Why the US is Reluctant to Support the Syrian Revolution (in Arabic)

Syrian Rebel Leader Deals With Ties to Other Side
Daniel Etter for The New York Times“I don’t want to fight against them; I don’t want to see them killed or injured. I hope they leave before we attack.” GEN. SALIM IDRIS, By NEIL MacFARQUHAR,  March 1, 2013

……General Idris, soft-spoken and humble compared with many military men, said he received hundreds of telephone calls daily, some angry, from commanders across Syria.

He dispatches what he can. But he described a mysterious system whereby unknown donors pay money to arms dealers within Syria. When he requisitions supplies, the black marketers fill the orders if the accounts are full. He can usually get the Kalashnikov bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and small mortars that he needs. But if the accounts are empty, he gets nothing.

Many rebel battalion commanders were civilians before the uprising. Having organized a brigade from men in their villages, they balk at taking orders and refuse to coordinate attacks.

“They want everything from the chief of staff — weapons, ammunition, money,” General Idris said. “But if you ask them what did you do with the ammunition and weapons, and how did you spend the money, well, they don’t like any commander to ask them what they are doing. But we cannot work in this way.”

General Idris said he could work with most of the Islamist factions fighting in Syria, putting their number at about 50 percent of the rebels. The exception was al-Nusra Front, blacklisted by the United States. He said that they were helpful in the fight — estimating that they had 3,000 men — but it was the only group he labeled extremist.

For security, General Idris rarely sleeps in the same place for two nights running. He takes the dangers he faces with a little black humor, interrupting the interview to call his wife “to tell her that I am still alive.”

Over all, General Idris said he thought the war was progressing well for the rebels. The government was resorting to tactics like long-range Scud missile attacks because it lacked soldiers, he said, but the rebels need the supplies promised by Western and Arab leaders more than ever.

“I would like to say to the decision makers in these countries, you cannot only listen to the news about Syria and watch the TV, to see the massacres and the destruction and wait,” he said. “If you still delay the decision to support Syria, you might take the decision when it is too late. Then Syria will be like Somalia.”

Kerry scolds Turkish leader for comment about Zionism

ANKARA, Turkey —Secretary of State John F. Kerry scolded Turkey’s leader Friday for likening Zionism to a “crime against humanity,” saying such remarks complicate efforts to forge Mideast peace.

Comments (176)

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151. revenire said:

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March 4th, 2013, 12:17 am


152. Syrian said:

you dubbed the words ” smoke the m.f.”over his voice and that will make him an American?
Again the stupidity of the regime and its supporters is our greatest weapon

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March 4th, 2013, 12:31 am


153. omen said:

you rarely hear this point acknowledged in media discussions about political solutions even though we all know it – that the regime used the pretense of seeking a settlement to further crack down on the opposition.

but this pundit is betting on the wrong horse. i doubt russia will ever cede to the west:

27 feb 2013 aje josh lockman usc law school

aje: how does the u.s. think it is possible to find some kind of common ground or to find some kind of peace, i guess, without having the other side involved?

lockman: we’ve obviously seen how international attempts at some type of political transition have played into the assad regime’s hands. when former secretary general kofi annan and lakhdar brahimi were un envoys trying to negotiate a political solution, the assad regime took advantage of that space, really, to brutally crack down on the syrian opposition and civilians in various regions throughout syria. so, i think, at this point, while we have seen rhetorically growing calls for assad to step down, there really isn’t faith in some type of negotiated political transition.

i think, really, the king maker in this game is russia. and i think the united states hopes that the kremlin – while at least, at some point, with pressure, with more decisive stand militarily from the syrian opposition – really takes the side of the west and the regional allies in the region such as saudi arabia, qatar and turkey – to put pressure to oust assad and his cronies from power. i think then we will see a negotiated political transition with senior alawi generals and the syrian opposition. but i think the assad regime itself, there is no faith or hope in a negotiated solution at this point.

the fastest way to get the regime to the table is to start firing patriot missiles at the presidential palace. or to announce nato or turkey is going to establish a no fly zone. these ****** will only respond to a show of force. until then, the regime continues on its killing spree.

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March 4th, 2013, 12:34 am


154. ann said:

146. revenire

Looks like his Libyan boyfriend was devastated!

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March 4th, 2013, 12:37 am


155. ann said:

Hagel, Syria, the P5+1 and Iran – Posted on March 3


On March 2, less than a week after the talks in Almaty, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi put down a marker on Syria when he said, at a news conference with Syrian Foreign Walid Muallem in Damascus, that “in the next election, President Assad, like others, will take part, and the Syrian people will elect whomever they want … [the] official position of Iran is that … Assad will remain legitimate president until the next … election” in 2014.

Iran proposed strengthening joint cooperation with the P5+1 on Syria and Bahrain in its five-point proposal to the group in August 2012. Tehran still considers that proposal as its basic framework for the talks.

As this column noted in December, Iran’s influence with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad begins where Russia’s influence ends. A political outcome for Syria will only come through the intervention of Iran, which remains the primary backer of the Syrian government and the ultimate broker of any deal between the regime and the opposition. On Feb. 3, Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi met for over one hour with Sheikh Moaz Al-Khatib, chairman of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, showing Tehran’s reach with both the government and the opposition.

If Iran is offering to help broker a deal for a ceasefire and transition, Washington should consider picking up Tehran’s offer. It is only nine months until 2014, when constitutionally mandated elections in Syria are scheduled to take place. For those who engage the fantasy that there is a deal to be done in Syria without Iran, it is worth considering how much worse would be the conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan if Iran did not recognize Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Hamid Karzai. If the objective is to stop the killing and try to shape what comes next in Syria, Iran, which is also threatened by the ascendance Sunni Jihadist terrorists in the region, has a role to play.



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March 4th, 2013, 12:49 am


156. omen said:

ghufran: what many of you fail to understand is that hating Assad and his regime, which is wide spread in Syria now, does not automatically translate to support for rebels, especially islamists.

this is why the opposition tries to hold elections assigning local representation after winning over control over a town or region.

see 141.

zoo: Syria opponents vote for Aleppo council

Opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voted on Sunday to elect 29 provincial council members to run rebel-held areas in the northern province of Aleppo, organisers and participants told AFP.

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March 4th, 2013, 12:57 am


157. Juergen said:

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March 4th, 2013, 1:00 am


158. Juergen said:

The EU is considering to deliver not only military instructeurs but also weapons to the rebels. France and the UK have pushed foward an initiative in the EU for doing so. There is right now an debate in Germany inside the government about the involvement of my country to join this. Merkels party heads are for it, her junior partner the party of foreign minister Weesterwell is against any involvement. Daniel Cohn Bendit, a Green Party activist in the European parliament has said:

“The longer this conflict onholds, the more chances are lost that moderate forces will take over the power from Assad.

In Aleppo and other liberated areas, those with the better weapons will prevail.

Even if one is doing nothing, you will take a stand. There is an imminate danger that through an noninvolvement of the West this conflict will continue and the number of deaths will raise, and at the end islamists will take over.
Berlin should not think that its hesitation is the royal way out.”

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March 4th, 2013, 1:15 am


159. ann said:

Syria’s al-Assad: British leaders shallow, immature – Sun March 3, 2013


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad slammed British leaders as “shallow and immature” and accused the British government of trying to arm rebels seeking his ouster.

Al-Assad told The Sunday Times that the British government can’t play a useful role in stopping the Syrian crisis.

“We do not expect an arsonist to be a firefighter,” al-Assad told the newspaper.

“To be frank, Britain has played famously in our region (an) un-constructive role in different issues, for decades, some say for centuries. I’m telling you the perception in our region,” he said.

“The problem with this government (is) that they are shallow and immature. Rhetoric only highlight this tradition of a bullying hegemony.”



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March 4th, 2013, 1:18 am


160. Johannes de Silentio said:


“I am not going to repeat myself endlessly”

But that’s all you do, dude. You’re a single-message, Johnny-One-Note foghorn, blaring the same thing over and over ad nauseum ad infinitum. I really feel sorry for the chicks you date. I’ll bet they have to prop their eyelids open with toothpicks to keep from passing out from boredom.

A New Bashar Cartoon:


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March 4th, 2013, 1:24 am


161. MarigoldRan said:

Aleppo police academy captured.

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March 4th, 2013, 1:27 am


162. ann said:

Expert: Obama ‘uninterested’ in Syria intervention – 03/04/2013


Prof. Eyal Zisser said that Syria is becoming the center for jihadists, taking the place of Afghanistan and Iraq. President Bashar Assad has surprised many by his resilience and ability to survive two years of rebellion, he said.

“There is no ‘opposition’ – it is media-made and it has no one leader or system that represents it,” he said, adding that there are many local uprisings coming from the periphery and there is chaos in places where the government has lost control.

The opposition is functioning like a cash machine and as long as the money keeps coming they can continue, Zisser added.



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March 4th, 2013, 1:28 am


163. MarigoldRan said:

I agree: we should be thankful that the regime and its supporters are delusional and stupid. It makes military progress easier.

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March 4th, 2013, 1:30 am


164. ALI said:

Amjad of Arabia

Did the Saudi mthrfkr king renew your visa?

Soon you’ll see the Syrian Scuds glowing over Saudi Arabi to teach these illiterate animals a hard lesson to not play with big boys.

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March 4th, 2013, 1:31 am


165. ALI said:


“we should be thankful that the regime and its supporters are delusional and stupid”

Why such a statement?

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March 4th, 2013, 1:33 am


166. Johannes de Silentio said:

160. ALI

“Why such a statement?”

It’s a typo, dumbass. He meant to say, “We should be thankful that douchebag Ali is so delusional and stupid”

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March 4th, 2013, 1:45 am


167. ann said:

Is The U.S. Funding Syrian Revolution Or Future Terror Attacks? – March 4, 2013 by Sam Rolley

“The al-Qaida groups and those services which conduct their operations in line with the U.S. interests will soon change track of their operations to other places and they will cause new troubles for the U.S. and Europe henceforth”


A NATO researcher explained last week why the growing al-Qaida presence is cause for concern, saying Syria’s uncertain future could make it a top al-Qaida stronghold.

“It’s now clear that Syria is not undergoing a violent transition from one regime to another,” noted NATO researcher Jean-Loup Samaan. “In fact, the country is enduring a process of disintegration of its state structures. Planners for a post-Assad Syria are no longer eyeing the potential successors of Assad but [are looking] at the bewildering landscape of non-state actors that fight each other over the conquest of what will be eventually left of the Syrian state.”

Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Massoud Jazayeri urged U.S. officials to rethink support of Syrian opposition forces earlier this month, warning that terror groups have gained heavy control of opposition forces. He warned that the al-Qaida mission, such as it is, will lead to the armed rebels continuing their terrorist activities in the other countries, including the West, in the near future.

“The al-Qaida groups and those services which conduct their operations in line with the U.S. interests will soon change track of their operations to other places and they will cause new troubles for the U.S. and Europe henceforth,” Jazayeri said.



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March 4th, 2013, 1:48 am


168. ALI said:

Johannes de Silentio:

“We should be thankful that douchebag Ali is so delusional and stupid”

We should be thankful to your mother’s vagina to bless us with such a baby clown

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March 4th, 2013, 4:09 am


169. Juergen said:

a country in bliss, Syrian state tv should carefully consider inviting some retired sport stars for an hour long hand clapping ceremony. Who could be Battas “friend for live”?

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March 4th, 2013, 6:52 am


170. annie said:

Syria’s Assad is ‘delusional’ says William Hague

UK foreign secretary hits back at Bashar al-Assad after Syrian leader accuses Britain of resuming a ‘bullying’ colonial role


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March 4th, 2013, 7:58 am


171. Tara said:

The US will not arm the opposition for the time being but it will allow others to do so. The statement made bu Kerry in a press conference with the Saudi is telling. Are we going to celebrate the New ear in Damascus?

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March 4th, 2013, 8:41 am


172. Sami said:

Omen ,

“start firing patriot missiles at the presidential palace”

Or at least use them to shoot down those SCUD’s that keep hitting Aleppo, but that would be asking for too much wouldn’t it.

To gage the West’s actual willingness to be helpful towards the Syrian people one only needs to look at their blatant ineffectiveness at stopping the Russians from supplying the regime with spare parts and munitions to continue to slaughter the Syrian people.

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March 4th, 2013, 9:12 am


173. zoo said:

#156 Joan of Arc

yawn.. zzzzz.

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March 4th, 2013, 10:20 am


174. Juergen said:

once a highly pro regime site, now a site where the ugly statues fall

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March 4th, 2013, 11:20 am


175. Juergen said:

even better version of the big salutation ceremony to Hafiz al Wahash today in Ar Raqa. Soon in all Syria.

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March 4th, 2013, 12:02 pm


176. Sahatsurya said:

A comment on the posting from _Enduring America_ about an Islamist group executing “prisoners of war” in Syria.

Technically, as this is not an international armed conflict, there is no “prisoner of war” status afforded to any of those directly involved in hostilities.

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March 7th, 2013, 1:33 am


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