What Came out of the UN Conference on Syria?

What Came out of the UN Conference on Syria?
by Joshua Landis
for Syria Comment, July 1, 2012

The operative sentence by Clinton is: it is now “incumbent on Russia and China to show Assad the writing on the wall and help force his departure.”

This plan for a “transition government” in Syria does not add much to previous plans. But it is an indication that Russia’s patience with Assad will not be unlimited. Clinton has advance the ball ever so slightly, convincing Russia to box Assad in just a little more. With each step, Assad must know that his time to suppress the revolt is limited. Russia is indicating to him that it is not an endless source of support. Assad must deliver.

For the US, this plan does several things. It is not merely designed to shift blame for inaction on Syria from Washington to Moscow – but of course it does do that. It puts the ball in Russia’s court to deliver a transition government. Of course, the opposition has refused to join such a government so long as the Assads remain in power, which makes the blame game a bit messy. This is why Clinton is talking chapter 7 again. She wants to give teeth to need for a transition government, but Russia will not agree to that.

It is good for the US because Washington gains time, which is of the essence. The Syrian opposition is not ready to take over Syria. It needs time to coalesce and mature. A new leadership and civil society is emerging in Syria under the nose of the Assad government, but it is months if not years away from being able to rule Syria effectively. Nation building is an organic process.Washington has discovered that it cannot command cooperation and unity.

If Washington learned anything from Iraq and Libya it is that decapitating an oppressive regime too soon is bad. More people get killed. The death rate goes up and not down. An alternative leadership must be prepared to assume authority. Most importantly, an alternative army needs to be assembled to take control and impose order – an army that is viewed as legitimate and representative by a large proportion of society. No such force existed in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya.

Today, we are seeing  the emergence of an alternative source of authority and security in Syria — perhaps. And that is a big “perhaps.” We are not sure that Syria will end up with a unified leadership or that one militia will emerge victorious and supreme. The political factions and one hundred-plus militias that now pepper the Syrian landscape are certainly not capable of imposing order or providing security for Syrians should the Baathist regime crumble or be destroyed.

Will they unite and produce a national leadership in time? It is a reasonable hope. The chances will be much improved if Western powers, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agree on a common leadership.  The beauty contest that is now going on among the Syrian opposition forces is natural and healthy.  A brutal Darwinian battle is now being waged in Syria not only between the regime and the Free Syrian Army, but also between the multitude of militias that make up the FSA. The leaders who can deliver will rise to the top; those that make mistakes are unlikely to survive. The  militias that are better led and can cooperate effectively with the revolutionary councils will rise to the top, pulling the smaller brigades into their ranks. This process of nation building takes time. It is an organic process that cannot be rushed. The West must play for time as the Syrian opposition matures. To destroy the regime before Syrian society is ready to produce an alternative state and leadership is irresponsible. It will not save lives; it will not prevent Islamizaton; it will not serve Western interests; and it will certainly not serve Syrian interests.

Syria Conference Leaves Open Assad Question

An international conference on Saturday accepted a U.N.-brokered peace plan that calls for the creation of a transitional government in Syria, but at Russia’s insistence the compromise agreement left the door open to Syria’s president being part of it.

The U.S. backed away from insisting that the plan should explicitly call for President Bashar Assad to have no role in a new Syrian government, hoping the concession would encourage Russia to put greater pressure on its longtime ally to end the violent crackdown that the opposition says has claimed more than 14,000 lives.

But even with Russia’s most explicit statement of support yet for a political transition in Syria, it is far from certain that the plan will have any real effect in curbing the violence. A key phrase in the agreement requires that the transitional governing body “shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent,” effectively giving the present government and the opposition veto power over each other.

Syrian opposition figures immediately rejected any notion of sharing in a transition with Assad, though the agreement also requires security force chiefs and services to have the confidence of the people. Assad’s government had no immediate reaction, but he has repeatedly said his government has a responsibility to eliminate terrorists and will not accept any non-Syrian model of governance.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted on Saturday that Assad would still have to go, saying it is now “incumbent on Russia and China to show Assad the writing on the wall” and help force his departure.”

“There is a credible alternative to the Assad regime,” she said. “What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power.”

Kofi Annan was appointed the special envoy in February, and in March he submitted a six-point peace plan that he said the Assad regime accepted. It led to the April 12 cease-fire agreement that failed to hold.

Moscow had refused to back a provision that would call for Assad to step aside, insisting that outsiders cannot order a political solution for Syria and accusing the West of ignoring the darker side of the Syrian opposition. The opposition has made clear it would not take part in a government in which Assad still held power.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined that the plan does not require Assad’s ouster, saying there is “no attempt in the document to impose on the Syrian people any type of transitional process.”

Lavrov accused armed opposition groups in Syria of provoking the government to use force disproportionately. “We cannot say that the regime should simply withdraw its heavy artillery that it is shooting at armed citizens,” he said, referring to one of the conditions that the U.N. had set for sending truce monitors to Syria. “Certain armed groups and those who sponsor them are always trying to provoke the spiraling violence.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called for all sides to end to the violence “without attaching any conditions,” but said that no one from the outside can make any legitimate decisions for the Syrian people.

More than a year into the uprising, Syria’s opposition is still struggling to overcome infighting and inexperience, preventing the movement from gaining the traction it needs to instill confidence in its ability to govern.

The U.N. plan calls for establishing a transitional government of national unity, with full executive powers, that could include members of Assad’s government and the opposition and other groups. It would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections.

Annan said following the Geneva talks that “it is for the people of Syria to come to a political agreement.”

“I will doubt that the Syrians who have fought so hard to have independence … will select people with blood on their hands to lead them,” he said.

The envoy had earlier warned the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — that if they fail to act at the talks hosted by the United Nations at its European headquarters in Geneva, they face an international crisis of “grave severity” that could spark violence across the region and provide a new front for terrorism.

“History is a somber judge and it will judge us all harshly, if we prove incapable of taking the right path today,” he said.

Syria, verging on a full-blown civil war, has endured a particularly bloody week, with up to 125 people reported killed nationwide on Thursday alone.

The opposition’s divisions are tied to issues at the heart of the revolution: Whether to seek dialogue with the regime and what ideology should guide a post-Assad Syria.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said following the agreement that “no member of the Syrian opposition will accept to be part of a transitional government while Assad is still in power.”

“Assad’s staying in power will mean the continuation of the bloodshed in Syria,” he said.

Unlike Libya’s National Transitional Council, which brought together most factions fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s regime and was quickly recognized by much of the international community, Syria’s opposition has no leadership on the ground.

Regime opponents in Syria are a diverse group, representing the country’s ideological, sectarian and generational divide. They include dissidents who spent years in prison, tech-savvy activists in their 20s, former Marxists, Islamists and Paris-based intellectuals.

Communication among those abroad and those in the country is extremely difficult. Political activists in Syria are routinely rounded up and imprisoned. Many have gone into hiding, communicating only through Skype using fake names, and the country is largely sealed off to exiled dissidents and foreign journalists.

International tensions also heightened last week after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane, leading to Turkey setting up anti-aircraft guns on its border with its neighbor.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague noted on Saturday that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told diplomats a U.N. monitoring mission in Syria would have to be pulled back if no diplomatic solution was found.

The head of the struggling U.N. observer mission, Norwegian Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, has described the 300 monitors approved by the U.N. Security Council to enforce a failed April cease-fire as being largely confined to bureaucratic tasks and calling Syrians by phone because of the dangers on the ground. Their mandate expires on July 20.

“Ultimately, we want to stop the bloodshed in Syria. If that comes through political dialogue, we are willing to do that,” said Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for the Syrian National Council, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul, Turkey. “We are not willing to negotiate (with) Mr. Assad and those who have murdered Syrians. We are not going to negotiate unless they leave Syria.”

Clinton said Thursday in Riga, Latvia, that all participants in the Geneva meeting, including Russia, were on board with the transition plan. She told reporters that the invitations made clear that representatives “were coming on the basis of (Annan’s) transition plan.”

The United Nations says violence in the country has worsened since a cease-fire deal in April, and the bloodshed appears to be taking on dangerous sectarian overtones, with growing numbers of Syrians targeted on account of their religion. The increasing militarization of both sides in the conflict has Syria heading toward civil war.

Syria’s widows: Hungry and homeless, but undefeated, Friday 29 June 2012
By Tara Sutton, Mafraq

Tens of thousands of desperate refugees have poured into Jordan. Here, some of them tell the stories of how their lives were shattered by the fighting that has torn their homeland apart

Tens of thousands of desperate refugees have poured into Jordan. Here, some of them tell the stories of how their lives were shattered by the fighting that has torn their homeland apart

The Homs widows must take care that they cannot be easily identified. Their names have been changed for this piece. Photograph: Tara Sutton for the Guardian

With criminals and rebels helping them on their way, Syria’s army of refugees marches by night, in single file and silence, towards the Jordanian border. More than 140,000 desperate people, many of them women and children, have sought sanctuary from their neighbour since the uprising in their homeland began 13 months ago and most now face an uncertain future.

Unlike Turkey, Jordan does not have a refugee camp and new arrivals are left to fend for themselves. They escape mostly “through the fence”, too frightened to leave Syria by its official borders. For some this is because their documents were burned when the army torched their homes; for others it is because they are being hunted by the government because someone in their family is, or was, a fighter.

In Jordan most of the aid they receive comes from Islamic and Christian charities with limited resources. They get boxes of food from one group; another donates mattresses and kitchen sets. But it is not enough, and many wonder where the international NGOs are.

“They [the international aid agencies] have a lot of meetings,” said the head of one charity well known to many refugees. “But I don’t see anything on the ground. There is all this talking, and still the Syrians need beds and food and stoves.” Many live in buildings that were formerly abandoned and lack basic necessities such as water and ventilation. Some of the poorest families are living in tents made from old jute sacks.

The border town of Mafraq in Jordan now hosts 10,000 Syrian refugees,

Annan ‘Hopeful’ Over Geneva Talks on Syria
By: Ellen Barry, Nick Cumming-Bruce and Rick Gladstone | The New York Times

“I think we are going to have a good meeting” on Saturday, Mr. Annan told Reuters television in Geneva as senior officials held preparatory talks in advance of the weekend encounter of foreign ministers, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I am optimistic.”

The talks would end “with an acceptable result,” he said, despite news reports suggesting that differences between Russia and other Western and Arab nations at the Geneva meeting had raised new obstacles to an agreement.

Mrs. Clinton is set to meet on Friday in St. Petersburg, Russia, with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Lavrov said on Thursday that Syria needed a period of political transition but reiterated Moscow’s resistance to any plan being imposed by the international community.

“In order to overcome the Syrian crisis and to finally establish stable rights and norms which satisfy all groups in the Syrian population, it is necessary to have a transitional period, this is obvious,” Mr. Lavrov said at a news conference here in Moscow.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister,
Bulent Arinc, acknowledged on Monday that the aircraft — a two-seat RF-4E Phantom, an unarmed reconnaissance version of the F-4 fighter jet — was equipped for surveillance. But he strongly denied it was doing reconnaissance on this particular mission.

Forging a Peace Plan for Syria
By: Kofi A. Annan | The Washington Post

…..But something more is essential. I expect all who attend Saturday’s meeting to agree that a Syrian-led transition process must be achieved in accordance with clear principles and guidelines.

There must be a democratic and pluralistic future for Syria that complies with international standards on human rights and protects the rights of all communities.

This must include a government of national unity that would exercise full executive powers. This government could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, but those whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation would be excluded.

The transition would also include a meaningful national dialogue and a constitutional revision subject to popular approval, followed by free and fair multiparty elections. Stability and calm must be ensured throughout by functioning institutions and protection of all groups within Syria’s diverse society. There must be a commitment to accountability and to national reconciliation.

There is no substitute for the hard work of helping the Syrians forge their own political future, in full respect of Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. …

Western Agreement ‘Could Leave Syria in Assad’s Hands for Two More Years’
By: Robert Fisk | The Independent

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria may last far longer than his opponents believe – and with the tacit acceptance of Western leaders anxious to secure new oil routes to Europe via Syria before the fall of the regime. According to a source intimately involved in the possible transition from Baath party power, the Americans, Russians and Europeans are also putting together an agreement that would permit Assad to remain leader of Syria for at least another two years in return for political concessions to Iran and Saudi Arabia in both Lebanon and Iraq.

For its part, Russia would be assured of its continued military base at Tartous in Syria and a relationship with whatever government in Damascus eventually emerges with the support of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Russia’s recent concession – that Assad may not be essential in any future Syrian power structure – is part of a new understanding in the West which may accept Assad’s presidency in return for an agreement that prevents a further decline into civil war.

Information from Syria suggests that Assad’s army is now “taking a beating” from armed rebels, who include Islamist as well as nationalist forces; at least 6,000 soldiers are now believed to have been murdered or killed in action since the rebellion against Assad began 17 months ago. There are even unconfirmed reports that during any one week up to a thousand Syrian fighters are under training by mercenaries in Jordan at a base used by Western authorities for personnel seeking ‘anti-terrorist’ security exercises.

Syria is not Libya: it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders
28 June 2012, By Phyllis Bennis

Probably the only useful thing outside powers can do, would be to engage in serious new diplomacy, in which supporters of both the regime and the armed opposition participate….

Iran’s role is the single most important basis for US and other western interest in Syria, making that emerging proxy war even more dangerous. At this moment of continuing US pressure, increasing US and EU sanctions, and Israeli threats against Iran, Syria remains a tempting proxy target…..

There is a crucial divergence between the role the Assad regime has played domestically and its regional position. As Jadaliyyaco-editor Bassam Haddadhas written, “most people in the region are opposed to the Syrian regime’s domestic behavior during the past decades, but they are not opposed to its regional role. The problem is the Syrian regime’s internal repression, not its external policies.” That opinion could describe the view of many Syrians as well….

Of course even if Assad had played a consistent anti-imperialist role in the region, Syrians would have every right and reason to challenge his regime’s brutality and denial of human rights. But the claim led some international activists to lionize the Syrian government as a bastion of anti-imperialism and therefore to condemn all opposition forces as lackeys of Washington.

In fact the regime’s reality is far different….

Withholding Favours: EU Tries To Change Iraq’s Mind on Syria Niqash

Visiting EU foreign ministers recently put pressure on Iraq with regard to the official position on Syria. But what does the EU really want the Iraqis to do? And what will they do if Iraq doesn’t agree? By Haider Najm / Baghdad
“Le Hezbollah va-t-il se tenir à l’écart du brasier syrien?” by Wassim Nasr

In a Syrian souk, support for the regime falters
Posted: 28 Jun 2012 08:20 AM PDT
Deborah Amos reports: In Syria’s capital, Damascus, the Hamidiyah souk is a landmark — a centuries-old covered market linked to a maze of alleyways in the heart of the capital. Over the 15-month uprising, Syria’s merchants have supported the regime of President Bashar Assad. But that support is crumbling. Shops selling everything from cold drinks, […]

Hamas says member killed in Damascus home

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 08:30 AM PDT
Reuters reports: Hamas said on Thursday that one of its members, Kamal Husni Ghanaja, had been killed in his home in Damascus and that it was trying to find who was behind what the Palestinian Islamist group described as a “cowardly murder”. Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said in a statement that it was […]

Can the U.S. and Russia agree on how to end Syria’s war?

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 08:40 AM PDT
Tony Karon writes: Beleaguered U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan will host an international conference to address Syria‘s rapidly escalating civil war, but the meeting in Geneva on Saturday appears to have only lukewarm backing from the U.S. — and then only after Washington put the kibosh on the attendance of Iran, whose participation had been […]

Comments (128)

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101. omen said:

an anti regime alawi activist is forced to flee to turkey.

aje video

half of alawite community, they know that regime is lying. they know that.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:06 pm


102. zoo said:

#65 tara

“Syria rebels to boycott Cairo opposition talks”

Easy to boycott when you are not invited…

“However, the main rebel group fighting Syrian government forces on the ground, the Free Syrian Army, was not represented at the talks. Faiz Amru, a member of the Joint Military Command, which is affiliated with the FSA, said the Cairo meeting was purely political, so rebels were not invited.”


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July 2nd, 2012, 3:06 pm


103. omen said:

regime TV reporter defects

A presenter from the Syrian regime’s main television channel has defected to the opposition and revealed he has secretly provided intelligence to rebels for the past seven months.

Ghatan Sleiba, a long-time anchor and reporter for the al-Dunya channel, is believed to be the first high-profile defector from Damascus’s powerful propaganda arm. “I am the first and I will probably be the last,” he said in an interview with the Guardian in southern Turkey.

“There are some others who also want to run, but there are more who love the regime from the depths of their hearts,” he said.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:13 pm


104. zoo said:

#86 MajedAl Khaldoon

If you know more about the whereabouts of the FSA leaders, please explain why Ryad Al Assaad, the founder of the FSA, is absent from that heads of the FSA meeting and not even mentioned?

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:16 pm


105. zoo said:

Al Jazeera Arabic love affair with the Moslem Brotherhood could be double-edged.


By Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a UAE based political commentator

Al Jazeera Arabic’s love affair with the Muslim Brotherhood was evident from the channel’s beginning. Its chief religious program’s main guest is none other than Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a long-time Muslim Brotherhood member and resident of Qatar who has taken that state’s citizenship.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood decided to run a candidate, the channel has spared no effort in promoting the candidate through its various channels.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:36 pm


106. Stick to the True said:

Baathist edifice of the Syrian state to come crashing down like a house of cards. After all, it is built on loyalty to the man and family.

Just as a matter of fairness, the Baath party exist almost as long as independent Syria exist.

If the Baath can not maintain its position, the only party that can reemerge and satisfy the majority of the Syrian would the Syrian National Party.
Syrians are disappointed and feedup with everything related to arabic nation.

Mr. Landis, please leave if to the Syrians to find their future path. We are very allergic of any advice from abroad.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:36 pm


107. Stick to the Truth said:

#104 OMEN
“I am the first and I will probably be the last,”

If the story is not a fake as many others defection stories of high ranking officials and the stories of massdefection, why would he be the last? Is he just frustrated? Is Al-Jazeera going to offer him a job?

“A single swallow that does not ‘make a summer’, it may only help to raise te “fighting” spirit, which is obviously down.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:48 pm


108. Tara said:


Good post. I can’t respond to that….

Then my link is a flashy article with no substance if indeed they were not invited.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:53 pm


109. Aldendeshe said:


I did respond to you several times, but the moderator will not publish any. Thought it has to do with a new video that a link included at bottom about non-human activities!!! but even when I removed all links and self edited the comment to be just plain boring response, like the rest of the comments here, it did not pass the moderator censorship, he or Landis could be under duress to do so, no need to cause them any aggravation. The point of my comment is that I disagreed with all you said and pointed out to you that evidence available to prove that Islamist used minarets to order Christians out of homes. Also stated that we disapprove with both the Islamists ways and means as well as the Baathists continued control of Syria against the wishes of the majority. Therefore SNP is staying neutral.

Hopefully, nothing said in here that will cause deletion of this comment.

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July 2nd, 2012, 3:53 pm


110. bronco said:

The FSA is loosing ground and its chance for a role in the future of Syria are slimming.
While Ryad al Assaad the commander in chief of the FSA does not appear anymore and rumors of his defection are getting stronger , the FSA has not even been invited to a ‘unification’ meeting in Cairo. Worried Turkey is watching more thoroughly its borders and hampering the fighters and weapons moves.
It is also possible that the FSA’s color has become far too Islamist for the West and the moderate Arabs. Therefore it is not trustworthy. Emphasis is back on the political opposition.

The SNC who has continuously refused to meet with the other opposition groups when Ghaliun was leading it with the help of Alain Juppe, is now in Cairo with the 200+ opposition groups.
It will be pressured to accept Annan`s plan or just be excluded from any future political process. As the opposition is too weak to continue resisting the big power agreement, it is quite possible that they’ll accept a face saving deal.
Publicly it will appear like a victory : ‘The opposition is united and victorious’ but in fact it would be close to a dramatic shift.

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July 2nd, 2012, 4:19 pm


111. omen said:

101. half of alawite community, they know that regime is lying. they know that.

hey, nobody rebutted the alawi activist’s statement.

i’ll read that as a tacit admission from regime loyalists posting here that they too recognize the regime is lying.

thanks, that’s good to know.

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July 2nd, 2012, 4:52 pm


112. Tara said:


I think you are too pessimistic in your views in regard to the FSA. The FSA fighters are the real heroes. They are the ones who have put their lives pn the line for us. Had it not been to their sacrifices, it would’ve been “Khalset”. They are the protectors of the Syrian people. The political opposition Is worthless without them… They and the LCC are the real deal. Everyone else is marginal and has no base in the ground…
without them a

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July 2nd, 2012, 5:21 pm


113. Stick to the Truth said:

#104 ZOO

why Ryad Al Assaad, the founder of the FSA, is absent from that heads of the FSA meeting and not even mentioned?

There are obviously too many “heroic” Generals commanding few soldiers.
Nobody seems to miss him. Who cares…

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July 2nd, 2012, 6:00 pm


114. Stick to the Truth said:

109. Aldendeshe said:

Hopefully, nothing said in here that will cause deletion of this comment.


I think I can learn from you

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July 2nd, 2012, 6:19 pm


115. bronco said:

#112 Tara

You know very well that I had high hopes that the FSA would take over the leadership of the opposition after Ghaliun left ina debacle. Unfortunately the FSA is as divided as the political opposition. They are fighting against each other and have allowed Islamist extremists to make operations that have cost the lives of many civilians. They have also betrayed General Mood who have tried to convince them to be aware of the extremists among them. Because of that, I think the UN and the Western world powers have lost all hopes on the FSA. In addition, the financial and military support they are getting from countries that have bred terrorism remind the West about what happened in Afghanistan when, in order to fight the Russian occupation, weapons and money were given to islamist fighters that turn out to become Al Qaeeda after the Russians left.

As long as the FSA has the color of an Islamist movement, they may get weapons and jihadists from KSA and Qatar but they will never get neither the support nor the recognition of the Western countries.
Turkey will now prefer to play clean with Western powers and will probably squeeze the FSA into impotence.
The Geneva meeting is just that: Only a political solution is acceptable and the FSA , as it stands now, is out in the cold.

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July 2nd, 2012, 9:51 pm


116. irritated said:

The mystery about Ryad Al Assaad second defection is still unsolved.
The FSA has made no denial of his defection and he has not appear on any Youtube videos for a long time. A new commander seems to have replaced him.

If Ryas aal Assaad did defect from the FSA, it may give a bad example to the other generals who are kept under tight military surveillance in Turkish camps.

Will Ryad al Assad join Adnan Bakkour in the black hole of oblivion?

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July 2nd, 2012, 10:06 pm


118. Antoine said:


The FSA is winning the feat of force with the regime, who cares for some usless tea-drinking talks in Cairo. The FSA is fighting on a purely physical military level where it has the best chances.

FSA has already won the test of purely military and physical prowess against the regime. Now they only need to get larger numbers of heavier weapons especially mortars and ATGMs to make a difference.

To Riad al Asaad Conspiracy Theory believers :

Where is Assef Shawkat hiding nowadays btw ? Why haven’t we seen or heard him in Cabinet meetings ? Is he fired ? Or something else ?

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July 3rd, 2012, 9:49 am


119. zoo said:

Another gathering of the FOS in Paris, this time under Zionist Laurent Fabius.
Is Bernard Henry Levy the guest of honor? The corridors again?
The SNC begging again recognition?

Russia (and China?) to miss ( boycott) next Friends of Syria ( Enemies of Syria) talks

AFP – 34 mins ago


Russia will not attend a Friends of Syria meeting in Paris on Friday which seeks to co-ordinate Western and Arab efforts to stop the violence in the country, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

The United States, France, Britain, Germany, and Arab nations Saudi Arabia and Qatar are leading members of the Friends, whose more than 60 members include most of the EU states and many countries making up the Arab League.


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July 3rd, 2012, 10:22 am


120. zoo said:

Don’t underestimate the Geneva UN agreement.

“He said Qatar, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait were among those countries who would exercise their influence on the Syrian parties.”


“Many forces have joined hands here on Saturday … don’t underestimate the degree of a shift that happened particularly in the Russian and Chinese positions to accept the principle of a policy change,” Ahmad Fawzi said.

He said reports out of Beijing and Moscow had been “very supportive” of the agreement made at the meeting.

“Let’s wait until the dust settles on this agreement and I think everyone will see that it was quite an accomplishment that was achieved here on Saturday.”

This included an agreement in principle on a political transition, he said, but a complete halt to the violence was vital first.
Fawzi said the proposals on the table formed a framework for a solution.

“This was a very finely crafted diplomatic document and the solution to the crisis lies therein,” he said.

“If you go to the agreed actions that the group members will take to implement the agreement you will see that they have committed to apply joint and sustained pressure on the parties in Syria.

He said Qatar, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait were among those countries who would exercise their influence on the Syrian parties.

“I think you will understand what kind of leverage they have, what kind of taps can be turned off or on that might influence the behaviour of the parties.” he said.
The UN human agency on Tuesday welcomed the Geneva talks, saying the six point plan was the only solution in sight.

“For that to work violence has to stop and the flow of arms also needs to stop,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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July 3rd, 2012, 10:32 am


121. Tara said:


Russia is boycotting the FOS meeting in Paris?

It is easy to boycott a meeting you are not invited to.

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July 3rd, 2012, 1:15 pm


122. Adonis said:

it is very interesting peice of politics fiction Mr Landis

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July 3rd, 2012, 2:37 pm


123. zoo said:

121. Tara

“foreign minister Laurent Fabius said. “Russia was invited. They made it known that they did not want to participate, which is not a
surprise,” he told reporters.

Russia, a traditional ally of Syria, and China did not attend previous meetings of the group.”


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July 3rd, 2012, 3:41 pm


124. zoo said:

Sarkozy to end up in jail for corruption? Is Juppe next?

Nicolas Sarkozy’s home raided by French police

Detectives investigating alleged illegal campaign-financing by L’Oreal heir Liliane Bettencourt search Carla Bruni’s mansion

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
* guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 July 2012 16.46 BST

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July 3rd, 2012, 3:45 pm


125. zoo said:

That was expected as part of Turkey’s compliance with the Geneva agreement.
Turkey will not allow the FSA fighters to move freely anymore near the Syrian borders. Turkey calls it ‘terrorist leaks’.

Turkish military firm completes border-watch system


The Turkish Military Electronics Company (ASELSAN) has completed a patrol system that will monitor Turkey’s land borders around the clock.

The Transportable Autonomous Patrol System for Land Border Surveillance (TALOS) project aims to provide control of the land borders and stop terrorist leaks.

The land vehicles are equipped with cameras and will watch over the borders in areas soldiers cannot reach, sending a live feed of information to their command center. The vehicles can also autonomously engage in fights with threats.


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July 3rd, 2012, 3:51 pm


126. zoo said:

Erdogan’s word against WSJ’s and Russia’s


Russia believes it has exact positional data to prove that a Turkish air force jet shot down by Syria last month violated Syrian airspace, contrary to claims by Ankara, a report said Monday.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Russian military source as saying that the Turkish jet had “unambiguously” entered Syrian airspace and Moscow had the details of its entire route.

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July 3rd, 2012, 4:10 pm


127. zoo said:

Redhack ridicule Erdogan and Davutoglu by hacking important Turkish government web sites


one showing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan embracing killed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and another showing him embracing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A title was placed above the pictures, reading: “Ministry of War and Slavery, not Foreign Affairs.” A caption for the pictures read: “Brothers yesterday, enemies today.”

A message was also placed under the pictures, which condemned what it called “imperialist scenarios to pit brotherly peoples against each other … Those who can not resolve conflicts within their homeland are meddling in other countries’ problems, seeing this as a necessity of being a ‘great state,'” the message read.

“If you want war so much, put on your boots and fight. We do not have to die for you just because you were elected by a majority vote,” the message, directed at Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said.

A message directed at Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, “We have obtained all documents at the ministry portal, we will disclose them all. The documents will prove how weak you are in reality and will show that your bullying is merely hot air.”

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July 3rd, 2012, 4:13 pm


128. omen said:

62. OSAMA said: Please notice that the ITV “correspondent” does not say he saw a war plane – he says he “heard” what sounds to him like a plane – and he them assumes an explosion that happened is somehow tied to that plane noise – not exactly the same thing…

He had a camera! he should have been able to film something flying in or flying out – it is a clear day and he had an excellent vantage point!!!!

let’s pretend you are a seasoned combat reporter. you know what certain sounds indicate. if you heard war planes approaching, would you rush to take cover in a deep basement somewhere? or would you foolishly stand in the open, hoping to film a bombardment?

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July 5th, 2012, 12:20 pm


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