Posted by Joshua on Monday, May 21st, 2012
Joshua Landis, Bassma Kodmani (spokesperson for the Syrian National Council), and Kamal Labwani (opposition leader who recently broke away from the SNC) discuss the Syrian opposition on aljazeera English. May 20, 2012
Afghan war dominates NATO summit: Obama announces that Assad must leave: NATO commander says that NATO will not intervene in Syria.
Economy: Three articles from Cham Press about the struggling Syrian economy (in Arabic)
- Run up in prices on Chicken, eggs and sugar because of transportation difficulties
- Gold settles at 3075 Syrian Pounds a gram: سعر كغ البندورة 35 ليرة والفاصولياء الخضراء 60 والكوسا 40 والخيار 40 والفول الأخضر 25 والباذنجان الأسود 50 والبطاطا 40 والبازلاء الخضراء 55 والجزر 30-40 والبصل اليابس بـ 25 أما الأخضر فثلاث جرز بـ 10
- Syria’s main glass factory will close due to lack of fuel.
Cooking gas was no where to be found in Aleppo this week. A friend writes, “My father offered to pay 2000 pounds yesterday, but no one could supply him with a new tank.”
The al-Nusra Front said it was behind the attack in Deir ez-Zur on Saturday which targeted military installations.
“There was a limit to the ferocity of the dogs of the regime in Deir al-Zor at which they had to be punished, so the soldiers of the al-Nusra front undertook this mission,” read the statement on an Islamist web forum.
“The blessed operations will continue until the land of Syria is purified from the filth of the Nusayris (Alawites) and the Sunnis are relieved from their oppression.”
Al-Assad must leave, Obama tells G-8 meet CAMP DAVID REUTERS Photo G-8 leaders on May 19 called for a “political transition” in Syria and for an end to violence after U.S. President Barack Obama told G-8 leaders meeting at Camp …
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday maintained that the alliance has “no intention” of taking military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, according to AFP.
Syria attacks kill 33, opposition says
By the CNN Wire Staff, May 20, 2012
- Most of the dead are in Hama, which opposition activists say is being shelled
- Syria’s government denies reports that defectors killed top officials
- Estimates of the death toll range as high as 11,000 over 14 months
….A total of 21 deaths were in the northwestern city of Hama, where reported heavy shelling of a neighborhood by government troops, said Rafif Jouejati, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. Sunday’s toll follows 26 deaths Saturday, according to the LCC, a network of opposition activists…
… Syria’s government Sunday denied claims by the rebel Free Syrian Army that it had killed several of its leading government officials. The state-run news agency SANA called the claim “categorically baseless” and quoted two of the supposedly slain officials dismissing the report.
“I am speaking from my office at the Interior Ministry,” SANA quoted Lt. Gen. Mohammad al-Shaar, the country’s interior ministry. “All my colleagues are performing their duties.”
Al-Shaar and Syria’s assistant vice president, Gen. Hasan Turkmani, were both quoted criticizing Arabic news networks Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, which broadcast the claim.
Gunbattle in Beirut amid fears of Syria spillover
By HUSSEIN MALLA, Associated Press
BEIRUT (AP) — Gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns early Monday in intense street battles in the Lebanese capital, wounding six people as fears mounted that the conflict in neighboring Syria was bleeding across the border.
The fighting appeared to be among the worst clashes in Beirut since 2008. The clashes erupted hours after an anti-Syrian cleric and his bodyguard were shot dead in northern Lebanon.
The vain search for dialogue in a battle-scarred Syria, 20 May 2012
By Lyse Doucet, BBC News
Holding on to power: Privately, some of President Bashar al-Assad’s officials accept change may be necessary
Journalist Salameh Kaileh describes his brutal torture in a Syrian prison and hospital before he was deported to Jordan.
Syria: The Citadel & the War
The New York Review of Books 07/06/12
Archaeologists believe that human beings settled on the hilltop that became Aleppo – some 225 miles north of Damascus – around eight thousand years ago. Cuneiform tablets from the third millennium BC record the construction of a temple to a chariot-riding storm god, usually called Hadad; while mid-second-millennium Hittite archives point to the settlement’s growing political and economic power. Its Arabic name, Haleb, is said to derive from Haleb Ibrahim, Milk of Abraham, for the sheep’s milk the biblical patriarch offered to travelers in Aleppo’s environs. Successive conquerors planted their standards on the ramparts of a fortress that they enlarged and reinforced over centuries to complete the impressive stone Citadel that dominates the city today.