The US Sees Russia as the Weak Link in Support for Assad – But is it?

Syrian opposition leaders are visiting Russia shortly after Russia announced that it will dock warships in Syria. Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of State, explains (below) why he believes that Russia is reassessing its commitment to Assad because it no longer believes that Assad can subdue the rebellion. SNC leader, Abdelbaset Sieda, says that after talks with Russia’s foreign minister he sees “no change” in Moscow’s stance toward Syrian President Bashar al Assad.  Russia circulated among U.N. Security Council members early Wednesday a draft resolution to extend a U.N. mission in Syria for three months. Critics say this is so it can shift focus from monitoring a non-existent truce to securing a political solution to the conflict, as violent crackdown left more deaths across the country. Meanwhile, Western Powers to Circulate UN Chapter 7 Resolution on Syria.

From the AFP: An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 10, 2012 allegedly shows a tank from forces loyal to the Syrian government being hit by a projectile in the town of Izaz, outside of Aleppo and on the Turkish-Syrian border. We don’t know whether the tank was destroyed or if this anti-tank weapon is a RPG or something new being supplied by western companies through the Gulf countries.

Stratfor’s Bokhari and Bella remind us why a Sunni win in Syria is likely to impact the balance of power in Iraq more perhaps than in Lebanon.  After all, the Sunni insurgency in Iraq is active and believes it can gain politically through violence against the Shia-dominated government. If the Sunni insurgency in Syria takes power, it may be willing to support the Iraqi Sunnis, particularly if Saudi and the Gulf states fund Jihad there in a continuing effort to limit Iran’s influence in the region and encourage regime-change in Tehran.

Rami Makhlouf

Release Rami Makhlouf: Buying Syria One Bank at a Time – Wikileaks

Wikileaks has published Rami Makhlouf statements of syp 135 million stock purchases through his Cham Capital, which is owned by his Ramak Group. This is Jan 2011 before the revolt and a small sum. All the same, the wikileaks allows others to track his money moves.


Russia Increases its troops level in Armenia to ‘divisional strenght’, in a clear message to Erdogan
by Moon of Alabama

“… Turkey depends on natural gas imports from Russia and Iran and a reminder on that may be a way to move Erdogan away from supporting the insurgents. Russia also has troops in Armenia, another neighbor to which Turkey is rather hostile, and is said to increase its troop size there to divisional strength. (The Armenia – Azerbaijan conflict is heating up and, with western support for Azerbaijan, may become one of the hot spots if the conflict over Syria or Iran escalates.) The Russian troop increase and the next two items seem intended to keep any western power away from stupid ideas….”

Considering a Sunni Regime in Syria | Stratfor
July 10, 2012 | Stratfor By Reva Bhalla and Kamran Bokhari

As one astute observer of the Syrian conflict explained, the al Assad regime is like a melting block of ice. The Alawite core of the block is frozen intact because the minorities fear the consequences of losing power to a Sunni majority. We have not yet seen the mass defections and breakdown in command and control within the military that would suggest that large chunks of this block are breaking off. But the Sunni patronage networks around that core that keep the state machinery running are slowly starting to melt. The more this block melts, the more fragile it becomes and the more likely we are to see cracks form closer and closer to the center. At that point, the al Assad regime will become highly prone to a palace coup scenario….

A Revival of the Mesopotamian Battleground?

It is safe to assume that Syria, between the fall of the Alawite regime and the turbulent emergence of a new, Sunni-empowered regime, would experience an interregnum defined by considerable chaos. Amid the sectarian disorder, a generation would remain of battle-hardened and ideologically driven militants belonging to Sunni nationalist and transnational jihadist camps who in the past decade have fought against regimes in Baghdad and Damascus. These jihadists harbor expectations that they will be able to aid their struggling allies in Iraq if they gain enough operating space in Syria. Under these circumstances, it is easy to imagine a revived militant flow into Iraq, and this time under much looser control.

Thus, the regional campaign against Iran is unlikely to end in Syria. Should Sunnis gain the upper hand in Syria, the Shiite-led bloc in Lebanon (led by Hezbollah and its allies) will likely lose its dominant status. Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backing for Sunnis in the Levant and the rise of Islamists in the Arab states will be focused on creating a more formidable bulwark against Iran and its Arab Shiite allies.

The most important battleground to watch in this regard will be Iraq. There are a number of regional stakeholders who are not satisfied with Baghdad’s Iranian-backed Shiite government. There also likely will be a healthy Sunni militant flow to draw from the Syrian crisis. These militants will not only need to be kept occupied so that they do not return home to cause trouble, but they can also serve a strategic purpose in reviving the campaign of marginalized Sunnis against Shiite domination. Iran may feel comfortable in Iraq now, but the domino effect from Syria could place Iran back on the defensive in Iraq, which has the potential to re-emerge as the main arena for the broader Arab Sunni versus Persian Shiite struggle for regional influence.

Syria: portrait of a town divided and gripped by civil war
Linking the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, Atarib is a vital supply line for whosoever controls it in Syria. Ruth Sherlock meets some of the residents who have suffered.
By Ruth Sherlock, Atarib – Telegraph

Why Syria Could Turn Into 1990s Algeria
by Erica Chenoweth on July 3, 2012, in Violence,War

What’s Iran doing with Turkish gold?

July 9, 2012, By Humay Guliyeva and Pan Kwan Yuk

That is the question beyondbrics found itself asking after it had a look at Turkey’s latest trade figures.

According to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Turkey’s trade with Iran in May rose a whopping 513.2 per cent to hit $1.7bn. Of this, gold exports to its eastern neighbour accounted for the bulk of the increase. Nearly $1.4bn worth of gold was exported to Iran, accounting for 84 per cent of Turkey’s trade with the country.

So what’s going on?

In a nutshell – sanctions and oil.

In recent months, western powers, notably the US and the European Union, have tightened financial sanctions on the Islamic regime in an attempt to force Iran to scale back or halt its efforts to enrich uranium.

In March, Iran was cut off from from Swift, the global payments network, effectively blocking the country from performing any international financial transactions.

With Tehran struggling to repatriate the hard currency it earns from crude oil exports – its main foreign currency earner and the economic lifeblood of the country – Iran has began accepting alternative means of payments – including gold, renminbi and rupees, for oil in an attempt to skirt international sanctions and pay for its soaring food costs.

“Iran is very keen to increase the share of gold in its total reserves,” says Gokhan Aksu, vice chairman of Istanbul Gold Refinery, one of Turkey’s biggest gold firms. “You can always transfer gold into cash without losing value.”

Turkey’s gold exports to Iran are part of the picture. As TurkStat itself noted, the gold exports were for “non-monetary purpose exportation”. Translation: they were sent in place of dollars for oil.

Iran furnishes about 40 percent of Turkey’s oil, making it the largest single supplier, according to Turkey’s energy ministry. While Turkey has sharply reduced its oil imports from Iran as a result of pressure from the US and the EU, it is unlikely to cut this to zero. The country pays about $6 a barrel less for Iranian oil than Brent crude, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report.

According to Ugur Gurses, an economic and financial columnist for the Turkish daily Radikal, Turkey exported 58 tonnes of gold to Iran between March and May this year alone.

“I saw the surge back in March, when gold exports increased by 36 times compared to March of 2011,” Gurses told beyondbrics. “I waited to see if the trend would evolve. Effectively, Iran converted $3bn of its reserves into gold through financial operations with Turkey, bypassing sanctions.”

Iran’s woes have proved to be a boon to Turkey’s current accounts. Turkey’s trade deficit narrowed by $1.6bn in May, compared to the same period last year. For the year to end of May, the deficit narrowed by $8.3bn, compared to the same period last year.

CNN: Russian views on Syria more nuanced than they may appear

The Russian government shares many of the U.S. concerns about the continuing violence in Syria, but Moscow is reluctant to embrace Washington’s proposals.

Russia sent warships to Syria

10.07.2012 Northern Fleet (NF) destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and three Russian amphibious assault ships left NF Main Base Severomorsk on July 10. The high official from Russian Ministry of Defence told Central Navy Portal.

Three amphibious assault ships transport Marine Corps submits on-board. Baltic Fleet guard frigat Yaroslav Mudry and auxiliary ships, based in Baltiysk, will join Admiral Chabanenko later. According to information available to Central Navy Portal, naval ships move into the Mediterranean Sea, into Syria water area.

À crew member from one of the ships confirmed the information. He also noticed, that the three-months mission in the Mediterranean Sea for Admiral Chabanenko and three Russain amphibious assault ships was planned in advance.

NYTimes Russia-Sends-Warships-on-Maneuvers-Near-Syria 

Russia said on Tuesday that it had dispatched a flotilla of 11 warships to the eastern Mediterranean, some of which would dock in Syria. It would be the largest display of Russian military power in the region since the Syrian conflict began almost 17 months ago. Nearly half of the ships were capable of carrying hundreds of marines. …

But the unusually large size of the force announced on Tuesday was considered a message, not just to the region but also to the United States and other nations supporting the rebels now trying to depose Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Tartus consists of little more than a floating refueling station and some small barracks. But any strengthened Russian presence there could forestall Western military intervention in Syria. …

Russia’s Mixed Signals Regarding Syria
July 11, 2012 | Stratfor

…So as the al Assad regime’s prospects for survival have become increasingly hazy, Russia has had to adjust its calculus. On one hand, Moscow would prefer to prop up its ally al Assad, or at least the government he has come to represent. On the other hand, Russia has interests in the country that transcend al Assad and the ruling Alawite regime.

Therefore Russia has sent — and will continue to send — mixed signals regarding its intentions with Syria. From hosting Syrian opposition delegations in Moscow to following a weapons moratorium announcement with a large-scale naval deployment to the Mediterranean, Russia is keeping its true intentions hidden.

Moscow’s Marines Head for Syria
The Russians have dispatched a naval task force to Syria. As if the place wasn’t enough of a mess already.
BY MARK KATZ | JULY 10, 2012

Ahmet Davutoglu – Turkey’s Foreign Minister talks to Marc Perelman of France 24: Davutoglu calls on the international community to act more firmly to usher in a transition in Syria without Assad.

Al-Assad and the Alawites
By: Abdullah Al-Otaibi | Asharq Alawsat

…Al-Assad’s marked bias towards his Alawite minority and his family – an attribute which he inherited from his father and which he thinks could be the way for his salvation – may in fact accelerate his downfall. Syria is a country of multiple religions and ideological sects with ethnic and tribal loyalties. Therefore, in view of the blatant Alawi sectarian orientation adopted by the regime, there is a strong endeavor to unify all these variant categories and the Sunni majority to face the regime.

The al-Assad regime is almost over, and now it is only a question of time before the regime’s illusions collapse on its head. If Bashar al-Assad is to find shelter in the outskirts of Tehran or Moscow, his Alawite sect will still remain in Syria. Hence today it is the duty of rational Alawites to side with the people and the country, and announce their complete disavowal of al-Assad’s sectarian and blood-thirsty policies; otherwise the son’s legacy in Syria will be even worse than his father’s.

The future of our Arab republics seems to be full of sectarianism, fractured social loyalties, and the ideologies and organizations of political Islam. However, the future is not promising in terms of development, civilization, awareness and advancement.

Syria’s Deadlock Can Be Broken Only By an Arms Embargo
By: Jonathan Steele | The Guardian

Russia and the west must use their leverage to bring about a ceasefire and halt Syria’s descent into full-scale civil war

As Islamists Gain Influence, Washington Reassesses Who Its Friends Are
By Scott Shane | The New York Times

Long-held beliefs about allies and potential enemies have been upset as the Obama administration navigates the tumultuous events of the Arab Spring.

Syria’s many new friends are a self-interested bunch
The National 21/7/12 – Charles Glass

In France, representatives of the US, Turkey, Britain, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Korea, the UN and the rest demonstrated their friendship in a communique as vague as it was biased. The group urged more economic sanctions, humanitarian assistance to victims of violence and “stronger United Nations Security Council action.” It promised punishment for government war criminals, while neglecting to suggest that rebels who violate the Geneva Conventions should receive so much as a parking fine

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE: CNN  on the topic of whether Elections are stopping US Intervention in Syria. Is Russia stopping it? Does US support Democracy in Egypt or the Military?

AMANPOUR: Let’s go straight to the heart of the matter. We’ve been seeing signals from Russia over the last 24 hours, at least, that there seems to be some kind of shift, at least publicly, the Russians agreeing to host the Syrian opposition, the Russians saying that they wouldn’t be sending new weapons to Syria and basically a call for Assad to talk to his adversaries.

What do you think that signifies?

BURNS: Well, Christiane, I think it’s apparent that the Russians are now reconsidering whether or not they believe that Bashar al-Assad can stay in power. As long as they believe that he might weather the crisis in Syria, they were supporting him with everything they had, including blocking Security Council resolutions put forward by the U.S. and others.

But since the defection of that senior military officer in Damascus, and the continued ferocity of the opposition in Syria, the Russians appear to be hedging their bets now. As you said, tomorrow there will be a meeting in Moscow with the Russian foreign minister and the leading anti- Assad coalition group.

And the F-130s, the advance military jets that were promised to Syrian Air Force will now not be coming. So the Russians are sending a quite powerful message to Assad that they can’t — that he cannot bank on their support, and I think that’s highly significant.

AMANPOUR: Or, as I explained in the lead-in to you, we had talked yesterday to Dimitri Simes, who I know you know. And let me just play you what he told us about this very relationship.


DIMITRI SIMES, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST: Russia would not welcome such an intervention; Russia would not approve such an intervention. It would not resist such an intervention and this intervention would not become a major issue in the U.S.-Russian relationship.


AMANPOUR: So, Ambassador, he’s basically saying that he had hosted a top-level meeting, including a Russian delegation. And the very question of intervention was raised, and it was very strongly addressed as he put it. That seems to me a green light now for the U.S., likeminded international capitals, to decided to do what they want to do.

BURNS: Well, President Putin gave a speech this — yesterday morning, I should say, in Moscow, where he was very clear that he felt that there had to be a diplomatic solution, some kind of an agreement between Assad and the opposition as opposed to military intervention. So I would, with respect, I don’t agree with Dimitri Simes.

I think the Russians still would block any kind of planned international military intervention. They’d use their veto in Security Council for that. I just think that Russia is trying to put itself in the driver’s seat to be a potential peacemaker between Assad and the opposition, and they’re trying to preserve their influence.

AMANPOUR: Absolutely. I’m sure that’s all true. But of course, you know better than all that President Putin often says things in public. In fact, many leaders do for domestic consumption.

What he was talking about, Dimitri Simes, was not so much a U.N. Security Council resolution, but a Kosovo-style act. I mean, you were in the Clinton and Bush administrations. You remember when President Clinton went around Russia, intervened in Kosovo, and Russia did not stand in the way. Might not have liked it; Milosevic was much closer of an ally than Assad is.

So is it feasible to say, as Dimitri Simes has, that actually the U.S. and the West is hiding behind Russia, and using that as an alibi to take even stronger measures, even short of intervention?

BURNS: I don’t agree with that. I don’t think so. I think Dimitri’s not correct about that. I do think there is still, in effect, a Russian and Chinese veto.

The Chinese also, as a matter of precedent, don’t want to see United States march into another country to overthrow the regime and second, Christiane, as you know well and you’ve covered on your show, there are really important problems about any kind of military intervention. Libya was relatively easier for a variety of reasons.

Syria, because it’s dense urban warfare would be a very, very difficult undertaking. I think there are a lot of reasons why the United States has been reluctant.

AMANPOUR: How much do you think U.S. presidential elections are playing into this? And let’s be very frank. President Obama has essentially staked his presidency — well, no, even before. He took a position that he wanted to end these American military interventions and adventures. He has done in Iraq. He’s talking about withdrawing from Afghanistan. I mean, it’s on track. He obviously doesn’t want to get into another adventure.

How much are these elections playing into a decision right now?

BURNS: You know, it’s hard to say what’s — what factor the elections are going to play in a specific foreign policy case like Syria. I do think you’re seeing a great deal of caution from the United States.

And, frankly, I think it’s warranted, because Syria, of course, an explosion in Syria or a further problem in Syria caused by a U.S. intervention, would have repercussions for Lebanon, for Jordan and for Israel. So I think there is a premium here to be very cautious as they move forward.

Having said that, obviously the United States would like to see the continuation of efforts by countries like Turkey and Qatar (ph) and Saudi Arabia to put pressure on Assad. I still think the U.S. prefers a scenario where Assad leaves voluntarily rather than he leaves because the U.S. 82nd Airborne has marched into Damascus.

AMANPOUR: All right. But you know that nobody’s going to be marching in anyway, and nobody’s made that suggestion. But you do — you raise an interesting point. You talk about what could be a possible deal for Assad to step down. What do you think the United States should do diplomatically to facilitate Russia’s diplomacy?

BURNS: Well, you know, I think that Russia is a key country here. It obviously has a lot of interest in both Syria and Iran, and those are two key actors, and the Iranians have a lot of influence on Damascus. President Putin, if he chooses to play this, could become, in effect, the lead international diplomat in trying to convince President Assad to leave power, to exit Syria, to go into exile in some third country, perhaps in a deal to be forgiven any possibility of imprisonment or being tried for war crimes.

If President Putin wanted to be the one to make that happen, I think that you’d find a lot of countries supporting him, including possibly the United States and the European countries themselves.

AMANPOUR: Let’s go back to the role of U.S. elections and a more robust effort to find a solution to Syria. You talk about President Putin. You don’t really believe that he wouldn’t oppose — he wouldn’t oppose intervention.

But what about what the Turks are trying to do? And you just mentioned Turkey. As you know, the Turkish foreign minister came to Washington, met with secretary of state, met with a lot of State Department and other officials and presented a slew of alternatives, all the way from a coalition of the willing, with the Arabs on board, buffer zones at Syria’s border — which, by the way, the defectors have told us, if only there were buffer zones, you’d see the whole army defecting — humanitarian corridors to the besieged cities and a joint effort to help organize the army defectors.

He said that the U.S. basically said, no until after November, again raising this specter, that it is U.S. politics at the moment, despite the difficulties, as we know, that’s standing in the way. What do you make of the Turks saying that? It’s not Simes now, or Putin.

BURNS: Well, I didn’t hear the Turks say that, but you know, I think the Turks have been — you know, their relationship fell apart with Syria. There has been — there’s very bad blood between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Assad. The Turks are obviously trying to push the United States.

But the U.S. has to calculate not just the domestic impact in our elections here, but how about the foreign policy impact in countries that really matter to us? I’m thinking first and foremost of Israel, the importance of stability on the Golan Heights and Israel’s northern border, and of course Jordan and Lebanon, which are much more unstable countries.

I think the U.S. is trying to do no harm here. They obviously — we obviously want to see Assad leave power. They want to see the opposition strengthened. They want to see Assad out the door. I think the U.S. is still of a mindset they’d prefer to see that happen because Syrians make it happen rather than the United States taking a lead in a Kosovo- or a Libya- style military coalition.

AMANPOUR: And just before we switch to Egypt, Ehud Barak, the defense minister of Israel, told me in no uncertain terms that they think it’s time for some kind of intervention and to get rid of Assad like that.

But, look, let’s move to Egypt. What we’ve seen today is — and I know that you were a member of the staff of the embassy there in the `80s, so you know that country very, very well. There was a consultation (ph) today between the new president, Mohammed Morsi, and essentially the military, when he reconvened parliament for a very short period of time.

The military has now said — or rather the courts — that they stand by their decision; parliament is dissolved. So let’s see what happens. But in the meantime, why is the United States, the bastion of democracy, continuing to pay the military $1 billion a year with no conditions attached in terms of democracy?

Don’t you think it’s time for the U.S. to say, look here, we like you; we support you. You’re our ally (ph), but you can’t go around hijacking democracy if you want our billions.

BURNS: Well, I think United States is trying to preserve the influence that it does have with the Egyptian military at a really critical time.

Here, again, Christiane, I suspect that the motivation in Washington and some other capitals is, again, can we work with both sides — in this case the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi and the Egyptian military — to try to get them to work out some modus vivendi, some way for them to coexist, live together, share power and have Egyptian democracy evolve in a positive direction.

I think the fear is that if United States comes down on one side or another and begins to pick winners and losers, it actually might exacerbate the problems in Egypt itself. And it was an extraordinary day in Egypt today.

And you saw a very bold move by Mohammed Morsi to, in effect, try to take back some of the powers that the military took from him just before the presidential elections. But I think the U.S. hopes it sees the Muslim Brotherhood rising in influence. It wants to have a relationship with them. It wants to retain influence with the new leadership.

But it understands that the military will have a say on certain questions, and particularly on security, the U.S. interests are paramount. The peace treaty with Israel and of course Egypt helping to block Iran. So the U.S. is trying not just to have it both ways, to have influence in two camps that may be sparring in Cairo for months into the future.

AMANPOUR: In one word, you said U.S. doesn’t want to come down on one side or the other. Doesn’t the U.S. have to come down on the side of democracy? The freely elected president?

BURNS: Well, I think — I think they did. When President Obama called President Morsi on the day of his election, the president and the White House have made very clear that we support the legitimacy of this new government, the Muslim Brotherhood government, that we want to see the results of the elections actually take hold and not be stolen by the courts.

I think the U.S. has actually stood up for democracy, whether we use our influence, Christiane, with the $1.3 billion, I think if the military began to act in clearly anti-democratic ways and tried to arrest the movement of this new government, then you might see some consideration of that in Washington.



July 11, 2012 | 0601 GMT


Comments (292)

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 [6] Show All

251. irritated said:

#247 Uzair8

“This has to be the final chapter” or the final final final ….?

Let’s see the response of these calls outside some villages and towns in the “Edlib Triangle”

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July 13th, 2012, 11:19 am


252. irritated said:

Omen #250

Yes, I did. The Houla massacre has been reported by the media hysterically against the Syrian government without the facts been investigated thoroughly and without any respect for truth and the victims.
Then the German media diffused the hysteria by showing that it was far from clear who did it and in fact pointing to the rebels.
Then the UN report was inconclusive.
Disappointed and silenced, the media then jumped on the Tlass defection without having the facts again… from short lived hysteria to the other.

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July 13th, 2012, 11:29 am


253. zoo said:

Israel aiding Syria refugees on Turkish, Jordan borders
July 12, 2012 01:54 PM
Agence France Presse

Read more:

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July 13th, 2012, 11:34 am


254. mjabali said:


I will ask someone in Paris to go and look at the number you provided to confirm. So far, I saw numbers and references but never a copy of that document.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:06 pm


255. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Can anyone provide link of Mr. Adel al-Gogary death live on Iraqui TV while debating pro Assad arguments?

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July 13th, 2012, 12:14 pm


256. Tara said:

Girlish pink and glitter? Someone trying to discover the human side of Nasrallah. He proved to have none.

Nasrallah painting removed by force July 13, 2012 12:03 AM By India Stoughton The Daily Star

BEIRUT: A dose of controversy was injected into the Beirut Art Fair’s proceedings when, after pressure from members of security, a painting by Lebanese artist Zeina El Khalil was taken down.

The artist later disclosed that the painting had been damaged in the process.

Entitled “Super Star,” the painting is a portrait of a smiling Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah. It renders the sheikh in hues of girlish pink and glitter, silhouetted against a cheerful, brightly colored background dotted with abstract patterns in yellow, purple and blue.

In her description of the piece Khalil states that she painted Nasrallah in an attempt to get past the leader’s media “pop star” image and rediscover him as a human being.

The painting is part of the permanent collection of Art Lounge, a Beirut’s bar-cum-gallery owned by Nino Azzi.

It seems Azzi was forced to take down the painting after members of the BIEL security team objected to the portrait being hung in a venue that serves alcohol
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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July 13th, 2012, 12:17 pm


258. SANDRO LOEWE said:


Do not get wrong. Do not try to find the cause of alawites being refused in the defaults of damascene people but better find it on the mistakes, abuses, bad acts and sins committed by your fellow alawites living in Damascus.

In Lattakia you think you are liberals but you are not. When it comes to sectarianism you act 100 % sectarian. So, you are not liberal at all. Maybe you think being liberal is being a muslim with easy money, girls in the beach and drinking alcohol. But being a liberal is basically respecting freedoms over any other principle political or religious.

Any dictatorship is anti-liberal by definition. But Assad’s one is probably one of the worst in these days we live and die.

Probably next alawite generation will be a dead end generation like druzes in Syria or probably will be a real liberal one helped by revolution.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:28 pm


259. mjabali said:


Your personal insults to me does not hide the weak outdated class conflict theory of yours. Go and search for some other way to decipher history ya فطيحل

Antoine said:

“Mjabali get up and smell the coffee this is a classic Class Struggle or Class Conflict between the elites and the masses, this is not a sectarian struggle.”

The majority of the Sunnis rich and poor are against al-Assad because he is Alawi, including those who are in his camp now. The Sunnis who are with al-Assad now are deep down with the other side, probably except for the very few. Syria is divided according to religious feelings. This includes those who do not believe in religion (those guys’ fight against al-Assad is about justice and liberty and not about religion most of the time)

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July 13th, 2012, 12:32 pm


260. Jad said:

Syria – The True Story

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July 13th, 2012, 12:36 pm


261. Jad said:

Dif you read this one month old article about your point?

BBC world news editor: Houla massacre coverage based on opposition propaganda
By Chris Marsden
As quietly as possible, BBC world news editor Jon Williams has admitted that the coverage of last month’s Houla massacre in Syria by the world’s media and his own employers was a compendium of lies.
Datelined 16:23, June 7, Williams chose a personal blog to make a series of fairly frank statements explaining that there was no evidence whatsoever to identify either the Syrian Army or Alawite militias as the perpetrators of the May 25 massacre of 100 people.
By implication, Williams also suggests strongly that such allegations are the product of the propaganda department of the Sunni insurgents seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:41 pm


262. omen said:

189. GHUFRAN said:

Charlie Skelton-The Guardian:
But it’s never too late to ask questions, to scrutinize sources.

speaking of scrutinize, skelton is a former porn critic.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:42 pm


263. Jad said:


Everything They’re Telling Us About Syria… Is False?

Friday, we read in the New York Times and elsewhere about one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most important supporters and allies having defected. The impression one gets is that Assad’s government is in a state of collapse – and this gives credibility to those pushing for Assad to turn over power.

But what the media are not mentioning is that Brigadier General Manaf Tlass did not defect directly from the Assad inner circle. He had already fallen into disfavor early in the uprising and lost his command in May 2011 – 14 months ago. If you had that additional piece of information, you would interpret the news reports in a totally different way.

When a piece of evidence that contradicts the overall impression is absent from the reportage, the reportage itself is almost worthless.

As are reports of horrific events without adequate fact-checking and follow-up. Remember the Houla massacre? Who carried that out?

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July 13th, 2012, 12:46 pm


264. Uzair8 said:

Jad raises a point (#261) which gives me an opportunity to share an observation.

In the early hours I was listening to the BBC World Service news broadcast and they were interviewing an activist from Hama who was describing what had happened in Tremseh. It sounded like an interrogation, which is actually a good thing. The presenter was interested in the details, perhaps trying to trip up the activist and expose any inconsistencies.

The guest claimed he was getting his news from someone who was still in the area of the massacre. The presenter asked him if he could contact his source again and then return to continue the interview in about 5 minutes. He agreed.

You can listen for yourself. I like this apparent cautious approach of the BBC. Pro-regime are ever ready to accuse the media of being keen to lap up anything the activists say.

Listen from the start.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:56 pm


265. mjabali said:

Sandro L:

I speak for myself and not for a sect or a group of people.

Alawis had people who acted badly in Damascus, and those same Alawis acted badly in Lattakia against other Alawis. This is al-Assads, their friends and goons. Those Alawis who participated in these bad actions are hated by everyone because of their actions. Many Alawis went to prison opposing the rule of al-Assad that as I said many times before that had taken advantage of the historical injustice that was exacted upon the Alawis to make them a policing tool in his arsenal. This is a fact.

I,as a Syrian, got along with everyone and never behaved badly. I hated those Alawis from the ruler’s circle and their actions, how they fleeced the country. I knew what they were doing was wrong. Why do I have to be burdened with their sin mr. Low?

I am liberal by practice and not by slogans. I say the truth and that may be harsh most of the time. The truth about how Syrians feel about each other is hard to accept especially by people like you who are brought up under the boot of the ruler (Alawi or Sunni) and of course wary about everyone else that is not like you.

As for the new Alawi generation, the only thing I will tell you is this: The Alawis have three different classes: those who are in the army and with al-Assad, those who live in the villages, and the educated working class that exist in big cities like Lattakia and Tartus. So, to look at your simplistic, emotional theory we see that it does not apply to the Alawis because they really have different groups with them with different futures. Your argument is emotional and not factual. The outcome of this chaos in Syria now is what is going to determine what is the destiny. If you can see in your crystal ball that is another story.

If the Alawis assimilate within a new modern Syria, or they continue the story of their ancestors: fight for survival is yet to be seen. All indication now point to a long fight.

your doom’s day gloom conspiracy argument you espouse I say: عفا عنه الزمان ونام

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July 13th, 2012, 12:56 pm


266. SANDRO LOEWE said:

If alawites think they have any religous ownership right over Nusairiye Mountains then Alawite mountains whould be returned to crusaders, then to bizantines, then to phoenicians, then to canaanites, then…. bla, bla, bla.

Or maybe Nusairis are simply bizantine christians turned to alawite religion due to political and economical crisis. Or maybe they were sunni muslims turned against state power centers and became alawites.

The only internationally accepted fact is that Latakia is Syria and FSA will defend Syria’s integrity until the end.

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July 13th, 2012, 12:59 pm


267. omen said:

261. jad,

first of all, where are the statements from regime officials themselves denying responsibility?

hiding behind a bbc reporter doesn’t count as a hard denial.

how did a bbc reporter get relegated to performing regime PR?

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July 13th, 2012, 1:04 pm


268. jad said:

An excellent article about the ‘respected’ and ‘truthful’ Syrian opposition members and their westerners ‘writers’ supporters:

The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?
The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …

A nightmare is unfolding across Syria, in the homes of al-Heffa and the streets of Houla. And we all know how the story ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.

This is the story of the Syrian war, but there is another story to be told. A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the “experts on Syria”, the “democracy activists”. The statement makers. The people who “urge” and “warn” and “call for action”.

It’s a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business. The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as “official spokesmen” or “pro-democracy campaigners” without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections.

It’s important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.

Though it is not yet stated US government policy to oust Assad by force, these spokespeople are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives who supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq and are now pressuring the Obama administration to intervene. As we will see, several of these spokespeople have found support, and in some cases developed long and lucrative relationships with advocates of military intervention on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The sand is running out of the hour glass,” said Hillary Clinton on Sunday. So, as the fighting in Syria intensifies, and Russian warships set sail for Tartus, it’s high time to take a closer look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.


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July 13th, 2012, 1:07 pm


269. Badr said:

“This includes those who do not believe in religion (those guys’ fight against al-Assad is about justice and liberty and not about religion most of the time)”

And for the least of the time, what is then their fight about?

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July 13th, 2012, 1:09 pm


270. omen said:

268. jad,

are you also a fan of this writer’s porn critique?

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July 13th, 2012, 1:11 pm


271. Uzair8 said:

Sunni ‘cannon fodder’ abandon Syria’s Alawite-led military

Opposition groups say increasing number of foot soldiers defecting to Turkey


As one of the Sunni Muslim soldiers who form the bulk of the Syrian army, Lt. Adnan Suleibi kept being pushed to the front of units fighting in the rebellious city of Homs.

Alawite personnel — members of the same minority sect as President Bashar al-Assad — remained in the rear. Alawites control the military through their domination of the officer corps and, crucially, direct the Soviet-style intelligence and secret police apparatus entrusted with preventing dissent.

“The Sunnis are cannon fodder and morale has been sapped. There are 75 men left in my brigade out of 250. The rest were killed, injured or deserted,” said Suleibi, a slim 23-year-old in jeans and striped t-shirt.

Read more:

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July 13th, 2012, 1:13 pm


272. jad said:

Interview with the minister Ali Haydar:

المقابلة | علي حيدر

(هيثم الموسوي)
■ لن ينتصر أحد على الآخر
■ هناك متشددون في النظام والمعارضة
■ أختار لبنان ليكون مقرّاً للاجتماع بالمعارضين

يُبدي وزير شؤون المصالحة الوطنية السوري، علي حيدر، تفاؤلاً لا يمنعه من القول إن «سوريا على فوهة بركان». يؤكّد حيدر، الذي يرأس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي في سوريا، إنه «دخل مشروعاً ولم يدخل في وزارة». وكشف عن اتصالات بدأها مع أطياف المعارضة المسلّحة

رضوان مرتضى
■ فوجئ المتابعون بإسناد حقيبة مستحدثة لكم هي حقيبة المصالحة الوطنية، كيف تم ذلك ولماذا هذه الحقيبة بالتحديد؟
– في بداية المشاورات لتشكيل الحكومة، التقانا رئيس الحكومة رياض حجاب ليبحث معنا موضوع التشكيل. فكان جوابنا فلنبحث في التركيب أولاً. أي كيف ستركب الحكومة ومن سيشارك فيها. وأشرنا إلى أن هناك أسئلة يجب الإجابة عنها سلفاً تتعلق ببرنامج عمل الحكومة وبيانها الوزاري وصلاحياتها، مشترطين أن يكون ذلك قبل البحث في التركيب. من هنا، وبعد حوارات متكررة، التقينا 5 مرات. وفي هذا الوقت، برزت فكرة أن عنوان مشروع الحكومة يجب أن يكون المصالحة الوطنية على قاعدة الاقتناع بأن أحداً لا يمكنه الانتصار على أحد. لا يوهم أحد نفسه بأنه يمكنه ذلك. الجيش غير قادر على تنظيف الأرض بالكامل وإنهاء الحالة المسلّحة من دون حل سياسي للأزمة، حاله حال المسلّحين الذين لا يمكنهم ذلك أيضاً. فالتقاتل لن يؤدي إلى نتيجة لا في شهر ولا في سنة ولا حتى إلى الأبد. القتال قد يمتد لعشرات السنين كالحرب الأهلية اللبنانية. لماذا نذهب إلى عنف وعنف مضاد. سوريا لا يمكنها الخروج من أزمتها إلا بمصالحة. وكل الدول التي تدخل في أزمات، تنتهي بمصالحات على طاولات الحوار. نحن لماذا ننتظر سنوات للوصول إلى هنا. لماذا ننتظر حتى يصل عدد الضحايا إلى 100 ألف. لماذا ننتظر حتى تخرب سوريا، وتصل الليرة السورية إلى ما وصلت إليه الليرة اللبنانية. لماذا ننتظر ما دمنا نعرف أنه في النهاية لا بد أن نجلس معاً؟ مشروعنا هو مشروع تعجيل الحل وتسريعه قبل سقوط آلاف الضحايا.
■ ماذا يجري في سوريا هذه الأيام؟
– ما يجري هو استمرار لأزمة سورية ظُهّرت بشكل نهائي منذ سنة ونصف السنة ولا تزال قائمة. الأزمة عميقة وبنيوية شاملة لكل مفاصل الحياة السورية. وشكلها النهائي أو مشهدها النهائي حالة عنف مستمرة تُزهق الكثير من الأرواح وتُسيّل الكثير من الدماء. هذا في العنوان الرئيسي، أما في التفاصيل فتمتد الأزمة السورية، التي لم يُحسن أحد حل مفاصلها، عبر سنوات طويلة تركت مواطن خلل وضعف في الداخل السوري. إزاءها، بدأ حراك شعبي وطني سلمي حقيقي على الأرض كانت له في البداية مطالب محقة. لكن، استطاع أصحاب المشروع الخارجي أن يدخلوا على خط الأزمة ويستغلّوا الطاقات الحيوية للشباب السوري ومطالبهم المحقة ومشاعرهم الجيّاشة لتغليب صورة عنفية على الحراك السياسي، الذي كان يُفترض أن يبقى سلمياً رغم كل العنف الذي قد يمارسه الطرف الآخر.
■ هل بدأتم الاتصال مع قوى المعارضة الخارجية في سوريا؟
– أبوابي مفتوحة. حالياً بدأت اتصالات غير مباشرة. وهناك رسائل أوجّهها عبر الإعلام وبواسطة أشخاص غير مباشرين بأن أبوابي مفتوحة من خلال وزارتي للقاء الجميع والتواصل معهم. أما من لديه حجة بألا يذهب إلى دمشق خوفاً من الاعتقال أو ما شابه، فأقول له إنه إذا ما قبل ضماناتنا فسأكون أنا المسؤول عن حمايته. كما أني مستعد أن ألتقيه في بيروت، ففي لبنان، الجميع يضمن القدوم. وباعتراف الجميع ان الكل يضمن أمنه هنا (في لبنان). فلنتحاور هنا ثم نقرر ماذا
■ وماذا عن مقاتلي المعارضة في الميدان السوري، كيف ستقنعونهم بإلقاء السلاح؟
بداية، من هم مقاتلو المعارضة؟ ليس كل من حمل سلاحاً صاحب مشروع. يجب التمييز بين حملة السلاح. فهناك من حمل السلاح خوفاً على بيته. وهناك من حمل السلاح ثأراً. وهناك من حمل السلاح لأن لديه قناعة بأنه يستطيع حماية الحراك الشعبي السلمي بهذا السلاح. وهناك الأدوات. يجب التمييز بين الأربعة. فالحل مع الأول والثاني سهل. وكذلك في ما خصّ الثالث الذي ستُحل مشكلته فور بدء العملية السياسية التي ستُلبي مطالب المعارضة. أما الأدوات، الذين تجدهم في كل زمان ومكان، فسيكونون من مسؤولية الجميع.
■ كيف ترى سبل الخروج من الأزمة؟
– قبل كل شيء يجب الاعتراف بالآخر. على كل الأطراف أن تعترف ببعضها. يجب أن لا يبقى هناك أحد يقول إنه الممثل الشرعي والوحيد فيما الآخر خائن وعميل. يجب أن نعترف بأن الأزمة سورية وأن حلّها سوري. والأزمة في شمولها وعمقها سياسية، لذلك يُفترض أن يكون الحل سياسياً وليس عسكرياً. والحل السياسي أداته الوحيدة هي الحوار ولكن على ثوابت رفض التدخّل الخارجي ورفض العنف ورفض تبرير العنف.
سوريا على فوهة بركان والأزمة عميقة وليست سطحية. لا يظن أحد من السوريين أنه يستطيع أن ينتصر بمفرده في هذه المعركة. والانتصار ليس من سوريين على سوريين. الانتصار بالسوريين أنفسهم.

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July 13th, 2012, 1:14 pm


273. jad said:

That ‘subject’ is your specialty not mine 😉

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July 13th, 2012, 1:16 pm


274. omen said:

hardly, jad, you’re the one promoting a porn writer, not me.

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July 13th, 2012, 1:28 pm


275. Amjad said:

“Houla Hysteria”? Disgusting. Has the regime managed to kill or catch any of the “terrorists” it claims were behind this horrendous massacre? Of course not, but to the pro-war-crimes enablers, the Houla event is now “over”, just as long as they think they managed to get away with it. The kind of low life thinking we have grown accustomed to seeing from the menhebakjis.

Remember, the Serb currently sitting in the Hague is being tried for a war crime committed in the early 90s. El Batta will never be able to travel outside Syria ever again.

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July 13th, 2012, 1:34 pm


276. Expatriate said:

Please Do NOT write in capitals. I will pass it this time. Next time posts written in capitals will be deleted. Thank you all for your cooperation, SC Moderator


10. ADAM NEIRA when he said :
Assad discusses forming transitional government (TOL)
It looks like Kofi Annan is making headway. The Russians are also assisting. The goal is to mitigate the violence and stop the killing. Syria has great potential IF it is stable and ordered. All the parties in Syria must attempt to resolve their differences peacefully. The only people who will benefit if Syria spirals downward into a satanic vortex will be arms dealers, undertakers and nefarious dealers and traders. The children of Syria deserve a decent future.
Prayers for Syria.

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July 13th, 2012, 1:42 pm


277. jad said:

Nobody is forcing you to read it, omen..

مصادر ميدانية موثوق بها تؤكد أن ما حصل في”التريمسة”معركة حربية حقيقية وليس مجزرة مدنيين

“الحقيقة” تحصل على شريط يؤكد أن معظم القتلى المتوفرة صورهم هم من المسلحين الإسلاميين والوهابيين، واعتقال أحد أخطر زعماء الميليشيات الوهابية في المنطقة.. حسين الدباس

وبالعودة إلى ما حصل في “التريمسة”(الواقعة على بعد 5 كم إلى الشمال الغربي من بلدة محردة و 25 كم إلى الشمال الغربي من حماة)، قالت معلومات حصلت عليها”الحقيقة” هذه الليلة من أحد الأطباء في بلدة “مورك” القريبة من المنطقة إن”الرواية التي تداولتها وسائل الإعلام لا أساس لها ومثيرة للسخرية”، موضحا بالقول “إن معطيات استخبارية وردت إلى السلطة من أهالي القرية نفسها تفيد بتحشد عدد كبير من المسلحين في القرية يقدر بالمئات للانتقام من أهلها الذين يتعاطف معظمهم مع السلطة في مواجهات الميليشيات الإسلامية المسلحة في المنطقة ، والتي يغلب على تركيبها البدو”، وأن “عددا من أخطر زعماء هذه الميليشيات، عرف منهم المدعو حسين الدباس(وهو من بدو المنطقة)، يعقدون اجتماعا في منزل المختار مصطفى اليونس لتنسيق عملية الانتقام. وعندها ، في ساعة مبكرة من فجر أمس، تحركت وحدات أمنية وعسكرية إلى القرية واشتبكت مع المسلحين لبضع ساعات ، مع أسفر عن مقتل عشرات المسلحين منهم ، ربما تجاوز المئة، كانوا يتحصنون في المنازل ، لاسيما منها المطلة على البساتين المجاورة ، واعتقال عدد منهم بينهم حسين الدباس نفسه”. وقد وصل”الحقيقة” للتو شريط يظهر عشرات القتلى الذين سقطوا في التريمسة. ويظهر من الشريط (المنشور جانبا) أن معظم القتلى المتوفرة صورهم ـ وكما يبدو من اللحى والشوارب المحفوفة لبعضهم على الطريقة الوهابية ـ هم من الإسلاميين والوهابيين، وليس بينهم أي طفل أو امرأة. كما ولا تظهر على جثثهم أية علائم لقتلهم بأسلحة بيضاء (ذبح) كما قالت “الجزيرة” والجهات الإسلامية السورية المعارضة، لاسيما “الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية”. ولم يتوفر حتى الآن ، وبعد مرور حوالي 24 ساعة على المعركة ،أي شريط آخر يثبت وجود قتلى من النساء أو الأطفال بينهم!!
هذا ونفى المصدر جملة وتفصيلا ما قالته وسائل الإعلام الخليجية ، استنادا إلى “شهود عيان” وإلى مصادر المعارضة الأسلامية السورية عن أن هناك أكثر من 150 دبابة شاركت في المعركة. وقال”هذا هراء ، القرية لا تتجاوز مساحتها 1 كم متر مربع ، و 150 دبابة عبارة عن فرقة مدرعة!”ـ موضحا بالقول”ما جرى هو أن السلطة استخدمت فعلا بعض المدرعات والدبابات وإحدى الحوامات، فقد كان في مواجهتها أكثر من مئتي مسلح تحصنوا في منزل المختار وبعض المنازل المحيطة به ، فضلا عن المدرسة الواقعة في وسط القرية وأماكن أخرى”. وقال الطبيب ـ المصدر”معظم سكان القرية من الموالين للسلطة ، ليس حبا بها، ولكن بسبب الجرائم التي يرتكبها مسلحو الأخوان المسلمين والمسلحون الوهابيون الذين يسيطرون عمليا على المنطقة الممتدة من ريف حماة الشمالي وحتى إدلب ، بما فيها المنطقة التي تقع فيها التريمسة”. وأعاد المصدر إلى الأذهان واقعة أن أهالي التريمسة “هم من استدعوا الجيش واستقبله في كانون الثاني / يناير الماضي لمواجهة المسلحين الإسلاميين البدو وطردهم .

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July 13th, 2012, 1:48 pm


278. irritated said:

#275 Amjad

Of course Houla triggered a media hysteria. I repeat it again and again and it truly was disgusting.

One of the few remaining resources left to the crumbling opposition to make their fading voice be heard is transforming any killing into a ‘Serbian like’ massacre and any defection into a ‘final blow’ to Bashar al Assad. Of course, without say, the criminals are always the Syrian army and the security forces.
These sadistic “PR events” should be well timed to be on the headlines of the scoop-hungry western media with the aim of changing the course of the current UN meeting. We have never seen any significant effects as if the UNSC countries do not buy them so easily, having been fooled before several times.
These are old worn out tricks that don’t work anymore.

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July 13th, 2012, 2:40 pm


279. zoo said:

The killing of armed gangs and rebels fighters is no ‘massacre’

Most of the people killed in the Syrian village of Traimseh were rebel fighters, an opposition activist said on Friday, adding the bloodbath followed a Free Syrian Army attack on an army convoy.

“At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven,” Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network, told AFP. “The rest were members of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army.”

“An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA,” he said. “The army staged a counter-attack with the support of (pro-regime) reinforcements from (nearby) Alawi villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated.”

Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “dozens of rebel fighters” were among those killed.

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July 13th, 2012, 2:47 pm


280. jad said:

Dear Zoo,
Could you please move your article in #279 to the new post?
Thank you

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July 13th, 2012, 2:54 pm


281. jad said:

Why my comment to Zoo about the new post didn’t show?

Anyway, there is a new post Zoo that fits your article in 279 🙂

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July 13th, 2012, 2:56 pm


282. omen said:

265. MJABALI This is al-Assads, their friends and goons. Those Alawis who participated in these bad actions are hated by everyone because of their actions. Many Alawis went to prison opposing the rule of al-Assad that as I said many times before that had taken advantage of the historical injustice that was exacted upon the Alawis to make them a policing tool in his arsenal. This is a fact.

i’m sorry i conflated you with the regime earlier.

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July 13th, 2012, 2:58 pm


283. omen said:

275. amjad said: Has the regime managed to kill or catch any of the “terrorists” it claims were behind this horrendous massacre?

it’s the o.j. playbook: the murderer hunting for the killer.

i think it was yaqoubi who dared the regime to declare three days of mourning for houla to prove their good faith.

did they ever do so?

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July 13th, 2012, 3:04 pm


284. zoo said:

With all its high-tech US equipment, NATO surveillance, Turkey is still wondering how their plane was shot down.
Was is shot down by a Syrian ‘secret weapon’ or hit by a bird or the pilots were drunk? On these modern military planes, curiously there are voice recorder.

Army: Jet downed by Syria, but not with anti-aircraft fire

A Turkish jet downed on June 22 was definitely not shot down by anti-aircraft fire as suggested by Syrian officials, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said on Friday, while also making clear once more that the jet was shot down by Syria.

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July 13th, 2012, 3:05 pm


285. Uzair8 said:

New post up.

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July 13th, 2012, 3:28 pm


286. Observer said:

JAD is back great.

Distraction doubles or triples with ZOO and JAD and ANN all cutting and pasting.

Why is it that the observers are not allowed in Tremseh
If it is a battle where is the great PR machine of the regime that has given us four days of military exercises and the shooting of real ammunition to show the determination of the regime to fight.

If there are armed elements how come this very powerful armed forces cannot finish it off?

Now for the interview with Haidar, it seems the regime is tyring to initiate a dialogue or a negotiation. Is this stalling tactic or is it throwing ash in our faces? or is it buying time? or is it placating Russia’s impatience?

1. Is Russian foreign policy on Syria now a hostage to the whims of Assad or
2. Is Fredo now in the sorry fate of being dependent on Russia and Iran?
3. Is Kofi going to Russia and Iran an attempt to save Fredo or to save Kofi?
4. Already people are being reminded of Rwanda and Srbrenitza is he going to make it three times now?
5. Debate is ongoing in Iran about cutting losses and distancing from Fredo; has that debate been increasing and if not who won?
6. Are these massacres an attempt to tie the fate of Fredo and his circle to that of the Alawi community by reviving the spectre of persecution and marginalization?
7. Now that the fall of the Corleone rule is all but assured, will the Alawi community choose to fall with him en masse?

Finally it seems that many pro regimists on this blog are already out of Syria, I guess that is good.

One final question for MAJBALI, as a liberal would be willing to sacrifice in goods and action for the sake of a liberal Syria and if so how and when and where? And this is not meant as a critique or a cynical question just curious.

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July 13th, 2012, 7:50 pm


287. Bruno said:

4 UN Meetings 4 massacres Yeah i am starting to doubt that Assad was behind it, i can see the long list of propaganda play on here though.

This is why you Rebel supporters cant think logically.

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July 13th, 2012, 9:10 pm


288. Jad said:

Distraction from what? the worthless same observation and prediction we’ve been reading for a year and a half without any meaningful solution but calling for more Syrian blood, sectarianism and refusing dialogue as a ‘solution’
Yes, I’m back, what are you going to do about it? Stop writing! LOLOL
Allah yeshfeek!

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July 14th, 2012, 1:16 am


289. irritated said:

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July 14th, 2012, 8:50 am



[…] continue to stonewall at the U.N, while giving hope to Arab states and the West that it is the weak link in support of […]

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July 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm


291. PETER said:

After what happened in Egypt and other North African and Arab States, why is the US supporting movements that are bringing Islamists to power or giving them a constituency. This is very odd…

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July 18th, 2012, 8:24 pm


292. Syrialover said:

In Damascus, losing faith in Assad

From article:

Even as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reassert control over much of Damascus, residents of the capital say they feel increasingly distant from the government they have long supported and are confident that it will eventually fall.

“We have feelings of hatred towards the regime now which will never get washed away,” said a 62-year-old man who owns four houses in the capital but thinks none of them is safe enough to stay in. Like others, he did not give his name because he was concerned about the possible consequences.

Some Damascus residents who have returned to their homes have been forced to confront the deadly results of the violence.

In the Midan neighborhood, where government forces took control after nearly a week of heavy fighting, “two whole families were slaughtered” in a public square, said a 30-year-old resident. Homes were demolished, shops looted and his house was broken into by security forces who went door-to-door after the fighting, the man said. “We can’t stay in Midan. There is no life anymore.”

The 30-year-old said he worked as a government servant and had been paid to break up anti-Assad protests by shocking demonstrators with electric prods. But he said any loyalty he felt to the government has disappeared. “How can you work for a government which shelled and destroyed your neighborhood?” he said.

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July 29th, 2012, 6:45 pm


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