evil everywhere he looked (sort of like the regime propagandists and copy-paste counter-revolutionary left-over past-era revolutionaries here on SC who still think Russia is the Soviet Union and that Putin wants to build the communist-socialist poorhouse empire again).

My response to Atwan: So what, Germany lost the second world war, was subject to Allies occupation and was divided. Yet it emerged as the strongest economy in Europe. South Korea, which was destroyed during the Korean war, rebuilt itself from a backward country into an economic and technological power house. Both nations, however, did not listen to their own Atwans, who knew no dictator they did not like.

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July 25th, 2012, 7:13 pm

 

74. True said:

@ 72. Tara

“I have a real fear that the revolution will not win even after the regime in it’s entirety is gone. I hope someone will emerge from the LCC “

Why your preference goes with LCC?

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July 25th, 2012, 7:15 pm

 

75. Tara said:

True

Home-grown, politically matured over 17 months, and effective.

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July 25th, 2012, 7:17 pm

 

76. ss said:

66Syrian Hamester

حلفاء الرئيس السوري في الميدان الإقليمي والميدان الدولي معروفون،” ولكنه يملك حلفاء آخرين يحظى بدعمهم وتقديرهم هم الجهل والغرور والصفاقة والتفاهة والبلادة والغباوة”

All these allies are working for us.
I used to check Syria comment on daily basis at the begining of the unrest, whatever you want to call it, last year. I have not been a vivid reader at all of Syria comment as it lost its credibility and it became worse than Aljazeera and Alarabyia. I wonder what agenda it serves????
I thought checking out the website to see if the lanhguage or logic has changed. Unfortunately the same logic. If you ever log to Alshaq Alawsat newspaper you are gauranteed a 24/7 attack on Assad. Syria comment lost its credibility and it is very biased.

I assure readers that Syria will be back and the army is making victory every minute. The regime will stay. The Syrians are sick of the rebels. The rebels are being killed in hundreds. Russia, China, Iran, and Syria are making worldwide victories. Poor Sunnies in the gulf region; I have one advice to you: Watch out for the Shia crescent; it is coming more stronger than ever

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July 25th, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

77. ss said:

“74. Truesaid:

@ 72. Tara

“I have a real fear that the revolution will not win even after the regime in it’s entirety is gone. I hope someone will emerge from the LCC “

Why your preference goes with LCC?”

Because we are confused. Because we are not united, because we do not have a leader and we have been looking for one the last 7 months. Because we are despirate.

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July 25th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

78. True said:

@ SS & Tara

All in all, the Syrian “political” opposition is a collateral damage and proved nothing but its shallowness, lack of depth, and sometimes dishonesty. Their disgusting performance resulted in more widows and orphans throughout Syria while most of them enjoying their endless five stars BS meetings. Their indecisiveness to arm the real FSA (formal defected army personals) right at the beginning left us with armed Islamists who will keep destroying our country for long years after giving elBatta the boot.

something wrong it’s not posting comments!!

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July 25th, 2012, 8:02 pm

 

79. Ghufran said:

There was a time when Hamster was a pleasure to read,now I can only see a bitter and angry fellow who refuses to be challenged or informed. What the FSA did was exactly what I copied in my post,and Aleppo is next,it is a strategy for death and bloodshed with average Syrians being the fuel of this dirty war.
One fellow,forgot if it was Hamster or another poster,is comparing Syria to south Korea and Germany who survived war and destruction,you may be able to impress a teenager with this superficial anology but not anybody who knows how Syria and the Middle East is different and how religion,Israel and oil money make this conflict entirely different.
There are Syrians who do not mind destroying their country to topple the regime,and there are others who are willing to burn the country to save Assad,most Syrians do not belong to either camp.

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July 25th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

80. Syrialover said:

Direct from Aleppo – from people in contact with relatives.

Everyone is feeling the terror. Nobody anywhere now believes they are safe.

Loud explosions and deafening sonic booms from aircraft are building trauma and panic across the city. Especially young children are shocked and terrified by the noise.

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July 25th, 2012, 8:45 pm

 

81. Syrialover said:

Think now of Aleppo. Syrian-people-hater Bashar Asssad, at work burning the country – and souls and psyches of millions of innocent Syrians.

His choice. And his primitive idiotic actions from day 1 removed Syrians’ choice.

To quote Syr. Expat in the previous thread:

“You can thank Assad and co. for this catastrophic failure. It didn’t have to come down to this”

It sure didn’t.

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July 25th, 2012, 8:56 pm

 

82. Ghufran said:

It is too little too late to complain about the Islamists who will “destroy our country”
جاب الدب لكرمه
That is what the mentality of “toppling the regime at any cost” has brought us,all of that violence was not necessary and none of those Islamists who are non Syrian should have been allowed to join the revolution and the FSA which is now IAT after turning sectarian and thuggish exactly like Shabiha. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan to see whether islamists are more merciful than dictators.
Destroying Syria and ending its regional role was a necessity to make life easier for the anti Iran and pro KSA-Israel bunch, I do not buy the theory that Israel wants the regime to stay,what Israel and others want is a fractured country that is ruled by a weak government and torn by civil strife and divisions,seeing 20,000 Syrians dead was not a big deal to those,but any mention about chemical weapons was enough to trigger a sleuth of statements expressing concerns and dismay,those of you who think that Syrians have friends need to wake up.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:05 pm

 

83. Tara said:

I do not think the Kurds in general are supporting the revolution. I think they are playing a “dirty game” looking to have their own independence at the expense of everyone. It is obvious that the Kurdish flag is flying on Syrian land with the consent of the regime. There may be a deal to give them their autonomy for the price of not supporting the revolution and for creating problem for Turkey. The havoc they wrecked during the last opposition meeting when they stormed out might be all staged to shed a bad light on the opposition fighting with each other.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:22 pm

 

84. Tara said:

The Syrian regime is not a house of glass 
Fawaz Gerges
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 July 2012 14.30 EDT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/25/syrian-regime-not-house-of-glass

There is an assumption that once President Bashar al-Assad steps down, the authoritarian state, a family-based regime, will crash like a house of glass. But the structure of the authoritarian state in Syria is likely to remain in place regardless of the timing of his departure. The Assads have spent more than four decades safeguarding the building blocks of political authoritarianism and co-opting a broad coalition of social, political, sectarian and ethnic communities. The Alawis, a minority sect within Islam, are the spearhead and power base, ut other interest groups play a critical legitimising role, such as Christians, Druzes, and an important segment of the Sunni merchant class and the new bourgeoisie, all of whom benefited from Assad’s neoliberal economic.. 
..
To legitimize their rule, the Assads invested the authoritarian state with an identity and ideology of pan-Arab nationalism and resistance to Israel, an ideology that resonated among many Syrians and Arabs.  …It is no wonder that after the fall of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, Bashar al-Assad boasted that he was immune to the contagion because Syrians approved of their country’s anti-hegemonic regional and foreign policies.          
….
…The coalition painstakingly built by the Assads appears to be fraying and thinning under the blows of a persistent and dynamic armed uprising. Increasing evidence points to cracks within the system and loss of confidence in Assad’s viability, including defections by senior and junior Sunni officers and the flight of the middle and professional classes, his social support base. Punishing sanctions…weakened the regime’s ability to purchase influence.

Although Assad is bleeding, besieged internally and externally, and facing what appears to be a moment of reckoning, it may be too early to write his obituary or that of the authoritarian state. Assad still retains the backing of a loyal core of supporters, including non-Alawis. The security apparatus is still capable of deploying massive force to crush rebels, as witnessed over the past week. The structure of the police state seems to function, though less intact and effective than before. As the fierce struggle becomes more sectarian, the regime will fall back on its asabiya to prolong its survival.

The question is not how long Assad can cling to power, but will the authoritarian structure survive him? Ironically, international diplomacy has mainly focused on forcing Assad out while keeping the system in place. The idea is to avoid a security vacuum (like that of Iraq after the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003) and all-out civil war that could destroy Syria’s diverse social fabric and threaten neighbouring states….

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July 25th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

85. Ghufran said:

A sample of what goes through in some Syrian towns:
ماذا حصل في قرية ديرفول
شباب قرية ديرفول حملوا السلاح في وجه العصابات القادمة من الزعفرانة (جماعة رواد الأكسح وعلاوي) وضد عصابات الرستن(رئيسها خالد ابو اسماعيل)
بسبب عمليات الخطف للمدنيين الشرفاء وبسبب السرقات التي قامو بها
وبسبب عمليات اطلاق النار على كتيبة الصواريخ المجاورة للقرية من الجهة الغربية
ومحاولة فرض افكارهم الإسلامية المتشددة على سكان القرية بالقوة كفرض الحجاب على النساء بالقوة
لهذا اضطر شباب القرية لمواجهتهم

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July 25th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

86. omen said:

I used to check Syria comment on daily basis at the begining of the unrest, whatever you want to call it

unrest? you mean the fake, mock demonstrations staged in a hollywood type studio in doha? how can there be unrest when everybody loves bashar?

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July 25th, 2012, 9:41 pm

 

87. Norman said:

I think we make a big deal in Syria about the flags, in the US a the flag of Texas, New Jersey, Florida and other states fly all the time, even the Syrian flag flies over my house, that goes not mean i am not loyal American or that Texas, Florida, New jersey are declaring independent, anybody can fly any flag he or she wants but the Syrian flag represent Syria as a whole.as the American flag represent the united states.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:44 pm

 

88. True said:

@ Tara,

“Home-grown, politically matured over 17 months, and effective”

LCC members did their best to stamp this revolution with arms and blood while the only spilled blood was the “Sylmia” protesters may they rest in peace. Those days of Sylmia protests days and nights will stay memorable.

I know it’s been 16 months but we should not forget, this revolution could have won in the first 6 months if, and there’s a BIG if here, political opposition remained above the fray and worked for the Syrian agenda rather their narrow own personal benefits.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

89. omen said:

but any mention about chemical weapons was enough to trigger a sleuth of statements expressing concerns and dismay

how annoying for you, ghufran, that people would have the temerity to be anti-chemical warfare.

as observer pointed out, loyalists have yet to denounce the use of these stockpiles as redline that would merit a rejection of the regime once and for all.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

90. omen said:

LCC members did their best to stamp this revolution with arms and blood while the only spilled blood

that’s not true. there are members of the opposition who still oppose the use of arms. other members only tolerate the fsa, saying the regime gave the opposition no other choice.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:51 pm

 

91. Ghufran said:

ذكرت وسائل إعلام إيرانية الثلاثاء أن إيران دشنت أولى ناقلاتها النفطية المتوسطة الحجم من نوع أفراماكس المحلية الصنع, وهو ما اعتبر محاولة للالتفاف على العقوبات الغربية المتزايدة التي تستهدف صادراتها النفطية, والتي أثرت على تجارتها البحرية.
ويبلغ طول الناقلة 250 مترا وعرضها 44 مترا ووزنها 21 ألف طن، ويمكنها حمل ما يصل إلى 700 ألف برميل من النفط، وهي الأولى التي تبنيها إيران بهذا الحجم. وقد أنزلت إلى الماء في بوشهر جنوبي إيران.
وطلبت فنزويلا من إيران بناء أربع ناقلات نفط عملاقة بمبلغ إجمالي يبلغ 230 مليون يورو.

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July 25th, 2012, 9:53 pm

 

92. omen said:

82. this habitual tendency to blame the world for what bashar himself has wrought, what do you call this? projection? reverse denialism?

how can anybody look at homs and blame the rebels? the regime has shelled towns and cities long before there was a fsa. now it’s carpet bombing allepo. the regime has all the heavy arms, tanks, planes and combat helicopters – but, somehow, it’s ak-47 wielding “islamists” who are solely to blame.

we get used to hearing it but this level of delusion is disturbing. it’s like blaming the jews for getting themselves gassed when sane people know hitler was solely responsible. stop blaming the victims!

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July 25th, 2012, 10:19 pm

 

93. Ghufran said:

Syria will need a lot of money to rebuild,where the money will come from and at what cost?
This is a report from Saraqeb by the Time magazine:
http://world.time.com/2012/07/24/a-dispatch-from-free-syria-how-to-run-a-liberated-town/?iid=gs-main-lede

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July 25th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

94. zoo said:

Between two detox…
CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria
http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/cia-s-favorite-saudi-prince-is-laying-the-groundwork-for-a-post-assad-syria.premium-1.453434

King Abdullah names Prince Bandar, director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, on top of his post as secretary-general of the National Security Council.
By Zvi Bar’el | 04:14 25.07.12 | 7

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan fell in love with the United States when he was still an air force pilot and took aerobatics training on an American air base. The romance was renewed several years later when he was named the Saudi ambassador to Washington, a tenure that lasted 22 years. He was a regular guest of George H.W. Bush and later his son, and was the only ambassador guarded by the U.S….

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July 25th, 2012, 10:47 pm

 

95. irritated said:

93. Ghufran

Iran, Russia, China will rebuild Syria

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July 25th, 2012, 10:49 pm

 

96. zoo said:

Former ambassador to U.S. known as ‘Bandar Bush’ is new Saudi intel chief

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/22/new-saudi-intel-chief-is-former-ambassador-to-u-s-nicknamed-bandar-bush/

The Return of Prince Bandar: Saudi’s New Spy Chief
Jul 23, 2012 6:00 PM EDT

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/23/the-return-of-prince-bandar-saudi-s-new-spy-chief.html

King Abdullah reached for a familiar face in shuffling his foreign-intelligence service, naming Prince Bandar as chief.
…..

Bandar’s first and most urgent task will be Syria. The Saudis want Asad gone sooner not later and Bandar will get the rebels more arms. Its deeply ironic since Bandar played an important role in helpng Bashar consolidate power when his father Hafez died in 2000. Bandar pressed Syria’s generals then to accept the young man as tough enough for the job. Now he must be Bashar’s undoing.

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July 25th, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

97. irritated said:

After the crushing defeat of the rebels in the “Battle of Damascus” we have not heard anymore of our SC local strategist who was predicting a full victory.

I guess that either he went back to Hatay to take care of the wounded Al Qaeeda FSA soldiers or more plausible, he is sulking, doped with anti depressors.

I guess we won’t see him back for a while

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July 25th, 2012, 11:02 pm

 

98. jna said:

Reports I’ve been reading from (pro-government) residents of Aleppo appear to indicate that the army is already defeating the armed rebels in Aleppo, at least this time around.

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July 25th, 2012, 11:02 pm

 

99. zoo said:

Post-opposition plans are going on with Syria allies and friends.

Iran hosts high-level Syria economic team
AFP – 3 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-hosts-high-level-syria-economic-team-184533412.html

A high-level Syrian economic delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Omar Ghalawanji arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to boost cooperation between the two allies faced with Western economic sanctions.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA said the visiting team included the ministers of oil, electricity, health, water and housing.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has no limit for developing cooperation with the brother and friendly country of Syria,” Vice President Ali Saidlou was quoted as saying in a meeting with Ghalawanji.

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July 25th, 2012, 11:07 pm

 

100. ss said:

96. irritatedsaid:

“After the crushing defeat of the rebels in the “Battle of Damascus” we have not heard anymore of our SC local strategist who was predicting a full victory”

I am not sure who do you refer to by “SC local strategist”

I will post this link of Dr. Landis who was lecturing us about the imminent fall of the regime and giving words of wisdom to the rebels representitive like Mohammad abdullah
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/EastSec

Does he stand by his prediction that the regime is “Finished”?

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July 25th, 2012, 11:16 pm

 

101. zoo said:

Changes in Turkey’s borders?
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/changes-in-turkeys-borders-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26374&NewsCatID=409

The fact that some Syrian border posts are no longer controlled by troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad but by Syrian Kurdish rebel groups, and that Kurdish flags have been raised in some Syrian border towns with Kurdish populations, has seriously disturbed the Turkish government.
….
The region is heading towards a dangerously unstable phase because of the civil war in Syria.

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July 25th, 2012, 11:23 pm

 

102. zoo said:

Non stop problems for Turkey…

Turkey to take action against PKK in Syria
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-take-action-against-pkk-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26368&NewsCatID=338

Turkey has announced that it will take additional measures against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria, after news broke that the PKK’s offshoot in there has seized control of a number of villages along the Syria-Turkey border. Top civilian and military officials held a security summit yesterday to discuss developments inside Syria and along the border.

The worst news for Turkey would be if the PKK were to obtain surface-to-air missile and chemical weapons. While the PKK is taking control of the region, it will develop itself politically and psychologically. Its legitimacy among Kurds will expand.

In conclusion, the recent developments could provide the PKK with significant military opportunities. If the government doesn’t take any precautions and wastes this most precious time, Turkey will face serious security problems. The PKK wants to harvest the political opportunities these military advantages would provide, will rise up and be more aggressive about reaching its aims.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-meaning-of-the-syrian-civil-war-for-the-pkk–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26332&NewsCatID=419

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July 25th, 2012, 11:26 pm

 

103. Ghufran said:

“Sieda is the not real decision-maker,” complained Khalaf Dawood of the NCB. “He and [predecessor Burhan] Ghalioun are just pawns. The Islamists control the SNC even though there is no democratic basis for that. The Turks and the Saudis are running things and the Americans might be behind them. We don’t want to end up swapping one corrupt dictatorship for another.”

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July 25th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

104. omen said:

what was it amir said? if syrians are able to topple this regime, anything following it will be easier to replace (if need be.)

The worst possibility for our country is that the regime stays in power. Anything else is less bad. ~ yassin saleh

the loyalists are so afraid of change. 20 years from now, they’ll wonder why they didn’t overthrow the regime earlier.

uzair, you’ve cited him a bit. how would you describe fawaz gerges’ politics? is he considered conservative?

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July 26th, 2012, 12:12 am

 

105. Uzair8 said:

I was going to share a BBC World Service news piece I heard earlier however it seems that channels programmes may no longer be available to listen again (*Not available to listen to on demand from 25 July-12 August*). Maybe they will have a new platform? Perhaps podcasts?

Anyway, they were talking to a french journalist who I’m sure was in Aleppo. A couple of things he said:

– A police station was captured in Aleppo by the rebels today. It had been attacked for 3 days and today they made the final assault after blowing the gate with a gas canister. They entered the station and captured 20 policemen who had been defending the station for 3 days.

– When asked about the news of more regime troops heading towards Aleppo and whether the rebels would dig trenches and stand their ground, he replied that the rebels were aware of these reports. He said one rebel commander said they would not be standing their ground but would be like water, moving, flowing between the streets and destroying tanks. The journalist judged this to be risky with the rebels lightly armed and with very little anti-tank weapons other than RPG.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:16 am

 

106. Uzair8 said:

#104 continued…

The journalist may have been Adrien Jaulmes:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/111707/syrian-rebels-braced-for-tank-onslaught-on-aleppo

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July 26th, 2012, 12:23 am

 

107. Ghufran said:

استشهد أمس الأربعاء لاعب نادي الاتحاد الحلبي زكريا اليوسف إثر سقوط قذيفة هاون في حي الأنصاري بحلب.
اليوسف استشهد بعد أن هرع إلى مكان سقوط القذيفة مع بعض المواطنين لإسعاف الجرحى،
Five other people were killed.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

108. Uzair8 said:

103. Omen

Fawas Gerges? I’m not sure about his politics.

I’ve heard him since the Libya crisis and he seems ok to me. On Syria early on, at times his analysis and predictions weren’t what I wanted to hear, which I think can be a good thing, as any change in his position can be taken as an indicator of how things may be changing on the ground.

I’ve seen a christian website accuse him of being an apologist for Islamists.

Recently I’ve seen one or 2 salafist types reacting to an article and stating their previous distrust of him.

From his articles and recent books he seems to be all doom and gloom about the US future role (lack of) in the middle east.

I reckon he along with Prof Landis are the 2 most in demand commentators on the Syrian issue.

Don’t know much else about him.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:39 am

 

109. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

OTW agreed. Will answer on 7ee6an. Answer is too long and contentious for SC.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:49 am

 

110. Uzair8 said:

I was refused permission to edit my previous 2 posts even with about 4 minutes of edit time remaining.

A correction.

In #107 I said a ‘Christian’ website. I was going by memory. Something I read last year maybe?

I just looked it up and it was actually ‘Campus Watch’. It’s an old article from 2003….

Who Is Fawaz Gerges?
Another problem Mideast scholar

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/752

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July 26th, 2012, 12:51 am

 

111. Uzair8 said:

An Arabic news channel discussion. I don’t understand it but will share it.

الانتفاضة العربية الشيخ محمد أبوالهدى اليعقوبي قناة الحوار 2012 07 21

Google translate: Intifada, the Arab Sheikh Mohammed Al Yacoubi Abualhdy dialogue 21 07 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZrwEOUOdCA

25 minute long.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:00 am

 

112. Halabi said:

RT took down it’s major scoop about the $36 billion movie being made in Hollywood to bring down Assad, which was the basis of a crazy report on Syrian TV. Addunya picked up this hilarious bit.

http://youtu.be/vhzw3rh6ia0

People who depend on this kind of news (Riad Al Asaad ran away with $2 million, Mustafa Tlass told the spokeswomen for the FSA to go breast feed her children on France 2, etc.) aren’t seeing some other side of the story that rational observers are missing. Those who believed that “Assad is duck really” studios is real, or that anyone in the history of mankind spent $36 billion on a film, are beyond repair. I don’t think they should be killed, but they definitely need an IQ test before procreating so as not to pollute the gene pool.

المخابرات الصينية تكشف عن عمل هوليوودي للإيحاء بسقوط الأسد بتمويل خليجي

أجرت القناة الروسية “الثانية” لقاءً مع المتحدث باسم جهاز الاستخبارات الاتحادي الصيني أكد من خلاله نجاح المخابرات الصينية بالتوصل الى معلومات تشير الى ان شركة “مترو غولدوين ماير” الأمريكية الشهيرة بصدد تصوير “حيلة سينمائية هي الأضخم في تاريخ الشركة لصالح أجندات سياسية تهدف الى إسقاط النظام في سورية”.

وأشار المتحدث الى التعاون بين “مترو غولدوين ماير” وشركة آسا ديز داك ريلي” ومقرها ولاية نيفادا الأمريكية، والى ان العمل يجري حالياً على قدم وساق لتصوير مشاهد أطلق عليها اسم “السقوط المدوي” توحي بانهيار النظام الرسمي في سورية، بغية زعزعة الثقة لدى المقربين من هذا النظام واستهداف “معنويات عناصر الجيش السوري النظامي والدائرة المقربة من رئيس البلاد بشار الاسد”.

وكشف المتحدث وهو ضابط برتبة عقيد يُدعى إيشما سونغا عن عملاء للمخابرات الصينية نجخوا باختراق هذا المشروع وتسريب معلومات مهمة حوله للمركز، مشيراً الى ان اللقطات التي يتم حالياً الإعداد لتصويرها تشمل تصميم مجسمات للعديد من المواقع المعروفة ذات الرمزية الخاصة في سورية، مثل القصر الجمهوري وجبل قاسيون ومطار دمشق الدولي وملعب العباسيين، بالإضافة الى مبنى القيادة القومية وساحة الأمويين والسبع بحرات ومكتبة الأسد وجسر الرئيس في دمشق، كما يتم تجهيز مجسمات لمطار الضمير وإحدى المزارع التابعة لأحد كبار الضباط في الجيش السوري، على ان يتم تصوير مشاهد معدة للإيحاء بأنها وقعت بالفعل “في إطار مخطط الإطاحة بالنظام الحالي في سورية”.

كما أكد إيشما سونغا ان المشروع “السينمائي” يحتوي على مشاهد انشقاق سياسيين والكثير من كبار الضباط في الجيش، لافتاً الانتباه الى ان تصوير بعض هذه المشاهد سيتم بتقنية 3D، والى ان تكلفة هذه العملية “بلغت 36 مليار دولار تكفلت المملكة العربية السعودية وقطر وسلطنة عمان بها”.

ووصف سونغا الأمر بأنه “مؤامرة كونية على سورية الصديقة للصين”، مشيراً في سياق الحوار الى ان ساعة الصفر المحددة لإسقاط النظام لن تتجاوز منتصف شهر آب/أيلول القادم، وان موعد بث هذه التسجيلات التي أعادت الى الأذهان أحداث فيلم Wag tht Dog حول حرب افتراضية ستتم بعد اختراق محطات التلفزيون السورية واللبنانية والإيرانية “المؤيدة للنظام السوري” وقطع بثها، وذلك تنفيذاً للمرحلة الأخيرة من خطة إسقاط النظام السوري والإطاحة ببشار الأسد. وشدد العقيد الصيني قبل نهاية اللقاء على ان بلاده “لن تترك النظام السوري يواجه هذه المؤامرة بمفرده”، متعهداً بأن بكين ستقدم “دعماً معنوياً ضخماً للتصدي لها”.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:14 am

 

113. Ghufran said:

Kurd support is expensive nowadays,but neither the regime nor the opposition will be able to secure it unless one party in this conflict emerges as a strong victor and that is unlikely in Syria,Kurds have already taken steps to secure their areas and as things heat up near their towns,more steps will be taken. Kurds have one major goal regardless of what their
Politicians say or do not say: a recognition of their unique situation as an ethnic group that wants good relation with Arabs but does not want to be subjected to the rule of any Arab government. Syria will not be able to control the Kurds,Turkey will try,but Kurds will not stop until they have their own country or at least their autonomous entity in each of the countries where they fom a sizable minority.
أكد الناطق باسم «حركة الإصلاح – سورية» والعضو في أمانة «المجلس الوطني الكردي» في سورية فيصل يوسف، أن الأعلام الكردية التي رفعت على بعض المرافق العامة في محافظة الحسكة بدأ العمل بإزالتها وإعادة العلم الوطني السوري بعد قرار بعدم المساس بالمرافق الخدمية والإنتاجية العامة والخاصة، مشدداً على أن الطابع السلمي للتظاهرات المعارضة في المدن الكردية لا يعطي أي مبرر لوجود «الجيش الحر» ولا غيره في هذه المنطقة، مشدداً على أن «الجيش السوري وقوات حفظ النظام مازالت في القامشلي وغيرها من مدن محافظة الحسكة في الذروة وموجودة بشكل قوي».

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July 26th, 2012, 1:34 am

 
 

115. Juergen said:

Dietmar Ossenberg is again in Damascus, he made this report:

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/hauptnavigation/startseite/#/beitrag/video/1692490/Weniger-K%C3%A4mpfe-in-Damaskus

in it he wants to show that the there is a normal life possible, he made interviews in the parc near the Four Seasons.
One women was displaced from her apartment due to “terrorist” activities. He wents on to the Omajad square, visit a famous chocolate store( he did that before too) and the owner says that Europe until now has not understand that the regime is fighting against terrrorists.

6 days of fighting in Damascus, but the stores and banks are open, at least in this part of Damascus, where the fighting occurred we arent allowed to visit.

Not a single bad word against Assad or the regime today. Only those in favor of the regime wants to talk to us, those who are against it, will never talk to us in front of the camera.

( now my favorite part)

Scene in a restaurant. It is ramadan like in all muslim countries but here in Syria one can eat during the day. For Assad followers thats a proof of the tolerance.

Visit to a center of the catholic church where the priest Elias is collecting goods to share with the needy. The boyscouts of the church have collected medication and food.

The priest Elias: We are in a religious war. The fanatics come from Libya and Afghanistan to destroy Syria. ( the priest went to say they come also from Iraq, Jordan, but that was not translated into German)

Even though many support the regime for its religious tolerance they no longer believe Syria has a future and many just want to get out.

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July 26th, 2012, 2:48 am

 

116. SANDRO LOEWE said:

According to witnesses:

During last 10-12 days Assad has been sending 15 metres long trucks through Anti-Lebanon mountains to Serghaya unofficial border post with Lebanon. They are supposed to transport long range missiles (chemical or conventional) from Assad to Hizballah military camps in Bekaa Valley south of Baalbek.

Assad may have been ordered by Iran to do it, so missiles are not taken by the enemy and at the same time put extra pressure on Israel.

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July 26th, 2012, 3:00 am

 

117. Mina said:

Tara 75 about the LCC
So finally you join Jad’s position! Beware, he has been threatened of jail and military tribunals by many here, including high in the admin!

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July 26th, 2012, 4:57 am

 

118. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I salute Ben Ali, SCAF and Yemen’s Saleh. They all are real patriots.

They knew when is the right time to give it up. They didn’t want to burn their countries with themselves. Unlike this murderous Alawi junta, who is dragging Syria into the abyss, the other Arab dictators and juntas wanted to spare their countries from hell.

I salute all Arab ex-dictators who spared their countries and countrymen. I scorn this despicable Alawi junta.
.

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July 26th, 2012, 5:47 am

 

119. habib said:

Some speculation about an Alawite State: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Jul-25/181965-alawite-mountains-offer-limited-shelter-to-assad.ashx#axzz21gZoJE3A

They make the same mistake as many here by calling it an “inviable rump-state”.

Which is puzzling, since such a state would have exactly the same size, geography, climate and resources as Lebanon. Lebanon has mainly failed due to its many sects, not size, but an Alawite state would be more homogenous, so this problem would be mostly eliminated. So where exactly lies the “inviability?

117. Amir in Tel Aviv

Wish whatever you want, you’re next in any event, lol. The Muslim Brotherhood caliphate that soon surrounds you might be nice to you in the beginning due to Western pressure, but wait a few years, and you’ll be attacked daily by suicidal crazies from all fronts.

Salafists are backstabbers that cannot be trusted, the West didn’t learn from aiding them in Afghanistan or Libya. You’ll soon learn again.

I salute those Jews who leave Israel in the near future. They know to give up before burning the entire region, and themselves.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:38 am

 

120. Tara said:

Mina @117

Wallahi ya Mina you don’t know anything from anything about Syria. You did not know that the killed ex-defense minister was christian and you are confusing the LCC with the NCB( Haytham Manaa group). I told you before, find a Sudan or Mali blog. You’d fair much better.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:25 am

 

121. Mina said:

It looks like Jürgen has forgotten to post this one (Thanks Angry Arab):
“German intelligence estimates that “around 90” terror attacks, which “can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups,” were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July. As reported by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, this was revealed by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question. In response to the same question, the German government admitted that it had received several reports from the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, on the May 25 massacre in the Syrian town of Houla. But it noted that the content of these reports was to remain classified “by reason of national interest”…”

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July 26th, 2012, 7:34 am

 

122. Observer said:

The mask of resistance has fallen again and yet some refuse to accept this
This is from RT on bombing Yarmouk refugee camp
http://arabic.rt.com/news_all_news/news/590576/
Syrian Hamster I could not agree more about Atwan, he is from another generation and is still delusional about a white knight fair dictator that is coming to save Jerusalem

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July 26th, 2012, 7:58 am

 

123. habib said:

Genius move by the Syrians:

“Syrian Kurdish opposition figures say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have quit areas of Hassaka and Aleppo provinces, which border Turkey, leaving them under the control of the PKK-linked Democratic Union Party (PYD).”

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/turkey-mulls-syria-intervention-crush-kurdish-rebels

So if the Turks force their FSA proxies to attack the Kurds, or even if the Turks attack them, they can wave goodbye to Kurdish support for their little revolution-project. Loool.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:13 am

 

124. Tara said:

The massacre’s judge has defected. Is that the result of his investigation?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jul/26/syria-crisis-aleppo-battle-looms-live#block-6

11.06am: Following the Qubair massacre last month, the Syrian government appointed its own commission to investigate, but it wasn’t long before reports started circulating that the head of the commission, Talal Houshan, had defected.

These reports now appear to be confirmed by a video posted on YouTube where Houshan, apparently reading a prepared statement, accuses the Syrian government and its shabiha supporters of killing women and children.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:26 am

 

125. Tara said:

Are Manaf and Bandar going to shape Syria’s future?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jul/26/syria-crisis-aleppo-battle-looms-live#block-7

11.23am: Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, the cigar-chomping defector backed by US officials (see 9.47am) seems to have thrown his lot in with the Saudis rather than the Qataris – unlike many of the other Syrian defectors.

He’s featured today in an interview (in Arabic) with the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat where he thanks King Abdullah “for giving me this opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia” and describes the kingdom as “a friendly country to Syria”.

He also confirms – as we suggested in the live blog yesterday – that he has been in Saudi Arabia performing the umrah pilgrimage. This helps to explain the period of silence following his defection.

In extracts from the interview translated by Reuters, Tlass says:

I am discussing with … people outside Syria to reach a consensus with those inside.

I left (Syria) … to try to help the best I can to unite the honourable people inside and outside Syria to set out a road map to get Syria out of this crisis.

I realise this is a difficult phase … It’s difficult for one person to bear the responsibility of such a phase. A group (including opposition) from inside and outside Syria should cooperate to accomplish this phase.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:27 am

 

126. Mina said:

Tara
Where was I wrong since April 2011 when I said it is all about independent Kurdistan and that as long as Bashar would kill djihadists conveniently gathered there the West would not have problem with it?
I am not interested in the sectarian composition of the Syrian goverment nor in their family affaires, but after listening many here calling for ethnic cleansing of the Alawites consider by them as heretics, it is always interesting to point out the strong Sunni and Christian supports of the regime, no?

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July 26th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

127. Juergen said:

Mina

I didnt have to post that, Karabenehmsi posted it already.

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July 26th, 2012, 9:02 am

 

128. Juergen said:

Tara

Soon we will hear what an criminal Talal Houshan was. The only question to me is why does the regime always choose the wrong persons to do the job? Is it a wasta problem?

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July 26th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

129. zoo said:

TIME Exclusive: Meet the Islamist Militants Fighting Alongside Syria’s Rebels

As foreign jihadists rally around the cause of Syria’s rebels, TIME meets two factions of Islamist fighters seeking to overthrow the Assad regime and set up a political state in their image
By Rania Abouzeid / Idlib Province

The al-Qaeda flag was propped up in a barrel painted with the three-starred Syrian revolutionary banner in the middle of the road at a makeshift checkpoint between the northern Syrian towns of Binnish and Taftanaz in Idlib province

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/07/26/time-exclusive-meet-the-islamist-militants-fighting-alongside-syrias-rebels/#ixzz21jq5iPsN

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July 26th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

130. Juergen said:

Turkish PM:

“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those close to him were about to leave power and preparations are underway for a “new era” in Turkey’s southern neighbour.”

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July 26th, 2012, 10:20 am

 

131. zoo said:

“With Turkey, it’s all talk,”

Turkey a hub for Syria revolution as illegal border crossing points abound
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkey-a-hub-for-syria-revolution-as-illegal-border-crossing-points-abound/2012/07/25/gJQADKO29W_story_1.html

Turkey’s role in the revolt goes far deeper than helping refugees, though to what extent it is actively aiding a war that has spun beyond the reach of world diplomacy is unclear. Turkey seems to be groping for a strategy to address the unfolding chaos on its doorstep, said Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group in Istanbul.

“Turkey wants to have a say in what happens in Syria,” he said. “But I’m not sure it’s got any easy answers to what is going on. This is all new and unexpected for Turkey.”

Most of the talk is of money and arms, both of which are in inadequate supply, according to fighters and activists. Weapons have been reaching the rebels in small quantities, procured from arms dealers with funding provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But deliveries have been intermittent, and the small arms and ammunition are not sufficient to defeat the well-equipped Syrian army, rebels say.

Some blame Turkey for not doing enough, even as its prime minister, Recep Tayyep Erdogan, delivers strongly worded statements condemning Assad, a former friend and ally, and predicting his demise.
..
WQhat is clear is that the Syrian conflict has already reached deep into Turkey. The quaint and ancient city of Antakya, the preferred destination for most Syrians crossing the border, pulses with the intrigue and gossip of the war next door.

Free Syrian Army fighters stride through its narrow streets, sunburned and sweaty from the battlefield, hoping to meet benefactors to provide them with money and arms.

Salafi Muslims, who have come to offer help from the countries of the Persian Gulf region, huddle over kebabs, their long beards and robes conspicuous in secularist Turkey.

Men who identify themselves as representatives of rebel battalions rent cheap hotel rooms and apartments, swelling the population of a city, once part of Syria, where many still speak Arabic as their native tongue.

“With Turkey, it’s all talk,” said Abu Alaa, a veteran fighter and former farmer who had crossed into Syria to hustle for fresh supplies of ammunition.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

132. irritated said:

#125 Tara

Are Manaf and Bandar going to shape Syria’s future?

Yes if the Baath regime collapses as you have been calling for!
A Sunni-only alliance with excellent relations with the USA, Saudi Arabia and France.
Is that you always wanted, no? or you still prefer Burhan Ghaliun and Basma Qodmani?

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July 26th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

133. habib said:

131. zoo

Erdogan is the epitome of the proverbial “barking dog”, lol.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:42 am

 

134. bronco said:

123. Habib

It seems that there is an agreement behind the scene whereby Bashar Al Assad has promised more autonomy to Syrians Kurds in exchange for either their neutrality and possibly their support if needed.

Aware that it could happen, the SNC had elected a Kurdish leader with the hope he will rally the Kurds against Bashar.
It failed. The non-support of the Kurds (10% of the population) is a blow to the opposition.
In addition it is a threat to Turkey as arms can easily be brought in Turkey to support the PKK. The Turkish media show that Turkey is increasingly worried about the development in the borders in the Kurdish part of the country.
In others words, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying for weapons who end up in the hands of Al Qaeeda, the PKK, the Syrian government and what is left to the rebels.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

135. Dawoud said:

Bilal was lucky that Ummayah, not Bashar, was torturing him! This was my thought last night while watching al-Farouk “Omar” on MBC (http://shahid.mbc.net/media/video/29258)! Bilal survived torture, but Hamza al-Khateeb didn’t! The brutal Ummayah Ibn-Khalaf had to have a little more mercy and compassion than Bashar/Maher al-Assad, and certainly more than Hasan Nasillat of Hizbillat, who-according to an artilce in al-Jomhouriyah Newspaper-called the Syrian murderous dictator and offered him Hizbistan’s “full capabilities and support!” Ummayah Ibn-Khalaf had much less innocent blood on his hand than Bashar/Maher and Hasan!

Free Syria & Palestine!

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July 26th, 2012, 10:45 am

 

136. zoo said:

Resurgent al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Target: ‘Heart’ of US

Back from brink, al-Qaeda in Iraq far more dangerous
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff

Posted Jul 26, 2012 3:12 AM CDT
http://www.newser.com/story/150832/resurgent-al-qaeda-in-iraq-vows-to-strike-at-us-heart.html

Newser) – Al-Qaeda in Iraq killed scores of people with its coordinated bombings and shootings around Iraq early this week, but the militant group has bigger ambitions than just local terror attacks. It’s now aiming for the “heart” of the US, reports the Los Angeles Times. “You will soon witness how attacks will resound in the heart of your land, because our war with you has now started,” warned the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq in a recent audio recording. Although al-Qaeda in Iraq was devastated five years ago, since then it has regrouped and expanded, thanks to the upheaval in Syria and new funding from wealthy donors in the region.

“You can say pretty categorically that al-Qaeda in Iraq appears to be strengthening from where it was two years ago,” said an al-Qaeda expert from the Rand Corp., noting “there are networks and recruiting efforts in the US and Canada.” US officials downplayed the chances of the terrorist group conducting a successful attack in the US, but there have been several arrests in Canada and America over the past two years of people connected to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:49 am

 

137. Juergen said:

Mina
i thought you may like this article

A tv station only with women who wear niqab

Maria TV-Cairo

“Undercover TV” some Egyptians called the new private television station mockingly. All employees – even behind the cameras – are women, and all work as it were covered: covered with the face veil that leaves only a slit for the eyes free. Ultra-orthodox Muslims call him “niqab” and hold him for a religious duty.

“Egypt’s ultra-Orthodox are determined to impose their conservative stamp over the society. Recently in Suez a young man was stabbed by a Salafist hothead because he and his fiancée sat alone in the evening in a park. For the ultra-Orthodox that is immoral. The journalist Heba Hesham is still not worried in general. “We are talking about the activities of some people, which will hurt at the end: Islam. I’m not afraid of what they do. No one can impose anything on the Egyptian society again.”
http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tagesschau.de%2Fausland%2Fmaria104.html

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July 26th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

138. zoo said:

An Arab islamist plot against the GCC? Crackdown on Islamists

DUBAI | Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:40am EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/us-emirates-police-brotherhood-idUSBRE86P0EG20120726

….
The comments by Dahi Khalfan, one of the most outspoken security officials in the United Arab Emirates, follow the detention in the UAE since April of at least 20 dissidents, according to relatives of the detainees and activists.

“There’s an international plot against Gulf states in particular and Arab countries in general…This is preplanned to take over our fortunes,” Khalfan told reporters at a gathering late on Wednesday marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The bigger our sovereign wealth funds and the more money we put in the banks of Western countries, the bigger the plot to take over our countries…The brothers and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well.”

Most of the detainees since April are Islamists, targeted by an official clampdown amid concern they may be emboldened by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in other Arab countries such as Egypt.

UAE Interior Ministry officials have not been available to comment on the arrests. Last week, UAE officials announced that authorities were investigating a foreign-linked group planning “crimes against the security of the state”.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

139. Aldendeshe said:

I scorn this despicable Alawi junta.
_________________________________________________________________

You have no right to scorn them, they are fighting in self defense. It is a life or death battle for them. They will be butchered with dull knives. As an Israeli, you will fight the same as well when faced with Paleo. What you need to do is scorn the revolutionaries and backers/ plotter who plotted and guided the wrong kind of revolution in Syria. One that is designed to fail on purpose,to keep the Assad and take away the parts of Syria needed by Israel, Turkey and the oil and gas inerests.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

140. bronco said:

A dilemma for the Western countries terrified by the sudden surge of Al Qaeeda’s presence in Iraq that has been facilitated by the conflict in Syria.

To chase and stop Al Qaeeda in Iraq, the Western countries will be obliged to help both the Iraqi and the Syrian government, like they are doing in Yemen, before it gets too late.
They are realizing that the FSA is unable to fight Al Qaeeda as it is too weak and itself infiltrated. The only force that could help stop the flow of Islamist fighters and weapons in the region is the Syrian Army. The current efforts of weakening it only encourage Islamist extremists to have a free ride to Iraq.

A major shift in the western attitude toward the Syrian government is expected as soon as Aleppo is fully back in the Syrian’s army controls and the rebels fleeing. The UNMIS will immediately start the cease fire agreement. That’s why they are there, for that moment.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

141. Stick to the Truth said:

Interesting statement by M. Tlass

A group (including opposition) from inside and outside Syria should cooperate to accomplish this phase

Why “Including opposition” in brackets?

http://english.al-akhbar.com/live-event/live-blog-syrian-crisis

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July 26th, 2012, 11:25 am

 

142. sf94123 said:

Bronco at 140,
You are overoptimistic! Hope you are right. By the way, I always look forward to reading your comment and analysis. keep them coming.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:31 am

 

143. AIG said:

Bronco,

According to your logic, the West should be happy that the Sunnis will be fighting the Shia for years to come. They will have no time to fight Israel and Syria and Iraq will be weaker than ever.

No Western country is going to help the Syrian or Iraqi regimes. Assad is much worse than Al-Qaida. He supported Hamas that killed 1,000 Israeli civilians in the second intifada. Then, you cheered him on. Now you think Islamic terrorists are not such a good idea. What happened to change your mind?

So, Assad not only supported the suicide bombings of Hamas against Israel, he also supported jihadists going from Syria to fight the Americans in Iraq. And now you want to scare us with “Islamists going wild” when this scenario was supported all along by Assad? Let’s see Assad deal with this disastrous phenomena that he nurtured. Instead of complaining, accept responsibility for this vile phenomena and deal with it.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

144. AIG said:

Why would the US care if there are Islamic terrorists in Iraq? That will only weaken Iran and their stooge Maliki. What happens in Iraq after the Americans left is an Iraqi problem, not an American one.

They may say a few words but the Americans would not care at all if a Sunni state comprising parts of Iraq and parts of Syria is formed. Neither would Israel.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:44 am

 

145. Juergen said:

Bronco

Its interesting to believe that Syria never was involved in helping AQ to get the number 1 threat to national security in Iraq.
I assume you will make a fine measure to defend the regimes continuous support for salafist Hamas and Jihad islamiyah as well as radical schiite Hisbollah and AQ. If I would have asked a year ago if AQ would exist in Syria most experts would have asked for ones mental health.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:49 am

 

146. bronco said:

#144 AIG

Why would the US care if there are Islamic terrorists in Iraq?

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=15532&cp=3#comment-320608

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July 26th, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

147. Mina said:

The West can be happy: since the Arab world suffers from a demographic crisis, let’s the Islamists explain that to their supporters. They will certainly find the words and take the measures experimented in the 60 and 70’s by China and India.

Thanks Jürgen,i have posted the ahramonline article about it 2 weeks ago (when you were away for a few days).

Bronco: it’s the law of the free market and free world. Qatar and KSA cannot be held accountable if the PKK and some Syrian army “associates” can pay more than the “rebels” and buy the imported stuff.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

148. Damascius said:

The menhebekjiyeh of 2011 are back here after the first Damascene scare,replaying their arrogant khelset.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

149. AIG said:

Bronco,

You quote an article describing that AQ is getting stronger in Iraq. But why should Americans care? It is an Iraqi problem. AQ are killing Iraqis, not Americans. Maliki said he can handle security in Iraq, let him do it. He can get the Iranians to help him. It is not an American problem and Americans do not care.

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July 26th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

150. Antoine said:

139. ALDENDESHE said :

“They will be butchered with dull knives”

_________________________________________________________________

Are you sure ? What makes you (and them) think so ?

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July 26th, 2012, 1:01 pm

 

151. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

139. ALDENDESHE said :

“They will be butchered with dull knives”

_________________________________________________________________

Did you hear of a massacre in Alawi villages, since the beginning of this revolution? The massacres take place only in Sunni communities.

Or in other words:

The Alawi rulers are responsible of massacring about 50,000 (mainly) Sunnies since 1982. How many Alawis got massacred during this period?
.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

152. Aldendeshe said:

They already did so. I have saved several beheading and throat cutting videos from your peaceful, exemplary revolution that managed to gain 99.8 % of Syria masses behind you, or was it Behind Assad? I am confused. But FISHY DEAL IS IN THE MAKING.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

153. Aldendeshe said:

The Alawi rulers massacred about 50,000 (mainly) Sunnies since 1982. Can you refute it?
__________________________________________________________________

@AMIR,
Much more than that, way more, close to 85,000 if you counted all the missing and presumed dead. Add the Lebanese population of dead and missing to that, Iraqis. That was all perpetrated under U.S./U.N. watchful eye. Do you want me to play a couple thousands video clips for you of the praises Hafez and specially Bashar and his regime received from world, Arab and Moslem leaders in the past 15 years only. How many thousand pictures of hugs & kisses do you want me to send you. The issue here is failed brainless revolutionary strategy. Not how many Alawi/baathi killed.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

154. erin said:

what’s difficult to understnad that the Syrians don’t want the islamists in power as it happened in Egypt! it is the only problem with the revolution, otherwise, the regime would have be gone by now if the SNC was not a cover for the radical islamists and the GCC behind them. SNC never represented the Syrians and all efforts to shove it in the face of the syrians have failed.
it seems the GCC are the one who should have revolution against their leaders.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

155. Tara said:

Aldendeshe

The only massacres committed in Syria were massacres of the Sunnis at the hand of Alawites. Lies and propaganda will not change the reality known to everyone, it just makes people lose respect to those who are spreading the lies.

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July 26th, 2012, 1:40 pm

 

156. Mina said:

They don’t get tired?
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/14-egyptian-undocumented-migrants-arrested-syria
“Syrian authorities have arrested 14 Egyptians who attempted to enter Syria illegally through Jordan’s borders, according to Egypt’s state news agency.

Alaa Abdel Aziz, the charge d’affairs at the Egyptian Embassy in Damascus, told MENA that the embassy has begun procedures to bring the Egyptian nationals home, having been informed of their arrest by the Syrian authorities.

He said the embassy has also asked the Syrian authorities to clarify under what circumstances two Egyptian citizens were killed in Qaboun, in a rural area near Damascus, on Sunday. (…)”

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July 26th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 

157. SC Moderator said:

Aldendeshe

I trashed your comment. This is a final warning before you get banned. Attacking ANY religion is against the rules and will NOT be tolerated.

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July 26th, 2012, 2:25 pm

 

158. Aldendeshe said:

I did not attack Islam,I complained about its practise.

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July 26th, 2012, 2:37 pm

 

159. omen said:

aje: rula amin: we just got news of a massacre, the activists say, where 22 people were killed in one incident. we are told they are defectors who went down one valley in daraa province trying to help some of the people who were displaced. the army attacked them and executed all of the 22 of them.

is this what syria stands for? killing people for daring to help others? there will be no one decent left if the regime is allowed to stand.

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July 26th, 2012, 3:08 pm

 

160. habib said:

Alawites have been butchered during this conflict and also during the 70s and 80s. It is just conveniently ignored by the Western and Gulf media, so gullible folks like the ones here will keep spewing the same ignorance for decades to come.

It’s funny how the Ziopnists propagandize against the tactics of the Alawites. Are they not themselves a despised plurality clinging to power in a country threatened by Islamism? Have they not used even more brutal measures against this foe before?

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July 26th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

161. Tara said:

Habib

“Alawites have been butchered during this conflict…”

How many Habib? Less than 10? As opposed to 19,000 Sunnis killed and 30,000 disappeared.

How about acknowledging it and saying Sorry.

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July 26th, 2012, 4:57 pm

 
 

163. Bruno said:

It has been reported that A massacre committed by FSA took place in Salah Addin Aleppo against innocent civilians.

In order to frame the Assad forces.

Other updates.

Reported by: Zaid Benjamin
Saudi fighters were killed in Koreen , Idlib while trying to hamper a military convoy heading to Aleppo – The Observatory

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July 26th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

164. omen said:

the regime brazenly announces it will blame the rebels in the event of a chemical/biological attack.

transcript of press conference:

Jihad Maqdisi, Syrian Foreign Ministry Spokesman:

We confirm that chemical and biological weapons will never be used. To reiterate: they will never be used during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments on the Syrian front. […]

At the same time, the ministry is warning of another concerning issue, and that is the possibility of terrorist groups armed from abroad amid the increasing failure to hit the political regime in Syria. Arming these groups with tactical bombs or mines that contain biological substances and, God forbid, detonating them in a village then accusing the Syrian forces of it.

video: english translation of press conference.
jihad makdissi @ 5:09 on timer.

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July 26th, 2012, 5:27 pm

 

165. Halabi said:

Being a minhebak means never having to say you’re sorry… Same with genocide enthusiasts and holocaust deniers.

More on “Assad is duck really studios.” It seems that every pro-regime outlet did a report on this. If the official media reports it then it’s true, just as the witch Buthaina said. So supporters of Bashar, this is your reality.

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July 26th, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

166. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Question: why did they begin to use airplanes (most probably piloted by Alawi pilots)?

Answer: because they are running out of men, commanders and equipment.

By now, I believe it is a matter of weeks, not months.
.

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July 26th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

167. Bruno said:

@Amir in Tel Aviv

(Question: why did they begin to use airplanes (most probably piloted by Alawi pilots)?

Answer: because they are running out of men, commanders and equipment.)

Amir First off Assad military forces the Sryian Army hasn’t started on using the air planes if they did really started to bomb by using the migs then Assad would have been done for already as it is.

Assad hasn’t started on using the Migs as that BBC reporter claimed, this is the actually plane that was seen.

From the BBC Report Does this plane look anything like the Mig jet fighter?
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uaa_56AmhPw/UA_EwGuuJMI/AAAAAAAACG0/nIloRxSbhio/s1600/Aleppo_BBC_July24_25_2012_FrogFoot.jpg

http://defense-update.com/images/MIG35.jpg
Mig.

The plane in the photo by the BBC reporter is no other then SU 25 a recon plane.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Pm7M-jcg95k/UA_487W0-rI/AAAAAAAACIU/1RZzzz5irU8/s1600/SU_25_AeroComparisons.jpg

The SU 25 were never designed for air or ground combat due because of there issues with such complicated design of the jet at that era.

(Answer: because they are running out of men, commanders and equipment.)

Highly not true.

Sryia military infantryman

Active Military: 304,000 (2011) Current Number:200,000
Active Reserve: 450,500
Available Manpower: 11,550,588

So what makes you think they are they are running out of men, commanders and equipment?

But whats a User from Tel Aviv doing and discussing regrading Sryia?

Amir I have seen you make several if not more comments on CNN and other Israel news sites.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:12 pm

 

168. zoo said:

Desperate Erdogan hangs on Manaf Tlass to save his honor.

Defected Syrian general meets with Turkish foreign minister
AFP 1 hr 14 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/defected-syrian-general-says-plan-end-crisis-202709890.html

Defected Syrian general Manaf Tlass met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglo on Thursday after visiting Saudi Arabia, where he said he was working on a plan to end the Syrian conflict.

Tlass said he had no intention of leading Syria during a period of transition which, according to him, must be done by a team comprising Syrians from inside and outside the country.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:15 pm

 

169. Bruno said:

Two thumbs down just for posting the truth on about the Jet story?

Cant you people see the differences in this image?

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uaa_56AmhPw/UA_EwGuuJMI/AAAAAAAACG0/nIloRxSbhio/s1600/Aleppo_BBC_July24_25_2012_FrogFoot.jpg

Does that look anything like an Mig fighter? no it doesn’t.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

170. Albo said:

When you think that the Lebanon civil war led to 300 000 deaths (according to Antoine Sfeir) for a population that was 2,7 millions in 1975… This is food for thought regarding our situation in Syria.

It is also remarkable how despite lingering tensions, they managed to forget and get past it.

I’m not saying that to belittle what happened in Syria decades ago or now…but my position is clear that trying to attain political goals through force is insanity in our region. I will maintain that, because of the “Arab Spring” wave, all arab countries have been forced to start reforms. We have seen signs of that in Morocco and Algeria and I’m sure there will be more. You can’t go against it.

Now in Syria, we have blood feuds running very deep, but the Muslim Brotherhood can never be allowed to run the show. Not when 30% of the country isn’t sunni. Hence all the talks about separation. Medieval privilege must be that, a thing of the past, not a political program in today’s world. If you have objections, I invite you to take a closer look at countries where it is applied or an inspiration: pretty much all are basket cases in a way or another.

And I must add, Arab nationalism (with some accomodations for Kurds) is the only way forward. There is no other choice that can ever bring good to Syria.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

171. omen said:

what is this orange smoke ?

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July 26th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

172. zoo said:

The battle for Syria is best understood as the epicenter and early stages of a regional sectarian conflict, rather than the last days of President Bashar al-Assad.

Author: Andrew Parasiliti
Published on: Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/battle-for-syria-just-getting-st.html

The civil war in Syria should give pause to those who are fixated on a timeline for Assad’s fall. The Syrian president has taken some hits in the past week but has settled in for a no-holds-barred fight to hold onto power.
Absent a substantial military intervention by the US or others, the military balance remains with Assad, including in Aleppo, where anti-regime militias have made a major push to seize control. The security officials named to replace those killed last week are familiar hard liners and Assad loyalists. Assad’s forces appear to have beaten back the rebels in Damascus.
..
Another reason reports of Assad’s demise may be premature is because of the regional power struggle that is playing out in Syria. The US has until now subcontracted the armed insurgency to the patronage of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Many in the Gulf Cooperation Council states consider Syria a sectarian battlefield to check Iranian and Shiite power and influence.

Iran is not likely to give up the fight with the stakes so high. Assad also has a backer in Russia, which is unwilling for now to cede its influence in Syria. Moscow may believe that the worse things get, the more its influence grows, as only it holds the key to negotiations with the Syrian government.
..
The US has no easy options or answers in Syria. It begins with do no harm. As Syria’s civil war is inseparable from the broader regional conflict, the US must have its own strategy that assures that Syria does not deteriorate and go the way of 2003 Iraq, and in the process take Iraq of 2012 and others along with it.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

173. zoo said:

Reports of Assad’s Demise Are Premature

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/battle-for-syria-just-getting-st.html

The US has no easy options or answers in Syria. It begins with do no harm. As Syria’s civil war is inseparable from the broader regional conflict, the US must have its own strategy that assures that Syria does not deteriorate and go the way of 2003 Iraq, and in the process take Iraq of 2012 and others along with it.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:33 pm

 

174. Bruno said:

@Omen
First Omen it looks like staged by the rebels themselves, and why i say that?

aljazeera picked it up and created the fancy title as.

(Syrian activists allege government may already be using chemical weapons)

Secondly that Smoke doesn’t look anything like a Chemical missile it loos like an explosion from either the ground or building.

From the video own text.

(a yellowish smoke came out from one of the missiles that hit the neighborhood, it is feared that the missile is a chemical weapon used by the Assad Regime against the innocent civilians.)

The rebels have been known to use YouTube as there own propaganda tool, like with most of there videos, including this one.

The other problem with the video to already at the first start of the of the video they started shutting allahu akbar.

Which usual allahu akbar. are used in battle by Jihadists.

The Video seems to be repeated.

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July 26th, 2012, 6:40 pm

 

175. zoo said:

Turkey in panic mode

Mega Kurdish state is being founded
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mega-kurdish-state-is-being-founded-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26441&NewsCatID=405

The scenario I am talking about may not come true, but if it does we will be crying over spilt milk. I am quite angry at those who do not see where things are heading. This is not acceptable. What we have been fearing for years will actually happen because of our incompetence and because of our small thinking.

Let me explain.

Nobody knows to what extent this is true, but according to reports coming from both the opposition forces and observers, Bashar al-Assad is gradually giving up the fight in those regions close to the Turkish border. He is withdrawing his present forces toward Damascus and obviously he prioritizes the protection of Damascus, his presidential palace, and consequently himself and his family.

Reports are also coming through that Syrians of Kurdish origin are hoping to fill this vacuum. Kurds cannot find a better opportunity. They may or may not succeed, but they will surely want to make use of this opportunity.

Well, this is Turkey’s biggest fear: Kurds in Iraq and Syria acting together and gradually turning themselves into one unit. In the future they may annex other “sections” in Turkey and Iran and form a “Greater Kurdistan.”

Such developments are unfolding in the region and boundaries are so slippery that big sentences like “it will not happen,” or “we will not let it happen” cannot be uttered.

This kind of a thing could indeed happen and Turkey might just as well fall short of intervening.
Then, what are we going to do? Open war?

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July 26th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

176. zoo said:

The ‘big picture’ in Syria: more trouble for Turkey

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-big-picture-in-syria-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26442&NewsCatID=
….

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdoğan told a private channel on Wednesday that they will not just sit and watch as developments unfold in the predominantly Kurdish northern part of Syria, adding that Turkey had every right to intervene there. But any military operation that Ankara authorizes against pro-PKK elements in northern Syria is bound to drag the country into new and unwelcome adventures, which will not only ruin the ongoing rapprochement with Kurdish northern Iraq, but also aggravate the Kurdish problem in Turkey.

With the “big picture” in Syria gaining increased clarity for Turks, it is becoming clearer to them that none of the options in the country are good for Turkey.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

177. Aldendeshe said:

تقرير إسرائيلي : أردوغان سمح شخصيا لمئات من عناصر “القاعدة” بدخول سوريا مؤخرا ، بعضهم أطلقته السلطات الأميركية من سجن غوانتاناموا لهذا الغرض!؟

http://www.syriatruth.org/الأخبار/أخباروتقاريرأخرى/tabid/94/Article/7895/Default.aspx

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July 26th, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

178. bronco said:

The Kurdish issue is growing fast and is playing an important role in the course of the events in Syria. Erdogan threatened to attack Kurds affiliated to the PKK on Syria territory while Barzani in Iraqi Kurdistan has announced that the KRG was training Kurdish-Syrian fighters who will then be sent back to defend Kurdish territory at home through an “Arbil agreement” between Iraqi Kurds and PYD, known to be an affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

It is clear that Turkey is faced with a Kurdish state growing at its borders and under its nose and soon threatening its unity.
Another case of Turkish naivety and impotence in the intricacy of the regional problems triggered by the uprising in Syria that Turkey has encouraged and is now paying the price.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

179. zoo said:

Zero problems? Zero trade..

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/exports-to-bypass-syria-via-mersin-ro-ro-ships.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26436&NewsCatID=345

Turkey’s trade volume with Syria has witnessed an incredible shrinkage from $2.3 billion in 2011 to $302 million in the January to May 2012 period, a 42 percent reduction from the same period last year.
..
Separately, Turkey’s zero problems policy with its neighbors has ended up in zero trade, Faik Burakgazi of Mersin Chamber of Trade and Industry, Cumhuriyet newspaper has reported.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 
 

181. omen said:

153. ALDENDESHE said: That was all perpetrated under U.S./U.N. watchful eye. … The issue here is failed brainless revolutionary strategy. Not how many Alawi/baathi killed.

what should the opposition be doing instead?

yes, it does matter the number of people killed. not only do the dead have to be accounted for, so must the missing. can’t have justice without accountability.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

182. zoo said:

Minister Ali Haidar calling for 10,000 Syrian observers to work with the UNMIS

Reconciliation minister meets Ladsous, discuss supervisors” mission
Date : 26/07/2012
http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2254863&language=en

DAMASCUS, July 26 (KUNA) — United Nations Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous Thursday met with Syrian National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar and discussed the
UN observers’ mission after the reduction in number of personnel and length of the mission mandate to just one month .
The meeting was attended by General Babacar Gaye, Head of UN Supervision Mission in Syria, and the discussion focused on mechanism of cooperation between the ministry and the mission on the ground, in view of the political process required to realize genuine reconciliation in Syria .
In remarks after the meeting, the minister said he had presented a proposal of deploying 10,000 specialized Syrian observers to work alongside the UN team. The proposal would be considered in the few coming days, and the response, he added, would show whether the mission was truly committed to its stated mandate and objective .

The ministry is ready to work out all that impedes the work of the mission, if the intentions are indeed honest and honorable, he remarked, so that it may truly meet its responsibility and hold those truly responsible for the violence accountable .

The minister further questioned the validity of the mission and the weight the UN truly assigns to it in view of the fact that the reports the team sends to the UN are not accredited. Had there been an honest desire to guarantee the best interest of the Syrian people and a truly objective unbiased Security Council, he stressed, the reports of the team would be sufficient and there would not be reliance on reports by other parties of unknown or questionable interests .
The minister further criticized over-crediting media, which he stressed is another weapon used in the war on Syria .
Stopping violence and initiating a political process is, first and foremost, Syria’s top interest, and not an invention of the Security Council. The Syrians, Haidar said, agreed to the plan presented by UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan not because he presented anything new, but because he expressed an international desire that matched that of Syria in seeing the nation out of the cycle of violence and reaching a solution for the political crisis .
Haidar further said he was “amazed” at those who change priorities. “We started with the whole world, even those calling themselves the opposition, demanding stop of violence as pre-requisite for starting talks. Now, everybody is turning a blind eye to this point and jumping to the next step of political process and measures.” He said he considers this running away from the issue, even if it is running forward, seemingly .
What is most important is not flashy headlines, but guaranteeing the conditions for success of any political process that would serve the whole of Syria.
Stopping violence, he noted, is the top condition that must be established.

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July 26th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

183. Albo said:

178 zoo
They wanted to trade with Syria and use it as their hub to expand trade with the rest of Arab countries. Now the growing insecurity and instability will make all that impossible, for who knows how many years.

Let it be reminded that their “neo-ottoman” shtick originates with the realization that they would never be part of the European Union. So their alternative was to be the center of a kind of free-trade union with the Middle East and within the ottoman sphere of influence. All the while, they thought to become closer with Russia. Now, they injected chaos in the former and deeply damaged ties with the latter.

I have been expecting this kurd scenario very early on, as they would need to make more minority allies and increase the viability of their coastal redoubt. This was really straightforward and the Turkish leadership has been tremendously stupid not to figure it out in the beginning.

Besides, Iran made it clear that they wouldn’t tolerate Turkish involvement in Syria if it were to increase beyond a certain degree. I believe open intervention in Syria is such a treshold and Iran could react by multipliying covert ops targeting Turkish troops.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

184. Tara said:

The pulsing heart of resistance is now murdering Palestinians..  

4.41pm: A statement from the Avaaz organisation regarding the situation in Yarmouk:

Activists from Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus reported that at least five civilians were killed and 25 injured after regime forces attacked the camp with tanks and helicopter gunships this morning.

Activist Muhammad told Avaaz: “The regime forces shelled the neighbourhoods of Orouba and Thalathin, and stormed into the camp with tanks and military vehicles. Deir Yassine clinics were also hit in the shelling.” Snipers were positioned rooftops and were taking pot-shots at “anyone moving in the street” according to another resident.

Security forces stormed into the Palestinian ICRC hospital, dragging away at least 10 wounded civilians. Activists confirmed that FSA groups are in the neighbourhoods of Tadamon and Hajar al Aswad next to Yarmouk camp, but not inside the camp itself, due to an agreement to keep it as a safe area for displaced civilians.

Palestinian families the camp are hosting around 20,000 displaced people – either in their houses or in makeshift shelters inside schools. They are mainly residents who fled the neighbourhoods of Midan and Tadamon and the city of Douma in Damascus suburbs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jul/26/syria-crisis-aleppo-battle-looms-live#block-23

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July 26th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

185. Shami said:

A poor Shabeeh ,lover of Assad !

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July 26th, 2012, 8:10 pm

 

186. Darryl said:

157. SC MODERATOR said:

“Aldendeshe

I trashed your comment. This is a final warning before you get banned. Attacking ANY religion is against the rules and will NOT be tolerated.”

Mr moderator do you fear people criticizing religious dogmas and attitudes when they present a brick wall in the face of progress?

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July 26th, 2012, 8:10 pm

 

187. Syrialover said:

This point-scoring about whether opposition material is true, conspiracy theories etc is childish and inappropriate. It reads like a silly effort at denial and distraction from what is happening at this moment to the terrorized people of Aleppo.

Let’s focus on the shocking reality. 100 tanks in the centre and bomber jets poised to smash up a city of 2.5 million people. The people, their livelihoods, the country’s heritage.

Assad is boasting he will burn the lot.

The hideous death throes of one of history’s most vicious and stupid dictatorships.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:18 pm

 

188. Tara said:

Can a massacre in Aleppo inflame Erdogan enough to do something drastic?  Is this a calculated risk the regime is taking? 

Syria: US warns of potential massacre in Aleppo
The United States warned Thursday that the Syrian regime may be preparing to carry out a massacre in the city of Aleppo, but stuck by its position that there would be no US military intervention.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9430960/Syria-US-warns-of-potential-massacre-in-Aleppo.html

“This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
She pointed to “credible reports of columns of tanks” waiting to attack Syria’s second city, where fighting has raged between regime troops and rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
A Syrian security source told AFP that the army was preparing for an all-out assault in densely-populated Aleppo as clashes shook parts of Damascus and other areas.

The rebels have also brought in reinforcements, with an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 opposition fighters arriving from outside Syria’s most populous city to reinforce some 2,000 already fighting inside Aleppo.
“The concern are the columns of tanks outside the city, that they seem to be massing for an attack, the fact that you now have not only helicopter gunships but fixed-wing aircraft, which is a serious escalation in this conflict,” Ms Nuland told journalists.
“Our hearts are with the people of Aleppo. And again, this is another desperate attempt by a regime that is going down to try to maintain control, and we are greatly concerned about what they are capable of in Aleppo.”
..more

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July 26th, 2012, 8:19 pm

 

189. Ghufran said:

A blood bath is about to happen in Aleppo,neither the army nor the armed rebels can afford to lose this battle,for the first time,a direct Turkish attack is possible in the name of protecting Turkey against Kurdish terrorists,it looks like the regime now has a deal with the Kurds not to enter this armed conflict and not to allow rebels access to Kurdish areas. The leader of the rebels in Qusair was killed at a time when AR Tlass seems to have fled to Turkey in preparation for a future military role with his cousin Manaf. Without outside intervention the rebels in Aleppo will probably lose the upcoming battle,Homs is likely to follow,the city is mostly quiet now but the Reef and Suburbs are not. The lack of any political moves reflect a desire by most players to see a clear winner before tying to convince fighting parties to compromise. It is tragic that a victory by this bloody regime may be the best chance now to keep Syria in one piece,it is depressing.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

190. irritated said:

#185 Tara

After Houla, any report of a “massacre” would have little effect. Unfortunately it’s deja vu.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

191. Tara said:

Irritated,

Little effect on whom?

It will sure have a very big effect on the Aleppines and the regime will risk losing all Aleppo in it’s entirety. It is now getting up close and personal to them.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

192. Syrialover said:

Ghufran (#186) writes: “it is depressing”

“Depressing” – is that how you see what could unfold in Aleppo? A very mild term.

I have found a many of your comments over these months consistently depressing, focused on worst-case scenarios and dismissive of any hope.

I recall you announcing very soon after the trouble started last year that you were selling up your property in Syria. I gave you my comments back then. It read like an early decision to write the country and the people of Syria off.

You will have to find a stronger word than “depressing” if Assad burns Aleppo.

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July 26th, 2012, 8:49 pm

 

193. irritated said:

@188. Tara

On the media and the western public opinion

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July 26th, 2012, 8:51 pm

 

194. Shami said:

Ghufran is that not difficult to be two persons at the same time ?

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July 26th, 2012, 8:53 pm

 

195. omen said:

Syria’s alawite refuge

Eight months ago, after losing his job and fearing for his safety, Majed escaped Homs. …

Fayez, a 35-year-old import-export business owner, also abandoned Homs last year after opposition fighters operating under the banner of the Free Syrian Army kidnapped his cousins and wrote “Get out” on the door of his home. …

Far removed from the shabiha, Assad’s vigilante militias notorious for carrying out the regime’s crackdown against the uprising, these men in the Sahel are neither fanatic nor armed. But they represent a demographic force creating another de facto divide in the country. …

Such movement could be an early harbinger of territorial entrenchments of Syria’s sectarian fault lines. “At this point, the regime is not looking at itself as a small state within Syria,” says one Alawi academic who lives in both Damascus and Latakia. “It wants all of Syria, and it will stay that way until the last possible moment.” Alawites talk of a return to the coast is specious, he says, the product of a regime “game” of hyping threats in order to instill fear in minorities. Still, he adds, “Just like the weapons game, the sectarian game is a dangerous one. People are hearing rhetoric like, ‘We want to annihilate Alawis. We want their deaths.’ You never know if it will pass a point at which you can’t stop it, you lose control.”

The problem is what comes afterward. As history has shown once before, the odds are stacked against the viability of a state in the mountains of the sea. For one, there is the coast’s restive Sunni population. Even Latakia, commonly cast as an Alawi stronghold, is more than 50 percent Sunni province-wide and more than 70 percent Sunni in the city itself. Baniyas, too, is evenly split. Overwhelming force has thus far been sufficient to quell protests in both cities, but, according to one Latakia-based activist, even mountain areas such as Jabal Akrad and Haffeh are beginning to see Free Syrian Army activity. Many Sunnis of means are leaving the city for Turkey, including the activist’s own family, fearing a final showdown there as Alawis retreat.

A fledgling “state within a state” would then face the same economic dilemmas that doomed it a century ago.

With these odds in mind, Alawi elites are divided on the future of the coastal mountains, seeing little choice but to fight for control of the entire country. According to one high-ranking Alawi general in Homs with direct knowledge of the thinking in Damascus, the regime leadership is not formulating any plans for separation. At the same time, he says, the demographic changes are happening organically on their own, driven by the violence in central Syria and fear of the unknown in Damascus. He has already sent his own family coastward, citing the area’s security and environment as “suitable for us.”

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July 26th, 2012, 8:57 pm

 

196. Tara said:

Irritated

What has the media and the Western public opinion offered the revolution other than moral support, a pat on the back, and sanctions on Caviar and luxury items? Whether they got impressed or not with the incoming massacre in Aleppo is practically irrelevant. Isn’t it?

I must say though, moral support and sympathy is important psychologically.

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July 26th, 2012, 9:03 pm

 

197. irritated said:

Tara

The media has greatly contributed to radicalize the positions by making a mixture of correct and false reports. The demonization campaign, similar to the one they are doing against Iran is affecting the mind of many readers and blurring their judgement

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July 26th, 2012, 9:13 pm

 

198. Ghufran said:

You guys are missing the basic fact that a quick solution to this crisis is not desired by most big players,what is wanted by most is a civil war in a fractured country that is divided along sectarian lines. Any personal talks about me or anybody else is pure garbage,we are all losers,get over it.

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July 26th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

199. omen said:

185. TARA: The United States warned Thursday that the Syrian regime may be preparing to carry out a massacre in the city of Aleppo, but stuck by its position that there would be no US military intervention.

but we don’t have cia in the country so we are supposed to be pretending we don’t know what is happening in syria.

the u.s could easily jam regime military communications but refuses to do so. refusing to lift a finger and blocking anybody else from helping makes washington culpable for basher’s war crimes.

when are they going to revoke obama’s nobel peace price?

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July 26th, 2012, 9:25 pm

 

200. Tara said:

Irritated

And then what? Western readers get inflamed and angry, their humanity will hurt, and then what? Obama will suddenly arm the rebels? Russia will not use the veto? The real internal tiger in Erdogan will take over?

This is a revolution that is standing against all the odds. Any other revolution would have “khalset” too long ago, just like the Green movement. A local massacre will alienate more people and will further erode into the power base of the regime in Aleppo if any is present. Aleppo will become the new Homs.

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July 26th, 2012, 9:27 pm

 

201. Tara said:

Omen

I am not voting Democrat this time around. I do not want foreign boots in Syria. Never did and never will, but as you said, there are many ways this administration could have helped…

I wish I am directly in charge of Nobel peace prize…

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July 26th, 2012, 9:31 pm

 

202. zoo said:

Has the USA written off the FSA after the “Damascus Battle” defeat and its increasingly suspicious alliance with Al Qaeeda?

What political solution are they considering when the SNC is moribund?

U.S. foresees no military intervention in Syria
2012-07-27
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/27/c_131741546.htm
WASHINGTON, July 26 (Xinhua) — The United States said on Thursday that it foresees no military intervention in Syria despite worsening violence and conflict in the Middle East country.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland insisted on provision of non-lethal assistance only for the moment to the Syrian opposition, who are fighting to oust President Bashar al- Assad.

“If you are back on the issue of external military intervention, you know our view that we do not believe that pouring more fuel on this fire is going to save lives,” she told reporters at a regular news briefing, saying “We’re working in non-lethal ways to support the Syrian opposition.”

She stressed that the way out of the ongoing violence in Syria is not “more violence” and “more destruction.”

“The route out of this is an end to the violence and the beginning of a true political transition process,” she said, adding “The vast majority of Syrians continue not to want foreign military intervention, more weapons flowing into their country.”

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July 26th, 2012, 9:32 pm

 

203. irritated said:

#197 Tara

Aleppo will become the new Homs.

And then what?
I agree with you that the media war has failed. Yet, it is still trying to wash our brains with the post-Bashar plans when the kick-Bashar-out plans are far from succeeding.

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July 26th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 

204. omen said:

189. GHUFRAN said: it looks like the regime now has a deal with the Kurds not to enter this armed conflict and not to allow rebels access to Kurdish areas.

last night aje showed refugees and fighters continuing to transit back and forth through kurdish territory, on footpath smuggling routes into turkey.

michael weiss did an examination of the kurdish agreement:

I contacted Dr Abdulhakim Bashar, the former chairman of the KNC who now heads its foreign affairs committee (he’s also the Secretary-General of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria). I asked him to explain what the Hawler Agreement really means.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

205. Tara said:

Irritated,

“Aleppo will become the new Homs. And then what?”

Haven’t the regime supporters always boasted about Damascus and Aleppo being the pillars of the regime? Pillars of Sand? It sure is not concrete..

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July 26th, 2012, 10:07 pm

 

206. Ghufran said:

مرح بقاعي
The lady from the SNC launched an unprecedented attack on Turkey accusing its government of complicating the opposition job by raising the Kurdish card. You can still watch Marah on BBC Arabic.
There is no sense in denying that the Kurds are not now interested in participating in this bloody fight,they may not have chosen sides yet but it is a matter of time before they will irreversible divorce the SNC and prevent the FSA from entering their areas. This situation put Sayda in a very uncomfortable position,I can sense from Marah’s tone that the SNC is furious, Erdogan again did what he does best: act like a total moron,however, one has to wonder whether a foreign power gave him assurance that a Turkish intervention under certain conditions will be accepted,this requires a clear response from Russia,Iran and Iraq,if that response comes,Erdogan will back off again.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:28 pm

 

207. omen said:

190. IRRITATED said: After Houla, any report of a “massacre” would have little effect. Unfortunately it’s deja vu

is this an admission that the regime committed houla?

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July 26th, 2012, 10:42 pm

 

208. Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN

The regime did not commit Houla after all. After well done investigation, you can be sure of that. But you will not get the true story if you asked, the locals simply too afraid of mercenaries retaliation than the regime.

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July 26th, 2012, 10:50 pm

 

209. Ghufran said:

The beautification of Manaf by the GCC media has started:
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/26/228450.html
To be honest,I have no problem supporting any Syrian who has the ability to stop the blood shed and keep Syria in one piece,I am not sure that Manaf has the stature and the support to get the job done.
That being said,I have no way to verify the accuracy of the info in alarabiya article, most of what that channel says is processed and spiced up.

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July 26th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

210. irritated said:

#209

The demonization of Bashar and the angelification of Manaf
What a sinister game…

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July 27th, 2012, 12:07 am

 

211. Uzair8 said:

On last night’s BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight:

[Aleppo]

Luke Harding of the Guardian from Aleppo province made these comments:

– The regime cannot feed it’s troops. Troops left an area they were holding due to hunger.

– The revolution is an ‘unstoppable tide’.

Listen from: 7:50

A french journalist for Le Monde talks from Aleppo.

From 11 min Luke Harding of The Guardian talks about the view from Aleppo province.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01l1dlb

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July 27th, 2012, 12:13 am

 

212. bronco said:

If the SNC looses Turkey’s support they are finished. France is discreetly distancing from it since french citizen Ghaliun was replaced by Swedish citizen Sayda.

The SNC is in an irreversible coma, Al Qaeeda presence is growing and threatening Iraq, Israel and Jordan, the Kurds are discreetly building their independent state under the nose of naive Turkey, the chemical weapons are possibly moving into the hands of Hezbollah.
Now if the FSA is annihilated in Aleppo, I think it’ll be far too much for the West to bear.

As it can’t and won’t intervene, it will soon ask and help the Syrian Army to put an order to all that

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July 27th, 2012, 12:21 am

 

213. Uzair8 said:

Russia Today had an elderly western guest on who was praising the ‘clever’ Russian handling of the situation. At the end he was asked whether if this situation could be all over in a few days if Aleppo fell to the rebels, he said yes. Adding that within 30 days of Aleppo falling to the rebels it’ll be all over.

Edit:

Btw, in recent days Russia seems to be repeatedly slamming the support for rebels. Sounds like Russia is making it’s excuses for a failed and embarraSsing position on the crisis.

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July 27th, 2012, 12:28 am

 

214. irritated said:

#205 Tara

Damascus did not become Pompei. It stands alive and strong.
Let see if Aleppo will resist the ‘forced liberation’

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July 27th, 2012, 12:28 am

 

215. Bruno said:

@Uzair8
Uzair8 What you expect its BBC and Luke Harding of the Guardian, the Luke Harding of the Guardian since the uprising has been quoting rebel supporters on twitter and pro rebel reporters like Luke.

From the radio tape.

(The revolution is an ‘unstoppable tide’.)

So supporting proven Islamist terrorists is an unstoppable tide revolution yet at the same time Luke has been claiming, this statement.

(The regime cannot feed it’s troops. Troops left an area they were holding due to hunger.)

Honestly in a retro journalistic perspective, when you say something you have to back to back it up with the facts.

But i am not surprised that the Guardian had embedded its reporter on to Sryia illegally its almost like spying rather then reporting.
With Luke Harding of the Guardian from Aleppo and an other BBC reporter that only further proves my point about Journalism.

That the Journalism we knew has long dead out, the current Journalism is nothing more then what i call one sided Journalism.

People on this comment section have been accusing myself and others of been Assad paid agents, even though i am not at all nor i am here to amuse myself.

If you wanted to know whats a propagandist like then look no further then Luke Harding.

What happened at Damascus and the supposed attack on Damascus didn’t look anything like an attack it looked like an terrorist attack.

But of Course then you have reporters like Luke claiming the following.

(The revolution is an ‘unstoppable tide’.)

That’s actually ironic isn’t that the same statement the mainstream news outlets have said when the attack happened in Damascus?

Who Gave BBC, The Guardian the authority to send reporters into Sryia and to be with the Rebels?

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July 27th, 2012, 12:30 am

 

216. irritated said:

This is how the USA supports the people they have encouraged and promised to help. A country you can count on when you’re in trouble.

Victoria Nuland: All our thoughts are with the people of Aleppo, but we’ll do nothing to save them from an eventual “massacre”.

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July 27th, 2012, 12:34 am

 

217. zoo said:

The way forward in Damascus

26/07/2012

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1
Clearly the Syrians are divided over this issue. One side wants to negotiate and accept the transitional phase. This has been expressed by Syrian National Council member George Sabra, who explicitly said two days ago: “We would agree to the departure of Assad and the transfer of his powers to a regime figure, who would lead a transitional period like what happened in Yemen”. The features of such a proposal appeared with the emergence of dissident Brigadier General Manaf Tlass in Jeddah. This sentiment has also been expressed by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, who said on the sidelines of the recent Arab ministerial meeting in Doha: “There is an Arab consensus that Syrian President Bashar al Assad should step aside quickly in return for safe exit”. For the first time, Arab countries will ask the Syrian opposition and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to form a transitional government.

However, there is also a Syrian side that wants to fight until the end, because the time for negotiation, in their view, has expired, and as the opposition marches towards the palace it is only a matter of time until the regime falls.

A third group is as yet undecided, hamstrung by disagreements over which figures could be entrusted with the formation of the next government.

Although emotions are more inclined to the second side, which calls for the continuation of the fighting, rationality and experience warn against drifting behind this thought process. The fall of the regime has become almost certain with the significant combat successes achieved by the rebels in recent weeks, but the situation remains difficult because of the regime’s military capabilities, using aircraft, tanks and guns, and its ability to commit more massacres whilst being protected by Russia’s veto. In the end, al-Assad will travel to either Iran or Russia, but fighting until then does not ensure any form of agreement. Fighting until the end may cause the complete collapse of the military and security institutions, which consist of more than half a million elements who could be transformed into armed gangs. Is it in the national interest to destroy the state and drag liberated Syria into internal strife and wars fuelled by parties such as Russia, Iran and Hezbollah?! Is it not completely wrong to think that the end of Bashar will automatically bring about the end of his unjust state?
…..

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July 27th, 2012, 12:48 am

 

218. Uzair8 said:

Video.

Aleppo is far from won: Fisk

Posted July 26, 2012

Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk says Syria’s rebel groups are only in the outskirts of Aleppo, but if they can get into the historic citadel they can hold on while the regime crumbles

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-26/aleppo-is-far-from-won-fisk/4157948

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July 27th, 2012, 1:02 am

 

219. zoo said:

For Arab Facebook fans

Facebook acquires Israeli Face.com in 100-mln-USD deal
2012-06-19
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/19/c_131663996.htm

JERUSALEM, June 19 (Xinhua) — The Facebook social networking giant announced that it has acquired its second Israeli firm, Face. com, in what analysts estimated to be a 100-million-U.S.-dollar deal, Israel’s Globes news site reported Tuesday.

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July 27th, 2012, 1:05 am

 

220. Aldendeshe said:

“…dissident Brigadier General Manaf Tlass ..”

WOW..look at this… dissident already. Wonder who they are trying to sell this to, the Syrias? Suuuure they will buy it.

For those that really wants to get forward, don’t listen to this MASKHARA SAUDIYE HAKIRA.

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July 27th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

221. Syrialover said:

“You guys are missing the basic fact that a quick solution to this crisis is not desired by most big players,what is wanted by most is a civil war in a fractured country that is divided along sectarian lines” (#198)

Ghufran,

If you were asked to seriously explain or prove or rationalise that statement, you couldn’t.

Nobody could, not even the most paranoid conspiracy theorist.

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July 27th, 2012, 1:59 am

 
 

223. Juergen said:

Ossenberg the ZDF correspondent made an other report today and if you remember his kullu bi khair message yesterday, today its a total different reality.

His report:

The area is called Al Kadam in Damascus, near a big palestinian camp. The street had just been reopened minutes ago, and we are the first car to pass and suddenly we are in the fighting zone, inmidst of Damascus.

Every car is checked and we witness horrible scenes, people who are beaten but filming that was not allowed to us.From all directions we hear gunshots.

(interview older men) What have we done that they treat us like that? They destroy all and burn the houses!

The young fighters belong to Assad militias. Just last night they recaptured this quarter.The burned bodies of the rebels are still glooming. About 3000 rebel fighters are still hiding in this area.
( interview with the shabih) heavy shooting as Ahmed explains that the “terrorists” have made the inhabitants flee or killed them. People are fleeing, not far away from the citycenter of Damascus.

Ossenberg:

No one can claim normality here, in the back we hear gunshots, oviously the rebels are attacking helicopters which patrol the area.

In official statements the rebels were distributed out of Damascus, but we have seen it differently.

interview with Ossenberg after the report

Dietmar, after your experiences today, how do you evaluate the situation in Damascus?

Yes one could be wrong at times, yesterday i was really thinking that big parts of the capital are pacified or at least under the control of the army.This has been proven wrong today. We were in Kadam and if you take Midan an other hotspot in Damascus, we have to think that for about 1 mio people calm has not returned. The rebels have entrenched themselves in this area and fightings occur. It seems that it is not that easy for the Assad troops to penetrate those areas and to push out the rebels.The fighting continues, we have heard many heavy explosions today. Those were possibly bombardments of those suburbs. Thats one point we have seen. The other is that we have been visiting the hospital in which the army is treated. All of whom we spoke to said to us that inmidst the FSA fighters from all arabic countries are fighting. Those were send as “jihadis”, and also contigents of AQ which are fighting against the regular army.
That seems to be correct because we could identify fighers from Libya who were fighting back then and fight now in Syria.( Ossenberg was in Libya)
The whole scenario becomes more and more obscure and more and more difficult to evaluate.

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1693558/Weiterhin-Kaempfe-in-Damaskus?setTime=11.633

I was really angry last night when he fall into this trap of kullu bi khair, today we see how much wrong he was. It would be interesting to see video evidence of rebel fighters from Libya fighting now in Syria, i wonder what evidence he has for that claim.

By the way a second film team among Jörg Ambrüster has arrived yesterday.

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July 27th, 2012, 2:40 am

 

224. Bruno said:

I guess Sryialover and a few others on here wont be minding the Islamist take over of Sryia if that happensm which i doubt that it would seeing how FSA aren’t holding to long.

And as i reported a few pages Saudi Fighters have joined the FSA and i get 7 dislikes for that but if its from al jazeera a mouthpiece for the Qatar kingdom then you get likes? that’s quiet ironic.

I posted sources and yet people disagreed on it?

And i also i guess some of you don’t mind the alliance of Saudi Arabia, Qatar two dictatorship countries all these two demanding democracy in Sryia?

While both of them have funded and armed the Syrian rebels through by proxy, i guess thats not a problem thats pretty much acceptably.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:18 am

 

225. Antoine said:

ABLE REFERENCE ID : #06DAMASCUS1692

Subject :Two Important Sunni Leaders Assess Khaddam’s Impact

Origin Embassy Damascus (Syria)

Cable time Thu, 13 Apr 2006 11:44 UTC

Classification CONFIDENTIAL

Source http://wikileaks.org/cable/20

_______________________________________________________________

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Stephen A. Seche, per 1.4 b,d. 1. (C) Summary: Two Sunni leaders, one from Damascus and the other from Deir a-Zour, near the border with Iraq, assess that former VP Abdul Halim Khaddam is a useful tool who has already weakened the regime. They are counseling their friends in the opposition not to attack Khaddam publicly, regardless of their private reservations. One of these Sunnis, Ihsan Sankar, claims that Khaddam has majority support among Sunnis in several cities in Syria. Both insisted that the regime has lost support and legitimacy in recent months, despite efforts to appeal to nationalism and Islam. They also expressed deep concern about increasing Iranian and Shiite influence in Iraq. End Summary.

¶2.
(C) ASSESSING KHADDAM’S SUNNI SUPPORT: According to former MP and influential behind-the-scenes Sunni opposition figure Ihsan Sankar, Abdul Halim Khaddam has the support of a majority of Sunnis in Homs, Latakia, and Tartous, and some support in Hama. In Damascus, it is a “wait and see” posture. However, the support in all these locales is “”very quiet.” Sankar also mentioned that former Minister of Industry Ghassan Tayyara supports Khaddam and that some 50 percent of Ba’athists also support him. (Other contacts, like Al-Hayat correspondent Ibrahim Hamidi, dispute this notion of significant Ba’athist support for Khaddam.) Sankar claimed that 90 percent of Ba’athists don’t like the President and criticize him for allowing his friends to monopolize the economy and for bringing problems to the country with his mistaken decisions. (Note: Sankar has made clear in the past that Khaddam also has significant support among a group of Alawite former regime insiders like Ali Duba and Ali Zeyout. Reftel.)

ADVISING OPPOSITION NOT TO ATTACK KHADDAM: . He had also told them that Khaddam is “not our enemy now; it is the regime that is imprisoning people, not Khaddam.” Sankar said he was fearful of possible splits in DD/opposition and of their efforts to form a steering committee or organizational structure to accompany their statement of principles. He called such a move inevitably divisive. Sankar said that he supports but did not sign the DD, claiming that it did not represent well the interests of the “conservatives” in Syria, meaning the Muslim population. In his view, the DD effort to reach out to Muslims through the Muslim Brotherhood was not completely successful and could not disguise the fact that the driving forces behind the DD were secular activists.

DEIR A-ZOUR FRIEND CONCURS: Sunni tribal leader and former MP from Deir a-Zour Ahmad Sheikh Jalat, who was visiting his friend Sankar, also called Khaddam a useful tool. When asked what role Khaddam could play in the opposition, Jalat said he could create strife and discord among the regime forces arrayed against the opposition. Jalat concurred with Sankar that the Damascus Declaration group should avoid attacking Khaddam.

C) STRENGTH OF REGIME ASSESSED: Sankar claimed that the regime is weakening “this time,” unlike in the 2000-2001 period when others had mistakenly predicted that the regime was weakening and might fall. The Brammertz investigation is definitely contributing to the uncertainty the regime is experiencing, as are economic problems, and falling support among officers and advisors inside the regime. The draining away of the regime’s legitimacy is also having an impact, especially because it is a minority regime. He assessed that the regime has only 15-20 percent support among the people. Sankar said it is not clear if people “are ready to go into the streets to protest against the regime.” (Comment: Most contacts tell us they are not ready.) It they do, he asserted, any SARG military and security forces reaction could be unpredictable. Although for example, the Republican Guard is 90 percent Alawite, the rest of the military is 70 percent Sunni and non-Alawite minorities. Consequently the regime might find it difficult to use the armed forces to repress any street demonstrations. Because of the lack of internal support, an invasion, as was done in Iraq, is not necessary to topple the regime, but “a gesture of support” at the right time might be needed, he added, without specifying exactly what he had in mind.

(C) REGIME USE OF ISLAM DISMISSED: Jalat rejected the notion that Syrians had been persuaded by President Asad’s recent appeals to nationalism and to Islam, calling such appeals “hand-me-down clothes” that had fooled no one. Like Sankar, he said the regime had lost its legitimacy and noted that as a minority regime it would have increasing difficulty ruling the country under those circumstances.

(C) COUNSELING ISLAMIC LEADERS: Sankar said that he had begun counseling certain Islamic leaders to be careful about their support for the regime, telling them it could be problematic for their future credibility. He had also conveyed the importance of teaching a message of tolerance, justice, and respect for non-Muslims (“the other”) in an initial effort to stop an intolerant strain of mosque preaching that was spreading.

C) CONCERN OVER SHIITE, IRANIAN INFLUENCE IN IRAQ: Both men expressed concern about the signs of rising Iranian influence in Iraq. Sankar called the influence dangerous and said it is everywhere in Iraq. According to Jalat, the Iranians are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq to spread their influence, and that the Saudis and the Kuwaitis are now pouring in money to the Sunnis to try to balance that influence. He called the rising Shiite influence in the country frightening for the region. Jalat reported that the Iranian cultural attache from Damascus had visited him recently in Deir a-Zour and invited him to Tehran for a visit, hinting it was an invitation he did not plan to accept. Jalat insisted that he is not sectarian but noted that the situation in Iraq and the region lends itself to calls for “sectarian balancing.”

C) Sankar told Polchief that he met recently with Iraqi tribal leader Meshar Jabouri, of Mosul, underlining to him that the American forces occupying Iraq were there temporarily but that Iranian influence would be permanent. He told Jabouri, as he tells other Iraqi Sunni leaders that he meets with, that the Sunnis in Iraq are making a fundamental miscalculation in supporting the insurgency against U.S. forces.

_______________________________________________________________-

Read this guys, its very interesting.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:13 am

 

226. Antoine said:

Dear Moderator,

I have posted a comment several times which has not appeared. I suggest you make it appear, not at the time when it was posted, but at current time.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:42 am

 

227. ann said:

Russia slams Syria opposition support – 2012-07-27

Sergey Lavrov said, “We are proposing things that would allow an immediate end to the violence. But the other party says. “No. Either the regime capitulates, or we continue to support the armed struggle of the opposition through various – including material – means. They justify the terrorists’ attacks. While such support continues, what sort of humanitarian actions can we discuss?”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-07/27/c_131742572.htm

BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhuanet) –Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused some countries of fuelling the violence in Syria by supporting the opposition and attempting to oust the country’s leader. He said that while the fighting continues, there could be no talk of humanitarian corridors and security zones in the beleaguered country.

Lavrov made his latest comments in Moscow after meeting his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic.

His comment was in response to an Arab League plan to seek a new UN resolution on Syria – which would likely include a demand to allow access for humanitarian workers to the entire country.

Lavrov said the Geneva declaration has constituted a solid base to support the efforts of UN-Arab League servi special envoy Kofi Annan and the UN observers. The declaration was agreed by world powers on a roadmap to pave the way for a Syrian-led transition.

Lavrov also had harsh words for others’ support for the Syrian opposition.

Earlier this month, Moscow also opposed the introduction of a no-fly zone. It called that step counter-productive and one-sided. Lavrov expressed hope that the observer mission’s mandate could be extended again after mid-August.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:49 am

 

228. Antoine said:

ABLE REFERENCE ID : #06DAMASCUS1692

Subject :Two Important Sunni Leaders Assess Khaddam’s Impact

Origin Embassy Damascus (Syria)

Cable time Thu, 13 Apr 2006 11:44 UTC

Classification CONFIDENTIAL

Source wikileaks

_______________________________________________________________

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Stephen A. Seche, per 1.4 b,d. 1. (C) Summary: Two Sunni leaders, one from Damascus and the other from Deir a-Zour, near the border with Iraq, assess that former VP Abdul Halim Khaddam is a useful tool who has already weakened the regime. They are counseling their friends in the opposition not to attack Khaddam publicly, regardless of their private reservations. One of these Sunnis, Ihsan Sankar, claims that Khaddam has majority support among Sunnis in several cities in Syria. Both insisted that the regime has lost support and legitimacy in recent months, despite efforts to appeal to nationalism and Islam. They also expressed deep concern about increasing Iranian and Shiite influence in Iraq. End Summary.

¶2.
(C) ASSESSING KHADDAM’S SUNNI SUPPORT: According to former MP and influential behind-the-scenes Sunni opposition figure Ihsan Sankar, Abdul Halim Khaddam has the support of a majority of Sunnis in Homs, Latakia, and Tartous, and some support in Hama. In Damascus, it is a “wait and see” posture. However, the support in all these locales is “”very quiet.” Sankar also mentioned that former Minister of Industry Ghassan Tayyara supports Khaddam and that some 50 percent of Ba’athists also support him. (Other contacts, like Al-Hayat correspondent Ibrahim Hamidi, dispute this notion of significant Ba’athist support for Khaddam.) Sankar claimed that 90 percent of Ba’athists don’t like the President and criticize him for allowing his friends to monopolize the economy and for bringing problems to the country with his mistaken decisions. (Note: Sankar has made clear in the past that Khaddam also has significant support among a group of Alawite former regime insiders like Ali Duba and Ali Zeyout. Reftel.)

ADVISING OPPOSITION NOT TO ATTACK KHADDAM: . He had also told them that Khaddam is “not our enemy now; it is the regime that is imprisoning people, not Khaddam.” Sankar said he was fearful of possible splits in DD/opposition and of their efforts to form a steering committee or organizational structure to accompany their statement of principles. He called such a move inevitably divisive. Sankar said that he supports but did not sign the DD, claiming that it did not represent well the interests of the “conservatives” in Syria, meaning the Muslim population. In his view, the DD effort to reach out to Muslims through the Muslim Brotherhood was not completely successful and could not disguise the fact that the driving forces behind the DD were secular activists.

DEIR A-ZOUR FRIEND CONCURS: Sunni tribal leader and former MP from Deir a-Zour Ahmad Sheikh Jalat, who was visiting his friend Sankar, also called Khaddam a useful tool. When asked what role Khaddam could play in the opposition, Jalat said he could create strife and discord among the regime forces arrayed against the opposition. Jalat concurred with Sankar that the Damascus Declaration group should avoid attacking Khaddam.

C) STRENGTH OF REGIME ASSESSED: Sankar claimed that the regime is weakening “this time,” unlike in the 2000-2001 period when others had mistakenly predicted that the regime was weakening and might fall. The Brammertz investigation is definitely contributing to the uncertainty the regime is experiencing, as are economic problems, and falling support among officers and advisors inside the regime. The draining away of the regime’s legitimacy is also having an impact, especially because it is a minority regime. He assessed that the regime has only 15-20 percent support among the people. Sankar said it is not clear if people “are ready to go into the streets to protest against the regime.” (Comment: Most contacts tell us they are not ready.) It they do, he asserted, any SARG military and security forces reaction could be unpredictable. Although for example, the Republican Guard is 90 percent Alawite, the rest of the military is 70 percent Sunni and non-Alawite minorities. Consequently the regime might find it difficult to use the armed forces to repress any street demonstrations. Because of the lack of internal support, an invasion, as was done in Iraq, is not necessary to topple the regime, but “a gesture of support” at the right time might be needed, he added, without specifying exactly what he had in mind.

(C) REGIME USE OF ISLAM DISMISSED: Jalat rejected the notion that Syrians had been persuaded by President Asad’s recent appeals to nationalism and to Islam, calling such appeals “hand-me-down clothes” that had fooled no one. Like Sankar, he said the regime had lost its legitimacy and noted that as a minority regime it would have increasing difficulty ruling the country under those circumstances.

(C) COUNSELING ISLAMIC LEADERS: Sankar said that he had begun counseling certain Islamic leaders to be careful about their support for the regime, telling them it could be problematic for their future credibility. He had also conveyed the importance of teaching a message of tolerance, justice, and respect for non-Muslims (“the other”) in an initial effort to stop an intolerant strain of mosque preaching that was spreading.

C) CONCERN OVER SHIITE, IRANIAN INFLUENCE IN IRAQ: Both men expressed concern about the signs of rising Iranian influence in Iraq. Sankar called the influence dangerous and said it is everywhere in Iraq. According to Jalat, the Iranians are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq to spread their influence, and that the Saudis and the Kuwaitis are now pouring in money to the Sunnis to try to balance that influence. He called the rising Shiite influence in the country frightening for the region. Jalat reported that the Iranian cultural attache from Damascus had visited him recently in Deir a-Zour and invited him to Tehran for a visit, hinting it was an invitation he did not plan to accept. Jalat insisted that he is not sectarian but noted that the situation in Iraq and the region lends itself to calls for “sectarian balancing.”

C) Sankar told Polchief that he met recently with Iraqi tribal leader Meshar Jabouri, of Mosul, underlining to him that the American forces occupying Iraq were there temporarily but that Iranian influence would be permanent. He told Jabouri, as he tells other Iraqi Sunni leaders that he meets with, that the Sunnis in Iraq are making a fundamental miscalculation in supporting the insurgency against U.S. forces.

_______________________________________________________________-

Read this guys, its very interesting.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:49 am

 

229. ann said:

Russia to keep military base at Syria’s Tartus: Navy commander – 2012-07-26

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/26/c_131741093.htm

MOSCOW, June 26 (Xinhua) — Russia would retain its military support base at the Syrian port of Tartus, Navy Commander Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.

“The material-and-technical support base is designed to assist the Navy’s operations in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Aden. We will keep it,” Chirkov told reporters here.

He stressed the base in Tartus has helped lower costs of long-distance operations of the Russian Navy.

Currently, there are 10 Russian warships, including large landing ships, and 10 more auxiliary vessels in the Mediterranean Sea, Chirkov said, stressing that these ships would not call at Tartus.

“Russian ships are not planning to call at the Syrian port of Tartus. They will continue to perform combat missions in line with their cruise plans, which were made in 2011,” Chirkov said.

[…]

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July 27th, 2012, 5:12 am

 

230. ann said:

Russia negotiates naval bases in Cuba, Vietnam, Seychelles – Jul 27, 2012

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_07_27/Russia-negotiates-naval-bases-in-Cuba-Vietnam-and-on-Seychelles/

Russia is holding talks on obtaining naval bases in Cuba, Vietnam and Seychelles.

This came in an interview with the RIA-Novosti news agency by the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Viktor Chirkov.

The Russian Navy saw that it badly needed foreign bases after 2008, when Russian naval ships began to patrol the Gulf of Aden as part of the anti-pirate mission in the area.

[…]

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July 27th, 2012, 5:16 am

 

231. ann said:

Crackdowns in Gulf States expose double standards – 27 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/gulf-states-double-standards-184/

While vigorously supporting rebellion in Syria, Gulf nations have little patience for political dissent at home, which reveals double standards and Western interests in the region, believes political analyst Omar Nashabe.

In an ongoing crackdown on opposition groups, the United Arab Emirates arrested eight activists, bringing the total to almost 40 rounded up by authorities. They are charged with plotting crimes against the state and opposing the constitution.

The arrests follow even harsher crackdowns in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where police dispersed recent demonstrations by force. Two people were killed by the Saudi police at a rare mass rally in the east of the country on Sunday, sparking further unrest.

In Bahrain, which has seen 17 months of protests, demonstrators clashed with police on Friday as the government moved to limit political marches.

People in all Arab countries have legitimate demands for democratic reforms and accountability, states Nashabe. However when violence enters the picture, things get out of hand, as happened in Syria. “It very difficult and problematic to rebuild everything after it has been destroyed,” he says.

The political analyst says that it is pure hypocrisy for the Gulf countries to support rebellion in Syria while there is dire need for reform at home. “That’s a clear double standard. One doesn’t wish that this would happen in Saudi Arabia or in the Emirates because violence will only lead to more violence.”

[…]

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July 27th, 2012, 5:19 am

 

232. ann said:

Turkey’s pursuit of Kurdish rebels: Pretext for NATO intervention in Syria? – 27 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/turkey-syria-kurdish-rebels-176/

The Turkish prime minister first spoke of a possible intervention against Kurdish militants in northern Syria on Wednesday evening. “If there are formations that are being set up right now that lead to a terrorist act, then naturally we have the right to intervene,” he said in an interview with Kanal 24.

Dr Franklin Lamb, director of Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, told RT that it increasingly seems that Ankara is going to make good on its pledge to cross the border into Syria in pursuit of the Kurdish rebels.

Lamb stressed that Erdogan had earlier hinted that he may invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter, which considers an attack on one member of the bloc to be an attack on all. “If Syria pursues across the border [with Turkey] one can imagine that the Turks will say to their NATO partners ‘look, this is attack on all of us, we’ve got to go in.’ And that might give some excuse.”

[…]

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July 27th, 2012, 5:26 am

 

233. Mina said:

Double standards or no standard at all?

Pepe Escobar… qawwi jiddan, as usual!

Welcome to the Kurdish Spring
By Pepe Escobar

Turkish foreign policy, codified by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, used to be known in shorthand as “zero problems with our neighbors”. When Turkey started calling for regime change in Syria, it turned into “a major problem with one of our neighbors” (even tough Davutoglu himself admitted on the record the policy change failed).

Now, in yet another twist, it’s becoming “all sorts of problems with two of our neighbors”. Enter – inevitably – Ankara’s ultimate taboo; the Kurdish question.

Ankara used to routinely chase and bomb Kurdish PKK guerrillas crossing from Anatolia to Iraqi Kurdistan. Now it may be positioning itself to do the same in Syrian Kurdistan.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out all guns blazing on Turkish TV; “We will not allow a terrorist group to establish camps in northern Syria and threaten Turkey.”

He was referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD) – affiliated with the PKK; after a quiet deal with the Assad regime in Damascus, the PYD is now in control of key areas in northeast Syria.

So Ankara may provide logistics to tens of thousands of Syria’s NATO “rebels” – which include plenty of hardcore Sunni Arab “insurgents” formerly known as terrorists; but as long as Syrian Kurds – which are part of the Syrian opposition – demonstrate some independence, they immediately revert to being considered “terrorists”. (…)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG28Ak02.html

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July 27th, 2012, 5:27 am

 

234. ann said:

Iran vows ‘unchangeable’ support for Syria with ‘experience and capabilities’ – 27 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/iran-vows-support-syria-170/

Iran has pledged more support for Syria amid mounting “foreign pressure” and promised not to leave its ally “alone in difficult times.”

“Given that powers have united to damage the Syrian nation, Iran’s stance toward Syria is not changeable – it will always stand by its Syrian brothers,” Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, said on Thursday while meeting Syria’s deputy prime minister, Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji, in Tehran.

The secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, called relations between Iran and Syria “strategic”, saying that Tehran is ready to support Damascus “more than before in the face of foreign pressure.”

In response, Ghalawanji expressed his gratitude to Iran, stressing that the West’s “cruel sanctions” against Syria have hit the Syrian people more than they have affected the government.

Earlier on Wednesday night while meeting Ghalawanji, Iran’s vice president in charge of international affairs, Ali Saeedlou, said that “Tehran is ready to give its experience and capabilities to its friend and brother nation of Syria.”

The statements come while a Syrian delegation of 15 ministers and high-ranking officials are in Tehran on a three-day visit to seek the expansion of economic cooperation.

Tehran expressed its readiness to reconstruct facilities damaged in Syria during the uprising. The Syrian delegation also secured Iran’s support in developing electricity and water facilities.

Syria and Iran have agreed a deal on importing 50MW (megawatts) of Iranian electricity into Syria via Iraq. The figure will climb to 200MW at the next step.

“We agreed with Iran that in one month agreements will be made with Iraq, so that putting problems to one side, electricity imports from Iran will begin,” Syria’s electricity minister, Imad Khamis, said on Thursday.

[…]

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July 27th, 2012, 5:30 am

 

235. Mina said:

What academic spinning leads to…
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NG28Ad01.html
” Syrian wheel of fortune spins China’s way
By Peter Lee
(…)

Juan Cole of the University of Michigan laid out the big picture strategic thinking behind some of the border seizures on his blog, Informed Comment:

If the FSA can take the third crossing from Iraq, at Walid, they can control truck traffic into Syria from Iraq, starving the regime. The border is long and porous, but big trucks need metalled roads, which are few and go through the checkpoints. Some 70% of goods coming into Syria were coming from Iraq, because Europe cut off trade with the Baath regime of Bashar al-Assad. The rebels are increasingly in a position to block that trade or direct it to their strongholds. [1]

According to an Iraqi deputy minister of the interior, the units that seized the border were perhaps not the goodwill ambassadors that the Syrian opposition or Dr Cole might have hoped for:

The top official said Iraqi border guards had witnessed the Free Syrian Army take control of a border outpost, detain a Syrian army lieutenant colonel, and then cut off his arms and legs.

“Then they executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers.” [2]
‘…)”

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July 27th, 2012, 5:34 am

 

236. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

July 27th, 2012, 5:48 am

 

237. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

A Rastani isn’t happy with Bashar al Assad new reforms and new constitution
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85QWyKbWImE
.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

July 27th, 2012, 5:53 am

 

238. Bruno said:

@Amir in Tel Aviv
Amir in Tel Aviv the more you keep posting videos like this the more it just rises the question are you getting paid for this?

Amir in Tel Aviv i do remember you posting on the CNN comments on about Sryia since it started so seeing you post here its not surprising.

I am surprised that you stopped posting there though

As for the YouTube videos you just posted, its rebel propaganda just like a lot of other people have said the way the rebels have been using YouTube as there tool of propaganda can be only cited as brilliant.

Most if not all of the videos aren’t new but are republished on YouTube.

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July 27th, 2012, 6:01 am

 

239. Juergen said:

Bruno

I understand its a tempting thought that bataillons of western secret services work on blogs like this one. Same claim you raised concerning Amir one could raise about you or any other person here. Does this bring us any further?

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July 27th, 2012, 6:24 am

 

240. Bruno said:

@Juergen
Don’t worry i am not neither Pro rebel nor Pro Assad i am just showing and reporting the reports from different sources.

But honestly the way people here or some for that matter have been defending Qatar and Saudi Arabia is unbelievable, these are the same two tyrannical regimes that a repression and savaging torture against there own countries with the people demanding the minimum of rights.

And women rights.

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July 27th, 2012, 6:32 am

 

241. Syrialover said:

See the distraction faction here, busier than ever with say-nothing cut-and-pastes and rambles.

Note their insensitive lack of interest or concern about what’s actually happening in Syria. Assad’s violence and terrorizing of 2.5 million people and plans to demolish a beautiful city.

Watch them using Syria and this forum just to parade their own personal agendas and obsessions.

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July 27th, 2012, 6:32 am

 

242. Mina said:

SL,
You come out with the same comment all the time. Why not saying the same when someone posts from CNN or Turkish media?
Why not blaming Joshua Landis when he does his news round-up?
Intimidation and division are the only achievements of Syrian opponents, quite sadly. When are they going to come out with a real framework for the “Yemeni solution”? As Peter Lee mentions in the article of the Atimes linked above, the last attempt by a SNC member was rejected the next day by another SNC member.

All the western media are telling us that “there will be a massacre in Aleppo” and that many journalists are there,so I am waiting from you the links to the news of the “mother of all battle” (Saddam not dead!) that the rebels are announcing.

In the meantime, some people take their distance:
http://thesantosrepublic.com/2012/07/head-of-un-team-confirms-u-s-propaganda-war-on-syria-annan-purposely-shut-out-from-u-s-news-media/
“July 24, 2012 (TSR) – For the second time this month, a senior U.N. official has taken the United States and its allies to task for not doing their part in stopping the war in Syria, blasting an incomplete portrayal of the war in Syria that fails to recognize that the anti-Assad opposition also is responsible for violence and the failure of a U.N. cease-fire plan.

Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian diplomat who is the head of the U.N. commission charged with investigating human rights violations in Syria, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais in an interview published Sunday that while there is a civil war unfolding in Syria, there is also a propaganda war that complicates efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.(…)”

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July 27th, 2012, 6:45 am

 

243. mjabali said:

Observer:

Sorry that I couldn’t respond to your interesting post #13 July/25 faster because of work.

When I tell you that the state would be called Syria No Kandahar, I mean two things. The first is its Syrian identity. The second denotes to a place where it is not like Kandahar where many has no rights. Syria no Kandahar means: Syria that gives its citizens modern human rights.

I agree with the Syrian Hamster that every sectarian name is bad, but, the name “Alawi State” was brought by the French. The coast is mixed with Sunnis, Christians, Alawis, Murshidis, Ismailis, and many atheists.

Do not label me as a racist and the one who hate the Sunnis. I am not. Simple and clear. But, when I tell you that the majority of Syrians hate each other and think in a sectarian way, I am speaking from what I see in front of me. Do not be surprised because the events are proving a huge schism in the middle.

The whole area is sectarian; Lebanon, Iraq, Saudia Arabia…etc

As for Bashar al-Assad as the embodiment of Ali as the God on earth, I was really amused by what you wrote. I want to ask Alawis about that. I have never heard of it ever.

Bashar al-Assad prays (or tries to) as a Sunni, speak like one and do not know for sure what is the old Alawi prayers (religion). Bashar al-Assad is no Ali ibn Abi Talib, and funny you said that, now some people start believing that.

About the Alawis and Arab Nationalism: the Alawis surprisingly to you and many are more “Arabic” than most of the Sunnis of Syria. Sunnis in Syria are a mixture between some Arabs and the leftover ethnic mix the Ottomans left. Do you want me to list to you the manes of the Alawi tribes?

Hafez al-Assad and al-Baath party adopted the pan-Arabic agenda because, in my humble opinion, they needed something. al-Baat was no match to the leftists (communists were very strong in Iraq) and the Syrian Nationalists. Both the communist in Iraq and Syria were killed and sent to prison by al-Baath. The Alawis traditionally are more in the Syrian National Party and the Left. The Alawis became Baathis because of Hafez al-Assad.

The Alawis should look for their Syrian identity first. The Arabs in general proved that they really hate the Alawis. You can read it everywhere on the net. You see what is the true feeling of the Arabs, so the Alawis are abandoning the Arabs. I spoke with many of them and they are now more into their sectarian identity, all of them still believe in Syria.

The Sunnis of the revolution so far did not do anything to help kill the fears of the Alawis. The results of the military operations is going to decide who is going to be where and ruling what.

The whole area in the Middle East is thinking in sectarian terms.

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July 27th, 2012, 7:31 am

 

244. Syrialover said:

Mina, you push a bewildering mix of political agendas and theories and find things on Syria to support them.

I have relatives in Aleppo.

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July 27th, 2012, 7:43 am

 

245. Tara said:

General Mood declaring “it is only s matter of time before Assad falls !!!  What a cowered!  Why did he give the impression that he was sympathizing with Assad during his tenure?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jul/27/syria-us-fears-aleppo-massacre-live#block-14

11.51am: It is just a matter of time before President Assad’s government falls, General Robert Mood, outgoing head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria, told Reuters today:

In my opinion it is only a matter of time before a regime that is using such heavy military power and disproportional violence against the civilian population is going to fall.

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July 27th, 2012, 8:04 am

 

246. Tara said:

One defection after another defection.  Now a MP from Aleppo

11.02am: More on the defection of Aleppo MP Ikhlas al-Badawi. A clip of her interview on Sky News Arabia is available here. Rima Cherri translates her saying:

I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime, because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding its basic rights.

What made me take this decision was the revolution and the legitimacy of the people and their right for freedom and dignity. People’s demands to live as free citizens have prompted the use of every method of repression in order to silence these demands. Everyday, I see more massacres, it’s happening on the land of Syria, with the use of strange machines and tools.

I have lived through this reality in my own town of al-Atareb [west of Aleppo]. I thought it is my duty to leave the regime

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jul/27/syria-us-fears-aleppo-massacre-live#block-9

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July 27th, 2012, 8:05 am

 

247. Observer said:

If the majority of Syrians hate the Alawis it is because of people like Hafez and his cronies who deep down inside were extremely sectarian. Likewise the present discourse we hear from Maliki and Nasrallah is turning to be deeply rooted in sectarian thinking and feeling when the former says I am Shia first Iraqi second and Arab thirdly and Nasrallah keeps harping on the ill treatment of Bahrainis while reaffirming his support for the regime in Syria.

This is the story of all the minorities in the ME they want a secular national based identity on the majority Sunnis while they retain their particular minority special status.

So Majbali how are you going to create a Syria No Kandahar state where the communities in it as you state already hate each other to the core? If the communities in Syria hate each so much how is that going to be different in a mini Syria on the coast.

Call a spade a spade and ask for a pure sect based state for the Alawis and one for the Druze and one for the Kurds and one for the Sunnis and so on and so forth.

This is why in the current lack of a national identity in the post Sykes Picot ME world I have called for an economic union under a federation of the region as whole where the local areas can be politically autonomous and the economy can thrive independent of it.

By the way in your Alawi state will you take all of the current so called leaders of Syria starting with Fredo and his clique? WIll you take the Republican guards and the 17 security services or will you leave them behind to continue to oppress us?

Please please take all of the Alawis and all of their leaders and all of their structures and all of their statues and put them in your Alawi state and get the heck out of our hair.

By the way, in contrast to you I have read the Alawi so called Quran at the National Archives in Paris when the French took several copies of it during the 20’s. Ali is divine and Muhammad usurped it from him and their leader is an embodiment of this divine leadership not actually God on earth. So I stand corrected.

By the way the Alawi have killed those in their midst that have divulged the secrets of the sect.

I do not begrudge them their faith they are free to worship and believe in any way they want, I only object to their extreme hatred of Sunnis in particular and of their identity being based on this hatred of the Sunnis. To listen to them you would think that Sunnis are intrinsically evil just as the Nazis portrayed the Jews.

If Sunnis persecuted them in the past I accept their grievances and I fully understand that people develop ideological frame of rules and ideas to protect their faith and identity but it cannot be based on the dehumanization of the other which is exactly what the current regime is pursuing fully and exactly as the father and his cronies have done before.

I listened more than once to their security leaders say that it is either us or them and the best thing to do to a Sunni is to kill him or corrupt him. That was in the 80’s when the MB was revolting against the rule or Hafez.

I woud like to pursue however the idea of a museum like the apartheid museum in South Africa with branches in all of Syria where examples of the torture and humiliation and security oppression and the graft and corruption practiced by the Alawi regime in the last forty years be exposed. In your Alawi state you can also have a museum for Sunni oppression as well and perhaps in a few generations people will look at this period as the dark ages of the ME.

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July 27th, 2012, 8:09 am

 

248. Syrialover said:

Rebels cleaning the streets in Aleppo

See how they are doing cleaning not “cleansing” like the regime thugs

“As Aleppo Fight Looms, a Bit of Rebel Public Relations”

http://projects.nytimes.com/watching-syrias-war?ref=world

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July 27th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

249. Syrialover said:

Observer,

Like the Genocide Museum the Cambodians set up to show the world what Pol Pot did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuol_Sleng_Genocide_Museum

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July 27th, 2012, 9:02 am

 

250. ghufran said:

I agree that cleaning the streets of Aleppo is better than carrying guns and killing other Syrians.

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July 27th, 2012, 9:20 am

 

251. ghufran said:

قال مصدر في هيئة الاركان العامة للقوات المسلحة الروسية ان أي محاولة للهجوم على قاعدة تزويد السفن الروسية بالمؤن والوقود في طرطوس، ستواجه برد حاسم.
وقال المصدر في تصريحات ادلى بها الى وكالة “اينترفاكس” للانباء “اذا ما قررت المعارضة السورية المسلحة تنفيذ تهديداتها حول امكانية الهجوم على قاعدة تزويد السفن الروسية بالمؤن والوقود، فان القوات البحرية الروسية في المنطقة لها الامكانيات الكافية للرد الحاسم عليه”. واضاف: ” ننصح الرؤوس الساخنة في المعارضة السورية بعدم القيام بهذا العمل”.

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July 27th, 2012, 9:22 am

 

252. irritated said:

245. Tara

Genral Mood change of mood

They are all double face, this is why. Now that he is not in charge.

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July 27th, 2012, 9:41 am

 

253. DAWOUD said:

251. GHUFRAN

So you are supporting a Russian colonial presence in Syria. Syrians (I am talking about the revolting people and not the dictatorial regime) Do NOT want Russian bases and naval presence in their country, particularly given Putin’s support for the murderous dictator. If Russians attack Syrians to maintain their colonial military presence, then Syrians have the right to resist this foreign invasion.

FREE Syria (from al-Assad, Iran, Russia, and Hasan’s Hizbistan) & Free Palestine !

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July 27th, 2012, 9:47 am

 

254. zoo said:

July 27, 2012 4:00 A.M.
Assad’s Useful ( American) Iidots

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/312450/assads-useful-idiots-noah-glyn

How to depose Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in a clean fashion has become a pressing question for the international community. How strange that, not so long ago, the question for them was how to convince Assad to join forces with the West. Along the way, many American policymakers worked strenuously to bring him into the fold, as they heaped praise befitting a statesman on the brutal tyrant.

In a recent column, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens recounted some of the paeans to Assad: In a March 2011 interview, Hillary Clinton implied that Assad was a “reformer.” In 2007, Nancy Pelosi, over strong objections from the State Department, visited Syria, and said, “The road to Damascus is a road to peace.” Senator John Kerry predicted that “Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States.”

The record of American policymakers’ failures to talk the Assad regime out of its iniquity is long indeed.

Advertisement
After a three-hour meeting with Assad during her 2007 trip, Pelosi told the world that Syria was ready to negotiate with Israel. That was technically true, but the precondition Syria set was that Israel would have to agree to return the strategically important Golan Heights, the mountainous region from which Syria had launched attacks on Israel before the Six-Day War of 1967.

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July 27th, 2012, 9:49 am

 

255. zoo said:

Cooper: Our moralism as risky as visions of sharia heaven

By Barry Cooper, For the Calgary Herald July 25, 2012

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Cooper+moralism+risky+visions+sharia+heaven/6985826/story.html#ixzz21pZbeT00

A look at the actual opposition to al Assad, as distinct from external moralizing cheer-leaders, is sobering. Their forces already contain a significant number of militant Sunni Islamists and jihadis, including supporters of an al-Qaeda inspired transnational Caliphate. Almost by definition, these people, funded by Saudi petrodollars, dream big. Their ambitions extend far beyond the Levant, and they seek a regime ruled in accord with their version of sharia.

Their “success” in Syria and Lebanon would mean enormous chaos and loss of life. A Sunni-jihadist regime there would quickly turn its attention to Shiitedominated Iraq. Given the experience gained by the now successful militants in Syria, this is not good news for the Iraqi people.

None of this will happen overnight and maybe not at all. But pursuing human rights visions produced by Western moralism is as dangerous as pursuing visions of a sharia paradise, especially for the victims.

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July 27th, 2012, 9:51 am

 

256. Tara said:

Irritated,

Agree. All of them are double faced. Lie detection test should be administered to all these officials when making a statement.

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July 27th, 2012, 10:06 am

 

257. zoo said:

Instead of worrying, lamenting and warning, the UN should work out another final ‘tactical retreat’ with the rebels in Aleppo suburbs as they usually become very concerned about civilians lives only when they are about the loose the battle. By retreating now, they at least keep their honor and civilians lives.

UN worries showdown in Aleppo could be imminent
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/un-worries-showdown-in-aleppo-could-be-imminent.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26477&NewsCatID=359

Expressing her “deep alarm” at the situation, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the reports coming out of Damascus “along with the reported build-up of forces in and around Aleppo, bodes ill for the people of that city.”

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July 27th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

258. zoo said:

When will Bashar al Assad fall or given an honorable exit? When will trouble stop?
Like everyone General Mood does not know.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/assad-will-fall-but-syria-conflict-may-not-end-former-un-observer-warns

“The spiral of violence, the lack of proportion in the regime’s reactions, its incapacity to protect the civilian population, mean that the regime’s days are numbered, but will it fall in a week or in a year? That is a question I do not dare answer,” he told AFP.

The fragmented rebellion, which remains militarily weaker than the regime, is still engaged in the fight of “David versus Goliath,” Mood said, adding that any rebel success may not necessarily mean the end of the conflict.

“Many think that if Bashar al-Assad falls or that if he is given an honourable exit… the problem will be solved. That is an over-simplification one should be wary of,” Mood told a news conference.

“The situation could even get worse,” he cautioned.

“On the other hand, it is important to say that it is impossible to imagine a future Syria with the current power holders still in place.”

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July 27th, 2012, 10:24 am

 

259. irritated said:

Is Davutoglu making another blunder in flirting with Manaf Tlass?

Maybe he should rather give him a role in the next turkish mosalsal as the playboy turned into a revolution leader with the help of the Paris’s and Istanbul’s haute bourgeoisie.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201207/n_26481_4.jpg

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July 27th, 2012, 10:33 am

 

260. irritated said:

Erdogan is confident in his protégés victory

Erdoğan also said he hoped the “Syrian regime would get the necessary answer in Aleppo from the real sons of Syria.”

Desperate as he is, he asked Davutoglu to flirt with anyone that can save his face.
The return of Aleppo to the Syrian army may send him straight back to the hospital for the removal of a few more centimeters.

July/27/2012

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July 27th, 2012, 10:37 am

 

261. zoo said:

Turkey sets up ‘secret nerve center’ to aid Syria rebels – reports

http://www.rt.com/news/line/2012-07-27/#id34882

Ankara has set up a secret base with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct military and communications aid to Syrian rebels, Reuters said, citing Gulf sources. The center in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 100 km from the Syrian border is allegedly “militarily controlled” by Turkey, a source said. US intelligence representatives “are working through middlemen,” who are controlling “access to weapons and routes,” the report said. Adana is home to Incirlik, a large Turkish and US air force base. Ankara has officially denied supplying weapons to Syrian rebels. The three states have not commented on the “secret base” reports.

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July 27th, 2012, 10:42 am

 

262. zoo said:

Syria, Iran Sign Several MOUs on Electrical Energy, Health, Water and Sewerage
Jul 27, 2012

TEHRAN, (SANA) – The Syrian official delegation to Iran concluded its visit by signing several of memos of understanding (MOU) with the Iranian side in the fields of electrical energy, health, water and sewerage.

The Iranian Energy Ministry and the Syrian Electricity Ministry signed a MOU on electricity dragging to Syria, importing electricity transmission and distribution equipment, establishing generating plants and renewable electricity generation projects, training Syrian cadres and applying automatic remote reading systems.

Another MOU was signed between the Syrian Ministry of Water Resources and the Iranian Energy Ministry on establishing wastewater treatment plants in Syria and making use of the Iranian expertise in setting up a water resources management plan in Syria.

The Syrian and the Iranian sides also discussed issues related to bolstering health cooperation and providing Syria with its needs of medical equipment and medicine.

The two sides agreed on following up on agricultural, educational and scientific cooperation, in addition to enhancing trade relations and facilitating procedures to allow easier flow of Syrian and Iranian products into the markets of the two countries.

The Syrian delegation held constructive meetings with Iranian officials on means of boosting joint action in the interest of the two countries.

The Iranian officials reiterated their country’s support to Syria against all challenges and conspiracies hatched against it.

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July 27th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

263. zoo said:

Time is playing against Turkey

The Arab Spring has transformed into the Kurdish Spring
<http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-arab-spring-has-transformed-into-the-kurdish-spring-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=26443&NewsCatID=401

Our Foreign Minister is reported to be “looking for a place for Bashar al-Assad.”

You know what, while he is looking for a place, let us, ourselves, look for a new place for Turkey.

From now on we have a 1,200 kilometer long border with the Kurds.

If you look at the map, you will see another reality.

On this side of the border, at least 800 to 900 kilometers long, the Kurdish population of Turkey is residing.

This means:
The “Kurdish Spring” has arrived at our border.

To counter a “spring charge” launched by Kurds, based on the de facto situation in the two neighboring countries, we should respond with a serious policy, one that is backed by the whole of Turkey, not by the fantasies of an academic.

I might have oversimplified the matter, but the realities facing us are that simple…

May God save Turkey from the aftershocks of “strategic depth”…

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July 27th, 2012, 10:52 am

 

264. jna said:


A Dutch and a British freelance photographer are back in Turkey after being held for a week by radical Islamic rebels in Syria, the NRC reports.

Jeroen Oerlemans and John Cantlie were taken hostage at a camp close to the Syrian border with Turkey by a group of men of varying nationalities, the Dutchman told the NRC.

The photographer was injured during an attempt to escape earlier in the week. ‘We ran a few hundred metres up the hill. We heard voices and shots but we kept on running,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘We were convinced it was either run or die.’

Oerlemans was shot in the hip. ‘My life was saved by a Pakistani youth who could speak English. He convinced the others that it would be against Islam to finish me off,’ the photographer told the NRC.

On Thursday the camp was entered by four soldiers from the Free Syrian Army who took the two journalists with them, shooting into the air as they ran off. Three hours later, the duo were in Turkey, Oerlemans said.
[…]

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/07/dutch_photographer_released_by.php

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July 27th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

265. zoo said:

Asharq Al-Awsat talks to General Manaf Tlass

26/07/2012
By Tariq Alhomayed
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=3&id=30476

Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – After much hesitation and silence, Brigadier General Manaf Tlass agreed to speak with Asharq Al-Awsat about his relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his defection from the Syrian regime, the situation in Syria today, his view for the future of the country and whether he is looking to play a role in it. The interview with Brigadier General Manaf Tlass took place in the city of Jeddah on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tlass is in Saudi Arabia to perform the umrah [pilgrimage] and conducted this interview with Asharq Al-Awsat:

[Asharq Al-Awsat] The manner in which you left Syria is shrouded in secrecy; can you tell us what exactly happened?

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July 27th, 2012, 11:00 am

 

266. zoo said:

Growing alarm in the Western media about the ‘al Qaeeda’ color of some Syrian rebels allied to the FSA

Two Journalists Freed by Islamic Fighters in Syria After Weeklong Ordeal

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/world/middleeast/jeroen-oerlemans-john-cantile-two-journalists-freed-by-islamic-fighters-in-syria-after-weeklong-ordeal.html

“They were only foreign jihadis, I don’t think there was one Syrian among them,” Mr. Oerlemans said. He estimated their numbers at between 30 and 100. “They were from all over the world I think.” He also said the jihadis, who spoke English, talked of being under the leadership of an unidentified “emir.”

A guide led them to the jihadis’ tent camp in error, he said. At first the jihadis promised to release them if they could prove they were journalists but later accused them of being spies and talked of holding them for ransom.

“They were definitely quite extreme in their religious beliefs,” he said. “All day we were spoken to about the Koran and how they would bring Sharia law to Syria. I don’t think they were Al Qaeda, they seemed too amateurish for that. They said, ‘We’re not Al Qaeda, but Al Qaeda is down the road.’ ”
..
Mr. Oerlemans said he assumed their rescuers were fighters from the Free Syrian Army. They fired into the air during the rescue but more as a show of force to intimidate the jihadis, rather than as part of a firefight, he said.

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July 27th, 2012, 11:44 am

 

267. PATRIOT said:

As much as I am for the freedom of my people and for the success of this glorious revolution, I am now beginning to see the true threat of these foreign Jihadists groups…

——————————————–
Following the release of two journalists who were kidnapped in northern Syria (see 1.32pm), Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, has interviewed one of them – Dutch freelance photographer Jeroen Oerlemans.

Q You crossed from Turkey into Syria, where did things go wrong?

A We used a guide who we thought knew what he was doing, but halfway down the route he changed direction. There was a communication problem, he didn’t speak any English. But he walked us straight into a jihadi training camp.

Q A jihadi training camp? Were the fighters from outside Syria, you think?

A Absolutely. There wasn’t a Syrian present. They were all youngsters from other countries, African countries, Chechnya …

Q And what did they want with you?

A At first, they said they just wanted to find out if we were indeed who we said we were, they said they thought we were CIA agents [inaudible]. But then it quickly became apparent they wanted to trade us for ransom.

Q And you tried to escape?

A Very unsuccesfully … [laughs] We went towards … we thought we had figured out a good escape route and thought we had found a quiet moment when almost nobody in the camp was paying attention to us. But they saw us almost right away running, and immediately the bullets were flying, and the big chase had begun. And 10 minutes later we were lying in our blood.

Q And then back to the camp? How did you finally manage to get out of there?

A There was a moment that we thought we would be disappeared, disappear from the radar screen, that they would take us to a place where no one would ever find us again. Like a place outside Syria, maybe Iraq, or to be handed over to another armed group. Just at that moment, a group of armed men came into the camp. We were blindfolded and bound, trying to wash our clothes at the time.

They stormed into our tent and started dressing down everyone. Why the hell we were being kept there, how long we had been kept there, why we were being treated this way.

Q And who was this?

A From what I know now, they were FSA, FSA soldiers. I don’t know which faction. They managed to get intimidate the youth in the camp enough that they could take us out of the camp. Five minutes later they took us out of the camp while shooting [in the air I think]. And we were free.

Q The impression is created that the FSA is now in competition with foreign jihadis in this area, in its fight against Assad?

A Yes. Maybe in the short term they have the same aim, namely of overthrowing Assad and freeing Syria from a dictatorial regime. But where the FSA seems to be fighting for democracy, these foreign fighters don’t want anything more than imposing Sharia on Syria. Syrians are pretty moderate Muslims in general, but they want to put them under the heavy boot of Sharia.

And that they [Syrians] wouldn’t have much say in their own land, really.

Q You’ve just escaped, what are your plans for the coming days?

A I’m first going to let all of this settle in a bit, then I’m going home to see my family. And then I’ll start thinking about the future.

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July 27th, 2012, 12:08 pm

 

268. Uzair8 said:

Defectors seem to be refuting everything the regime propagandists have claimed.

Ikhlas Badawi has just exposed the so-called parliament.

Even General Mood has had his say.

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July 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

269. Mina said:

SL,

How do you want foreign djihadists to have any good intention for Syria? Especially as you probably know all the fairy tales we’ve been hearing for 20 years in mosques about the “signs of the coming of the Messiah and God’s judgement on earth” all supposed to lead to the huge battle in Syria between the Christ and the Antichrist.
With this kind of garbage in their head, how are the djihadists wishing for martyrdom ever going to accept a peace plan?

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July 27th, 2012, 12:44 pm

 
 
 

272. Juergen said:

a very good article published today in DIE WELT

spanish reporter Mayte Carrasco reports from Syria

“Assad is like Nero, and we must kill him”

They use donkeys and dogs, sonicate soldiers by megaphone with pop music: The rebels are fighting in the Syrian town of al-Qusair by all means. The belief in a political solution is lost.

“I ask him about a possible escape by Assad and his family, as she has hinted by the Russian ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov. The Arab League has offered Assad a “safe way” when he renounced power.

The doctor shakes his head. “I do not believe in a political solution, it is too much time and we have suffered greatly. Assad is like Nero, and we have to kill him,” he says with a calm eye.

And after that? “Then comes a democratic government, why not? We have already had a democracy in 1945, when the French left. And I do not think it will be radical. Here in the Council of al-Qusair there are only two of fifteen members Salafists who want a religious government, the rest preferred a secular government – even though the bulk of the funds that flow to us, comes from the Salafists. ”

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.welt.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2Farticle108400798%2FAssad-ist-wie-Nero-und-wir-muessen-ihn-toeten.html

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July 27th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

273. irritated said:

#272 Juergen

“Bashar is Nero” is such a stupid cliche.

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July 27th, 2012, 2:14 pm

 

274. zoo said:

The romantic rebels: Syria’s future

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-rebels-captured-100-troops-activists-155826719.html?_esi=1

In the video posted on YouTube, rebels in civilian clothing are seen rummaging through what appears to be an old building used as government offices.

The person recording the footage walks through an arched hallway into an adjacent room, where a body with a severed arm lies on the floor.

One man tells the others: “Pee on him.”

“No, he’s already dead. Show some respect,” another retorts.

Outside, the streets are littered with debris and teenage boys and men walk freely, toting Kalashnikov assault rifles.

“This is the largest street in Maaret al-Numan, which was controlled by the regime. It is now in the hands of the local rebels.” the cameraman is heard to say.

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July 27th, 2012, 2:32 pm

 

275. Uzair8 said:

hhassan140
RT “@SultanAlQassemi: Al Jazeera: Syrian ambassador to Belorussia & Baltic states defects”

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/hhassan140-rt-sultanalqassemi-al-jazeera-syrian-ambassador-to/

News Update: Defection of Omar Al-Melhem the Head of Regime Protection Battalion in #Damascus #Syria

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/news-update-defection-of-omar-al-melhem-the/

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July 27th, 2012, 2:42 pm

 

276. Stick to the True said:

#272 Juergen
“a very good article published today in DIE WELT”

And you call this very good? Unbelievable to which level the German press has sank.

Do you know any WELL educated German that reads DIE WELT REGULARLY?

You rather quote the devastating comments on SPIEGEL ONLINE, the pereception of the unrests in Syria among the educated class in Germany has completley changed. No one believes that these squaller could bring democracy to SYRIA

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July 27th, 2012, 3:09 pm

 

277. zoo said:

Erdogan falling

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July 27th, 2012, 3:19 pm

 

278. Syrialover said:

Oh wow, all the drama and excitment about the Jihadists who are going to be running Syria!

That story on the journalists captured by a group of “jihadis” paints the picture exactly.

The usual ragbag bunch, hoping for the adventure of their little lives.

Described as “youngsters” and “amateurs” who had come from various countries, you have a group of fantasists, misfits, religious grandiosers, wargamers, people with various social and mental problems, who excitedly rush to any foreign battle for the chance to live their fantasies.

Not one Syrian was among them,and the FSA came across them and angrily released their prisoners.

They’ll be excluded and shown the border by Syrians as soon as things get sorted, and those who got their tails badly burned in the conflict will find little interest and sympathy.

So when Mina asks:

“how are the djihadists wishing for martyrdom ever going to accept a peace plan”, the answer is nobody will be asking their opinion.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

279. irritated said:

#275 Stick to the truth

Many prefers to stick to lies when they realize they’ve lost.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:21 pm

 

280. Syrialover said:

Oh yes, and what about all those “Syrian Jihadis”.

If ordinary men are suddenly drawn into fighting for their lives, they are going to call on God and past heroes to give them strength and courage and determination.

It doesn’t make them religious extremists or dangerous fanatics.

American troops gather for prayers before battle. Much the same thing.

Syrian members of the FSA and their families aren’t going through all this so they can introduce sharia and backwardness to Syria. They will tell you they have had enough of primitive laws, repression, summary justice, rule by aliens and economic idiocy already, thanks.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

281. zoo said:

After the fall of the House of Assad, could Syria be worse?
By Michael V. Hayden, CNN Contributor
July 27, 2012 — Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/27/opinion/hayden-syria-assad/

The fall of the House of Assad is now as inevitable as it is welcome. But if this means a successor regime that is exclusively Sunni, trending fundamentalist and opposed by a third of the Syrian population, it could actually make things worse. And that would be a sad outcome indeed.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

282. Stick to the Truth said:

The German and European press is playing a double edged strategy.

Today the German ZDF reported from Aleppo. In the first part they showed tha syrian army tanks moving into Aleppo and quoted OBAMAS warning of an upcoming massacre in the city. In the second part they showed FSA fighters in Aleppo together with a cleric in the age of 60+ pleading for creating an islamic state.
Did you get the message?

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July 27th, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

283. zoo said:

Tony Badran still dreaming that Damascus will fall on the head of the Alawites. It’s time he wakes up to the reality on the ground. Bashar has still many cards to play.

Bashar al-Assad may be gearing up to create an Alawite statelet along Syria’s coastal mountains. And he has the means to do it.
BY TONY BADRAN | JULY 27, 2012

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/27/alawistan

… But Assad has one card left to play: The Syrian regime has been setting the stage for a retreat to Syria’s coastal mountains, the traditional homeland of the Assads’ Alawite sect, for months now. It is now clear that this is where the Syrian conflict is headed. Sooner or later, Assad will abandon Damascus.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:44 pm

 

284. Stick to the Truth said:

276. zoo said:

Erdogan falling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFQwo8-Bst4

Thats the punishmint for playing “cow-boy”.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

285. irritated said:

#281 Stick

From the moment the uprising turns into the hands of a minority of armed rebels with an Islamist overtone and financed by KSA and Qatar, the European’s disgust and repulsion for violence and for Islamism is appearing.
They are wondering now who they dread more, Bashar to stay or what’s to come if Bashar goes.

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July 27th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

286. Syrialover said:

“They are wondering now who they dread more, Bashar to stay or what’s to come if Bashar goes.” (Irritated #284)

It’s become overwhelmingly clear that Syrians and most of the world would rather take their chances than have Syrian-people-hater Bashar Assad continue destroying the country.

So Irritated, what argments are there to persuade them that Bashar staying – after what has happened – is a good choice? Other than scary imaginings about an alternative.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

287. omen said:

remember the number of articles that have been posted that talked about soldiers within the regime who support the rebels but haven’t yet defected – now is the time to do so! right before the regime begins its assault upon allepo.

mass defections would be a sight to behold.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:24 pm

 

288. irritated said:

285. Syrialover

Imaginary? Well, I don’t think they all agree with you, otherwise they will not be repeating that it these last 2 days with such frequency and unanimity: the Post-Bashar dreaded unknown.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

289. irritated said:

Omen

What an advice! Why do you want to send these poor kids to a sure death?

now is the time to do so! right before the regime begins its assault upon allepo.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

290. omen said:

irritated, the regime was supposed to attack yesterday. why hasn’t it done so?

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July 27th, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

291. zoo said:

Israel takes very seriously the presence of islamist militants among the rebels

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-reinforces-syria-frontier-bloodshed-spirals-165737667.html

….
A second security official confirmed the move to reinforce the ceasefire line but said it was motivated by fears that militants could use the chaos to try to infiltrate the Jewish state.

“The army is strengthening all the infrastructure at the border in case terrorist groups want to destabilise the quiet at the border,” he said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

He denied the move was linked to fears that the Golan could be flooded by thousands of Syrian refugees, insisting that Israel would help anyone whose life was in genuine danger.

“If they are refugees whose life is in danger, we will offer them temporary shelter,” he said.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

292. Tara said:

Irritated

The infiltration of Islamists in Syria and the regime bombing it’s own people define a failed state. If the West wants to avoid the headache of Islamists, the only way out is to help the rebels toppling Assad and establishing a strong democratic state. Assad is no longer capable of fighting Islamists. Islamists will continue to pour in as long as the violence is present in Syria. Assad is too busy trying to subdue the popular revolution against him. Assad remaining in power is the problem not the solution.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

293. irritated said:

#289 Omen

This is war not a cinema schedule. Be patient and you will be rewarded.
In view of the sense of doom that appears in the rebels and activists declarations about the looming showdown, it is quite possible that the rebels are trying to negotiate a ‘tactical’ retreat, in other words a full and unconditional reddition.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

294. Observer said:

Zoo do you stand for anything? Do you troll for news that reinforce a previously held conclusion despite facts on the ground?
Do you have Sunni nightmares?

It is most unfortunate. Fredo would have been secure as President for life had he truly carried out true reforms in 2001. The use of force from the outset of this revolution has shown the true nature of the beast; however.

So I went to Addounia and Presstcv and Almanar and RT and syriatruth and it seems that the glorious regime forces are actually having heroic victorious battles against “armed salafist sectarian army detachments” yet we have daily defections and daily battles increasing in scope and intensity and increasing spreading of the area no longer under the control of the glorious regime army.

What gives Zoo; do you troll so that you do not have to face reality or what? I at least go first to the pro regime sites

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July 27th, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

295. irritated said:

#291. Tara

Do you seriously believe that by magic will emerge a strong state with a strong army to fights the Islamists?

From what the opposition offers now, get ready for very bumpy days ahead….

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July 27th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

296. Stick to the truth said:

289. OMEN said:

irritated, the regime was supposed to attack yesterday. why hasn’t it done so?

OMEN,

cant you imagine a strategy behind it. Perhaps its better advance slowely rather than tactically withdraw quickly.

Perhaps the want to give the civile population to move to a safer place.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

297. zoo said:

#293. Observer s

I don’t have to troll much, the reality is everywhere behind the lines that tries to hide it.
The total fiasco of the opposition (SNC) is a secret to nobody and the admittance of the weakness and unreliability of the FSA is everywhere in CNN, ABC, NBC, Haaretz etc
Just tell me who is still seriously believable in the opposition movement? Ghaliun? Qodmani, Sayda, Ryad Al Assad, Manaf Tlass?
I think the opposition as a movement is living its last moments.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

298. omen said:

293. observer, no, zoo occasionally posts something from the alternative or neutral side.

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July 27th, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

299. omen said:

Every 2 hours, a group, a unit or an officer defects in Syria!

According to the FSA, the DEADLINE for defection in Syria is the 1st August!

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July 27th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

300. omen said:

the regime isn’t above putting out a squad of militants who claim to be fsa while flying the alqaeda flag in attempt to discredit the opposition.

even american officials have confirmed the regime has coordinated with alqaeda before (or armed militants hostile to americans) during the war in iraq.

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July 27th, 2012, 5:04 pm

 

301. Syrialover said:

New thread just started

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July 27th, 2012, 5:12 pm

 

302. zoo said:

Turkey will not renew a good relation with Israel until Bashar al Assad is gone and a moderate sunni pro-USA government takes over Syria.
Otherwise Turkey will be accused of collusion with Israel to remove Bashar and may loose the aura it has gained during the Arab Spring.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/post-assad-scenarios-on-all-tables-minister-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26548&NewsCatID=338

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview that Turkey and Israel “had to keep looking for ways to restart the relationship,” particularly now “for the stability of this region at this time.”

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July 27th, 2012, 5:27 pm

 

303. omen said:

302. netanyahu has his own internal problems. his attempting to repair ties with turkey is a sign that it is finally dawning on israel how dangerously isolated the rogue state is.

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July 27th, 2012, 6:38 pm

 

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