“We are in a State of Real War,” Assad Says; Republican Guard Attacked in Damascus

Assad Says Syria in Real War – Sana

Opposition Meeting in Brussels – Michel Kilo in front with head bowed

Idlib: Ex-SNC president Burhan Ghalioun visits Syria (video) and meets up with revolutionaries in a bid to boost their morale

As Rebels Attack Elite Guards, Assad Talks of ‘State of War’
By ROD NORDLAND and HWAIDA SAAD

The Free Syrian Army launched what it described as an exploratory attack on an elite Republican Guard base, which is near the Presidential Palace, in Damascus late Monday

A surprise assault by lightly armed Syrian insurgents on a base housing the elite Republican Guard in Damascus, just a few miles from the Presidental Palace, elicited a furious military response on Tuesday, with government forces shelling surrounding neighborhoods in an escalation that brought combat in the Syrian conflict close to the heart of the capital.

Anti-government activists estimated at least 33 people were killed in the artillery barrages of the Damascus suburb of Qudssaya aimed at the Free Syrian Army insurgents, less than three miles northwest of President Bashar al-Assad’s official residence, and on Barzeh in northern Damascus, about three miles northeast.

President Assad, in remarks to his cabinet reported by the official SANA news agency, did not explicitly acknowledge the proximity of the fighting, but said “we live in a state of war.” As such, he said, “ all our policies, directives and all sectors will be directed in order to gain victory in this war.”
Previously he had characterized the 16-month-old uprising as a crime wave by foreign-backed terrorists.

In an apparently unrelated development, a  Syrian Air Force lieutenant general was kidnapped by armed men from his home in Damascus, according to Syrian State Television, who identified him as Lt. Gen. Farage Shihada al Maqat. He was abducted in the Al Adawi neighborhood of Damascus, an exclusive area where dignitaries and Russian advisers live. If the report is true, General Maqat would be the highest ranking officer to be kidnapped or killed since the uprising began. More than 13 generals are among a wave of high-ranking officers who have defected to the opposition recently….

“It was not a big confrontation, it was just to test the Guards’ capacity, for future attacks,” said the lieutenant, who for security reasons asked to be identified only by his rank. “Our fighters were really surprised by the huge forces that immediately came and encircled the area.”

As he put it, the incident proved that “one bullet in Damascus has more impact than a tank barrage in Idlib or Homs, because the regime doesn’t hear the bombings but for sure they hear the bullet in Damascus.”  Only 20 fighters with light weapons were involved, he said. “It was just a test for when the battle does move to Damascus.”

The elite Republican Guard Division has an estimated 8,000 or more soldiers and is devoted to protection of President Assad and his subordinates. The Republican Guard has taken the lead in suppressing dissent in the capital area.     Other opposition sources reported an escalation of the fighting in Damascus, mainly from government shelling focused on the neighborhoods or suburbs of Qudssaya, Dummar and Al Hameh,all to the northeast of the  Republican Guard base, which in turn adjoins the Presidential Palace, on a commanding hill 500 feet above the main city…..

- report of opposition meeting in Brussels “سيريا بوليتيك”.. تغطية خاصة مع الصور لمؤتمر المعارضة في بروكسل

25 يونيو 2012 – بروكسل، عبدالله شومان

عقد يوم الأحد في العاصمة البلجيكية بروكسل مؤتمر لتوحيد المعارضة السورية بغياب شبه كامل للمجلس الوطني والإخوان المسلمين وبحضور عدد كبير من مختلف أطياف المعارضة السوريه الداخلية والخارجية، ونوقش في اليوم الاول عدد من الموضوعات مثل العهد الوطني والمرحلة الانتقالية.

وحول موضوع العهد الوطني كانت ورقة العمل تتألف من مبادئ المساواة التامة في المواطنة بمعزل عن الجنس والعرق والمذهب والاعتقاد، مع التأكيد على المساواة بين الرجال والنساء ووجوب عدم التراجع عن أي مكتسبات لحقوق النساء ومع ضرورة صون إيجابي لعدم فرض عقيدة على أحد وعلى حرية كل مواطن في اختيار عقيدته ومع حماية حقوق الطفولة.

وطرح موضوع حقوق الإنسان والسيادة ووحدة الاراضي والحريات العامة الفردية والجماعية. كما تمت مناقشة موضوع هوية البلاد والعلاقة مع الدول العربية والاسلامية والمجتمع الدولي، كما طرحت ورقة عمل في نظام الحكم والفصل بين السلطات مع الإشارة الى إمكانية اختيار رئيس الدولة بمعزل عن الجنس والعرق والمذهب والاعتقاد، وخضوع المؤسسة العسكرية الى الإرادة الشعبية.

وحول موضوع المرحلة الانتقالية قدمت ورقة عمل تضم البنود التالية:مرحلة رحيل السلطة وأساليب النضال من اجل رحيل السلطه القائمة والعلاقة بين الحراك السلمي و”المقاومه المسلحة”. التعامل مع خطة عنان والمجتمع الدولي والأمن الاجتماعي والقومي خلال مرحلة الرحيل ومعايير رحيل السلطة القائمة واستلام سلطة جديدة.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey addressed his Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara on Tuesday.Turkey Says It May Target Any Syrian Forces Nearing Border
By ERIC SCHMITT and SEBNEM ARSU 8:59 PM ET

Buoyed by support from NATO allies, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan adopted a bellicose tone on Tuesday after the downing of a Turkish warplane.

Russia Must Abandon Assad Before Syria Talks, U.S. Official Says
2012-06-26,  By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Indira A.R. Lakshmanan

June 27 (Bloomberg) — A meeting of world powers to discuss ending the conflict in Syria won’t happen unless Russia first agrees that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be replaced, a U.S. State Department official said.

In yesterdays EU Foreign Affairs Council one person and six entities were added to the EU sanction list. These are: Persons
1. Bouthaina Shaaban (a.k.a. Buthaina Shaaban). Born 1953 in Homs, Syria. Political and Media Advisor to the President since July 2008 and as such associated with the violent crackdown on the population.

Condoleezza Rice calls on U.S. to arm Syria rebels – CBS News
2012-06-26

(CBS News) Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for the United States to arm opposition fighters in Syria on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, joining a chorus of Republicans led by Sen. John McCain to provide weapons to rebels against Syrian …

Rebel-Army Backers Open U.S. Office
BY JAY SOLOMON AND SIOBHAN GORMAN in WSJ

WASHINGTON—Supporters of the Free Syrian Army have established an outreach office here for a lobbying effort that is likely to feed the Obama administration’s discussions on whether to arm the group or more directly intervene in the Syrian conflict.

The organization, called the Syrian Support Group, says it will seek backing from Congress, the White House and relevant federal agencies to deliver arms and other military goods to help in the group’s fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“This focuses on the FSA’s capabilities to bring down Assad on its own if provided with the right equipment and information,” said …

Ankara Threatens to Cut Power Supplies to #Syria [Dow Jones]

Turkey threatens force if Syrian troops near border
NYTimes – June 26, 2012

The New York Times reports: Buoyed by support from NATO allies, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned Syrian forces to stay clear of their troubled border or face a Turkish military response to any perceived threat, following the disputed downing of a Turkish warplane.

The Turkish leader’s bellicose tone signaled no discernible easing of tensions between the two Mediterranean neighbors as ambassadors from the NATO alliance, desperate to avoid a wider conflict, held emergency talks in Brussels.

Iran is trying to broker a political solution in Syria
Mohammad Ataie, Guardian 26 Jun 2012

During the past few months, Iranian diplomats have contacted the Syrian opposition to assist the Assad-led reform and facilitate negotiations between the president and the opposition. According to the Iranian ambassador to Damascus, their contacts have been extensive and have included opposition leaders in and outside Syria. They have carried messages back [...]

According to the Iranian ambassador to Damascus, their contacts have been extensive and have included opposition leaders in and outside Syria. They have carried messages back and forth between opposition leaders and Damascus and at one point Iranian diplomats, who met Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey, even offered a roadmap for reconciliation between the Islamist group and Assad.

The deal, disclosed by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, included a power-sharing arrangement that handed the premiership to the Islamist group in return for Assad retaining the presidency. But such efforts have been fruitless in the light of the ongoing violence and the Syrian government’s recourse to a security crackdown.

The recent “multi-party parliamentary election” – which was devoid of meaningful participation by opposition groups – and the formation of the new Syrian government by a member of the ruling Ba’ath party, have in particular disenchanted Iranian officials with Assad’s strategy for a political solution.

Iranian officials, according to various political sources in Tehran, were unhappy with the exclusion of the opposition from the election and the nomination of a loyalist Ba’athist, Riad Hijab, by the Syrian president as the new prime minister. Iranian political and military leaders are dismayed at the over-reliance of Damascus on a security solution and believe that Assad could have done better to lend credibility to his reforms….

In the strategic thinking of the Islamic republic, a political solution is essential for long-term stability in the Levant and the protection of its regional interests. This is where Iran’s interests intersect with current international diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to the crisis.

*SYRIAN AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW HADDAD SPEAKS IN INTERVIEW
BN 06/26 13:09 *SYRIA PROPOSES JOINT INVESTIGATION WITH TURKEY INTO INCIDENT
BN 06/26 13:09 *TURKISH PLANE EVADED RADAR ON APPROACH, SYRIAN ENVOY SAYS
BN 06/26 13:09 *SYRIA DIDN’T KNOW DOWNED AIRCRAFT WAS TURKISH, ENVOY SAYSSyria Didn’t Know Downed Military Jet Was Turkish, Envoy Says
2012-06-26 By Ilya Arkhipov

June 26 (Bloomberg) — Syrian forces didn’t know they had shot down a Turkish military jet last week until after the incident, said Riad Haddad, the country’s ambassador to Russia. The F-4 Phantom that was downed on June 22 evaded radars as it flew across Syrian airspace, and was targeted by anti-aircraft artillery as it approached Lattakia, Haddad said in aninterview today.

“We didn’t know what this plane was,” he said. “If aSyrian plane had flown like that, it would also have beendowned. We only found out it was a Turkish plane once we had sent rescue ships to the area and they saw three Turkishhelicopters searching for the jet.”Turkey Says Syria Opened Fire on 2nd Plane

What to Expect From the Muslim Brotherhood
by Fouad Ajami in The Wall Street Journal – June 26, 2012

Syria: Detained medics tortured and killed amid Aleppo crackdown
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 26 June 2012

The discovery of the charred and mutilated bodies of three young medical workers a week after their arrest in Aleppo city is yet further evidence of the Syrian government forces’ appalling disregard for the sanctity of the role of medical workers, Amnesty International said today.

All three men were students at Aleppo University – Basel Aslan and Mus’ab Barad were fourth-year medical students and Hazem Batikh was a second-year English literature student and a first-aid medic.

They were part of a team of doctors, nurses and first-aiders who have been providing life-saving medical treatment in makeshift “field hospitals” set up to treat demonstrators shot by security forces and who could not therefore go to state-run hospitals for fear of being arrested, tortured or even killed.

قدري جميل على خطى الدردري في إشغال السوريين

يريد تخفيض عدد الفقراء….ورفع نسبة النمو إلى 10 بالمئة…وراتب يشتري 35 كيلو لحمة مجدداً!!

Syria Steps – 25/06/2012

We tried liberalism. We will now try “socialism/communism”. ….. Qadri Jamil is a communist who has taken over Dardari’s job as Deputy PM for the economy. He talks about 8% growth for next year….

Video: Menbej, Aleppo Suburb: demonstration chants for freedom and demands the overthrow of Assad’s regime

Comments (146)


Pages: « 1 2 [3] Show All

101. bronco said:

#97 Tara

Thanks, that article confirms everything I said about Turkey and how it is not cornered and paralyzed.

Turkey’s foreign policy vis a vis Syria is a disaster and it is starting to destroy Erdogan’s reputation. Most Arabs saw him as bold and courageous during the Mavi MarMara event against Israel, and now they see him confused, trying to find excuses for Turkey’s inaction and begging NATO to show off and scold Syria.
Turks have to make up their mind. If they want zero problems with their neighbors and continue to have a good economy and internal stability, they should not interfere in the neighbors internal affairs as neighbors do not interfere in Turkey internal affairs.
If they want to play the regional police or Robin Hood with the neighbors then they are bound to pay a price.
I think they are just realizing the the price tag is getting out of control and threatening their assets.

Maybe it’s time for a gradual return to zero-problems with neighbors.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:09 pm

 

102. zoo said:

If Hezbollah gets really involved actively in Syria, how long would the FSA survive?

Free Syria Army: Hezbollah present on the battlefield
June 27, 2012 01:35 AM (Last updated: June 27, 2012 01:51 PM)
By Misbah al-Ali

BUKHSHIN, Turkey: Hezbollah fighters are on the ground in Syria, according to Riad al-Asaad, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, who also told The Daily Star that the option of establishing a buffer zone on the Syrian borders is off the table. Asaad spoke to The Daily Star from a heavily secured Turkish refugee camp, known as the Officers’ Camp, where much of the FSA’s leadership is now based. In a wide-ranging interview, the former Syrian Air Force Colonel discussed both the situation of his troops and that of the regime of embattled President Bashar Assad.

Given Hezbollah’s rhetorical support for the Syrian regime, it has long been speculated that the party might also be providing backup on the battlefield. Asaad said that “as for the involvement of Hezbollah fighters, we have confirmed that it is involved in events inside Syria, especially in Talkalakh and Homs. We have seen heavily armed [Hezbollah] convoys and several buses.”

He added that the FSA had been remiss in not highlighting this in the media earlier.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Jun-27/178378-free-syria-army-hezbollah-present-on-the-battlefield.ashx#ixzz1z2wwceIg
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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June 27th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

103. zoo said:

The crisis is in favor of al-Assad

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-crisis-is-in-favor-of-al-assad-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=24231&NewsCatID=405

Bashar al-Assad took a significant step the other evening. After Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech at the parliamentary group meeting, he convened his Cabinet and declared that Syria is in a “state of war.”

This sentence should be highlighted. It means this: When it is a state of war, then it is beyond normal conditions. Everybody has to act accordingly. Al-Assad will have a free hand from now on.

Domestically, there will not be any room for any uprising or criticism. As a matter of fact, nobody was able to open their mouths previously anyway, but from now on the situation will get more serious. More precisely, al-Assad will be able to associate each of the steps he will take in the next term with the justification that “they are in a state of war.”

Declaration of martial law in Syria might be in question. This, of course, will increase the domestic tension.

It means that, from now on, Turkey-Syria relations will be navigated at the level of “war.” Even the slightest accident may confront the two countries. A clash may erupt for no reason.

We are now in a process when utmost attention is needed.

Turkey is big and mighty. Its army is extremely capable, but Syria also should be paid attention to. Let’s not forget, a little stone can upset a large cart.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:26 pm

 

104. Tara said:

Bronco #101

I thought reading through the first half that your name was Simon Tisdal. I in general like people who stand by noble principals. You only can find those in Disney.. they just do not exist.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:27 pm

 

105. zoo said:

Erdogan trying to boost an image of strength and victory…

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201206/n_24255_1.jpg

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June 27th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

106. Tara said:

Is Russia open to abandon Bashar if her interests remained preserved through a national unity cabinet?  Would the Syrian people agree to such cabinet after all the sacrifices?

Russia ‘would support a Syrian national unity cabinet’

“It could comprise present government members, opposition and others, but would need to exclude those whose continued participation or presence would jeopardise the transition’s credibility, or harm prospects for reconciliation and stability,” a diplomat said, summarising Annan’s proposal.

The diplomat added that the idea of excluding certain people was clearly referring to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, though Annan’s proposal does not explicitly say Assad could not serve in a national unity government.
More..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/28/russia-syrian-national-unity-cabinet

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June 27th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

107. zoo said:

Morsi: Two of the 6 VPs will be a woman and a Coptic christian

Egypt set for woman, Coptic VPs

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/egypt-set-for-woman-coptic-vps.aspx?PageID=238&NID=24200&NewsCatID=352

Egypt’s president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, will appoint a woman and a Coptic Christian as his vice president, according to a policy adviser. If the appointments go through, it will be the first time in Egypt’s history that either a woman or a Christian has occupied such an empowered position in the executive branch

Newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is set to make history in the country by appointing a woman as one of his vice presidents and a Christian as another, his policy adviser said.

“For the first time in Egyptian history, not just modern but in all Egyptian history, a woman will take that position,” Ahmed Deif told CNN. “And it’s not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet.” Morsi will appoint six vice presidents.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:37 pm

 

108. Tara said:

If Turkey’s Erdogan wants to stand by his noble principals, he must abandon his Zero problem policy and continue to support the FSA. Is Erdogan going to do that or was he taught a different lesson already? Time will tell.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

109. bronco said:

#106 Tara

The diplomat added that the idea of excluding certain people was clearly referring to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad,

Of course Bashar Al Assad will not be part of this new government for the good reason that he will remain the president controlling this ‘unity government’ until there are new presidential elections.

That diplomat should stay unknown.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

110. bronco said:

108. Tara

Turks care about business and money. Ideology and pride come after.

If supporting the war effort against Syria will trigger loss of businesses and loss of tourism revenues, Erdogan will back off.

The question is what would Bashar al Assad do to make this happen.

I don’t think it is hard to imagine. Any unrest close to touristic locations will trigger cancellation of travel agents. Border problems will hamper the passage of merchandise.
That would create protests within the Turkish population and chain reactions.
It’s a war for the smartest now. I think Syrians have an upper hand in that.

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June 27th, 2012, 9:53 pm

 

111. Ghufran said:

This reaction to the WSJ piece on establishing a lobby for the FSA in the US is more important than the story itself:
William Church Wrote:
“The United States is creating a future disaster in Syria. It is pumping weapons covertly into Syria and this will end badly. As former intelligence community member and UN consultant l, I must stress the Golden Rules: “Weapons are not bio-degradable.” What fueled Africa’s wars was not Victor Bout, who took the fall, but the millions of weapons dumped their during the Cold War by Russia and US. The US as usual is either misguided or purposefully acting against international law”

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June 27th, 2012, 10:05 pm

 

112. majedkhaldoun said:

For Turkey to have zero problems with its neighbours,Turkey must get rid of Assad.and his regime.

Would Russia accept Syrian national unity government,as transitional government?This mean Russia is abandoning Assad,

HA troops they are less than 10,000, most of them are needed in South Lebanon,the few that will come to fight in Syria,stand no chance fighting FSA,

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June 27th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

113. zoo said:

Ghaliun disguised as a pious moslem to get in and out of Syria.
The new president of Syria?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFNXoejZ0VU&feature=relmfu

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June 27th, 2012, 10:56 pm

 

114. jna said:

“Kurds Stop Free Syrian Army from Entering Kurdish Areas”

“Col. Asaad confirmed that thousands of PKK guerillas have been mobilized to the Efrin region, near the Turkish border. “The PKK guerillas are hindering the movement of our armed forces in these regions,” he said.”

“According to Col. Asaad, the number of Kurdish soldiers in the FSA does not exceed 25.”
[...]

http://www.rudaw.net/english/news/syria/4882.html

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June 27th, 2012, 11:07 pm

 
 

116. zoo said:

And if it happens without Russia dropping Bashar? The US officials would have expressed empty threats or the media were lying… again.

Russia Must Drop Assad Before Talks, U.S. Official Says
By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Indira A.R. Lakshmanan – Jun 26, 2012 7:36 PM ET

A meeting of world powers to discuss ending the conflict in Syria won’t happen unless Russia first agrees that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be replaced, a U.S. State Department official said.
…….

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-26/russia-must-drop-assad-before-talks-u-s-official-says.html

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June 27th, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

117. ann said:

RESPECT is the anti-spam word :)

US Condemns Attack on Pro-Assad Syrian TV Station – June 27, 2012

http://www.voanews.com/content/syria-tv-station-attack/1263021.html

he United States has condemned a deadly attack by gunmen on a Syrian pro-government television station and said it hopes an upcoming meeting of world powers in Geneva will be a turning point in resolving Syria’s 15-month conflict.

[...]

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that Washington “condemns all acts of violence including those targeting pro-regime elements.” He called on all parties in the conflict to “cease acts of hostility.”

[...]

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June 27th, 2012, 11:43 pm

 

118. Syrialover said:

Worrying news from inside Aleppo – rockets, smoke and gunfire exchanges now visible and closer to suburbs.

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June 27th, 2012, 11:52 pm

 

119. zoo said:

Egypt’s generals eye Turkish model (The unstable 1980 model)

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA and MAGGIE MICHAEL | Associated Press – 7
CAIRO (AP) — Now that Egypt has its first freely elected president, Egypt’s powerful generals appear headed toward copying the Turkish model from decades past — retaining overwhelming powers while allowing a civilian regime complete with the trappings of democracy to emerge.

It is not the model that many in today’s Turkey boast about, but rather one dating back to the 1980s and 1990s when civilians ran Turkey’s day-to-day affairs under the watchful eyes of the military.

http://news.yahoo.com/egypts-generals-eye-turkish-model-203500484.html

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June 28th, 2012, 12:00 am

 

120. zoo said:

Time to go home…

Egyptian president’s son is Saudi-based urologist

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30113

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June 28th, 2012, 12:05 am

 

121. Syrialover said:

#113 Zoo

It’s reassuring and inspiring to see the opposition so relaxed, in good spirits and at ease inside Syria.

Thanks for posting it. It’s a surprise to get good news from you.

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June 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

122. ann said:

‘Russia backs Annan idea of Syria unity govt’ – United Nations, June 28, 2012

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/NorthAmerica/Russia-backs-Annan-idea-of-Syria-unity-govt/Article1-879958.aspx

Russia and other big powers have told mediator Kofi Annan that they support his idea of a Syrian national unity cabinet that could include government and opposition members but would exclude those whose participation would undermine it, envoys said on Wednesday.

[...]

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June 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

123. Syrialover said:

# 120. Zoo said: “Egyptian president’s son is Saudi-based urologist”

More good news from you.

He’s out there as a hardworking professional, earning a clean independent living with no sleaze, corruption or political interference tendencies like the Mubarak boys.

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June 28th, 2012, 12:19 am

 

124. ann said:

Syrian government condemns TV channel attack – 2012-06-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-06/28/c_131681415.htm

[...]

The government is blaming the EU, the UN, and the Arab League for “ignoring the aggression exercised on Syria.” The channel is continuing to broadcast, airing footage of a pro-government rally in the capital just hours after the attack.

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June 28th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

125. Juergen said:

Alan # 62

See you will always find people like Hoerstel, who will defend dictators. He is not known to many, and his influence is marginal in the press. Of course he will think that the government has en eye on him and does not want that he is getting offers to write his view. The problem is that apart from smaller regional newspapers the journalists are aware that he is by far not so independant as he claims he is. This weekend he will be a guest on a panel conference in Bonn, organized by the german syrian society in the old embassy of Syria.( this organization is funded by the regime)For me he is in line with other “quality” journalists like Katrin Leukefeld, Jürgen Todenhöfer and Peter Scholl Latour.

Syria’s Tadmor Prison Massacre: Reliving Horrors of 32 Years Past

Read more at Middle East Voices: http://www.middleeastvoices.com/2012/06/syrias-tadmor-prison-massacre-reliving-horrors-of-32-years-past-81070/#ixzz1z3r0Zwdu

http://www.middleeastvoices.com/2012/06/syrias-tadmor-prison-massacre-reliving-horrors-of-32-years-past-81070/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+middleeastvoices%2Ffullfeed+%28Middle+East+Voices+-+Full+Feed%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Inside #Syria: There’s no place like Homs

http://www.inourheart.org/3/post/2012/06/inside-syria-theres-no-place-like-homs.html

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June 28th, 2012, 1:01 am

 

126. Shami said:

Zoo @115 ,are you syrian ?
You would understand how perfidious are the russian media in their support to assad narrative ,look at the big holes that damaged the ceiling ,is that not result of assad militia bombing with what they got from Russia ?

And ask yourself ,Why shall the homsis bomb themselves ?

who built these churches ? were they built by bani qiqi shabiha ?

Zoo ,this is what we inherited from our parents and ancestors !

The hideous shabiha sister Agnes Marie of the cross and its team are not representative of the syrian christianity at all and they shall pay for their treachery in Den Haag with Bashar and co.

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June 28th, 2012, 1:47 am

 

127. Shami said:

Syria no Kandahar ,moukhbirin and shabiha(torturers,spies) are legitimate targets.
Why shall our people obliged to accept many decades of humiliation ?

this is a natural dynamic of history SNK,when you face an ila al abadist regime.

And why are you silent when the best and innocent christian civilians are targeted by the assadist people and those crimes were clear and obvious to all and did not begin today ?you are instead looking for the dubious and unclear narrative influenced by your islamophob stance ,it appears as if your fate is the fate of a doomed ila al abadist regime ,it should not be as such !

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June 28th, 2012, 2:06 am

 

128. Badr said:

“a transitional national unity government…would need to exclude those whose continued participation or presence would jeopardise the transition’s credibility, or harm prospects for reconciliation and stability.”

Translation: a proposal “dead on arrival”

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein

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June 28th, 2012, 2:28 am

 

129. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Several destroyed dababat and military equipment of the Syrian army. Looks as if the FSA is better equipped then previously thought.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=00f_1340865568

The FSA captures a shabbiha weapons convoy
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=079_1340850896

(Claimed) Shabbiha ambushed. Massacred. [graphic]
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4fc_1340832992
.

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June 28th, 2012, 4:58 am

 

130. Alan said:

add links for offsite material

SC Moderator

130 And Daoud !
Mental assassination in Israel.
In Syria, killed one of the leaders of the “Hamas”: he had been tortured before death

A senior activist of the Palestinian movement “Hamas” Kamal Husni Ranadzha, also known as Abu Nizar Mujahid, was killed in his apartment in Damascus. According to some reports, before the death of a member of the “Hamas” tortured. It is also reported that unknown killers set fire to his apartment, reports NEWSru Israel.
According to the radio station Kol Israel, Ranadzha was killed June 26, but his body was discovered only the next day. In fact the incident under investigation.

The “Hamas” suggest that the murder of one of their leaders may be agents of Israeli intelligence service “Mossad.” At the same time is not ruled out any involvement in the incident, the Syrian government headed by President Bashar Assad. The government of Israel does not comment on the murder.

In early 2012, most leaders of the “Hamas” had left Syria for fear of reprisals from the authorities. Prior to “evacuate” the leadership “of the Islamic resistance movement” is not acted openly on the side of the opponents of the Assad regime. However, once the headquarters of the Politburo, “Hamas” was actually transferred from Syria to Qatar, the organization has ceased to conceal their sympathy for the Syrian radical opposition.

It is noteworthy that the Lebanese “Hezbollah”, by contrast, has consistently supported the regime of Bashar al-Assad. In this case the main sponsor and “Hezbollah” and “Hamas” is today Iran.

Kamal Husni Ranadzha was one of the leaders of the combat wing of the “Hamas”, one of the leading organizations in Syria. Prior to 2010 – was an aide to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh responsible for the supply of arms and liquidated in Dubai, the UAE government as stated, Israeli intelligence agents. Abu Mujahid itself could be an organizer of arms into Gaza.

Note that this is not the first murder of the leader of the Islamists in Syria. In 2004 Damascus was destroyed by the leader of the “Hamas”, Sheikh Subhi al-Izaddin Khalil. In 2008 – the head of intelligence, “Hezbollah,” Imad Mughni. Murderers have used low-power bombs being laid in the car.

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June 28th, 2012, 6:24 am

 

131. Alan said:

Breaking news !
Loud blast rocks central Damascus close to Palace of Justice
———————
Rebels behind Hama killing: Syrian family slain by rebels (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
http://www.rt.com/news/syrian-family-massacre-rebels-936/
Footage showing the results of an alleged massacre in the Syrian city of Hama in April has been obtained by RT. In the video, family members claim opposition rebels committed the atrocity.
The video shows the bloodstained bodies of four victims lying on body-bags on the floor of a morgue. It then goes on to show a number of bodies, including those of women and children in a house that looks to have been attacked. The victims’ bodies display evidence of severe trauma, bullet wounds and burns.
At the beginning of the video three children are shown in tears, the older girl demands to be allowed to go to the hospital to see her mother. ../../…

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June 28th, 2012, 6:30 am

 

132. Juegen said:

Turkish military convoy heads for Syrian border

urkish troops and military vehicles have been deployed towards the border with Syria as a precaution after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave orders to react to any Syrian threat approaching the frontier.

Erdogan, who has given shelter in the border area to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the new rules of engagement for Turkish troops on the border after Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish warplane last Friday.

“I can confirm there are troops being deployed along the border in Hatay province. Turkey is taking precautions after its jet was shot down,” a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/7190086/Turkish-military-convoy-heads-for-Syrian-border/

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June 28th, 2012, 6:35 am

 

133. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Alan,

How many Muslims (Islamist militants and civilians) did Russia slaughter in Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere? How many Russian civilians had to pay with their lives for Putin’s decision not to give in to Islamists’ blackmail? (in Beslan, the theater in Moscow and more?)

Don’t throw stones if you live in a house made of glass.
.

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June 28th, 2012, 6:38 am

 

134. Juergen said:

Turkish military convoy heads for Syrian border

Turkish troops and military vehicles have been deployed towards the border with Syria as a precaution after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave orders to react to any Syrian threat approaching the frontier.

Erdogan, who has given shelter in the border area to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the new rules of engagement for Turkish troops on the border after Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish warplane last Friday.

“I can confirm there are troops being deployed along the border in Hatay province. Turkey is taking precautions after its jet was shot down,” a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/7190086/Turkish-military-convoy-heads-for-Syrian-border/

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June 28th, 2012, 6:50 am

 

135. Tara said:

Zoo @113

Thank you for posting the link to Ghalioun’s visit with the FSA. I am so proud of this young men of the FSA and of Ghalioun who I like to see running for presidency. What a nice wayvto start my day.

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June 28th, 2012, 6:51 am

 

136. omen said:

morning.

100. NORMAN said: Somebody said :
An insurgency never won a conflict against a sitting government without outside intervention, Is that right.?, what is the expectation of the opposition, I wonder

i don’t know if the old models hold. i’ve never heard of an insurgency before being armed by the regime it was fighting!

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June 28th, 2012, 6:59 am

 

137. omen said:

99. JNA said: I wasn’t aware one way or the other whether the Israeli jets were fired at. Do you know for a fact? I remember at the time there was talk of Israeli plane defense measures which neutralized Syrian air defenses.

no, i don’t know. this was somebody i heard on rt but didn’t catch his name. “defense measures” sounds plausible. if israel could fly in country, then there isn’t a valid excuse for nato or any other western powers not to do the same and execute a limited air strike. if it wanted to.

here it is. found it. you were right. the israeli mission was called operation orchard:

The Israelis destroyed a Syrian radar site in Tall al-Abuad with conventional precision bombs, electronic attack, and jamming.[36]

the set up and intel gathered, in preparation before the strike, is also an interesting read.

:

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June 28th, 2012, 7:28 am

 

138. Tara said:

No Iran and no KSA to Geneva conference.  Who are the three Arab states? Egypt? Qatar? Jordan? 

This is from the Guardian blog.

• Annan invited the five permanent members of the UN security council with Turkey and three Arab states to the Geneva conference, but excluded Iran and Saudi Arabia to secure the participation of the US and Russia, writes Ian Black.

The novelty of this event will be participation by Russia and China, which have vetoed action against Assad at the UN and shunned the western-Arab Friends of Syria grouping on the grounds that it is working against the Assad regime.

• Nobody is expecting the meeting of Annan’s action group to make much difference, according to Tony Karon in Time magazine.

The parties that will meet with Assad in Geneva have different ideas on resolving the crisis, but none appears to have decisive leverage to bring to bear in order to shape its preferred outcome. The US insists that the conflict can’t be resolved while Assad remains in power; the Russians point out that Washington has no credible plan for dealing with the fallout that would follow the regime’s precipitous collapse. For much of the past year, officials in Washington have speculated that Russia might break with Assad, but the passage of time has made those claims look Pollyannaish.

….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/27/syrian-violence-escalates-un-conference

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June 28th, 2012, 7:49 am

 

139. HASSAN said:

Amir in TLV : Nice performance Israel supplied ATGMs have it seems, after this little Zionist trick of “Arab Spring” is over, Israel will be the next venue of a “Spring”.

Remember people, there are only 2 genuine Revolutions in the Arab World : The Glorious July 22 Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and the Syrian Revolution of March 8, 1963.

As for Israel, they can start prepearing for the thousands of Scuds, Grad rockets, chemical warheads, Tochka missiles being aimed their way as we speak on the Golan and in Jabal Amel.

Then next they can contend with hundreds of thousands of trained, tough Syrian, Iraqi, and Egyptian soldiers, sailors, and airmen, fighting in close formation Soviet style supported by the latest Russian combined arms tactics and doctrines with thousadns of T-72s thrown into the battlefield in the Negev and the Galilee.

Long Live the Revolution !!!

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June 28th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

140. omen said:

related to norman’s question about outside intervention, somebody connects the dots:

Less than a weak after ‪Syria‬ downed a Turkish jet, ‪FSA‬ captured a base with radars, I’m sure they’re receiving intel. [w/ video]

from that cia article earlier in the week:

American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service.

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June 28th, 2012, 8:32 am

 

141. zoo said:

Turkey on the hot seat: No dictatorship but authoritarian

The Turkish Paradox
How the AKP Simultaneously Embraces and Abuses Democracy
Michael J. Koplow and Steven A. Cook
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137754/michael-j-koplow-and-steven-a-cook/the-turkish-paradox?page=2

Under the AKP, then, Turkish citizens have enjoyed far higher levels of participation. But their power to contest the government has come under attack. Over the last five years, Erdogan and the AKP have proved relentless in their targeting of anyone perceived to contest their power or be a threat to their dominance.

The campaign of repression began with the press. The AKP has subjected journalists and editors to intimidation and quasi-legal detentions for advocating on behalf of Kurds or even merely criticizing the government. More than 90 journalists are now sitting in Turkish prisons — more than in any other country in the world — and the state has over 4,000 lawsuits pending against members of the press. Many of these reporters are stuck in a legal limbo, as Turkey’s laws allow imprisonment of journalists for up to three years without trial. In 2011, Reporters Without Borders ranked Turkey 148th out of 178 countries in its annual index of press freedom.

Turkey will not likely revert to full-blown authoritarianism. But an autocratic slide will undermine its international standing, built largely on its democratization. Should Turkey’s liberalization falter, the country may quickly lose that influence — suggesting that there are consequences to having it both ways.

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June 28th, 2012, 10:49 am

 

142. zoo said:

Iraq: A Democratic Beacon in the Fractious Arab World
AMIR TAHERI
July/August 2012

…..
Elsewhere in the Arab world, however, people still think of revolution, coups, armed struggle and dynastic change as the only ways of changing governments. The future of countries that have experienced the Arab Spring revolts is too difficult to predict at this point. They may, as we all hope, seize the opportunity to move towards democratisation. However, they may also relapse into despotism either in the name of Islam or that of law and order. Thus Iraq remains the best hope for democratisation in the Middle East.

http://standpointmag.co.uk/features-july-august-12-a-democratic-beacon-in-the-fractious-arab-world-amir-taheri-iraq-saddam-hussein-george-w-bush-basra-naja?page=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C6

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June 28th, 2012, 10:53 am

 

143. zoo said:

Getting closer to the Geneva meeting….

An attack like this right in the heart of the capital during working hours, though militarily insignificant, clearly has a psychological effect.

Together with the storming of a pro-government television station in the suburbs just the day before, it reinforces the impression that the conflict is moving ever closer to the centre of state power

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18622140

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June 28th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

144. zoo said:

Al eyes turned to the Geneva meeting for a political settlement as the Turkish plane incident is seen as a ‘warning’ of an imminent regional escalation.

NATO vows no action on Syria pending political fix
AFP – 14 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/nato-vows-no-action-syria-pending-political-fix-145238595.html

A top NATO general on Thursday said the alliance would take no military action in either Syria or Iran until all political means to find a solution were exhausted.

The comment by General Knud Bartels, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, comes almost a week after Syria downed a military jet belonging to alliance member Turkey.

Reports said Thursday Ankara had sent missile batteries, tanks and troops to the border with Syria as a “security corridor.”

“No military actions by NATO will be taken, neither in Syria or Iran, until all political means to achieve a political solution are used,” General Bartels told reporters in Estonia’s capital Tallinn.

“And it is up to all 28 member states of NATO to decide what the steps by NATO will be,” Bartels said, in response to a question about the downed Turkish aircraft.

“I’m very happy to see at the moment that there seems to be in the coming days an opening of dialogue by the United Nations to find a political solution with Syria,” Bartels added.

“The shooting down of a Turkish plane … without any warning has highlighted the crisis again,” he noted.

Turning to Russia, Bartels said he believed in a strategic partnership between NATO and Moscow.

“I am a convinced believer of dialogue and Russia is a strategic partner of NATO,” Bartels said. “NATO in no way wants to threaten Russia, and NATO’s ballistic defence system is also not meant in any way to threaten Russia,” he stressed.

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June 28th, 2012, 11:11 am

 

145. zoo said:

Russia rejects ‘external solution’ for Syria
By Stuart Williams | AFP – 3 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-syrians-must-decide-assads-fate-110027138.html

Russia Thursday dampened hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough in efforts to end the Syria conflict, saying it opposed solutions from the outside and Syrians should decide the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said world powers had yet to agree any final resolution based on new proposals from UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan for an international conference on Saturday in Geneva.

He did not say if Moscow supported the new proposals laid out by Annan, which diplomats said involved setting up a Syrian transitional government that could include followers of Assad and opposition members.

Lavrov also said it was a mistake to exclude Syria’s ally Iran from Saturday’s crunch meeting of world and regional powers aimed at ending violence that has now left over 15,000 dead.

Assad’s fate “must be decided within the framework of a Syrian dialogue by the Syrian people themselves,” Lavrov told a news conference with his Tunisian counterpart.

“Foreign players should not be dictating their solutions to the Syrians. We do not and cannot support any intervention or solutions dictated from abroad,” he said.

Diplomats at the United Nations in New York had said that world powers generally back Annan’s plan to set up a Syrian transitional government in a bid to end the country’s 16-month conflict

But Lavrov was more cautious: “There are no agreed drafts. Work on a possible final document continues,” he said.

He also complained bitterly that “individual working formulas” had been leaked to the press by diplomats overnight. “I view this as a manifestation of an unfair approach to diplomacy.”

Lavrov agreed that changes and reforms were much needed in Syria, saying: “We support changes which work towards national agreement on all questions of overdue reform”.

He said that a transitional period for these changes was clearly necessary but did not go into detail about what this might involve.

“It is clearly the case that a transitional period is required to overcome the Syrian crisis and finally establish stable, generally-accepted rules and norms that suit all groups of the Syrian population,” he said.

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June 28th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

146. Stick to the Truth said:

I wish I could read the thaughts of Michel Kilo during the meeting in Brussels.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=15145

I guess he is saying to himself “What a Chaos-Orchester I am in”

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June 30th, 2012, 4:24 am

 

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