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
Syria….

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.

WILL TURKEY FORCE OBAMA’S HAND ON SYRIA?
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)


1. ann said:

Finally a honest headline! A proxy war no more and no less. A war between the government of Syria and a bunch of blood thirsty mercenary terrorist killers.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 21

June 17th, 2012, 8:37 am

 

2. Observer said:

This time the post here should have been a news round up and nothing more. There is nothing substantially new and this is just an observation.

It is clear that the regime is not capable of holding the country; the use of attack helicopters speaks volumes about the inability of the foot soldiers to enter Haffa or for that matter Baba Amr or the old Homs city district.

In Douma, heavy bombing is being used for the security services cannot enter the town.

In the north there is an attempt to prevent the formation of a contiguous enclave of liberated territory.

These are the important news.

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June 17th, 2012, 8:37 am

 

3. Tara said:

Syria is not a secular state.  It is anything but secular.  It defines a perhaps new definition of a theocracy if you will.   The traditional divine God that we called Allah in Arabic is not emphasized.  Assad established the state where his Alawite sect comprises the core of the establishment,..were his clan occupies all senior positions of the military and the security establishments and most meaningful positions in other state institutions.  He (if you will) modeled himself as a god and used a reward-punishment system.   Loyalty is based on a mix of reward and fear, rewards given by virtue of being Alawi, a status that give you advantage way over the 75%of the population in occupying a meaningful position; and fear:  fear of not worshiping the (Batta) in this case lest the whole sect loses it’s advantages and get persecuted.        
————

Though accounting for only 12% of Syria’s population, the sect comprises the core of the establishment, the power of which has been almost absolute throughout 42 years of strongman rule. This has always been a sore point with some members of Syria’s Sunni majority, which comprises 75% (Christians, Druze and Kurds make up most of the rest).

The fear-filled minority sect that keeps Syria’s struggling dictatorship alive
Martin Chulov in Beirut
Saturday 16 June 2012 23.56 BST

 by a belief that the events in Syria pose an existential threat to them, and coloured by a long history of persecution and prejudice, the Alawites are showing few signs of drifting away from the regime. Rather, the longer the uprising has continued, the more intransigent their support has become.

“That seems to be the way it is for the core group of supporters among the Alawites,” said a British diplomat in Beirut. “There has been messaging directed at them to let them know that their futures aren’t tied to Assad [president] and his gang. But it would be fair to say that a large majority of them still see themselves indelibly linked to the ruling clan.”

With the international community increasingly perplexed about how to manage the violence in Syria – an escalating crisis with serious implications for the region – attention has at times focused on how the Alawites could be tempted away from the regime. Such a move would rapidly lead to the fall of Damascus.

“It’s wishful thinking by the west,” said the head of the Alawite community in Lebanon, Rifaat al-Eid. “They have been coming to us for many months, all of the embassies, and gone away disappointed. We will fight for the Assads until the end.”

Soon after becoming president, Assad, himself an Alawite, announced a “corrective revolution”, then went about creating the Middle East’s most efficient police state. Less than a decade after Hafez al-Assad took power, members of his sect, and especially his clan, were established in virtually all senior positions of the military and security establishment and the most meaningful positions in other state institutions.
….
“The system [Hafez al-Assad] created was modelled on the Stasi of East Germany,” said Dr Mousab Azzawi, a Syrian exile who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “He took officers from the villages, not the cities, and this was the principle of Abdul Nasser. It was also a vision of the Maoist ideology. In Syria the sectarianism it created became a leaking fissure.”

“Separating them from the regime at this point is like trying to put toothpaste back into a tube,” said the Lebanese politician. “What you are seeing now is the fruits of Hafez’s sinister work

Much more..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/16/minority-sect-syria-dictatorship

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 31

June 17th, 2012, 9:02 am

 

4. Ales said:

Opposition wanted war, looks like they will have it.

Thumb up 29 Thumb down 15

June 17th, 2012, 9:39 am

 

5. Alan said:

Not ‘if’ but ‘when’: US intervention in Syria on countdown
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-rebels-us-arms-028/

Thumb up 20 Thumb down 14

June 17th, 2012, 9:40 am

 

6. Alan said:

Black Sea Fleet ships ready to go to Syrian coast – General Staff
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/448445.html
MOSCOW, June 15 (Itar-Tass) —— A number of warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are prepared to go to Syria, the Russian General Staff told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“The Mediterranean Sea is a zone of the Black Sea Fleet responsibility. Hence, warships may go there in the case it is necessary to protect the Russian logistics base in Tartous, Syria,” it said.

“Several warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, including large landing ships with marines aboard, are fully prepared to go on the voyage,” he said.

The Cesar Kunikov large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is returning from Italian Messina to base, passed the Bosporus Strait on Friday. It will return to Sevastopol on Saturday, the staff said.
./../.

Thumb up 21 Thumb down 13

June 17th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

7. mouna said:

Ok someone mentioned a family member of mine on this board, while I understand the need to speculate and all please try to speculate without mentioning peoples family.

Ghufran, mentioning someone’s name (especially someone like Tlass) and speculating that he is contacting the opposition is dangerous on many levels. While Firas and Abu Firas (and the two sisters) are out of the country Manaf and his wife and kids are not, so someone speculating about his intentions can cause major harm to either him directly or his children (that are not involved in anything).

Whatever side the Tlass family is on (publicly or privately) they are not relevant for any authority they might have had, has been stripped away over 15 months ago. The father is retired, Firas in the Gulf, and Manaf under close supervision in Damascus.

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June 17th, 2012, 10:13 am

 

8. Alan said:

US Attempting to Trigger Full Proxy War in Syria With Help From Corporate Media

Over the last week, the US has been outright caught lying – admittedly by Pentagon officials, regarding Russian gunships being shipped to Syria.

In New York Times’ “Copters in Syria May Not Be New, U.S. Officials Say,” a senior defense department official admitted when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her fraudulent claim regarding Russian weapon shipments, she “put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position.”

The New York Times continued by stating, “Mrs. Clinton’s claim about the helicopters, administration officials said, is part of a calculated effort to raise the pressure on Russia to abandon President Bashar al-Assad, its main ally in the Middle East,” indicative of the campaign of propaganda and lies orchestrated by the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and Western and Gulf State news outlets around the world to demonize both the Syrian government and its extensive allies around the world, contrary to the facts on the ground.

Thumb up 22 Thumb down 11

June 17th, 2012, 10:22 am

 

9. Alan said:

These Are The 15 Most Peaceful Nations In The World
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-peaceful-nations-in-the-world-2012-6
The good news is that, for the first time since 2009 the world has improved its levels of peacefulness and it’s nice that Sub-Saharan Africa is no longer the least peaceful region.

There was bad news for the USA, which ranks way down the list at 88 (below places like Greece, Serbia and Cuba), and for Syria, who saw the biggest fall, dropping more than 30 spots.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

June 17th, 2012, 10:26 am

 

10. zoo said:

Now that the UN observers are gone, the opposition wants them back? Didn’t the FSA unilaterally withdrew from the Annan plan to resume its military operations.
They seem to forget that the UN observers mission is integral part of the Annan peace plan.

Syrian opposition denounces U.N. decision to suspend observer mission
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 17, 2012 — Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/17/world/meast/syria-unrest/

(CNN) — Syrian opposition activists slammed the United Nations on Sunday for suspending its observer mission in the nation, saying it is “unjustifiable and unacceptable” for the international community to fail to protect civilians from attacks.

The United Nations said Saturday it is pulling back its unarmed monitors because escalating violence is limiting their ability to observe and verify reports, a major blow to a proposed peace plan.

Opposition members decried the timing of the mission’s suspension and accused the international community of not having a game plan to help Syria, saying that only emboldens the regime.

“In the absence of any vision to push for an improvement in the situation, the current decision allows for more bloodshed and enables the regime to buy more time under international cover,” the LCC said.

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June 17th, 2012, 10:33 am

 

11. irritated said:

#2 Observer

What do you mean? There is a big news : War is on until one side calls for a ceasefire.
With your ability of seeing the future, do you forecast which side will call for a ceasefire?
Already the opposition is showing panic with the withdrawal of the UN observers. The regime can now do what it wants without being “observed”

“It is clear that the regime is not capable of holding the country;”

Neither the divided and inept opposition to grab it.

As long as the Western powers are reluctant to spend their money and their men to fight for a country that is not an oil country, all the big talks and proxy military support will lead nowhere.

Thumb up 25 Thumb down 13

June 17th, 2012, 10:47 am

 

12. Alan said:

Syria: the tension picks up steam. Eager Lion exercise – on the way to cross the threshold
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/06/05/syria-the-tension-picks-up-steam-eager-lion-exercise.html
./../.
Wrap up
The recent military interventions led by the USA have actually all failed. Serbia lost its territory, Kosovo is a crime affected area without internal economic and political stability and international recognition, Iraq is divided and unstable, it’s future murky, Kurdistan is actually a separate state and fighting along sectarian lines and for oil revenues continues, Afghanistan is the place NATO is rushing back from, it’s future uncertain to put it mildly, Libya is uncontrolled and divided, Azawad in Mali, strongly influenced by Al Qaeda, is a consequence effecting the whole African continent. These are the examples to name a few. While visiting France Russian President Putin cited the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s intervention in Libya, asking whether the country is more stable after the ouster of strongman Muammar Qaddafi. “What is happening in Libya, in Iraq?” he said. “Did they become safer? Where are they heading? Nobody has an answer.” But the itching for foreign invasions is a thing hard to cure and the lessons of the very recent past seem to be never learned.

Despite the fact that the Annan plan is in dire straits, diplomatic resources have not run out. It means that the USA, the EU, Russia, China and all other interested parties can make the Syrian government and the opposition to sit at the negotiation table. They can act as mediators and monitor the fulfillment of any arrangements. Just give peace a chance!

Thumb up 22 Thumb down 11

June 17th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

13. KDD said:

I want to bring to everyone’s attention a serious crisis in Damascus which is unfolding. The fact of the matter is that many innocent individuals are ending up being picked up by security services and led to detention in Damascus. This has become increasingly widespread. Personally, I have 6 cousins who have “visited” already, and 2 still under arrest. They were of the merchant class, and I assure you – they went well out of their way to avoid the discussion of politics. They were not pro-revolutionary, as they had business interests at stake. What is the end-game in the eyes of the Syrian regime? It is hard to ascertain.

These actions undertaken by the regime are further extinguishing whatever remaining support they may enjoy in the broader population of Damascus. The plan that they are currently enacting is one that, even if successful, spells out a dangerous course which will firmly place us in the Dark Ages for the foreseeable future.

One of the more astonishing things I recently learned about is with regards to the number of checkpoints and roadblocks set up throughout Damascus. Ride along with this brave reporter showing the number of roadblocks and daily struggles in moving around Damascus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q7yG1tVjV8

Even if these actions are successful in bringing “security”, how would they eventually be deescalated? It can only remain as so.

Thumb up 25 Thumb down 12

June 17th, 2012, 11:26 am

 

14. irritated said:

KDD

“One of the more astonishing things I recently learned about is with regards to the number of checkpoints and roadblocks set up throughout Damascus.”

There is nothing asthonishing about roadblocks and checkpoints. I was high time that the Army set them up after the terrorist bombings in Damascus and the attempts for more bombings.

Security can be back only when people holding weapons illegally with turn them down.
As it always happens when there are emergency measures, some innocents pay the price.

Thumb up 27 Thumb down 17

June 17th, 2012, 11:34 am

 

15. Halabi said:

In Assad’s Syria it is illegal to close your privately-owned shop, but it’s ok for the heavily armed pro-government gangs to force people to open their stores. http://youtu.be/vCbo8cVptjQ

These women were arrested in Homs for the terrible crime of walking in the street. http://youtu.be/U-oTg_OUGY4

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 21

June 17th, 2012, 12:05 pm

 

16. Observer said:

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=ar/Article/view/2059

Printing money and of course innocents will pay the price.

Road blocks with a constitution that prohibits prosecution of security personnel and of course innocents pay the price

Suspending the state of emergency while terrorists roam the country and of course innocents pay the price.

No one questioning the minister of interior or defense in complete destruction of several sections of various cities and towns and more than a 1 million displaced internally and of course innocents pay the price.

Again this is a FAILED state and a failed leadership and a failed economy and a failed transportation system and a failed defense ministry and a failed tourism industry and a failed central bank and a failed foreign policy.

By the way how come Miss J’amuse Jaffaari is not going to Damascus University?

Despicable regime with despicable regime apologists.

Putin and Fredo to the dustbin

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June 17th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

17. Alan said:

Listen to the realistic understanding of this man !
Yiftah Shapir, the head of the Middle East Military Balance Project- Israel

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June 17th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

18. Observer said:

So the country is falling apart.

May I propose an orderly dissolution?

Northeast the Kurds can join their brothers in Iraq and can become another autonomous region, or be part of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The string of cities from Idlib to Daraa and including Latakia and several other towns would become the old Syrian Arab Republic.

A section of the coast perhaps with a port can become an Alawi state.

In the new SAR the constitution would be formulated with supremacy of the citizenship over any other consideration complete separation of religion and state, independence of the religious establishments from the state where funding is voluntary, and a completely free press.

The armed forces would make for a volunteer service with a core of professional soldiers and with volunteers only. The armed forces would be subservient to the civil authorities.

As for the Alawi state they can decide for themselves what they want and the same for the Kurds.

Any takers today

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June 17th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

19. Tara said:

UN urged to send armed peacekeepers to Syria
AFP – 7 hrs ago

Syria’s opposition has urged the United Nations to send armed peacekeepers into the country after UN monitors suspended their operations because of raging violence.
The exiled Syrian National Council, the country’s main opposition group, in a statement issued overnight called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to arm the observers.

The call came as Syrian troops reportedly laid siege to several districts of the flashpoint central city of Homs on Sunday, a day after violence cost at least 69 lives nationwide.
“At a time when the regime is committing its worst crimes against the Syrian people, we are surprised by the UN observers’ decision to suspend their work, because of what they described as ‘an intensification’ of violence,” the SNC said in a statement obtained by AFP.

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June 17th, 2012, 12:46 pm

 

20. Alan said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhyK2ZVXh9U
Under Threat: UN suspends Syria mission due to rising violence

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June 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm

 

21. Son of Damascus said:

I have spent so many summers going to the Ghouta with my family, we have (had?) a spot we always go to in one of the Basateen (farms), take shade under one of the trees and lay out a picnic spread of cold mezza, arak, and arageel.

I still remember the owner of the Bustan Abu Mohammad would always come out with his kids to welcome us, even once invited us to his dwelling to eat from his wife’s Kharouf Mehshi. Never once did this religious man bat an eye at the arak or the fact that non of the female members of my family had on hijab, never once did he makes feel unwelcome or even asked anything of us for using his farm.

3 full days now Al-Ghouta has been under terror from the Assad sectarian thugs, whom are trying to instil fear into the hearts of Ahl Al-Ghouta.

Is it not sad that this supposed “nationalistic” regime, is acting just as and even worse than the imperialist French did with their “mandate” over Syria? Playing the sectarian card and trying to drive a wedge between Syrians all for the sake of “security”, while levelling and massacring Syrians in the most gruesome manner that it would make the devil himself blush.

Well just as the French and every other empire that dared to call my home theirs, my city and my country will see this pseudo-empire of the Assad clan crumble into dust, and blown away by the winds of change.

Allah Yerhamak Abu Mohammad.

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June 17th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

22. Stick to the truth said:

Dear Mr. Landis,
rehashing and rumination of falsehoods does not make them more   credible

“And within 10 years – by 1955 it’s estimated that Alawites made up almost 60 percent of the noncommissioned officers”

Really? 

“So the army is not reliable”

pure speculation and wishful thinking

What happend to SC?

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June 17th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

23. bronco said:

#Tara

What a misleading heading..
“UN urged to send armed peacekeepers to Syria”

Urged by who? The SNC..
The SNC have been ‘urging’ for a lot of things like massive protests, strike etc.. with no result and the UN have ‘urged’ them to unite with no result.

The SNC should stop ‘urging’ and become a tool for peace not for war.

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June 17th, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

24. zoo said:

Suspension of UN observer mission serves for western “next steps” in Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/17/c_131658683.htm
2012-06-17
• Robert Mood announced Saturday that he decided to suspend the patrols of his 300-member team.
• Washington said it’s studying the next measures it would undertake to deal with the Syrian crisis.
• The UNSC’s five permanent members will also consider the next steps for the observer mission.

DAMASCUS, June 17 (Xinhua) — The suspension of UN observers’ patrols in Syria on Saturday shortly ahead of the upcoming G-20 summit in Mexico triggered superpowers’ preparation for “next steps toward a Syrian-led political transition” without shunning aside military options.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), announced Saturday that he has decided to suspend the patrols of his 300-member team, citing spiraling violence in restive areas.

The observers have been deployed in Syria since April 20, a week after the six-point plan sponsored by the UN special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan went into effect, and their deployment was believed to be the only workable item of the plan to end the violence in Syria.

Mood accused both the government and the opposition of lacking the real will to push for a political settlement.

Syria has said that violence has been remarkably stepped up since the arrival of the observers, with at least five huge bombings taking place in different parts of the country since then.

The Syrian government and the opposition traded accusations, blaming each other for hindering the UN job and the mounting violence.

Immediately after the observers’ decision to suspend their patrols, Washington said it’s studying the next measures it would undertake to deal with the Syrian crisis without shunning aside the military option.

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for U.S. National Security Council, said his country is now working with allies “regarding next steps toward a Syrian-led political transition” without the Syrian president. “The sooner this transition takes place, the greater the chance of averting a lengthy and bloody sectarian civil war,” he said.

The UN Security Council’s five permanent members will also consider the next steps for the observer mission after Mood briefs them on the situation in Syria on Tuesday.

Observers believe that no major step would be taken until after the G-20 summit amid reports that the recent violence in Syria will be at its top agenda as world powers try to overcome pro- Syrian government Russia’s stances.

Al-Thawra, a local newspaper in Syria, said Sunday that no one could “exonerate the U.S. statements that have come in parallel with the temporary suspension of the UN mission.”

[...]

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June 17th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

25. bronco said:

Syrian opposition met to ‘unify’ vision on Friday 15 June

No report yet about this ‘vision unification’ meeting.
Are the SNC members still scrambling to produce something other that the display of their divisions and lack of strategy?

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June 17th, 2012, 1:44 pm

 

26. bronco said:

In the absence of active western troops on the ground in Syria and its refusal to negotiate with the regime, the FSA is bound to rely on the help of Islamists extremists to counter and weaken the Syrian Army.
By doing that, they are increasingly loosing the trust from the West who are becoming reluctant to seriously arm them, fearing the weapons would end up in the hands of Israel’s enemies.

The FSA soldiers know well that if they loose this war, they’ll loose their lives. Their only escape if Turkey.

The FSA fell in the trap. It is now a war with no mercy.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

27. majedkhaldoun said:

Annan plan has failed,Observers quit,the alternative is not weaker plan but more stronger plan,Putin will be given ultimatum, US must send envoy to Assad leave or we will get you, I know he will not leave, then assassination of his generals,one by one,they can be hunted easier than him,FSA will do it ,with communications equipments help, Saddam and Gaddafi sent their families out of the country, Asma may have to go to Tehran.

Check points in Damascus can easily get penetrated,first send a car to know their locations and number,then surprise them with an attack.
Why would Iran be at the proposed conference by Russia,Iran is not Arabic country, it is not super power,it is not a member of the UNSC, if someone says it is close to Syria,this is not a reason, otherwise they(the supporters of Assad) they are saying that Israel should be there too, The idea that Iran should be there is just stupid ,it is based on no reason.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

28. sf94123 said:

SNC & company in Pittsburg, DC, Montréal, Sydney, London, Paris, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, and now Florentia have only one thing in common; let’s bomb the heck out of Syria so we can run it the way we run the SNC. Everything else is irrelevant.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:24 pm

 

29. Ghufran said:

Mouna,
I assume that you are a Tlas family member or close to that family.
I apologize if I offended you or your family,it is impossible today for a prominent family like Tlas to avoid being the subject of a public discussion, I hope all Syrians,pro or anti regime,do not become targets just because of who they are,Syria is being destroyed while most of us cannot do anything to stop this insanity.
I have no problem with previous regime figures changing their allegiance,the regime is losing friends every day.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:31 pm

 

30. irritated said:

According to our brilliant local UN regional specialist

Qatar and Turkey have been promoted to superpowers and are part of the UNSC now.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:32 pm

 

31. Alan said:

In the Balkans once again rising ethnic tensions
use translation devices !
http://www.1tv.ru/news/world/209624
Training base for Islamic militants appear not only in Muslim Albania, but also in complete indifference creeping EU together with the Islamic influence in traditionally Orthodox territory of former Yugoslavia.
In the closed bases in Kosovo are trained fighters Syrian opposition. These messages appeared on the tapes of the information in May, for all their sensationalism, remained almost unnoticed. In an interview with our program, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi then admitted that talks with the Syrian opposition, and acknowledged that its security forces trained by the people of Libya, as for the training of fighters to be sent to Syria, he did not know this, but the slip of the tongue, that is what they do in Kosovo, NATO members, do not fall within its competence.
Admittedly, what is the military wing of Syrian opposition, and the new Libyan government, sustained by “Muslim Brothers”, directed by “Al Qaeda” and funded by Saudi safes. The newly emerged issue of the growing role of radical Islamists in this part of Europe, for no apparent reason and then hung in the air…/…/…

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June 17th, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

32. Mouna said:

I know what I wrote, I wrote for selfish reasons.

My intention was not to ridicule or call you out Ghufran, just to bring to light the dangers that many people face today that even just mentioning their name can cause harm to them and their family.

I am sorry you felt the need to apologize, my sentiment towards what you write and share on this board is the exact opposite.

No apologies needed.

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June 17th, 2012, 2:54 pm

 

33. Ghufran said:

A good article that you will never see in the GCC media, the link in lengthy,you can google:
Sunday times Hala jaber
I do not know why some people are afraid of the truth,the whole truth.
Without a miracle,this conflict will only end when one party dominates the other,this process may take years and i do not see how one side can crush the other in Syria,the fall of the regime does not mean the end of this crisis,a bloody civil war and a stubborn insurgency is very likely if a political settlement does not see the light soon.
I decided not to call posters by name if the comment about a particular Post is too harsh,but I definitely got nauseated reading a post that calls for more killing,more assassinations and more blood shed,I now have a name for posters like the ones I mentioned,they are AIRs: Accidental Internet Revolutionaries.

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June 17th, 2012, 3:30 pm

 

34. Ghufran said:

SOD, your post is poetic,thank you,people like you are an asset and provide hope during hopeless times. Damascenes from good families are like insurance in the dangerous country Syria has become.

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June 17th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

35. jna said:

This is an interesting step towards a direct Russian/American confrontation of forces over Syria.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9336170/US-enlists-Britains-help-to-stop-ship-carrying-Russian-attack-helicopters-to-Syria.html

US enlists Britain’s help to stop ship ‘carrying Russian attack helicopters’ to Syria

The US government has enlisted Britain’s help in a bid to stop a ship suspected of carrying Russian attack helicopters and missiles to conflict-riven Syria, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The helicopters Mrs Clinton was referring to are believed to be part of a 36-strong consignment ordered by the Syrian government at the end of the Soviet era, some of which were transferred back to Russia recently for routine maintenance. They are understood to have been serviced by the state-owned helicopter manufacturer, Mil, at their premises at Factory 150 in Kaliningrad.
[...]

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June 17th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

36. zoo said:

From the ‘vision unification’ meeting in Istanbul, a call from the SNC to the UN:
Vote urgently a UNSC resolution on chapter VII (if Russia agrees) and send UN peacekeepers “if the regime agrees”. Does it stand a chance?

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-opposition-calls-intervention-save-homs-165741028.html

“The next step needs to be a resolution under Chapter VII, which allows for the use of all legitimate means, coercive means, embargo on arms, as well as the use of force to oblige the regime to comply,” Kodmani said.

But she added that UN peacekeepers could only be sent into Syria with the regime’s blessing, in accordance with the UN’s own rule

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June 17th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

37. Ghufran said:

Paul valley on a US-Russian talks about Syria:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/paul-vallely-the-russians-will-help-us-in-syria-only-if-we-help-them-7856470.html
I found it strange that Hillary has no problem with the GCC sending weapons to rebels but she felt offended becuse Russia is sending refurbished helicopters to Syria,a more balanced approach is a regional agreement to ban weapons exports to Syia from all sides,countries that violate such a ban can be held accountable according to UNSC rules.

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June 17th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

38. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Irritated,

You completely misinterpreted the video that KDD posted. Who is panicking? The junta does.
Circles of security (as we see in the vid, and NO, it’s not as a protection against car bombings), are typical signs of hysteria. The heads of the junta (currently situated in Damascus) surround themselves with those measures, in order to give them enough time to flee, in a case of an attack by the revolutionaries on the capital.
.

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June 17th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

39. Alan said:

Syria Now In Full Out War. Is Iran Next?
http://afteramerica.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/syria-now-in-full-out-war-is-iran-next/
US Wars are out of control (2012).

Over the last week, the US has been outright caught lying – admittedly by Pentagon officials, regarding Russian gunships being shipped to Syria. In New York Times’ “Copters in Syria May Not Be New, U.S. Officials Say,” a senior defense department official admitted when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her fraudulent claim regarding Russian weapon shipments, she “put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position.”

The New York Times continued by stating, “Mrs. Clinton’s claim about the helicopters, administration officials said, is part of a calculated effort to raise the pressure on Russia to abandon President Bashar al-Assad, its main ally in the Middle East,” indicative of the campaign of propaganda and lies orchestrated by the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and Western and Gulf State news outlets around the world to demonize both the Syrian governmentand its extensive allies around the world, contrary to the facts on the ground.Also adding to the torrent of propaganda was Human Rights Watch (HRW) and US State Department-run Amnesty International, both of which are funded by convicted criminal, Wall Street speculator George Soros, which attempted to level charges of “abuses” by Syrian forces, as always based solely on the “witness accounts” of admitted members of the opposition. TheUnited Nations as well attempted to frame Syrian forces for using “children” as human shields. Despite having 300 monitors on the ground in Syria, again, the report was compiled solely using opposition “witness accounts,” reminiscent of a late 2011 UN human rights report also compiled from opposition hearsay, in Geneva – not even Syria – and compiled by Karen Koning AbuZayd.AbuZayd is concurrently a member of the Washington D.C. based Middle East Policy Council, along side current and former associates of Exxon, the US military, the CIA, the Saudi Binladin Group, the US-Qatari Business Council and both former and current members of the US government – illustrating an immense conflict of interests and devaluing the UN’s credibility to unprecedented lows../../..

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June 17th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

40. majedkhaldoun said:

I heared on Fox news(it is unreliable) that Shafiq won,this means that USA will intecede in Syria.
It seems that in Syria it is going to get worse before it get worser.
Those who think that Iran is super power are delusional and crazy.

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June 17th, 2012, 4:50 pm

 

41. Tara said:

I am expecting the regime to take advantage of the suspension of the observers mission and shell the rebellious areas non-stop. Then shortly thereafter of course the elusive ” armed” gangs will enter these areas to finish the job.

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June 17th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

42. Uzair8 said:

Read in a recent article how the regime is said to be confining regular army troops to the barracks with intelligence service keeping an eye on them. It’s only using upto 70 thousand loyalist forces.

I wonder if the regime is still paying these soldiers? Its possible the soldiers haven’t access to their accounts so they may be unaware of non-payment.

With the economic problems the regime can save a lot of money this way. Imagine 100,000 men multiplied by their weekly wage?

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June 17th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

43. Uzair8 said:

40. majedkhaldoun

Majed your comment scared me about Shafiq winning. :-)

I checked and an update from 10 minutes ago says Morsi is winning:

“Shorouk update: 50 reporting, 85,435 for Morsi, 65,795 for Shafiq.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/jun/17/egypt-elections-shafiq-morsi-live?newsfeed=true

I hope the old regime doesn’t win.

EDIT: I guess it’s early stages so you may be right. I hope not.

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June 17th, 2012, 5:11 pm

 

44. majedkhaldoun said:

Uzair8
If you believe fox news you believe everything, it is a channel of lies and hypocracy

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June 17th, 2012, 5:28 pm

 

45. Tara said:

Abdel Rizaq Tlass a symbol of the Syrian pride….
—–
On the offensive, rebels push Syrian military out of cities around Homs
Published: June 17, 2012 

TALBISEH, SYRIA — This city is almost completely empty after a week of heavy shelling by the Syrian government. But it is empty of government forces as well.

The shelling, which killed 20 civilians and five rebel fighters, failed to dislodge rebels who had driven the Syrian military out of nearly a dozen bases and checkpoints in the city over a period of two days earlier this month.

Syrian troops were also driven out of Rastan, a city of similar size to Talbiseh about 10 miles to the north, earlier this month. The victory came at a heavy cost as some parts of the city were entirely destroyed. Both Rastan and Talbiseh lie on the north-south highway that is the country’s main artery and connects the capital of Damascus, south of Homs, to Aleppo, the country’s largest city and economic hub, in the north.

“We have a plan to control this area,” said Abdel Rizaq Tlass, the leader of the Farouq Brigade, one of the largest groups of rebels in Homs province that operates under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, the name taken by the majority of armed rebels in Syria.

The fighting around Homs suggests Syrian troops in the area are largely demoralized as highly motivated and increasingly well armed and organized rebel forces go on the offensive. The fighting in Talbiseh involved hundreds of rebels.

“We didn’t imagine they had these numbers and so much equipment,” said a man who identified himself as a Syrian army captain who surrendered to the rebels in Talbiseh last week and was allowed to join them. He asked not to be named for his protection.

“Many of the soldiers ran away when the attacks began,” said Mahmoud Najjar, a spokesman for the Farouq Brigade in Talbiseh.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/06/17/2228065/on-the-offensive-rebels-push-syrian.html#storylink=cpy

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June 17th, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

46. Uzair8 said:

44. majedkhaldoun

Yes. Sorry I must have misunderstood your comment. You did say Fox News was unreliable.

Fox News and the Assad regime (#42) can’t be trusted. In the words of LOTR’s Smeagol they are very ‘tricksy’.

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June 17th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

47. bronco said:

The election of Morsi will be a big blow to the USA and Israel, a worrisome victory for KSA and a success for Turkey and Qatar. Now Tunisia, Libya and Egypt could consider uniting under the Moslem Brotherhood flag. For Iran, Morsi is a much better choice than a remnant of pro-USA Mobarak and Iran will support him fully as long as it remains anti-USA.

The election of Morsi will ring an alarm bell especially with the USA and Israel. There is a danger that Lebanon, Syria and Jordan may be coerced to join the Moslem Brotherhood “empire”.
If Arab countries are united under the MB flag, Israel fate is doomed.
Therefore if Morsi is elected, I expect the West to mellow its stance on Syria and consider promoting a dialog rather than a regime change.
The Syrian government may get a new chance.

It is possible that the stop of the UN mission that took the opposition by surprise was to give a chance to the Syrian government to make strategic military gains in preparation for the negotiation table.

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June 17th, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

48. bronco said:

#41 Tara

“I am expecting the regime to take advantage of the suspension of the observers mission”

The same way the opposition took advantage of the UN observer mission hampering the Syrian army to bring more weapons into the country and blow up army buildings.

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June 17th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

49. zoo said:

“So if I were, God forbid, an Israeli I would not be worried about the Islamic Brotherhood because we will discover soon enough that anyway they are just going to be another puppet of the Americans in the region.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with Roula Talj, political analyst, to hear her opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/17/246689/israel-concerned-over-rise-of-mb-in-mena/

…..
Talj: Well Israel is not only concerned by Egypt. Of course Egypt is one of the biggest countries bordering Israel but it is also watching carefully what is happening in the entire region especially in Syria. There is no doubt Israelis are concerned about the national security and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi movements throughout the region.

So it is important to highlight here that the candidates in Egypt they are both getting support, Ahmed Shafiq is getting support of the Saudis and the Americans and it is known that traditionally the Americans are always supporting the military apparatus in Egypt and this has not changed since the revolution whereas Mohammed Morsi is supported by the Qataris.

They ( the Saudis ) were not happy with the Egyptian revolution because Hosni Mubarak was one of their allies. However they are happy with what is happening in Syria and they are not only endorsing the revolution but they are sending weapons to fighters and they are sending Salafi fighters to Syria and sometimes to Lebanon.

So they are a bit schizophrenic when it comes to revolutions and the end result of it but it is important to understand here that since the revolution started Saudi Arabia and Qatar they were both leading an anti-Shia and anti-Iranian campaign in the region and even the real meaning of the revolution in Egypt, why is this revolution supported by Saudi regime or Qataris?

They are one good example of real dictatorship when it comes to their own people. So their support to the revolution means nothing because they are themselves the worst dictators in the region.

Talj: I am convinced that there are two US– the US of the neoconservatives who planted the seeds of what they call the Arab Spring. This, the neoconservatives had a lot of money. They have invested in many countries in the region in order to stir the pot and push towards a revolution.

And there is the new Obama administration which is dealing with internal crisis and trying to avoid disasters when it comes to the region meaning they are trying to keep a grip over what they had, like over the power they had in the region and of course Hosni Mubarak was one of their main allies in the region and he did whatever America wanted as long as he stayed in power.

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June 17th, 2012, 7:21 pm

 

50. Darryl said:

Dear Dr Khaldoun, as a continuation from a previous discussion we had on religions, please see the link below to see that Christianity is the true religion.

http://nowlebanon.com/BlogDetails.aspx?TID=2451&FID=6

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June 17th, 2012, 7:22 pm

 

51. Syrialover said:

“Syrian government forces stepped up their attacks across the country Sunday, employing artillery barrages in the flashpoint city of Homs, as well as the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo, and the towns of Rastan, Telbiseh and Deir ez Zor.”
(http://www.voanews.com/content/opposition_syria_intensifies_attacks_after_un_mission_suspension/1212108.html)

Do they mean shelling in the province of Aleppo or inside the city itself?

I am terrified that this bastard crazy regime will create Sarajevo-style sieges in large cities. And another Hama is probably being organized this moment.

For what? Why? So Remi Makhlouf can keep his control of 60 percent of Syria’s wrecked economy? So Maher and Shawkat can play coward’s war and terror games?

I wish those new US mini super-precision assassin drone aircraft could do their job NOW on a handful of precise Assad-nest targets, and save many millions of Syrians all that loss, waste, pain and misery. And not be finally used later when things have entered large-scale massacre, starvation and urban destruction stages.

If not now, when?

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June 17th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

52. zoo said:

Illegally entered from a ‘neighboring country’…
Associated Press journalist wounded in Syria

http://news.yahoo.com/associated-press-journalist-wounded-syria-212320411.html

LONDON (AP) — A video journalist covering the Syrian uprising for The Associated Press was wounded while filming clashes between rebels and the Syrian army.

Bahaddou and two AP journalists entered Syria on June 2 from a neighboring country in order to gain a firsthand look at the fighting in the country.

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June 17th, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

53. Uzair8 said:

Why Russia is standing by Syria’s Assad
15 June 2012

[...]

Konstantin von Eggert, political commentator for Kommersant FM radio in Moscow, looks at why the Kremlin is steadfastly supporting the beleaguered Syrian government.

[...]

By standing up for Damascus, the Kremlin is telling the world that neither the UN, nor any other body or group of countries has the right to decide who should or should not govern a sovereign state.

[...]

Russia’s political class never accepted concepts like “responsibility to protect”, which aim to limit the ability of authoritarian governments to repress their own people.

Sovereignty, to the Russian leadership, means an unlimited licence for governments to do as they please within their national borders.

[...]

Moscow claims to have a special influence on the regime in Damascus, but it seems that instead of advising Bashar Assad to change his ways, Russian emissaries were telling him until recently – help us to help you. Use some creative window dressing and we’ll be able to defend you better.

Read more:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18462813

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June 17th, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

54. Norman said:

The Syrian people and the world are tired from the stalemate , they want winners and losers, it is time to make the crises acute and finish one way or another.

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June 17th, 2012, 7:43 pm

 

55. irritated said:

51. Syrialover

That’s the full scale war the FSA called for when it gave an ‘ultimatum’ to the government and withdrew from the Annan plan (that anyway they never accepted) and said they were restarting the military operations against the central government.

What did they expect? Were they fooled by the rumors that the Syrian army was crumbling and the cheering and promises of Hillary Clinton and Basma Qadmani?

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June 17th, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

56. Ghufran said:

Even if presidential elections in Egypt are clean,most believe they are, it won’t matter much who the president is,the army is in control,just few hours ago,the military junta announced a new constitutional declaration that limits the power of both the parliament and the president. This is a messy Egyptian version of Turkish democracy in the 80s and 90s where politicians are allowed to fight but the army calls the shots.

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June 17th, 2012, 8:44 pm

 

57. Ghufran said:

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye
Fighting was against the rules and it didnt matter why
When Dad got home I told that story just like Id rehearsed
Then stood there on those trembling knees and waited for the worst

And he said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies dont just love their children every now and then
Its a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen

When I became a father in the spring of 81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my fathers son
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end
I took my daddys secret and I passed it on to him

And I said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
I said daddies dont just love their children every now and then
Its a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen

Last night I dreamed Id died and stood outside those pearly gates
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake
If they know half the stuff I done theyll never let me in
Then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again

And they said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
You see daddies dont just love their children every now and then
Its a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen

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June 17th, 2012, 9:03 pm

 

58. Norman said:

Ghufran,

Yes his love is limitless,Amen.

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June 17th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

59. Ghufran said:

A follow up on Egypt’s military junta declaration:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/18/egypts-generals-act-presidential-poll
I always maintained that a transition from dictatorship to a western style democracy is difficult and costly ,it is better done in steps not leaps.

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June 17th, 2012, 9:17 pm

 

60. Ghufran said:

قال مصدر أمني يوم الأحد إن السلطات المصرية ألقت القبض على 22 شخصا من دول عربية بينهم سوريون أعدوا للقيام بعمليات إرهابية بعد انتخابات الرئاسة التي تجرى حاليا.
و أضاف المصدر في تصريحات نقلتها وكالة (رويترز) أنه “ضبطت مع المعتقلين أسلحة متطورة للقيام بعمليات إرهابية داخل مصر بعد انتهاء الانتخابات الرئاسية”، مشيراً أن “المقبوض عليهم سوريون وفلسطينيون وأردنيون وأنه قبض عليهم يوم السبت في القاهرة وسيحالون يوم الاثنين إلى نيابة أمن الدولة العليا للتحقيق معهم”.

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June 17th, 2012, 9:47 pm

 

61. Ghufran said:

ذكرت مصادر إعلامية ان الاستعدادات تجري بوتيرة متسارعة لبدء مناروات عسكرية ضخمة بين سوريا و إيران و الصين و روسيا,. واشارت المصادر إلى أن هذه المناروات تعتبر أكبر مناورات عسكرية في تاريخ الشرق الأوسط وسوف تنطلق في بداية شهر تموز/ يوليو المقبل . المناورات ستشمل سلاح البر و البحر و الجو و الدفاع الجوي و الصاروخي , و قد حصلت الصين على موافقة رسمية من السلطات المصرية لمرور 12 طراد صيني من قناة السويس تحمل قطعا بحرية و جوية ستصل خلال الأسبوع الأخير من شهر حزيران إلى شواطىء اللاذقية و طرطوس , يترافق هذا مع وصول طراد نووي روسي و حاملة طائرات و غواصات و كاسحات ألغام و بوارج حربية إيرانية و سورية و غواصات إيرانية و سيتم تجريب صواريخ الدفاع الساحلي و الدفاع الجوي السورية في المناورات التي ستتم بالذخيرة الحيّة ..من المتوقع أن يشترك بالمناورات ما يزيد عن 90 ألف عسكري من الجيوش الأربعة ,
This ,if true,means that all the talks about a western intervention is hot air.

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June 17th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

62. Norman said:

Syria seems to be the last stand for Russia and China,

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June 17th, 2012, 10:13 pm

 

63. zoo said:

Report: Egypt busts Sinai terror ring amid run-off presidential elections
Egyptian daily al-Shuruq says 22 men, including Palestinians, Syrians, and Jordan’s planned to destabilize country following poll results, obtained police uniform and weapons.
By Avi Issacharoff | 09:42 17.06.12 | 3

Egyptian security forces arrested a suspected terror ring, thought to have planned attacks against targets in the Sinai in an attempt to destabilize the country following a key run-off presidential election, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Sunday.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-egypt-busts-sinai-terror-ring-amid-run-off-presidential-elections.premium-1.436858

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June 17th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

64. zoo said:

15% turnout for Egyptian elections? If it is true, it’s a farce.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/17/down-with-next-egypt-president

The man who will be declared president of Egypt shortly will not be the president Egyptians want. We are a nation of 85 million. Fifty million of us have a vote. How many will have voted for this president?

As I write, it’s looking as if the turnout for this round will settle at about 15%.

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June 17th, 2012, 10:28 pm

 

65. majedkhaldoun said:

Mohammad Mursi is the new president of Egypt, the first president who was elected democratically ever,I hope good future for Egypt on his hands,
Egypt has a lot to learn from Turkey, I expect Erdogan to visit Egypt within a month.
Mursi became president with a very scary political and constitutional vaccum.
There will be a transitional period, he will find himself among new generation of leaders,

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June 17th, 2012, 10:41 pm

 

66. ghufran said:

I hope Syria will see the day when citizens can choose their PA reps and their president democratically,I am glad that Egyptians were able to choose a president freely for the first time in their history,but I think the road for democracy for Egypt and the whole Middle East will be long and bumpy. Fareed Zakaria published a piece on the same subject,this election is symbolic,the real power is still in the hands of the army, and I am still not sure why the Egyptian parliament was dissolved, however,I think Egypt is on the right track.

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June 17th, 2012, 11:16 pm

 

67. Halabi said:

An honest assessment from an uber Assad supporter: “If Arab countries are united under the MB flag, Israel fate is doomed. Therefore if Morsi is elected, I expect the West to mellow its stance on Syria and consider promoting a dialog rather than a regime change. The Syrian government may get a new chance.”

Saving Israel from “doom” is the definition of Assad’s resistance. Keeping Assad and his murderous regime in power to terrorize the Syrian people and Arab neighbors, while protecting Israel, is the only thing that we-love-yous care about.

Love for Assad also leads regime supporters to believe that Syria is the “last stand” for Russia and China. I guess Moscow and Beijing are the first lines of defense.

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June 17th, 2012, 11:44 pm

 

68. Juergen said:

The courage of to say ‘NO’!

This photo was taken in 1936 in Hamburg, it shows the dedication ceremony for a new vessel.
August Landmesser had made at this point in time with the ruling Nazi regime already bad experiences. He was sentenced to two years in prison, because he was married to a Jewish woman and with her he raised two daughters.

On the picture you can clearly see his arms crossed, and August and denied the Hitler salute. Although he probably had – for reasons unknown – to attend the ceremony, but was not willing to stretch the arm.

Unfortunately, the fate of this man, after this photograph was not much known, but it is certain that the two daughters survived. One of the two recognized in 1991 by chance her father in the photo that was published in a journal.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=335765063131105&set=a.167281789979434.37751.100000928434177&type=1&theater

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June 17th, 2012, 11:51 pm

 

69. ghufran said:

Shafiq refusing to concede:
قال المتحدث باسم الحملة محمود بركة “نرفض كليا” اعلان جماعة الاخوان عن فوز مرسي، مضيفا “اننا نعلن عن اندهاشنا من هذا التصرف الغريب، هذا يمثل اختطافا لنتيجة الانتخابات فكل حساباتنا على الارض تشير الى تفوق الفريق شفيق وحصوله على نسبة تراوح بين 52% الى 53% لكن لا نستطيع ان نعلن ذلك قبل الاعلان الرسمي” لنتائج الانتخابات

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June 18th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

70. ghufran said:

do you think Assad would say something like that to a jewish visitor?
قال مالكوم هوينلين، نائب مدير مؤتمر الرؤساء لكبرى الجمعيات اليهودية الامريكية ان فكرة الخروج من سورية طرحت لكن الاسد رفضها، حيث قال له في اجتماع وجها لوجه استمر 3 ساعات انه ان خرج فطائفته ستذبح، حسبما نقلت عنه ‘واشنطن بوست’ فيما قال ديفيد ليتش الاستاذ في جامعة ترينتي ومؤلف كتاب عن الرئيس السوري ان الاخير مصمم على فعل عكس ما فعله حسني مبارك وهذا يعني القتال حتى النهاية للدفاع عن الطائفة ولانه كما قال ونقلت عن رجل دين امريكي التقى الاسد العام الماضي، يرى في الحفاظ على البلد او الحكم قدرا ومن اجل ذلك لا بد من قطع رؤوس. ويضيف ليتش ان الاسد يرى مستقبل سورية مرتبطا به.

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June 18th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

71. Juergen said:

A friend wrote that she is being criticized by others for supporting the Syrian army. They told her, because you are alawite you support the Army. I know that she is not for this regime but to seperate the army from this regime is just an illusion. People in Germany have tried so to portray that the german army were just defending its people and that Hitler misused them. Until 1993 there was this opinion that the real criminals were the SS( elite army divisions) and the GESTAPO( secret service). In 1993 there was an big exhibition which showed clearly that the Army itself was part of the killing machine of the regime, that normal soldiers took part of the mass executions which took place. I hope that Syrians dont need 48 years to figure that out.

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June 18th, 2012, 1:33 am

 

72. Syrialover said:

55. Irritated

What you say makes little sense.

This hideous catastrophe is in the Assads’ DNA. It was always inevitable if they stayed in power through the gun, did their main negotiating through torture chambers and relentlessly robbed and kicked around a country and people they saw as their personal property.

Who said what and when and the FSA and the Annan plan and everything else is irrelevant to the regime’s course of action.

The Assads have no interest in or capacity for any alternative scenario.

“Assad or we burn the country”.

Is there any precedent in human history for this? A “government” mass murdering and terrorising ordinary citizens and physically destroying a country it’s supposed to be running?

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June 18th, 2012, 2:10 am

 

73. Syrialover said:

And I should add:

“Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.” – Winston Churchill.

This means they are afraid of the people they have oppressed, they cannot trust anyone, and are too intellectually feeble and primitive to find a way to change course.

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June 18th, 2012, 2:38 am

 

74. omen said:

juergen, i’m trying to remember an anecdote you once related. could you repeat it again? it was about the period of time after ww2. my memory is fuzzy. did you say people still proclaimed their allegiance to hitler even after his defeat? or that it was difficult to find former supporters willing to admit to the fact?

now that i think about it, there were probably cases where both examples could be found.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:39 am

 

75. omen said:

ghufran: I am still not sure why the Egyptian parliament was dissolved

why would scaf do this on the eve of a big election? surely they knew resorting to such a naked display of power would end up driving votes torwards morsi.

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June 18th, 2012, 3:49 am

 

76. ann said:

US enlists UK clout to stop Syria-bound Russian ship – 18 June, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/britain-syria-ship-helicopters-057/

The US government has enlisted Britain’s help in a bid to stop a cargo ship suspected of carrying Russian attack helicopters and munitions to Syria. Curiously, the media mention a model of chopper which does not exist.

­Washington is painting the alleged shipment as being in breach of the Syrian arms embargo, with a view to affecting the ship’s insurance cover.

The MV Alaed is a multipurpose twin-deck cargo vessel operated by Russia’s FEMCO Group. It is allegedly making its way to the conflict zone in Syria via the North Sea after picking up helicopters from the Russian Baltic port of Kaliningrad.

The current European Union arms embargo against Syria, imposed in May last year, suggests a ban on the “transfer or export” of arms and any related “brokering” services, including insurance.

The American government is presumably trying to use this legislation to force the vessel’s London-based insurer to withdraw its cover. This would make it difficult for the ship to dock legally in ports and could force it to return the cargo to the port of origin.

[...]

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June 18th, 2012, 3:50 am

 

77. omen said:

in an article about the history of the shabiha, came across this odd passage:

Syria: Shabiha Militia Member Tells It Like It Is

By the mid 1990s, however, the shabiha were beginning to get out of control and Hafez al-Assad ordered his elder son and heir apparent Basel, famed for horsemanship and a furious temper, to bring the militias to heel. He did so, but soon after died in a car crash, catapulting his awkward younger brother Bashar, then an eye doctor with no military credentials, into the presidency.

did the shabiha have something to do with basel’s demise?

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June 18th, 2012, 4:00 am

 

78. ann said:

Syria Participates in The 3RD Asian Beach Games Held in Haiyang, China’s Shandong

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-06/17/c_131657796_7.htm

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June 18th, 2012, 4:02 am

 

79. Alan said:

61. GHUFRAN
I told that intervention without agreement will force Russia to fight against the aggression!

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June 18th, 2012, 4:23 am

 
 

81. majedkhaldoun said:

It is clear Assad survived till now because of Russia, however Russia is not capable to fight for Assad,this is nonsense.US will not fight for Syrians either,Syrians has to fight for themselves.
There has to be frustrations on the part of some Alawis, It is clear that Assad is much weaker now than what he was a year ago.while FSA is getting larger and stronger, and has better weapons,and more is coming, antiaircraft weapons will weaken Assad more,anti tank weapons will destroy his tanks,then FSA will go for offence stage,this should not take long.

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June 18th, 2012, 6:47 am

 

82. Osama said:

62. NORMAN said:

“Syria seems to be the last stand for Russia and China”

I think it is more of a first stand, it is quickly developing into a battle of wills, I certainly hope that the US seriously looks at how much “good will” it would like to expend and what it will get out of pushing this to the limit…

It seems like a game of chicken between the western powers and their local side-kicks vs. Russia/China trying to make a serious point – but both are not sure how far they, in turn, are also willing to go.

It seems that the US is willing to push the media and political levers to push the crisis forward… and Russia and China are working on the political front to obstruct the head-long rush to “regime change” – the Syrians, and Arabs by extension, are nothing but pawns in this game. As the stakes go up, you can see the Turks and Jordanians are getting worried about being sucked into something they are not willing or able to finish.

My reading of the situation based on the statements coming out of US, Western, Russian and Chinese officialdom is that none of them want to get involved on the ground, but are more than willing to have their local sub-contractors to go at it and they may be willing to provide media/political cover for any adventure.

The Syrian opposition knows that it will lose any military showdown today and a protracted guerrilla war will only help them to lose support and further polarize society, especially if it becomes sectarian in nature. The Syrian on the street, only wants stability right now, he does not want to have to worry about stepping out of his home only to be killed for being from the wrong religious background or being at the wrong place at the wrong time or being blown to smithereens while he/she is only trying to survive.

I am afraid the only people who are desperate are the opposition as all their options are either bad or worse, especially with no potential intervention yet on the horizon. Worse still, if they agree to talks in principle they can continue to stockpile and if they don’t get what they want they can always try again to bomb their way to power.

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June 18th, 2012, 7:11 am

 

83. Observer said:

I have always argued for the complete uprooting of a dictatorship. Example, the latest attempt by the military council in Egypt to stay in power.
It is absolutely clear that they are trying to manage the transition to power without giving in an inch of power and staying behind the scenes. Where on earth do you have a military council that legislates?
It is only a matter of time before the revolution dismantles the old regime. The head is gone, now we will see dismantling of the old regime.
If the military council cannot see it clearly then they will be removed forcefully, later if not sooner. The days where forcing millions to abdicate their rights and their hopes are gone.

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June 18th, 2012, 7:54 am

 

84. Mina said:

Osama “the Syrians, and Arabs by extension, are nothing but pawns in this game.”
I believe you are right: now the Egyptian MB are desperately in need of tourists, and they will claim they have no problem with Israel and just want peace. How are they going to explain that to their cousins in Gaza and Syria?

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June 18th, 2012, 8:09 am

 

85. Alan said:

does not always coincide hopes, possibility, with the reality! the world is diverse. it must be accepted as it is .
at a certain stage, the maximalism of the requirements must stop , if we love Syria!

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June 18th, 2012, 8:27 am

 

86. zoo said:

Niall Ferguson: China Should Intervene in Syria, Not America
Jun 18, 2012 1:00 AM EDT
It’s not America’s job to intervene in Syria.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/06/17/niall-ferguson-china-should-intervene-in-syria-not-america.html

The Arab Spring has plunged Syria into a bloody civil war. Now, with allegations flying that the Russians are supplying helicopters to the odious regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a familiar debate is underway. Should we intervene?

There can be no morally credible argument against intervention—by someone. Leaving Syria to descend into the kind of sectarian violence that devastated neighboring Lebanon in the 1980s would condemn hundreds of thousands to premature, violent death. Syria is five times the size of Lebanon. The risks of leaving it to degenerate into a failed state are surely higher than the risks of intervention.

But why should it be the United States that once again attempts to play the part of global cop?

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June 18th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

87. zoo said:

Muslim Brotherhood still fails to offer a ‘civil state’ solution
Hassan Hassan
Jun 18, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/muslim-brotherhood-still-fails-to-offer-a-civil-state-solution

“The Quran is our constitution” was the mantra, now all but forgotten, of the Muslim Brotherhood. In recent years, the credo appears to have been overshadowed by another, ostensibly mellower, one: “Islam is the solution.” After the pro-democracy Arab uprisings, the Brotherhood’s discourse has shifted to focus on its vision of the civil state.

From Yemen to Syria to Tunisia, the Brotherhood’s conception is gaining ground. The organisation has nonetheless been accused of using modern political constructs to disguise an authoritarian, cynical Islamist agenda. The Brotherhood’s growing political role has been attacked across the region, and nowhere as strongly as in Egypt, when the High Constitutional Court declared on Thursday that the Islamist-dominated parliament had been dissolved.

The Brotherhood, and other groups influenced by its ideology, will help to shape the region’s future despite such obstacles. In part, objections to the organisation are justified by a history of militancy and violence in several countries. So it is worth asking whether the organisation has really changed. Beyond the reassuring public announcements, what is this vision of a “civil state”?

The Brotherhood maintains that a civil state is an alternative to theocracy and secularism, both of which, the organisation argues, are peculiarly western institutions. Madaniya, the Arabic word for “civil”, implies a contrast with “military”, “police” and “theocracy”. A madaniya state, in theory, is ruled by technocrats who comply with a written constitution to protect the civil liberties of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

In reviewing Brotherhood writings on the subject, however, it is clear that their idea of madaniya is conceived as a constitutional theocracy, where religious authority is practised through a written constitution. While it is not publicly emphasised, madaniya renders the governing authority an agent of Islam; the Quran remains the supreme constitution.

By calling for madaniya “with Islamic reference”, the Brotherhood is in reality describing the Islamic state as it was in the 7th century, with little reference to modern state institutions. The criticism of “theocracy” is actually a defence of Islam as a non-coercive religion, in contrast to the Catholic Church of medieval Europe, rather than a general criticism of the rule of religion.

more….

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June 18th, 2012, 8:34 am

 

88. zoo said:

Bu supporting the SCAF coup, the USA is making sure that, unless the Moslem Brotherghood submits to the USA and continues Mobarak’s foreign policy favoring the USA and Israel, the Moslem Brotherhood will remain toothless.
The election of Morsi would be just half a victory for Qatar and Turkey. KSA is relieved that the army is still in power. For the democracy revolutionist who rejected both a religious and a military state, they’ll get both.

Islamist Candidate Is Apparent Victor in Egypt as Military Cements Its Powers
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: June 18, 2012 6 Comments
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/world/africa/islamist-candidate-is-apparent-victor-in-egypt-as-military-cements-its-powers.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
CAIRO — Egyptian news organizations declared Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood the winner of the country’s first competitive presidential race on Monday just hours after the ruling military council issued an interim constitution granting itself broad power over the future government, all but eliminating the president’s authority in an apparent effort to guard against just such a victory.

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June 18th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

89. zoo said:

Any update?
On the offensive, rebels push Syrian military out of cities around Homs
17 June 2012
By David Enders
McClatchy Newspapers


The shelling, which killed 20 civilians and five rebel fighters, failed to dislodge rebels who had driven the Syrian military out of nearly a dozen bases and checkpoints in the city over a period of two days earlier this mont

Syrian troops were also driven out of Rastan, a city of similar size to Talbiseh about 10 miles to the north, earlier this month. The victory came at a heavy cost as some parts of the city were entirely destroyed.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/17/2854194/on-the-offensive-rebels-push-syrian.html#storylink=cpy

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June 18th, 2012, 9:06 am

 

90. Tara said:

Zoo

See Tara @ 5:58 PM yesterday.

Jealous?

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June 18th, 2012, 9:16 am

 

91. Alan said:

Russian warships ‘ready to sail for Syria’
https://rt.com/news/russia-ships-syria-089/
“Russia unwaveringly supports the beginning of a national dialog in the Syrian Arab Republic, in which the Syrians will choose the political structure of their country. The use of external force is impermissible in this situation.”

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June 18th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

92. Alan said:

Christoph R. Hörstel for RT
Syria: Setback for US interests, UN mission in muddy waters (Op-Ed)
https://rt.com/news/syria-un-mission-insurgency-086/

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June 18th, 2012, 9:53 am

 

93. Uzair8 said:

Syria brawls to cope with economic crunch
2012-06-18

[...]

Local media has lately talked about huge troubles facing industrialists in the northern province of Aleppo, the second largest city that is deemed to be Syria’s economic capital.

[...]

The reports said Aleppo’s industrialists have put their premises for sale because of the problems and dangers that beset the future of their industry and the prolonged crisis in Syria, in addition to the increasing wave of displacement towards other countries or other Syrian cities that have less security risks.

Industrialists complain of deteriorating security conditions, low purchasing power, rising prices, unemployment rates, inflation and the inability to export as a result of sanctions imposed on the country.

[...]

Despite the Syrian Central Bank’s favorable intervention that has somehow succeeded in flourishing the pound over the past two months, yet concerns are still high that the pound would further deteriorate during the coming weeks.

[...]

Financial sources said most of money changers are currently accumulating dollars and pulling them out of the black market amid expectations that dollar will soon witness a remarkable spike against the pound.

Read more:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-06/18/content_15509029.htm

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June 18th, 2012, 10:28 am

 

94. Alan said:

SATELLITES TARGET SYRIAN LEADER
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/257143/Satellites-target-Syrian-leader/
A SPY-IN-THE-SKY is listening in on President Assad’s ruthless killers to save the lives of ­innocent men, women and children.

The British and US ­satellites pick up their plans then pass them on to dissident leaders through MI6 and CIA ­officers who have ­infiltrated Syria.

The information has helped rebels to evacuate civilians from hospitals and other Assad targets ­before they were attacked.

The Syrian hacking ­operation is a new part of the worldwide Echelon ­system that was created to monitor the communist bloc during the Cold War. …/…/…

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June 18th, 2012, 11:17 am

 
 

96. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

testing

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June 18th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

97. Halabi said:

Hezbollah says the Assad regime is over, and Nasrallah personally advised Bashar to resign, according to the only honest news source in the world, Syria Truth.

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/7615/Default.aspx

Even when propagandists repent, they still lie…

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June 18th, 2012, 11:35 am

 
 

99. Uzair8 said:

Saudi Arabia Reins in Its Clerics on Syria
June 14, 2012

The Saudi regime may be urging stronger international action in Syria, but it is clearly wary of the recent wave of domestic agitation calling for non-official involvement in the crisis. The Al Saud worry that the anti-reform Saudi clerics behind many of the calls to action are overstepping their bounds—and that the ruling family’s legitimacy and Saudi Arabia’s security could ultimately be at stake.

Arabic press reported on May 29 that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia summoned a number of prominent Salafi clerics to Riyadh to ban them from soliciting donations for Syria’s embattled citizenry. A number of those clerics responded by announcing on their social media platforms that they had been contacted by authorities and ordered to desist from collecting funds for Syria.

Read more:

http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/06/14/saudi-arabia-reins-in-its-clerics-on-syria/bu10

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June 18th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

100. jad said:

tsk tsk tsk our detective hero is wrong….AGAIN!

Apparently the killing of the man in Alnabak was a mistake, the ‘Angels’ meant to ‘throw’ a different man out the window instead they killed this man throwing him from ’4m’ heights on his head….peacefully!

“539. MAJEDKHALDOUN said:
Jad
Falling 4 meter should not cause death, if you show us the whole video you will see that he walk out unharmed.”

غضب في النبك بعد قيام “الثوار” برمي مواطن من الطابق الثالث

غضب عارم اجتاح مدينة النبك الوادعة في جبال القلمون شمالي دمشق، الخبر انتشر كالنار في الهشيم بسبب تصويره بافتخار من قبل ثوار تنسيقية النبك الذين أقدم ثلاثة منهم على اقتحام شقة المواطن محمد محسن رشيد الملقب أبو وائل وقاموا برميه من نافذة الطابق الثالث بعد تثبيته على النافذة لثوان كانت كافية لكي يعلن مصور الجريمة أن هذا هو مصير كل من يتعامل مع الامن وليقوموا برميه ، أمام زوجته وأطفاله ، غير عابئين بمناشداته لهم بعدم قتله .
الحادثة التي وقعت يوم الجمعة في مدينة النبك بحي النسيم ( المليطة ) بالقرب من جامع المبارك أثارت مجدداً قضية التصفيات الإرهابية التي يقوم بها مسلحو ميليشيات الجيش الحر فقد تكررت حوادث الخطف و التصفية لمؤيدي السلطة لكن جريمة قتل محمد محسن رشيد كان لها وقع مختلف كونها جرت بطريقة بربرية وتم تصويرها وبثها افتخاراً و لنشر الذعر و الإرهاب في صفوف المواطنين .
وقال وليد وهو من اهالي حي النسيم الذي شهد الجريمة لعربي برس الجريمة المروعة التي ارتكبتها عصابة كتيبة النور يندى لها جبين ما يسمى ثورة ، ونحن في النبك غاضبون جداً من هذه الهمجية “.
و أضاف الشاب ” م – الأديب ” العضو في تنسيقية النبك هو المحرض على قتل أبو وائل و المنفذون هم من يبرود، وكان بينهم شخص على الأقل من النبك ليدلهم على البيت .
لكن صديقه وجاره أمجد قال إن قتل محمد محسن رشيد حصل بالخطأ و المستهدف كان جار له اسمه أبو أيمن وقد يتسبب هذا الخطأ بانشقاق في الجيش الحر في النبك .
و أوضح أنه جاء أربعة أشخاص ملثمون وبينهم شخص على الاقل من داخل النبك و صعدوا إلى بيت أبو وائل ودخلوا عليه ورموه من نافذة الصالون “.
و ساد خلاف فيما بينهم هل المقصود بالتصفية هو أبو وائل أم أبو أيمن وهو شخص آخر في الحي يتهمونه بأنه يتعامل مع الأمن ويدلهم على تهرب السلاح إلى داخل المدينة “.
{…}
http://arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=39727

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June 18th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

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.

Amir
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.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156986#.T99nJBd1AhX

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June 18th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

102. ann said:

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

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/18/c_131660783.htm

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

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/18/c_131661206.htm

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
By ZEINA KARAM
http://news.yahoo.com/west-avoiding-action-syria-blaming-russia-174208150.html

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

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-06-18/russia-marines-syria/55663966/1

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

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/World/2012/06/18/13%2Bdie%2Bin%2Bfire%2Bat%2Bovercrowded%2BTurkish%2Bprison/

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

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=77865

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
http://www.aa.com.tr/en/news/58604–s

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.

ISTANBUL

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:

Zoo

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

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/syria-politics.h8t
(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:

101. JUERGEN
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.

http://www.ayyam.org/english/?p=499

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.

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/18/155288114/after-30-years-in-syria-outspoken-priest-is-expelled

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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

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/obama-putin-talks-candid-1459896.html

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.
….
http://www.just-style.com/news/syria-uzbekistan-tajikistan-the-next-sourcing-hubs_id114651.aspx

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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”.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/18/us-syria-crisis-monitors-idUSBRE85H15120120618

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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”
18/06/2012
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30029

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.
{…}
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/lincoln-brigade-Syria-7054

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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)

http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=123662

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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9339933/Britain-stops-Russian-ship-carrying-attack-helicopters-for-Syria.html

Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria

…more 

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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.
{…}
http://syria-politic.com/ar/Default.aspx?subject=766#.T9-NeBee7f3

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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
By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: June 14, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/world/middleeast/video-shows-syrian-opposition-fighters-with-toy-guns.html?_r=3

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..

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/world/middleeast/video-shows-syrian-opposition-fighters-with-toy-guns.html?_r=3

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.”
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/11/article-2157518-138D7D31000005DC-20_634x393.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/11/article-2157518-138D7D2D000005DC-781_634x433.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/11/article-2157518-138D7D3E000005DC-609_634x433.jpg

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.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/world/middleeast/video-shows-syrian-opposition-fighters-with-toy-guns.html?_r=3

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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…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/18/obama-support-putin-syria-g20?newsfeed=true

“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

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-mubaraks-300000strong-army-of-thugs-remains-in-business-despite-elections-7857358.html

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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:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/bashar-al-assads-father-in-law-fawaz-akhras-cant-hide-on-houla/story-fnb64oi6-1226377816163

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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:
http://world.time.com/2012/06/18/how-the-military-has-won-egypts-presidential-election/?iid=gs-main-lede
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:

Omen,
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:

Omen
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

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/19/c_131661443.htm

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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