UN Suspends Mission as Syria Becomes Regional Proxy War

In Syria’s Sectarian Battle, Who Are The Alawites? : NPR

Renee Montagne talks with Professor Joshua Landis about the Alawite sect in Syria. The minority group is the power base for President Bashar Assad’s government. Landis is director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

UN monitors enter Haffa, amid massacre fears – BBC with video footage. Only a handful of residents could be seen and one man said 26,000 people had fled. Homs continues to be hit with artillery fire. In Douma, about 15 km (10 miles) from Damascus, activists said tanks had entered the city outskirts and government forces were battling rebel fighters. At least two people were killed and 15 wounded, they added.

UN Mission ceases operations:

Norwegian Gen Robert Mood, the head of the UN Stabilisation Mission (UNSMIS), said that he had little choice but to suspend the mission. Escalating violence across Syria over the past 10 days had prevented the teams from carrying out their mandate to verify events on the ground. They have repeatedly been attacked by pro-government supporters, driving them back in recent days from the village of Al Heffa, which had been under assault all week until all its residents fled. “The lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful transition, and the push toward advancing military positions is increasing the losses on both sides: innocent civilians, men, women and children are being killed every day,” General Mood said. “It is also posing significant risks to our observers.” But he emphasized that he was only suspending the mission, not ending it, and would evaluate daily the chances for resuming its activities. NYTimes

Wash Post: The monitors have provided a steady diet of raw information, however incomplete, linking the Syrian government and pro-government militias to some of the worst atrocities, including the massacre of 108 civilians in Houla, where the monitors said they found fresh tank tracks and evidence of government shelling.

The findings have largely undercut claims by Syria’s chief defenders, China and Russia, that Syrian government forces have played no role in mass killings, and secured their support for a Security Council statement condemning Syria for its role in the Houla massacre. The monitors have also documented multiple abuses by armed opposition groups and flagged concerns about the emergence of violent extremists groups in

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, meanwhile, has questioned the viability of the U.N. monitors. In a closed-door meeting this week, she likened them to “300 sitting ducks in a shooting gallery, one IED away from a disaster,” according to a diplomat who was present.

The UK foreign secretary said the decision called into question the mission’s viability. William Hague blamed the government of President Bashar al-Assad for the worsening situation. In a statement, he said the suspension of patrols and restriction of staff movements “underlines the extent of the deterioration of security and stability in Syria, and calls into serious question the viability of the UN Mission“.

Syria becoming wider global, regional proxy war – Reuters — it seems clear both sides believe that if they can continue the fight and convince their foreign backers that they have a credible chance of victory – or at least survival – then they will continue to receive outside support…..

Bashar al-Assads SEctarain Strategy for the War, by Daniel DePetris

As of today, men thought to be deeply wedded to Assad’s regime murdered seventy-eight of al-Qubair’s residents. All of the victims were Sunni Muslims, the majority demographic in Syria that composes most of the uprising against President Assad. The men who perpetrated the crime, at least from initial UN reports, were Alawites from neighboring villages, the same sectarian grouping that the Syrian regime depends on for cohesion within its inner ranks

What the massacres in Houla and al-Qubair reveal, besides the inhumanity that war can cause, is that Bashar al-Assad is knowingly driving the conflict into just the type of sectarian onslaught that ruined its Iraqi neighbor five years earlier.

Russia denies discussing Syria’s post-Assad future
By Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press / June 15, 2012

Sergey Lavrov denied Thursday’s statement by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that Moscow and Washington “are continuing to talk about a post-Assad transition strategy.”

Syria rebels retreat from key northern town by Liz Sly

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces seized control of the northern town of Haffah on Wednesday after rebels retreated in the face of a withering offensive that saw the army rely heavily on combat helicopters for the first time.

Syrian government forces seized control of the northern town of Haffah on Wednesday after rebels retreated in the face of a withering offensive that saw the army rely heavily on combat helicopters for the first time.

The fall of Haffah after an eight-day battle marked a setback for the rebel Free Syrian Army, which in recent weeks has been steadily asserting its presence across large swaths of the north and center of the country. Haffah, a mostly Sunni hillside town near the strategic port city of Latakia, had marked the westernmost expansion of the rebels’ reach, giving them a foothold in the regime’s Alawite heartland.

Syrian forces pushed out scores of rebels holed up in a rebellious area near the Mediterranean coast Wednesday and state television claimed they retook control of the region following eight days of fierce shelling and clashes.

Syrian forces pushed out scores of rebels holed up in a rebellious area near the Mediterranean coast Wednesday and state television claimed they retook control of the region following eight days of fierce shelling and clashes.

A look at the Syrian uprising one year later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international community for him to step down.

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

A look at the Syrian uprising one year later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international community for him to step down.

But in recent days, government troops have launched an intensified offensive against rebel strongholds across the country, apparently buoyed by continued indications of Russian support and the failure of international diplomatic efforts to come up with an alternative to a failed U.N. cease-fire plan.

Neighborhoods in the city of Homs came under bombardment for a fifth day, and in the far east, troops were reportedly pushing into the town of Deir al-Zour…..

U.S. official: Russia sends troops to Syria as peace hopes fade By Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News, and msnbc.com news services, June 15, 2012

Russia is sending armed troops to Syria amid escalating violence there, United States military officials told NBC News Friday, in a move certain to frustrate Western efforts to put pressure on the regime of President Bashir Assad.

Moscow has sent a ship carrying a small contingent of combat forces to guard Russia’s deep-water port and military base at the Syrian city of Tartus, the US officials said.

The U.S. officials also said Russia has not sent additional attack helicopters to the Syrian government, but replacement parts for the Russian helicopters the Syrians are already flying.

It comes after the conflict was declared by France on Wednesday to be a full-blown civil war.

The head of the U.N. observers in Syria said Friday a recent spike in bloodshed is derailing the mission to monitor and defuse more than a year of violence and could prompt the unarmed force to pull out.

Samir Aita, After the Fall of the Assad Regime  سمير العيطة ماذا بعد رحيل النظام السوري؟

Iraqi Opinion Poll: The People Want Electricity, They Don’t Care If A Dictator Brings It – Niqash

A recent opinion poll showed some inconsistencies. Iraqis think the current PM ‘acts like a dictator’. But they also think the country is going in the right direction. Are they about to give up their democratic rights for uninterrupted power supply? By Cathrin Schaer / Berlin
From One Hell To Another: Visiting A Syrian Refugee Camp In Kurdistan – Niqash

Recently the conflict in Syria has been called a civil war. And Syrian-Kurdish youth are fleeing their homes for neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan. There, they arrive in dedicated camps where their dreams of a new life are doomed under dusty, canvas walls. By Abdul-Khaleq Dosky / Dohuk

Blast damages Shiite Muslim shrine outside Damascus, Syria
June 14, 2012 | 7:20 am

BEIRUT — A bomb-laden car driven by a suicide attacker exploded Thursday near a major Shiite Muslim shrine outside the Syrian capital of Damascus, injuring 14 people and damaging part of the shrine, according to Syrian state media and news agency reports.

It was the latest in a series of car bombs that have killed scores of Syrians and elevated tensions in the country’s two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, where the bombings have been the most dramatic manifestation of the more than yearlong insurrection. Authorities have blamed Al Qaeda-linked Islamic militants from Syria and other nations, including neighboring Iraq and Jordan, for previous suicide bombings.

It was unclear if the intended target of Thursday’s strike was a nearby police station or the golden-domed Sayyida Zainab shrine, the Associated Press reported. The shrine is one of Shiite Islam’s holiest and most magnificent sites and a favored destination of Shiite pilgrims, especially Iranians. It is said to be the burial place of a revered granddaughter of the prophet Muhammad.

Terror zone shift: Syrian insurgents ‘try to set up new belt of strongholds’
Jun 14, 2012, Russian RT

While Homs is nearly under control of the government, terrorists and insurgents try to escape north and east. The Syrian militarys strategic task is to keep them from building a new belt of strongholds on Syrian territory along the Turkish border.

Consultant and peace activist Christoph R. Hrstel told RT that his information is directly obtained from Syrian security personnel of various origins personally taking part in battles and other operations, and/or close relatives of such personnel some are even well-known people.

The information reaches me through a partner in Turkey. I counter-check all information obtained this way as best as possible under the circumstances, Hrstel said.
He gives an outline of the militarys activities from Syria.

House-to-house clearing is almost complete, but is continuing in nearby Rastan and the city district of Khaldiyeh.

Insurgents and terrorists are escaping now in the direction of Hafeh, where safety was restored only last weekend. But now insurgents and terrorist forces from the Turkey-Idlib area are gathering there, joined by the escaping forces from Rastan, Homs and Khaldiyeh.

These forces now try to set up a new stronghold in Hafeh as a replacement for the lost base in Homs. Hafeh is an important and vital crossing point into Turkey and exit to Idlib, from where more transfer routes lead further east to terrorist camps in Turkey.

Syrian officials on the new frontline stretching from Hafeh to Hassakah in north-eastern Syria are trying to prevent the establishment of a buffer zone on its soil close to the Turkish border. According to these officials, the new leadership of the Syrian National Council (SNC) have called on Kurdish groups to join the rebels in Hassakah but local tribal leaders appear to have rejected the idea for the moment.

The Syrian Army is carrying on with house-to-house operations and has destroyed a massive amount s of stockpile of smuggled weapons and communication devices. They claim to have killed more than 1200 insurgents and terrorists in recent days and at the same time are concentrating on preventing the establishment of the aforementioned terror zone in the Hafeh-Hassakah border belt.

The terrorist influx from camps in Turkey causes repeated clashes in Azaz, a town opposite Turkeys border town Kilis, north of Aleppo. A month ago, around 3000 infiltrators were located on the Idlib-Azaz line and the Syrian army killed or captured 800 of them in Azaz alone. The rest were situated in Idlib, and though they were taken out a month ago, the continuous terrorist influx from the Turkish camps makes Idlib and Azaz another front line.

Azaz is a crucial gateway to Aleppo. There appears to be a belt being established by insurgents stretching from Hafeh to Idlib, via Aleppo and Azaz to Hassakah.

One of the most terrible developments of this war is that terrorists are forcing civilian males to stay together and fight against security forces. They offer money, shoot family members if they don’t co-operate and even go so far as to transfer family members of forced fighters to Turkey. If civilian males continue to refuse to fight side by side with the terrorists and insurgents, these civilians are not let go but sometimes shot summarily, sometimes whole families, as happened in Houla.

Terrorists are using psychological pressure to force some civilians to carry improvised explosives by taking hostages. As an example, they take a family hostage and order the father to drive his car very close to military checkpoints or military tanks, then they explode the car by remote control from a distance. That is what happened in Rastan yesterday. A civilian car fully loaded with explosives was blown up by remote control right next to two tanks. The incident was brought to light by the wife and surviving sons of the car-bomb driver’s kidnapped family.

All in all, the new Hafeh-Hassakah line will be crucial from now on. Hafeh can be considered as important as Hama, but situated at the western end of the mountain line. It is another vital point on escape and supply routes to and from Turkey and possibly a new stronghold for insurgents and terrorists.

‘Russia does not sell combat helicopters to Syria’ – Lavrov

Responding to claims made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Foreign Minister stated that Russia complies with international law and is merely fulfilling previous obligations with Syria related to air-defense systems.

Should Columbia University have admitted Syrian dictator Assad’s former press aide? Christian Science Monitor

Habib Malik Calls on Obama to Protect Endangered Minorities in Syria and throughout Middle East

 WASHINGTON and ZURICH, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Professor Habib Malik of the Lebanese American University has called on the United States and its European allies to “draw a thick red line” around religious liberty as it responds to the ongoing violence in Syria and the Middle East, and to provide “active protection” for minority rights in the region.

Mr. Malik issued this call this week at CSI’s 2012 conference series on The Future of Religious Minorities in the Middle East. (See www.formime.ch for a video of Malik’s lecture.) Malik is a professor of history and the author of Islamism and the Future of Christians in the Middle East.

In Syria, Malik warned that the “first wave” of opposition leaders has been replaced by a “militant Islamist grouping” that engages in kidnappings and beheadings, including attacks on religious pilgrims. Given these attacks, Malik said it is impossible to “take seriously” the opposition Syrian National Council’s assurances to Syrian religious minorities, given on June 10, that they will be protected after the regime falls.

Malik faulted Western powers for promoting their “democracy” agenda with the help of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whom Malik termed “fanatic states” and “arch-repressors” that are “financing and supporting a militant Sunni Salafi Wahabi replacement in Syria and indeed anywhere else in the region they can manage it.”

Malik said that “if present trends continue,” the “better-funded and better-organized” Islamist parties are likely to rise to power in most of the Middle Eastern countries undergoing political change, with adverse consequences for Christians and other non-Muslim communities.

“Without these Christian communities,” he said, “pluralism is all but dead in the Middle East, and along with it, any real chances for genuine freedoms and democracy.

George Saghir on the Syrian Economy (in Arabic in al-Iqtisadi)

خبير مصرفي سوري في أميركا يرد على مقالة المصارف والأزمة

تاريخ المقال: 2012-06-06

كتب جورج صغير – مدير حقيبة استثمارية في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية

أكتب لكم هذه الرسالة تعقيباً على مقالكم المنشور مؤخّراً بعنوان “كيف ساعدت المصارف الخاصّة في سورية في بدء الأزمة وتسريعها”.

لقد أبدى الكاتب نادر الشيخ الغنيمي مؤلّف هذا المقال نقداً شديداً للقطاع المصرفي، وسنحاول في هذه الرسالة الإجابة عن بعض المواضيع الرئيسية التي طرحها في مقاله.

By Soner Cagaptay, CNN Global Public Square, June 14, 2012

Washington’s ties with Ankara have improved significantly in recent years thanks to a personal relationship between President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two leaders have been in frequent contact, building a rapport that has translated into closer Turkish support for the U.S., including Ankara’s 2011 decision to participate in NATO’s crucial missile defense project.

Yet a crisis could be waiting in Syria.

Ankara and Washington both abhor the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators. But according to some reports, Ankara is hosting the Syrian opposition and possibly even helping arm it.

In contrast, Obama’s cautious policy on Syria appears to be driven by a desire to avoid three things: the political unknown after Bashar al-Assad, war in an election year, and a new military campaign in a Muslim country.

Erdogan might find it increasingly difficult to tolerate Obama’s “wait-and-see” strategy. For the Turks, slaughter in Syria is not an overseas affair, but rather a tragedy close to home that they cannot ignore….

“Communist Parties win 11 Seats in Syrian Parliamentary Elections,” By S. Saleh Waziruddin

On Turkish border, doctors keep medical aid flowing to Syria– Reuters –

…. From a small, windowless basement apartment in Turkey’s southern Hatay province a few hundred meters from the border, Omar now gathers drugs and medical supplies from all over Turkey to be smuggled to colleagues inside Syria.

The slick operation, set up by a union of expatriate Syrian doctors and involving some 60 smugglers, is only one of a large network of informal supply chains along the Syrian border that serve as a lifeline to those caught up in the violence.

“They need everything. All their supplies have been destroyed. Assad’s army has destroyed four of our stores and four field hospitals. This is only in our area. They are destroying many others elsewhere,” said Omar.

Donations come mainly from Syrian doctors living in Gulf Arab countries or in Europe, and the amounts vary significantly. Omar said they received a quarter of a million dollars one month but then only $50,000 the next. Last month they got $30,000.

Comments (150)

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101. Juergen said:

Omen 74

You could say both. I was referring to the accounts of many who were in exile during the Hitler reign and came back in 1945 and no one could find an proper Nazi, all were as they claimed in “resistance” to the regime, many would argue that they had no choice out of fear they acted in favor of the regime.

Later it was clear that especially in West Germany most Nazis kept high ranking government positions, it was common until the late 60s to find Nazi judges, teachers in schools and universities.

can one trust this newspaper, or is that like ynet?

Russian Commandos ‘to Escort Assad Out of Syria’
Voice of Israel cites Russian reports that say Russian commandos may sail to Syria to escort Assad to safety.

Ships carrying Russian commandos may soon sail to Syria to escort strongman Bashar Assad to safety from the country where a rebellion against him is growing fiercer.

Reports to this effect were cited by Voice of Israel radio’s veteran “listener” Miki Gurdus, who specializes in listening to radio broadcasts on various frequencies worldwide.

The Interfax news agency said Monday that two Russian navy ships are to sail to Syria to protect Russian citizens and its naval base there. This would be the first time since the current rebellion in Syria began that Russia is sending extra troops to its base in Syria.


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June 18th, 2012, 1:46 pm


102. ann said:

Clashes renew in Syria overnight: report – 2012-06-18


DAMASCUS, June 18 (Xinhua) — Clashes occurred overnight Sunday in a number of Syrian areas, witnesses and media reports said.

Overnight Sunday, a number of neighborhoods in Syria witnessed several clashes and chaotic incidents, with circumstances remaining murky.

Al-Watan, a pro-government newspaper, said Monday terrorists struck an armored vehicle with a thermal missile overnight Sunday in the Damascus suburb of Douma, without saying whether the attack had left casualties or not.

In the suburb of Qudsiah, sounds of mortar shells and gunshots reverberated overnight Sunday, witnesses told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the Syrian authorities thwarted late Sunday an attempt by gunmen to get into Syrian territories from Lebanon and killed all of them, Syria’s Arab News Agency (SANA) said Monday.

Also, SANA said that local authorities in Albu-Kamal city in eastern Deirl al-Zour province clashed Sunday with an “armed terrorist group” trying to smuggle a large amount of weapons near the Syrian-Iraqi borders, leaving a number of smugglers injured and the weapons confiscated.


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June 18th, 2012, 1:46 pm


103. ann said:

Violence rattles Damascus neighborhoods amid suspension of UN observer activities – 2012-06-18


DAMASCUS, June 18 (Xinhua) — Clashes have been renewed Monday in two neighborhoods of the Syrian capital of Damascus, following a night thick with tensions, reports said, amid the suspension of the UN observer mission’s activities.

In the Damascus suburb of Douma, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said the government troops shelled a neighborhood behind Douma’s hospital, alleging that unspecified number of people have been killed.

Witnesses said that the situation in Douma is very serious, with the neighborhood being the stage for armed confrontation between the armed rebels and the government troops over the past months.

Earlier in the day, a video posted online by armed rebels showed a military bus riddled with bullets and eight army men laid on the ground amid pools of blood surrounding them.

A man apparently from the rebel Free Syrian Army said that those soldiers were killed in a “qualitative” operation in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Sunday, adding “this will be the destiny of whoever sides with (President) Assad’s criminal army.”

In al-Mazzeh neighborhood of Damascus, clashes also erupted in al-Razi orchards area, which is also a scene of armed confrontation between the rebels and the government troops.

The 15-month-old crisis in Syria has evolved into an ugly conflict laden with revenge crimes, execution-style killings, and grisly murders with both sides of the conflict blaming each other for the escalation of violence.

Overnight Sunday, a number of neighborhoods in the capital witnessed several clashes and chaotic incidents, whose circumstances of happening remain murky.

Meanwhile, state-run SANA news agency said Syrian forces foiled at dawn Monday a number of infiltration attempts from Lebanon at the outskirts of Talkalakh, adding that the “terrorists” used loudspeakers to call for ambulances from the Lebanese side to rescue the injured.

SANA said the infiltration attempts took place in al-Armoutah, Hallat and Edleen areas.

An armed terrorist group opened fire at a vehicle carrying eggs and abducted five workers on board as the vehicle was passing by the town of Tal Mnin in Damascus outskirts on Sunday, SANA said.


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June 18th, 2012, 1:55 pm


104. zoo said:

Here goes USA’s support to the rebels: words and no action.

West avoiding action in Syria, blaming Russia

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. has spent months disparaging Russia for blocking strong U.N. action against Syria and standing by President Bashar Assad as his forces lay waste to rebellious cities.

But in many ways, Russia’s stance is convenient for Washington and its allies which have their own reasons for avoiding direct intervention in yet another Arab nation in crisis.

Not the least of them is the impending U.S. presidential election in November. Others are the uncertain outcome of a military commitment and the war-weariness of the U.S. public.

Obama believes that his strategy for Iran, a far more important issue than Syria for this administration, is working,” Saab said. Obama “does not want to mess it up by fishing in troubled Syrian waters.”

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June 18th, 2012, 2:03 pm


105. Shami said:

Jad ,arabi-press = hezbollah theocratic Iran and qurdahi regime media.
no more articles from the truth of nayouf ,then ?
Good luck

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June 18th, 2012, 2:24 pm


106. ann said:

Report: Russia to send marines to Syria – Updated 15h 31m ago


Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that two Russian navy ships are prepared to head to Syria to protect Russian citizens and a naval base there.

“We must protect our citizens,” Maj. Gen. Vladimir Gradusov was quoted as saying. “We won’t abandon the Russians and will evacuate them from the conflict zone, if necessary.”

Each ship is capable of carrying up to 300 marines and a dozen tanks, according to Russian media reports. That would make it the largest known Russian troop deployment to Syria, signaling that Moscow is becoming increasingly uneasy about Syria’s slide toward civil war.


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June 18th, 2012, 2:36 pm


107. ann said:

13 die in fire at overcrowded Turkish prison – 2012-6-18


INMATES in a prison in southeast Turkey set mattresses and blankets alight, starting a fire that killed 13 prisoners, authorities said yesterday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the inmates set their bedding on fire following a fight that broke out inside a ward housing 18 prisoners late on Saturday. Five of the inmates in the prison in the mostly-Kurdish and Arabic-speaking city of Sanliurfa were being treated in hospital but none was in a serious condition.

The prisoners also barricaded the ward’s entrance using beds and other furnishings, hampering rescue efforts by guards, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin told reporters after he and other ministers visited the prison in the city near the border with Syria. The five survivors escaped serious injury after shutting themselves in the ward’s bathroom, he said.

Inmates in Turkey have in the past set bedding alight in riots to protest poor prison conditions, but authorities insisted the incident was not a mutiny.

There was no explanation however, as to what sparked the dispute in the ward. Ergin said an investigation had been launched and its results would be made public.

The fire, meanwhile, exposed the problem of overcrowding in some Turkish prisons. The Sanliurfa prison has a capacity of 600, but was holding some 1,000 prisoners, according to news reports.


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June 18th, 2012, 2:47 pm


108. zoo said:

#90 Tara

I am under the impression that this article is outdated.

Any updates on Talbiseh and Rastan that according to that article still under under rebels control?

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June 18th, 2012, 2:47 pm


109. ann said:

1 dead, 13 injured in clashes between Lebanese army, Palestinian refugees – 2012-6-19


BEIRUT, June 18 (Xinhua) — The Lebanese army shot dead at least one Palestinian during clashes Monday in a refugee camp in northern Lebanon, Lebanese security sources said.

Three Lebanese army soldiers and 10 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, the sources said.

According to an army statement carried by the National News Agency (NNA), the clashes erupted in the refugee camp of Nahr el- Bared after rogue elements attacked military posts in the camp during a funeral procession for 15-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Qassem, who was killed Friday in the camp.

A military vehicle was set ablaze in the fighting, the statement added.

The army warned in the statement “the Palestinian brothers not to be victims of political exploitation and that forcing the army into confronting with them does not serve the agreement that was reached with the Palestinian factions last week.”

The killing of Qassem and clashes on Monday have raised considerably the tension in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, which in 2007 witnessed deadly clashes between the army and Islamist gunmen.

The NNA reported that residents of the Beddawi refugee camp, also near the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli, blocked roads inside the camp in protest of the incident in Nahr al-Bared.


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June 18th, 2012, 2:53 pm


110. bronco said:

# Ann

If the situation is so threatening, I wonder why the EU is not sending planes to evacuate the EU foreigners still in Syria?

The arrival of the Russian has been immediately interpreted as a sign that Russia was distancing from the Syrian regime.

In my view, under the pretext of ‘evacuating’ Russians still in Syria, Russia is sending a strong message to the USA and whoever thinks they can just attack Syria unilaterally. They’ll have to count on Russian’s military presence.

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June 18th, 2012, 2:56 pm


111. zoo said:

End of the SNC-FOS meeting in Istanbul: vague resolutions

Contrary to the previous FOS meeting attracting huge media attention, the last one, the ‘vision unification’ meeting in Turkey ended discreetly with the SNC accepting officially the invitation of the AL in Cairo to work out a way to support/destroy actively the Annan Peace Plan.

Syrian opposition’s Istanbul meeting ends

17 June 2012 10:15 (Last updated 17 June 2012 10:16)
Chairman of the Syrian National Council said that the Syrian opposition would have a stronger voice.


A meeting of the members of Syrian National Council and Syrian opposition groups has ended in Istanbul on Saturday.

The consultation meeting took place just before the Arab League holds a meeting on Syria in Cairo.
The participants of the Istanbul meeting formed a committee of 15 people.
The committee will prepare the agenda for the Cairo meeting, determine the participants of the Cairo meeting and will publish a declaration on works being implemented.
Chairman of the Syrian National Council Abdulbasid Seyda said that the Syrian opposition would have a stronger voice.
The participants of the Istanbul meeting reached a reconciliation on ending the Assad regime.
Also joining the Istanbul meeting, Kurdish opposition members announced that they would act together with the Syrian opposition and would attend all meetings.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:11 pm


112. Tara said:


I certainly hope that part of Syria is under the rebel control. Time for the evil to get defeated, even partially. It looks more and more that the FSA is getting emboldened and that the regime is getting weaker.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:11 pm


113. zoo said:

Just after an apparently unsuccessful meeting in Istanbul, another ‘vision unification’ meeting for the opposition in Brussels financed by the EU.
Is the EU going to “twist the opposition arms”, following the wishes of Annan?

Syrian opposition to meet in Brussels
18 June 2012, 18:52 CET

(BRUSSELS) – Syria’s opposition is to meet in Brussels this weekend in EU-sponsored talks aimed at forging more unity among opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, an EU spokesman said Monday.

The talks will gather the main opposition groups, including the Syrian National Council, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, the Kurdish National Council and the Democratic Forum, the spokesman said.

The meeting is to be led by the Syrians but has financial backing from the European Union “in line with our policy of trying to get the opposition more united,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.

Syrian intellectuals not directly linked to the political movements will also take part in the talks, which will bring together some 50 participants, he said. An Arab League representative will also be present.

“It should in principle be a low-key event, also to protect the participants,” Mann said, adding that the Syrians handled the invitations and programme while the EU’s diplomatic service was “just a facilitator and payer.”

The event is expected to be opened by Ashton’s number two, Pierre Vimont, but no press events are planned.

Syrian government forces on Monday shelled rebel bastions in Homs and Damascus despite opposition pleas for help and a UN warning that such bombardments amounted to crimes against humanity.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:18 pm


114. Alan said:

rejoice in virtual life ! you should pay attention on comment No. 61 what Gufran reported.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:22 pm


115. Halabi said:

Assad, the protector of all Christians, except those who he shoots in the back..

Baath Party Guard Opens Fire on Car, Kills Lady

Armed guards in civilian clothes stationed at the Baath Party branch opened fire today on a car leaving a wedding at Aleppo’s Carlton Hotel and killed Marina Shehwaro. Mrs. Shehwaro is the wife of a late priest in Aleppo and the mother of prominent Syrian Revolution activist and blogger Marcell Shehwaro.

Ms. Shehwaro who is visibly upset at her mother’s untimely death posted an update on her Facebook wall:

So the guards of the Party decided to open fire on the car from behind. A bullet claimed my mother’s life, this simply, and deprived me of her presence in my life. And to those who believe that armed gangs [killed her]. You’re right, armed gangs did kill her. An armed gang that is this regime.


After 30 Years In Syria, Outspoken Priest Is Expelled

Syria has expelled an Italian Jesuit priest for his outspoken criticism of the government’s crackdown on a popular uprising. The Rev. Paolo Dall’Oglio has lived in Syria for 30 years, helping to restore a 1,000-year-old monastery that became a center for Muslim and Christian understanding.


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June 18th, 2012, 3:30 pm


116. bronco said:

Partner for a dialog : The FSA discarded and the SNC reborn?

The most important goal of the UN observers’ mission was to try to gain the FSA’s trust and convince them to stop their collaboration with islamist extremists and accept to negotiate with the regime.

In view of the relentless provocations of the FSA and the tit for tat retaliations from the Syrian government, the UN observers realized that the FSA was irremediably divided and uncontrollable and not seriously interested in a peace plan.
Therefore they lost hope to see the FSA as a valid partner in a dialog. This is why they stopped the mission.

Now the UN and the EU are turning their eyes again toward the SNC.

Ghaliun was a show stopper. Now that he is gone, with a more flexible leader, the SNC is being squeezed by the EU and by the AL to accept negotiations with the regime according to the Annan plan.

They finally accepted to attend the AL-UN meeting in Cairo by end of the month, that they had refused to attend previously.
Who will attend and what will be its results are crucial to the development of the situation in Syria

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June 18th, 2012, 3:36 pm


117. ann said:

We want JOBS here at HOME Mr. President!

Obama: Putin talks candid, tensions can be eased – Monday, June 18, 2012


Obama said that on Syria the two “agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war and the kind of horrific events that we’ve seen over the last several weeks, and we pledged to work with other international actors, including the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and all interested parties in trying to find a resolution to this problem.”

Putin, seated next to Obama following their two-hour meeting, said: “From my perspective we’ve been able to find many commonalities” on Syria.


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June 18th, 2012, 3:37 pm


118. Tara said:

News from the French knitting and Lingerie Federation..

Speaking at the launch of a ‘Worldwide Sourcing Study’ for the fashion industry, Anne-Laure Linget, international development manager at the French Knitting and Lingerie Federation, said the countries had the potential to become stronger near-sourcing locations for retailers and brands.

Despite its political instability, Syria is still exporting clothing. Between January and September 2011, the country saw a 61% increase in exports to the US against the same period of the previous year, albeit from a small base.

According to the study, Syria was the 16th largest clothing exporter to the US between January and September 2011, with exports valued at EUR6.7m.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:00 pm


119. Halabi said:

Reuters – Hostility and skepticism mar U.N. Syria mission

The United Nations said a convoy trying to reach the town of Haffeh, the scene of heavy fighting, had been turned back by crowds who lashed out with metal rods. Amateur video posted on the Internet last week showed men carrying pictures of President Bashar al-Assad whacking the cars with sticks.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told Reuters that the cars were later fired on. U.N. video showed one of the Toyotas with bullet marks at head height in the bullet-proof glass of the front and back passenger windows. It seems the assailants were shooting to kill.

A prominent pro-Assad actor posted a call on Facebook for loyalists near Haffeh to block the road in front of the monitors, whom he called traitorous spies, as they were trying to save “the sons of terrorist whores (rebels) from the grip of our brave army”.


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June 18th, 2012, 4:01 pm


120. zoo said:

The FSA planning to attack Tartous?

Claims of FSA planning to attack Tartus are “irresponsible”

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Russian military sources have released statements emphasizing the readiness of the Russian air force to protect its military vessels, in the event that they are deployed to the Syrian coast to evacuate Russian nationals living in Syria. These statements come in conjunction with reports claiming that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is preparing to take the battle to the port of Tartus, the location of the largest Russian naval base in the Mediterranean Sea. However, FSA Deputy Commander Colonel Malik al-Kurdi said that “the talk about us preparing to start a military campaign against the coastal town of Tartus is irresponsible.” In a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Kurdi asserted that this issue “cannot be talked about or commented upon”, without denying or confirming whether the reports were true.

Al-Kurdi said that “those spreading these details want to know the FSA’s future military strategies and intentions”. However he did not rule out the possibility that “the report was entirely fabricated.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:02 pm


121. jad said:

A Lincoln Brigade for Syria

The sofa samurai and ivory-tower warriors are in full war cry over Syria. Washington should do something! It’s time to recreate the Lincoln Brigade so they can go to war without dragging America into yet another unnecessary conflict.

When the conventional wisdom takes over in Washington, the crescendo can swell to epic proportions. So it has over Syria.

For instance, the so-called Three Amigos—senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman, who have rarely found a country they didn’t want to bomb or invade—naturally wanted war early and often in Syria. Rising Republican star Senator Marco Rubio recently complained that the Obama administration’s demand that Assad go “has not been coupled with action.”

At the other side of the political spectrum, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen fulminated over America’s failure to act. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof expressed shock that a Nobel Peace Prize winner had not involved America in another war. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution argued that pundits should concentrate on advocating war, not worrying about the details: “I’m pretty sure it’s not the job of civilian think tanks to prepare a full, detailed battle plan for Syria.”

Absent from this advocacy is any belief that practicality matters, that prudence should influence policy, that going to war should be based on something more than feelings. Who cares about the consequences of war? Just do it!

We went through a similar exercise less than a decade ago. In the run-up to the Iraq war, opposition was drowned out with a similar crescendo of outraged claims of imminent threats draped with humanitarian rhetoric. Opponents of war were accused of being pro-Saddam Hussein. Armchair generals promised a “cakewalk” that would drain the swamp, create a model democracy, extend U.S. influence and cause the lion to lie down with the lamb.

When reality intruded after the invasion, the American people felt duped and turned against a campaign they originally supported. In Syria, there is no public support for intervention to start with. Disappointment likely would begin immediately.

War advocates don’t argue that this time would be different. They act as if Iraq didn’t happen. There’s no danger of repeating history because there apparently is no history.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:07 pm


122. Uzair8 said:

From what I see the revolution is determined to see this out till the end. No matter how long it takes.

At times the revolution may look like slow in progressing, even appearing bogged down or as a stalemate. This should not and will not weaken the resolve.

As George Galloway often quotes:

“There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.”
Lenin [talking about the Russian revolution]

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June 18th, 2012, 4:07 pm


123. zoo said:

Turning sanction into an incentive for local industries
President al-Assad meets Damascene Industrialists
(Dp-news – Sana)


DAMASCUS- Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday meets members of the Board of Directors of Damascus and Damascus Countryside Chamber of Industry.

President al-Assad applauded the role which the Syrian industrialist have played during the events taking place in the country in terms of buttressing the national economy and maintaining guarantee of the workers’ rights.
For their part, the Board members affirmed the industrial sector’s ability to cope with these sanctions, which they said could constitute an incentive to boost the national industries through dedicating work for developing local products instead of depending on the imported ones.

Al-Hawmi added that the meeting discussed several other issues, such as having the Finance Ministry implementing a mechanism to protect local industry from products imported from countries with which Syria has signed free trade agreements as long as there are similar locally-manufactured products, in addition to supporting food and agricultural industries and activating the project for the exchange of currencies between Syria and friendly countries.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:10 pm


124. jad said:

It seems that some people weren’t satisfied from depriving Syrians from gas and heating oil when they happily promote and champion the campaign for oil sanctions against Syria, today, they are eyeing the little poor Syrians who are working day and night in their small clothing shops to feed their families by starting their usual campaign to sanction the same people they claim that they ‘care’ about, how telling is that about those people.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:13 pm


125. Tara said:

A good slap on the face delivered to Mr. Putin by the British.


Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria


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June 18th, 2012, 4:21 pm


126. zoo said:

In rebel-held Syria, revolutionary courts decide matters of life, death

By Austin Tice
McClatchy Newspapers

KAFER SAJENAH, Syria — Two months ago, Syrian rebel fighters arrested Ahmed Dayob over allegations of rape and murder-for-hire while he was with the Syrian army.

The Syrian government long ago lost control of this area in the country’s northwest, and has proved incapable of more than temporary incursions into the surrounding towns and rebel-held countryside. The remaining police officers have defected to the Free Syrian Army, the umbrella rebel fighting force.

While there’s no formal government structure left here, mundane civil problems such as legal cases haven’t ceased during the uprising against President Bashar Assad. With the prospect of a protracted civil war, local leaders recognized the necessity of some sort of governing. That’s why, when Dayob was arrested, he was handed over to the custody of a revolutionary court.

The seven-month-old court, which is responsible for affairs in the northern part of Hama province and portions of Idlib, is one way Syrian rebels and their supporters are pressing their authority in the parts of the country that have fallen out of Assad’s control.

The court here in Kafer Sajenah was the innovation of a respected community elder named Khalid Sheikh, who’s one of seven members and two alternates who sit on the bench. They include a Free Syrian Army representative, three Islamic scholars and three lawyers, and they’re led by Jamil Radoun, a colonel who defected from the Syrian army.

“In the beginning of the revolution, people took their problems to the FSA,” Sheikh said. “But the FSA has no authority over civilians. We created this court to address that problem.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/18/2855841/in-rebel-held-syria-revolutionary.html#morer#storylink=cpy

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June 18th, 2012, 4:24 pm


127. jad said:

It seems that Aljazeera for some strange reason is now talking about the reality of the foreign terrorist fighters (Mujaheddin) being smuggled into Syria with their sectarian agenda to kill and attack ‘specific’ type of Syrians..I guess this news didn’t get to Aljazeera until today

في خطوة غير مسبوقة..تقرير لـ”الجزيرة”: “جهاديون” دخلوا سوريا بأجندة طائفية

في خطوة غير مسبوقة، قام موقع قناة “الجزيرة” بنشر تقرير تناول فيه موضوع دخول المقاتلين الأجانب إلى سوريا أو ما يطلقون على أنفسهم “الجهاديين”، ولاحظ “سيريا بوليتيك” أن موقع الجزيرة نقل عن معارضين سوريين وخبراء أن هؤلاء “المقاتلين” دخلوا سوريا بـ”أجندة طائفية” وقاموا “باستهداف العلويين والمسيحيين”، كما أن التقرير أورد آراء من مختلف أطياف المعارضة السورية وكذلك من “الجيش السوري الحر”، وأشار إلى اعتراف بين مكونات المعارضة بخطر هؤلاء “الجهاديين” على “الثورة السورية”.

يذكر أن موضوع “دخول الجهاديين التابعين للقاعدة وتنظيمات أخرى إلى سوريا” أثارته كبريات الصحف العالمية، التي تحدثت أيضا عن استهداف هؤلاء لـ”العلويين والمسيحيين”، إلا أن هذا الموضوع كانت وسائل الإعلام العربية تتجنب الحديث عنه منذ اندلاع الاحتجاجات في سوريا في مارس/آذار 2011، بل إن بعض وسائل الإعلام العربية كانت تعتبره “تشبيحا وشائعات إعلامية يطلقها النظام السوري”، فيما كان يتعرض من يثير هذه القضية من قبل سوريين معارضين أو مؤيدين للسخرية من قبل أطراف عديدة في المعارضة السورية ومناصريها وصلت إلى حد اتهام أي وسيلة إعلام تثيره – حتى لو كانت مستقلة- بأنها “ضد الثورة وأنها بوق من أبواق النظام”، وهو ما يدفع للتساؤل عن رأي هذه الشريحة الواسعة وفيما إذا كانت ستراجع موقفها بعد أن قامت الجزيرة بنشر هذا التقرير علما أن الجزيرة بنظرهم هي “قناة الثورة السورية” وليس “قناة تابعة للنظام السوري”.

إليكم أدناه التقرير الكامل الذي نشر مختلف الآراء، أو اضغط هنا لقراءة التقرير كاملا على موقع الجزيرة:

رشيد وهبي، شاب إسباني ينحدر من سبتة، أصبح الأسبوع الماضي أول إسباني يُقتل في سوريا، حيث ذهب لقتال قوات بشار الأسد مع ثلاثة إسبان آخرين على الأقل، حسب صحيفتيْ إلباييس وإلموندو الإسبانيتين.

ليس تقريرا إلباييس وإلموندو عن المقاتلين الأجانب في سوريا حالتين معزولتين، فقد سبقتهما تقارير لصحف أخر كالقبس الكويتية (عن مقاتلين كويتيين) ودير شبيغل الألمانية (عن شبكات لبنانية تنظم عبور المتطوعين) والخبر الجزائرية (عن مقاتلين فرنسيين من أصول عربية).

لم يقتصر التواتر في الموضوع على التقارير الإعلامية، فقد أوحى تحريم عضو في “هيئة العلماء” في السعودية القتال بسوريا دون إذن السلطات بوجود سعوديين في هذا البلد. كما أقر وزير الخارجية الليبية عاشور بن خيال سابقا بوجود مقاتلين ليبيين هناك، وإن نفى علاقة سلطات ليبيا بهم، في حين تحدثت واشنطن عن بصمات القاعدة بعد تفجيرات هزت سوريا، التي دعا أيمن الظواهري قبل أسابيع إلى “الجهاد” فيها.
سوريون بالأساس
قائد الجيش السوري الحر العقيد رياض الأسعد نفى بشدة قبل أسبوع وجود أجانب يقاتلون مع التنظيم، واعتبر في لقاء مع وكالة الأنباء الفرنسية هذا الحديث جزءا من حملة النظام لتشويه المعارضة.

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June 18th, 2012, 4:28 pm


128. majedkhaldoun said:

So Putin and Obama met and discussed Syria crisis,and they said they agreed on most things, so to get a peaceful political solution ,no more informations.

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June 18th, 2012, 6:12 pm


129. Osama said:

127. Tara

Actually, they did not stop it, they only withdrew the insurance coverage, which may or may not hinder its movement. It may already have enough fuel to make it to its intended destination.

Anyway, you can all see for yourselves by visiting:

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ and search for Alaed. It will give all available details and even a link in google maps to its last known position.

But you gotta love the Telegraph for trying to make Britain sound like a bad boy 🙂

“”We have various ways of keeping track of this ship and that is what we are doing,” a source told The Daily Telegraph.

Do they mean multiple websites?

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June 18th, 2012, 6:13 pm


130. zoo said:

Are the Qataris sending toy guns to the FSA to boast about on video?

Syrian Liberators, Bearing Toy Guns
Published: June 14, 2012


If deception has always been part of war, it has not often been as bungled as in the video announcement by Syrian opposition fighters of the formation of a special forces brigade joining the battle against President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian Opposition Holding Toy Guns (YouTube.com)

The video, posted on YouTube, contained staples of underground fighters’ messages in the Internet age: 11 men dressed in black, each with his face hidden behind ski masks or cloth, posing with what appeared to be modified MP-5 submachine guns, a weapon often in service with counterterrorism teams.

One man in the group read a statement declaring the fight “in the service of God” against Mr. Assad’s “criminal regime.” Banners of the Free Syrian Army, the loose confederation of anti-Assad fighters, hung in the room.

Everything was set to project menace and resolve. There was only one problem: The weapons were not weapons at all. They were nonfiring plastic children’s toys.
According to an analysis by a curator at a British arms museum, the 11 men were each holding a TD-2007, a Chinese-made toy replica of the MP-5 submachine gun, marketed as appropriate for children above the age of 5

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June 18th, 2012, 6:31 pm


131. zoo said:

Fake guns and lies about “Shabbihas” uncovered..


This week The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, published photographs of a so-called ghost unit, loyal to Mr. Assad and accused of systematically killing Syrian civilians. The tabloid described them as “steroid-mad” and tattoo-covered, and wielding “AK-47s and machetes.”



Two images showed a purported member with a large semiautomatic pistol. The weapon was later determined, by the newspaper Al Bawaba in Jordan, to be a blank-firing replica of an Israeli-made Desert Eagle pistol.

Al Bawaba chided the opposition for circulating such images, suggesting that overreaching risked eroding the anti-Assad fighters’ public standing.

As the opposition has become “increasingly desperate for the outside world to take notice of Assad’s atrocities, the lines become blurred as to what is truth and what is propaganda,” Al Bawaba wrote.

It added, “With this kind of misinformation, it becomes more and more difficult for the international community to put words into action and support the Syrian people’s dream to topple Assad.”


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June 18th, 2012, 6:42 pm


132. zoo said:

Putin-Obama: No forced regime change, no mention of Assad, no arms embargo…


“But, crucially, Obama failed to secure the support of Putin for regime change in Syria. The US president had been seeking Putin’s help in trying to persuade Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power and leave the country.

A joint statement issued after their meeting said simply that the Syrian people should independently and democratically be allowed to decide their own future, but there was no joint call for Assad to stand down, as the White House has been urging.”

In the joint statement, the two leaders said: “In order to to stop the the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of the violence and express full support for the efforts of the UN and Arab states joint special envoy Kofi Annan, including on moving forward on political transition to a democratic pluralist political system that would be implemented by the Syrians themselves in the framework of Syrian sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.

“We are united in our belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future.”

Neither leader mentioned Assad by name in their public remarks or in the joint statement issued after their meeting, thus avoiding any express reference to past US demands that Assad step down. There was also no mention of sanctions or a tougher arms embargo.

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June 18th, 2012, 6:51 pm


133. anwar said:

It is a war, please wake up from your deep slumber and smell the roses. Of course there will be some lies, deceits and violence but it will never come close to what assad did and does on a regular basis. Give teh devil a taste of his own medicine, in this case, I think the end justifies the means.

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June 18th, 2012, 6:54 pm


134. Uzair8 said:

This is why it will be a mistake on the part of the revolution if they accept Assad leaving but with the regime remaining in place:

Robert Fisk: Mubarak’s 300,000-strong army of thugs remains in business despite elections

Monday 18 June 2012


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June 18th, 2012, 7:26 pm


135. Uzair8 said:

Bashar al-Assad’s father-in-law Fawaz Akhras can’t hide on Houla

June 01, 2012

FAWAZ Akhras, the London-based cardiologist whose daughter is married to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said emphatically that he did not want to comment yesterday on the massacre of 108 civilians, mostly women and children, in Houla.

He was too busy, he said when I called. He was a cardiologist, he explained. But it is an important issue, I began to say. “It’s an important issue to you,” he interrupted, and abruptly ended the call.

I went to his Harley Street clinic but the receptionist said he was not there. Nor was he at the private Cromwell Hospital in Kensington where he also practises. The windows of his home in West Acton were open and someone inside, but no one answered the doorbell.

Read more:


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June 18th, 2012, 7:48 pm


136. Ghufran said:

This is a political bomb:
عبد الباسط سيدا: لا توجد معطيات لدينا أن حزب الله يتدخل ميدانيا بسورية

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June 18th, 2012, 8:12 pm


137. Afram said:

Obama and Vladimir Putin agreed today on the need for a political process in Syria to prevent civil war in the violence-torn country in ameeting at the G20.
On Syria:Obama said that the two”agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence,that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war/and we pledged to work with other international actors,including the United Nations??? Kofi Annan, and all interested parties in trying to find a resolution to this problem.”
Putin,said:”From my perspective we’ve been able to find many commonalities” on Syria.

*The elephant in the room: Neither leader mentioned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by name in their public remarks or in a joint statement issued after their meeting,thus avoiding any express reference to past US demands that Assad step down!!!.
The joint statement said: “We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to (independently) and democratically choose their own future.catAr,ksa,snc,jihadist all lost out to Assad at G20
done deal,Amreeka cynicism looks reality in the face,HUSSAIN OBAMA IS phony,Vladimir Putin is totaly real

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June 18th, 2012, 8:23 pm


138. majedkhaldoun said:

You can read the facial impressions of both Obama and Putin, Putin refused to give an inch, his face was an angry and determined,refusing any concession, Obama was frustrated and feeling hopeless.
We know that four hundred jet fighters are on their way,along with troops, China is joining the Russian force,and Iran sent ships that crossed the Suise Canal, they obviously are making sure that NATO will not interfere.
Obama choices is to arm the FSA,Return to Iraq,so USA can block aid to the Syrian regime, open old books to cause trouble to Russia(georgia issue,and Ukrania problem)
Probably the other choice is to wipe out HA by arming the Lebanese,It is acceptable that Lebanon is pro france.
Turkey can block Euphrate river more.

Also cyber war
Putin told Obama, yes Assad is brutal dictator,killed thousands of Syrian, but the west deceived Russia in Libya,and he will not go for military change of Assad.

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June 18th, 2012, 8:26 pm


139. Ghufran said:

A reality check about Egypt:
لا ثوره ضد الجيش
Unlike many bloggers here,I think the Egyptian army provides a much needed boost to the formula of checks and balances,messed up countries need order and security along with a healthy dose of political and economic freedom.

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June 18th, 2012, 8:28 pm


140. Ghufran said:

“There was little sign of rapprochment at Los Cabos, with Obama describing the discussion as ‘candid’, diplomatic-speak for disagreement. Their body language was poor too, with no smiles and little eye contact between the two in the short period in which journalists were invited in”
It is not the FSA vs the regime anymore,Syrian crisis is now a fight over power between big players,the fuel is Syrian blood. I am increasingly convinced that having a weak government ruling ,on paper,a fractured country is exactly what most foreign nations want.

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June 18th, 2012, 8:52 pm


141. omen said:

sounds hopeful but i wonder if this disclosure was meant to bide time and to suppress any inclinations for intervention:

Senior Alawite Officers Want To Oust Assad

High-level sources in the Iraqi “Dawa” party, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, have conveyed that the Syrian regime began to take “exceptional” security measures around the family of President Bashar al-Assad, and vital security centers in the country amid fears of growing rifts within in the Alawite leadership of the Syrian army. The sources said that Assad’s fears were based on two components: The first is the deterioration of the security situation and the development of semi-civil war. This led the senior officers to adopt the view that the fate of the Alawite sect is more important than the fate of Assad himself. They see the Syrian sect as part of the Syrian people, and thus Bashar Assad and his family can go to exile in another country.

The second factor is connected to initial contacts between senior Alawite military officers and Western and some GCC countries, triggering suspicion by President Assad that he might be a target for assassination by one of his inner circle members. These fears led Assad and his advisers to carry out changes in the leadership of the Republican Guard units and the 4th Division led by his brother, Maher al-Assad in order to counter any attempt from within the Alawite sect to rebel against him.


The sources close to the Iraqi PM al-Maliki said the option of an Alawite rebellion could be the best way out of the Syrian crisis and will prevent a Syrian civil war.

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June 18th, 2012, 8:58 pm


142. omen said:

138. majedkhaldoun said: We know that four hundred jet fighters are on their way,along with troops

and russian combat choppers.

why isn’t the snc, lcc, arab league, turkey, jordan, qatar, saudi arabia, libya, etc. demanding a no fly zone for syria?

from the u.s. ambassador to nato:

MODERATOR: Does NATO intend to make a military intervention in Syria?

AMBASSADOR DAALDER: We have no discussions and there were no – there is no planning ongoing within NATO about a possible military intervention.

At the time of the Libya conflict, we agreed that there would have to be three criteria for NATO to even think about the possibility of intervening, and even then, we would have to have 28 countries agreeing to do so. Those three conditions were, first, there had to be a demonstrable need; second, there had to be regional support for military intervention by NATO; and third, there had to be a sound legal basis for NATO.


But then when it comes to the question of regional support, there is not, at the moment, a call within the region for military intervention by NATO or indeed by anybody else, and that includes the Syrian opposition, which does not want NATO to intervene. Under those circumstances, it won’t be possible for NATO to intervene.

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June 18th, 2012, 9:19 pm


143. irritated said:

# Omen

“4th Division led by his brother, Maher al-Assad in order to counter any attempt from within the Alawite sect to rebel against him.”

So Maher al Assad is not dead?

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June 18th, 2012, 9:19 pm


144. jna said:

132. zoo said:
“”We are united in our belief that the Syrian people should have the oportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future.”

Unfortunately, for a year now the main Syrian opposition factions have refused to even discuss a democratic process for Syria’s future.

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June 18th, 2012, 9:23 pm


145. Ghufran said:

A coup from within was predicted on this site more than a year ago but it never materialized, I think the ousting of Assad family is a must for Syria but not without a solid plan to secure the interest of millions of Syrians who fear that they can not jump ships only to be thrown in cold water. Militants inside and outside Syria made it impossible for that plan to come to life when they were talking publically about exterminating alawites and starting from scratch. ABS (SNC) statement that the revolution does not intend on uprooting albaath came too late,trust is absent between pro and anti regime factions after violence and lack of leadership at all levels transformed Syria into a failed state,Arabs are not exactly known for accepting compromise,their history can be summarized as ” winner takes all”.

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June 18th, 2012, 9:24 pm


146. majedkhaldoun said:

NSC and Gulf states did call for no fly zone, but this means WAR.there is better way,and easier,and less expensive

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June 18th, 2012, 10:13 pm


147. omen said:

majedkhaldoun, so, the ambassador is yet another washington liar. i’m shocked.

re putin & obama

there is a trade deal with russia being pushed through congress (hypocritically, mccain, mr. champion for the syrian opposition, signaled he’s willing to vote for the bill.)

past dealings with congress reveal obama a horrible negotiator. he has a pattern of giving away the store without demanding a thing in return from his opponents. he probably did the same with russia. indications are he’s already agreed to remove the missile defense array surrounding russia. i doubt obama spent much time, if any, on syria.

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June 18th, 2012, 10:27 pm


148. omen said:

irritated, you were here, weren’t you, when israeli press confirmation of the plot was being discussed. they said members of regime were poisoned but recovered when rushed to hospital. why act surprised?

are you happy the psychopath is still alive?

people are still waiting for assef shawkat to be sighted.

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June 18th, 2012, 10:37 pm


149. ann said:

Syria accuses armed groups of hampering evacuating people from restive Homs – 2012-06-19


DAMASCUS, June 18 (Xinhua) — The Syrian government accused Monday armed groups in central Homs province of hindering the evacuation of people from the area, the state media reported.

An unnamed foreign ministry source was quoted by the state TV as saying that the Syrian government has contacted the leadership of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to facilitate the evacuation of people from restive areas in Homs, adding that armed groups have hampered the process.

“Out of the government concern for the safety of its citizens along with their properties, the Syrian authorities have exerted efforts to evacuate people from places where there are armed groups to safe areas,” the source said.

The source further charged that the armed groups in Homs are using people as “human shields for dirty reasons,” adding that the groups are working on the behest of external parties.

The source stressed that the Syrian government has exhausted all options to end the suffering of the trapped people, reiterating readiness to extract those people unconditionally. It also called on the influential parties to practice pressure on the armed groups and push them not to harm civilians and facilitate their exit.

The Syrian government pledges to provide all the necessary help for the people to live with dignity and return to the places from which they have been displaced, the source said.


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June 18th, 2012, 11:25 pm


150. omen said:

ghufran: Arabs are not exactly known for accepting compromise,their history can be summarized as ” winner takes all”.

i’d say 40 years of syrians tolerating criminality, corruption and abuse from assad regime as having been beyond accommodating. syrians have conceded enough. it is the regime who have been uncompromising.

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June 19th, 2012, 11:30 am


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